Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Guruthostirn » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:50 pm

There were a lot of bodies. Anorast slowly looked around the battlefield, noting the occasional fallen ranger, but seeing none of his immediate companions among the dead and dying orcs. The foul creatures were still visible, pushing against each other as they clambered and crawled back to their mountain homes, scared by the ferocity of their adversaries. The Mithril Knights were very fortunate to have Brondgast and his ursine transformation. And now Erinhue seemed to have some degree of control over his inner demon. Without a champion to match, no army would stand against those two. And they left a lot of bodies in their wake.

The old elf silently turned his eyes to the mountainous bastion above them. Rivulets of disturbed stones coursed down the trembling cliffs as the unseen beast stirred. Quickly looking around at the faces of his companions confirmed Anorast's suspicion. Eyes were not filled with fear, with anger, or with thoughtful calculation of odds and strategies, but instead with mourning and loss. The Mithril Knights looked to Carn-dûm, instead of to a fallen comrade on the bloody ground. What they all felt, the strange sad void within them, originated within the far mountain. There could only be one cause for their collective sorrow.

"You have lost a brother."

Listening to the Sickle's words within his mind, Anorast looked down at his sword. The blade had turned black, confirming the loss of one who bore armor crafted by its own creator. Dirk was gone.

"The dragon comes. It is not your destiny to slay this beast, that is for others to do."

Anorast didn't need to be reminded. Ever since they had learned what they needed in order to defeat their enemy Anorast had pondered how he could contribute. Now they knew what was coming and Anorast was ready.

"Thank you for bearing me, it is now time to pass me to another. Goodbye, shadow watcher."


Though the dragon hadn't emerged the knights looked about for shelter. All knew the stories of the great fire worms and their wild rampages. If it breathed fire down it could scorch the valley they stood in within seconds. With its claws it could slash through any steel armor, snap swords, shatter shields. But it fell to their small party to defeat this dragon. Anorast had determined only one role he could play in this battle. Whistling to his horse the elf sheathed his sword and focused within, to the faint glow of power he held, and to the various pieces of knowledge he'd accrued throughout his long life.

"Anorast, come, we must find shelter before the beast is free," Elenath called urgently as she took up her bow.

Anorast opened his eyes, smiling.

"Not today, Elenath," Anorast replied as his steed nudged his shoulder.

Anorast mounted and pulled a large cloth bundle from a saddlebag. Within was a heavy helmet with bright wings and a frightening mask, one of the battle helms of the Mithril Knights. Sighing, Anorast settled it upon his head. He regretted the necessity of wearing the heavy, cumbersome piece of armor, but he'd brought it from Mirkwood in case it might prove useful, and today it was perfect. From within himself Anorast started pulling his power outward, bringing it forth with ancient knowledge both magnificent and foul.

"I don't see that there's much of a plan here, my friends." Anorast looked around at his companions who had turned to see what the strange elf was doing. "Smaug was felled by his own weakness, but we don't have any way of finding a similar advantage over this dragon. I have faith Sir Dirk did not foolishly throw his life away, I believe his sacrifice will give us the edge we need. But we don't know what that is, and there's only one thing to do now."

"Lord Anorast, what are you doing?" Vanaladiel asked, fear in her voice.

"All I can do, I'm getting it's attention." Anorast dropped the mask of his helm. Strangely, the horrifying visage seemed alive, more than just steel. Even the wings were beginning to move, flaring out widely. The elf, now suddenly appearing much larger than ever, looked to Erinhue, Djazi, and the great form of Brondgast. "Kill him fast, would you?"

Taking one last moment to look at his fellow knights, wondered if any of them would fall. He looked long at each face. Tempest and Parador, Vanaladiel and Elenath, standing ready but not knowing what to do. The fated killers, Djazi and Erinhue, thoughtfully waiting for what fate might give them. Brondgast, waiting to be unleashed, and standing quietly, staring about the battlefield with tears in her eyes, their lost knight, Nin. Anorast's hand moved uncalled to his waist and he pulled the Sickle free.

"It's yours to carry once more, if only for a little while," Anorast said, holding the weapon, still in its leather bag, down to Nin. As she took it her face reflected the white light that glowed from Anorast's chainmail.

"Let's get this done."

Sending Firewind into a slow walk Anorast finished his last preparations. While it was wizards who could do battle with fire and the elements, the high elves who had traveled west had brought their own magic with them back to Middle Earth, and Anorast knew many of their secrets. Already he had brought forth light from his armor, imbuing it with his spirit, and bringing his helm to life. Upon his shield bright silver lines traced intricate, ancient designs, which had not been seen in Middle Earth since High King Gil-Galad had strode forward to fall before Sauron. When he drew Anguirel, the blackened blade was covered in lines of another heritage, showing similar origin, but burning red, with designs inspired by malice and cruelty. Anorast spilled forth all his power, not with the aim of destroying the dragon, but to draw it to him, to bring it down to the earth, to engage it, to distract it until his companions could find a way to slay it. He could see no other path to victory.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby erinhue » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:12 pm

As Anorast rode away from the tiny group a breeze stirred into a gust of wind. The smell of burned ash was wrapped in its warmth, along with the sound of harpstrings.

Courageous Ones, the dragon is not under the control of the young knight. Dirk is indeed dead. You must prepare. There is little I am allowed to do to help you in this, but I will do all I can.

Each expression changed when the dragonharp’s voice sounded in their minds. Dirk was dead. They all knew it in their hearts but this confirmation changed the chilling suspicion to tangible fact.

Erinhue stiffened at the words, his face went grey. His mind was filled with thoughts and images of the young man in the dark cloak and hood that wandered into The Lucky Fortune one blustery night. The bard realized that he was sweating profusely and beginning to shudder. A dreadful scream was raging in his mind, an overwhelming power was building fast within, but Clarion was not the cause or the source.

Bard, you must hold on to this. It is not time. Do not surrender. Use the strength of The Berserker to contain until it is time. You must find a way to do this or all is lost.
"Where ever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzi

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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Vanaladiel » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:47 pm

Elenath's voice was heard briefly above the din, and everyone regrouped quickly to prepare themselves for what might follow. The drakes were still crying out in their shrill voices and circling, but they were not attacking. They were waiting for the dragon, and though the Knights were glad of the reprieve, they knew it was the calm before the storm.

"What can we do against a dragon?" Tempest demanded.

"How can we possibly survive a direct assault?" Vana agreed.
The shuddering of the mountain and the scream of the drakes sent chills down Vana's spine. There was no control in that sound or the movement of the ground and Vana knew this could not mean anything good. Where was Dirk and why was he not stopping the dragon as he had planned? Her heart told her that something was very wrong and confusion filled her mind. Fear for her friend and comrade lay heavy upon her heart!

Quickly the small group of Mithril Knights followed Elenath up the mountain to find the cover they needed to handle the upcoming onslaught of the dreaded dragon. With weapons drawn they waited. The wait was not long and the dragon broke free of the mountain.

Vana tried to swallow but her throat went instantly dry for she had never seen anything so large and so monstrous. It was truly a frightening sight. Her first thought was to run and hide but with a quick glance around her group she knew that she could not do that to her friends. Taking a deep breath she braced herself for the battle that they were about to face.

Vana about jumped out of her skin when a hand was placed upon her shoulder. It was one of the rangers who had followed them up the hill.

"Hold steady!" He said almost in a whisper.

Turning to look at the ranger Vana was taken with his strong features and his hard eyes. He smiled as if he knew something the others did not.

Then turning back to face her friends, Vana steeled herself for the final battle.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Cock-Robin » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:16 pm

Brondgast also stood with the others, still in bear form. He stood between Vana and Erinhue, watching for the dragon to break loose and when he did, he almost ran as well. No, if it was his day to die, there were no better ones to die with than these Mithril Knights and the Rangers. They would fight on, even if there was no hope. His forebear, Bar the first one, and Beorn, would be proud of him this day.

Meneldor hovered, hearing the screeches of the cold drakes, but for the moment, paid them no mind. He was thinking of his brother, Dirk, and if he had succeeded in his quest. The rumbling seemed to say otherwise.

But then, the dragon emerged. It was larger than any he remembered. Worse than ten Ancalagons. He knew to grapple with it meant certain death, and for what? He would have to rely on his speed, and he wasn't called Meneldor the Swift for nothing. Was there any hope? He remembered the tale of Smaug, how a weakness was found in his armor. But things never repeated themselves. Or did they.

