Maedhros and Tygarya Saga - Finally an Engagement!!!

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

Postby Tygarya » Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:18 pm

The next day:
Tyg watched from a window on the fourth landing of the large staircase as the hunting party departed for the Eastern plains as the sun was rising. Tyg couldn’t say she was sad to see Celegorm go, but she would miss Rowanberry. Her light hearted nature was almost infectious and brought a new lively element to Minas Morgul. Tyg wondered to herself if creating an alliance with Gondor would encourage more people like elves to journey to Minas Morgul, they certainly seemed – from the ones Tyg had meet - pleasant peoples, although the Noldor were still an enigma, she had always wondered why Melkor hated them so much.
Tyg changed her stance slightly so she could look out over the Vale.
‘Well’, she thought, ‘Something would have to be done about the desolation of the earth before elves and men would want to live here.’
But the poison went deep into the ground and so far any attempts to plant had come to naught.

As Tyg wandered down the rest of the stairs her thoughts returned to the conversation that had taken place the night before. Aragon was undoubtedly not going to want to sit on the potential alliance for too long, although Tyg hoped he didn’t decide to rush back to Gondor and take her friend Rwhen with him too soon. Tyg was enjoying her time with the charming princess immensely, she just wished she could spare more time but with running the fortress…well.

Tyg’s thoughts were intruded upon by a voice calling her name. Tyg turned upon the stairs and looked up. Peering over the railing from a couple of flights above was Maedhros. She watched and waited as he came down the stairs, to catch up with her, two at a time. Clearly something was on his mind. Tyg grabbed up her wealth of hair and casually tied it into a pony tail with a ribbon while she waited, pondering what could be the problem now with the red haired Feanor. She needed to throw his intense concentration off a bit and she knew exactly how to do it.

“Russandol, how are you this morning?” Tyg greeted him with a smile. It had it’s desired affect. Maedhros stalled a few steps away from her, almost missing a step. He recovered well enough though.
“I’m fine” he said finally and continued down the last few steps to where Tyg was, he then politely took her arm and lead her down the rest of the way in a gentlemanly manner, while he talked.
“I have to ask Tyg, what was that performance over my hand about last night?”
Tyg couldn’t help but laugh, which made Maedhros stop and scowl. Tyg laughed again and placed a hand on his cheek.
“Really Russy darling, you shouldn’t scowl so much, it does make your handsome face look absolutely horrid”
Maedhros dropped the hand from Tyg’s arm and folded them.
“Your making fun of me, why?” he demanded
Tyg patted the cheek.
“Because it is so much fun”
Maedhros went to grab Tyg’s hand then, but she darted away jumping down a few stairs lightly then with a quick turn back and a wink she scampered down the rest of the stairs to the bottom. Maedhros decided to take up the chase and ran down the stairs after her.
Tyg ran across the foyer and jumped over a divan putting it between her and Maedhros. As he darted to the left she sprang away and ran around the large fountain, laughing hysterically. Maedhros was calling out as he ran after her again and they faced off across the breadth of the fountain’s pond.
“Why do you insistently mock me?”
“Why not” Tyg said smugly.
Maedhros decided to then jump up onto the edge of the fountain and jump across. He was quick and Tyg, laughing so hard, didn’t attempt to get away. As he caught her around the waist she mocked him further.
“Oh dear, what ever shall I do” Tyg said in her best damsel in distress voice.
“How about I dump you in the fountain” Maedhros said leaning over it threateningly. He was also laughing by now, although later he had to wonder why.
Just then someone coughed gingerly.
Maedhros froze, and Tyg struggled free, they both turned towards the stairs to find Aragon and Rwhen watching them. They had obviously seen the whole thing while they had walked quietly down the stairs. Rwhen had purposely not let Aragon interrupt and she was now finding it very difficult to stifle her laughter.
Maedhros scowled again while Tyg smoothed down her rumpled clothes. She looked at Maedhros and noticed the scowl as well as the light blush on his cheeks.
“Now Lord Aragon, see what you’ve gone and done, he’s scowling again.” Tyg said matter-of-factly, causing Rwhen to not be able to hold her laughter anymore.
Maedhros stormed off.
Tyg ran up to Rwhen and grabbed her in an embraced and the two of them collapsed in laughter.
With the utmost dignity Aragon walked off shaking his head. “Women!”
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Postby IVIaedhros » Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:59 pm

"I hear you," Maedhros muttered, when Aragorn caught up to him. He had not stormed off very far.

He was looking out a window; the same view he had had before he'd chased Tyg down the stairs. But he wasn't really seeing the landscape, so he turned to face the King of Gondor.

"So, you are descended from Elros?" he began. He had not had much opportunity to speak with Aragorn, but he'd already sized him up as a formidable king...for a mortal. And he had no desire to bring up the behavior that Aragorn had just witnessed.

"Yes. Elendil the Faithful who escaped the ruin of Numenor was descended from Silmarien, his great-granddaughter. I am his heir, through the line of his eldest son, Isildur."

"Mmmm," Maedhros said non-commitally. Maglor had told him about this, but he tended to blur all the generations together. He was proud of himself for knowing that this must all be the Second Age....

Aragorn laughed. "If you were a hobbit, you would be sure to ask me for more details, but I suppose the Noldor are overwhelmed by all the generations of Men that can live in an Age of the world."

"Well, it's just that I happened to miss those two Ages. If you were to speak of Men of the First Age, I might be able to keep up..." Maedhros apologized.

"It would be a rare elf who could keep up with a hobbit when it came to geneologies."

"You are fond of these hobbits?"

"Yes. Their land was near my home in the North, and it is dear to me."

"I passed through it on my way to Rivendell," Maedhros said, keeping some of his less charitable thoughts to himself. "It seemed a pleasant, well-tilled land. Strange sense of fashion, though."

Aragorn smiled. "True enough! I have never liked yellow, myself."

"Then it is good that colour does not suit your lady," Maedhros remarked absently.

"Is Queen Tygarya your lady as well?" Aragorn asked bluntly. He felt it would be worse to misstep if he did not know the truth of the matter.

"No. I am merely her guest here."

"Surely there is more to it than that."

"There is, as you saw last night. But I would rather not speak of that." He turned away, and faced the window again. "Is this your first visit to the Morgul Vale?" he asked.

"No. I was here twice before." Aragorn's voice was subdued, and Maedhros wondered what story lay behind his words. He looked at the other man questioningly, but did not ask.

Aragorn saw the look, and smiled ruefully. "When first I was here, this fortress was in the hands of the Ringwraiths. It was the most evil place I had ever set foot in, simply because I had never been to Sauron's fortresses at Barad-dur or Dol Guldur. But that was long ago. I was also here when the valley was reclaimed by Gondor at the end of the War."

Maedhros raised his eyebrows. "The War did not end that long ago."

"Gondor will not push its ancient claim," Aragorn said quietly. "She is more desirous of peace with her neighbors than restoring the borders of the realm to their original place."

"Ancient..." Maedhros shook his head. "Gondor is not ancient, nor is this fortress. I do not know what evil dwelt in this valley in days past, but it has not the feel of Angband. To me, Sauron will always be the Lieutenant of Morgoth."

"The evil is not wholly cleaned from this place. You can see how the land was tormented by its overlords." Aragorn gestured out the window to the barren landscape. "Only poisonous flowers would grow here."

Maedhros nodded. "Evil mars all that it touches." He looked at his right hand, subconsciously clutching it.

"It is our task to renew it," Aragorn said confidently, before taking his leave. Maedhros looked out the window, lost in thoughts of time and fortresses and dark lords...but Tyg's laughter as he chased her around the fountain kept running through his mind.
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Postby rowanberry » Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:09 pm

The sun had not quite risen, and the mountains still cast long shadows on the courtyard, when Rowanberry, followed by Huan, got there to ride with the hunting company. She wasn't really a hunter herself, but had her bow and a couple of knives with her - in these lands, one could never know what they would meet.

Alatar was already waiting for the others there, together with two soldiers that Tygarya had appointed as their guides. All of their horses also already stood there, saddled and readied. She packed her blanket and a bag with some warm clothes on her horse; they were prepared to camp in the wild for at least one night, maybe even two.

Soon, Celegorm and Maglor also appeared, and as soon as everybody was ready, they rode off.

They rode through the pass east of the citadel, and down to the road leading to the eastern plains. Only some years ago, those plains had been a part of Mordor; they had been fertilized by the ashes of Orodruin, but had been mostly wasteland during Sauron's reign. Now, they were turned to grasslands where game animals liked to roam, spotted with patches of trees here and there.

Rowan looked at Celegorm, who was riding right behind the guide who was leading them, closely followed by Alatar; she and Maglor rode behind them, and one of the guides was guarding the rear. Huan jogged mostly next to his master, but took occasional sprints to examine something interesting. The third son of Fëanor definitely looked more content than in the last couple of days in Minas Morgul. He was armed with a strong bow and a sturdy spear.

I really hope that this will give Tyg and Maedhros time to get closer, she thought, as they got down from the pass, and saw the plains spread in front of them.
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Postby Tygarya » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:54 pm

Tyg and Arwen enjoyed a light breakfast of fruit, nuts and grains and fresh baked bread with the most divine honey to drizzle on it.
“So how much of that did you see?” Tyg asked smiling.
“Enough” Rhwen said with a snicker.
“Well, I have to say, he certainly surprised me” Tyg admitted, “I really didn’t think Mr Serious would have had it in him”
“Even I know enough about the history of Maedhros to know that in his youth he was certainly very…how to say it” Rhwen thought of the right word. “Flirtatious with the girls”
“Really” Tyg seemed unconvinced.
“It was only becoming in charge of the host in pursuit of the Silmarils and the resulting wars – including the lose of his hand – that has made Maedhros so serious” Rhwen explained. “He is still a Noldo though, known for their craft lore as well as warfare, so he must have a romantic side to him” Rhwen patted Tyg’s hand. “I’m sure you’ll find it my dear.”
Tyg was munching thoughtfully on a strawberry.
“Perhaps I should just tell him how I feel?”
“Maedhros does strike me as the type to be very formal about his feelings and actions; I don’t think you would get the result that perhaps you are used to getting if you did that”
Tyg threw the end of the strawberry away in disgust.
“Why does it have to be so hard with him?”
Rhwen looked wistfully at Tyg then, a small smile coming to her lips.
“Perhaps, because fate has made him the one”
Tyg looked at Rhwen confused.
“The one? What one?”
The one, Tyg, the one to spend the rest of your life with”
Tyg looked at Rhwen with a shocked expression and got up from the table.
“Now I don’t think you need to go all silly and say that sort of thing, Rhwen” Tyg said shaking her head, looking like a trapped animal. “Well, it’s been nice catching up but best I get back to work”
Tyg bolted from the room. Rhwen took a grape and popped it in her mouth as she smiled smugly.
“Oh, you’re in for a big surprise, my friend” she muttered to herself.
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Postby Baphomet » Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:27 pm

Baph was waiting for the hunting party by the start of a wooded area about 2 hours into the hunting party’s journey. A small marquee had been set up and a table had been erected with some refreshments on it. As the group reached him Baph called out a greeting.
“You made it!” he said with a smile. “Please dismount and come get something to eat and drink before you all set off into the woods to start your hunt”
They all dismounted and started to prepare to walk from here on, while Celegorm approached Baph.
“What sort of beasts can we expect to hunt in there?” he asked with avid attention.
“Well, you definitely like hunting eh?” Baph said grinning “What ever you want you can probably find in these woods, depends how long you want to stay to find them. There is pheasant, quail, rabbits….”
“No, no, no” Celegorm interrupted “Bigger game”
“Oh, right” Baph answered, winking at Alatar who had come up to listen to. Alatar smiled, he knew what Baph was doing. “Bigger game, ok, well there’s some boar you could probably flush out, you would need to probably stick close to the stream that runs through there to catch them. The odd deer is in there too, although usually it takes a couple of days to go in deep enough to find them.”
Celegorm looked a little disappointed “I don’t have a couple of days”
Baph looked at him questioningly “Why not? There’s no reason for you to hurry back to the Tower”
Celegorm frowned. Just then Maglor came up, he had been listening from over by the tent.
“Baph is right, we can decide later though, we have all day to hunt first. Let’s see what we get sightings of and what we catch today and then we can decide if we want to stay longer. We’re not that far away from the Tower, and any of these men can take a message back for us and this tent can house overnight, except perhaps the Lady Rowanberry”
“I will be fine gentlemen” Rowan called out from the table, her hands on her hips. She was dressed in tan breeches, ready for the hunt, a bow in her hand. “Shall we get going?”
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Postby Tygarya » Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:01 pm

Tyg was wandering through the halls of the fortress on her way to yet another small mindless task to keep the fortress running smoothly, a small stack of papers in her hand. As she rounded a corner she walked right into Maedhros who was coming around the corner from the other way. Tyg’s papers went flying and Maedhros reeled back in shock.
“Sorry Tyg, I was..ah…miles away”
As they both bent to pick up the papers Tyg had to ask.
“What were you thinking about?”
Maedhros looked a little embarrassed to answer the question, but answered it anyway in a quiet tone.
“Home”
“Ah” was all that Tyg said as she stood up most of her papers back in her hands. Maedhros also stood and handed her the other few he had collected. As she took them from him she glanced up at his face.
“It is understandable that you would miss your home” Tyg said sympathetically, then added almost as an after thought, “Have you tried using the Sil?”
“What do you mean?”
“The Sil is vast in its power Maedhros, how often do I need to remind you of that, you can do with it what ever you want. If you wish to see your homeland, you can. If you wish to talk to your brothers there, you can. You can do anything with it…except anything of evil intent I’m guessing”
Maedhros stood quietly and mulled it over for a few minutes.
Tyg placed a hand upon his arm.
“Come, I’ll show you”
“Don’t you have somewhere to be?” Maedhros said looking at the papers in her hand.
Tyg smiled a sweet smile at Maedhros.
“I think this is more important, don’t you?”
Tyg turned then and headed back down the hall in the general direction of the dungeon where the Sil was housed with Maedhros in tow.

