Interference

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Interference

Postby Letora » Mon May 23, 2005 5:15 pm

There was always time to get things done in the past. Whether that time was only a few minutes, maybe even seconds, or perhaps it was decades, but there was always time. If things weren’t completed then they were forgotten. Books lay forgotten if the author leaves them alone.

Letora rode under the shadow of the trees. Carna’s white hide shown in the darkness, like a beacon of light leading Letora forward, Letora leaned down and stroked Carna’s side. Letora rode into out of the trees and past the forest. She turned backward to take one last look at her home. She knew she would never return. It had been a long time since the last time she had been to Mirkwood, but the last time she left she knew she would return; this time she wasn’t coming back.

Hours later the sun began to peek over the horizon. Yellow rays of light stretched like fingers across the landscape. Letora swept her cloak into her arms and jumped down from Carna. She stood on the hard cold earth and stared around at the world she knew so well.

Middle Earth had many charms. One was that it was simply her home. The most important was that it held all of her memories. This was why she would never leave. No matter how much her father fought with her she insisted on staying. She had a world around her, and it wasn’t something that would last forever. It would change with the wind and blow in different directions. Men’s opinions were changing it these days.

Letora looked at Carna. “I bet you wonder where we’re going?” she asked the horse. “We’re going to Gondor. I have friends there. I know men and I have a place there.” Letora climbed onto the back of the white horse. She looked around her. When she looked back she could no longer see Mirkwood.

“Goodbye,” she whispered under her breath. Carna whinnied and began to trot down the dirt road. Letora turned her and they rode into the wild, toward Gondor.
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Postby Ardenel » Fri May 27, 2005 5:36 pm

Ardenel was content as he walked at a leisurely pace. The sun was low on the horizon, casting long shadows across the land. Many shades of pinks, purples, and oranges filled the sky creating a masterpiece that Iluvatar himself had to have painted. A few clouds could be seen moving steadily, the strong wind propelling them at will. The Anduin could be seen in the east glistening silver in the setting sun.

Yes, Middle-earth was a beautiful, and now peaceful land.

He was on his way to Gondor to visit with Aragorn, his friend and king. Even though Aragorn was king they still had a friendship that disregarded titles. When they were alone together Aragorn was not King of Gondor, but merely Aragorn, loyal friend and fellow Ranger. They always shared many nights of contentedly smoking their pipeweed, Queen Arwen always grumbling about the smell and haze. It brought a smile to his face when he thought of how Aragorn would always turn to regard his beloved wife, sweep her in his arms, and kiss her thoroughly. She always quieted after that, but still didn’t leave without one short remark.

He kept on walking, singing softly to himself when he noticed a rider in the distance stop and dismount near some brush. Being a Ranger and always the cautious type Ardenel hid behind a rather steep hill, out of view of the rider. He was in no hurry so he waited until cover of darkness to start creeping up and view the person.

He noticed a fire right away when he crested the hill; it’s soft orange glow could be seen miles around. ‘Well, you’re not trying to conceal yourself are you?’ he thought as he crept closer.

In minutes he was close enough to make out the features of an elf; a very beautiful one, he noted. Seeing no immediate threat he relaxed and backed off a little and hid behind a patch of brush not too far away. He decided he would announce himself in the morning, for appearances were greatly distorted during the night.

He settled in, and waited.
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Postby Letora » Mon May 30, 2005 12:21 pm

Letora leaned her head delicately on the tree behind her. Stars shown brightly above her and she smiled at them. Closing her eyes she tried to think of something other than her father. He was going to the Gray Havens soon. Her heart was heavy and weary now. It had been so for a long time, but now she was beginning to feel the turmoil of the road ahead. She sensed something, but she didn't know what yet. She would simply have to keep her eyes and ears open for anything peculiar.