He was like a thrush in comparison to this monster dragon. He almost wished he HAD left for the West, abandoning the quest here. But then, it was like the days when Morgoth fell, and Ancalagon...even Thorondor couldn't defeat him, as it wasn't his task. It was Earendil who had slain the dragon, breaking Thangorodrim as he fell in his ruin. And to defeat the dragon was not his task, but of two down below. It was their task to make sure they had their chance with the artifacts they had.

He circled, looking for a weakness. If he was to be merely a thrush, the last of the Great Eagles on Middle-Earth, so be it!

With that, instead of desparing, he suddenly laughed, and sang a few grim staves as he did.

If I am merely a thrush,
A thrush I will be.
Come, crows, feast on what is to come.
And so Sorontel, Last Eagle,
does his appointed task.


And he spoke these staves as he circled, watching the dragon. But then, he paused, seeing something only Eagle eyes could see, as the dragon flapped its wings. Was history repeating itself? A chink in the impenetrable armor of the dragon, a wound that only he could see. Dirk had done his task, it seemed.

He rose up high, and dove, faster than thought. Meneldor the Swift, Meneldor the Thrush. He was only a blur to those below, as he sped to do a part he was destined to do. He dove at the dragon's breast, and impacted with a talon, bouncing against the dragon's hide, expecting to be roasted. But to his surprise he didn't. Was there no fire in this dragon? His talon, or his beak, he couldn't remember which afterwards, made its mark. He bounced off the dragon and sped away, screeching loudly, in the direction of Erinhue and Djazi. The screech had words in it that only they could hear. Telling of the secret, the chink in the armor, like the thrush of old, who told Bard of the opening in Smaug's armor. The one hope, if they would find it.

A light enters the darkness
And consumes him from within.


Those verses he had told Dirk rang in his thoughts as he sped to the top of the mountain. There he alit and waited for the onslaught. There he watched and waited. The last of the Great Eagles. He had counted coup, and lived to tell the tale.
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Meneldor, Warrior Bard, and Brondgast, Mithril Knights

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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby erinhue » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:33 pm

The intense heat created by the inner constantly build stress was having its effect. The fight was surprisingly similar with the efforts needed to ignore Clarion’s screaming in his head. Over time this had become a well practiced skill and the bard used it to his advantage here. All would be well, if he just were not so very hot.
Erinhue cast off his too heavy, Mithril Knight cape. The garment vanished before it hit the stone flooring of their temporary sanctuary. The bard nodded, saying “I will hold you to it this time, old worm.”
Ignoring the way they were all beginning to stare at him, Erinhue knew he had to speak before any of them said anything else. He didn’t want to talk, but he could not let them talk. He could not listen. If he let them talk, they would talk about Dirk and that he could not hear.
“Listen, all of you, the old elf is right. Meneldor cannot hope to defeat this thing alone and he is alone with this worm in the air. If I am right and Anorast plans to draw it to the ground, we have got to find a way to keep it there long enough to kill it.”
To keep his thoughts away from his inner struggles, Erinhue set his quick mind to devising a way to trick a dragon. “Did anyone think to bring that bit of chain along? If it held the Berserker it might prove useful.”
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Tempest » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:09 pm

"The chain? Of course I remembered to bring it. With you around, I always remember. " Tempest replied, though there was no hint of anger, or mirth, within her dark eyes. Instead, Erinhue could see only blackness, the kind of blackness that spreads and consumes, and he had only to guess what she was thinking. For Agarak's words had pierced her soul in such a way, that she could do little but react to the events around her, mechanically, like one already dead. But behind the mask, the dragonharp's words kept repeating over and over and over, burning themselves into her mind like a hot brand. Dirk is indeed dead. Dirk is indeed dead. Dead. Dirk was dead.

She felt the suffocating darkness that always seemed on the fringes of her consciousness, like a black and mighty river seeking to swallow her. How many had it been now? How many friends had she seen fall? How many enemies? How many masters had she served that led her to this moment? She remembered bitterly the many words that had passed between her and the young knight. How alike they had been, alone really amongst the throng of other Mithril Knights. Alone with their dark memories.

She had wanted to help him.

She had wanted to save him.

She had thought his story could have turned out differently from hers. He might be able to be free and happy in a way she could only dream. But now....

Now. Dirk was dead. Dead. Dead. Dead.

Gone.

She raised her eyes to the mountain peak and tried to imagine his final moments. He had gone there alone. And he had died alone. Tempest felt her fists clenched at her sides so tightly that the blood was pounding in them.

Focus. Keep it together, she told herself. There is a time for grief, but it is not yet. And besides, it could be that they all would be joining Dirk imminently.

Djazi recalled her attention towards the dragon, who had emerged while she stood in her dark revery, and she steeled herself for what lay ahead. But Djazi's eyes flashed with recognition and he called out to his fellow knights, "The beast has no fire! Dirk's one last gift to us!"
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby erinhue » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:12 am

The high mountainside exploded with a rock shattering blast. Wide spanning leathery wings carried the immense monster up from its stone prison and into the dusky sky. The remaining cold drakes held to their position as if they too feared the dragon’s approach.
As the dark form moved towards the group of Knights and Rangers, what looked like a tiny speck in comparison, darted towards it. The Great Eagle charged to the attack. Though it did precious little damage, Meneldor had struck the first blow of the final battle. The eagle’s battle cry screeched down to his companions.

The small band of defenders now watched anxiously as the black monster turned to mount it’s own attack against the Eagle. Meneldor dove towards the ground, hoping that its greater bulk would prevent the beast from successfully completing the sharp change of direction he intended and go crashing to the ground. At the moment it was the eagal’s only hope for survival.

Meneldor’s cry drew a response from the dragonharp. A threatening trill of harp strings deepened into an outraged roar. A globe of light surrounded the harp with the illumination growing and expanding until it filled the entrance to the shallow shelter.
Within the growing light, the members of the defending party could perceive a entity of colossal size.

The light rippled across the shining scales of a great golden dragon. It lowered its horned head and gazed at each Knight and Ranger with huge red eyes that glittered like jewels. Great golden wings stretched out to enormous size and then the being took off into the skies. Agarak, the Gold, Maiar to Illuvater himself, had joined the battle.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:45 pm

At the moment, Meneldor's great speed was its only hope, and the hope that the dragon's great size would prove its downfall, as it couldn't turn as quickly with his great bulk.

As he sped downwards, he felt the tremors from the light, from Agarak, with whom he also shared a bond. And still the light grew. Hope grew in the heart of the Great Eagle. It seemed he would not be for the halls of Mandos today. As the great golden form burst forth and rose in the air, Meneldor sped along the ground and then turned sharply up, just being missed by the dark dragon, who hit the ground with a resounding crash, causing a great quake in the ground that toppled Brondgast and many others who watched.

The Eagle gave a cry of joy, and flew upwards in greeting to Agarak, the golden dragon, Maia of Illuvatar. This was a new hope, as he knew the dragon below wouldn't stay on the ground unless a miracle happened.

The Eagle flew around the great golden dragon, waggling his wings in salute and deference, pledging himself anew to Illuvatar and his servant.

From their perch on Taniquetil, Thorondor and his cadre cried aloud, seeing it. Their small one, Sorontel, had come into his own, under the wing of Agarak.

Brondgast got up and roared his own greeting.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Guruthostirn » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:10 pm

It was big. Very big. Anorast silently watched the beast as it pulled itself up out of the rock and spread its enormous wings. It's claws, scythes as long as spears, flashed in the pale sunlight as it steadied its massive bulk on the high peak. Without question it was the largest dragon the old elf had ever heard of. He'd seen several other winged dragons, including the carcass of Ancalagon the Black after the fall of Angband, but this beast dwarfed even that great foe. Yet Anorast merely sat on his idly pacing horse, patiently waiting for his opponent to approach.

When the dragon leapt into the air the entire rocky outcropping collapsed. The winds from the great wings carried clouds of dust down the mountain as the dragon lifted itself into the sky. Despite its huge body the dragon flew effortlessly up towards the clouds. But its victorious flight was interrupted by a brown dart hurtling down into its side. Anorast held his breath as the dragon turned to follow the tiny speck, the eagle that was the final member of the Mithril Knight party, but there was no bright flame from their enemy. Curious, Anorast watched as the dragon dived after Meneldor. There was no flame, only furious speed from the dragon as the giant lizard gained on the smaller bird.

