Redemption: The Reckoning

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

Postby SilverScribe » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:07 pm

ooc: BAP Alert . . . :blush:


Amras stopped just as he put one foot on the broad stone path that led to the veranda of the Ivy Gardens. He was of a far too composed nature to let his jaw drop in shock, but his heart gave a painful lurch as he saw what could only be a Great Eagle, spreading its broad wings. The wind of the great bird's passage as it leaped skywards nearly blew him off his feet, and served to bring him back to the present with a jolt.

He watched the Eagle for a few moments, then hurried up the path and onto the veranda, where the Scribe stood with two of the Edain, the troublesome fair-haired scamp and the grim hillman. ;)

"I had no idea that you counted a Great Eagle among your counsellors," he said to the Scribe, sketching a shallow bow. Scribbles snorted and in answer to Amras' raised eyebrows, nodded in the direction of Radesh.

"It is Radesh of Lamedon who keeps counsel with Eagles," she said, her voice warm but without any trace of sarcasm or irony. Amras turned a cool, appraising gaze to the Hillman. "Indeed?" he said softly, and sketched a second bow to Radesh. "Thorondor's kin show you great honour, Master Radesh."

He turned and moved to where Guilhendar stood by the guards. He handed the tall Innkeeper a small rolled parchment. "This is a rough draft of the preparations I think the lady Elmissir's assistance will be of most benefit. Will you be so kind, Master Guilhendar, to pass it on to her with both mine and Elladan's warmest gratitude?" Guilhendar nodded and took the item without comment. Relieved, Amras thanked him and fairly fled the veranda, moving as quickly as his dignity would allow. Once out of view however, he fairly flew back to Elladan's library, almost but not quite bursting through the newly repaired double doors in his haste.

Elladan looked up from the stack of papers he was studying. Noting the bright glint in his secretary's eyes, he stood quickly. "Amras?" he asked. "What is it, what . . ."

"A Great Eagle, my lord!" Amras blurted out, unable to contain himself any longer.

"A what?" Elladan answered.

"A Great Eagle!" Amras repeated, then pointed in the general direction of the Ivy Gardens. "It was there my lord, right there on the front lawn of the Ivy Gardens! I saw it myself, just before it took off! I swear . . . "

Elladan held up a hand. "No need to swear Amras . . . but a Great Eagle you say? What would one of Gwahair's bretheren be doing in Imladris?"

"Apparently, the Hillman Radesh counts this Eagle as one of his counsellors," Amras answered, his voice hushed.

Both Elladan's eyebrows went up in surprise. "The Hillman?" he repeated. "Not the Scribe? You're sure?"

"Aye, the Scribe herself told me and you know she does not lie."

Elladan tapped his upper lip with a forefinger. "How interesting . . . and how unusual." He turned to look out at the fading twilight, his face thoughtful. A Great Eagle! Here! And it had not come to him, but instead had sought out a common Edain, one under house arrest . . . House arrest!! He turned back to Amras.

"Amras, go back to the Ivy Gardens immediately. Tell the guards to report back to the Captain of the Guards and inform the Scribe that her company is granted guest status once more and may move about Imladris freely."

"My lord," Amras said carefully, "do you think that wise? Given the Edain's tendencies to . . . "

"Yes, yes, I know," Elladan cut him off, "and duly noted." At the look on his secretary's face, he softened his tone. "Amras, I know and I can't say I disagree with your sense of caution. But they are guests here, and I fear it may appear churlish if a Great Eagle shows trust to one of them, yet we do not. Perhaps put in a discreet word to the Scribe that her help in keeping these "guests" out of further trouble would be most appreciated."

Amras sighed, then nodded. "Of course, my lord. I'll go at once."

*****

When Amras arrived back at the Ivy Gardens, the veranda was vacant but for the guards. He stopped and relayed Elladan's orders to Laecia, the elder of the two, with instructions that they should go around outside to the back entrance to quietly collect the other two of their company and depart unseen. Laecia nodded and the two guards went softly and silently down the steps to vanish in the gloom of the evening.

Amras entered the Solarium to find the Edain at their evening meal which had just been delivered by several junior stewards. He greeted the Scribe's company quietly and politely, then slipped down the hall to the Scribe's rooms. She was just coming out as he approached, he hailed her softly and delivered Lord Elladan's message and request. Scribbles thanked him and when she turned for the Solarium, he ducked out the now unguarded back entrance.

*****

Scribbles knocked softly on Guilhendar's door and when he answered, she passed on what Amras had told her. The tall innkeeper shook his head and chuckled softly. "Go," he told her. "Go deliver the welcome news and then leave them to their own devices for an evening. If they are so foolish as to cause further mayhem, Great Eagle or not, I will personally see that they get a close up and first hand look at the cells below Imladris." He grinned to take the edge off his words but she knew he was in earnest. "When you are done," he added, "come to the Great Hall and join Elmissir and I for dinner. We'll wait for you." At Scribbles' nod, he closed his door and went out the back entrance that Amras had used only minutes before.

Scribbles sauntered into the Solarium to find all but Htiet present. Elmissir had woken Harah and made him comfortable on one of the soft lounges. She was just finishing up checking his eyes and the dressing on his shoulder as the others were in various stages of helping themselves to the generously laden sideboard, or eating. She waited until Elmissir had gathered her things and slipped from the room.

Then she cleared her throat loudly, and all eyes turned her way. "Well, I have some good news . . . Lord Elladan has decided to lift his previous order of house arrest. The guards have been removed and you may all come and go in Imladris as you wish, but please," here she paused and looked directly at Garia, "I beg you, do not abuse his home or hospitality again. It would go ill for us all and right now I need . . . we all need, Lord Elladan's generosity and good will." She paused to let the news sink in, then continued.

"I have business in the Great Hall. Please, enjoy your meal and your evening."

Without waiting, she turned on her heel and left them. Once outside, she hurried to catch up to Elmissir.

. . . my apologies to Bardy for usurping both Elladan and Amras . . . ;)
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Postby SilverScribe » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:46 pm

ooc: And now, for a little light housecleaning . . . ;)

The creature paused in its journey through the inky blackness of the maze of tunnels far, far below the lighted paths of Imladris. There was a familiar yet unfamiliar scent, a remembered 'feel' to the air, something that spoke as much of comfort as it did of danger. Confused, the creature slowly oozed to a full stop, uncertain whether to go looking or simply wait to be found by whatever it knew now shared the tunnels with it . . .

Luinil's forehead creased slightly in concentration, then eased again when he 'sighted' his quarry. While his body rested in comfort back in his mountain fastness, his essence roamed freely below Imladris, seeking the loathsome creature that had attacked the Scribe in the Hidden Archives. He had promised the Scribe that he would deal with this creature, a creature whose master he knew and despised with every fibre of his being. It was not Delkarnoth the Black that had spawned this particular horror, but Delkarnoth's master . . . Moriestar. Only another Istari could have created this, and Luinil was intent on seeing it destroyed. Carefully, silently, he closed with his quarry.

The creature remained still, the feeling that it was not alone growing with each passing moment. Suddenly, the air about it thickened, tightening steadily like an invisible net. Before it could escape, it knew with desperate certainty that this was not its Master, come to give it further instructions or demand a report. This was an enemy, powerful and dangerous and the creature's momentary confusion and uncertainty had proved its undoing. As it had once hunted the Scribe, now it knew that it was itself hunted. As it had sought to snare Guilhendar, now it found itself ensnared in turn.

The battle raged silently, invisible to the inhabitants of Imladris, shielded both by the magic of the combatants and the dense rock above the tunnel network. Slowly, inexorably, Luinil surrounded and squeezed the creature until finally, with a last scream of fear, outrage and hatred, its essence collapsed in on itself and imploded. The resulting shock wave was little more than a muted rumble, akin to the sound of thunder from a storm on a far, far distant horizon.

Exhausted, Luinil opened his eyes and after a few moments, rose unsteadily to his feet. He needed a drink, badly.

Undoubtably, somewhere down the road, there would be a backlash. The Moriestar was not one to be thwarted and the loss of his 'pet' would have consequences. But that was a different battle, for a different day. All that mattered today was that the Scribe and her party were safe.

For now.

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Last edited by SilverScribe on Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Jiyadan » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:45 am

"Aaiiee, ko komat, if there are any dead here, surely you have awakened them all! But trust me, I am not one of them."

“Ai yi yi, Htiet! Is it really you?”
Khiran squeaked, moving a little closer now to get a better look.

Htiet nodded, but Khiran’s exclamations of joy were cut short when the other descended into another bout of coughing.

Khiran knelt beside his chair and looked up at him, relief mixed with concern. ”Ai, what happened to you? We thought you to be lost to the wolves and the solid rain flakes!”

“As you can plainly see, I was lost to neither. I am not a babe wandering in the wilderness, after all.”


He refrained from pointing out that even hardened men may be lost to the strange dangers of this land, far too overjoyed that Htiet had not, in fact, been one of them. ”It seems they have patched you up well enough,” Khiran said, noting his bandages. ”They have a healing touch in this place, no doubt of that. I saw how well the one elf-lady tended the others, though I did not take any hurt…” He let his words trail off, feeling a touch of guilt on that point.

“That is fortunate for you,” Htiet said and put a friendly hand on his shoulder. ”Though I still see they found a pretty skin to wrap a fishy in,” he chuckled, and Khiran looked down at the light Elvin shirt he wore.

”Ha! Yes, they took the clothing to be laundered, though did return them last night. I had not thought of putting my own back on yet as I was in search of something to eat.”

"Well, if you find yourself successful on that point, you will be sure to bring me some as well, yes?"


Khiran jumped to his feet. "Yes! Of course, of course, I will go find someone to bring a meal immediately!"

Khrian's excitement, of course, was as much due to knowing that a meal would be much easier to beg for the injured Htiet than for his own hale self as it was for having a useful task to do about the place. He scampered out into the hall to track down anyone he could give the request to, that an injured man was in need of sustenance.

Heading back to the main Solarium, he found the Scribe there, as well as the others, but just as he entered she was leaving. He ran to catch up, putting a hand on her arm to stop her.

"Ai! Scribe! Did you know Htiet has come back from the dead?" he exclaimed, giving no chance for reply before adding, "And he has a need to eat once again. Is there a meal to be found about this place for a few empty stomachs?"
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Postby SilverScribe » Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:01 pm

She had just cleared the steps of the front veranda and was starting down the path when she heard someone running up behind her. She turned just as Khiran reached out and put a hand on her arm.

"Ai! Scribe! Did you know Htiet has come back from the dead?" the Corsair exclaimed. "And he has a need to eat once again. Is there a meal to be found about this place for a few empty stomachs?"

Scribbles smiled, Khiran must have been so excited that he fairly flew past the newly laden sideboards in the Solarium without even noticing them. She answered him in his own tongue. "Aye Khiran, Htiet was found and brought here in the very early hours of this morning while you all slept. I am glad you have seen him, he has been asking for you." She chuckled. " And he is hungry again? That is good news as well. Elmissir will be pleased."

She clapped Khiran gently on the shoulder and pointed back towards the Ivy Gardens. "The stewards have brought an evening meal for all of you," she said, "so there will be plenty." She realized while Khiran had been in with Htiet, he would not have heard of Elladan's change of policy regarding their 'house arrest'. "And there is more good news," she continued with a smile. "Lord Elladan has restored your status as "guests" here, so the guards have been withdrawn and you may come and go as you please in Imladris."

She held up a warning finger as Khiran opened his mouth to speak. "However," she added, her voice and face now serious. "I will ask that you be careful, please do try and avoid further offense to our hosts, hmmmm? I need . . . no, my entire company needs, Lord Elladan's good will. I trust you, Khiran, to be a good guest and honour the hospitality of the Last Homely House."

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Postby Cock-Robin » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:35 pm

The first fingers of dawn filtered in through the window as Boartooth awakened from a deep slumber. It seemed a dream, but he remembered it vividly. A Great Eagle had come to Imladris, and spoken with men! But then, his own presence was a wonder. Never before had a Beorning come to this place, and a mercenary at that.

