A Soldier's Tale

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

Postby Leofwine » Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:08 pm

Evening had come once more, though with the persisting gloom, there was no sunset to signal the approach of night. The hearts of all those who stood watch on the great walls of the city were burdened with the depression of the spirit visited upon them with each passing flight of the fell beasts that circled overhead. Unseen, their voices, faint though they were, still reached down and touched the very soul with fear and despair. As Renth's stomach told him the true hour, though his eyes could not know, he looked ever to the far river, wondering how it fared with Captain Faramir and the men who fought with him. By the time his relief came to spell him while he took a quick meal in the guards' eating hall, Renth was all too ready to take a break and try to think of something else other than the situation on the river.

Coming back from his supper, which consisted of little more than bread, cheese and a cup of short ale, Renth noted that the crippled singer seemed to have melted away into the darkness, along with those who had gathered round him during that long, wearisome day. Taking up his place once more on the wall, Renth muttered a short good night to his fellow guard and turned once more to gaze uselessly into the gloom.

Late during the watches of the night, grim tidings were carried along the length of the wall and far into the reaches of the city. A messenger had arrived, from the river, with dire news. A tremendous host of the minions of Mordor had issued forth and was even then converging upon Osgiliath. To make matters worse, it seemed that men of the south, the Haradrrim, were joining the forces of the dark lord, swelling their numbers almost beyond reckoning. Renth heaved a heavy sigh at the news, having known all day that matters were grim, but still wishing that it could be not so. Once more, his thoughts turned to the valiant son of the steward and those troops who stood between this tremendous evil and the city.

Morning brought only more bitter news. Despite the desperate efforts of the Gondorians, the might of Mordor had breached their defenses and crossed the great river, causing Faramir and his men to pull back to the causeway forts. It had become clear that the dark lord's captains had lain their plans long ago and well, for there was a fleet of barges waiting to take them across the water. And perhaps the most dire news of all filled even stouthearted veterans like Renth with dismay – the Black Captain himself was leading Sauron's army. At this, Gandalf himself rode from the city, Renth and his fellow soldiers watching with little hope in their hearts as he rode away into the darkness which was the Pelennor.

That day passed much like the one before it, the waiting for the coming tide almost worse than the horror of battle itself. “If only we could do something.” Renth had grumbled to himself, for the hundredth time. “It's this blasted waiting that's so bloody unbearable.” But his sentiments were not shared by all around him, for he saw more than a few faces, mere boys it seemed to him, hardly old enough to carry a sword, who trembled when they thought no-one was looking, and went about white faced and silent.

Day passed once more into night with no visible change in the skies, only black murk wherever one looked. With the dawn bells, though, the horizons began to explode in sharp claps of red flame and distant rumblings. The word ran round the wall – the Rammas was taken. The enemy was here. But still no word of Faramir.
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Postby Wasara » Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:37 am

Altough being in top physical shape just few moment ago,Serad considered if this was the end?It was like a red curtain had rolled down upon him.It wasn’t just physical pain breaking him down,but his will,which was in web,like in cobweb,struggling helplessly.Man in his shape,just wanted to lay down and hope to get the quick stab of mercy.Gradually his mind wandered to his troubled little village.They were all homesteaders under the heavy taxation of Khand,whose warbands raided with impunity and took what wanted from that less their have.Before him he saw his mother’s too soon aged but kindly face while pouring fresh goat milk into jar.Faint picture of his father,once a soldier,beside a wooden plow,sniffing and beholding the soil in his rough hands.His younger brothers,both real pranksters,herding on the vast,scarce lands under blazing midday sun.And glimpse of her holding his hands,just before he was dragged into the ranks of Haradrim.In his palm he found a green,almost transparent,jade gem,material totally strange for him.On it one can almost see faint carved star.Later he hung it on his neck in little leather bag.

Sitting on the ground he came into senses while being shaked firmly on his heavy shoulders.Like in haze,through the swollen eyelids he saw familiar face-it was that silent northerner who has that odd scar on forehead.

Thorgrond spilled some water from his waterback onto rag and sweeped the most blood off southrons face.”You mate,you will survive.You will be send to white town and Herenyar has himself guaranteed your life.A couple of your tormentors shall guard you and these others with their own life and lead you through the town’s gates.Proper punishment for them,eh?They should also see after that you get decent healing.”

Serad,in his ache,answered:”Lot of talk from you,northern stranger.Odd are the paths of this world but I hope we could meet before the end,my friend?”