During their walk through the halls Maedhros was deep in thought, suddenly he stopped walking reaching out a hand to grab Tyg’s arm, turning her around to face him. Tyg looked at him, an eyebrow raised.
“Why do you do this?”
“Do what?”
“First you mock me, now you show me an act of such kindness, you confuse me. What are your intentions in acting these ways?”
Tyg studied his face a moment. He really had been out of the loop concerning relationships hadn’t he, she thought.
“Russandol,” Tyg said gently “I like you….a lot”
“Then why mock me like you do?”
Tyg smiled.
“I only try to lighten your heart, you’re so serious all the time. You act like the weight of the world is on your shoulders – it may have been once, but not now. Live a little”
Maedhros looked into Tyg’s face and smiled. It looked strained, but at least he was trying.
“I like you too, Tyg”
Tyg grinned and patted his cheek.
“I know” was all she said, then turned and continued down the halls.
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Postby *=Blackenemy=* » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:35 pm

Alatar examined the face of Celegorm. He was obviously in a better frame of mind when out in the wild, untamed countryside than shut away in the bleak walls of Minas Ithil. "I dare say, Celegorm, that even skilled hunters like you or myself would be hard pressed to find a decent boar in these lands. All that may be around is as my friend Baph has said, pheasents, rabbits and the like. Although, if the need should arise for us to stay more than a few days we can make a nice meal out of whatever we may find."

Maglor still had not caught on with what Baph and he had silently decided on. Which was to keep Celegorm away from the castle for a time to let things settle back down. The last thing they needed was the Noldo creating difficulties whilst Tyg and the King were talking peace. Alatar felt he should explain this to Maglor when he had the chance, but it may be hard to get him on his own as he was sent along to keep a watchful eye on his brother. Baph was looking at the sun, checking the time. "I think it is about time for a bit of lunch, what do you think?" Rowan snapped her fingers and nodded, "Just what I was thinking. We'll need strength for a full days hunting. Now, we have a good selection of cheese, breads, and I think there's a small cake in here that was baked for us this morning. Ah, here it is, looks to be carrot."

They all then sat around on the soft grass and ate their fill. After they had eaten, they started to prepare to depart. Alatar strund his bow, along with Rowan and Celegorm. Baphomet had brought along a short sword, and sat there sharpening it. Maglor was not a hunter, and only had his long sword, which wouldnt do him any use at all. "Here," Alatar said, handing him a bow made of Oak, "this will be more handy than your sword. In the woods, you do not have enough room to swing a lethal blow to a fast moving thing. And seeing as we are hunting small game, it would be like using a warhammer against a bothersome fly." Smiling, Maglor accepted the elegent looking bow. It looked to be of elven make, and was carved with Sindarin runes of strength. "Where did you get this bow? If my reckoning is correct, it is from Doriath. Have you been there before?" Alatar shook his head, "No, it was a gift from someone I met in the east. He claimed he was one of the guides of Morwen and Nienor whilst on the way to Nargothrond to find Turin. Guard that bow well, for it is valuable beyond all measure. It will serve you well enough, and your shots will fly straight and true no matter the conditions you may be in." Stunned, Maglor nodded picking up the bow and quiver. They were ready for the hunt at last.
Last edited by *=Blackenemy=* on Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby IVIaedhros » Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:05 pm

Maedhros followed Tygarya down the stairs, holding the torch carefully. So. She did like him. That...explained some things. But she didn't get all...well, silly about it. She didn't seem the type of person to lose her head, even in love. His thoughts skittered away from that idea. They weren't in love! They just...liked each other. And that must be why she trusted him so...so generously. Like now. She thought the Silmaril incapable of abetting evil, at least in his hand. But...that was not strictly true. With some creativity it could be put to devious uses.

But he wasn't going to find out about those. That's why he'd been meaning to bring Maglor down here, before Celegorm arrived and took up all their time. Maglor would keep him honest.

"I'd like to see you at work," Tyg said softly, interrupting his thoughts. He handed her the torch, and she shook her head as she put it in a clip on the wall.

He took a deep breath, and touched the white wall. His hand sank through the stone like water, and he touched the jewel, barely brushing it with his outstretched fingers. It responded with a low hum, and he was filled with light and....and that something he didn't have a word for. It really was wonderful, and he forgot his purpose in being there for a moment.

Then he opened his eyes, and remembered where he was. Tyg had said he could reach out to Himring here....but he paused. That should not be his first real test of the powers of the jewel. He knew what too much power did to people....

No, Aragorn had said something about renewal, and this was what Tyg had been working towards. The fortress, the army...they both spoke of her hard work here. And what could he do to aid that? What could the jewel beneath his fingertips accomplish? Renewal....

He reached out, and there was the soil of the valley. He could see now what was wrong with it, and why nothing but brambles would grow there. Could he? Dare he? But there was no taint of evil in removing evil. He would be safe. Slowly, gradually, the jewel cleansed the soil, removing the taint, restoring what had been leached away. Well-tilled earth. He put the thought of every wholesome place he could remember into the soil, so it would recall what it was meant to be. He smiled at the thought of an orchard hard by the gate of Minas Morgul. What would the hunters say when they returned?

But he mustn't overdo it. Cleansing the soil and calling forth orchards were two different matters. He looked at Tyg. "What is your favorite color?" he asked her.

"Guess," was her only reply.

He looked at her again. "Black," he conceded, and she smirked. "All the colors..."

"What are you going to do?" she asked with some ill ease. She knew he was tampering with the fortress, and if she went out to find the gate painted in brilliant rainbow shades, she'd be furious....

"You'll see," he answered, a smile tugging at his mouth. Then he closed his eyes and concentrated again. Nothing so ambitious as full grown trees, but he could do something about those brambles....

He found a thistle in the field, and convinced all of the brambles that they would be much happier as thistles. But Tyg would not be happy to look out and see a field of purple flowers! Slowly, the blooms grew darker and darker, until they were a deep, deep violet. Nearly black, except when the sun hit them.

He surveyed his work without opening his eyes. Unrelieved sable. He frowned. It was missing something.... He thought of the gleam of silver as mail peaked out from beneath the army uniforms. Niphredil. One of his favorites...dare he conjure that up here, in Imlad Morgul? But this was not just about restoring, it was about making Minas Morgul a place...a place to be proud of. It was Tyg's home.

He shuddered, drawing in a deep breath. This was exhausting! There were only small pockets of the small white flowers of niphredil scattered around the valley, for he did not have the strength to call forth any more. But in the places that had been bare of brambles (and thus did not bear thistles now), he brought out grasses, to hold the soil in place, especially near the stream. It was not yet a garden but it was greatly improved, to his mind. He hoped Tyg would be pleased.

He stepped back from the wall, and sat down. He grinned at Tyg. "It's a good thing the Silmaril does all the work."

"Are you going to tell me what you've been up to?" she asked him, raising an eyebrow.

"Not yet. Something harmless. You'll see when you go upstairs."

"But..."

"Do you want to see my home?" he asked her.

"Yes!" she said eagerly. She did not think a simple painting would do it justice, and she was curious what short of place he would have built himself.

He stood up, and with another deep breath, plunged his hand back into the marble wall. This time, the entire wall blazed with light for a moment, and as it faded, the rock became translucent. Gradually, the hill of Himring the Ever-cold came into focus.

"That was quick," Tyg remarked.

"This place is near to my heart," he said by way of explanation. At first, the fortress was visible from the bottom of the hill, with some trees obscuring it. But then gradually, the picture shifted, so that it seemed they had moved up the hill and the trees were gone. And then they moved around it, seeing it from all sides.

"It still stands," Maedhros said proudly. Tyg had to admit, the construction was well considered. She had not built the fortress in which she resided; merely modified an existing one. But even so....this was exceptionally well designed for defence.

"Aren't we going to see Curufin?" she asked him. Maedhros shook his head. "I'm too tired for that now."

She really wanted to know what he'd been up to! "Remind me to consult you before we build any more strongholds in the east," she said.

He pulled his hand away from the wall, and the image faded. He sat down, clearly exhausted.

"You stay here," she said. "If you've been up to any mischief, I'll come right back down here and make you put it back."

He nodded.
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Postby rowanberry » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:57 am

After the hunters had eaten, they took a short rest, and then mounted again. They rode toward the stream that Baphomet had pointed out, to try and find some bigger game that came to drink there.

And, in the end, they didn’t have to be disappointed, although it took quite a few hours before Huan got a scent. He let out a low “woof” and disappeared among the trees. Soon after that, fierce barking was heard, and two deer leapt out of the woods, chased by Huan. Celegorm skilfully speared one, and the other fell by the arrows of Alatar. Rowan and Maglor stood a bit aside, while the others gutted their prey.

The day was already turning toward evening, and the hunters were planning to head back to the camp. But when he went to the stream to wash his hands, Celegorm thought that he noticed something big moving among the trees some distance away, and turned to look. It was a boar!

At the same time, Huan started behaving like he had got a scent again.

Celegorm ran back to his horse, jumped on its back, and shouted to the others: “You others go back to the camp! There’s still something for me!” Then, he galloped away, with Huan at his side.

Rowan reacted in a blink of an eye. She urged her horse after Celegorm, and yelled: “I’ll go with him! Wait for us in the camp, if he doesn’t fell this one at once!”

Celegorm’s idea was that, Huan would drive the boar toward him to be speared. But, the beast turned to the opposite direction, running away from him!

The Fëanorian just couldn’t leave it like that. He urged his horse and his dog after the boar; and Rowan kept right behind him, speeding deeper and deeper among the trees, as fast as a horse could go in such terrain. The old boar was very persistent, and unlike its chasers, it knew the lands well so, it managed to keep ahead of them. Finally, Celegorm thought that, he could at least stop it by shooting at it; he slowed his horse a bit, grabbed and readied his bow, and let the arrow loose. But, the boar suddenly turned aside, and the arrow missed. The prey disappeared into the shadows before he could speed up the horse again.

Celegorm stopped and cursed. He dismounted, leaned against a tree, and hid his face into his hands, uttering words that one wouldn’t expect from an elf lord.

Only after a while did he realize that, there was someone else with him. He looked up and saw Rowan.

“I think we’d better go back”, she said.

Celegorm mounted again, and led by Huan, they began to track back the way they had got there. But very soon, it became apparent that, it would get dark before they would get even anywhere near the camp. Huan could lead them by smell, of course, and as elves, they could see well enough in the light of the moon and stars. But, neither of them knew where they actually were. They were also getting tired after all the physical activity of the day.

Rowan looked around. “I think it would be wise to stop and rest until dawn. We can go quicker by daylight.”

Celegorm protested. “I need to get back to the castle as soon as I can!”

Rowan shrugged. “Well, you won’t get there today, in any case. A few hours won’t make any difference. There’s a good dry place under those trees near the stream; let’s go there and put up a camp for the night.” Huan was already heading to the direction of the spot she was pointing at. Gloomily, Celegorm followed Rowan and the dog.

They tied their horses to the nearby bushes and tended them, gathered some wood, and made a small fire near the bank of the stream.
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Postby Tygarya » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:22 pm

Tyg hurried up the stairs and into the grand entrance foyer of the Tower. She looked around and saw nothing was changed. Confused she wandered around a bit, checking everything over. He had said ‘You’ll see when you go upstairs” but Tyg couldn’t see anything different. Was he tricking her?
Just then a couple of servants went past, curtsying to Tyg on the way, looking very awed. Tyg heard them whisper together about the Vale.
Curious Tyg went to the windows and looked out.
This bottom level of the Tower was still raised above the Vale, behind the vast defences; still what Tyg could see was not much, but enough to take her breath away.
She ran out the entrance and down around the courtyard and through a side entrance in the walls. There she stopped and stared.
The Vale was covered with flowers; thistle type flowers grew everywhere, with splashes of a small white flower among them.
Tyg walked out into the Vale treading carefully. She stopped and fell to her knees, placing her hands into the soil to feel the rich loam beneath the lush green grass that now grew there. She glanced up slightly and looked upon a dark coloured thistle – almost black. She smiled to herself as she cupped it in one hand to look at it more carefully.
‘That’s why he had asked my favourite colour” she said to herself. Tyg sat back on her heels and looked around enjoying the scene, for quite a while. She saw several others come out of the fortress and walk around, looking in awe at the grass and flowers, then looking at her.
“They must think I did it” Tyg thought to herself. “I should put that right; Maedhros deserves the recognition for such an act”

After another few moments sitting, looking out over the vale, Tyg heard footsteps directly behind her. She turned slightly to look over her shoulder and saw that Maedhros had come to find her. Tyg jumped up and threw her arms around him.
“I thought when you didn’t come back that you were happy with what I did” Maedhros said with a smile.
“More than happy Russandol, do you know what you have done?”
“Of course, restored the ground so things will grow again”
“More than that, people can come back to Ithilien. This really is the start of a new beginning, thanks to you”
Tyg stared into his eyes and Maedhros was very tempted to lean down and kiss her, but he didn’t need to, Tyg beat him to it. She pulled his head down and planted her lips firmly on his for a second and then pulled away again. She swung round to look again at the Vale, but not before she grabbed his left arm and draped it around her shoulders while she snuggled into him. Maedhros felt very comfortable as they stood like that, the fragrance of Tyg’s hair mixing with the sweet smells of the new grasses filled him with visions of his youth.
“Thank you” he heard Tyg whisper.

They stood like that a few minutes more, and then Tyg stepped away from him and turned to go back inside, as a cold wind blew up.
They walked side by side back into the fortress.
Tyg turned to him at the gate and asked “Why did you do this for me, you were supposed to be doing something to cheer yourself up with the Sil?”
“It did cheer me up; it has helped give hope to a new beginning like you said. That is why we are here, is it not?”
Tyg looked at him a moment, a darkening coming around her eyes. She straightened then and looked around.
“Well, thank you again Maedhros” Tyg said seriously, “Now I have work to do, I’ll see you later at dinner perhaps?”
Tyg walked off leaving Maedhros slightly confused. “What did I say?” he said to himself but he knew it was what he had not said.
He scratched the back of his neck and berated himself for not speaking the truth. As he walked slowly back inside he muttered to himself, “I wish Maglor was here”

Tyg walked out of sight of Maedhros, changed form into the black cat and ran all the way to the top of the Tower to her apartments.
She changed form again and entered, slamming the door shut in her frustration.
“What’s the matter with him?!” Tyg shouted at no one. A large fluffy cat that had been asleep on a divan sprang up startled at all the noise. It regarded Tyg with sleepy unblinking eyes, yawned, then jumped down and walked off into the bedroom for some more peace and quiet. Tyg watched the indifferent performance and promptly threw a cushion at the retreating tail, just as it disappeared around the doorway.
“Damn him! Why can’t he just admit how he feels about me?!”
Tyg picked up a porcelain vase and threw it at the cold fire place where it smashed into a hundred pieces. She threw herself down on the divan, grabbed a cushion to her chest and resolved to sulk there for the rest of the day.
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Postby IVIaedhros » Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:17 am

"What's the matter with me?" Maedhros thought, as he restlessly paced back and forth in his too-quiet rooms. He missed his brothers more than he had thought. "They've been gone for less than a day; this is ridiculous."

