The Tears of the Moon - Beyond the Shadowed Vale

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

Postby wind_walker » Fri Dec 24, 2004 6:44 pm

Windy sought out Brnin after the Council. There was a bustle and he had not been able to see where the dwarf had escaped to. That and many side conversations had been passed around. Brnin was nowhere to be seen. Windy thought it hopeless to find his friend, so he decided to do some relaxing.
Upon finding another guard/guide elf, he wasn't exactlty sure of the sir's duty, he asked to the deepest forging room in the Halls he might work in. The other inquired of the work he needed done. Windy said he liked to ensure the qualities of his axe after the last skirmish. The elf assured him their workers could do it. At this he became indignant, "I have crafted since I could hold a hammer, I will do my own work!" He stormed off. The elf shouted brief directions, which he followed. Theay led him to a small, but hardly empty workroom.

Windy groumbled loudly at the sight of a fire in the room he was told about until he heard a voice. It wasn't an elf crafter, it was much to deep. He approached to find Brnin in there with a long metal shaft and a simple hammer. He was muttering old dwarfish curses at it and hardly notticed the new arrival.
"I'm working, I'll clean up and be gone later, thank you!" he said without looking up.
"Clean up what, may I ask" said windy standing in the door.
"Windy!" the other looked up. "I didn't know it was you." He laid the hammer down and dipped the reddened tip of the metal in the gooling bath and laid it there. Walking over to the other, "what brings you here?"
"I came to hammer out my thoughts," he replied, "and you?"
"Somewhat of the same. I am also practicing these darned Knick Sticks."
Now it would be a good place here to explain the long, skinny rod of metal laying in the cooling bath. It was the Knick Stick, as many men called it, that Brnin was practicing. They were little more than metal shafts with sharp tips. They could be easily made in the field of battle on a back line by a knowing hand for quick use. They were usually considered disposable, one use weapons, as arrows. Sometimes made in a war camp or siege camp before a battle. The tip of one was usually hammered til there was any kind of sharp point. However, from the dwarves, it had been made into an art. A good dwarf smith could make a point that would eat leather armor like warm butter. And rather quickly at that, but it took practice to gain such skill. This was what Brnin practiced.
"Let me see," said Windy. He looked at the still dripping tip curriously. "How much do you turn it every stroke?" he asked
"About a quarter turn," Brnin replied.
"Hmm," Windy thourght. "Try eight strokes per full turn."
As Brnin thought about this he dried it and began reheating the metal in the small fire of another try. "Something on your mind, friend?" he inquired.
There is this business of open this gate, it has weighed on my mind much since we conviened. You see, they could not have know which elements would and would not attend this quest. There must be tokens of sort for each element."
"And what does that do for us if we already posess each element?" Brnin began to hammer again.
"Well, if they are out there, would it not probably be in our best interrest to find them. 'Better to have and not need, then to need and not have.' "
The last of this run with the other dwarf's last stroke and he looked at the new tip. It was sharp as he had ever seen. "That sounds like good advice." He laid the rod on a racking. "Perhaps another council is required?"
"Perhaps, Brnin, perhaps. But for now would you join me to seek some of the others, it might do good to see what they think."
"Elena or Slith might be best," Brnin noted. "They can inquire to the Moon Queen on this."
"Tis a fine idea. I'll be off to see them, will you join me?"
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Postby BrninThedwarf » Mon Dec 27, 2004 5:15 pm

"Of course I will join you my friend. Just let me clean this up." Brnin motioned to, what the elven smiths would call, the mess he had made. "You know those fussy elves would have my head if I didn't clean this little bit of clutter up. A blasted nuisance they are sometimes."

WW of course knew that Brnin didn't mean anything he ever said in a derogotory way concerning elves, Brnin was fond of few elves to be sure, but he had no ill will towards them as many dwarves did.

"You raise a good point my friend," Brnin said as he finished his short clean up. "What are we to do with any of the "extra" tokens we find. And if we already have the element in the party when we go to open the gate, what will the reaction be if we have the token of that element with us as well? Could we overload the gate with too much of one element or another? And what of the dangers that surely await us at the threshold of each of these items, eh? Surely that must be discussed."

WW frowned and stroked his beard. "All the more reason to go and find Sith and Elena. Let's go."

The two dwarves moved out of the workshop and back toward the main hall. They were just walking in when they overheard two of the elves in the hall talking about Lady Elena being sick again. The two moved quickly for her room.

As they rounded the last corner before Elena's room they came face to face with Sith. Brnin greeted her with a look of relief. "Ah good. Just the beauty we were looking for."

WW reiterated the sentiments and added, "Aye, we have a few questions that we would like to ask you and the Moon Queen, but first, how is Elena?"
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:22 pm

Fallallalala rrrrumtittytumb!

The music went on in his subconscious; a cacophony of sound, soaring until he feared his head might burst then plummeting till he fought to hear it. He would still his being and strive to pick out the notes of the song, then they would come thundering back to fill the vaults of his mind.

The music was terrible, without tone or rhythm, yet it made tears of joy leak from his tightly shuteyes. His essence was in that song so how could he not love it. It was his very being that was being played upon the drumbs and harps of a thousand masters. He wondered if everybody’s life song was so sweet. He yearned to know. But why was it playing? He had never heard the song of his life before. Oh! He wished it would never end. Every note different and perfect! He ached with the bliss in the hearing.

I will carry him

You are not strong enough

stronger than you think

He is mine in the end you know

Only in body, his soul I will keep, I will maintain

But it will be tide to his body, if he dies…

It will ever be out of your grasp, and if he dies you loose your hold in this world

Only until I find another, I’ve done it before

Not so completely, last time he fought you to the death, and how long did you wait for this one?

He told me I would have his soul captive in the end, when you are vanquished

I am not vanquished so easily

Hah! I think you are!

Pitiful, so sure of yourself and so ignorant. What would you know of power? True power? This one had it

And I overcame him, he is mine now, utterly and completely

except for his soul, where the power dwells

It will be mine in the end

You are a shadow of greatness, you are a twisted and wile strength confined to a pretty box. I pity this young man

Many have. And you will pay for those words

Threats? I thought you were above that. You will not pay for any words, you will be purged for nothing more than your own evilness

Really? And who will do this? This one could not, and the ones before him could not

They didn’t have me. I will help him

We will see, for now though he is no position, and if you will excuse me, I have work to do

Its not to late you know, your maker pored malice goodness into you

I think it is too late, and I work for another now; now be gone

It was a glorious song, so full, so rich. He knew it was everything that he was, the low notes and the high. It roared to its fullness and he could here himself cry out in joy and tears flowed freely from his eyes. So rich, so free! Then he was no longer in his mind, he could feel his body no more. The song had escaped, it soared through time and space, away from his shell, but he stayed with it, contained by it, he was the song.

The melody went on, but he could hear another join in, and his melody responded and accompanied it, complimenting it, yet never changed. Though he had no eyes he opened them. He was in a void filled with color and sound.

Sigal

He wanted to answer but found he couldn’t

Welcome to my realm, here will stay. I yet have use for you, and have brought you here until the time of it’s completing. Rest

He knew it was the voice of the Moon Queen. He had been taken from his body, he didn’t know what would happen to it, and he didn’t care. The Melody of his life filled him with joy, so pure and free of anything. He was liberated from the chaos that had taken hold for so long. He rested, loosing himself in the song.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Thu Dec 30, 2004 6:25 pm

Sigal’s eyes opened like a shot, startling the elf who had been leaning over him whipping he tears from his cheeks.

He had been awake before, over the last couple days. He had heard the news that he was not to accompany the rest of the company. He was judged to week, useless. That in the end had made him despair and give in without knowing it. When last he had finally fallen asleep it had been a simple thing for Casus to wrench absolute control from Sigal’s already weakened grasp. Now a more a wraith Sigal lay, closer to death than ever, yet alive and well

Sigal’s hand shot up and took the Elf by the throat, “Where is my gear?”

The Elf’s eyes bulged in fear, and he would have answered perhaps had he been able to get air past his lips. Instead he pointed frantically to a cabinet near the window.

“Thank you,” Sigals’s hand constricted until he felt the elf’s neck snap and his throat collapse, “Thank you very much”

Quickly he donned his equipment. It was completely familiar. Casus had been with Sigal for many, many years and it was Sigal’s body, his brain, and his sure hands.

He strode to the window and making sure nobody was outside he tossed the elf’s body out the window. Now arrayed in the black leather armor that had served him well during his years as a mercenary, and tightening the left gauntlet just a bit more, he walked to the door. He stepped out into the hallway and started down towards a staircase at the end. First order of business was to get out of here and meat up with the servants of his new boss. He was no fool, he knew at least some of the others would be able to see the change quickly, and then he would be in trouble

“Excuse me sir, but I must ask you to plea…” The new Sigal whipped his sword out and slashed a bloody groove across the elf’s chest. The elf fell silently to the ground and Sigal walked on.

A shout echoed down the hall. He turned to see another elf standing at the far end of the hall starring at him, then the body on the floor, then at the dripping blade in his hand. Sigal gave the shouting elf a smile and turned the corner.

“What’s happening?” and elf dashed up the stared towards him. He didn’t notice the sword until it was imbedded in his stomach.

“Nothing, don’t worry about it,” Sigal said to the lifeless corpse.

Finally he emerged onto one of the courtyards of Rivendel. Behind him the house was in chaos as searches found the bodies he had left and started a careful search for the murderer.

He walked towards the grassy hedge that formed a border around the courtyard. He could feel the servants awaiting him a few miles to the east.

“Stop him!” Somebody yelled behind him. Sigal smiled and turned to face three elves rushing for him.

The elves saw the sword in his hand and halted. They were unarmed and were not foolish enough to believe he had repented of his evil ways in the last five minutes. Instead four armed guards burst around the corner of the house, alerted by their call.

“Put down your weapons and submit or we will have not choice but to take you by force,” One of the guards yelled coming closer, careful not to get to close as the others circled, trying to surround him.

Sigal didn’t answer. He merrily smiled as his hand shot out letting fly a hunting knife. The elf who had spoken raised an arm to ward of the knife, but the air seemed to bend and the knife was suddenly past his arm and embedded in his shoulder. He went down with a cry as his companions rushed Sigal.

Sigal spun and deflected the thrust of an elfish sword, then snaked it forward and impaled the owner. His foot shot out backwards, catching another elf behind him in the chest and sending him sprawling. Sigal heard the whistling in the air and knew the last elf’s blade was mere inches from his head. The air bent again around Sigal and the elf’s blade suddenly shattered and the shards imbedded themselves in the offenders chest.

Sigal spun to confront the elf he had kicked to the ground. He was up now and was just about to let fly and arrow. Casus grinned through Sigal face. It was time to test the extent of his power. Finally free of the constant restraint Sigal had forced on him Casus used more power than he had been able to use in a millennia or more.

The elf loosed the arrow. Time seemed to slow. The arrow stood before Sigal’s face. He studied the point, scant inches from his face. Hs eyes danced with sadistic pleasure as he wove his power through his surroundings. Suddenly time seemed to snap back to normal. The Elf fell to the ground, his own arrow standing out from his neck.

Sigal looked about for the last elf guard he had wounded with the knife, but he had already been taken inside away from the chaos by the other three unarmed elves. He could hear footsteps coming towards him. He didn’t have time for more delays. Quickly he dashed to the hedge and vaulted over it and disappeared into the woods.
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Postby GwenElf » Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:21 pm

Over the lands a shadow lies
And the Moon is veiled from searching eyes
But on a single Midsummer night
Echoes of a Melody gives the gift of Sight
And as above the horizon rises the Blue Moon
Thirteen Elements gather to the sound of a simple tune

......

Together the Elements will open a Gate long hidden
Revealing a path that in many years had not been taken
Beyond the Gate lies the manifestation of a long-ago tale
The land where the Moon Queen rules, the Shadowed Vale


Isilmë stood once again in the Yellow Stone Hall, examining the book which she had found in the library. It sat on a small pedestal, open to a page on which was written the prophecy that Elena, that the Moon Queen, had spoken so eerily to the members of the strange company during their council not long ago. She had left the hall, only to return, unable to drive away the strange longing inside of her. It had remained until she had touched the weathered pages of the book, and then suddenly it had faded away into the sunset.

Unable to explain, she now stood before the book, a silent guardian of its secrets. Her pale fingers traced the elegant handwriting, hoping to divine some secret from the ink itself. Over and over again she read the words which had been so carefully recorded. What did it mean? What were they to do with this Prophecy? Find the elements and fulfill it? How easy it sounded! She laughed to herself. At herself.

“We need to find relics for the Sun, Star, Light and Order Elements. There are, apparently, Runic Groves, scattered all over the Northern and Western lands where these can be found.”

Isilmë closed her eyes and tried to picture what such a grove would look like. The two words brought to mind a shady cavern, hidden within the emerald foliage, a recess that only the creatures of the forest knew of, and what were relics to them? Each day the shrubs had grown thicker and the caves darker, and with each passing year, the relics of the elements had slipped further from the grasp of those who now so desperately needed them. No doubt each relic sat within its cage, waiting to be found, a thing called Forgotten in the lands of Middle-earth.

Perhaps she was completely off-track in her imaginings of the Groves, but it seemed that any speculating would benefit the search. All they had were vague directions and the memories of the author of long ago. Suddenly a wind swept down through the hall, carrying Isilmë’s hair from her face. It caught the delicate pages of the book and sent them in a whirl of parchment, and then just as suddenly died away. When the Elf looked back down upon the book, all she saw was its title.

The Tears of the Moon: Beyond the Shadowed Vale.

