The Burning Stars

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

Postby AurabellaBolger » Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:55 am

Lucy fell in a dizzy half-faint against Avasa's staff, and the woman knelt beside her and wrapped a gentle arm about her shoulders. All her senses were blurred, and the last few seconds carried a distinct air of unreality about them. She supposed she had been in the jaws of death, and thinking only of survival she had stabbed her attacker, and the wound had not killed him but had only enraged him, and her friend had stepped in to save her as he'd launched himself at her -- but she wasn't ready to swear to it.

That was, until her eyes came clear, and she saw her dagger-blade dripping with blood, and felt its warm stickiness on her arm. Then the incident impressed itself upon her with horrifying clarity, and she bent forward, violently sick. "It's all right," Avasa whispered in her ear. "You're safe now."
"Thanks to you," Lucy returned, managing a grateful smile. She had known she needed rescuing, but she'd thought one of the dusky warriors would come riding forth to snatch her from danger. Instead it was the quiet scholar, the one of the group most like herself. She quivered inside. "I am in your debt now," she told Avasa, "and in your service. Anything you want or need, I'll spare no effort to get for you. And I pray -- well, I pray I won't ever be able to repay you, because that would mean you'd be in a dangerous situation I should never like to see you in. I should like to keep anything like that from ever happening to you, if I could."
Avasa returned her smile. "You were very brave," she said.

A fierce denial hovered on the tip of Lucy's tongue -- no, no, I'm a coward and weakling, you are the brave one -- but she kept silent and allowed the compliment to hang in the air, because for the first time, she hoped it might be so. Avasa had not perceived herself as brave. Avasa and she had talked about the fact that neither of them was a warrior, and had shared fears that they might be out of their depth on this quest; they were readers and dreamers, hungry for stories, hungrier still to see those stories unfold before their eyes, but they knew nothing of battle. Yet Avasa had saved her life. Avasa had seen a friend in danger and had acted, though her actions had placed her in danger herself. This was the very definition of courage.
And of the group, Avasa was most like Lucy herself. Might she, Lucina of the Pinwhistle clan, actually find some measure of courage inside herself? She knew that after what had just happened, she could never see Avasa in danger and simply stand by, shaking in fear; she would have to step in, to do what she could to help her. Then she, too, might be brave. Yet may it never come to that! she thought urgently, not for her sake but for her friend's.

"And you," she told Avasa, "are a hero now. Your name shall be among the highest in my chronicle."
Now the time had come to figure out what to do next. The dusky warriors were nowhere in sight; she suspected they were somewhere wrapped up in each other and had not heard her scream for help. (She was not about to think they'd heard her scream and declined to come to her aid; she knew Ara but little, but she knew her better than to think that.) She supposed she and Avasa ought to look for them, but whatever they might face, they could take care of themselves. Foremost in her concern now, strangely enough, was the werewolf. Why had he run away? Her dagger was steel, not silver (the main reason she'd used it; she had not, after all, wanted to kill him), and Avasa's staff was only wood; he could have continued his attack. Instead, he'd run -- a sign that something had sparked a Change in him. The wolf was receding, the man coming to the fore. She tried to imagine what he would think or feel if he had succeeded in killing her while in wolf shape, and he'd become a man again to find the taste of her blood in his mouth.

"That poor creature," she whispered, staring at the blood on her arm. "Avasa, let's follow him."

Avasa looked at her as if she'd lost her senses. "Why?"

"I want to find out what he's like," Lucy explained -- but that explanation sounded even more out of her senses. "I think we should try to find out what he wants, what he's up to. And I believe we may find out more by talking to him than we ever could from following at a distance."
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Postby gladrieltook » Sat Mar 26, 2005 6:39 am

Avasa felt the uneasy turn in her stomach. "Lucy... I think we should find the others first... A werewolf is still a werewolf..." She glanced around, hoping to see Ara or Kaveh. "Where are they...?"

But Lucy only shook her head and insisted. "He won't hurt us now!"

She could only look at the eager look in Lucy's large eyes, and sigh. Her own eyes were fearful. "Fine. But no getting eaten, ok? I shan't be able to explain to the Abbot why you've become midday meal for a lycan..."

The hobbit grinned, and plunged ahead, the grass rustling behind her in her dark.

"Wait for me!" Avasa hiked up her robe and hurried after her friend, the short, sharp grass stinging her feet as she trotted.

They quickly slower their pace, following the shining patches of blood on the dry grass. The moon flitted between the clouds, casting strange shadows over the field. Avasa's stomach had knotted in anxiety. Eru protect us... They stopped suddenly, hearing a loud rustling in the field ahead, and ducked into the tall grass.

"There he is!" Lucy grinned, though it did not reach her eyes, which were full of fear.

