The TORC Conspiracy

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Postby Nessamelda » Mon Oct 14, 2002 5:18 am

<b>In a secret location, in an undisclosed cell…that is rapidly getting much noisier </b><BR><BR>Katie was torn between excitement and terror. She had been lost in the backways of the Eldar Estate, and that had been definitely exciting. The dark stranger offering to take her home was interesting, although she knew she shouldn't talk to strangers or go off with them, but after all she hadn't had any choice in the matter so she hadn't been naughty. And sooner or later mum would come and sort this man out. Her mum was very good at sorting out people who did the wrong thing, and Katie had every confidence in her ability to do so on this occasion.<BR><BR>But this dark room with its flashing computer screens and the loud music was a bit offputting. And the music was not only loud it was <b>horrible</b>. <BR><BR>Now she had softened David M up a bit with a quick demonstration of her vocal abilities, she stopped the screaming, and turned to her captor, with tears in her eyes and a look of firm defiance, and put forward her list of demands.<BR><BR><i>"If you don't turn this awful music off, I'll scream the place down, and then I'll be sick"</i> she said with the confidence of one who knows that This Will Be So. <i>"Put on some decent music, some Kylie or Brittany, please. And I'm hungry. I haven't had anything to eat since lunch time, and it must be hours past dinner. So please could I have....a cheese sandwich on brown bread, cut into triangles with the crusts taken off, and no green stuff anywhere near it , thank you. And a drink too. I like water or milk or juice or lemonade, but I don't like Coke. And then you can send me back to my mum, otherwise she will come and get me, and she will be Very Unhappy. She gets really cross and shouts a lot when that happens. And actually I don't really want you to send me home, because home is boring. I like being inside Mum's computer game - it's heaps more fun than playing the Sims as in Mum's game there are all the people with swords and funny ears and cloaks and stuff, and I can dress up like a hobbit, see, just like Bilbo, but I haven't got a sword yet, but I will.</i> <BR><BR>Katie paused, and from the look in her eye it was only too clear what she would like to do if she got hold of a sword. Well if she couldn't cut him up what else could she do? <BR><BR><i>"Why don't you use Macs?" </i> she asked, not waiting for any answers to her earlier questions. She walked over to the closest keyboard and screen and peered into it. <i>"I'm good at computers, and we use macs at school. I know how to login and send emails and use Word and play the Sims and do pictures in KidPix, and look up websites, only Mummy won't let me do that , and what does this button do?"</i><BR><BR>She stood there smiling sweetly at David with her hands poised over the keyboard, on the delete key. "<i>Are you going to get me something to eat now?"</i><BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Leoba » Mon Oct 14, 2002 11:02 am

<b>In the Merry Bowmen of Dale Guildhouse</b><BR><BR><BR>The way SB was staring at her was disconcerting. HM looked back at AW and asked quietly. "What's the matter? Have I got food stuck between my teeth or sauce around my mouth or something?" <BR><BR>He had distracted her and she missed what Bardhwyn was saying.<BR><BR>"What?" Leoba suddenly stared at Bardhwyn, who stared back looking equally confused. "Sorry, can you say that again I, um, wasn't listening properly." <BR><BR>Bardhwyn repeated herself.<BR><BR>“Well, Lys seems engrossed in conversation with Edain, I think that may do it.” Leoba commented. <BR><BR>“Edain!” Bardy exclaimed, “Edain the Ranger? Here, in the Guildhouse?! What in the blue blazes is he doing here.. he never posts here..” A heavy realization hit Bardy.. “Leoba, er HM, you don’t think?!!” <BR><BR>"That would be too strange, wouldn't it?" Or maybe it wouldn't, HM thought to herself, after all matters couldn’t get an awful lot stranger than they already were. "You know, now you mention it he was acting a bit odd but I don’t know his RP character so I couldn’t tell, not properly at any rate."<BR><BR>"He was certainly looking at you as though he recognised you", AW added.<BR><BR>"And there's no way he could; I've never been in the same thread, as in, in character…." Not that that would make the blindest bit of difference she supposed; true to form when they'd met she'd not stopped chatting long enough for him to get much of a word in edgeways. "I certainly recognised him. HJ, he looks just like himself, well mostly. And I guess we've talked RP enough for him to recognise me. Although based on my monopolisation of the conversation he should know you two better." She looked at SB and Bardy with a smile. <BR><BR>Bardhwyn made as though she would get up and go and find him.<BR><BR>"No wait. Bardhwyn, he was asking to join the Guild; he'll still be here tomorrow", Elenath conjectured. "And if we are staying the night then we should make the most of the chance to get some rest don’t you think?" <BR><BR>It had been a long day, so many hours since they had stood on the threshold of the Alliances and Guilds forum at first light, so many developments since. The thought of crisp linen sheets and maybe even a warm bath, assuming they had bath tubs here, was just calling out to Leoba. She knew that her tired mind could not take any more today. And looking at the others, it was blatantly apparent that the same went for them. <BR><BR>"Tomorrow then, when all our thoughts are refreshed, we can try and suss him out and then we can try and find Scribbles and the others again. I just hope that they are safe in the Eldars'. There's little else we can do now and somehow I don’t fancy wandering around after dark." The thought of ThreadStalker, lantern swinging, boots reverberating on the cobblestones, patrolling the streets and alleys was a spine-chilling prospect. <BR><BR>"For now, I really would appreciate getting clean; I really want to wash the feel of that Orc armour off me. Does one of you who knows Dale know if it's possible to have a bath?"<BR><BR>Her gaze turned to SB and then to Bardhwyn and then to the empty wine jug and Leoba's thoughts ran through just the last few hours which had perhaps been in many ways more troublesome than the entire day in the AMMM. Bardhwyn's conversation with cyber Lys over dinner and the arrival of AW/SB; it would have been difficult to deal with even if they weren't tired and on the run and to be frankly honest about it pretty scared. She sighed.<BR><BR>"And Bardy, maybe we can have a bit of a chat in a short while?" Leoba shot her friend a glance.<BR>
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Postby EdaintheRanger » Tue Oct 15, 2002 8:13 am

When the ladies had left Edain sat down again, here it seemed that manners and common courtesy came naturally. Or perhaps were they hard wired in to his character? Before he could ponder this thought, the smart Alec of the guild accosted him again. Inwardly EM sighed and rolled his eyes. “What the heck have I got myself into this time.” He thought to himself as he listened to Lysandros’s eloquent prose. Fortunately he had no reason to answer immediately, for Dirk introduced himself. Edain greeted him politely, he vaguely recognised the name from the boards, but only through hearsay, and of course on that Minas Tirith website far away. A faint quizzical expression crossed his face as Dirk spoke of Leoba, but as if he remembered something the expression left as quickly as it came. Edain in his gentlemanly way expressed that he hoped that Dirk could indeed provide for his lady in the way that she was accustomed. The good man of Esgaroth then bid them good evening and left. Edain returned the smile and said something along the lines of <i>“I’m sure we will discuss it.”</i> in passing to Dirk’s question.<BR><BR>This left Edain with the Master Archer, and his unanswered queries. Perhaps he could put him straight. <i>“Master Archer, or Lysandros if I may, I know only of these char.. people through hearsay.”</i>(which was true)<BR><BR><i>“I have long known of this guild and its exploits, and finally I’ve found the means to visit it. For I have journeyed on roads and paths far to the west of here, but this is my first venture to visit the eastern lands. I have travelled with many companions, and I have travelled alone, like I do now. It has been a long day and to arrive in a warm hall with friendly soft faces, a man can swiftly lower his defences. I fear that I know not, the lady Leoba, that you and your friend, SB?”</i> Edain paused to confirm Dirk’s nickname, before continuing, <i>“speak of, but on seeing her face I feel that she is known to me. Strange indeed, when I am sure that I haven’t seen her before. Well certainly not in this life.”</i><BR><BR>EM felt that he had pretty much covered it really. Hopefully he was playing Edain “in character” as well, but as these people didn’t know him then perhaps it didn’t matter too much. Definitely time to change the subject though, he’d let slip enough this long night. EM dreaded to think what could happen if he met more of his “Torcfriends” in this weird game. Testing a different tack Edain said, <i>“So Master Archer, what happens on the morrow? Do I have to pass a test of archery, or is my word sufficient?”</i><BR><BR>Before the blond geezer could answer, Edain concluded, <i>“May I enquire about lodgings on this cool night? Do I have to bunk down here, on the bench</i> (EM remembered a night in summer long ago…<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-rolleyes.gif"border=0>) <i>or are there other rooms available?”</i>
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Postby Vanaladiel » Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:57 pm

TK’s day was very typical for a weekday of childcare. Doing her house chores while working with the kids was all a part of a days work for her. She looked at the clock 11:45 am. Soon things would get moving and she would be free to play online at her favorite site, TolkienOnline.com.<BR><BR>Once Trei was safely on his way to school TK fixed lunch for the two remaining children then got a few minutes to play on her computer before they finished. She looked about the site but it wouldn’t take the children long to finish their meals and then soon it would be off to nap. The nicest part of the day for playing online.<BR><BR>After all the cleaning up and the bathroom runs TK finally gets the children down and returns to her computer screen. She starts clicking for her favorites and waits for the screen to appear. Again it is moving ever so slowly so she gets a bit frustrated because it was running fast earlier when she couldn’t just sit and play. <BR><BR>“Oh this stupid site! I wish it would stay up and running the same speed all the time.” She moaned at the computer. She went on to get a glass of water and something to munch on then came back to her computer station. The thread still had not opened. <BR><BR>“Argh!” she started to think about logging off. She reached for the mouse to click on the internet symbol when she got this really strange wozzy type of feeling like when meds are a bit strong or they make you funny feeling. She knew she had a killer cold but didn’t remember taking anything for it. She got the feeling that she was falling but she never found the floor………..<BR><BR>Suddenly, like gasping out of a startled moment, TK looked around but didn’t recognise where she was. The room was massive and very nicely decorated. The carpets were nice huge Persian looking throw rugs on hard wood floors and the curtains were a grand Brocade in hunter green with sheers underneath. There was a bed with night tables and a matching Armoire in a beautiful honey oak finish. <BR><BR>As TK got up from the soft chair where she was sitting, she looked around and tried to figure out where she was. She opened a large door that led to a beautiful bathroom done in rose and green with a marvelous shower and sauna. Something seemed vaguely familiar. <BR><BR>As she turned back to face the bedroom area she saw another door on the opposite side of the room and moved toward it. Still very confused and not feeling quite normal. As she turned the door knob and pulled the door open she found it leading to a massive hallway decorated with very detailed and ornate furnishings. <BR><BR>Quietly she proceeded down the hallway but heard no one stirring anywhere. She came upon a magnificent spiraling stairway that lead to a foyer area. As she crept down the stairs she could smell something wonderful cooking and then she heard voices. Though she wanted to dart back up the stairs, she froze and found she couldn’t move, feeling almost as if she could blend in with the decor and not be seen. Several moments passed before she found the feeling in her feet to make a step in any direction.<BR><BR>She managed to continue on down the stairway and into the foyer, peeking into rooms as she moved about the area. In one room she found walls covered with bookshelves full of books and many overstuffed chairs about the room with a fireplace at the far end. In another room she found games and game tables galore. Then she noticed by a pair of french doors a huge bar stocked with just about everything a person could want. At that moment she honestly thought about pouring herself a drink. She stopped and looked about again then glanced out through the glass of the french doors and sure enough, there was a pool and hot tub in sight. The outdoor lights all shining as the night was setting in and the moon was high in the eastern sky. Then she saw the brass sign: Welcome to the Eldar’s Guild Estate...<BR><BR>TK gasped…..”Oh God.....I’m ..I’m..I cant be at the Eldars Estate!” she exclaimed to herself. She had given many tours to new members herself being the Eldar’s Guild Envoy. Wait... not her... but Vana, her character at TORC had done that. She carefully walked over to a bar stool and before her legs could give out from the shock, took a seat. But how could she be there now? She should be at home with the kids since they were down for naps.<BR><BR>Suddenly she heard noises again from the kitchen or that is what she could figure. So quietly TK got off her stool and moved towards the large door that she imagined lead there. As she approached the doorway she passed a large mirror hanging on the wall and caught a glimpse of herself standing there.....What is this? <BR><BR>TK moves closer to the mirror and stares in unbelief. She is still in her jeans and t-shirt which she recognises, but something was different. <BR><BR>Reaching up to touch her face, which though it looks like her is somewhat younger looking and the ears...were they more pointy then they ever were before? Could it be that they are those of a half elf? And her hair is it longer? TK runs her fingers through the long golden locks.<BR><BR>“What is happening to me?” TK spoke out loud, then suddenly remembering about the others who might hear her. She silently moves to the kitchen door and listened closely.
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Postby SilverScribe » Wed Oct 16, 2002 9:51 pm