Meneldor lead the dragon downward towards the valley where the Mithril Knights waited. As the two fliers raced down past the disintegrating peak of Angmar Anorast began to wonder if the eagle would survive his pursuer. The dragon was approaching Meneldor frighteningly fast, but they were both approaching the ground even faster. At the last minute Meneldor flared his wings and swept upward in an almost impossible change of direction. The massively heavier dragon tried to match the eagle but even its vast expanses of wing could not keep it from slamming into the hard earth at the foot of the mountain. After rolling across rocks and brush the dragon started to rise onto its feet. Anorast spurred his horse forward, seeing his opportunity. As he galloped towards the great beast his armor flared brightly, the lines of power across his sword and shield shining bright in the shadowy light.

"Halt, in the name of King Elessar and the Mithril Knights!"

Instead of the usual soft voice that his fellow knights knew him by the words of Anorast rang with a strength and authority of immense power. Instead of a mere statement Anorast's utterance was an aural battle flag, a locked gate of words that prevented anyone who could hear from continuing on their chosen path. The dragon whipped its head down from the skies to search for the source of the bold, masterful proclamation.

"Who dares come before me?" The words came forth from deep within the dragon, heavy and thick with anger. "Who begs Mauglar the Mighty to devour their lifeless body?"

"One who does not fear your darkness, nor any fate you can bring." Anorast nudged his steady horse slowly towards the dragon. "One who will herald your death."

The old elf stared into the great eyes of the dragon as Mauglar found the source of the voice. Slowly the dragon drew himself onto his feet and settled his wings along his long body. Claws shattered rocks as the dragon moved forward.

"Brave words from an elf. If only you were bigger, you'd make a better meal."

"I wouldn't agree with your digestion, dragon. Submit to the will of the King of Arnor and Gondor, surrender, and you may return to your ancient prison." Anorast moved sideways, looking out of the corner of his eye to the sky where another dragon hovered, with the brown eagle soaring around the brightly glowing golden creature. "Or prepare to meet the fate of your brothers and ancestors."

"Surrender is an option I shall not take, nor give, elf. Farewell."

With frightening speed the dragon lunged towards Anorast. Instead of fleeing, the elf urged his horse forward. Firewind, emboldened by the power sitting atop him, responded magnificently. The two charging opponents closed immediately, but as Mauglar opened his jaws to accept his next meal Anorast took inspiration from Meneldor and turned Firewind just as he leapt from the saddle. Diving between teeth as long as swords Anorast evaded Mauglar's jaws as Firewind flew away from the dragon.

Now Anorast had the advantage. He was small enough in comparison to Mauglar that the dragon could not effectively find the elf underneath his bulk. The beast twisted and turned but Anorast kept away from the sharp teeth, smacking the dragon with the flat of his blade. Anorast trusted the wisdom of the Sickle and made no attempt to harm the dragon. Fate was fickle, and if he tried to do more than distract Anorast was confident he would find his end quickly. Even with all his concentration focused on evading Mauglar's searching Anorast had to use his shield to keep from being slashed in two by a searching claw.

Finally Mauglar roared and spread his wings once more. Lurching into the sky to prepare an assault from above, Mauglar laughed, a deep, rolling thunder.

"You cannot hide any more, little elf. I shall find you now!"

"Go ahead," Anorast muttered. He caught sight of the rest of the Mithril Knights emerging from a shallow cave nearby, carrying the strange chain they'd found to the west. The distraction had worked. "I've done my part, now you get to meet the rest of our party."
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby erinhue » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:43 am

Mauglar the Mighty rose up into the air, preparing to make good on the promise made to the bold but foolish elf that challenged him. The dark creature’s laughter rumbled beneath the clouds, but the evil sound was cut short. A bolt of gold rocketed out from the low hills and slammed into Mauglar’s body. The force of impact sent him tumbling across the sky.

“Mauglar the Mighty,” Anorast shouted up from the ground, “It gives me great pleasure to introduce Agarak the Gold.”
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby erinhue » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:41 pm

Mauglar’s mind was reeling as his body reoriented itself. No question that had been a dragon strike, but how? He was the last of his kind.

What I am is beyond you. I choose this form to fight you. You have no fire. I will use none against you. Defend.

Agarak’s melodious tone hid none of its contempt and fury. Golden lightning shot across the sky again and again Mauglar was sent awkwardly flying.

The black dragon wheeled around roaring with rage.

“ I care not what you are. I will kill you and send your carcass down to crush that impudent elf. Die.”

The two creatures rushed towards each other, clashing massive chest to massive chest, high up in the sky. Their legs and tails entwined, claws scraping against scales. The long necks whipped about as the heads snapped and roared at the opponent. In a moment the grappling pair broke apart only to spread their great wings and charge each other again.

Agarak hovered in the sky waiting for Mauglar’s next strike and when the beast was committed, the gold dragon shot straight up into the sky and Mauglar smashed into the stone spine of the mountain range. The black dragon snapped at the golden tail passing near his head and shattered a tooth on Agarak’s scales.

Using one outstretched wing, Agarak swatted Mauglar towards the ground but the dark dragon absorbed the glancing blow and charged after his fleeing opponent. Agarak turned around and roared into Mauglar’s scaly face. Had fire been released, Mauglar would have been blinded by the flame. This was lost on the enraged mind of the monster.

Again the two charged each other and became swiftly entangled once again. They beat against each other with their wings and clawed each other viciously. At the next break, Agarak dove onto Mauglar’s back and rolled the beast over. The struggling Mauglar’s under side was exposed to the Knights position. They could see the hilt of Neleg Amlug protruding from the dragon’s body.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Vanaladiel » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:02 am

As the Mithril Knights came out of the mouth of the small cave and caught sight of Anorast and Mauglar thrashing about. Vana could not help but cringe. The dragon was searching with all its might for the elf who was antagonizing him. Tempest and Djazi had the chain ready and slowly they all came forward.

Suddenly the flash of gold struck at the dragon. It was so quick that Vana almost missed what it was. The old worm was so magnificent taking on the dragon like that. Vana could hear what was being said by the two creatures and was so awed by their power. "Agarak" Vana spoke to herself.

All they could do was watch as the dragons fought and flew through the sky in their fight dance in the skies.

Where had Meneldor gone? Had he survived and where was he watching this display?

Vana looked around her, there stood Erinhue looking like the strong warrior he was, Elenath their elected leader, Tempest as dark as Vana had ever seen her, Brondgast large and tall, Djazi as exotic and foreign has he had always been but somehow more so. Perhaps it was her vision and sense so highly tuned to the situation at hand. How were they going to take this beast down and come out of it alive? She knew not but had to trust in her fellow knights. Swallowing back any fear or reservation she took a firmer grip on her sword and moved forward with the group. Nin followed quietly behind not letting anyone know her mind or where her thoughts were but she was there to back them up as well. Anorast stood atop the escarpment watching the scene in the sky as well. Looking noble and tall and very lordly. The rangers gathered about watched the scene as well.

This was going to be a good day to die if it came down to it. But then they were already grieving the loss of Dirk! Though no one had seen his body, they all felt that the light of his life had gone. There would be time for grieving later. But Vana hurt inside and she did not like it. She had felt pain such as this before and it almost destroyed her. But she had to keep her head in the game and help the others to destroy this vile creature. So shaking herself out of the past she moved ahead, stronger and focused.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby erinhue » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:28 pm

“Look!” Elenath shouted as she struggled with the ever increasing weight of the portion of the mysterious chain she carried. “D’Jazi, look. There is a lodging place for your spear.”