Thorgrond clapped Serad’s shoulder:”There is always hope!”.Then he stood and strode towards the flags of Faramir.
Last edited by Wasara on Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Sirion » Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:07 am

Silently he mearched next to his comrades, some few meters in front of the captured Haradrim, near Faramir. For the first battle in his life Targon had had no words--none at all--to say. His helm lost to him in the River Anduin, his face and armor smeared with orc blood, Targon's feet padded beside those of his fellow soldiers.

He'd been one of the few to hold the soldiers back from attacking the Haradrim, though he hadn't been close enough to break through the crowd and aid Herenyar directly. He could easily understand why the soldiers would be so irritable. He himself was on the verge of seething; not at the Southrons, but at the Enemy.

Targon had been at Osgiliath the day Boromir had led them to driving the hosts of Mordor from the western shores; he had cheered with them all, having survived it and many more. But now, for once, he could say nothing. He vaguely heard Thorgrond's words to one Southron as Targon managed to slip up closer to the Haradrim. The next thing he knew, Thorgrond was before him.

"I want you to lead them in, Targon."

Targon almost stuttered. "Me, sir? Why so?"

Thorgrond grinned, understanding why Targon would be hesitant. "You haven't done wrong, boy. I just need someone the people know to lead them in, so as to keep the general crowd from flinging anything dangerous. Were I to leave the job to those who had insulted the Southron, such actions of hostility would only be further provoked and not reduced."

Targon nodded. "I understand, sir. I will do my best."

"I know you will," was the last Thorgrond said before continuing on his way.

Targon frowned. He wondered how long it would take to fully accomplish the orders Thorgrond had given. He had to lead them to the Houses of Healing, obviously, for that was where any were healed, and then keep them under guard, though keep them well-cared for. Could he do that and aid in the attack he knew was to come?

The possibility that he would have to keep from the fighting worried him supremely.
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Postby Arenial » Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:19 am

~ The night of March 11~

As the small group dispersed the sun was setting red on the horizon and Violet made her way back to the Houses of Healing, message in hand, pondering the rather unsettling conversation she’d had with the soldier. Did Denethor not care for his own son? To think he would send Faramir into certain death was unthinkable, especially since Boromir… Violet shook her head and thought, not for the first time, that there was nothing left in the old man than resentment and idiocy.