<BR><i> Scribbles shook her head and signed as Nessa leaped from concealment and challenged the approaching figure. Bravery was one thing, but sometimes stealth was wiser. However, they were in this together, so what one did, the clear duty of the others was to follow and lend support. When lalatiel followed Nessa, Scribbles followed lalatiel.<BR><BR>The hooded figure hissed menacingly, then turned and continued down the back road behind the Eldars Estate. </i><BR><BR>“It wasn’t even coming in here, why did you take such a risk?” <i> Scribbles asked quietly.</i> “You know, sometimes confrontation will not accomplish what quiet investigation can. It is not that we are frightened children, but to be reckless and get ourselves caught will serve no purpose. They will throw you into a cell, lock the door and then how will you find Katie? Trust me, I have seen the dungeons, you don’t want to get yourself caught, Nessa. Think, it is the one activity that can keep you out of trouble. Come on, let’s go, it wouldn’t hurt to follow that thing for a bit, see if it goes anywhere useful.”<BR><BR><i> They slipped out the back gate and followed the hooded creature carefully and quietly. After a couple of turnings, the figure ducked into a dark, shadowed doorway in what looked like the back of a large, brooding building. Scribbles examined the walls and windows carefully, looking for signage.<BR><BR>Lalatiel suddenly motioned to them to join her. On a small, unobtrusive brass plate riveted to the side of the doorframe were the words “Minas Morgul Alliance”.</i><BR><BR>“I AM NOT going in there,”<i> Scribbles whispered harshly.</i> “I won’t go into any Guild or Alliance that even breathes at a relationship with Mordor. I think we should go back to the Eldars Estate and wait for Bardy, Leoba and Elenath. We said we’d be there and I’m damned if I’ll break my word. We will be better equipped to look for Katie when there are more of us, but being scattered all over Hades Half Acre is not wise. What do you two want to do?”<BR><BR><i> She looked from Nessa to lalatiel then back to Nessa again, waiting patiently for them to gather their thoughts.</i><BR><BR>
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Postby PrincessMelika » Thu Oct 17, 2002 12:39 am

<b>In the Mordor Eyes Only thread</b><BR><BR>The voice that had addressed her had been amused at her entrance, and curious at her presence. Yet others were approaching, she felt the darkness of her antagonists as they pinioned her to the wall; her original assailant made no cry of protest; yet a thought entered MM’s mind. “Meet me in the Lórien Alliance, Stranger, I should like to meet you.” The thought was not her own and sent shivers down her spine. Who was her assailant and why did she want to meet her? The feeling of ultimate darkness pressed about her, and MM wondered if this was the end. What would happen to PM her character? Would she die or be killed? Perhaps her character would enter a zombie-like state and be controlled by the mods and the admins. <BR><BR>The darkness continued to bear down upon her, and MM saw what she had not seen before, a great rimless eye, bearing down upon her, a lady with noble bearing gazing at her with amusement, and the ringwraiths who now surrounded her. The end was near, they’d use the black breath, and she’d be brought inside Barrud-Dur. There’d be no escape for her. Why had she even entered that thread?<BR><BR>The lady addressed her, and MM recognized her. Lady Legrace, Wife of Sauron was pronouncing her judgment. MM longed to speak in defense of her actions, but found that she was transfixed, and unable to move or speak. It took a great effort not to panic at this discovery. <BR><BR><b>“My dear child, my husband is aware of your intrusion into his Tower. I do not wish to tell you what his sentence upon you is to be, and yet I have intervened on your behalf. In the past, you have insulted the very existence of the glorious Alliance of Mordor by referring to it as a Guild, but you have atoned for this grievous offence since then.”</b><BR><BR>Suddenly, the Lady’s attention was diverted, and MM wanted to thank the Lady Legrace and take her leave. Unfortunately, she still could not move or speak, but Legrace turned back to MM, and addressed her. You must leave immediately,” Legrace told the poor maiden. “Here, I shall help you.” MM was going to reply that she was rather capable of exiting herself, but a ball of energy appeared in front of he Wife of Sauron, and moved toward MM with blinding speed. It knocked MM off her feet, and backwards, through the door and out into the Alliances and Guilds hallway, the door slamming shut with finality.<BR><BR>“Well, so much for that.” MM muttered to herself, checking for injuries. Nothing seemed to be broken; and she was able to get up, albeit rather shakily. Pushing herself to her feet, she looked around at the signs on the two closest doors: Lothlórien’s Circle of Life, and the Eldar Estate. The strange voice reverberated in MM’s head again, and MM winced, the feeling was similar to a mild headache, but passed momentarily. MM shrugged, and went toward the Lórien alliance thread.<BR><BR>“It’s not like I’m entering Mordor this time, she tried to console herself, “I’m sure the good people of Lórien won’t try to maim me on sight.” On the door to the Lórien thread was an elegant wood carving, showing the beautiful mallorn trees of Lórien, as well as the treetop dwellings of the elves that lived there. MM paused before trying the doorknob, so entranced was she at the beauty of the carving. Then she tried the door, the knob turned easily and the door opened. “Evidently they have no objections to visitors. Of course, Lórien is known for a good border patrol.” As MM entered, she noted the deep blue of the sky, and the tall mallorn trees, she stood there, blinking as she gazed facing the sun, and tried to avert her gaze from the bright light. At that moment, an arrow fletched in blue landed near her feet. MM jumped back, heart pounded, and barely stifled a scream. <BR><BR>“On second thought,” MM mentally considered. “Perhaps this thread wasn’t a good place to visit after all.” Yet, it was too late to turn back, for a tall elf stood on a branch about 50 feet from the ground on which MM stood. Flashing blue eyes gazed down in wry amusement at the startled human. Long, wavy black hair was pulled out of the elf’s face; another arrow was already on the string of the lady elf’s bow. “We meet again, I see. Tell me who you are, Stranger, and what your purpose is in entering the Golden Wood.” <BR>
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Postby Nessamelda » Thu Oct 17, 2002 12:42 am

<b> Near the rear entrance of the Minas Morgul Alliance</b><BR>“I AM NOT going in there,” Scribbles whispered harshly. “I won’t go into any Guild or Alliance that even breathes at a relationship with Mordor. I think we should go back to the Eldars Estate and wait for Bardy, Leoba and Elenath. We said we’d be there and I’m damned if I’ll break my word. We will be better equipped to look for Katie when there are more of us, but being scattered all over Hades Half Acre is not wise. What do you two want to do?”<BR><BR>The rush of adreneline, rage and fear that had lead to Susan's rash action faded. She stood there, looking at the grim building before them and nodded to Scribbles, acknowledging the truth of what she had said. <BR><BR>"I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking....." Susan's voice trailed off. <BR><BR>Now she just felt numb. She felt almost disconnected from what had happened - on previous occasions that one of her children had briefly gone missing she had been desparate, scared, worried. There was hardly any of that now. She could feel Alfirin raging away in the back of her mind, and another, half-formed, consciousness that must be Nessamelda, exuding concern. But Susan felt just tired and empty and alone, stuck in a strange place with only strangers, although sympathetic ones, for company.<BR><BR>"It seems that it wasn't a mod then", Susan said, "Thank you for backing me up, even though I was being an idiot. And I agree that I don' t want to go in <b>there</b>. <BR><BR>But I think that we could search this labyrinth that is Torc, if that is where we are, for the rest of our lives and still not find Katie, no matter how many of us there are to look. How many threads are there just in Alliances and Guilds? Let alone the Pony and all the other places that a mod could take her. I presume it was a mod that took her? Who else could just disappear with Katie like that except a mod or an administrator? I suppose it could be one of the characters round here who use magic."<BR><BR>She stopped talking and shook her head, staring at the ground, pulling the unfamiliar cloak tighter round her against a shiver that had nothing to do with the temperature. <BR><BR>"Back to the Eldar Estate then, Scribbles, I think. But unless the person who has taken Katie has second thoughts, I'm...."<BR><BR>Susan shook her head again as her words disappeared into something that was half-way between a sob and a gasp. She turned abruptly on her heel and walked back the way that they had came, towards the Eldar's Estate. Scribbles and lalatiel followed her, quickly catching up as Susan paused at the entrance, uncertain of the way back to the kitchens.<BR><BR>
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Postby TinuvielUndomiel » Thu Oct 17, 2002 1:41 am

