The Expected Party!!

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

Postby shaggydog » Tue May 27, 2008 7:42 am

“So, like do eagles, er, ‘let go’ while flying, like the little birds do? Must make an awful mess. You, er, won’t like be doing anything like that while, um, flying above us, will you?”

The narrowing of the bird’s eye in reaction to Bril’s question could possibly have been attributed to irritation, or perhaps amusement, or even inspiration.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Tue May 27, 2008 6:06 pm

Robin cringed as he saw the eagle's feathers ruffled, the narrowing of his eyes. He knew his friend's moods, and this was one mortally offended eagle.

Gwaeryn thought Bril would be asking him if he could take a ride, to see the land from his perspective up in the skies. He had just blown any chance of that happening for a very long time, if ever.

He cried out, and they held their ears. "Never! Never in all the proud existence of the Eagles of the North has anyone dared to make such an impertinent remark such as that. Do you think I have as little control over my...bodily functions as a dog in the road? I have flown above you for the past two days, and has such a thing ever happened?

Then learn, impudent pup, just to whom you have been so rude. We are of a noble line, direct in lineage from Thorondor of old, Eagles of Manwe and the Valar. We have guarded Middle-Earth from ages past with no regard to our own safety. Little excuses you for this offense." He gave no indication that he admired the boldness of this one, rude as he was. One who did bear watching.

"Cock-Robin, call on me in need. I will be watching from above. Good day!" He spread his great wings and took off, the gust of his wings blowing them down for a moment.

Robin was the first to get up, dusting himself off. "I should have warned you. He is a good friend, but like the legends of Gandalf and the Wizards of old, he is subtle and quick to anger. He'll cool down after a while."
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Postby ~Fionavar~ » Wed May 28, 2008 12:30 pm

"After a while? He sure seems plenty angry to me to last a lifetime. What IS the lifetime of an Eagle anyway?" Fionavar watched as the great eagle perched atop one of the highest trees outside of Fornost. She thought to just shrug the whole thing off but then noticed Bril. The expression he wore was of surprise but also of having been caught with the canary in his mouth and he felt badly. "Oh, this just won't do."

Fionavar made up her mind in an instant. "You two wait here, I will be right back." Robin made to protest, but she strode purposefully towards the tree, it was far enough distant for her traveling companions not to hear the conversation. Standing under the boughs she was able to observe the eagle looking at her with one eye, head cocked sideways.

"I would request the honor of speaking to you, Master Gwaeryn. Would you do me the courtesy?" She smiled winningly, but the bird said nothing. "I am going to stand here all day if that is what it takes. I don't know if the female's of your pesuasion hold any sway over their males, but I can assure you that I can last a very long time." She crossed her arms and leaned against the tree picking absently at her fingernail.

"Or alternately, I can just fly away." The voice from above was not as harsh as Fionavar would have expected.

"You could, but then you would never get to hear me play my pipes and that would be a sad thing." Fionavar remembered the stories of how the Eagles particularly liked music. Gwaeryn appeared to be thinking about it. "I play very well and eventually we have to sort things out, why not now?"

The rush of wings caused the girl to cover her ears as the air pressure changed, she didn't know if the bird had flown away or not, but when she opened her eyes, he had landed on the ground about six feet in front of her. "Impressive. You ARE quite large aren't you." It was more of a statement than a question, but again the bird was silent.

"I wanted to just say a word on my friends behalf. Bril is awkward in his human form, he certainly doesn't mean anything with his question, for all I know, it was a legitimate one, meaning no disrespect. You see, his mind works mostly in the way of a wolf, who would be naturally suspicious of another of your stature. My father always taught me that there are many ways to respond to misunderstandings. For instance, you could have asked him to stand apart from you so as not to be infested with his flea's."

She watched the eagle carefully and suddenly he appeared to show a slow smile, for an eagle. "Or, you could have sat on him or even given him a dose of your essence, that would have sent him howling into the woods for sure." The pair laughed together at the mental picture Fionavar had just drawn. "You could have also threatened to eat him and then dispose of his remains in your fashion over his fathers grave."

"Now, that would not have been very polite," Gwaeryn observed, but still seemed a bit amused.

Fionavar stood up to her height with hands on her hips. She resembled a rooster threatening one of the Oliphants, not very intimidating in the least. "I get it, okay? The point is that we are to be traveling companions for some time. I know that Bril will find a way to make things even with you, he has his own talents you know. I would ask you to put away your anger..........for me. Please?" Again she smiled and her eyes sparkled as she did so.

Gwaeryn stared at her for the longest time. "You said something about pipes?"

"I did indeed. Would you have me play for you?"

"I could be persuaded to take a long flight to wing the excess energy off, with the right song." The last sounded almost like a threat.

"Sure," Fionavar fumbled for her pipes and songs raced through her head on what would be appropriate. Then it came to her, one of the songs she had learned as a young person studying music, it was written to celebrate Frodo and Sam's rescue from Mt. Doom. The music started slowly as one gliding on warm air currents, being lifted and alternately dropped only to glide once again. Then the tune turned hot and angry as the eagles swooped down to gather the stranded hobbits. The final refrains were of joy and gladness as they soared over the blackened plains towards Gondor.

When she finished she looked up at Gwaeryn. Were those tears in the massive eagles eye's? She looked away and felt the great rush of wings again.

"I shall fly, Fionavar and do your bidding. Your song has redeemed your friend. Be certain to chide him to no futher mischief towards myself or any of my kind." The eagle hovered just over the treetops. "Oh and I think I like you."

Before Fionavar could react to that comment, the eagle called out a warning. "A female approaches. It is yet a full day from your position, tell Robin that I advise caution." With that he spiraled higher and higher.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Wed May 28, 2008 7:12 pm

Gwaeryn circled upwards, far above his new companions. Hot tears fell from him. Fionavar had reached his heart, and awakened something in him that had awaited him for all of his life. It was only a spark, but it was the beginning of something that one day would be fanned into a flame.

He thought back to his last meeting with his father Gwaihir the Windlord. It was up in the inaccesable eyries of the Misty Mountains, long before he met his friend and companion, Robin.

Son, it is time.

No, father, it can't be so soon!

My age is at an end. The West calls me, and I must go to join my great ancestor Thorondor who awaits me before Manwë's throne. It is time for you to come into your own.

But what shall become of me without you?

You shall seek your heart's desire. You are the last of a great line, and you must find what you seek though you don't know it yet. It shall come in a way you don't expect, from the small to the large.


Gwaeryn was silent. Some foresight was upon his father, and he wondered what it portended.

Then, I cannot go with you?

No, son. One day, but not now. It will then be time for Men to be on their own, without our guidance or protection.

It shall be a very grey and dull place. The Elves are gone, and now us.

That is the way of the world, son. Farewell wherever you fare!


Gwaihir took off to the West on his final journey. Gwaeryn watched him diminish into the distance. Now it was his turn. But alone?

It was about a week later flying alone when he saw what he least expected. A small and foolish hobbit traveling alone through the Mountains, not seeing the bandits who lay in wait for him. Something in him snapped, and he dived to defend who would soon become his inseperable friend Robin.

Gwaeryn snapped back out of his reverie into the present, Fionavar's melody still ringing in his ears. Even Robin had never heard him sing, but he lifted up his beak in a lament now, for his ears alone.

Lost and alone are the ones below,
To what end do they travel?
Are all great tales at an end at last?
The Eldest leave, the light is diminished.
Is this where the Great Music leads?

Even now, the memory dims,
Fading into the mists of legend,
Myths, fables, children's tales,
Are there no bards to keep the lore alive?

Forgetful are the ways of Men,
Yet they shall outlast us all,
The Third Theme is the strangest,
Though not shot with sorrow,
Like the First and Second.

The Darkess has passed, yet is still around,
Until the day the Eagles return,
The Last Day when the songs arise,
And the deeds of Melkor are erased at last,
And the Children of Eru, the One, sing the appointed song.

O Thorondor, great sire or our race,
Servant of Manwë, who in high eyrie sits,
Watching the Song unfold, what do you see?
Am I the last through whom your eyes behold the land?
What shall become of them after we are gone,
The last of the Eldar, on the Last Ship,
With the Eagle guiding them, following Earendil's light?


To that, he had no answer, as he flew high above his companions.
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Postby shaggydog » Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:45 pm

The day had progressed without further misunderstandings, due largely to the fact that Gwaeryn kept a good distance between himself and the little party of travelers. Although largely obtuse to the subtleties of the eagle’s indignation, Bril was fully aware, animal to animal, that he had said or done something wrong. Undoubtedly, humans had many hesitancies and reservations about such matters. It was surprising though to Bril that a bird would care. Whatever offense he had given, he hadn’t meant to, and he was grateful that Rhwen had gone to the trouble to make up for it by playing a tune on her pipes. In return, Bril had absented himself briefly after the noon meal and nap, and returned with several plump rabbits for her supper.

Robin, too, was turning out to be a friendly and amusing travel companion. The little fellow and Rwhen entertained one another with many and many a tale, of home, their journeys, near or far, and different characters they had met over the years. For the most part, Bril merely enjoyed listening to the sounds of their voices, the up and down modulations that, to his ears, spoke of humor, excitement, mystery and, occasionally, sorrow. The hobbit’s voice was high pitched, like a child’s at times. Rwhen’s voice was melodic and soothing. The two made for a pleasant interchange as they walked along together, Caloo clomping along at her mistress’ elbow, occasionally stretching her neck for a mouthful of grass. Being a horse, Caloo couldn’t exactly “talk” to Bril, but her small noises, her breathing and the twitching of her muscles told him that she too was enjoying the outing, although she seemed perplexed as to where they were heading.

As evening approached, the talk turned to a discussion of plans for the night. Bril would not have objected to continuing on in the dark, but he knew Rwhen would be in need of rest and horses, too, were more accustomed to bedding down. Hobbits, as well, it turned out, were much more happy with the thought of a warm fire and a snug bedroll. As the sun hung over a ridge off to their right, Robin pointed out an exposed cliff face a short distance ahead and proposed that it would make both a nice fireback and offer some protection from unwelcome intruders. So far they had encountered no-one, but Gwaeryn’s earlier sightings were not dismissed from their minds. An ounce of precaution was worth a pound of headaches, the hobbit had pointed out. Bril had puzzled over that one for a few moments before Rwhen had pulled the rabbits out of her saddle pack and told Bril to find some dry wood.