D’Jazi nodded but never took his eyes away from the scene displayed before them in the sky. Elenath was right and he wanted to commit every detail to memory.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby erinhue » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:37 am

Outrage thundered down from high above. Mauglar spread his wings and twisted through the sky. Agarak matched wingstroke for wingstroke and thwarted the effort to escape. Mauglar tried to shake the attacker off but Agarak would not be dislodged.
The golden dragon raised his head for momentum before striking. Sharp toothed jaws snapped at the base of the black dragon’s neck as Agarak bit Mauglar. Sharp clawed talons scrabbled at the spot and finding purchase ripped away at Mauglar’s back. Two of the great black scales fell to the earth. Again, Agarak made the motion of blasting Mauglar with fire without using flame.
The two great creatures separated, huge wings beating at the air, huge jaws wide as they screaming rage at each other. Twice wounded, Mauglar was far more humiliated than hurt. He swooped up higher and higher preparing for a death stroke that would destroy this intruder. Agarak hovered defensively above the Mithril Knight’s position and waited for Mauglar to attack.

Black lightening streaked across the sky carrying his destruction and yet the golden dragon did not move. Mauglar sensed a coming vindication and increased his attack speed. Agarak watched and waited and when the moment came he moved.

A golden bolt launched itself towards the the dark streak in the sky. When the two clashed, Agarak’s sharp fangs snapped down at the joint of one great wing while he grabbed Mauglar by the neck. Using the beast’s own built up momentum Agarak flung Mauglar from the sky and sent him crashing to the ground. Agarak flew down behind the falling dragon and pounded upon him, holding him against the earth.

“Now!” Elenath shouted out to the others. Struggling with the load, the Knights hoisted the chain and threw it as far as they could away from the Cliffside and down. The chain found in the frozen North hurtled downward with purpose to find its intended target.

Mauglar screamed out when the first links touched him. The chain wrapped around the creature’s neck at one end until it resembled a thick collar. The other end of the enchanted chain sunk into the earth going deeper and ever deeper until it found and anchored itself in the bedrock of the mountain. The golden dragon disappeared, it's presence no longer needed. Mauglar the Mighty had been grounded
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Cock-Robin » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:15 am

While Agarak and Mauglir were fighting, Meneldor was not idle. Since he was as a horsefly to the immense size of the dragon, that was what he would be. An annoying fly, zooming almost too fast to see clearly, staying just out of reach of the snapping jaws of the black dragon, darting in and out. He would show why he was called Meneldor the Swift.

It was his strategy to make the dragon so furious that he would make mistakes and open himself up to an attack from Agarak. And it worked. The dragon was grounded and chained. It was now time for the ground troops, but now the Knights weren't out of danger from the sky. The cold-drakes came screeching in at last, only to be intercepted by the Eagle. Now he had something in his range to battle, keeping them out of the fight down below. Meneldor would have the fight of his life, letting the others have the dragon on the ground. The aerial battle that ensued would be phenomenal.

Down below, Brondgast was now able to do something. As the dragon was grounded, he helped chain it, then climbed up on the dragon and saw where Agarak had wounded it. He began swiping with his paws, scythes slashing. Still it wouldn't be much, the bites of a fly, but he did his part.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Claymore » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:07 pm

Djazi sprinted down as soon as he saw that Mauglar had been succesfully grounded.

He’d grieved like everybody else when he’d heard of Dirk’s end. Over the last few months Djazi had started to consider the Mithril Knights like some sort of new family. This had made Dirk a brother of some sort despite the short amount of time he’d known the man and he’d mourned the Dunadan like one.

Now though all grief had been pushed aside. Dirk’s sword kept Mauglar from breathing fire for now and the chain kept him down but that would not last. Mauglar was a canny old lizard, left alone he would probably figure out a way to slip out of the chain and Djazi was unsure how long the loss of fire would last.

They needed to attack now or the sacrifices made so far would be for nothing. It was something Djazi refused to let happen.

Brondgast was already attacking the dragon, slashing at the wounds Agarak had already left. Sharp though the bear’s claws were however, it didn’t seem to have a great deal of effect on the dragon’s tough hide.

Even grounded the dragon was nimble enough and more than once Brondgast barely ducked slashing claws or snapping jaws. Djazi knew that this fight would require all the knowledge his Tribe once possessed about fighting large predators. Despite everything a feral grin made its way on his face. He was more than ready to give Mauglar the grandest and most final dance of his life.

Djazi had already noticed that Dirk’s broken sword would provide the easiest way to deal the deathwound. It was placed on the dragon’s underside, a place that would normally be rather inconvenient but Mauglar was big enough that a grown man could easily walk under his belly.

Mauglar’s attention was still firmly fixed on Brondgast and after quickly assessing the distance Djazi made a quick forward roll over his left shoulder. This brought him exactly under the place were Dirk’s broken sword was sticking out.

Djazi quickly slashed with Tenga at the already existing wound and the stone blade went through the dragon’s hide like butter considerably widening the wound. Then before Mauglar could let himself fall on him he made another backward roll back to safety.

Meanwhile Mauglar as predicted had tried to smash Djazi between the ground and his armored underbelly but with the Southron safely out of the way he only succeeded in driving Dirk’s broken blade deeper in his flesh.

Mauglar shrieked in pain and anger while Djazi now completely gripped by the battle-mind let out a laugh, bright and cold.

“Annoying fly,’Mauglar bellowed. “I will smash you, if it is the last thing I do!”

“Not a chance of that, you overgrown lizard,”Djazi yelled back. “If you are too fat to keep up with a bear, you will certainly never catch me.”
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Tempest » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:15 pm

Tempest watched the blaze of light that was the fight between Agarak and Mauglar with a detached fascination. The transformation of the dragonharp left her vaguely uneasy, especially when she recollected the many MANY run-ins she had had over the years with it. She had not realized who or what she was dealing with all those times where all Agarak had done in retribution was jangle a few garbled notes or send a blue flame in her direction. A TINY blue flame.

Nothing like the bolts of golden light that issued in strength from him now.

She was puzzled, but she had learned long ago that there was much in this world she did not understand. And so, she had obeyed the call for the chain and flung it effectively over the grounded Mauglar when the order came. She was at a loss as to what else she could do to help.

Here, she was useless. She knew little of dragons or magic, and she usually distrusted those who did. And also, she could not help the fact that her eyes kept traveling up the mountain and away from the battlefield in front of her. There was something gnawing on her mind, something she knew she must do, but she could not leave the Knights until she was certain they needed her no longer. She was loathe to leave Djazi, but she knew his place was with Erinhue and Anorast since he bore the Stone of the Lossoth.

However, now, with the dragon grounded, and the warriors circling in, she knew the moment had come. None thought to look backwards, or they would have seen Tempest standing with a farewell on her face, wordless, before she turned again to the mountain with resolute eyes and began vaulting up the side.

She must find Dirk.

She had to do it. Perhaps with all the chaos, the mountain had emptied of most of its minions. But if not, she had to try. Dirk was there, inside, dead and alone. She must retrieve him now before the enemies came swarming back. She could not bear to let him remain there alone.

If Dirk had been there, he would have called her a fool to risk her life for such a task. In fact, she knew everyone would call her a fool. But she didn't care. She HAD to do it. He had not died as an enemy, and she would rescue his body as her friend. As one of the few friends who had come close to understanding her darkness. In this case, however, her darkness would come in handy, for she was fairly certain that she could bluff her way through Carn-dûm using the name of the Zaugoth. She was serving him, after all. And she was also fairly certain that none except the Knights knew of his demise within the mountain. As far as the orcs and trolls were concerned, the Zaugoth lived, and Tempest would exploit this if need be.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby erinhue » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:52 am

“Annoying fly,’Mauglar bellowed. “I will smash you, if it is the last thing I do!”

“Not a chance of that, you overgrown lizard,”Djazi yelled back. “If you are too fat to keep up with a bear, you will certainly never catch me.”

Mauglar roared back at the impudence of the young warrior. A small cloud of black smoke belched from the creature’s razor toothed open jaws. The flow of time halted momentarily. The group of Knights and Rangers each held their next breath. Mauglar smiled.

“It seems that you have done me a favor, young Easterling. Your puny efforts have dislodged the sword and I shall soon have my fire. I shall make each one of you pay for your grave insult and then I will kill you all.” The dragon made a sound that resembled an evil chuckle. “You will all met your end sniveling and fearful, just like that deceitful emissary you sent to intrude upon me. He too had hopes of controlling and then killing me. I smote him and then I watched him die. At the end he…..”

“Nooooooo!