And what help is that?
Isilmë wondered with a sigh. Shaking her head, she closed the book resolutely and turned from the pedestal to leave the hall. Perhaps the answers were there, and perchance they were not, but she was not going to find them now.
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Postby Hidden_Ring » Tue Jan 18, 2005 8:44 pm

Orion walked with his wife, wondering just how 'cured' she was. Tonight's council was informative and useful in telling how the company's next steps should be planned, but Elena's weariness was troubling. More over, she seemed to not be the only one plagued by exhaustion. Roseli had fainted, twice it seemed, though with the last time, she was far more volatile. Finally restrained and resting, the white-blond and silver-streaked-raven Elves departed towards their own chambers.

Some of the others are going back to the library. "And some have gone to gather provisions,"The changeling Sith had joined them and her presence wasn't unwelcome to husband or wife. Indeed, the ladies were close as sisters lately, but this seemed no bad thing. Better that two people to have the lion's share of knowledge on this journey. More people in the know would be still better, Orion mused, but two are far better than none. The white-blond Elf looked back and forth between the two, convinced their conversation was in more than words or even the meaning-filled looks that Galadriel or his father could achieve.

Elena tried to soothe the frowning Orion by saying,
“We shall explain soon. I promise. Sith, do you remember where you met Morphia?” As Sith replied, the lady Elf continued. “She may yet be there. Go to her, Earth Sister. I think she may provide the help we need.” The changeling gave another brief nod of agreement and then turned to leave. Once Sith was round a corner, the sable- and silver-haired Elf sagged against Orion. Catching her gently, he lifted Elena and carried her to their room. Her last warning before consciousness fled was incoherent and fragmented, talking about keeping Roseli from leaving or doing...something.

Sleep seemed to be escaping him and focusing all it's attention on his wife, so Orion started walking along the quiet halls. He missed the days before the departure of Elrond and Bilbo. The night of song were much more frequent and that, more than the presence of his adoptive father, what what he missed most. Shaking away memories of things that wouldn't come again, he went off to the library. It wasn't to search for information on the Shadowed Vale. Isilmë had found the majority of knowledge about it with Elrohir's book. The room was empty except for a couple other sleepless scholars and Orion didn't feel like interrupting their search with one of his own, so he settled instead to gaze over the gardens as the gathered night dew as he browsed on old book that talked about Ost-in-Edhil before it's razing.

The touch of a shoulder drew his thoughts back to the moment, and he turned to find himself staring into the face of one of the bridesmaids of his wedding and an old friend, Vanaladiel.
Sister what are you doing here? I mean what brings you here at this time?

"I have come at the calling of my visions and my ring. I dont know its significants but I have come to the aid of my friends as a vision told me to. I dont know if it is because of you that I have come but I think we need to speak. Tell me what has happened to Elena that she is in her room ill?" Vana's eyes spoke as deeply and fully as her words. Meeting here was a surprise. A glance at her Ring told him that she had been summoned by the Vale and it's calling card as much as the rest of them had. Much has happened, sister mine. Those of us here at the moment have been called to bring aid.

"Called? By whom and bring aid to where?"

Ahh, that's part of the singularity of the situation. We only know the name of the place and where we go to get to this place. ...you see, Vana, it doesn't quite exist on this hither shore. Nor is it reached by the Straight Road. A frown of confusion spread across her face. She had known Orion for countless years and he wasn't one to speak in riddles. "Then what you are saying is that..."

Yes. We are going quite out of this world. And into one called the Shadowed Vale. As for Elena... well this is where things get weird. A glare of gentle chastisement came from Vana for having the tale dragged on. It seems that, either through her Moon Ring or by some quality I don't fully understand, the queen of this Vale, Miril, is sharing a body with my wife. Believe me, it's been strange to see her with silvery eyes instead of the usual blue-grey. Among other things...

Vana gazed at him in wonder of his tale. Talk wore on through most of the night, with neither of them showing signs of weariness. Eventually, talk of the Vale wore down and a comfortable silence when a choking gasp reached their ears. Rising swiftly and running through the halls, the pair came across the scene of Sigal's escape. Orion knelt and spoke softly in Quenya, saying a prayer for those Elves who had stayed here, hoping to take a later boat Westwards. Vana wept softly at the seemingly senseless violence and death that had occured in the hidden valley of Rivendell.

A thought seemed to dawn upon the white blond Elf as he ended the prayers for the dead.
....Esteman, are you recovered from your exertions?....

....I'm recovered, though something feels strange about myself....

....Later, my friend. Can you do anything for these fallen Elves?....

....I'm sorry, Orion, but I cannot return life to the deceased. Such is beyond my ken and beyond that of Curulinde....

~....Indeed, I can craft many things through song, but kindling new life is not within me....~

....Then go back to sleep, both of you. The time will come for you to work soon enough....
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Postby Monoceros » Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:44 pm

Sudden shouts and noise intruded Mono’s dream. She felt some power pulling her back to reality and she nearly jumped waking up. A book slipped down on the floor, but she didn’t notice it. She was standing halt and listening to the noise coming from downstairs. She ran out to find out what had happen. Mono was stopped by the sight of bodies lying in abnormal position and other elves holding them on their knees. The smell of blood rushed into her mind, and a sudden question came out:

“Where did he go?!!” shouted she.

An elf looked at her with tears in his eyes and pointed the direction to the woods.

She didn’t pause to think and ran in that direction. Some time later she looked around to see if there was anyone that could see her. The trees were silent but she seemed to hear them groan and whispering. She took quickly her dress and closed her eyes asking for help from some higher powers. When she opened her eyes they were silver white.

The black Unicorn sniffed the air and then galloped after the betrayer. She ran as fast as she could, she could sense the traces of horse with a rider that went this way several moments ago. Suddenly, behind the closest trees she saw something moving along her own way at great speed. Then the figure moved closer still continuing to run and Shadow-panther came instead and joined her chase. Mono smiled inside and thought, “How are you, Kitty? Haven’t seen you for ages.”

“Came to your call, Mistress. I felt you could need me.”

Some time passed and they found themselves on a top of cliff. A tiny spot was moving far away at the distance. It was crossing a small valley between hills.

“Aarrrg! His horse gallops too fast. We can continue our run for the next few days, but won’t get closer to him even for several inches,” growled Mono. “We came out too late!!! I only hope he will pay for that!”

“For sure. How did you know it was a he? And who exactly was it? I could smell some familiar odors,” thought Shadow.

She stood silently following the rider until he disappeared behind the horizon. She sighed and thought, “Someone’s voice inside me told it was Sigal. I don’t know who it was, it didn’t look like anything I‘ve heard before.”

“Yuck, never really liked him.” Frowned the kitten.

Suddenly, like a stroke of light an idea came into Mono’s mind: they hadn’t pronounced a word! Shadow looked sarcastically at her, “Didn’t you think what abilities I have?” He yawned and said, “We have to go back now.”

“Don’t forget whom you owe these abilities,” reminded Mono, and they rushed back to the place where she had left her clothes. She quickly put them on already in a state of maiden, while Shadow was on the lookout.
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Postby EntwifeLost » Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:47 pm

“ Elena sister, it is but time we put the elements in their place, as Morphia has asked. The clues will aide us; our group’s diversity and collective knowledge are going to be the measure of our task’s success. Something is making haste of my spirit. Its rhythm incites an anxious tone. I can’t help but to feel it pushing me. “ Sith paced nervously as Orion held Elena, and they all tried to make sense of the “taking” of Roseli.

The changeling heard the clues and in her mind she repeated their significance. She was trying to see into the future. The alignment of elements, in a moon’s blue hue. So many combinations and lists of possibilities, were too much to remain mentally engaged in.
Her Elven side called to intuition and she wanted so much to be handed the answers by a supple branch of Earth’s wisdom. It was not to be so easy. This temple of doors and no set of rules, how bizarre. The magic of moonstones would open a gray map to such a place…many places and she wondered how many lands of Middle Earth would be touched upon, and searched, before she could revisit the Hills of Evendim. Before they all could.

Her eyes peered out the window toward the Great Road and wondered of the direction and the hour of which they could soon depart. The changeling turned to take leave of the resting Elena, as Orion nodded to her. He knew she was anxious, and they all needed the insight of the wise in Rivendell. Elrohir’s clues were helpful, and perhaps he would find more to aide them. She quietly opened the door and went outside.

Almost as a mental distraction she hummed…..
Then the harsh hails started falling,
stinging stones from bitter eyes,
Tears of the Moon, still fall to this day.
And now my child you know why.
Hush my child in this cold storming
list the brittle moon's grief cry.

A little melodic tune was under her breath as she recalled Elena’s poem and as she walked down the steps and out to the road, she came upon Brnin and Windy.

“Ah red brother Dwarves!” she smiled and scampered toward them, happy to see.
Brnin greeted her with a look of relief. "Ah good. Just the beauty we were looking for."


Sith stood close and touched his long beard. She almost was always fascinated by the features of Dwarves, especially the color and coarseness of their hair.
“One day I will braid it in silver strands, and you’ll sparkle in the night glow!!!” she chuckled as Brnin raised his arm to her kiddingand rolled his eyes.

“Windy! Im pleased to see you here, I thought I heard some clanking near a hearth of red fire!“ she admired his weaponry and noticed his strong ashen hands. he grinned and raised his eyebrows at a drawstring bag he touched.

Sith was calmed by their prescence and took a moment to enjoy the heartiness of the Dwarve’s grumbled laughter. But pressing was the adventure, the quest, the journey.
Windy inquired about Elena and Sith explained her weary condition. They spoke of the clues given and the symbols and cryptic prophecy finding.

”The Moon queen knows of this infiltrator. He or IT, will pursue us in our quest to remedy the Vale. In our travels we will be followed, and based on Roseli’s fainting spell, it has already. Mostly it seeks to distract us from our Goal. I await additional counsel from Orion, wise Vanaladiel, and the moon maid herself, if she chooses to summon herself to me. Elena is most striken with the visions of the Vale’s dimensional pull. The missing elements are a pressing issue and we must find the symbols for these to unlock and protect the portals to the Vale. The lands in this realm are very solemn and lost of hope. This the Moon Queen has emblazoned upon my soul!”

At this she shuddered a bit, and waited with the Dwarves as others were coming forth to offer news of a recent hashing of Rivendell elves. The perpetrator long gone, the town now bustled with readiness in the bright afternoon. Many guards stood post, and supply carts passed back and forth thru small alley like intersections of Rivendells stone buildings. Sith soon worried over how long they would remain welcome, as the news traveled…..
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Thu May 19, 2005 8:31 pm

Casus could tell he was being followed. Subtle vibrations in the rock under his feet told the tale of pursuit clearly. He glanced over his shoulder again as he ascended further up the hillside. The opposite side of the valley was covered in a shroud of thick foliage and was impenetrable to his gaze, but he could feel the eyes that followed him.

He laughed with glee. Finally! Finally he had control, he had possessed a body and used its every faculty at a whim. He could already feel his material body fading, slowly, very slowly, and he fought against it. Yes, wring wraiths were powerful and difficult to kill but he possessed a living, breathing body, one that had quite suddenly been conquered, not slowly poisoned; he intended to enjoy it while he had the chance.

He relished the feelings he received from his new body as well. On Sigal’s finger he had experienced much of what his master had felt but it had always been dull and faded, second-hand. Now every stimuli, every new feeling stabbed into his consciousness with startling freshness. Casus longed to go out and experience life but he had a more sinister agenda for the moment, the acquisition of power.

Shortly after Casus had wrested control of this body from Sigal the dark spirit that assaulted the Moon Queen’s realm had contacted him. It had been a tantalizing offer. Power unimaginable and such things. Yes, it had been a tantalizing offer, but even as a wring the dark power that coursed through Casus was not a fool. Treachery and deceit was the way of evil and two evils made no exceptions when dealing with one another. Casus had no illusions that he was just a tool to be used, but he intended to be much more than that. He would be servant for now, but not forever; already treacherous thoughts festered in his hidden mind.

He crested the steep valley wall and once again perceived the sound of footfalls behind him. This time however, he could tell that they had turned from pursuit. He smiled again and walked into the crown of trees that covered the top of the hill.

He felt their presence before he saw them. The shadows that filled the small clearing seemed to writhe and detach themselves from the ground. The shadows condensed and solidified as they rose from the ground, and finally stepped forward as three featureless shadow-men. Their skin was black and seemed to swirl with subtle shades of the same color. There faces were flat and their heads hairless. They made no noise as they stepped forward but their presence was overwhelming. He could tell that three more had slipped in behind him.

“I have come,” Casus said with his new human voice. He wondered at it. It didn’t sound nearly sinister enough for the will used it. It sounded too normal.

“Yes, you have,” One of the three before spoke but Casus couldn’t begin to guess which or how, “Well done, our master wishes to speak to you”

Without further comment all six of the shadow-men closed in on him. Casus’s hand went instinctively for his blade, but the move didn’t seem to concern the specters. The shapes converged and blackness closed in over him. He felt a vague tugging on his power. Time passed, Casus had no concept of how much, but suddenly the darkness subsided.

He stood in a clearing much like the one he had stood in before. Above the sky was brilliant blue, but in the immediate vicinity everything seemed dimn and foggy like looking through smoked glass. All around the clearing stood more shadow-men, here though, they had faces. Sharp and angular their faces were, each one with a twisted mouth and squinting eyes. They all appeared to be the same, there may have been differences but none obvious enough for Casus to detect immediately.

“Were am I?” Casus asked after a long period of silence

“In the ‘Moon Queen’s realm’” said a voice sarcastically behind him. It would have sounded whiney coming from any other voice, but this voice exuded power and malice, “I have brought you here”

Casus shivered. Even before he turned around he was second-guessing his plans of betrayal. A tall specter stood there, black as any of the shadow-men clustered around him, but huge. Black smoke wisped off his caped shoulders and his face was featureless aside from a pair of gleaming eyes. Even as Casus looked at the spirit he could tell this was not his true form but just a shape taken for a time.