After a satisfying supper, Robin had pulled a pouch of pipeweed from his tunic and proceeded to smoke a peaceful pipe, while Rwhen once more took up her own pipes and played one tune after another. The sounds and scents of the forest around them were distracting to Bril, but he fought the urge to slip off into the darkness and explore. Just as full night had enveloped the little declivity, a great rushing of wind and wings signaled Gwaeryn’s arrival and after some small consultation with Robin, the eagle had settled in on a nearby perch. Finally, though their journey had been uneventful and gently paced, the five travelers had made their good nights and each taken to their own form of bed.

Asleep, Bril’s mind relaxed into a state of unguardedness and began to run that familiar course. Four powerful legs stretched out in a fast lope, the huge paws eating up the ground as he closed on his prey. Bril tasted the saliva as it flowed over his chops, his tongue lolling as his lungs drank the air in silent gulps. There was no sound, the forest was unnaturally quiet. Even his prey failed to give off a pant, a squeal, not even the snap of twig underfoot as the two ran on, Bril gaining foot by foot as the trees flashed by.

The smell of his quarry filled the wet black nose and his nostrils quivered with the knowledge that soon he would be tasting warm, soft flesh, the tang of blood and the satisfying crunch of bone and marrow. Muscles flexing and heart pumping, Bril pushed himself to the edge, now twenty paces away, now ten, now five. With a final rush, the enormous beast launched himself in tha air, and as he fell upon her, he realized at the last instant, an instant too late in coming, that it was Madaviel, and her silent scream, her terrified eyes, the paleness of her upthrust arm were the last impressions Bril had before tooth and claw met flesh and bone . . .

With a start, Bril woke from his nightmare, sitting bolt upright, his heart in his throat. He stretched out his arm, hardly daring to look. But even in the dim light under the branches, he could see a hand, not a paw, fingers and no black, hairy toes ending in cruel claws. And most importantly of all, no blood.

Wondering if this was one of the dreams where he had actually howled in his sleep, Bril cautiously looked about him, golden eyes shining in the dark.
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Postby ^Aramir^ » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:35 pm

Thinking back on it, Aramir would remember that Ilarieth appeared rather reluctant to answer his question. No, reluctant wasn't quite right. A better word might be...thoughtful? Contemplative? Just plain confused? She looked as though she were trying to come up with an answer on the spot, like she couldn't remember and didn't want to leave him without a suitable answer. She had sounded rather distraught earlier when she'd mentioned leaving home. Perhaps it was better, then, that just as she was about to tell him her story--or something, at least--a very angry shout cut through the evening stillness and caused them both to whirl in the direction of the fierce ejaculation.

The curse was followed by the sound of hooves, lots of them, kicking up dirt from the dry path not far from the camping spot Narmo had selected as a herd of horses came to a grinding halt, forming an ominous mass of shadow while Aramir peered through the trees, aware that his fire had been the cause of their sudden stop.

Holding up his hand in silent warning to Ilarieth, he rose quietly and, hand on the hilt of his sword, picked his way through the underbrush, scuffed boots crunching the crisp leaves almost in time with the chirping of nearby birds. Narmo whickered, unconcerned, and returned to munching on his dinner.

Something small and black shot out of the darkness as he approached, whistling the tune of its presence as it sailed through the air towards Aramir. Hissing a curse of his own, the young man leapt to the side and drew his sword in a fluid motion, landing in a defensive stance and ready for a very, very unfair fight. The knife collided with a nearby tree with an offended 'twang.'

"Hold up, it's not her."

"Her?" The shock upset Aramir's low stance for just a moment. "You honestly thought I was a woman?"

"Well how could we tell, it's dark!" the man in front muttered, his words trailing one after the other on a sea of yesterday's ale.

Aramir cast a glance at the setting sun, looked down at himself, and then returned his gaze to the crowd of dirty men before him. "Well yes, but surely it's not that dark, is it? What was it, my tunic? Hair?" He struck a pose. "My hips?"

The bandits weren't amused, but Ilarieth was, and at the sound of her light laughter, they sank into a collective crouch, weapons at the ready.

"'s'at her, Bran?"

"Dunno. Show yourself, ya worthless whore!"

Aramir's eyes narrowed. "I hardly think that's an appropriate way to speak to my companion, sir," he snarled.

"Damn right it is!" Bran spat. "She killed our leader an' stole all our money! I'll call 'er what I want!"

If there had been doubt in Aramir's mind before about whether or not Ilarieth was the woman the men were after, it was gone now. True, he'd only known her for the better part of a day, but somehow she just didn't seem the type, although come to think of it, he hadn't yet seen the contents of that little bag...

"I didn't steal your money!" Ilarieth shouted from the forest. "Or kill your leader!"

"Come say that to my face, woman!" He took a step forward, drawing a rusty longsword from its sheath.

"Ah, you just invited her out here. No reason to go in there, now, is there?" Aramir purred, raising his own sword in challenge.

"Gonna stop me, pretty boy?" the thief taunted. "Bet you can't ev'n use that sword!"

"All right, these woman jokes have to stop." Aramir rolled his eyes.

"Stop me and they'll stop a'right."

The bandits either had a smidgen of honor, or simply a lack of combat skills, because only Bran advanced in challenge. The rest hung back, daggers and swords out but at their sides, looking threatening but little else. This might turn out easier than Aramir had expected.

"Bad odds, eh boy?" Bran drawled. "You 'gainst me and my men. You know what they say 'bout bein' outnumbered, don't'ya?"

So much for better than expected. "No, I don't, but I know they say that men who cross me end up dead." He smiled invitingly. "Shall we see if the rumors are true?"

Raucous laughter erupted from the group, almost as repulsive as their collective scent.

"A kid like you? Ha! Come 'ere and we'll see who's dead at the end!"

The cry of steel upon steel ascended into the twilight sky, but it wasn't until Aramir had crossed blades with the man that he realized that though he'd engaged the leader, he'd also left an entire band of drunken bandits free to molest the woman they thought had stolen their money.
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Postby luthienelflover » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:21 pm

(Post co-written by Luthy and Sil)

"Oh dear," Ilarieth muttered to herself, "oh dear oh dear oh dear." Aramir had the leader well enough distracted, but the rest of the group were eying her with an expression she didn't like one bit.

Briefly she considered taking her bag and running, leaving Aramir to deal with it all, but her things were against a tree and nearer to the bandits than to her. Anyway, she rather liked Aramir, in a curious sort of way. He seemed to be hiding so much. She wanted to get to the bottom of it all.

That left little for her to do. Unless...

She fumbled at her belt just as one of the bolder bandits began to creep around the battle -- Ilarieth was working on ignoring the clashing of swords -- toward her.

"Wonderful," she murmured, slipping a little leather bundle out of her belt. "Close range. Great." She unrolled the bundle and took one of the blackened needles out.

"C'mere, girly," grunted the bandit, and took a swing for her. She tried to duck but his hand still connected with her shoulder. She stabbed at him with the needle and felt fabric rip -- but no flesh. She swung her hand back -- and lost her balance when the bandit gave her a shove and fell over backward, almost stabbing her own hand with the needle. The bandit threw himself toward her; panting, she swung her hand at him one more time. This time she felt it connect. The bandit shuddered and drew back, the needle still stuck inches deep in his bicep. He brushed at it with his other hand and howled when he accidentally pushed it further in. He grabbed her arm hard enough to bruise -- and shuddered again. Ilarieth kicked vaguely in his direction and missed, but suddenly his grip was not hold enough to really hold her arm anymore, and suddenly his legs looked a little wobbly, and he was falling down toward her --

She shoved him off of her, wincing at the rank smell; she'd have to find a good stream to bathe in. She had other things to worry about now, like the fact that the bandits' leader seemed to be shouting something at Aramir, and the fact that three other bandits were creeping close. She fumbled another poisoned needle out of its packet and threw it in the general direction of the bandits with as much force as she could muster. She heard it plink into something, but they were too far away to tell, until the one on the left stumbled. Right. One down. She reached for another needle, but she was sweating now, and the packet slipped out of her hands and into the undergrowth.

"Oh dear," she repeated.

*****

Fighting Bran was proving extremely difficult. Not because he had anything resembling skill, but because of his appalling lack of anything that could pass for swordfighting ability. Aramir could fight a master swordsman competently--even those adept at masking their moves were not totally immune to being followed. There were certain logical patterns, certain ways of moving that any sane man would use in order to get the maximum force, to give rise to the most damage. Aramir could appreciate that, and he could use it to his advantage.

But Bran was just plain awful, and it was this awfulness that was making him so hard to fight. He moved like the drunk he was, swaying back and forth, changing directions mid-swing for no other reason that that he'd lost his balance, or that whatever voice was guiding him had decided that moving that way would be better. It would have been simple but for the man's bursts of speed, and the fact that half the time he did nothing but wave his sword in crazy patterns.

Suffice to say, Aramir was getting darned sick of not being able to defeat a complete novice.

"Enjoying yourself now, boy!?" Bran bellowed over the sound of his whirling sword.

"No!" Aramir retorted, brushing his hair from his eyes. "I'm ready to be done now, thanks!" He parried and then went in for an attack. If he could manage a low sweep...

The bandit didn't see or suspect a thing, but suddenly lurched to the side and threw his sword towards the ground to steady himself, nearly running it through Aramir's hand; throwing himself to the side, the young man let his leg fly as he went, smirking in satisfaction when he felt it collide with something solid.

He was less than pleased when he realized it was the sword he'd hit. Still, the force against his prop had put Bran even more off-balance, and he toppled forward, cursing, as Aramir picked himself up from the dirt.

Bran was obviously less drunk than he appeared, though, because moments after Aramir had righted himself, his opponent was back on his feet, darting back and forth in an attempt to snatch his weapon from the brush without losing his head to Aramir. When it became clear that Aramir was not going to allow this to happen, he turned, dashed back to the horses, and drew another sword from somewhere in their midst.

