The TORC Conspiracy

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Postby EdaintheRanger » Tue Dec 10, 2002 2:43 am

EM had no choice but to wear his daftest, widest grin, and barely suppressed laughter. He couldn't believe it. This could only be HJ! Happy memories flooded back, it was only her and fellow torcers who seemed to have that uncanny ability to place him in such a happy mood so early in the morning.<BR><BR><i>"Bear arms?..."</i> EM started to say, before he caught HJ eye and started chortling again. That really had to be the silliest joke going, and before he knew it he was hugging and being hugged by some one from RL. Then his English decorum got the better of him and he attempted to control his emotions. Red in the face and astounded he was failing miserably, and for once he couldn’t care less!<BR><BR>HJ was talking again and her face had become serious, and after the initial joy of seeing his friend, EM sobered and listened up. His eyes widened at the mention of Leoba/HM, <i>“So I have seen her before! Last night at the dinner table! You mean to say that there are more people from RL in here?”</i><BR><BR>HJ nodded at him, a questioning expectant look on her face. EM hadn’t answered her question and EM could now sense the urgency of the situation. Not stopping to weigh up the consequences Edain just smiled, his teeth flashing in the starlight.<BR><BR><i>“Of course I’ll come with you H!”</i> then unconsciously quoting the film he added <i>“Besides, you’ll need someone with intelligence on this quest, mission… Thing?”</i>
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Postby Lindonbayne » Wed Dec 11, 2002 1:52 pm

<b>God only knows</b> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-rolleyes.gif"border=0><BR><BR><i>As the sun crept above the horizon, Lindonbayne lay still. Th elf, face down on the cobbled ground, did not move, nor was she ever likely to again of her own accord. Her time was at an end. She had finally been struck down by one of the many assassins on her tail and not the one she would have expected had she seen her killer through the dark. It was not her arch enemy, though they would soon meet again in the most unlikely (and confusing) of circumstances, even deep inside a computer generated world.<BR><BR>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<BR><BR>Black, this place was, not white as many others would tell. Colours, blues and whites and greens streaked past. Had Emily been fully conscious, she would have noted how similar it was to when the characters went through portals in some dodgy sci-fi she used to watch every Sunday afternoon, but she was not. Possibly she would have wondered if she really was dead and was on her way to the next life. Maybe she would have thought she would have liked to be an oak tree this time round, or whether she was on her way back to the TORC dungeons, or maybe even back to the supposed comfort of her own home, back in England.<BR>She would not have known which she would have preferred, perhaps it was for the best she did not have to guess her fate, for it was one she could have never imagined, despite its probable obviousness to anyone with a brain the size of a dry pea wedged between their ears.<BR>
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Postby lalatiel » Wed Dec 11, 2002 7:34 pm

Lalatiel yawned, turned over, and clutched the covering of the now-rumpled cushion.<BR><BR><i>She could see her parents... her brother... sitting at home, watching TV. A budding Canadian winter roared about outside the picture window, and every member of her family was totally absorbed in the Thursday night television.<BR> The telephone rang suddenly.<BR> “ Should I answer it?” asked her brother.<BR> “ Leave it.” said her dad. “ If it’s that important, they’ll call back.” <BR>Three rings, a click, and the answering machine. Suprisingly enough, the caller left a message. <BR> “ Mr. and Mrs. G, this is the RCMP...”<BR> All three residents of the living room stood up suddenly. Her mother rushed to the kitchen and picked up the phone. The message was suddenly cut off. AG’s brother and father rushed into the kitchen, trying to catch the other end of the conversation.<BR> “ Yes... yes... no... yes... yes, of course... goodbye.”<BR>Her mother sat down, white-faced. All three were silent, and the only sound was the wind outside and the sound of the CSI team figuring out another murder.<BR> “ Turn it off.” said her mother. Scenes from previous episodes flashed through her mind... bodies... murders... evidence... “ Just... turn it off.”</i><BR><BR> Lalatiel awoke with a start. It was morning- early morning. The sky was dark, and the sides of the houses facing her were tinged with the light of the rising sun. She didn’t even remember her dream.<BR> Standing sleepily, she tried to recall if there had been any tea in the kitchen cupboards when she had been rummaging through them. Some had their coffee, but Lalatiel drank tea by the gallon. <BR><BR><BR> “ Morning, everybody...” she mumbled as she walked slowly down the stairs, and into the kitchen. “ Morning Vana... Katie?” <BR><BR> True enough, there was Nessa’s little girl, still dressed up as a hobbit, and making her way through breakfast. A million question gathered on the elf’s lips, and she began to wonder how much she’d missed while she was sleeping.<BR><BR>Oh well. Right now, the most prevelant question on her mind involved a healthy, hobbit-style breakfast.
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Postby Leoba » Sun Dec 15, 2002 5:37 pm

<b>Trying to find the others and sneak out – silently and unnoticed – in the Merry Bowmen of Dale Guildhouse</b><BR><BR><BR>Quiet passage out! Leoba wondered why she had even voiced such a thought in her head, as every floorboard they trod on persisted in giving an almighty squeak, fit to raise the rafters. <BR><BR>The corridor was deserted, since SB was still in the throes of waking up and, unbeknown to the two women, Bardy was round the corner in deep conversation with Edain. Looking from side to side and in posture rather resembling two naughty schoolgirls in pursuit of a midnight feast than a pair of warrior-maiden-wannabes, Leoba and Elenath safely made it to Bardhwyn’s room. <BR><BR>Elenath reached for the latch and pushed aside the solid door. Fortunately Scribbles had the sharp ears of her kindred and had managed to dodge out of the way before she was clouted by the pair of them stumbling in. The peredhel put a finger to her lips, motioning them to keep quieter still lest they stop her from overhearing what was going on across the way.<BR><BR>Leoba’s stomach rumbled audibly and The Scribe shot her a weighted look. There were times Leoba was discovering when it was more trouble than it was worth to play a weak human character and she couldn’t help but wish a little bit for the composure and aloofness of Elves. At least then she’d be able to stop thinking about wanting a full English breakfast of sausages and tomatoes, mushrooms and nice crispy bacon. Her stomach grumbled again. And coffee, fresh ground filter coffee, industrial strength. <BR><BR>She rubbed at her eyes and plonked herself down on the edge of bed to wait. And yes, if she was an Elf she’s be able to at least hide some of the confusion and fear and very messed up thoughts that would be the undoing of her if she didn’t tread the tightrope very carefully indeed.<BR>
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Postby Bardhwyn » Wed Dec 18, 2002 10:18 am

<b> In the Torc Offices…</b><BR><BR><i> The door to the Torc office clicked shut and Jon was once again alone. He sat quietly for a moment, giving the two FBI agents time to walk down the hall to the elevator before he got up and locked the office door.<BR><BR>Outside in the hall, Mulder and Scully exchanged silent looks as the lock to the door turned. Mulder had that 'I told you so' grin on his face Scully knew too well. She, as usual, wore her 'raised eyebrow' as they both tiptoed down the newly carpeted hall to the elevators.<BR><BR>Out the office window the sun was setting spectacularly into the Pacific as Jon eased himself back into his chair. The palm trees stirred with a stiff breeze from a storm that was kicking up from the northwest. Burying his face in his hands Jon allowed himself a few moments of abject misery and too many thoughts rolled through his usually very ordered mind:<BR>.<BR>'Kidnapping is a felony….*groan*…FBI agents, law enforcement agencies from around the world… *groan*….these people have families…what are we doing? Oh, God, I am engaged to be married!'<BR><BR>Straightening up, his elbow knocked his mouse and his Orc screensaver blinked out. There on the PC screen were two new email notices; one from Ted and one from Wisteria.<BR><BR>Jon opened Ted's first.<BR><BR><BR>Dear Jon, <BR>I’m sending you a present. When you’re done, send her to dungeon level five. I will make sure she doesn’t cause us any more problems.<BR>Ted.<BR><BR>Jon gave a snort. 'Cryptic as usual, Ted.', He thought to himself. 'Who is 'she'?? Ted, you dork! We agreed all the escapees would be rehabbed..'<BR><BR>Jon opened Wisteria's email, his mind still broiling Ted over an open flame - but that quickly stopped, as did his heart and his mind as he took in the words of Wisteria's blistering email. The abject misery he felt moments ago deepened and the horrific word 'Manslaughter' fell into his mind. <BR><BR>Lindonbayne was dead.<BR><BR>The words 'No, no, it can't be true…' fell from his mouth but he was unawares. Jon hastily opened the TorcCon thread via a link, for he had shuffled the thread into archives inaccessible to the average poster and he searched for Lindonbayne's name. <BR><BR>Sure enough… her death was there, plain to read, and the character, or the young woman rather, had been killed by an assassin who had been tracking the character for a long, long while. Lindonbayne fell at the hands of her own creation.<BR><BR>In shock, the fact two new 'droppers' were on the scene, Edain and SB, eluded him. <BR><BR>Jon fell back in his chair and in his mind he quickly went through the other characters, or people running loose in Torc, wondering if there was any further chance of an accidental death - one count of Manslaughter was one too many!<BR><BR>'Silverscribe has a powerful nemesis.. Delkarnoth, Vana…none that he could recall, Leoba? No, everyone loves Leoba though he'd not read her new RP thread, maybe there was some new antagonist in there. Nessamelda? Her alter ego Alfirin, for pity's sake. Bardhwyn… Sol, Malthus..no Malthus was killed by Lysandros, and as for him, well now, there were plenty of characters who would like to take Lys out…. <BR><BR>LYSANDROS!'<BR><BR>Jon bolted upright and rolled his chair back up to his console. Lys, the auto-Mod he'd programmed, of course!! He scrolled back and read the thread, surprised by a few things that went on… 'a kiss, eh?… fast worker…shame about being interrupted. hehehe..' <BR><BR>Jon then remembered this was a family website, after all.. <BR><BR>Pleased with what he was seeing, the auto-Mod was following his programming to a 'T' and was well placed to 'link-up' with the escapees, Jon opened Lys' program. Uttering a hasty apology for messing with the RL BV, he added a few more strings of coding to the 'AM' (Auto-Mod) - explicit directives that Lys could not harm the escapees or droppers in any way and if they were threatened, it was Lys's duty to protect them - as well as himself. As much of a curmudgeon the RL BV seemed, Jon felt that this imperative wouldn't be in conflict with BV's personality, deep down. After all, the guy was Canadian.</i> <BR><BR><BR>"And I promise to keep a better watch over you guys…" <i> Jon said aloud.</i> "We'll get you out of there."<i> He looked over to the two empty chairs to his right, each facing PC consoles that displayed idle desktop schemes. Immediately to his right is where Ted would sit, and the farthest chair is where David sat. His eyes rested on David's empty chair. </i> "And David, we're still working on it. Hang in there, Buddy."<BR><BR><i> Somewhere off in the distance, sounding as if it came from down the outside hall, Jon heard the screams of a woman. The screaming and cursing came closer until he realized it wasn't down the hall, but emitting from the Virtual Interface Streamer.<BR><BR>Accompanied by a flash, TS appeared holding a red faced and very angry Wisteria.</i> <BR><BR><b> In a undisclosed location and in a secret cell…</b><BR><BR><i> DavidM stepped into his cell feeling very lonely, funnily enough. As much of a headache Katie had been in the short time she was resident at the 'Hotel Space Station', as David liked to call it, at least she was company. <BR><BR>He shut down the computer system and Robert Plante's voice was silenced. </i> <BR><BR>"I don't think I will ever be able to listen to 'Misty Mountain Hop' ever again."<i> David said.<BR><BR>The vibrating ceiling grate caught his eye. In a flash he leapt across the room and laid himself out on his bunk, groaning as if ill.<BR><BR>The doors slid open and four guards entered the cell.</i> <BR><BR>"Number 328, come with us." <i> A voice crackled through a helmet speaker.</i> <BR><BR>"I'm sick." <i> David groaned, rolling over onto his side.<BR><BR>Two white plastic armored guards broke off, went to David's bedside and each taking one of David's arms, lifted the man off the bunk.</i> <BR><BR>"You're to come with us." <i> The flat transistor voice replied. <BR><BR>David knew better than to resist.</i> <BR><BR><b> In the Bowmen's Guild House, Bardy's room….</b><BR><BR><i> Bardhwyn stood on tiptoe and kissed SB lightly on the cheek. </i> <BR><BR>"Forgive me, Brother? Pleeease?" <i> She asked with a flutter of her eyelids. Leoba, from her seat on the edge of Bardy's bed, looked surprised. SB, noticing, coughed a bit then described how Bardy had resorted to drastic measures to get him out of bed. <BR><BR>Leoba laughed and SB grumbled something that sounded like 'Forget it, Bardy' just as Edain came into the bedroom. The red-haired Ranger blinked a few times at the collection of characters that stood before him; An Elf, a Half Elf, two mortal women and a tall, dark haired mortal man. All of them real people, like him, trapped in Torc and trapped in their characters.</i> <BR><BR>"Edain!" <i> Leoba squealed and leaping up, ran to her friend and threw her arms around his neck.</i> "When Bardy told me, I couldn't believe it! I thought you looked familiar last night at the table!" <BR><BR>"Everyone, this is Edain, or EM in RL, from the UK." <i> Bardy said in a hushed tone.</i> "Edain this is Dirk, Scribbles - you know her and Elenath. Edain found himself pulled in, though not into one of the dungeons. So like you Dirk, he's found himself here quite by accident but 'integrated'."<BR><BR>"Bardy, let's go." <i> Scribbles said, straining her head in the direction of the door.</i> <BR><BR>"Yes, yes, sorry…" <i> Bardy said, forgetting this wasn’t a 'Torc get-together' but an urgent departure.</i> "I say we go out using the escape tunnel in the cellars. It will put us out some distance from the House and when in the cellar we can open the spare armory get some extra weapons before we leave."<BR><BR>"Oh, yeah."<i> SB chimed in, flashing a dashing smile.</i> "I forgot about the armory." <BR><BR><i>'The guy's just too cute.' Bardhwyn thought to herself, flashing a quick look over to Leoba. </i><BR><BR><i> Taking the room's few candles, the company took up their belongings and ever so quietly descended the oaken stairs of the Guild House, the Elven women being the quietest of course. Bardy found herself looking at Lys' door as she passed. In her mind she silently said goodbye to the Master Archer and with a little smile playing on her lips she followed Scribbles down the stairs.<BR><BR>One by one they descended the cellar stairs. Bardy gave the fact the door was unlocked only a passing thought, so eager was she to get out. <BR><BR>The armory was opened and SB and Scribbles worked quickly, selecting swords, belts, knives, long bows, quivers and a cache of arrows - old but sturdy - for those back at the Eldar Estate. Leoba and Elenath happily deposited their clumsy Orc weapons and equipped themselves anew, hard won as those Orc weapons were.<BR><BR>In the cellar, Bardy and Edain shifted a few barrels, a surprising few, to reveal the exit tunnel. <BR><BR>Fifteen minutes of slow progress along the cramped tunnel was little price to pay once they met the fresh air and open sky at the tunnel's end. Behind them, some distance away, the rear of the Guildhouse was gleaming rosy red in the sun's dawning light.</i> <BR><BR>"Praise the Valar!"<i> Elenath said, straightening up with a stiff groan.</i> <BR><BR>"I second that." <i> Bardhwyn said.</i> "Let's get to the Eldar Estate, get some breakfast and get out of this Forum!"<BR><BR>"COFFEE!"<i> Several voices said, in unison, followed by genuine laughter - a delight to hear. </i>
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Postby EdaintheRanger » Wed Dec 18, 2002 10:46 am

