When Shadows Fall

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

When Shadows Fall

Postby Wicked_Wytch » Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:00 am

(OOC: Please check out our the OOC thread to join. )

A group of three travelers made their way slowly down the road. It was a bit past midday and the trio was quickly approaching a small Inn. Rest was much needed for the group, as they had been journeying for a few days.

In front of the group, riding on a dark horse, was a tall elven woman with tanned skin and short dark hair. Her name was Riencuran, and despite her fair appearance, there was fierceness inside her that when unleashed, often led to danger... if not death.

Behind her was a short, thin human woman. She was known by many different names in different parts of the world, but most friends knew her as Shade and it was a title she kept. The mortal of the group, Shade was pale with long dark hair and rode a sandy colored mare.

As the Inn came into view, all three dismounted their horses.

Luin, the third member of the trio, took their horses to the stable, informing Rien she was to make sure Shade was comfortable and alright. The ex-assassin grumbled as she and the mortal walked up to the door, and was still muttering to herself when they sat down at a table in a corner.

"Really," Shade said softly to Reincuran as she took a seat, "your brother drives me mad. I know that he worries for me, but, really, I am allright." The mortal woman ran a hand through her raven black hair, it was a gesture of frustration. "I wish he'd let me be."

"It's your own fault." She said, still muttering. "Not even the Valar could make that love-struck boy leave you. He's become another shadow for you, always following, always looking at you with those eyes." She shuddered and scowled. "It's sickening."

Shade smiled in spite of herself. "I do not mind the way he looks at me, Lady. It is the manner in which he treats me." The mortal, despite her apparent dislike for Elven kind, had grown used to Rien and had developed feelings for the Elf-lord Luin. She wouldn't admit her growing love for the immortal, but, nonetheless the feelings were there. Shade looked down and shook her head. "I know that I am sick, but there's no sign of this disease yet. I do not need to carried about or treated like a child."

"Compared to us, you are a child." Rien said darkly, a mischevious smile on her face.

Shade gave her elven companion an annoyed look. "You always must be bothersome and arrogant."

"You must always be annoying and insolent," the Elf-woman responded in one quick breath. At that moment, the innkeeper came over to see what they would like to eat.

"Just an ale," Shade responded to the Innkeep (and ignored Rien's comment). "I'm not very hungry."

"Two ales." Rien muttered, leaning back. Just then Luin entered, and took a seat. He ordered himself the same. Before throwing his two ladies looks. He could tell, with an almost preternatural sense, that the two had been fighting their own special kind of fight.

Shade gave Luin the warm welcome of a friendly smile and then turned to Riencuran. For some reason, the fire went out of Shade's body and she suddenly felt assaulted by a wave of nostalgia, "Do you realize that we first met in this very place?"

"I don't care to remember that, Shade." She said, arching an eyebrow. "I've listed it as the worst thing that ever happened to me."

Shade laughed, seeing right through the Elf woman's feeble attempt at indifference, "Indeed."

Luin shook his head and asked his sister, "Would you really have preferred to still be killing and stealing?" It was because of the human's appearance in their lives that Rien had left (at least for the moment) her life of crime in the past.

Rien looked up at the ceiling. "It's a living at least."

Shade laughed inwardly at the exchange between the siblings. Despite the tough way she and Rien treated each other, they were close friends. And, the mortal noticed, there was an extremely tender way in which Luin reacted to his sister. For the first time in a long time, Shade felt as though she could be part of a real family. Only... Shade thought darkly... it might not be so if they could not find a cure for her illness. "So where is it that we head to next, my Lord?" Shade asked softly.

"We'll wait to see if any choose to join us, then travel to Rivendell," Luin responded lightly. Rien began muttering again, only in Black Speech.

Shade's mouth twitched. "Rivendell?" The thought of having to be forced around Elves made Shade uncomfortable.

"You can go to Rivendell, Luin, I'm not setting foot there. Even if that tyrant of an elf is gone, I'll never enter that..." Rien said a word in Black Speech, so it obviously wasn't a kind word.

Luin sighed. "Why has Eru let me know the two most aggravating beings in Middle Earth?"

Shade smiled with her eyes and placed her hand upon the elf-lord's, completely ignoring Riencuran's reaction to the mention of Rivendell. "Because only one like you would open your heart to us."

Luin smiled at Shade, and Rien made gagging noises. "Excuse me, I need to go kill someone to remove this air of romance." With that, she rose to retrieve their drinks.

"Your sister," Shade sighed, letting the words hang in the air. "Bothersome elf."

Luin, taking the moment alone to grow serious, looked at Shade, "Are you well? How do you feel, Shade?"

Shade smiled an easygoing smile. She hoped that it covered up the worry that threatened to shine through her eyes. "Do not worry for me, Luin. I am quite fine."

"I will feel better, Lady Shade, once we've a cure for you."

Me too, Shade thought, but did not dare to speak it. I fear I may have gotten myself into more trouble than even i can handle, this time.
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Thu Jan 06, 2005 3:03 pm

Araphor sipped his hot tea, and stared out one of the windows of the Lucky Fortune Inn. He was glad that the Inn was still in operation, and it was a welcome place to rest from his journeys. He had spent the last night in the Inn, and was planning on staying for another before he continued his Ranger patrol around Eriador.

It was just passed midday, and Araphor had just finished eating when two female travelers entered the Inn. One was an elf, and the other was a young human. Araphor could easily overhear their conversation, and their obvious argument. Soon they were joined by a tall, strong looking male elf.

Soon he could hear words such as Rivendell, Shade, Luin, sister, and cure, but the thing that caught Araphor’s attention the most, was the female elf cursing in Black Speech. Not many people used that language anymore, and Araphor was troubled that he heard it here in the Lucky Fortune.

He sat for a long time trying to decide whether or not to approach the three companions, but finally his curiosity got the better of him. He waited though for a while as the three finished off their ales, he motioned for one of the barmaids to come over to him. He paid for three more ales to be delivered to their table, and he waited until the barmaid placed them on their table.

“We didn’t order more ales.” The female elf quickly said objecting.

“No you didn’t, but he did.” She said motioning to the table where Araphor was sitting. He smiled and got up and walked over to their table.

“Forgive me, but I couldn’t help but overhear that you wanted to go to Rivendell. I am actually traveling that way myself. Perhaps you would like some company on your journey.” Araphor hated to lie, but he had to find out more information on these three.
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Postby Riencuran » Thu Jan 06, 2005 4:22 pm

“I will feel better, Lady Shade, once we've a cure for you.”

“I will feel better, Lord Luin, once you stop acting like a love-struck puppy.” Rien growled. “It’s nauseating, revolting, offensive, and repulsive.”

“I love you too, little moon.” Luin said teasingly. His sister scowled. She did not want to be here, she did not want to go to Imladris, and she did not want to watch her brother gazing lovingly at Shade, of all people. She had lost him before because he fell in love, and now it had happened again.

“Why did Melkor curse me with you two?”

He winced at the name. “Why must you invoke that fallen Vala?”

“Why must you insist upon me being someone I’m not? I was a dark elf for most of my life, I naturally have the habits of one. I will never be like the prissy, stuck-up light elves that I grew up with. I’d rather have my hands severed from my arms.” She replied, her temper rising. The innkeeper then brought their drinks.

“You weren’t always a dark elf, Rien, you were born an elf of Imla-”

“Don’t.” She interrupted quietly. “Don’t you dare finish that word.” When they cast me out I was no longer one of them. Not that I was one of them before my exile. That fool Elrond may have traveled across the Sea, where he made sure I could never go, but the wrongs he and his house did to me still remain. I was never one of them. She thought bitterly, drinking her ale.

“You obstinate elf.”

“Luin, how long do you think we’ll stay here?” Shade said, endeavoring to change the subject. She knew how touchy a topic this was for Rien, and did not want to see the fight that would ensue, should the elves continue their bickering.

The elf lord sighed, but smiled at the mortal he loved so dearly. “Two days at most. I don’t want you traveling if you’re tired.” His eyes went to a cut on her face. She had gotten it when she had fought with the wizard, and it hadn’t healed at all. She also wasn’t eating. “I’m worried about you Shade, no matter what you say. I cannot bear to see you hurt.”

Shade was about to speak when a maid delivered more ales.

“We didn’t order more ales.” Rien said, her tone weary.

“No you didn’t, but he did.” The maid said, motioning to the table where Araphor was sitting. He smiled and got up and walked over to their table.

“Forgive me, but I couldn’t help but overhear that you wanted to go to Rivendell. I am actually traveling that way myself. Perhaps you would like some company on your journey.” He said.

“Please, sit.” Luin said. “My name is Luinithil, this is my sister Riencuran, and our friend Shade.” Rien nodded to the man, as did Shade, though the elf was uncomfortable after her fight with Luin, and needed to be out in the open.

“Excuse me, please.” She said, standing. “I…need to check on the horses.” Rien hurriedly left the Inn.

Rien’s thoughts were a whirlwind inside her head. When she first met that human, she hated her. Then the mortal wormed her way into the assassin’s heart, and started corrupting it, till Rien grudgingly admitted the human was all right. Everything was fine ‘till Luin was tricked by her conniving ways into falling in love with her, a mortal! All Luin thought about now was Shade, Shade, Shade. And Shade had to go steal from a dark wizard and get cursed. And the most annoying thing of all, Rien hadn’t a clue how to fix it.

“Years of serving the dark, memorizing poisons and creating them, learning the dark arts, and I can’t save the life of a bloody human!” She muttered, coming to the stall where her stallion Shadow Blade was. He whickered a greeting to her as she approached.

“Aggravating, exasperating mortal.” Rien began running her hands through Shadow Blade’s black mane. “Just like the rest. Never able to stay out of trouble. Couldn’t keep her hands in her pockets, had to go on a theft spree. Too idiotic to know the magical qualities of the object she was taking. Mortals. All of them fools.” She closed her gray eyes, sinking to the freshly swept floor. “If she dies…” Rien sighed, her head in her hands.

“Everything was a lot easier when I followed my own advice and avoided emotions. When I didn’t care if people lived or died. Lightsiders….” She shook her head, and kept stroking Shadow Blade, her anger and anxiety melting away.

“And now it looks like someone will be traveling with us. I prefer to travel alone, but if it will keep that pesky mortal from dying, and from breaking Luin’s heart, I’ll put up with him. He’ll find out who I am and try killing me, like people always do.” She said quietly, a touch of sorrow and bitterness in her voice. “Like always…” Her hand went to her left cheek, where a thin scar could be seen, from her temple to her jaw. She sighed. She had to stop worrying. There was nothing dreadfully wrong...yet.
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Postby Wicked_Wytch » Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:30 pm

“Please, sit.” Luin said. “My name is Luinithil, this is my sister Riencuran, and our friend Shade.”

Shade's thoughts were somewhat dark as the man approached their table and greeted them. It was typical of Luin to be both friendly and proper, and most of the time, Shade did not mind. But this man... there was something off about him.