Avasa crawled forward, pushing the grass aside with her staff. There in front of them was a large open patch, where the grass had been beaten down by some large being. Dark patches covered the ground, shining in the pale moon. And at the far edge of the clearing, huddled a dark, quivering form.
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Postby Aiwe » Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:49 am

Tear them to pieces! Quench the thirst, sate the hunger....

The wolf frothed and shivered against the horrible hunger pangs, twisted himself in a ball against the wound in his starving belly. His tongue lapped at his own blood as it seeped from the clot forming in his grey fur. Pain fogged his brain, slowly clouding and softening even the sharp, jagged thoughts of the wolf-mind.

A scream broke throug the fog.

No! Stop it, stop it, please...

The wolf pricked its ears. It recognised the voice.

Please don't hurt them. Don't hurt anyone, Piyelan implored of his other half.

In the wolf's head the fog boiled and darkened. Hungry, so hungry. Kill the ones who tried to hurt me. Eat. Heal.

What was left of Piyelan when the wolf took over hugged his knees and rocked back and forth. Don't let it hurt them... he prayed, wishing for the thousandth time that wolf paws could hold prayer beads.

The wolf continued to rasp at his wound with his tongue. His mind boiled with hatred and terror. Only Pi could understand that the blade was not silver, that he could not die of this wound.

Suddenly, the wolf's tongue froze in mid-lick. His ears swivelled, sensing whispers in the tall grass. They hunt me. They wish to see me dead. I'll kill them. I'll hurt them before they can hurt me again. The wolf tried to lurch to its feet, but the belly-wound made him collapse with a sharp whine. The adrenaline that had allowed him to flee, to find this hiding place, was fast draining from his muscles.

Vulnerable. Hide! Pi said.

For the first time he could remember, the wolf and the man came to agreement. Both were terrified now of the monks who knew his true shape. Both realized that the wolf's body could not fight with its belly cut open. Both felt they had control as the wolf's forelegs dragged its body further into the hollow under the treeroots, into the abandoned den dug into the earth. Whben the wolf's head bonked into the furthes wall of the den, he curled himself into a tight knot, nose to bushy tail, and trained his ears to the burrow's entrance.

If they follow... the wolf worried.

Pi said nothing. If they followed, he didn't know what he'd do.

--Aiwe
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Postby gladrieltook » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:07 am

Avasa felt herself go very weak as the quivering mass struggled up, fearing it would come towards them. She tottered backwards, her hand tight on Lucy's shoulder. But the beast struggled away from them, toward a dark place that must be a small cave, carved by the winter rains flowing down from the moutains.

Beside her, Lucy began to creep forward, but Avasa pulled her back. "No. He's cornered. We won by luck, Lucy. We can't beat him if the wolf takes over..."

She looked down at her friend, eyes wide with fear. "Please... Let's just go find Kaveh and Ara..."
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Postby AurabellaBolger » Sat Apr 30, 2005 11:09 am

Lucy shook her head. Ara and Kaveh were far away in her mind now, her fascination with the dark couple supplanted altogether by her wonder at the creature who had held her in its jaws. "Not yet," she said quietly to Avasa. "They don't need us. You can go and find them, if you like; I don't ask you to stay with me."

Avasa shot her an angry look -- like hell I'm leaving you here alone -- and folded her arms. Lucy supposed she deserved that look. It was natural to expect the Big Folk to believe she had no capacity to look after yourself, when, in point of fact, she had none. She lacked altogether the skills to defend herself; her learning and her mind-reach were all she had, and the number of situations in which these could prove useful were limited. She needed Kaveh and Ara, the warriors; she could not safely travel without them. Avasa, too, though no warrior, was far stronger physically than she. So Avasa was absolutely right. She needed to go with her, to find the fighters. Then they could continue their journey to -- wherever-it-was. Lucy felt more than a little certain that her dream of the lost woman calling would connect somehow with this adventure on which she'd embarked. She was anxious to discover the connection, and she would discover it all the sooner if she did as Avasa wished.

Yet she could not move from her place. She could not forget the wolf -- the not-wolf -- the wolf-that-wasn't. She felt herself losing her footing, drowning, almost, in pity for the beast. Pity? The creature tried to kill you! It isn't his fault you're still alive! she chided herself, in the hope that she might come up for a breath of rational air. But she only sank the deeper. Her mind-reach caught the creature's pent-up rage, its struggle within itself, its longing to kill co-existing with a loathing of the act and a desperation to stop itself. Himself. It's a male. A man -- a not-man -- a man-that-isn't. He was sinking, too, in anger and fear. He wanted to flee, now that his secret was discovered; his once-companions would surely be unable to bear the truth of him. He wanted to go off on his own, but if he did so, he would be lost. Not body-dead, but soul-dead.