Still overwhelmed by all the new input his brain was getting Edain stood aside perplexed<BR><BR><i>"Coughy did you say?"</i> he said slipping into character like a glove, <i>"You need some coughy do you?"</i> Seeing the puzzled faces Edain/EM explained,<BR><BR><i>"Well that is what Genuvere used to call it. Err in the roleplay thread?"</i><BR><BR>Five pairs of eyes bored beadily into him. Some slightly confused.<BR><BR><i>"Oh whatever! I meant coffee."</i> Edain/EM concluded.<BR><BR><i>"Coffee!"</i> Leoba ventured, <i>"What about it?"</i> that hint of addiction in her voice.<BR><BR><i>"Well, my character Edain," EM continued <i>"He knows Snowdog, and Snowdog being a trader, carries various herbs and spices..."</i><BR>Edain/EM let the sentence hang in the air, unfinished.<BR><BR>Swinging his tiny rucksack (Bottomless-Backpack TM) half off his back and rummaged around in a side pocket. Taking a handful of something he raised it to the side of his head and rattled the beans in his hand.<BR><BR>A familiar aroma filled the air.<BR><BR><i>"Will these do?"</i> Edain asked.
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Postby Lysandros » Wed Dec 18, 2002 11:20 pm

<b>In a thick bush just outside the Secret Tunnel from the Guildhouse of the Merry Bowmen of Dale</b><BR><BR><i>BV swore silently and profusely as he pulled a leafy branch away from his face. He dared not open his eyes for fear of getting a pokey stick in the eye and he froze still. He had heard the noise of people coming down the tunnel behind him, and for lack of a better idea he had hurled himself into the greenery. The shortcoming of his plan soon became apparent as he realized that anyone coming out of the tunnel would be obliged to walk right over him to get onto the road. More curses lept to mind but his attention was quickly diverted from his own lack of quick thinking to the approaching voices.<BR><BR>The conversation was interesting, and he recognized all of the owners of the voices. But their tones and mannerisms were a very stark contrast to how they had been earlier. 'Forum?' said Bardhwyn! 'What the hell did that mean? Forum?' This was too much! Things were impossible and he was beginning to feel surly and wished that, with his new gigantic frame, there was a little dwarf or a particularly annoying elf around to rough up. As a voice that was surely SB's rasped,</i><BR><BR>"I thought you guys were supposed to drink tea?"<BR><BR><i>BV rose up out of the bushes with a great racket and did not even have to feign annoyance.</i><BR><BR>"Bardhwyn, what are you doing!? Have you shown everyone the secret tunnel?"<BR><BR><i>The gathered throng recoiled a few steps in surprise though BV thought he saw a slight grin on Scribbles' face. 'Figures,' he thought, 'she always smiles about something stupid when Lys is around..'<BR><BR>But Bardhwyn retorted quickly,</i> "And what can you be doing out here Master Archer? It is not like you to rise this early." <BR><BR><i>BV momentarily was stunned, and his notorious inability to come up with swift and convincing falsehoods overcame him most inopportunely as he immediately wondered why Bardhwyn knew when he woke up...had he been not reading some of her posts close enough, or if in his sleep new events had cropped up on TORC that he was unaware of. He played dumb and puffed up his chest as if he dared anyone to question his actions.</i><BR><BR>"Rumour was growing from the street that brigands were afoot in Dale. I slipped down here in the hope of catching them unawares."<BR><BR><i>Most of the faces staring at him looked baffled, though now SB had joined Scribbles in a slight smirk. 'Oh sure,' he thought angrily, 'it is fine for you to sleep in fricken trees but Lys can't spend one night in stupid little bush...'</i><BR><BR>"And perhaps now you might answer me." <i>He glared. Was it just him or did these people look unkempt. All the people he had seen on the streets the previous afternoon had looked like they had rolled right off the fresh pressed pages of David Eddings puke-fest, but they all seemed oddly dishevelled and un-Torc-like. 'Who would write their character looking like a slob?' he wondered.</i>
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Postby SilverScribe » Thu Dec 19, 2002 1:19 pm

<BR><b> Just outside a thick bush which is just outside the Secret <BR>Tunnel from the Guildhouse of the Merry Bowmen of Dale ... </b><BR><BR><BR><i> Unlike her far shyer real life counterpart, Scribbles looked over the two men that Bardhwyn introduced boldly, her eyes raking them critically from head to toe. Stifling her burning natural curiosity, she simply nodded politely and smiled, there would be plenty of time for jaw wagging later. Right now her concern was to get out of the Bowmen’s Guildhouse unseen and unheard and as quickly as possible.</i><BR><BR>"Bardy, let's go.” <i> She could not keep the anxious note out of her voice as she jeked her head towards the door. The earlier growl of Leoba’s stomach reminded her that she was now terribly hungry, and the very next priority in her mind was getting to the Eldar’s and seeing about a hearty, if somewhat rushed breakfast. Vivid pictures of western style scrambled eggs, thick slices of Canadian back bacon, grilled tomatoes and thick, darkly toasted slices of rye bread began to dance in her head. She shook herself mentally and reached for her pack and a candle instead.<BR><BR>So anxious was she to leave that she found herself leading the party down the stairs. At the bottom she paused and let Bardy pass her, she realized that she had no idea where they were going. Bardy smirked and took the lead.<BR><BR>Once they had raided the Bowmens shockingly well stocked armoury and then felt their way down a cramped tunnel for what seemed like hours, they finally broke into the open air. Scribbles moved slightly away from the group and drew a deep breath of relief, they had not been stopped or observed.<BR><BR>When the chorus of “coffee” went up, she rolled her eyes. The new red-headed kid, Edain, pulled something out of his pack and rattled it in his hand. She caught the unmistakeable aroma of coffee.<BR><BR>Stepping back up to the group, she grasped Edain firmly but gently by the wrist and shook her head.</i><BR><BR>“Not now!!” <i> she hissed quietly.</i> “And keep your voices down, at dusk or dawn when the air is calm, sound travels far and well. We are not so far from other Guildhouses either, and I do not want to attract any undue attention, especially at this hour. We make the Eldars first, THEN we eat.”<BR><BR><i> She smiled at Edain to soften her words as she let of his wrist.</i><BR><BR>“Quietly now, let’s go. Our goal is not really that far and I’m hungry as well. Heck, I’ll even make the coffee when we get there.”<BR><BR><i> She nearly jumped out of her skin as someone came crashing out of a stand of short, sturdy bushes. She smiled wanly to cover her extreme annoyance as it became apparent that the interloper was none other than the overly cocky Master Archer of Dale. Bardhwyn kept her cool and for a moment, it appeared that she had quite flustered the Daleman. Scribbles stopped herself from rolling her eyes and smirked at SB instead. ‘Yep,’ she thought to herself, ‘big, blonde, gigantic and somewhat dumb. So human, so typical.’<BR><BR>However, the Master Archer appeared to recover enough composure to revert back to his usual cocky commander self and demand an answer. Scribbles stepped forward.</i><BR><BR>“Why Master Lysandros, we heard the same rumours and have come out on the very same errand. A master and commander should not be expected, after all, to put himself in harms way when he has loyal and dedicated troops to rely on, now should he? We have it well in hand, perhaps you should return to the Guildhouse and make sure that none of these “brigands” have slipped in behind you.” <BR><BR><i> She measured the Daleman carefully, wondering if she was going to have to attempt more drastic measures and praying that it would not prove necessry. Unconsciously, her left hand crept up to rest on her swordhilt. ‘Perhaps just a light whack on the side of the head with the flat of the blade . . .’ she mused silently to herself.</i><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Lysandros » Sat Dec 21, 2002 4:49 pm

