The TORC Conspiracy

This forum is for role-playing within settings that influenced Tolkien (non-Middle-earth). Acceptable styles include for Celtic, Norse, Kalevala, Arthurian, and Anglo-Saxon.

Postby wisteria » Sun Jan 04, 2004 2:31 am

<i>The cacaphony of noise that assaulted her ears upon entering the stair almost made Wiste turn back. Almost. Only the knowledge that her reallife self was being lost forced her onward and upward. Guru's cloak rapidly disappearing in the smoke, she fought to keep up...last thing she wanted was to be left behind.<BR><BR>How long was this staircase, anyway? It seemed to mount ...and mount...and mount. Guru had warned about the smoke, but she couldn't help it. Gasping for breath and fresh air, she paused on the step, woozy and suddenly uncertain. What was she doing here? Was she going up or down?</i>
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Postby Lysandros » Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:41 pm

<b>On the very threshold of the Followers of Eru Guild</b><BR><BR><i>BV listened to Scribble’s reasoning patiently, ignoring the trademark insults and veiled denigrations. The reasoning was somewhat sound though he thought that Lys would probably find fault with it, so he smirked a little, but kept his mouth shut. <BR><BR>HJ then told him not to mind Scribbles, he lifted his eyebrow to suitably imply that such concerns were profoundly beneath him, though he wondered if perhaps he was wasting his time with HJ when he should be focusing on Scribbles, who seemed more on the ball with what was going on. She showed none of the tremendous instability that seemed to be plaguing HJ. As if to reinforce that, he watched, mildly disturbed, while a rapid succession of tortured emotions wracked HJ’s face. Suddenly she just threw herself around him in embrace, which he tried to return, though stiffly. But then, just as suddenly, she tore herself away.<BR><BR>‘Make up your mind lady!’ he was tempted to exclaim. <BR><BR>She then coaxed him inside the tent. He was not forgetful of the nature of this place, and he hesitated. But he looked at her face and saw a strange expression, much of it was imploring him to follow, but plain to see was panic and terrified self-loathing. Part of HJ did not want all this to happen, between Lysandros and Bardhwyn. The kiss the night before was an unfortunate indulgence. Yet while BV and HJ might recoil from it, Bardhwyn was battling for more. It was a chink in the armour that something compelled him to take advantage of. Some sort of end that was hidden from him would be served by it. And so BV went forward; besides, the thought of defiling the Followers of Eru tent with his tainted soul was rather amusing.<BR><BR>Inside, he was stunned at how much the ambience reminded him of the lame fundraiser activities he had been compelled to take part in during his catholic elementary school days. It even smelled the bloody same! And none of their party were to be seen amidst all the sickening peace and tranquility. HJ seemed unsure what to do with herself, and BV felt no different.</i><BR><BR>“Coffee?” <i>He gestured and offered at the same time.<BR><BR>After a moment HJ realized that she had been addressed, sort of, and she replied,</i> “Tea, please.”<BR><BR><i>In a moment BV returned with cheesy little Styrofoam cups filled with their respective poisons. For a moment they quietly sat on a bland couch, before BV began to pry.</i><BR><BR>“Bardhwyn, have you been here before?” <i>He knew full well that she almost certainly had not.<BR><BR>After another sip she replied quietly, without looking at him,</i> “I don’t think so.”<BR><BR>“Do you know where we are going afterwards?” <i>He didn’t really care about that, but he needed some sort of set up to press things.</i><BR><BR>“Sort of. I think so.” <BR><BR><i>He went straight for the throat, there was no sense wasting time on being artful, that was far from Lysandros’ style anyway…</i> “Do you want me to come with you?”<BR><BR><i>He left it short and simple, if her answer was unclear, he was already contemplating drastic action and there was no sense wasting time. He bolted his gaze on her and hopefully softened his eyes, leaving his lips parted only slightly; childlike innocence and puppy-dog hope was the angle he was trolling; and he waited. Her lips pursed and twitched, and she blinked several times. Her face turned suddenly towards him; upon it was a tormented expression. But even as her gaze fell fully on him it dissipated into a pensive and uncertain happiness. It was like the Bowman RP come to life right before his eyes; Bardhwyn’s love for Lysandros was strong, inexplicably so, considering what Lys was like, but that meant sweet jack all to BV at that moment. The important thing was that he could exploit whatever weird-arsed-RP-versus-Real Life cross-wiring that was going on in HJ’s head to his advantage. He was safe as long as she was around to sweet-talk.<BR><BR>And this revelation was just in time it seemed. Before HJ could answer, SilverScribe came striding up, her steely gaze fixed hard on BV, as if relishing what she was about to say.</i><BR><BR>“Well, it has been nice Lysandros, but I am afraid we must leave you here. You cannot come where we are going. You belong back with your Bowman. I have no time to explain it, but please just accept something I have to say for once! Bardhwyn, are you ready to go?”<BR><BR><i>This gambit was not unexpected, and BV rose as if in protest, but really he just wanted to keep himself in HJ’s field of vision while she answered Scribbles. <BR><BR>Slowly HJ looked up, and BV looked at her as if still waiting for his question to be answered. His gaze pelted down and though he was trying his best to maintain the pressure, he could not help but notice HJ’s reluctance to answer. But at last something broke, and in almost an apology she addressed Scribbles.</i><BR><BR>“I need him to come with me Scribbles. For a while longer at least.”<BR><BR><i>The annoyance on Scribbles’ face was plain, and her imperious stare made it clear to HJ that this was something they would sort out later. BV knew that she was only yielding because time was pressing. Curtly she answered while wheeling away,</i><BR><BR>“Come on then. The stair is this way.”<BR><BR><i>BV repressed his glee at her frustration. Instead, he gave HJ a thankful smile and held out his hand for her. She rose and took it. She smiled wanly, guilty for giving in once again, yet the squeeze of her hand while they followed Scribbles told BV that at least part of her was pleased.</i><BR>
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Postby SilverScribe » Wed Jan 07, 2004 10:14 pm

