The Fellowship of the Palantíri

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

Postby Lanuviel » Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:18 am

<b>The shadow in the East is growing. The Dark Lord Sauron has awoken and is gathering his forces to him. The Elves are leaving for Valinor, and Gondor is ruled by a failing stewardship. Saruman and Sauron communicate via Palantíri, the lost Seeing-stones.<BR><BR>The forces of good are in danger they are barely aware of.</b> <BR><BR> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<BR><BR>"Your turn." <i>Kilren said gruffly, running a hand over his balding head and gesturing across the small, round wooden table to the young woman sat opposite, her long legs crossed over her ankles which were stretched out in front of her. She paused a moment, her eyes shrouded in shadow as they avoided the light from the flickering candle in front of her on the table - he couldn't even see what colour her eyes were.</i><BR><BR>"Four Kings." <i>She said softly, laying her cards face-up on the table to prove that she didn't lie. Kilren and the two others at the table ran through an impressive repetoire of curses, laying down their cards in turn. A smile crossed the face of the young woman, and she looked up briefly at Kilren to tell him that it was his deal. For that fleeting moment, he could see her properly - and was interested by what he saw.<BR><BR>She was fair-skinned, virtually flawless in texture and in looks. Her cheekbones were high and defined, her hair ink-black and loosely curling down to her shoulder blades. Though it was customarily tied back, it was still curly enough to show. Slender, arched eyebrows framed thickly-lashed eyes, the same colour as twilight - the grey hour. She looked shady, to say the least, but nevertheless he found her attractive.<BR><BR><b>Way out of your league, friend.</b> Kilren told himself as he began to collect, shuffle and re-deal the cards. She was a fighter - that much he could tell. Her palms, for one, were criss-crossed here and there with small scars and callouses that indicated someone not unfamiliar with hard graft. She had shown not an ounce of interest in the handsome young man to Kilren's left, who was clearly becoming interested in her as he recognised her gambling skills. She played this for fun, not to earn an income... and there was an aura of icy seperation between herself and Kilren to prevent him from making too much polite conversation.<BR><BR>The man to Kilren's right, older than Kilren himself was and beginning to show it in a mane of tied back, steel-grey hair, sighed and swore.</i> "Gods, girl." <i>He said, referring to the woman, who raised her head to look at him.</i> "How do you <b>do</b> that? You've won five hands in a row..."<BR>"Luck." <i>She said simply, an echo of a smile on her lips.</i> "I certainly couldn't cheat in front of you gentlemen without being caught." <BR><BR><i><b>That,</b> Kilren thought, <b>was certainly true.</b><BR><BR><i>Abruptly the woman stood, reaching a couple of inches under six feet in height. She stretched in a fluid, cat-like motion, and flickered a smile in the direction of her competitors. She wore dark brown trousers and knee-high black calfskin boots, good against bad weather and sturdy walking. <b>A traveller, maybe.</b> Kilren surmised. She wore a simple, dark-green tunic, the sleeves not quite long enough to get in the way of her hands. A thick cloak in a darker brown rested about her shoulders, and though she looked as if she might wear a jacket there wasn't one to be seen. <BR><BR><b>Strange dress for Gondor.</b> He thought, not failing to note the well-hidden curves of her body. <b>Has the colouring of a Gondorian, though...</b><BR><BR>He had no more time, however, to guess how she made her living, for she took half of the pot she had won, scooped it into a pouch at her belt - he saw no weapons hanging there, though - and made for the door. Standing, he called after her.</i><BR><BR>"You've left half of your winnings, girl!" <BR><i>She turned, and offered him a smile.</i> "Keep it." <i>She said.</i> "And my name's Saeran."<BR><BR><i>With that, she left and closed the door behind her.<BR><BR>As she made her way across the courtyard from the servant's quarters, Saeran couldn't help but permit herself a small smile. The nobility had no idea how to gamble, for the most part - and it nearly always turned out to be the servants and poorer classes who were the most fun to socialise with. That was odd, since it was the nobles who inevitably claimed that their entertainment was the best.<BR><BR>Ballrooms and state occasions, however, had never been her thing.<BR><BR>Twelve stone steps loomed at her out of the dark, leading to the main set of halls in which Denethor himself, the Steward of Gondor, was housed. Both of his sons, Faramir and Boromir, had been called away - and in their place a council had been called, of which she was one asked to attend.<BR><BR>Reaching the top of the set, she breathed in the cool night air and leant against the wall, her hood down and her breath pooling out in clouds of steam as she exhaled. The skies were clear, and stars twinkled like precious stones set into a swathe of black velvet.<BR><BR><b>She truly has her ballgown on tonight.</b> Saeran thought, folding her arms and waiting. She still had another two hours before the council itself convened, and she for one could not fathom what the Steward meant by calling such a meeting in the middle of the night. Stealth, evidently, was important - that much was evident. Maybe a swift departure was called for. Which, naturally, begged the next question - <b>why?</b>.<BR><BR>Changing the track of her thoughts, she wondered if Denethor would introduce her at the council. The Rangers of Ithilien were a secretive group, fighting in camouflaging brown and green and forever hindering the progress of the Enemy as they passed Gondor's border on their way into Mordor. It was difficult for such a group not to notice such an enlarged number of forces entering the Lands of Shadow, and at such an alarming rate, too. Stealth, however, was their advantage - and they were to still have that, then they must remain anonymous and unidentified.<BR><BR>Time, it seemed, would tell.</i>
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Postby Aiwe » Sun Dec 14, 2003 1:37 pm