<b>Just outside the Secret Tunnel from the Guildhouse of the Merry Bowmen of Dale</b><BR><BR><i>'Ah the Scribe.' Thought BV. Apart from true enemies, this half-elf had been the bane of Lys' existence. Always with questions and always taking pains to flout whatever authority Lys tried to wield. Since she had called his feeble lie it was now apparent what was going on; they were all trying to sneak out. But why? And why the hell was Edain with them? The man had never shown so much as his nose in the Bowmen before. 'Fishy!'</i><BR><BR>"Perhaps you are right Scribe; the Guild House should not be left unguarded. I will return to protect it. Though surely not so many are needed here. I will take Bardhwyn and Dirk with me." <i>He did not think anyone would go for this, but it would buy him a few more moments to assess them. He chose Bardhwyn and SB since as Bowmen they were at least somewhat liable to obey his commands. The face of Scribbles betrayed a quiver of frustration and the rest of the group loitered impatiently except for Bardhwyn, who now bore into him with a sultry stare of longing.<BR><BR>BV was perplexed but something in him told him to be wary, as if it might be a trap. Now was not the time to exchange winsome glances with his RP romantic interest anyways, no matter how cruel it would be to withold his favour. His eyes darted back to Scribbles, whose hand now rested openly on the pommel of Calamari or whatever it was called. <BR><BR>Suddenly Edain spoke loudly,</i> "Look, Sir, just get out of the way and let us be off!" <i>His hand also strayed to his sword.<BR><BR>Sensing the odds were against him, BV began wondering which of these folks would be easiest to grab and drag back up the tunnel as a human shield.<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>'Elaine, definitely.'</i>
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Postby Bardhwyn » Sat Dec 21, 2002 8:40 pm

<BR><b>Earlier, in the Mod Forum, the Cavern…</b><BR><BR><i> Bedecked in his black velvet cape, Ted walked down the long dark line of hooded forms that stood before him. <BR><BR>The Drones had arrived… 12 of them, all having traveled hard from a dark, secret place only known to him and the other two Admin.<BR><BR>They were, of course, Ted's idea, Ted's creation and had been stored away for just such an emergency, just such a need. They looked, originally enough, like Black Riders.</i> <BR><BR>"You know no pain! You know no fear! You are my Drones… My Dirty Dozen!"<BR><BR><i> For effect, Ted lifted his arms and added a little maniacal laugh at the end of this declaration. It was completely lost on his 12 creations, however, having never seen either movie, or any movie for that matter. They stood, silent and unmoved.</i> <BR><BR>"You're supposed to yell at that point!" <i> He demanded, his brows furrowed.<BR><BR>A blood-curdling wave of sound emitted from the 12 Drones, a high shriek that fell on the ears like razors and Ted resisted the urge to curl into a little ball on the cavern's floor. He realized the programming was just a little TOO good, and he raised his hand for them to cease. </i> <BR><BR>"Thank you, that's good, very good. If you don't run them down just scream at them, it will scare them to death." <i> He said with a chuckle.</i> <BR><BR>"You know your orders, split up and ride to the designated areas and collect as many of these escapees as you can for delivery to the Rehabilitation Center. Remember, there are some very skilled combatants among and they will fight you. These are hit and run missions, so keep those engagements short and immediately report back to me. We will download the information you glean and assess each escapee, then reprogram you for the appropriate skill levels. The next time you meet them, you will be stronger, faster, better… In three days we should have them all."<BR><BR><i> A series of hisses escaped the dozen Drones, all imbued with pleasure and the thrill of the hunt.</i> <BR><BR>"Now go and don't come back empty handed." <i> Ted commanded. He turned, motioned to the armored guards at the Cavern's rock hewn gate, and with a tremendous groan, the wall began to roll aside, revealing the new dawn - glowing blue and rose on the horizon. <BR><BR>The black horses' hooves rumbled off the cavern's walls as they cantered forth, carrying the Drones out into Torc and towards the Guild and Alliances Forum.</i> <BR><BR><BR><b>In the Eldar Estate…</b><BR><BR><i> The members of the Fellowship had gathered together and quietly ate their morning meals in the ample kitchens of the Eldar Estate. Around them Eldar staff bustled and cooked, treating the small gathering as if they'd always eaten breakfast there, together, every morning since they could remember, at the large table that was nestled in the sunny bay windows. <BR><BR>Vana, Tinu and Guru spoke in hushed Sindarin, debating what to do if Scribbles and the others failed to return. Katie and Nessa did what mothers and daughters do at breakfast; cajole, negotiate, and compromise so that some nourishment is ingested. <BR><BR>Lalatiel, aware Lindondbayne hadn't returned, looked out the window for some glimpse of her friend. The bay window gave a splendid view of the deer forest that rolled out to the right and behind the estate - in the distance the sun glinted off the Numenorean folly that had been erected on a nearby hill. <BR><BR>Cynara, with her host of half finished characters and Maiden of the Ice sat near Runnning Deer who still had a very vacant look in her eye, but sat relaxed and more comfortable around her new friends….</i> <BR><BR>"Hey, look!" <i> Lalatiel called out.</i> "I see some riders coming, six of them…. Cool! They're riding really fast!" <BR><BR><i> Nessa looked up and out the window.</i> <BR><BR>"I don't see anything." <i> She commented, wiping some spilled orange juice.</i> "Please Katie, drink the rest of that, don't spill it."<BR><BR>"No, you wouldn't. They're too far away yet for your eyes. I am an Elf!" <i> Lalatiel said with a grin while chomping on a mouthful of Wheetabix. She looked up again and gradually her eyes widened.<BR><BR>Lalatiel then dropped her spoon into her bowl of half eaten cereal…</i> <BR><BR>"RIDERS! BLACK RIDERS!"<BR><BR><BR><BR><b> Some ways behind the Merry Bowmen of Dale's Guildhouse…</b><BR><BR><i> Befuddled and surprised, Bardhwyn scrutinized Lysandros, the rising sun now low and bright, causing her to squint and stare a bit because of the glare. His explanation for being so close at hand was down right bizarre and now this 'order' to return with him to the Guildhouse. This was very unlike 'Lys'. Bardhwyn knew she was going to have to say no and she also knew he wasn't going to like it. Still, he looked great when he gave orders. She could see SB gear up to reply but Edain beat him too it, his hand now on the hilt of his sword. The tension was mounting but Bardy was quickly distracted.</i> <BR><BR><i> Pain took her by surprise. A searing ache sliced down the scar on the left side of her face. The adrenaline followed… yes, adrenaline. It always followed though Bardhwyn never knew exactly the biological cause. She concentrated and looked harder at Lys…could he be the cause of alarm? Was he a danger?</i> <BR><BR><i> Like two deer sprinting, both Scribbles and Elenath dashed a few paces away from the small band and began peering into the distance…</i> <BR><BR>"Horses… four, five… riding hard..." <i> Elenath said.</i> <BR><BR>"No, six." <i> Scribbles said.</i> <BR><BR>"Where!? Where?! I can hear them but cannot see them!" <i> Elenath pleaded, spinning on her heels, searching the horizon. Below Dale was slowly waking, small carts began to wind along the mosaic roadways and small plumes of smoke began to rise from the many furnaces of Erebor.</i> <BR><BR><i> Pressing her hand to her face, Bardhwyn came up along side Scribbles.</i> <BR><BR>"You're scar? It pains you?" <i> Scribbles asked, concerned. Bardy nodded and looked back towards the Guildhouse, which from their position was to their left and they could see the path of blue and white crushed marble leading up from the small, white gate at the road.</i> <BR><BR>"Remember," <i> she said, dropping her hand and pointing toward the Guildhouse,</i> "This is a virtual landscape. The Alliances and Guild forum is just on the other side of that picket fence running down along there, where the road comes up the…<BR><BR><i> With a tremendous crash, the small gate, which served the portal to the Dale and Erebor landscape, burst asunder and in rode, single file, six Black Riders…..at a gallop…</i> <BR>
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Postby SilverScribe » Sun Dec 22, 2002 9:04 am

<BR><b> Just outside the tunnel entrance of the Merry Bowmen, in ‘Dale’ . . . </b><BR><BR><BR><i> Scribbles almost blew a sigh of relief as Lysandros agreed to return to the Bowmen’s Guildhouse. But his next words caused her to tense up again, damn the man! What on earth did he need Bardhywn and SB for? She now seriously measured the distance between her and the Master Archer, trying to guage how fast she would have to move. But suddenly she paused, what on earth was she thinking? What if she misjudged and instead of just knocking him out, whacked the man’s head off? <BR><BR>Edain’s hand dropped to the pommel of his own weapon and Scribbles was surprised to hear him suddenly speak up boldly. But before she could figure out a way to back him up, she caught a muffled sound, odd for the early hour. Elenath glanced at her and without a word, she dropped her pack and they moved off slightly so they could hear.<BR><BR>Elenath identified the sound first, and Scribbles concentrated, hard. Her half-elven character took over effortlessly, and she spoke almost involuntarily.</i><BR><BR>“No, six.”<BR><BR><i> She was scanning the horizon, trying like Elenath to find the sure telltale cloud of dust, but the surrounding countryside was quiet, clear, just waking up. Bardhwyn joined them, clearly in pain and her answering nod to Scribbles question was instantly worrisome. The Archer of Dale was never wrong about the warnings her facial scar imparted.<BR><BR>Bardhwyn’s explanation was interrupted as a nightmare vision suddenly erupted through the gate of the Dale portal. Scribbles nearly swallowed her tongue as six Riders, looking for all the world like six of the famous Nine, thundered towards them all.</i><BR><BR>“RUN!!” <i> she hollered, fumbling for the sword hilt at her hip.</i> “THE TUNNEL!!” <i> she added, swearing in frustration as her hands and fingers refused to work properly and the sword would not come loose. She looked down, trying to see what was holding the blade fast. ‘Dammit, how DOES the Scribe DO this?!!!’ she thought desperately, as the sound of the hooves grew louder with alarming speed. Looking up, she paled, one Rider was already practically on top of her and coming fast. There was no mistake, she was the target.<BR><BR>She dodged the mailed fist that came swinging at her head, but not fast enough. The blow caught her just below the shoulder, high on the chest, and sent the breath exploding out of her lungs. She had just enough presence of mind to roll as she hit the ground, and came back to her feet easily, though her shoulder was burning, her eyes watered like mad and her left hand was suspiciously numb. She heard hooves behind her and started to turn . . .<BR><BR>This time, she could not dodge in time. The nightmare black gauntlet reached out and caught her by the cloak fastening and shirtfront, lifting her easily off the ground. As the material around her throat tightened with every jostle and jar of the horses hooves, spots appeared before her eyes and she clawed ineffectually at the mailed fist under her chin.<BR><BR>Her last recollection was that of being thrown unceremoniously across the lap of the rider, like a sack of grain. Gratefully, she passed out as the horse and Rider pounded off. </i><BR><BR>((OOC: See ya in 11 days Real Life Time folks. Don’t worry about the Scribe, she’ll find her way back. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>))<BR><BR>
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Postby Lysandros » Sun Dec 22, 2002 3:42 pm