Unwilling to examine his feelings any more closely, he went down to the exercise field. He at least knew how to work off nervous energy; maybe it would clear his mind as well. He had to think about something other than how lovely Tyg's hair smelled!

Besides, he wanted to practice with his right hand some more before he sparred with Celegorm. No point in making a fool of himself. There were plenty of soldiers about, and quite a few who were willing to test his limits. He knew the Queen thought she ruled by prowess and fear, and so it was only natural that they wanted to see what he was made of while she was out of sight. But there was more to it than that; Tyg's subjects admired her greatly, and were more than willing to protect her. The dedication and zeal he saw in her forces was not the result of rule by fear. So then why was it so hard to admit that a proud Noldo such as himself had brought forth a field of flowers just to see the look of admiration in her eyes?

His endurance had not suffered at all, and his right hand soon remembered its old strength and skill with a blade. His height and speed gave him the advantage over most of his opponents. But he was not yet ready to try Tyg's two-handed method of fighting, either. He did not humiliate himself, and did not leave the field until he was truly exhausted.


*** *** *** *** ***

Maglor was restless back at the camp. He ran his hands over the fine bow Alatar had given him. He had only joined the hunting party to keep an eye on Celegorm, and now Celegorm had run off! At least Carnilwen, that is, Rowanberry, was with him, but still. If he had just anticipated what Celegorm would do....

"Gloomy this evening?" Alatar asked him, breaking the silence.

"I suppose I should be grateful for an evening off from babysitting," Maglor said wryly.

Alatar laughed. "Your brother can be troublesome, but there is no harm in keeping him away from the fortress for a few days."

Maglor looked at him swiftly. "I know what you are trying to do, and I appreciate your efforts. But...Celegorm is not a child. He knows woods and beasts as well as you."

"Can he track a falcon on a cloudy day?" Alatar asked, smiling at some private joke.

"I wouldn't put it past him," Maglor answered, staring moodily at the campfire they'd lit earlier. "But Celegorm isn't the only brother I worry about."

"How are things at your fortress in the North?" Baph asked, unexpectedly joining the conversation.

"Well enough, I suppose. The news we get is sporadic, but not alarming." What he did not say was that the real crisis would come when their younger brothers found out that Maedhros was not returning...indefinitely.

"Ah, so it is Maedhros you worry for."

Maglor smiled ruefully. "I know I shouldn't, but he's usually better at staying out of trouble when I'm around."

"What if he wants to get into trouble?" the Necromancer asked shrewdly.

Maglor looked at him sharply. "He won't abuse the Silmaril. He is not one to covet power over others."

"Not that kind of trouble," Baph muttered. "Though...are you sure about that? You might be surprised to see Imlad Morgul when you return..."

"Oh no, what has he done now?" Maglor asked in alarm.

"Just a bit of harmles redecorating," Baphomet waved it aside. "I'll let you know if anything radical happens, don't worry."

Maglor wasn't sure if he and Baph had the same understanding of "harmless," but he saw no point in worrying, either. He would see how things were when he returned.
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Postby rowanberry » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:03 pm

The night wasn’t really cold, but a little chilly anyway so, Rowanberry and Celegorm sat by the fire, huddled rather close together to keep warmer, with their cloaks wrapped around them. Rowan had taken a quick look around, and found some nuts and berries that she knew were edible, and they had shared them as a supper. Celegorm was still sulking.

“You’re really annoyed at the boar getting away, aren’t you?” Rowan asked. Celegorm nodded, but didn’t say anything.

“You would have got it, if it had run toward you – I watched you take down that deer, and I have no doubt about it. But, probably nobody else that I know would even have tried to follow it. Any huntsman of Lothlórien of Greenwood would have said that, it’s of no use.”

Celegorm turned his head in his abrupt manner, and looked at her. “And is there something that those Dark Elves know better about hunting than I do?” he said in an irritated tone.

Rowan looked back at him, and said sternly: “Those Dark Elves, as you call them, know a lot about hunting better than the average Noldo, and definitely at least as well as you do. They also know the forests well, and taught me much that helps one survive in the wild. Like, for example, that in a strange place, it’s preferable to spend the night in a tree than on the ground. Unfortunately, none of the trees around here looks suitable for that purpose. And it’s from their teachings that I knew what I could gather from the forest to eat.”

“It seems that you know their customs well. Did you spend a long time with them?” Now, there was a touch of curiosity in Celegorm’s voice.

“Quite a long time – most of the Second Age in fact, and the beginning of the Third Age.”

“Would you please tell me something about your life in that time? I totally missed those two ages.”

Rowanberry was silent for a second, looking back on the past ages. “The lands were very different then. Almost all of Eriador was covered with forests, ranging from the Blue Mountains to the Misty Mountains and beyond. There were just scattered settlements of Men close to the eaves of the woods, and the Wood Elves lived on some areas in the deep forest; otherwise, there were just animals, and the Shepherds of the Trees roamed there – it was they that first got me to meet the Wood Elves. Those elves hunted and gathered, and grew corn and vegetables on the openings; they often built their dwellings up in the trees, and in that, they were rather skilled. They had a rich tradition of songs and stories that I loved to listen and learn. They also did some metal work, but in that, they definitely couldn’t match the skills of the Noldor.

“But then, the Men of the West came. They needed timber for their ships, and so, they felled much of the forests. Other Men also multiplied and spread to new areas, and the Elves withdrew to the woods of Lothlórien and Greenwood. And finally, Sauron, Morgoth’s lieutenant, arose again… When the dark shadows grew too long in Greenwood, I travelled to Rivendell, where I wrote down all the lore of the Wood Elves that I could recall. And there I’ve stayed until now. The woods are gone, Men are cultivating those lands now.”

She fell silent, and turned her gaze up to the stars. At least they were still the same.

Then, she turned to her companion again, and said: “Now, you tell me of something that I have missed. Tell me… Tell me about Valinor.”

Celegorm started, as if something had hit him. But after a while, he started to speak. He told about the city of Tirion, described its white houses with shining roofs, and streets glimmering like they were sprinkled with diamond dust. He told about the beaches of the Great Sea, where the sand was decorated with jewels. He described the fields of Yavanna, the gardens of Lorien, the mighty peak of Taniquetil, and most thoroughly of all, the woods of Oromë where he had loved to hunt. He also told about Formenos, where his father had lived during his ban from Tirion. He didn’t forget the Two Trees and the gentle light that they shone upon all the lands, either.

But then, the Trees were destroyed, and the Silmarils stolen, and darkness fell over Valinor.

He felt that he couldn’t go on from there. He just said: “And now, all that is lost from us for ever.”

They were both silent for a long time.

Celegorm caught himself of thinking that it wasn’t actually too bad to sit like this, quietly in the woods under the stars. It was just a pity that the woman at his side was Rowan and not Rwhen.

Or, was it, actually? What was it that he really wanted?

Suddenly, he recalled something from long ago…

The march from the north to Amon Ereb had been long. They had been thoroughly defeated in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and Himring and the lands around it were lost. He was tired, so tired that he had to gather all of his willpower to keep on his feet. The arrow wound in his shoulder was painful; fortunately, the arrow that had hit him hadn’t been poisoned.

Somewhere along the journey, he and those who were left of his men had come across Maedhros and Maglor with the remnants of their armies, and they had also got a word that Curufin was alive and coming that way. But, they still hadn’t heard anything from Caranthir or the twins.

In the middle of the courtyard of the dwelling of his youngest brothers, Maedhros was listening to the report of the evacuation of the civilians from Himring, given to him by a young woman. She was wearing mail and a helmet, and was girt with a sword that was almost too long for her; she looked quite as tired and dirty as the soldiers just come from the battle. She couldn’t totally hide her emotion when she had to tell about the losses they had suffered, but neither could Maedhros when he heard about them…

That woman had been Rowanberry.

He felt someone nudge his side, and noticed that the lady had fallen asleep. Carefully, he set her on the ground, checked that the fire surely wouldn’t spread, and lay down beside her, so that they were lying back to back to keep both of them warmer. Huan lay down close to them.
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Postby Tygarya » Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:21 pm

After Tyg had sulked for a couple of hours Rwhen came looking for her. As she entered Tyg’s apartments, after a guard had opened the door for her, she found Tyg outside standing on her balcony.
“Tyg?” Rhwen called softly “What’s wrong, I thought you would be in a good mood after this” Rhwen had come out onto the balcony beside Tyg and indicated the new look Vale far beneath them.
Tyg turned to Rhwen then and gave her friend a warm embrace.
“I would be happy if Maedhros had been able to tell me the real reason he did it.” Tyg then walked back inside with her friend and sat down on the couches. Tyg sighed.
“But no, all he could say to me was “It was good for peace”” Tyg said in a whiny sarcastic voice.
It was then that Rhwen noticed the broken vase in the fire place, she arched an eyebrow at Tyg, who saw her discovery.
“I see you were obviously annoyed by his answer”
Tyg flippantly waved her wrist in the general direction of the fire causing it to burst to life, burning with no wood in it.
“That?” Tyg said innocently “Oh, that was one of the cats, tipped it off the shelf over there when it decided to go for a walk, I cleaned it up and just threw the remains into the fireplace”
“I see” Rhwen said flatly, not believing Tyg’s story. “Seems to me you’re as bad as each other”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about”
“Oh yes you do, your just as bad. You won’t admit how much you feel for Maedhros just as much as he won’t admit his feelings about you. You’re perfect for each other, really!” Rhwen said in a huff, folding her arms and looking cross at Tyg.
Tyg regarded her a moment, her cold azure eyes boring into Rhwen.
“You go too far sometimes Rhwen”
“That’s because I’m your friend and I’m allowed too” Rhwen said smiling.
This caused Tyg to smile too which relieved Rhwen as she was starting to feel very uncomfortable under Tyg’s stare.
“To be honest with you Rhwen I don’t know what I feel. If it was anyone else I would have had him in my bed by now, but I always seem to find myself with this barrier of restraint where Maedhros is concerned – especially after what you told me the other day. I just don’t understand you elves. You can’t seem to separate lust and love, whereas to me they are mutually exclusive of each other, lust is something you will feel several times in your life, why not act upon it and sate the need. But, no, not you elves, you’re all so high and mighty and put ‘the deed’ up on such a pedestal…it’s a wonder any of you ever become non-virginal”
Rhwen was speechless at this most personal insight into Tyg’s personality and feelings, she didn’t quite know how to answer, she herself had – she would admit – led quite a sheltered life and Tyg’s brazen talk made her blush.
Tyg could see Rhwen was struggling with what Tyg had said.
“Sorry, I just needed to get that off my chest”
“Perhaps you need to say it to the one who matters?”
“Maedhros? Don’t be daft” Tyg laughed “His reaction would be ten-fold yours”
“Perhaps, but you are going to have to face this…er…problem sooner or later”
Tyg pondered that a moment
“Later I think, for now it’s nearly time for dinner. Let’s go I feel in the mood to publicly be ignoring Maedhros” Tyg grinned wickedly as she got up and left the room.
Rhwen shaking her head followed close behind.
On the way Rhwen plucked up the courage to ask a question that was playing on her mind since Tyg talked about her views on love.
“Tyg, can I ask you something….personal?”
They stopped walking down the stairs as Tyg turned to her friend, her eyes sparkling with intrigue.
“What is it?”
“You say you….um….sate your appetite, so to speak” Rhwen said blushing furiously but too curious to stop now.
Tyg grinned and folded her arms, leaning back on the railing. “Yes”
“Well, I can’t help but to have noticed that…ah…working inside the fortress is a lot of very good looking men” Rhwen’s eyes had fallen to the floor.
Tyg grinned even wider. “Yes”
“Do you…I mean…” Rhwen’s nerve left her at that point.
Tyg laughed and simply replied “Yes” again and turned and continued down the stairs, calling out behind her as she went.
“Funny thing about being Queen, you can order people to do anything, although it doesn’t really come to that”
Rhwen’s hands went to her cheeks as they flushed even hotter as Tyg laughed all the way down the stairs to the dining hall.

At the door to the dining hall Rwhen caught up with Tyg once again and placed a staying hand on Tyg’s arm.
“Does Maedhros know about…well, you know”
Tyg grinned again.
“I don’t doubt that he does but one thing I have learnt over the ages is that man and elf will try and deny in their minds the existence of a truth if they do not wish to know it – but they do, in their heart’s, know the truth. Panthers on the other hand – for that is what I am, let’s not deny that – are not creatures born of the subtleties of man and elf, I will accept a truth and face it head on if I do not like it. If I cannot change that truth, then I will move on. I am proud of who I am, so I can not and will not apologise for the way I live my life.”
“That is, I guess, noble of you” Rhwen said slightly awed.
Tyg just smiled and walked into the dining hall. She saw that Maedhros was already there, as well as the Generals and Aragon. Tyg walked to the opposite end of the informal table and sat down next to the seat Rhwen would take next to Aragon. Tyg avoided looking at Maedhros the entire evening enjoying herself immensely.
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Postby IVIaedhros » Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:44 pm

After Maedhros finished his workout in the exercise yard, he returned to his room and peeled off his sweaty tunic. It was so much easier to do this with two hands, he thought. After he'd washed up, he decided to rest, both from his physical exertions and the toll the silmaril had put on him. He lay down and, with his eyes still open, remembered what it was to walk in the woods of the hill of Himring.

He woke refreshed...and hungry. Judging by the low sun slanting through his window, it must be nearly dinner time. Good...

He would get to see Tyg again.

She had left so abruptly earlier, he hadn't had a chance to....

To what? To say anything to make it right. He knew enough of diplomacy to understand he'd ticked her off. And he thought he knew enough of women to understand what had disappointed her.

But no matter, he'd make it up to her at dinner time. Hopefully, she'd busied herself with other things the rest of the day and almost forgotten it.

Thus resolved, he went downstairs. He found the generals already seated with Aragorn, and went to join them. He wasn't surprised that Tyg had yet to arrive, but thought it odd that Rwhen wasn't there. After all...he had thought she was spending the day with Aragorn. Maybe it was another one of those girl things - getting ready for dinner or whatever they did. Having grown up with six brothers, he wasn't too familiar with how that worked.

"I hear you were keeping our boys on their toes today," Kador said with a smile. It was a harmless enough comment, but also a reminder that little that happened in this fortress escaped the notice of the generals.

"They were kind enough to help me practice with my right arm. I expect it will fall off tomorrow from the workout they gave me."

"Well, I certainly hope not. The Queen went out of her way to get it back for you, and that would be a waste."

"I could not help but notice the improvement of the Vale," Aragorn said, rescuing him from any further explanation. Well, after a fashion.