She followed him, while Avasa screamed at her to keep her distance. "You think everyone is your enemy, don't you?" she said, locking eyes with the creature. "Once you convince yourself of that, you'll lock yourself in a room with stone walls, and never find the key -- like this cave. Nobody should live in a cave, away from the sunlight." She reached out a hand to touch his head; he growled at her and bared his teeth, but he did not turn his head to bite her wrist, and she let her hand rest on the cap of bristly gray fur. "I'm going to try to help you," she told him, "though I don't know how."
The wound was a sensible place to start. She needed cloths. She had none. She considered the blouse on her back. She was wearing an undershirt, so she would still be clothed (though immodestly so) if she took it off and tore it to make a bandage. What she was trying to do mattered far more than modesty or dignity or even respectability, so she pulled the blouse over her head and began to rip it up. The wolf snarled as if it thought she were going to use those cloths to strange him, and she shook her head at him. "I know you can understand me," she said, "or at any rate, part of you can. I'm going to try to bind up your wound for you."

She glanced briefly toward the mouth of the cave. She could not see Avasa, but that didn't mean her friend had gone away. Or perhaps her friend had gone away, only briefly, and would come back with the warriors in tow. Lucy could not stop in her task to find out.
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Postby gladrieltook » Sat Apr 30, 2005 12:09 pm

As she watched the hobbit disappear into the dark of the opening, Avasa felt the familiar feeling of dread take hold of her insides. The bitter taste of bile was rising in her throat, and she swallowed it back. Coward.

She crawled forward, gripping her staff so tightly her joints lost all color. A harsh snarl arose from the cave, and Avasa jumped, falling back on her bottom. Her first thought was to scoot away, to get up and run. Double coward.... She pushed herself to her feet, and crept toward the opening. Another snarl arose and she pushed herself against the hill. Frozen, she stood there for a long time, her ears filled with the pounding of blood through the small veins in her forehead.

Avasa took a several deep breaths, holding them for as long as she could, then letting them out slowly. Once she had cleared her head, she stepped around the side of the cave slowly. Her eyes adjusted slowly, but near the back of the shallow cave, she could just make out two figures.

She meant to say 'Lucy', but her voice was caught in her throat, and no sound emerged. She crawled forward now; the cave was very small; and stopped short. She could scarce believe her own eyes. Lucy was very calmly tearing her shirt into long strips, making bandages. Avasa took in a sharp breath of air as she lowered herself to the cave floor. She watched, dumbfounded at the hobbit's apparent lack of fear.
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Postby SorceressintheGoldenWood » Thu May 05, 2005 9:57 pm

As Lucy's cry carried across the cool evening air Kaveh's first thought was to go to her aid. But his plans were cut short as Ara grabbed him by the arm. He looked sharply at her, "Why do you stop me, do you wish her dead?".

Ara still looked to the open field where the others were. "She will not die. That is no wolf, but a wearwolf...the wounded student...", she said, thinking back to the things she had seen and herd over the past few days. And in that moment the usally clear headed Ara was at a loss of what to do. This wasn't the first time she had seen a wearwolf, far from it in fact. In the desert some of the more powerful, and dangerous, tribal leaders kept these tortured souls as...protection. And as a means to 'take care of' any unfaithfull servants or enemies.

All, save for one, she had come into contact before were not far gone, they were still able to control themselves, to some degree, even when in wolf form. This student she belived might still have some of that control, she prayed he did. She could now see Avasa close to where the cry had come from. Ara wanted to follow after them, to make sure that nothing happened to Lucy...or the others. But her mind was filled with the thoughts of her last encounter with a wearwolf, the only she had met without any control...without any trace of human feelings.

It happened when she and her only surviving brother had been taken to the home of their captor, a cruel tribal leader. In his large stone home where many rooms made for holding captives...and for torture, many with devices so evil it was hard to imagine any soul so dark to dream up such things. But the cruelest room was the most simple of these, an empty room save for a deep seven foot wide pit in the middle, covered by a heavy steal gate. It was there that her brother met his feet, in that dark pit at the teeth of a wearwolf...as their captor held Ara's face to the gate, forcing her to watch.

A shiver ran down her spine as her thoughts returned to the present. Kaveh had retrived both of their horses and stood there holding their reins. He gently touched her shoulder, "We should see if everything is alright...". She nodded in agreement and they both mounted their horses and headed off into the dark. They soon came across a trail in the tall grass, blood showing on the sharp blades in the bright moonlight. There Ara and Kaveh left their horses and continued on foot. By the amount of blood the wearwolf most likely couldn't have gone much farther. Ara then saw the small cave and what looked to be Avasa's back...
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Wed May 18, 2005 10:45 pm

Malcom watched the low back of the werewolf move away from him at a rapid speed. He raged silently on his horse as the beast of burden hesitantly tried to gain ground on the fleeing wolf.

