Shrouds of Varda Inn ~ Fornost in the 4th Age *Burned Down*

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

Postby PatriotBlade » Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:10 pm

OOC: Rwen, my character is NOT crazy, just drugged up. Feel free to do as you will. END OOC:

The man looked down at the man who called himself a bard and thought that he had more the look of warrior. Trouble his mind told him, but he know he'd do well to play along for now. "Kierule." He didn't take the bard's offered hand, just stared at him with his icy, blue eyes, measuring.

The bartender brought over the ordered drinks and the giant, grudgingly nodded his thanks to both the barkeep and Erinhue. "No tales. Sorry to dissapoint. Just an honest man who's wife was traumatized by events during the war."

Both men's attentions turned as a strang looking figure spoke, then moved to the stage. The creature should have been clumsy, and it was certainly filthy, but it moved with a princely grace. Then it began to sing.

Such a macabre song had never been heard in the halls of the inn before.

Kierule shuddered and began to wonder if he should move on sooner than planned.
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Postby erinhue » Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:27 pm

As the odd creature began to sing, the hairs on the back of Erinhue's neck stood up and a prickle shot down his spine. The big man he was sharing a drink with at the moment might indeed be trouble, but this.. this being was danger of a serious sort. Again there was something familiar about this... this singer. Not by the look of it, no Erinhue was certain that he had not seen this body before but there was a frightful familiarity about it all the same.

Agarak was awake, silent but present in his mind. He did not need the little dragon to tell him that this was what it had sensed earlier. The bard could feel it too, a cold presence of undiluted evil. It was not yet at full power but there was no telling at the moment how long that state would last. It was not in its own body, it was using a willing or unwilling surrogate. Erinhue looked up at Kierule who had also realized the evil of the thing on the stage. The bard turned back to watch it with a sort of morbid facination.

What have I stumbled into, he wondered, and how am I going to stumble out of it?
"Where ever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzi

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Postby Fir-Bolg » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:22 pm

There was silence. A good response. The correct response. Then a chair scraped and a female sloped towards the thing, clapping. Irony? The thing's grin settled deeper as she stopped before it, nose tilted defiantly up, a sneer stitched aggressively to her lips.

"Are you insane?" she asked, "Or are you really just that badly looking for a fight? Because, I'm sure I can oblige you, if that be the case."

A hollow laugh rumbled in its chest, and it reached forward with its hand, to brush her cheek, but she flinched away.

"Ah, pretty little thing, you did not like my words? Are they too harsh for your sensitive ears? The truth was ever so."

It turned away from her, dismissing her with a languid wave of its hand, and addressed the watching throng, silent and unmoving.

"For who here can gainsay my words? Your king won his crown through the labours of others. What feelings does he have for you, little folk? Contempt born of his elven lineage. And elven wife." And this last was spat out.

"You are credulous fools. Here you tarry, in the seat of long-forgotten kings. Fornost? A foetid scab, far from this Numenorean king, skulking in his Gondorian halls of splendour."

The words fell like ice crystals from its mouth, to tumble to the floor in shattering sarcasm.

"Kings! By what right do they rule? Birth-right?" And the laughter rolled like thunder from its lips. "A line of vipers. Miscreants who horded wealth and power. And who is this that now demands your allegiance? An elven witch's plaything whose divinity is founded on a broken sword!"

And then the thing stared straight and true at the minstrel, and its eyes blazed like polished onyx.

"This king gives nought but legend. And you fall for it, feasting on fable like a hog to the trough. Who pulls the puppet strings? Elfstar, he calls himself. Elftool is the truth."

It looked again at the girl, leaned forward, and whispered in her ear, the breath warm on her neck. No-one heard the words, if words there were, but she blanched, and swayed as if to swoon, and when she looked again, the thing had passed her and was addressing Touron.

"I have need of a room, barkeep. And hot water, to wash the stench from this body. " And, with a smile and a graceful flourish, it laid a gold crown on the mantel.

"That should, I believe, suffice."
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Postby Tempest » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:16 pm

She listened to his bitter words with a sense of irony, for they had been her words not long ago, not long enough to forget. She understood the contempt that dripped from every syllable, but she was wise enough to also perceive that such hatred was corrosive in nature, and inevitably consumed the one who harbored it.

”I know your kind,” she thought, even as he leaned down and whispered hotly in her ear. His breath sickened her, but the language he spoke in sickened her more, for she recognized the Black Tongue. When she glanced up again, he had moved on to the barkeep, and Erinhue was at her side a moment later. From the way his hand gripped the hilt of his sword, she could guess what would have happened next had the creature touched her.

The bard didn’t speak, but the concern on his face said it all. ”I’m fine,” Tempest answered his unspoken question. ”Just caught me a little off-guard.”

”What did he say to you?” Erinhue whispered.

”It was the Black Speech, used to frighten me. He didn’t realize how much we share in common, for I understood every word,” she spat.

They both stared at the cloaked figure as it faded down the hall, those around giving him a wide berth. ”He said, ‘Every lie must eventually fall. Every mask must finally be torn away.' That's the poison he dripped into my ears. 'Every lie must eventually fall. Every mask must finally be torn away.”