"Yes, the Queen has mentioned that we'd have to grow something other than brambles if we were to have anyone living here. Didn't expect her to do it over night, but that's her for you - always full of surprises."

Maedhros thought it polite not to mention that it had not been Tygarya who had done so. That, and he couldn't claim credit without drawing attention to the Silmaril, and his actual role here.

At that moment, Aragorn looked up with a smile of pleasure. So, Rwhen had arrived. But the woman who rounded the table the next moment was Tyg, followed closely by a blushing Rwhen. Maedhros tried to catch her eye as she sat down, but she did not look at him. At first, he was not troubled. Perhaps she just had something on her mind.

But as the meal progressed, and she responded to comments the others made and was in general quite animated, he could not neglect to notice that her reserve was directed solely at him. Uncomfortably, he realized that perhaps allowing her to leave earlier had been a mistake. If he'd gone after her right away, then she wouldn't have had a chance to brood over it. Now it would be so much harder to apologize. It didn't help that her outfit was as alluring as ever. Since she wasn't looking at him anyway, he was trying less than usual to avoid letting his gaze wander. It would have been fine, until he noticed the lacing, and realized that that, too, would be easier to handle with two hands...not that he'd have a chance to test that out any time soon.

Why did he get himself into these predicaments? And where was Maglor when he needed him! At least Maglor always knew the sensible thing to do. He would probably just berate me for not saying the right thing in the first place, he thought ruefully. Giving up on getting anying more from Tygarya than a basket of rolls (and that only because someone passed it to her when he asked for them), he started to pay more attention to Rwhen. While she seemed to be happy enough to be next to Aragorn, she kept looking away swiftly whenever he met her eye. Odd. And she was still blushing fairly often. He wasn't sure what that was all about....there was so much he most emphatically did not understand about women. At least he knew he hadn't done anything to annoy the lady betrothed to the King of Gondor!

It was going to be a long night, and most likely a long couple of days. Where was Maglor?!
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Postby Tygarya » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:33 pm

During the dinner Tyg began to feel much better as she ignored Maedhros. She didn’t even have to look at him to know he was getting annoyed, she could feel his baleful stares. She was chatting with her Generals and discussing the arrival of some Haradrim mercenaries that were wishing to come over to the Minas Morgul banner. Word had spread already of the fact that Aragon was at Minas Morgul and there was a pending alliance discussion. Tyg told the Generals to allow them into one of the soldier’s barracks and test them out in the exercise yards the next day. She then politely told her Generals to spread the word that it had been Lord Maedhros that had changed the landscape of the Vale, to show his alliance with Minas Morgul.
Maedhros overheard that and also noticed the bitter way Tyg said it. He sighed and again wished Maglor was there.
As soon as Tyg was finished the main meal she quickly excused herself and walked from the room.
Maedhros thought about following but Rhwen was quicker and followed Tyg out.

Tyg was on her way back to her rooms when a light music-filled voice called after her. Tyg turned at the voice of her friend.
“Rhwen what is it, you should be staying on for dessert?” Tyg said with a smile.
“I just came out to make sure you know what your doing?” Rhwen said quietly, “Are you sure that ignoring Maedhros is really a good idea?”
“I think it’s a fine idea, dear” Tyg said with a grin “Don’t worry yourself about it, if he doesn’t want to face his feelings I’m going to make him”
“But, don’t you think you may push him too far”
“What do you mean?”
“What I mean is…perhaps his feelings for you are more serious than you think”
“Talking of marriage again Rhwen?” Tyg said laughing, shaking her head. “Honestly, I think that’s all you think about, perhaps we had better hurry up and get you married to get these silly thoughts out of your head”
Tyg laughing walked off leaving the conversation unended.
Rwhen turned and walked back into the dining hall to confront questions from her beau about what was going on.

The next day Tyg felt great. It had pleased her no end to see Maedhros frustrated at being annoyed last night, she had practically hummed with satisfaction all night long.
Today, however, she had a meeting with General Kador in regards to a disturbing report of some elves crossing the Anduin and setting themselves up in tents in Ithilien.
She was sitting in Kador’s private office; it was situated on the second floor of the fortress and over looked the exercise yards.
Tyg was watching the Haradrim fighting as Kador gave his report concerning the elves.
“Apparently they have come from Gondor from word of Prince Legolas, son of King Thranduil from Mirkwood, he seems to be a friend of King Aragon”
“Really, well I think then that we should take this up with Aragon himself. If he thinks a hand shake means that he can start moving people into Ithilien like nothing ever happened, he has another thing coming. I don’t intend to give up Ithilien; they abandoned it because of the Nazgul and their poison, so I took it when I took Minas Morgul. They have no right to just expect it back. Get word to Aragon that I wish to meet with him concerning this, we will meet this afternoon in the war room”
Kador nodded his head with approval.
Tyg turned from the window and saw that Kador was already penning a note.
“I might go down and have a closer look at these Southrons”
“Of course, Mistress, their leader is one named Najid”
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Kador came to the window and pointed him out to Tyg.
“Apparently it means Lion or Brave, they say he is quite formidable, rumour is he has been exiled from Harad for sleeping with the King’s daughter”
Tyg grinned as she looked at him through the window.
“Really, we shall see”
Tyg then left Kador’s office and made her way down to the exercise yards to meet the Haradrim and their leader.

When Tyg reached the exercise yards the fighting had stopped for a rest break. All eyes turned to her as she walked out onto the hard clay surface and approached the Haradrim. Tyg stood in front of the leader and introduced herself.
“I know exactly who you are your Majesty” Najid said with a bow, he had removed his facial scarf to have a drink, Tyg thought he was very handsome, his dark tanned face well chiselled. “The description of your beauty is not myth I see” he added as he bowed, he took Tyg’s hand as he straightened and raised it to kiss the large dragon’s head ring on Tyg’s finger.
Tyg smiled, she had dealt with these types before.
Just as his lips left the gold ring Tyg’s foot swept out and she pushed her hand into his chest causing him to lose balance and sweeping Najid off his feet. As he landed on his back on the hard clay at her feet Tyg placed a foot upon his chest, she leaned an elbow on her knee and looked down at him.
“Yes, I know” was all she said, saying it with a devilish grin, her eyes sparkling.
Around her the Haradrim had all gone for their weapons, but had been beaten by swords pointed at them by Tyg’s soldiers. Tyg waved for her soldiers to put their weapons away. Najid laughed and told his men the same.
“I have also heard of your prowess as a warrior” Najid said, still looking up at Tyg from the ground.
Tyg stepped back to allow him up. “Care to find out?” she said playfully.
As he stood Najid looked cautiously around the yard, then to Tyg once more. “Ah, I don’t think so, perhaps later, once we have gotten to know each other” he smiled.
Tyg knew he understood well this game and she grinned again.
“Excellent choice Najid, perhaps your men can continue whilst we adjourn to the shade and get to know each other then”
Najid bowed again and followed Tyg over to the wall, where a couple of chairs were being hastily moved and a large shade umbrella was being erected.
Tyg sat down and waved for Najid to do the same. He dropped into the comfy chair and regarded Tyg with interest.
Tyg ordered drinks, and then turned to Najid once again.
“So, General Kador tells me you wish to join with Minas Morgul…why?”
Najid shrugged, “Why not, your campaign in the East has impressed me”
“Really?” Tyg said unconvinced. “If you’re not willing to tell me what it is you have done in Harad that you flee from, I’m more than willing to let them know I have you here”
Najid looked startled a moment, then recovered with a laugh.
“A smart mind and great beauty…definitely a dangerous combination, one I would be foolish to not want to align too”
Tyg smiled “So, I have the truth of it, what did you do?”


As Najid leaned in close to whisper what it was he did in Harad, Maedhros had picked this moment to get some exercise and look at the Haradrim for himself, after hearing Tyg talk about them. He saw the two deep in discussions, sitting far too close to each other, and Tyg was smiling delightedly at the Southron. Maedhros turned and left the yards, his fists clenched.

It was a mere hour later that Maedhros received a memo from the Morgul Council requesting his attendance to a feast in the main banquet hall for the arrival of Lord Najid from Haradrim and his men. Maedhros balled the memo up in his fist and threw it into a corner.
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Postby IVIaedhros » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:11 pm

That was enough! He was not going to just sit around and watch Tyg flirt with this newcomer. He stormed out of his room and straight down to the basement. Hastily propping the torch in the wall sconce, he plunged his hand into the wall until the stone slapped his wrist, halting it. Immediately, the wall flared with white light, and the fortress of Himring came into view. Not pausing to admire the view, he entered the fortress and began searching for his brother.

It did not take him long to find Curufin. *Brother!* he called.

Curufin looked up in surprise, looking about the room as if he was not sure if he'd heard the call with his mind or his ears.

*Brother, it's me*

*Maedhros, what's wrong? You seem upset.*

*I need advice, and...*

*And Maglor's ignoring you?*

*No, he's just out right now, keeping an eye on Celegorm.*

*What did you do now?*

*It's... complicated.*

*...*

*There's this girl...and I've done something to upset her. And now she's flirting with a damned Southron, and I swear I'll take his head off at the feast if...*

*Easy, killer. Slow down. I take it the girl is Tygarya?*

*How...how did you know?*

*I am not blind, brother, and you are not subtle. So what did you do?*

*It's more what I didn't do. I did something...nice...for her, and when she tried to thank me, I passed it off as some "for the good of the kingdom" nonsense. She hasn't spoken to me since.*

*How long has it been?*

*Just...yesterday, but there's this Southron...*

*I must say, your woman doesn't have very good taste in men....*

*Shut it. Just tell me how to not kill the guy and make a fool of myself or start a war.*

*Ignore him. He's beneath you, and nothing you do should reveal you see him as a threat.*

*But he is!*

*Pretend, damn it!*

*Okay, fine, so I ignore him. What if she...*

*If she can't see you're better than a man who has not even lived a full century, then is it really a problem?*

*YES!*

*NO*

*You're not here, Curufin, you don't...*

*True, I'm not. How are you maintaining this for so long, anyway? Aren't you still in Minas Morgul?*

*...*

*Thanks for the help, I've got to be going now...*


He pulled his hand out of the wall, and suddenly the connection failed. He staggered back and sat down on the bench. Here, alone, with the light of the Silmaril for company....things did not seem so bad. He would make it work, somehow. He just had to apologize. Or think of something else nice to do for the Queen.

With that thought, he returned to his room. He would get through the feast without losing his temper. Somehow. He hoped.
Last edited by IVIaedhros on Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Son of Fëanor » Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:51 pm

*I've got to be going now...*

...and with that, Maedhros' presence was gone, as if he had never been there. Odd. How had he done that? To maintain such a connection for so long, and over such a great distance was no mean feat. Was Maedhros really that upset over this girl?

Curufin was uneasy. What was really going on in that fortress in the South? Why were three of his brothers staying there with no sign of returning? Maedhros' ulterior motive had at least been revealed. Though why he'd fall for such an odd woman after all this time... He shook his head. He himself had married young, after a brief courtship. So, he was not personally familiar with these long drawn out tortured ordeals. If that was indeed what Maedhros had gotten himself into. "Love makes fools of us all..." Though he could never regret his marriage, for it had given him Celebrimbor, and a more talented and devoted son one could not wish for. He sighed. Though what good was a wife who stayed in Valinor, one whom he was unlikely to ever see again? Still, he did not envy Celegorm his misplaced obsessions, nor Maedhros his...well, he wasn't even really sure what to call her.

What was Maedhros getting out of this? His hand, of course. But why would such a flighty woman risk such serious necromancy? Clearly, she intended to put Maedhros to some use. And judging by his state of panic and despair, he was oblivious to her ploys. Really, to be duped by a woman like that - what was wrong with him? He supposed he should write Maglor at least, and find out from his more level-headed brother what was really going on down there. If necessary, he would get his family out of there...by force. But he would be cautious, and make no rash moves.
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Postby rowanberry » Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:19 pm

Rowanberry was the first to wake up the next morning. She was startled when she found out that she and Celegorm had been sleeping back to back; although, that wasn’t really intimate, and definitely had helped both of them to keep warm.

She went to the stream and washed, and then, got back and nudged her companion gently. “Good morning. We better get up and going”.

Huan was also awake, and for his part, helped to wake his master up by pushing his wet nose against Celegorm’s face. Quite annoyed, the man pushed the dog away. “All right, boy, I’m awake. Good morning.”

They didn’t hurry their leaving, though. Rowan again gathered nuts and berries for breakfast, and they ate peacefully, enjoying the warmth of the sun. Finally, they packed their horses, and set off, following Huan who was tracking their route from the previous night. They knew that they couldn’t actually be awfully far from the camp; but, the winding of the track probably at least doubled the distance, and they rode quite slowly; now, they had time to pay attention to the terrain, and Rowan found herself wondering that they had made it without either of the horses tripping.

At one point, when they got close to the stream again, Celegorm shot a wild duck that he spotted on the bank. They stopped and made a fire, and roasted the duck for lunch; Rowanberry found some herbs to spice the meat a bit. Celegorm was somewhat sorry that he couldn’t prepare a proper roasted duck – like most Noldorin men, he was actually quite a good cook.

“Did you hunt while you lived with the Wood Elves?” he asked, when they sat down, eating. Huan had already swallowed the pieces of the meal given to him (which he, of course, thought quite insufficient), and lay basking in the sun.

“No, not much. Just the occasional bird or rabbit for food. Some of the women did hunt regularly together with the men, but I’m not all that fond of it. I love to wander in the wild, though, and there is definitely excitement in the hunt; that is why I joined the hunting party here in the first place. I just don’t like killing.”

After the meal, they rested for another hour or so, enjoying just being in the fresh air. “I thought you said that, you want to get back to the fortress soon?” Rowan asked, teasingly.

“I don’t think that it matters that much, after all”, Celegorm answered.

About half an hour after they set off again, they reached the eaves of the forest, and headed toward the camp.
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Postby *=Blackenemy=* » Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:23 pm

As the sun rose, Alatar noticed Maglor pacing around the tent. A low mist covered the ground, and as Maglor strode across it seemed to part even before he passed. "Did you not rest at all?" the wizard asked as he snuck up behind him. Maglor shook his head slightly, "They still have not returned. I am beginning to worry. Celegorm is an experienced hunter and would have caught the boar. Could it be possible that something has befallen him?" Alatar chuckled to himself. "No, I do not think so. But just to be sure, when we go hunting today we will send out one of the guides to look for them. They know this land better than anyone. But, if it is as I suspect, the Lady Rowanberry will want to spend as much time alone with him as possible. So I will tell him to take his time." Even without turning to face him, Alatar could feel Maglor's look of surprise. With a smile, Alatar whispered to him, "Did you really think that anything could go on with you elves and I would be none the wiser? You underestimate me, my friend."

