Wynter's Rose

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

Wynter's Rose

Postby Amethyst Jade » Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:38 pm

The ground was damp in the early morning hours; fog blurred the vision for miles on end; small birds chirped their routine wake up calls; and the woodland creatures scuttled across the forest floor preparing for the day ahead. The cool, moist air filled Oiriana’s lungs as she breathed in her final day in Lorien, her home for so many years. She had been awake all night; for she knew that the following day would be her departure. And so it was. Oriana was one of the most curious and bold half-elves one would meet in a lifetime, but ‘goodbyes’ were still the hardest to accept when traveling. The mallorn trees towered over the flats built into them and all that lingered below, which were few – it was early even for elves.

Oriana gazed through the mist, pondering what her journey would bring her. She thought about her family and whether or not her father was really happy for her. She thought about her brother. For so long they had been the best of friends, close as can be. With him gone and their mother long since dead – murdered in fact – her father the only solace, she had grown distant from many of her acquaintances there in Lorien. She wondered what he was doing this very instant, if he was even still alive. How could he have just left her? Why?

The soft crunch of ground echoed behind her; she turned ever so slightly. “Ada, I think it is time for me to go.”

He pulled her into an embrace, a warm loving embrace, and smiled. “Of course. I always knew you would leave sooner or later, but there are some things you must know before you depart.” The concern on her father’s old worn face worried her for a moment.

She grabbed his hands. “What is it?”

“You must be careful wherever you go. Do not tell anyone of your heritage. Speak only to those of higher status, and tell no one of Wynter’s Rose. You must keep them a secret.” He squeezed her hand gently, slipping something into it. “And if and when you confront Mordarias, you must show him this. He will know what it is.”

She gazed at a silver ring with a crimson flame in the center. “The flame of my mother,” she whispered. She had seen her mother where it so many times. Her mother and father had identical ones to always remember each other. “Why? What does he know of her? Did her kill her?” She was beginning to get upset thinking of her mother.

Her father just sighed. “No, but he will provide answers to questions you have yet to think. May the Valar go with you my daughter.” They embraced once more and he turned from her. “Your horse awaits you in the stables. Good luck on your journey. I will not be here when you return. I am going to meet your mother.” With a heartbreaking look on his aged face, he turned and strode off into the mist.

Oriana was speechless and silent as she made her way to the stables. Why in Middle Earth would this Mordarias have anything to do with her mother except her death? Did he do it? Did he plan it? The stables came into view and her beautiful white mount, Akita, trotted over to her.

“Hello, love. Where’ve you been?” Oriana grabbed an apple from her bag sitting next to the stable doors and fed it to the creature. Akita took it happily and chomped on it with pleasure, knowing it would be her last for many a day and night.

Not being able to stand the anxiety anymore, Oriana jumped on Akita’s back and kicked her into high gear, galloping as fast as she could to the borders of Lorien. Without looking back, she made her way from the borders in a day, and traveled as far as she could in a day. There were tears, many tears, some for her father, some for her brother, and some for just being on her own for the first time. She couldn’t believe it. She needed a guide for sure, even if she did know this land.

For many years she would hunt, train, and spar with others that would roam the land with her; but many of those had wandered off onto the Grey Havens by now. She was truly on her own for the first time – and she relished it. But she was also somewhat scared. She had no guide, no teacher, no mentor to help her. She figured she might find some small towns or villages and ask for a bard or expert traveler to aid her, but she feared the consequences of her father’s forewarning.

As Eru painted the sky gold and purple, tinting it with pale pinks and oranges, Oriana slowed Akita to a halt, making camp for the day near the river Anduin, preparing for the next day.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:54 pm

Sauron had fallen. The Black Gates had just been thrown into ruin, one proud and strong, now twisted into a shambles. The Ring-Bearer had fulfilled his quest, and the One Ring, once a trouble to all and a threat, had been destroyed. The Nazgul had fled into the ruin, even as Meneldor the swift and his kin dived down upon them.

The Nazgul held no terror for Meneldor or any of his eagle bretheren, descendants of Thorondor the Old, Eagles of Manwe. Fear was something that didn't take hold in this eagle's soul, and he didn't understand the grip it held on others.

But now, he was summoned by a call from his lord Gwaihir, along with Landroval. They were to retrieve two small...rabbits? No, hobbits, though the two sounded similar. But his lord's command was all that mattered. He flew swiftly without any hesitation into the rising smoke, Gwaihir the Windlord bearing Mithrandir, one of the Wise from ages past.

His lord cried out again, and he looked, and his far-seeing eyes saw them. As small as dwarf-children they were, upon a rock surrounded by rivers of fire. Down he flew at his lord's bidding, Landroval picking up one with nine fingers, even as he descended faster than the wind to pick up the other, one more stocky, but fallen in despair. He bore that one away, following Gwaihir and Landroval, past the ruins of Barad-Dur, in a day he didn't think he would live to see, and out of the wreckage of Mordor.

It was later that he was charged to bear a message to Minas Tirith, Minas Anor of old of the tidings of what had just happened. His wings, strong and swift, bore him over Ithilien, past the Great River, to the shining city beneath bright Mindolluin, which seemed to draw him like a lodestone from afar. The sight of it all filled him with wonder and joy beyond hope, and instead of the simple message he was bidden to speak by the king Elessar, the wizard Gandalf and his lord Gwaihir, he cried out, circling the city, words that astonished him flowing from his beak in a poetic torrent:

Sing now, ye people of the Tower of Anor,
for the Realm of Sauron is ended for ever,
and the Dark Tower is thrown down.

Sing and rejoice, ye people of the Tower of Guard,
for your watch hath not been in vain,
and the Black Gate is broken,
and your King hath passed through,
and he is victorious.

Sing and be glad, all ye Children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

And the Tree that was withered shall be renewed,
and he shall plant it in the high places,
and the City shall be blessed.

Sing all ye people!


With those words, Meneldor awoke from his dream in his lofty eyrie atop Mount Mindolluin. The briefest glimmer of dawn was even now stirring in the East, no longer a byword or terror to the inhabitants of Gondor. He thought again of why he had come here.

When he again flew north with his fellow Eagles, the Misty Mountains did not seem to welcome him anymore. A restlessness awoke in him, similar to the sea-longing of the Elves, many of whom had already heard the call and went off into the West, forsaking Middle-Earth forever. He tried to make his home there, but the call wouldn't leave him alone.

Finally, he went to his lord with the troubles in his heart, telling him he must go and find where his heart now dwelled. He was astonished to find Gwaihir was not angry with him, but understood.

"Go." he said. "It seems that Manwe has a purpose for you, young Meneldor, one that you must fulfill. Go with my blessing and find the place that calls you, and serve in that fashion in the spirit of our great ancestor, Thorondor the Old, and may your fate be like his. But my heart forebodes that we will not meet again until the day we meet at the mount of Taniquietil where Manwe awaits us.

And with those words, he went forth to meet his destiny. After many days, he alit atop Mindolluin, where he found the place he called home and set up his eyrie. King Elessar was glad of it, and welcomed Meneldor, provided he watch over Gondor and Minas Tirith so no foes would escape his vigilance. That he gladly accepted.

That was nine years ago, and he had served Elessar well, and nothing escaped his gaze. He was often sent with swift messages to King Eomer in Rohan or to the Steward Faramir in Ithilien.