The mortal woman's thoughts were interrupted when Rien lifted herself up out of her chair and abruptly walked out. Shade made a mental note to speak to Luin later and gently remind him to go easy on his sister. She hadn't had an easy life and to force her to remember her childhood days was not the best way of dealing with her.

Shade knew from experience that memories could hurt in a way in which no physical wound could compare.

As she had been thinking, Shade had tuned out Luin's and the new man's conversation. But Luin's soft voice brought her out of her stupor.

"Araphor, you say your name is?" Luin asked politely.

Shade gave the stranger an inspecting look. She didn't trust him. It was typical of the woman to be mistrustful of strangers, especially of men dressed oddly, who tried to butt into their conversations.

Before she knew it was out of her mouth, Shade interrupted her Elven companion and rudely shot a question at the man, "Just who are you, Lord Araphor? And what else did you overhear of our conversation?"
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Postby *LadyofRohan* » Thu Jan 06, 2005 7:50 pm

The door to the Inn opened and allowed unwanted cold and rain to enter. A few people behind the counter turned to look at the stanger. Hooded, two new comers headed to a table and sat down. They pulled out a map and began to run their fingers over the paper. The one stranger took off the cloak to reveal long, black hair and her face; Eastern as it was. She listened to the sounds around her. Rivendell. She rolled up the map and grabbed her cloak. She headed over to a table of two humans and an elf. They were talking about something but it mattered not. All that mattered was that one word Rivendell.

"Excuse me." She spoke with a dark voice. The smoke floated in the air, it reminded her of...where she came from. "I don't know if this is a bad time and I'm terribly sorry if I'm interrupting something." The three looked at her. "I heard you mention Rivendell. I need to get there but I have a problem, I do not know the way." She inhaled. "I don't even know why I need to get there. All I know is that I have to."

"Who are you?" the Elf said.

"Will you allow me to accompany you to Rivendell?" She didn't wish to give her name.

"Tell us your name."

"My name is Skai-Sha." She looked to the floor, waiting for an answer. She held the map and began to play with the edges.
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Postby Lord_Tarquin » Thu Jan 06, 2005 9:37 pm

While untacking his stallion Shadowbane in the next stall, Cody Tarquin heard an all too familiar female elf grumbling her frustrations, thinking to surprise her, he tiptoed behind her, and tried to grab her hands and kiss her in welcome.

Rien whirled around as she heard someone approach her. "Who's there?" she demanded, her hand going automatically to her sword, which was half drawn. Cody backpedaled just in time.

"Rien, it's Cody." he gave her a half-grin, a hopeful grin. "Remember me? Cody Tarquin." Even Cody, who had been Riencuran's personal slave for over 18 months was unprepared for the slew of curses that erupted from her mouth in the Black speech. He reddened, for though he had learned the language and uttered similar cureses during his time as a slave, he still felt uncomfortable when she swore in the Black Speech.

"I told you to stay home, Cody!" She said quietly after she was done swearing. "You had better be a hallucination." She added with what was almost a warning growl. "If you aren't, you had better fly home as if all of Mordor was after you."

"I had a feeling you would need my help," he added lamely, face falling, "and, also, I swore to be beside you...I love you, Riencuran, it would hurt me if anything happened to you." Trying to change the subject, he added, "Have you been crying? You look so stressed, you must have been. Let me take your stress away, just like the old days..."

She sighed. "Don't you think there might have been a reason, perhaps, that I asked you to stay home? I love you with all my heart, Cody, but..." Rien was interrupted by Cody's offer. "I have not been crying...but I am stressed." She admitted.

Cody reached for her, and began massaging her back, kneading her muscles. "Tell me, you said you love me, but what?" he asked tenderly, pointing out, "You didn't finish your thought."

"I don't know what I was going to say." She said truthfully. "Yell at you more, most likely."

"You don't have to," he pointed out gently. "The day you told me not to follow you, I intended to propose. I would have done so, but you put a magic wall between us and made such a spell that I forgot everything I ever knew and only desired to return to my home."

"One of my better spells," Rien sighed wistfully, "I can't beleive it failed on a mortal..."

Cody looked at her, "But I'm here now, and I want to help you, I want to be beside you, as your friend, as your husband." He lowered himself on one knee. "Riencuran Elenath..." he began

She stared as he kneeled. He wasn't...he was. Melkor....

"I have never felt such love or devotion---even when unspelled---for any other woman in my life; I want to support you, to treasure you, to honor you all the days of my life. Will you marry me?" He felt a sinking feeling in his stomach, but was still hopeful.

"Oh...." The elfess was stunned. "I...you want me to marry you? Me?"

He nodded, encouraged ever so slightly. "Yes, Riencuran. You, only you. I have never loved another as I loved you."

A soft smile broke out on her face, and she nodded. "I'll marry you Cody."

He felt like he could fly, and laughed outright. Let a new dark lord arise, let all middle earth fall under darkness, he was in love, and his beloved had accepted him.

He took her hand lovingly, rubbing it gently in his own large hands, and released it only to continue the massage.

"I love you Cody." The words were strange on her tongue, words that were rarely uttered. She liked how they sounded.

"And I love you, more than you'll ever know." He kissed her gently, tenderly on the lips. "Whom are you meeting with, anyone? Or are you traveling alone?"

She remembered her fight with her brother. "I'm here with my brother actually..."

"Brother?" Cody had a sudden vision of a dark male assassin, an assassin who was none too eager to see a lightsider wed his sister. "Lightside or darkside?" he asked somewhat nervously.

"Lightside." She grinned. "Never strayed from the path of goodness. Don't worry, he won't kill you. Maybe me, but not a lightsider. He might not even notice you. He's rather busy being in love."

"Who's his intended, does he have a weakness for dark elfesses as well?" he cracked a smile.

"No, mortal thieves. Her name is Shade. It's because of her I came back here."

"What's happened to Shade?" he asked as he continued the massage.

"Tried to steal from a dark wizard. They fought, he cursed her. She's poisoned now, and we can't find a cure. And the thing is, I should, but I can't. With everything I know, I can't find a cure." She scowled, her previous frustration with herself returning.

He continued to massage her. "What if you hired yourself out to that wizard? learned of his curses? He should know the cure." he said, then thought for a minute, adding, "or, I could hire myself out to him, be his mortal assistant."

"I don't know." She ran the idea through her mind. "I'll ask Luin what he thinks."

He nodded, "Shall we rejoin them?" he asked, still massaging her.

Rien sighed. "I suppose we must. They're speaking with a visitor now, a fellow who approached us. I had a fight with Luin and came out here."

He nodded, wanting to comfort her. "This time I'll be with you," he assured her. "Should you become too stressed to handle your company, you can always have me leave the room and return in transformed form and chase "that filthy animal" out." he teased.

She raised an eyebrow, running her fingers through his hair, "Careful, my Tarquin ex-slave, or I might take you up on that." she grinned, "Or have you forgotten already the extent of my powers?"

He laughed, "No running your fingers through my hair," he chided lightly. "Come, introduce me to your brother and his intended." He put his arm around her as they exited the stall.
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Postby Wicked_Wytch » Thu Jan 06, 2005 11:27 pm

Shade, upon awaiting for Araphor's response came to a conclusion... the way he moved, the way he dressed, and just the look in his eye had been remotely familiar to the woman. And... after watching him for a few moments she remembered... this man was a ranger, no doubt about it.

Shade had encountered a ranger or two during a period when she'd roamed about Middle Earth with no real purpose... back, in the days when she was not more than a child. They hadn't been the worst people Shade had ever come across, but they'd been a solitary bunch... and because of that the woman had let them be.

It made her extremely curious about the stranger that sat across from her. Rangers weren't quick to delve into the problems of others... because of this, Shade wouldn't be trusting him so quickly. In an attempt to convey this message to Luin, the woman shot her elven companion a look and hoped he understood.

...

It was then that another stranger approached them. This time, a cloaked woman. After a bit of questioning by Luin, she spoke... "My name is Skai-Sha." She looked to the floor, waiting for an answer.

Shade gave her an inspecting look... once again there was something familiar about this woman. But it was not her look... this time it was her speech.

"You have an accent, Lady," Shade said, brow furrowed. "I have heard it before."

Skai-Sha looked down and said nothing. There was an almost gloomy look to her eye.

"Wait..." Shade looked at Luin for a moment, thoughtfully. "Lord Tallain ((OOC a character that Ri, Luin, and Shade once traveled with. He was a good friend. He too was an Easterling. )) spoke in the same manner... are you an Easterling?"

The group recieved a nod in response to the question. And, for some reason... probably because Shade remembered her old Easterling friend with warmth, she was not put off.

"You are welcome to join us, Lady... if you tell us your story. And do not try to hide what it is that you are drawn to." She then nodded toward the ranger, and spoke in his direction (with the slightest hint of suspicion), "You too... if you would dare to be honest to the fact of who you are... and just what you want of us Ranger." She let the words sink in and hoped for positive responses from the two.

Inspite of all the new people and the sickness that hung over her head, Shade felt surprisingly light and showed this by smiling at the dark haired Elf-lord who sat beside her. "Lord Luin wanted more adventurers to accompany us, anyway."
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:51 am

"You too... if you would dare to be honest to the fact of who you are... and just what you want of us Ranger."

The young human female said regarding Araphor with suspicion. He saw no reason to hide anything from her, but he really wanted to know why the female elf was speaking in Black Speech. Things were really becoming stranger now, as this Easterling woman had joined their table. What was an Easterling doing this far north in Eriador? Araphor would have to keep an eye on her, but maybe she would reveal her story if he did.

“Yes my lady. I am indeed a Ranger, Dunedain if you will.” Araphor began, as he finished off his hot tea and ordered another one. “I have traveled these lands for the past twenty five years, and it is part of my responsibility to the King to patrol the area around here, and in and around Rivendell.”

The young woman’s face softened a little as Araphor continued. “I was passing through here, indeed on my way to Rivendell, when I stopped here yesterday. I hadn’t had a hot meal in several weeks, and this inn is one the nicest places around to get one. I couldn’t help but overhear some of your conversation, seeing as how I was sitting so close to you. Your name is Shade, I presume?”

Shade nodded in agreement and Araphor continued. “From overhearing you and your friends I understand that you are ill. There is great lore in Rivendell still, even though Master Elrond has sailed into the West. It is a wise choice to seek help there. I must be honest though, your elf friend who just left was using a language that isn’t used very frequently here, especially by the elves who remain. That is what really caught my attention.”

“She is my sister, Reincuran, and my name is Luin.” The male elf replied. “She knows many languages, but when she is angry and agitated she sometimes uses the Black tongue to relieve her stress, so to speak.”

“Your accent tells me that you are from Imladris, but your sister’s is far different.” Araphor said as the barmaid brought him another hot tea.

“Her accent faded long ago, as she learned more and more languages.” Luin replied, but Araphor could tell that he wasn’t telling him everything. Araphor turned his attention back to Shade though.