Opening her eyes she sat up abruptly. Something had stirred in the brush in front of her. Carna lay in the grass nearby and Letora put her hand on the horse's head. Letora's eyes adjusted quickly to the darkness and she saw the man in the brush. He looked like he was probably a ranger. Letora felt herself laugh. He wouldn't hurt her and even if he tried she had her knife in her boot. He looked like he was asleep anyways.

Letora leaned back up against the tree. She closed her eyes and went to sleep quickly. She didn't dream because she wished not to.

Hours later the sun peeked over the horizon and fingers of light stretched across the earth. Letora was already awake and as the sun brightened she glanced over at the brush toward the man.
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Postby Arwen902 » Mon May 30, 2005 3:09 pm

Sorry :oops:
Explanation in OOC
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Postby feaguire » Wed Jun 01, 2005 8:06 pm

Shaya Tor rode along the dirt road at a steady trot. She would have been cantering, but her horse, Kayda, needed a break. Kayda had been galloping across the land for several days now.
Shy was passing around Mirkwood now, on the South side. All she had to do now was travel South towards Gondor. She would be there soon and she would make sure her brother did not die. He was one of her only friends.

"Good girl, Kayda." Shy patted the horse on the neck. "We can walk now." The sun was setting and Shaya had to find a place to sleep for the night.

The horse and rider came across a cluster of trees. "This is good." Shy told Kayda. "We can stop here."

Shy halted the horse and dismounted. She wasn't hungry, just tired so as soon as she got down to the ground she tied Kayda up and fell asleep below a tree.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:13 pm

“Half now, and half when the job is completed,” a small heavy pouch hit the table almost spilling its payload of shining metal disks over the rough surface.

“Half?” The money lay untouched where it lay, “The agreement was for three quarters of the money before and the rest after the deed is done.”

“Yes, I know,” leather gloves intertwined nervously, “I spoke with the others and they told me I was to only give you half, they seemed not to trust you”

“I’m an assassin,” a cold voice chuckled, “I am not supposed to be trusted”

“Yes, well. They were afraid that you would leave, like last time, without anything being accomplished,” deathly silence followed the statement for a long time, “They thought a bit more incentive was needed to secure your loyalty”

“My loyalty can not be bought at any price!” The voice cut in sharply, “If you had all followed the careful plan I had outlined for you, instead of taking mater into your own clumsy hands!” He let it hang.

“But you were not moving,” a frightened voice pleaded, “We could see not results. We were going to help”

“You were going to cancel our contract without notifying me,” Long fingers gripped the table rim and drew the lanky torso of a tall man forward into the weak light of the lone candle on the table top, “That alone is more than enough reason to walk away, if not to kill you all for putting me at unnecessary risk! That is what comes of not trusting me! Your own failure. Now you can either pay me the agreed upon amount or you can leave.”

Without hesitation a smaller pouch joined the first on the table, “Very well, there will be no interference this time. You have my complete trust”

“Yours?” Serine leaned back again obscuring himself in shadow, “What of the others?”

The noble leaned forward chuckling heartily, “You know I cannot speak for them. I was instructed to hold out on the extra quarter as long as possible, I trust your abilities, I have given it. I don’t think they will ever trust you.”

“Very well, you may leave,” Serine looked down at the excellent sketch on the table, “She will reach Osgiliath as soon as I can bring her, be ready at all times to take her off my hands when I arrive”

Without another word the noble rose and walked towards the door, gathering up his men and servants as he passed through. Serine sat for a moment longer considering the sketch. Once he was sure he had the face memorized he held the paper up to the flames of the candle and held it until most of the brittle paper had crumbled into ash. He gathered his fee and stowed it then snuffed the candle and walked to the rickety old stairs that led to the upper levels of the derelict inn.

Several minutes later he dropped from the low eves of an abandoned house a couple blocks from the inn. His horse remained silent as he dropped into the saddle and set a course for one of the not so rare wholes in the wall of Osgiliath.