<BR>Scribbles turned a sensitive ear as the strains of a hauntingly familiar tune began to echo softly in the background. Her eyes narrowed, but she simply could not place it. Shrugging it off, she excused herself.<BR><BR>She left the group and headed for the outside perimeter of the tent, thinking that there might be a hidden flap or a well disguised opening to the door or entrance they sought. But a complete circuit of the tent turned up nothing more than a blushing couple caught smooching behind a stack of chairs, discarded bits of folded papers and a couple of very fat rats.<BR><BR>She ended up a short distance from the refreshment table and the bench where she could see the Master Archer and Bardhwyn sitting and talking. She hoped with an almost white hot hope that Bardhwyn was dumping their unwanted TORC "pet". The last thing she wanted was Lysandros the Big and Gigantic Walking Ego prying and nosing about and just generally being a Big and Gigantic Pain in the Arse.<BR><BR>Her attention drifted across to the back of the tent to where the group seemed to be gathered in an alcove where the music seemed to be coming from. Something was going on. She hurried over in time to see Guru start into what appeared to be a concealed tunnel. The rest of the group shifted uneasily so she ducked into the opening. Guru was standing a few feet away, looking up a strangely dusty stairway. "I need to get the Archer," Scribbles muttered to herself, and nodded to Wisteria as the pretty weaver entered, following Guru.<BR><BR>She came back out into the tent and looked back towards Bardhwyn and the Master Archer, her keen eyes narrowing. The Master Archer was speaking softly and his expression was sickeningly sweet and pleading. A thought sprung unbidden into her mind, he was up to something. The character of Lysandros was not a tender man, he wouldn't know a genuine feeling if it leaped up and bit him on the end of his . . . she decided instantly and strode over to the couple.<BR><BR>“Well, it has been nice Lysandros, but I am afraid we must leave you here. You cannot come where we are going. You belong back with your Bowmen. I have no time to explain it, but please just accept something I have to say for once! Bardhwyn, are you ready to go?”<BR><BR>She glared at the Master Archer, daring him to argue with her as he rose slowly to his feet. But he did not argue, he simply looked back down at Bardhwyn and Scribbles inwardly groaned. Oh, he was smart all right. She clamped her jaw tight as Bardhwyn's quiet plea came, not that it was totally unexpected. She fixed the Archer with a baleful glance, how could she endanger them like this? Long moments passed, but Bardhwyn did not change her mind. The peredhel inwardly cursed the weakness of mortals, then spun away. They had no time to waste here, they would have to 'deal' with the Master Archer down the line. Privately, Scribbles entertained gleeful visions of knocking Lysandros cold and leaving him in a Forum the character did not frequent. Like Fandom. <BR><BR>"Come on then. The stair is this way,” she threw over her shoulder as she stalked back towards the music and the organ.<BR><BR>She entered the tunnel without even looking to see if the two Dalers followed. A cautious sniff of the air once more triggered a maddening sense of deja vu, but she brushed it off. She began to ascend the strangely dusty stairs, focused only on the light that seemed to glow up ahead, beckoning her onward.<BR><BR>
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Postby Bardhwyn » Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:00 pm

