Knight-in-Training:~current tale~ Andalion of Mithedain

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Knight-in-Training:~current tale~ Andalion of Mithedain

Postby Parador~J » Mon May 05, 2008 3:52 am

The camp fire crackled delightfully in the cool air… with its stray embers shooting toward the night sky...each one fading in to the darkness as it ascended up to the star lit heavens…

Around the fire sat two old friends…both obviously relaxed with each others company except whose ears were in high alert to any twig snaps or the rustling of brush by a fortunate guest or an unfortunate intruder…which ever was to come first.

The camp fire’s light danced and flickered off of Thalos’ long reddish beard making it appear brighter and livelier than the Dwarf himself was feeling these days. As old as Thalos was…hints of white hair were only beginning to show …many of them earned from the battles of war and as a negotiator for peace. Not all Dwarves were hot headed and unreasonable. Though Thalos had his share of head-butting and arguments that surly tested the true nature of being a Dwarf.

Feeling the pangs of his wounds received in battle during the Red Hammer War a few months back…reminded Thalos of a deep felt gratitude to have survived such an encounter against dwarves of the Red Hammer. With that event behind them…there were now rumors of the return of cold-Drakes.

With all that had transpired this last season and to be resting in front of a warm fire with his trusted friend and confidant…Thalos’ memory began a long descent to a time of turmoil and uncertainty…and a deep sadness which was pushed even deeper in to his heart with the battle of the Red Hammer.

It was 2790 of the Third Age…the exile Thror to Dunland left the once King of Under the Mountain restless, dispirited and weary of the circumstances that drove the Dwarves to exile. Smaug the Golden was now ruler of Lonely Mountain. This left Thror a bit unbalanced and unsure of his leadership and the future of his people… ”What must we do now, Thalos? I grow discouraged by the day…and the nights are without sleep. What King am I who leads his people in to exile while a dragon sits on the Dwarven hoard using it as his throne?” Speaking in a low and helpless tone…” What King am I to have let this happen?”

Speaking gruffly, Thalos spoke wisely…”Nay, my King…yer could not have anticipated Smaug’s plans. He is the last and greatest of the fire-drakes. Noone have been seen in a hundred years except for Scatha who was seen dwelling in the cold Northern wastelands…

What powerful axes and the skill of the bowman of Dale…could penetrate Smaug’s golden mantel of scales protecting its massive body of fire and flames?"
Looking bewildered at Thror's statement of blame... "Nay…ye must not take blame”

That evening, Thror awoke his trusty long time companion, Nar, and took off in to the night to never be seen again. Except when his body was found at the entrance of Moria decapitated.

Moria was the workmanship of massive achievement, great power and royalty, of unfathomable wealth and unsurpassed skill in stone-working, tunneling, mining, delving and craftsmanship. Too, it was a place of greed, self-satisfaction, obsession and final loss, brought about by the very factors which made the Dwarrowdelf the mighty achievement it was, from the Elder Days until the latter half of the Third Age

Thalos remembered the smell of death crawling along the walls of Moria as they approached the grand stairway leading to its entrance and halls…

”I smell Orc”…

”Aye, there is devilry among us” spoke Dain Ironfoot who stood along side of Thalos.

It was here they found Thror’s decapitated body…and it was here that Dain Ironfoot slew Azog, the Orc Chieftain who was responsible for beheading Thror. Azog was sent by Sauron with the sole order to overtake the mines of Moria. Nine years of fighting… sadness still lay heavy on the heart of Dwarves who survived the War of the Orcs. Even though a pyrrhic victory was theirs…those nine years took away the spirit of Dwarrowdelf with all its workmanship tainted and destroyed by the likes of those who infected it with their presence of hatred and assault. Thalos knew who was behind this…many of the other races knew as well. It was no secret Sauron was stirring…shadow and darkness could be seen and felt by all good faring free people of Middle-earth.

The years had finally caught up to the Dwarven warrior…and yet he could still handle a sword in one hand and an blazing axe in the other taking down an army of enemies without losing breath or a hair of his beard.