On the other side of the city, the noble passed the gate guard with a nod and started the couple hour ride back to Gondor. He didn’t make a sound as the arrow flew out of the darkness and imbedded itself in his chest, and neither did his guards or servants. They rode on, not seeming the least concerned that the most important member of their party was no longer with them.

Meanwhile several miles away Serine galloped across the expansive plains towards Mirkwood.
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Postby Arenial » Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:47 am

"Is all ready to go?" Anna asked the others as she fastened one last buckle on a saddlebag. Her question was answered by a chorus of "yes's," which caused the shorter Fool to grin up at her friends, Raine and Ran, who were always ready and raring to go when needed without question.

"Well, then, let us be off."

The three court Fools had been given a new assignment, to meet the princess of Mirkwood and escort her back to Minas Tirith. They were not to let any harm come to her. A small suspicion that something might go wrong loomed ominously in the back of Anna's mind, nagging at her now, as it had from the moment of receiving the assignment. Though, she felt that about every assignment now, having developed a slight paranoia ever since that one time, so long ago…

Anna shook off the memory as her hand instinctively went to the hilt of the sword at her hip, concealed by her cloak, the feel of cool metal against her skin calming her nerves somewhat.

~ ~ ~

The journey itself took a bit more that a week, the Fools traveling with only brief stops throughout the day to eat or rest the horses. At night they took turns at watch. The pace was relatively slow, as, though Raine and Anna had horses, Ran did not. Anna walked most of the way as well, using Larien, her chestnut mare, to carry baggage. On the ninth day of their journey, the Fools caught sight of the Elf across a small plain, and sped up slightly to meet up with her before nightfall.

"My lady Letora," Anna said with a small dip of her head, "I am Anna, and these are Raine and Ran," she gestured to the two with her, "We were sent to escort you back to the White City."
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Postby Freya_shier » Thu Jun 23, 2005 9:15 pm

“Lord Eomer,” the scout called as he galloped up. “We are upon them. They are heading towards the trees as fast as they can. If we attack now we may yet cut them off.”

“Ready, old boy?” Einar leaned forward in the saddle to whisper in Bayard’s ears. Bayard snorted in answer and tossed his brown mane.

A slight breeze drifted over the small company of about fifty riders. It was the end of a dull gray afternoon and a hint of rain hung in the air. The riders turned their horses’ heads and followed after the scout. They hadn’t gone far before a smudge of black appeared on the green field. It was moving in a cluster toward a fringe of trees just beyond.

The horn blew. All around Einar shouts rang from the other riders. Swords were drawn as the whole company surged forward in one charge.

“Rohan! Rohan!” the riders cried. The horses thundered onward. The black smudge grew into a small band of Orcs. Their foul voices mingled with the clear ones of the men of Rohan as they turned and rushed to meet them.

Einar raised his sword as he galloped toward the crude band. A stout Orc with a severely twisted face stood in his path. Einar cut him down before the Orc had a chance to defend himself. Another rose and another. But the Orcs were already outmatched by the horsemen. Half the riders had circled round trying to hem in the Orcs to keep them from scattering to the trees. It was only a matter of minutes until the fiends would begin to flee, thought Einar.

The air was thick with the yells and screams from the men and Orcs and the sound of metal against metal and metal against flesh. The stench of sweat and blood filled Einar’s nose; he felt hot beneath his heavy leather jerkin and breastplate. He cast his eyes around at the rest of his companions. Only a few had been seriously wounded and the rest were still fighting valiantly.

All of a sudden, a huge Orc loomed up in front of Bayard wielding a long black sword. Bayard reared up unexpectedly beating the air with his hooves. Einar clung to Bayard’s neck while at the same time swooping out with his own blade and taking a jab at the Orc. It was met by a swift downward blow so heavy that Einar lost his grip and slid back off the saddle. Immediately he tumbled round and onto his feet. The Orc was right on top of him. It was all Einar could do to hold his own with this fighter. His breath became short as he ducked, dodged and parried each strike of the Orc’s sword. Where had this one come from? Einar suddenly realized that this Orc was unlike the others; this one was dark, muscular and tall—taller than most of the riders.