They looked at each other. ”I say, let’s start with tearing away his mask,” Tempest said through clenched teeth.
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Postby Arassuil » Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:55 pm

(OOC: I thought this inn would be writers' characters interacting without scripting, which has happened here suddenly after its slow start. If a writer sees an "in" for a character they have are are developing, then enter the inn in-character. If anyone sees the need for an ooc thread then feel free to start one. :) They do help further develop an emerging storyline that may spin off into its own RP thread. I just have a mixed opinion on ooc threads in general. They do good when they are used to focus on the story at hand and keep the story thread 'clean', but they can detract writing energy from a story when they become chats. So yeah, keep up the great writing everyone. rwhen, would have been interesting to see what your character would have been like. I meant no ill if my last post seemed a diss. :(

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The door was the place to watch while listening to the bard. Duaril narrowed his eyes as two came in. It didn't seem right, but it was not his business. Should he see sign of ill favour, he would act if necessary. But what really bothered him was the one who came to the doorway and watched for a bit. He took it upon himself to announce he had a song and pushed his way to the center of the room. Duaril sat forth but did not stand up. The crowd quieted and Duaril said in the quieting din of the common room,

"Let him be heard! I for one wish to hear."

"Tis always a pleasure to hear something new. What do you have for us?"


Touron said to him.

The song was dark and foreboding.... of ill will toward the Kings of the West it seemed. Many... most in the room seemed to tense when they heard it. More suited it was to a camp of soldiers who had held the line for too long than at an inn. Yet this was Fornost, and since its fall it had a way of bringing out the dirt, even now....

'SCREEEEET'

The woman, the one who had asked if any Rangers had been seen in Fornost when she came in but didn't seem interested in knowing the news he offered, pushed her chair out with a piercing noise that rattled many in the room. Duaril leaned forth upon his left arm as it rested on the table before him while his right went under it.

""Are you insane? Or are you really just that badly looking for a fight? Because, I'm sure I can oblige you, if that be the case."

A fight. Yes, one was brewing, but he had no axe to grind with either. He relaxed slightly, listening to the words spoken. He obviuosly had a grudge against the Kings of the West, and King Elessar and his son Eldorian in particular. He whispered something close to the woman while everyone silently watched. Duaril couldn't make it out, but he did raise the corners of his mouth a bit to give an impression that he may have heard. He then settled with Touron for accomodation. The woman seemed shaken a bit by the whisper. Duaril sat back, seeing that a fight had been averted for now. Still, the chill in the room was thick.

Touron, for his part, looked at the gold crown the man left him as payment. He shrugged and nodded, accepting it and happy he wasn't going to need to replace any stools, chairs, or tables, or have to clean up corpses and blood. He saw Brenae watching the man as he went to his room at the end of the hall, and he barked at her,

'Brenae, there is hot water and a basin ready by the kitchen fire. Since you seemed fascinated with that one, you will take it to him."

Brenae shivered a bit at the thought, but she went back and filled the basin with water that had boiled in the large pot. Touron always kept water hot for tea and baths. She gathered two linen cloths and draped them over her shoulder, then lifted the basin by its two handles and walked out and down the hall. She hesitated outside the door as she listened, not wanting to disturb the strange guest. Tapping the bottom of the door with her foot she said,

"Sir? Your hot water is ready for you..."

The door started to slowly open...
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Postby erinhue » Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:31 pm

”I say, let’s start with tearing away his mask,” Tempest said through clenched teeth.

“It’s good to see you again too, Tempest darlin’. Erinhue smiled at his friend’s predictable response. Something about Tempest always made him want to tease her. She hated it and that made him want to do it all the more. He smiled at her because it was good to see an old friend and also good to know there was one sword that would not be held to his back should worst come to worst.

Worst and worser just might come at that, the bard thought. He mentally tossed a coin and chose the lesser, far lesser of two evils.

“That one can wait, Oh Stormy One. I know him or rather it. We have met before or so I do believe.” He coaxed Tempest back to the table she had been sitting at before the thing delivered its tirade against the king. ‘There is a damsel in distress that is sore in need of rescue.”

“You never could resist a pretty face,” Tempest sneered at him “Or a chance to play at hero.” Then suddenly she smiled. It was good to see a familiar face and Erinhue was one of the few in Middle Earth that she counted as a true friend.
"Where ever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzi

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Postby PatriotBlade » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:25 pm

Kierule wasn't sure what to do. He stared into his ale and tried to decide if he should move on.

He hadn't really slept in days, his 'luggage' always making things difficult and trying to run away. The ale tasted especially good tonight, probably because he hadn't had any for as long as he hadn't slept, but folks here were already getting suspicious, despite his clever tale about being her husband. He couldn't tie her up when he left the room, for fear of someone finding her so he had to keep her heavilly sedated and take a risk of giving her too much. At least in the woods I could tie her to a tree and and gag her for the night, he thought.

Then there was the matter of that creature. That was just bad news incarnate. He wondered if he could stay if he was careful not to get mixed up with it.

Keirule shuddered, the first real emotion he'd shown since arriving at the inn, and took another long pull of his ale -- the one that bard fellow had bought for him. He turned his icy gaze to the man, Erinhue.

He was chatting quietly with the woman that had confronted the thing after it's song.

More trouble. Kierule drained his tankard and ordered another. He was going to stay for the night, then see how things played out.
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Postby Naveen » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:00 am

*

How quickly the mood of the room changed; first with the arrival of an unsavory looking man with his ‘so-called wife’ and now with the entrance from the stairs of a different fellow of nearly the same ilk. What had started out to be a light-hearted evening had now deteriorated into one filled with uncertainty and discord.