“I am sending you back to your realm and there you will vanquish the other ring users and end their medalling,” The voice said again, “I will not have them interfering with my plans, they must not be allowed to bring aid to the Moon Queen. I give you command of such servants as I have there and the Goblin’s I have bent to my will, will also obey”

“Yes, my lord,” Casus bowed slightly, unwilling to abase himself completely before a similar evil, “They will be stopped by my hand”

“Very well,” The voice rose suddenly, “Do this and I will reward you with power beyond your long imaginings. Fail me and you will be destroyed!”

“There is no need for threats,” Casus seethed, “I shall be done”

“Go then, waste no more time,” The specter thrust his hand out towards Casus and he was propelled backwards. Darkness enveloped him and again he traveled between the realms. Suddenly he erupted into light. The world traveled by him for an instant then he slammed into a tree. He experienced excruciating pain as the wound in Sigal’s body stretched. He cursed and picked himself up.

A full dozen of the Shadow-men stood about him waiting impassively. It angered him that they had seen him thrown about so easily.

“Go!” He shouted at them, “Assemble the Goblins!”

Eight of the demons left, four remained unmoving. Casus considered them for a moment. He could feel them, he could feel the others as well as they moved rapidly away. He took measure of his ability to communicate with them. It would be a simple matter to regroup at any point.

“Come!” He snapped at the other four, “Let us go see what we can see.” With that he started down the hill circling around the way he had come, he needed to see what was going to happen, which was the group would go, and he was vaguely curious what sort of chaos his exit had created.

They moved closer to Rivendel staying out of sight as much as possible. Casus would draw some attention, but not nearly as much as the shadow-men. If one of them were seen the elves would shoot first and ask no questions at all. Casus did not know what kind of affect elfish weapons would have on the shadows, but he did not think his new body would stand up too well against them. For now he hoped he might be able to find a lone ring bearer and thin the ranks a little.



(ooc: I'll write a little more later, but right now I gotta run)
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Fri May 20, 2005 3:12 pm

Sigal ,” A gentle voice floated on the colored waves of sound that made up Sigal’s world, “Sigal”

He didn’t want to be disturbed from the new joy he had found, but he knew the voice and dept he owed its owner. The Moon Queen had saved his… not life, but his spirit anyway from assured destruction at the hands of his own ring, he would deny her nothing she asked.

I am here ,” he said silently into the never-ending bliss around him, “ What do you command of me?

I need your help Sigal ,” The soft feminine voice seemed to plead. It broke Sigal’s heart instantly to hear such a beautiful creature in distress, “ My foes are many around me

Anything you command I shall do ,” Sigal promised, casting about for any indication of where the Moon Queen stood in this nothingness, “ Anything at all, though I fear I shall be of little use

Not so ,” The voice corrected, “ I have need of your spirit, but I would not use you without your knowledge and consent as others have

You have my consent and my eternal willingness ,” Sigal said quickly, “ I owe you my very existence, I could deny you nothing

Then become one of my children. Be reborn as one of my servants.

I have no body with which to serve. How can I.

I will give you a vessel of myself. As my daughter who found you at the halls of your companions, so shall you become a son

You would make me a moonchild?

I would but pour your spirit into such a vessel as I have created for you. Will you help me

I will

Thank you; come with me now

Before Sigal could answer he was suddenly pulled away from the sea of sound and peace. He could feel himself being drawn, pulled towards something definite. He could feel it keenly as he neared his destination. Then there it was he could feel it as his entity and the thing collided and he seeped through to completely saturate it. He felt again suddenly; not just the joy of the Moon Queen, but real feeling. A breeze played across a face and wound through his fingers, the grass was wet with dew under his feet, and the flowers exuded strong odder that made his nose tingle.

Sigal opened his eyes. New eyes that had never beheld a world before. He stood in a cobblestone courtyard bordered by trees. A vortex of color, contained in a circular alcove in one of the walls of the place, swirled before him. Birds sand somewhere overhead, and in the branches of the trees that towered over him. Flowers grew on all side in neat hedges, and insects buzzed on the breeze. He cast his eyes upward to see what lay beyond the stone wall of the courtyard and sucked in his breath sharply.

The tall spire of a tower rose sheer at one side just beyond the wall. Beyond he could see dozens more climbing into the sky. He could not see what lay directly beyond the wall but he could tell it was extensive from the towers that grew up immediately on every side but one. On the side that lacked towers closing in on its boarders there was an archway that led down a straight path to the door of a large cathedral like building. It was made of stone but the stained colors of countless glass viewing portals stained the walkway and the grass round about with a rainbow of diversity.

This much held Sigal’s attention wrapped for several seconds. A sound like splintering glass made him spin back around to the wall he had first seen. The portal was shrinking and glass was in fact growing from the sides of the alcove to cover its retreat. Within seconds the portal had coalesced into a large mirror and Sigal had something else to keep his attention.

A young man with pale skin and the lightest of gray eyes stare back at him through the mirror. He had white shoulder length hair and was dressed in a thin white tunic that seemed like it might blow away and pants that felt to be made of spider silk. The man was tall and slender, with sharp facial features and vaguely pointed ears. The man’s body was whip like and the muscle that was evident on his thin frame was hard and toned. The fingers were long and thin and as pale as the rest of the revealed skin.

Sigal raised a hand and the reflection raised a hand. He felt ran one of the hands over his face and felt the almost glass smoothness of the skin that covered his new frame.

“Does it meet with your approval?” Sigal whirled at the sound of the voice. He was not alarmed; he knew that voice, but he was eager to see a face.

A woman stood there. Her features were akin to his own but she was far fairer. She wore long flowing robes a myriad of different hues of silver and white. The hems and collar sparkled with jewels and her silken white hair was set with pearls. Sigal perceived that this was merely a chosen form for the moment, but even in this power and beauty were overwhelming.

Sigal dropped to one knee and bowed his head, “It is a finer shell than I once had”

“Yet, you are displeased,” The woman stated mater-of-factually, “What is wrong”

“After you have spent so many years in one shell,” Sigal looked down at his new hands with discomfort, “It becomes familiar and comfortable. I find now that I am in a different house that I miss my old one”

The Moon Queen nodded sadly, “Yes, I see that, I am sorry for your loss, perhaps though you have not seen the last of your old home. Should things turn for the better it may be restored, but this is the best I can give you”

“And my thanks for it,” Sigal said hastily, “I do not mean to sound ungrateful, this is a priceless gift you have given me, now what is it you would have me do?”

“Your ring, Casus master of Chaos, has taken control of your old body and given allegiance to the dark spirit that threatens my realm,” The Moon Queen’s face turned dark with anger and Sigal felt ashamed that his old body should be doing such terrible things even if he no longer had any control over it, “It has been sent back to your realm with a number of the dark one’s minions to stop your comrades from reaching my realm”

“His minions? What manner of beast fights on side of him?” Sigal realized he knew nothing of the place in which he was aside from the walls of this small courtyard.

“Shadow-men,” She said with a twist of her lip, “Much like my own Moon-children, like you, only they purely evil automatons. They are not easily destroyed in your realm, as you will not be, and thus they pose a very lethal threat to your friends in such numbers, as I believe to lurk there now. That combined with the creatures you call Goblins will make quite a formidable foe. I am sending you back to them now, as an extra defense”

Sigal laughed suddenly, “They will not recognize me!”

The Moon Queen smiled, “You may tell them who you are or you may keep it a secret, I care not. Whichever way you choose they will believe you because you come from me, now go, and be cautious. In that cathedral behind me you will find armor and weapons to your liking, after you are done hurry down outside the gates of my city and, in the distance you will see my portal, be cautious for I dare not stand a guard around it for the dark one moves in force in these times and my children are precious to me”

“I will, thank you once again for I feel you have made this body special,” Sigal said running hand over his chest and right arm, “I will not fail you”

“It will do all you ask of it,” The Moon Queen smiled and winked, “and maybe a bit more”


(ooc: I'll write even a bit more later, but right now I've got to run again. Feel free to have some fun with Casus in Sigal's body, he's looking for a fight)
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Mon May 23, 2005 10:55 pm

The Moon Queen turned and walked through the archway out of sight. Sigal quickly followed. When he immerged through the archway in the courtyards wall the Moon Queen was nowhere to be seen.

Ahead of him the Cathedral rose out of green lawns and large flower gardens bordered by terraces and walkways of gray cobblestone. Its size did not compare to that of the towers that rose around it, but it dwarfed all but a few of the buildings Sigal had ever seen before.

Sigal walked towards the buildings right side casting a wary eye around him, to take in more of his surroundings. He seemed to be in another courtyard of sorts. This one was much larger that the one he had been in for it housed a huge cathedral but Sigal could still see wall running to encompass the building on the far side. The hill sloped away down from the front of the Cathedral and a straight white marble path followed its decent to a massive iron bound, oak gate which stood open at the base.

The towers that grew out of the ground seemed infinitely far away yet incredibly close. Walls or other smaller buildings obscured the area near any of the tower’s bases making it impossible to determine just how close the closest one might be even though looking up the towers seemed to hover over everything, they were so massive and tall. There sides glistened in the morning sun and Sigal could only guess at their composition.

Several small, but sturdy, oak doors lined the side of the cathedral and it was through one of these that Sigal entered. He continued through a short torch lit hall and then immerged into the main entrance hall. The walls suddenly soared up to meet the steepled ceiling, through which countless streams of light filtered through a collage of stained glass windows. Like the outside the floor of this place was littered with patches of colored sunlight. The floor was composed of gold-flecked white marble broken by plush carpet laid around the edges of the walls.

The entry way was also huge. Dominated by a massive wooden door at onside and sweeping marble staircase at the other. Sigal started to wonder how anything could even consider destroying such beauty, but then he knew all to well. He had worn such evil on his finger for many years. He rubbed his finger absently noting the lack of his ring. He felt a pain or regret at its loss, but quickly squelched it.

He was surprised he didn’t feel more loss than he did, but then he had wanted to be rid of the ring for so long, he was finally glad that it had been forcibly removed from him. Well, it hadn’t been, he had actually been forcibly removed, but the fact was that they had been separated, which was a act that Sigal could never of hoped to accomplish on his own.

“For you journey we have prepared,” came a soft voice near one of the other alcoves near by, “If you will come with me, you may make ready”

Sigal glanced to his right and saw a young woman standing there waiting patiently, “Who are you?”

“A servant of the Moon Queen as yourself,” The girl stated then turned and walked to the staircase.

Sigal hurried to follow, his bare feet making a slapping noise on the marble until he made a conscious effort to run silently. He had hoped for a bit more in the way of a name for his guide but he did not press the matter. She led him up the stairs and through a series of broad and narrow halls.

They walked for some time into the bowels of the building where the sun did not penetrate. Sigal lost track of their turns and twists which seemed to go on without design or reason. Sigal was beginning to feel disoriented and oppressed by the huge weight of the building towering above him when his guide finally stopped.

“When you are finished, you may leave through the door opposite this one,” She said simply, “From there it is straight down through the gate you saw as you approached this building”

“Thank you,” Sigal bowed slightly, he cast about for something else to say to his silent escort but failed to find anything. Finally he smiled nodded again and turned the handle on the door before him.

As he went to step through the portal a hand caught his arm. “May the Moon Queen guide and protect you… good luck,” Sigal turned to the moon maid who held his arm. She was smiling sheepishly, a little embarrassed at her own brashness, “I hope no harm befalls you”

“Thank you,” Sigal smiled genuinely this time and she returned the smile then turned and hurried away. Sigal stood for a moment contemplating the strange things he had seen sop far in this realm. It was almost overwhelming. He had never heard in even the wildest tales of any such place as this, but now here he stood.

He shrugged himself back to the present and entered into the room. The room proved to house a small armory. Nothing to fantastic made itself evident, but it seemed stocked for most practical needs.

The first thing to go was the shirt. It may have served to cover the newly created flesh of his body, but that was all it appeared good for. Sigal took up a white tunic of heavier material and tighter fit and donned it. He quickly laced up the front, briefly regretting the lack of a more subtle color. Armor there was in plenty most of it of the metal plated variety. There were some chain mail and leather gauntlets but nothing lighter. Sigal selected chest plate that covered down to just bellow his sternum. It gave less protection for his belly but allowed for far more maneuverability. It had a matching back plate made of the same dull gray metal, and inlaid with designs that Sigal did not recognize, but could only assume held some cultural significance.

A pair of same metal bands with short pointed studs all over the surface found a home on his shoulders, forearms, thighs, and shins. One of the wrist guards had a notch into which fit an oval buckler. Sigal found a helm on shelf near a door opposite the one he had entered and found that it fit almost well enough. The helmet was close fitting and covered the back of the head. Two panels in the shape of crescent moons swung down to protect his ears and cheeks. A pair of pail leather boots shod his feet and a well-provisioned sack was already laid out for him.

He walked to the door and pushed it open. Sunlight filtered through two elms that flanked the doorway. There was a slight chill on the breeze, which Sigal ignored. He felt overdressed and extravagant garbed in metal armor. He preferred leather for its flexibility. True, this armor he had chosen because it left all his joints free to move and bend and it was even strangely light. Even so, he felt strange wearing such foreign apparel. He reached for his sword and grasped nothing but air. He spun quickly catching the door to the armory before it could close completely.

Back inside Sigal looked around for any sign of a suitable weapon. His search was long and fruitless until he found a chest all but hidden beneath a pale gray cloak. Remembering the chill outside he donned the cloak and opened the chest. Inside was the perfect weapon. A little longer than his old one in both blade and hilt the sword was sleek and slightly curved with a deep blue grip. He emerged from the cathedral once more with the hilt of the sword protruding through the collar of the cloak over his right shoulder.

Two minutes later Sigal strode through the huge iron bound gate at the foot of the hill and emerged into the rest of the city. Lanes and roads went off in every direction to be eventually lost in the mass of houses that formed the bulk of the dwelling places. Sigal had expected to run right into one the towers that were forever looming over the city, but as he passed through the gates he saw their walls rising farther away at the edge of the city. He set off at an easy jog, resisting the urge to turn off at every side street and investigate the wonderous new sights and sounds.