Mauglar’s disrespect hit home and shattered the dam holding back the power that had been building within the bard. Erinhue’s voice bellowed from the cliffside. The sound carried the familiar quality that signaled the release of The Berserker but that quickly changed. The tone deepened far beyond the bard’s rich baritone and thundered like the deep roar of the dragon. Erinhue’s body began to glow, an aura of light like fire engulfed him as another sound added itself to the tumult.

The spirit that possessed the sword, Clarion sensed the time of its redemption was at hand. The chance to correct its ancient wrong and atone for its mistakes had finally come. Erinhue ripped the blade from its scabbard and held it aloft. The runes carved into the blade were shining like stars and the spirit it contained screamed its demand as background to its weilder’s words.

“You shall not speak of him!”

Erinhue’s voice sounded like an earthquake. The bard stood in a blazing ball of light and clothed in fire. To his companions it looked as if he were taller, larger, more somehow than he had been just moments ago.

“You brag of killing him, but you shall follow him in death this very day.”

Swinging Clarion around into a downward position, Erinhue grasped the hilt with both hands. The sword became a bolt of lightning as the illuminated bard leaped from the cliff. The berserker’s maddened howl combined with Clarion’s victorious scream when Erinhue landed on the monster’s back and plunged his gleaming sword into the open space of hide left exposed by the torn away scales.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Cock-Robin » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:54 am

That was not the only thing that was happening that seemed miraculous at the moment. Brondgast stood back in awe as Erinhue transformed. His task was done. He backed off to let the one, no the two, do their task to finish it.

The Beorning then heard a screech from above, looked up, and tumbled off of the dragon, running out of the way, even as a shadow grew larger. A cold-drake, just dispatched by Meneldor, plummeted down out of the sky, crashing down upon Mauglar, pinning him down further and it also hurt the dragon.

Meneldor cried aloud again, his voice changing, the call of the herald of Mandos, reverberating around the area. Then, the Great Eagle spoke with a terrible voice not his own, a voice that sent the remaining cold-drakes fleeing in terror, abandoning their master, back to their homes in the north.

Boast not,dragon, servant of Melkor,
but hear your doom.
You emerge from your prison,
Only to descend into the darkness.

The Void opens its maw wide,
To receive you,
As it did Melkor,
His servant Sauron,

And there shall you be imprisoned
Until the Last Day,
The last battle,
The Dagor Dagorath,

Where the evil day ends forever.
Such is thy doom.


The light illuminating the eyes of Meneldor faded,and he circled down,
Landing upon a hillock to watch the end, having delivered the doom of Mandos.

Mauglar struggled to shake off the weight of the cold-drake, which had missed both Erinhue and Djazi. He roared, smoke pouring out of his nostrils. He had felt the bite of Clarion as he had the black sword of Eol.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Claymore » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:21 am

Mauglar thrashed and shrieked under the considerable weight of the cold-drake. Hunched as the old lizard now was Djazi could not access the wound on Mauglar's belly anymore. However with the cold-drake's corpse immobilizing his upper body and the chain immobilizing his neck, Mauglar's head was now fairly stationary and Djazi took the opportunity.

Using the taut chain as a step up he jumped on the Dragon's head just behind the great horns. Mauglar, probably guessing his intent, tried to shake him off but the chain curtailed his movements and Djazi had an excellent balance.

He darted forward on the enormous head untill he was crouched exactly between Mauglar's eyes.
'Say goodbye to your eyesight,'he said and with two quick jabs he gouged the old lizard's eyes out.

The bellow of pain Mauglar gave was terrible and even immobolized as he was he managed to trash hard enough to dislodge Djazi from his perch on his forehead. Djazi managed to turn his fall into a more controlled roll and ended up on his feet safely away from flailing tail and limbs.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Tempest » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:56 pm

From the amount of rumblings and shakings that the mountain underwent beneath her feet as a result of Mauglar's rage, Tempest gauged that the Knights below must be having some success. As for her, Tempest had been pleasantly surprised by the lack of opposition that she had encountered as she leaped and bounded over the rocky side leading to Carn Dum. In fact, it was a little eerie to hear the sound of battle fading as she got higher and higher, being replaced with nothing but a sharp wind. The mountain was desolate; the farther she went up, the less plant growth was visible, until all was solid rock, black as a raven's back and twice as sharp as its razor claws. Here, she slowed down, for she could see an entrance up ahead and she could not believe it to be untended, no matter how the dragon's flight had scared away the other inhabitants.

She decided to approach cautiously, but confidently, lest they believe her to be an enemy and fire upon her with their dark arrows before she even reached the gate. When she was within a hundred feet, she raised her head imperiously and called out in a strong voice, "Hail, in the name of the Zaugoth!"

Her hail was meet with silence.

She called again. "Open! In the name of the Zaugoth!"

Still nothing.

She frowned slightly. What kind of establishment had Dirk been running that would leave its main gate open for any to enter? If she had been in charge, she would have the guards skinned alive for this failure. Or, perhaps she had underestimated the destruction that the dragon's departure from its lair had done. Perhaps it had ripped half of Carn Dum wide open as it fled its cave, and consumed its guards in the process.

Or perhaps she was about to walk into a trap.

Either way, she was going forward. She drew her sword and walked imperiously to the gate, running the blade over the steel and demanding one last time for admittance. When her appeal again was met with nothing, she calmly opened the gate herself, took a deep breath as a blast of cold air slapped her face from within, narrowed her eyes, chose not to sheath her sword, and walked in.

How very like Barad Dur, she thought without amusement as she entered the dank darkness. It's almost like coming home.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Guruthostirn » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:58 pm

The dragon was surrounded. Anorast had fallen back when the chain was thrown, and now watched from near the horses. Erinhue and Djazi were assaulting the giant beast directly and the rest of the Mithril Knights stood in a circle around Mauglar, watching the two prophesied dragon slayers do their work. The berserker was smashing his blade into the armored back of the dragon, and Djazi danced around, avoiding flailing claws and wings as the beast thrashed about blindly. Anorast felt a flash of satisfaction with the direction the battle was heading, with how well the collected artifacts were aiding in the dragon's defeat. Now the old elf was content to wait for the end. But as he rested a flash of movement further up the mountain caught his eye and he focused just in time to see Tempest disappear behind a rock. Anorast had no doubt as to where she was going.

Tossing his helmet and shield aside Anorast sheathed his sword and started running in the direction he’d last seen his fellow knight. Circling the continuing battle the elf followed after Tempest. He had faith that she could handle herself in a fortress like Carn Dum. But she would need help bringing Dirk out of the darkness he’d fallen into, a role Anorast gladly embraced. As he started up the slope Anorast wrapped his cloak close about him, drawing in all his power, making himself as inconspicuous as possible. But when he came to the top there was no guard, only an open gate into the mountainside.

Within the entryway the wide passageway was dark and dank. Anorast’s elvish eyesight was strangely ineffective and he could barely see the ground in front of his feet. Closing his eyes, the elf paused, listening, feeling the darkness around him. Slowly, a strange sensation became noticeable. Similar to the sharp break that the Mithril Knights had felt when Dirk had fallen, this was a draw, pulling him into the shadowy kingdom of the Witch King. Opening his eyes to the shadows, Anorast quietly made his way along the passages, at each fork pausing again, feeling the bond pulling him one way or another, following without question. Soon he heard footsteps ahead of him.

“Tempest,” Anorast called quietly as he approached his fellow knight. She whirled around at the sound of his voice, her blade nearly slicing his face before she recognized him.

“What are you doing here?”

“I thought you might need a hand, bringing him out of here.”

“Thank you,” Tempest said after a moment. “He shouldn’t stay in here any longer than necessary.”

“Then let’s go find him.”
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby erinhue » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:50 pm

Erinhue was so intensely focused upon delivering a death blow that he ignored Meneldor’s warning cry, and Brondgast’s cautioning growl. He paid no attention to his own senses now desperately signaling doom dropping from the sky. A force like a great invisible hand swiped the bard from Mauglar’s back and sent him sliding down the creature’s flank. As D’jazi resumed his nimble attack, Erinhue raced back to his companions who faced the dragon head on.

The Rangers had gathered up the dragon scales torn away by Agarak’s attack. If Mauglar was regaining his fire, these scales would be their only protection. D’jazi’s bold strike to the creature’s eyes had blinded it. Mauglar thrashed about, roaring with pain and affront while snapping at the air in unseeing fury. The beast’s great head pointed upwards. The death dealing jaws opened wide, emitting a short burst of orange flame.