It was at that moment a tall figure stepped out of the shadows in to the fire’s light…giving Thalos such freight that only his eyes were able to move…slowly looking up at the intruders face. Both Thalos and the tall stranger’s eyes met…neither of them moving. Whether it was a welcome or unwelcome intrusion…was yet to be decided. But it was Parador who had the advantage; for she had heard a faint noise…but even before that…she had felt a strong presence of someone approaching with no malcontent in their heart…all the while Thalos being in thought of the memories of yesteryears…

Parador had risen to her feet grabbing her sword TuRúin…and quietly backed up in to the shadows escaping any detection. The stranger did not seem threatening…but none-the-less Parador would not make a mistake in assuming as with Thalos life. She quickly held the razor sharp edge of her sword to the stranger’s neck as if to take a clean slice if he were to move in the slightest of directions.

"I mean you no harm friend; but who are you? Surely there is some peace left in the lands of Middle-earth for but a moment for two old friends to sit peacefully enjoying a friendly fire while speaking of old times?"

"Yes, there is friend; my apologies for my intrusion. But, I couldn't help to notice your cloak."

Parador caught Thalos eye as both looked puzzled at the stranger's remark.

"My cloak? Surely you don't want my cloak, friend." With a slight smile... "I would have a hard time departing with it".

"No"... cocking he eye up...

"I do not want your cloak...only that I saw you both traveling early today while I was out scouting the area to secure it of any enemies who might have any ideas of taking our lands over. But you two seemed I followed you."

Thalos felt a bit of embarrassment at the stranger's comment...knowing he took a Dwarf by surprise...and a warrior of long years at that!

Parador just watched the stranger as he continued to speak...her grip loosened on the sword's hilt pulling it off from his neck. She felt they were not in danger at the moment.

"My name is Andalion of the Mithedain. And you are a Mithril Knight, correct?"

"Yes"...Parador spoke curiously.

"What have you of me to seek out a Mithril Knight, Andalion of Mithedain"?
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Postby Andalion » Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:48 pm

What is it like, to always be alone?

For the forty years Andalion had lived, he had felt loneliness. There had never been companionship within his family. He had come to understand why those of elven kind had drawn away from their people, for the Mithedain had become clouded with inner turmoil and pointless pride, their judgment flawed with all their arrogance. The only one who knew his mind was his father, a man who had tried in vain to remedy the ailing people.

"Bah, do not dwell on such thoughts." A slight grin appeared on Andalion's face as he sat up. The faintest touch of light crept into the darkness of the early reaches of morning, and he always rose with the sun. It gave him energy with which to stride forward through the day, to continue his work. He had slept without a fire again; dangerous in these northern parts for one unsuited to the climate, and even still, it was not healthy even for him. But those he was trailing...well, they weren't normal travelers.

As the great sun rose up above the lip of the horizon, Andalion's smile widened. He stood still in his preparations, almost comically standing there with a small wooden bowl of cold water in hand and a childish grin splayed across his chiseled face. Thoughts of those he tracked did not enter his mind until the sun had risen fully over the horizon, for it wasn't until then that he moved more than an inch. Turning, he hefted his blade, calloused left hand closing over the heavy cloth that was wrapped tightly about the scabbard, concealing its whiteness and protecting the wood itself. Strapping it to his waist, he threw the edge of his cloak over it, stashed the wooden bowl and his roughspun blanket into the light napsack that hung over his shoulder, and pushed off. Sliding his bow into place at his back, as he began to move up higher from the outcropping where he'd spent the night, he secured everything and increased his speed.

It took only moments for him to regain their trail. Almost subconsciously, he was utilizing his peculiar gift to enhance his ability to track these two...a thing he consciously deemed necessary, considering they were Mithril Knights. He had first seen them quite from afar, and having heard tell of them, had immediately been cautious of coming at all close to them. He simply wanted to keep an eye on them until they were entirely beyond his people's homeland. Well, that's what he told himself, but in reality Andalion felt a curiosity come over him that he could not sate of his own accord. His father had once told him he was far too curious for his own good, and he was only lucky they did not live in a more populated place...else he might have gotten into far worse trouble because of it.