<b>Just Outside the Tunnel From the Guildhouse of the Merry Bowmen of Dale</b><BR><BR><i>The sudden onset of the Riders caught everyone by surprise, and BV was no exception. But while the others scattered and tried to throw up some sort of defense against the most terrifying of all Tolkien creations BV stood bemused, nearly laughing. He watched, fascinated and mouth agape. A Rider swept by him and landed a stiff punch upon SilverScribe before hauling her up and thundering away.</i><BR><BR>"Scribbles!!" <i>screamed Bardhwyn, who dove out of the way of another Rider. Action swirled all around him as black armour clad hands reached everywhere grabbing at Elenath, Leoba and the rest. For their part they had all drawn steel and battled to ward off their attackers. The air was rent with piercing cries, but not the ones BV had always imagined from the Nazgul. 'They sound like fricken whales giving birth! Damn Peter Jackson has ruined Middle-earth for me!'<BR><BR>Hands, hands groped everywhere, all around him, eerily similar to the hand reaching for Frodo when Glorfindarwen was fleeing the Riders in that movie. But none grasped for BV. He stood still, he hadn't even drawn his sword yet and his face was incredulous, turning this way and that, a spectator.<BR><BR>The cry from Bardhwyn broke his reverie and he saw her yanked nearly off the ground by a black arm. Trying to get into the spirit of things, this was, after all, the kind of thing that half of his teenage dreams had been made of, BV swept out the serviceable short sword girt at his side and gave the forearm a stiff chop. The clenched hand snapped open and Bardhwyn tumbled down. The Rider looked at the hand, which remained open and rigid. Its empty visage of shadow then turned to BV and he recoiled a step. But instead of hissing, shrieking or freezing BV with dread, the Rider cocked its head like a confused puppy dog. For a moment they regarded each other. Another whalemoan echoed from the Rider carrying off SilverScribe pulled up the rest and they turned to thunder away. BV laughed; this was not exactly how he had pictured a fight with Black Riders would go. 'Ringwraiths indeed...I'll never get the shivers from them again....'
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Postby Nessamelda » Sun Dec 22, 2002 6:07 pm

<b>Having breakfast in the Eldar Estate</b><BR><BR>Despite having been so hungry Katie was putting on one of <b>those</b> performances. "Please can I have some milk…….eeeeuch this milk isn't cold, and it's got funny yellow stuff on the top" Susan tried to explain about lack of refrigeration and the difference between raw milk and homogenized, but Katie wasn't having any. "I'll have juice then" she announced. But the juice wasn't filtered, and loud complaints were made about "bits". And the crusts on the home-made bread, fresh from the wood oven, were too chewy, and the bread had bits in it too. Susan had gone past negootiation, through conciliation, cajolement and compromise and was about to go into the territory of threats of violence, when Lalatiel had commented on the riders. Susan looked up and out of the window. <BR>"I don't see anything." She commented, wiping some spilled orange juice. "Please Katie, drink the rest of that, don't spill it." Her attention was diverted, she hadn't really been paying attention.<BR><BR>Lalatiel then dropped her spoon into her bowl of half eaten cereal… <BR>"RIDERS! BLACK RIDERS!"<BR><BR>Katie squealed in excitement. "look Mum, those black horses are huge, and they are so fast, and beautiful". Then she stopped. "But I don't think those riders are very nice, They don't have faces!"<BR><BR>Susan grabbed her daughter's shoulders and looked through the panes of the window. The ancient glass had bubbles and distortions in it, making everything seen through it look curiously unreal. Yet there was no need for distortions to make the creatures riding towards them seem evil. Katie was right. Even in the clear light of the morning sunshine these creatures had no faces. Their magnificent horses thundered across the rolling green grass, their massive hooves churning a trail of destruction, trampling the small white flowers that carpeted the ground. There was only one place that they could be heading…..<BR><BR>An eery scream hit the occupants of the room like a physical force. <BR><BR>Susan turned to the others. "What do we do?. And where are Scribbles and the others!. They are out there with those creatures on the loose!" Once again she felt drawn to organise, to assess, to control the situation. She felt angry that these foul creatures disturbeed their peace, and curiously unafraid.<BR><BR>"Vana" she said quickly, "does the Eldar estate have any means of defending itself against these creatures.? I am no fighter, either in real life or in character. Although", she added thoughtfully, "Nessamelda can use a spear against the wargs and orcs that threatened her flocks. But Alfirin is only skilled at running away." Susan was aware of a mental snort and an internal comment about it being the only sensible thing to do. She ignored it and continued: "I fear that hiding will not do much against these, if they are looking for us. They will sniff us out". She paused, and drew Katie away from the window. <BR><BR> Another question crossed her mind. She voiced her thoughts aloud: "What are black riders doing here and now? Surely most Role Plays, certainly all the ones that I am in are set after the War of the Ring. The Nazgul were mere puppets, controlled by their master. If these are Ring Wraiths, then who is controlling their actions?"<BR>
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Postby Leoba » Sun Dec 22, 2002 6:51 pm

<b> Just outside the Secret Tunnel from the Guildhouse of the Merry Bowmen of Dale ... under attack…</b><BR><BR><BR>Leoba had caught Bardhwyn’s eye as they left the pre-dawn light of the bedrooms behind. She blushed and then blushed some more, because she was blushing. Was she really that transparent? <i>His</i> hair was loose, unbound, wet from the soaking Bardy had given him. ‘What are you trying to do to me woman!’ Leoba glared back at her friend. Well, tried to glare and instead her gaze completely missed her and lingered back on SB.<BR><BR>Elenath had worked hard to distract her in the armoury, hastening Leoba to change her weapons. She insisted on retaining the dagger, there was something disturbingly satisfying about the feel of its carved bone hilt crawling with evil devices. But the sword she had chosen was a vast improvement on the clunky thing she’d been afraid of waving around. Strong and light, beautifully balanced. This would do nicely. Well it would do if she had the confidence to use it. The thought of wielding a sharp(e) blade against anyone in reality was not a pleasant one; only once had she witnessed people fight live blade and a friend had ended up having stitches. She shuddered at the memory.<BR><BR>But now, outside in the cold grey light of reality, such sensibilities were by the by. <BR><BR>“RUN….. THE TUNNEL”, the Scribe yelled, her long legs making up several strides in the required direction. <BR><BR>But it was no use. Six Riders cut her off from her fellows. Riders who inspired fear rather by their speed and their suddenness than their wild screaming. And yet Bardy was in pain. These wraiths were real; yards and yards of raven linen shroud and eyes and fell breath that weakened the knees. <BR><BR>Leoba reached for her sword (there was hardly much choice) and tugged it free from the scabbard, the leather flapping wildly against her legs as she ducked the iron fist slamming down through the air above her head. Still she hesitated. The horse wheeled about, to charge again and this time she tried to counter the attack with her sword but these guys were strong for all the insubstantiality of their frames and she could not sustain more than one or two crashing blows against opposing steel before her foe sent the sword flying from her grasp. <BR><BR>It was then that she heard Bardhwyn’s scream ring out. All hope of a quiet departure now consigned to the dusty heap of what might have been. And a horse bearing Scribbles slung across like a sack of potatoes rode off into the east. <BR><BR>“No!” Leoba screamed, echoing Bardy forgetting, in her horror, the Rider towering over her. His hand swooped down, grasping clumsily at the scruff of her neck; mailed fists were rather designed for smashing than for holding onto the edge of a light linen shirt. She pulled away as best she could but it held firm onto her giving an almighty screech fit to wake the dead. Leoba wriggled and kicked but to no avail. Then she remembered the dagger in her belt. She drew it forth, turning it in her wrist to stab as hard as she could at the arm above her but it snagged in the acres of voluminous fabric, coming nowhere near such form as there might be. She would have tried again but she tugged and tugged and it wouldn’t come loose. The string of curses that flowed from her lips would have been more at home in a sailor’s hostelry than a Tolkien novel, not that she was best placed to care either way. <BR><BR>A flash of light on metal seared the air as a fresh blade, of one of the party, flew down against Leoba’s assailant. Suddenly she felt herself fall hard onto the stony ground out of the iron grip. The cursing stopped at least and her eyes watered at the sudden jarring pain that ran up her back when she plummeted. But the Rider, still screaming like a banshee, had backed off leaving behind a flurry of shredded black raiment.<BR><BR>
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Postby TinuvielUndomiel » Sun Dec 22, 2002 8:05 pm

<b>Eldar Estate...various places</b><BR><BR>"Good morning - well I think it is nearly morning. Has anyone heard from Scribbles yet?"<BR><i>Nessa asked. However, Tinu/LH's mind was elsewhere—and not in real life... Otherwise, not being a rude person, she would have responded. <BR><BR>Suddenly, they were two more than before and she awoke from her reverie, but not in time to answer the question.</i><BR><BR>What the--?<BR><BR><i>LH didn't know what to do when she saw the wraith-like form clutching little Katie. Once minute the girl was kidnapped, the next, a wraith returns her? Strange... His words were cryptic and soon he was gone. But all that mattered was that Katie was returned to her mother.<BR><BR>Tinu knew that it was none of her business, but with her sharpening hearing, she could hear every word the mother and daughter spoke, though she was leaving the room to wake the others. As she walked away, she tried with much difficulty not to laugh aloud at the words the two exchanged. It reminded her of her own mother and what she would have done if LH disappeared. Though her mother would have been a bit more paranoid... At this too, she laughed, but in a moment's time, forgot why. Her thoughts of real life were becoming scattered and incomplete the longer she was here; even her beloved on the other side of the screen was fading in her mind—the one person she thought she would never forget.<BR><BR>Once everyone was awakened, between Guru and her, they all sat down for what they had hoped would be a quiet breakfast, though each of the elves had their ears perked for possible danger. As she talked in the language most used by her character (though Telerin was her native language) with Vana, she caught Guru's eye. It was strange how much he resembled the pictures Vana had sent her by email, yet there was a deepness to his eyes that a photograph could never capture. And the longer he was there with them, the more he turned into the weary traveler who had borne a pain so great that it made him wary of love.<BR><BR>Suddenly, a clank of ceramic startled the elf, the shock was further intensified when she felt the ground tremble slightly beneath them. </i><BR><BR>Black Riders, here?<BR><BR><i>Normally, LH would have paled at this, but Tinu had taken over her reflexes and she ran into the dining room where some character had left a finely carved bow and a quiver of arrows. Slinging the quiver's bag over one shoulder, she returned in time to overhear Susan say:</i><BR>I am no fighter, either in real life or in character.<BR><BR><i>Tinu nodded at this, for it might be better that way.</i><BR><BR>Nessamelda, you have your daughter to protect. I'd suggest you fight only to protect her—we'll take care of the rest. <BR><BR><i>But there was one problem to this plan—the lack of weapons. Tinu looked to her fellow elves and wished that they too had all of their weapons. She did not trust her weather-spelling skills yet, as she had not tested them, and did not want to end up creating a hurricane that would drown them all. But, as it was, they had to make do with what little they had.</i><BR><BR>What weapons do we have? Vana, is there anywhere in the Estate that we might gather a few for those who have none? I think Nessa is right—we cannot hide from these creatures. But surely they can be turned back, especially by a woman....<BR><BR><i>At this, she winked at Guru, and even got a tense smile from some of the others at her wan joke about Eowyn felling a Nazgul. The riders, however, were nearly there and there they still sat, unprepared and mostly unarmed. So, chin held high in Lurea-fashion, Tinu called out:</i><BR><BR>Run! Get whatever weapons you can find. I'll hold things until you can return.<BR><BR><i>And if they did not return before her arrows were gone....well, she didn't have that far planned out yet. She would simply pray that they would return in time. Tinu rushed to the doorway after the others, lurking slightly behind the doorframe, so that she was unseen, but could see the door if it were opened. She poised an arrow upon the bow and waited.</i><BR>
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Postby Nessamelda » Sun Dec 22, 2002 11:48 pm