Naveen hadn’t liked the first one’s manner when she overheard his speech with the manager. Too many times she had been a witness to the same brutish behavior from the men her mother brought home when she was growing up. She had to almost bite her tongue to stop herself from interfering. And now this newcomer… or was he newly come?

As he stood in the archway, she studied him over the rim of her tankard remembering the odd sounding footsteps that she had heard ascending the staircase earlier. There was no scraping of his feet as he walked to the center of the room. Indeed, his entire body language conveyed an attitude of cocky arrogance with an underlying hint of superiority that certainly didn’t match his looks, filthy and unkempt as they were. Yet there was something else about him that felt odd, she just couldn’t put a finger on it yet.

Alert now, she listened carefully to him as he sang.

"As the kings of men fled south like women
Who cracked whips at their heels?
When the skulls of the fallen were plated with gold
And raised in triumph by the spirits of old
Whilst the crows had their fill
Of the bloated corpses
What did you see with those eyeless sockets?
Just the swarm triumphant, filling their pockets.
Those trifles and baubles.
Those personal things
Are no use to you, abandoned of kings.
Numenorean cattle.
Detritus of battle.
Who remembers your names?"

It was a direct insult aimed at the newly crowned king and it had the desired effect. Shocked silence filled the room and the tension mounted.

‘Who will break it first?’ she wondered looking around the room, passing over those who sat with downcast eyes or slumped further down in their seats as she slowly moved her feet from the chair ready to stand and defend a king who held no claim over her but whom she respected. One foot was on the floor when she stopped; the woman she had noticed earlier had stepped forward.

Resting her elbows on the table, Naveen kept her tankard raised and her eyes on the woman as she approached the arrogant man. ‘Watch and listen’ she told herself ‘before stepping in.’ It was a valuable lesson learned from the past, one she heeded now.

The woman, whoever she was, was brave, for she stood her ground with nary sign of hesitation or fear when he laughed and reached out to try to touch her face, even if she did flinch away from him.

It was when he turned away from the woman and started to address the crowd that Navven was suddenly struck with the answer about what had seemed odd about him before. She studied him closely, barely even listening to his words anymore, watching his every move until she was certain. Then she leaned back in her chair again, wondering what she should do with her newly gained insight.

After the man left the commonroom, the tension started to ease a little as groups of two or three who sat near each other began to talk amongst themselves in low voices. While most argued the utter nonsense of the words there were a few who did not cast aside the seeds of doubt that had been sown.

Naveen listened to the talk for awhile, still watching the woman who had confronted the man. Finally she stood and began to walk across the room towards the bar. She need more time to think and another mug of meade might just help.

*
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Postby Fir-Bolg » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:34 am

The thing reached the room, and clawed the door shut behind it. All composure was lost. It stumbled to one knee, hooked fingers at its cheeks, and then Mullik was groaning in agony, phantom lights exploding before his eyes as he returned from the void. His breath juddered in great gasps, and rivulets of sweat burst forth from his skin. His body, suddenly exposed to reality, shivered ague-like in response, even as the temperature around him plummeted. He lived again, but living was a symphony of pain. His muscles felt twisted out of knowledge, and a scream of agony built deep in his chest. He bit down on his hand to constrain it. Hard. Hard enough for trickles of blood to paint his chin. He must focus. He was Mullik. He had a purpose, although, in truth, his memory rejected him. He was Mullik, but that was the extent of his knowledge, and the breadth of his ignorance induced waves of panic.

I am Mullik, but who is Mullik? What is Mullik?

"What am I?" he asked in anguish, his voice a rasping croak.

On the edge of hearing an answer came, cold and sepulchral, like a stolen breath.

"My slave. But you are discharged."

There was a knock at the door, and a timorous voice called out,
"Sir? Your hot water is ready for you..."

Mullik watched, unable or unwilling to move, as a shadow, black in the dark of the room, flowed to the door. Light flared as the portal opened, and Mullik squeezed shut his eyes, sudden foreboding washing over him. There was a scream, half-issued: muffled, then the sound of a limp body falling and a basin clattering. Boots scraped over wooden boards. The door closed firm, and an urgent, feverish sound filled Mullik's ear: a wet, sucking, slurping.

The Master was feeding.
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Postby erinhue » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:35 pm

Bard! There is no time to loose!

Agarak’s urgent voice sounded in Erinhue’s mind moments before a chilling scream came from the upper floor.

Tempest saw the look on the bard’s face and knew that the harp had spoken to him. Split seconds later she too heard the scream, as did everyone in the taproom.

Together the two of them jumped up from the table and raced towards the stairs. Tempest drew her sword as they took the steps at breakneck speed.

At the bar, Kierule also heard the scream but attributed it to a more personally involved source. He too raced for the staircase and the upper floor.

When Erinhue and Tempest reached the second floor, the disgusting slurping sound that was felt almost as much as it was heard lead them to the proper room. When Kierule saw that it was not the door to the room that he had rented he stopped. Uncertain of what to do he stood at the top of the stair and waited. He did not go to his room although he wanted to check on his supposed wife. He felt that would only serve to draw attention to the room and its captive.

Tempest tried the door but it held firm. “Be useful” she snapped at Erinhue who promptly mustered all his power and threw himself at the door. It burst open to reveal a sickening sight. The body of the chambermaid hovered inches above the ground, her head twisted at an angle that let them know immediately that the poor girl was dead. Mullik cowered a few feet away from the suspended body.