"You've got to be kidding me," Aramir muttered under his breath, taking the moment to reconsider his options. Sword training for Bran, followed by a real match, sounded especially appealing right now...

Bran leapt at him, howling like a wolf with no concern for secrecy; Aramir raised his blade in reply, somewhat relieved when the two weapons actually made contact. At least that made it feel like a legitimate fight! Drawing a dagger from his belt, he whirled around and held the dagger out to his side as Bran sailed past him; the bandit's momentum drove him right by the stationary dagger, which sliced nicely along his upper arm, flinging drops of blood into the air.

Finally, Aramir thought as Bran howled, clenched his arm, and then shouted a series of nasty curses.

"Aramir!!"

Only his eyes moved at the sound of her voice, narrowing as he realized that what he'd feared had happen.

"Busy!" he shouted back. "Climb a tree or something until I get there!"

"There aren't any low branches!" she shouted back, voice peaking at panic just as Bran's pain gave him a second wind. Deciding to go for the dagger strategy again, Aramir tossed his sword aside and crouched low, waiting. Bran could come to him. Sure enough, the bandit charged forward, fueled by pain, annoyance, rage, and ale, drawing a clear line of intent with his sword. As long as he didn't deviate from that pattern... Aramir waited, waited... he wouldn't move until he absolutely had to.

Unaware of or unconcerned with the danger, the man kept charging, glaring eyes boring into Aramir's own. So he didn't see the young man's free arm come up from the side as Aramir put his entire weight into his own leap, coming up from below to throw his arm in the way of the man's neck.

Bran collapsed into the underbrush. Not waiting to see the extent of the damage he'd done, Aramir rammed the hilt of his dagger against the man's head, then grabbed his sword, turned and dashed into the forest after Ilarieth.

******

Ilarieth kicked at the man who had tackled her, screamed at him, tried to bite him -- but had no luck until Aramir grabbed him and tugged him off. She caught a fleeting smile from him and then he spun back to his fight. Her fall had one good consequence -- she found her darts. She stayed on the ground for a moment, hoped that the bandits wouldn't quite come after her yet. She peeked through the undergrowth at the fight. Ar was clearly a very experienced fighter, but the fight didn't seem to be going all that well. I know, she thought, I know. It was perfect. She could prove herself. Aramir seemed to like her well enough, but now he'd respect her. She had time to make this shot perfectly. The remaining bandits weren't watching her -- they had eyes only for the battle.

She drew her hand back, and she threw it.

It thudded into Aramir's back.

"Damn it," she said.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:20 pm

Gwaeryn as well slept upon his perch, his head under his mighty wing, oblivious even to the anguished howl of Bril. While he slept, he fell into a dream.

In his dream, he flew over endless seas, ever westward, the last stars of night wheeling over him. As they faded, the shafts of the first light of dawn glittered upon the sea, and upon a glittering white tower far in the West, a tower he somehow knew was the tower of the harbor of Avallonë, on the shores of Eressëa, the Elenhome near the shores of Aman.

But that was not what drew him. Instead, his eyes alit upon a star-shaped land in the midst of the sea, one with a high and holy mountain in its midst. A mountain which drew him like a lodestone.

As he approached the island, he was surprised to see it uninhabited, except for beasts and birds. Then the realization struck him that this was the Island, Numenorë, before the people of Elros Tar-Minyatur came there. The memory of the tragic story of the rise and fall of a great kindgom, and the downfall of the land came to his mind. A long, proud and yet tragic history of the greatest kingdom of the world, of which the King Elessar was descended.

But, that was soon forgotten as he circled down and alit upon the summit of Meneltarma, from which the White Tower still glistened in the distance. The summit was large and flat, and it seemed to be made for great assemblies. What struck him was even now, the silence that seemed to crowd in on him, in which he dared not utter a word.

Three rocks were on the summit's western edge, and upon them, three of his ancient kindred descended and landed, the Three Witnesses of Manwë, of which he had heard stories of even in his days as a hatchling. They stayed and looked upon him even as he gazed upon them. It seemed that they were seated in judgement upon him.

He thought he would be pleading his case before the greatest of Eagles. But after the longest time, the thought came to him that this was the trial, and he was telling them what they wanted to know in the midst of the holy silence, this lonely vigil which seemed to last the longest time.

Then, the unthinkable happened! In the midst of this silence that he dared not break, he was bidden to sing. He looked, not comprehending, but the command came again, which he could not disobey. He lifted up his voice and sang:

From the heights of glory beyond the ken of the world,
To the depths of degradation, the low and the common,
Such is the history, the story of Men.

And yet we watch and guard, the Eagles of the West,
Watch with amazement upon the Latter Children of the One.
Hidden from us is their end, known only in the dooms of Namo,
Mandos of old, the Doomsman of the Valar.

Soon do we lay down our watch and our guard,
Soon, we leave you to your ways,
Grown like fledgelings to leave the nest behind.

But to what? We can only watch from afar,
As the Song unfolds and amazed we behold
Works which shine, then fade like the mist,
But the memory spurs one to the next height.

'Tis not for us to comprehend or judge,
the time is yours now, children who come after.
But remember, though yours is not the memory of the Eldar,
Whose thought renews and does not fade with the years.

'Tis not for naught that you desired the Deathess Lands,
Though your aim was askew, it was not yet your time.
The call comes from afar, from the One,
Summoning you beyond the circles of the world.

So you tire and are weary, and finally leave
The place which is not yet your home,
But a copy of things beyond your imagination,
And from which all the Great Stories come.

And we watch and are amazed.
Like the song of the thrush,
Which pipes its tunes then does vanish,
So your song is part of the tune,
Part of the Dance,
Which will only be revealed when the tapestry is complete.


Just then, he awoke to find the others looking up at him, astonished.

"Gwaeryn, I didn't know you could sing." said Robin.

"Neither did I." said the Eagle.
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Postby ~Fionavar~ » Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:05 pm

"But that was magnificent. Could you be persuaded to sing along with one of my pipe songs?" Rwhen was rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, but the song of Gwaeryn had brought her to full wakefulness.

The grand eagle looked at the girl, resembling only a child compared to his massive stature and replied, "Maybe. I was moved to sing and in fact I may be the only singing eagle there is in Middle Earth. I am unaware of man songs."

"How about WOMAN songs?" Fionavar tensed slightly.

"Fiona," Bril was at her side. "I am sure his Greatness didn't mean anything by 'man songs'." He glanced warily at the eagle. "What is gender to an eagle? We are just humans and isn't that how it should be?"

"And what in the blue blazes of Mt. Doom would you know of it?" Something inside of her had fired and most knew when to back off, but Bril missed the clue.

"I never said I knew of it, blazes or not and how do YOU know that the blazes of Mt. Doom are blue?" he shot back neatly.

"I know that you are an idiot and that doesn't take much knowing."

He missed the second clue too. "Well, I may be an idiot, but you are a spoiled child in a woman's clothing who is deserving of a good spanking right about now." Bril looked at the Hobbit and the Eagle with a satisfied smile, so they would see that he had merit and could deal with the likes of Fionavar.

Robin and Gwaeryn both groaned and rolled their eyes but were not about to get in the middle of this confrontation.

Fionavar stared coldly at the human/wolf. "You have many a privilege my friend. Do not think that I am that easily drawn to anger or arguing, but if you believe you are the one to be giving the spanking, then have away." She stood firmly grounded and cross her arms with a scowl on her face.

Robin cleared his throat and spoke to Gwaeryn. "you know, I have seen many couples in the Shire bicker like this. Do you think this is a lovers spat in the making?"

Both Bril and Fionavar forgot everything and started making hasty denials at that point.

"I do think they protest way too much," offered Gwaeryn to his friend, Robin.

"Next thing you know, they will be wanting to kiss and make up." Robin stared at the now gaping pair with a pointed look and waited.

Fionavar was actually sputtering. "You think....he and I....that we.....?"

"Yeah anyway." Bril looked as startled as Fionavar but noticed something in the girl he had not ever seen before. She had been flustered by the Hobbits observation. He would file that away for another time. "I think I see some rabbits in that field." With that he bounded away.

Fionavar returned to her bedroll and covered her head. How could he think something like that. Me? Bril? I mean he is nice and I have known him for...well it seems forever. I was the one to save his sorry soul when he was so injured. I am the one that has been a true friend. I am the one who cares...... She let the thoughts stop there. She had been silly and of course Gwaeryn meant nothing by his statement. If these companions were to take her seriously, she would have to apologize. Breathing deeply, she crept from the blankets and headed to the fire that had somehow got started. Robin and Gwaeryn were companionably quiet.

"I am sorry and ask your forgiveness, I honestly don't know what got into me."

Robin watched as Bril snagged two coneys and was bringing them back to the fire. "Yeah, I am sure none of us do." He took a long pull from his pipe and turned a merry eye back to the fire.

"Well, I know." Gwaeryn spoke up, "the female variety of your species are want to rebel when they feel dishonored and rightly so. I shall be more precise when I speak to you in the future." He nodded his head.

Fionavar ran to the eagle and threw her arms around his left leg and squeezed. Gwaeryn moved his right leg closer and feathers surrounded her as she held him. After a few uncomfortable moments, she released and saw Bril was standing there with the rabbits.

"I suppose we are up now, skin those rabbits and I will make a morning stew before we set off."

Everything was back the way it should be, or was it.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:20 pm

Robin took out some knives and started skinning the rabbits as Fiona prepared the makings of the stew. Gwaeryn turned down the offer of the stew, as he didn't like cooked food, but Bril came to him with some other rabbits he had as a peace offering, which the Eagle gratefully accepted.

"Maybe soon, we'll share a horse together." said Gwaeryn with a twinkle in his eye. Caloo didn't like that remark at all, even though the Eagle wasn't talking about her, but the pony shied away from the two.

Meanwhile, Robin finished skinning the rabbits, while chatting to Fiona about some of his travels, and about life in the Shire. "No, I've always wanted to visit Fangorn Forest, but just never got around to it. Just once, I'd like to see old Treebeard, and see if he's anything like what the Red Book says about him. It's too bad they never did find the Entwives, if they're still around."