<b>Still in Room 536, The Holiday Inn, somewhere in Southern California... a short while ago...</b> <BR><BR><i>“Guys, can you get me in there?” Muldar asked.</i><BR><BR><BR>Langly, Frohike and Byers froze where they stood, immediately entranced by the FBI Agent’s suggestion. It would be the hack job of the millennium! Their reverie was broken suddenly by Scully.<BR><BR>“MULDER! No! You can’t!” Scully paced quickly to the group of men, the cheap window sheers stirring behind her as she did so. “Have you forgotten the last time we got caught up with video… virtual…combat games?!”<BR><BR>“Scully! Scully! That was different, very different.” Muldar said with an expression of confusion – for he was genuinely surprised that she would compare the two situations. “Can’t you see?” He said, gesturing at the bank of pc’s “This is on a completely different level...”<BR><BR>“How? How is this different, Muldar?” Scully insisted. “Explain to me what is different!”<BR><BR>“Why…its like.. I mean… don’t you understand? It isn’t at all like…” Muldar stopped and raked his hand through his hair. She was referring to, of course, the live action video huntress that ran amok, killing people with broadswords. Muldar looked down at his partner, exasperated. He hated it when she stared at him like that. Blue eyes that scorched. He looked over at the three geeks. “Guys, help me out here.”<BR><BR>Langly, Frohike and Byers all began speaking at once, throwing out a cacophony of words that meant nothing to Scully; nano-centrino resonance scanning, virtual real time digitized electro encephalographic hologram imaging. Scully allowed the words to wash over her as Muldar picked various Diet Pepsi cans, looking for one unopened.<BR><BR>Scully held up both hands. “Stop…Stop! STOP!” She bellowed. The three geeks fell silent. “Will one of you please speak English?” Scully asked.<BR><BR>Langly, Frohike and Byers looked at each other, each one expecting one of the other two to speak. Langly cleared his throat, finally.<BR><BR>“Well, Scully in that situation, er, before with the chick with the sword, that all occurred in a three dimensional environment facilitated by the imaging visor. Remember you had a visor on?” Langly asked, nervously hoping she was following along. <BR><BR>Scully nodded but with a definite ‘I am not convinced’ look in her eye. “Three dimensional environment,” she repeated. “You mean that huge warehouse we were in.”<BR><BR>“It wasn’t a warehouse, exactly,” Frohike interrupted, “but a full scale game room. You see, the beauty of this system is that there *is no game room* – or ware house. There isn’t a visor, either. You get sent into the virtual environment.”<BR><BR>Scully knitted her eyebrows.<BR><BR>“You get sucked into the game, is what he means.” Byers finished.<BR><BR>Scully’s blue, cold gaze rested consecutively on each of the three men. They’d succeeded only in telling her what she already knew. She had to concede that yes, this was different, however. There was no 'game room.' Scully turned to Muldar, who was busy picking mushrooms off a rather old piece of cold pizza and allowed her hands to drop from her hips with a small sigh.<BR><BR>“All right, Muldar. This is different. If anything it is more dangerous and that certainly isn't a good enough argument for you or anyone else to go in there. Not with so many unknowns and not when we can look for those people by other means.”<BR><BR>“What other means, Scully?!” Muldar retorted. “Haven’t you been listening, they’ve got that system better protected than NORAD – and it is no wonder! We can’t poke around, there is no place to poke. Sure we can read these stories that seem to go on and on for ever... I mean it makes you wonder if these people have a life... but those stories won’t help us. The weakest point in their whole system is the point of entry. It is the only way.”<BR><BR>“Muldar, you don’t know what you’ll find once you’re in there! It is too risky.” Scully replied.<BR><BR>“Yeah, I don’t know what is in there and yeah it is risky, alone. So come with me, Scully.” Muldar said, careful to put on his ‘come on, you can’t resist me’ face’.<BR><BR>“Oh don’t worry about losing your way in there.” Frohicke said. “We can orient you, get you a site map, we might be able to fix up some two way communications if we can calibrate the frequencies accurately… in fact I know we can. All we need to do…”<BR><BR>“Guys. GUYS! LOOK AT THIS!” It was Langly. He had drifted back to his console and rewound the webcam data stream from the camera Muldar had planted in the TORC Admin office. He was jabbing at the flat screen and finding it hard to catch his breath.<BR><BR>Crowding around behind him they all watched the video stream play a continual loop; an image of the TORC offices 30 minutes old: a picture of Jon coming into view, dressed in a strange costume holding a large pizza and, after pressing a few keys on a nearby keyboard, the man straightened up and then dissolved into the nearest pc.<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>“You’re right, Muldar.” Scully said in a low monotone. “This is different. Very different.”<BR><BR>"I think you might have to change your clothes." Byers said, slowly.<BR><BR>“Come on Scully.” Muldar said. “Let’s go.”
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Postby lalatiel » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:46 pm