Abruptly, Saeran felt something. She turned, and found that someone was standing just behind her shoulder.<BR><BR>"It'ss a...lovely evening, wouldn't you ssay?" said the man behind her. At least, she assumed it was a man from the voice. He was covered head to toe in robe, cloak, scarf, and gloves of a silky black material. Only a small swathe of skin around his eyes was visible, but not his eyes themselves, as they were shaded by a pair of smoked-glass spectacles. His voice was odd, too. Very soft, with a strange accent and bit of a hiss to it.<BR><BR>"I am Santhec Arandakh. You are here for the council as well?"<BR><BR>Saeran nodded. She noted with some curiosty that while her breath came out in chill clouds of mist, Santhec's didn't. <BR><BR>The man walked over to lean against a nearby pillar, moving so silently and gracefully that he seemed to glide over the marble floor. <BR><BR>Sarean hadn't known this man thirty seconds and she was already highly suspicious of him.<BR><BR>"So why were you called, may I ask?" she said.<BR><BR>He cocked his head, and said simply, "I serve the Steward in whatever way I can, my lady. As do you, I am sure."<BR><BR>With that he turned to gaze at the stars, abruptly cutting off ant further conversation.<BR><BR>--Aiwe
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Postby fishy071 » Sun Dec 14, 2003 9:03 pm

The library of Minas Tirith was large. Shelves of books lined the walls and aisles. Fishy sat at a table by some candelight with some books about the histories of Middle-Earth and healing. She stared through the window at the bright stars in the sky and back to her books.<BR><BR>The library had other users, but besides Faramir, she seemed to frequent it the most. Faramir often spent his time reading in the library, but lately he was often called on errands. Boromir had left for Rivendell many weeks ago. She recalled having a bad feeling the day he departed. Lately, she often found herself alone in the library, which she didn't mind. This made all the books and furniture hers.<BR><BR>There was still two hours till the strange meeting Steward Denethor had called. Being a night owl, Fishy didn't mind the time, but midnight is not usually the time for meetings. It must be something really urgent.<BR><BR>Fishy put away the books, and pulled her cloak over her shirt and pants. Her brown boots stuck out from under the cloak. She wore glasses and her black hair in a ponytail.<BR><BR>She met two people outside the halls of Denethor. A man was looking at the stars, and there was also a woman.<BR><BR>"Hi!" Fishy greeted.
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Postby Mithnen » Mon Dec 15, 2003 3:22 pm