"So, Gwaeryn, are there any more of your kind still around?" said Fionavar. The Eagle shook his head. "No, I am the last of my kind in Middle-Earth. My kindred have all flown off into the West. One day, I shall follow them, and the Eagles will not be seen around here again, until the Last Day, when it is said Melkor, that is Morgoth, the Great Enemy, will be released for a short time in the Dagor Dagorath, when the Darkness is finally defeated."

"It'll be a dull place without you, Gwaeryn." said Robin. "I hope your departure is a long way off."

"We shall see." said Gwaeryn.

Soon, the stew was prepared, and all but Gwaeryn sat down to eat. This was a meal that was fit for a king in the eyes of Cock-Robin. Soon, they were leaning against a tree, satisfied by a good meal.

Fiona took out her pipes and began to play, as Gwaeryn and the others listened. The Eagle was listening with his eyes closed as the music worked its magic. In his thoughts, he was transported back to the Elder Days before the seas were bent. He was soaring above the Encircling Mountains around Gondolin, and the Tower of Turgon was glistening in the sunlight. To his surprise, another Eagle was flying beside him, one who dwarfed him. He gasped. It was none other than Thorondor, their lord.

He was silent before the Great Eagle, awed in his presence. Thorondor was impressing upon him the importance of his duty to guard all from the Darkness, and indeed, far in the distance in the North lay the triple peaks of Thangorodrim, where Manwë had sent them to watch upon Morgoth and his minions. They were also guarding Gondolin from all invaders.

Gwaeryn knew of the history, how the Hidden City was safe until Hurin unwittingly alerted Morgoth to its location, and Maeglin had betrayed Gondolin to the Enemy. Yet from it, came Earendil, who still shed his light upon Middle-Earth.

And so, inspired by the music of the pipes which had given him this vision of greater days, he sang to its music, first in Quenya, then in the Common Tongue:

Great is our task of guarding
The Edain, then the Atani from the Darkness.
Heavy the burden,
Yet a joy is it, the Guardians of Manwë.
And so we hold our vigil, ceaseless.

While the Light of Aman still shines in the Remaining Ones,
The Elves of old who still tarry,
Yet even their light shall fade,
A dim memory,
Elusive, fleeting, people of the dell.

For soon is the time of the Second Ones,
The Atani, who now have set up dominion,
So the Former must depart, forsaking Middle-Earth.

Yet, our vigil does not end,
For we watch from afar.
You do feel alone, forgotten,
But it is not so,
For great deeds await you,
And the Valar watch with wonder.

Yet Bards shall keep the dim memory alive,
For those with ears to listen.
And noble ones with memory of the past,
The great events of old,
Shall sing and tell of what did unfold.

The rivers run, the streams sing their song,
And in them is the story;
Deeds of valor and glory;
As the waters tumble along.

The trees shall whisper the ancient names,
But will any ears hear what they say?
It is not for us to know.


There was a rush of wings, and Gwaeryn was gone, flying up into the skies that he loved so much, so the others wouldn't see his tears, so moved was he.

"I think it's time for us to continue on our journey." said Robin. "My friend warned me that some ruffians, cutthroats are roaming the roads, searching for somebody. Let's hope it's not us, but we must be on our guard as we go."
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Meneldor, Alatar and Pallando, Darkness Reigns: The Resistance


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Postby shaggydog » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:13 pm

The idea of kissing and making up had even more appeal than wrestling Fiona over his knee, but her protestations had sounded so genuine that Bril had taken the most direct route out of further awkwardness by switching his thoughts to breakfast. Her flash of temper had been puzzling to say the least. He had absolutely no idea what he had said to ruffle her feathers, and it was a side of her he had rarely seen and never yet been a target of himself. All females were puzzling, he concluded with a shrug of his shoulders as he ran down the rabbits and brought them back to the others. At least Fiona had never bitten him, yet.

Robin’s delicious stew had Bril licking his bowl, and his fingers, until Fiona shot him an admonitory glance. With a full stomach, as Fiona began to play her pipes, Bril’s thoughts returned to her earlier behavior, and his own reaction to the good natured jibes of the hobbit and his companion. The thought of anyone pairing Fiona and Bril together as a ‘couple’ had certainly been a startling one, but not perhaps in the same way as it has seemed to upset Fiona. For himself, it certainly wasn’t a novel idea. But, for various reasons, he had always pushed it aside, and had thought that the idea was his alone and entirely a private one. To hear it spoken aloud like that had been a surprise, and even Bril could discern that there must be something about their behavior that had prompted Robin to make that remark.

Apparently, though, the thought was both novel and upsetting to Fiona, and it was this that Bril turned over in his mind as they all made their preparations to begin the day’s travel. The source of her discomfort wasn’t hard to fathom. Being linked in anyone’s conversation to a man who was also a wolf would no doubt make any woman a bit uncomfortable. What was much harder to understand was her fairly intense reaction to the suggestion. That, coupled with her irritation with him, was quite unlike the normally placid and mellow woman that he knew. For her to laugh it all off, to scoff mildly at Robin’s and Gwaeryn’s quips, that would have been much more in character for her. Bril was almost brought to wonder if his certainty in their friendship was somehow misplaced. He had his own reasons for protesting any fantasy that they could ever be together in that way. But he wondered greatly what hers might be.

Setting out on the road once more, Bril fell in stride comfortably at Caloo’s side, silently reassuring her that he had no evil intentions towards her plump pony self. With Gwaeryn high in the sky above, the companions kept up a comfortable pace, trusting that their aerial watchdog would alert them to the presence of any dangers ahead. Mid-day found them once more stepping off the road for lunch and a rest, though none of them were actually tired, their pace being so gentle. Still and all, after their bread and cheese, and cold water from a nearby brook, Robin at least drifted off into a peaceful slumber. As Fiona stowed away the few remains of their meal and rearranged a few items in Caloo’s pack for better balance, Bril watched her deft, efficient movements. His ears caught her soft humming of one of the tunes she had played earlier. He took up the melody in a deeper bass hum, causing her to look up. He smiled and Fiona looked quizzically at him, asking, “What’s on your mind, boy?”

Bril just shook his head and kept humming softly. Fiona put her hands on her hips, grinning. “Come on, out with it! Don’t be shy.”

“Alright, I’ll try.” Bril said, still smiling enigmatically.

“Well, I was just thinking, about the stars up in the sky, and the leaves in the tree, and all the broken bits that make you trip up, and the grassy bits in between . . . everything that’s in this world, well, that’s how much I like you.”

Fiona’s brows came together. “What?” she said.

Bril sighed. “Let me try and explain again. Right, birds can fly so high and they can go on your head. They can almost fly into your eye and make you feel well scared. But when you look at them and you see that they’re beautiful . . . that’s how I feel about you.”

She said, “What are you talking about?”

He said “You.”

She said, “Thanks . . . I like you too.”

He said, “Good.”
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Postby ^Aramir^ » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:18 am

At first it didn't occur to Aramir to be worried. After all, in the great scheme of blades and fists, what was a little prick with a dart? He wrenched his arm around, dodging yet another drunken swing as he did so, and tried to yank the thing out of his back, his other hand still controlling his sword. He must have looked ridiculous, but that was hardly a concern at this point. Somewhere behind him, he heard Ilarieth swear, but when he whirled to come to her aid, he saw her standing alone, looking supremely guilty. He didn't want to know why.

Eventually his flailing hand found the dart, but before he could tear it out, something huge collided with him, howling some awful but incomprehensible nonsense, and Aramir found himself thrown against a tree. The loud cracking noise may have been his head hitting the trunk--it was difficult to tell. All he knew was that when he managed to pick himself back up again, the dart was in his hand.

Well, half of it. The harmless half.

"Damn it!" he hissed.

About then he realized how completely awful he felt. It was as though someone had sucked out all of his blood and replaced it with...well, some sort of perpetually bubbly liquid. He could feel the substance running through his limbs, and thought for sure that if he had time to inspect himself--swing, parry, low sweep--he would be able to see the little bubbles trying to force their way past his skin and out into the night air. Counterattack, kick, attack, block... He wished Lee were here now, so he could thank the man--duck--for teaching him to fight even in such awful circumstances. Surely it was the only reason he was--left, right, feint, attack--still alive right now. Or Kellian... he could use Kell's help right now. The Elf would know exactly what to do in this situation, and at the very least, he could pull the stupid needle out of Aramir's back.

The world was turning a strange purple colour which was no doubt connected--jump, and strike!--with the little bubble inmates rattling at the cages of his veins. He blinked rapidly, trying to drive away the unsettling hue, but every time he did so, the world just got more purple. And blurry. Just what he needed--to lose his eyesight at a time like this. He slid forward, fist aimed at the head of an unsuspecting bandit, only to discover that the purple blob was nothing more than that--a purple blob, hovering there, watching him lose a fight to his imagination. Aramir had never really considered--block, repost--how he felt about the colour purple, but now seemed as good a time as any to make that judgment.

Purple was an awful colour.

"Aramir!"

He jumped at the horridly loud voice--did she really have to scream in his ear?--removing himself from the path of a long, rusty blade just in time to see another one making an attempt at his head. Ilarieth was nowhere to be seen, though that didn't make sense. Hadn't she just been screaming at him a moment ago? He leapt forward--not the direction he'd planned on going--and very nearly skewered himself the way Bran had done earlier that month. No, earlier that week... day? Had it only been a few moments ago?

"Duck!"

He did, dimly aware of the whoosh of air that passed over his head, but when he went to stand again, he found his legs had mutinied. Instead of standing, he collapsed to the ground, rolling over onto his back; again he felt the prick of the dart needle which was still embedded... somewhere. Looming above him was a huge dark shadow--his death or his salvation, he had no idea. Whatever it was, it was purple.

"I hate purple," he muttered.

Overhead there was a loud 'thud!', a scream, and then silence, the first silence he'd heard in a long time. It was so pleasant that he almost forgot that everything was purple and blurry, at least until a figure bent over him and called his name.

"Aramir! Aramir, wake up!"