But now as he awoke, he arose to hunt breakfast. After he finished, he returned, only to hear Elessar's horn. He swooped down from his lofty eyrie to the Citadel where Elessar and Queen Arwen awaited him beside the White Tree.

"Friend Meneldor." said Elessar. "I give request that you fly as swift as your wings will take you to our well-beloved friend Eomer of Rohan. This is the message I wish sent."

As he whispered in the great eagle's ears, Meneldor nodded. "It shall be as you say, great King." With that, he lifted up and flew off in the direction of Edoras. He did not know what surprises would await him there.
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Postby Arail Fordorthien » Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:55 pm

A low hiss followed by several colourful curses slipped through her clenched teeth when she pulled away the cloth. The blood had dried, effectively making the fabric stick to the wound, and removing it hurt like hell. Sluggishly the blood began to trickle once more down her arm, and she pressed the bandage back to staunch it. She berated herself for not being more alert, that trap had been simple enough for a child to notice, and yet she had only narrowly missed it, coming away with the long but shallow cut to the lower arm rather than being skewered straight through by the spear. She hated failure, especially when it came to her chosen profession, and this man had avoided her for far too long for her liking. How he’d ever managed to elude her for all this time was a mystery. True, he had proved to have more than a knack for it, she could admit as much, and he was smart, but she’d been hunting him for near one month now, if it wasn’t more, and her temper had decreased steadily as the days went by.

It wasn’t just the failure in itself, even though that stung enough, but the fact that such a monster was still loose in the world. She felt bile in the back of her throat when she remembered the things that man had done. He had the lives of half a dozen innocent people on his mind, two of them children, and she had every intention of bringing him to justice. Even though she was not entirely certain that she would actually be able to bring him back in one piece to the trial after all the things he’d put her through during the hunt. She’d lost count of all the nasty little surprises that had been in her way as she followed his trail, he’d even managed to set up some in East Lórien, and that place was controlled by the Elves, who rarely missed any trespassers on their land.

When she checked the wound again the blood flow had stopped, so she redressed it with a clean bandage, shrugged back into her tunic, coat and cloak and continued moving, leading the bay horse behind her. The wooded area where she was now was too full of shrubs and close growing trees for riding to be easy, and she did not want to miss any sign of the man she pursued. Many long days were still ahead of her, but she’d get her prey eventually. First she’d have to find a way to cross the Great River, because she had a feeling that the man was headed for Rohan...

***********************
The inn was small and crowded, mostly by local patrons, and even though the place was tidy smoke hung rather thickly in the air, along with the people’s constant chatter. A few heads turned when she walked in the room, but either she did not look nearly interesting enough or they wanted to avoid her hard eyes, for they turned back just as quickly. Only one fellow continued staring at her, a lecherous grin plastered on his face. She kept his gaze until she had sat down by a table in the corner (she was quite surprised that it had been empty, tables in shadowed corners were often occupied by shady and mysterious characters), whereupon she pulled out a knife and idly began toying with it. For some reason that always made them lose interest. It worked like a charm this time as well. She grinned slightly to herself.

A young serving girl came with the food she had ordered, along with a tankard of ale. She slipped her a coin before she took a sip of the drink. It was better than she had thought it would be. She relaxed ever so slightly once she began eating. Now all she needed to be content was a warm bath; she felt grimy after so many days in the wild, and hoped that a long soak in hot water might help to somewhat ease the stiffness in her shoulders and neck. For one night she wanted to forget about the chase and enjoy the more pleasant sides of civilisation that even she, who normally preferred nature to cities, could admit were enjoyable. Even though this small village on the eastern side of the Anduin was far from the comforts of Minas Tirith, Edoras or Dale. Outside the building night had fallen, and she wondered where her prey might be holed up. Hopefully in some cold and wet place, she though grimly. Small joys. That was all she seemed to have nowadays.
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Postby Andalion » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:40 pm

“Ah…”

He held the small pouch up before him, wiggling it about just once more to be truly sure he’d gotten it right. Nothing; it was empty. Well, this is just wonderful. In most cases, it really wouldn’t matter at all that he had no money. In most cases, he had none anyways, so he was used to it. He lived half of his life in the wilds anyways, and in all his years had never had any trouble surviving with the aid of the land. What made this situation different was that he had a town before him that would offer him a bed. He found it comforting to sleep in one every once in a while. Alas, it seemed he would find no bed tonight.

“I would have liked some mead as well,” he murmured.

With a slight shrug, Andalion turned about, walking immediately back into the forest he’d only just left. The outskirts of the town, only a quarter mile inwards of the eastern shore of the Anduin, had been one of the countless stops for Andalion. He stopped only momentarily, raised one arm, sniffed, spat, and grunted, “Bath,” before continuing on. As it were, he thought it might be possible to bathe in one of the shallower bits of the great river. The Falls were still some way down, so the current was only steady enough to bring him comfort. It was the night time cold of the water that would make some second guess such a choice, but Andalion had lived long in colds that bit deeper than anything the Anduin could offer.

Upon reaching the opposite edge of the forest, only ten yards from the water’s edge, he stopped. Across the shore was an elven maid with an elven horse. Andalion stood quite still, one hand pressed against a tall tree beside him. Had he pressed any harder, he might have left a mark, and he could feel the indignation in it. He removed his hand, which traveled to his collar, loosening it. The elves had a way of recognizing one of his…well, one of the Mithedain. Grey Men weren’t shunned, but technically…welcomes weren’t handed out.

Something tugged at him, something he knew, something he let in, setting his palm lightly against the tree again. She seeks the way.

“The way to what?” he murmured, quite softly. If he continued to stand here, she would undoubtedly notice him, but she would also notice if he slunk away. He could creep, most effectively, but not from an elf, not even in the woodlands. He figured he could only go down to the edge, and so he did, but when he got there, acting as casual as possible, he did not know what to say, if anything. Should he greet her? Would that not be too…unusual, considering both that they were on opposite sides of the river and that he wasn’t really in the most presentable state? In fact, he was terribly grimy, having walked five days without pause. Not that it mattered to him, except in this case. He could not hide that he’d noticed her presence, else he’d look a fool, and that was one thing he was not.

So, quite simply, Andalion went to the edge of the river, took of his boots, sat on a rock, and dipped his feet into the cold, clear river Anduin, humming softly to himself.
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Postby Lithtaur16 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:28 pm

She watched the moons, felt the air grow cooler with every fortnight and she worried.
“You ought to have stayed with Rhiddar,” a figure, muffled in a shapeless dark cloak, mumbled to her mount as she led him over a rough patch a stone’s throw away from the river. They had walked the western bank for four moons. Walked, for she would spare the buckskin the burden of her weight until his strength was truly needed. She needed to improve her own stamina as well anyway. Lameness from the rogue pebble was also a constant threat to the steed, though he seemed content to let the woman do all the worrying about that. He bore his saddle and his rations of grain, with pride and without complaint, along with the game the hound had caught (two whole conies). Nearly at his full height at this age, the stallion didn’t fancy the pup much just yet. In fact she was a bit of a nuisance, always running ahead or dropping behind where he couldn’t see her so that he had to follow her with his ears. At least she was still loud enough to hear at this point, barking and yipping and making a wind with her flag-like tail if the woman didn’t shush her or lead her off to try a hunt. He always thought a good kick would set her straight but the Master had never allowed such violence between his horses and his dogs and there was no reason his daughter would allow it either. Besides the hound that never so much as nipped him so he would just have to learn to keep track of her.