(ooc: Garr! I'm writing way to much! Sorry! heh, one more part?)
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Mon May 23, 2005 11:43 pm

He passed many other people on his straight course towards the main gate. Most did not even acknowledge his presence, and those who did gave him brief smiles and nods, or perhaps a slight bow and hurried on. Despite the apparent danger in this realm, it appeared that most went about their business and usual. As Sigal neared the front gate he began to understand why. Finally the towers were getting noticeably closer. Mighty constructions they were. Arrow slits littered the sides and open bastions for more archers and catapults extended out of the sides like many branches. High up into the sky they rose causing him to have to crane his neck sharply to see their tops. Sigal shuddered at the thought of how many fighting men they could house and again, more fiercely, at the thought of how many fighting men it would take to conquer even a single one. The people in this city must feel very safe.

But then, it wasn’t this city that was directly under attack, it was the entire realm. Sigal wondered if the Queen had expressed how dire the situation was to her own people. He wondered on these thoughts no more as he approached the main gate. A large square opened before the gates. The square was filled with soldiers of a likeness to himself. Many nodded to him as he passed, and several hand reached out to clasp his own. He except the gestures passively. He didn’t know why they greeted him, if they even knew, if they knew what he was instructed to do, knew of the help coming, knew anything at all. But then, what did he know?

The gates of the city themselves were a wonder in themselves. Over a hundred feet tall set in walls half again as tall. They were made of the carved elm tree wood and wrapped closely with many iron bands so that little of the wood was actually visible. As he approached the gates they opened a crack, a crack easily wide enough for him to slip through, and then it was closed behind him quickly. Obviously the security the citizens seemed to feel inside the city was not as taken for granted as it seemed to be.

Outside wide fields provided an unobstructed view of the countryside for quite a distance. Immediately in front of the direct approach to the city was a small grove of trees. According to the Moon Queen Sigal thought this is were he must go.

He ran silently and quickly down the broad boulevard until he approached the trees. The main road veered around the grove while a smaller white stone path led into its heart. Sigal started down this path, not knowing what to look for. Only a sudden surge of dread saved his life. He snapped his buckler up before his face in time to deflect the sword blow. It made a sharp ringing against the metal of the buckler then bounced away. In and instant, before the thought had finished forming in his mind his own sword was out and had finished slicing through the arm that had wielded the offending blade.

There was a squeal of pain and the shadow-man reeled back. The sound of air parting and Sigal threw himself to the ground. He kicked out backwards connecting with the ankle of another shadow-man. The offender dropped heavily and groaned as Sigal thrust his sword tip back into his chest. He was back on his feet quicker than he had imagined himself capable of and his sack of provisions was flying full in the face of a third assailant. Sigal dove out of the way of another attempt and dashed on through the trees.

Shadows started to dart in from all sides. Sigal started to panic, knowing there was no way he could possibly fight off so many alone. A figure darted in front of him, blocking his way. Sigal dashed straight on leading in with his metal clad shoulder and bashing the road block to the ground. He suddenly broke through a ring of trees into a clearing. In the center of the clearing a stone arch framed a sheet of white. Sigal dashed for the portal, painfully aware of the host of Shadow men blocking his path with their weapons drawn.

oh Eru, this is going to hurt… a lot

He didn’t slow a bit as he approached their defensive circle. At the last minute he lunged from the ground as hard as he could. Sigal was impressed to say the least as he felt himself rise higher than he had intended. The heads of his foes passed by him as he sailed over them. He did not have time to wonder about this new athletic ability as he flew directly into the white sheet and sank into it. The howls of rage were cut short behind him as he passed through completely and felt himself being pulled through space.

A moment later his sight cleared a vision of buildings and cobblestone met his view. People sprang out of his way as he finished a dive made in one realm in another realm. He rolled to his feet and stood uneasily starring about him. Many faces were looking at him apprehensively, some in surprise and some in fear. There was a sudden uneasy silence, while people tried to reconcile his sudden appearance.

Sigal stood frozen for a moment, he himself trying to orient himself. He smiled suddenly as he recognized his surroundings as well as several of the faces around him, “I have been sent by the Moon Queen to aid the ring bearers in their quest”

(ooc: my last for now, go ahead and say hi :) )
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Postby ^Aramir^ » Tue May 24, 2005 1:16 pm

Seeing a man fall out of the sky and land only a few yards away from him, uninjured and unfazed, might have surprised Aramir at one point in his life. Surprised would have been putting it mildly, really. He had never been the type to pass out in shock; he was more the type to draw his sword and investigate, but either way, men falling from the sky weren’t normal occurrences in Aramir’s world. At least, they hadn’t been. Signing up for this quest, however—and what had he been thinking?!—had opened Aramir’s eyes to an entire other world, a world in which Queens from the Moon spoke to Elves, Ents changed form, and rings gave their bearers power.

Add to the list, Aramir thought, silver-haired boys fell from the clouds.

The young man rose to his feet after a graceful fall and tumbled and then stared about at the crowd around him. Aramir arched an eyebrow. He felt some of the others approach from behind him to inspect this newcomer.

He was tall and thin, with prominent features and spear-point ears, and skin so pale Aramir wondered if he had ever seen the sun. Out from under his helm grew silver hair which fell to his shoulders. He carried a sword and was clad in armour as though he had just seen a battle; studying his relieved expression, Aramir thought that perhaps this was the case.

The man pulled his helm from his face and eyed his spectators. “I have been sent by the Moon Queen to aid the Ringbearers in their quest,” he announced.

“The Moon Queen,” a voice behind Aramir whispered.

Elena stepped forward and eyed the visitor with care. Aramir watched her from behind, analyzing her movements, the way she stood. She was nervous, but he could hear in her voice when she spoke that she was full of hope.

“Welcome, friend,” she said. “What is your name?”

“I am Sigal. Do you remember me?”

Sigal? Aramir stared. So did everyone else. The half-Elf had only met Sigal a few times, and had never spoken much to him, but even Aramir knew that this Moon creature before him was not the Sigal he had known.

“Sigal?” Elena said softly.

Aramir stepped forward, eyes scanning the figure before him. He didn’t look like Sigal. But Sith didn’t look like Enty, either. Perhaps it was Sigal.

He extended his hand, and Sigal took it. “If you are truly from the Moon Queen,” Aramir said, “then I’m sure we are all grateful for your help. Perhaps you had best explain how this came to happen.”

“Aye, and then we must depart,” Elena said. “We have spent too much time in safety. Our quest must soon begin.”
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Postby Lady_Galadriel786 » Fri Jun 03, 2005 11:26 pm

Too long, we have been idle too long. There is no more time! He is already here!

Elena’s eyes opened abruptly and she sat up, the words ringing loud and urgent in her mind. She fell out of the bed in her haste to get up, and bruised her arm rather badly as she fell, but she paid no heed to it as she scrambled up. Something had gone drastically wrong, something she had foreseen and yet had not known. Ignoring her dishevelled state, and the pain in her arm, she ran out of the room and made her way quickly through the halls of Rivendell, following the shouts and sounds of many feet. Soon, she came upon the scene of Sigal’s escape, and halted, stricken. The others did not notice her, too busy with more graver matters, and Elena slipped silently away, tears forming in her eyes.

She made her way to the gardens; and walked there restlessly, unheeding of the beauty around her, anguish filling her heart. Why had she not listened to Miril when the Moon Queen warned her in the clearing? Why had she been so stubborn? Oh, she knew why; she knew. She had been reluctant to think ill of any of her companions, or be suspicious of those she did not know very well. And she regretted it now most bitterly. If only she had listened. If only she had heeded the warnings of her heart. If only she had been willing to admit there was a possibility of danger from within. If only, if only, if only... “Never in all my years, has blood been spilled in the halls of fair Imladris,” she thought, distraught. “How could I have been so blind, to not have seen the danger that threatened? I have failed my trust.”

It is not your fault, Daughter. Miril’s voice was kind, and full of understanding and comfort. “Yes, it is, Miril. It is entirely my fault,” said Elena sadly. “In the clearing, for an instant my heart misgave me, but I dismissed its fears, and then later, at the Council, again a shadow came in my mind, but again I pushed the thoughts away. And look where it had led me.” It is not Sigal, nor Roseli, that has caused this destruction, Elena. Nor have any of those who hold the Moon Tears. Miril spoke sternly now, her voice strong and sure. Do not blame yourself without cause, Daughter. And think not ill of your companions, any of them. The power that is in them is affected in different ways by the Moon Tears that they hold, but they are all valiant and true. I would not have entrusted them, and you, with the fate of my Realm otherwise.

Elena sighed, and tried to take comfort in the Moon Queen’s words. Yet the sense of guilt would not leave her. Daughter, you must know... it is not Sigal that so cruelly slay those Elves. “He... didn’t?” A frown creased her brow as she tried to work out what Miril meant. “Then who was that that escaped? Everyone is certain it was Sigal...” It is he, yet it is not. His spirit is in my keeping. “Do you mean to say... someone else... something else... is using Sigal’s body?” asked Elena in amazement. Is it so hard to believe? Are we not proof that such a thing might indeed be possible? “I had forgotten that, in a way,” she confessed with an embarrassed laugh. “But if it is true, then do you know who is using Sigal’s body?” It is his Ring. I told you he had released too much Dark Power. “His Ring? His Ring has taken over his body?” The laughter that welled up in her died on her lips, as she perceived Miril was utterly sincere in her pronouncement. She sat down on a nearby stone-seat, pondering the meaning of this new riddle. “What have we gotten ourselves into?” she murmured absently.

She sat there for a long, long time, speaking with Miril, listening to her reasons and ideas, discussing strategies and making plans.
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Postby Lady_Galadriel786 » Fri Jun 03, 2005 11:27 pm

Evening had descended on the valley when Elena and Miril had finished their council. Much had been decided between the two, yet much remained unknown and depended not only on their companions, but also on the Road their Quest would take them on. “I must speak to Sith, and tell her what we have discussed... before I speak to the others.” The Earth Daughter has her own plans and ideas. Much has happened since... “Since I fainted once again?” asked Elena, a wry smile on her face. It grieves me, Daughter, that my residing in your body is such a strain to you. I wish there was a way... “It matters not, “ replied Elena. “Do not be troubled for me, Miril. I shall be all right. Already I begin to understand and learn. Our minds are so entwined now that is it difficult to know where your memories and thoughts end and where mine begin.” But it is a trouble to your heart, this merging. “Yes it is. But it cannot be helped.” Elena... “No, Miril, I do not want to speak of this anymore,” said Elena gently, but firmly. Miril sighed, but did not pursue the matter.

Elena started to walk back towards her room, once again going over what she and Miril had spoken of. What Miril had told her about Sigal was most astonishing, and Roseli... She wondered once again what the connection was between Roseli and Sigal. She carried a Fire Ring, and he, a Chaos one. Over both of them a darkness loomed, a darkness that threatened their Quest before it had even begun. How had the evil that threatened the Vale found its way inside them? Why, of all the companions, were these two so vulnerable to its influence? Yet Miril did not seem worried about either of them. In fact, she had told Elena that she would send Sigal (or his spirit, to be precise) back from the Shadowed Vale to Middle-Earth to help them! That was all very well, thought Elena, but how, exactly, was Sigal’s spirit going to be of help, and what assurance was there that he was not evil? You shall see, Daughter. “Yes, I am sure I shall,” she retorted. “Well, Miril, I certainly hope you know what you are going.”

Distracted as she was, Elena did not realise that her feet her taken her in a completely different direction from her room until she walked straight into someone’s back. Startled, she took a couple steps back, stammering out an apology. But the Elf she had bumped into took no notice; his eyes were fixed on something else. Curious as to what could earn such attention, Elena stepped around the Elf to take a look, just as a voice spoke. “I have been sent by the Moon Queen to aid the Ringbearers in their quest.” “The Moon Queen,” said Elena quietly, as she stepped forward and beheld their “visitor” for the first time. Tall and thin, with pale grey eyes and white shoulder-length hair, sharp facial planes and slightly pointed ears. “Like; yet unlike,” she muttered to herself, scarcely able to give credit to what her eyes were seeing. Miril’s soft laughter reverberated through her mind.

“So this is what you meant, when you said you would send him back,” said Elena. I cannot return his body to him. That is something he must do himself. “He seems quite happy him the one you have given him,” rejoined Elena swiftly. It will serve its purpose, but it is not unassailable. Tell him to have a care when he makes use of it. “He does not know, does he, that I know who he is,” she said, as she studied him, while he gazed back at her candidly. No, and I have left it to him, to reveal his identity or no. “Well, we shall see which he chooses soon enough.” Aloud, she said, “Mae govannen, friend. What is your name?” “I am Sigal,” he replied, “do you remember me?” A small smile touched Elena’s lips as she replied softly, “Sigal?” He has chosen, and it has sealed his fate, for good or ill. “I know, but he does not. Will you tell him, Miril?” He will discover this himself, when the time comes. “Yes, he will. I wish the best when he does.”

Aramir stepped forward, and extended his hand towards Sigal, and he took it. “If you are truly from the Moon Queen,” Aramir said, “then I’m sure we are all grateful for your help. Perhaps you had best explain how this came to happen.” “Aye, and then we must depart,” Elena said. “We have spent too much time in safety. Our Quest must soon begin.” But though she said that she would hear how Sigal stood before them now, she did not listen as he began to speak; she knew by now, through Miril, his tale, and her mind was already turning to other matters. “I must find the Earth Sister... she will need to be told of this, and Orion, and the others, too. I wonder where Alaine has gone off to – I hope she is all right. We have been too complacent; we need to start preparing in earnest to leave, within a week’s time.” Thinking of these, and many other things, Elena walked away, leaving the others to listen in wonder to Sigal’s tale and his descriptions of the Shadowed Vale.
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Postby Lady_Galadriel786 » Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:53 am

When Elena returned to the room she and Orion had been given, she found that it was still empty, and Orion had not returned. Someone had been there, though, for the bed had been made, and the table that she knocked over in her haste to leave had been righted again. She walked over to the windows, and opened the shutters, and leaned out. The night sky was clear, but the gentle west wind that had been blowing all day had already turned cold. She took a slow, deep breath, drinking in the scents carried by the breeze. Their room overlooked the waterfall, the sound of the water tumbling over stone a soothing balm to her heart. But Elena felt restless, anxious; she felt like she was meant to be somewhere, but she did not know where.