Throughout the day, Andalion caught occasional glimpses of the two Knights' blue cloaks. What with the rolling hills and the relatively clear day, his sightline was good and at times, his view of them was clearer than most. He blessed his ability to hide from sight as much as his ability to track, for although he was in no way hostile to two travelers who were (at least, as far as he could tell by appearances, anyways) part of an organization playing the part of worldly benefactors, they might not think kindly of a stalker. At the rate they were going, and the direction being almost due West, he knew they had another day of travel ahead of them unless they met with a sudden need for haste, or found some reason to slow their pace.

And so that night his curiosity got the better of him, knowing that he would likely never have this chance again (although logic would argue that he could, as he would live for another century or more if his life was good). He spent the better part of two hours after the sun had gone down getting as close to them as he could without making a single sound. The ground aided his silent plea to cover his footsteps, the night animals rushing opposite him to draw attention from his direction on occasion. The trees seemed to broaden their beams ever so slightly as he touched them kindly, asking for their aid.

And then, quite stupidly, he stepped into the light of their campfire. He had become a child in his ignorance. The last minute of his approach had been met with almost every mistake he could possibly make in his endeavour to be silent and invisible. He had never before seen a dwarf, and like some little boy who saw a firefly for the first time, he crept closer and closer, only realizing once he had stepped into the light of the fire that the other Knight was gone.

That was when he felt the cold sharpness against his neck, and his eyes flicked over to find himself confronted by the questioning gaze of the other Knight, a female who had proved in that instant she knew well enough how to take care of herself. His eyes went to the dwarf again, some amusement coming to them as he noticed the puzzled expression that one wore. He exchanged words briefly with the woman, noting with an uncharacteristic leap of curious interest that she was quite beautiful. A rare flower amongst so much beauty nature offered each moment.

"What have you to seek out a Mithril Knight, Andalion of the Mithedain?"

He neither blinked nor swallowed, only looked into her equally curious eyes and said something he hadn't quite intended to say, "I seek to help you." Then he blinked. Why had he said that? Surely they needed no help, they were Knights, they had been steadfast in their travels...and yet he'd said it quite plainly, as if assured that they required some assistance. Perhaps they did, for there was nothing to be found for a great many leagues in the direction they were headed, save for small, sparse wayside villages...some of which may offer no help, considering that not everyone was blessed with the worldly knowledge required to know even what a Mithril Knight was. And some of those that lived in the North were not so friendly.

Andalion waited, deciding to let his response stand and see how these two reacted to it.
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Postby Parador~J » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:59 am

Parador turned to eye Thalos all the while bringing her sword down and then placing it slowly back in to the sheath….quietly she strode off toward the camp fire without saying a word. That Dwarf's instinct told Thalos he could trust the lad (well…anyone under 100 years old was a lad to Thalos) …the old dwarf spoke freely…

“Aye, lad….you seem harmless enough. Let us talk before I change me mind about ya.”

Thalos motioned to the stranger…Andalion quickly followed behind Thalos hoping this was a good sign. As they neared the warmth of the fire…Parador was standing near by watching and listening. Thalos handed the young Mithedain a small wooden cup etched in fine carvings and then proceeded to fill it part way with the finest Dwarven ale this side of the Misty Mountain.

Thalos noticed Andalion’s hesitation…“No need ta worry, lad…tis not poison nor is it a bad brew of Beornings ale. Can’t say how many times I’ve tried teaching them how to make a good ale”…Thalos chuckled…even Parador had to smile. “But they…dooo…make a fine honey cake! Finest bakers that side of Misty Mountain"...motioning his head toward the East.

Andalion couldn’t help but feel comfortable around the old Dwarf…but he wasn’t still quite sure about the lady… who was still watching him. If only she would speak…he could then get an idea of the kind of person she was…or at least appears to be. But, he was patient…

Parador spoke strongly and evenly without taking her eyes off of Andalion…“You have a proposition for us…you say you can help us. What help is it that we stand in need of?”

“These lands are always restless…wars…and rumors of wars besiege us on all sides. Is there something you know that we need to know about, Andalion of Mithedain?”

Thalos grunted as he drank his mug filled ale…white foam dripping from his long red beard. “It wouldn’t have ta do with drakes, would it lad?”

Parador’s reaction was of a surprise…while Andalion just stood there looking at Thalos not saying anything at first. The Mithril Knight leaned back against a rock that was in the shadows of the fire...with her arms crossed she stared at the young man waiting for his story…
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