The stallion, Spirit, listened to the woman’s words, but he did not register much more than her concern so he just stepped up closer, snuffled her hair and nudged her shoulder in an effort to comfort her. The woman, called Lithtaur, smiled and stroked his velvety nose. His coat would have to grow much shaggier before she would stop worrying though. They would be out in the weather for a long time… how long she didn’t know for sure. Until she stopped counting the moons, she supposed to herself. It was still too great a temptation. Maybe it would be until she could read the stars, like that old map she carried—she practiced each night remembering where the sun had risen and set. Meanwhile Anaiu ran on ahead again to smell all the new and exciting smells which she was just rediscovering... for the umpteenth or so time. After a few more miles, the tall, white-grey pup grew tired of this galavanting and fell in step with the other two. Lith was watching the sun and frowning again now. They would have to find camp on this side of the river soon.

Across the way there was a forested stretch and supposedly a town. Not having any money left, however, the woman felt it wiser to avoid giving the townsfolk any ideas about the buckskin. Not that he would let himself be taken away anyway. She pulled her cloak about her more closely as the air cooled. She wore beneath it a dark green tunic, linen shirt and brigga of an uncertain color. There were also a pair of long-used riding boots and a belt on which hung a simple sword. Her flatbow and quiver hung from Spirit’s saddle since she only tried them for hunting and was an uncertain shot.

At last they came to a likely spot—and then the wind changed and that change brought a change in the stallion with it. He turned his head to something, Lith did not know at first what, and flared his great nose and pricked his ears. Only guessing what would come next, Lith tried to muffle him but he was still able to loose a strong wicker to the horse he smelled. He couldn’t think of any reasons why He shouldn’t declare himself to his own kind. The hound soon responded as well, lowering her head and pacing, but she listened to Lith's admonishment better and stayed on the woman's heels. She whimpered, on the edge of a bay, occasionally. This was very becoming very much like a hunt to her but she didn't hunt horse and she was confused by another scent...

The light was fading quickly and with it went Lith’s vision. Did horses here mean people or did some roam wild? Ought she light a fire and stand or move on? All these questions finally drove her to make sure her blade was loose in its sheath and to mount the buckskin so that she could better command him in her people’s fashion. They would go as far as the horse’s senses would take them before putting in a sleepless night. In Rohan or even Gondor this choice would have been easier but this place was neither and held a different sort of people as far as Lith knew.
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Postby elerrina_narloth » Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:25 pm

Soft but urgent footsteps echoed against stone in the dark of a long corridor. Thel started from his bed at the sound, and followed their echo until he saw a light between the long shelves of his sister's library until he came to the slight form of his elder sister with a book open in one hand, a candle in the other.

"What are you doing awake at this hour Thel?" Fallasse's face glowed softly in the light of her candle as she softly spoke to her younger brother. Her blonde curls fell loose around her shoulders, looking an erie red in the light of the candel, her brown eyes held a dark gleam that flickered with the fitful flame. She snapped the book shut and slipped it onto the shelf.

"I heard you walking...why are you awake? You have not been sleeping!" Thel tried to scold as his sister would if their roles were reversed...but the effect was not as strong...especially with his bloodshot, sleepy grey eyes looking especially boyish.

"It was out of place again" Fallasse smiled as she gently stroked the binding of the old, leather book that she had just slipped back into the row. She smiled, "I have told you before Thel, The works of Master Meriadoc Brandybuck go with the works of the other loremasters of the age...his accounts are truer than most, and he is accounted for as a loremaster in his own land...even if he lacks true study."

"I know Fally, I know...I also know that you did not rise in the dead of night to see if I correctly returned a single book to its place" The boy scratched his head of thick, brown curls absent mindedly.

"I have been re-studying much of the works I have here on the end of the past age Thel, it has taken me much more time than I would have thought and I have little time during the day.."

"What are you looking for Fally?" Thel looked almost pleadingly at his sister.

"Full knowledge and full truth and full justice for both of things Thel, Their is much I do not know of the ending of that age...and the beginnning of this one as well. Leave me to study Thel, You know I find it my duty." Fallasse lovingly stroked her brothers hair and pushed him off into the direction of his room. Thel was only fourteen, and still a rather pushable size...even if he did stand an inch or so above his elder sister.

Thel walked slowly, looking back over his shoulder one last time, this time for sure seeing a worried and urgent look on Fallasse's face. Whatever she had found...Whatever she was searching for, it worried her greatly. Finally, after much tossing, Thel fell into an anxious sleep.

After Thel left, Fallasse's tiny form slumped slightly against the shelf behind her, her heart still pounding at the many words she had just read, seeing many things she had not seen before...She needed answers,

'I need to know the full truth....and I do not believe that these books have it...' She clamped her hands firmly over her chest, as if to hush her pounding heart, and tried to breathe deeply, just deeply enough to calm her till morning at least, and tried to ignore her trembling hands.
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Postby Hades » Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:16 pm

The night was dark. The night had always been his lair, always, since he could not show himself in daylight any more. And so it was again. The night was the place to hide for those who wanted to find without being found themselves. To hunt with being hunted. To dominate, to rule, to kill, to hurt.

And not only.

Hades was fed up with blood. In the first years after the fall of the eye he had held his feast. He had killed so many people, he did not remember. Some by fear, others by force, all of them with boredom. It was so easy. They were.... nothing... not even flies. Nothing. Nothing.

And he had been alone. All the time since the eye had fallen, all the time before, since the eye had risen, alone, except fort he brief moments, when he chose a victim and mingled in his thoughts, fed himself on the feelings of another being, of someone alive. All the other time was alone.

But no more, Maybe.

The other was sitting face to him in the cave, a place only they would find again, a place to see if there was anything in common. For, in the last months, in many places Hades had found fear. Much more fear than before, much more than the fear of his presence. Fear had been there before him. And he had not liked. It was his to spread fear. Who was walking on his path? Who was playing his game? Victims had been marked with the eye again, the eye he hated so much. He still remembered the day when his broken body had failed on the shores of Middle Earth, more than age ago, when the wave after the fall of Numenor had just ebbed. He still remembered how it felt to float among the bodies in the salty water and to watch the birds pick out their eyes, their tongues, their guts. And not to die. He could feel the claws of the birds, sometimes, on his face. He felt the flesh of his face decomposing, he could smell how he rotted himself. But he did not die. And then, in the end when he was crawling on the shores of Middle Earth, Sauron had been there. He still had a body then, walked on that beach. Hades remembered the taste of the sand in his mouth, his pleading look up to the height of that, what had once been a Maia. He remembered the feeling of the iron shoe on his arm and the spit on his face. And he remembered the hand stretching out to take his ring from him. Not one word, not an outstretched hand, not even a complaint, so little was he worth now in the world after Numenor. And he remembered the eye then, how it was, burning already even if there was still a face around it. You could not run from his gaze. He hated the eye, ever since. He tried to forget the years when he had prayed to him as if he was a God, when he had been drunk on the power given and promised by the eye. And he remembered the hatred only. He remembered it every time when he saw the sign of the eye, when he heard the name of the eye, he remembered it now, when the other, sitting face to face to him tried to perceive his face under the hood.