Watching the water’s never-ceasing journey down to the valley, Elena was filled with a sudden desire to go there. “A place to sit quietly, and just... let myself drift,” she murmured softly to herself. “Yes, a brief respite from everything.” Filled with a sudden sense of purpose, she turned away from the window and went to the reading table in the corner of room. Rummaging through the drawers, she found a piece of parchment, and scribbled a hasty note to Orion, telling him that she would be back soon. Leaving it where he would be sure to see it when he returned, she look one last look around the room, and left. She had no clear idea how to get to the waterfall, but she remembered, vaguely, that there was an old path somewhere further up the valley, that led close to the waterfall. She decided to take Starlight with her – he would be company for her, she thought.

As she made her way to the stables, she met Elladan coming from the direction of the Hall of Fire. He stopped when he saw her, and greeted her courteously. “Hail, Lady Elena! I’m glad to see you awake! I hope you are felling better?” Elena smiled, and replied, “Mae govannen, Lord Elladan. I am much better, thank you. The Healers have taken very good care of me.” “I am glad to hear it!” he said. He paused a moment, then smiled, and took her hand. “I have news for you – something that will gladden your heart.” Elena looked at him, an eyebrow raised questioningly. ”Oh?” Elladan smiled again, and said, “Vanaladiel is here.” “Vana!? Here?” she asked, surprised, but joy filled Elena at the news that her dear friend was in Rivendell. “Oh, that is wonderful news! When did she arrive?” “Shortly before... the unpleasantness,” replied Elladan, a momentary shadow crossing his face Elvish face. “Orion is with her at the moment. I think... it seems to me that your Quest has called her here.” “You may be right, Elladan,” replied Elena thoughtfully. “I should go and see her...” There it was again. Something was at pulling her – a call, a power, that would not be ignored. Elena shook her head, and pressed Elladan’s hand. “It is wonderful news,” she said again, “but I cannot meet Vana right now. There is... something... I must do first.”

She released his hand, and started to leave. Elladan followed her, and laid a hand on her arm, stopping her. “But where are you going?” She turned to look at him, and smiled to see the wary concern in his eyes. “Not far, Elladan. Just up the valley, so you need not fear for my safety. Starlight will be with me,” she said gently, and added laughingly, “and believe me, no one would dare cross him.” Her teasing words did not have the effect Elena had hoped for, and allay Elladan’s concern, but he did not try to stop her. “I wish you a good ride, then,” he said. She smiled in reply. “If you see Vana, tell her I shall see her in the morning.” She hesitated, then said, “Elladan... I would ask a favour of you.” “You need only ask, Elena.” “I need you to find all the information you can about the Grey Mountains, Forlindon, and Angmar of old and...” She faltered, wondering if she should mention the other name. It is best not to. Not now. Too many questions will need to be answered if I do, and there is no time. “And... Lake Evendim,” she added, hoping Elladan would not notice the hesitation in her voice. He did not, much to her relief, but nodded, and said, “It will be done.” “Thank you,” she inclined her head, and then walked away, heading towards the stables.

Starlight was restive, snorting and dancing around in his box. A lone groom was trying in vain to calm the mearas when Elena reached the stables. Starlight tossed his head and whinnied loudly when he caught sight of her, and the man let out a gusty sigh of relief, slumping against the wall. Elena hurried towards them, exclaiming, “What’s the matter? What’s wrong?” Starlight whinnied again and leaned over the gate as she reached him, straining to get out. Elena wrapped her arms around his neck, and stroked him, murmuring soothingly, and Starlight settled down, though not completely, nuzzling Elena’s shoulder.

“What happened, Aedhan?” she asked after a few minutes, turning towards the groom. “I’m sorry, Lady Elena, I tried to soothe him as best I could,” said the man, getting up. “He was all right this morning, before... everything.” He sighed and shook his head. “After that, there was no calming him. He refused to eat, or drink, and he wouldn’t let anyone come near him. Nearly broke down the door a couple of times...” “Starlight!” exclaimed Elena. “Why would you behave so? I...” “Begging your pardon, Lady Elena, but it’s not his fault,” interrupted Aedhan. “I think he was just worried about you.” Starlight snorted, and nodded his head, agreeing. Elena laughed merrily, and said, “Well, as you can see I am perfectly all right, Starlight. Forgive me for worrying you so, my friend.” She opened the gate and led him out. “We are just going up the path there,” she told Aedhan over her shoulder as she mounted, indicating the ragged trail leading up the valley. “We shall be back soon.”

Starlight kept to a slow canter as they left the stables and crossed over the bridge, but once they reached the path leading up to the valley, his paced quickened considerably. Elena let him go as he will, for she lost in thought – her thoughts or Miril’s, she could not say for certain any longer. Miril was so much a part of her now, that Elena no longer saw themselves as two separate beings, and even without thinking of it, she and Miril communicated with each other, the thoughts of one twining around the other’s until it was impossible to say where Elena’s thoughts ended and where Miril’s began.

The sense of something calling her grew as they went further up the vale, and Elena found herself inexorably drawn towards a glade some way up the valley, close to the waterfall. Starlight seemed to feel the call too, for he left the path and headed straight in that direction. He came to a halt at the edge of the glade, unwilling to go further, and Elena dismounted, feeling the pull of a strange... something... at the centre of the glade.
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Postby Lady_Galadriel786 » Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:59 am

When she took a step towards it, Starlight nipped her sleeve and tried to tug her back. “It’s all right, Starlight,” she said, turning towards him, and laying a hand on his neck. “I just want to see what it is. I don’t think I will come to any harm.” He stamped his foot, and snorted, letting her know what he thought of that. Elena laughed at his concern, and said, “Don’t be silly. There isn’t anything there. What could possibly happen?” She started to walk forwards and he tried, again, to pull her back. “Come, Starlight, stop making such a fuss. I’ll be fine.” She gave Starlight a gentle push. “Go on now, go find some sweet grass to snack on. I’m not leaving.” Crossing her arms, she stared at him until he gave in. Snorting with every step he took to let her know he wasn’t happy, he walked a few feet away – just far enough to let her be, and still near enough to come to her aid should she need it.

Shaking her head at the mearas’s behaviour, she turned back to face the glade. She had told Starlight there was nothing there, but she knew that wasn’t true. Something was there, and though Elena knew instinctively the power was benign, she could not stop the shiver of apprehension that went down her spine. She hesitated, but could not deny the call. Squaring her shoulders, Elena walked forward, and felt the air grow thick and heavy as she moved to the centre of the clearing, to where the power beckoned. The full Moon rose slowly in the East, changing from his pallid lustre to burnished silver, filling the glade with shimmering pearly light, and the stars sparkled overhead, clear and bright. “I feel so... strange,” she murmured, tilting her head and gazing up at the rising Moon. “Why was I called to this place?”

As if in answer to her question, Silmariën and Ninniach began to glow, and the Moon Tear began to glow with them. Without really knowing what she did, Elena raised her arms, and two streams of light, one silver-blue and one golden, twined themselves around her arms, and then around her body, making her dress, her skin, glow as if it was bathed in the moonlight. The Moon Tear swelled with power, a frosty star around her neck. She lowered her arms, and brought them together, forming a cup. Within her cupped hands, the power in the clearing began to glow – a ball of delicate, shimmering moonlight. She shifted the ball of moonlight into her right hand, leaving her left hand open and free. Holding her right hand close to her body, she turned in a slow circle. As she turned, a streamer of moonlight from the ball followed the movement, and the first two streams of light flowed from her left hand and twined around it, forming a single glittering ribbon. With each circle, she extended her arm a little further. By the time her arm were fully extended, the air around her glowed.

Then she began to dance – a dance that felt strangely familiar – her steps circling, spiralling out from the centre. She let her movements represent the tides and the phases of the moon, while streamers of moonlight followed in her wake. Never changing, ever changing. Waxing moon. Waning moon. Full moon to the dark of the moon. She danced alone, celebrating the power that flowed through the clearing, flowed through her, spiralling out until she reached the edge of that orb of power. When she finally stopped, she stood almost exactly where she had stood when she had first walked towards that power. The whole centre of the clearing was now filled with streamers of moonlight in motion, following the spiral of the dance. She looked at the glowing ball of moonlight in her hand, and then tossed it skyward as high as she could. The ball burst over her head, arcing in all directions, and threads of light trailed off in different directions, each finding its way to a Moon Tear. The power waxed for a moment, filling her, and then slowly faded.

Tired now, she took a careful step back, breaking her connection with the spiral. Daughter, the dance was glorious. “Miril?” Elena’s legs were trembling with exhaustion, and her emotions felt jagged and raw. She took several careful steps towards the edge of the clearing, willing herself not to sink to the ground. “Miril... this dance... what was it? I’ve never... I’ve never felt anything like it.” It is the spiral dance that celebrates the power of the Moon, Daughter. Like the Moon, the power waxes and wanes, calling and seeking someone to match its strength and be gifted with it. Elena turned around to face the clearing again, and was not surprised at all to see Miril’s translucent form standing in the centre of the glade. “I... don’t understand,” said Elena slowly, noting how weary Miril looked, her heart filling with pity.

But before Miril could answer her, Starlight cantered up to Elena, and snuffled her chest for the reassurance of her scent, whickering softly. She put her arms around him, glad to have his strength to lean on. She didn’t think her legs would hold her up much longer. Have you never felt the call of the Moon before this, Elena? In the Shadowed Vale, it is always celebrated, and one is always chosen to dance the spiral dance, and channel the power through it, renewing the gift of the Moon in all. “Chosen? How? Why?” For a moment, Elena felt more confused than ever, but then suddenly she understood. The pulling she had felt inside herself, the sense of something calling, calling, calling. Had any of the others felt it, too? It is hard for those who do not have the gift of the Moon, but your companions would have felt the call, though few would understand it, for they bear the Moon Tears.

“Who would understand?” The Moon Children understand, for the most part. And so do those who bear Moon Rings. “But I bear a Moon Ring, Miril, and I did not. I did not know what pulled at me so until I came here.” Those who live here have forgotten much, even the Elves. Miril’s voice was soft and sad. In the Shadowed Vale, things that have become as myth here still live and breath... but I do not know for how much longer they may exist. “Don’t give up hope, Miril. We may have stumbled, but we have not failed. And we will not.” The power in the clearing had renewed her strength and her spirit, and Elena felt better than she had in days. Miril’s form slowly began to fade, and even as it did, the Moon Queen’s voice drifted to where Elena and Starlight stood. I wish you well, Daughter. Elena nodded and smiled, and mounted Starlight, and headed back.
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Postby Lady_Galadriel786 » Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:01 pm

After leaving Starlight in the capable hands of Aedhan, Elena returned to her room, feeling tired and stiff. She felt like she could sleep for a day. She opened the door quietly and slipped inside, and saw Orion standing by the window, her note clutched in his hand. “Where are you, Elena?” she heard him ask quietly, anxiety vibrating in his voice, and she felt a swift pang of regret that she had not been more reassuring in her note to him. On silent feet she swiftly crossed the room, and came to a halt behind him, and slipped her arms around his waist. “I am right here, my love,” she said, smiling. “Elena!” He turned quickly and hugged her tight. “Thank the Valar, you’re safe!” He held her for a long moment, before releasing her slightly and looking down at her face. “Where did you go?” he demanded, eyes blazing, his hands on her shoulders. “Do you know how worried I was about you?” Elena touched his cheek, and said, “You shouldn’t worry so, you know. And I just went for a short ride. I needed some time to myself.” “Something could have happened to you, Elena. You could have been hurt, or worse!” he shouted, giving her a little shake. “You know that Sigal, or whatever is controlling him, is still out there somewhere!” Elena’s teasing reply died on her lips as she suddenly realised that Orion was not only worried, but angry. Furious. He let her go and began to pace, trying to control his temper. Elena watched him for several minutes, stunned by his vehemence.

“Orion, I... beloved, don’t you think you’re being just a little too overprotective?” she said tentatively, after a while, trying to smile. “I can take care of myself. And I returned here, safe and sound. I did not come to any harm, as you can see.” “But you could have been harmed!” he yelled, striding up to her. “You could have been,” he said again, more softly this time. “And I could have lost you forever. Do you really think I could bear that?” Tears stung Elena’s eyes as she gazed at her husband, and the words stuck in her throat. She had not known, not realised, how hard this must be for him. Silently, she held out her arms to him, and sighed as he pulled her close and held her like he would never let her go. They stood that way for a long time.

At last Elena’s stirred and leaned back a little to look at him. “I’m sorry I worried you so, beloved.” “And I am sorry I yelled at you,” he said, a hint of laughter in his voice. She smiled wryly, and said, “I can understand why you did. Doubtless I would have done the same if our positions had been reversed. But I promise I will not do anything like that to you again. At least, I will try.” “That is good enough for me,” laughed Orion. He kissed her lightly, and said, “Come now, wife, it is time you went to bed and got some rest. There is much to do tomorrow.” Elena nodded, and let him lead her to the bed, weariness seeping into her. She did not tell him where she had gone and what had happened; it would wait until the morning. As she lay down, Orion exclaimed, “Oh! I had almost forgotten! I have some news for you. News you will like.” Elena glanced at him, and said sleepily, “Vana is here? Yes, I know. I will see her in the morning.” Orion looked down at his wife, surprised. “How did you...?”