He was awake, but it seemed his body still needed some convincing. The figure--what was her name again?--rolled him over, and he felt a pair of sweaty, shaking hands pull his shirt up and away from his back. Oh good, he thought, now my wounds can flow freely. Maybe I'll die. Then I won't be... alone...

"Kell..." he whispered.

"There it is!" the voice muttered. There was what? Aramir wondered, but he couldn't make his mouth work any more. "Now if I can just... sorry if this hurts, Aramir... hmm.. what if I... damn it... so sorry... idiot..."

Either the purple voice--could voices be colored?--had descended into nonsense, or Aramir's mind had simply decided only to take in every few words. He tried to open his eyes, but when he'd accomplished that, he realized that all he could see was a strange sea of blurry...was it fire? It wasn't purple, at least, but sort of an ugly brown waving back and forth before him. How unpleasant. He closed his eyes again, just as the voice shouted "Aha!" and the pair of hands rolled him onto his back again.

"Now drink this," the voice said.

"Is it purple?" he heard himself ask.

"What?"

He tried to explain his aversion to the foul colour, but it was no use. Something was pressed to his lips, and a lukewarm liquid stole its way into his mouth and down his throat. He had no idea how it tasted, or even what it was, only that he could almost feel it doing battle with the bubbles in his veins.

"Now you just need to rest," the girl said.

She didn't have to tell him twice.
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Postby ~Fionavar~ » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:06 am

Fionavar strode beside Caloo as they continued on their way to Bree. She thought of Bril and his words, which upon reflection, were actually sort of sweet. That brought a smile to her face.

"What are you smiling about?" Bril had come up behind her, like he usually did.

"Nothing and everything."

"Which is it? Nothing or everything?"

Robin was leading the group and had come to an abrupt stop, craning his neck and ears at what looked to be a thicket not that far ahead of them. Everyone, including Caloo now were silent and listening. Bril's hairs stood up and suddenly Gwaeryn swooped in low and fast, hitting the ground still moving.

"Someone is being attacked and they appear to be outnumbered," the great eagle declared.

Robin did not hesitate, he drew his sword and started forward. Bril began to morph into wolf and Gwaeryn leapt skyward. Fionavar stood rooted next to Caloo, she was uncertain of whether to wait or assist. The sounds of combat could be heard where she stood and holding Caloo in check was getting more difficult. Finally she could see Gwaeryn rising clutching one ruffian in each of his massive talons. Her name was being called by Robin and it had an urgency to it.

She was unprepared for the scene that laid before her as she entered the thicket. There were bloodied and dead bodies scattered throughout. Robin was kneeling over a man with long black hair who appeared injured, his sword was stained. Bril could be heard rustling through the underbrush.

"Fiona, this man has taken what appears to be an injury due to poison dart, is there anything you can do?" Robin wore a serious mein.

"I should have something in my medicants. Is he blue?"

"No, but he keeps muttering something about purple and I have no idea what that would mean."

A young woman dropped from a nearby tree startling both Robin and Fionavar. "He HAS been poisoned. I gave him something to counteract it, but the wound in his back is festering." She glanced first at the Hobbit and then shyly at Fionavar.

"I think I have something for that, I will be right back." When she looked for Caloo, she found Bril, back in human form, leading the pony back towards the thicket. "Thank you, Bril. I have need of my medicines." As she rummaged through the items she had brought, she also nicked some bandages and salve. "This should be sufficent." She had a grateful look in her eyes toward the wolfish one and decided to ignore the blood on his clothing. When she got back to Robin, he had already turned the man over and was inspecting the wound on his back.

As Fionavar passed the girl, she nodded in a way that she hoped gave off a certain amount of confidence, though she actually felt none. Upon inspection, the wound was shallow and narrow, falling on the weapon had done more damage than the actual puncture. She made a poultice to extract any residual poison and to dry up the wound then covered it with healing salve and dressed it in bandages. She had been so intent on her efforts that she did not hear the conversation taking place around her.

"........don't know who they were. They just attacked us." The girl held her hands out innocently. "They seemed to think we were someone else, a woman who had taken something from them."

Robin looked her up and down, "did you take anything from them?"

"No, honestly Sir, we knew nothing about it." Her eyes shown brightly and clear, there was no reason to distrust them. Gwaeryn appeared over the thicket minus two ruffians.

"Is everything okay here?" He called to Robin as the girl covered her head for protection.

"We are fine, my friend. Thank you." He turned to the girl. "This is my friend Gwaeryn," he indicated the still hovering bird. "And you are......."

"I am Ilarieth and this," she pointed to the patient, "is Aramir, Ar."

"And I am Fionavar and this is Bril." All introductions were made. "I would like to carefully move Aramir to a more," she pinched her nose, "clean place. Can you and Robin do this?" She was looking at Bril, who sprung into action. Gwaeryn led them from overhead to a clearing further down the road and made Aramir as comfortable as they could.

"Can you tell me what you gave him, Ilarieth?" Fionavar spoke carefully, not wanting to appear demanding or threatening.

"I don't know what it was, I had picked it up recently and I knew it was a general remedy. I thought it might come in useful. Was I wrong?"

"I don't suppose so. There is something called a Universal Remedy for poisons, I have not used it. But, I would like to give Aramir something to help him sleep. That will put him righter than rain in no time, if the poison did no permanent damage before you gave him the antidote."

"He was muttering quite a bit, but you folks came just as he fell."

Robin moved to Gwaeryn. "I think we should find a place for the night to make camp and give this fellow a chance to recover." He mounted and Gwaeryn made flight with Bril running underneath them up the road.

"Did that bird just talk?" Ilarieth looked dubious.

Fionavar laughed.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:34 pm

It was not long before Gwaeryn returned with Robin on his back. "There is a sheltered place not too far from here that we can set up camp in. Bril is already clearing it out." said the hobbit.

"Excuse me, Gwaeryn, did I hear you talk?" said Ilarieth.

"Now where did you get that idea?" said Gwaeryn, obviously amused. "We will meet you there. I shall bear the wounded one." He picked up Ar in his mighty talons and flew off with him.

The rest came along, following the eagle's lead.

"Purple eagles." muttered Ar in his sleep.

Soon they found the campsite with Bril and Robin waiting for them, setting it up, and Gwaeryn perched nearby. Ar was laid down in some soft heather.

Robin had already built a fire while Bril had gone off hunting. Of course, nearby was a horse of the ruffians that Gwaeryn had promised he would share with Bril. They would eat it apart from the rest so they wouldn't have to see their messy meal.
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Postby Frelga » Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:40 pm

The oxcarts plodded on, their pace as confident and serene as the course of the sun across the skies. It was immensely comforting, unless you were Geli the Magnificent who was getting bored out of her curly, beribboned head. True, there was that small market two days ago, and she collected a few pennies juggling apples and vanishing silk handkerchiefs. Bargains being what they are, she stuck close to her traders, and made sure her audience became their customers.

Her traders were grateful and now Geli was richer by a wool blanket, only a tiny bit used, but restless and on sharp lookout for mischief. She trotted along with the cart to keep in shape, barefoot in the warm dust. Behind her, she heard a ferocious growl and a squeal. The children were playing lions and tamers again. Geli rolled her eyes and turned to look, just in time to see the tamer to defy death with an earnest effort to stick her head into her brother's mouth.

"Hey!" The jester vaulted back into the cart and dove forward to separate the children before the boy acquired a lion-sized maw or lost a tooth. "Do you know what you need to know to tame a lion?"

"What?" five voices asked.

"You need to know more than the lion. Or, in your case, Daisy, having more sense than a sack of almonds would help. Don't you remember what I told you about wrapping his lips over his fangs? Really, child, if you are fortunate enough to get advice from Geli... is it Thursday yet? Geli the Magnificent, then... you might as well listen, because a second chance would not be given to you."

The children were easily distracted, and their father chuckled good-naturedly from the driver's seat. Geli settled back among the bundles and pulled out her precious guitar from its wrappings. A song would be just the thing to pass the time until evening camp and to keep the youngsters quiet.

A Jester, I am a clown
It's not just coins that make me tumble through the town.
I do it for the laughter -
Look at the jester, how funny, how bold!
It may be that when I'm here
One little sadness disappears from the square
And out of nowhere
One little extra joy appears in the world.

A Jester, I am a clown,
This silly hat with little bells - it is my crown.
Oh, tell me, am I not splendid?
Look at the jester, how funny, how bold!
It may be that when I'm here
One little sadness disappears from this square
And out of thin air
One little extra joy appears in the world.



OOC: Lyrics by Yuly Kim translated by Frelga
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Postby Frelga » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:29 pm

Another ditty followed the first, and then the driver obliged with a slow, thoughtful tune that seemed born from the oxcart's own pace. Song by song, they moved on, until evening colors seeped into the sun-bleached sky.

Ahead, someone's campfire winked at them through the roadside thickets. The carts pulled closer together and the men made sure they each had a weapon in easy reach, just in case.

Geli wrapped up her guitar. "Aw, they don't have any sort of proper robber in these parts. In Umbar now, they won't even let a man put a foot on highway until he can recite seventeen love poems, each suitable for a lady of different rank," she complained, inventing on the go. "Then, you have to...."

The great wings made the sky sing above them. Their sound was like a red-hot sword slashing through silk. Children shrieked and the drivers dropped the reins. The jester flopped on her back and watched, wide-eyed, as the Eagle sailed overhead.

“Oh, the marvel of it!” she gasped when the beat of majestic wings faded in the distance and the Eagle vanished behind the trees. The jester wondered if it were heading toward the distant campfire.

By and by, even at the leisurely pace of the oxcarts, they drew closer to the place. No one tried to bar their way, or offered the traders to buy their lives with their money. Geli took it as a good sign, but her eyes was still shining with the vision of the Eagle's flight. She was prepared to admit that this was something even more magnificent than herself.

Prudence struggled with curiosity but it didn't have a chance. The jester sat up suddenly, as if some spring uncoiled within her. "If I don't look, I will always wonder!" she exclaimed. "I will go and look, and catch up with you later. You will come if you hear screams, won't you?"