But he did not tell.

„Do you not wish the return of our master?“ asked the other. Hades knew little but his name. He had hunted him, the other evil, who marked his victims with the eye, Mordarias. The other had a horde of little worms with him who believed themselves evil because they were able to throw a knife in throat without reason. What did they know! What did they know about evil! Had he still been able of it, Hades would have had a smirky smile on face, a look of disdain and yet greed. But not only was his face without any expression. He was so deeply hidden in his hood, he could not be seen. But he felt like it bothered Mordarias. The other wanted to see his face. But it would never come so far. For a second, Hades played with the thought of killing the other, right here, right now. But no. There was something about him… something different he could not exactly tell, something he had not met before. He might not be so easy to kill – even for an expert like Hades. Elves took longer to torture and kill than men and this was no elf, but no man either. And then, if someone wanted the return of the eye, he should be surveyed closely. The eye must not return. It was his turn now, Hades turn, Hades time. It was not yet time to unveil himself in any sense. Not yet time to show his face, to show his thought, it was time to spy.

“Do you not wish the return of our master? Do you not wish the eye to watch us again?” Mordarias asked again. And barely noticeable Hades nodded. “Sauron is like a father to all evil in Middle-Earth. He made me. I had one of his Rings.” A mumbling sound of astonishment went through the cave - the other had brought a slave or two with him. One who had carried a Ring. If they mistook him for a fallen Nazgul, Hades did not say a word to define who or rather what he was.

Mordarias bent over to him, so close to his hood that he might have even captured a glance of the ravaged figure under it. But the shadow under it was too dense. Mordarias whispered. Except Hades, none could hear a word, or even only the tongue which both used to speak to each other, Although now it was only Mordarias speaking, whispering, a secret between the lords of the Night.

Then was silence.

And in the silence, Hades rose to his full height. And for the flicker of a moment only, it seemed even Mordarias was surprised what it meant to face this figure of darkness in power. But if he feared, he did not show. And in the silence, Hades spoke.

“I shall aid your quest. I will find the trail you are looking for.”

And when already leaving the place of their encounter again, Hades wondered if the other had perceived his true aim. There had been question about someone to find. Someone who should be on the road now, somewhere in this Middle-Earth which the innocent friends of stupid kings believed safe. He should find her. But then, if it was someone, whom Mordarias was so desperately seeking and if it was his wish to bring the eye back into power... or if not, as he had said later. Among the Lords of the Night, Lying was a vain word, for which truth did they have? Denying an alligiance was as good as admitting it. For whomever, the Mordarias-named wanted power. Power for the Eye, Hades would hinder it at any price. Power for someone or something else, Hades would hinder it a high price.

Hades was sure to be able to find anybody. So far he had not even lied. But what he would do then, once he had found her, only he knew.
Last edited by Hades on Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby erinhue » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:56 am

With the end of the Great War and the passing of the One Ring all craftwork and creation of the Three fell into decline. The preeminent glory of Laurelindorenan was gone, never to return. The Golden Wood was now misnamed, its leaves merely the most splendid yellow ever beheld.

While Lorien could no longer claim the supremacy of its spring and summer, nor even depleted influence of its fall, in winter it was still a place of power. Here what remained of the First Born and the vast majority of the Half Elven who had not yet chosen their fate gathered or came to rest from their journeys across the face of Middle Earth for there was still work yet to be done. In a tree born hall that had been graced by Galadriel herself, many now came together in clandestine counsel.

Sauron, Sauruman and the vast armies they created were gone but that did not mean that there was no remaining trace of their evil intent. Disorganized bands of orcs still roamed the wild. Lieutenants and lesser principals of the once mighty forces of darkness gathered the remnants to them in their attempts to claim what lands and spoils they could for their own greater wealth and glory.

Some of these were little more than petty thieves and blood relishing marauders. Others were of more ordered minds, of higher ambitions and more dangerous. And then there were a scattered seeding with the capability of posing serious threat. Some of these were known or at the very least suspected, and some , the darkest and most dangerous of all still lurked in the dim light of the shadow, waiting to be revealed… and unleashed.

There were others in and of the light that maintained watchful vigilance against that time.

“Leander, must you always be so pessimistic?” Hamur laughed at the dour expression on his friend’s face. The sound carried through the thinning leaves in the one time Golden Wood. “Our friends the Mithril Knights have taken care of the Red Hammer dwarves and all is quiet in the region of the Long Lake.”

“Hmm, quiet yes, but not taken care of, Hamur, far from it I fear. Our friends the Knights are chasing shades,” Leander sighed.” Not shadows, that threat is real. I think it is but a limb and not the head of the dilemma.”

All amusement fled from Hamur’s face “Do you think time may have come for the one we watch?”

“I am not alone in that thought.” Leander nodded slightly in confirmation “The counsel has assigned me to find out.”
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Postby Swordsman_Of_The_Tower » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:45 am

The air was cool, the clouds were grey and swirling high in the firmament and the wind howled and swung around the Golden Hall of Medusland behind Arahol. He liked this type of weather, it was comfortable for travel and when in a town, like now, a warm fire for the night was always in reach. Arahol also had a particular love for the Riddermark and it's people. He had traveled here many times, before, during and after the war of the ring. He had made friends and companions of this land's kings, Marshalls, and knights. And now one of his good friends was holding court just up the hill in The Golden Hall.

Arahol looked out of the city, which had prospered in good times and under the good and just rule of Eomer. Outside the walls, beneath the swirling skies laid the mounds of Rohan's kings. He thought about how King Theoden was there, just beneath the earth. He knew the king well before he had fallen into darkness, and his redemption before the wall's of Gondor was legendary and had become the stuff of tales, artwork, and sagas just 10 years after the fact.

Beyond the mounds lay the vast, empty plains of Rohan. herds of sheep, goats, and cattle moved here and there, guarded vigilantly by riders that in peacetime were just herdsmen, in wartime they became unstoppable. He had lingered in this realm for a long time, almost six moons now. And he knew sooner or later, something would spur him on the road again, perhaps north to Arnor to deal with goblins threatening the shire folk, Maybe he might have to ride east with Eomer and Elessar to counter the Easterlings, maybe he might even have to head south, to lands rarely tread by men of the west.

He took a last puff from his pipe and got up off the smooth cold stone step, turning around he heard the cry of one of the great eagles that come to the black gate of mordor, and saved many lives...including the ring-bearer. Arahol bounded up towards the Golden Hall to see what news arrived from the south.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:45 pm

Meneldor knew joy.

The Great Eagle flew straight and swifter than an arrow from Minas Tirith, with the Ered Nimrais passing by on his left. The mountains between Rohan and Gondor, and seeing them gave a lift to his heart, greater than his old home in the Misty Mountains had ever been.

It is a pity he had never raced the Nazgul of old, it would be a great contest on who was swifter. But there was nothing better than flying, to feel the wind in his face, the lift upon his wings, the leagues rushing by below his feathered body. He heard the drums of the Woses, the Wild Men of Amon Din, announcing the presence of the winged messenger above. But they were quickly left behind.

On the road between Edoras and Minas Tirith, many wains went back and forth with wares from the husbandmen in the tilled fields. The beacons were manned, but seldom used because Meneldor was swifter to bring tidings.