Upon returning, she found Denegal asleep and Maiwe nowhere to be found. Not wanting to awake the soldier, Violet quickly scrawled a short note and left it, folded in two, on the end table next to his pallet; he would find it when next he awoke. She gazed upon his sleeping form for a moment, thinking of how pained he would be to read the news, and yawned, suddenly aware of how very weary she was. And so, walking the narrow stone streets from the Houses to her small home on the forth level, she shrugged into a thin nightdress and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep beneath her old, patchwork quilt, regardless of her troubled thoughts.

~~~

Violet sighed, exasperated, and set down her tome of Herbs and Their Properties upon the desk before her as she had, unquestionably, read the same sentence in the same paragraph for about the fifth time in a row. She leaned forward, propping her head up on her elbow, and gazed out the window, which was really just a narrow slit in the stone wall, at the grey, cloud filled sky. She could not concentrate for her thoughts kept returning to the battles in Osgiliath and the fear that engulfed the city.

Perhaps all she needed was some fresh air to clear her mind. It was after all, if her stomach informed her correctly, passed noon. Shouldn’t she take just a short break? Besides, a walk in the gardens would do her good. Yes, that was what she would do.

Her mind set, Violet set out to the gardens, but not before pilfering a small portion of grain bread and some fruit from the kitchens. Of all the wonders in the White City, Violet most adored the gardens. Her mind was cleared instantly and she was reminded by the trees and grass of the simpler times spent at her father’s house in the country. She had, of course, a small fear that the fell beasts would once again fly over the city, screaming their shrill cries, but Violet felt safe here. Yes, it seemed that Sauron himself could not reach her here.

She settled at the base of a towering oak Indian-style and began to eat her meager lunch.
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Postby LadyElessar » Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:35 am

The sound of the panicked horses had been deafening in Aethelbart’s ears. The thought of so many horses alone dismayed him almost as much as the darkness that covered the city. Their masters came and went, but few stayed for very long. He wondered if the growing dark caused people to worry so much for themselves that they didn’t think about their mounts? He stayed with them in the stables, but was disturbed even more to see that so many of the horses seemed to give into the darkness, their eyes dull and deadened and their heads hanging low. He noticed one; however, who did not despair like the others. He was an unsightly beast, of poor confirmation with a shaggy winter coat still on him, who looked to be more of a pack animal than a riding horse. Still Aethelbart could not help but admire the horse's spirit. He thrashed about wildly, his ears pinned back and his hooves furiously pounding both the ground and the wooden door frame.

No sooner had his admiration for the shaggy horse formed than his master walked through the door however. Aethelbart clamped his jaw shut when he saw the now familiar form of the limping hillman. Eyeing him warily from Bali’s box, he couldn’t help his hand from travelling instinctively to his disfigured eye. Without even thinking Aethelbart grabbed the tack that rested over the stall door and threw it over Bali’s back. He had been cooped up long enough. Swiftly and silently he saddled the horse and swung open the stall the door. Bali’s ruddy coat didn’t exactly shine, but he still cut an impressive figure.

“It is a nice donkey you have there,” Aethelbart could not help the words from flying from his tongue. “Really, the nicest donkey I have seen in the city.” Swinging his leg up over Bali, Aethelbart was gone and climbing the levels of the city before the hillman could even reply. Bali needed the exercise and he needed a change of scenery.
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Postby Frelga » Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:32 pm

Givi barely spared the young lowlander a glance as he walked over to his horse. Seeing his master, the animal stopped thrashing, and shifted closer, stretching his neck over the stall door. His ears were still laid back, and a shiver ran under the shaggy skin along the spine. Givi was opening the stall when the boy's words sunk in at last.

"Son of a one-eyed goat!" he bellowed, whirling around on his good leg. The horse tossed his head and backed into the far wall. With a sigh, Givi turned back. "None of that, none of that," he chided his horse, his voice low and soft like summer breeze. "You are not some twig-legged, overfed poppy-flower from the flatlands. I want to see him gallop over stones, with only a hand's breadth to spare between your hooves and a straight drop. That horse would never even walk on such a trail", Givi went on. The beast grew calmer and more heartened as his master spoke, just like the many soldiers who crowded around the singer these past days. "Stand still, stand still now. What's a little darkness to us? It won't be long now, my friend. We must be ready."

It was only a little later that the singer headed back for the large stone house given over to the horsemen. Or perhaps hours passed - there was no telling time in the gloom, unrelieved by stars above or fires below, unless the bell rang in the Citadel.

As he walked, Givi found himself thinking back to the lowlander's impertinence. The dark was too stifling for his anger to flare into a bright flame, yet by the time he got to the house Givi was fairly fuming. Ready to take his frustration out on the nearest target, he pushed the door with all his strength. Instead of flying open with a bang, it came to a sudden halt halfway. There was a thud and a yelp and another, softer, thump.

Givi tripped and grabbed the door for balance. On the floor before him was a squirming mass, which he eventually made out to be one of the lowlander youths. The boy was heading outside to shake out a pile of blankets.

"Get up, you blind gelding, and get out of the way," the hillman snapped, knowing full well that he was in the wrong, and getting angrier because of that.

The boy sat up and rubbed his shoulder, trying not to whimper.