“Now you will all die.” The dragon’s words rang with a sense of triumph. “You will die a far more gruesome death than that puny imposter that thought to control me. Die now!”

Mauglar raised his head as far as the Chain of the Lossoth would allow. The group of defenders huddled close together behind the shielding scales. The dragon’s head swooped downward, jaws open to deliver the killing blast. The protecting scales were suddenly pushed apart as Erinhue stepped forward.

“You were told not to speak of him” Erinhue’s voice thundered with anger to match the dragon’s roar of rage. “You have done so for the last time.”

Holding Clarion before him, point towards the sky, Erinhue stepped towards the dragon as Mauglar drew in a deep breath. The bard took another forward step as Mauglar lowered his head, opened his mouth and shot out a blast of flame. Clarion began to glow. The runes carved on its blade were like shining silver stars. Erinhue himself was encircled in brilliant golden light a split second before his body was engulfed in the dragon’s fire.

The Rangers and the other Mithril Knights hunched down behind the protective scales but the flames did not reach them. The dragon fire was halted and absorbed by the growing light that surrounded the bard. Mauglar vented all his rage and pain in that prolonged blast of fire that only seemed to feed the increasing glow around the bard. From the globe of illumination a powerful booming version of Erinhue’s voice spoke a final doom upon Mauglar the Mighty.

“You are the remnant of a great evil, a great darkness that has long desired to claim this world. The Darkness has been defeated. The Light has prevailed and I, it’s champion, will not suffer any lingering seed of it to remain.”

Within the glow of light that was emminating from him, Erinhue pulled the great power harnessed in his sword slowly into position. Clarion’s scream of anticipation was palpable as its moment of redemption approached. When the great sword was pointed into the jet of fire and towards the dragon’s open mouth, Erinhue’s voice bellowed out, “Spawn of Darkness, You Are Dispelled.”

A shaft of gilded power from the point of the gleaming sword. It split through the dragon’s fire, into the open mouth and down into Mauglar’s throat. The beam continued to skewer the beast, driving deep into its entrails slicing and searing through until it burst out of the beast’s belly. Mauglar began to burn from the inside out.

The Knights and Rangers held the dragon scales up stayed close behind them until the flames subsided and the glowing light faded away. They lowered the scales and stared at the smoldering hulk of the dragon’s burnt body. A few feet from that, Erinhue was on his knees, leaning heavily on his sword. His clothing was singed in places but otherwise he was unharmed.

Mauglar the Mighty had been destroyed.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Claymore » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:26 am

The silence that fell was almost as deafening as Mauglar's bellowing and the roaring of the fire had been a few moments ago.

Djazi rose from the small knoll he had hidden behind as soon as Mauglar had started breathing fire again. He had been on the other side of the dragon and unable to reach the shield-wall the Knights and Rangers had created using Mauglar's own scales. As he wore no other protection than his vambraces and the clothes on his back he had thought it the better part of valor to look for cover until he figured a way around the problem.

He ended up not having to fear Mauglar's fire, but Erinhue's retaliation to the lizard's attack was just as fiery and dangerous. From the smell he guessed that his hair had been singed if not outrightly burned. The tight and prickly sensation on his face and arms told him he had sustained some first degree burns at least and his throat and nose felt dry, raw and painful.

Djazi tried to take a normal breath but wheezed and coughed in his sleeve instead. Though Mauglar's corpse had been thoroughly burned out, the air was thick with foul and acrid smoke and combined with his scorched nose and throat it made Djazi struggle to fill his lungs. Breathing through his sleeve helped but he felt that if he didn't find fresh air soon there would be consequences.

He started to make his way to the Knights who had made their stand farther from the dragon and the smoke that was still billowing from its corpse when he noticed Erinhue still kneeling only a few feet away from the carcass. The Bard looked unharmed if a bit singed at first glance. From the way he leaned against his sword however it was clear he was exhausted and though Clarion seemed to have protected him from the worst of the heat he was now breathing in lungfuls of the noxious smoke.

Djazi changed his trajectory and grabbed Erinhue's arm.
“Come on sir,”he started to say. “Let's get away from this.” An ominous creak made Djazi look up before he could say more. Though bones did not burn easily under normal circumstances the heat generated by Clarion had been intense and Djazi saw that Mauglar's great ribcage was on the verge of collapsing. He tugged on the Bard's arm more urgently until Erinhue slowly rose to his feet. Djazi slid his right arm around the Knight's chest ( his left was sore from his tumble from Mauglar's head) and tried to support the exhausted man while trying to inhale as little smoke as possible. He was not very succesfull as his wheezing was worsening with each breath he took and if his ears were not deceiving him Erinhue wasn't faring much better.

They had barely gotten out of range when Mauglar's corpse collapsed on itself with a rumbling crash and a new cloud of black, ashy smoke rose from the carcass. Startled by the noise, Djazi inhaled a lungful of it which proved to be a mistake. His lungs seized making Djazi stumble to his knees and taking the Bard with him. Erinhue by then was a bit more alert and he tried to coax the Southron back to his feet and breathing. It proved to be an almost impossible task. The Bard was still exhausted and Djazi's lungs seemed to have completely given up
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Cock-Robin » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:02 am

Meneldor lifted up when he saw Mauglar was about to breathe fire and flew up in the sky, avoiding the blast, and the blast that happened when Erinhue, as the Champion, dispatched the dragon at last.

He saw Erinhue tending to Djazi after he breathed the smoke, but as his skills did not include healing, he left it to the elves in the group who were more skilled. His attention turned to his fallen friend and mentor, Dirk. Two of the Knights had already entered Carn Dum, and he flew to the mountain himself. Since the dragon had emerged from the mountain, he could enter, though he still didn't like going underground.

He met no challenge, which was unusual. The darkness defeated his eyes for a moment, but as he got used to it, he made his way downwards, seeing the trail of blood and fluids his friend had made as he had descended. The silence was so eerie. The lair had been emptied since the orcs and other creatures had gone out to battle the Knights and Rangers.

He heard voices, but recognized them as that of Anorast and Tempest.

He went steadily down, feeling the walls closing in on him. He also kept his eyes open for one more thing. The Stone of Amon Sul, which was speculated that it would be there in Carn Dum somewhere.

The sense of darkness in the lair, not only of the dragon, but of the Witch-King, grew as he descended.

"Tempest? Anorast? Are you there? I am coming." he called out.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Tempest » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:43 pm

Tempest had been both relieved and annoyed at Anorast's sudden appearance. She HAD been wondering at the difficulty of moving Dirk's body by herself if she ran into any of Carn Dum's minions, so in this respect the old elf's presence was much desired.

On the other hand, should they run into any resistance, she could not simply lie her way out as she had planned. Who would believe that an elf would join with the Zaugoth? She would barely be able to convince them of her own treacherous allegiance. Unless....

She turned quickly to Anorast, who walked silently now slightly behind her. "If we are found, I am a servant of the Zaugoth. And you, you are a Knight of the Silmaril."

She could not see his face in the darkness, but she could almost feel his wry smile. "Of course," he answered softly.

They walked in silence for a while longer before she said, "I am surprised you can find your way in the darkness, for I thought elven eyes were made more for above-ground activities."

"I could say the same to you."

"Ah, but there you would be wrong. I spent much of my time in the bowels of Barad-Dur and Minas Morgul. My eyes have grown accustomed to the dark, and the dangers that lurk in the shadows. For example, I know that we are being followed even now. You too, can probably sense our guest's presence. Or maybe he gives himself away by his foul odor," Tempest snarled, whirling to the side and bringing her sword hilt up against the face of their stalker.

The orc cried out in pain and fear. "Silence this instant, or I slice your head from your pathetic body!" she snapped in the Black Speech.

The orc whimpered once and choked back the blood flowing freely from his crushed nose.

"Where in Mordor is the rest of your guard?" Tempest demanded. "The gate was left completely undefended!"

"The...the...dragon....did you not see.....the dragon?" he whined shrilly.

"Yes, yes. But the dragon's on OUR side, so why run away in terror? And where in Morgoth's name is the Zaugoth? I have messages to deliver to him!"

"The master has not emerged from his chambers since the dragon...." the creature trailed off pathetically.