There was something else there. A deeper darkness crouched in the darkened room. It enveloped the girl’s body and covered the area of her throat. The sucking slurping sound came from that direction.

“Let her go you fiend!.” Tempest shouted as she raised her sword and made to step forward. The shadow left the girl’s throat and the limp body dropped to the floor. The silhouette of darkness rose to more than the height of a man and began to slowly flow forward.

"Tempest! No!” Erinhue cried as he jumped in front of his friend, blocking her attack. The shadow continued its forward motion until the bard raised his left hand and shouted, “Clarion, to me.”

The great runesword suddenly appeared in the hand of its master. The shadow froze momentarily and an other worldly shriek rose to chill their blood. The murky form sank to the floor like a low hanging mist. It rushed past them and out the door as if driven on the winds of hell.
"Where ever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzi

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Postby Tempest » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:13 pm

"What in Mordor was THAT?" Tempest gasped, even as she followed the strange sight to the door and stared down the hallway. Catching Kierule standing there with a funny look on his face, she added gruffly, "And a lot of help you were!"

She turned back into the room to find Erinhue examining the fallen girl, who was clearly departed. "What was he doing to her? Was he some sort of vampire? I mean, I know the Dark Lord once took on such a shape, but I thought such things did not exist anymore," she mused, but then caught a glimpse of Mullik attempting to ease past them towards the door himself, and she pointed at him with her sword.

"Don't even think about it, sir. You have a lot of explaining to do!" she threatened, and then called loudly to Kierule, who was still debating his next move in the hallway. "Go downstairs and fetch the innkeeper. And don't cause a panic down there while you're at it!"

Then a thought crossed her mind, and she looked at Erinhue. "Did that THING escape into the main room? There's nothing more we can do for her," she gestured solemnly towards the girl, "but you and Clarion had better go down and make sure that creature isn't making mischief amongst the other guests! I'll watch this savory fellow and wait for the innkeeper. You'd better hurry!"
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Postby Fir-Bolg » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:20 pm

The caving in of the door was like ice water to Mullik's brain. Two figures, a man and a woman, were etched in dazzling light. The woman, the foolish one, screamed rage at the master, and he is not named master for nought. His presence grew and over-shadowed them, threatening to extinguish their light. But, alas, the long passage of time in the void must still affect him, for as the man drew his sword, the master paused, then wavered. He shrank from the challenge, and as smoke was gone.

And what now for Mullik? Could he too make his escape? Perhaps the horror of events would dull his adversaries' reactions. But his bones felt old, and his soul was tired. When the woman pointed her sword at him, and ordered him still, a cloud of apathy descended. He looked down at the figure on the floor, at how the skin of her brow had begun to split. His master had been disturbed, his meal unfinished. Vampire, the woman had said, and Mullik could see the error of her thought. It mattered not. The master would be stronger, and with each passing moment, the life essence he had garnered would enrich him. All Mullik needs do was wait.

It would be hard. Especially with this harpy. See how she barks orders at her associates, a virago incarnate!

With a sigh, Mullik raised a hand to shield the point of the sword.

"You have no need of your weapon, woman. I am one, and you are many. Does fear flow so deep in your veins?" His voice still croaked, unused to his control, but the words had surprising power. He was gladdened to see the flash of anger in the woman's eyes, and his gloom lifted a touch.

"Where would I go?"

"To the pits of Utumno, where you deserve," she spat at him, and tensed as though she meant to run him through. Mullik closed his eyes, to break the spell. There was danger here, but her anger might lead her to carelessness. He must bide his time.

Breath deeply.

And wait....
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Postby PatriotBlade » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:09 pm

In her drugged stupor, Ondine was oblivious to the goings on two rooms over. Her mind was trapped in a nightmare that twisted her memories until she didn't know wha was real and what was her imagination. She whimpered from time to time and occasionally worked up the energy to twitch listlessly.

* * * * *

Relieved that no one was currently messing in his business, and terrified of what he'd just wittnessed, Kierule stood frozen and shaking. He had rarely experienced such fear before in his life.

"What in Mordor was THAT?" Exclaimed the bard-man's lady friend, before turning suddenly and snapping at him. "And a lot of help you were!"

"Not my fight." he muttered to himself, unheard by the others. He was glad it wasn't his fight. He'd only ever run from one thing in his life, but this -- This darkness would be the second thing and with no hint of embarrassment.

He was about to go back and finish his ale when the warror woman turned to him again. "Go downstairs and fetch the innkeeper. And don't cause a panic down there while you're at it!"

Kierule snorted amusedly. Don't start a panic. Right. He started down the stairs anyway.

The manager was standing half way up, trembling and his eyes fixed on something that wasn't there.

He snapped his fingers in the little man's face. "Hey!"

The manager's mind snapped back to the present. "Wh--what?"

"You're wanted up there." His duty done, the giant followed Erinhue into the main room.

* * * * *

The manager had just determined to send his wife to check on the giant's young wife, and if she "just happened" to find information that lead him to believe the man was lying, then he would remove and hide the girl himself.

A blood curdling scream from the thing's room swept all thoughts of the girl and her "husband" from his mind.

Some of the patrons were faster than he was, so he was only halfway up the stairs when a chilling, dark presence swept past him, on its way down. The little man froze mid step and his mind retreated in on itself to escape the evil presence.