But Elena had fallen asleep, and Orion had to wait until the morning to unravel that little mystery.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Elena woke quite late the next morning. The Sun was already high in the sky, and the land was awake, getting on with its busy day. She stretched leisurely, feeling well-rested and at peace. She glanced to her left and found Orion still fast asleep. She sat up slowly, so she did not to wake him. Getting out of bed, Elena busied herself with washing and dressing, trying to be as quite as possible. But her movements were not quiet enough, for he stirred and woke, and looked at her. “Good morning, dearest,” she smiled at him, coming up to the bed. She bent down, and playfully kissed the tip of his nose, before walking to the little dressing table in the corner. He smiled at her, and sat up, stifling a yawn. “Good morning,” he said. “What is the time?” “It’s ten o’clock in the morning, if you want to know,” she said, brushing out her long raven hair, and then tying it back in a loose braid. “Ten o’clock!” exclaimed Orion, jumping out of bed, and hastily splashing water on his face. Elena laughed, and said, “I’m going to get breakfast, and then see if I can find Vana and Sith. There is much I need to tell them. I shall see the rest of you later, most likely in the library or the Yellow Stone Hall.” Orion waved a hand to indicate he had heard, but did not reply. Still laughing, Elena left the room, closing the door softly behind her.

After breakfast, she went to find her Sister of Twilight. A few enquiries found her walking to the west side of Imladris, where Vana had been given her room. She had returned there after breakfast, apparently, for most of the companions had been undecided as to what they were meant to do. Miril’s Prophecy, Roseli’s ‘illness’, Sigal’s escape, and return as a Moon Child, and then the strange sense of something late last night, had unsettled them all, and they felt rather bereft of direction. Elena sympathised with their concerns, and knew the time was soon approaching that she must tell them everything she had learnt since their Council, and especially of what happened last night.

Elena came to a halt outside Vana’s room, and raised a hand to knock on the door. And paused. For a moment, she was filled with uncertainty. Vana most probably knew about Miril residing in her body, but she might find Elena’s silvery eyes... disturbing. Eru knew the others certainly did. Orion probably had told her all about it, but Elena knew that hearing something and seeing it for oneself were two completely different things. Elena shook her head, and turned away, unsure of herself and her welcome. But before she could leave, the door opened and Vana stepped out. Elena turned quickly, forcing a bright smile on her face. “Mae govannen, Vana,” she said, but made no move towards her. “Elena! I am so glad to see you, mellonamin!” exclaimed Vana happily, coming forward and embracing her warmly. Elena felt the tight knot of tension ease inside her as she returned Vana’s embrace, and the smile she gave her was more genuine than the one she had greeted Vana with.

“Come in, come in,” said Vana, taking Elena’s arm, and pulling her inside. “I am glad you are here. I wished to speak with you. Orion told me part of what is happening last night, and Prisithorn told me more this morning, but there is still much I should like to know.” “The Earth Sister is here?” asked Elena, as she followed Vana into her room. “Good. It saves me the trouble of looking for her. It is very important that I speak to her.” “And you shall, my friend, but after you’ve answered my questions,” replied Vana firmly. “You should heed her words, Elena. She is a very determined person, and not to be trifled with,” called Sith from where she sat, near one of the open windows, laughing. Then she stood and walked up Elena, and hugged her. “Well, Moon Sister,” she said, smiling. “I am glad to see you awake and about. You look much better today, if I may say so; almost as if your spirit had been renewed.” “You do not how true your words are, Earth Sister,” replied Elena quietly. The two women stared at Elena, but she did not elaborate. Instead, she changed the subject, and asked Vana what had brought her to Imladris.

Vana shrugged, and after the three had sat down, began to tell her tale. As Vana spoke, Sith and Elena exchanged knowing glances. It was obvious to the Earth and Moon Sisters that Vanaladiel was somehow connected to their Quest. But how was she connected? She was the bearer of a Moon Ring, true; but she had not been there when the Moon Maid had appeared, and she did not carry a Moon Tear. As a keeper of a Moon Ring, she may be of much help to us, Daughter. And she shall be given a Moon Tear, in time. “What do you mean?” asked Elena, frowning slightly. Morphia shall find her. “As you will, Miril,” replied Elena, shrugging. Miril withdrew from her mind, and Elena realised that Vana and Sith were looking at her, waiting for her to speak. “Your being here changes things, Vana. It is not a bad thing,” she hurriedly reassured the two. “In fact, it is the push we need to make our final plans and head out.”

She paused, and stood, and began to pace. “It is obvious to me, that we can no longer delay. The Enemy is closer to us than we had thought, and we must move quickly now to waylay his plans. As I said at the Council yesterday, we need still need to find the relics of the Sun, Star, Life and Order Elements. I believe, and I think the enquiries Elladan has done will agree with it, that these relics can be found in Runic Groves that are located in somewhere in the Grey Mountains, in Forlindon, in Angmar of old, and... in Rhûn.” “Rhûn!” Oh, Elena, you cannot mean it!” exclaimed Vana, dismayed. “Those lands are still a danger to us. The people there have no love for the Elves, and...” Elena raised her hand, and stopped her. “I know, Vana, but we must go there. There is no other way. I will not say anymore now. Tonight, we will hold another Council, to decide and to prepare. In seven days we must be ready to depart.”
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:20 pm

Casus felt himself being dragged through the woods. Strong hand grasped his arms and pulled his limp body through the underbrush. Stars wheeled overhead as he was set down with his back to a tree.

His shadow men escort stood about unconcerned in the small clearing back on the hill. Casus raged against them in his mind. How dare they just stand there while their commander lay wounded, how dare they betray him? It was unjustified unfocused rage and he knew it, but it was all he had for the moment. He could feel strength returning to his limbs and knew in a short time he would be able to stand and walk again.

He cursed his bad luck, and would have torn the moon stone from where it hung around his neck and flung it from him had he the strength to do so. He was also subconsciously glad he did not have the strength. He was sure the stone had its uses and casting it aside in a moment of brash decision could not help anything.

He closed his eyes and saw once again the maiden enter the clearing. He felt the odd power emanating from the field and could feel enough about it to know he wanted to avoid it. He recognized the maiden though. She was the barer of the moon Queen’s will here in this realm. He licked his lips in anticipation of the slaughter to come. He had been willing to risk exposure to such power as he felt but the shadow men had hesitated, and without their aid Casus had also hesitated. In that hesitation Casus had lost whatever chance he might have had.

The dance had begun then. As it went on the Casus could feel the shadow men shudder at the display of power. Casus felt a faint tug on his body. He thought it might be nice to step out and bask in that glow which had been suddenly cast over everything. Somewhere deep down he thought that anyway. Casus no longer dared assault the woman as she was surrounded by such power, so he waited, and the shadow men had waited with him.

Suddenly the girl tossed a ball of brightness into the sky and it exploded intro streamers, most of which shot off towards Rivendell. There were a few that winged their way off over the hill. One such streamer caught Casus attention and refused to be ignored. This particular streamer of light flew straight for him. Casus felt a moment of supreme dread as he contemplated the idea that the enemy had just unleashed some almighty weapon that sought out the moon Queen’s foes. He realized the truth a moment before the light struck him. His hand was only halfway to his neck as he was hit.

The moonstone at his neck suddenly came to life. Casus screamed as pain seared through his chest. He felt his energy drain from him, his body went limp and while he still screamed inside his own mind his lips would make no sound.

Casus opened his eyes in the clearing once again and found that if he tried he could raise his arm again. He contemplated taking off the moonstone, which hung around his neck, but let it hang there in the end. It was unlikely such a ceremony would be performed again any time soon, and the moonstone might come in handy before long. With great effort he pushed himself back to his feet using the tree behind him for support.

Lord Casus, the others report that they have begun to rally the goblins, but they still require time before any great numbers are amassed

Casus looked up to find one of the shadow men had taken up position directly in front of him. Very well, tell them to block off both ends of the pass as soon as possible, meanwhile we will keep a vigil on Rivendell

Very good, my Lord . the shadow man gave a shallow bow and moved off again.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Mon Jun 13, 2005 8:28 pm

Sigal found that his words fell short every time he tried to describe the awe-inspiring size of the towers or the height of the walls or the grandeur of the cathedral in the realm of the Moon Queen. The people listened with rapt attention to every word he said, some in open awe, others with the glint of knowledge thirst in their eyes and even some stood stoically like a battle captain receiving a report on the terrain from a scout. Sigal grew frustrated with his inability to describe the city and even more so in the fact that it was one the grandest and yet most unimportant of the things he had seen.

He needed to meet with the others and describe the shadow men he had come up against. He need to analyze and discuss their apparent strength and weaknesses and their numbers if the number that had been set to guard the portal was any indication. Also they had to address the possibility that if they opened a portal it would land back in that hot pot in the moon Queen’s realm.

The telling of his tale went on for some time though he left out the more personal parts, like the way he had felt suspended, alone, and naked, yet happy at the same time before the moon queen had funneled his spirit along with his memories into a new body. He also left out his feelings of guilt for what his ring had done and his feeling of joy for finally being rid of it. He didn’t need anybody being angry with him for setting his ring loose in this world and he didn’t need anybody thinking him accountable enough for it in his own mind to belittle him.

Finally after he had told his tale over again and again, he finally rose and told those that still lingered that he was tired and needed rest. That was a lie; he did not feel fatigued at. In fact he still felt fresh and full of his new body’s life, he just needed to get away from the stares. He decided, as he walked down the halls of the last homely house, that he missed the anonymity he had felt in his new body when he had strolled down the streets of the moon Queen’s city. There he had been one of many, like he had been here before he had lost his own body. He purposed to get his own body back no matter what it took.

Sure, in this world he may look like a being of myth, of perfection and strength, but that did not let somebody fit in with others and have good times with friends. It only alienated them. Perhaps if he could not get his own body back the moon Queen would allow him stay in her realm.

A few hours later Sigal sat quietly in one of the halls of the elves. It was filled with Song and Sigal found himself able to relax as he listened to their beautiful voices drive his fears away. Quite suddenly he found himself on his feet and striding resolutely for one of the side doors. His sudden movement caused others in the hall to look at him strangely. Eldarion looked after him curiously from where he sat near by. Sigal had sought the man out and thanked him profusely for saving his life, as he had been unable to earlier. Since then they had talked and shared their evening meal together.

Eldarion had found that he had been predictably a little more shunned of late since revealing his darker side, and now that Sigal himself found that others were a bit more standoffish, Eldarion felt more and more like a brother.

“Where are you going?” Eldarion called after him as quietly as he could.

Sigal turned and walked back shaking his pale head, “I don’t know. Hmmm, no where”

Eldarion looked at him skeptically and shrugged. They sat for a little while longer enjoying the music, warmth, and safety of the place. Again Sigal found himself halfway to the side door that would lead him out of the house. He stopped startled and found Eldarion at his side.

“Where are you off to now?” Eldarion asked again.

“I do not know,” Sigal repeated thoroughly confused. He felt drawn. Not so much in mind, but his very body seemed to want to go on without him. He exerted his will over his limbs and turned himself around and walked back to where he had been seated, “Its odd”

“What is odd,” Eldarion asked, taking his own ease again.

“I don’t know, it just feels like I should be somewhere,” Sigal said looked at his hands as if the answer could be found there

“I know what you mean,” Eldarion said absently.

Sigal spent the rest of the evening concentrating on staying were he was. Eventually the feeling passed and before long the word came through that there would be a meeting for those questing on the moon Queen’s behalf. Sigal and Eldarion left immediately for the place of council.
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Postby Vanaladiel » Tue Jun 21, 2005 8:59 pm

Vana was taken aback by Elena's persistance that they go seek the relics in places so dangerous for the elves now. Any steps in those areas would be of grave jeopardy to any elf caught unawares. Surely there was some other way or somewhere else they could go and find what they need, but with Elena's stern look and adamant response to her caution warning Vana knew that there was only one road for the group and that was through the dreaded lands.

"Okay then we will go together!" Vana stated in resolve to Elena. "I will go where I must and will do as you wish. Even if it means to our deaths." Vana lowered her eyes and stared at the ground for a moment as she thought of how hard it would be to see any of her friends in danger or even worse, dead and not be able to stop it.

Elena moved across the floor and placed her hand on Vana's shoulder. "Fear not Mellon! We are watched over and I know that even if we have to face the pits of Mordor, we can do it if we keep our eyes and hearts upon the our goal and each other. Vana looked up into her eyes and smiled.

"I trust you and my friends with my life!" Vana stood and faced Elena.

Elena turned and left Vana's room as did Sith leaving Vana to get herself ready for the council meeting and to pack for the journey soon to be set out on.

Vana spent the afternoon going through all that she brought with her and visiting the armory to get the necessary items to complete her cache of weapons. She had her bow and quiver but she wanted more arrows for it and a small daggar to carry upon her hip. She checked over her traveling garb and examined her warn boots. Making sure she had her cloak and a change of clothing to pack with her blanket. Vana then set out to check on her horse "Glory". As she headed out of her room to go to the stable she saw a bowl of apples laying on a table, she grabbed one and took a bite out of it and placed another in her pocket for her dear traveling companion. Then she strolled off out into the courtyard and off to the stables.

As she came within earshot of the stables she could hear Glory whinney. He had to know that she was approaching. Vana smiled to herself. "I couldnt sneak up on him if I tried.", she thought. Spying the stable hand, Vana smiled then entered. Glory moved and snorted as she stepped up to him.

"Hello dear friend! I have a treat for you today." she then pulled the apple out of her pocket and fed it to him. He gladly wrapped his teeth around it and chewed it up."Now dont eat it too fast. We may not get many of these in the near future where we are going." As Glory finished it he nudged her shoulder and she reached up to pat his muzzle. She bent down and placed her nose against his. They stood there like that for a time not paying attention to anyone else.