Mithnen pulled the weather-stained cloak tighter about herself as she made her way up the main road of Minas Tirith. When she had entered the gate a few moments prior, it struck her as odd that only a lone guard would meet her there. The last time she had journeyed into the White City children, wives, and fathers had all made the trip to witness the arrival. But she had also arrived with a host of Ithilien Rangers and Armithlas the last time she was in Gondor. <i>Well that might have had something to do with it,</i> she thought sarcastically.<BR><BR>She paused and looked up into the sky: "silver and diamonds set against a panel of deep blue satin", as Armithlas would say of nights such as these. Sighing, she remembered her mentor and foster-mother. An unshakable sadness crept upon her. Then, as if out of the blue depths of the night sky itself, a vengeful anger stole her heart. She sighed once more, creating a fog that circled and danced for an instant and then disappeared. She was used to cold nights, coming from Halbarad Dunadan's company of Northern Rangers, but this felt like a different cold. Normally she would be able to wrap herself in her cloak and feel at least a minimal warmth; but since she had passed through the Gap of Rohan, the nights were so cold that she felt as if her very bones were frozen...<BR><BR>With this thought in mind, she continued once more up the road to the Citadel. <i>Midnight,</i> she thought. <i>Denethor must be losing his grip in more ways than one.</i> Straight a head, a warm glow seemed to beckon her towards the door of an inn. She followed the beam of the candles flickering through the foggy windows, deciding that she needed some rest before confronting the imposing Council of the Steward Halbarad had warned her of. Before she got too far, however, she noticed two shadowy figure standing right outside the pub. She wondered why in the world they would forsake the warmth of the inn for the desolate cold of the night. As she drew nearer, she cast her eyes down and prepared to step right through the company.<BR><BR>"You are here for the council as well..." Mithnen caught only the very beginning of a man's story, but the beginning was enough to intrigue her. As she came closer to the inn, another figure joined the two already congregating outside. Mithnen considered joining their small assemblage, but soon concluded that she would wait until she met Denethor to meet the rest of the council. <BR><BR>"'Scuse me," she murmured, gliding through the company and into the inn. She instantly felt her face redden. It was warm and comforting: two very sought after feelings that she had not felt in a long while.
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Postby Luinil_2007 » Mon Dec 15, 2003 3:59 pm

After riding hard from Rivendell to Gondor all Luinil wanted to do was go get a drink and sleep the rest of the night so in the morning she could think better, but unfortunatly the secret meeting was to begin that night at mid-night. As she got off her horse Silma at the gates of Minas Tirith she looked up in wonder... the White Tower look beautiful basked in moonlight. She took her horse to the stable and whispered some elven words of encouragement to her then went off to the pub. As she was about to enter the pub some guards were eying her as if she had done something wrong, mabye she though to herself that it was because she was an elf and it was uncommon to see elves in Gondor. She was about to go inside when they pulled her over.<BR><BR>"What are you doing miss" said a gruff voice "You're not from Gondor are you."<BR><BR>"No im not, i was sent here from Rivendell to take counsel with Denethor." she said back to him trying to keep the annoyance out of her voice.<BR><BR>"How do we know that for sure, you could be a spy." said the second guard griping his spear.<BR><BR>"I tell you im not a spy, im here to see Denethor. Look here is the letter i was given."<BR><BR>She handed them the letter which Boromir had giving Legolas and Legolas had given her.<BR><BR>"Alright this seems plausible, but i've got my eye on you." exclaimed the first guard as he handed her back the letter.<BR><BR>Quickly she hurried into the pub. Great she thought to herself now i have two guards watching me and im dead tried. As she sat down drinking her water (she never liked any ale or wine other than elven ale or wine for some odd reason.) she listening to the conversations around her. She pulled up her hood to cover more of her face, not wanting anyone else to pull her over. Sitting there she heard some people talking about a meeting that they had to go to... she assumed that they were talking about Denethor's meeting. She took note of who they were. There was two women and a man. The man seemed rather shady, at least the two women seemed a little warmer than he she thought. One had black hair in a ponytail, wearing glasses and the other also had black hair but loosely tied back.<BR><BR>Luinil sat back... this is going to be a long night.....
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Postby Mithnen » Mon Dec 15, 2003 5:01 pm

Mithnen watched from a dark corner of the inn as a lithe figure strode in through the door. At a glance, she could tell that this was an Elf from the way the shadows danced about for the shadows of Men do not dance; they merely linger and fade. The figure belonged to that of a she-Elf, Mithnen was certain. The movements were more precise and flowing. She had always envied the Elves: for their grace, their beauty, their immortality...she took the last swig of her ale and beckoned a barmaid.<BR><BR>A petite blonde thing sauntered over to the shadowy booth and placed her hands on her hips. "Whaddya want, you ale-guzzling cur?" she demanded.<BR><BR>Taken rather aback, Mithnen pulled back her hood and stared the barmaid in the eyes. The faint light of the lone candle on the center of the table showed a fair, feminine face belonging to a very young woman; though her cold gray eyes showed the wisdom and witness to many things others her age had not yet dreamt of. Her dark hair hung loosely about her shoulders, but a strand had found its own way right in front of her face. She blew the loose strand back and stared at the barmaid, who gasped in response.<BR><BR>"My apologies, ma'am," she muttered, taking up the small tankard. "What'll ye have?"<BR><BR>"Light ale," Mithnen replied. The girl turned to fill the order, but was called her back. "And could you inform me when the clock strikes twelve?"<BR><BR>"Twelve?" the barmaid asked. "That's rather late for a girl your age, what could you possibly be doin' at midnight?" Mithnen simply stared at the girl. After a moment she blonde faltered. "I'll be back with yer drink, miss."<BR><BR>"Thanks much," Mithnen mumbled. Her eyeslids drooped. She felt her jaw drop. She leaned back in her chair, letting the wave of sleep wash over her. She was so tired...
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Postby Aiwe » Mon Dec 15, 2003 5:32 pm