He stretched as he got up off the floor and stood erect, changing as he did. From bear to man he changed, as he had promised the son of Elrond he wouldnt' show himself as a bear outside of his room. Why was beyond him. But then, why the remnants of the Firstborn stayed when their lords left was another mystery to him. It was said they should either pass into the West or remain and dwindle into a rustic folk of the dell, forgetting and being forgotten.

But such mysteries were beyond him, for wiser people than him. Right now, breakfast was in the order of things. Of course, the Great Hall was out, as he wasn't to reveal himself until this afternoon when Elladan had arranged for the Scribe to see him in battle, and arrange a sparring with her.

But there were other dining halls for those not willing to meet with all, smaller and more cozy. He got up and went to one, where a few were conversing. He sat down and had his breakfast, not bothering those who were there. He did come out and see to Thunder and Lightning, to see that the horse and falcon were well-tended and fed. He need not have worried. Radagast himself could not have tended to them better.

He picked up his mace and made for the arena where he would work out while waiting. He knew the others would not be there until later, so he would have the place to himself.
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Postby SilverScribe » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:38 pm

((ooc: BAP Alert . . . Part I . . . Dinner . . . ;)


After watching Khiran head back into the Ivy Gardens, Scribbles resumed her interrupted journey and hurried into the gathering dark. She took the most direct route to the Great Hall, and true to his word, Guilhendar was sitting on one of the many benches set to one side of the large hearth, waiting there with Elmissir. They both rose as she approached and all three of them made their way to the long sideboards, where they collected their supper.

They found an unoccupied table along one wall, well away from the hearth where a few elves were gathering, some with instruments and some with slim books and yet others with nothing at all. There would be music later, and perhaps some good tales and poems too, but for the time being, it was quiet.

"How did your company take Elladan's news?" Guilhendar asked, once the worst edges had been taken off their hunger. Scribbles mopped up the last of the sauce from a large helping of savoury vegetable pie with a chunk of fragrant bread, stuffed it into her mouth and chewed thoughtfully before swallowing and answering. "They seemed . . . relieved," she said. Guilhendar chuckled. "No doubt. Do you think they'll stay out of trouble?"

"They had better," she answered, "or I'll throw them in the dungeons myself."

Elmissir winced, then fixed the Scribe with a stern look. "Oh come now, surely you can give them some credit! I am certain they understand their mistake and won't be doing anything even remotely unsettling for the remainder of their time here."

Scribbles raised one eyebrow. "Indeed. And undoubtably, you'll make sure Garia stays out of further trouble." Guilhendar's expression darkened. "He had better mind his manners, or no one will be able to find enough of him to throw in the dungeons," he growled.

"Enough, both of you," Elmissir shot back primly. "I don't want my dinner spoiled with either of you poking your nose in where it's not wanted." She poured herself a little more delicate white Imladris wine. "What you do need to know is the condition of the Edain, and how long their convalescence will keep you here."

Scribbles sighed. " Of course Elmissir, you're right,. What's the word then?"

"You are going to be here for at least three weeks, but I'd make allowance for four," the healer answered. "The hillman will heal fast, as will Garia. Harah is tough, but I don't think his general health is as good as the others. And Htiet, aaahh, Htiet . . . " here she paused and took a long sip of wine. "He is sore wounded and though he is strong, he lost a lot of blood. He will heal well, more's the wonder, but I fear his pride will make him think he is doing better than he is, too soon. You must watch him Scribe, I have never seen anyone survive with wounds like his."

Scribbles nodded. "I understand." She took a long draught from her flagon of ale. "But whether he lives or dies now is at the pleasure of a goddess of his land, and she appears to want him alive. But I will encourage him not to push himself too soon," she added, and Elmissir smiled, satisfied at least for the moment.

"Speaking of pushing one's self too soon," Guilhendar put in, "how are you feeling?"

Scribbles rose to her feet. "Fit as ever," she answered. At the tall innkeeper's skeptical expression she smiled. "If you care to see just how fit that truly is, spar with me tomorrow."

"Gladly," Guilhendar answered, relieved that she had suggested it before he had to. Elladan would be pleased, this would work out very well indeed. "When?" he asked.

"Make it early afternoon," she replied. "I have a few things I need to . . . look into . . . until then."

"A few things?" Elmissir echoed.

Scribbles nodded as she picked up and donned her cloak. "Aye, so if you need me, I'll be in the Archives."

Guilhendar settled back with a faint, satisfied smile while Elmissir made a sound of disgust. "Books, books, always books," she said. "Honestly Scribe, you'll turn into an eccentric old fart just like the Master Archivist if you spend much more time in there."

"There are worse things to turn into," the Scribe shot back. To Guilhendar she nodded. "See you tomorrow afternoon in the practice arena." At his answering nod, she turned on her heel and left.

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Postby SilverScribe » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:01 pm

((ooc: second BAP alert . . . Part II - the Archives ))



The Archives were quiet, as usual. Not that the late hour had anything to do with it, for the Eldar did not require a regularly scheduled period of sleep every night like mortal men. It was simply that so many had already sailed West.

Scribbles stretched and once more ran her hands over the leather bound portfolio that she had found among her other papers. That it had been slipped in among all the papers in her alcove was beyond doubt, but who exactly had done so? The material in the folder was invaluable and she had gone through it several times. Most of it was already committed to memory.

Guilhendar? It would be just like him to do something like this. He was finally resigned to the fact that he could not go with her, so he would do all he could to assist her anyway. She chuckled. The innkeeper was so very transparent, but it was part of what made her so very fond of him. He was loyal to a fault, and would take her place to face Delkarnoth in a heartbeat. And die, without a doubt. The thought sobered her.

Looking up, she saw the first pale streaks of dawn in the high window across from the alcove where she sat. She should get a light breakfast before heading to the practice arena . . .

On her way out, she stopped to speak to the Master Archivist, who was bent over a document that looked ancient, even by Eldar standards. He waved away her apology at interrupting him, his smile genuine as he gestured for her to take a chair opposite his worktable.

The sight of all the scrolls, books and document binders on the shelves behind him reminded her of the creature that had attacked her in the Hidden Archives. When Master Celemtar had settled himself in his own chair, she cleared her throat and spoke up.

"Has there been anything . . . unusual . . . happen here in the public Archives recently?" she asked.

The Master Archivist folded his hands in his lap and frowned. "What do you mean by unusual?" he countered. She fixed him with a direct look. "Sorcery, Master Celemtar, and not for the good."

He shook his head. "No, nothing like that. Nothing out of the ordinary at all. It has become increasingly quiet in here as you know, so I would notice anything . . . unusual," he finished with a smile, using her word.

She rose. "Ah, good. I am glad to hear it."

"Why do you ask?"

She paused. She saw no reason to alarm him if the creature had not made an appearance here and Luinil had said he would look after it.

"Is Delkarnoth or his master up to something worse than usual?" Master Celemtar asked. Still, she hesitated.

"Scribe," Celemtar said, shaking his head. "How long have I known you? Eight hundred odd years or more? Come now, I'm no doddering old bookworm, buried in dusty old formal Quenyan translations and ancient Valinorian legends. I have guided your studies and assisted your research since the first, why do you not trust me now?"

"It is nothing," she demurred. "I was merely . . curious."

His eyes narrowed. "Do you suspect that Delkarnoth knows you are here?" he asked.

"Aye," she agreed, relieved that he had struck upon a different path, but one that concerned her nonetheless. "For if he knows I am here, he will be able to calculate when I arrive, and I was hoping to surprise him."

Celemtar rubbed his chin thoughtfully with thumb and forefinger. "True I suppose, but even if he knows you are here, will he know exactly how long you will tarry? I have heard that members of your company are wounded and that you will be delayed. Delkarnoth cannot know this."

"He can if he has spies here," she growled. "You know the extent of his power and it is no small thing."

The Master Archivist rose and came around the table to stand before her. "Scribe, you have spoken many times of going to Delkarnoth's citadel to challenge and if you can, destroy him. He has attempted to destroy you several times himself. It is an old game you play, why is this time any different? Take your time, from what I've heard, he's not going anywhere."

"From what you have heard?" she asked sharply. "Why would you have heard anything of Delkarnoth? He is no concern of yours, nor has he ever been a concern of Imladris."

His smile this time was grim. "True enough when Sauron was around," he answered. "But he is gone, and though we are all well rid of him, all of his scattered captains and lieutenants now fight over the scraps of what remains of his empire. Delkarnoth, and more importantly, his master, no longer hide in Sauron's shadow. Now, they are a concern."

"Ah," she said, "and is this why someone has slipped so much information about Delkarnoth and his recent movements in among my papers? Because he is now a concern?" She looked straight into his face as she spoke.

The Master Archivist shrugged, his gaze unflinching. "Perhaps," he answered. "Or perhaps someone simply misfiled something. It wouldn't be the first time."

She attempted to stare him down, to no avail. Finally, she shook her head. "Fine. Play it your way."

Celemtar returned to his chair and lowered himself back down with a sigh. "Was the information helpful?" he asked softly.

"Aye," she agreed. "It's invaluable, and you know it."

"Do I?" he shot back, his face unreadable.

She sighed. "You do," she answered, "simply because nothing that comes into these halls escapes your notice. Deny that, if you can."

He surprised her by chuckling. "Ah well, you may have me there, Scribe. Bravo."

"Who was it?" she asked.

But he was done playing. He waved her away and returned his attention to the ancient document on his worktable. "If I know that, I would have been sworn to secrecy and so, could not tell you without breaking my word, which I will not do. You know that as well as I . . . so good day, on your way, and stop bothering an old man."

She knew when she was beaten. She bid him a quiet farewell and left.


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Postby SilverScribe » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:39 pm

((ooc: . . . aaaand the last of the BAP . . . Part III Morning has broken . . . ;) ))

She spent the rest of the morning undisturbed in her rooms, sitting at a small table that was now covered with papers, maps, her well-worn leather bound journal, the remains of a light breakfast and the small strongbox she would be giving to Guilhendar when she and her company finally left Imladris.

A couple of hours were spent studying the large number of notes in her journal, and adding more from what she had memorized from the leather portfolio she had found in the Archives the previous night. She adjusted several of her previous calculations and added a few new ones. Though she had a lot of information gathered, it was still going to be a close thing whether she would succeed or not. All she knew for certain was that the appointed time had definitely and finally arrived, Luinil had confirmed that much, though she suspected there was something he was not telling her. However, if there was, it wouldn't change anything. Delkarnoth's reckoning was at hand. The time to exact her revenge on the Noldorian Sorcerer had come and she was not about to squander the chance. She was determined to face Delkarnoth and be free of him, one way or another.

Another few hours was spent in making up and copying several small, identical maps; maps that clearly showed a little known route that lead from Delkarnoth's citadel back to the Redhorn Pass in the Misty Mountains. If she did not survive the encounter, she wanted to be sure that any of her company that did would not become lost in the pine and mist shrouded slopes below Delkarnoth's lair, but would find the Redhorn Pass that led to the foothills of Eregion and from there, the Swan's Anchor in Ost-in-Edhil. There, Guilhendar would pay out the balance of their fee to any that returned and Elmissir could tend to any that were hurt.

When she was done, she stretched, rose and stood at the windows for a long while, looking out at the sun-drenched beauty of the Ivy Gardens and the exquisite surroundings of Imladris. Would she be leaving this place for the last time, never to return, but to fall into Shadow at Delkarnoth's hands?

She dragged her thoughts away from the Noldorian and found herself thinking of Finian. Would he mourn her death? Would Cornelius hold faith, and complete his last charge and deliver her letter to Façade? She smiled as she thought of the fat monk, as irritating as the man could be, he had a heart of pure gold and was faithful to a fault. He, at least, would not fail her.

Finally, the angle of the sun told her it was time. Guilhendar would be waiting for her just outside the practice arena and she was looking forward to a good workout.

Humming softly to herself, she donned her cloak, slipped out the back entrance of the Ivy Gardens, and headed for the arena.

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Postby Cock-Robin » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:03 pm

Boartooth entered the practice arena together with Gwaryan. "I'd like to make this good," the Beorning said. "I've got somebody to impress."