Cries of alarm suddenly rose from the men of Rohan. From the trees about two score Orcs burst forth. They too were huge like the Orc Einar was fighting.

“Back! Back!” Lord Eomer was shouting above the din.

Enough of this! Einar told himself, lunging at his opponent. An ugly tear stained with black blood appeared in the Orc’s side. The Orc roared in pain. At once, Einar followed through with an upward stab at the creature’s heart. But as the Orc dropped to his knees, up flew his hand striking Einar’s head with the flat of his blade. Einar felt himself falling, his head reeling under the blow. All around him the field seemed to be spinning. His companions were retreating back up the field, dragging their fallen with them. Einar was certain he could hear someone shouting his name but the voice echoed and faded away as he blacked out.

When Einar came to, it was dark. His back was resting against something rough and hard. Einar decided it must be a tree. Rain water was dripping on his face from the branches. His clothes were soaked and his head pounded furiously. As his eyes grew accustomed to the dimness he realized he must be in the woods. But how far into the woods he had no idea.

Just then, he heard the sound of voices a little ways off. They were harsh voices-- and angry.

The Orcs! Einar instantly reached for his sword only to find to his horror that his hands were tied and he was weaponless. His heart raced and he tried to steady his breathing. He couldn’t fathom why he had been dragged along with the Orcs rather than slaughtered as was their custom. He wriggled his wrists, testing the cords that bound them. They were so tight they had cut into his flesh and numbed his fingers.
Just then an Orc stepped out of nowhere and bent down, leering at him.

“Struggling are we?” he jeered. “Wondering where we are, are we? Want rescuing, don’t we? Your horsy friends think you’re dead, little rider.” He spat on Einar.

Oh help, was all Einar thought.
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Postby Arwen902 » Tue Jul 05, 2005 5:21 am

“My lady Letora, I am Anna, and these are Raine and Ran. We were sent to escort you back to the White City.”

Raine had nodded to Letora as Anna introduced her and Ran, noting as she unbuckled her saddlebags with slender fingers that what they were had not been mentioned. That, at least was good, she thought to herself. Despite the fact that they had been told they could mention the Court of Fools to Letora if they felt they needed to, Raine felt that they were safer if they held this information for as long as possible.

She had reservations about this assignment, she would not deny that, especially after the last major assignment she had been involved in, but in spite of her suspicion of anyone who hadn’t already gained her trust, Raine felt safer with Ran and Anna than she would with any other members of the Court. This was a trust born of that long ago mission that none of them had forgotten, that none of them could forget.

Leaving Anna to make the introductions, the two quieter Fools started to unpack the food and supplies for that evening. Raine threw her saddlebags over to Ran, who seemed to catch them effortlessly although they contained many of the weapons Raine had brought with her that Anna had convinced her to remove so as to not look threatening when they approached Letora. She rubbed the nose of her dappled grey horse, Deilt, distractedly with her right hand, which was covered with a black fingerless glove, before she moved to sit beside Ran.

Anna was still talking to Letora and Raine gazed out across the plains, not hungry suddenly. She had not left the Court in Gondor for a very long time, several years in fact, and being this far from the place that she now considered to be her home made her very uneasy. Her hand still hurt, she realised as the sharp ache made itself known to her senses once again. She had cut the palm of her left hand on one of her own knives earlier in their journey and despite the care she had taken, holding the reins of her horse everyday since had not done any good. Blood had begun to stain the dirty bandage once again but she knew that the only thing she could do about it was keep the wound clean and hope against infection.

At least now they were headed home. They had reached the point in their journey which would take them to the farthest place from Gondor and Raine was quite happy to finally be heading back. She couldn’t shake the thought however that something was not right, and their journey back to Gondor would not be as easy as they had hoped. She tried to dismiss this thought as her over-active imagination, and talked quietly with Ran until Anna and Letora seemed to have finished their introductions.
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Postby Letora » Tue Jul 05, 2005 5:54 pm

“My lady Letora, I am Anna, and these are Raine and Ran. We were sent to escort you back to the White City.”