As the others woke, Maglor started to prepare a broth for them from the remaining Conneys that they caught the day before. "I see that Rowan and the elf are still to return." Baph said whilst drinking his broth. Maglor glared at him, "Yes, they must have spent the night in the trees. Celegorm is not stupid enough to travel at night in a land in which he doesnt know his way." Baph looked thoughtful for a moment, put his bowl down and said to all "Then we should do them the kindness of waiting for them to return. I am sure they would not want to miss out on any good game that might be around." Everyone sat there, shocked at what they had just heard. Baph? Being kind to the brother of Maedhros, who had come into his mistress' castle and began to run amuck? "I dare say that Baph is correct," Alatar said breaking the silence. "I proposed to Maglor at dawn, that when we depart, to send a guide to look for them. But I have changed my mind, and think this would be better. Also while we wait, we could repair any damage that was done to our bows. I'm not sure about the rest, but my bow hasnt been restrung in quite some time and is in dire need of it." And with that, he stood and unstrung his bow. Baph began to inspect the arrows remaining in his quiver, but Maglor just sat there, speechless at the turn of events. Thoughts were running wild in his head. But he thought it best just to leave things as they were, he had no reason to interffer. He was sent to make sure his brother didnt get into trouble, and that's what he will do.
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Postby Tanwen_Luthien » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:10 am

In the afternoon light the white city of Minas Tirith glowed pale amidst the shadowy crags that bordered its western side. Banners flew high and shimmering in the breeze, pennants flapping from the battlements of its high walls and over the darkness of its lower fortification. The city bore the scars of the wars in its breached walls and crumbled homes. Those who remained, or who had come after to share in the days of the King, tended the wounded city with pride and zeal, and the sun that shone so clearly upon them brought to light not the ugly remains of war, but the bright blooming hope. Above the pale city, above the blossoming white tree, rose the Tower of Ecthelion in majesty undimmed. From a balcony in its upper chambers leaned two elf-men gazing upon the far green fields of the Pelennor and towards Osgiliath and the east. The wind was cool and swift, moving their cloaks and hair as they stood in contemplation. The taller of the two was golden-haired and clad in grey-greens and leaned forward upon the balcony, looking east with greater earnestness than his companion. The other was not very much less in stature, but had rather the look of a mortal Man about his face and bearing, emphasized by the shorter fashion in which he wore his shadowy hair. He leaned his back on the north railing but turned his head to face east, frowning. His garb was darker, older, and rather less regal than the taller elf. If one were to guess at that moment which of the two was the senior they would have likely chosen him, for his expression was grave, and he had the weary look of one who has seen too much of time. Yet it was in fact his gold-haired companion who was the elder, though his face was not currently so careworn or grim.

The dark haired guest looked about him and then down towards the city below and the milling of peoples and high waving flags. He shifted his stance, then spoke.
‘It is a beautiful city. The greatest city of Men I have seen in all my days.’
His friend smiled and glanced at him, then back to the east, preoccupied.
‘Yet you were not alive for any other great city of Men, Grim,’ spoke he, ‘nor any of the great elf cities.’
‘I like our fair elven places in Middle-earth well enough as they are now, Legolas,’ Grim replied.
Legolas laughed and nodded his agreement. They were silent again for a time as Grim’s blue-grey eyes wandered over their high panorama of the city.
‘So fair and pale,’ he murmured, ‘Whilst many elves may have forsaken their paradise, I see that Men have endeavoured to create their own.’
‘Perhaps you flatter the city too greatly, friend, although it is fine,’ replied Legolas, turning to face him. ‘It is broken, many homes destroyed by war and years of slow mortal decay that drove its people out to prosper elsewhere than in what they may have seen as a dying city. For the king was gone for many years, and only now has he returned.’
Grim nodded as he looked upon the shattered rooftops and uneven walls. He noted makeshift houses and camps in the first circle and outside the gate, and the few guards who patrolled the walls in black and silver shining near and far.
‘Yes, it may be broken,’ he stood to move beside his companion and lean with him, ‘But Men shall remake it. There is a high, pervading hope here, a swift rebuilding under the guidance of the King. The dominion of Men shall be great, I feel.’

Again they let speech lapse as they stood watching the city and moved their gaze over the rippling green that led towards Osgiliath and the path they had to follow over the great river. It was a path no longer fearful since the end of Sauron’s reign, but it was not yet commonly travelled, and was still distrusted by many in the city. But the day was fair, and the sun was blotted only by few and fleeting clouds. The fresh breeze that lifted the long white curtains of their room followed the flock of sparrows as they rose chirping from the white flagstones of the Citadel court. The flock wheeled below them to settle on some new place, and all was contentment and peace. Legolas sighed and shook his head.
‘I am loath to depart for our destination,’ he admitted, ‘yet I know it is imperative that we ride for Minas Morgul without unnecessary delay.’
Grim stood tall and stretched his arms, squinting over towards the horizon. He said, ‘It is not more than a day’s ride, if we take it at our own pace. We need not leave so soon.’
‘You do not think we should make our sentiments known as soon as possible? If there are negotiations beginning already then the message from Greenwood and our arguments may have much less impact then we would desire.’
Grim shook his head in disagreement.
‘Our view will have little bearing on the issue,’ he replied, ‘you know this already.’
‘Yes, I know,’ Legolas turned his back on the east and folded his arms. ‘But we must speak with Aragorn. His word will be the strongest of any in these negotiations.’
‘There will be time to speak with your friend, Legolas. Do not worry. Faramir and Eowyn seem pleased to have us here, and we should not offend them by spurning their hospitality with hasty departure.’
Legolas was silent for a moment, considering. Then he nodded.
‘Very well, Grim, then I am committed to stay for another night here,’ he smiled a little, ‘Perhaps two.’

The wind from the south moaned faintly through the gaps and cracks of the near mountains. Legolas breathed deeply and closed his eyes. When he spoke his voice was soft with thoughtfulness and melancholy. ‘Even where I stand now, the sounds of the sea still reach me, calling me onward. It has my heart wholly, but I am not yet done here. I will not follow its voice while there is yet work to be done.’
Grim looked at him closely, and said ‘You speak of your westward journey, over the seas.’
Legolas nodded and opened his eyes.
‘Yes,’ he sighed, ‘I think of it often. Perhaps I shall take Gimili with me. I would have you come also, yet I know how you desire not to leave Middle-earth, my friend.’
The other elf looked down at his feet and then turned his gaze southward. There was a long pause before he spoke.
‘I have no sea calling me home,’ he said softly, ‘I have no reason to leave the mortal lands yet.’
‘Perhaps you still do not wish to let go, Grim,’ commented his friend, ‘Perhaps the wounds of the past are still too near?’
Grim turned from Legolas’s sympathetic gaze and drew his cloak tight around him before he replied.
‘Perhaps.’
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Postby Tygarya » Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:04 pm

Tyg was feeling peeved when she went for her meeting with Aragon. She had been thinking about what possible reason those elves would have to be in Ithilien. Okay she did want people to move back to Ithilien and for trade to open up between the East and the West but what had persuaded them to move across the river so soon, negotiations hadn’t even started yet over an alliance between the two lands. It made Tyg feel uneasy.
Arriving in the war room she noticed Aragon was standing in front of the large tapestry of Arda looking at it with great interest. Rhwen was there, probably to try and keep things under control and Maedhros was also there, obviously the generals had invited him. General Barrock and General Kador were standing off to one side by the large window.
“Right let’s get this sorted quickly” Tyg said sitting down at the round table. She waited, tapping a finger, while everyone sat down.
Aragon could sense that Tyg was in a bad mood and that unsettled him greatly.
“So, King Elessar...” Aragon flinched inwardly at the formal title Tyg was using and knew he was going to have to tread very carefully. Rhwen looked a bit taken aback by the formal address and Maedhros buried his face in the cup of one hand. The Generals grinned in approval. “I wish you to explain why a group of 4 elves have crossed the Anduin into South Ithilien and set up camp? It has been said they have permission from Prince Legolas of Mirkwood, who at this time is residing in Gondor under your ward.”
Aragon weighed the situation carefully before replying.
“I must confess I do not know why they have chosen to come to South Ithilien, and I will travel there as soon as this meeting is finished to find out. I assure you Queen Essyndyl that I would do nothing to jeopardise our tentative situation.” Aragon had decided if Tyg wanted formal he would give her formal. “But, let’s be clear on one thing, Ithilien will be open for discussions. You may have stepped into the void left by the Nazgul and currently have Ithilien in your ward but I know there are many interested parties that will stake a claim upon that land. This may be our biggest challenge to negotiate.” Aragon raised a hand to continue when he saw Tyg was about to interrupt. “For now though, I agree, no one should be trying to stake camps upon Ithilien, so I will journey to visit these elves and I will send a letter to Legolas asking him to attend me here, so he may be involved in any further discussions.”
Tyg breathed deeply, she glanced at Rhwen and saw her face was worried. No, it wasn’t time for arguments.
“Alright Aragon” Tyg said dropping the formal tone, “It may be as you say and you don’t know about the elves in Ithilien, but you are right, you should be the one to go to them at this time and sort this potential mess out” Aragon nodded. “However, do not think that just because others may have a historical claim to Ithilien that I will be giving any part of it up easily”
The veiled threat caused Aragon to look up.
“I do not want war over something I’m sure can be sorted out easily in discussions” Aragon said firmly.
Tyg smiled. “Glad to hear it, because as you know since taking over the East my armies are vast.”
Aragon stood getting angry, but Rhwen placed a calming hand upon his arm.
“Please, let this discussion go for now. Tyg, you know my love is a fair man, I doubt anyone will have to resort to violence.” Rhwen said calmly.
Maedhros was watching this whole time with great interest, but saying nothing. The Generals knew when to keep quiet.
“Fine” Tyg said “Go and talk to these elves and we will talk no more about it for now”
Rhwen stood beside Aragon as he inclined his head towards Tyg curtly, then took Rhwen’s arm and left the room. Tyg stood and turned towards the window, walking over to it she stood there - saying nothing - just looking out over the Vale.
The Generals taking this cue stood to leave, they were just about to the door when Tyg called out to them.
“Generals!”
They both stopped and turned towards her straightening to attention. Tyg didn’t turn back but kept looking out the window.
“Once Aragon has met with these elves, if they do not pack up and move back over the Anduin I want them rounded up and brought here. Understand?”
“Yes, my Queen” both Generals said at once, clicking their heels together and saluting. Beaming with approval they both turned and filed out of the room leaving Tyg and Maedhros alone.
“I had always worried about the fact that you would never get along with my brothers, I see now that was completely unfounded, your just like them” Maedhros said then, leaning back in the chair and placing his feet up on the table.
Tyg turned round then regarding him. “What do you mean?”
“Making blunders that cause wars”
Tyg raised an eyebrow. “You think that was a blunder?”
“Threatening the might of the East against the might of Gondor? What do you think?”
“Why should I give up Ithilien, they abandoned it. I have no intention of just handing it back to them…peace accord be damned”
Maedhros looked at Tyg seriously. “Perhaps so, but there are other channels to go through first before you need to start flexing muscles”
Tyg shrugged, “Perhaps, but it doesn’t hurt to remind him that while they have been congratulating themselves for the past 3 years for winning the war against Sauron, I was busy, very busy.”
It was Maedhros’s turn to shrug, deciding to let the matter go and change the subject.
“So what about this group from Harad? What are your plans for them?”
Again Tyg raised an eyebrow. “Najid? Not sure, I may keep him around for a while while I decide. He could be useful.”
“Useful, is that all?” Maedhros said with a scowl.
Tyg caught the meaning and smiled. “Your not jealous are you Maedhros?”
Maedhros scoffed “Of a mortal, please”
“As far as I see, there is nothing for you to be jealous over anyway” Tyg said bluntly.
Maedhros winced catching the meaning of what Tyg was saying. He swallowed and decided now was the time to apologise.
“Tyg when I said I liked you, I meant it and I’m sorry I said I restored the Vale for the good of peace…you know I did it for you”
Tyg smiled that rare genuine smile. “Was it so hard to say?”
“No, I guess not” Maedhros said also smiling.
Tyg came over to the table then and sat down in the chair next to Maedhros, placing a hand over his.
“Look, there is something you need to understand. Najid is a very wealthy Lord in Haradrim and has many supporters there. This exile will not last, but right now I have the chance to build a relationship that could hold sway over the alliances that Harad may have. I know Gondor’s is tentative. So tonight’s dinner is important, do you get my meaning”
“I may get it, but I don’t like it”
“If it’s any consolation Russandol, if this doesn’t work out, I can always hand him over to the King of Harad for a ransom…right now he wants blood.”
“I would prefer you give his head back on a plate” Maedhros muttered.
Tyg stood with a laugh, leaned over and kissed Maedhros on the cheek.
“Well, if it comes to that I’ll get you to do it” Tyg turned to leave. “Now, I really must go and get cleaned up for the banquet. Think of me while I’m gone…soaking in a hot bath”
Tyg grinned wickedly and left the room.




Later at the banquet for Najid and his men Tyg had decided to wear a dress and make an effort, so after much thought she had decided to wear something other than black, she was interested in seeing some reactions – especially Maedhros’s – so she decided to wear this. Overall she was quite happy with the result and even happier with the reactions when she walked into the hall.
She wandered over to Najid who stood at her approach.
“I hope everything is to your satisfaction” Tyg said as Najid took her hand and kissed it.
“In deed it is” Najid said with a smile and a wink.
Tyg saw Maedhros out of the corner of her eye. He was scowling again, but at least he seemed to be keeping his temper in check.
“Excellent, Najid. I would also like to say that you are welcome to stay here, until your troubles at home subside, as my guest” As Tyg spoke she wandered along the table length with Najid holding her arm. She reached the dais and stopped beside Maedhros’s chair.
“I must introduce you to Lord Maedhros” Tyg said indicating the red head as he swept out of his chair and stood at his full height, towering over the Southron. Looking slightly intimidated Najid let go of Tyg’s arm and offered his hand to Maedhros. As they shook hands they stared at each other.
“Nice to meet you, Lord Maedhros, I have heard a lot about you”
“Really, well I am at a disadvantage then, because I have heard nothing of you”
“Well, perhaps we can remedy that during my stay here as Queen Tygarya’s guest”
Najid emphasised the word ‘guest’.
Tyg was enjoying the exchange immensely, almost as much as watching a proper sword fight but decided to end it before it went too far.
Tyg walked around the two of them and to her seat on the dais.
“Please Najid, take your seat, the feast is about to start”
Najid bowed his head to Tyg and returned to his seat at the front of the first table off the dais. Maedhros turned to Tyg as he sat down and whispered.
“Did you have to look quite so ravishing tonight?”
Tyg took a sip of wine and glanced at him, her eyes twinkling.
“I’ll take that as a compliment, Russandol, now just enjoy yourself for once”

The feast went smoothly and when the musicians started to play Najid took the opportunity and approached the dais once again.
“Would my Lady care to dance?” Najid asked offering his hand to Tyg.
Tyg smiled and stood up coming around the dais table she then took Najid’s hand and he led her off to one side where others were dancing.