"Do not worry. Feirthan will give as good as he gets," answered Master Gwaryan. "But I was under the impression you were here to demonstrate some new battle techniques, not strut for some pretty maid." He beckoned to a tall elf standing to one side, waiting. "This is Feirthan, a veteran of many campaigns. He will be your sparring partner." Feirthan drew his broadsword and entered the ring with the Beorning. "Let's to it, Beorning, and bring that barbaric weapon of yours."

"I've got to name this mace someday," Boartooth said almost in a growl. They took their places, and began the match. He swung the hardwood mace with practiced skill, as lightly as if it were a child's toy. "Fight, elf, as if you were fighting against all the hordes of foes ever spawned!" he roared. The battle was already heating his warrior's blood. The elven warrior countered with his sword.
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Postby SilverScribe » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:30 pm

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"I want to concentrate on blade-work this afternoon," Scribbles commented to Guilhendar as they pushed open the double doors leading into the large practice arena. The tall innkeeper nodded agreement. "A good idea, yes," he replied. "I think I have tired of halberds myself, at least for a while." They went to their usual bench to shed their cloaks and any other unecessary burdens. Before they could begin, a loud shout from another portion of the arena caught the attention of them both.

"Isn't that Feirthan?" Scribbles asked. "Aye, so it is," Guilhendar agreed.

The Scribe's eyes narrowed, the well-known favourite of the Master at Arms was sparring with what appeared to be a large mortal, one that she did not recognize. "Who is that he's sparring with?" she asked, loosening her broadsword in its sheath.

Guilhendar watched the match for a few more moments, then shrugged casually. "I have no idea, I don't recognize him at all," he answered, unhappy at the half-lie but knowing there was no way around it. Elladan had been clear, this was a surprise but another clear opportunity to aid the Scribe without her knowledge. They both winced as the large man swung a huge mace in a tight arc, very nearly catching his elven opponent on the ear. "Whoever he is, he must be as strong as a bear," Guilhendar added. "I'd be willing to bet a dozen bottles of the best Dorwinion Red that that mace weighs nearly as much as Feirthan himself."

Scribbles laughed. "A dozen bottles? I'll see you that bet and how about a wager on the outcome of the match?" Guilhendar regarded her soberly then glanced back to where the man had to step smartly to avoid being hamstrung by the a quick backswing of the elf's sword. "You're on. A bottle of Harlindon Clearwater on the Edain," he said, grinning.

Scribbles nodded. "Double that on Master Feirthan." They settled themselves on the bench to watch the match.

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Postby Cock-Robin » Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:43 am

Elves arrived in ever increasing numbers, taking seats all around the wide, spacious arena. The soft lilting sound of the elven tongue began to fill the space. The doors to the arena opened once again, this time held by two elves, resplendent in their first-age armour. Four more filed in followed by Prince Elladan. Instead of taking his seat, one of two which stood against the wall on a slightly raises dais, the Prince walked up to the edge of the main arena floor and stood, arms crossed and expectant, his elven guard fanning out to either side of him. A nearby elf stood, offering his bench seat but the Prince smiled and refused.

Master Gwaryan approached the Prince and bowed. "The match has already begun, my lord. Had I known you'd be coming..."

Elladan shook his head with a smile, "Rivendell cannot stop and start on my account alone, Gwaryan." The crowd gasped at one of the Beorning's parries and the speed at which he yielded his mace.

"The Beorning best have something to show for all his boasting," Master Gwaryan said. "He seems to train in irritation, not fighting."

"He speaks bravely, does he?" Elladan asked.

"Aye, m'lord. Too bravely."

"Let's hear what he has to say at the end," Elladan said with a knowing smile as he watched the large Beorning work.

Boartooth glanced over briefly, just a flash of his eyes to tell he had the audience he desired. Now was the time to show his skill. Feirthan swung his broadsword at him which Boartooth blocked with his mace. The elven metal only managed to score a shallow furrow in the Beorning's hardened, polished weapon before sliding away. They went at it hammer and tongs for a while, and the Beorning was grinning all over his ugly face, his fang protruding from his lower jaw. He took a number of blows from the elf without flinching, even though blood beaded on his skin from a small cut. "You haven't yet made me break a sweat! That all you have, Elf?" said Boartooth. "You'll have to do better to best Boartooth the Mace!"

"We all know how badly your kind smell when they sweat, Boartooth," Feirthan said with a suppressed grin. "I am doing a service to my brethren here."


Feirthan swung his sword again, and Boartooth twirled his mace with one hand, with a peculiar twist, and the sword flew straight up out of the hands of the elf. As it came back down, Boartooth swung his hardwood mace and CLANG! THUNK! the sword went into a wall, vibrating. "If it had been a real battle, that would have been your head. How did you elves ever beat those Orcs of Morgoth, anyway? They must have been worse than you," he taunted. "Go get your sword, and I'll wait for you." He leaned on the hornbeam mace, laughing. He was really playing for his audience now.

Very gracious of you, Master Boartooth," Feirthan replied with a mocking bow.


"Those bandits I sent running were tougher than this," said the Beorning.

"Those bandits haven't lived for centuries and seen your kind wax and wane like so many moonfalls," Feirthan retorted. "We learned long ago to treat you fragile creatures with care. I'm merely being gentle with you." The elf pulled his broadsword free from the wall easily and motioned to an elf nearby. A long knife came spinning up, into the air. Feirthan caught it effortlessly with his left.

"Let's continue," he said with another mocking bow.

The second, shorter blade made itself known almost at once. Feirthan was able to employ his sword completely for blocking, whilst the elven long knife scored several times, creating both tears in the Beornings shirt and a couple of shallow cuts to one forearm. However, the sheer bulk of the Beorning and the uncanny speed of his mace began to tell.


Gwaryan & Elladan by Bardy
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Postby SilverScribe » Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:14 am

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"The mortal has a formidable reach," Guilhendar commented casually, pointing.

Scribbles nodded. "True. He's also fast for his size and he swings that mace as though it weighs nothing."

"I'd hate to meet him in the dark if he was in a bad mood," the innkeeper added.

"I wonder how well he sees in the dark," Scribbles mused. "The Edain are not known for their night vision, I think you'd have the advantage of him there."

"Still, he'd be a right tough customer," Guilhendar insisted with a grin. "Even for you."

The Scribe snorted. "I've killed a lot of men bigger and faster than him in my time, don't forget."

"Aye, but not come out of it unscathed every single time. And they don't have to be big to be troublesome, or have you forgotten Lorfeldin?"

Scribbles closed her eyes briefly, the memory of her imprisonment and trial in Lord Cemandorin's court still fresh enough to sting. "I have not forgotten a thing," she grated, flashing the innkeeper an ice cold glare. "And don't forget how that ended, even in less than top condition I still sent that devil-spawn to Morgoth's hell."

Guilhendar sighed, holding up one hand in a placating gesture. "True enough, though not without terrible cost." He was cut off by another roar from across the arena and they watched as the elf's sword was sent whirling into the air for the second time that hour. Scribbles rose to her feet as Feirthan backpedaled, managing to retrieve his blade just in time to stop a vicious blow from the mortal's mace, turning it aside at the last minute and rolling free. He was given little time however, no sooner had he regained his feet than the man was advancing again, spinning the mace and grinning. Guilhendar rose with the Scribe, putting a hand on her arm. "Don't worry, it's only a sparring match," he said, anxious to keep the Scribe from interfering too soon.

***

"It looks like I've got a lot to teach you after all," said Boartooth. "Let's end this."

"So soon, Beorning?" Fierthan taunted. "And I was just getting used to the smell of you."

They went at it another round, and once again the elf's sword went spinning out of his hands. The Beorning tossed his mace up at the sword and it impacted, breaking the sword into three shards. He pushed the elven warrior out of the way just in time, as the mace came down right where he had been standing, with a WHUMP! that made the seats around bounce.

A general murmur arose from the observers, with some voices clearer than others. "Unbelievable! . . . Impossible! . . . Never seen the like . . . " Several of the elves surged to their feet in shocked surprise.

"Be glad you weren't standing there," Boartooth grinned. "You might have become a pancake. Come back when you've learned to fight." He picked up the Mace. "The Clan Carnad fared worse against Boartooth the Mace. But I thought Elves fought better than that. I still haven't worked up a sweat."

Feirthan knelt and picked up the hilt of his sword, one that his father had gifted to him many centuries before. He glared at the Beorning as he rose back to his feet. "We do fight better, when we are aiming to kill," he grated. "Consider yourself fortunate that our ways forbid us from harming a 'guest' under our roof." He moved about and gathered the shards of his blade, cradling them carefully in the tail of his shirt. "If you will excuse me, I have other, more important duties to attend." With that, he turned on his heel and stalked out of the ring, past the Master at Arms, and out of the arena.

The rest of the Elves rose to their feet, disappointed with the outcome. The Prince remained where he stood and was joined by his Master at Arms.

"Shall I escort the Beorning to the East Gate?" Gwaryan asked, clearly not pleased. The Prince raised a hand and gestured over to where Guilhendar and SilverScribe stood. It was clear tempers were flaring. Gwaryan smiled. "Either one will do," the Master at Arms said with a nod.

***

"Clan Carnad?" Scribbles said softly. "Did I hear aright?" She turned to Guilhendar, who nodded even though his eyes were still glued to the large mortal who now stood alone, waiting and watching. "Aye," he agreed quietly, "for I heard the same."

"And a gross insult to our people, did I hear that as well?" she added. Again, Guilhendar nodded. "Aye, that too," he growled. "And in the very bosom of Lord Elrond's Elvenhome, no less." He glanced around, relieved to see Elladan was in attendance, standing on the arena floor with four of his retainers.

"He's probably one of Elrohir's cast-offs," Scribbles grated, drawing his attention back to the matter at hand.

"I'm not certain, but I have the distinct feeling you may be on to something, cast off or otherwise," Guilhendar said, an edge to his voice that she recognized. Something was not right . . . the thought nagged at her briefly, but then was gone.

"Ah, then there'd be trouble if someone were to say . . . teach Elrohir's cur a lesson or two in civility?" she asked with a wolfish smile.

"Oh aye, trouble to be sure," Guilhendar breathed. "But I don't think the insult to our people should be allowed to pass either, not here, not at all."

Scribbles chuckled. "All right then, who gets the honour?" she asked. The tall inkeeper made a bit of a show of fumbling in a pocket, as he tore his eyes away from the now outright challenging stare of the mortal. "How about we toss for it?" he suggested, flicking a silver coin into the air.

Nodding agreement, her eyes locked on those of her companion, Scribbles replied. "Call it."

"Heads," he answered, as without even looking she snatched the coin out of the air and slapped her hand onto the plain leather vambrace on her right forearm. Guilhendar leaned forward and both their eyes dropped to where the coin was revealed. "Damn," he swore, knowing full well the coin was tails on both sides. Scribbles laughed and flipped the coin back at him without a further look, much to his relief. "Don't be a sore loser Guil," she teased.

"If he touches you with that mace, it's you that'll be sore, not me," he shot back as the Scribe began to saunter across the sand. He looked back to where Elladan watched, an almost imperceptible nod telling the Lord of Imladris that all was now in play.


Boartooth by Cock-Robin; Gwaryan by Bardy

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Postby Cock-Robin » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:43 pm

The man had not stopped staring at the Scribe and Guilhendar during their exchange, even though he was too far away to hear what they had said. She approached and when she was a few feet away, she stopped. Normally, she would have given the gracious greeting of the Eldar, but this lout had just insulted her mother's people, and all those who dwelt in the valley he was visiting. She wondered for a fleeting moment how on earth he had come to be there.

"So it's a sweat you're wanting?" she asked, her voice laced with ice. "You might want to be careful how and what you ask for, here in the House of Elrond."

Boartooth's grin never faded. His taunts had gotten the desired result, even as both Elrohir and Elladan had told him. He would have to remember to thank them the next time he saw them.

"That remains to be seen, does it, my pretty," he said. He played the act to the hilt, and now the final scene waited to be played. He twirled his mace and pointed it at her. "Come, then. You will not soon forget Boartooth the Mace. The cursed invaders of my country won't forget that name, to be sure. And who is it that challenges me? Draw your sword then, and let's see what skill you possess."