<b>Outside the Eldar's Estate</b><BR><BR><i>It took much effort, but LH's jaw did not actually fall at Running-Deer's statement. She supposed that it was because she was becoming more like Tinu every moment--her face already felt less expressive. Or perhaps she had simply not written much about Tinu's emotions, and therefore could not feel what she had not programmed into her character. At least she didn't mope around like Tinu tended to do...especially when her mother came to mind. Strangely enough, a small pang shot through her mind as she thought of it, as though it really did hurt her to think of the dead elf. But such thoughts were useless at the moment, for there was a difficult conundrum before her.<BR><BR>How could this be?! A MOD who didn't know who she was? Was it a trap set up by the others? All LH knew was that things were getting too weird for her. She exchanged a confused glance with Guru and did the only thing she knew how to do: change the topic. </i><BR><BR>So, isn't the day lovely? They keep the grass well-clipped around the Estate, don't they?<BR><BR><i>As she made small chat, she talked to Guru with her eyes. "Ok, we've got to get out of here and find out about the others. Haven't seen Scribbles or Nessa lately, so we don't know their status. For all we know, they've been captured. We have to distract RD and get out of here." And then she got it--the simple plan to get the two of them out from beneath the Mod's glance. Motioning with a quick flicker of her eyes (why wouldn't this work in the real world--it would be so handy! she thought), she convinced Guru to start edging back inside, as though he were going back for more stew. <BR><BR>LH prayed that cyber-Wiste would keep RD busy long enough for Guru and her to get away and find the others. </i><BR><BR>Wow! Well I am certainly ready for some more stew. Could I get you another bowl, my friend?<BR><BR><i>LH threw on the charm, confusing RD even more, even to the point where she didn't know how to answer the simple question. But was this all an act on the Mod's part? She would have to simply hope it wasn't.<BR><BR>With her last comment, she was already marching confidently toward the door, with Guru speaking about getting more as well. The two of them made it through the door, their hearts racing.</i><BR><BR>Well that was interesting. <i>LH said, utilizing one of her favorite RL phrases. Now where were the others?</i>
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Postby SilverScribe » Thu Oct 17, 2002 7:40 am

<BR><i>Scribbles followed Nessa and Lalatiel silently, thoughtfully. As they gained the rear entrance door of the Estate building proper and paused, Scribbles reached out and touched Nessa’s arm gently, causing the woman to turn towards her.</i><BR><BR>“Nessa, you weren’t and aren’t being an idiot, merely a mother. There is no shame in that, please don’t misunderstand me.”<BR><BR><i> She paused and bit her lip, it was hard for her to express the mixed feelings that were running amok in her head. As Scribbles, the thought and concept of motherhood was foreign, impossible, unthinkable. To her real-life creator, it was at least intelligible. She sighed, then continued.</i><BR><BR>“I understand your concern for Katie, but I honestly do believe that whoever took her is a member of either the Moderators or the Admin, and niether one would hurt her. I mean after all, look how carefully the Admin has been in doing everything they can to guard and protect the minors who post to TORC. Like watching that no one behaves inappropriately towards them, gently advising them not to post personal things like their ages, and the like. Anyone who shows that much care for the young visitors to TORC would not be interested in harming them, it would make no sense.”<BR><BR><i> Nessa relaxed a bit, but it was clear that she was still not entirely happy. Scribbles patted her arm in what she hoped was a reassuring gesture, then turned away for a moment, raking both hands through her hair and trying to think. After a few moments, she turned back.</i><BR><BR>“And you know, I think you are very right about the futility of searching all of TORC for Katie. It IS a big place, and that is only the parts we actually ever see. Believe me, there are other parts that are never seen from the outside, we’ve seen some of those, right lalatiel?”<BR><BR><i> Lalatiel nodded her head, then visibly shuddered.</i> “Yeah, and we don’t want to see them again, either.”<BR><BR><i> Scribbles chuckled.</i> “Well, we’ll just have to try our hardest to make sure we don’t. I know it’s a dumb thing to say, but try not to worry too much Nessa. We’ve got a pretty big bunch stranded here inside TORC, and they are all quite bright. I think if we pool our resources we should be able to come up with something like a plan, both for finding Katie if we can, and getting us all out of this, er, mess.”<BR><BR><i> She looked at Lalatiel, then grinned.</i><BR><BR>“You didn’t happen to leave a trail of bread crumbs from the kitchens or anything like that, did you?” <i> she asked, half seriously. Lalatiel laughed, then winked mischieviously. Plunging her hand into her pocket, she came up with a strange, whitish lump.</i><BR><BR>“Nope, but I found some chalky like stuff in that broom closet. I can’t decide if it’s actually chalk or some sort of soap. Anyway, it did the trick, I bumped it against a wall or two on our way here.”<BR><BR>“Bumped it against a wall or two?” <i> Nessa asked, a smile beginning to spread across her face.</i><BR><BR>“Yeah,” <i> Lalatiel answered.</i> “I marked our progress, but made it look like just random dirty spots. No point in leaving something that fairly screams ‘WE WENT THIS WAY, COME ARREST US’, now is there?”<BR><BR><i> Scribbles laughed out loud at this, then quickly slammed a hand over her mouth and looked around cautiously. After a few moments of stifled laughter, the three companions sobered and Scribbles sketched a shallow bow to Lalatiel.</i><BR><BR>“Well then Lalatiel, you clever thing, you can lead the way back. I’m curious to know if the others have made it back yet and how possible it will be to sneak something to eat, I’m starving. C’mon, let’s see if the alarm has been raised or not.”<BR><BR><i> With Lalatiel in the lead, they began the long, winding trip back into the bowels of the Eldars Estates.</i><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Vanaladiel » Thu Oct 17, 2002 9:10 am

After listening for a bit and not hearing anyone close by through the door, TK slowly opened the huge door and peeked in.<BR><BR>It was the kitchen and a massive one at that. As she gazed at all the counter space and the cupboards she moved on into the middle of the room. There she found a kitchen that any Middle Earth chef would kill for. It had a wonderful open fire area where a pot hung over the fire. She just couldn’t help herself as the scent of the food brought her back to the fact she was still hungry and it should be lunch, even if it was dark outside the estate house. She found a spoon and dipped in to taste the stew that was still simmering over the fire. Mmmmmm……… she thought to herself. Hmmmm…..now where to find a bowl? She looked about and soon found some bowls so she took one and dished herself some of the stew.<BR><BR>Carefully listening for voices and trying to eat fast she scarfed down the bit of stew. Finding some hard rolls on the counter she took one to help sop up the juices that remained in the bowl. <BR><BR>As she stuffed the last bite into her mouth an outer door sung open and in stepped two elves. Talking quietly yet excitedly between themselves. TK froze where she stood with her mouth full of food. They both stopped mid stride then quickly closed the door behind them. They glanced at each other then came towards TK.<BR><BR>Her first response was to wonder if she could outrun them but decided they had seen her so she probably wouldn’t get away so why run. They stepped closer to her but must have sensed her fear for they stopped then the male spoke.<BR><BR>“Are you hear from the REAL world?” Guru asked<BR><BR>“Umm……I guess so. I don’t know how I got here though….what happened?” TK enquired with great anxiety.<BR><BR>“Sshhhhhh……….” Replied the female elf, “Quick we have got to find you more suitable attire. You cant go about dressed like that or you will get us all caught!”<BR><BR>“Us all?” TK inquired with a very puzzled look, “You mean there are more of us? How many? Who?”<BR><BR>“We don’t have time for that right this minute we have to get you out of sight!” Tinu stated. “Now where to find you some clothes?” <BR><BR>“Wait I just came from a room upstairs. I think that must be my characters room! I thought it seemed familiar, I bet there are some clothes up there that may fit.” TK started for the door, the others followed. Slowly they opened the door and peeked around to make sure the coast was clear then moved swiftly towards the stairs and up to the massive hallway. TK led them to the room that she had found herself in and the three slipped inside and shut the door.<BR><BR>TK and the female elf started going through the armoire and came up with some lovely Elven dresses and even a traveling outfit which is what they decided would work the best for getting around. So TK slipped into the bathroom and changed her clothing. She put on a pair of grey leggings, a blouse and a green tunic that fastened about the waist and a nice pair of worn brown leather boots.<BR><BR>As she came out of the bathroom the two elves faces told her she looked very much as she should. More elvish and definitely ready for an adventure. Grabbing the grey cloak they found in the armoire they left the room again making their way back to the kitchen in time to run into three other people coming into the kitchen by way of a back corridor. The two elves greeted their friends with the question as to where they had gone off to. But the surprise on the faces of the three meant that introductions were in order.<BR><BR>“HI I am TK and my character is Vanaladiel! Who are you all?” TK inquired. Each introduced themselves to her then they discussed what was next. TK listened intently so as to get the idea of what was going on and how they all got where they were.<BR>
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Postby Running-Deer » Thu Oct 17, 2002 9:46 am

She was sitting there a bit confused as it seemed there was much confusion AND contridiction going on. She had offered to get more stew for herself and others and then she was literally yelled at "NO". Then only a few moments later, two elves went back towards the building saying they were getting more stew. Peculiar. She thought she was the one with the identity crisis and yet as she gave it some thought, she had been treated very strangely by many of these people here. As she thought about it more, it angered her as she didn't see anyone else being treated this way.<BR><BR>"Excuse me while I go get myself some more of the wonderful stew" she said as she stood and she noticed that others stood and started to say "NO" again, only more politely. "I don't understand why I am getting 'preferencial treatment' when others are not! Now excuse ME! I should be allowed to roam into the kitchen for more food and a drink without being told "no" and what I can and cannot do. Besides, your not treating anyone else this way so until my questions are answered or I remember who I am, GET OUTTA MY WAY!"<BR><BR>It felt good to tell these people off but way she didn't know. It had hurt her deeply when she realized that she was the only one that was "sat on" and not allowed to do things for herself. She felt that there was something to do with who she was and everyone knowing that but keeping it from her. That angered her! And as her mind thought about it, and she verbalized those feels aloud, she got angry and she let it out. <BR><BR>And by the look on the other's faces, she had surprised them completely with her forceful outburst of anger and taking control of herself. Suddenly there was a comment. And because of the tone of the voice being gentle and sounding apologetic, she had stopped in her tracks but still facing the kitchen door.<BR><BR>"Wait ... please."
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Postby EdaintheRanger » Fri Oct 18, 2002 9:51 am

<b>In the Dale Bowmen Guild</b><BR><BR>With a snap of his finger Lysandros summoned a porter and made the necessary arrangements, then continued talking to Edain for a few more minutes. Edain appeared attentive, but there was only so long that Edain could listen to the great Master Archer going on about his longbow, how big it was and the fact that it supposedly had a draw weight of 1000lbs or was that 100lbs? Maybe it was 10lbs, whatever. Edain had had enough, the cynicism was getting to him so he bid a fine goodnight (hypocrisy don't you just love it.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>) and set off up the stairs to the lodging rooms, that had been arranged with the virtual night porter.<BR>He passed several rooms that were obviously occupied, subdued speech drifted under the doors and the lamplights flickered as if they had the windows open. Maybe he could eavesdrop and find out more about the place, but something in his conscience wouldn’t let him. “Grrr.” EM thought “I wish I hadn’t given Edain so much teenagery angst to deal with.” So he let himself into the room and the door swung shut with a bang. Fumbling slowly out of the unfamiliar clothes, he refreshed himself and took the long road to the digital land of Nod. <BR>
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Postby lalatiel » Sat Oct 19, 2002 11:42 am