The horse he had taken from the stable was by no means a charger. The monastery in theory did keep a fine stable but there was no chance they were going to invest their fine warhorses to such a venture. As it was, he had to constantly edge the horse on to get it to keep it following the wolf. He wanted to dismount and run, but he knew he was making slightly better time on horseback, and he didn’t fancy facing a werewolf fatigued.

The sound of hooves thundered up behind him. A glance backwards revealed five Gondorian soldiers in light battle apparel.

“We have come to help you,” the leader called as he approached on Malcom’s left, “We saw you in peril and have come to aid you in slaying the foul beast”

“No,” Malcom said a little too loudly, “I will handle this, he was a friend of mine, I will deal with him”

The soldier next to him simply snorted and urged his mount faster. Within seconds Malcom was well behind them. Malcom suddenly realized what kind of danger Pi was about to encounter. These soldiers weren’t going to ask questions of look at things from anybody’s angle then their own. Pi would be found and hacked to pieces as quickly as possible.

Molcom futilely urged his mount on. He could only hope he got there in time. Up ahead Pi had disappeared into the darkness. The good news was that the soldiers seemed to have lost him to and were charging on blindly in the last direction they had seen the werewolf go. Malcom silently prayed to Eru that Pi would turn.

After a few more minutes of riding Malcom slowed his horse and sniffed the air. He had always had a keen sense of smell and easily picked up the werewolf’s scent off to his right. Thank Eru Pi had turned. Malcom could still make out the soldiers barreling on far ahead. Malcom turned his mount and charged off in the direction of the scent.

A short time later Malcom slid from the back of his mount and crept off through the tall grass of the wild plains. He could smell the scent of the werewolf strongly, and the smell of tainted blood. Pi had been wounded it seemed. Malcom prayed he was not to late already. The abbot had trusted him with the success of this mission and the lives of his comrades, he didn’t think he could bare failure, besides he didn’t want Pi to die.

He topped a small rise and was confronted by what had to be the only tree for miles around. Fog willed the hollow in which the tree stood. Huge warped roots at the trees base formed a cave mouth. Somebody already stood at the mouth of the cave. Malcom approached his axe at the ready. The place reeked of the werewolf and he had little doubt it was inside the cave.

Malcom approached on cat feet, moving as quietly as he could. He crept towards the cave entrance trying to see if there was more people inside. In the dim light cast by the moon he could see past the wall of blackness that enveloped the cave entrance.

He decided on a very bold course of action, but then he didn’t have time for anything else. He stalked up behind the person at the entrance to the cave and extended his axe head ahead of him until it touched the person between the shoulder blades.

“Do not move or make any sound,” Malcom instructed in a horse whisper, “Who are you, and where is the wolf?”
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Postby gladrieltook » Thu May 19, 2005 6:00 pm

At the small but uncomfortable pressure on her back, Avasa froze. A voice spoke from behind.

"Do not move or make any sound. Who are you, and where is the wolf?” The voice was muffled, but unmistakenly male. Despite herself, she began to shake.

"I'm... a librarian. A monk from the Abbey." The pressure was relieved, but the man did not move. "The wolf is further in. My companion, a Hobbit, is tending to his wounds." She paused, then continued, her tone almost indignant. "He attacked us, you know. Leapt out at us and carried Lucy off. So I ran after them, and we fought him, and wounded him in the belly. I used my silver charm you see... And... Then he ran away. And Lucy made me follow too. And now she's back there with it... Him..."

This time she decided to take the risk, and turned around. In the dim she could not make out his features. "And who are you?"
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Thu May 26, 2005 3:44 pm

“My names is Malcom,” Malcom said relief flooding through him, “I too am from the abbey.”

He realized he might have divulged to much information; who was to say that this monk was here on the same errand, she might be here for the exact opposite reason.

“Why are you here?” Paul said asked slowly.

“We are following you, trying to catch up and help you,” Avasa conceded, deciding that truth was likely the best course at this point.

“Does the Abbot know you are here?” Malcom thought it was a stupid question. He had seen Avasa before; the girl was not exactly timid, in his opinion, but he doubted that she would do anything so big without the Abbot’s expressed order.

Before Avasa could say anything the sound of thundering hooves beat its way into their conversation. Malcom turned as six Gondorian riders crested the rise above the hollow.

“Where is the beast?!” Jacques yelled down at the junior monks, “Where have you hidden him?”

“Hidden him?” Malcom asked, trying his best to sound confused, “We have hidden nothing”

“Do not try to deceive me, monk,” Jaques snarled, “I know the Lycan travels with you, and that you plan treachery against the King of Gondor, and I am ere to see that you fail and take the Lycan into my charge”

“I have been charge by the Abbot to keep the Lycan safe,” Malcom said firmly, discarding the subterfuge.