When Tyg finally returned to the tables she was laughing with the Southron as she grabbed a glass and took a long draught emptying it. Immediately a servant filled it again and Tyg took another sip. She sat in an empty chair next to the Southron’s and chatted and drank happily for some time with him before finally making her way back to the dais table.
“Oh cheer up Maedhros, surely you had to entertain guests at Himring?” Tyg said when she noticed his face. “You know it’s just a duty, if you care that much why not just sweep me up and take me back to your room right now?”
It was the drink talking, Maedhros knew that, but couldn’t help but feel like he had just been slapped in the face.
“Better yet, I’m off now anyway, so why don’t you follow me to mine” Tyg whispered in his ear as she stood up, placing her lips against his ear lobe. She walked off then through the door behind the dais. His face was flaming he knew and tried to cover it by grabbing up his glass and drinking from it. He noticed then that Najid had already moved on to much easier prey and was wooing a maid, pulling her down on his knee as she giggled.
Last edited by Tygarya on Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby IVIaedhros » Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:48 pm

Maedhros had been dreading the banquet since he had received the invitation for it. Curufin's clear-headed advice seemed reasonable enough, but acting nonchalant was far different from not caring. Even Tyg's reassurance that this was all just politics did little to assuage the feeling of resentment towards the young Southron. Alliances with Harad be damned, he wanted the man gone.

Not that he would do anything to thwart Tyg's plans. At least not her political plans. He knew how important it was to maintain friendships and alliances, really he did....

At least she had accepted his apology. This would have been so much worse if she were still sulking. In fact...he was convinced that she would have flirted more just to spite him if he hadn't owned up. So, it was worth it. He would try not to let his Noldorin pride cause any more problems...but that was difficult for any son of Fëanor!

He made sure he was cleaned up, and dressed in formal clothes...and then gathered his resolve to endure the evening. If the food were good, he could occupy himself with that. When he arrived, he took his seat and sat quietly, not staring at anyone, but not inviting conversation, either. When Tyg arrived, he did his best not to react visibly. She was....well, there was no word in any elven tongue for her outfit. He settled with breathtaking. As she walked across the room, he was fascinated that the bits of cloth managed to stay in place. He could have made short work of this dress even one-handed...

And there that train of thought crashed, because she was greeting the Southron and walking with him and if it weren't for what Curufin had said to him, he would have been tempted to walk out right now. That...that...man should not even be allowed to look at her! But he swallowed any harsh words that might have come to mind, and greeted him as courteously as he could manage. He was sitting with Tyg. The Southron wasn't. That had to count for something. Tyg was charming throughout the meal, and he managed to relax a bit. He just avoided looking at the guest of honor. He smiled a little, remembering Aragorn's earlier comment that he didn't much care for yellow. True, he couldn't picture the Lady Rwhen wearing such a dress in public, but...he must say that he himself had no complaints about that color on Tyg.

After the meal, she danced, and after the dancing, she drank enough to let her teasing get a bit provocative. Her breath on his ear lingered long after she left...but at least she had left alone. There was no way in Mandos he was going to let that Southron follow her back to her rooms tonight. But the Southron seemed unconcerned to have been abandoned, and was quickly making his own alliances with an Easterling girl. Once she had left, his duty was finished. He saw no reason to remain, and so he returned to his room.

It was empty. His brothers were still away. He rummaged through a cabinet, but found nothing but mostly empty bottles. He went back out and wandered down stairs until he found a servant. He requested a bottle of something strong to be delivered to his rooms, and then went back upstairs. Based on the squeak and the scurrying, perhaps he had demanded more than requested....but he did say please.

There was no question of knocking on Tygarya's door. He would wait until she was sober to speak to her. Disappointing amorous women was nearly as dangerous as satisfying them; best to steer clear. But, if she remembered her invitation and had not meant it as a joke, then she would no doubt be disappointed with his failure to arrive. This was getting tricky. He would have to talk to her soon... But in the meantime, he had to let her know that he wasn't scorning her, at least not intentionally.

He sat down and wrote a note. When the servant arrived with the bottle he had requested, he gave him the note and sent him to the queen. "See that she gets this in the morning; there is no need to disturb her if she is sleeping," he instructed. Hopefully, that covered all bases...

Meanwhile, he had an entire evening to think about what he would say to her, and a bottle to polish off.

Image

Transcription:

Dear Tygarya,
I have not properly thanked you for giving me my hand back. You have been more than generous, so it is only fitting that each new use I find for this hand be dedicated to you. The Vale was the first-fruits; this letter is the second. When I can fight with a sword in each hand, that too will be for you.
Maedhros ~
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Postby Baphomet » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:03 pm

When finally the wayward elves returned to camp it was late afternoon. It was decided to remain for one more night and set out early the next day to return to the fortress. As they were all sitting around the fire eating the last of a couple of rabbits caught that day Baph looked up at the darkened sky.
“It’s going to rain tomorrow, best we head out before light, try and make it back before the down pour comes”

“Better get an early night then” Maglor said.

Next morning they were ready to go just before dawn and headed out into the greying light. They had not gone more than half an hour’s travel when the rain caught up with them. Luckily it started only as a misty drizzle so their cloaks were able to keep them dry.

The fortress came into sight just as the clouds rent open and the full force of the rain that had threatened all morning finally descended upon them. So they were a very drenched group that came finally to the gates of Minas Morgul. Once in the yard they dismounted just as a fat cook came out from a side entrance and came over to inspect the results of the hunting expedition. He was rubbing his hands together gleefully as he looked over the two deer. There were also several rabbits, a few pheasants and a couple of ducks. One of the hunters had managed to get a suckling pig as well.
“Excellent” the cook congratulated the hunting party as they all made their way inside and out of the rain leaving the cook to start shouting his orders and get the meat into the cooler rooms.
Once inside and out of the rain they all started to go their separate ways to get cleaned up. Baph noticed that Maedhros was there welcoming his brothers’ home with unusual fervour making Baph wonder what had happened in their absence, apart from the new look Vale – none of them had been able to ignore that when they had come over a rise and caught sight of it in the mist. Baph was planning on going straight to see Tyg.
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Postby IVIaedhros » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:49 pm

Maedhros awoke rather earlier than he wanted to the morning after the banquet. Light was streaming in the windows, beams of sunlight peaking out from between the clouds now and then. He squinted, and made to sit up. He groaned. He was lying on the couch - apparently, he hadn't made it to his bed. He glared at the bottle accusingly. For its part, it looked innocent...innocent, but nearly empty. "Not your fault," he mumbled at it.

Ugh. He hadn't meant to do that. Calling for 'something strong' from a kitchen that catered to orcs and Easterlings might have been a mistake. Not sharing the bottle of sludge they'd brought him was definitely a mistake. He could handle his liquor, but...drink made him dream. And the problem with elvish dreams was that they were so vivid.

Water. Water would help this situation. He needed something to drink. No, not you, he glared at the bottle. He was still wearing the clothes from last night. He'd have to get cleaned up, and then...and then what? He'd figure that out when the time came.

After a bath, tea, and toast, he was feeling much better. The rain had started in earnest. Hopefully, his brothers would come back sometime today. He had missed Maglor sorely, but he also thought it was about time he helped with Celegorm. Anything to distract him from the lady at the top of the tower.

As if on cue, he heard Celegorm's horn. So, they were finally back!

He rushed down to the main hall, and greeted them once they came in from taking care of their horses and the kill. Maglor looked none the worse for wear, and Celegorm was more relaxed than he'd seen him in...since they left the North, certainly. Realizing that the sight of the Lady Rwhen would surely change that, he decided to hurry them back upstairs before she appeared. He was a bit surprised when Celegorm looked to Rowanberry before following him. That was...interesting.

Back in the suite, Maglor swiftly looked about. He saw the empty bottle, and shot Maedhros a questioning look.

"I have hot water waiting for you," Maedhros announced, hoping to forestall questions. His brothers gratefully accepted, and went to get cleaned up. That gave him a chance to straighten up a bit, as well.

"So, tell me all about the hunt!" Maedhros asked when they came back in, trying to start the conversation on his terms.

"Gladly, as soon as you tell us about the Vale," Celegorm shot back. He was standing on the balcony, heedless of the rain, looking down on the sea of dark thistles.

"Oh...that." He looked at Maglor helplessly. "Tyg is...redecorating. Part of her plan of renewal in this area."

Placated, Celegorm came back into the room and launched into a description of these woods and what could be found in them, as well as a detailed account of the Boar that Got Away.

"Wait...so where you were, is that part of Ithilien?" Maedhros interrupted him.

"Yes, that is its name," Maglor answered.

"Hmmmm."

"Maedhros, what has happened while we have been gone?" Maglor asked, tired of stalling.

"More than you'd think. Gondor and Minas Morgul both claim the land of Ithilien, so there's bound to be some squabbling over that. But right now, Queen Tygarya holds it under her sway, and her fortress is closer, so...it shouldn't be much of a contest. Might hold up the idea of an Alliance, though. Also," and here his face darkened, "we have...visitors...from the South. A tentative alliance with some of the Haradrim also seems imminent."

"What did they do to you?"

"Nothing. It's nothing. Their captain is an upstart, a rebel outcast from his own people...."

"Oh, so you identify with him?" Celegorm smirked at him.

"No! He just....has a bad habit."

"What?"

"He likes to flirt with women."

"So? Since when is that a crime?"

"I am allowed to take issue with it if the woman is Tyg!"

Both his brothers met that pronouncement with silence.

"Oh. Well then," Maglor tried to break the awkward silence. "We'll keep you two away from each other so you don't have to see his unpleasant face, and I'm sure Tyg will see that his unwanted advances go nowhere."

"You have a lot of confidence in me," Maedhros said to him. "I'm far from certain they're unwanted - she enjoys them."

"Of course, all women enjoy attention. You should try it sometime. But that doesn't mean she considers him....anything more."

"She said as much to me," Maedhros admitted. "But you didn't see what she wore to the banquet last night." He then described her outfit to them in some detail.

"How...how does that work?" Celegorm asked, confused. "I mean...could she really dance like that?"

"Yes, she could, and, as unlikely as it may seem, it never...came out of place. I'm not quite sure how it worked, but the flimsiness was at least partially an illusion.

"But anyway," he continued, waving his hand to brush the image away, "That is not what I wanted to talk about this morning. I know the weather will not be cooperative today, but I have a favor to ask of both of you."

"What kind of favor?" Celegorm asked, curious.

"Minas Morgul has vast armies, and as you have seen, the Queen has worked hard to train them. They are hardly an undisciplined horde. However," and here his gaze fell on the new bow Maglor had brought back with them, "that does not mean they have no need of training. What I have seen of their archers is not very impressive."

"You want us to train her archers?" Maglor asked.

Maedhros shook his head. "I want you to train her archers - you have the patience for it." He turned to their other brother. "I want Celegorm to help me train my right hand."

"Me? Why me?"

"Because you are the best warrior I know, and your reflexes are up to it. And besides, I trust you."

Celegorm had no answer for that.

Maedhros looked out at the rain, which was now coming down in sheets. "But not today," he sighed.

"Have you spoken to the Generals about this?" Maglor wanted to know.

Maedhros shook his head. "But if they give you any trouble, send them to me. I'm curious how they'll react."

Maglor looked annoyed. "Why must I always be the one you test your plans on?"

"Because you're the best at finding the flaws in them."

"Did you have breakfast yet?" Celegorm asked, interrupting. "We broke camp early and..."

"Let's go see what we can find," Maedhros said, relieved to end that conversation.

"We'll talk more later," he said quietly to Maglor as they made their way downstairs.
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Postby Tanwen_Luthien » Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:44 am

The rain came fast and hard over the white city in the early morning and continued unabated beyond midday. The city sheltered beneath their rooves of slate and stone while the grey rain beat down upon their walls and windows. It was without wailing wind or force, and so hung suspended by a breeze over the city, making twilight of the day. In the gloaming of the erstwhile steward chambers Grim and Legolas sat with Faramir, captain of Gondor. The Man smoked his short pipe thoughtfully as he watched the glass. Empty mugs sat on the small table between them all and there was a comfortable silence. At length Grim spoke, his voice firm above the pounding of water against stone and window.
‘It is a sudden shower this day, is it not?’ he said, ‘Yesterday the sun shone so brightly and the clouds fled before it. Where went that pleasant sky?’
‘Rain is the lifeblood of the earth,’ replied Legolas, ‘with all water that flows through its veins, and this good, hardy rain will bode well for the farmers and orchard growers of Gondor.’
Faramir leaned forward to consider the deep silver heavens.
‘The sky shall not be wet for much longer, I feel.’ He smiled and sat back into his chair, ‘It will pass ere the day grows old.’