'My pretty?!" she thought, disgusted at his cheekiness though she didn't allow herself to bristle at the obvious jab. Instead, she regarded the large man coolly, and suddenly, Guilhendar's earlier comment replayed itself in her mind . . . 'Whoever he is, he must be as strong as a bear.' Her next thought, following closely behind, was slightly more alarming. 'Beorning?!' . . . the word flashed through her head though she knew nothing showed on her face. Judging by his height and solid build, by the fang that protruded from his lower lip . . . could it be? And if so, what was a Beorning doing here of all places? They rarely if ever left their own lands, preferring instead to draw a heavy toll from travelers for safe passage. Not that she had ever paid their toll, but that wasn't the issue . . . what was afoot here? She pushed the crowd of thoughts away, none of it really mattered. What mattered was that this insolent cub had offered a blatant and grave insult to his hosts, to her mother's kin and indirectly, to her.

She glanced over to where Gwaryan had moved to stand beside Elladan. Now what was the Lord of Imladris doing here, she wondered, knowing that his schedule usually kept him a near prisoner in his office, but Elladan's face betrayed nothing. It was as cold and unreadable as her own.

Looking back up at Boartooth, at the smug smile plastered across his face, she felt a sudden flash of anger, the elven Prince forgotten. Drawing herself to her full height, she let her left hand drop to rest on the hilt of the big broadsword that swung at her hip. "I am called SilverScribe," she said simply. "It does not matter to me whether you remember that name or not." Her chin lifted. "For the insult you offered this House, whoever draws first blood, wins. Agreed?"

"Agreed, SilverScribe," said Boartooth. He stood and was ready for the battle. He had her attention, and now would keep it. "But you're really going to have to live up to your reputation to do that. Yes, I've heard of you in my travels. But it remains to be seen if those rumors are true."

"Depends on which rumours you refer to," she snapped. "The opinions of filthy clansmen and third-rate bandits matters as much to me as yours does, that is to say, barely anything at all."

"Talk, talk, talk," said Boartooth. "No wonder the Valar had to bail you out in the First Age and the Dunedain and Hobbits had to do it when Sauron fell. Is that how you'll teach me, by talking me to death?" He had more barbs under his tongue. He looked at Elladan. It was going good. "No more talk. Let's see you in action."

Elladan watched, gratified with what he'd seen so far, and decided that Elrohil was correct to send the Beorning, boisterous though he was. Around him the elves had become vocal, displeased by this loud Beorning. The Prince took the opportunity to speak, raising his voice so all in the arena could hear: "Boartooth, you repay our hospitality with taunts and insults? That saddens me." This evoked disapproving murmurs from the crowd with a few elves shouting for the Beorning to leave. Elladan quieted them with a raised hand and and smiled confidently to the Scribe. "Still, to have SilverScribe teach you some manners will be satisfaction and then some. She teaches lessons even Princes cannot forget." The crowd erupted with laughter and cheers allowing Elladan to call the Scribe to him. "Teach him well and five thousand pieces are yours," Elladan whispered in Sindarin. He then chuckled, "I should just give you the money now. Good hunting."

She answered in the same tongue. "I don't need your coin to teach this cub some courtesy," she grated, and then grinned. "But you're on," she added with a wink. She turned and stalked back across the sand to where Boartooth still waited, patiently leaning on his mace, his eyes aglow.

"Right, Boartooth," she said, drawing the long broadsword smoothly, the sharp tip clearing the sheath with a soft, silvery ring. "To first blood as agreed. Come on then, let us see how you fare against me." She saluted the Beorning with her blade, then dropped into en garde. "If I were you, I would begin thinking of how you will frame your apology."

Boartooth wondered if he had let his act go too far. Even he had inwardly winced at some of the things he had said. It was to get the attention of SilverScribe and provoke a duel, which had been accomplished. He would apologize later whether he won or lost. But now was not the time. He returned the salute with his mace and brought it to position as well. "We shall see," he said, his eyes fixed on the Scribe. He feinted a few times, feeling out his foe's defenses, then swept his mace in a close arc.


Boartooth by Cock-Robin; Elladan by Bardy
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Postby SilverScribe » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:28 pm

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Scribbles was not fooled by the Beorning's feints. Her body responded automatically, avoiding his exploratory prods with a minimum of movement. One advantage she had right from the start was that she had been able to observe his fighting style, while he had no idea what to expect of hers. When the mace moved in a tight arc, she leaned in and under the swing, instead of the expected out and away. Reaching easily under Beartooth's extended elbow, she plowed a hard left jab into his armpit and was rewarded with the Beorning's surprised grunt of pain. She continued past him, flowing out of his reach like water over stones. When the Beorning turned and faced her again, she smiled. "That could have been my stiletto, and the match would be over," she drawled.

Boartooth didn't waste time or breath responding to her taunts. Her move had shown him her skill. By Oromë! She was quick and agile. He would have to use all his senses to battle her. He drew a dagger with his other hand even as he made a move he hadn't used in the previous battle, sweeping low at her legs, ducking down as he did. He would have to use all the wits bestowed upon him to defeat this one, and more.

Had he taken the bait? Would he assume much, now that he had seen only one of her tactics? She began to hope so as Boartooth bore down on her with surprising speed for his size and bulk, seeking to take her legs out from under her with one hand and braining her senseless with the mace in the other. She dove to the side, carefully tucking the long broadsword flat against her body as she hit the ground, then sweeping it out to block the incoming mace as she rolled to her feet. The heavy weapon slid down the blade as though greased, throwing Boartooth to one side and slightly off balance. Quickly though, he had his feet under him and was closing again. This time, when the mace circled in, she moved with it, staying just ahead of it as she flicked the long blade of Celebamarth under the Beorning's arm. He checked just in time, turning the arc of the mace downwards before the tip of her sword found his ribs. She yanked the long blade around and over in a swift overhead cut, one that had Boartooth diving this time to avoid.

The low murmur which had been a constant companion earlier, slowly died to silence. All that remained was the sound of weapons meeting and the scuffing of their boots in the sand. Another half hour of strenuous sparring passed, with many near misses on both sides, and finally Scribbles smiled. There was a fine sheen on the Beorning's brow. She felt marvelous.

As the battle heated up, Boartooth's demeanor changed. The fire smoldering in his eyes was wild, feral. He was getting more like a creature that did not belong indoors. A creature of Oromë of old. Indeed, Oromë had bestowed on the Beornings a gift, (some think it a curse, depending on the way one looks on it) of the great strength and power of a bear, and the ability to shift into a bear's form, for the purpose of countering and hunting Melkor's minions. It was only his promise to Elladan that kept him from changing at this point, the promise that he wouldn't take his bear's shape in Imladris except in his few hours of sleep.

He was charged as well. "By Oromë! A worthy opponent at last!" he gasped as he dodged another slash by the broadsword. He gave as well as he took, and the crowd wondered at the way both were going at it that neither one of them had been killed. But both knew their business well.

The hotter the flame in the Beorning's eyes burned, the colder the Scribe became. She drew on her centuries of experience again and again, seeking to unsettle or overbalance her opponent. His compliment barely registered; this was where she belonged, in the heart of battle, in the place where one misstep, one slip up, one sliver of inattention would have fatal results but every successful thrust and parry made the blood sing. As the long silvery blade began to move so fast it blurred and the ice in her mind grew, her eyes grew colder and colder. It was the look that usually signalled an opponent's death; if Boartooth noticed, he showed no sign. And more importantly, absolutely no fear.

She had taken the Beorning's measure, and found it far from wanting. Boartooth was as Guilhendar had warned her and more, a tough customer with a formidable reach and admirable skill with his weapon. Fortunate she was that her own reach was fair, and the three foot broadsword evened things up quite nicely. The murmur in the arena returned as the watching elves grew restless, wanting a resolution to the match.

Boartooth, of course, by Cock-Robin . . .
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Postby Cock-Robin » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:55 pm

The Scribe was more than her reputation had made it. He met her moves with his own. It was exhilarating! He didn't want it to stop. They seemed to increase each others' skills as they went on. It had to end sometime, but how? He met another of her lunges, blocking it with his mace. It seemed quite the even match.

Scribbles bided her time, despite the growing restlessness in the arena, she was enjoying the match and knew that Boartooth was of like mind. She continued to parry and strike, spin and lunge, dart and roll, drawing the Beorning tighter and tighter into the dance. Her last time in the mists had seen to her wounds, she was fit and would not tire for some time yet. Boartooth, for all his great strength, was now not only sweating, but starting to breathe heavier. She secretly marveled at how long and how well he had battled, but it was time.

She dropped her shoulder as his mace came whistling over her blade, but instead of following through and rolling away, she dug in the toes of one foot and lunged inward and upward, bringing her entire body inside Boartooth's guard as the hilt of the broadsword knocked his knife hand wide. As she rose against him she flicked her left wrist, the stiletto in its hidden sheath instantly snapping into her left hand with a distinctive 'snick'. Though he knew the broadsword was out wide and useless, Boartooth froze in place; there was no mistaking the prick of something very sharp under his chin.

Her face, looking up, was barely a handsbreadth from his upper chest. "First blood," she said softly. "Do you yield?"

"I yield, SilverScribe," said Boartooth, with a new respect. He set down his mace and bowed to her. "You won fair and square. And my rash words I retract and deeply apologize for. Indeed, if Tharanduil heard of what I said, I would never hear the end of it." He grinned all over his honest, ugly face. "You conducted yourself with honor today, and rarely have I enjoyed a battle as this one." He looked around to the rest, and nodded to Elladan. Turning back to her, he said "Partly to make up for my taunts, may I treat you to a tankard of ale...or two...or three?

Scribbles stepped back at Boartooth's first words, sheathing the long broadsword as he bowed. She accepted his fair words with a nod, and after returning the stiletto to its hidden sheath, placed her right hand over her heart and sketched a shallow bow in return. "I accept your gracious apology, and thank you for it on behalf of my people and your hosts." The Beornings grin was infectious, a faint smile curved her own lips in response. "Your skill is undeniable Master Boartooth, you do your Kin proud." The mention of ale made her realize that she had worked up quite a thirst. "I will gladly take your offer of an ale or three, and will be glad to return the favour." She glanced around the arena, after a restrained murmur of approval for the outcome, the elves were leaving, the day's entertainment being clearly over for the time being. As the arena emptied, she looked back at Boartooth, considering. While no dwarf, he was clearly someone to be reckoned with on a battlefield and was worth at least two or three Dwarven fighters. She thought of Delkarnoth's well-guarded citadel and its host of defenders, the Beorning would go a long way to help even the odds.

Another glance around showed them to be alone, but for Guilhendar still standing over by the benches and their cloaks. Elladan and his honour guard could just be seen disappearing through the double doors. Taking advantage of the moment, she raked a hand through her hair and cleared her throat. "Tell me Master Boartooth, may I ask if you are engaged in any particular errand at this time? Or are you merely travelling to see the world?"


"Lady SilverScribe, I am not engaged in any errand at the moment. But I come to Rivendell in the hopes of finding one somewhere. It is known as a crossroads and elves are wonderful folk for news. You see, I am a mercenary, a sell-sword. It is part of the reason that I am out of favor with my father Grimbeorn and my kin. Another is I have attacked the bandits that have otherwise paid his tolls for safe passage. They know not the bandit clans or the Clan Carnad as I do, and I drove them from my homelands. But I have come here as I said, in hopes of finding one to hire me. Do you know of any who have need of a warrior, by any chance?" The Beorning looked at her hopefully.


The Scribe by SilverScribe
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Postby SilverScribe » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:34 pm

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So she had heard him right, Clan Carnad. It gave them something in common, if he had attacked the clans in his homeland, then he felt the same about them as she did about the ones that had infested Rhudaur. And he was a self-admitted mercenary to boot, were the Valar finally looking on her with favour for a change? She silently thanked them, just in case . . .

"Master Boartooth, as a matter of fact, I may have just the type of errand you're looking for." She indicated the tall inkeeper behind her, now lounging on a bench, looking bored. "If you would like to join myself and my companion Guilhendar in the Great Hall after the evening meal, we can discuss things over a few of those ales you mentioned earlier."

"I look forward to it, Lady SilverScribe," said Boartooth. "I will join you there. It will give me a chance to get freshened up a bit beforehand. I was hoping for something like this. After the evening meal, then." It looked like his fortunes were improving. He picked up his mace and bowed to her. "Until then."