The cart driver tried to dissuade her, but Geli was adamant. It would have to be a truly villainous creature that would harm such magnificence as hers, she explained, while she would sure choke from curiosity if she didn't go and look for the big bird. She picked up her bag - nothing said hello better than a guitar and bright silk handkerchiefs. Geli embraced all children at once, making them bump heads gently, and then she dropped from the cart and slipped through the brush.

She heard voices first, reassuring, feminine voices. A male voice mingled with them, slurred as if by sleep or fever, but faintly familiar. Geli crept closer to the fire, keeping to the shadows as much as she could. The jester's costume was not the best for sneaking about, what with all the sequins and bits of mirrors that sparkled even in starlight.

Now she could see. Two women, one hobbit, and the prostrate man who muttered something about purple. A kindred soul, Geli suspected. She adored purple. And then one of the women spoke. Her back was to Geli, so the jester only heard something about a fight. And a name. Aramir.

Aramir... Geli puckered her brow, wondering where she heard that name. It came with a memory of glossy black locks and unfortunate lack of clothing about the torso. Aramir? "The sword dancer!" the jester gasped aloud.

That put an end to her sneaking. She could either break cover and run or - and that was a much more interesting prospect - step in and introduce herself.

So Geli went boldly where the women and the hobbit were. "Saw your campsite from way over there," she explained. "I'm Geli. The Magnificent."
Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.
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Postby luthienelflover » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:21 pm

"I'm sorry," Ilarieth tried to tell Aramir, though she knew he was sleeping. "I didn't mean to." She never got a chance to explain when he was still awake.

What a terrible way of making an impression. Or, no, Aramir would certainly remember her, wouldn't he? But what a terrible way of finding acceptance!

And the healer, Fiona, seemed to think her slow, and the others hadn't paid her a bit of attention, except for the eagle, and that briefly. Not that she deserved it -- Aramir needed the attention more right now.

She sulked.

Aramir woke up, but she couldn't quite bring herself to apologize to him when he could actually hear her. Not yet, anyway.

In the evening they built a fire, and still she sulked. She thought about telling somebody that the poison wasn't, or at least wasn't supposed to be fatal, but who would she tell? They all seemed confident Ar would be fine, anyway. And it was too late to pull the lost and confused maiden or the wise woman. Somehow, she didn't think she would be able to pull it over on these, anyway.

A woman stepped into the clearing.

She was small, and dressed in more colors than Ilarieth even knew how to name. She introduced herself as "Geli the Magnificent", and then she made a beeline for Ar. Ilarieth tucked herself deeper in the shadows and watched everyone else talk. The entire last week had been a disaster, it seemed. Perhaps she should be moving on.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:01 pm

Robin jumped up when Geli came. Gwaeryn had already told him some people were coming when he went off for an equine feast with Bril.

"Geli the Magificent?" he said. "I am Robin, the well-traveled."

"Did you see that great bird that flew over?" said Geli.

"Gwaeryn? He'll join us in a bit. He's having dinner. We still have some if you would like some here, I don't think you'd want to dine with my friend, unless you like horseflesh."

--------------------------------------------------

Gwaeryn and Bril were having a little playful tug-of war with the horse. There was enough for both of them, and they decided to have a little fun.

"Heads or tails?" said Gwaeryn.

"Toss you for it." said Bril.

A mischievous glint showed in the eagle's eyes. "I could, you know. Let's toss the horse instead." He shook the horse in his beak and lifted it up. "Upsy daisy." tossing it up, and it came down with a whoomph. "Let's dig in."

They did.
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Postby Tygarya » Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:04 pm

Kitty had left the trees behind her and was now walking along the road surrounded by rolling hills of grass and meadow, farms dotted the landscape; not to mention little hobbit holes staring out from the odd hillside.
Kitty was nearly at Bree, she should reach it later that day.

It was a lovely warm day and Kitty had removed her leather bustier, wearing only her linen blouse, untucked from her leather pants so to conceal her daggers.
It was about midday when a coach went past her heading for Bree, she casually looked sideways at it as it passed and saw the face of a young man staring open-mouthed at her momentarily until it seemed he was pulled away from the window by someone else. Kitty laughed to herself, some jealous wife probably…although he did look a bit young to have a wife yet….perhaps it was his mother. That made Kitty laugh even more, she rather hoped she caught up with the young man at Bree, she could have some fun teasing him in front of his mother, if indeed it was his mother in the coach with him. Time would tell.

Kitty reached Bree about dusk and headed straight for the tavern, she passed the coach sitting idle now on the side of the Inn, the horses removed to the stables. As she stepped inside the dimly lit bar she saw the few patrons all turn her way to regard her briefly. She smiled wanly at them and walked to the bar where the owner was standing wiping a glass clean with a towel.
“I need a room for tonight…and maybe tomorrow” Kitty said to him
He squinted at her. “You look familiar?” he said as he took out his booking book and opened it up.
Kitty shrugged, “I passed through here a few months back, you must have a good memory for faces….or perhaps for unusual coloured hair?” Kitty said with a grin, she was used to attracting attention with her looks, which was why she usually covered her hair up, but since she hadn’t seen anything of the gang as yet, she assumed something must have happened to them.
The Inn Keep laughed and agreed that must be what it was and scrawled in his book enquirying as to her name.
“Just put Kitty, will be fine, I’ll pay up front now for tonight and let you know in the morning if I’ll need the room tomorrow night as well”
“Well” said the Keep with a grin “It’s a rare thing to have people pay up front, and now here’s the second person today” he said taking her silver crown off her and reaching down to a drawer to get change.
“The second?” Kitty asked semi-curious. “You must be talking about the people who own the coach out front?”
“Aye, that’s them, pleasant young people they are, keep to themselves around here though…..probably be down for dinner” he answered half muttering to himself.
“Dinner, now that’s a subject I would like to talk about” Kitty said with a laugh.
The Keep laughed also. “We have a sheep out back on a spit as we speak, be about another hour before it’s ready. Missus is roasting plenty of veges also, you picked a good night”
“Certainly sounds like it” Kitty said “So what sort of red wine do you have to drink my fine Sir?” Kitty asked then, feeling very relaxed, she had always liked small taverns like these with their friendly owners.
“I have a very fine Red from Gondor here actually my Lady” The Keep said returning the title with a flourish and a bow. Then as Kitty tossed another silver on the bar he tottered off to retrieve the bottle from another room.
Kitty strolled across the room and sat down at a table on the far side near the fire, the Keep was soon back placing a fine bottle and a glass on the table in front of her. Pouring the first glass for her, he glanced around the room.
“I apologise in advance for any unfavoursome comments that might come your way my Lady, but you’re causing quite a stir among the locals here.”
“It’s okay, I’m more than used to it, I can handle it..don’t worry.”
The Keep nodded and moved back to the bar to serve someone else.
Kitty sipped her wine and waited for dinner to be served and the arrival of the people in the coach who she guessed were waiting upstairs in their rooms.
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Postby rwhen » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:13 am

And now they were three females, two males, one giant eagle and one changling. Fionavar was delighted. Making new acquaintances had been one of her goals when she decided to start the trek to Gondor. The latest person to join the group had already stated her name, "Geli the Magnificent". A lady with a title. The healer/musician wondered what someone had to do to get the title of Magnificent, must be something very special.

Fionavar checked that her patient was still sleeping and joined Geli at the fire pit. "I am Fionavar, people usually call me Fiona." She inclined her head to the flamboyantly dressed woman. "Are you going to Gondor? For the celebration I mean."

"Gondor?" the lady didn't look directly at her questioner but her eyebrows knitted together as if thinking hard on the query. "Maybe." She smiled largely.

"Have you eaten?"

"I suppose I could be persuaded to eat something." The stars danced off her clothing whenever she moved and it was entrancing.

Fionavar was swift to set out breads, meats and cheeses. The threesome ate in companionable silence while Robin fussed with Caloo to be certain she was secure for the night. As he came to join them, Bril returned and both Robin and Fionavar were gratified to see that he had cleaned recently, his massive head of hair still dripping wet.

Bril stopped short of the fire noticing a newcomer to the group.

Noting his statue like stance, Fionavar went to his side. "Friend, there is no need to worry. I would like to make introductions for you."

He noticed that the girl had looped her arm through his and it felt good and relaxing as well. "There is still some horse meat left, do you think I should have brought back some? Will we have enough food?"

"Thank you very much for the offer, Bril, but I think we will do just fine. Maybe tomorrow you can find us a boar or elk to supplement the food supplies, I would love to roast a boar and have a feast before we make Bree." The pair reached the fire soon enough. "Geli, The Magnificent, I would like you to meet my friend Bril."

The woman stood and executed a wide sweeping bow, "Master Bril, excellent to make your acquaintance."

"Why are you magnificent?" Bril was never subtle and Fionavar grimaced, but was secretly glad he had asked.

Before she could make reply Gwaeryn swooped in and all talking stopped to watch the proud eagle landing.

"And now we are complete. You were saying?" Fionavar and actually everyone had eyes directed at one person.
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Postby Lithtaur16 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:04 am

“Oh… whoa!”

A young boy wrapped in little more than an empty gunny sack and torn brigga tripped on a tangle of roots. He rolled and landed flat on his back on smooth ground, bruising said back and most of his limbs in the process. He was some time into holding his upper arms in particular before the pain eased and he realized he was right where he wanted to be after having stayed in the densest of cover for several days. He was on the road again, he’d found it.

“Finally!”

He muttered under his breath as he bounced to his feet, bumps and scrapes quite forgotten. He looked the way up and down trying to decide which direction to go. The Sickle helped a little and he started trotting in the direction he thought the next town had to be in. Bree. He couldn’t have missed it yet even if the twisting shortcut had muddled his sense of direction a bit. For certain he was at least thirty miles straight from the farm and that would be plenty since neither his father nor brothers kept horses or even a hunting dog. The shepard and the ratty little mongrel didn’t count since they weren’t trained or anything.

He kept walking for some time even though all he had was star light and moon light to see by. He was already dirty, hungry and tired but he wanted to get as far as he could tonight just in case they had been sending friends along the road to look for him. His dad’s drinking friends had horses for sure. In fact the boy was considering the idea of traveling at night from now on as long as he stayed with the road. Might as well start getting used to it now.