Faramir blew a ring of smoke from his pipe and watched it shakily dissipate. He cleared his throat and looked at the elves. When he spoke, he addressed Legolas.
‘Friend, I feel that we must discuss the nature of your journey here and onward to Ithilien. You come bearing the message from Mirkwood, to presumably show your support for King Aragorn’s right to the land, although I may be mistaken. What do you hope for from these negotiations in Minas Morgul?’
‘We wish for peace in Middle-earth, however that must be gained,’ the Elf said, turning to Faramir. ‘The War is over and people are at long last beginning to settle and rebuild their world. The Shire to the west has been cleansed of the last of Saruman’s legacy there, the Men are repairing their halls and homes, and new kings are finding their throne and leading their people in the path of wisdom and a brighter time to be.’
‘You speak of Eomer and Rohan also?’ asked Faramir.
‘Yes, of your wife’s brother, the new King of the Golden Hall,’ said Legolas, ‘I trust that you have had correspondence with him often, and have heard of his success as a ruler of Rohan. He does justice to the great memory of Theoden. I have great hopes for what he will do for his people.’
Faramir smiled and nodded. Grim watched the conversation impassively, his face revealing no thoughts that flowed beneath. He stood silently and walked to the bookshelf, grasping a leather volume and opening it idly. The room was spacious and well-lit, being a sitting room and small private library. Soft armchairs and stools made for ease and comfort within, clustered over a wide rug of fine make. Grim looked up from the book, facing the Man.
‘Tell me, Faramir,’ he spoke, ‘what do you know of the affairs in the East?’
Faramir shifted in his chair and set his mouth.
‘I confess, not a great deal. I have been busy with other affairs of the state, especially the rebuilding of the city and the relocation of dispossessed peoples. I hear that the new ruler in the East is again breeding Orcs within Minas Morgul, which does make me uneasy.’
‘You and I both have had unpleasant dealings with these creatures, Faramir,’ Legolas spoke, ‘I would fain see them all driven from these lands, or slain, and their filth removed forvever.’
‘I have similar wishes, but I wonder at your vehemence, Legolas,’ replied the Man, ‘They were once your kin, were they not?’
‘They are less kin to us than the Wild Men who rushed upon the Hornburg and slew the people of the Westfold are to you, Faramir,’ commented Grim, ‘Less than the Easterlings, who were also your enemies.’
‘That is true,’ Faramir conceded, nodding as he grasped another pinch of tobacco from his pouch.
‘The question of kinship does not weaken my resolve to see them eliminated,’ Legolas said quietly, ‘Their ruination by Morgoth made foul creatures of only hate and fear and barbarism. There is naught left in them that is truly kinship with elves. I say that it pains me to know that they were once elves in the days of their innocence, since destroyed, and their beauty ripped utterly from them, and they were left to spawn in the darkness their ignorance and hate, their violence and warmongering.’
Faramir blew upon the tobacco to ensure the fresh leaves were lit before replacing the pipe in his mouth. He regarded Legolas and spoke again.
‘Men are not without violence and warmongering themselves, you acknowledge. We have been the cause of many conflicts, both within our own race and against other peoples. Men are far from perfection.’
‘Yet they are not so flawed,’ Grim paced to lean against the wall, still holding the book, ‘they were not ruined and twisted into beings of hopeless darkness. Men are fair, and though there can be evil in their hearts there is a greater desire for good, this I believe.’
Legolas nodded and Faramir smiled.
‘Your faith in Men is admirable, Master Grim,’ Faramir said, ‘I hope your words prove true in the kingdom to come.’
‘I am certain that they shall, Faramir,’ Grim glanced through his book, ‘yet this new complication in the east concerns me for the sake of Men, and other free folk. How can the people of Middle-earth carry on forward into this new age if the threat of darkness still lingers in a poisoned fortress of old evils, populated by the ancient ruined creatures of Morgoth? How can a new age truly begin when the ugliness of Sauron’s destruction, and the influence of the Nazgul, still remains so near across the river?’
Faramir’s face became sober and he sighed. He took his pipe from his mouth and fiddled it between his fingers.
‘Indeed,’ he murmured, ‘that does present a grave concern.’

The rains lashed at the windows again and Grim pulled his cloak tighter about himself against the cool. In the lapse of conversation he returned to the bookshelf and perused the volumes silently. Selecting another, he spoke in a low voice without turning.
‘Then Faramir, will you fight for Ithilien in these negotiations?’
Faramir considered for a moment.
‘I would wish that land returned to us,’ he said slowly, ‘yet, I wonder if it is worth fighting for. While I would want the darkness gone from the east forever, I would fain accomplish this through methods of peace only, and not to antagonise this Lady Tygara into a hostile mind. Perhaps we should not press for it.’
‘So you do not truly want the land for Gondor, then?’ Grim looked at him, ‘It means so little to you? The land for which your brother died?’
Faramir set his gaze upon Grim as his look became stern. Then he turned away.
‘My brother Boromir was dear to me,’ he said, with a cold edge to his voice, ‘Yet he died for greed of the Ring. Though he was good and brave, in the end he fell into the folly of the lust for power.’
There was a pause. Grim replaced the book on the shelf and faced Faramir.
‘Forgive me for mentioning your brother,’ he apologised, ‘I did not wish to sadden you, Faramir.’
Faramir waved his hand and gave a small smile.
‘Such wounds of loss are ever raw,’ he replied, ‘I know you meant no distress.’
Legolas leaned near to Faramir and spoke comfortingly.
‘Your brother was a great man, for all that I knew him in my journeys. He may have lusted for the Ring, but his lust grew from his love of Gondor, and his desire for victory and peace for his people through the defeat of Sauron, the dark power beyond the river.’
The Man nodded.
‘Indeed, it was so, Legolas,’ he said.
‘And do you feel that still a dark power is resting beyond Osgiliath, in Minas Morgul, Faramir?’ asked Grim.
The Man hesitated, then nodded again.
‘My people here will not accept the continuing presence of Orcs so close to their homes,’ he toyed still with his pipe as he spoke, ‘and Orcs with a strong and powerful leader pose an even greater threat in their eyes.’
‘They would be correct,’ Legolas said, ‘For as I have seen them, Orcs are a mindless rabble alone, existing in chaos with no higher purpose. Yet with a leader, they are a formidable force indeed.’
Faramir sighed and stood, walking to the window.
‘Many men there are in this city,’ he said to the elves, ‘who fought so bravely to destroy forever the last remains of Sauron’s threat upon our Middle-earth. Countless who fought here and in Osgiliath were slain by foul creatures of Minas Morgul, or wounded gravely. They saw their fellows, their kin, fall beside them. Old and young, men and boys. The heads of the dead were flung over our walls and smashed upon the flagstones of our city and men wept for the sight of friends, fathers, brothers, so disgraced by the Morgul beasts. Our city was besieged by them, and they would have slain us all, man, woman, child, and babe asleep in cradle. The people of Minas Tirith have long memories, and the horror of that past is still too near. No, there can be no peace between the peoples, whatever I would desire myself.’
There was regret in his voice, and it seemed that his shoulders hunched as he turned, as though weighed with a new burden.

Grim strode to his chair and sat. Legolas seemed occupied with his thoughts, frowning. Suddenly he sighed, exasperated.
‘This situation should never have arisen,’ he cried, ‘It is now the time of Men! Just as Elves can claim no dominion over their lands so too the Maiar and powerful beings alike should know better than to deny the birthright of the King. His ancestor ruled Ithilien and the places thereabout, and from the wilderness they found there his people created their homes.’
‘Before they abandoned their lands, as the Lady must see it,’ commented Grim.
Faramir’s face was clouded.
‘Ithilien was never abandoned recklessly,’ he spoke, ‘The Men who dwelt there had no choice when the darkness came. They had to flee for their lives or die, Isildur included. They did not cast it off, but were forced away by Sauron, the wicked legacy of Morgoth. Even then, those who fled remained near, on the fringes of the land, or travelling secretly within. I was present there for a time. With the threat and shadow gone, I fancy it could be very fair land. Men might dwell there once more, and Elves perhaps.’
‘It could be quite fair, Faramir,’ Legolas smiled, ‘I too have seen it, and wondered at its possibilities.’
The Man smiled in return and wandered to his chair. He stood for a moment and made to speak again, but instead shook his head and sat, and they were silent.

The chamber door opened and broke their thoughts. The Lady Eowyn entered bearing a pitcher of drink. Over her pale green dress she wore a mantle of grey, stitched with an insignia of the white tree. Faramir greeted her and she smiled.
‘I came to join you, friends,’ she said, ‘to hear what affairs occupy you on this dreary day.’
‘Tragically, Eowyn,’ Faramir smiled, ‘the affairs that occupy us are those of the gravest concern, and are hardly pleasant conversation, but you are welcome to join us if you wish.’
Her face darkened, and she placed the pitcher upon the table.
‘You speak of the East?’ she queried.
Faramir nodded, and Legolas asked, ‘What have you heard of these matters yourself, my lady?’
‘I have heard some rumours of this Tygara,’ Eowyn said gravely, ‘this self-titled queen. They say that she still breeds the foul creatures of Orcs and dark monstrosities alike, and has amassed a great host, both in Minas Morgul and further east. I have also heard it said that she shifts her shape, and wanders hither and there with her spies, seeking to find a way to strengthen her power and empire through the weakness of Men. Those among the people who speak of her do so with fear, or suspicion, and I do not think her presence bodes well for the City of Minas Tirith, or our people now living in Osgiliath.’
There was silence between the group as they considered this news. Legolas and Faramir seemed troubled, yet Grim was ever impassive. Eowyn walked to the bookshelf and touched them absently, but removed none. At length, Faramir spoke, slowly and uncertainly.
‘The Lady Arwen has formed a high opinion of Tygara, and I believe her to be a fair judge of character. That being said, I have not known her for very long, and am unadvised as to whether she is prone to fault in the placement of her trust and friendship in others. She may be too trusting, or too willing to find only good. I confess, what you have told me of the Lady Tygara unsettles me. If she is as the rumours have told, both those you related to us and those I have heard myself, then I would fain have her far from my city.’
‘Yet rumours are well known for their unreliability,’ Grim replied, ‘and it is best not to invest too great a faith in them. We will see the Lady very soon, and then will judge for ourselves.’
‘Even if rumours cannot be trusted, her actions to betray a certain flaw of pride,’ Legolas said, ‘stubbornness even. Her imperial tendencies in the far east are perhaps a precedent for her future behaviour towards the Men of the west. Should we see it as a warning? A foreboding of what will come if we give up too easily?’
Faramir put his hand to his forehead, frowning. Eowyn stood beside him and touched his shoulder reassuringly, yet when she spoke her voice was still uneasy.
‘Although I agree with Grim that we should not judge her so swiftly, I too am unsure of her purpose in remaining in Minas Morgul. It is too like to Saruman building his power in Isengard, where he bred his Uruk-Hai and weakened our King to creep slowly like a poison over our lands. Whether it is the Lady Tygara’s intention to make greater her power and influence in Middle-earth, I would not wish to see again tragedies alike to the burning of the Westfold and the slaughter of innocents there.’
At her last words her voice trailed to a whisper, and she bowed her head in sorrow. Legolas looked upon her with sympathy, and said ‘Do not fear, Lady, for Aragorn shall protect his people at all costs. He is a great king of Men and will not fail you.’
‘Your words are good comfort Legolas,’ she smiled. ‘Yes, I have faith in Aragorn to do what must be done, to take the right course.’

Grim stood and poured from the pitcher on the table. As he drank Legolas arose and walked to the eastward window. The rain had calmed for the moment, and only a gentle, steady shower tapped the glass. For a moment it seemed the sun shone, or at least the clouds thinned, yet swiftly the shadows came again. Eowyn drew herself a chair beside Faramir, and to Legolas she said, ‘What are your thoughts at this moment, friend? I presume they still concern the Lady.’
‘She has no right to these lands,’ Legolas said, ‘Her sovereignty is self-imposed, and she has neither precedent nor greater authority necessary to lay claim to Ithilien, or the place that was once Minas Ithil.’
‘Yet she has the greater strength,’ noted Faramir, ‘and that may be legitimacy enough for rule. Although the orcs were defeated under the leadership of Sauron they breed swiftly and in great numbers. They were not eliminated, but Gondor was greatly weakened by the hostilities. Though we have allies, and the many who have come to settle here since, I do not know whether we might muster the strength to oppose her by force of arms, if ever it came to that.’
Grim replaced his mug upon the table and looked towards the lady.
‘Your people, Lady Eowyn, may be more inclined to continue recuperating after their own significant losses, and rebuilding the towns of Saruman’s destruction, and the fortifications of Helm’s Deep,’ he returned to his seat, ‘I am not sure that they would rush so swiftly to the aid of Gondor for a territorial struggle.’
‘This would still be their concern,’ Legolas walked to his friend’s side, ‘surely you must see this, Grim. If the greatest united kingdom of Men is threatened by the dark forces that many gave their lives to drive away, Rohan must acknowledge its place in the struggle for Men’s right to rule their own kingdom unmolested by these creatures of the old darkness.’
‘What do you believe, Eowyn?’ asked Faramir, tapping the leaf from his pipe.
‘I believe that Eomer would be more willing to help than our uncle was in the beginning, though Theoden did fight for Gondor when the need was great,’ she considered for a moment, ‘The relations between the two lands have become much closer and more loyal, not the least for my presence here. Although it would be to little avail I fear, Eomer would be willing.’
Faramir leaned his head back and furrowed his brow in consternation.
‘It would be better if there was no need for hostilities between Minas Tirith and the Orcs of Lady Tygara,’ he said bitterly, ‘If this can be resolved more peacefully, I would wish it done thus. Yet I cannot see how that might be achieved.’
‘Can it be achieved, indeed?’ Grim said softly.

Again the rain became softer, and there the sun broke through most assuredly and the room seemed warmer for it. It did not fade, and no heavy cloud marred it as they watched. From a high glassless window in the hall, a white sparrow entered. It soared, chirruping, through the open door and into the room where the company sat. Faramir started in surprise, yet the elves watched it complacently. Legolas smiled as it circled the ceiling and at last rested upon the bookshelf, shaking the water from its feathers. Eowyn stood slowly and stepped towards it.
‘What a curiously pale creature,’ she murmured, ‘yet it seems much like a sparrow otherwise. It is more like a spectre, an omen perhaps.’
Faramir laughed and stood to join her, pointing towards the tiny bird.
‘Can you see, friends?’ he smiled, ‘Even when all is cold and dark, light will still come, and you may find safe shelter from the storm. I do not take it as an omen, rather as a lesson. There must be hope for our situation. There must be light, and shelter from whatever storms these new eastern powers may bring, even if Gondor is alone.’
He held Eowyn’s hand, and Legolas strode to the window and opened it wide to bring in the fresh breeze as the rain became a falling mist. The sparrow hopped on its bookshelf and chirped before it flew to the sill and chirped once more. Then it was gone. Grim walked to the window and watched the clouds part to reveal a cold blue sky. The sparrow flew to perch on the upper spire of a building below and seemed to sing its chirrups for the light and warmth of sunlight upon the white city. Grim watched it, his hair shadowing his face as he turned slightly back to the company.
‘You would not be otherwise alone in the case of hostilities, Faramir, Eowyn,’ he said, ‘You also have Mithrandir.’
Legolas smiled and laughed.
‘Of course,’ he walked to the chair and seated himself, ‘when times are dark, there is always the White Wizard to show you the way.’
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Postby rowanberry » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:05 pm

As soon as Rowanberry got into her room, she called the maids to prepare a bath, and to take her hunting attire to the cleaners. She enjoyed soaking in the hot water scented with exotic herbs and washing away the dirt of the trip, as nice but surprisingly eventful as it had actually turned out.