<b>Between Forums... ish</b><BR><BR>Lalatiel leaned back in her chair, trying to get her long, dark hair off her face for the umpteenth time. It seemed to have a penchant for clinging to her cheeks and forehead. The most irritating part was, she couldn’t do anything about it, the TORC world not seeming to have any place where should get pick up a ponytail holder- or even a pencil, for that matter- and Praycien not seeming to have any on her. It was infuriating. Out of force of habit, she picked up her hair and wound it around an imaginary ponytail holder, then frowned, dropping it. She picked it up again and her frown deepened. Its texture was unfamiliar and rather disturbing- it crunched, like she’d just bleached it, but it was as dark as ever. She shuddered.<BR><BR> This only made her want to get it off her face more, and she searched the Guild for a way to distract herself. She certainly got it. After a short conversation with Bardhwyn, Scribbles gestured toward a tunnel that certainly hadn’t been there five minutes ago and walked into it. After exchanging glances, Lysandros and Bardhwyn followed. Lalatiel leapt to her feet and scuttled after them, having no particular desire to be left behind in a forum where one could be lost as easily as saying your name.<BR><BR> Inside the tunnel was a flight of stairs. They were dusty, as though they hadn’t been used in a long time. Or ever. She couldn’t imagine these backways were frequented all that often by the average TORCer. <BR><BR> As she placed one foot in front of the other, up and up, she became conscious of an ache in her knees. <i>And I’ve climbed, what, fifteen of these?</i> she thought, rolling her eyes. <i>Why didn’t I write this character to be more in shape?</i><BR><BR><i> Then again, I didn’t write her to be </i>not<i> in shape,</i> she reasoned. <i>Actually, I didn’t particularly write her to be all that much at all, come to think of it. Dark hair. Gray eyes. Something about an outfit. Not that much personality. Huh. Wonder why I turned into her then. I did have other characters, didn’t I? Not that they were much better. Well, not much I can do now.</i><BR><BR> And so she resumed climbing, wearily following Bardy’s dusty footsteps and trying not to think of her aching knees.
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Postby Bardhwyn » Sun Jan 25, 2004 9:57 pm