“Lady, I indeed am traveling back to Rivendell, as part of my patrol. I did not mean to eavesdrop or deceive you in any way, but I am required to keep my eyes and ears open to any strange things that are going on here in the north. If you will allow me, I would like to accompany you to Rivendell. I know many of the elves that still live there, and I do believe that you might be able to find some help for your illness. Might I ask what afflicts you?”
Last edited by Elladan_Elfhelm on Mon Jan 10, 2005 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Fri Jan 07, 2005 10:14 am

Night was falling now beneath the subtle backdrop of gently falling rain. In the twilight, the world took on a spectral appearance, as if the mist would roll back or encompass whomever should tread within its grasp.

Berodreth moved cautiously through the underbrush in this chilled evening, his cloak barely keeping out the cold and rain; he had lost his companions nearly three days prior, and no trace of them could he find.

He had been sent out on perhaps the farthest patrol from the city, his first and probable last as a Ranger, and knew nothing of the terrain. To the east were high mountain peaks, nearly lost in the dwindling light, and to the west nothing but dark sky and angry clouds. A distant rumble of thunder caused Berodreth to quicken his pace.

An owl hooted and swooped low over his head, dumping an excessive amoutn of water on his head as it leapt off its perch in the branches above him, giving Berodreth a start and sending him stumbling. IT was just his luck that he should be met with a suddena nd steep embankment; he feel head-over-heels down the slope, crashing onto his rigt shoulder and twisting his neck in a painful, unnatural position, as he landed on something totally alien to his previous surroundings.

He had found a road, little used by the look of it, but it was something, nonetheless. He stood, cracking his neck and rubbing his shoulder as he made haste into the darkness.

A light struck his eyes, but so small and distant was it that at first he thought it must be a ghost or some trick of the rain and moon, yet so desperate was he that he pushed on with what little hope he could muster.

Sure enough, the light did not fade or waver, nor did it move away from him at his approach, but grew until there wer several of its kind, and each in its own window of a very nice Inn. Upon closer inspection, he found that its door was not locked, nor were its staff in bed just yet, and that the fire in the common room was still burning brightly. However, he was keenly aware of his lack of possessions or steed, as there seemed to be a fair number of others present, all engrossed in some meaningful conversation at a large table just opposite him as he swayed on his feet.

A stranger group he had never seen; Elves, at least two by his count, another Ranger, an Easterling, and humans perhaps of his own city as well! Even stranger was the word that kept passing between them; Rivendell. He knew it was a city in Imladris, but where that city lay or how far the treck might be he was not certain.

But he did hope this Ranger might be able to aid him. Even if they were not of the same house or city, was it not in the nature of their position to be of aid to one another, especially when it was their own brothers who were in need? This one may even know his comrades, or be one of them; he had not been as well acquainted with his party befoe setting out, and it had been so soon after their meeting that they were lost that he could not recall all but a few of their names.

And yet all this did was confuse him to such a great extent that he could not drive himself even to approach their table, but sank into a dark stupor of thought in a corner by the door, pondering and pondering what he should do from there.

He could not tell if his luck was improving.
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Postby *LadyofRohan* » Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:21 pm

“Lady, I indeed am traveling back to Rivendell, as part of my patrol. I did not mean to eavesdrop or deceive you in any way, but I am required to keep my eyes and ears open to any strange things that are going on here in the north. If you will allow me, I would like to accompany you to Rivendell. I know many of the elves that still live there, and I do believe that you might be able to find some help for your illness. Might I ask what afflicts you?”

Skai-Sha took this time to intervene. "Wait, I wish to know as well. First, let me tell you why I'm here." She looked up at Araphor. "I'm sure some of you wonder why I'm here." He looked away from her.

The hustle and bustle was starting to die down, Skai-Sha didn't want everyone in the inn to overhear her life tale but if it would get her some companions she'd tell. "Yes, I am an Easterling. Yes, I am far from home...you would have left to." She pulled up a chair and rolled out her map. She pulled out a small knife and stuck it through the paper and into the table over her homeland. "I used to live with my family in Eriador, very close to the palace, my parents were friends to the King." She looked at her audience and inhaled deeply, this would take a while to explain. "My parents gave me, their youngest daughter, as a gift to the King. He put me to work everyday: scrubbing, cooking, dusting. I hated my life as a servant in the palace. I had to leave. So, one night, I grabbed one of the maps and some food. I ran, ran as far away as possible. I don't know how I got this far."

Shade took in everything Skai-Sha had said thus far. "Tell us then, why you need to go to Rivendell?"

"I'm looking for something, I don't know what. I was hoping I'd find it there or on the way but I am lost! I don't know where I am, where I've been. I'm beginning to doubt my decisions though, wonder if I was right to come out this far. No one welcomes an Easterling with open arms...usually." With that, she sat back in her chair.
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Postby Wicked_Wytch » Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:18 pm

After listening fully to the Ranger's tale, Shade felt a pit of unease grow in her stomach. It wasn't that this ranger seemed to be a bad man, on the contrary... despite his somewhat grizzled appearance, he seemed friendly... well meaning. Still... he was hiding something... or so Shade thought.

But what was most troublesome to the woman was that he worked underneath King . This fact could lead to nothing but trouble. It was suddenly for Riencuran that Shade worried, for if this man learned about her past, trouble would not be far ahead. It was at that moment of realization that the mortal woman cursed her elven companion. Had she not muttered in the Dark Speech, there would have been no trouble and this man would not have bothered them.

She knew she would later have to take Rien aside quickly, tell her to stop using that speech around the ranger, and to watch her tongue. It seemed they would have to be careful while traveling.

And then the Easterling spoke... it was a sad tale she shared and Shade pitied her. The woman ended her tale with a quick and quite sad, "No one welcomes an Easterling with open arms...usually."

Shade usually was not one to trust others easily. But since she had made friends and journeyed with others, she had learned that friendship was valuable. Lady Skai-Sha seemed to be telling the truth and that, for the moment, was enough for Shade. The sable haired woman was moved to respond, "I do not know what it is worth to you, Lady. But you are welcome with us." Shade looked at Luin who nodded in approval, a smile in his eyes. "A former companion of mine shared the same hardship as an Easterling and he proved to be a worthy ally and friend." Shade paused and then added, "May you prove the same."

That said, Shade decided it was finally time to share her story. The others seemed to look at her with wide eyes, awaiting the tale.

Shade smiled suddenly, though it did not reach her eyes. She had realized after Araphor's question that she would have to explain her story... which she had not done fully even to her elven friends. She thought quickly, first realizing that she would not be able to tell of her thieving in front of the ranger if he reported to the King...

"Nearly two weeks ago, I came across an old man," Shade said simply, trying to keep the lie out of her eyes. "He looked simple, homely. I did not know until it was too late that this man was in fact a wizard."

She took a deep breath and continued. The mortal was unsure how to tell her tale completely without telling of her stealing and the altercation she had gotten into after it... but continued anyway, "I shall spare you a great many unnecessary details and explain it like this... the man grew angry with me and quickly attacked. His disguise was shed and he, I realized, was a magician." Shade looked down, keeping her eyes away from her companions, especially Luin. "We fought... and he gave me this scratch," Shade let her finger delicately trace over the cut on her face. "It is over two weeks old and has yet to heal. If I'm not careful, it will begin to bleed again."

She paused before going on. "And then he took out a staff from beneath folds of clothing and cursed me in a foul tongue." Shade remembered it clearly, the old man hovering over her like a storm cloud. He'd told her she would die... that it would be painful and slow... that before the end she would beg for mercy. Naked in the dark, her skin would boil and her senses would fail... that is what he said she would be. But Shade quickly shook the thought aside, realizing that she had grown quiet and the others were waiting for her to continue. "And then he told me that he had seen to my slow and painful death." She laughed but it was without humor. "I passed out then and did not wake up for a day or so. I found my Elven friends, thinking they would know something of a cure, but to no avail. And so we're now to Rivendell, in hopes that some... Elves," Shade sighed at the thought of having to meet with and possibly be surrounded by Elves, "will know more than we."

Shade finished abruptly and as soon as the final words left her tongue, she tasted something sour in her mouth. It was the thought of the wizard... and the thought of death that disturbed her. Trying to make light of the situation she smiled but despite this, she was troubled.
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Fri Jan 07, 2005 6:52 pm

The Inn was warm and the common room nearly empty, for the night had turned dark and stormy, and all those who sought rest had found it already in the rooms that Berodreth could only fantasize about; he had not had a proper rest in days.

Yet the odd group was still clustered together, speaking amongst themselves now in hushed tones, as the walls seemed loathe to absorb their sound. He could hear their words more clearly now, and despite his exhaustion, he was compelled to join them.

He did not rise, however, until after the woman with the dark hair had finished her speaking, for her story made him sad and yet reminiscent; had there not been talk of such a man among the Guard? And had Anborn not spoken of this two weeks before his leave? He did not think he would forget such a story so quickly, but everything from that time seemed to be a blur, as though the rain had washed it away.

Rising, he made his way toward the table around which they were clustered, but reaching it he hesitated; What was he to say? Before him stood the Easterling woman, her back turned as she bent over a piece of parchment spread on the table before her; it was a map, he could plainly see, but it meant little to him. How was he to find his way if he did not even know where he was?

"Excuse me," he interjected in a voice hardly above a whisper. None took notice of him. Shaking his head and exhaling deeply to show his frustration with himself, he tried again.

"Excuse me?" he said more forcefully, and this time not only the Easterling turned to face him, but several other pairs of eyes rose as well at his intrusion.

"I was wondering if I could have a word," he said, trying to act nonchalant, but feeling a tad bit too out of place amongst these others to appear as calm and cool as he would have wished to seem.

"State your name and your business, quickly," snapped the Ranger, narrowing his eyes. "We do not have the leisure to waste time."

Hesitating a moment, Berodreth's jaw worked but no sound came out, and he averted his eyes, cursing himself for his cowardice and lack of finesse. Erland would have laughed at him. Of course, thinking of his eldest brother was not helping him much, either...

"I...I am Berodreth," he said, looking back and meeting the Ranger's gaze. He tipped his chin back slightly, not to seem arogant, but only to show that he was not in a position to waste his time, either. "I am a Ranger and emissary of the White City. Your group seems well-versed in this land and its people, judging by its...variety. I hoped you could aid me with a little matter..."