<b>Back in the Eldar's Estate</b><BR><BR>Lalatiel pushed open the door of the Eldar's Estate, which squeaked slightly, and sighed in relief.<BR><BR> "Good to be back, eh?" she grinned.<BR><BR> "You bet! Careful, though," said Scribbles warningly, " There still might be a mod in here." <BR><BR> Torches were lit all along the walls of the hall they were now walking down, and the light was red and flickering. It felt very warm and cozy, and Lalatiel was aching to sink down onto a sofa with a cup of tea and her dog-eared copy of Lord of the Rings, Scotch-taped portions of the Two Towers and all. <BR><BR> However, right at the moment, introductions seemed to be in order, as they were accosted by Guru, the elf she remembered as Tinu, and another elf she didn't recognize. <BR><BR> " Hi, I'm TK, and my character is Vanaladiel! Who are you all?"<BR><BR> Well, that took care of that. And she did recognize her, she saw now, from brief glimpses she'd seen of her at the Bard's Guild Festivals. <BR><BR> " Hi, Vana." said Lalatiel, and smiled. " I'm Lalatiel. How'd you get here? Did you fall through or were you pulled through by a huge, black-armoured arm?"<BR><BR> " Arm?" said Vana, startled. " No, there was no arm. One minute I was in front of my computer, and the next... I was here!" <BR><BR> Scribbles and Nessa introduced themselves as well, and there was a good deal of handshaking and questions and all of the things that go on when people meet each other. <BR><BR> " Is there a mod in here?" asked Nessa.<BR><BR> " Yeah... well, sort of." said Guru. " RD's here, but she's not... all here, if you know what I mean."<BR><BR> That was met with puzzled glances for a second, and a few snickers.<BR><BR> " She's out on the patio, if you want to see for yourself." offered Tinu. <BR><BR> " I'll pass." said Lalatiel. " She'd wonder why I was here... but you guys go ahead, I think I'll go to the common room and see if Bardy and them have shown up yet."
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Postby Nessamelda » Sat Oct 19, 2002 6:19 pm

<b>In the Kitchen of the Eldar’s Estate, by the door to the Terrace</b><BR><BR>Susan listened to the introductions, and nodded absently in response. She was never very good with names at the best of times, and this was not the best of times. But her attention was drawn by Tinu’s comment. " She's out on the patio, if you want to see for yourself.". <BR><BR><i>Well perhaps I do want to see a mod, even if this one is a bit confused,</i> she thought . <BR>Something else was bothering her. Now she had calmed down she could think a bit more clearly about what she had seen. The vision of the dark figure that had evaporated with Katie in his arms had left her with an after-image, a picture burned onto her brain. Her daughter struggling, and pulling back the hood of the figure revealing his face…..and the face was vaguely familiar, slightly round faced, bearded. But it looked scared and worried. Now how would she know the features of anyone on Torc? No-one posted their pictures on the site directly except….there was one person she could think of with a photo in his sig pic….not just a mod but one of the admins!<BR><BR>Susan turned to Scribbles.<i> “You saw the figure vanishing with Katie? I think I saw his face. Did you? Did you recognise him?”.</i><BR><BR>Scribbles shook her head.<i> “I saw a face briefly, I think, but it wasn’t familiar.”</i><BR><BR>Susan cursed in frustration. Then grinned.<i> “Do you have signatures off when you view Torc?” </i> Scribles looked puzzled and nodded.<i> “Well that explains it”. said Susan. “DavidM has a photo that I presume is him in his sig pic – he’s the only one I know that does. I recognised the face I saw – and the only person that I have seen a likeness of sufficiently regularly at Torc to be that familiar is him! And another thing – the person who took Katie looked terrified. Perhaps he was trying to help. Perhaps he has sent her back home.” </i> She stopped and shrugged her shoulders. <i>“And perhaps all this is just wishful thinking. But at the moment I don’t have many other straws to cling to.”</i><BR><BR>Tinu, Vana and Guru stood there looking puzzled.<i> “What’s going on?”</i> asked Vana.<i> “Who’s Katie?”</i><BR><BR><i>“My daughter” </i>answered Susan.<i> “She’s six. She got lost and was last seen disappearing into the ether in the arms of a Man in Black”</i><BR><BR>Susan turned to the door to the Terrace. On the other side a loud voice could be heard, speaking forcefully<BR><BR><i>“Besides, you’re not treating anyone else this way so until my questions are answered or I remember who I am, GET OUTTA MY WAY!"</i><BR><BR>Bearing in mind that not all the others wanted to meet the mod, Susan stepped out on to the terrace and answered Running Deer softly:<BR><BR><i>"Wait ... please…..I think we might be able to help each other. If I understand correctly, your name in this place is Running Deer. You are a moderator, an enforcer of the rules. And rules here are being broken. My daughter is missing."</i><BR><BR>
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Postby Lysandros » Sun Oct 20, 2002 2:26 pm

<b>In the Guild House of the Merry Bowmen of Dale</b><BR><BR><i>BV listened patiently to Edain’s tale. Like all TORCers, the story was much as he expected from a guy surnamed ‘The Ranger’: traveled a long lonely road all over the place for no apparent reason, had some toil, so nice to find a warm refuge from the cold unknown... It was the same as always. If he could squeeze and bottle this half-arsed, over-worn Aragorn template and sell it he would make a fortune on TORC, so many times had he heard weak variations of this uninspired persona peddled.<BR><BR>But sadly BV was only too aware that as Lysandros, he had to eat up this kind of stuff with gusto. It was just what people did. But revenge was coming; Edain had made the mistake of mentioning archery and BV knew just what reaction Lys would have and he proceeded to wax lyrical about his own formidable skill for a quarter of an hour, steamrolling over the Ranger’s request for lodging until the man’s face looked truly in pain as he droned on and on. With a smile motivated more by his personal satisfaction at being such a jerk than honest courtesy BV saw Edain off to bed.<BR><BR>And now he was alone in the Common Room. New thoughts about his predicament began to flow into his mind. It seemed that he was dreaming he was in TORC, not Middle-earth, that was certain. It also seemed that the TORCers he was running into were a mish mash of ME personas impeded by their own barren imaginations, thus the characters were unconvincing and themselves seemed as out of place as he. No wait, check that. He was perfectly in place now. Besides his period of adjustment he reckoned he had played his part convincingly. That was why they seemed so strange. He had immersed himself in the part…something was wrong with THEM! <BR><BR>But what? It must be his job to find out. Why else would all these thoughts be occurring to him. His dream was not the D&D-addled orc-massacring pap that tragically made up the majority of posts he had seen in so-called RP. It was more complex than that and seemed to indicate, more clearly than anything else, that he had a serious problem and might want to consider cutting back on his TORC-time when he woke up. He was in stern danger of purchasing a teddy bear.</i><BR><BR>“Bwaaahahaa!” <i>he laughed aloud before he could stop himself. Having a chuckle at other people’s expense was so delightfully cheap!<BR><BR>Sobering a little, he decided that he would have to somehow follow Bardhwyn and Co.. They were certainly up to something. Of course what he would do when he found out what they were up to was not entirely clear.</i><BR>
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Postby TinuvielUndomiel » Sun Oct 20, 2002 3:40 pm

<b>In the Eldar's Estate Kitchen, by the Door</b><BR><BR><i>LH was surprised to see another elf in the Eldar's Estate that she recognized from a signature picture. That elf was busily gobbling at her stew, which was there for the taking, but she didn't want to hear the sound of jaws chomping, but rather the voice explaining how she had gotten there. For, she knew from the start that this was not the cyber Vana, but her friend TK. However the most important thing was to get her to blend in, and that she would not do with the RL clothes.<BR><BR>So, she convinced Vana to find some suitable clothing, which they found in her character's room. LH was relieved to see that the cyber Vana was no where to be seen. It had been a shock to her when she had come across her own character, and it didn't seem a good idea for TK to meet her alter ego just now, though she was enthusiastic and oblivious to the danger that lay before them. After Vana had changed, they met back with Guru and were soon joined by Lalatiel, Scribbles, and Nessamelda.</i><BR><BR>Thank goodness you guys are here! I thought you had been caught by another Mod, one not confused with her identity.<BR><BR><i>Guru added:</i>"RD's here, but she's not... all here, if you know what I mean."<BR><BR>"She's out on the patio, if you want to see for yourself," <i>Tinu said, adding:</i> "But I wouldn't recommend it."<BR><BR><i>Nessa, disturbed by the loss of her child, desperately seeking the answers, missed the last comment as she thought about the kidnapping. LH sympathized with her, wondering what she could do to help. However, to LH's surprise, Nessa went outside to speak with the confused Mod. LH grew grave at this, thinking it a poor idea to remind the Mod of who she was. For all they knew, she would immediately turn them all in. So, in preparation for the possible backlash, she asked everyone to grab anything they could and get ready to run again.</i><BR><BR>"Ok, you guys, I really don't like this situation we're in right now. We don't know what RD is doing, whether or not this is just a trick into taking her along with us. I don't trust her. And I think that Nessa going out there to confront the Mod was a poor idea. I know she's desperate to find Katie, and I understand, but I don't think that's the best way to get her back--by consorting with the enemy. It's much too like a cat imitating a wounded bird's call before it attacks."<BR><BR>"So what do you propose, Tinu?", <i>asked Guru, his eyes firmly locked onto hers. She blushed for a moment at the direct glance, as her character would have done. Then, gathering her thoughts, she replied.</i><BR><BR>"We need to pack up whatever we can carry and prepare to leave."<BR><BR><i>The others murmured at this. They still hadn't found Bardy, Elenath, and Leoba.</i><BR><BR>"I know what you're thinking, but we need to do this. If we can't escape, then who will release them if they have been captured?<BR><BR><i>Her heart pounded as she thought of the possible consequences of remaining at the Estate, within a stone's throw of a Mod. Images of dank dungeons sprang to mind, her friends locked down in chains, whips singing through the air. Who knew what the Mods would do with the errant group? A sudden image of a fiery firebrand with the letters "TORC" came rushing into her eyes, and she closed them to keep from being hit by the imagined iron.</i>
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Postby lalatiel » Thu Oct 24, 2002 3:32 pm

<b>In the common room of the Eldar's Estate...</b><BR><BR>Of course, Lalatiel had only caught the words 'get ready to leave', as she was wandering over to the large common room of the Estate. That's fine, she thought, I've got all my stuff with me. Weapons, pack... it's all in here, she grinned, patting the enormous pockets of her typical long grey cloak. <BR><BR> The common room was nigh on one of the most beautiful rooms she had ever been in. Sturdy oak furniture was topped off by overstuffed cushions, and a fire burned bright and cheery in a stone fireplace. On the mantle were various knicknacks, and over it hung two paintings. But the focus of the large room was an enormous picture window, offering a spectacular view of the landscape beyond. Lalatiel could see the vast expanse of the Alliances and Guilds forum, with lights twinkling from every window, calling weary travellers hence with their merry glow. Past that was a picturesque forest, where somewhere lay their next destination- the Prancing Pony Inn. <BR><BR> She sank tiredly into one of the huge armchairs, letting herself be devoured by the enormous cushion, relishing in it's soft comfort. Her collarbone length, coffee-dark hair flopped in front of her face, and she put a hand to her wrist out of habit, grasping for the ponytail holder that was always there. No longer, though, although somehow her myriad silver bangles had remained. I suppose, she thought with a large yawn, anything Middle-Earth friendly remained. <BR><BR> She was suddenly aware she hadn't slept at all since that night in the cave, where all the Fellowship had been together, and she had been pu to sleep by the sound of rushing water. That was so long ago...<BR><BR> The sun sank slowly towards the horizon, splashing the clouds with vivid yellows, pinks and reds, and the small sound of Lalatiel's breathing became regular and soft...
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Postby Guruthostirn » Fri Oct 25, 2002 10:25 am