Santhec bowed to the newcomer, recognising her as an Easterling. "Greetings, my lady."<BR><BR>He took one last look at the stars, then back to the two women. "If you wil excuse me, I am not...accustomed to the cold. I shall see you again at the council in an hour's time." He bowed again, and then headed into the inn. <BR><BR>Upon reaching the bar, he sniffed the air carefully. He cocked his head at the cloaked figure who was sipping from a tankard of plain water. Beneath his scarf, Santhec smiled. He sat down in the stool next to the figure.<BR><BR>"Hot tea, if you would be so kind," he said to the barmaid. Santhec made a point of never dulling his wits and senses with wine or ale. Then, to the cloaked figure, quietly so as to be heard by no one else, he hissed, "I can only guess that an elf travelling to Gondor on a night such as this would be making her way to a certain council, yes?"<BR><BR>The elf frowned. She did not like the feel of that man.<BR><BR>Santhec half-shrugged in a "suit yourself' kind of gesture, then turned to the steaming mug of tea the barmaid set in front of him. Ducking his head further into the shadows of his cloak, he pulled down his scarf, took a swig of the brew, and quickly replaced the scarf. The elf thought she could see a suggestion of the brown skin of the Haradrim--but there was something else too, something she couldn't quite see...was it snakeskin?<BR><BR>Abruptly, Santhec turned to the elf again and bowed his head. "Good evening, my lady. I think I shall take an hour's rest before our meeting." With that he gave the barmaid exact change for his drink, and headed for the stairs that led to the rooms on the second floor, pulling a key from his pocket. <BR><BR>Upon reaching his room, Santhec unlocked the door, went in, and proceeded to lock it again with the key, muttering something under his breath as he traced symbols on the door with his finger. He didn't want any visitors for the next hour. <BR><BR>After making sure the fire was built up high against the night's chill, and that the window was shuttered tight and draped, Santhec sat gratefully down on the room's soft bed and pulled the stifling scarf and hood from his face, and set the smoked-glass spectacles on the bed beside him. He rubbed his head, which was shaved completely save for a long braided topknot at the back of his skull, and took another long swig of tea. <i>Methinks I need a rest before the council,</i> he thought as he gazed into the fire. <i>That elf nearly saw through me. I can't let that happen again, not in front of my lord Denethor. It would be the end of me. I have only one master now, and I cannot afford to lose his trust. Not like I can go back to...him...ever again. No, never. I'm never going back to that master. Never.</i> he drank the last of the tea and chewed pensively at the bitter leaves from the bottom of the cup.<BR><BR>After a time he swallowed, set the mug on the stained and chipped bedside table, and slid down onto the rug in front of the hearth. Slowly, carefully, he unclasped the cloak and set it aside. He unwound the scarf from his neck and pulled the elbow-length gloves from his hands. He unbuckled the sword-belt and laid it on the rug. It might be noted that he did not take off his boots, because he never had the need to wear any. Santhec felt naked now, even though he had the black longsleeved robe still covering all the important bits. He stretched out before the fire, soaking its wonderful heat in through his skin, and...relaxed. He stopped thinking about all the spells of deception he kept wrapped around him like a shroud. They dissolved, and Santhec was at peace for the first time in days. he hardly ever let his guard down like this in the White City, but now...he felt safe enough, and Iluvatar knew he needed the rest. he was starting to worry that he might not be able to keep the other members of the council in the dark about his true nature...<i>No!</i> he banished the though from his mind. <i>I'll manage. Somehow. Denethor trusts me. I cannot fail him now, not in this hour of need.</i><BR><BR>Santhec yawned profoundly, showing needle-sharp fangs and a long, forked tongue. He curled up before the fire like an animal and shut his eyes, which were now black from edge to edge with an irridescent green sheen. <BR><BR>Anyone managing to get a peek into that room would have screamed bloody murder, for it was plain to see that a creature of Mordor slept before the fire.<BR><BR>--Aiwe
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Postby fishy071 » Mon Dec 15, 2003 9:32 pm