He realized, kicking himself mentally, that he was coming across as an arrogant prat.
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Postby ElvenChild1292 » Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:56 pm

The warm scent of food drew Kierra to the Lucky Fortune Inn. She was tires, and hungry, which was unusual for an elf. Yet she was still growing -- quite young she was. The appearence of a mid-teenager, yet the age of an old woman. The proper rest she was looking for was here. The lights were almost drowned out by the lightnning when it shook the ground. But this did not scare her -- for she loved storms. She loved watching the lightning fork off into 20 different areas. Yet she was gald to be out of the rain. The door seemed to glide open, as she entered the Inn. Something caught her eye, that she did not intend. Elves, an Easterling, a ranger, and humans by the looks of it. She decided to sit close to the small group -- trying hard not to look as if listening to their conversation. The human -- known as Shade, was ill. The ranger was practically a scout for the King. The Easterlind was a servant of another king. The male elf was kind and generous. And he said something of a sister, one outside for some reason.
She got bored just listening -- so she decided to introduce herself. She had heard something of Rivendell. If anyone was unsure of the route to Rivendell, she could surely lead the way. That was her main home. For she lived in many places -- such as Gondor, Lorien, Rohan, and of course Rivendell. She got up quietly, and strode over to the table, with many people around it. Kierra hesitated for a second. She didn't want to interupt, and by the sound of it, they a lot more people than bargained for. She deciced to go for it anyways.
"Um, exuse me?" The group hushed and stared at the young elf. Her cheeks flushed a light pink, seeming to be the 'center of attention'. "I...I don't want to seem rude, but I overheard something of Rivendell. This is kindof short notice, but if you have any trouble getting there, I can help you. You see, that is where I am currently staying. Well I mean I am travelling around right now -- but when I go 'home', that is where I go."
She waited for a response.
Hesitantly she went on. "I'm so sorry. I did not eeven introduce myself. My name is Kierra. I am an elf, of many places, mainly from Rivendell. I may seem weak, but I am very skilled in battle, and can weild a sword qutie nicely. I do have a mount. Haranith, my horde, has riddeen into war by my father, and I love her very much." The look in her eyes said she was telling the truth, but she held one thing back. No responses came for a minute or two. She finally turned and walked away, embarressed by her little -- or big -- entrance, when someone said something to her...
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Postby *LadyofRohan* » Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:12 pm

Skai-Sha listened to Shade's tale and felt...a connection with the woman. She smiled "I shall help you in what ever way possible." Shade smiled back, yet something troubled her; Skai-Sha knew this was not the time to ask.

"I am a Ranger and emissary of the White City. Your group seems well-versed in this land and its people, judging by its...variety. I hoped you could aid me with a little matter..." Skai-Sha turned to find a man, standing close trying to peek over the table. She turned and looked at her new companions and felt compelled to show this man kindness in such a dark world.

"What is it, what do you need?" her eyes glistened from the candles that were lit. Before Berodreth could answer, another elf came.

"Um, excuse me?" another She-Elf entered the picture. She told of her 'home' and of her horse. Skai-Sha looked around, no one was saying anything. Kierra, was her name, turned to leave.

"Kierra, wait!" she peeked behind Berodreth to see the elf turn around. Skai-Sha sat down again and waited for some one to speak up. After all, she had no right to be inviting people into this little group.
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Postby Wicked_Wytch » Sat Jan 08, 2005 1:28 pm

Ever since she'd spoken of her meeting and fight with the wizard, Shade had felt pain. It hadn't been at all severe, at first. But as the group continued to grow and new people showed up (including, to Shade's dismay, an Elf), the mortal felt overwhelmed. It was frightening because normally Shade was strong and would be able to deal easily the new characters.

Taking a deep breath, she stepped forward, "My Lords and Ladies," she said, trying to take on a polite air. "I believe it might be best if we deal with all this in the morning." She paused and fought a wave of pain from the growing headache she was suffering from. "Lady Kierra and Lord Berodreth... we may speak in the morning about whether you shall join us. Though, at the moment, we do not mind others accompanying us."

Shade sighed. "But now it is night and time for sleep. Everyone, please find a room for the time being, speak among each other if you wish, and take care to rest... and we shall meet here again shortly after daybreak."

The sable haired mortal took another step forward... trying to get closer to the steps that led to bedrooms. "Until then, goodnight."
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Postby Wicked_Wytch » Sat Jan 08, 2005 3:06 pm

(Posted for and written with Luin...)

Luin helped Shade up the stairs to her room, and she sat down on the bed, a hand to her her temple. Luin remained by her side, pulling up a small chair and sitting beside her. As he did this, the mortal leaned her weight onto the mattress. "Are you alright?" He asked, concerned. "Was it too much?"

Shade forced an easy going smile onto her face. "I am fine, Luin," the mortal responded, straightening her back and looking up at him. "Do not worry."

"I worry. You don't look well.."

Shade laughed softly and found herself resting her head on a soft feather pillow. "I would take that as an insult if I wasn't so... tired."

"You're beautiful as ever, but you look tired, strained."

"I have been traveling for too long. It has been over two weeks that I've been on the road. Even before I met with Riencuran and you, I was traveling," Shade rationalized softly. Quietly, she stretched. "But there more important matters to speak about at the moment."

"What do you want to discuss?" Luin asked softly, his eyes on Shade's face... noticing the weariness in her eyes.

Shade grinned softly through a pang of pain that shot up her forehead. "Your sister and those lightsiders that wish to accompany us." There was something else on Shade's mind, as well... but, she decided, she would not discuss it right away. "It important that we watch after Riencuran," Shade spoke softly. "Especially around the rangers. She could be in danger if she looses her patience or speaks without thinking."

"What do you suggest I do? Muzzle her? Rien is not dependent upon me, she hardly values my opinion at all. I barely know her anymore..."

"You push your sister too hard, Luin." Shade looked at him, trying to get him to understand. "She cares for you... for your opinion more than you realize. You mustn't force her to be the little girl you once knew because she no longer is that girl. But she is still your sister. We all know you love her. You just must ... not force her to be who you want her to be." Shade continued. "I know from experience how hard it is to have to remember a past that seems long forgotten..." Shade shook her head. "Rien cannot go back to her days as an innocent. She can only go forward... trying her best." Shade smiled softly. "Riencuran is by no means perfect.. but she loves you very much. And she cares for me as well."

"I'm not trying to force her, I'm trying to understand her, but I don't know how." He said, frustrated. "You know her better than I do! I remember when she was a hundred, and she'd come crying to me because the bow I made her broke, and she was so afraid I'd be angry with her. I remember comforting her every day after she tried speaking to our father, and I remember the day when I renounced my family because he hit her. The scar on her cheek...he gave it to her. I only remember that little elf who came to me for protection. I want to know who she has become. Rien is my sister, I know, but I don't know who my sister is."

Shade gently placed her hand on Luin's arm. She felt bad for him. "Then learn who she is, Luin." She paused before going on. "Do not see her as the little girl she once was. See her as the woman she is now. Ask her questions... spend time with her. But do not speak down to her because of her time in Mordor, or for the dark things she has done. The past is beyond our reach and even if we could... there is no way we can change what once was."

He sighed. Rien would not open up to him easily. He could see that. "I will do my best, Shade. To know who she is and to keep her out of trouble with the rangers and the others."

"Thank you. And do not worry so about Rien... you two, I feel, will grow close with time. Be patient. Afterall, you are immortal... if you've anything, you've plenty of time." A sad smile crept onto Shade's face.

Luin was also sad, for his life was a bitter reminder that Shade was not immortal. "I love you Shade, for all eternity," he whispered.

Shade did not respond, instead she exhaled softly and quickly. "I wanted to ask... if the tales were true..." The mortal's voice was a soft whisper. "Can an elf die from grief alone?"

He nodded. "The tales tell true." He said quietly. "It is possible for us to die of sorrow."

Shade smiled then, but it was a humorless gesture, "Then maybe it is best if you forget me. Leave me now, stop loving me. Find someone else. Both you and your sister would be better off without a mortal trailing around anyway." She kept her eyes off the elf, kept her voice even, and kept her tears from falling. It would, she thought, be better if he could find someone else to love... maybe a fair and beautiful Elfess. But this thought was stopped when Luin spoke...

"Elves do not forget." He tried to smile. "That is why we are so good at keeping track of history. I will never forget you, Shade. You are always in my thoughts, and you are a part of my life, forever woven into it's threads. I will never forget, and I will never cease in my love for you." He bent his neck, kept his face down, but never did the immortal's eye leave Shade's face.

For a moment, Shade felt her eyes moisten... she had never been spoken to in such a way. It was at that moment that she realized how much she loved the Elf Lord. Quickly though, trying her best to remain composed, she took Luin's hand. "Then," she said, straining to make her voice pick up and bring some cheer back to the room, "I suppose it might be for the best if we find a cure for this sickness soon.' She paused. "So that we may spend at least a mortal lifetime together..." This time, she smiled and it reached her eyes.

Luin nodded, thinking to himself that one mortal lifetime would not be nearly enough but... would have to do. He smiled, though, because of the look on Shade's face and the way she held his hand. "You should sleep now, Shade."

"Yes..." Shade agreed, closing her eyes, and for once not being difficult for the immortal. Already, her headache seemed to be losing it's fury as the edges of sleep overcame her. The mortal opened her blue eyes and looked up at Luin sleepily. "Would you stay with me... at least for a bit?"

"Yes," Luin said with a smile. "I will watch over you."

"Thank you," Shade said, turning and pulling her blankets up around herself. For a moment, the two were in silence. Only the rain's soft patter against the window could be heard. And then, eyes closed and only half awake Shade whispered, "My mother used to sing to me. It's one of my memories that comes to me in times like these." Luin listened to her. Their hands still linked, he rubbed his fingers against the back of hers. "When I was sick, she'd sing in a strange tongue. ... Maybe it was Elvish. It was so pretty..." Shade smiled softly and began to hum a tune. And ever so slowly... the mortal woman fell asleep, her immortal love beside her.
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:38 pm

"Lady Kierra and Lord Berodreth... we may speak in the morning about whether you shall join us. Though, at the moment, we do not mind others accompanying us."

"W-wait, I do not remember asking that of you..." Berodreth began, a bit distressed, but they were no longer concerned with him, and therefore were unwilling to divert their attention to him once more. This was not a condition he was unfamiliar with, and so he took his leave of them, finding his way to the door and allowing himself to pass through it.

He had only wanted to speak with that Ranger, not join their party, he told himself as he made his way aimlessly into the night. The woods were dark and wet, but he was comforted by the lonliness he found there; he could think again, though not all the thoughts that came to him were pleasant.

"One day, Berodreth, you will be a strong soldier just like your big brother..."

His brother Erland had spoken those words to him, had teased him as a child; it was bad enough that they were separated by nearly twenty years, but being the youngest, all his errors were magnified ten-fold. Would his father even be concerned that he did not return or send word with one of the outrunners? His mother, perhaps, but she was a woman, and it was her job to look after her children, be they sons or daughters. Perhaps it was that she had favored him over-much as the youngest that his older brothers had seen him as week and feining, neither of which he believed himself to be.

His thoughts turned to his comrades, lost somewhere in the wild night around him, dead or dying perhaps. His elder brother Tarin had been meant to go with him as commander, but instead he had been sent under another named Morlang, who he had been familiar with during his days at the Citadel; he was a low-ranking officer who spent little time in the city and was considered a barbarian by many. Yet he still bore pride in his heart for being Gondorian, and for that his men, including Berodreth, had felt some measure of loyalty to him.

Strangely enough, of the two people he missed most at that moment, they were in fact his brother Tarin and his comander, Morlang. Perhaps it was that he had come to know and understand Morlang that he wished for his advice. As for Tarin, he had been the only brother who ever showed kindness or friendship to Berodreth that did not waver.