Jaques didn’t answer he simply motioned the soldiers forward, taking up the rear himself. Malcom’s keen ears picked up the last words he spoke, “Kill them”

Malcom’s blood rushed with fear, adrenalin, and something else he did not know. Six armed Gondorian soldiers charged down the slope towards him and Avasa. He didn’t know where the other’s were, or if they were still alive. Maybe the others were already dead. The horrible thought that he had failed the Abbot kept running through his mind. He was a failure yet again! Rage boiled up in him. Fear subsided, crushed by anger at these men.

“Get ready,” He growled to Avasa. He didn’t know what he expected her to do, “Keep them out of the cave!”
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Postby gladrieltook » Fri May 27, 2005 5:36 am

"Eru..." Avasa's eyes grew very wide, and the blood drained from her knuckles as she gripped her staff with all her might.

The men were all tall and broad, and most importantly, armed with swords. Malcom seemed unafraid, and swung his axe mightily. The first to arrive, unable to overcome their own momentum, crashed headlong into his anger. The sound of metal on metal echoed through the cave.

From the rear of the cave, Lucy called out. "Avasa! What's going on?!"

"We're being attacked!" Panic made her voice shrill. "Stay back there, Lucy. Keep the werewolf safe!"

She turned back to the matter at hand. Malcom was holding his own, but he was outnumbered and could not possibly hold off all the soldiers at once. One of the men spotted her, and charged. Avasa screamed, and brought her staff down across his helm with a sickening thunk. He dropped like a rock. She starred down, not believing what she had just done. But Malcom's shout brought her back into reality.

"Grab the sword!"

Avasa had no idea how to use a sword, but she did as she was told. It was heavy, and unweildy. "Oh Eru... Give me strength..." Another gaurd was charging at her. She heaved the sword up, and swung it as best she could, but it missed the gaurd entirely, and stuck deep into the clay-like earth. She stared at it, then ran back to retrieve her staff. The gaurd was almost on top of her, and she swung the staff heavily and blindly into his stomach. Something inside her liked the sound, and it was taking over. She swung the end up, into his chin, then the other end into his groin. He fell, unconcious, and she returned to her senses. Daintily, she stepped over his inert form, and ran to help Malcom, who was fighting the last gaurd. Unfortunatly, this was the strongest, and he and Malcom were locked in a titanic struggle.

Frightened, Avasa ran back to the cave, giving the first gaurd a resounding crack on the head as his attempted to struggle to his feet.
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Postby AurabellaBolger » Sat May 28, 2005 6:40 pm

For a moment Lucy felt as though an invisible cord had been wrapped around her throat, and she was choking, smothering slowly. She could not hear her friend cry out that she was under attack without feeling she ought to rush to her aid at once; though she was no fighter, if she withheld aid at this time, her life would be cursed ever after. Even if all she could give her friend was her fallen corpse, that was surely better than nothing. Yet she could not leave the cave. Her fallen corpse was no good to Avasa or to the creature she was attending. She owed Avasa something, yet she owed the werewolf something too. Whatever she did, she felt, she would be letting someone down.

Avasa had shouted at her not to leave the cave, and she let that be her guide. She crouched beside the injured werewolf, stroking the hair at the top of his head. He grew taut and began to growl, and she glimpsed a fierce light in his half-closed eyes. This time she knew the rage was not aimed at her. Very likely he sensed the struggle just outside the mouth of the cave and was responding to it; even with his mind trapped between his two states, he surely knew the struggle centered upon him. Lucy did not have to send her mind-reach very far to discover that. She let it tell her that one of the men outside was a friend of the werewolf's, and had taken it upon himself to protect the creature (whose name, she gathered, was Pi); the other men wanted to capture and kill him. Avasa, almost as little a warrior as she herself was, nonetheless was giving a good account of herself. She and the werewolf's friend were managing the battle all right. That was a relief; they didn't need her. Nonetheless, she felt herself draw up as taut as the wolf, and her hand moved to the hilt of her dagger.

"Only let them come in here," she muttered as she drew her mind-reach back. "Only let them try. They won't get you, I promise." She remembered, with a sardonic smile, that only a little while before, she had wondered whether she would ever be able to use the knife. She had struck at the wolf only to defend herself, in a moment of fierce panic, but there had been no shred of malice or anger in the blow. But when she thought of those men outside, who had set upon Avasa and were intent on capturing this wounded creature, she knew that she would strike at them without hesitation if they should try to pass her. She would strike hard, to hurt. Perhaps even to kill.

Something horrible is happening to me, she thought, with a shudder. These bitter thoughts and feelings were quite unlike herself. They resembled what the werewolf must think and feel, as his dual nature made him suffer, and rough, cold men persecuted him for it. Earlier she had touched him very briefly with her mind-reach and had drawn it back in horror -- but could that have been enough for his thoughts and feelings to, as it were, infect her own? She knew so little about this power she'd been granted. She knew only that she had to be very careful, very sparing with it. Could that brief sense of the werewolf's feelings have left some sort of mark upon her mind? Would it be easier for her, now, to think of killing?