…and Bardhwyn delighted in the touch of his hand. His <i>hand</i>, he actually gave her his hand… to take… and hold! She squeezed it slightly, trying desperately not to break out in a girlish grin.<BR><BR>Somewhere in the recesses of her mind Bardhwyn thought she heard a slight whimper.<BR><BR><i> ‘You’re just envious.’ Bardy said.<BR><BR>‘Envious? Damn right I am envious.’ HJ replied. ‘Man, this is torture – you have no idea…</i><BR><BR>This frank response shocked the Archer as she pulled herself up the stairs, the Master Archer following only slightly behind her to the right. Lalatiel quietly followed behind and to Bardhwyn’s left – the Elf looked a bit troubled.<BR><BR>But so did Bardhwyn. She cast quick glances at both Lysandros and Lalatiel, expecting them to be as surprised by HJ’s response as she was. They, of course, couldn’t hear her.<BR><BR>"Are you all right, Lalatiel?" Bardhwyn asked. The Elf looked up and smiled faintly before nodding. She then knitted her eyebrows and put her head down so to continue the climb.<BR><BR><i>'Silly me. Of course they didn't hear!' Bardy chided herself.</i><BR><BR>Most likely all they heard was the shuffling of the company’s feet on the dusty stairs and the minor complaints that arose, as the stair seemed to wind endless upward.<BR><BR><i>’Torture!? What is so tortuous?’ Bardhwyn asked – silently.</i><BR><BR>Bardy could make out faint rumblings and words she didn’t understand. Just as well, they sounded crude.<BR><BR><i>‘Like I have to TELL YOU?!’ HJ retorted, finally. <BR><BR>‘Yes, you have to tell me.’ Bardy insisted.<BR><BR>‘No. I don’t.’ </i><BR><BR>This reply startled Bardhwyn so she stopped dead in her tracks. After two steps, so did Lysandros – he had to, Bardhwyn wouldn’t let go of his hand. Lalatiel, set in the rhythm of the climb, passed her and the Master Archer, following the others. Lysandros spoke but Bardhwyn paid no heed - she was listening to this inner voice, a voice she knew so well, a voice that was a part of her since… since she could remember. But in that instant, didn’t recognize at all. The tone had changed; the resonance no longer had contrast, the words were no longer sparked with inspiration. <BR><BR>Suddenly Bardhwyn felt very alone.<BR><BR><i>‘I don’t understand..’ Bardhwyn said silently.<BR><BR>‘This is too much.’ HJ replied. ‘Sol, we managed – I managed, but only just. This is too strong. This love is … too strong. You win, Bardy. I give up. I’m going now. This is the end. Goodbye.’</i><BR><BR>“NO!” Bardhwyn called out, aloud. Her cry echoed up and down the Stairway to Heaven.<BR><BR>“No, what?!!” Lysandros asked, looking both concerned and perturbed – he looked at his hand wondering if he had hurt her.<BR><BR>“What is wrong back there?!” Scribbles voice called out from up ahead.<BR><BR>“Oh Lys!” Bardhwyn cried. “She’s gone!”<BR><BR>“Who’s gone?”<BR><BR>Bardhwyn looked up into Lys’ eyes – it was only then she realized the walls emitted a soft light enabling them all to see. From up ahead she could hear the sound of footsteps descending. The curls of smoke seemed to thicken the farther they climbed up.<BR><BR>“Who? Nothing… no one…I…” Before she realized it, Bardhwyn had hopped up a step, tucked both arms around the Master Archer and kissed him, passionately. Surprised, he accepted it… and it seemed to Bardhwyn he even enjoyed it. She’d kissed him enough before to tell. He broke the kiss off, however and was clearly befuddled.<BR><BR>“I do love you, Lysandros.” Bardhwyn said. “You know that, don’t you?”<BR><BR><BR>“All Right!” It was Scribbles. “What in the BLUE BLAZES is going on NOW?” <BR><BR>“I dunno!” Lysandros insisted. “She stopped, cried out, said ‘She’s gone!’ and then she, well…” Lysandros stammered to a stop, gently pushing Bardhwyn away. Scribbles looked intently at Bardhwyn for a moment before repeating the question:<BR><BR>“Who’s gone?” The Peredhel asked, narrowing her eyes slightly. <BR><BR>Bardhwyn looked at her, then looked about – up and down the stair. She was quiet for a few uncomfortable moments before it suddenly occurred to her:<BR><BR>“Nessa.” She answered. “Nessa’s gone…and the child!”
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Postby Bardhwyn » Tue Feb 10, 2004 10:38 am

<a href='http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?catid=37&threadid=76932' target=_blank>a post</a>
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Postby Scribbles » Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:40 pm