“There isn’t a soul on this track but me…,” a novel observation after living near to a highly trafficked patch all his life. He was excited to say the least.

His first attempts at doing this in the wilds had come out near disastrous and he’d only done it this once more because he’d been certain and determined at crossing the path ASAP after espying the familiar line of trees from a tall ridge.
The marked bounds of the road were much easier to follow as he gnawed at the last rock hard piece of cram he’d stocked his deep pockets with before he’d left. He had maybe three or four coppers left hidden in his… clothes with which to buy more.
The morsels he was able to crack from the cake quieted his aching stomach enough though that he let his attention shift to other things. The crickets chirruped in the tall grass to the left and right of him and June bugs were playing in the trees and the bushes. The stars wheeled overhead in their slow but predictable paths—he had liked watching these best before when he could get away with sleeping outside. Now he could do so any night he wanted. His early to bed, early to rise brothers were missing so much.

* * * * *
Getting on towards the middle of the night, the boy began to change his mind about night travel. Not because the night had lost his interest or its charm or the way had become literally more difficult to follow. He was just getting too groggy to keep his eyes open for much longer. It was something he would have to work on as he went along. He, slowly at this point, came to the realization that he would simply have to camp and then sleep through most of the next afternoon if he was to continue like this. He started pinching himself repeated while looking for a decent place to camp. He’d near constantly been rubbing his arms and chest as well for the last few hours since the night chill had started to cling to his skin like dew. There wasn’t any cure for that though since he was kind of thin and not very skilled with branches yet and had no flint. His best idea for now was working for a thicker set of clothes in Bree. What he would do when the winter came was a guess but concern about it was as distant to his mind as any thought of great cities and castles and old stories written on old parchments.

The road rounded a bent and the trees thickened on both sides again. It was all quite enough for the boy and a small stand of pines finally drew him a short way from the road. The needles were dry but they made a soft, thick matt. He pushed as many armfuls of them against the foot of the broadest tree as he could before he finally dropped into it and curled up into the warmest ball he could make of himself.

Little did he know that someone else was traveling on the same road as he and had already suessed him, even with his mask of dirt, grim and old pine scent. He wasn’t as alone as he thought.
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Postby rowanberry » Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:34 am

The coach rolled on through a landscape of woods and farmlands. It was the third day since Gilmith and Gwinhir had set off from Fornost; they had spent the previous two nights at small inns along the road, and now, they were approaching Bree. During the last few decades, the population of Breeland had increased rather quickly, and the farms and hobbit holes had spread wider from the central village. Also the smaller villages of the area had grown.

Gwinhir looked at the landscapes absentmindedly for a while. At some point, the coach passed a young woman walking to the direction of Bree. To Gwinhir, she looked quite exotic, not at all like the farmers' wives and daughters around Breeland; especially her hair colour was distinctive. He couldn't help also noticing that the girl was rather pretty, and he moved the curtain aside and turned to take a better look at her when the coach had passed her.

"Now, what's so interesting out there?" he heard his sister say in a lighthearted and mischievous manner. He quickly let the curtain fall to its place and turned at her. "Nothing special... Just the landscape, and some local people..." he said a bit awkwardly.

To pass the time, Gilmith had been trying to knit a shawl of fine wool, but the ride had been so bumpy at some places that she had dropped a few stitches, so she had laid her work aside. Now, she was also just watching the fields and meadows roll by. In the distance, she thought she saw some big bird of prey wheeling above the lands - but, there was nothing special in that, hawks and sometimes even eagles came to hunt for rabbits and small rodents in the open fields.

They reached Bree in the afternoon. They took rooms at the Prancing Pony, an inn full of history and traditions, owned by the Butterbur family in heaven knew how many generations. The chubby, balding innkeeper raised his eyebrows when Gwinhir paid for their company in advance; separate rooms for himself and Gilmith, and a more modest room for their coach driver and the manservant/bodyguard travelling with them to share. They had a light bite at the common room that was rather quiet at that time; in the evening, around supper time, it would be much more crowded.

Gwinhir spent the afternoon in his room, writing a few business letters. Gilmith went to the market to pass some time; she loved the lively atmosphere on market squares, with farmers and craftsmen selling their products. She knew that they couldn't gather much new baggage for the road, but she couldn't help buying a skilfully embroidered thin linen scarf from an elderly woman selling handicrafts.

She still had some time to rest, before her brother came to take her down for dinner. They were seated at a peaceful table in a corner, and served some delicious roast with fresh vegetables and red wine.

While they were eating, Gwinhir started to feel that they were being watched. He glanced around - and found himself looking across the room at the young woman they had passed on the road.
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Postby Frelga » Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:19 pm

Geli greeted the hobbit with great delight. Hobbits made even better audience than children - cheerful, easily amused, and well provided with food. Better yet, well-traveled hobbits were a novelty, and the little folk tended toward chattiness, which meant that she would be entertained as well as entertaining.

Fiona and Bril both drew a sharp appraisal and quick approval. The other woman blended into shadows. Surprising, but understandable - too much sudden magnificence could be overwhelming.

"Why are you magnificent?" the young man asked her

Before she could make reply Gwaeryn swooped in and all talking stopped to watch the proud eagle landing.

For once, the jester was dumbfounded. A Great Eagle - now that was glory! that was magnificence! But not even an Eagle could compete with her for very long.

"And now we are complete. You were saying?" Fionavar and actually everyone had eyes directed at one person.

What a strange question! Might as well ask why the sky was up. If it weren't up it would be ground. Yet the young man with golden eyes didn't look simple, only good-naturedly curious. Geli went for the big guns. Ballads and juggling were all very well, but her greatest talent was imitation. With Geli around, mirrors were unnecessary.

Her stance shifted in the same imperceptible way as the cloud turns from a sickle into a fell beast. Shoulders pushed forward a little, chin thrust out, arms akimbo, feet planted wide, the girl took on the space-hungry posture of a young male. Even her face changed, bright and eager, and somehow vaguely lupine. When she walked toward Bril, she may have been his shadow.

"I am magnificent," she explained, "because it is not Thursday. On Thursdays, I'm the Incredible."

Standing next to Bril - at a careful angle to make sure everyone in the group could see what she was doing - Geli shivered and was a slight jester-girl again. "Oh, thank you, how kind of you!" she exclaimed. "But what a strange way to give a present!" she continued, pulling a square of green silk from behind Bril's collar. "Not my favorite color, I'm afraid," she sighed, tossing the handkerchief into the air, only it was red as it unfolded and floated down. Geli caught it, waved her hand, and the silk vanished as suddenly as it appeared. "That sort of thing," she said, grinning at Fiona. "But oh! I almost forgot, what with that splendid and lordly bird here - do you give rides, my lord? I hope you do! I hardly weigh anything, a swallow could lift me - ah, there I go again. The sword dancer! What happened?"
Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:22 pm

"Ah, Geli the Magnificent," said the Eagle, "Gwaeryn the Majestic would gladly bear you." He was quite amused by the antics of this woman. He would take her for a ride anytime. "That is, if my friend Cock-Robin would consent."

"I have no problem with it." said Robin. "But is anybody hungry? We were just sitting down to eat." Of course, hobbits were always hungry.

"It must be quick, as the sun is going down, and there will soon be little to see from above. But there is nothing better than flying." said Gwaeryn.

"We were headed for Bree." said Robin. "Then after a brief stay with Tom Bombadil and Goldberry, we'd be making our way to Gondor for a festival. I'm looking forward to it, but of course, first I look forward to food and drink."
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Postby ~Fionavar~ » Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:58 pm

To fly with the eagles, soaring on the wings of freedom. The thoughts ran through Fionavar as Geli was granted permission to fly with Gwaeryn. It had never even occurred to the healer to ask for a ride. Her stomach was full and the night was turning chilly, sleep would not be far behind.

"Bril, please remember that we are wanting a boar for tomorrow supper."

"I haven't seen any boars Fiona."

"I didn't ask if you had seen any, I asked if you would look for one." Fionavar narrowed her eyes at her friend. "Nevermind, if hunting down a boar is too much of a challenge for....."

"HA. You think to catch me with that old game, but Bril knows best. IF I see a boar and IF I feel like it, I will get it for you. Maybe." Bril turned his back and laid down to sleep. Secretly he was smiling at having confounded Fionavar.

"Men. Wolves. WHATEVER!!" She next looked in on Aravar. His color was improved and most likely would wake in the night very thirsty. She decided to sleep far enough way as not to startle him, but close enough should he need assistance.

Patting Caloo down and scratching her long nose, she laid her bedroll out and called a very good evening to the campsite. Robin and Geli merrily returned the call, but Ilarieth said nothing, she was perched close to Aramir. Maybe she hadn't heard the healer.

The cool air felt good and sleep was most certainly not far behind. As her eyes were closing, she saw the shadow of the great eagle fly overhead. "I wonder what tomorrow will bring," was the last lazy thought before blackness took her.
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Postby ^Aramir^ » Fri Jul 11, 2008 5:16 pm

Aramir awakened in the middle of a circus. Which was odd, because he didn't remember joining one. Not that little details like that had ever gotten in his way, but... what exactly had happened?

He sat up and rubbed his head, wincing as his fingers passed over a large bruise just behind his ear, and then another one further back. Who knew the circus was such a violent affair? Then again, he had given himself plenty of bruises in his time as a sword dancer; that was sort of like the circus.

None of which changed the fact that he was now sitting at the edge of a large group of people; through the shadows he thought he could see at least four, or perhaps more; it was difficult to tell with the moon shrouded in an approaching storm. At his side, he realized, was Ilarieth, and that realization finally forced him to remember exactly what had caused his temporary journey from consciousness. Poison...dart... purple. He shuddered and then half-grinned in the darkness. What ridiculous things had he mumbled while asleep? Only time would tell; time, and these strange people who'd somehow seen it fit to drag him along with them. Why? They weren't bandits, that was certain, or if they were, they were of the friendly, generous sort who helped young men who had been inadvertently poisoned by their companions. Perhaps Ilarieth had found them after she'd given him the antidote, or maybe they'd come along and taken pity on him. He supposed it didn't matter, not now anyway. Now he just needed a drink, and maybe a brief walk in the dark to clear his head.