<b>The Eldars Estate Main Room.</b><BR><BR><i>What to do? Guru was having difficulty concentrating. Things seemed to be accelerating, and here he was, barely able to keep up. The supposed Running Deer was still on their hands, and the problem of the others had again risen it's ugly head. And judging by the state of a few of the other companions, soon it would become necessary to sleep, even for those who had become blended with their elvish characters.</i><BR><BR>"Good plan Tinu. Mind if I flesh it out a bit?" <i>Looking over at the increasingly elvish young woman, a few thoughts flickered through his mind. However, now was not the time for even idle contemplation of that sort of thing. Now it was time for decisive action.</i><BR><BR>"Ok, the way I see it, we've got four primary issues. One, and most important, our initial mission, figure out what's going on, which means keep going until we reach the top, or whatever it can be called.<BR><BR>"Two, we've got the problem of our missing companions. They are all competent, so that isn't a life or death concern at this point.<BR><BR>"Three, we've got our little problem out on the patio. This is Very urgent, and probably the most difficult to deal with. Too much is at stake for us to ignore the implications of a MOD being with us, and the implications of the seeming oddities of that MOD.<BR><BR>"And finally, our fourth problem is being illustrated in the corner, with Lalatiel, and that is we need to get some sleep. All of us. And the way I see it, that means we need a new hideout. We've been here too long, and too many people know we're here. If Running Deer found us, other MODs can too.<BR><BR>"I've been thinking, the best way to work on these problems is split them up." <i>As several voices raised in dissent, Guru raised his voice.</i> "I know, part of our problem is because we did that before, but right now I don't see an alternative. At this point I'd say several people should go prowling to look for the rest of the group, several more keep Running Deer entertained, and try to figure out what's going on with her, and the rest get some sleep so we've got at least Some people fully active once we start moving.<BR><BR>"Oh yeah, that's the other thing, we need to get on that, like Tinu said. So any ideas are wanted, and we all should help work towards being able to move on. Grab supplies, whatever, 'cause I for one am not sure what we're gonna find in the upper forums, and I'd rather not starve."<BR><BR><i>Pausing to catch his breath, Guru looked around at the others, waiting to see if anyone had anything to add, change, or disagree with.</i><BR><BR>"Anyone got anything to add? I think I covered it all."
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Postby Lindonbayne » Fri Oct 25, 2002 11:48 am

<BR> <BR><i>Nightfall was approaching. Lindonbayne had been so entranced in her own thoughts that she had made little distance, and wasn’t entirely sure where she was. She stepped up to a nearby tree, set her pack on the soft grass and sat under it, leaning on its stout trunk. As she sat, gazing into the quickly darkening sky, she wondered if she was missed in the outside world. She refused to call it the ‘real world’, as she firmly believed everything was as real as you were prepared to make it. Sat under the eaves of the Silver Birch, she even wondered if they had noticed she had gone at all, since they rarely noticed when she was there. <BR>As the stars began to emerge, Lindonbayne’s eyelids began to sink. They were not as heavy as they had been the night before. Well, either that or she was running on pure adrenaline. As they dropped, Lindonbayne was blinded by a flash of light and immediately opened them again. She peered around, looking for the source of the curious white light. She saw nothing. <BR>Until she blinked, that is. <BR>The light was coming from inside her head. As her inner eye adjusted, she made out an arrow, whirling towards a target, a living target. She knew this person. Though she could not see a face, she knew in her heart that the shot belonged to one of her friends. <BR> <BR>She opened her eyes. She must have slipped into a dream, though it was more like her worst nightmare. It would be fine, it wasn’t real, since when did dreams come true. <BR>And then she remembered her last post to ‘The Prophecy’. She had given her character the gift of foresight. Someone really was going to die. <BR> <BR>Lindonbayne jumped up, panicking, spilling her arrows over the ground, as she realised what she had seen. She did not stop to collect them, but ran as fast as her nimble legs would carry her, towards where she thought she had come from, hoping that the fatal shot had not already been fired. She was turning into quite the protective figure, after all, though she wished it wasn’t necessary. <BR> <BR>
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Postby Running-Deer » Fri Oct 25, 2002 1:53 pm

She blinked and she looked around at the others and then blinked again as the statement hit her full force. <BR><BR><i>"Wait ... please…..I think we might be able to help each other. If I understand correctly, your name in this place is Running Deer. You are a moderator, an enforcer of the rules. And rules here are being broken. My daughter is missing."</i> What did she mean by that?<BR><BR>That statement hung in the air like the drawing of a blade did in a silent room, reverberating off the walls in a long, slow echo. Everyone around her, and as she could see into the door of the kitchen, everyone in the kitchen, FROZE and stood staring at her and the woman who had made the statement. She dropped her dish and her mug with a resounding crash as the pottery broke and then she turned and sat back down. She tried to think about what "being a moderator, an enforcer of the rules" meant and how she had gone about doing it but to no avail. There was just <i>nothing</i> connecting her to that persona and to the name of Running-Deer. She shook her head hard and then grabbed her head. Then she slowly stood and faced the person who spoke.<BR><BR>"I do not remember ... being called by that name or title ... ever. I seem to have misplaced my memory since walking into this place and I am not even sure how I got in here. I do not know what to tell you or how I can be of any help to anyone of you, even to myself. This is all giving me a tremendous headache and until I lost my temper, I don't know why I did that even. I apologize." In her eyes was the clearness of truth and a seeking of information, and sadness that was just as unmeasureable as that of the woman she faced.<BR><BR>She took a couple of steps towards the woman. She stopped and looked her in the eyes. "I do hope that you find your daughter. I remember her running away from me but she went only a little ways and then played alone. I did not see her with anyone, other than you. I wish that I could be of more help. Kind hard to be when I have no clue as to who I am or what I am suppose to be doing here." She moved towards the door to the porch. She turned and said her final farewell.<BR><BR>"I see that I have brought apprehension and suspicion into this place and I do not want that so I will take my leave of your company and thank you for your kindnesses to me while I was here. Please ... thank those who were kind to me earlier and my apologies for my outburst. If felt 'right' at the time but now that I think of it, it wasn't. Again ... thank you." Several of the people there followed her as she walked past them.<BR><BR>She continued in the direction of the porch steps leading to the kitchen door and shaking her head, confused even more, tears started to fall, she blindly made her way through the door of the kitchen. She worked her way through the adjoining doorway to the dining area and she ran straight into the table, and just caught the vase of flowers there before it broke. She righted it before making her way to the doorway where a mirror caught her attention. She made her way towards the door and the mirror and she looked at herself blankly with empty eyes, not knowing who she was. Staring blankly back at her was the reflection of her face, tears falling down her cheecks and her dark, waist length hair tumbling about her shoulders, down her back. She was wearing a peculiar outfit that didn't match anyone else's and they looked to be skins of some sort. She looked back up at her face while the others gathered behind her, watching and listening to her every move. <BR><BR>She voiced "Who are you and where did you come from? Why can I not remember you?" Then she reached for the door to take her leave of the Eldar Estates and the people therein.
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Postby Nessamelda » Fri Oct 25, 2002 4:21 pm

<b>In the Terrace, near the Kitchen of the Eldar Estate </b><BR><BR>Susan held out her hand to stop the confused Running Deer, as she brushed past her , through the Kitchen and out towards the wider world of Alliances and Guilds.<BR><BR>"Wait" she called, "Wait!", her voice increasing in desparation. Susan saw Running Deer as her only possible link to the admins on the site, her only possible link to Katie. But the mod would not stop in her own blind confusion and left her standing there.<BR><BR>Susan followed her into the kitchen. The others watched in surprise as Running Deer pushed past, through into the dining room ignoring everything except her own misery and isolation, breaking the crockery as she passed.<BR><BR>The confusion, loneliness and misery on Running Deer's face reflected in the mirror, matched exactly the way that Susan felt. In this state this woman could be no help to her, she seemed as lost as Susan was - a spark of sympathy urged Susan foward after RD as she put her hand towards the door, and she touched her hand upon her shoulder gently. Running Deer flinched.<BR><BR>"We are all lost and confused in this place. But at least I have my name and identity even if I have lost my child. Do you remember nothing?"<BR><BR>Running Deer shook her head silently. Susan stepped back. RD would definitely be no help to her. All her instincts (and Alfirin's fierce hissing in the back of her mind) told her to let the stranger follow her own path, yet she still felt that stir of sympathy.<BR><BR>Susan turned to the others who had gathered. "What can we do? " she said softly. "in this state Running Deer can be neither aid nor hindrance to us I think. Yet I feel strangely uncertain of letting her go alone into the night like this - who knows what lurks there outside the safety of these walls, and she seems in no condition to protect herself." <BR><BR>She looked at them again, reserving a rather icy glance for Guru. "I heard your plan sir, through the door, and you did miss something out - the small and inconsequential matter of my missing child. Excuse me if I find that matter rather more pressing than the others. She is only six for goodness sake. And where do you propse looking for <i>your</i> friends? The Alliances and Guilds are huge. Unless you have some idea of where they are, then you will look for months. It is the same problem that I face looking for my child. They at least know where you are, if I understand your story correctly, and can find us. If they are able.<BR>Splitting up will further us no more. I suggest sleep for all - perhaps this lady will remember more after rest, and we are all exhausted".<BR><BR>As Susan spoke, her voice had once more asssumed an unaccustomed tone of command, and dropped into speech patterns that were alien to her - alien as Susan that is. To the watchers she seemed to have grown a little taller and a little more forbidding in appearance, her eyes shifting from blue to steely grey and the scar across the bridge of her nose becoming more pronounced.<BR><BR>"Well?" she asked again "What do you all think?"<BR>
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Postby Bardhwyn » Fri Oct 25, 2002 10:22 pm