"Take me to his chambers at once!" Tempest fairly roared. "I must speak with him, and bring him this Knight of the Silmaril as well. Show us the way NOW! He will be much displeased at this delay." Anorast winced slightly in the darkness at her words, which were coming thick and fast in the Black Speech, hateful to his ears. And he also noted with a tired sadness how easily Tempest resumed her role as a servant of darkness. She knew the part well, and played it to a perfection that made him glad he had not known her in her youth in Mordor.

The orc also shuddered at her words, but when she let him drop to the floor, he scampered to his feet servilely and began to led them deeper into the mountain. Tempest welcomed this as a stroke of luck, for it might have taken Anorast and her hours unaided to seek out the chamber where Dirk was last seen. She knew Anorast shared her hope that this would be the last orc they both encountered, and that they would be able to quickly retrieve Dirk's body and escape this dank stone prison before any other of its inhabitants came swarming out like rats.

Suddenly, the distant rumbling that they had taken for granted this whole time, which must have been the vestiges of the battle going on far below, came to a crescendo, shaking everything around them to the foundations. Their teeth rattled against each other sickeningly, and they all felt like they were trapped in a drum that some fiesty giant had decided to pound away at. The orc squealed in fear and almost succeeded in scurrying off before Tempest grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and forced him forward. "The Zaugoth. NOW!" she hissed.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Cock-Robin » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:45 am

There was no answer to Meneldor's call, only the echo of his own voice coming back to him. The interior of Carn Dum was deserted, despite the residue of evil that was there.

The Eagle continued his descent into the bowels of the mountain. He so wanted to be out of this accursed place and back to his beloved skies. He thought of calling for his friends again, but the familiar feeling of being surrounded with an airy freeness came over him. He paused and closed his eyes.

Once again, he was flying in a luxurious sky, a sky which held more meaning to him than any he had seen since he had come to Middle-Earth. The great peak of Taniquetil drew him like a lodestone. The feeling of home. His brethren swooped down, flocking around him in honored greeting. "Welcome, Sorontel, last of our kind, but not the least!" they cried. He continued to ascend. There, his sire Thorondor awaited him, the regal splendor of his feathers ruffling in the wind. The Eagle Lord stepped aside to give him a place to land.

"Well done, my son." said Thorondor, as Meneldor landed. "Today, the halls of Mandos were not for you. You excelled against great odds. You seek your friend and mentor, do you not?"

"Yes, my lord." said Meneldor.

"It is for others to find him and bear him out. There is a special mission for you. To find the Eagle's Eye and bear it out. Only you, among your companions are able to do it."

"The stone of Amon Sul?"

"The Eagle's Eye, we call it. One of two, but the other is forever lost in the destruction of Osgiliath. Go, seek it. It is your place of honor."

The vision faded, and Meneldor sighed. It was for others to bear Dirk out of this evil place. But where?

All he could do now was to follow his beak. Through many twisting turns, it led him, until finally he broke out into a great hall. It was a place none but one had gone into. The stench of dragon was in here. That, and a brazier burning, with a pillar beside it. Meneldor gasped. The Eagle's Eye! Here in the heart of this realm of evil. It deserved a better place. He approached silently and looked at it. It was much larger than the stone of Annuminas that he had found. No wonder it had been set on the top of Amon Sul. It needed the open space, not this prison. He pounced. The pillar toppled, and the palantir rolled off it with a dull clash, its fiery insides rolling until the Eagle stopped it.

There was only one way to pick this up, to hold it in his beak. The weight of it almost broke him, but then the stone welcomed him, and it became easier to bear, the Eagle's Eye borne by the Last Eagle.

Meneldor turned, and guided by the energies of the Eagle's Eye, made his way out of this prison. Turn here, turn there, without it, he would have been hopelessly lost in this labyrinth. The air became less foul as he ascended.

A long, arduous journey, from darkness to light, but he finally emerged. He dared not cry aloud or he would drop the treasure. He spread his wings and lifted from the accursed mountain, bearing his treasure. Not the one he sought, that would come later, borne by others, but one he was destined to bear. The palantir sparkled like a diamond in his beak, as if it belonged there. He circled up, then down to where the other Knights were, away from the crumbled ruin of the dragon.

He landed on the ground and reluctantly laid down his burden, as each gasped at the brilliance of this stone.

"I present you with the Eagle's Eye, the stone of Amon Sul." said Meneldor.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Tempest » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:06 am

It was not long before both Tempest and Anorast perceived that it was growing lighter. Somewhere ahead of them, for the first time, the darkness was growing less. Also, they were descending now, down a straight passage surrounded by granite, impossibly smooth to the touch. Tempest tried to imagine Dirk walking this passage not but hours ago and she wondered if at any moment he had repented of his decision to follow the Mithril Knights. Had he been tempted by the promise of power that these walls held? She could only guess, but knew in her heart of hearts that she, too, would have been tempted. It showed his strength of character that he had been able to ultimately resist.

Suddenly, straight ahead, there was an iron gate that swung into view. Their guide had become more and more visibly agitated during their descent, and finally he halted, pointing at the gate and refusing to take a step nearer. "There. Through there. He has not emerged and you shall find him."

Tempest glowered down at the creature, but she could tell that he did not lie. Dirk had entered that iron gate, and his fate lay behind it. With a snarl of contempt, Tempest dismissed the orc, who went scampering from them with a pace that made both Anorast and her glance towards the gate in trepidation. The old elf examined the ironwork serpents, a part of him admiring the handiwork and recognizing the hand that did it. There could be no mistake that this was the inner chamber, and the dragon-like creatures that appeared on the gate simply prefigured the monster that had slept within.

He pushed it open with his hand and it swung quickly and quietly as though oiled. The chamber that lay behind was immense, with a steady shaft of light above where the dragon had escaped his prison. No furnishings covered the walls, except for the golden pyrite that ran through the granite. It was beautiful, in a harsh, cold sort of way, but what was most overwhelming was the silence. Nothing stirred, and whatever noise had carried through the walls of the mountain from the battle going down below had completely ceased.

On the far side of the chamber, there was rubble laying around as though a mighty struggle had taken place. Tempest and Anorast had not said a word to each other since entering the gate, and they now exchanged a look that communicated more than if they had shouted. They each took either side of the rubble and began their silent search.

Anorast noticed something gleaming in the low light, and retrieved what he quickly recognized as the hilt of Dirk's sword. He frowned grimly. Neleg Amlug, now broken forever, not unlike its master. As he turned to show Tempest, he saw that she had stopped by the opposing wall and was kneeling, her whole body contracted in a position of grief. He knew then, what she had found and he gave her a moment alone, for he knew her well enough not to disturb such a moment, though his own heart darkened too.

Dirk's body was crushed, his armor in pieces around him from when the dragon had thrown him against the wall. She knew she should not turn him over, but Tempest wanted to see his face, and it was in doing this that she first became aware of the awful wound that he had hid well from them all. Kneeling there in the strange light, she gazed down and understood what she had failed to understand before. When had he received it? How he must have suffered, unwilling to share his burden all these weeks. "You should have told me," she whispered to him. "I would have understood. But you should have told me." He looked so small laying there against the cold floor in this immense chamber that reeked of blood and dragon, she wished she had brought a blanket to cover him, anything to wrap his broken body in and give him dignity. But she shook her head at this last thought. He HAD dignity. He had died with dignity. What more could she have asked for? Here at the end, he had not succumbed. He had prevailed, though it cost him his life. This was not a dragon's lair, but a victor's tomb. Dirk had conquered his self, and now, she prayed, would find rest and peace in the beyond. Angmar's curse held him no longer.

Tempest did not understand grief very well, for though she felt glad at Dirk's victory, she felt oppressed by a cloud of sadness that suddenly overwhelmed her heart and made the vision before her swim as she sought to wipe the angry tears from her eyes with the back of her hand. She felt Anorast's presence behind her, and knew the truth of his words before he even said them, but she could not help but whisper bitterly, "I failed him."

"No."

"I failed him."

"All life has its path, and this was Dirk's. He is at peace now. You could not have prevented this."

"I cannot believe that," she responded angrily.

"There is a time for questions later, now we must go."

She did not move, but stayed in the same position he had found her, in her hand was the handkerchief that she had found beside Dirk's body and she was clenching it and unclenching it over and over again unknowingly.