The man bowed to Fishy. "Greetings, my lady." He appeared to be a human, but his skin appeared dark. Could he be a Haradrim? At the same time she noticed what looked like a woman ranger entering the inn.<BR><BR>As the man looked again at the stars, Fishy heard some chattering of guards and a female. She caught the words, <i>Rivendell</i>, <i>council</i>, and <i>Denethor</i> and figured that the stranger must be here for the council as well. She saw what looked like a female elf hurrying into the inn.<BR><BR>The man stared back at Fishy and the other woman. "If you will excuse me, I am not...accustomed to the cold. I shall see you again at the council in an hour's time." He bowed again, and then headed into the inn.<BR><BR>“I’ll see you there,” Fishy called back.<BR><BR>A minute later, she said, “I’ll go wait indoors,” and headed into the inn. The man was heading up the stairs, but she could not recognize the two women who had entered, because she couldn’t get a clear look of them in the dark. The inn was filled with people who were smoking, drinking, eating, and chatting.<BR><BR>Fishy wondered why Denethor would want her. She was not physically strong, and probably wouldn’t survive any harsh environment. In battle, she would be easily defeated. She pondered the possibilities. Maybe he wanted her to serve as a healer, or he needed someone who knew the geography of Middle-Earth. Another possibility crossed her mind: Did he want her to serve as a Gondorian spy against Mordor and its allies because of her Easterling descent?<BR><BR>She sat at a corner table and pulled out a book. She did not like smoking, and only drank water, so she didn’t bother even going to the counter.
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Postby Luinil_2007 » Tue Dec 16, 2003 1:42 pm

**ooc: sorry this was a double post but i fixed it!! sorta!!** <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif"border=0><BR><BR><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby Luinil_2007 » Tue Dec 16, 2003 1:44 pm

Luinil was just about to close her eyes when the man who she had seen outside looking at the stars appeared in the door-way. There was something about him that she didn't like.... some sort of scent that he gave off when he walked into the inn or mabye it was the way the room went cold when he came in, she didnt know what to think, she had never encountered something like this before except once...but it couldnt be one of them..they would not be walking freely in the White City... then all of a sudden he saw her in the corner and came over to sit down.<BR><BR>"I can only guess that an elf travelling to Gondor on a night such as this would be making her way to a certain council, yes?" he sort of hissed at her, as the barmaid brought him his tea... <BR><BR>he must have heard the guard that pullled her over...she chose not to answer him.. she wasnt in the mood and this man was strange to her and she didnt like it at all.. <BR><BR>as he took a sip of the tea she saw what she had smelt when he entered the room... snakeskin... mabye her guess had been right after all... but why would someone like him be in the White City...<BR>...noticing that she wasnt going to reply........ <BR><BR>"Good evening, my lady. I think I shall take an hour's rest before our meeting." <BR><BR>so he was going to the meeting as well... then her guess must have been wrong she thought to herself as she watched him leave.... and she dissmissed the thought.<BR><BR>no sooner had he gone than another figure enter the inn. she was the girl that was wearing glasses and had jet black hair up in a ponytail that was outside... she noticed that this girl looked like she was skilled in healing.. she could feel the atmosphere around her which gave it away....she seemed friendly enough....<BR><BR>at least that man was gone.. now she could rest a bit more before the consel.. which by the look of the night sky throught the window was soon<BR>
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Postby Mithnen » Wed Dec 17, 2003 2:35 pm