<b> In a secret location and in an undisclosed cell…</b><BR><BR><i> Baby, Baby, Baby Do You Like It… Baby, Baby, Baby Do You Like It… Baby, Baby, Baby Do You Like It… Baby, Baby, Baby Do You Like It…</i> <BR><BR><i> The scene was bizarre; a fierce faced 6-year-old demanding lemonade, staring down an adult man, both pent up in a small cell with the strained voice of Robert Plante blaring out from a set of tiny PC speakers.</i> <BR><BR>“KATIE! Do NOT press that BUTTON!” <i> DavidM bellowed, poised to spring if need be. The young girl was proving to be not only a burden but also a dangerous burden.</i> <BR><BR>“BAD things will happen Katie! Bad men will come in here! Please! Don’t!”<BR><BR><i> Out of the corner of his eye, he saw exactly what he feared the most. It was a tell-a-tale sign - the ventilation grate was vibrating. He’d been held long enough in this small cell to know all the nuances and oddities of the space, or the ‘cyberspace’. He often would lie in bed at night and wonder who was responsible for the programming… it was superb!</i> <BR><BR>“Katie! MOVE!” <i> He hissed, scooping up the small girl with one swift motion… startling the child so that she froze, incapable of following through on her threat. Holding Katie firmly on his lap, David pressed keys quickly, swiftly holding back his panic.<BR><BR>The sound he expected to hear grew louder, the stamping of feet, marching in perfect rhythm against the metal grating of the long walkway outside his small cell - loud enough to be heard over the Led Zeppelin clip.<BR><BR>Katie stared wide-eyed at the door, understanding she had to be very quiet now.<BR><BR>Several of the browser windows and programs on DavidM’s PC closed. Leaving Plante still singing loudly, he picked Katie up and rushed to his bunk. Grabbing one of the many blankets he bundled Katie up, having her curl up in a ball so to look like a ‘pile’ of blankets at the foot of the bed, her face lightly covered. He then stretched out, his ankles near the now ‘pile’ of blankets that was Katie. He thanked whatever powers there were for her sudden willingness to cooperate.<BR><BR>The door to his cell slid open and several white armored clad guards burst in carrying blasters.</i> <BR><BR>“Number 328!” <i>A tinny voice crackled out from a speaker in the lead guard’s helmet.</i> “You’ve been inactive! Explain!”<BR><BR><i> Baby, Baby, Baby Do You Like It… Baby, Baby, Baby Do You Like It… Baby, Baby, Baby Do You Like It… Baby, Baby, Baby Do You Like It…</i><BR><BR><i> The guard stomped over to the PC and pressed a few keys, stopping Plante in the middle of one last ‘baby’.</i> <BR><BR>“I’m sick.” <i> DavidM croaked.</i> “I need a doctor.”<BR><BR><i> The guards wavered for a minute, having switched to a non-broadcast channel as they spoke among themselves. The leader, gripping his weapon and aiming at Number 328 cautiously approached. David watched as two large black plastic eyes inspected him for a moment or two. For effect, DavidM groaned a little and covered his eyes with crook of his right arm. The leader straightened up: </i> <BR><BR>“We’ll consult our superiors.” <i> he announced. With a brief wave, the guards about faced and filed out of the cell, the leader last to leave. The door slid silently behind them.<BR><BR>Katie sat up and pulled the blanket from over her head. </i> <BR><BR>“I want my Mommy.” <i> She said in small voice.</i> <BR><BR>“I know Katie. I know. I’ll get you home or back to your Mommy. I will do something. You can’t stay here, though, not with those bad white guys, right?<BR><BR><i> Katie nodded her head while a few tears slid down her cheek.</i> <BR><BR>“Friends?” <i> DavidM asked, holding out his hand for a handshake. Katie nodded her head again, put her little hand into his and gave it a vigorous shake.</i> <BR><BR>“Friends.” <i> Katie said, smiling, her face still wet.</i> “Now can I see my Mommy?” <BR><BR>“OK, partner! Let’s get to work.” <i> DavidM said, with a broad smile, broad enough to impart confidence to the young child. Inwardly, he was nervous and knew he’d have to work fast.</i> <BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><b>In the Admin Offices </b><BR><BR><i> Jonathan braced himself for yet another day alone, trawling the internet, looking for clues, ways in.. anything. Ted had been eerily silent and had not communicated at all since he ‘went in’. In the corner, the coffee machine gurgled and spat as the last bit of water was drawn up and dripped into the filter. The familiar sound and smell of the coffee wafting through the office caused Jon to look over his shoulder. ‘Few more minutes’ he thought to himself as his eyes flitted over the PC screen off to his right.<BR><BR>Something caught his eye - an error message sat on the screen. “Transport aborted, incompatible device at destination. Recalibrate and initiate second attempt.” <BR><BR>Someone had hacked into the system and attempted to use the Temporal Realignment Script. Jon bashed a few keys.. the RP Virtual Interface Streamer had been used, too.<BR><BR>Jon took a sharp intake of breath. DavidM! He was still alive!<BR><BR>Just as Jon settled himself down in front of the PC, there was a knock on the door to the office and the sound of a door handle giving way. Not knowing why, Jon quickly minimized the various windows on the PC he was gawping at and spun in his chair. In entered two people, a man and woman. The woman was smartly dressed, red hair and looked irritated. The man was tall, dark haired and looked sloppy.</i> <BR><BR>“Jonathan Watson?” <i> The man asked with a friendly smile.</i> <BR><BR>“Yes. Can I help you?” <i> Jon asked from his seat, completely unaccustomed to having people walking into the Torc offices.</i> <BR><BR>“FBI.” <i> The man flashed an id card.</i> “I’m Agent Mulder, this is Agent Scully.”<i> Agent Mulder motioned to his partner. The woman said nothing, raising only an eyebrow.</i> <BR><BR>“We just want to ask you a few questions.” <i> Mulder continued, glancing at the many PC’s </i> “Seems there are quite a few people missing from around the country and around the world for that matter. Seems they all had one thing in common. They all wrote role play stories to the website you own. ‘Posts’ I think you call them?” <i> Agent Mulder looked over at the coffee pot.</i> “Hey, mind if I help myself to a cup.”<BR><BR><i> Jon pushed himself through the shock of hearing ‘FBI’.</i> “Yeah, sure.. take one of the mugs hanging up on the wall… just make sure there isn’t a bar of soap at the bottom, though.” <BR><BR><i> Out of the corner of his eye Jon saw the RP Virtual Interface Streamer boot up remotely. With a casual move, he minimized that window as well. </i>
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Postby Nessamelda » Fri Oct 25, 2002 11:02 pm

Katie's sobbing soon subsided. She sat beneath the desk at David's feet out of casual view and began to search the pockets of her borrowed hobbit attire to see if there was anything edible. There was a rather sticky toffee, too fluffy to eat even in her miserable state. A small piece of string neatly tied into a hank. And a small piece of costume jewelery hanging on a gold chain. <i>Odd. why would you put that on a chain rather than wear it?</i> she thought to herself. Anyway it was far too big for her slender fingers so she left it where it was. <BR><BR>Katie further considered her situation. She had only ever seen the clips of the Film, and read bits of the Hobbit, but she had known enough to recognise that where they had been before had somehow been part of Middle Earth. But this was somewhere different. She had seen those white armored uniforms before! In another film! One she'd seen all the way through and had only had to hide behind the couch twice while it was on.<BR><BR>She grinned, thinking of how her little sister had made her "Emperor" face, pulling the loose skin of her face down until she appeared to have massive bags under her eyes and proudly proclaimed "I's the Baddy!" Then she started to sob again, wondering if she was ever going to see her Mummy and her little sister and her Daddy again.<BR><BR>David whispered down at her <i>"sshhhhhh" I'm working on it!"</i> And she hugged her knees and became quiet once more.<BR>
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Postby TinuvielUndomiel » Sat Oct 26, 2002 12:59 am

<i>As Nessa's quiet voice suddenly became confident and commanding, LH stepped back. Was this really Nessamelda, or was it Alfirin? In her meekness she did not really wish to meet the latter, for she found the artist to be a bit too shady for her comfort. Starting at the thought of meekness, for normally LH was not shy, she realized that she was taking on more of the personality of Tinu as she surveyed the scene. She acted less and less like herself with every passing moment, noting the same of the others. It was as though they were truly BECOMING, not only taking on a few characteristics to blend in, the characters in which they had invested so many hours.<BR><BR>Pity stirred in her heart for RD, who seemed every bit as lost as the rest of them. Her heart was growing softer, the cynicism dropping from her voice. Perhaps RD was a dropper as well and was in as much danger as they.<BR><BR>But we cannot trust her! A voice spoke back to her, a voice of reason from the real world. We do not know a thing about her, or if she lies. <BR><BR>Look at her, though, the soft-hearted elf replied. See the misery? That cannot be painted or programmed into any creature. It must be genuine!<BR><BR>After the debate, LH decided that her vote would be to take RD with them. She then thought upon Nessa's fierce speech about finding her daughter. True, the two elves had forgotten the tyke for a moment in their exhaustion (for they were still human beneath the facade), but it had not been intentional. LH felt like glaring at Nessa for the comment, but acted otherwise. It would not help the situation to start a fight. More than ever, they needed to stick together. But what to do about the other group? And Katie? <BR><BR>Sighing, and finally noticing the subtle looks from Guru with a wry grin that was quickly replaced by a reprimand to herself, for she was happily with a man in the real world, she spoke her mind to the others. </i><BR><BR>I agree that we all need rest—it seems that much of our agitation is due to the stress we've been put through so far. Yet, we do not know how much further we will have to travel to find safety and our friends, and children <i>With a pointed look at Nessa,</i>. I would rather remain together, but perhaps we must split to find the others. My only suggestion is that we propose a place to meet. If the others do not appear by an allotted time, we head for a second choice, and so on up to five places. Perhaps that way we will catch up along the road.<BR><BR>As for RunningDeer, I regret my words. Perhaps we should bring her along, as she may yet prove to be a friend. She is truly confused, for none could fake such misery as hers.<BR><BR><i>The last she spoke too softly on purpose for RD to hear, but made her way to the departing woman who had tears shimmering in her eyes. Laying a hand upon her shoulder, LH said,</i><BR><BR>I do not wish you to go if you will find such sorrow. I will help you remember, but I would like a promise from you first.<BR><BR><i>Not pausing, even for a breath, LH continued.</i><BR><BR>Even when you discover your identity, you are not to complete your duties when it comes to us. <i>RD looked at her in confusion, for she truly did not know her duties.</i><BR><BR>We would take you with us in the faith that you will not harm us in turn. <BR><BR><i>With that, Tinu returned to the others, awaiting their response, catching Guru's eye once more. What was it that he stared at? Did she have celery in her teeth? </i><BR>
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Postby SilverScribe » Sat Oct 26, 2002 8:48 am