She nodded. "Until then, oh, and one more thing Master Boartooth," she replied. He paused, politely.

"Do not ever call me 'Lady'," she said with a fleeting, frosty smile, "for I am no such creature. Agreed?"

"Agreed. Should I just call you SilverScribe, then, or how would you like to be addressed?" said Boartooth.

"Scribe," she answered. "Just call me Scribe."

Boartooth nodded and left the arena.

Scribbles returned to where Guilhendar sat. "What was that all about?" he asked, knowing full well but playing his part as promised. "Strangely enough, it was about an ale or three," Scribbles replied, strightfaced. Guilhendar's eyebrows rose.

"Oh all right," she gave in. "I asked him if he wanted a job. And don't look at me like that, wasn't it you that jumped all over me earlier, concerned that I might be a bit shorthanded?"

"I did, but . . ." Guilhendar began. "You said he'd be a tough customer," Scribbles interrupted, "and he is. Delkarnoth's pets will rue the day they lay eyes on that Beorning, right before he sends them straight to the Shadows." She grinned. "He's going to join us this evening after supper to discuss the matter over a few of those ales I mentioned." Guilhendar held up his hands in mock surrender and laughed, rolling his eyes. "Ah right, ale and war. Count me out . . . but don't forget you owe me a bottle of Harlindon Clearwater."

"Which you won't touch with a 10 foot halberd," Scribbles shot back. "Come on, we still have time for a quick bit of swordwork before supper."

"You're impossible," Guilhendar said, shaking his head.

"Aye, among other things," she agreed.



Boartooth written by our own Cock-Robin
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Postby Frelga » Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:24 pm

Scribe cleared her throat loudly, and all eyes turned her way. "Well, I have some good news . . . Lord Elladan has decided to lift his previous order of house arrest. The guards have been removed and you may all come and go in Imladris as you wish, but please," here she paused and looked directly at Garia, "I beg you, do not abuse his home or hospitality again. It would go ill for us all and right now I need . . . we all need, Lord Elladan's generosity and good will." She paused to let the news sink in, then continued.

"I have business in the Great Hall. Please, enjoy your meal and your evening."


Free at last to roam the valley of the Elves, Radesh hastened to the doors. He walked through, and hesitated. The waterfalls still thundered in the distance, their spray turned to diamonds in the afternoon sun, and the hillman's heart still yearned for them. The hillman's common sense told him that the steep trail would do no favors to his wound, not after the adventure in the tunnel the night before. He considered also, with more shrewdness than Garia would credit him, that the waterfall will still be there the next morning and by then every Elf in the valley would know that he was the one honored by the Eagle's visit. That might save him some explaining.

Meanwhile, he had a duty, carved deep into his shepherd's heart. It's been days since he had seen his horse.

To Radesh's surprise, the grooms in the stables were Elves. He had not thought the Firstborn had ought to do with the horse manure. The mixture had improved the breed, in the hillman's opinion. His horse was in excellent condition, and Radesh spent a most enjoyable evening helping with the evening chores, trading horse talk with the Elves and admiring their charges. He stayed for dinner, and hurried back to the Ivy Court for a fragrant bath and a warm bed.

He could get used to living like that, the hillman thought as he let himself sink into the pillows. And tomorrow, he would see the waterfalls.
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Postby Bardhwyn » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:27 pm

And all the while Harah slept blissfully, wrapped in the warmth offered by elvish cotton and wool, dreaming of a slight young Haradrim girl who could easily juggle the stars themselves, had they offered themselves...

...and at times he could be heard breathing the young lass's name softly in the night...
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Postby Bardhwyn » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:17 pm

High in the Coldfells...

The dawn arrived and it was un-welcome. It was ushered in by Namo and his step was heavy.



Bardhwyn freed herself from her left leg greave with a violent kick. The piece of armour, which had broken loose and hung from her ankle, had nearly tripped her. She recovered, barely, dodging her opponent’s blade edge - she could hear it hiss as it arced past her. The greave spun and slid over the snow, stopped by a dead Carnad clansman half crumpled in the snow. As she struggled her opponent obliged her, allowing the free moment before attacking once more, driving his sword down fast and hard onto her shield. She braced, the impact travelling up her arm while she swung out, quick and low with her horseman’s axe, hoping to clip the man’s knee. She caught the top of his grieve and left a sizeable cut in the hard black leather but drew no blood. Her assailant back peddled, yanking his leg free and they squared off again – Harlond’s Number One and this helmeted warrior who led the Clan Carnad.

Around them the battle raged. It was more of a chaotic, gruesome brawl but then again most battles were. Blood, both red and black, was mixed into the snow creating a putrid mush and bodies were strewn about: man, orc and horse. The air was filled with cries, grunts and insults flung in several languages and all of it echoed off the mountain’s face and into the morning air.

Her battle plan had worked but only to a point; they had approached the tunnel’s entrance at dawn, using the stealth that made Clan Harlond feared region-wide. She’d positioned the archers and sent the horse far out of sight to their rear and waited for Thar’s orc guard. It was the cries and screams of the Harlond cavalry that told of the ambush – a force of Carnad’s men was attacking from behind; well armed, well trained and led by this black clad swordsmen. The Archer and the Clan were driven out, onto the flat before the tunnel where more Carnad clansmen lay in wait and Clan Harlond were the ones fighting on two sides, out numbered. It was far too intelligent a plan to be Carnad’s doing. It had to be this faceless man’s.

And worse still, Thar and his troops were nowhere to be seen.

The warrior edged towards her slowly. He had the benefit of reach with his sword and she, having been unhorsed, had no time to draw her blade but instead wielded her horseman’s axe. When fighting shield to shield the axe gave her a slight advantage: she could jab with its sharpened point or slice at close range but her opponent had the advantage of sheer strength, which he used relentlessly. Her only defense was speed but she was tiring. The Archer was wearing leather armor but no helmet or mail, thank the Gods, had she donned them that morning she would have been slowed down by the weight and dead where she stood.

Courage, her mount, ever faithful and with no handler to keep him, stayed close by, bucking and rearing at anyone who came near him. Bardhwyn could hear his whinnies and roars, angry and defiant as he spun about and kicked.

The black-clad Carnad came at her again - sword, shield, sword, shield– in classic military style, driving her backwards. This man was no ragged clansman - there was no wasted energy. He didn’t speak; he didn’t even cry out – he was good…too good.

His sword came down and she dodged it. ‘Shield next,’ the thought to her self and when it came she hooked her axe head over the top and thrust her own shield into the man’s helmeted face. It left a satisfying dent, and even drew blood and he staggered back, opening his chest for a few precious seconds. With a cry she struck, thrusting the pointed spike of her axe full force at the belly of the man – leather, mail or plate it wouldn’t matter – the point would puncture through.

The warrior, wide eyed and off balance, parried clumsily but it was enough to deflect her thrust. Bardhwyn fell into him and quickly gained her feet but the black swordsman was pushed even more off balance, dropping heavily onto one knee.

Now on the defensive, he held his black shield close and brought his sword arm his up. He knew, as Bardhwyn knew - she had him; he had lost the force of his sword arm and could not swing from that position. She prepared to leap, ready to push and deflect what would be a feeble sword strike and drive the axe head into the crown of his helmet. She raised her axe but her cry of jubilation changed to a howl of shock: a great weight had dropped upon her, suddenly, from behind.

Courage let out a loud and alarmed roar.

Bardhwyn staggered back as a fierce snarl sounded in her left ear; a Carnad orc, wielding a bloodied Uruk blade, clung to her back and snapped at her face. With a cry she angled the axe point up and jabbed, catching the beast in the eye. A spurt of hot, black blood splashed out over her face. The orc squealed and released his blade but held fast, biting at the Archer’s leather armour in a frenzy of pain. She dropped to a half roll, attempting to throw him off but the orc clung fast, his nails gripping into her like claws.

The weight of the frenzied orc suddenly lifted. Instinctively Bardhwyn staggered to her feet and took a defensive position – all in time to see the black clad warrior release the Carnad orc and thrust the beast back in her direction. The orc appeared confused, even dazed but it quickly picked up its knife and rushed at the Archer, its one good eye filled with pain and rage. With a throaty cry she parried the knife thrust with her shield, knocking it out of the creature’s hand and brought her axe head down hard.

More black blood.

The warrior began to circle her once more and Bardhwyn resumed her defensive crouch, trying as best she could to wipe the orc blood from her eyes. She grappled with what had just happened; her opponent had helped her, pulled one of his own off her back. She was as confused as the dead orc had been.

“You want the kill? Is that it?” she cried out with a hoarse voice. She leveled her axe point at the black swordsman, “What’s Carnad’s price for my head, then?!! One gold piece? Two?!”

The warrior spoke for the first and only time. His voice was smooth and dark with only the faintest of accents: “I’m not here for Canard’s money, Archer of Dale.”

Bardhwyn heard the words… ‘Archer of Dale’… a name she’d not been called in years but she had no time to make sense of it. From atop the southwest ridge over looking the tunnel’s entrance shrill howls and cries could be heard, angry and hair-raising. A standard came into view – a broad rack of deer antlers swathed in black, the standard of the Clan Carnad floated in silhouette against the brightening morning sky. Slowly the ridge line filled with men and orcs, each black against the welkin and their howls rolled down the snow-covered slope before them.

The fighting before the tunnel entrance shuddered to a halt and all looked up. The black swordsman began to laugh.

Bardhwyn fought the urge to reel at the sight. She widened her stance, rooting her feet into the cold earth and counted at least thirty men along the ridgeline with two on horseback. With a roar they collected along the lip of the ridge, brimming like a black tide, and she felt her stomach clench.

It was over.



She then caught sight of Courage as he reared high, his front hooves pawing at the cold air. He sounded a long and high whinny, which was promptly returned by one of the mounts on the ridge.

She then understood.

She then began to laugh.

“CLAN HARLOND!” She cried with a triumphant upward thrust of her horseman’s axe.

As her cry echoed off the hillside the Carnad standard atop the ridge line was tossed high into the air. It arced and dropped onto the slope below, breaking into pieces as it fell.

As the splintered antlers slid and rolled across the snow the swordsman’s pride quickly transformed into grim recognition and his laughter died in his throat.

High on the ridge stood Thar and his men. The Carnad standard, now discarded, was taken as their trophy after they defeated Carnad’s advance force while en route to the tunnel – a fierce and bloody fight. Courage whinnied again and Thar’s mount replied; the beasts had recognized one another before their owners could.

“CLAN HARLOND!” Thar cried in return. The black tide broke, spilling down the ridge and the brawl resumed…
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Postby SilverScribe » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:21 am

The Scribe's "bit of swordwork" had turned into a full-on sparring match that left them both sweating, exhausted but at the same time, exhilarated. As they were picking up their cloaks to leave, a summons had come for Guilhendar. At the look of annoyance that crossed the innkeeper's face, Scribbles excused herself with a curt, proper nod of her head and returned to the Ivy Gardens to bathe and change her clothes.

She was just towelling her hair dry when Elmissir's distinctive double tap sounded at her door. "Come," she said, winding the large towel about herself as Elmissir slipped into the room. "What have you there?" Scribbles asked, nodding at one of the healer's obviously burdened arms.

"Clothes, Scribe," Elmissir answered with a wink. "You do remember that clothes are required when one goes to the Great Hall, don't you?"

Scribbles merely grunted as she lowered herself into one of the large chairs flanking the now-cold hearth and began running her long fingers through her damp hair to unsnarl it. "Not to mention that a comb was actually designed for that," Elmissir added, pulling a delicate shell comb from her pocket and dropping it into the Scribe's lap as she passed by. Scribbles ignored it.

"Sooo, which do you favour?"

Elmissir's voice drew the Scribe's eyes upward and away from the rug at her feet. The healer was holding up a soft grey tunic with one hand and a dark, silvery-blue one with the other. Both were modestly adorned at neck, cuffs and hem with intricate silver-hued embroidery, one in the shape of vines and leaves and the other with small flowers and stars. Scribbles frowned. "Neither really suits your colouring, but go with the blue. It looks less like a mourning shroud," she finished with a grin.