And feeling so despondent and alone in the dark, wet night, he sat down at the base of a great oak tree, hung his head, and tried to let the night swallow him up.[/i]
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Postby Riencuran » Sun Jan 09, 2005 11:59 am

Cody Tarquin smiled at Rien encouragingly as they entered the inn.

"Where are your compatriots?" He asked, scanning the room with dark brown eyes.

Rien nodded towards a table in the right hand corner. "There." She saw that a female had joined them as well.

Cody and Riencuran made their way toward the table. He noticed a gray-eyed elf watching him closely, his steady gaze particularly observing the way Cody had his arm around Riencuran. "Would that be your brother?" Cody asked somewhat nervously.

"The one watching you like a hawk? Yes, that's Luin."

"Are you sure he's not intending on killing me, or on telling you to do it?"

"Well, I'm sure if you want, he'll duel you to the death." She offered.

"I'd rather not," Cody assured her as they approached the table. There was no mirth in Luin's eyes, he was the protective brother, and wanted the strange mortal to feel fear lest he try anything with his sister. Cody extended his hand awkwardly. "I'm Lord Tarquin of the mountains of Hithaeglir.”

Luin nodded, and his upbringing had him take Cody's hand and resist attacking him with numerous questions. "Lord Luinithil of Imladris." He introduced Shade and the two newcomers, one named Araphor, and another, an Easterling named Skai-Sha. Rien greeted the last two with a nod, though she looked at the Ranger for a half minute before turning away.

"I understand that you are on a quest," Cody began, uncomfortable as the group's eyes fell upon him. What is the nature of this quest?"

Luin motioned for Cody to sit, though his cool gray eyes never left the mortal's face. "Lady Shade has been poisoned, and neither Rien nor I can discover a remedy." He said, answering both Cody's and Araphor's questions.

"Riencuran mentioned that to me. I understand a wizard poisoned her. Which wizard poisoned her, and where does he reside?"

"We don't really know." Luin admitted. "That is why we head for Imladris, to learn if anyone knows of any wizard that fits the description Shade gives. Rien is angry with me because of that, for she does not wish to go there."

"Am I ever not angry with you?" She asked him.

"Rarely, sister, but I had hoped for a more joyous family reunion." Luin sighed, "Have you ever been to Imladris, Tarquin?"

"Yes, I lived there, it is a most spec--" Riencuran nudged him mentally, a warning. "The splendor fades somewhat, after some time living there. The variety in Mordor's landscape makes it more aesthetically interesting”

Luin raised an eyebrow at his sister, coughing in disapproval.

Rien gave Luin an innocent look, trying not to laugh. This might turn out to be interesting.

"I see." Luin said. "So naturally you left Imladris for Mordor...well, if you plan on traveling with my sister," He emphasized 'sister'. "it hopefully won't be too dull a stay for you."

Cody looked at Riencuran, wondering how much Luin knew about what Riencuran had done in the past eighteen months. "Actually, I was sent home to the mountains. Mother thought that father was well enough so that there was no danger in my being home." he said quietly. "Your sister and I were not...introduced...until after my father...died."

Luin nodded, reminding himself mentally to not judge the human immediately. "I'm sorry." He said, referring to the death of Cody's father, though neither he nor his sister could relate, being outcasts from their family, and especially from their father. Rien wondered if she should inform her brother of her actions in Mordor, but decided against it. She didn't think he'd take the news too well.