<b>In the Eldar Estate, by the door to the terrace</b><BR><BR>Susan nodded sombrely at Tinu. <BR><BR>"Katie, into the corner", she ordered, in her most Alfirin like manner. This time Katie did not think twice about obeying her mother and curled up in a ball between the wall and the table, trying to remain out of sight. Tinu stood by the door frame of the French windows onto the terrace, bow in hand, waiting. The others scattered, looking for weapons. <BR><BR>Susan risked a glance out through the door. The riders were closer now, advancing - at this distance the power and strength of the great beasts that they rode was almost overwhelming, their iron shod hooves tearing up the ground. Giant destriers these were, no elegant arabs, built for carrying the weight of armoured men plus their own steel caparisons. They were heading straight for the stone flags of the terrace.<BR><BR>Susan watched the horses with awe. She had never seen great beasts like these close up. She'd never had much to do with horses at all - as a city dweller, the closest she usually got in her daily life was occasionally watching the police greys on duty......She grinned slightly. Those riders would be much more vulnerable if they were dismounted, and she had just had a thought.<BR><BR>"Marbles", she said to Tinu, "that's what I need, marbles!" Tinu looked at her puzzled, as if Susan had finally lost hers. Susan ran into the open door of the laundry and grabbed Katie's abandoned twentyfirst century clothes. Inside the pockets was exactly what she was after. The latest craze at school - Katie could beat most of the boys and had amassed a sizeable collection.<BR><BR>Tinu had had time to loose off one arrow, but the horses bore heavy armour and it had glanced off harmlessly. As she stepped back out of sight to redraw her bow, the first hooves struck sparks off the granite slabs of the terrace. Susan flung open the window, took a handful of the marbles and threw them along the ground as the second rider arrived. The great hooves missed their step on the slippery spheres and with a crash the giant steed fell to the ground, taking the first arrival with it. The following riders cannoned in to the chaos, and for valuable seconds the riders were left confused and unable to escape their struggling mounts. <BR><BR>"Remember Weathertop", Susan, yelled at Tinu. "They can't stand fire - that's how Aragorn beat them off."<BR><BR>She dived back down into the corner with Katie. For now at least, it would be up to the others to fight.<BR><BR>
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Postby lalatiel » Mon Dec 23, 2002 2:14 pm

<b>In the Eldar Estate</b><BR><BR>RIDERS! BLACK RIDERS!<BR><BR>Lalatiel dropped her spoon, her whole body going rigid with fear. Riders. Here. In TORC? But... why? Why would the Admin program such a horrible thing? TORC was a safe, friendly site, surely they didn’t think they would actually need to use such extreme...<BR><BR> What are you doing? she asked herself, shaking her head vigorously, as if it would pick up a bit of common sense from the surrounding air. Now isn’t the time to be pondering <i>why</i> the things exist.<BR> <BR> A plain steel sword hung at her hip, but she didn’t think any of her characters knew how to use the thing, and Lalatiel’s RL counterpart certainly didn’t. She slowly drew it out of the sheath, surprised at it’s weight, then put it back in again. What was the use? Steel wouldn’t harm wraiths... any reasonably fanatic TORCer would know that!<BR><BR> The Riders had recovered from Nessa’s marble attack, and Lalatiel was still standing, frozen, in the kitchen, one hand on her swordhilt, the other dangling by her side. She slowly moved a few steps the the left, putting the long table between her and the menacing TORCwraiths.<BR><BR> Tinu, standing behind the door with her eyes alert, had an arrow fitted to her bow. Lalatiel moved again, this time to the other side of the doorframe, and drew her sword from it’s leather house. There was no valiant ringing of the steel, the blade felt no lighter than it had before, and she had no knowledge of where to place her hands on the hilt. <BR><BR> The black thunder of the wraiths’ hooved pounded nearer, nearer, nearer... Lalatiel repositioned her hands on the sword and moved the blade so it was placed above her right shoulder, like a baseball bat. Steely determination glittered in the eyes of those around the room. We’ve got this far, they seemed to say. We’re not turning back now.<BR><BR>((Happy Christmas, all!))
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Postby SmaugsBane » Mon Dec 23, 2002 9:44 pm

stinkin' doubles!!
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Postby SmaugsBane » Mon Dec 23, 2002 9:48 pm

AW stood in wonderment at the conversation between the brash American sensibilities of Bardy and the one-sided heroic character Lysandros. Sure, he had his moments of tenderness. Of course BV had written him with a smattering of justice and lots of common sense. But when it came down to brass tacks, Lysandros was the kind of hero/conqueror type who had only one tactic: full-frontal assault. Which was why this particular exchange baffled AW. Lys waffled a bit. For a split second, he seemed to waver in his swagger. His eyes projected something other than the kind of bravado born of one hundred percent confidence. For the first time, AW saw a side of this character he hadn't seen before. Lys had lied egregiously. What's more, there was something like panic in his eyes when they stumbled upon him. Like a child attempting to come up with an alibi when the cookie jar had been discovered empty.<BR><BR>But soon enough, the original Lys was back, doling out orders and bantering with Bardy and Scribbles. AW could not restrain the smirk that curled the ends of his lips. <BR><BR>Things got tense for a moment. Scribbles' hand strayed to the hilt of her runed blade. Edain spoke out boldly, furthering the tension. Dirk would have also subtley reached for a weapon; but AW's mind didn't work the same as the Dúnadan Knight's.<BR><BR>As it turned out, this lack of warrior instinct proved even worse.<BR><BR>The moments that followed occured so fast that AW could not recall them later. <BR><BR>There was something about Bardy's scar causing her pain. Then the elves (half-elf <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> ) shouted something about riders approaching. Scribbles shouted, AW wheeled, and before he knew it, he went down in a flurry of hooves and black fabric.<BR><BR>The sound. AW would never remember the sound. It was eardrum-peircing. The shrieks were so painful that AW could not help but cover his ears. <BR><BR>He finally recovered from the initial shock only to see Scribbles bounding off athwart the saddle of one of their assailants.<BR><BR>AW regained his senses to see that Leoba was in trouble. She was struggling against one of the riders, who appeared for all the world to have jumped from Peter Jackson's imagination. She was cursing and stabbing with a dagger to no avail, she was about to be abducted in the samw manner as the Scribe. AW had to act.<BR><BR>He got himself to his feet and began running towards his intended target, while attempting to draw the Dragon's Tooth from its scabbard. The movement was so awkward that when the mighty blade finally came free, it sent AW to the ground at the hooves of Rider who had Leoba in its grasp. Again, AW regained his feet and his exposure.<BR><BR>In a manner so ugly that AW was glad that everyone else was otherwise occupied and did not see, he raised the sword and brought it down upon the arm of the rider with all of his might. He was so off balance, that again he toppled over. <BR><BR>But he had accomplished his goal. When he stood, barely holding on to the blade, which drug on the ground, and with his hair covering his face, he could see that Leoba was still with them and in the grasp of the now fleeing Riders.<BR><BR>He stood panting for a moment, then re-sheathed the weapon, attempting to do so in as smooth a manner as he could. The others began to recover and soon they were all gathered about.<BR><BR>"Well, what the hell do we do now?" asked the exasperater AW, dropping the façade. It was time to get real. Lys was the only cyber character and if he couldn't get with the program they'd have to leave him behind. One way or another, they needed to get moving.
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Postby Guruthostirn » Tue Dec 24, 2002 1:16 am

<b>The Eldar Estate:</b><BR><BR><i>RM had been speaking with Vana and Tinu over a bit of breakfest when he'd begun to get a prickly feeling on the back of his neck. At first, he'd thought it was a draft, but after a while, that part of him he'd been trying to ignore, but which was gradually spreading through him, began to give him a sense of evil, and warning. Shaking himself, thinking to ditch the sleep which surely must be catching up with him, considering he'd had none that night, RM figured it must be merely a figment of his overactive imagination. Yet, he knew what was spreading inside him, the essence of the character he'd developed, and now become. Perhaps the deep powers of his elvish persona were noticing something, and now, as himself and his creation were blending, his senses were becoming entwined with the magical abilities of his TORC character.<BR><BR>Surely the others were noticing the same thing, this creeping sensation, or more of a tickle, like an arm going to sleep, yet it was all over. The sensation was partly responsible for keeping him awake the night before, though he'd been noticing it for quite some time. RM couldn't decide whether to fight it, which he doubted would work at all, or accept it, accept the other spirit which was sharing its body with himself, and accept its help.</i><BR><BR>"RIDERS!! BLACK RIDERS!!!"<BR><BR><i>With a speed that stunned him, RM spun out of his chair and ran to the nearest window. Through the small, quaint opening, he could see the dark shapes rushing across the lawn towards to door to the kitchen. Whipping about, while noting in the back of his mind that his dilemma from moments before had been solved, and that he could have quite a good time with his new, unrestrained elvish side, he recognized the terrible problem that now faced them. Already the others were trying to find what weapons they could, but to his newly well-trained eye Anorast/RM realized that they had little chance against six Black Riders, if they were even a close approximation of the creatures they were copied from. <BR><BR>It appeared that only Tinu was prepared for battle, though a few others, including Lalatiel, were armed as well. Yet even had they been arrayed in the armor of the finest elf smiths they didn't stand a chance, for surely none of them were merged enough with their TORC persona's to be able to use their equipment! Even himself, now fully incorporated with his character, could not estimate his capability, completely untested, unknowing of his abilities.<BR><BR>Striding quickly into the mix of bodies swirling in the middle of the room, Anorast/RM stuck out a long arm and grabbed Vana.</i> "Vana, I know you've been asked to find some weapons, but right now it's more important to find us a way out! We cannot fight these creatures and hope to win! We must flee, choose our ground, when we're prepared! Find us a way out!" <i>Turning, ignoring any answer, Anorast/RM flew towards the door just as the riders reached the stairs. Casting himself entirely into the hands of his character, the one he'd written to be as capable as any denizen of Middle Earth, RM, now fully Anorast, whipped out his sword. Seeing Lalatiel waiting with her short blade, and Tinu with a bow and a handfull of arrows, Anorast threw caution to the winds, ripped the doors wide open for Tinu to get some good shots, and charged straight for the foremost Rider.
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Postby TinuvielUndomiel » Tue Dec 24, 2002 11:50 pm