"There, there, I meant no harm. On your feet, soldier." Givi caught the boy under the elbow and pulled him up. "Are you injured? No? That's good. Would be a shame to come home from the great war, and have no tale to tell except of being struck by a door in the dark. Off you go."

Indoors, the dark was even thicker than in the street. They had orders against letting any light show, so all the windows were covered with the thick hill-made cloaks. In one corner, a fire burned, small like a child's hand that tried to wave away thunderclouds.

Most men huddled around the hearth, and their shadows writhed on the wall behind them. They greeted the singer with heartfelt relief. The chores were all done - swords sharpened and oiled, saddles cleaned, armor checked to the last buckle, dinner cooked. Nothing was left but endless, uneasy waiting.

Givi shielded his eyes from the feeble light as if a noontime sun shone into his eyes. But the flames danced over firewood, undaunted, and his spirits lifted for a moment.

"A song, Givi?" someone asked.

The singer shook his head. "Not now. There are evil tidings on the walls. When they send for us, I want to be armed and ready. It's going to be hard enough to put on armor in this murk."

The huddled group broke up. Men rummaged for their packs and groped for breastplates and helmets. At last, the wait was over.
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Postby AzhureLuna815 » Fri May 05, 2006 5:38 pm

Faraday waited as Eomer gave his speech to everyone. They had all heard it before so they were not paying much attention. The soldier next to her was rather annoying for he wouldn't stop talking, but his chattering got her mind off of what she was doing.

"I commend you all for coming with me," Eomer was droning on," we will be patroling the Rohan borders and fighting the orcs that dare come near us. Kill all of them."

At that everyone got on their horses and took off at a trot. Her spear was too akward for her to balance so she slowed until she was near the back.
"You're Madin right?" A voice asked her.
Startled she hesitated,"Yeah. Who are you?"
"Sadem, but everyone calls me Sam."
"Have you fought before?" She regreted her question, so much for keeping a low image.
"No, I'm a farmer, but I know how to fight. What about you?"
"I've fought, but I've never killed anyone."
"It's funny how we talk of death now but no one else will. Why is that?"
We went on a while before I replied.
"They are afraid of death, I guess. We don't fear it because it doesn't seem real to us, but some of the men have kill and lost friends so they fear it. They've seen what it looks like."

They traveled in silence for a while, in fact they didn't talk until they stopped for the night. She was terrified when she found that they had to share tents with five other men. What was she going to do? Sadem, twins who looked a little starved, a man who looked younger than Sadem, and an older man with a twisted arm were to become her tent mates.

She picked the corner closest to the opening and waited listening to the other men talking, her mind turned to home. She missed the smell of her brothers and her father when they got dressed up. Her tree in the back yard that she was first kissed by the stable boy. She shook her head and realized the talking had stopped.

Slowly, sleep came to her and even then it wasn't fitful. Her dreams were more of nightmares of Sadem finding out she was really Faraday, Eomer sentencing her to death, and her father scolding her for forgeting to hang his buttoned shirt...
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Postby Wasara » Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:04 am

While heading to Faramir's green standard,Thorgrond caught his eye a familiar face.He recalled those belonging to serious looking young Gondorian who has tried to control his brother in arms' rage against prisoners.Thorgrond was hit by tought,that prison convoy might need after all one in lead-like this steady young man.Little talk revealed also that he,Targon,has took part to many Boromir's actions despite his young age and this assured Thorgrond that Targon would hold convoy together and in order and lead it to the city.Young man was left little confused while Thorgrond continued his striding back to Faramir's band.After wondering a while,Targon recovered and checked his sword and armour and walked boldly toward the convoy.

Thorgrond found Herenyar and Faramir talking on the little mound under the green standard of Ithilien.There were also two long,dark skinned,stern looking men hearing closely the conversation.Infantry and little band of cavalry surrounded the mound in order and readiness.Faramir was deeply concerned about the bridge of Osgiliath on the west bank of Anduin.

"Now when our men have eaten we haven't much time and we must advance with haste.I want you,Herenyar,to take command of the infantry while I lead the band of horsemen in the vanguard.Your northern friend can follow me on the horse,I got few in reserve,if he wants.I got also band of bowmen,mostly from Lebennin,Lossarnach and Morthond and led by Duilin and Derufin here,the sons of Duinhir of Morthond.I think we have urgent need for their men as it is with cavarly,which Gondor have so little...I hope and maybe the horsemen of Rohan have received our call.Cavalry or not,we must hurry,my friends!"

After men have mounted the horses,Faramir looked a moment on Thorgrond like finding an answer.Then Faramir said:

"It is said that you saw my brother in halls of the Master of Rivendell,dúnadan.May there come the time of peace when we can remember and toast for him."

Thorngond answered: "If there is leaders of men like him in Gondor,that time will come,milord!"

Then Faramir adressed to his men loudly:

"Men!We are now the Vanguard of Gondor marching against the tides of Mordor.I'm proud to have a chance to lead you,the sons of Gondor,and while we might not be many in count,on this day our hand will be heavy and our thrust deep and multiplied.Cast the fear!Follow me and my standard!"