At this point Shade stood, looking unsteady and unwell, suggesting that they all retire for the night, and all did so. Luin saw to getting rooms for Rien and Cody personally, and the two found themselves at opposite ends of the Inn, then escorted Shade to her own room. Rien didn’t like to admit it, but she was concerned about the human. She bade Cody good night and went to her room, but spent the night perched on the windowsill, thinking and looking at the clear, starry sky.

~~~~~

"Do you have any other siblings, Lord Luinithil?"

Rien and Cody were in Luin’s room, the door open, the elf-lord trying to keep Shade’s words in mind, when Cody broke the silence with his question.

"I have two other younger sisters. They are no longer in Middle Earth though, for they sailed across the Sea." Rien tensed. Another subject she did not enjoy.

Cody had a feeling that he had better not press the subject. "I suppose they had not your peculiar skills." he said, smiling encouragingly at Riencuran. “Very few elfesses can say they are skilled assassins."

He had a feeling he was still going to pay for this later, but he assumed that with her current mood, he was in trouble anyway--again.

"Very few elfesses can say they got exiled." She muttered under her breath.

Cody coughed. "Yes, you were exiled, as well as I." he thought quietly. The family curse, which was responsible for driving him away...he remembered how he had been all but forced to leave after one episode of rage. At least that adventure was over, but so much had been lost...

"So," Cody looked from one to the other, then turned to Riencuran, "Where did you go after I saw you last?"

"Well, naturally, I decided I wanted to be a dark queen and rule Middle Earth, but settled on traveling, where I met my brother and the bothersome mortal.”

Cody smiled wryly, slightly uncomfortable, did she mean to remind him of how closely he had been consumed by darkness.

"Perhaps," Cody said sarcastically, "you needed a dark lord to be a dark queen." He tried to keep his tone light, but he was nervous. What did Luin know?

Luin, oblivious to any of Rien's latest dark schemes, was lost as to what was going on between Rien and Cody. All he knew about her dark past was that she had been an assassin, a servant of darkness, nothing more. He knew nothing about how she had trained the gift both possessed, or of her actions in Mordor and Khand.

"Dark lords are hard to come by these days,” said Rien. “Want to volunteer?”

He smiled, and shook his head. “There is something I have been meaning to talk to you about, Luin…” Cody said suddenly, after they had been quiet for a few moments.

“Yes?” The Elven lord looked up from his thoughts to gaze steadily at the mortal before him.

"I suppose you noticed that I was escorting your sister inside the inn the other day." Cody began lamely, still nervous.

"In a very friendly manner. Go on." Luin said, after Cody was silent for a while.

Rien was silent as well, waiting for Cody to speak and get on with it. She wasn't sure how Luin would react to this. It wasn’t just going to be about the proposal. Luin wasn’t very different than before her unknowing conversion, and his questions would lead to other subjects she preferred left untouched.

"Well, I've known your sister very well for the past 18 months, and I fell in love with her. I proposed to her yesterday in the stable." Cody braced himself, not sure what to expect.

Luin looked at the young mortal thoughtfully. "I see...where did you meet my sister and under what circumstances?"

Cody felt a sinking feeling. He should have known this was coming. "I met her in the Misty Mountains, she required me to escort her on a trip to Mordor."

A one way trip, but that was a technicality... Cody thought.

"It seemed she needed someone to provide emotional support to offset a very trying position." He continued.

"Rien, you and I have to talk about just what happened in Mordor." Luin said, still looking at Cody. "Provide emotional support? I see...and you stayed for over a year with her in Mordor?"

"I was with her a little over a year in Mordor, then we parted ways in a friendly manner, and I met up with her again when I came home to find that all in my village had vanished. She needed my assistance to rescue them and remove their oppressor from power."

Cody looked at Riencuran, hoping she wasn't seething. She hadn't raked mental claws against his psyche, so he took that as encouragement.

Rien was wondering what she would say to Luin when he demanded an account of what had gone on in Mordor, and paying only half attention to what the two lords were discussing.

"Tell me, Cody, why did you, a mortal who seems perfectly devoted to being of the light, stay with my sister, whom I know was still dark at that point, for a year in Mordor?"

She winced. He was asking too many questions, and she doubted Cody was going to lie outright to her brother.

Cody squirmed inwardly. He was afraid that Luin would say that, and he was rather hoping that Riencuran would speak up. "I was encouraged to stay by your sister's charms." he began. "She has a very pleasing personality."

"Rien? This is my sister we're talking about still, isn't it?"

The elfess was affronted at that.

"I suppose," Cody said, "That one merely has to know how to reach her more pleasing personality, for she is truly a woman I love and cherish."

Cody looked at Riencuran. Should he tell her brother the whole truth? He hated for her to be under her brother's grilling questions.

Better me than you... he whispered in her mind.

He assumed Riencuran would not be pleased, but he'd make it up to her later.
As what, he didn't know, but assumed he'd likely find himself a horse or a whippet very soon.

“Would you mind if I closed the door Luin? This is quite a personal matter.” Luin nodded and Cody shut the door.

He started pacing. "Luin, you are a man of honor who loves his sister, and I think that it is good for you to know the whole truth of my past. I stand before you a man under a terrible curse."

Rien shook her head, looking at the ceiling. It was all going to come out now. There was no stopping it, except by transforming Cody to some creature to keep him quiet, but she was not about to do that.

"It all began about five months before I was born, when the Witch King of Angmar sent his armies to wipe out the nearby villages and enslave their inhabitants.

My father rallied several neighboring villages to oppose him, but could not get word to Imladris to beseech them for their aid. The resistance failed, and my father stood face to face with the Witch King."

"To make a long story short, my father was allowed to live only after swearing an oath of loyalty such that all who followed in his lineage would be cursed, cursed with an overwhelming anger...

My mother tried to shield me from this knowledge, and I think my father tried to resist as well, for he was assassinated--though not by your sister. I killed the assassin and thus fell prey to the curse.

Evidently, the father of the assassin became angry---a man named Dhalir, who wanted to avenge his daughter’s death. So, he ordered Riencuran to find me."

"Riencuran did so, while I was in the wild, and enticed me to come to her. I do not say that I came willingly at first."

Cody looked at Riencuran, trying to ascertain her mood and her brother's reaction.

“She had a plan of her own...to overthrow Dhalir, and to have vengeance against a rash mortal youth who had insulted her years before---me." He smiled slightly at the memory.

"With rather persuasive words, she took an angry man under a curse and remolded him into a darksider slave, one whose will was molded to her own."

He stood between Riencuran and her brother protectively. "Thus, she commanded her new slave to massage her, and thus began the cracking of the darkness around her heart and his. In time, he fell in love with his mistress."

Cody waited, was Rien furious? What did Luin think? He got something to drink, for he was thirsty and waited for their reply.

Luin watched Cody thoughtfully, calmly, while Rien kept her eyes closed, waiting for Cody's retelling to be over. She did not like her brother hearing these things, yet they needed to be said.

Cody paused in his telling, "I know this must be terribly shocking and disturbing to you---but your sister isn't the same elfess she was then. She's changed..."

"I knew she became an assassin, a mercenary. Robbing and killing whomever she pleased." Luin said softly. "I know now why she never said anything further about Mordor. I know she is no longer the little moon that had the misfortune to shine in Imladris.”

"She does not relish those days of darkness; the only joy she receives from them is that I do indeed love her." Cody insisted. "I have long forgiven her for them." Smiling at Rien, he continued, "and I couldn't find a better wife anywhere else."

He became silent, not done with the telling, but feeling awkward. Was Luin angry with Rien? He wanted to protect Rien from her brother's anger.

“Seeing as you obviously know who and what you are marrying, and you appear to be sane at the moment, there is nothing I can find against your proposal." He smiled at them. "May you have the best of happiness and joy...but seeing as you'll have Rien for a wife I doubt it highly...."

Cody only smiled, and looked deep into her eyes. "Pay no attention to your brother, melmenya, you are a treasure." He kissed her gently.

Rien smiled back at Cody. Never in her life had she felt such love as when Cody looked at her. It overwhelmed her, covering her completely. She felt wanted, she felt safe. For the first time in a long time, she knew she wouldn't need to build barriers around herself to feel secure. All she had to do was have Cody smile at her, and the world was right again. "I love you Cody."

"I love you too." he kissed her on the lips, then looked up at her brother. " I don't suppose I'll be allowed to live for that one, will I?" he grinned slightly.

"I'll pardon you this time, mortal, but I'll not be so forgiving next time." Luin grinned in return. "You're allowed to live mainly because my sister is no longer a bloodthirsty servant of Mordor. And because you make her happy." He said this in Cody's thoughts, where Rien could not hear. "I know I don't understand her, but I understand that you have had a great impact upon her life, and changed it immensenly. For that I thank you."

Cody smiled; it was a relief to know that he was accepted. His joy was complete. Riencuran was his beloved, and he would endeavor to make himself worthy of her.

"There was an idea I wanted to run by you...about the wizard." Cody said, switching gears. "I think it just might work."

"Oh?" Luin was interested. "Tell me." He motioned for Cody to sit after his previous pacing back and forth across the room. Cody did so.

"I was thinking that, once we discover who he is, if he could be pressed upon to take on a mortal assistant, the person who is able to win his trust would be the most likely to discover the cure. Someone unconnected with Shade."

"And who would this mortal assistant be? I'm guessing you have yourself in mind?" Luin queried.

"Possibly." Cody confessed. "Unless Rien could pull it off, but I'd prefer to do it. He might connect Rien with Shade.

"The question is," Cody continued, "how to convince him that I'm worth taking as an assistant. I don't suppose Riencuran could do my public relations..." Cody mused. "Do you still have any contacts on the other side, Rien?"

"Love, I know everyone on the other side. It hasn't been that long since I left. Want a certain type of someone?"

"Someone who can get the word to the wizard of a loyal, trustworthy, humble, helpful servant. Someone broken years ago by the famed Dark Crescent, but up for purchase as she has tired of her toy. Know anyone capable of that? Or would you think it more prudent for you to come along and advertise my marvelous slave qualities?"

"Now that you do mention it, being a mortal you obviously need me with you. Mortals need caretakers, you know." Her eyes sparkled with mischief.

Cody raised an eyebrow, "And what makes you think I need a caretaker? Not that I'm against you coming along, mind, once we find out who this wizard is." he said as he grinned at her.

“You are mortal, and that is answer enough. You were my slave for over a year, and showed plenty of times how greatly you needed a caretaker.” She suddenly looked at her brother.

“Luin…don’t tell anyone about this. Please. If I must, I will let them know, but not till it’s needed.”

“Of course.” He smiled, nodding. “Speaking of which, let us rejoin the others.” Luin said. “I would like to check on Shade.”

"A lovesick mortal was enough, now I have a lovesick elf which is twice as nauseating.”

"You happen to be marrying a human, I'd be careful about mocking my object of affection, little moon." Luin smiled, and stood.

Cody raised an eyebrow at Rien. "Are you not a lovesick elf as well?" He grinned, and had to chuckle at her reply. "Nonsense, lovesickness doesn't count when one knows how to elicit the proper response from the mortal of one's choosing. He kissed her again. "Who controls whom?" he teased.

"I only let you control me." She said in reply. “You deceive yourself into thinking you are my ultimate weakness.”

"Of course," he smiled as he pulled away. Rien kissed him and they walked down to the common room to wait for the others.
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Postby *LadyofRohan* » Mon Jan 10, 2005 2:00 pm

Slowly her eyes opened, her room was filled with light. Skai-Sha got out of bed and stretched. Already dressed, she made her bed. She carefully pulled up on the blankets and gently folded them down. She always payed attention to detail, she always had. "Another day." Day...No! she thought as she ran to the window. "The sun," she pulled the curtians closed and put on a boot. "I hope they didn't leave." She pulled on the other one.

She stood and picked up her bag. Her shoes clashed with the floor like lightning, she liked that about her boots. If she wanted to be quiet, she could be; usually she walked loudly, she didn't have to worry anymore. "Maybe they're downstairs...hopefully." She walked to the door and turned the handle. She slowly peeked her head out her door, Luin was walking with Rien and Cody...why?

She quickly stood and hid in her doorway. What am I doing? She started to breathe deeply. Go out there! She fixed her hair and calmly closed the door. She turned to face them and put her hands on her hips. "My, you're up early." she smiled. "Did I miss anything?"

"Not at all." Luin smiled. "We merely had some business to discuss. How was your rest, Lady Skai-Sha?"

"Fine." She looked to the floor, she followed the floor boards to their feet. "How was yours?"

"We slept well." He bowed to her. "I'm afraid I'll have to leave you in the company of my sister and Lord Tarquin, for I must see Shade." Rien and Cody told Luin they hoped Shade would be fine, and Cody smiled at Skai-Sha. "I never properly met you. I am Cody Tarquin." Rien introduced herself as well.

"I'm Skai-Sha." she cutsied though it didn't work well, her pants made things a little difficult. "I believe I saw you last night, though I can't really remember..." She bowed her head. "Where did you say you were from?"

"I am from the Hithaeglir Mountains, more commonly known as the Misty Mountains." He noticed she seemed a little shy, the way she avoided their gazes.

"I've never been this far west, but I have seen the mountians on my map, what are they like?" a small smile from interest came accross her face.

"They're the most beautiful place you'll ever find. It's north of here, and in the early morning, with the sun rising in the west, and the mist curling around the mountain tops...there's nothing quite like it."

"I hope to see them soon." Skai-Sha smiled. "Anyone hungry?"
Last edited by *LadyofRohan* on Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Mon Jan 10, 2005 2:43 pm