Her eyes flew open. The inn was empty, save the few travellers who had entered after her. What time was it? How long had she been asleep? She stood swiftly from her chair, nearly knocking it to the ground. The barmaid's head turned in her direction, as well as the she-Elf and the black-haired, bespectacled girl. Her eyes travelled from one to the other to the next. Quickly settling the wobbly table and chair, Mithnen strode across the floor of the inn and over to the barmaid.<BR><BR>"The time," she demanded under her breath.<BR><BR>"Nigh on half past eleven, miss," she replied. Mithnen could see the fear in the barmaid's blue eyes. She had always had a problem of frightening others, even when she did not intend to. The only person she could not remember ever getting the slightest bit afraid was Halbarad. She sighed and looked down at the bar, scratching her fingernail on the already scuffed surface. It had been three moons since she last saw her company. A horrible pange of sadness stung her heart. "I'm sorry," she muttered, nearly incoherently. <BR><BR>Her long legs reached the door in a matter of seconds, and one second after that she found herself in the frigid darkness of the White City. As she stepped out of the inn and into the night, it felt to her as if a thousand daggers were stabbing her all over her body. She wrapped her cloak tighter about and turned to face the Citadel, her teeth chattering. "Feels as if the very warmth of my blood has been stolen away," she muttered to herself.<BR><BR>"Miss?" Came a voice from behind. She turned sharply as her dagger left its sheath. Her eyes were watering from the cold, but her hearing had not yet abandoned her. "Are you lost?" He continued, drawing nearer. Mithnen replaced her knife to the sheath, hoping that the man had not seen the act of her paranoia. He was close enough now for her to make out the symbol of Gondor on his leather jerkin. The white tree seemed to glow in the heavy blackness. "Are you lost?" He repeated.<BR><BR>"I am not," she replied simply. "I am off to the Council of the Steward."<BR><BR>"The Council?" he asked. From the tone of his voice, Mithnen could tell that he was either impressed or amused. "A young maid such as yourself? What is your name? Where are you from?"<BR><BR>"Firstly," she began, turning and walking up the road to get to the Citadel. "My age is not a hinderance to my experience."<BR><BR>"What's second?" he asked as he made to follow her.<BR><BR>"My mother told me not to talk to strangers," she replied coyly. He stepped in her path. She moved to go around him but he stopped her. She went to the left but was once again halted. This time she made for the right but quickly dodged past him on the left. <BR><BR>"I am Beregond, son of Baranor," he said after her. "Of the Third Company of the Citadel."<BR><BR>Mithnen turned. "Well, Beregond son of Baranor, of the Third Company of the Citadel," she began mockingly, for she was in a rather big hurry; she did not want to be late for something that was placed on such a high pedestal. "If it will get you gone, then I am Mithnen, fledgling of Armithlas Elnaurien and Halbarad Dunadan of the Rangers of the North...now may I continue?" She turned and started to run up the road, hoping that she would get to the Council a little early. <BR><BR>"I hope I shall meet with you some other time, Mithnen of the Northern Rangers!" she heard him shout after her. She sighed and slowed her pace as she turned a corner. Smiling to herself, she looked up at the stars; but they had disappeared. It was too early for the sunrise...She looked to the East and spotted a sickeningly red glow in the sky. The stars seemed to be covered by a veil of that horrid glow. She shuddered and made her way hastily up to the Citadel.
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Postby Aiwe » Wed Dec 17, 2003 3:40 pm

"Ach! I shall be late!" grumbled Santhec, uncurling from his comfortable spot before the fire. It was quarter till midnight already; he'd dozed off without meaning to. <BR><BR>Hastily he disguised himself once more. To the eyes that watched from the bar, the figure that slid down the steps and out the inn's door was a cloaked Haradrim, nothing more. <BR><BR>Santhec slunk out behind the inn to the mess of sheds and outbuildings. He whistled a note, and a large dog padded out from the stables to his side. A horse snorted from inside his box, breath coming out in a puff of haze. <BR><BR>"We must make haste, my friends," Santhec whispered as he led the horse out into the chill night air. It was already saddled and harnessed, ready as always to leave at a moment's notice. Santhec pulled himself up onto the curious saddle--a low-backed chair of sorts--and settled in, looking as though he were seated cross-legged atop the stallion's back. The huge, sleek black hound trotted at his right as he urged the horse out onto the streets. Night-black hooves clopped hollowly on the stone as the three dark creatures made their way to the Council of Denethor. <BR><BR>Unlike the Ranger, he was not stopped. The sight of the mounted figure and his warhound, darker than the night itself, was more than enough to deter any waylayers. <BR><BR>Ten minutes later they were at the palace. Santhec entrusted Horror, his mount, into the hands of a stable-boy. The boy must have been new; Horror was a frequent visitor here, but still the boy looked perplexed and frightened by the stallion's harness, which was composed mainly of polished bone, including a bridle made from what must have been the jaw of a wolf, and head-armor made from the top of some animal's skull. Nevertheless, at a harsh word from one of the older stable hands, who nodded cordially at santhec, the boy took Horror back into the warmth of the stables.<BR><BR>Crow, the hound, watched Santhec with blue eyes. <BR><BR>"You may come with me today. The inkeeper may not tolerate you, but I think my lord will." <BR><BR>Crow heeled happily beside his master. He wore a collar, of tooth and bone-pieces like Horror's harness, but there was little need for it. He was fiercely loyal and unthinkingly obedient. <BR><BR>Eventually, Santhec reached the council chamber. He was still a minute or two early. The two guards at the door blocked his way with their pikes.<BR><BR>"Santhec Arandakh," said one, "my lord Denethor has requested that there be no weapons present at this meeting."<BR><BR>Santhec nodded. The Steward sometimes tended towards paranoia, but Santhec was happy to oblige him if it meant gaining the old man's trust. <BR><BR>Carefully, he drew his two swords--curved, with two-thirds of the bottom edges serrated cruelly as a saw--and handed them over hilt-first, then produced quite a pile of daggers, knives, and little sharp things the guards didn't care to speculate about from the recesses of his robes. Every single piece of bladework had been rubbed down with graphite powder, so that it would not glint and betray the wielder's position. Thus disarmed, the guards hesitated, then let santhec into the council chamber. They were unsure whether to count Crow as a weapon, but since the dog was panting genially and wasn't foaming at the mouth or anything like that, they let him through with his master. <BR><BR>--Aiwe
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Postby Luinil_2007 » Wed Dec 17, 2003 3:53 pm