"Well, it's about time you agreed with me on something," Elmissir shot back, tossing the blue tunic at the Scribe and then nodding meaningfully at the pile of soft grey wool and linen heaped at the foot of the Scribe's bed. Scribbles caught the tunic and laid it across one knee. She had little interest in finery, something that anyone who knew her as well as Elmissir did was well aware of. Guilhendar had long since given in to the depth of the Scribe's unconcern for what she termed 'feminine frippery'. But Elmissir was cheerfully and unswervingly optimistic and had never given up on trying to 'improve' the Scribe's looks, whether it be taming her unruly mass of hair or egging her to wear more 'suitable' clothes when not travelling or at war.

There was no point in arguing with the healer, it would be a waste of breath. However, Scribbles would pay as much heed to Elmissir's efforts as she had always done, which was to say, none at all.

Elmissir folded up the soft grey tunic and headed for the door. "And use the comb, please? It will help tame that haystack into something resembling order," she remarked, before slipping out and closing the door firmly behind her.

Scribbles picked up the little comb and snorted, then rose and tossed it on the chest by the bed. It was too delicate for the job and besides, she had larger worries.

*****

Elmissir rolled her eyes and made a very unlady-like sound of disgust when the Scribe joined them a half hour later in the Great Hall, clad as usual in her travelling blues and greys. Guilhendar and his sister had already eaten, they explained, because they both had urgent errands for the evening. She waved their apologies off with good humour, already focused on the upcoming meeting with the Beorning. She fetched herself a light meal of bread, cheese and fruit and was just finishing her ale as the large human hove into view across the room. Scribbles waved him over as Elmissir and her brother rose hastily to excuse themselves. Scribbles shot Guilhendar a look that definitely pleaded for him to stay.

"I cannot, Scribe," he murmured, as Boartooth spotted them and began making his way across the Hall. "Not even if I beg?" she asked softly, her eyes tracking the Beorning's progress. As Elmissir quietly slipped away, Guilhendar paused long enough to lean down close to her ear. "It is bad enough that I cannot take this road with you," he said, "but I cannot and will not sit and listen whilst you plan what could be your own death." Scribbles stiffened, but did not turn her head. "Have you still so little confidence in me then?" she growled.

"I have every confidence in you," Guilhendar answered. "It is Delkarnoth that I fear, for I cannot forget who and what he is." He squeezed her shoulder. "Bargain well, marillyana," he whispered in Sindarin, straightening up as Boartooth arrived. He dropped a shallow, respectful bow to the Beorning, then turned on his heel and left.

Scribbles rose. "Mae govannen, Boartooth," she said as her mouth quirked into a small, crooked smile. "I think you owe me an ale or three."

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Postby Cock-Robin » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:27 am

Boartooth had also taken his time to get washed up and a change of clothing, still fitting for a Beorning. He grinned as Scribbles addressed him. "Well met indeed, Scribe." he said. "And I always pay my debts. An ale or three or more." Since he did not defeat her in battle, maybe he could drink her under the table, but he doubted it personally. She was tougher than she looked.

He lay down his chosen weapon nearby, as he was never without it. He waved and ordered the first round of ale. "Now to the point, Scribe. You said you needed a warrior, and I was looking for something to do." An animal cunning was in his eyes as he regarded the Scribe over his mug of ale.

She instantly liked that the Beorning wasted no time or effort in meaningless small talk, but cut to the heart of the matter at hand. She hefted a foaming tankard of nut brown ale and saluted Boartooth with it. "Then it seems we are of common purpose already," she said. "Let us open the evening with a toast to both the Elves of Imladris for their gracious hospitality, and to the steadfast strength of your kin . . . may both our people ever keep faith and honour alive."

Boartooth toasted with enthusiasm, and drank as deeply as she did. Scribbles leaned back in her seat and gazed straight at the Beorning with unvarnished frankness. "I do indeed need another warrior to add to my present company," she told him. "The deal is, half payment now and the rest when the job is done. Tell me, how do you feel about taking on the personal army of a Noldorian sorcerer in his own citadel?"


Boartooth didn't even blink when she mentioned what they would be up against. "It sounds like something I'd be interested in." he said. "Going after bandits has been getting pretty dull for me, it's too easy. This sounds like a challenge I can't pass up. Something that hasn't happened since the War ended and the Dark Tower fell."

He took another drink. "As for your offer, it's the usual offer I'm used to. Half now, half when it's done. I'll go along with that."

"Excellent," Scribbles replied, hoisting her tankard in another silent toast. She glanced around the Great Hall but the few Elves that remained were either clustered around the large fireplace or moving towards the doors. Placing her tankard towards the middle of the table, she leaned forward, placing her forearms on the table and cradling the ale mug in both hands. "I'll make sure you get your first half before we set out and as for the challenge . . . well, trust me that it will not disappoint." She took a deep draught from her tankard and wiped her mouth on her sleeve. "The Noldorian sorcerer, Delkarnoth the Black, is my target. Your job, along with the rest of my company, is to distract and destroy his personal guard. He boasts a very large collection of nasty creatures that would rival Sauron's own and I can't deal with both him and them. Your mace will see more action in one day than it's seen in a month hunting the Clans." She grinned at this last, as a fleeting vision of Boartooth and his mace cutting through Delkarnoth's pets like a scythe through ripe wheat flickered through her mind's eye.


Boartooth reached out and patted his mace. "Then they shall learn to fear Boartooth the Mace," he said. "I don't like to brag and usually let my actions speak for me. Both Lightning and Thunder, the names I gave to a falcon and horse that go with me, are itching for some action like this." He leaned back with his mug of ale. "Then to the battle. And may this Delkarnoth the Black soon join his masters Sauron and Morgoth where they have gone. The Great Eagles shall watch over us." He of course had seen Landroval's visit last night. He was surprised that there were any of Thorondor's kin left in Middle-Earth.

One of Scribbles' eyebrows went up. "The Great Eagles?" she echoed. "I hope not. While I have a towering great respect for all of Gwahair's folk, I don't want anything tipping Delkarnoth off. A great deal of our success will rely on staying as invisible as possible, and a Great Eagle is as far from invisible as a Hobbit is from an Oliphaunt." She raked a hand through her hair, remembering the shock of seeing a Great Eagle on the lawns of the Ivy Gardens. "Still, I count the appearance of one of the Windlords here in Imladris as a good omen." She drained her tankard and reached for another. "You mentioned bandits earlier, which sounds like a tale worth hearing. But of course, only if you wish to tell it."


Boartooth also drained his tankard and took another. "Ah, yes, bandits. There were many of those clans around the Beorning land, though many of my kin had let them through as long as they paid their tolls. I knew what they were, and knew they would turn on my people given the least chance. There were others who needed my services against them, so the Mace was busy. Especially against Clan Carnath. They learned to fear me.

It was a rough and exhilirating time. Being alone, except for Thunder and Lightning, it was a challenge that was well met." He took another drink. "And of course, I meant it figuratively that the Great Eagles were watching over us."

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Postby SilverScribe » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:37 am

.

"Indeed," Scribbles agreed. "Though it seems that Radesh, a certain hillman in my company, has one literally watching over him. I must speak to him about that sometime." She eyed the large mace leaning against the wall next to the table then looked back at Boartooth. "I can well imagine the healthy fear you would have instilled in the clans, or anyone else of a like nature that crossed your path," she remarked with a faint smile. "In that at least the clans show some wisdom." She turned her flagon around several times in her long fingers, wondering if the Beorning had ever crossed paths with the Archer of Dale or Clan Harlond. "Tell me, did you ever run across any of the Clan Harlond?"


Boartooth shook his head. "No, never ran across any of that clan." he said. "I may have driven the other clans, especially Clan Carnad their way." He ordered another round of ale. "Though the other son of Elrond might not like me for driving them his way. Or he might like it, who knows. I happened to see that Eagle just as he flew away. He left two Atani with their mouths so wide open that Lightning could have flown in with room to spare. They were talking about how they were glad no dancing bears would show up. I was tempted to come out and meet them in bear form, but I promised Elladan that I wouldn't show myself as a bear within Imladris. " He waved his arm vaguely westward. "And I thought all of Thorondor's kin had departed from this world to the West. I saw some of them go. But one of them stayed behind, it seems, like a lot of you Elves. The world would be a boring place if all of you left, Elves and Eagles. So have you had any clashes with any of those clans in your journeys?"

"Those clans? Aye," Scribbles sighed and drained the last of the ale from her flagon. She forced her thoughts back, not to the recent brush with the traitorous Archer, but to when the trouble started, shortly after she'd been returned to Rhudaur by her mentor, Luinil after her disastrous first attempt to meet Delkarnoth. "After Sauron fell, they seemed to infest my homeland of Rhudaur like fleas on a dog. I began to hear things, what I thought were just rumours and fireside stories at first, of travelers or farms attacked or small villages ransacked. I decided to investigate and found the rumours were actual truth." When the ale arrived she hoisted the fresh tankard with a nod of thanks to Boartooth before taking the first swig. "I spent nearly two years tracking down even the merest mention of these 'clans', and then ambushed their every move. Very few escaped my blade, but enough to spread the word of warning that a she-elf they named "Silver Hair" hunted them, and that Rhudaur was no longer a safe haven." She took a deep breath, then let it out slowly. "I dread to think of what will become of my home, now I am gone," she said softly.


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Postby Cock-Robin » Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:40 am

Boartooth mused as he listened to the Scribe's tale. "Silver Hair. Yes, I have heard that name as I fought the bandit clans. And because of them, I had no lack of work, as many peoples wanted me to rid their lands of them. It seems the bandits needed to fend for themselves with no Dark Lord to employ them anymore. Of course, that is why I am out of favor with my kin, as most of the Beornings didn't care who passed through as long as they paid the tolls. I told them often enough that they would regret letting these scum pass. Many didn't learn the lesson our great forebear, the first of our kind, had to learn."

He saw the Scribe's look. "I will gladly share the tale of Bar, the first of the Beornings. It has been passed from father to son, and I often dream about it."

He took another drink, then played with the rim of his mug for a moment. "This tale begins in the Elder Days, when the Atani first roamed Middle-Earth, and Oromë still hunted on the land. Back then, my kind did not change to a bear, but it soon was different, due to Bar of the house of Bëor. He was a strong man, given to rage. A rage that would get him into trouble.

One day, a bear got into the food stores of his clan. Bar was enraged and went to hunt that bear, when it only was hungry. He hunted and chased the bear to a tall mountain, where there was a battle, and Bar finally killed it with his spear. But then, due to his wanton act, a light descended around him, and the sound of a song, a song of the Valar. And he saw the song enacted before his eyes, the creation of the Kelvar. And Oromë himself appeared to him, and the great Eagle Thorondor was with him.

Because of your wanton act, I am going to make you see through another's eyes. he said. A gift or a curse, it will depend on you, if you learn from it.

Then, Thorondor picked Bar up and bore him upwards into the song. And it had its effect upon him, as he was transformed into a bear. As the Eagle set him back down, Bar heard the words of Oromë.

The life of the bear which you wantonly killed like an orc shall be yours, and that of your descendants. And you must control the rage which is your curse.

Oromë and Thorondor then left him. It took a while for him to control the rage which had transformed him, and he changed back into a man. But all his life, he would be learning the lesson, for now he and all who came from his body would have that gift, or curse, depending on how they used it."

He looked up with a faraway look. "I hear that song in my dreams."

He began to sing the song, which was in Quenya, softly:

[ Come with me, I'll take you now
To a place that you fear
For no reason why
Your heart has turned away from me
And I will make you understand....


Everything will become clear to you
When you see things through
Another's eyes
Everything will become clear to you
Whatever's meant for you, you will find...

Come with me, I'll take you there
To a place where you'll see
Everything you need to be the one
you need to be
And all of those things that you feared
Will disappear from you in time...]

(OOC: That is the translation of what he was singing)

Boartooth smiled. "That is the tale of the Beornings, and how we became what we are now, Scribe."

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Postby SilverScribe » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:59 am

.