"W-wait, I do not remember asking that of you..." Berodreth began, a bit distressed, but they were no longer concerned with him, and therefore were unwilling to divert their attention to him once more. This was not a condition he was unfamiliar with, and so he took his leave of them, finding his way to the door and allowing himself to pass through it.

Araphor watched as each person left the table and headed for their rooms. Although the newly arrived human man Berodreth left the Inn and headed outside. Araphor waited for a while before he slung his cloak about him, and headed outside himself. This man was from Gondor that was obvious, but what he was doing this far north, Araphor would just have to find out.

The night was starless, and the rain had just stopped. It didn’t take long for Araphor to find the man’s footsteps, and they lead away from the inn to the edge of the road. This man said he was a Ranger, but Araphor had trouble accepting this because he was so careless. He found Berodreth slumped up against a large oak tree, and he was obviously asleep.

Araphor had brought a slab of cheese with bread, an apple, and some ale with him. He placed the items down next to Berodreth, and roused the Gondorian up. Araphor’s movements startled Berodreth, and he tried to unsheathe his sword. “Hail, man of Gondor. You need not fear me, for I am an ally to your King Elessar.”

Berodreth quickly calmed down as he recognized Araphor, and then spotted the food that Araphor had brought him. “What brings you so far from the White City my friend?” Araphor questioned as he leaned up against another tree.

“I am lost.” Berodreth replied as he hungrily ate his food. “I am not familiar with these lands, and I was very thankful to find the inn.”

“Are you alone?”

“I am now.”

Araphor raised an eyebrow at this comment, but he decided not to pursue why he was alone. “How long have you been a Ranger, Berodreth?”

“This is my first mission as a Ranger, and it will probably be my last.” He said with a small laugh.

“Ok Berodreth.” Araphor said as he folded his arms across his chest. “You have sparked my curiosity, so would you mind telling me what has befallen you, and what brings you to Eriador. You are far far away from the safety of Gondor.”
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Postby ElvenChild1292 » Mon Jan 10, 2005 6:52 pm

Her night was not the best, but it was sleep. Kierra was just waking up when she heard some people outside speaking. Not loudly but not quietly. Opening her eyes she sat up. She groaned. Her legs was soar, from running through the rain, trying to find somewhere dry, the night before.

"Anyone hungry?" The woman known as Ska-Sha, asked this right outside of her door.

Kierra stood up and put her over shirt on, her over pants, and her boots on. Her hair was long, but it never got messy. So she put her hair in a ponytail, grabbed her bag sitting on the chair, and left the room.

She rushed out of her room, nearly knocking over Skai-Sha.

"Oh, sorry." Ki said as she grabbed the womans hand not letting her fall.

"It's okay." She said trying not to fall over.

Luin was heading over to Shade's room, to help her get up or something like that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I was wandoring if we could speak about my going on the quest you are currently going on." Kierra said as she sat down across from Luin and Shade.

"I know this is probably not want you want, but I can at least show you how to get there. And you probably do not need me, but it would be wise to keep me around, for there are some things a I can do to help evryone, in battle and out." She grinned inside hoping that would catch their attention. She was telling the truth, just twisting it, hopefully to her advantage.

Waiting patienly, she ordered a cup of water and some bread.
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Postby Wicked_Wytch » Mon Jan 10, 2005 8:40 pm

The rain let up slowly and as night gave way to day, Shade dreamt.

She dreamt of a small town, one not more than a stone's throw from Bree. It had been the kind of place that the mortal woman loved best; a town where you could be easily lost in a crowd. It was in those kind of towns that she could easily steal large amounts of money. Stealing had been such a big part of Shade's life for so long that not only did she find no need to stop; she had no longing to stop.

And so, in her dream, she walked the streets of the small city until she came upon an elderly chap whose purse had been so fat, Shade had greedily insisted upon following him back to the inn room that he returned to at the end of the day.

She watched it all unfold in her dream quickly. Thinking that the 'old man' had gone off somewhere, Shade unhid herself and searched through his belongings for something of value. She found that and more...

The first sign that something was wrong to the mortal woman was the hand that grasped tightly around her neck. Before she could turn to see who had grabbed her, she felt herself lifted off the ground and tossed across the room.

The wizard had been dressed in black robes, Shade noted dizzily as she tried to recover and unsheathe a sword for her right hand and a dagger for her left. But the wizard moved with supernatural speed and was on his instantly. He made quick work of her, brutally bruising her body and cursing her in a heavy tongue.

A shudder went up Shade's spine as she felt her body losing the fight. But she would not give in. The woman tried her best to stand before the man and while doing this, she felt something cut across her cheek. There was pain... and darkness. The wizard took his money and belongings back from her and whispered in her ear as she slipped into temporary oblivion.

"Mortal wench! You will die, thief, for such disrespect to one as important as myself." He laughed cruelly. "It will be a long and painful death. Your senses will fail you... your body will rebel. You will be naked in the dark... lusting for quick death before your end. And there will be nothing for you to do to stop it. Everything you hold dear... it will be lost to you..."

In his wickedness, the wizard gave her one final blow, a kick to the stomach. And then... darkness took her.

Shade woke up with a start, a cold sweat pasting dark strands of hair against her forehead. "Luinithil," she muttered, only half awake. The dream was quickly fading, but still, she felt the pain of the wounds the wizard had inflicted upon her.

Luin knocked softly on Shade's door, and came in when she called 'enter'. "How did you sleep?

Shade sat up as the Elf-lord entered her room. "I dreamt of things I'd rather forget," she frowned slightly before brightening up. She did not want him to worry, nor did she feel like sharing just what she had seen in her mind. "But I feel much better this morning than I did last night. My headache is gone. My body refreshed. And my thoughts, not so heavy."

"I'm glad. We should leave today for Imladris." He was quiet a moment. "Rien told me something interesting today..."

"Is she allright?" Shade inquired, noticing the seriousness of Luin's face. His eyes flickered away from hers for a moment and the mortal was almost worried.

"It has to do with the mortal that came in with her yesterday. Tarquin. You'll never guess what."

Shade cocked an eyebrow at him. Suddenly a wicked thought crossed her mind and in spite of herself she laughed, "She didn't kill him while I slept last night, did she?"

Luin grinned. "Nope."

"Hmm," Shade wondered aloud, "What else could she have done, then?"

"She didn't do anything, he did."

"What?" Shade said, utterly confused. "I do not know what a 'weak mortal' could do to your sister."

"You called mortals weak?" Luin put a hand on his heart. "She's insulting her own race, and sounds very much like Rien."

The sable haired woman laughed, "I am just speaking as Riencuran would. She is always the first to put down the race of man." She was still confused. "What is it that you are hiding about your dear sister, Luin?"

"What was Rien saying yesterday, about us?"

Shade smiled, "Something about how sickening it was to see a love struck immortal, if I recall correctly." She paused... a strange thought formulating in her mind. But no... it couldn't be that. "Just what is it, Luin? What did Tarquin do?"

"Thinking on what she said, now guess."

Shade still refused to think the thought that was slowly making it's way into her brain. "It has to do with... love... Tarquin... and your sister." There was a dumbstruck look on Shade's face. "It couldn't be..."

He laughed softly. "It could be, and it is."

Shade clasped a hand to her mouth for a second. "But... if he loves her..." her eyes were wide. "What are you doing here? She's going to kill him! Go find the poor mortal and protect him before her blade finds its way to his throat!"

"No need." He was still grinning.

Shade coughed at this revelation. "She wouldn't allow him to live... not unless..." The mortal shook her head. "Your sister could not have feelings for a mortal! She barely stands me and we're close friends! I don't believe it."

"She loves him quite a lot. He did have his arm around her yesterday, and I believe I was seeing correctly when they kissed each other this morning.."

"Are we speaking of the same Riencuran Elenath?" Shade asked in something beyond disbelief.

"Riencuran is the only Riencuran in Arda, far as I know. But mortals, they have ways of making us immortals fall terribly and wonderfully in love with them." He gazed at her.

Shade smiled softly. "Well... I for one suppose I cannot complain then, can I?" She shook her head, "Still... your sister. In love." Her eyes met his. "Are you sure she's not under a spell... or that she drank a bad potion?"

"She's only under the spell of eternal love, undying love." She's not the only one, either...

Shade laughed, "I do not think I will believe it until I see it, Luin." And then she noticed the way the immortal was looking at her. For a moment she opened her mouth, convinced she would finally confess to him just how she loved him. Never had she spoken such words, not to Luin or anyone else. But something held her back.

"Feel well enough to come downstairs and see the lovebirds?"

Shade smiled brightly, "Indeed... I think I'd be well enough to travel across the whole of Middle Earth to see your sister in love." With that, she rose from the bed. She would have to quickly change. But before that... she felt an odd pang of emotion hit her. It was because of Luin standing there, she knew. and because of the softness in his eyes. It was... endearing.

Quite suddenly... without much warning, she was in his arms. "I think, Luinithil, I made the mistake of forgetting to wish you a goodmorning. I apologize." She looked up at him and let her hand make it's way to his cheek. "Good morning."

Luin looked at Shade, startled, but not displeased. "Good morning..."

She smiled and pulled away, "Now if you'd give me a moment, I'll change and be with you shortly. Little could keep me from seeing your sister in love for long."

Luin nodded, and left the room for a few minutes, the touch of Shade's hand on his cheek lingering there still.
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Postby Wicked_Wytch » Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:24 pm

(Writen with Ri... as usual ^^)

Within a few minutes, Shade was dressed and ready to meet with the others. She felt especially energized with the thought of a lovesick Riencuran in mind. If only I could find out news like this everyday, I wouldn't need to worry about curses or sickness, she thought lightheartedly as she opened her door and met with Luin.

The two went downstairs, and Rien left Cody to greet her brother (and favorite annoying mortal).

Shade smiled brightly upon seeing Riencuran. The mortal tried her best not to laugh aloud. "Goodmorning, Lady Riencuran," the moral said, still grinning.

"Why are you so happy? Aren't you on the verge of death?" She said, suspicious. She looked at Luin then back at Shade.

"Indeed," Shade said with a surprisingly confident nod. "But... well... with the news and the special occasion... my attitude has been greatly brightened."

"News? Special occassion?" It dawned on her that Luin had told the very last person she wanted to know about what he had learned that morning. "Luin...I disown you."

Shade grinned, and realizing she had just gotten Luin in trouble, tried her best to come up with an excuse for him. "Luin?" The mortal asked. "No... it was not Luin who told me of the news. It came to me in a dream." Shade took Riencuran's hand, a look of faux wonder on her face. "I could see you... in the arms of that," she lowered her voice only a bit, "mortal man." The look on Riencuran's face was priceless. "And, looking at that glow on your face this morning (and the new brightness in your eyes), indeed, my dreams have been confirmed."

"Since when did you become a seer, Shade?" She said, tersely. "Before I was not serious about killing you. Now I am."

The mortal grinned. "If you wished me dead, I'd have been buried by now. That threat grows old." She paused, knowing that she was quickly angering the immortal. "So, I must meet this Tarquin fellow. He must be a special creature if he has ensnared your heart."

"You will not be within ten feet of Cody Tarquin. I am quite serious Shade. You have never seen me angry...but you might very soon."

"What?" Shade shook her head. "Nonsense. I consider you as close as kin. He'll be something of a brother to me, no? I have the right to look over this mortal and see if he is good enough for a friend, don't I?"

"I'll make you as dumb as a doorpost, if you aren't already, if you come near him."

"Ha," Shade chuckled, throwing a look at Luin. "I do believe your sister just might be jealous. And of a mortal thief." She shook her head.

"Stay. Away. I mean it, Shade."

"You are jealous." Shade said, furrowing her brow. "There's no need, Rien. I have no desire for your man. And... indeed, if he travels with us, we should eventually bump into one another. Should I not at least become acquainted with him?"

"Shade...I'm not worried about you 'desiring my man'." She scowled. "Luin, I am no longer your sister. I thought I said don't repeat anything?!"

"I thought you meant something else..." He couldn't stop from smiling though.

"Traitor..."

Shade laughed. And for a moment, she dropped her act to annoy the immortal woman. "For whatever it is worth, dear Riencuran. I am happy for you." In one swift gesture, knowing it would catch Ri off guard, Shade gave her friend a hug. "Love is a wonderful thing. And I wish you the best." She pulled away just as quickly and her wicked smile returned.

Rien had become so tense when Shade hugged her. "Since you insist upon acting like this....warn me. If you'd been anyone else, I would have sliced you open."

"Then it is lucky that I am the only mortal..." she paused, "the only other mortal whom you trust."

"I never said I trusted you." Rien muttered, and Cody came over to join them, much to Rien's aggravation.

Shade laughed then, for she was quite sure that Rien's face had gotten a few shades redder. "Ah... and this must be master Tarquin. A pleasure to meet you." The mortal woman saw the murderous look on Rien's face and made sure, after her greeting, to take a step back towards Luin.

Cody bowed. "The pleasure is mine." He smiled at her politely. "Please, call me Cody. Everyone does."

"And I am known best as Shade," the mortal woman spoke, her eyes on her immortal friend. "I am sure Riencuran has spoken of me... in a particularly unflattering light." She smiled.

"She has mentioned you." He smiled slightly. "Mentioned my desire to see you dead." Rien muttered.

"Funny," Shade said with a cocky smile on her face (and in the same tone that Ri had used). "I've desired the same of you many times." The mortal then looked over at the growing group. "It seems we've others waiting on us. Shall we tend to them and continue this exchage later tonight, my Dear Riencuran?"

"I am not your 'dear Riencuran'. And let us not continue it at any time, thank you."