<BR><b> ... in various rooms at the Eldar’s Estate </b><BR><BR><i>Scribbles’ jaw dropped as the one figure she didn’t recognize announced herself as Vana. With a grin, she clasped hands with the other helf-elf and laughed softly.</i><BR><BR>“Ah Vanaladiel, I finally got the hang of your TORC name, see? I’m glad to see you, but then again, maybe not. How’d you get sucked into this bit of strangeness? How long have you been here? How much do you know?”<BR><BR><i> She stopped and coloured as she realized she was practically peppering the other Peredhel with questions. But Vana merely smiled serenely as they shared information and caught up.<BR><BR>Scribbles shrugged at Nessa’s question about seeing the face of the shadowy figure, and nodded in the affirmative at her second question about signatures. Often TORC took so long to load, she had resorted to turning off the signature option to speed things up. Tinu’s comment about Running Deer made her slightly pointed ears prick up, however. Something was not quite right, of course, the whole adventure was not quite right. She listened closely when Vana asked what was going on.<BR><BR>When Lalatiel left to see if Bardy, Leoba and Elenath had shown up and Nessa decided to ‘confront’ Running Deer, Scribbles sighed and leaned back against the wall, her arms crossed. Tinu’s suggestion about being prepared was a good one, and Guru’s summation of the facts was accurate. She opened her mouth to speak, just as the sound of breaking crockery sounded loudly from the Terrace.<BR><BR>They all turned to watch as the woman they knew as Running Deer, a TORC Moderator, went past them with unseeing eyes and passed through the inner kitchen doors, moving towards the front rooms and entrance of the Eldar’s Estate. Each one curious, they all followed. <BR><BR>Scribbles heard the exhaustion in Nessa’s voice and looked around the group. Several looked tired, some nodding in agreement to the idea for sleep, heck, they had passed through the common room and poor Lalatiel had not even stirred where she slept in one of the overstuffed chairs. <BR><BR>After both Nessa and Tinu had spoken, she cleared her throat loudly and stepped forward.</i><BR><BR>“Look, an awful lot has happened in a very short time, even though to most of us it seems like a week or more since we dropped in here. In reality folks, it has been two, maybe three days so I think we are still relatively safe as far as pursuit goes, especially since the only pursuer that showed up on Wisteria’s tapestry now seems to have ‘lost the plot’, so to speak." <i> Here she nodded at Running Deer.</i><BR><BR>“We do have choices, several of them and everyone has raised good points.” <i> She scanned the faces, smiling at Guru, Tinu and Nessa in turn. </i><BR><BR>“We must not lose sight of our main goal here, as Guru has mentioned. However, new factors have entered the game, and we have to address them. First and foremost, and I go only by order of occurance Nessa, no offense, is our missing members, namely Bardy, Leoba and Elenath. And Lindon has still not turned up. Next, is the addition of Katie and the fact she has been taken somewhere. Then, there is Running Deer, who, if I may speak plainly, is a wild card. If she has truly lost all memory of this place and herself in the bargain, then we would be poor creatures indeed to ignore her plight. If, however, she plays a complicated game, then yes, we take a great risk in keeping her with us. However, I am reminded of a bit of wisdom from regular earth, “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” I say we keep her with us so we can aid her if she is truly in dire straights. If she is a spy or worse, then we can watch her and ensure that she does not betray us.” <i> She turned to Running Deer and spread her hands. </i> “I am truly sorry my lady, but surely you can understand my caution.”<BR><BR><i> She looked around the group once more.</i> “There is also the valid point of rest. I suggest that whomever feels the need should go upstairs and find a bed and sleep. Vana knows the Estate well, she can help you all find somewhere to rest. I say we remain here simply because some are too tired to search down and sneak into another Guild or Alliance house where such a large number of us could go unnoticed. Remember, many TORCers visit the Eldars, and none of us <i> look </i> out of place being here. To stay here for a night will not look unusual, to the Mods or anyone else.<BR><BR>For myself, I feel no need for rest or sleep. Therefore, I have decided on a small course of action for myself.” <i> She grinned as everyone rolled their eyes and some chuckled. </i><BR><BR>“I have a hunch about our missing companions. I am going to sneak out and see if my hunch is correct while the rest of you get some much needed sleep.”<BR><BR><i> Guru stepped forward.</i> “I thought you agreed that to further split up is a bad idea, Scribbles.”<BR><BR><i>She nodded.</i> “Aye, and I still do. However, I seem to be having a lot of success <i> being</i> my character. I can go from place to place without being seen, and I can travel alone quickly and quietly. Don’t worry, I’ll be back before sunrise, or whatever passes for it in TORC.”<BR><BR>“But where are you going?” <i> Nessa asked quietly. <BR><BR>Scribbles glanced at Running Deer then looked back at Nessa, hoping she would understand.</i> <BR><BR>“Where my presence will not seem strange, and where I am quite certain I will find some answers. I prefer to say no more, for obvious reasons.” <i> Her eyes flickered briefly in RD’s direction, and Nessa nodded, very slightly.</i><BR><BR>“I suggest you all get some rest. I will be back soon.”<BR><BR><i> With that, she hoisted her pack onto one shoulder, pulled up the hood of her cloak and headed through the doors to the large front entrance. Once through the double outer doors, she grinned to herself.</i> “Okay, let’s see if this works, I’ve been dying to try it . . .”<BR><BR><i>With a few murmured words in old Quenyan, she melted into the gathering darkness, heading for the one place she was certain Bardhwyn would have sought refuge. Dale, and the Bowmen.</i><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Bardhwyn » Sat Oct 26, 2002 10:20 am

<b>In the Merry Bowmen of Dale’s Guildhouse</b><BR><BR><i>HJ or Bardy.. she was feeling more like Bardhwyn in that moment.. Bardy stood at the open door to her room and watched as Leoba quietly entered her own room down the hall. Elenath and SB had excused themselves earlier on in the evening and the two women stayed on together, chatting. Commiserating was more like it, really. <BR><BR>As their characters they were each hopelessly in love. As their real-life personas, well… they had real lives. And here they were, each experiencing a confusing mixture of both ‘lives’. And, on top of it all, they struggled with the realization that they may not make it out of Torc alive. <BR><BR>Walking over to the wine flagon and seeing it was empty, Bardhwyn realized she was overtired now… too tired even to sleep. Taking up the flagon, she left the room to find more, downstairs, thinking the Guildhouse abandoned and all the members asleep. After all, it could be a long while before she tastes wine as good as this, and she wasn’t allergic to it! Bliss! <BR><BR>Quietly she descended the stairs and once at the lower landing jumped slightly, startled by the sound of laughter. The voice was too familiar.. it was Lysandros, still awake and off to one side, out of view of the stairs.<BR><BR>What to do? Go back upstairs or carry on and behave ‘normally’ – whatever the heck that meant! Was he laughing at her? ‘He better not be!’ she found herself thinking. ‘No, I live here. I am going to act as I would normally, Lysandros or no Lysandros!'<BR><BR>She stepped into the common room and confidently strode over to the bar that stood in the back right, the same bar she stood upon when leading the riddle competition at the Bowmen's Ball, ages ago. She smiled at the recollection of Magpie Jen winning a wine flask!<BR><BR>The door to the cellars stood on her right, the stairwell descending down, directly underneath the main stair she’d just descended from the upper floor. The key, she noticed, was still in the lock. ‘Strange’, Bardy thought to herself, ‘Can always keeps that door locked.’ Bardhwyn was acutely aware of Lysandros sitting, watching as she poured more wine, careful not to let the manacles topple anything over… damn things. Saying nothing, she turned to go back up the stairs.</i><BR><BR>“You’re still awake.” <i>He commented as she passed.</i> “I thought you retired hours ago.” <BR><BR><i>Bardhwyn stopped and considered what to say, if anything. A slight woozy feeling over came her and HJ asserted herself yet again…<BR><BR>‘I have a bad feeling about this…I know you’d like to say all sorts of things, but don’t.. not now…’<BR>‘I haven’t thanked him… he killed Malthus… for me..’<BR>‘NO.. just thank him later.. later..’<BR>Bardhwyn won.<BR><BR>Her eyes rested on Lys and for a moment and she recalled how he looked as he defied Malthus, beating the beast to the ground, the tears in his eyes as his sword rang out with each clash…</i><BR><BR>“I’m not tired….Lys...” <i> Bardhwyn walked over to the end of the table where he sat.</i> “I haven’t thanked you yet, for what you did for me, for killing Malthus. I would have been lost if not for you.” <i>She leant over and kissed the Barding on the cheek, then turned to go back upstairs.</i><BR>
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Postby Lysandros » Sat Oct 26, 2002 1:04 pm

<b>In the Guildhouse of the Merry Bowmen of Dale</b><BR><BR><i>BV was shocked to see Bardhwyn descend the stairs. He watched as she moved to get more wine. He hesitated to say anything. Something about her was 'off'. Apart from that, the romantic entanglement of Bardhwyn and Lysandros was shaky ground and the thought of carrying on his act into that area was not appealing. The notion of these torc cyper-couples was one that he had little sympathy for and to act one out on a dream generated person who didn't exist in the first place smacked of derangement.<BR><BR>Still, he needed to say something...Lysandros would. <BR><BR>'Argh, said too much....now she is coming over...oh crap...thanks?...uh oh...no no no no....AHHHHHHH!'<BR><BR>Her lips pressed on his cheek lightly and then she turned to go. BV sat, rivetted to his chair, trying to control his face so that it would not indicate how weirded out he was. <BR><BR>'I should say something. Something nice, but not too nice.' An image of being invited up to Bardhwyn's room caused a small tremor to convulse his mind with the implications, or were they enticements?<BR><BR>He cleared his thoat with a nervous cough.</i><BR><BR>"Bardhwyn," <i>she paused just before the stairs.</i> "You uh don't really have to feel indebted to me, justice was wrought, and that is reward enough. Though it was really I who was in debt to you then, and to save you was only fair recompense for the wrong I had done you.<BR><BR>So I suppose we are even." <i>he added with a vague smile.<BR><BR>A queer expression passed over Bardhwyn's face and she took a step back towards the chair in which BV sat. She halted, as if wrestling with indecision. BV, for his part, sat riven with horror at what might happen if she came closer. Would he have to play Lysandros' part out? Even if things got...cozy? The visage Bardhwyn now wore indicated that <i>she would</i> as she took another step closer, her eyes resting on him.<BR><BR>She was now only a few feet away from the lounging chair in which BV sat. There was definitely NOT room for one more on that chair, so BV stood, feeling like he had been painted into a corner, that is, if the corner had enough room for a scar-faced Dale maid with a caravan's worth of emotional baggage typed into her heart. But here he was, Lysandros the Master Archer of Dale. Lysandros would feel awkward and unsure in this situation. And BV, well, he didn't need to act! He looked into her eyes with dread, feeling very much mastered and compelled to relent. <BR><BR>Her face shone pale back at him, with sorrow and longing etched along her eyes and lips. BV knew what this moment would mean to her and for a moment he wished the real Lysandros would be here to share it with her; that poor jackass needed this too! Slowly he placed his left arm on her shoulder and his right on her hip and pulled her closer. Her body was almost limp to his touch and her face raised up to his as he looked down, waiting. Her breath wafted to him and he felt his hands begin to tremble with fear, or was it longing too? He steeled himself and slowly began to lower his mouth to hers. But suddenly there was the creak of the front door, loud in the quiet of the night.</i>
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Postby SilverScribe » Mon Oct 28, 2002 12:22 pm