Vana headed back to the great hall after visiting with Glory, wondering to herself why she was called by her visions and dreams to this quest. She knew that the others had been called to the quest by the Moon Queen. So Vana decided that this night she would go into the woods and do a purification ritual and ready herself for the quest.

She went back to her room and rummaged through her things. Not finding what she wanted she headed off to speak with Elladan about what she would need to complete her ceremony. He was more then willing to help her find what she wanted to meet her needs. Several of the elves were willing to round up what she had need of and an elder elfess offered to help her with the ritual. So as the sun set into the west and the twilight came on she and elfess walked out of her room and off into the woods. The older Elfess lead Vana through the woods and to a meadow where a waterfall played down the rock face into a natural pool. There Vana spread out a cloth with several objects that she had rounded up for this ceremony. Laying there were an earthen bowl with symbols carved into it, several fresh herbs, a fragrant oil and two lanterns. Slowly Vana, helped by the elder elfess stepped out of her simple dress and into the water of the pool. There in the brisk water Vana bathed with a special soap and rinsed off in the waterfall. As the moon rose in the sky Vana stepped out of the pool, drying off with a soft blanket and the elfess wrapped her in a flowing gown of lavendar and blue.

Once bathed and dressed Vana set out the bowl and the herbs that she had brought with her. She placed the bowl in front of her as she faced the moon. She had the lanterns set on her right and left and then she knelt down and layed her head low by her knees. The elfess poured the fragrant oil over the herbs in the bowl. Then Vana started chanting as she raised her face to the moon and then bowed low again. She repeated this several times, each time stating a verse of a ritual that would ready her heart to seek the Moon Queens face. As the ritual went on the moon climbed higher in the sky and the stars started popping out and twinkling about her as if they were responding to her chant. The Elfess was rythemicly tapping on a drum that Vana wasnt even aware that she had brought. As the chant and the drumming blended into a sweet song Vana seemed to go into a trance. She started swaying and then the elfess took up the chant as well.

Time passed by slowly as the song continued. Then Vana stood up as if raised by an invisible hand and started to dance around the bowl. gracefully Vana danced around swirling and moving about the bowl and lanterns. Suddenly the elfess stopped playing and gasped staring at Vana. With the chant and music broken Vana stopped and seemed to come out of the trance. The Elfess stared and pointed now at Vana. Vana looked down to where the elfess was pointing. There hung about Vana's neck was the necklace that she had worn for years. A jewel that was a gift from a very special elf who had at one point asked for her hand in marriage. The jewel now alight and glowing. The light it emitted was throbbing to the rythem of the song and chant. Vana reached up and took the jewel into her hand. The jewel was warm in her hand and Vana smiled as a quiet voice spoke to her.

"Behold the light to guide your path. You hold a treasure of the old days, it was entrusted to you for it's safety. Fear not, for as long as you wear this star all is not lost and darkness shall not win. For in your hand lays the relic of the twilight star." Vana's eyes were marveled at the glorious star that shone brightly upon the delicate chain around her neck. Slowly the shining stone dulled once more but the warmth eminating from it remained. Vana quickly tucked it into the neckline of her dress.

"Lady what is the meaning of this?" asked the elfess.

"It is a sign not to be feared. Quickly let us gather up our things for I must be off and let Elena and Orion know what I have heard." Vana stated as she bent down to pick up the bowl.

"But Lady there was no voice so whom spoke to you?? I heard nothing." She looked gravely at Vana.

"Dont worry!" Vana smiled, "I am not going crazy nor am I mad. I have been spoken to in my heart. I know something that they have been seeking is now found."

Off down the trail that lead from the meadow to the house of Rivendell Vana ran ahead of the elfess as she busied herself gathering up the remains of Vana's things.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Thu Jul 07, 2005 4:21 pm

Casus smiled wickedly, oh so very wickedly, as he watched Vana come frolicking down the path towards him. Morgoth himself would have shuddered, for even he did not take such relish in the giving of pain and fear. He could almost taste it in anticipation. Of course to the woman out on the path who had no idea of the evil awaiting here quick step, there was nothing to fear. She was in Rivendel the sanctuary of the Elves, ruled by Elrond himself, one of the mightiest of those elves still remaining on these shores. That only added to Casus’s relish. The shattering of certainty and security in the midst of wild abandon and joy was perfect for breaking the spirit.

Back in the clearing, the elf woman who had accompanied Vana still knelt retrieving the items that had been used. She did not notice the shadows deepen and coalesce behind her in a solid being of darkness. The black sword swung in a long arch swiftly causing only the faintest sound as it pass through the elf’s neck.

Vana felt light hearted as she jogged down the path towards the last homely house. She could see the lights twinkling in the distance, welcoming all who bore no ill will to come and rest for a time. There was no indication there was danger in the woods until it made itself known.

Casus stepped out in the middle of the path when Vana was no more than ten paces away. It was dark and all that could be seen was his silhouette, though he, whether through magic or just because her features appeared radiant, could see her face clear enough. The woman stopped dead when he saw him there blocking her path. There was no question in her mind that he wasn’t supposed to be there. He didn't fit into the picture on many different levels. For instance he was definitely not friendly- he did not greet her or step aside to let her pass, but stood rather resolutely blocking her path-, which near Rivendel was rarer than in other parts of Middle earth. Also there was something about him, the way he moved and just a general feeling that exuded wrongness.

Casus let out a hiss of pleasure when he saw his quarry’s uncertainty, “Vanaladiel? will you come to stroll with me?” He asked, sounding almost sincere. Seven shadow men closed ranks around Vana, cutting her off from going back or dashing off the trail. Vana didn’t respond to the first question. Casus wondered if terror had already gripped her tongue as well, it didn’t seem likely so he tried again.

“My Lady, would you give me the honor of your presence,” He gave a slight bow, resting his hand on the hilt of his long curved sword, “I would be most honored” He smiled maliciously, “I would love to hear all about you”
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Postby Vanaladiel » Thu Jul 07, 2005 9:16 pm

As Vana hurried down the path to the great hall of Rivendell a figure cloaked in shadow stepped into her way. Vana stopped and stood looking at him. A chill ran down her spine. Her smile suddenly gone.

“Vanaladiel? will you come to stroll with me?”

She remained silent wanting to run but somehow she felt glued to where she stood. The darkness grew heavier and seemed to be closing in on her. Slowly she became aware of others moving in around her. She glanced over her shoulder and hoped that someone, anyone would come along then.

Once more he asked her, “My Lady, would you give me the honor of your presence.” He gave a slight bow, resting his hand on the hilt of his long curved sword, “I would be most honored” He smiled maliciously, “I would love to hear all about you”

Vana's blood ran cold and she looked about her. All her joy from the moment before was suddenly replaced by a deep fear.

"What.....what do you want of me?" she stated trying to sound brave. Again she looked longingly for someone to come along and help her. "I have friends waiting for me. I need to go. Um.... maybe later we can take that walk and talk."

Vana tried to hedge her way off the path to move around the shadowed figure, but he would not relent. He moved once more into her path and cut off her escape.

"I wish to talk with you now!" He stated as he stepped towards her. Reaching out to take her hand but she pulled back and recoiled from him.

"No! I dont want to talk with you." She almost cried out. "Let me pass and be gone with you."

He laughed a most evil laugh and grinned at her reluctance and fear. Suddenly there was an air of evil laughter all about her as the others started to laugh with him. As the sound over powered her last bit of bravery, fear gripped her heart.

He stepped forward again and this time grabbed her by the wrist. His hand was so cold that she fought to get her wrist free yet his grip only tightened to the point that it hurt her. She thought he would break her arm as he pulled her back up the path and away from the great halls of Rivendell.

"Stop you cant do this!!" She cried out as she continued to struggle against his grip,

"Help me someone please!!" Vana called out over her shoulder as he drug her off into the shadows of the woods.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Thu Jul 07, 2005 9:58 pm

"Stop you cant do this!!" She cried out as she continued to struggle against his grip,

"Help me someone please!!" this last bit was a hearty call for help over towards Rivendel. Casus flinched and almost swung around to club the girl senseless so she would make no more noise. Then he stopped himself however, it was doubtful they would hear her, this far away, but if they did it might just prove to his advantage. Yet more of the ring bearers would come looking for this one and he and his minions would cut them down.

Casus pulled the girl roughly along behind him as he headed back the way she had come, “Now, you can stop that right now or its going to become rather unpleasant before it has to be,” If anybody was going to hear her, he was confident they already had. It wouldn’t do to lead the exactly his location. “You and I are going to have a nice easy chat and you are going to answer all my questions correctly or I will cause you a great deal of pain”

Casus heard her whimper and felt her almost collapse. He turned and swung his cloak over her head in one swift motion, covering her from her head to her waist in deep folds of fabric. With strong arms he hoisted her over his shoulder and turned to his silent companions, “spread out and wait, they may have heard her. Kill any who follow. You, come with me!”

Casus jogged off, heading deeper into he woods towards the knoll where he had been dumped back into this realm; it had become more or less a base of operations since his return. From there he watched the passes in and out of Rivendel waiting for any sign of the ring bearer’s movements, and now, what luck! A ring bearer had wandered right into his hands.

He jogged on with his faintly squirming burden for another ten minutes before he came in sight of the knoll and five more minutes found him at its crest. Gently he lowered the girl to the ground and set her against a tree trunk. The pitch blackness of night seemed especially strong here, blanketing the entirely area in a smog that not even the stars could penetrate. Casus looked about the clearing for the pile of kindling he had inspired the trees to give up earlier that day. It all sat in a disheveled heap in the middle of a circle of stones. He didn’t even bother to extended his hand or make some lavish gesture, but there was no mistaking the magic involved when to the rocks suddenly seemed to bend and then broke apart suddenly showering sparks into the dry leaves and twigs.

Flames grew out of the scorched leaves igniting the larger peaces of woods and within minutes a merry blaze was active amid the heap of wood; or at least it would have been merry if it weren’t for its surroundings, but it was as close to pleasant as one could hope to get on the knoll at the time.

Casus gently unwrapped his cloke from Vana and looked into her terrified eyes, while he produced rope and proceeded to tie her securely to the tree she rested against. Yes, this should be easy; she was frightened, she would give him all the information he would need.

“So Vana, do you mind if I call you that?” He sat down across from her smiling easily, though try as he might he could not erase the coldness in his eyes, “I’m rather curious what you were doing out here… in the lake…it was a quite unusual thing to behold? Do you mind telling me what you were up to?” he idly drew his sword and rested the tip in the fire. She didn’t speak right away, but Casus didn’t mind. He was sure the sight of the tip of his sword beginning to glow red would inspire her tongue to move.
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Postby Vanaladiel » Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:16 pm

As she sat against the tree and he tied her there, anger replaced the fear that was in her.

"How dare he do this to me!" she thought to herself.

As the flames of his fire grew, he placed the tip of his sword into the coals that were forming.

With hatred in her eyes she stared at her abductor.

"NO you may not!" she glared at him. "Only my friends call me that and you are no friend!"

She kept looking about the area where he held her. Ever watchful for a clue as to how to get away or where she was to know which way to run if she should get away.

He hissed when she responded with a snappy angry response.

"You will tell me what I want to know!" He growled in anger back at her. Then he calmed his voice and remarked, "Well.. you will if you know what is good for you."

"Who are you?? Why are you doing this?" she almost demanded from him.

"Who I am is of no consequence." he smiled evily at her.

Vane turned her face so she didnt have to look into his face or his eyes. All she saw there was pain and anger. She continued to work at the ropes that held her hands tight. Struggling with them she faught against the pain that it caused to work her hands around.

He got up and strolled over to her and knelt down beside her. He took her chin in his hand and turned her face to look into her eyes.

"You will talk!" he smiled again. It was then that she noticed that there was a smell to him. Nothing she was familiar with but something unusual. It wasnt so much an unpleasant smell but very odd. Then she pulled her chin from his hand and spit at him. His hand flew quickly to slap her.

"We shall see how long you can wait." he stated cooly as he stood and walked back to the fire.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Fri Jul 08, 2005 11:26 am

“You see… I don’t think you fully grasp the situation you are in,” Sigal bent and retrieved his sword from the fire; the last foot of blade was glowing red. He tested it on a length of wood and nodded in obvious satisfaction at the deep scorch marks it left, “I have no qualms about killing you. I’m not some bad man who stolen you from your home”

Vana’s eyes followed him, exuding hatred, as he paced once or twice before the fire. She shifted her hands behind her to see if she could get a better angle on the rope

“I am not a bad man, I am your enemy. I would very much like to kill you, right now,” Casus took a quick step towards Vana, seeing her flinch as he drew closer he smiled wickedly, “But!” He spun away again, “I need some information, and I’m willing to ask nicely, and if that fails I’m willing to ask not so nicely.” For emphasis he dragged the hot blade across the trunk of a tree letting Vana hear the bark popping and sizzling.

He walked back to the flames and stuck the sword back in the embers.

“Why are you doing this?” Vana asked in desperation, “I haven’t done anything to you”

“Why should that make a difference?” Casus asked sounding very surprised, “I don’t hate you personally as you seem to hate me, but you do have some answers I crave”

“I wont tell you anything!” Vana was the picture of defiance. Casus had to admire her resolve but since he had no capacity for loyalty or love he could not comprehend how she could resist in the face of such personal discomfort and loss.

“We will see,” He nodded to the remaining shadow man who quickly faded into the woods then took his sword from the fire and brought it over to Vana, “I think we will begin now. We’ll start with something easy. Why were you in the woods tonight?” He brought the sword tip down till it touched a loose fold of fabric at the shoulder in the dress Vana wore. The smell of scorched clothe stung both their nostrils, “Yes?”
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Postby Vanaladiel » Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:15 pm

As the fabric burned away from under the blade her skin started to sear. The pain growing as he held the blade against her flesh.

She turned her head away so that he would not see the agony on her face and in her eyes.

Finally he pulled the blade off as he stepped away and moved back to place the blade into the hot coals.