"Avasa, hurry," she whispered, closing her eyes. "Please hurry."
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Postby SorceressintheGoldenWood » Sun May 29, 2005 4:41 pm

Standing in the shadows Ara and Kaveh watched as Malcom as battled with the last of the Gordorian soldiers. With his arm resting on her shoulder Kaveh quietly wispered to her, "Do you think we should help?". Ara tilted her head slightly, considering the question. "Why don't you stay here and make sure that Malcom is the victor...I'm going for a walk", Ara replied. And with that she slipped around to the side of the cave, just in time to see Avasa knock unconscious the guard she had fought earlier.

"You're catching on to this quickly...", Ara said stepping out of the shadows. As she walked over to Avasa's side Ara pulled out of the ground the sword she had tried to use earlier. After looking over the sword she wiped the dirt from the blade and held the sword rather nonchalant at her side. She looked over to the pale yet steadying Avasa. When they had first left the abby Ara had thought that herself and Kaveh would be the only ones among their small groug to possess any fighting skills. But after watching Avasa dispatch a Gordorian soldier with only her staff Ara had to admit she was impressed.

As the battle between Malcom and the remaining soldier seemed to turn in Malcom's favor, Ara called Kaveh over to her side. Keeping his eyes on the fight he came over to them, "Yes?". Ara handed the sword over to him, "You, stay here and keep an eye on things...I going into the cave", she said quietly. As she turned to leave Kaveh grabbed her arm, "Be carefull...", he asked.

Slowly she entered the small yet dark cave. Leaning down as to not hit her head she unsheathed two of her curved daggers. She soon herd the sounds of breathing coming from the back of the cave. "Lucy...", she called into the dark...
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:32 am

The first few soldiers had gone down rather easily to Malcom’s well-trained sweeping arms. His Axe knocked aside sword, spear, and buckler with not discrimination. This last man however was proving to be a bit more of a challenge.

Jaques for his part was finding himself hard pressed to turn the quick heavy blows of his opponent, but he hadn’t become the head of the king’s secret police for nothing. He could see the battle was lost. The others of the monk’s party were simply standing around watching the battle. He knew that even if he got the upper hand, chances were he would find a dagger in his back.

Right now he focused on working this big brute in front of him towards the depressions edge. It took a while but finally he could feel the incline behind him. His plan was to escape over the edge and find on of the horses that had been startled out of the depression into the fields around them, then he would make his way back to the king and report.

Malcom was oblivious to the fact that he was being led. He simply concentrated on wearing this man down so he could get in a clean swipe. He was thrown off guard when the man suddenly lunged at him with surprising ferocity. He gave a couple feet and steadied himself for a new attack. Instead the man turned and scrambled back of the rise. A dagger whistled past Malcoms ear headed for the feeling man’s back.

Jaques anticipated the dagger. He ran up the hill at a skewed angle, making it difficult for anybody to guess where to lead him, all the same a dive sideways just to be careful saved his life. The dagger thudded into the bank next to his shoulder just before he threw himself over the rim. Then he was running into the dark field. He was practically invisible in his dark clothing at night, and now he ran quietly, using all his prows at stealth to get away safely.

Malcom didn’t bother following the man. He stood for a moment trying to catch his breath. He wasn’t too concerned that the man got away. They had most of his band here, either dead or incapacitated, and they would most likely be far from here before he could return. At least he hoped so. For now there was no point in stumbling around in the darkness after him.

Malcom Allowed himself a small smile of satisfaction. He had handled himself quite well he thought. In the midst of his self-congratulations Malcom suddenly realized that half the reason for this journey was lying in the cave behind him in who knew what state of mind or health. He turned and walked back towards the cave trying to see around the two people standing at the entrance.

“What’s going on?” He asked, “how is he?”
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Postby gladrieltook » Tue Jun 14, 2005 4:56 pm

Avasa, leaning heavily on her staff, stared at Malcom. He seemed to glow with the heat of battle, and she found herself striken dumb.

“What’s going on?” He asked, eyebrows knit with concern as he attempted to push past herself and Kaveh. “How is he?”

"I... I don't know. Lucy is still with him, and our other companion, Ara, has gone in to check on them." She caught his shoulder as he knelt to enter the cave. "It's too cramped in there for any more to enter. If the werewo- Pi, that is, were to suddenly attack, you would all be helpless." Seeing the sudden flare of indignation in the big man's eyes, she held up her hand in peace. "I am sorry. I only fear for the safety of my friends. I know Pi is your companion, but he is also taken by a menevolent and dangerous force. We cannot be too careful."