<b>Eldar's Estate--Darned Black Riders too darned close!</b><BR><BR>Anorast!<BR><BR><i>LH/Tinu screamed, suddenly panicked by his heedless dash toward the horrible, dark creatures, nearly dropping her bow. She took a moment to think, and realizing that she had just shot a bow, when she had never done so before in her life, she nearly panicked once more. How could she know such a thing? True, she had always acclimated quickly to any situation in the real world, but this was something no one should know how to do--especially with such accuracy. However, at the moment, she could only trust in this sudden ability and move with her growing instincts, the tiny hairs on her neck prickled in anticipation of the fight, when LH would normally run.<BR><BR>But what to do now? She was torn between running after Anorast in the same wild manner and remaining as she was--able to shoot the riders. And then she remembered Nessa's last words: fire... Yes! She could use fire against them. But how could she get it?<BR><BR>Her eyes, which had sharpened a bit more since the evening before, searched out some flint or a torch already lit. Suddenly, she recalled a torch in the dining room that had not been snuffed yet, as the day was still young. She prayed that it was still there, unscathed, for it might be the only chance of saving Anorast. Her heart beat wildly, for feelings had developed within her breast for this dangerously handsome elf and she would not stand his death.<BR><BR>Racing for the torch, she saw a flickering of light and thanked Eru. Carefully she lifted it from its hook and ran as swiftly as her lengthened legs would allow. Her plan was simple: divide and conquer. Lalatiel hopefully would remain in the same place and with another torch, which she gathered as she ran, the two could charge the riders. An image of a battered elf lying face down slapped her in the face, causing her to run faster. She did not want to think of what would happen if this plan were to fail--for it appeared to be the only plan. Run away--this they could not do, for the black riders would simply follow. Hiding was certainly not an option, for their sense of smell was too great. Confrontation, even a weak one such as this, was the only option at the moment.</i><BR><BR>*edited to add location
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Postby wisteria » Fri Dec 27, 2002 7:01 pm

<b>In Jon's office</b><BR><BR>"What do you think you're doing??" <i>Wiste squirmed, her arm still caught in ThreadStalker's grasp. She aimed a kick at his shin and swung her leg as hard as she could. The Mod didn't even flinch.</i><BR><BR>"Let me go, you . . . you . . .KIDNAPPER!!!" She swung her fist at his chin; he caught it in his huge gloved hand and twisted her arm behind her back. "Let me go -- I'll get my stapler!"<BR><BR>For an answer, the huge Mod simply pulled up on her arm. She yelled in pain and would've dropped to her knees if he hadn't been holding her up.<BR><BR>"That's enough, TS!" Jon barked. "Let her go."<BR><BR>TS looked at his master, then at the woman still struggling feebly in his hands. "Let her go," Jon repeated, looking directly at the real life Wisteria. "She won't do anything stupid, will she?"<BR><BR>The pain evident in her eyes, Wiste nodded her agreement. ThreadStalker let go and she fell to the floor. For a moment, she didn't move, letting the feeling come back into her arms. Jon held out a hand and she defiantly pushed it aside and rose without assistance.<BR><BR>"What is going on here? Just what do you think you're up to, up here in your, your . . ," she gestured around the room at the various computers, "your lair! Do you know that Lindonbayne is dead? Not just written out of a story, not just put on a shelf, but DEAD!! You murderer!"<BR><BR>Her voice broke and her eyes started to water. With a shake of her head, she sniffed and banished the tears -- she was not about to cry in front of her captors. Her head held high, she stood, resolute, in front of Jon.<BR>
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Postby Bardhwyn » Sat Dec 28, 2002 9:17 pm

<b> In the Admin Offices….</b><BR><BR>"Do you know that Lindonbayne is dead? Not just written out of a story, not just put on a shelf, but DEAD!! You murderer!"<BR><BR><i> Jon, still seated in his office chair, hung his head. He immediately felt the weight of the woman's words and with a sigh he looked up into Wisteria's very angry face.</i> <BR><BR>"Yes, I know, I mean, I have just read it in the thread. Wisteria, we had nothing to do with that…."<BR><BR>"Don't lie to me, Jon.." <i> Wisteria said bitterly, stepping cautiously away from ThreadStalker.</i> <BR><BR>"CD, will you just listen! Lindonbayne was killed by one of her character's enemies. She died at her own hand. We had NOTHING to do with it. It was an accident, how were we to know…"<BR><BR>"But you're the reason why they are in there! Don't try to tell me you're not responsible! You've got to get them out of there! <i> She cried, waving a pointed finger at Jon and stepping forward. ThreadStalker responded, grabbing the woman's arms and holding her firm. <BR><BR>Jon let his face fall into his hands for a moment and he squeezed his tired eyes. He'd spent 15 hours scouring the RBSFM* web sites, then the FBI and now this, another kidnapping. If Ted were here, he'd let the man have it. But Ted wasn't 'here', Ted was 'there', in TORC, supposedly fixing this situation and from the looks of it, things were worsening. <BR><BR>Time was passing, valuable time that could not recaptured.<BR><BR>Jon spun about in his chair and reread his partner's email. The 5th level dungeon of TORC was to be Wiste's final destination. </i> <BR><BR>"I don't think so, Ted."<i> Jon said quietly, under his breath.</i> <BR><BR>"This is MURDER, Jon." <i> Wisteria cried.</i> <BR><BR>"Manslaughter, actually, and let's not forget kidnapping." <i> Jon said blandly, spinning back to face his friend.' Most likely not a friend anymore.' was the thought that sped through his mind.</i> <BR><BR>"What?" <i> Wisteria said, stilling herself.</i> <BR><BR>"Kidnapping."<BR><BR><i> There was a quiet moment that followed this statement and Jon watched as Wisteria took the chance to study his face. He most likely looked tired and deadly serious, more serious than she'd ever seen him before. In fact, his blue eyes held a flat grayness that spoke volumes to her and Wisteria then realized this was not her final destination. <BR><BR>ThreadStalker held onto to the woman firmly and began to chuckle; a low deep, unearthly laugh. Wisteria looked up into the blackness of the hood that towered over her. There was no face, no eyes, yet there was this hollow, disembodied laugh than emanated from the nothingness. Her eyes, imploring for some explanation, then fell back onto Jon, and he returned her gaze with the same gray flatness as before.</i> <BR><BR>"I am sorry Wiste but you see, there is more going on here than a bunch of Torc'ers stuck inside the boards. Much more. I feel bad about Lindonbayne, I do, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it now. There are more lives at stake than just those people stuck in Torc, believe me. I wish I could say more but I can't. And as for you, you should have stayed out of it, completely. I did warn you, didn't I?" <i> Jon asked. Wisteria only looked at him, her eyes wide.</i> "Didn't I!?" <i> He barked, causing the woman to jump. She then stammered a reply.</i> <BR><BR>"Yes, I did warn you. Twice, I think. I could argue, Wiste, that your actions could well have contributed to Lindonbayne's death! Wasn't it you who posted the doorway to the Alliances and Guilds Forum? If they'd all stayed in The Scriptorium we'd have caught them and returned them all in their homes by now. Lindonbayne would be alive and home, RIGHT NOW! Think on THAT!" <i> Jon cried, jumping out of his chair. TS punctuated the moment with another dark laugh as Jon walked up to where Wisteria stood, held motionless by the Mod.</i> <BR><BR>"You're going to the Rehab unit, Wisteria. There you'll be treated like all the other TOS violators except that your memory will be erased back to before the TorcCon thread was created. You'll remember nothing about the thread, the people in it or your posts to it nor will you remember this conversation. You'll get home, don't worry, and your family will not miss you. It will be as if you'd never left. I promise." <i> Jon looked up and into the blackness that was TS's face.</i> "Did you get that, TS? The Rehab in the Mod Forum with an extended memory defrag." <i> TS gave a singular, slow nod of understanding. Jon then turned and threw himself back into his chair, suddenly feeling tired and hungry and Ted's voice was echoing in his mind, saying the words 'Hardball'. He tried not to let the fear on Wiste's face affect him.</i> "And be thankful Ted sent you to me first, Wiste. He'd have you sent to the 5th level dungeon and no one gets out of there." <i> Jon's voice momentarily softened.</i> "I am sorry, Wiste. I am sorry we ended up this way."<BR><BR><i> With a few mouse clicks, Jon watched the Mod and the new 'Rehabber' swirl in a vortex that was quickly sucked up into one of the nearby PC's. Jon thought he heard Wisteria's voice cry out, offering help but it was all a little too late. <BR><BR>When the din subsided Jon ordered a pizza then called his girlfriend, leaving a message on her answering machine apologizing for not calling earlier. He then sat for a moment, collecting himself before attempting to bring Ted up on the com system. Ever since this horrific situation began Jon had let Ted take the lead. Quietly Jon concluded it was time for a change in the dynamic.</i> <BR><BR>*Really Big Science Fiction Movie <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR><b>Behind the Merry Bowmen's Guild House…</b><BR><BR>Lys was there for her again; strong, tall, her hero… <BR><BR>After Bardhwyn fell to the ground she caught the strange sight of the Rider and Lys looking at one another, and though visibly shaken from the assault she was 'with it' enough to register the fact the Rider was not attacking Lys.<BR><BR>With her adrenaline running and her emotions swimming, Bardhwyn's immediate adoration for the tall Barding was mixed with confusion and even mistrust. He'd saved her, yes and how she loved him yet why was he not attacked? The Rider didn't even grab at him!<BR><BR>A stampede of hooves surrounded them followed by shouts and screams as black arms and gauntleted hands reached and grabbed, the Riders dodging the flashing swords and daggers. Edain and SB had unsheathed their swords and Elenath flashed a long dagger and more than one Rider's limb had been hacked in those few short minutes.<BR><BR>It was the unconscious figure of Scribbles, thrown over the pommel of a Rider's saddle that caught Bardy's attention, however. <BR> <BR>"SCRIBBLES!"<BR><BR>The Riders cantered off, the attack ending almost as quickly as it began and Bardhwyn, now on her feet, cast a quick glance to Lys. 'He looks smug', she thought, 'Cute but smug.' And with SB's voice fading in the distance, HJ/Bardy sprinted after the Riders.<BR><BR>"Bardhwyn, take over,..take over, Bardhwyn, please… please..' She chanted, running over the field and past the Guildhouse. Scribbles was a good friend and HJ wasn't about to let her just disappear. She knew Bardy wouldn't just let this happen either, not without a fight. <BR><BR>Bardhwyn came and Bardhwyn was angry. <BR><BR>While in full stride, Bardhwyn managed to get a hold of her bow and unwrap it. Despite the attack, she had her quiver intact, her hand feeling the feathered shafts just as she hit the Guildhouse Path, the blue and white crushed marble slowing her pace slightly . Thrusting her hand into a pocket she pulled out her bowstring just as she passed through the demolished gate - transporting her into the Alliance and Guild Forum.<BR><BR>If her comrades followed, she didn't know. Her whole being was bent on following the Riders who had just kidnapped Scribbles.<BR><BR><BR><b> Ted's Office in the Mod Forum…</b><BR><BR><i> Ted sat at his console, an array of screens before him and on his face, a smile, small and cold.<BR><BR>The Drones were working well - better than expected. The Dale contingent acted swiftly and they knew which one was a Mod, leaving the tall Blonde alone - even when he defended one of the escapees. They also captured one of the most 'skilled' escapees, quickly knocking the Peredhel senseless and draping her unceremoniously over a saddle. Ted couldn't help but chuckle. <BR><BR>The Eldar contingent, however, were meeting some 'interesting' developments. There were marbles, an Elven archer and Elf that wasn't registering a signature.</i> <BR><BR>"Oh, this is too perfect." <i> Ted giggled to himself. He quickly signaled orders for the Dale contingent to withdraw thus allowing him to concentrate fully on the Eldar Estate. This Cyber Elf, the one without a recognized signature meant he wasn't one of the escapees. This Elf was a Torc character, brave, fool hardy, even and better yet, this Elf was expendable. Ted had the perfect opportunity to test his programming. <BR><BR>It didn't take long to set up the Lead Drone and Ted, now standing, quickly put on his ViewVisor and the special gauntlets containing the wiring and microchips that fed the necessary signals to the RP streamer. He would fight this Elf, himself. <BR><BR>Through his ViewVisor Ted was now experiencing himself as the Lead Drone. The view was crystal clear, in three dimensions. As the Lead Drone was approaching the back door of the Eldar Estate, still astride on his horse. Ted watched the Elf emerge, through the doors, his sword drawn. The program was working very well and from here on out, Ted was the Lead Drone, the Rider now a remote extension of Ted's will. <BR><BR>The Lead Drone dismounted at Ted's voice command and as Ted drew his sword, so did the Lead Drone. Ted walked forward, so did the Drone.</i> <BR><BR>"Come on, Elf… let's see what you've got." <i> Ted chuckled into the ViewVisor, snapping his sword to the left and right with a flourish.<BR><BR>The voice Anorast heard sounded as if it rose up from the deepest pits of the earth.</i>
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Postby Guruthostirn » Mon Dec 30, 2002 2:19 pm