"See you will tell me what I want to know or you shall endure great pain!" He smiled to himself as he walked back over and crouched down next to her.

Once more he took her chin in his hand and turned her face back to him. Seeing the tears there in her eyes he smiled a most evil and malicious grin. He felt she would not resist him for long.

Then he stood up and walked over to lean on the tree that he had burned and ran his fingers down the scorched bark. Biding his time, for he felt that he was totally in control of the situation.

"I wont tell you anything for I know nothing that would be of any interest to you!" she spat at him.

"Oh but I think you do know more then you realize and more interests me then you can imagine." With that he moved back to the coals and the burning blade and played in the coals for a bit before taking up the blade once more and standing up to move in Vana's direction.

She continued to struggle against the ropes and finally got one hand free. She didnt dare let him know that she had wriggled out so she kept her hands behind her and around the tree. She could feel the blood trickling down her wrist from the where the ropes had cut in and the pain in her shoulder from the burn. Deep down a greater anger welled that over powered any pain she felt. She would see that he not torture her any more. He was not in control of her nor would she remain his captive.

As he moved closer Vana steeled her nerves to let him crouch down again and come close to her flesh with his glowing blade. As he did just that she swung the rope around and caught him across the face, catching him off guard and off balance.

He fell away from her and she jumped up and started to run like the wind towards the woods. Vana was guessing in which direction she needed to move but she knew with her grace and agility she might just get away and to safety. Or at least she hoped!
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Sat Jul 09, 2005 2:08 am

Casus flinched back from the rope as it caught him squarely across the face. His hand shot up to his cheek and came away with blood. Vana fled the clearing hearing Casus howl in rage behind her.

Without a second thought he through his sword overhand at her retreating back. Vana dodged around a tree just in time, saving herself the discomfort of being pinned to the tree through her chest. The blade sunk to almost half it length into the trunk and stuck there quivering slightly.

Casus shot to his feet and raced after the fleeing woman chiding himself for his loss of control. She was no good to him dead and he had almost killed her just then.

Vana for her part was making good time and would have quite easily evaded any other hunter, but it was no regular hunter that sought her. Casus followed the odd vibrations that not even the deep moss could quite silence as Vana raced as fast as she could down the knoll. Casus unleashed his power on the forest in front of him as he too ran down the hill.

Trees seemed to bend and twist away from him in response to the power that was his being unbridled, allowing him a strait path towards his quarry. While Vana dodged and duck around trees and under branches Casus ran straight on steadily gaining on her.

She was almost back to where he had seen her in the lake. He couldn’t let her get back to Rivendel, if he could not get any information out of her then she would at the very least have to die and thus cut down the ring bearer’s ranks by one.

“Help me!” Vana screamed at the top of her lungs, “Somebody! Help!”

Casus cringed at the sound of her clear, sharp voice. He could allow this. There she was! Just ahead!

The ground underneath Vana’s feet became suddenly uneven without warning. Ground that had been flat and cushioned with loam suddenly broke and bent up to catch her feet. Even as she put her foot down the ground opened to accept her foot and tripped her. She fell forward grabbing at a tree branch to support her but the air seemed to bend and warp and the branch twisted away. The side of her head impacted the tree painfully and she fell dazed to the ground.

Casus was on her in a moment. With cruel wrench he flipped her over and twisted her arm painfully behind her back, “do not do that again or I will kill you!” He hissed in her ear, “And I will make it take a very long time.” Curse his lack of knowledge or he could kill her now and be done with it and leave her body for the others to find and contemplate its meaning. Without another word he applied a fair amount of pressure to the artery supplying blood to her brain and within moments Vana blacked out.

“Watch the woods carefully,” Casus said to the dark shapes that had gathered around him, “There are sure to be others coming now, see to it I am not interrupted.”

Back on the hill Casus briefly examined his captive for any injury she might have sustained. A few scratches and a colorful bruise adorned the right side of her face, it looked as though the ankle might be sprained, though that also might have been just a bruise, but aside from the burn on her shoulder, minor scratches and a few bruises was all there was to show for the ordeal so far. Casus smiled, he would change that once she woke again.
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Postby Monoceros » Sat Jul 09, 2005 12:44 pm

Mono was sitting alone and eating her late supper. For several hours she couldn’t get rid of the feeling like some evil eyes were staring right into her back. She looked behind just to make sure and then gave a piece of meat to her kitten. He started gnawing it as if he hadn’t been fed for ages. What was really curious for Mono that Shadow kept very close to her last days, perhaps, he has lost sight of his new friend, that wild girl, whom Elena took care of. She frowned, as jealousy crept into her mind. Mono shook her head - this can wait a little…

Suddenly, another stroke of eerie feeling reached her. A feeling like someone has raised a sword above her neck. She jumped immediately turning around to face whoever or whatever was behind. The chair fell down near Shadow, he hissed and hastily ran away. There was nothing but empty dining hall. She shrugged, but tense didn’t fade away, something WAS there. Mono took her sword from the table - she got a habit of walking around armed since the recent accident, - and walked out.

She heard a fainting whisper in the air. Mono halted as she realized this was happening again, she heard the whisper before and she had pursued something the same way. She ran out of the entrance and saw elves and other folks busy with their own late work. She looked around, but noticed nothing strange. Then a weak breath came to her ears, someone very far. She thought this could be silly, probably nothing had happened and it only seemed to her. But these days everyone should be ready and with both eyes open, as well as all the other senses.

She ran in the direction of the edge of the wood, it seemed to her the breath came from there. She dived into the forest and ran to the call. Tree roots and branches became a very nasty obstacle, constantly catching her clothes and sticking out right before her feet. The lights faded behind but darkness wasn’t hostile to her. The ground started going up – she was running to the top of the knoll.

Eyes caught sight of a dark stick moving abnormally to catch her. She tried to move away and her feet found a root of another tree. The stick caught the edge of her cloak and didn’t want to let it. She fell stretching her arms in front to avoid the hard ground. It was a great danger as she could break both arms, but fortunately she trained herself to spring the elbows so that they helped to avoid breaking the limbs. She quickly rolled aside pulling her cloak and instead of a tree she saw a tip of blade rushing towards her eyes. She threw out her arm and hit the side of the blade. Were she not lying on the ground, she wouldn’t do this ever. Luckily she managed to avoid the edge of the sword but her sleeve was cut as well as her arm. Realizing that she will waste time on standing up, she simply took out small dagger and while the attacker was finding the balance, Mono threw the knife right into his head. The figure fell down, but no sound was heard.

The girl stood up and came up to the body to retrieve her weapon. But on the place of the body laid only empty clothes and dagger was wrapped into the hood. “What the…?” she said aloud and took out her sword. She looked around awaiting other strange figures. No one came out yet. Taking the dagger into her left hand she continued her way up this time more carefully. The pain came very fast, but Mono thought she would cure it later.

The trees on the top of the knoll were lit. She hurried there, thinking that if she was attacked then her feelings were true and someone was doing evil things there. Another cloaked figure jumped in front of her. Mono stroke on the run and dark clothes flew to the trees, again empty. At last she ran out of the trees and light from the camp fire blinded her. She could only perceive someone was there sitting near the fire.
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Monoceros
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Postby EntwifeLost » Sat Jul 09, 2005 8:09 pm

Looking beyond the dwarves, Sith was mentally engaged with a flicker of diamond like refracted light. It sparkled beyond the large Willow tree, and she cocked her head to the side, straining to find its source. In a woosh of dimentia, her body twisted and she reached back with her hands, straining to reach toward the slowly fading images of Windy and Brnin. Their images soon faded and the face of Morphia cast her eyes down towards the startled elf-changleing.

Among a thousand rays of white and yellow light she whirled and danced. A subtle melody came from the boughs of silver trees, and Sith and the Moonmaid sought to fly above the treetops in a musical rythym. Her mind was inundated with images, and the strong and commanding voice of Miril, the Moon Queen, hovered above them. Morphia calmed Sith's senses but delivered a dire message that danger loomed toward them all. She felt the Moonstone in her pouch, it was pouring out light toward a clearing. Her head was filled with the words of Miril and the urges of Morphia's spirit, both commanding her attention and demanding her action. The phenomenal display was beyond explanation, and Sith knew only that it was now time. Her dance ended and she found herself again in Rivendell, below the window to Elena's room. Her soul felt battered, but her mind enlightened and her spirit strong. The fierce side of the Changeling was taking shape, and her powerful Earth Ring, waned for a release. She must first consult those who joined her in the call of Miril's duty.

“The Earth Sister is here?” asked Elena, as she followed Vana into her room. “Good. It saves me the trouble of looking for her. It is very important that I speak to her.” “And you shall, my friend, but after you’ve answered my questions,” replied Vana firmly. “You should heed her words, Elena. She is a very determined person, and not to be trifled with,” called Sith from where she sat, near one of the open windows, laughing. Then she stood and walked up Elena, and hugged her. “Well, Moon Sister,” she said, smiling. “I am glad to see you awake and about. You look much better today, if I may say so; almost as if your spirit had been renewed.” “You do not how true your words are, Earth Sister,”

The women exchanged thoughts instantly, each knowing preparations must be made with haste. Vana, Elena and Sith felt the approaching enemy and the warriors of our group must be informed. The shadow of the Vale's enemy was close enough to sense. Much too close for comfort. Elena told her of the recent happenings and murders that took place. A warning was well placed there.
Vana departed and Elena was now finding the others for council as she made final preparations.

Sith wondered where the red brothers now resided, thinking the power of thier weapons could buy some time for the company's final council in Rivendell. She wondered if they recalled her "sudden departure" and wondered if they danced with Morphia as well. They carried Moon's Tears, and perhaps many in the group had experienced this choregraphed calling to Save the Vale.

Sith skirted the paths towards the forest clearing, and she sat under a canopy of bushes, as she chanted to a Naturous goddess, asking for strength and restraint. The power of the Earth Ring of Vine Entanglement sought action and she must wield it at the right time, for its unlashing was a formidable enemy for any foe. But her attention again diverted to the an Onodrimnic source. The profile of a skeleton tree, Its few remaining leaves scorched and dry. Flurries of fireflies surrounded it in the nights glow , a sign that trouble was near. The powers of a nearby forest threatened. Quickly her head snapped toward the south and a creaking of feet shuffled away. It was a party of men, with a motive. The fireflies followed the path of the shadowy men in the air and Sith rose to follow. With stealth and fluttering approach, the now Winged Changeling flew. Yes flew, with the light of the swarm guiding her she looked down below at a clearing and made out the forms of the enemy troop. They had a prisoner......

" VANA!!!!!" Sith caught her breath as she confirmed by sight, that Vana was the kidnapped figure below. Her condition seemed listless and even from hundreds of feet above, Sith feared the worse for Vana. Her body descended in a hidden group of trees, a surrounding grove was on fire, and her heart ached. But her Spirit was now enraged , and she was angered beyond reason at the apprehension of her Twilight sister, Vana.

"It cannot be, it shall not be, not in any age" Sith whispered to the creatures who gathered with her. Naught would the changeling allow this. Her years of training and magic knowledge, did not prepare her for the anger she felt in the events that unfolded.

Hovering over Vana, a dark and evil figure. He seemed to be studying her listless body, plotting, planning. An evil cackle departed his lips and Sith cringed at the force of his intent. She could feel it. Sith knew alone she could not take Vana, but no other party seemed to be near. She must rely on a temporary distraction for the menace. And Her Earth Ring shot out a loud scream. Its Opal face almost screeeching out tendrils of strong earthen vines. She tried to stop the Rings power. But it seemed to have its own agenda, and with a quick snap it broke off the strings of her Moon Pouch and cradled the Moonstone in its thorny vine.

Just then Mono appeared from behind her, and the Dark Ring of Night Creatures was emerging with violet wisps of smoke. They both met eyes and looked towards the shadowy figure, who turned to inspect the sound approaching him.
"It is Casus, dear sister of the Night. Elena spoke of this perpetrator. He is not what he seems. " Sith whispered to Mono, as they tried to control the obvious display of Ring power which was about to be displayed upon Casus. Mono crinkled her face, but then seemed to change as well. The fierceness of her being was also taking over and both of the females headed straight for the shadowy figure. They saw his minions in tow, and wondered if the Power of the Earth and Dark Rings would keep them restrained, until help arrived.

The Earth Ring was first, lashing out thorny slaps at a startled Casus. He raised his weapon, tearing each new vine in violent swings. The Moon stone was tossed back and forth among the beaten vines, but they continued the attack on Casus. His cheekbone slit and bleeding he sent forth a strange colored fog toward Sith and she turned her face in digust of its ingredient. Still she would not relent, even thought he spirit of his being was clearly apparent to the Changeleing. He was not going to be taken, and he was intent on keeping his prize. Sith's face was white hot, her sinous fingers were aiming and controlling the vines, keeping a company of shadow men entangled, so they could not aide Casus. the fierce changeling made short the lives of a few, with the twist of a thorn into the throat of the enemy beings. The Dark Ring spewed forth one hundred flying birds, all cawing and scratching at Casus's company of defenders. Mono was grasping her Moonstone, and the powerful Elf-mix was on the attack. Casus strained his body, trying to get at the 2 women, but the vines and the dark flying beasts were drawing him back. He ran towards Vana, with Sith and Mono in pursuit. They must capture her, and pray to the Moon Maid that she was not harmed. But help must arrive soon, for the Power of at least 3 more Elements was needed to quell the power of this foe......

"Elena , dear sister, with Haste I call your company. Council cannot take place for evil is attacking. You must bring them now...."
Sith was straining her spirit, and calling upon Morphia to deliver the message without delay. "Elena must hear me!! Please Morphia, aide us and call to our Moonstone bearers. Vana cannot be lost to this evil one!" The crystalline image of Morphia flew away into a dark sky and Sith and Mono feared the worst, both glaring at an enraged Casus.
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