And the winds lifted his heart as they lifted his wings. A song came unbidden to his beak:

Who shall know the paths of the skies,
The heaven-roads unseen?
Who does know but he who flies,
The sons of Thorondor, I deem.

Thorondor of Manwe
The lord of our kind
The Eagles all do know;
The dawn of the day
In which we find
In the paths of our sire we go.

Above the gleaming snows.


So he sang the song which was in his heart as the leagues passed beneath him.

And so, he flew, racing the Sun in the sky to the west, until finally Edoras and Meduseld came in sight, gleaming like a distant glimmer of gold. He cried aloud to announce his approach. Even then, his far-seeing eyes saw one running towards the golden hall. As he approached, he saw it was Arahol, whom he had met several times, always eager to hear the tidings from King Elessar. He cried out again, and his cry was met by the horns of Rohan.

He approached, and men made way for him to land before Meduseld. King Eomer already awaited. The gust of his wings blew the cloaks of the men as he landed. He bowed before Eomer, and said in his eagle's voice,

"The King Elessar sends his greetings, King Eomer. No tidings dark and sad as in the days of darkness past, though he goes forth to battle some remnants of the Orcs of Mordor who harry those in the fields. Nay, the news is better than that. He brings tidings that the lords Meriadoc and Peregrin return. They stay for a while at Minas Tirith, then shall travel in a few days to your halls."

"The tidings are indeed well, good Meneldor, though I wished Master Merry had come here first. Ha!" said Eomer, looking at Arahol. "We have had raids as well. Many men who worshipped the Shadow still remain, though not as bold as in the past, but some seem to becoming bolder. Does he need our aid then?"

"He said not, my lord." said Meneldor. "Though any who would volunteer would be welcome."
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Postby SmaugsBane » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:41 pm

The reclusive lord of the mysterious organization known as Wynter's Rose sat with an air of boredom and disinterest as the black-clad Hades approached and sat. Mordarias spelled out the task that he proposed his newest tool might complete for him. Then he asked the same ludicrous question he had asked every seemingly worthy soul that sought him out.

"Do you wish the return of the eye? Do you yearn for the dominion of Melkor the Great's chief servant of old? Do you hope in your heart for the rebuilding of the Barad-dûr and Sauron's mighty armies?"

But even as he spoke the words, he knew that this man? wraith? he knew not which, had no heart and no such allegiance to any, even to the evil that had created him.

He repeated the question twice as the one who called himself Hades sat in contemplation. Even with Hades' face hidden within the deep hood, Mordarias could tell he was being sized up. Mordorias' unseen hand gripped an unseen hilt.

When his guest finally spoke, he gave the most interesting answer that the Wynter's Rose liege had ever received.

Mordarias leaned in close, whispering into the hood. He could smell decay upon Hades' breath.

"You and I are not so different as it seems, my friend. Neither of us is what he appears, are we? For all intents, you look a wraith. Yet, you do not carry the inherent desperate fear of the Nazgûl. But you wield abject terror as a weapon, do you not? And not as some cudgel either, I'll warrant. No. Your skill is more like to a dagger in the darkness - never known until too late.

"On the other hand, I appear fair. I wield influence, myth, legend. Whispers of fear and power, fomented from one smoky bar room to another. Do not be deceived by the outlandish notion that I desire the return of Sauron. Believe not that the ridiculous name which fools spread across the land, 'Mordarias'," he spat his own name as if it were bitter on his tongue, "is neither the name given to me by that whore of a mother and my cowardly elven sire or the name I have chosen for myself. Nay, the mention of the eye and the reference to Mordor in my name create a certain burning need to die for me in the weak-minded. It is far easier to sway the disenfranchised by invoking their former master's name than to explain my intentions.

"And as one so powerful as yourself as already ascertained, to be sure, my intentions are above the comprehension of the rabble I command."

Mordarias leaned back again in his seat. Hades regarded the chieftain for a moment longer, and then declared his intention to seek those that needed to be sought.

When they left the cave, Hades melted back into the night, just another shadow beneath the moon. Mordarias moved on to his next lair.
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Postby SmaugsBane » Fri May 02, 2008 8:09 pm

During the daylight hours, Mordarias walked amongst the people of Middle-earth. On the day following his council with Hades, he strolled distractedly through a small village in the shadow of the western Ered Nimrais. The hamlet was situated on the west bank of the River Lefnui. The nameless village was his last stop before climbing the pass that separated the mighty snow-capped peaks to the east and the rolling western range.

As he strolled in the afternoon warmth along the cobbled main thoroughfare, Dar reflected briefly on how he once might have thought the town pleasant. With its neat rows of well-tended houses and shops, stables, smithies, and its warm, homely inn full of friendly conversation, hardy food, sweet ale and strong wine.

But that was before his eyes were opened. Now he saw only slaves, sheep to be herded and used for his own ends. He no longer had any appetite for food or drink or inane talk.

He reached the inn and entered, pausing momentarily in his reverie to find a secluded table and order a glass of wine.

When the maid returned with his glass and a tray of meats and cheeses, he gave her a generous tip and a seemingly genuine smile.

However as he watched her retreat back into the kitchen he renewed his thought process. He scanned the room, seeing only playthings, pawns he could sacrifice without regret in order to win the board. But this night, he was not looking for pawns.

In each city, town, and village across Gondor, from the stone rings of Minas Tirith and the bridges of Osgiliath, across the rivers of Lebennin and in the havens of Belfalas, in the valleys beneath the White Mountains, and along Anfalas to the cape of Andrast, Mordarias found no shortage of people who had been ready to take the side of the Eye when it seemed that Sauron would not be denied his dominion over Middle-earth. But most, like these in the village in which he had spent the last two days, were dim-witted creatures. Oh, he thought, they would serve his purposes well when the time came; but he did not yet need battlefield fodder.

In his travels during the years since the ruining of Barad-dûr, Dar slowly began to build his army. He chose only the most cunning and intelligent of the disenfranchised, those that had been alienated by the high-blooded families that ruled Gondor and her provinces. These he trained in the ways of the sword, bow and spear. He taught them to be ruthless hunters of men. He seduced them with whispers of power and wealth. He brainwashed them into utter compliance with his will. When he was finished they were, to a man, as lethal and as stealthy as a panther poised on a branch over a land filled with dormice; and they were his to wield as he saw fit: either as a surgeon's scalpel or a butcher's cleaver.

Now thousands strong, his army in Gondor lived, trained, and terrorized in absolute secret. Each only knew of no more than two or three others; and by day they paid each other no heed. Scattered across the land, they were farmers, smiths, coopers, and innkeepers. They were neighbors, friends, and kin. The dormice did not know about the panther living among them.

Satisfied that there were no more of his men to be found in Gondor, he ceased scanning the growing crowd and glanced at the window. Outside, the building across the street was awash in the flame of the setting sun.

"Time to go," he muttered to himself.

Pushing back from the table, Dar left the untouched food and wine where the barmaid had set them and made his way to the exit against the tide of villagers streaming into the tavern.

He stepped out into the street just as the sun dipped below the lower range of the White Mountains. He stepped into the realm where his power was greatest.

He stepped out into the black of night.
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Postby erinhue » Sat May 03, 2008 8:14 pm

Leander sat up suddenly. Something wintry had moved across his dream. Something fleeting, dark was drifting past the moon so like unto the clouds that crossed the silver face, but not made of mere cold mist. The half elf felt the blood within his veins turn icy.