"Ah," Shade said with a smile. "I am rather glad that I have had the chance to journey with you again, Rien. I had almost forgotten what fun it was to travel with so good a friend." She paused then, letting that sink into Riencuran's mind. "So let us all make way and meet these travelers. Though..." she lowered her voice to a whisper that only the elves could hear. "I suggest some of us watch our tongues around the ones who work for the king."

"I'd rather see them dead than you, I have to admit. I don't like Rangers..."

Shade gave Rien a sharp look, "Watch what you say around them. The one named Araphor heard you use the dark speech. But we should talk of this where others will not hear us. Later tonight, if you wish."

"Maybe." She said, and rejoined Cody, her thoughts on the Ranger Araphor.

"And Riencuran," Shade spoke softly, walking upto her Elven friend to make sure no one else could hear. "No killing. Please."

"Only if necessary..."

"Good," Shade said with a smile. "Thank you."

And so the quartet made their way to a table where the new travelers had gathered.
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Wed Jan 12, 2005 5:59 am

“You have sparked my curiosity, so would you mind telling me what has befallen you, and what brings you to Eriador. You are far far away from the safety of Gondor.”

Berodreth stopped, setting the food Araphor had brought him aside, and gazed out into the darkness.

"It was not a very long time ago that I would never have dreamt of such a place," Berodreth sighed. "Not so long ago that I would have forsaken this darkness for the light of the White City. Is it strange that I should speak so? It is only out of fialty. But it seems wasted here in this land..."

"It is not so strange that you should feel distant from your home when you are lost," Araphor said with a slight nod of his head.

"Even when I was home it was as though the darkness had already come," Berodreth put in quickly, sounding petulant and perhaps depressed. "I was a Citadel Guard, the most prestigious rank and station of a freeman in Gondor. My father and his father before him had been men of the Guard, and that I should have attained it before my brothers..." Here he trailed off. Araphor did not say anything this time, but it was clear that the memory of Berodreth's brothers was not a welcome one.

"They were jealous, I suppose," Berodreth finally continued, his voice weaker and more subdued. "I had always been last in all things before that, and yet now I had come into such a post as even Erland and Hadforth could not achieve."

"I have heard of this Erland fellow," Araphor said as Berodreth took another pause. "He is an honorable man by what I have heard."

"Honorable enough to accuse his brother of..." Berodreth spat, his anger cooling quickly as he feared he'd spoken too much of his past. Araphor looked at him questioningly, and Berodreth tried to pull himself together.

"Tell me," Araphor said quietly. "If I can help you in some way, I will."

"Erland," Berodreth said, taking a deep breath, "is a madman. He flies into rages at the drop of a hat, especially when he's intoxicated. Two weeks ago, he happened upon a young wench in one of those dreadful houses in the first level and took it upon himself to become inebriated and violent. In the end, the guard had ot be called out to settle things, but Hadforth sent word to me... Only me, mind you, that Erland was in trouble.
"He was my brother, and so it was my job to aid him, even if I despised him then and moreso now. But when I came to that house..." He paused again, looking at Araphor, who made no move as to stop him or put in anything to encourage him.

"He had raped the girl and set the ouse aflame," Berodreth said in a rush. "I found him in the street, raving and screaming, and I tried to stop him, but..." His right hand raised slowly toward his neck, but the fingers curled in, as though loathe to touch his skin for fear of what lay there. "He fled. And the young woman and her Old Woman came out into the street after, saw me in his place, and accused me of being him.
"Of course I lost my position immediately; it was my word against Erland's, and Hadforth was on his side. I was stripped of rank and title, demoted to the lowest position, and sent out into the wild, as far from the city as could be had without being exhiled."

There was a long pause. Berodreth's ragged breathing disturbed the peace of the damp night. The rain had stopped.

"And your company?" Araphor asked gently.

"They are lost," Berodreth replied.
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Postby *LadyofRohan* » Wed Jan 12, 2005 4:11 pm

"Mind if I join you?" Skai-Sha stood at the head of the table. "I can just go sit somewhere else." The ranger's looked at each other and Araphor pulled out the chair next to him.

"Have a seat." Berodreth took a drink from his cup.

"Thank you." She sat down and set her bag on the ground. Her long hair fell in front of her face, she liked it that way. The three sat in an awkward silence. She glanced around her; everything looked different with more light. She looked out the window, trees. She let out a sigh and looked at the food on the table, her stomach growled.

"Want something?" Araphor looked at the young girl.

"No, I'm fine." She looked at the table in front of her. "Thank you." She quickly turned her head to the right; Luin, Shade, Rien, and Cody approached.
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Postby Wicked_Wytch » Sat Jan 15, 2005 9:31 am

The group of four (Shade, Luin, Ri, Cody) made their way to the table quickly. Shade looked over each person there and either nodded or smiled in their direction.

The dark haired mortal woman was the first of her group to take a seat and as everyone hushed at their approach, and Shade noted with some nervousness, each person looked to her as if she were the leader of the bunch. Shade, though fond of leading, had never had much practice in doing so... it made her uneasy how all eyes seemed focused on her.

She spoke before the silence grew, "Goodmorning, my Lords and Ladies. I have to apologize for last night and the quickness of my retreat to bed. It is because of this sickness of mine that it is necessary I sleep everynight... as much as I can."

"I have met all of you, though I know not all of your tales," Shade continued. "I doubt if you all were aware, but Lord Luin," Shade gave the Elf-lord a soft smile, "requested the aid of some adventurers on our journey. It seems that it's possible we'll need aid in a search for a cure to this curse of mine. So though you might not have come to us with this purpose, it seems we are watched over and the spirits reply to our calls for help."

"I am not sure if you all would accompany us, but we are en route to Rivendell, a journey that will take between a week or two to complete. I would ask now that we could make acquaintences of each other and see where our roads lead. I know all your names," Shade looked at each, "Araphor... Skia Sha... Bero..dreth ... Kierra...but more than this, I am unsure of for a few of you. I think it would do us all well to speak quickly this morning and then be off on our ways. Also, I think it'd be wise of me to clear up any questions or inquiries you have."

Shade finished abruptly (which was her way of doing things) and nodded, a signal for the others to speak.
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:31 pm

Berodreth and Araphor had gone back to the establishment in silence, parting ways at the door; Araphor claimed to have something to attend to. Inside, Berodreth saw two of the earlier group still seated at their table, but the rest were unaccounted for; he assumed they'd gone off to sleep or think as he had, and therefore tried to fiegn disinterest.

"Excuse me," he asked of a young man, still pottering about with a rag and bucket of water, "but would it be possible to arrange for a modest accomidation at so late an hour?"

"Of course," the young man smiled, "but could you wait until I'm finished, sir? This is a bit heavy..."

"What say I help you, then?" Berodreth replied, taking the bucket from the lad's hands and lifting it easily for him. The boy was no more than fourteen, perhaps, and slight in frame for his age even; Berodreth could see a bit of himself in this child.

But memories were not his forte at the moment; he wanted only to sleep and forget, and seeing as how he did not trust himself to the aid of drink to be free of his worries, he helped the boy with his task, then took to his room, which was small but cozy in a manner suitable of for a ranger of his status and past.

He fell into a blackness, a laughable impression of sleep, that he had learned to live with; as long as his mind ceased, he was at rest.

Light through the small window across the room awoke him near day break, and he made quick work of tidying himself up before exiting with his few possessions. Even if the party was not leaving that morning, he intended to be departing in some manner before midday.

He turned swiftly from his door after locking it and securing the key, and bumped into Luin, one of the Elves from the previous evening.

"Leaving, are we?" the elf asked, a note of laughter in his voice. "Come, before you should depart so hastily, and sit with us for a short time. I have heard of your plight, and while I cannot say how we should help you directly, there is always the light of companionship to aid and guide you."

"I should take that as wise council, I suppose," Berodreth replied with a weak smile. "Very well; I shall remain."

"Good!" Luin replied, clapping him on the back. "We are assembling in the common room. No specific time, mind you; everyone seems to have a different variation of when 'morning' begins and ends, so we shall begin discussion when all are present."

With that, Luin and Berodreth parted ways, one heading farther into the depths of the Inn, the other making his way to the common room, where nearly all of the party was already assembled.

There was mild discussion around the table as they enjoyed a brief meal, the last of their gang trickling in, and when Shade came, there was silence, all eyes upon her, for her quest was what seemed to be driving their own for the time being.

"Goodmorning, my Lords and Ladies,", she stated, and their meeting was begun in earnest.[/quote]
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Postby *LadyofRohan* » Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:26 am

Skai-Sha looked around the table and saw no one else motion that they were going to speak. She gathered her thoughts and leaned forward. "I shall accompany you on you're guest. My needs will simply be a side-note." She smiled, quite proud of herself for casting her needs aside to help another.

Shade smiled at Skai-Sha. "Thank you, Lady. I appreciate it." She paused then and gave her an inquiring glance. "But I do not think you need to put your own needs aside. We can help each other along the road."

Skai-Sha sat and thought. I've never traveled in a group before. She wondered if she'd be 'good enough' for these people and their ideas. She glanced around the table and looked at their faces. "Of course, that's what one does in a group." She leaned back again in her chair. She was eager to leave, finish what others had started, help then in any way she could. She looked up again. "How did you say you got this sickness again?"

Shade smiled, trying to ignore the discomfort that came with the thought of her disease. "I was cursed by a wizard, milady. It is some bad magic that has gotten into my system. We must work quickly to find what it is exactly that threatens my life. I hold out hope that in Rivendell I shall find some answers."

Skai-Sha nodded. "That's all I need to know." She smiled and got up from the table. She walked up to the bar and with the money she had, got some bread. She headed back to the table and sat down.

Shade smiled, satisfied at that. She felt an odd sort of kinship towards the Easterling woman. And, the mortal thought to herself, she appreciated the fact that Skai-Sha did not push for more information. Shade hoped that the Easterling would fit well in the group because already she could feel the bonds of friendship starting to grow.

The bread wasn't very good, it tasted like it was left over from the other night. Skai-Sha had no expectations of the bread, she just wanted to eat it. She carefully tore off a small piece and popped it into her mouth. She listened intently for some one to speak up. A couple of times it sounded as if two people were going to start at the same time. She popped another piece in her mouth. "Who's next?"
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:02 pm

Araphor listened as the Easterling woman, Skai-Sha, said that she would accompany the group to Rivendell. He then made eye contact with Shade, and the young woman was looking at him, as if she was boring a hole through him.

“Milady, as I said yesterday. I am currently traveling to Rivendell, and if you would like an extra sword along your journey, mine is available.” Araphor kept his eyes on the young lady, and she took notice of his every word. “The roads in these parts are relatively safe, but there are still bandits, and bands of orcs that roam through the area from time to time.”

Shade and Araphor continued to stare through each other. “Your sword will be very welcomed among us, but I know you are a Ranger, and your kind always seems to be around in the shadows.”

“Milady. I admit that I am always on the lookout for trouble in these parts, but I promise you that I will see you to Rivendell safely. Our paths may goes separate ways from there, but for the time you can trust me to aid you in any way that I can.”

“Trust has to be earned, Ranger.” Shade said as she continued to stare at Araphor.

Araphor was silent for a moment as he held her gaze still. Finally he smiled slightly and spoke. “Then let me earn your trust.”

“Very well.” Shade replied. “We shall see if you can earn my trust, but thank you for helping me.” Their gaze broke then as she turned to the others. “Will anyone else accompany us?”

Araphor had seen a lot as he looked into her eyes. He did see distrust for him in her eyes, but he saw fear as well. He couldn’t stand the sight of seeing people suffer, and numerous times in his life he had tried to ease the suffering for others, and this time was no different. One thought troubled him though, she could trust him, but could he trust her and her companions?
Last edited by Elladan_Elfhelm on Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:45 am

Berodreth stirred in his seat and leaned forward on the table, his elbow brushing against Skai-Sha, who was seated next to him; she pulled away from him and set her hands in her lap, eyeing him for only a moment.

Recollecting himself, Berodreth began.

"I do not know how much aide I may be, but I will travel with you for as long as I may. I would however ask for council fitting to my situation, which I have already explained to Araphor."

Here Araphor inclined his head gently, and though no immediate reaction came from Shade or the Elves, he was sure they had noted this. He felt that some sort of introduction was necessary for this group, and so, clearing his throat, he began to vaguely describe himself and his position.

"I am Berodreth of the white city of Minas Tirith. My rank is that of a ranger, and my company and I were sent out to scout the borders of our land when we were separated in the wild. This land is strange to me, but I have been trained to survive and track in the wild, and yet I have not found any sign of them. They disappeared as best as I can tell."

Here Rien interrupted him.

"How many were your party?" she asked.

"We were fourteen in number," Berodreth replied. "We were meant to bring more, but none could be spaired from the city. Even in these bright days there are strange things afoot."

"But for thirteen men to simply disappear is next to impossible," Cody put in, looking to Rien for support. "Yet you claim there is no sign?"

"None," Berodreth replied, almost coldly, looking from the man to the Elf slowly. "I cannot begin to imagine what has befallen them. But I am a young man, and many things are beyond my reasoning; that is why I shall join you, but ask for council in this matter."
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