Luinil looked out the window again... from the look of the night sky it seem around half past eleven.. time to get going she thought to herself.... ^bang^ Luinil looked about to see a traveler get up all of a sudden with a start... hmmmm.. she thought to herself i wonder if she will also be going to the meeting.... she watched the girl walk to the counter, then demand the time from the barmaid.. Luinil laughted inwardly... the barmaids eyes looked horrified.. <BR><BR>"Nigh on half past eleven, miss," said the barmaid in a rather frightened voice... <BR><BR>the girl stood there for a second then almost inaudible she said sorry...hmmmm.. she knows when she has frightened someone and has the heart to say sorry even if no one but i heard it... <BR><BR>well i must get to the counsel Luinil thought... as she left the table and hurried outside...being careful to avoid the guards from earlier.....as she looked up at the sky she noticed the tint of red in it... she looked farther into the East.. something has been burning she thought to herself..<BR>as she made her way to the corner she saw the girl from the inn...<BR>Luinil assumed that she was being bothered by the man that was standing next to her... <BR><BR>"I am Beregond, son of Baranor, Of the Third Company of the Citadel." she heard him say to the girl... this girl, Luinil could tell was getting angry with him<BR><BR>"If it will get you gone, I am Mithnen, fledgling of Armithlas Elnaurien and Halbarad Dunadan of the Rangers of the North...now may I continue?".....<BR>so she was a ranger from the north and her name was Mithnen...<BR><BR>wonder if she has ever met aragorn, Luinil thought to herself as she turned the corner...<BR><BR>as she came up to the stables to get Silma, she noticed the strange man again.... wishing to avoid him at the moment she got onto Silmas back quickly, (not needing to put on a saddle or reins since the elves ride bare-back style) she galloped out of the stables. she made quick time up to the counsel room of Denethor... as she got up there, she jumped off Silma and whispered to her in elven to stay here... jogging up to the entrance.<BR><BR>oh no she thought.. those guards are back....<BR><BR>"well hello miss... are you coming for the meeting?" sneered the guard in a ruff voice.<BR><BR>"yes i am... here is the letter again..." she answered back<BR><BR>"oh she has remebered us.. tell us now what is your name..." teased the second guard..<BR><BR>Luinil just starred at them.. this was getting annoying... just then she felt the presents of the strange man coming up to the other side of the doorway... lovely she thought to herself...<BR><BR>"look im in no mood to talk to you.... that letter is suffiecnt now if you will let me pass ill be on my way.." she said with a regal tone in her voice as she narrowed her eyes at them and grapped the letter<BR><BR>the two guards stood there dumbfounded as they let her pass...<BR><BR>that will teach them not to mess with me... as she laughted at the sight of their faces....
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Postby Mithnen » Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:39 pm