<BR>She stopped, listening. She heard Bardy cry out, something about someone being gone. Sighing, she began to retrace her steps, going <i>*down*</i> the stairway to Heaven. "Hmm, I wonder if going this way means we're going to Hell in a Handbasket," she muttered to herself grumpily. "If that dratted Lysandros is involved, then I'm absolutely positive that's what it means."<BR><BR>She rounded one of the turns in the staircase and sure enough, there they were. The Archer and the Master Archer, looking for all the world like two teenage villagers caught in a clinch behind the haywagon. Lysandros pushed Bardy away, with what Scribbles thought was a Grade A Prime guilty look.<BR><BR>She repeated her question and finally Bardhwyn answered. “Nessa. Nessa’s gone…and the child!” <BR><BR>Scribbles bit her lip and resisted the urge to shake the Archer. Drawing a deep breath, she let it out slowly before she spoke.<BR><BR>"Bardy, Nessa and Katie went up first, it was Katie that found the hidden door. Now come on," here she fairly glared at the Master Archer, "and stop messing around. We need to get through Choirs quickly."<BR><BR>She turned on her heel and began climbing the stairway again, not even stopping to rest on the few landings that for some inexplicable reason, always made the stairway turn just a little bit in a new direction. She was getting the feeling that she was going in circles . . .<BR><BR>Finally, the light brightened - a lot. She topped the last stair and stepped through a huge archway. To her right, a low, pearly white railing separated what looked like a fairly standard choir loft from a huge, echoing expanse. Peering over the railing, she got a huge surprise. Instead of the canvas tent, she caught blurry, shifting glimpses of what looked like a cathedral that would rival St. Pauls in London. <BR><BR>St. What's in Where? She blinked. Now where in Middle Earth had that come from? Frowning, she looked left, up the ranks of benches that marched into darkness. Well, the Choirloft of Eru was here, but where was the Choir? Aside from the huddled group of trapped TORCers, the loft was deserted. But more important, where was the door to the next forum?<BR><BR>She was considering climbing up into the darkened reaches of the loft to search when a strange, melodic humming caught her sensitive ears. She strained, were they about to hear some of the otherworldly music of the Ainur? Suddenly, the humming sound began to get louder. She looked around to see Bardhwyn and Lysandros finally emerging from the stairway.<BR><BR>Someone gave a choked shout. She joined the group in time to see someone raise a shaking hand to point at the far wall. "What in all the Seven Halls of Hades is THAT!"<BR><BR>She was struck speechless. Growing larger by the second, a strange multicoloured vortex like <i>thing</i> was swirling and spinning, looking for all the world like a large, glowing worm eating its way through one of the solid stone walls of the Choir loft.<BR><BR>She thought back to the TORC *Rehab*. "I have a very bad feeling about this," she muttered.<BR><BR>
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Postby Nessamelda » Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:32 am

<b>In the choir loft of Eru</b><BR><BR>Katie looked at her mother. She coughed. "It's dusty and horrible in here. And the music hasn't got any better." The pipe organ in the background was still grinding out the familiar strains of Stairway to Heaven over and over again. While Susan probably wouldn't confess to it publicly, it was a tune that she actually quite liked Or had liked once. Now she would even have swapped it for Katie's "Barbie's Summer holiday Funtimes CD" complete with the Ketchup song and Hammy the bloody Hamster's squeaky rendition of impenetrable awfulness.<BR><BR>The others caught up. Susan raised an eyebrow when she saw Lysandros and Bardhwyn holding hands. There were times and places for that, and right now she didn't think was either...Then she looked down at Katie, who had suddenly stopped complaining, and was staring fixedly at Bardy and Lysandros. "Oh no," thought Susan, "she's going to make some embarassing remark." And she did, although it was not what Susan had expected.<BR><BR>"She's gone" said Katie softly, looking up at the archer's scarred face. "He' s still here, although you said he wasn't. But the lady isn't there any more. She isn't real any more."<BR>To Katie's innocent eyes, Bardy had suddenly become flat and one dimensional, a shadow walking through the world, with no existence of her own... unlike Lysandros. She turned to her mother and looked worriedly at her. No she was still OK. A little taller and thinner than she should be, sterner of face perhaps. But mummy was still in control, at least for now.<BR><BR>Then the world fell apart. A bright spinning light, a tornado of brightness was approaching them eating away the wall, coming closer and closer. Katie screamed, and Susan grabbed her tightly.
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Postby Guruthostirn » Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:21 am