He was unsure how long he stood like that, but eventually a gruff voice pulled him back to the present.

"Hey!" The giant was snapping his fingers in the manager's face.

"Wh--what?" He stammered.

The big man jerked his thumb over his shoulder as followed the bard down the stairs. "You're wanted up there."

Not sure he actually wanted to know what had happened, the little man trudged the rest of the way up.
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Postby erinhue » Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:53 am

Once back in the tap room Erinhue carefully looked around but found no signs of the entity that had flowed down the stairs as a dark cloud of misty blackness. He peered into a few faces studying their eyes,but none seemed to be hiding an invader One or two asked when he would return to sing for them again. Uncharacteristiclally, the bard ignored the requests. He heard the snap of fingers and turned around in time to see Kierule send the manager up the stairs.

This reminded the bard of his intent before the chilling scream from the dying maid and refreshed his previous intent. As he walked towards the stairs he called to Kierule in passing.

“With all that;s going on and that creature still out and about, I am going to go check upon that wife of yours if ya don’t mind.”

Erinhue did not care in the slightest if the man minded or not, in fact he halfway hoped he would object. There was clearly something wrong about those two and he meant to find out what it was and make it right.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:10 am

Kierule's temper exploded. He grabbed the other man's shoulder and spun him around, trying to think up a convincing lie at the same time. "If all this rucus didn't wake her, I'm sure set that you're not gonna! She's weak, sick, and mentally unstable. I only have peace when she sleeps!

The bard man just looked at him.

"I don't want to start somethin' here, but I'm not gonna let you disturb her!"

Erinhue spoke grimly. "If you were truely concerned for her, I would have thought you would have run straight there to check on her yourself, especially if she's as weak as you say she is. And I find it disconcerting, friend, how you know she's still asleep, when you have yet to even look in on her since you first came down to the taproom."

"Look, I only come to inns when I need to rest. Too keep her from disturbing the other patrons, and so I can rest, when we stay at an inn, I-- I give her a sleeping draut." Kierule sounded desperate and his voice was high with passion, but his eyes were cold and calculating.
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Postby erinhue » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:56 am

Erinhue listened to Kierule's words and noted the cool anger in the man’s eyes. The bard made an effort to calm his own emotions when his sword Clarion began to hum in greedy anticipation. The vague suspicions were now tweaked to a gut felt understanding of the situation. This man was no husband to that poor girl, he was her jailor or kidnapper or worse. His attitude and actions proved it, and placed him far closer to death than he could know.

The bard grabbed the offending hand on his arm around the wrist, gripping it with enough force to cause the larger man to wince. His grey eyes darkened to the color of a thunderstorm at sea, his smile held a heart stopping chill and his voice was killer cold. When he spoke his words were weighted and his tone carefully measured.

“I am The Warrior/Bard Erinhue of Belfalas, Guild Herald of the Mithril Knights and Lord of House Elitan at Dol Amroth. Touch me again and loose the hand.”

The snarl eased out of his tone when the bard next spoke but his voice lost none of its ice.

“As a master bard I have been well trained in all the healing arts. One might have thought that as a loving husband you would have sought my aid for your ‘wife’ when I came up to you at the bar. If she is sick in the way you say then you would know that I could help her or at least be expected to try. You did not ask and neither do you act in the way a husband would, a loving one or otherwise. “

Kierule's face was a strange mix of emotions that reminded Erinhue of an animal with its leg caught in a snare. His own expression softened into a deadly version of his sucker smile. A taunting sneer flowed behind his next words.

“I call you liar to your face and stand ready to oblige should you want satisfaction for the insult. My suggestion to you ‘friend’ would be to stand aside if you would hold on to your life. I intend to see what troubles that girl and the likes of you will not stop me.”

Without waiting for response, Erinhue turned on his heel and headed back up the stairs.
"Where ever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzi

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Postby PatriotBlade » Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:08 pm

Kierule's face contorted with his thoughts. Expose himself and fight his way out of the inn, or run away and take the chance that his employers might get their hands on him.

When Erinhue again started up the stairs, he bolted into the night.

* * * * *

His anger helped him make short work of the door, not waiting for the key.

The sight of the girl's frail looking form on the bed nearly made the bard cry. She was pale and thin. Her face was twisted as if she were in pain, and her fingers twitched listlessly against her travel worn skirt.

He looked around the room and spotted Kierule's pack on the floor. He looked through it quickly, hoping to gain a sliver of insight of what had been done to her. He shuddered at his findings.

Morning Glory seeds and shavings of Mandrake root were mixed together in one pouch, with Passionflower and Belladonna leaves in another. The poor girl probably was crazy. Hallusenagens and strong seditives. Depending on how long she'd been kept like this, and what other abuses she had suffered, she may never completely recover. A length of coarse rope was shoved deeply in one side of the pack.

He coulden't bear to look any deeper. He left the pack where it lay and moved to the bedside. Rope burns and deep bruses marked the girl's wrists and he feared what other injuries he might find.

OOC: Hue, feel free to take this where you will. What the caracters will later learn is that Ondine is the true heir to a Gondorian title, but to keep her from recieving it when she comes of age, someone hired Kierule to kidnap her and was told he could do anything he wanted to make her insane, but her maidenhood must be kept intact, and she was going to be checked when he finally brought her back to his employers, too out of it to hold her title. END OOC:
Last edited by PatriotBlade on Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Fir-Bolg » Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:23 am

At the far end of the corridor, away from Mullik's room, was a small alcove, with a rough wooden ladder dropping from a square hatch in the ceiling. An open hatch, inky black and unwelcoming.