<b>The Eldar Estate Kitchen Porch</b><BR><BR>Anorast!<BR><BR><i>A last cry the elf heard as he passed through the doors. Hearing his name finally after so long was strange, Anorast couldn't completely realize what was going on. He felt as if he'd just woken up from a dream, but was still in it. There was no exact beginning of the experience, but it had been growing more vivid as time had gone on, moving through his normal TORC haunts, the strange journey into the Dark Tower...and his companions. The companions he was now protecting.<BR><BR>The beginning of this crisis had been in that dream, hearing and seeing the rider's approach, the few spoken words to the others, telling them to run, and then the waking, and his attack.<BR><BR>And him.<BR><BR>That was something he'd have to deal with after this fight. Even his elvish mind could not deal with such complexity in the midst of a battle. And quite the battle it would be, him alone against six dark riders, backed up by an archer, and another defender. This was shaping up to be a good fight, something he'd not had in many a year.<BR><BR>As he flew through the doors, Anorast realized that the riders had stopped, and the foremost had dismounted and drawn a dark blade. Quickly Anorast slowed, and stood waiting the approaching Rider.</i><BR><BR>"Come on, Elf...let's see what you've got."<BR><BR><i>A whispery dark voice floated from the cloaked figure, strange, arrogant. Instantly Anorast became stilled, switching from the mentality of attacking many to the duelists calm. Slowly he began to approach his dark attacker, testing the air with his blade, loosening his muscles. Quietly Anorast chuckled to himself, for his opponant had given him the chance to prepare, an almost necessary step before any battle, which he'd had to bypass earlier. But now, he'd give this Dark Rider a lesson in stratagy.</i><BR><BR>"Finally, an opponant who will face me in equal manner," <i>said Anorast, switching direction, still slowly approaching.</i><BR><BR>"Indeed. Now you may have the chance to suffer defeat with honor, intead of being trampled beneath the hooves of our horses." <i>With the words, the dark figure began to walk towards the elf, clearly intent on getting his business done, and clearing the way to the rest of the group of droppers.</i><BR><BR>"Hardly. I said equal manner, but this is far from an equal fight." <i>Anorast laughed, a clear sound which echoed around the garden, lightening the hearts of listeners, as elvish laughter ever does.</i> "You stood a much better chance on your horses, with all your followers. If you hadn't been foolish enough to face me alone, you might have even landed a blow upon me!"<BR><BR><i>Quickly, like a cat striking a mouse, Anorast attacked. With an agility and speed that stunned those watching in silence from the kitchen, the elf began to rain blows down upon the helpless Dark Rider. Though the Rider blocked the blows, to all it was clear that he'd been forced to defend himself, and was being given no chance to attack against the awesomely superior elf. Indeed, Anorast was only playing with his opponant, working to tire him, though he was beginning to realize that this creature of Shadow might not tire, for his blocks were always crisp and strong.<BR><BR>As the swords rung against each other, the Rider kept his calm, though he was pressed. Slowly he retreated, though to one side, slowly turning the battle. Without warning, the Dark Rider attempted an insanity, pushing forwards as he blocked another swing. Anorast quickly retreated, still attacking with his blade, but staying away from the bullish charge of the rider. Feeling his heel touch stone, he spun and launched himself backwards over the object, a flower pot, and in passing kicking the Dark Rider in the chest, ignoring the low slash towards where his legs had been, his opponant's first attack.<BR><BR>Quickly he dropped into guard, and began to attack again, but strangely the Rider was not as easy an adversary, something had changed. The blocks were quicker, and stronger, and occasionally would attack himself. Anorast blocked them easily, but gradually began to sense that here was an opponant who had changed, and even might become an equal if he was allowed to continue in improvements.<BR><BR>Unexpectedly the Rider jumped back, and with his left hand waved towards the other riders, who were still sitting on their motionless mounts. Quickly one pulled from it's saddle a crossbow, and sent a black bolt towards Anorast. Seeing the motion, Anorast focused on the shot, and with the legendary ability of the elves, deflected the shot away. Yet no chance to revel in his skill was given to him, for as he sent the bolt spinning, a lightning pain smote his stomach. Looking down, Anorast saw a small, thin bolt stuck in his side. Looking up, he beheld his opponant, his left hand holding a miniature crossbow.</i><BR><BR>"Fool. I have no more time to deal with you, for schedules must be kept, and others are my priorities. You should not have taken the side of rebels, you should have stuck to your own business, and not gotten mixed in things beyond your ken.<BR><BR><i>Turning away from the elf, the Dark Rider began to walk towards the kitchen door. Suddenly he was stopped by a voice from behind.</i><BR><BR>"You are the fool here. You think one mere wound will stop one of the Eldar? We are made of sterner stuff than you know. We are not done yet!"<BR><BR><i>Anorast charged the Dark Rider, furious at the creature's underhanded blow. But in his stomach he could feel the pain spreading unnaturally, and already he could feel his limbs weaken. Yet even in his poisoned state, Anorast was powerfull. Though now they were more equal, and he was weakening, the elf deflected many of the Rider's attacks, and sent many a reeling blow against his opponant. To onlookers a storm seemed to have touched to earth, so quickly were the blows, and so thick was the air with cloth.<BR><BR>For now the toying was over. Anorast struck blows no longer for sport, but damage, and slices of black cloth went flying, though now flesh was scored. The Rider had more luck, both cloth and blood were mixed, as he struck many a blow upon the elf, though had yet to disable Anorast. The elf was soon desperate, realizing that only moments remained to him before the unnatural poison took all his strength from him. Already he'd lost the use of his left arm to weakness, and a terrible blow from the Rider, cutting into the muscles of his upper arm.<BR><BR>Yet luck abandoned Anorast, and the Dark Rider sent his blade spinning with a tremendous blow, which slashed down across his chest. Falling to his knees, Anorast looked up at his opponant, looking down in victory upon the bloodied elf.</i><BR><BR>"Such is the lot of a traitor to his realm, Elf," <i>said the Dark Rider.</i> "You were ever overmatched, for this is my own place. I can do whatever I wish here. However, I am glad you did not fall quickly, and you definitely made me work. I am sorry to see such a valiant warrior lost to the world, but I must do what I must. I'm sure you'd understand. Farewell." <i>Quickly the Rider turned.</i><BR><BR>"Didn't you learn last time? Never turn your back on an elf!" <i>With his last strength, Anorast reached up to his neck, and whipped out a small dagger, and with the same motion, sent it spinning into the back of the Rider's neck. As he fell forwards, Anorast glimpsed the dark figure stiffen, then a light flared from beneath it's robes. As Anorast lay upon the grass, feeling the poison overwhelm him, and darkness begin to stain his vision, he saw a flame above and away from him, and the dark robes of his opponant fall, empty, to the ground. As blackness finally covered him, he thought he heard voices from far away, and inside him, a long, faint cry.</i><BR><BR>"Nooooooooo.........."
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Postby Nessamelda » Mon Dec 30, 2002 6:33 pm

<b>In the Eldar Estate, under a table hiding in the corner</b><BR><BR>Susan and Katie huddled together . Susan’s trick with the marbles had gained only a few seconds, not the minutes that she had hoped. From her position, she could see Tinu turn from the door as the tall elf warrior stepped out to face the riders. He seemed to grow in stature as he faced the enemy. Yet for all his valor, the result was predictable – the riders seemed impervious to the blows rained upon them, their arms did not tire, they seemed almost like automatons; they were not creatures of flesh and blood…..and all too obviously their attacker was. It was a nasty thing, this battle that she saw, a clashing of ironmongery and sparks flying as steel parried steel. And then a quieter more unpleasant sound still, of steel slicing into flesh, and the warm metallic smell of blood seeping from a wound….<BR><BR>Susan saw the elf on his knees, yet he was not pleading for mercy from his attacker. Then the black rider turned as Tinu and Lalatiel jumped through the door, flaming torches in hand, and Anorast took advantage of the moment, but then fell motionless. <BR><BR>The two torch bearers distracted the attention of the remaining riders. “Help him. Mummy, you have to help him”, yelled Katie into Susan’s ear. Alfirin was almost gibbering with fear in the back of Susan’s mind, but there was another calmer presence there too. No warrior or healer, just a farmer’s daughter, but with the common sense that comes from working with the seasons and the land. Over the last few hours that presence had become more fully formed and defined in her mind – it could only be Nessamelda, but Susan had barely written anything about her. Yet oddly she seemed to have become a more concrete presence. <BR><BR>Susan gritted her teeth and crawled out from her hiding place. She ran, half crouched to where the elf lay. Now as anyone who has tried in real life to lift a full-grown man (or elf) will know, it is no easy job, particularly for a woman and Susan looked like a typical somewhat overweight middle aged woman. However she did have one advantage – not all her bulk was fat – like Nessamelda she was tall (though less than six foot!) and strong and could lift rather more weight than one might have expected – all that time in the gym was not entirely wasted, she thought grimly as she half lifted and half dragged Guru into the relative safety of the room. <BR><BR>She looked down at the elf. His breath was coming in short bursts, very shallow and his face was pale. She thought back to her very basic first aid training. Nothing she had ever done had prepared her for this. First stop the bleeding, and then hope for a healer…all this blood, what should she do, where should she start?<BR>
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Postby Vanaladiel » Mon Dec 30, 2002 8:34 pm

<b>In the Eldar's Estate</b><BR><BR>As Vana was about to answer Susan's call for a means of defending themselves, RM grabbed her by the arms and instructed her to find a way of escape. Thinking quickly she ran for the side entrance through the large library in the Eldar's Estate and ran for the stable. Shouting to the stable hands, they quickly gathered up several horses and bridled them.<BR><BR>"We dont have time to saddle them so just make sure they have their bridles. Wait..........." Vana stopped then added, "saddle one for Susan and Katie to ride!" Vana gave out the orders. She felt strangely strong in her resolve and her demeanor was more regal and in control then she ever imagined in a situation such as this. Then she gave the order to get the horses to the front entrance of the Estate and wait there for her return.<BR><BR>Running with a speed she herself didnt understand and with the agility of grace that was beyond her thinking, she headed back into the library entrance and headed to the kitchen. As she passed the foyer area she saw her pack with her weapons and grabbed them, bow, quiver and blades, as she headed on with haste.<BR><BR>Just as she swung through the kitchen door she saw Anorast fall to his knees. <BR><BR>"Noooooooooo!" Vana shouted as she saw Tinu and Lalatiel charge in with torches of fire to take on the wraiths.<BR><BR>Throwing all caution to the wind she could not see her friend go down and not do something. What she could do against the wraiths she didnt know but they would not live if Anorast did not. She dropped her bow and quiver and gripping hard on the handles of her blades she ran through the kitchen in the direction of Tinu, Lalatiel, Anorast and the wraiths.<BR><BR>Suddenly the king wraith collapsed and a bright light flashed, then he was gone, as his robe settled onto the patio near the door. <BR><BR>Vana stopped...... then charged again at the other wraiths with a shout that startled even herself. <BR><BR>She went into the battle not caring anymore what was suppose to be real and what wasnt, she just knew she had to fight. So fight she did along side Tinu and Lalatiel.
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Postby Elenath » Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:41 pm