The march was rapid and spirited.The band of Faramir was consisting mostly mixed infantry,half thousand men and about 200 bowmen.Thorgrond was pleased to see that bowmen carried plenty of arrows,each man carrying two or three quivers.They passed through the Rammas,and men from the walls cheered for them.While approaching the bridge the sky on the east was almost black and it turned dark red towards the west.It was about fifth hour after midday and the songs of men vailed.On the side of the road there were mutilated bodies of men,apparently most of them Gondorian and without head.There were also broken wagons,the rags of clothes and thrown weapons.The scouts alleged that the bridge were lost and there were lots of orcs building more bridges aside old one.Faramir ordered his men to line-spear men in front,then swordsmen and unit of bowmen behind them.Line was hardly three hundred yards wide.Faramir himself was on the right with his horsemen.The bridge in sight men lowered their spears and swords were pulled from the sheats.The line stopped about hundred yards from the bridge.The enemy send a couple of skirmishing gangs of shouting and swearing orcs but most of them were beaten to ground by precise volley of arrows.The rest drew back screaming and in disorder to opposite side of the bridge.But orcs continued their task of building like nothing has happened.Then the sound of drum was heard-it was heavy repeated boom,like coming from the forgotten Under World and it almost broke their ears.Black Rider was seen,riding on the huge black horse.It stopped on the middle way of the bridge.Orcs on the bridge made their way,some of them jumped into the river in horror.Then the band of horsemen gathered around the Black Rider and their carried the banners of the Lidless Eye and the Golden Serpent.Only Faramir could held his head high when The Black Rider rised it's right hand with thundering lightning.Thorgond mumbled:

"Self the Nameless has come..."
Last edited by Wasara on Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:04 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Sirion » Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:36 am

Targon moved with a swift, calm pace towards the Haradrim prisoners. Several soldiers around him glared and sneered at him, but others smiled and nodded. To those that sneered Targon said, "Why do you ally with such a folly notion? Why do you pursue hatred when you are wrong? In mind, these men are the same as us. They have a Lord, they have family, they have homes, the same as we do. I am ashamed to call myself a soldier among such ignorance."

Some soldiers seemed to have been made even angrier, if that could be possible, but his words rocked many of those that had been displeased before. Of those that were not against his assignment Targon picked out four soldiers, forming a ring around the Haradrim prisoners. When Faramir split off from the group, Targon's small company was nearly alone on the Pelenor, and his heart gave an aching beat as he watched Faramir ride to the Rammas.

"We will join them again, my brothers," Targon said, as much to quell his own doubts as to appease the soldiers with him. When the city gates opened, Targon's company was met with astonished faces, confusion, neglection. But under the tight leash of officers the wall guard made no move against him, and if they had they would have been imprisoned besides. As they moved up the stone cobbles, Targon leading the processional walk with his head held high, though aware of the unpleasant state of his appearance, they encountered more and more wary, watchful citizens. It was not until a while into their walk that the first comment was thrown.

"You're no soldier! You should have killed them in the fields! We should do it for you!" Several speakers joined in, throwing taunts and insults, at both soldiers and prisoners, before one of them stepped into a view with an axe in hand.

Targon immediately drew his sword, though he stood with the point to the ground.

"All of you will stand down or I will have you taken by force. This is not a matter of negotiation, and it is Lord Faramir's will. Anyone from this point forward remarking or posturing cruelly against the Haradrim under our watch will be imprisoned."

No more sounds were heard as they continued their march to the Houses of Healing, but Targon's sword never returned to its sheath.
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Postby Wasara » Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:27 am

Gondorians deterred.Golden Serpent flied in the air while Haradrim’s lancers charged from the bridge by their master’s mark.Attack’s weight was so irresistible that Gondorian spearmen had to pull back and made way for Witchking’s infantry to swarm and organize battle line on the west bank of Anduin.Dark skinned lancers of Haradrim were well organized wearing yellowish gilded armours and red shields.For Gondorian they were the race from ancient lores and their battle cry was cracking and fierce of strange language.In skirmish they used their black scimitars.In this pressing moment Faramir got his few cavalry to move and led it around the right wing of the his spearmen against the flank of the lancers.Thorgond stretched his sword and wind cried in his ears while he urged his charger to full gallop.Gondorians smashed against the clads of the lancers and in the corner of the eye Thorgrond sighted the Standard of South.He struck it from the hand of bearer while cleaving trough the mass of the men and horses.Lancers swayed and shattered.Gondorian spearmen hold their ground while clear sound of horn signalized to cavalry to pull back through the momentary widened lines.On the same time Haradrims were organizing themself behind andvancing orc infantry.Faramir gathered his captains:

”It is madness to stay here!I want my men back and safety.We can hinder them a little while but now best thing to do is speedy reatreat and in order to Rammas.It’ll be dark soon and let us hope it help us in our move.Duilin,I need your men to cover and screen us!They travel light and let it be so that Men of Morthond and they steady hand and keen eye will guard us.You see!Our enemy is using torches and other means of light.Let those guide your arrows!”

“Herenyar,take my standard!Gather the dead ones and lead the woundeds with the rest of spearmen toward Rammas Echor!I stay with cavalry as rear guard and covering the wings of bowmen.”

Herenyar folded the standard and made his way.

It seemed that Witchking’s vanguard had halted advance.He had to secure the west bank.Orc-infantry stood steady while behind its line in darkness hordes of Mordor were swarming to the west bank.

Faramir gathered his rear guard near little mound about a half league from Mordor’s bridgehead.It was pitch dark and it seemed like whole west bank was litted and flamed like red fire.Deep drums and strange brasses sounded.Men of Morthond advanced silently towards the lights.Faramir waited a while and covered his harness with his Ithilien cloak and unseathed his sword.By his mark the band of cavalry rode to dark fields.
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