After scrambling around the campsite for a few moments--and nearly stepping on a Hobbit, from the looks of him--he found a water sac and took a long sip, then slung it over his shoulder and picked his way towards the road. He'd just walk aways, then come back and try to sleep for the rest of the night. In the meantime, perhaps he could work out what to say to whomever had treated his wounds.

No doubt someone had seen his blood; surely it had been hard to miss, streaming from his generous supply of cuts and scrapes as it was wont to do when he got into skirmishes with more men than he could fight comfortably. Life would be much easier if he could just kill men in battles like that, but no... He shook his head and ran a hand through his hair, gazing up at the sliver of moon that was trying to make itself seen. No one ever saw his sliver, he thought, smiling again. Just his dark clouds, his raindrops, his storms. That's the way it always was. Ilarieth would be the same when she found out, and the rest of the circus he'd just left behind. Those who'd had direct encounters with Orcs would attach him to those memories, and those who'd only heard stories would cast him as the central character. He was used to it.

Or was he? He recalled what he'd felt the moment he'd awakened, after the confusion had passed. Surprise, and then relief. Joy, even. The feeling one experienced when reunited with old friends after a long time. Had it been so long? Between the flirting with innkeepers' daughters and the constant wandering, he couldn't recall the last time he'd travelled with a group of people.

Wait a moment, a voice said as he meandered off the path and into the woods. Who said anything about travelling? The moment they start digging and discover your secret, you'll be a lone wolf again, or worse. Just be lucky you're in their camp at all.

The voice was right, of course; it usually was. Wherever it was coming from was a place of vast experience and long-held knowledge, a place from which warnings were issued, but rarely heeded. Aramir had learned over the years that it was best to give these warnings their due. Perhaps he would be better off simply moving on. They wouldn't miss him, would they?

He didn't have time to think it through, though, because suddenly his foot caught on something in the underbrush, and he toppled forward with a startled cry.

"Oowwww," he muttered, rolling over to investigate the cause of his humiliation. At least no one was around this time.

Actually, that wasn't quite correct. Groggily extracting himself from sleep was a young boy, no older than 15, Aramir guessed, who looked as though he hadn't had the easiest few days of his life. He was wearing... well, it was difficult to say, really. Rags seemed rather appropriate. Not enough would also suffice.

"Uugghhh," he muttered, rubbing his eyes, and then he caught sight of Aramir. Darting to his feet with surprising agility, he took a few steps backwards, steadied himself against a tree, and glared.

"If you've come to take me back," he growled, "I'm not going!"

Back? Back where? Didn't people run away to the circus, not from it?

"No, I, uh--"

"Did my father send you? Well you can just tell him to--"

"Whoa whoa, calm down." Aramir held out his hands and shook his head. "I have no idea what you're talking about. I was just walking and tripped over you."

"Oh," the boy said, somewhat subdued. "Really?"

"Yes, really. I've never even met your father. Unless he has a pretty daughter and owns an inn, then there's a pretty high chance I have."

"Huh?"

Aramir grinned. "Never mind."

"He's a farmer," the boy muttered.

"Ah, well then I don't know him! So you can calm down." He climbed to his feet, made sure nothing was broken, and surveyed his new companion. "Anyhow, I'm Aramir. You?"
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Postby Lithtaur16 » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:04 pm

"Ah, well then I don't know him! So you can calm down." He climbed to his feet, made sure nothing was broken, and surveyed his new companion. "Anyhow, I'm Aramir. You?"

The boy eyed the stranger for another moment before answering, though he was beginning to feel more curious than fighting mad (and scared). This wasn’t one of his father’s friends, Aramir wasn’t lying about that. The man standing before him was way too tall and had a different silhouette. Not so bulky as a baler or a ploughman.
Bet he could still break me in half if he wanted to… the boy thought, but he was currently more concerned about the risk that the man might think a few coppers would be worth the trouble of tying him up and asking the townsfolk who he was. He needed a better idea than just getting out of there and following the wind, but right now he just wanted to step back from the swordsman.
Instead he bucked up and took a step forward—even if he didn’t know where he was going, yet, he had to at least act like he did. His skin was pale in the low light and his short, roughly cropped hair was dark. In the sunlight it was actually a sort of middling dark brown.

“Pa never called me anything much except curses and my brothers were… brothers. Someone in the town ahead called me Seldo a couple of times while I was doing some pay work though. It sounds better than anything else I been called so it’ll do.
Come to think of it he kind of looked like you… tall. Not from around here. He was alright though.”

The boy spoke slowly, but as much as he squinted he couldn’t make out Aramir’s face well in the dim light with his sleepy eyes.

“Well… yeah so I guess you can guess half of why I’m out here. I’ve got some family on the coast, which I’m trying to get to, who I get along better with. What are you out ‘walking’ for? I figured out how ridiculous it is to walk in the woods in the dark days ago and it looks like you’ve got more experience than I do.”

He hid his fib and bit lip (his mother had given him such a look any time he lied that he sometimes had wanted her to just sew his mouth shut so she wouldn’t have to use it anymore) with the weak diversion. As though he would even be able to run fifty paces, let alone the mile and a half jog down the widow nearby, if Aramir was anything but a traveler seeking some quiet. He was doing his level best just to hold back a yawn as the initial surprise wore off and his body remembered how far he'd walked the day before.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:22 pm

Gwaeryn was asleep in his lofty perch at the time of the night where it is darkest, in the hours before the dawn, when Geli found him. "Gwaeryn!" she said. "Great and noble Eagle!"

The Eagle slowly awoke. "Eh? Who is that? Geli, called the Magnificent? What is the matter? Couldn't you sleep?"

"Sleep is overrated for one such as me. I was wondering if you would consent to a starlight ride?"

"There is not much to see at this hour." said Gwaeryn. "But maybe we could behold the sunrise together." There was a gust of wind as he flew down from his perch. "Climb on. Fear not, Magnificent One, I will not let you fall."

She mounted the great Eagle, and marveled at the softness of his feathers. "Hang on tight, my friend, but please, don't pinch!" He took off into the starlit night. The Moon had just set and the stars cast their silver light on the landscape as Gwaeryn circled higher and higher. Geli felt the bracing coolness of the wind in her face. "The stars are lovely this time of the night." she said softly.

"You took the words right out of my beak, Geli." said Gwaeryn in a hushed voice. The stars had an elvish quality about them, as if they had taken a turn back into the Elder Days. The Eagle was inspired by it, and a song began, soft in the beginning, but growing in intensity and beauty to match the sights of the celestial dance above.

O Elbereth, the Kindler of the Stars,
To you do I dedicate this song:
Who sits in Valinor, the West, afar.

From what does this memory belong?
The quality, in ancient Elvish lore,
Which soundeth to me like a distant gong.

They have departed for the distant shore,
Yet memory is kindled as I see
Earendil's vessel, the herald shines once more.

The herald of the dawn, from far-off Sea,
Who guided Men to the land of their bright hope;
Does shine, and is reminder unto me:

And so, inspired, do I greet thee, Dawn,
The subtle hues which light the world anon.


So Gwaeryn sang as the stars wheeled overhead, faded, and the first pastel light of dawn began to shimmer on the horizon.
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Meneldor, Warrior Bard, and Brondgast, Mithril Knights

Gwaeryn and Robin, The Expected Party

Meneldor, Alatar and Pallando, Darkness Reigns: The Resistance


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Postby Tygarya » Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:42 pm

Kitty sat by the fire enjoying her meal immensely, it was the first decent meal since running into the Hobbit on the road a couple of days back. She got the feeling then that someone was watching her, so she leant back in her seat and raised her wine glass to her lips, taking the opportunity to scan the room over the rim.
Her eyes fell on the young man that she had seen in the coach. Kitty lowered her glass and smiled at him. His cheeks flushed and he quickly turned away back to the young woman who was with him, who Kitty had decided when she had watched them enter the dining hall, was definitely his sister. The way she jibed at him constantly, she could only be a relation. Kitty remained looking at the young man and caught his gaze again when he tried to turn back thinking she would have looked away by now. Kitty grinned wider as the young man blushed even further, causing his sister to notice and turn towards Kitty with a frown and speak in hushed tones to her brother rather gruffly.
Kitty laughed and stood up, picking up her glass and bottle she walked past the young people smiling at the man invitingly and out the door that led to the small beer garden.
She sat down on a seat enjoying the fresh air outside away from the smoky pipes of the drinkers inside, and waited. She knew the young man would find some way to get outside to talk to her.
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Postby ~Fionavar~ » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:10 am

As Fionavar had made her sleeping spot on the perimeter of the campsite, the rush of wind caused by Gwaeryn brought her back to wakefulness. Whenever she had a patient to look in on, she usually slept light anyway. The first thing that surprised her was that Aramir was not where he was when she fell asleep, he was speaking to someone else. She decided that the second surprise was much more fascinating and slipped out of her bedroll to investigate.

The squealing of Geli as she and the great eagle soared over the campsite was enough to cause a tinge of envy to rise in her breast. It had never occurred to her to ask for a ride on Gwaeryn. She sat with her blanket wrapped around her and tried to follow the fantastic flight as they flew over the hills, up to the stars and back down again. Then she caught it. Gwaeryn was singing for Geli. The tune was lovely and Fionavar dove for her pipes.

It was easy enough to pick up the melody and play along. She knew that the pair was oblivious to her accompaniment, but it pleased her anyway. When they were out of her sight for an extended flight, Fionavar took up the song on her own, though she had to make up her own words.

Afloat with our ancestors
We command the sky
Ever onward, ever high.

Majestic and proud
We shelter the weak
Sharpest talons, brightest beaks.

Our aeries are few
We wane on the earth
Alone, destined from birth.

Do not weep
We share your tears
Never to sorrow, assuage your fears.

Remember us well
We shall remember you
Virtue strong, friendship true.


The rustle in the bushes gave him away. When Fionavar turned to see, Bril had already curled up around himself, but she knew he had been listening. The dawn was just peaking her head over the horizon when the lady found her bedroll again. She hoped they would all sleep late into the morning.
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