If you stood below that hatch, at the foot of that ladder, breath held, so silent you could catch the faint sounds of your heart in your chest; if you could stay like this, motionless, for a minute, two, then maybe, just maybe, another sound would brush your ears.

From above, in that dark cavern, an almost imperceptible creaking could be heard, as of old leather bellows rising and falling. Someone; something, alone in the dark, was breathing.
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Postby elora » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:29 pm

A person entering an inn is no unusual thing, Elora told herself as she cracked the door and stepped through. A quick scan confirmed the matter and now she was committed. It had been some time since Elora had been shoulder to shoulder with others, so the buzz within was jolting at first. Still, memory served and she knew this was all pretty "normal" for "company".

There were strange faces unknown, and faces become strange after so long an absence. She sought none of them out, only an empty chair in a quiet space where she could gather her thoughts and shake free of the memories. She found just that and settled in with no small degree of relief. She remembered herself enough to nod, make eye contact, small gestures at appropriate junctures, so assure those around her she was normal, of no particular note.

Elora even managed to obtain a tankard of ale, cheese and bread without having to dip into much unused conversational skills. The tension of her shoulders unknitted somewhat as she sipped the ale. It had been too long, too dark, too long.... strange as all the movement and hubbub was, it felt...... familiar..... was that good? She did not know, yet. Time to sit, watch and find out, she felt. Yes, that would do for now.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:38 pm

Through her nightmares, Ondine thought she sensed someone near her. Afraid it was Kierule she tried to get away, but she felt as if her limbs were tied down to lead weights. Part of her mind knew what would come next.

He'd been drinking, she could smell it, though not as strongly as usual. Now the real pain and humiliation would begin, as soon as she started to wake up. He liked her to be aware of what he was doing to her.

She wimpered.

The resulting touch was surprisingly gentle. Strands of hair were lightly brushed off of her face. Calloused fingers lightly traced over her brused wrists. She tried to cry out again and escape, but she was still too doped up. Her cries for help came out as moans and whimpers and the only movent she accomplished was to sluggishly loll her head from side to side, as her fingers twitched against her threadbare skirt.

Confusion now joined the bubbling cauldron of her thoughts. What new torture had he thought up for her now?
Last edited by PatriotBlade on Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby erinhue » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:49 am

Erinhue drew back his hand when the girl began to whimper. For a moment, pity held him silent and still. In a moment he was struggling with his anger as he pulled the bone handled knife from his belt. Clarion sang in his mind, filling him with a overwhelming desire to go blood hunting for Kierule.

Instead he used the knife to cut the ropes that bound the girl’s hands and chafed her wrist a wounded red. She cried out and struggled weakly, her head lolling listlessly from side to side.

Erinhue drew in a deep, reclaiming breath to help hold him at her side. Raising his hand, he called upon his Ring of Power, Mythweaver, Air Ring of the Wordsmith.
************************<RING ACTION > **************
Erinhue raised the ring to eyelevel and stared at the polished grey stone set in a ring of elaborately carved Mithril Silver. When the bard whispered “Assist Me” in the words of an ancient tongue, the chunk of rubbed smooth limestone grew translucent and began to shine. Like fairy dust the magic of the ring began to swirl around the bard, bathing his face and exposed throat in glimmering light. The power of The Air Ring, Mythweaver would serve to enhance its bard’s already talented voice.
When Erinhue continued, his words were spoken in a soft lullaby lilt designed to comfort, sooth and reassure.
*********************<END RING ACTION>*********************

“Quiet little one, be now at peace. Cast demons from thy dreams and bring thee safely through sleep.”

The girl ceased her attempts at struggle. While she now lay still she continued to breathe in piteous gasps and whimpers.

Erinhue again put down Clarion’s vengeance demanding whine and leaned in more closely to the girl on the bed. She seemed more at peace but Erinhue was not fooled by her relaxed posture. The real struggle was going on within her drug afflicted mind.
Last edited by erinhue on Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby erinhue » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:00 am

"Looks like we are going to have to work for this one, Old Worm," Erinhue thought to Agarak. "That fiend has been doping her with this stuff at increasingly more potent doses and now she wanders dark paths that are too distant for Mythweaver to reach while she is in this state."

There was a single, affirmative note from the dragonharp hovering above and slightly behind its bard's left shoulder.

Erinhue leaned closer still. He put two fingers on each side of her head and whispered into the delicate shell of her ear, "Listen,"

The bard stood up and plucked the floating harp out of the air. He began the motion of sitting down in a chair that simply was not there, and sat sideways down on a stuffed cushion covered lounge. Holding Agarak against his chest, he put his left hand flat upon its strings. As the deep healing tones from the dragonharp,Agarak's voice floated into the room, The Bard of Belfalas began to sing.
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Postby PatriotBlade » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:27 pm

Music. Sweet music filled Ondine's mind. The notes danced through the fog, reminding her of happier times.

She was again a small girl running through the tall grass of the Planes of Rohan. She laughed and squealed with delight as her father pretended to chase her, his dark hair flying behind him in the wind. She dashed into the hut where her mother was putting soup and fresh bread on the table. She dove behind her mother's skirts to hide.