Hamur sat up awakened by Leander’s movements. “Are we riding again so soon? The sun will not show her sleepy head for hours yet.”

“I know my friend I know but something”….Leander stopped talking for another moment. “ I cannot sleep here any longer. The time would be well better spent drawing nearer unto Rohan than any vain attempt on my part to capture sleep.”
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Postby Amethyst Jade » Sun May 04, 2008 1:12 pm

The murmur of the river soothed Oriana’s quaking nerves. She placed her hands in the cool water and splashed some on her face, relishing in its sparkle. It seemed alive, moving from place to place, willful to the pull of the wind and riverbed, like it wanted to move, to change – to be free. Stepping back from the bank, she took of Akita’s reigns and saddle and let her roam free, taking her bottle back to fill it. Something caught her eye.

There was a man on the other side of the riverbank.

But it was no ordinary man; he was of the elven decent, something that was not seen in quite a time. She didn’t necessarily dislike them, she hadn't encountered any outside of Lorien, in fact, but her father had told her plenty of times to stay away from them - those that wandered far from home. Now that she saw one so far from their supposed home, she wanted to meet him, but decided against it at once. Her father knew best.

Right?

Wrong. So against all better judgment, she told her charcoal Friesian mare to stay where she was, and stole to a tree nearby, watching him carefully. What if he was dangerous? She could handle herself. What if he was crazy? So was she, in this case. What if – ? She didn’t care. She was always rebellious and never listened to her conscience until after the matter – it was in her soul to be unyieldingly reckless, immeasurably impetuous, and hasty in all decisions, including this one. There as only problem now – how to get across the river.

She gazed around for a moment, watching his actions in speculation, wondering is this man was even worth her time. Her father had told her not to even mention Wynter’s Rose. She gasped. What if this man was from Wynter’s Rose and he was following her? Then she’d easily stand and fight. But if she killed him now, what use would it be to her?

On one hand, she could shoot the man now, and not worry about him anymore. On the other hand, she could ask him to join her in hopes of finding Wynter’s Rose without actually bringing it to topic. It was settled then; she’d approach him – somehow – and ask him to guide her south. That was all the information he’d ask of, right?

Wrong again.

But before she could cultivate a plan, Akita sensed her uneasiness and whinnied loudly. She raced to Akita to hush her quickly, hoping the man didn’t hear her, and readied her nearly seven foot staff. Oriana had no such luck – just as she turned to see if the man had seen her, she found herself staring into the eyes of that man across the river, fingering his bow. There was no possible way she could get to hers in time – unless she ducked into the dense trees inches from her.

In a sudden movement, she pushed with everything she had into the trees next to her. It succeeded, a quivering arrow protruding from the oak which she had fallen beneath. Akita was freaking out, trying to get through the dense trees that hid Oriana from sight. Oriana darted from the hiding spot, gathered her things, and jumped onto Akita’s back, galloping for a few minutes to where the river bank dipped flat and the two could cross the river. When they reached the other side, heading in the direction from whence they came, Oriana slowed Akita to a trot, finally slowing to a mere walk. She kept her eyes and ears open, and cleared her mind of all but the forest surrounding her. It took mere moments to find where the man had set camp, his fire still going and food still on it. Oriana sat up just a little straighter, sliding Akita with unrivaled grace, stepping lightly and cautiously.

It was only when hunting and fighting that she was vigilant and alert. There was a movement behind her, and in an instant she whipped around, pointing her readied bow at the face of the other elf. They stared at each other intensely, neither letting their bow down.

“What do you want?” She finally asked, breaking the eerie silence.
Last edited by Amethyst Jade on Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Arail Fordorthien » Sat May 10, 2008 5:51 am

Bright and early (entirely too bright and early according to some) a cheerful ray of sunlight made its way in through a window and fell on the face of the woman lying in the room’s only bed. She muttered something and threw one arm over her face in a vain attempt to shield her eyes. When that didn’t work she grumbled for a while, but finally gave in and got up. Putting on the newly cleaned clothes, she caught her black hair in a short tail at the nape of her neck, threw a sour look at the merry light that danced just high enough above the horizon to manage to filter into her room, and left after gathering the rest of her things. The innkeeper was already up (she wondered if those people ever slept), and it did not take long for her to get breakfast and finish it. She pretended that she didn’t hear the man’s attempts at a pleasant conversation, simply paid him what she owed and exited the place. No, she was not a morning-person, but then again, she wasn’t a people-person either, and the two put together did not make for a pleasant experience. It didn’t help matters much that her horse always was annoyingly chipper in the morning, nearly dragging her arms out of their sockets when she led him out of the stable. By then she had used up her morning’s quota of grumbling, so she simply sighed heavily and sat up.

She kept the gelding on short reins, forcing him to keep to a slow walk, as she once again thought of where she would go next. All signs pointed to Rohan, there was no way for him to cross over the Misty Mountains now, none of the passes had cleared enough to be even moderately safe to use, and she doubted that he would want to cross the river a second time. So that left the land of the horse-lords. Sleep still clung to her mind, and it made it easier for her to drift into memories of the past she had left behind.

She had never been like the other children of Dale. To her mind they were pampered and spoiled brats the lot of them, and most of the times they teased her for being a savage, not a proper girl. Even then she shunned cities and society, preferring the wild. Her family were far from pleased, and when she turned 18 they had definitely had enough. She never quite understood how it happened, but one day she was married. He was older than her by nearly ten years, and there was no love between them; he was mostly brusque and hard, she was asocial and stubborn as hell. But with time a sort of understanding developed between the pair, and she could admit that she felt some kind of affection and even understanding for Beirn. True, they had their fair share of fights, more often than not about the fact that he wanted her to be more of a house-wife, but he would still allow her to go out into the wild now and again. They never had any children, and when he died suddenly after 9 years of marriage, she did feel a bit of loss, but no sorrow.

After Beirn had died she returned to the life she had led without him. It was not long before she sold the house, she was never there and hence had no use for it. Studiously ignoring the looks and remarks she got from the other people of Dale, as she had always done, she set up a little cottage in the forest and set out to see the world. Over the years she had met others like herself, rootless and restless wanderers. One in particular had left more than a trace in her mind. They had met in Rohan, and even she who shunned contact could not help but be drawn to him. Even the memory of his deep voice was enough to send a pleasurable shiver down her spine. There had been a sense of danger and hidden power about him, numbing her mind whenever she had looked into the depths of his smouldering greengrey eyes. She believed he could have been Gondorian, but did not know his name; he’d called himself Magor. They had spent many nights together, and travelled in each other’s company for a while. They had parted ways after that, and met twice again; she did not know where he was now, if he even lived. She hoped he did.

While she sat in those musings she had lost sight of the village and once again returned to a rather empty landscape, broken off by small forests now and then. All the while she was fully aware of her surroundings, scanning the ground to see if the trail she followed would veer off. Therefore it only took her a little longer than usual to notice the sounds. She was just moving through one of the small woods, and farther away, ahead of her she heard the noise of several people. She slid of the horse silently, tied him to a tree and moved slowly and soundlessly towards the edge of the growth, hoping to find out who they were.
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Postby erinhue » Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:49 pm

As they rode onward beneath the darkened sky Leander’s mood went from somber to a silence that was almost sullen. There was something wrong in the night something that did not belong to the Light. It s shadow fell on the half elf’s subconscious and he knew that a clock was ticking, some machinations set in motion that would change the mood and temper of the world.