<strong>In the choir loft of Eru</strong><BR><BR><em>RLM stood in the choir loft, listening to the music. It was breathtaking. In the notes of the music he could feel every song he'd ever heard reflected. Multiple harmonies, more lines of music than he could comprehend, all blending into a single, beautiful melody. The writer of this symphony was skilled beyond belief.</em><BR><BR>*It is the music of Eru.*<BR><BR>*Huh?*<BR><BR>*This must be one of the themes of Eru, from before the creation of Middle Earth.*<BR><BR>*Oh, right...*<BR><BR><em>RLM knew it couldn't be the case. This world they were in, it was fictional. Eru didn't exist. There had to be some other explanation for this music. But RLM was here, and he didn't know how he was here. Explanations would have to wait.<BR><BR>Looking out from the choir loft RLM could see a great hall. Vaulted with graceful arches of stone the hall seemed to go on forever. But there seemed to be no way down to the floor from the choir loft. RLM looked around, but couldn't find a stair or anything. However he did find that the choir loft was immense. And as anticipated, it was not empty. The group had come out from the hallway from the Followers of Eru tent in a small corner, blocked by a massive pillar of stone. Standing on the other side RLM looked up into the main section of the choir loft. People moved throughout it, often standing together in groups, or sitting on benches, chatting. This was clearly the manifestation of the Choirs of Eru forum. Now the conspirators just had to find their way out.<BR><BR>From his vantage point RLM could see no obvious exit. But there was nothing unusual in the choir loft. Along one wall were many doors, but judging by how tired the people looked who went in, and how the people leaving were rubbing their eyes, RLM guessed that they were dormitories. But there was one door that seemed different, with a swinging sign over it. The people who were entering were chatting happily, and a few of the people leaving were staggering. A pub or bar. At least the conspirators could get some drinks.<BR><BR>Screams behind him distracted RLM from his examination of the choir loft. Spinning, he saw the rest of the conspirators had made it through the tunnel, which was now closed. RLM could see where it had been though. But the people were screaming for another reason. A strange swirling vortex of color had appeared, hanging over the balcony of the choir loft. RLM recognized it. He’d seen several similar vortexes back in the TORC dungeons. And it was approaching the nearest cluster of people, who seemed frozen by fear.
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Postby Leoba » Thu Mar 18, 2004 4:10 am

<strong>Onwards and upwards into the choirloft..</strong><BR><BR><BR>HM's stomach lay twisted up in a lumpen knot as she hesitated at the bottom of the mysterious stairway. She was already regretting the stale digestive biscuit she'd helped herself to from the table; somehow it seemed infused with age-old dust and the lingering vapour of incense. At least, the biscuit was the easiest explanation for her current state of distracted tension. Every sinew in her body felt like a coiled spring, but unaware of the direction in which it would explode.<BR><BR>The others had all gone ahead, all except SB, who had slipped from sight again. HM tried to suppress the urge to go back outside the pavilion and look for him. Ever since they'd had that stupid spat outside the Eldars' not a word had been breathed between the two and the young woman was frustratingly adamant that she was not about to break the silence. <BR><BR>Anorast called back, his voice a lonely echo in the between-forum-void. "Are you guys coming or what?"<BR><BR>"Yes.. yes… in a minute", HM failed to hide the note of worry that wreathed her voice.<BR><BR>Leaving her small scrip, stuffed with provender, lying against the organ she back-tracked out behind the canvas tent, her eyes casting about here and there for sight of the tall dark handsome arrogant and difficult son of Dale. <BR><BR>"AW…. SB…. Alex…." She called, hissed, seethed. But of course there was no answer. <BR><BR>All the calm, collected even tones of her RP character's nature had been overwritten, perhaps in the strangeness of being dragged into the sort of place her character or indeed her real self would never go. She had always had to concentrate so hard to write Leoba, always thought of her as the sweet, confident and above all well-thought out version of herself - a Mary Sue of the worst type. But when crossed with her real life persona, the ability to think before speaking ran out of the window and down the lane. <BR><BR>"Stupid bloody men", HM muttered, not really under her breath. "Well rot then, see if I care!" she yelled into the nothingness of a two dimensional world.<BR><BR>Her eyes stinging with the salt of disappointed tears, HM grabbed her bag and scurried up the staircase, following her fellows' fading voices and the increasingly potent harmony that emanated from the loft. <BR><BR>She emerged from the tunnel just in time; pulling herself through onto the dust-strewn floorboards of the gallery, the hatch-way swung too behind her, clasping the corner of her cloak in its wake. She dug in her heels, scraping the tip of her sword scabbard into the wooden flooring as she tugged to free herself.<BR><BR>"Here, let me", Elenath stepped forward, slicing the cloak free with a long knife, leaving only a small dark blue swatch of wool behind.<BR><BR>Momentarily she thought again of SB left behind that door, but pushed the thought back into the darkest recesses of her heart; it was her way of dealing with the undealable, leaving it to be worried about another day. <BR><BR>The loud breathing besieging her ears was swiftly replaced with the irrepressible harmony that had assailed them from below. The others were stood rooted to the spot, staring in abject terror at the whirling vortex wending its violet and amber way towards them.<BR><BR>Suddenly an unmistakable humming began to weave itself about them. It was reminiscent of summer, of lazy days luxuriating in the warmth of the afternoon sun. That same measured weightiness began to spread through HM and she would have sworn she could taste oranges and smell honeysuckle. Something clicked and the weight of tension that came with her mortal self began to recede. All she could feel and all she wanted was the glorious music. <BR><BR>HM took a step forward, her arms outreaching, her body swaying slightly and her voice, clearer than she had ever known it, uplifted to join in the song. <BR><BR>
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Leoba
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Postby lalatiel » Sun Apr 04, 2004 7:40 pm