Pulling herself up, and rubbing the stitch in her side, Avasa moved past him to a low rock by the mouth of the cave, where she promptly sat. She lay her staff across her lap primly, and looked up at the two men. "Kaveh, I was wondering when you two would return. Where have you been, since we surely could have used your BLOODY HELP!" She found herself raising her voice, something she had never done before. Even the word shocked her. Her hands flew to her mouth. "Oh my..."
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Tue Jun 14, 2005 5:52 pm

Malcom wilted under Avasa’s gentle words. As always, a gentle answer seemed to inevitably turn away wrath. He felt stupid for acting like he had some right to be somewhere. He was acting foolishly; he stopped trying to move into the cave and backed out.

He followed Avasa to her resting place, waited for her to finish raising her voice, and then approached, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to get angry”

Avasa eyes sparkled with mirth as she chuckled inspite of herself, “neither did, but see what happened?”

“Yes, I see,” Malcom managed a laugh of his own, “are you alright? You were not hurt, were you?”

(ooc: Malcom will also want to know who you are here with as well most likely, so if you want to include that question in your reply that would be great, I have to get back to work right now ^_^ )
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Postby gladrieltook » Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:35 pm

"No, no... I'm fine." Avasa picked at the hem of her cotehardie as she spoke, eyes fixed on her bare toes. "You?" She glanced up, and he shook his head.

Even sitting, he towered over her. She looked up, then back down at her feet. Above them, Kaveh cleared his throat.

"Oh... This is Kaveh. He was helping us... Sort of." She frowned and gave the easterling a reproachful glance.

"So you and the Hobbit are not traveling alone. That is a relief." Malcom replied.

"Oh no, of course not. That would be terribly foolish. There's Kaveh of course... and Ara, another monk from the abbey. She's in the cave, with Lucy. We rode out on horses... Speaking of which, where are our horses, Kaveh?"
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Postby SorceressintheGoldenWood » Mon Jun 20, 2005 3:47 pm

As the battle had finished Kaveh stood there, still holding the sword Ara had handed him loosely at his side. Sighing he looked up to the night sky absentmindedly. All he could think of was Ara. He always worried about her whenever she put herself into danger so nonchalantly like his. But knowing of her history with werewolves he worried more than usual. It took him a moment to realize that Avasa was speaking to him, “...was wondering when you two would return. Where have you been, since we surely could have used your BLOODY HELP!” she said rasing her voice.

He looked over to her slowly registering what she had said. He opened his mouth to speak but couldn’t think of anything to say. It had been a couple minutes since Ara had gone into the cave and he felt more and more tence every second that past. Nervously he pulled at the worn leather that covered the grip of the sword. As he noticed what he was doing he stopped, he never let people see him like this. Sticking the sword into the ground in front of him he leaned against it, eavesdropping on the conversation between Avasa and the newcomer. Returning to the self that most people knew, he cleared his throat.

Avasa used his interruption to introduce him, “Oh, this is Kaveh. He’s helping us...sort of”, she said with an unsure glance. Kaveh only smirked in reply. After speaking with the newcomer once again she turned to him, “...speaking of which, where are our horses, Kaveh?”.

Standing up he ran his hand through his jet black hair, ‘Well...ours are in the trees over there’, he said looking to his left, ‘...your horse is several yards behind them in a small clearing’. Stretching he ran hands over his tired face. Slight stubble covered his usually clean shaven face. It had been awhile since he had gotten a good night’s rest. Though on the outside to others he seemed to never care for anything beside himself, except for Ara on the rare occasion, he really did care. When he wasn’t awake at night watching over everyone, he was often kept awake by his thoughts. Thoughts of being far away from here, somewhere he and Ara could be together, where they would never again have to worry about assassins...

Locking his fingers together he rested them on the back of his neck. He now took the time to fully look over this newcomer. From what he had already seen he could tell his man was a skilled fighter. He seemed to be about the same height as Kaveh, if not perhaps just an inch shorter. The man was more muscular and well built than himself, as Kaveh tended to leaner in build like many of his race. When the man looked at him Kaveh half bowed as his usual introduction, ‘As Avasa has already so politely introduced myself, might I ask your name?’, he said with a slight grin.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:42 pm

Malcom hesitated for a moment, all sorts of missgivings plagued his mind for a moment before he shrugged them off. This man traveled with his fellow monks, a name was surely not too much to ask in trust.

"Malcom," he said simply, "I too am one of the brothers in training." He paused for a moment looking the other man over. The man held himself loosely, but an air about him said it was not from lack of strength. "I heared you are following us?"

"I've heard the same," Kaveh replied, "Frankly I'm not sure about that"

"So how did you come to join with our company then?" Malcom asked, it wasn't making sense.

"Well, my comrade is in the cave. I think she knows something," Kaveh said. Malcom looked at Avasa and she nodded breifly.