<BR><b> At the Guildhouse of the Merry Bowmen of Dale . . .</b><BR><BR><BR><i> Scribbles made her way silent and unmarked through the maze of buildings that housed the various Guilds and Alliances. She snorted quietly as she passed a few, wondering just how long their building permits would prove to be good for. ‘This forum really does need a good house cleaning,’ she chuckled to herself as she turned up the short stretch of road that led to the gate with the proud blue Dale Banner snapping overhead.<BR><BR>She paused to examine the exterior of the Guildhouse. Her TORC character had only visited very briefly, to ask permission to join the Role Play that was currently rolling along. But she had never placed her character within the precincts of the Guildhouse proper, instead, the old Scribe had made her entrance to the RP far, far away in the village of Les. She sighed. Ah well, she had been ‘winging it’ pretty successfully so far.<BR><BR>She let herself through the gate and held back a soft gasp. The landscape shimmered and changed around her, now the view showed the lofty height of the Lonely Mountain brooding over a well-built little town. Since it was getting very late, the streets were mostly quiet, the occassional burst of laughter and scraps of song carrying on the still night air whenever the doors of a local tavern or Inn opened briefly to admit or let out patrons. <BR><BR>Scribbles turned to examine the large, well kept building in front of her. Surely, this was the Guildhouse of the Merry Bowmen of Dale, otherwise why would the gate have deposited her right here? With a shrug, she hefted her pack higher on her shoulder and walked quietly to the big front doors.<BR><BR>She put one slightly pointed ear flat against the crack between the two doors, but could hear nothing. Wait, there was something, it sounded like a conversation, being held in quiet tones. When it died away and all remained quiet for long moments, Scribbles bit her lip and eased the heavy door open, wincing at the soft creak the hinges made. She slipped inside, eased the door shut, then moved silently into the wide shadowed entrance hall Perhaps the soft voices belonged to Bardhywn, Leoba and Elenath.<BR><BR>She eased her pack to the floor beside a straight backed chair that stood against the wall to one of the entrance area, then tiptoed silently down the short, wide hall towards a pool of soft light. She squatted down and peered carefully around the door frame, using the old tactic of not having her face appear where someone would expect it.<BR><BR>Two figures came into view and no matter how soft the myriad candles were, she had to blink rapidly against the sudden light. Then, her eyes widened at the tableau that greeted her.<BR><BR>There, standing next to a chair and a long trestle table in what appeared to be a large common room, was a large blonde man who looked every inch the image of a Viking. She crammed her fist into her mouth to keep from laughing, surely this was Lysandros the Gigantic, Master Archer of the Merry Bowmen of Dale. And who was the slim, blonde woman that he was holding in his arms? Scribbles squinted, she could just see past the long hair and beard of the man, the face that was turned upwards was none other than that of Bardhwyn Trueheart, Archer of Dale. Scribbles was curious as to why they seemed to be frozen where they stood when her sharp Peredhel hearing clearly caught the next few words. </i> <BR><BR>“Did you hear something?” <i> Lysandros whispered, his face only an inch or two from Bardhwyn’s. </i><BR><BR>“I-I’m not sure, a shutter or something?” <i> Bardhwyn breathed softly in return. </i><BR><BR>“It sounded like the front door,” <i> Lysandros answered, then began to lift his head.<BR><BR>Without another thought, Scribbles looked towards one of the many windows that pierced the common room, the shutters drawn against the cool night air. With a tiny gesture of her fingers under her cloak and a silent command, a sudden gust of air moved one of the exterior shutters and it creaked, in exactly the same tone and volume of the front door. Lysandros’ eyes were drawn to it for only a moment, then he looked back down at Bardhwyn.</i><BR><BR>“Seems it was a shutter after all,” <i>he murmured softly and Scribbles held her breath, then eased back out of the doorway as the Master Archer resumed his interrupted initial intention, and ever so softly kissed the woman he held in his arms.<BR><BR>Scribbles rose carefully, and silently tiptoed back a few paces. Then, counting to twenty in her head and conciously wiping the huge smirk off her face, she pushed her hood off her head and began moving back towards the lighted doorway, making just enough noise to alert the two within. When she peeked around the door jamb this time, standing not squatting, two alert pairs of blue eyes fastened on her immediately, from either side of the chair that now stood between them. Scribbles tried to act as though seeing them there was a huge surprise.</i><BR><BR>“Uh, er, gee, sorry to disturb any important Dale conferences, but, uh, well, uh, y’know I’m not needin’ sleep and uh, well, I just thought I’d stop in for a drop of wine, uh, my old weakness for good Dowinion, y’know, and I er, uh, I saw the light through the shutters and it’s kinda breezy and cool tonight, and uh, well . . .”<BR><BR><i> She ran down awkwardly, suddenly realizing that it was very possible that her presence here was <b> not</b> normal. She knew that her TORC character was acquainted with both the Dalers, heck, in the RP they were all in, they were in the process of slaughtering a whole host of Easterlings about now. But was her face normally seen around the Bowmen Guildhouse? And a second, terrifying thought occurred to her as well. Was this the TORC Bardy, or the real life Bardy? She felt the colour rising quickly in her cheeks as she concentrated on appearing every inch the cool, aloof, enigmatic Peredhel she was supposed to be . . . </i><BR><BR>
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SilverScribe
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Postby Vanaladiel » Mon Oct 28, 2002 2:30 pm

<b>In the Eldar's Estate</b><BR><BR><i>As Scribbles had instructed upon her departure, Vana/TK showed the others whom wished to find some rest up the spiral stairway and down the long hallway to rooms where they could rest.</i><BR><BR><i>While Vana had been upstairs she had gone into her characters room and looked about for any weapons of any kind to take with her. Though TK had never had to fight in any way other then with her fists she figured with any luck she would learn how to use the weapons of her character. In the room she did find a few things because in the Eldar’s guild Vana had never carried her weapons, so it was a delight to find both her long bow with her quiver full of arrows and her short blades in the scabbard. So Vana/TK grabbed onto them before returning down stairs. Not feeling a need to rest herself, she then returned to the main floor to thoses whom did not wish to be caught unaware.</i><BR><BR>Hey look guys I found some weapons and a bundle that Vana takes on her journeys. I expect we will find Lembas, a bed roll and a change of clothing all ready to go. I just wonder if Glory is nearby as he always is when she needs him?<BR><BR><i>Vana/TK peered out a window into the dark, wondering, if she whistled would the magnificent golden stallion come running?</i><BR><BR><i>Settling into one of the overstuffed chairs Vana/TK smiled.</i> <BR><BR>You know Guruthostirn if you would relax you wouldn’t be so agitated. No one is around much at night in this guild but they do hit early in the morning so rest for now and then we can be off before sunrise. You will only find friends here. The Eldar’s are not to be feared. They are the older Torcers by age but they are very kind folk who are willing to help anyone that needs it. I know for I am their Envoy or greeter, I should say my character is, so I am the one who welcomes people here officially and I have never had to say or do anything to upset anyone. We love all the Torcers, in fact, people like DaveyJoe come here and bring pizza and all to have a great time. We plan picnics and outings and play in the hot tub. How can you fear them? I know that FT is a mod but other then him I have never seen another mod in here. They don’t come here as far as I know. Please find peace for yourself for the moment at least. We shall be off soon.<BR><BR><i>With that Vana/TK got up and wandered into the kitchen again and got herself a cup of hot chocolate with mint and tiny marshmallows. She also fixed a nice pot of coffee for those who may want some and returned with a tray of mugs and the coffee with some donuts and coffee cake left over from their many morning treats brought by the various members. Along with hot water for hot cocoa and tea bags with sweet N low and sugar and cream.<BR><BR>Placing the tray on a table she offered it to all and then returned to her chair and settled in to wait for the return of Scribbles, the others or the time to move out. Her bag lay waiting by the front door ready to be grabbed up on a moments notice.</i>
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Vanaladiel
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Postby Bardhwyn » Tue Oct 29, 2002 9:02 pm

<b>In the Merry Bowmen of Dale's Guildhouse...</b><BR><BR><i> ‘A nice kiss on the cheek, that was fine, just fine. Now I’m outta here.’ <BR><BR>HJ/Bardy stood up, feeling a bit more integrated and vowing to nip any future internal schizophrenic debates in the bud - they were very unnerving. Fully expecting to retreat without further ado, the clearing of Lys’s throat stopped her dead in her tracks. <BR><BR>He was so sweet, bumbling through his explanation for his actions, the most sincere he’d ever been - at least to Bardy’s recollection, which was now, of course, HJ’s.<BR><BR>HJ took a few steps closer, drawn to the big, blonde, Cyber-Barding because, well…just because. <BR><BR>‘You really are just a ‘guy’, after all.’ She thought to herself standing before him. ‘Just a normal, awkward ‘guy’. ’<BR><BR>He stood up…<BR><BR>‘Omigod, he’s so tall.’ <BR><BR>He reached out to her…<BR><BR>‘Omigod! He’s taking me INTO HIS ARMS!’<BR><BR>He looked down at her…<BR><BR>‘Omigod! He wants to KISS ME!’</i> <BR><BR>“Did you hear something?” <i> He said.<BR><BR>‘He’s SO CLOSE! Huh, wha’ ? ’</i> <BR><BR>“I-I’m not sure, a shutter or something?” <BR><BR>“It sounded like the front door…”<BR><BR><i> Through the window came another creak, sounding loud in the empty common room, and the wind caused a few panes of glass to shake.</i> <BR><BR>“Seems it was a shutter after all,”<i>He whispered. HIs attention returned to her.<BR><BR>‘..oh no...oh no…oh no…Noooo….’<BR><BR>His lips pressed tenderly onto hers.<BR><BR>‘Oh…oh…Oh, Oh Yes!’<BR><BR>Suddenly they both heard the sounds of soft footfalls from the open doorway to the entrance hall. They separated from each other’s embrace, hastily, making sure the chair was discreetly between them, just in time to see SilverScribe walk through the door.<BR><BR>HJ’s heart stopped. Which SilverScribe was it? If it was the Bowmen Scribbles, how will she explain herself! It quickly became apparent.. it was RG!</i> <BR><BR>“SCRIBBLES!” <i>HJ called out.</i> “You’re back early <i>from Mirkwood.</i> Finish collected <i>those herbs</i> did you? And what is this nonsense, you wanted to stop in for a drop of wine. <i>You live here.</i>” <i>HJ cast a quick glance at Lys who was looking a bit perplexed, or was he frustrated at being interrupted? She inwardly sighed and resigned herself to the fact she may never know. She sighed again because she really wanted to know. C'est la vie.</i> <BR><BR>“Here, I have some wine."<i>Bardy said, holding her flagon aloft, struggling against the weight of the manacles.</i> "Let’s go upstairs and you can show me what you’ve collected and maybe you can pick the locks on these darn things."<i>She shook one of the iron cuffs.</i> Oh, and we leave first thing in the morning. Elenath, Leoba, <i>Dirk</i>, me.. yeah?”<i> HJ said, nodding her head, hoping RG had caught the extra name. RG’s face displayed a passing tremor, then stilled itself.</i> <BR><BR>“Oh, well, yes.. of course. First thing, eh? Yes, let’s go...upstairs. I have much to show you.” <i> Scribbles rambled on, walking towards the stairs and patting her pack.”</i> Goodnight to you, Master Archer.”<BR><BR><i> Bardy reached over and gave Lys’ arm a light squeeze.</i> <BR><BR>“Goodnight. Take care.” <i>She said quietly and made to follow the Peredhel.</i>
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