Scribbles listened to Boartooth's tale with keen interest, noting the brightness in his eyes as he related the tale of his kin. She was well acquainted with what little history of the Beornings she had been able to find during her earliest years studying at Imladris. But now she smiled the rarest of smiles, one of pure delight and pleasure in learning something more of a race whose true origins had long been cloaked in mystery. Even the Elves, whose archives of accumulated knowledge were vast in many areas but sparse where the descendants of Beorn were concerned, had only guessed at a history that most claimed was more myth and legend than anything else. Yet Boartooth's tale rang true, and she silently thanked the Valar once more for placing Boartooth at Imladris at a most opportune time.

"A most fascinating tale Master Boartooth," she said when the last notes of his song faded away and placing one hand over her heart, she dipped her head to him in a gesture of heartfelt thanks. "I am delighted to learn more of the origins of your kin; long has the history of the Beornings been a favourite study, even though so little has been recorded of how your race came to be. I thank you, truly, for your tale and that most beautiful song."

The Great Hall had been slowly emptying while they had been drinking and speaking. Scribbles signalled for a last round of ale and the steward, knowing her well, brought a tray not with two more flagons, but four brimming pitchers. He unloaded them onto the table with a knowing wink, then bowed and silently left the Hall. The few Elves that were left were talking quietly by the great hearth, where the fire was now banked for the night.

Scribbles picked up a pitcher and raised an eyebrow at Boartooth. "What say you Master Boartooth?" she asked with a grin. "Shall we spin a few more tales and sing the stars to their beds?"

"Aye, more tales and songs. And more ale. I can take it, and it looks like you can as well. I wouldn't think of challenging you to that, as a warrior like you who can wield a sword like that can obviously drink many a warrior under the table." said Boartooth with a laugh.

"Well, I have been known to out-drink an entire Eored," Scribbles replied as she filled Boartooth's flagon to the brim. "Theoden King was furious with me, but I can honestly say it wasn't my fault. One of the Rohirrim made a bet with another Rider that he could hold more ale than any man alive. Unfortunately, the other Rider was a good friend of mine and well, it was a bit of a set up, I have to admit. He pointed at me and said, "How about a woman?" Of course, they all scoffed and said that wasn't even worth betting on. Well, my friend was never one to pass up making a bit of easy coin, so he said, "I bet you can't hold more ale than that woman." He neglected to mention that I was peredhel. When the original challenger passed out, the rest of the Eored thought it their duty to uphold the honour of their friend, and so one by one, they stepped up and assumed the bet." Scribbles chuckled at the memory. "Not only was the Eored a mess the next morning, they were also much lighter in their purses. My friend made a fortune, and so did I."

She drained half her flagon, then topped it up. "And before you ask, no, aside from gaining a few pounds I wasn't affected much at all. A good thing too, since I had to leave in rather a hurry. At Theoden King's suggestion, of course," she grinned. "Now, how about we have another song? Tell me, do you know the words to, 'The Bosun's Daughter'?"

Boartooth laughed at the Scribe's tale. "I wish I had been there to see it. And nay, that is one song I haven't heard. I'd love to learn it."

"Well then," Scribbles chuckled. "It goes something like this . . . "

Dawn was just beginning to pearl the eastern sky when they finally made their way out of the Great Hall. At a juncture in one of the garden paths, Scribbles grinned and waved as Boartooth bid her a pleasant good night and headed off towards his rooms. She made her way back to the still slumbering Ivy Gardens, picked up her Longbow and quiver from her room and went on to the practice butts. After an evening of near inactivity, she needed to bend her bow. What effects the large consumption of ale would have was yet to be seen . . .

Boartooth by Cock-Robin

*finis*
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Postby Frelga » Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:14 pm

Far away and probably some time ago...

With a loud thump and no regard at all for privacy, Raisha threw open the door. It was a chilly morning, not yet red with sunlight. He hadn't slept, and rode too fast for the dew to settle, but the damp had refreshed him better than any down pillow could. Arms full of a bundle, he manoeuvred around to push the door closed and to drop the latch without losing anything he carried, then stumbled along in the dark until he found the bed. Suddenly quiet, he lay down carefully, coat still on and with booted feet, to train his eyes to the darkness by watching his gypsy sleep.

Sarina stirred and turned toward the new weight on the bed. Her sleep remained undisturbed, yet she stretched out a bare arm to reach for the man next to her. Her hand touched a sleeve, and then she woke up with a yelp. "Raisha! You are freezing cold! Get off the bed."

"I'll warm up," Raisha grinned at her and moved closer even as she drew the covers up and edged away. "And if you're cold I've got just the thing." He tugged at the precious bundle and found in it a silvery fur hat which he pulled over the gypsy's tousled head.

Still blind with sleep and yawning, the gypsy clutched the warm softness that landed on her hair and pulled it off. "It doesn't help when my sheets are soaked with the cold rain off your coat," she chided, but softly, having made out what her present was. "Oh, this is so silky," she purred and pressed the fur against her cheek. A thought stirred deep in her mind - a question of how the brigand chief acquired this little piece of luxury. She didn't ask. "But your coat is still freezing and damp."

Raisha knew his gypsy well. "It's brand new," he said as she examined the hat. "Don't fuss. And these..." he reached again and produced a neat bouquet of furs, "are from Alder. For your cuffs and collar." She took them but gave him a pointed look, and so he rolled away. The coat landed on the floor, and the brigand was back on the bed.

"Did he catch them himself?" Sarina inquired, rising on an elbow to pet the furs. "While they were still on four legs, I mean," she amended, since there was more than one way a brigand could catch furs. "Your boots," she reminded, kicking out with a bare foot against Raisha's leg.

It was no use giving her sad looks. Raisha sat up and began the long struggle with his boots. "Mink," he said. "And yes, he caught them himself. You know Alder. Last time we went on the road he almost gave his coat to the poor beggars we jumped. You know..." he grunted as the left boot finally flew off. "...you know Alder."

"I know." Sarina hid a smile in the furs and waited for the thud of the second boot, some distance from the first. Then she shoved furs aside and opened her arms to the brigand chief. "Come here, then, before you really freeze."

Raisha didn't let her ask twice. "He'll be glad you liked them. Have those sewn quickly, love," he said, sinking into the pillows, wonderfully warm. "We're going North."

A chill ran down Sarina's spine that had nothing to do with Raisha's cold feet. North, to her, was a place not so far away where her husband had been murdered. The place she had fled in fear of her life. It was in that flight that she first crossed ways with Raisha. "North? Why North? Where?"

"Because that's where they don't want us," Raisha muttered, suddenly finding that keeping his eyes open was a difficult business. He yawned. "We are going to cause trouble, darling, a great deal of trouble. Do you remember Harlond sent his yapping she-warg to ask for an alliance? Yes? Of course you do. And then Carnad did the same thing, only without the fuss. And today..."

"Today?" Sarina shook her lover's shoulder with both hands. "What happened today? Answer me, Raisha, you can't just drop off in mid-word like that. Please?"

"What? Stars above, Sarina, let a man sleep. I've been up all night," he grumbled and made himself more comfortable. The bed was warm, and irresistible. "Today I decided we'd go North."

Just a cameo, not to be continued. :P


Most of this is Rodia's fabulousness and by rights should be posted by her. She said I can, however.
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Postby Frelga » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:29 am

Back in Imladris...

In Imladris, the hillman dreamed of home. His bride, Nureli, ran to meet him. She was no longer the plump, laughing girl he remembered. Three years of waiting put sharp planes on her face and sad knowledge into her eyes, but she opened her arms to Radesh  and told him she missed him.

 "I could not make it back before the snows," Radesh said. For three years he believed that the Hills gave him up for dead and feared that Nureli had cried out her tears and let another man into her gentle heart. Now, it was as if she were ever with him and knew all that had befallen him. "I will be back in the spring, coming over the pass as soon as it opens," he promised. 

"See that you do," Nureli admonished. Her voice was still in Radesh's ears when he woke up.


Dreams of home had been nothing but an ache to the hillman but this one was different. Perhaps it was only the peace of the Elvenhome that filled his heart with hope. He would finish this blood hunt of Scribe's and come back and perhaps Nureli would still be waiting.

 

That meant he had much work to do.

 

The dawn was still a pale promise when Radesh padded out of his room. He counted on two things - that at least some among the Elves loved the morning's birth enough to be abroad, and that after the Eagle's visit they would be inclined to help their guest. He was right on both counts. A pair of Elves strolled down the path toward the gardens, and they were most corteous in supplying directions. 

Despite the lanterns that lit the trail to the falls, it was a scramble, even for the surefooted hillman, to get to the very top.  The path was steep, slick with spray, and the steps carved into it were meant for the tall Elves. At last, winded and damp, Radesh looked down into the glittering foam. Rock pulsed under his feet like a racing heart. 

"Radesh Fahn var!" the hillman cried into the roar of water. "I am Radesh of Fahn, and I am alive!"
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Postby SilverScribe » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:32 pm

The days and weeks passed, some days went slowly and others more quickly. She spent most of her nights and a few long days studying in the Archives. The balance of her days she spent in the practice arena sparring, either with Guilhendar, or the more enthusiastic of the Elven Guard, or members of her own company. Boartooth was always a welcome challenge, she had gained more muscle in the last three weeks sparring with him than in the two years she had been hunting and clearing out the clans in Rhudaur. She felt physically fitter than she had for a long time though her sleep, whenever she took it, was troubled. Elmissir had noticed and given her an herbal mixture which helped, but left her groggy the first hour after waking. She almost preferred the nightmares.

The Company too, were faring well. Htiet, though still healing, had amazed even Taradeath and Elmissir and was now on his feet. Radesh had begun sparring with her a week after leaving his bed; an hour or so every other day to start, gradually stretching to longer and longer as his wounds healed and his strength returned. Harah had fully regained his eyesight and was also nearly recovered from his wounds. Garia, of course, had recovered the quickest, being the least injured of the lot and had spent his time getting into everything and anything. However, as promised, he stayed mostly out of trouble. And Khiran, who had not sustained any serious wounds, had split his waking hours between Htiet, Taronwe, and the practice arena. He had made somewhat of a name for himself among the Elven Guard with his bisen-to and style of combat. Even the language barrier had not prevented a mutual respect from developing between the Corsair and the elves he sparred with. And both Htiet and Taronwe had continued to coach Khiran in Westron while Garia, of course, taught the Corsair some of the more colourful parts of the language.

But in spite of how well things were progressing, Scribbles was growing restless. The waiting was beginning to chafe, she knew there was still time but she wanted to be on the road. More than anything, she wanted to be shut of the whole business, one way or another. Either she sent Delkarnoth to the Shadows alone, or she took him with her. At this point, she wasn't even sure she cared which became reality, so long as the Noldorian mage was destroyed.

She had closeted herself several times in the Archives, going over maps, routes and weather patterns, re-acquainting herself with the locations of shelter, caches and water sources, honing her memory as much as she felt was necessary. She was ready and her Company nearly so. She set the date of their departure for the second day following the feast that Elladan was planning to mark the middle of Narbeleth. The day after would likely be spent by the mortals nursing hangovers . . . she grinned to herself at the thought. Dawn of the day after that would be perfect, though she was certain the weather in the mountans had now turned. Once they left the high passes beyond Rivendell, they would ride into the teeth of winter. There was no help for that however, their road first lay east and then south, so travel east they must.

But that was then . . . and this was now. They still had a little time . . . and a banquet to get through.


((ooc: As always, a Milestone post goes in Reckoning. Unfortunately, I found no smooth way to work the number 25,000 into the text, so it will merely be a footnote. :P ))
Last edited by SilverScribe on Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Rodia » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:24 pm

"Oh, fair elven damsel, oh sweetness alive
Your eyes are as blue as…"

Garia stopped in his tracks. Blue? Were her eyes blue? They could not be brown, certainly, and he would have noticed a green.

"Your eyes are as…" He hummed the rest without words as he strolled through the gardens. Ah, she was fine, Elmissir, she was like silver moonbeam, but then also about as easy to catch. Instead of giving more than at their first delightful meeting at the falls, she gave less with every tryst, and her hound of a brother found every opportunity to intercede. It was tiresome.

"…ah I'd give twice my life for an evening of yours," Garia remembered the last verse and sighed. There, across the lawn, went a lovely kitchen maid whose eyes were most certainly blue, and she had no growling brother, and no good name to mind. Oh, she was fine, Elmissir, she was lovely to look at, if looking was all one wanted.