"Well I guess I better talk to them," Malcom mused, "And then..." His eyes suddenly got big. "I left the other back at our camp with some other soldiers! Dear Eru, I need to get back before its too late!"

Malcom spun and dashed up the bank. He saw a dark shape not far away. Not like a man, but big like that of a horse. He dashed towards it, thoughts of his fellow travelers dashing about in his head. He hoped they were alright, but if the man he had last faught got back to them before he did and caught the others by surprise... He didn't want to think about that, for now he just needed to get back as fast as possible.
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Postby gladrieltook » Tue Aug 09, 2005 3:34 pm

Avasa stared with some confusion after the dimming figure of Malcom. She blinked, and looked to Kaveh. He merely shrugged.

"I hope the others are alright..." She bit her lip nervously. "I suppose I should collect my horse... And you should check on Ara and Lucy. They've been in there a terribly long time." Kaveh nodded, and she stood, making her way across the plain to the clearing Kaveh had indicated, free to dwell on her own thoughts

Her heart had fluttered when the big man had laughed, and she found herself wanting to speak more with this charming monk. Silently, she grasped for her Eye of Eru, and began counting her rosaries. Dear Eru, what am I thinking... These feelings seem so wrong...

And then there was this matter of the Lycan. Obviously the Abbey had meant to protect both him and the other monks, but where were they sending him? And why? And why was the Scribe traveling with them. What in Middle Earth was going on?
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Postby AurabellaBolger » Wed Aug 17, 2005 8:28 am

"Lucy..."

Hearing her name, Lucy glanced up to find Ara gazing at her, and she leaped to her feet and threw her arms about the woman's waist; everything she'd thought and felt over the last several hours came rushing upon her at once, and she burst into tears she could not control.

She tried to rein in the flood, but every thought made her convulse. A tiny quarter of her mind whispered that such was only natural and she ought to have patience with herself. What had happened, after all? She had believed herself moments away from death; only Avasa's timely intervention had saved her. Then the bitter sorrows of the creature who'd nearly killed her had seared into her; she'd followed him as if caught by a spell, then tended him, feeling the pain of his wounds (of both kinds) more sharply than ever. Why shouldn't she cry? And why shouldn't the sight of Ara -- whose invitation had brought her to this place -- touch off the spring inside her?

All the same, she felt ashamed. She'd spent many years perfecting the art of concealing her emotions. Now here she was, a shaking, sobbing open wound, and before Ara, of all people! Ara was not like Avasa; she was cloaked in mystery, and she had her own reasons for wanting Lucy along on this journey -- reasons that might or might not be so very beneficial for Lucy. What must Ara think of her now? She didn't want to know and would not try to find out. But she could guess: if this creature has no more control over herself than this, she'll be a burdensome companion indeed.

She wiped at her damp cheeks, drew in a breath, and gathered herself together. "I'm sorry," she told Ara. "I can say nothing more, I'm afraid."

Ara told her of the combat outside the cave, and she shuddered. "Just as well I'm in here, then," she remarked. "Out there I'd be under goot. Here I can at least be useful." She returned to her patient and stroked his head. "All that strife over this poor gray head," she murmured. "They should let him have a bit of peace."

"Peace?" Ara frowned. "Didn't he try to kill you?"

"True enough, and I ought to hate him for that, but -- well, a wolf can't help being a wolf, can it? It lives by its instinct, its nature. It doesn't have the luxury of choices that we have. Only this fellow's problem is worse. A part of him does have a choice, and that part of him can't control the other part, but still knows what it does. That's why I'm sorry for him. He didn't hurt me out of hatred. He was hungry, that's all."

Ara looked at her with an expression she could not read, then patted her head. "You can't help him," she said, in a flat, empty tone.

"I know that," Lucy returned, in a voice likewise hollow.
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Postby gladrieltook » Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:41 am

Avasa crossed the plain slowly, blades of grass crunching underfoot, while the breeze made others tickle at her ankles. Ahead, beyond the trees, she could discern the dark shape of her horse. She jogged forward, but slowly as she drew near, so as not to spook the skittish animal.

She clicked her tongue softly, and the horse's huge head swung toward her. "It's just me..." The animal whinnied, and shied back. Avasa inched forward, and reached out for the reins. She caught them, and pulling the horse's head downward, gently stroked her forelock. "It's ok. It's just me."

The horse, now calmer, stood still while Avasa mounted. Avasa clicked her tongue again, and gingerly tapped the horse's flank with her staff. The horse lurched forward, and Avasa steered her to the cave, where Kaveh stood, having retrieved the other two horses.

"We need to get Lucy and Ara out of the cave so we can bring out the Lycan. We need to examine him in the light."

For indeed, the vangaurd of dawn was inching over the horizon, turning the eastern sky the softest of blues.
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