It was moving too fast and high on unseen winds to be tracked by any living sense and yet some trace of it was vaguely detected by one that was of both Elf and Man and yet neither one himself.
Leander frowned as he urged his horse to greater speed. There was no possible way to catch the vague clouds that raced across the sky and across his mind. He could no more chase a dream than the wisps near imagination that troubled him.

He was riding towards Edoras, to Rohan. There were others there that watched the signs he watched, others that might find their minds uneasy for apparently no reason. To Rohan when Darkness would strike at one of its favorite targets. To depose the kings of Men and throw the half of Middle Earth into utter chaos would be a divine plan for what trace remained of the Shadow’s once mighty power. There were others that would stand up to oppose any such occurrences but the powers of Darkness did well in hiding, in secret, hidden where no one could know their plans to regain power, until it was too late.

And yet there was still great authority in the Light. All power and white magic had not vanished from these shores. There were still places and items and persons of power some known and some unknown and others even now still undiscovered And there was the power of the Light itself, the light that burned in all true creatures, the Light that would never fail and give in to Shadow
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Postby Lithtaur16 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:15 pm

Still with some reservations, Lith and her companions had crossed the river in the night and set up a lightless camp just inside the grove. She hoped that she could leave the horse muffled and hidden and trade for some greener food in the morning. And a store of wood would be more than welcome later once she knew kind of folk were residing or else passing through these parts. A warm night would be nice…

The buckskin had lost the scent of the other horse with another shift in the wind and had settled down and that was a small relief. Even with this and a hound who still liked snuggling around bedtime—the young woman did not sleep well that night though the time passed without sound or sight of anyone and the sun found Lith and the hound trekking towards the town. Rabbit for breakfast, rabbit for lunch, maybe nothing for dinner—the routine was getting old but the flatbow was slung at Lith’s shoulder on the off chance of Anaiu picking up the scent of another cony… or maybe even a stag (Lith could only dream of the day they would have the kind of teamwork needed to take one of those). The hound carried a bag of oddments that might interest the locals in the village below them.

Lith quickly became interested in something else than eventually getting vegetables though as she searched for useful traces in the dirt and the mud. No deer tracks, no, but there were fresh hoof marks there that did not come from either the rough Northern stock or her father’s mustangs. These were from a finer bred specimen, and well cared for, but not a Mearas. This wasn’t your average wild or ruffian’s horse, or even a courier, and the young woman wondered who would have led it all the way out here. Anaiu was getting excited as well, she remembered these scents from the other night and shook on the edge of a bay. Lith shushed the hound in Rohirric and clamped her hand over the hound’s muzzle momentarily to be sure she understood. The hound’s silence earned her some praise and an order to track, and they quietly started to follow the traces. They were joined by another set of horse tracks and their pace slowed—torturously slow to the young hound—when eventually they caught sight and sound of an actual horse. The donor of the second set of tracks, Lith decided as she sighted him, though he wasn’t half bad looking at all. The tack he bore made her the more cautious, however, and she was determined to find the other horse and their owners before approaching closer. In fact the situation demanded she find them before they find her snooping around. She was curious and secretly hoping for the company of fellow countrymen. She wasn’t a horse thief.

The sound of people talking made this next task a little easier but what could she say to them? Lith suddenly felt rather foolish. She would just have to take a good look at them first and see how the situation unfolded.
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Postby Arail Fordorthien » Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:54 am

She did not have the most advantageous of places from where to observe, but it was certainly sufficient enough. She did not come quite in time to see the beginning of the drama, but caught a glimpse of a dark-haired woman in a crimson cloak (whatever did the girl think of to wear red clothing when going in the wild?) diving into the cover of some trees on the other side of the river, as well as the back of the tall man who fired an arrow at her for reasons she couldn’t tell. Seconds later she caught the faint sounds of receding hoof beats coming from across the water. She shifted her attention back to the man, who was, after all, more important to keep an eye on, seeing as they were currently on the same side of the river. He seemed to be gazing across the water for a while longer with the bow still in hand, but then he abruptly turned away and headed from the shore to the trees further to her left. He only stopped briefly to pull on a pair of boots; making her wonder if perhaps he had been bathing his feet in Anduin’s chill waters. It really was none of her business, and she did not like to be around people, but she wanted to know if this man might pose a threat to her or hinder her search. So she followed him.

Nothing seemed to indicate that he noticed her following him, but then again, Faril had not achieved her reputation as one of the best trackers on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains for nothing...

Flashback

The tavern was of the seedier kind, where the patrons threw suspicious glances at anyone who came too close, the ale was sour but cheap and potent enough to sink a man even of little coin, and anyone who was brave or foolish enough to try and spend a night in one of the rooms had to share it with other occupants, either in the form of vermin or other customers; more often than not both at once. Apart from all of these endearing qualities, the place was also the sight of a fight club, where brutes of all kinds came together to beat each other more senseless than they already were, all for the fun of smashing another man’s face to an unrecognizable pulp of bloody mush, and perhaps to make a few coins in the process. Quite charming, really.

She kept her back to the wall as she pretended to take sips from the mug of ale in her hand. Her lips curled in distaste at what took place within the ring of human bodies. The air was thick with smoke and the sour smell of sweat and unwashed bodies, mingled with the sharp metallic scent of blood. Feet thudded across the sawdust-covered floor, heavy panting breaths were at times cut off by grunts of pain when one of the fighters managed to score a hit on his opponent, even though it was difficult to discern over the din of the other men’s cheering. These were truly the dregs of humanity, she concluded; little wonder that she disliked people as a whole. A man approached her, looking marginally less dirty than the others in the room, but she pretended to not see him until he coughed to get her attention. Then she turned her dark eyes on him, and smirked slightly when she noticed that it made him shuffle his feet in unease.

“Are you the one they call the Wolf?” he asked, and she was surprised to hear that his voice was not the usual brogue of the lower classes.
“Perhaps I am,” she answered. “But what is it to you?”
“My master wishes a word with you. He has need of your...talents in order to settle a...problem.” She remained silent for a while, feigning that she was considering, when she was really checking to make sure that all the knives she had hidden on her person were still where she had placed them. She nodded then, and the man gestured for her to follow.

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

When she entered the room again a few months later, the man behind the table had a pleased smile on his face, but she could also read surprise and awe in his eyes. He had clearly not thought that she would be able to track down the man, let alone do it in such a short time. Not that it had been easy, he had been much more alert and paranoid than the scum she was normally sent to find, but she had delivered, as always.

“Well,” she said, “I took care of the problem for you. The package is in the care of your guards, now you can do with it as you wish, I do not care. However, as for the other part of our agreement...?”
The man picked up the heavy leather pouch from the table, making the large amount of coins inside jingle against each other, but he held it in his hand as he studied her.
“Do ye have elf blood in ye, lass?” he asked.
“No, I’m all human,” she answered. “Unless my mother cuckolded my father with one of Thranduil’s Elves. I just happen to be damn good at what I do.” With that she plucked the pouch from him and walked away.