Garia kicked a pebble along the path and tried to count the days since they had come. Imladris seemed wound in an endless, lazy wisp of summer, but that could not be right. His bruises were gone, which he knew because of all the mirrors the Elves hung in their halls, and Radesh could take a full breath again, and Harah had left his bed, though that was not such grand news as his yakking tongue could now walk around looking for ears to fill, and no care whether they were willing. The Eastron Garia avoided, for they had nothing to talk about. Not while in Imladris, at least. Garia was sure there would be talk, later, and the language would be steel.

He had barely seen the Scribe, herself, and did not mind at all. Her new friend matched her for looks. There was that quest, of course, that Radesh had sworn to and would not be coaxed away from, but Garia was thinking again of taking his chances in the South. If he left soon, he would cross ways with the winter and find home all sweet with flowers. Why not go? They would not care, after all this time, what quarrels had driven him away. Skies, even Raisha could be persuaded to forgive and forget.

Perhaps not, he thought, a sudden chill running down his back. Well, but the world was wide. He could go to the cities, where no one knew him. He could still follow Elmissir to her famous inn, though she would have to promise more than a smile. Really, now.

The pebble rolled away into the grass. How many days, then?

Stars, who gave a damn. If the Elves were so hospitable, one was obliged to enjoy all that Imladris had to offer. With great purpose, Garia strolled across the grass to find a suitable tree, and a shady spot under it where he might seek council in a nap.

(OOC helloooo reckoning! Hope I didn't mess anything up...)
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Postby Frelga » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:46 pm

Radesh strode across the lawn with more purpose than his friend, intent on the practice grounds. The sweet grass that sheltered Garia did not quite hide him from the hillman eyes. He changed his course toward the dozing strawhead and gave him a gentle prod in a choice spot between the ribs. "Up and at'em, Garia," the hillman chided. "You'll miss something important if you sleep so much."

Garia jolted, woken from too good a dream. "Up and at what?" he grumbled, sitting up. "What am I missing now? Another sparring match between elf and dandelion head? I've seen a dozen and they all end the same way."

"Dinner?" Radesh suggested. The hillman had astonished Elves with the mortal man's capacity for consuming food. The cook's effort was not wasted. Thanks to the heaped plates and days divided between shifting heavy bales in the stables and the practice grounds, Radesh had lost his lean look and the gain was pure muscle.

Garia stretched and yawned. Odd, how sleep caught and held a man in the Elven abode. He could not recall his dream, but it had been pleasant. Now, his stomach rumbled in reply to Radesh's invitation.

"Dinner, already? What are we having today? None of those fancy little grapes on a stick, I hope. A roast, please! And then some wine, and a nice sing song by the fire. That's the life, isn't it, Hillman?"

"Yes, it is." The hillman and the strawhead were in full agreement when it came to Elvish meals. "But look, if you wake up and ask if it is dinner already, it must be too early for your dinner. Come with me and work up some appetite." For emphasis, Radesh stuck his toe into Garia's ribs again. It dug into a half-inch of soft flesh. Garia was less diligent than the hillman about working off those meals, and the results were becoming apparent.

Garia grabbed the offending boot and let Radesh suffer a moment of imbalance before letting go. "You're a pain," he complained. "I can't smell any roast, you liar," he frowned, but made sure to smile, lest the Hillman take his words too seriously. You never knew, with Radesh. "Swords? Staffs? How about a drinking contest, I'm excellent at those."

The hillman's mood had improved as much as his condition did, and he felt no need to frown. "We can hold one after dinner," he offered. "Get Harah and Khiran, too." Htiet was still not up to night-time reveling. "Swords, why not. Whatever devilry Scribe's enemy will set on us might well use straight-edged swords like yours, and I had little practice against those." He extended a hand to help Garia peel himself off the grass.

Scribe's enemy. Garia yawned again as they walked towards the practice grounds, suddenly feeling much more vulnerable than he would want to admit. The Scribe was bad enough, he had tried to spar with her twice and been sorely beaten both times. It just wasn't natural. "Are you sure it's swords he will send, and not blast you off the ground with lightning? I heard it said she dabbles in magic. Elves, what can you expect? This whole story, Radesh, it stinks worse than a dead man's boots."

Radesh nodded soberly. "She deals in magic. You saw it - remember how her sword killed that orc all by itself? But she deals fairly. She hired swords, that means there are swords to be faced."

"Or bait to be set," Garia grumbled under his breath. "Fair enough, if you trust her scheme, I'm not one to judge. I'm not sure if she's the worse company I've seen…oh, all right, don't make that face." It was the Face of Stern Disapproval, as Garia had come to call it, and though he had seldom seen it since the tunnel incident, he took no chances. The only true remedy was to change the subject.

"So, practice swords today?" he asked cheerfully, picking one from the rack. "Or shall we work with sharp steel, like the ladies do?" He laughed and swung the blunt weapon through the air.

"You can, if you want," Radesh returned. He took up his own weapon - a beautifully balanced but less deadly replica of his shashko made by an Elven craftsman - and began to warm up, leaving it to the strawhead to find a jibe buried in the generous offer to let his opponent use sharp steel against his blunt blade.

"And owe the Scribe a swordsman? No, thank you," Garia made the obvious retort and stepped out into the field. He watched as Radesh did his little dance, the way he said only Hillmen knew how. The false shashko was a blur. On the edge of the grounds, two Elf maidens stopped to watch, and so Garia decided it was time to start moving. He had been taught a different manner of fighting than Radesh, but in the end, the aim was the same. To emerge a winner and impress the ladies, of course.

"Mind, Radesh, I'm sure that whatever foes you meet, their swords will be straighter than their fight," he said, and seeing that the Hillman had stepped into the circle, he attacked.

Radesh had half-expected the onslaught. Even so, he barely managed to deflect Garia's blade. Soft flesh or no, Garia moved fast.

They went at each other, stopping now and then to go over a particular sequence of attack and parry, until Radesh ran out of patience with Garia's impatience. Then they replaced the weapons and went on empty-handed, a plainsman's fisticuffs against the grappling and throws of the hillman's wrestling. When they broke up at last, both the yellow hair and the black dripped with sweat, and broad grins split both faces.

"That was good," Radesh said, adding a firm handshake to the praise. Garia made an excellent sparring partner. Well trained and deceptively quick, he took falls and bruises in stride and did not gloat over his own successes more than was tolerable. "And now, I think both of us have earned that dinner."

"Oh, I've earned two," Garia huffed. The damned hillman was different game from the sparring at home, long ago, with boys he knew. For one, his tongue never followed his sword; he swung quietly, and if a man was looking to mock him while he fought he would soon get winded. Serious business, with Radesh. He was more than just a shepherd, that Garia had to admit, if only quietly and to himself. Aloud, catching his breath again, he returned to the mockery.

"Sparring with a mountain man and not seeing him flat on his back, skies, my old swordsmaster would let me have it," he clicked his tongue. "How the mighty do fall. Well, I swear that my next opponent will suffer a thorough defeat. What luck that it's a dinner table, hm?"

Garia by Rodia.
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Postby Bardhwyn » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:13 pm

An excerpt of the diaries of Amras, secretary to the Sons of Elrond, explaining the reason for the banquet of Narbeleth becoming the Feast of Rhîw and Elladan’s absence during the preparations thereof...




I recall after one particularly thrilling sparring match between the Scribe and a son of Beor (I believe it was their first, first of many) I was summoned to His Royal Highness’ quarters. I stood quietly in his study, waiting to be acknowledged (as I had done so many times for his father) as Prince Elladan changed from his formal attire in his private rooms. I had watched him depart from the match before it had even finished. Twas an odd thing. It was while I waited upon him I noticed the small orb of crystal sitting upon his desk: a gift to him from his father, its twin carried by Elrohir and both are the means by which the sons of Elrond communicate and keep watch on the remaining houses of the First-born during our dwindling days. Perhaps its presence upon his desk was the reason for his hasty departure…

“He contacted me this time,” Elladan said aloud from the adjourning room. I started, surprised by the Prince’s insights into my thoughts, but then again, he was Elrond’s son. Elladan paced into his study quickly, dressed in plain hunting garb. The Prince was clearly weighed with concern. “Ro hardly ever does that these days, use the stones, so I knew it was urgent. His troop was attacked by gaurhoth* on the foot of the Coldfells. They slaughtered a great many of them but the alpha male escaped. We’ve lost one of our brethren and another, Camthelion, is seriously wounded. He’s being returned here, carried on a litter. I pray he makes it,” he said.

“As do I, my lord,” replied and I bowed my head and silently spoke the name of Elbereth and Manwe. “Is it the same pack that attacked the Scribe and her Edain, do you think?” I asked. I found myself at a window, pulling back one of the plush velvet curtains, allowing more of the sun’s light into the room. The mention of gaurhoth had made the room seem dim to my eyes.

Elladan nodded. “It may be. But that's not all. Ro’s asked me to bring at least a century of warriors out to reinforce him - I was about to draft some orders.” He waived at his cluttered desk. Many is the time I wished he would allow me to organize it for him, but no. “The clan’s are massing for a fight,” the Prince went on to say, “and this could be our chance to end them. We ride at dawn. And Ro has confirmed what the Beorning said earlier: our scouts have noted strange men traveling with one of the clans, not bandits but soldiers from foreign lands, perhaps from as far as the east of Rhun.”

“Foreign Soldiers?” Amras repeated. “Then King Bard’s suspicions were right all along.”

“Yes, that these clans are a more serious threat than in just thieving and smuggling of intoxicants from Rhun,” Elladan replied, picking up a black leather satchel on his desk. “I have other information to support this. These bandits need to be brought to an end or else more could be at stake. Far more.”

I watched has he carefully returned his father’s gift to its box of mor-taur**, no doubt as old as Imladris itself. As he dropped it into his pouch and carefully retied it to his belt, I could see even more care upon his brow. There was much he was not telling me, as is his wont. But he, and his Royal Brother, must know that those close to them can see more than we make mention.

The Prince's concerns proved to be justified, but that is for another time, another story.†

“And what about the banquet, sir?” I asked, thinking of the fair Elmissir.

“The banquet?” His Highness repeated, as if it were a strange new word. Understanding then dawned on the Prince. “AH! The banquet! The Feast of Narbeleth…” he froze momentarily, aware of the implications of his brother’s request. His Highness then shook his head, clearly disappointed. “Amras, it will have to be postponed. When is it planned for?”

“Less than two weeks hence, sir.”

“It can be held without me.”

“No, Your Highness, it cannot.”

“Well, it has now become the Feast of Rwîh,” The Prince announced.

“Very good, Sir,” I answered. “That’s roughly six weeks from now. I will inform Mistress Elmissir that she has more time to prepare…”

“Elmissir!” he echoed. Or was it more of a sigh? If often replay that moment, still unclear in my own mind as to the utterance’s quality. Certainly in his haste the Prince had forgotten the Elf-Maid, which is testament to the urgency of the situation, indeed, for who could forget her?

His Highness looked sorely vexed in that moment. Then, with a hitch of his sword belt, I could see he’d resigned himself, once again, to his duty. “Do that, Amras, and bid her farewell for me. I haven’t even time to write her a note of apology.”
'Can't be helped..' were the last few words he muttered, I cannot be sure.

The Prince and his Elf-warriors left the following morning, quietly, in the small hours so not to cause undue alarm among the residents of Imladris. It it didn’t take long, however, before all here knew and understood that both of Elrond’s sons were in the field; that they were, once again, taking up arms so that we may pursue our peaceful lives.

The preparations for the feast of Rwîh progresses nicely with Mistress Elmissir exhibiting much promise. I only wish she’d learn to distinguish a fish fork from a dessert fork, but these are small things and besides, such details are really my concern.

Addendum: The Scribe is really quite an irksome guest. She persists in taking food and drink to the Archives despite my explicit instructions not to do so. I think I even smelled leaf one evening! I shall describe my disappointment to both their Majesties when they return. And they shall return – they must.


* wolves
** ebony(black) wood

† This comment appears written with a different nib and with different ink. Clearly a comment added ex post facto - Archivist Comment
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