Her father entered the hut, grinning from ear to ear, his brown eyes flashing merrily. "Hello, Beloved." He said in greeting to her mother.

"Hello yourself."

They kissed.

"I really must find her, if we're to have any meat for our soup tonight." he muttered as he moved away and began to methodicly search the small house.

"Who, Darling?"

"You have not by any chance seen a little girl about have you?"

Her mother shook her head, her long blond tresses brushing the top of Ondine's head. "I don't think so. Did she have light brown curly hair?"

"Yes," her father replied.

"Was she barefoot and wearing a red dress?"

"Yes."

"Does she have brown eyes like yours?"

"Yes."

"Sorry. Haven't seen her. I suppose we'll have to have meatless soup tonight."

Her father sighed as he stepped forward to embrace his wife. "I suppose so. But I am so hu- What have we here?" He swooped down and caught Ondine up in his arms.

"Help me, Mamma! It's a hungry tickle monster!"

"No, Ondine, it's two hungry tickle monsters!"

Her shrieks of laughter died away as her memories shifted. She was older, riding hard on the back of a black stallion. She was on the same narrow path she had run as a child, but this time, her home was in flames.

"Mamma!"

There was no answer. Her mother was dead. Her uncle caught her as she slid from the horse and tried to run into the burning hut. He held her tightly until she stopped struggling. He told her that he would take her to Edoras with him and send word to Gondor for her father.

Ondine next remembered meeting her high society, Gondorin relitives: A white hared grandmother who looked on her as a wild creature that was dirty and should be left outside; an uncle that looked like her father, except for his blue eyes, and his frail looking, black hared wife, both of whom welcomed her with open arms. She remembered her aunt comforting her when they got word of her father's fall in Osciliath.


Ondine's memories flickered through the months of grief and stress from the war, then to the night she was taken.

"You can do what you like with her, but she must be, if not insane, then disoriented enough that the council will press the king to declare her unfit to carry the title, but she must be whole! Her maidenhead must be preserved, so that I can wed her once she's deemed too unstable to take her place."

A voice was hissing in low whispers, words she didn't remember ever hearing before, though she remembered this moment. A sack was over her head and she was bound to a saddle. This was the first time she woke up after being kidnaped.

At first she thought it may be another hallusination, but the purity and honesty of the music she heard made her sure that this too was a memory.

She began to sort through the lies Kierule had fed her mind along with the poisons he'd been feeding her body, until one thought remained -- Home. She had to wake up. She had to escape him. And she had to get home. She didn't know how long she'd been away and who knew what other evil plans were endangering the lives of her family.

Erinhue looked up when the girl's whimpers and moans changed to a single word.

"Home."

Her eyes were still closed, but the listlessnes was gone from her now still form. Her breathing slowed to normal and the look of pain melted from her face.

"Home!" she cried again. "Home!"

Her eyes flew open, the dark brown orbs taking in the room. Her tormentor was no where in sight, but a strange man was sitting on lounge, watching her as he strummed a golden harp shaped like a dragon and sang.

Suddenly afraid, she curled herself into a ball.

"W--what are you going to do to me?"
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Postby erinhue » Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:30 am

"What?!" Erinhue jumped back a little, startled by the girl's outcry and sudden movements. "Why madam, I would not do anything to ya at all, not unless you realy wanted me to." The bard laughed at himself and set his harp down on the lounge beside him.

" I am not here to harm you, Little One. In fact I offer you whatever help I can. That vermin bait who was with you before....he's not going to trouble you any longer so not ta worry. " Here Erinhue chuckled. "I'll lay fair wager that he don't want ta see me any longer or again."

He stood up and made a formal if slight bow to the young woman on the bed.

"My name is Erinhue. Bard by trade, Warrior by chance and if my sword can can do you service, you have only to ask." He completed the formal gesture of greeting and flashed her a glimmer of his starbright grin. "And now little one, since I cannot keep calling you that, why don't you tell me your name and just where Home might be found."
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Postby PatriotBlade » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:43 pm

Ondine bit her bottom lip as she watched the stranger. He seemed geuinely affronted that she thought he intended her ill.

When he introduced himself, she gasped a little and sat up, her brown eyes bright.

"I know of you." she whispered. "Y-you will tuely help me get home?"

He nodded.

"And Kier--" she shuddered and couldn't bring herself to say her captor's name. "He is actually gone?"

The warrior/bard nodded again. "He surely is, darlin', and if he should show his ugly face again, I intend to rid him of it."

He could see the battle in her eyes as she pondered whether or not to trust him.

She finally sat up, carefully keeping her skirt over her legs modestly, and nodded. She didn't smile, her face serious abut he could see that she had come to a descission. "I am Ondine, daughter of Setrumier, an Earl and council member of Gondor. He fell with Osciliath. My uncle is my guardian and bears my father's title in trust until I come of age to inherit it."
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Postby Arassuil » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:26 am

(OOC: Patriotblade, Erinhue, Naveen, Elora, & Tempest, thanks for using this inn for some great tale-writing! Its been near 3 months since any new posts. so I was going to move the timeline on to the next day. If you need to add to anything you started feel free to post it. Thanks again, and cheers!

-----

The morning breakfast was somber, with what seemed a death of a worker and all. A wild night it was... stranger than usual, but when everyone reported for work it seemed odd.