<b>Behind the Bowmen of Dale Guildhouse...</b><BR><BR>As the six Black Riders galloped toward them, Elenath froze for an instant. Her mind flashed back to her past - no, her <i>character's</i> past - and she heard the laughter of a Nazgul mixed with the screams of a dying elf. This was finally enough to switch the balance of power from AM to Elenath. AM wasn't completely gone - her ring gave her enough clarity to know she could bring her back when she wanted to. But for now, she needed Elenath. And after that frozen instant, Elenath sprang into action. Her hands ached for the hilts of her knives, but she made do with the borrowed ones. She dashed forward to meet a Rider, avoiding the stroke of its sword and slipping in to slash at its leg with elvish quickness and grace. Her knife caught in the Rider's flowing robes, and she had to yank it loose as she darted away. She turned, ready to attack again, but the Rider wheeled and rode off. <BR><BR>"SCRIBBLES!"<BR><BR>Elenath spun to look at Bardhwyn, then followed her glance to see Scribbles being carried away by the Riders. Bardhwyn took off running, following the Riders, and Elenath, after saying something that didn't fit with an elegant elf, followed her. "Bardhwyn! Bardhwyn, wait!" But Bardhwyn didn't seem to hear her. Elenath swore again and quickened her stride to catch up with the woman. She could hear others behind her but didn't look to see who followed. She drew even with Bardhwyn, and the woman shot her a look, daring the elf to say something reasonable. Elenath sighed, then allowed a wolfish grin to cross her face.<BR><BR>"Let's go get her back, shall we?"<BR><BR>
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Postby Lysandros » Sun Jan 05, 2003 10:58 pm

<b>Just Outside the Guildhouse of the Merry Bowmen of Dale</b><BR><BR>"Well, what the hell do we do now?" <i>said SB, who sounded irritated. Leoba and Elaine stood nearby recovering. BV watched Bardhwyn and Elenath out of the corner of his eye as they could be seen near the gate which exited the Bowmen thread. But he was not so preoccuppied that he did catch the use of the word "hell", a term quite out of keeping with LOTR ideology. After a moment he replied generally, not really addressing anyone,</i><BR><BR>"It seems that Elenath and Bardhwyn wish to pursue the Riders and reclaim the Scribe. A foolhardy venture to say the least."<BR><BR>"And what do you know about it?" <i>Exclaimed SB, seeming far brasher than the modest and reserved Dirk BV knew from RP. Edain glared over SB's shoulder none too kindly.</i><BR><BR>"Not as much as some to be sure." <i>replied BV cooly and he turned away to stroll liesurely towards the other two, his blade resting casually on his shoulder and his face bearing the cockiest expression he could muster.</i><BR>
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Postby SilverScribe » Wed Jan 08, 2003 10:14 pm

<BR><b> somewhere along some road in some forum being pounded to death by a saddlehorn <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>, then at the TORC Rehab Centre . . . </b><BR><BR><BR><i> She awoke to a fierce pain in ther chest and stomach as well as a grinding headache. She realized that she was being pummelled by the saddle and knees of the rider under her. She groaned out loud then chided herself, to make any noise was probably a mistake. She felt the rider trying to take a better grip on the back of her belt, through her cloak.<BR><BR>She figured that the mailed gauntlets would not be very good for gripping small or fine objects. So perhaps she could get loose, as long as she could take the rider by surprise. But the larger problem at the moment was the horrible pounding she was taking, flung across the saddle as she was. The very end of one of the reins flapped by her and she got an idea.<BR><BR>She turned her head slightly, just in time to get a glob of foam in the face. But the next jolt of the horse set the foam flying and she tried to focus. She could just see the loop of the rein that dropped from the ring on this side of the bit and with a grunt, she reached her left hand up and grabbed it. Yanking down as hard as she could, it suddenly occurred to her how foolish the idea truly was.<BR><BR>The horse broke his stride and turned so sharply ro the right that she got an up close and personal view of the flaring, foam flecked nostrils. But the desperate gamble seemed to have worked, the tight pivot had checked the horses speed and put him slightly off balance. The rider screamed in frustration and sawed at the reins, trying to get his mount turned and back to speed.<BR><BR>Scribbles gamely yanked on the rein again and this time the horse stumbled as his head went down. She let go of the rein and with an effort, tried to roll up and over the horses ears as his head dipped. The grip on her belt disappeared as the rider now needed both hands to control his plunging mount.<BR><BR>But the long legged stallion had had enough. He squealed and bucked as one end of Scribbles cloak flapped past his head like a stooping hawk. Unnerved and off stride, he swung his head and leaped sideways, desperately trying to get away from the disturbing bird that seemed to hover around his ears. Scribbles felt herself slide forward and then slightly sideways, then grunted in pain as the horse tossed his head. She felt the hard top of the horse’s head connect with her already abused ribs. She bit back a curse as the air left her lungs and the ground suddenly rushed up at her. <BR><BR>She had only enough presence of mind to tuck her head in and let her shoulder take the brunt as she fell. She continued with a roll, intending to gain her feet and start running. A quick look around however, showed her that there was not really anywhere to run. A flat grassy expanse bordered the other side of the road, with trees way too far distant to be of any help. The nearer side of the road skirted a deep ravine, whose sides plunged nearly straight down. Perhaps if she could dodge the rider long enough to see if there was a gentler slope back the way they had come.<BR><BR>But the rider was not to be caught off guard quite so easily. Regaining control of the horse now that Scribbles was down, he blocked her escape route again and again, knowing that she would tire. And she did.<BR><BR>When she finally stumbled and went down, too exhausted to get up much less run, he dismounted and took a length of dark, heavy cord from his saddle. He hauled her to her feet and bound her hands tightly before her. </i><BR><BR>“About time you gave up, she-elf!” <i> he hissed in her ear, then pushed her over to the dark horse and helped her mount. She was too tired and humiliated to bother correcting him as he swung up behind her. She rode the rest of the way in a depressed fog, her eyes registering the passing scenery even though she could have cared less.<BR><BR>She perked up however, when the horse slowed in front of a huge, square, grey cement block of a building that looked curiously out of place in the rural landscape. The rider had dismounted, hauled her after him and began dragging her towards a huge iron door before she found her tongue.</i><BR><BR>“Wait a minute, what is this place?” <i> she demanded. No answer. She asked again. Still no answer, just the rider dragging her by her bound hands to the door. When he stopped to press one mailed thumb onto large but a rather hi-tech looking number keypad, she lost her patience. Without another thought, she hauled off and kicked him where she estimated his kneecap to be and was rewarded by the solid feel of bone meeting her boot. The rider screeched and she had to grit her teeth to keep them from rattling in her head.</i><BR><BR>“This is the Rehab Unit in the Mod Forum!! You will be dealt with here!” <i> he hissed, then when a narrow panel in the door opened, shoved her through. She stumbled and fell down as the door behind her boomed shut and left her in utter darkness. She stood up, swaying, and was immediately blinded by a bright light. She clapped her bound hands over her eyes as a strange sensation surrounded her.</i><BR><BR>“Oh damn, what a time for a nightmare,” <i> she groaned, and sank to her knees as she lost consciousness.</i><BR><BR>“Oh good, some company! For a minute there I thought I was going to have to take this class alone.”<BR><BR><i> Scribbles opened her eyes and sat up. She was on the floor in a featureless grey cell, with two plain beds against one wall and two computer stations against another wall. Both screens were dark, unlit. Her hands had been untied and she rubbed her wrists as she looked around for the source of the voice.<BR><BR>She looked up as a nice looking young woman approached and held out a hand.</i><BR><BR>“Hi, I’m Wisteria.”<BR><BR>
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Postby TinuvielUndomiel » Wed Jan 08, 2003 10:39 pm

<b>Outside the Eldar's</b><BR><BR>Damn, <i>muttered Tinu aloud, seeing Guru's fall and sudden stillness. Oh, how she ached to heal him, this mysterious elf for for whom she was slowly falling, for she knew that her TORC self would remember the old ways and heal as she had done at the balrog fight in the Lucky Fortune. But where was she needed more?<BR><BR>At that moment, Vana sprung out and joined Tinu and Lalatiel, blade in hand, a determined glint in her eye. How her demeanor had changed in a few moments...or was it a few hours? Lynne was losing track of time without her handy wristwatch she never went without in the real world, else she go mad. But here, things were always in such a dream-like state that she did not panic at not knowing the time. <BR><BR>Gritting her teeth, Tinu decided that without first dispatching the wraiths, there would be no safety for those still within the house, including Guru, who she imagined to be turning toward the wraith-world the longer she stood there. Her eyes suddenly became the stormy grey associated only with the Master Weatherspeller, Lurea, Tinu's long blonde hair swirling about her in a rapid cyclonic shield that reached from the tip of her head to her soft-treading toes. <BR><BR>Lurea was growing stronger within her, her fiery fury due to injustice stoked. Lynne had never felt so strong in her entire life, but still she was a bit afraid. Who knew if she could actually call to the heavens and have them reply in return? And if so, could she control it? For a moment, she doubted this transformation, believing it to be a figment of her imagination, a strong entity even in real life. And in that moment, she chose not to try, unless absolutely necessary. Yet, the shield remained and she stepped forward, azure lightning flashing in her eyes, holding the torch that flickered but a little, charging the wraiths before them.<BR><BR>Vana saw this and grew afraid, for she had never seen such barely harnessed fury within the eyes of Tinu. She knew what sort of things could go wrong if this changed elf were allowed to continue, to fight these wrong-doers. And, wise as she was, feeling confident that with their determination, she and Lalatiel could handle the wraiths on their own, she decided that Tinu had to turn back. Guru needed an experienced healer at his side now, and Tinu was the best next to Aerin.</i><BR><BR>Tinu! Go to Anorast--he needs you. <i>Vana yelled over the horrific screeching of the wraiths. Tinu shook her head, Lynne's stubbornness taking hold.</i><BR><BR>No, Vana, there's too many. If we don't clear out the wraiths first, there will be no safe place for anyone.<BR><BR><i>But Vana was every bit as stubborn, her Celtic heritage grabbing a hold. </i><BR><BR>Tinu, you stubborn old elf! If you don't see to Anorast right now, it won't matter if the wraiths are gone or not.<BR><BR><i>Tinu stopped for a moment and thought. She looked toward Susan, who was desperately trying to stop the bleeding and do what she could. She couldn't let him turn, no, in fact her heart trembled at the thought of the handsome elf enduring such pain. But no longer would he suffer... <BR><BR>Finally, she resolutely nodded to Vana, tossed the torch to her, and as the storm around her calmed to a gentle breeze, she ran to Guru's side.</i><BR><BR>Susan, I need lemonroot, hot water, and one Amanita phalloides--a Death Cap. We have to first stop the flow of the poison by introducing another toxin.<BR><BR><i>Tinu explained about the process as she grabbed cloth nearby and continued to hold it to the wound. It was vital that they bring the toxic mushroom's spores in contact with Guru's wound within the first twenty minutes of the original poison's entry. Time was running out...</i>
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