Lalatiel collapsed against the walls of the choir loft. She had never liked stairs, but this was ridiculous. Her face was covered in a fine glaze of sweat, which in normal circumstances she would have found disgusting. Her knees didn't seem to have the strength to hold her up anymore, and she slowly slid down the wall to the floor. <BR><BR> Music echoed in her ears. Behind a growing headache, she thought vaguely, this is nice. I wonder if I can get the soundtrack next payday... oh, wait. TORC doesn't have paydays... does it?<BR><BR> Suddenly she heard a shriek, and several more. An air of panic was filling the loft, and she lifted her head and opened her eyes. For a moment she couldn't see what was causing her companion's distress, and then it entered her vision. A painfully bright, swirling vortex, across the loft from her. She could feel it's power everywhere in the room... like a whirlpool. <BR><BR> She leaned her head against the wall and closed her eyes. If it came any closer, she didn't know if she had the strength to fight it...
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Postby Cotume » Mon Jun 21, 2004 8:11 am

The Prancing Pony


As Cotume rode, the smell of blood became steadily stronger. She wove between the trees with incredible speed in search of her enemy. The smell was now very near.
The half-orc slowed her horse to a canter and took a swig from the bladder stowed in the saddle bag. As she did so she stopped dead. A muffled sobbing was coming from very close by. Cotume listened silently, a sickening smile creeping across her pale face. They were here, both of them. They were injured and there was no sign of their loyal steeds.
Cotume dismounted Red Flame and approached the sight of the noise, unsheathing her sword as she did so.
As she took in the scene in front of her, though by rights she should have been beaming, she was not. Her eyes were met by a grim sight. Lindonbayne, her adversary, lay sprawled against a tree in a large pool of blood. She lay, unmoving, her right arm had several large gashes in it, but the blood was not coming from them. It came from the sight of an arrow, barely portruding from her young flesh. As she watched the paler than normal elf maiden, Cotume became dissorientated. She felt violently nauseous, her head span, she felt as if her blackened soul was being wrentched from her body. Amidst her confusion, she suddenly saw a strange likeness to herself in Lindonbayne's greying face, but this soon faded and she returned to nomality, to the restrictions of her mortal body. Cotume's eyes lay fixed on Lindonbayne's unconcious form, contemplating what she had just experienced, unaware her faithfull companion was still in the land of the living. She too, had several seeping wounds, but she was able to stand.
And it seemed, to fight.
Hitharien drew her sword, now severely nicked and covered in drying blood, and started towards the bemused half-breed with an anger she had never known before.


You killed her! The foundling screamed, lunging at the half orc.
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Postby wisteria » Tue Dec 14, 2004 7:54 pm

Wiste's mind swirled as the vortex grew in front of them. Desperately she tried to remember the order of the forum on the TORC board. What came after the Choirs of Eru? They had to get to the top. The only way out was to find the Administrators and tell them what happened.

But she had been too long in the cyber world of TORC and her memories blurred as the vortex closed over them, one-by-one. She felt herself lifted up, spun and had a fleeting thought about the Wizard of Oz and Kansas before plummeting to the ground once more.

Dazed, she lay still, taking stock. Keeping her eyes tightly shut, she tested each joint slowly, afraid to find something broken. But aside from some bruises, there was no pain. In fact, there was nothing.

She opened her eyes to a sight that made her breath catch and her heart beat with sudden dread. Above her stretched a multi-colored sky, the hues of red and blue mingling in every shade of purple that faded to yellows and greens.

She tried to sit up, but found, instead of solid ground, the substance beneath her was malleable and buckled and formed and slid and reformed as she tried to stand. The others lay close by and she called out to them.

"This isn't where we were supposed to be. Something's happened. The forums are mixed up!"
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Postby wisteria » Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:53 pm

Even as she spoke, the ground heaved, sending her rolling down a hill that hadn't been there a heartbeat before. What was going on? How many changes could one land make and still exist? She had a feeling she was about to find out...
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