For that day, she chose a copper coloured dress out of the few that she had brought with her. Her hair hadn’t quite dried yet, so she left it open.

Just when she thought of going to get some proper breakfast, she heard the familiar scratching and whining outside her door again, and then, a loud bark. She rolled her eyes. “What’s that darn dog now up to?”

She opened the door, and Huan marched in, as if he had actually lived there. Rowan looked at him sternly.

“Oh no, you won’t. You were supposed to stay at your master’s quarters from now on. Now, go back there.”

The dog didn’t do anything that would have even hinted at leaving. Rowan sighed.

“So, apparently, I’ll have to take you back there myself. Come on.” She grabbed the dog gently by the scruff of his neck and led him out of her room. Followed by the soldier who had been appointed her guard (but whom Huan didn’t let come too close), she walked the dog to the suite where the three brothers were staying. None of them was in at the moment, but the guard let her stay in the parlour to wait for them.

After some time, Celegorm appeared, alone. He was surprised to find her waiting. “Lady Rowanberry? What brings us this honour?”

Rowan got up from the chair where she had been sitting, with Huan dozing at her feet, and looked at the man firmly. “It’s Huan again. He really seems to be trying to settle in at my room, I don’t know why. Not that I have anything against it, but – he’s your dog, anyway, and should be where you tell him to be. So, I brought him back.”

“Why, thank you. Although, I probably would have guessed where he had gone.”

There was a silence for a while; both elves felt a bit awkward.

“I expected to find your brothers here as well”, Rowan finally said.

“Maedhros had some plans to discuss with Maglor so, I got here before them.” Celegorm looked out of the window. “Hopefully that rain will cease soon. Maedhros wants me to spar with him, as soon as the weather clears out.”

Again, they fell silent. “I guess I’ll go, I could do with some breakfast…” Rowan finally said, and turned to leave. But, Celegorm stopped her. “Rowan… When we were camping for the first night, I remembered you at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, dealing with the evacuation of Himring… Somehow, I’m not sure if the Lady Rwhen could have gone through the same.”

Rowan was surprised, but then she shrugged. “Maybe not. But, who knows, if she would get into a similar situation? And, on the other hand, I couldn’t have healed Queen Tygarya.”

“Healed the Queen? What was wrong with her? I knew that there was something strange going on when we arrived”, Celegorm pressed her for an answer.

“Oh, I thought that Maedhros had told you? Well, in short, something went wrong in the ceremony to reattach your brother’s hand, while Tygarya had to operate partly in the spirit world, and she almost got caught up there. It took Rwhen’s skill to pull her back. That’s all I know – you must ask your brothers for more. But, if you’ll excuse me now…” Rowan gave him a quick smile, and left the room.

When she had gone, Celegorm stared after her for quite a while. Then, he retired into his room, wishing that the rain would cease. He felt that he really needed some physical action.
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Postby rwhen » Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:36 pm

The day was dreary, Aragorn had been pacing all morning. Rwhen sat writing letters to her father and brothers back in Imladris. Finally she could take no more.

"You will wear that carpet out, I think that Tyg might take offense to that," rwhen said as pleasantly as she could.

Aragorns head snapped up, "at the moment, I am not certain that I care what Tygarya gets offended by, you do realize that her positioning on Ithilien may very well start yet another war and did you happen to notice the visitors from the South? My Lady, this is not the meeting I had envisioned when we set out to Minas Morgul."

Rwhen sat in thought for a moment. She would never compromise her relationship with Aragorn for anything or anyone, she would have to tread lightly here if only to keep things civil until Aragorn had a chance to speak with the elves and for that matter, Gondor.

"Why not send word to Faramir, you know you can trust him to handle things in your absence. Then speak with the elves in Ithilien, if something can't be handled right now, then of course, you would need to return to Minas Tirith."

"I," Aragorn started carefully, "certainly you meant, we My Lady."

"Well, I thought that if an accord was to be drawn up, that I could stay here until the paperwork had been fleshed out and then return home. Tygarya is no fool but she is pretty firm on her claim to Ithilien. Maybe I could be of help in that matter too."

"I am not at all comfortable leaving you here without me." Aragorn checked his words quickly, "It is not that I do not think you can't handle yourself, you have proved capable in the past, but this could quickly get out of hand and you would be on the wrong side of the river. Please try to understand, my lineage is to Gondor, but my heart belongs to you."

"I do understand, My Lord. I would beg a compromise, let me stay for three days. If we can not come to agreement, then I shall return home, I give you my word."

"Three days." Aragorn scratched his beard. "I shall leave for Ithilien immediately then. You have three days, Rwhen. Before I go I will send word to Faramir and get the latest from Gondor. Actually, I am surprised he has not written me yet." He scrubbed harder at his face, "oh, now I am concerned. Three days," he wagged a finger at her.

This was no time to be coy or clever, Rwhen understood the gravity of war breaking out again. "Yes, you have my word on it. Please try to put a positive light on things, maybe this will all work out for the best in the end."

"Positive? You say positive? Only looking into your face do I see something to be positive about at this moment." He closed the distance between them and kissed her tenderly, a kiss that would turn to more if time were favoring the dalliance, as it was he broke away too soon and with regret. "I will call for my horse and one porter immediately. I will see you in Minas Tirith in three days." Aragorn swiftly departed, leaving Rwhen alone to think.

She didn't have much time, a soft knock came at the door.
Love is as big or as little as a hug!!

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The Expected Party!! is now on the road to Gondor to celebrate. Join us.

And getting into trouble with Rally The Eldar.

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Postby Baphomet » Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:06 pm

A trail of mist travelled through the halls of Minas Morgul while the rain poured down outside. It trailed up the vast staircase that wound up the tower till it reached the very top. There is solidified into being in front of the bored looking guard, who ws not surprised at seeing Baph materilise before him.

“Is the Queen in her rooms?”

The guard shook his head.

“Do you know where she is perchance?”

The guard shook his head again.
Baphomet turned and looked down the flight of stairs, he had searched everywhere and couldn’t find Tyg. The only places he had not looked was in the private quarters of Tyg’s guests. So he decided that is where Tyg must be, with one of the ladies…or both. He would have to wait for his chance to speak to her about what had been happening here.
He had already heard certain things about the Vale and also about the Haradrim and his men that had arrived seeking refuge, but he needed to talk to Tyg herself to get it straight. Rumours were not to be trusted.
Baphomet shrugged.


Oh well, I suppose the only thing to do is wait

Baph turned to mist once more and dissipated down the stairs heading for the Officers mess hall where he knew a good bar was open. He could do with a stiff drink. He was surprised to find Alatar there but happy with the discovery too, they had become fast friends and it was always better fun to drink with friends than drink alone.
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Postby Tygarya » Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:40 pm

Rwhen found Tyg in a small alcove of one of the many library rooms that were in the west wing of the fortress. She had to ask a servant to bring her here and that servant had been an orc. While they had walked down the corridors towards where Tyg was Rhwen had taken the time to study the orc…never really seeing one up close since the war. What Rhwen saw startled her, she could see the changing taking place in them, it appeared that even their physical appearances were starting to change. This one in front of her looked smart and proud of his uniform, even though it was only a servant’s uniform. The white shirt he wore was clean and pressed, his shoes were polished and he even appeared to be well groomed, for an orc. He stood up straight and walked more like a man or elf than she remembered - no longer the shuffling, hunched-over gait of the hording masses heading for war.
She knew she needed to make others see these changes to help them better understand what Tyg was trying to achieve.
Although she must confess to herself that being reminded of Tyg’s vast armies and having Tyg openly mention them the way she did to Aragon was very unsettling, which was why she looked for Tyg now.

As she entered the library room Tyg looked up from the book she was reading. Tyg knew that Rhwen would come sooner or later. Tyg placed the book down on a small table beside her and indicated for Rhwen to sit in the comfy armchair that was opposite Tyg’s. As Rhwen sat; Tyg sent the servant away to bring tea, then calmly looked at Rhwen.
“Well, he’s gone” Rhwen blurted out, a bit more harshly than she wanted.

“If you mean Aragon, then I’m glad to hear it Rhwen” Tyg said with a calmness that made Rhwen relax slightly. “Look, I don’t want to cause this trouble and I certainly don’t want to cause a war, you know that” Rhwen nodded. “But, to have people moving across the river before any peace accords or alliances or even simple agreements for that matter have even been made, it must be taken as an affront both to me and to Aragon and what we are trying to achieve here. Do you see that?”

“I suppose so, and Aragon understands that too, but did you have to threaten him?”
Tyg regarded Rhwen a moment, collecting her thoughts.

“Rhwen, you have to understand my predicament, here I am suddenly come out of no where staking claim to lands and fortresses in the void of Sauron…I know what people must be thinking, and I have done things that would make some men turn their heads, but believe me when I say that my ambitions are bounded by the Anduin river. Not only because of my friendship with you, but because I know that peace with Gondor and its’ allies would be more advantageous for my people than war. I intend to see this though….I will not forsake the creatures of Melkor just because of who and what they were, for that would be forsaking myself as well and I know I’m not the creature I once was, so I know that they can all change, they just need that chance. I made a promise to them that I will keep.”

“I can understand that, and I can see the difference in the orcs even now but you must make these things known to Aragon, like I said before he is a fair man and I know if he knows this he will act in your defence when talking with Gondor’s allies as peace is what he wants too, most of all. But things are going to have to be compromised on both sides to reach a fair alliance, there must be some give and take Tyg”

Tyg smiled. “I know that Rhwen, do not fear. When the time comes for negotiation I will listen and weigh things properly. But, this matter with the elves in Ithilien at this time was not something I could let go right now, and it is better that Aragon deal with it than myself, I think you will agree.”

“Yes, I do”

They fell silent while the servant came back with their tea and placed it on the table before them both. He pottered around pouring the tea into the cups and offering sugar cubes and milk, then with a bow to Tyg he quietly left again.

“Changed indeed” Rhwen muttered as she took up her cup of tea and had a sip.
Tyg smiled and also took a sip of tea.
“Where do you get this divine tea from Tyg?” Rhwen asked suddenly

Tyg grinned “It comes from the East of course. Just think you could be sipping on this tea in Gondor if all this works out”

Rhwen looked thoughtfully at the tea cup. “What other things do you procure from the East?”

“Are you wanting to start negotiations now Rhwen?” Tyg asked with one eyebrow raised.

“Well it wouldn’t hurt for me to know these things and pass them on to my beloved”

“Sneaky Rhwen” Tyg said with a laugh, “I didn’t know you had it in you”

“Well, we all have our little surprises” Rhwen said also laughing.

“Quite, but to change the subject for now I want to talk to you about something else”

“What something else?”

“This” Tyg handed Rhwen the note Maedhros had written to her the night before, a servant delivering it to Tyg that morning.

Dear Tygarya,
I have not properly thanked you for giving me my hand back. You have been more than generous, so it is only fitting that each new use I find for this hand be dedicated to you. The Vale was the first-fruits; this letter is the second. When I can fight with a sword in each hand, that too will be for you.
Maedhros ~

“Well” Rhwen said simply as she finished reading it.

“That’s not all though” Tyg said, she then explained the events of the night before, she hadn’t been too intoxicated by the alcohol to not know what she was doing and although she had invited Maedhros to her room only in teasing, the note however had surprised her. Rhwen listened taking in what Tyg said about the Southron and filing that away for information to tell Aragon, although Tyg had only told her the bare minimum about the visit.

“Perhaps I should talk to Maglor?” Tyg said finally

“Perhaps so, if anyone understands Maedhros it’s Maglor, and he will be able to tell just how much this letter means” Rhwen said thoughtfully. “Reading it it’s very hard to know what sort of emotion went into the writing of it, although I’m sure for Maedhros this is close to bleeding his heart out.”

“You think so?” Tyg said glancing down at the letter.

“Like I warned once before Tyg, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. The Noldor are known to be intensely passionate when they decide they want something and fiercely protective of it”

“So you keep telling me”

“If you wish to go through with this, Maedhros would bring you the world if you asked him to”

Tyg looked up at that. “Really? Now that is an interesting idea”

Rhwen started at that comment then saw the grin on Tyg’s face and knew she was teasing. “Your going to have to start taking this thing seriously Tyg”

“Why when I’m having so much fun” Tyg said getting up and taking Rhwen by the hands she pulled Rhwen up from her seat also. “Come on, let’s go find Rowan, she should be back by now. We can find out how things went with Celegorm”

“And we can get her thoughts on that letter, she should be able to help somewhat where Maedhros is concerned”

“Exactly!”

Tyg and Rwhen left the library then in search of Rowan.
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Postby rowanberry » Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:52 am

Rowan came across Tygarya and Rwhen when she was returning from the breakfast. They whisked her away to Rwhen's room, which happened to be the closest, curious to hear everything about the hunt. She told them about all that had happened, which wasn't special in any way, until she got to Celegorm's adventure with the boar.

"I'm not sure if any of the others even realized what he was up to. I went after him, because I've learned that when you're hunting boar, it's always wise to have someone to back you up, in case you don't hit on the first time. Celegorm is great with a spear and an excellent marksman with a bow, but if an infuriated boar manages to turn on you, the situation can get dangerous... I'm not much of a hunter, but I can wield a bow, and from that distance, I would have hit it well enough to stop it. But, the creature decided to run instead, and stubborn as he is, he just had to go after it."

"To me, that boar wouldn't have been any problem", Tyg cut in.

Rowan laughed. "Sure, you could have taken it down all by yourself, but elves can't sport fangs and claws at will... Anyway, the creature made us run quite a long way, and in the end, it managed to slip away. We turned back, but it was already getting dark, so we put up a camp in the woods for the night, and returned to the others the next morning."

"The two of you camped in the forest alone?" Rwhen wondered. "When I just think what could be out there..."

"Well, nothing dangerous came our way," Rowan shrugged. "Remember, we had Huan as a watchdog, and he would have alerted us if something suspicious had tried to come too close. We talked until we went to sleep. Both of us got a bit nostalgic, but that's all. As for the rest of the trip, well, there was nothing special. Celegorm and Alatar still went after some fowl, and I chatted with Maglor about nothing in special. We camped for another night, and got back here just before the rain started for real. But, what about you? Did you get any of the things done that you were planning?"

Tyg told her about the letter from Maedhros. "Having known him for a longer time than I or Rwhen, what do you think of this?"

Rowan smiled. "I'd say that, it is very much his way to tell you how much you mean to him; he's just still unsure of your feelings, and a bit at loss of words. But, I couldn't help noticing the change in the Morgul Vale, and to me, it speaks more than a thousand words."
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