Letora looked at the three of them. They stood holding the reigns of their horses and looking back at her. She smiled and bowed her head down to them in honor. She had worked with the Fools before and she respected them in many more ways than one.

"I am honored," Letora said, "to have your company and your protection. I would have liked to continue further tonight, but you all look tired and it's best that we sleep tonight. I'll watch if you don't mind, I am not tired tonight."

Letora glanced over at Ran and Raine. When the tossed saddlebags from one to the other she heard metal clinking inside the bags and knew that it was weapons concealed. She looked at their sides and scanned them to realize they were not wearing weapons and inside of herself Letora laughed.

They sat down on the cold earth and made food. All of them ate and then the three Fools lay their heads on bags or on pieces of clothing or cloth. Letora looked out at the stars and her eyes scanned the horizon. The world was calm. She could taste the air around her and it still had the bitter sweet taste of meat and smoke in the air. Her eyes closed and her ears awoke. They listened intently, but heard no sound. She sat facing the open field before her and looked out at the still cold air the chilled the night sky.
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Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Wed Jul 06, 2005 9:30 pm

Serine rode on through the night oblivious to the murder that had been committed behind him on the opposite side of the city. Had he known about the murder and significant amount of gold that kept the noble’s retainers all galloping back to the city as if nothing was amiss he would have changed course and ridden off into oblivion, never to be heard of by his employers again, unless it was in the last moments of life when they would start awake with a knife sliding across their throat.

Serine, however, was unaware of all this and therefore rode on determinedly towards where he knew he would find his mark. He rode on for three hours or and stopped a couple hours before dawns first lightening of the sky and rested himself and his horse until a few hours after morning had fully dawned. Then he was off again intermediately galloping and trotting across the plains towards Mirkwood.

The terrain began to get hilly with intermediate groves of trees ranging in size on the fifth day out letting him know he was nearing his destination. He was not far behind the message his target had sent the Queen telling her of her imposing arrival and if his calculations were at all accurate he would catch her still in Mirkwood or near its fringes.

It was during the last rest stop he expected to take before encountering his target that he became aware of the riders headed on his same rout. He was resting in a large grove of trees not far off the side of the rough road he had been following from Gondor when he heard the sound of horse headed his direction. He quickly smothered his fire with dirt so it would not smoke and crept to the edge of the grove so he could see the travelers as they passed.

There were three of them and he recognized them all immediately. Each of them inspired a different thought as they called up memories from his head. The one in the lead “Malaya” was the last name Serine had known her by though he still suspected it to be false. The last time they had met, relations between them had degraded from pleasant conversation to some rather serious torture until he had been interrupted by her colleagues.

The woman directly behind her was one of the colleagues who had done the interrupting. Serine thought back and recalled that she hadn’t actually done any fighting per say. The most contact he had had with her was a piece of firewood he had bashed her shoulder with as she had charged through his door.

The last, a man on foot, caused Serine some uncertainty. He knew the man to be one of the fools and at the time of his last contact with them had suspected that this man was a lycan, but his only evidence of such being a light resemblance between the lycan he had fought and the fool he had observed in the palace. It was safer to assume he was the same though. His hand automatically checked for his silver edged dagger and patted it reassuringly.

This would complicate matters… There was little doubt as to their purpose for being here, but he should still be able to pull it off without much trouble. He could either simply kill them and take his target, or kidnap his target at some point and let the others follow him to Osgiliath and leave the nobles to contend with them, or kill them himself at that point. There were too many options and courses of action to make any final decisions right then. He waited for a few more minutes then went back to his own horse and continued in the same direction off road.

It wasn’t long before he entered the edge of Mirkwood. After checking the road again to read the tracks that told him the fools had indeed entered the forest he once again slipped off into the trees and began his stalking.
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