"Strange wizardry it was I guess."

Touron said. Marvol and Martli were there, sober, which was saying a lot. Brenae and Dawnae were there also, though it seemed one had some sort of rendezvous with a patron. It wasn't hard to tell, judging by the bedraggled condition Brenae was in Touron would have a talk to her about that as soon as the breakfast feed was done.

They all worked to clean the inn up for the morning breakfast, and none too soon either. The first guest to come into the common room was Duaril. He had been quiet and rather aloof from the local crowd last night, but Touron could see he was one that may have a line on some supplies that were hard to get here in the north. Touron would have to talk to him in private later after breakfast. right now he whispered to Brenae...


"You go take the man's order and be polite about it. And straighten your blouse! I won't have any harlot taking orders from our fine guests!"

Brenae straightened her crumplerd clothes as best she could, and went over with a pot of hot water, a cup, and a strainer of tea leaves.

"Some tea for you sir this fine morning?"

She asked as he sat at the table by the fireplace.

"Yes, that will be fine. and some bread and butter too. That will be all."

Brenae nodded and set the strainer over the cup and poured the water. The aroma wafted up and she smiled. Duril smiled back and nodded.

It wasn't long before others who stayed at the inn started to emerge from their rooms. A few locals too entered, hoping the breakfast fare would be good. The nemu was hotcakes and strawberries, but there was plenty to go around for any who wanted them. Even Durial decided to compliment his bread and butter with a serving. Yes, morning... it was good to wake up in a warm dry bed, not cold and damp on the ground somewhere...
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Postby erinhue » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:27 pm

My uncle is my guardian and bears my father's title in trust until I come of age to inherit it."

The girl's words told the entire story and Erinhue nearly groaned aloud with the sad familiaritiy of the tale.

"Would you like some breakfast. I would recommend that you eat something you need to build your strength to help your body rid itself of those poisons your friend was feeding you. Would you like to try going donwstairs or should I have something fetched up for you here?"
"Where ever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzi

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Postby PatriotBlade » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:33 pm

"I will try to go..." She tried to stand, but her knees gave way beneeth her. She managed to catch herself on the bed and sat gingerly on the edge of it. "I suppose it would be best if I tried again later."

The bard nodded. "I will return shortly."

While he was out of the room, Ondine managed to move around the room. She washed her face, then combed her hair with Kierule's comb before taming it back into a single, long braid. When she didn't find another dress, she slipped out of her dirty, ragged dress and traded it for one of her captor's oversized, clean, white shirts. That accomplished, she crawled back into the bed and covered her legs with the coverlet.

About the time she got settled, there was a knock at the door. "Ondine, it's Erinhue. I'm coming in."

"Come." she called.

The bard entered carrying a tray which he settled across her lap. Hot, steaming tea in a warm mug, two eggs, sunny side up, and a small bowl of poradge. Nothing too heavy for an empty, weakened stomach.

"Thank you, Sir."

A maid carried in another try for the bard and set it on an end table before bowing out, closing the door behind her.
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Postby shaggydog » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:21 pm

Estelmere shook the last drops of water from his hair, pushing it back out of his face, then ran his hand over his jaw. Time for a shave, and a haircut wouldn’t hurt either, he thought. Then again, who was there to complain over his stubble, and the shaggy tendrils that curled past his shoulders? He was always of two minds when it came to the blessed state, (or was it cursed?), of marital bliss. So far, he had managed to come down on the side of being more fond of his liberty than he was in need of, well . . . the many benefits of having a woman by his side. He reached The Shrouds still pondering this timeless question. One of the two heavy doors stood open to the morning light and air. Striding through the entrance, the townsman nodded at Brenae as she left one of the fireside tables and headed towards the kitchen. He noted her disheveled state. Touron would undoubtedly have something to say to the girl; the innkeeper was a bit of a hard nose and liked to run a tight ship. Ah well, it was none of his business, Estelmere mused, claiming a seat. If Brenae came to wait on him, though, he resolved to let off of his usual teasing and treat her a bit more gently.
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Postby Tempest » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:57 pm

As the girl and Erinhue finished a quiet breakfast, there was a soft knock on the door, and the bard rose to answer it. Seeing Tempest's serious face, he stepped into the hallway with her and closed the door behind him.

"Did you find him?" he asked.

"I followed his trail when it became light enough, but he's definitely gone," she replied, wiping her forehead with a gloved hand. "He might double-back, so it would be best to keep a wary eye. Is the girl well enough to travel?"

"Not yet. She needs time to gather her strength again." the bard replied.

"She's not the only one. Curse it all, Erinhue. How did we stumble into trouble yet again? I was hoping for a quiet journey, but I suppose there's no use complaining now." Tempest grumbled.

"Shall I call for some breakfast for you?" he offered.

"No, no. I'll go downstairs myself. These rooms are too drafty, and the fire is nice and warm in the common room. I'll be down there if you need me."

_______________________________________________________________________

The serving girl, Brenae looked a bit frazzled as she waited on Tempest, but the food she brought was good, and soon Tempest found her mood lifting with the smell of coffee and bacon. She leaned back in her chair and cast a glance around the nearly empty room. There were a few friendly faces from the night before, as well as some she did not recognize. But the room seemed bright and cheerful, qualities it had lacked the evening before, and she even nodded good naturedly at Elora and Estelmere, who were sitting on opposite sides of the room.
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