End flashback

Nonetheless she kept a good distance between herself and the man, and when he came into what seemed to a small clearing she circled more to the left so that she was now more to his side. She made sure to stay low and that the trees provided ample cover before she peered into the camp. To her surprise she saw that the woman in the crimson cloak that she had spotted earlier was there as well, and the two had their bows drawn and aimed at each other. She looked from one to the other, curious over what would happen, and what had happened to begin with. Then the girl broke the silence, demanding to know what the man wanted. Despite herself, Faril could not help but be intrigued.
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Postby Amethyst Jade » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:48 pm

In times such as these, it was hard to identify the reason for your opponents caution; sometimes they were merely protecting themselves, just as Oriana was. Other times they were protecting something far more important than themselves. Oriana was taught to assume the latter, but like many other instances, she allowed her gentle heart and curiosity to get the better of her. Although she was considered a fair marksman, she wasn’t so great at marking targets, in the sense of whether or not they were actually a target. The man that stood opposite her was an obvious threat, seeing as he had an arrow pointed at her, just as she had at him; however, she did the one thing she was always taught never to do: she lowered her bow in the face of an enemy.

In Oriana’s mind, however, she was not backing down – she was promising peace, if only for a short while. It allowed the adversary to think, to reform their opinion and tactic, and hopefully give the appearance of a possible alliance; not that she couldn’t use one.
Therefore, again against her better judgment she spoke, firmly but gently: “I come not to cause harm; therefore I am going to lower my bow, sire. Maybe then you can speak.”

She did as she said, first pointing the arrow at the ground, returning to its calm state, laying the bow on the rough forest floor. Then she slowly pulled back her cloak to reveal her gold and green tunic and dirty, rough brown riding boots, lowering her hood as well. Her pale green eyes scanned around them, searching for any others, companions of his, possibly, but saw none. She suspected seeing something move from beyond the shadows; however she dared not attract attention to it.

The man’s eyes flashed for a second before he lowered his bow as well, hooking it over his shoulder instead of placing it on the ground.
“I see that you are fair, my lady. I apologize for my behavior. I am Florindal, of what was once Rivendell. May I inquire of your destination?” He seemed oddly genuine in his asking, but she ignored the nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach.

“I am traveling to Belfalas, sir Florindal of Rivendell. I am seeking a certain treasure, though no treasure map may lead to where I must go. I am afraid that is all the information I can offer you at this time.”

He pondered this for a moment, studying her. She mirrored him, gazing at his face, pale, as all elves, with grey blues eyes that seemed to hide something, but for good reason. His eyes were the most striking feature about him, besides his high cheekbones and oddly chizzled jaw. He was far more muscular than any elf ought to be; Oriana placed this in the back of her mind, trying not to let it get to her. His arms were muscular, his shoulders broad, and his torso slightly shorter than that of an elf’s; but again, she placed it far from her judgment; clever as she may have been, she was horrible at first impressions.

His garb was dark, his black boots and armor eerie and worn, with a shadow of an insignia on the right side of the breast plate. His bow was of darkened cherry wood, his bows of something even stranger, familiar, almost; something she couldn’t pinpoint. The light and silvery elven knives she spotted peeking from various places in his attire were almost the opposite that of the barbaric broadsword at his hip. Something about him fashioned a knot in her stomach, but, as usual, she ignored it. There was something about this man she was unsure about, but something she also liked; an edge that no one else had, a feel of being dangerous, but loyal. She decided that she would trust him, for the time being.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:27 pm

Meneldor retraced the path he had flown, lost in thought. The Ered Nimrais were now at his right, and the Anduin gleamed in the distance before him, becoming ever closer. He thought of his past, and of the woods of Lothlorien that he had flown over many times. He didn't know why he thought of the Golden Wood now. It was dull and silent now that the Lady Galadriel was no longer there. But an aura of mystery, the high lift of old, came over him, and he wondered. He decided to delay his return to his eyrie at Mindolluin, and head direct for the river, for he was summoned.

Soon, he had acted as his name dictated, Meneldor the Swift, and he arrived above the river. He looked for what called him, and would see and hear any who called up to him as he circled. He looked northwards, and sped in that direction, to Lorien. Following the call, he would meet a friend he didn't know he had, or had forgotten.
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Postby Arail Fordorthien » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:53 am

The tension between the two she was watching seemed to lessen, as she saw them lower their bows. Though she could see that they were by no means entirely trusting of each other, perhaps signifying that they were strangers, the pair struck up a tentative conversation. The male, elven or half-elven she did not know, revealed his name to be Florindal of the place that was once the great haven of Rivendell. The female, giving no name that she could hear, said that her goal was to reach Belfalas, apparently in search of some treasure. She wondered idly what sort of treasure it might be, not that such things had ever seemed very appealing to her.

Without warning, a strong gust of wind made the hood fall from her head, and the creatures around her grew eerily quiet. Risking a glance upwards, she caught sight of a great bird just passing over the sky above them. It looked like an eagle, but... larger than any she had ever seen before. As the wheels clicked into place in her mind, a gasp she had no chance to contain passed over her lips. It was one of the Great Eagles! Never in her entire life of wandering had she set eyes on one of them, and then, to see one so suddenly, here of all places. In the same moment the gasp escaped her, her eyes widened as she realized that her cover was blown. She tore her eyes away from the sky just in time to see the male and the female both string an arrow to their bows and cock them in her general direction.

“Who’s there?” The male’s voice was a sharp command. Cursing violently inside her head, Faril kept perfectly still, hoping that the pair wouldn’t discover her. What a stupid rookie mistake! Had she been able to, she would have kicked herself.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Sun May 10, 2009 2:02 pm

Meneldor saw, indeed a mouse scurrying through the forest couldn't escape the attention of an Eagle. He saw the arrows being fastened to the string, and knew he had to act fast. Giving a cry, he dived down.

The three potential combatants looked up.

"Halt!" cried the Eagle.

Again, "Halt, before you do something you will long regret, Fair Folk!"

He landed on the forest floor between them. "It is I, Meneldor the Swift who speaks."
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Postby Lithtaur16 » Mon May 11, 2009 7:00 pm

The sight of the great bird cause Lith to drop and roll beneath the nearest blackberry bush. She'd never seen one so bloody huge before... she was surprised and shaken enough to forget the little lore she knew for a moment as well as the fact that others were present in the forest with them. The break in the trees just a few hundred feet ahead showed the two figures clearly. They were a man and a woman...

The eagle landed near to them and his great voice reached Lith easily, jarring her memory at last and she knew his kind. It did little to taken away the awe in her features... to the contrary her eyes were wide as she lay flat beneath the scrub and she felt rather unworthy.

Anaiu had no other feelings than joy however and to Lith's horror the hound bounded forward, possubly assuming the woman followed, heading straight for the archers and the bird. In her shock, Lith's grip on the leash had loosened just enough to allow the tall wolfhound's strength and speed to carry her and her burdens forward baying the hound's greeting as she went.
Cursing volubly, Lith scrambled from beneath the bush and took off after the hound, shouting inbetween calling the hound's name.

"Don't shoot! For goodness sake don't shoot! She's just a pup saying hello!"
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Re: Wynter's Rose

Postby Cock-Robin » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:17 pm

"Indeed, it is just one giving greetings." said Meneldor. "The Dark Lord has fallen, and time of mistrust is at an end. I alone am left among the scions of Thorondor, the rest having left for the West long ago. I remain until the time comes for me as well."
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Meneldor, Warrior Bard, and Brondgast, Mithril Knights

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