"Tempest," Anorast said softly and then with more authority because she remained impassive, "Tempest! I will carry him, while you go before. We must depart now. You know this," he spoke insistently, though his own voice trembled slightly in grief.

Tempest looked up him at that, and the expression on her face smote his heart even more. "I have nothing to wrap him in," she explained painfully.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Guruthostirn » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:45 pm

“There is a time for questions later, now we must go.”

Looking down at Tempest Anorast was once again reminded of why some called the unending life of the elven race a curse. Her eyes, her face, her posture showed regret, anger, and grief. The storm of emotions held her next to Sir Dirk. Anorast stayed calm and visibly unaffected by those same feelings, yet within they rested, waiting for the depth of sleep, when memories would return. As Tempest looked at him, her frustration fresh on her lips, the old elf envied the dark woman. Eventually she would sleep without the interruption of life, without dreams. Eventually she would meet her friend once again, in an existence denied to immortals. Her emotions and memories would find their resolution, just as Sir Dirk had found his.

If Tempest wondered why her elven companion showed so little response to the tragedy between them Anorast was thankful she could not comprehend the terrible truth behind his eyes. He would not be free of the death of his young friend. No matter how many countless years might pass, this moment would stay fresh, this loss would never disappear from memory. It would join a throng of other losses, other regrets and consequences. That Dirk’s death was necessary, and that Anorast had chosen to not interfere with fate did nothing to lessen the inevitable pain. Anorast showed so little since he had shut his emotions away, knowing he would have an eternity to suffer his own questions, his own misgivings and judgments. The long held principle to never interfere with fate was little comfort despite the many times it had been proven. He might have kept Dirk from dying in the darkness of Angmar, but fate would have found a worse resolution of its will. In the shadowy hall Sir Dirk had died for a reason, giving his life to thwart the ancient dragon. He’d died a hero, unbowed by the darkness he’d lived in, finding his rest with honor. To Anorast it was only a small consolation, and would do nothing to lessen the pain the old elf would have to endure for the rest of his countless days.

“Tempest,” Anorast said quietly as the dark woman sat, motionless, staring at her fellow knight. They were lingering too long. The orc that had guided them down here would tell his fellow ilk of their presence. They had to leave. “Tempest! I will carry him, while you go before. We must depart now. You know this.”

The look Tempest gave the old elf nearly broke open the vaults of his heart, nearly brought forth the flood of emotions he’d locked away.

“I have nothing to wrap him in.”

Painfully Anorast shut his sorrow away. Silently he unclasped his midnight blue Mithril Knight cloak and knelt down beside Sir Dirk’s body.

“Let him be wrapped in our order,” Anorast whispered. Being taller than even Dirk his cloak easily wrapped around the young man, hiding away his gruesome injuries. Carefully the elf lifted the body. “Let us leave. Lead us from this monument to destruction and death.”

Tempest took one last, long look at the shrouded body in Anorast’s arms. Then her face changed, becoming cold, emotionless, empty of everything except resolve. Tempest had done as Anorast had, locking away her feelings to focus on the task at hand. Anorast wondered if she would mourn again, once they were safe, back with their companions. She’d had her moment alone with Dirk. Perhaps that would be enough. Turning, she led them across the floor, through the exquisitely crafted iron gates, and back into the darkness of Carn Dum.

Silently the three knights traveled up the long corridor that had led to the great chamber beneath the mountain. Anorast put his trust in Tempest’s memories of their descent as she confidently led them towards the surface. They remained alone until they reached the upper levels of Carn Dum, where Anorast started to hear other footsteps in the darkness, the heavy breath of silent guards awaiting word from their fearsome master. As they passed more shadowy openings a multitude of orcs fell in behind them, following the knights ignorantly, the truth of their lord’s fate hidden in dark blue fabric. Finally, as a faint glow from the surface appeared, several large orcs stepped between Tempest and the main gate.

“Where do you think you’re going?” a rough voice asked in the dark language of Sauron’s servants. The largest of the Uruks pointed a rough blade toward Tempest. “Where is the Zaugoth?”

“You dare question me?” Tempest replied coldly. “You dare question the Zaugoth?”

“Our enemies stand on our doorsteps, and yet he still waits.” The guard stepped closer, the tip of his sword barely inches from Tempest’s throat. “No word has come from him. If he does not lead the orcs of Carn Dum, I will.”

The faint light from the gate turned red as a cloud of blood erupted from the throat of the bold Uruk. Tempest stared at the other guards as she calmly wiped her knife blade clean.

“No one questions the will of Angmar’s heir,” she whispered in the black speech. “You will wait until he speaks. You shall not be waiting long, I promise.”

The other Uruks fell back as Tempest stepped around the fallen guard. Anorast followed, wearing the arrogant look he’d adopted when he’d been identified as a Knight of the Silmaril. As the knights reached the gate he could hear the orcs behind them run up and close the heavy doors. Once more into the clear air of Middle Earth, Tempest and Anorast both took several deep breaths before continuing their somber trek down to their companions.
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Re: Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

Postby Cock-Robin » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:29 pm

Vana and Elenath looked up from the stone that Meneldor had laid at their feet. Brondgast, having changed back to man's form, looked it over as well. "You have retrieved the stone," said Vana, "But what about Dirk? You must have gone down to retrieve his body and bring it back in honor."

Meneldor shook his feathered head. "It was not for me to do. Tempest and Anorast have that honor. I was instructed by my lord Thorondor to find the Eagle's Eye and bring it back."

"But now, the King needs to know of what has come to pass." said Elenath. "You have borne both the stones of Annuminas and now of Amon Sul, and it is your duty to inform King Elessar. Leave nothing out."

Meneldor nodded, and positioned himself. He set the palantir on a pile of stones so he could gaze in it without bending down too far. Facing in the direction of Minas Anor, as the Stones were set, he set his gaze deeply into the stone, as only an Eagle's eye can do.

The dark depths drew him in, and forward, as it had done with the Annuminas-stone. And faster than even he could fly, he was drawn to the White Tower, and into the presence of the King. This was the conversation that he would relate to the Knights afterwards.

Welcome, Meneldor, apprentice Knight." said the King. "The fact that you appear before me tells me you bear tidings."

"Yes, my lord." said the Eagle.

"Proceed, and leave nothing out."

There was a fierce battle. We and the Rangers were beset on all sides by orcs and trolls, fierce Uruks of Mordor. Above, I battled several Cold-Drakes that were in the service of the dragon. The Knights fought fiercely, and two in particular, were in a berserker rage. Erinhue on one side, and the Beorning Brondgast on the other, in bear's form, were cutting through the host.

That was only the beginning of what was to come. Dirk had done his task, at cost of his life. We all felt his departure, especially me. He was a brother and mentor to me, and a dear friend, and his loss is heavy on me."

Elessar nodded. "He is at peace, and in honor. He should be borne from Carn Dum in the greatest array of honor."

"It shall be done, my lord." said Meneldor.

The mountain and all around it then quaked, as the dragon broke free from his long prison. He had no fire, thanks to the action of Dirk, and that saved us. I saw the wound that took his fire, with the ancient sword. I dove at him, but was as a fly to him.

Agarak the Golden then emerged and battled him, until he was brought down and chained. It was now time for the two who were appointed to slay the dragon. I helped by dropping the carcass of a cold-drake on Mauglar. The two, Djazi and Erinhue, revealed as the Champion, then did their part. and though the dragon regained his fire at the end, he was destroyed.

Tempest and Anorast are within the mountain even now, retrieving the body of Dirk, while it was my ancient task to find the Stone of Amon Sul, with which I speak to you now."

"Excellent. I will command messengers to set up a place for it upon Amon Sul once again. And so Gondor and Arnor are one. You are to bear the Stone there after Dirk is tended to, and then...you three apprentices will be initiated into our order."

"I am honored, my King. Now I know what I have been left behind to do, Sorontel, the Last Eagle, until it is time for me to depart to my brethren at last."

"The honor is all mine. I will send more troops at once to clear out the last of the vermin from that evil place, so it will not plague our realms any more. Tell the others of what has come to pass.


The image of the King faded, and the stone went dark once again. Meneldor stepped back and shook his head.

It was then time for him to tell the Knights of what was to come. And to await Tempest and Anorast with their burden.
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