Mithnen watched from the shadowy recesses of an alleyway as the hooded man pulled weapon after weapon from the folds of his cloak. She could barely make out a slight glint of steel in the pale moonlight as the blades were laid on a table near one of the guards. <i>Graphite powder,</i> she thought in wonder. Armithlas had told her once that it was very useful stuff for a nocturnal hunter; never giving off a sheen that normal blades do. She recalled that the powder was very rare and was mainly mined in Far Harad. <i>Could this be one of the Haradrim? In Denethor's own walls?</i> she speculated. <BR><BR><i>Harad.</i> Her eyes reflected the moonlight that shined through the veil of the East as she recalled her visit with Captain Faramir's company in Northern Ithilien. According to Damrod, Haradrim troops had been entering the Morannon for nigh on a month. And now Denethor was inviting one of the Southrons into his own hall? She shurgged it off, not really in the mood to contemplate the perplexity of the matter.<BR><BR>Already thinking ahead, she pulled the conscription noticed that Halbarad's company had received from one of her pockets. A girl of sixteen was not going to be readily accepted into the halls of the Steward of Gondor. <i>No doubt,</i> she thought with a small grin, <i>he will be expecting someone different to have answered his plea.</i> Stepping from the shadows she prepared herself for the inevitable interrogation by the guards. Her eyes followed the Harad as he walked through the great doors of the Citadel; but then she saw something that she had not spotted from the shadows: a great dog, padding along at the man's side. Its teeth gleamed in the moonlight, but she did not feel any malice from the brute, nor from the man himself.<BR><BR>"How can we help you, miss?" asked one of the guards politely. His tone could be compared to the tone that a grandmother uses when asking her grandchild if he wants some candy. Mithnen despised it. <i>He should hold his tongue before I cut it out for him,</i> she thought impatiently.<BR><BR>"I'm here for the Council of the Steward," she began, handing them the notice. "I am from Halbarad Dunadan's company in the North." The moment that she had long dreaded, but knew to be inevitable finally came to pass. They laughed at her. They didn't just laugh, they <i>guffawed</i>. Complete belly-aching, side-splitting, eye-watering glee. She sighed. It was getting too cold for her liking. "I will be attending the Council, whether you gentlemen admit me or not, so please, either accept or deny me admittance."<BR><BR>One of the guards dabbed at a tear that was rolling down his hairy cheek. "You must be joking!" he stated through fits of laughter. Mithnen was just about to lose what little patience she had left, when a familiar voice shouted from behind.<BR><BR>"Och!" stated Beregond. "Mithnen! I told you to wait for me!"<BR><BR>In frustration, she threw up her arms. "Eru! is there no end?"<BR><BR>"Sorry, Targon, Argaladh," he said as he drew near. "She's with me." The guards' faces straightened and they cleared their throats. Mithnen gave a curt 'I-told-you-so' nod to the guards as they waved them through the doors. As soon as the doors closed behind them, Beregond turned to her and smiled. "Long time no see."<BR><BR>"Hannon le," she said quietly.<BR><BR>Beregond's smile widened. "You're welcome. But here I must leave you for I was not summoned-" he paused and shrugged. "Professional guards of the Citadel are no match for young Northern Rangers, I guess." Mithnen smiled and watched him take another route to reach his exit. She turned her head and saw another set of widely-arched doors directly in front of her. <BR><BR>Taking a deep breath, she laid her both hands on the doors and pushed her entire weight into them. They didn't budge. She tried again, and they still remained the same. She went to one, then the other, but was met with no more success. Finally starting to lose her temper, she backed into the doors and heaved with all her might. To her own astonishment, the doors gave way and she tumbled right into the main council room of Minas Tirith. From the flat of her back looking up, her eyes locked onto the weary gray gaze of the Steward of Gondor. Closing her eyes she sighed in exhasperation. <i>Well,</i> she reflected inwardly. <i>This could go on the record board for the worst introduction ever.</i><BR><BR>((OOC: Sorry! I was working on this for a while and I didn't see your post, Luinil. It's a bit long as it is, so I hope you forgive me for not adding your part...this is the longest one I've ever written!))
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Postby Aiwe » Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:04 pm

Mithnen caught a whiff of dogbreath, and a second later found that both the Haradrim and his hound were at her side. Gloved hands helped her to her feet.<BR><BR>"It'ss... the damp, you see. The doorss...always stick on nights like these," whispered the man beneath the cloak. <BR><BR>"My name is Santhec Arandakh, agent in the service of my lord Denethor. I have not yet made the acquaintance of the elf seated at the table. And you are?"<BR><BR>Mithnen blinked, still rather embarrassed by her entrance. "Mithnen," she said.<BR><BR>"Ah, the Ranger, yesss..." he said, almost to himself. <BR><BR>Denethor spoke up. "We shall begin shortly," he said, curt and suspicious as usual. "We await several more members, and then we may discuss the matter at hand." With that he swept back to his tall-backed chair at the head of the oaken table. <BR><BR>Santhec left Mithnen to choose a seat, and slithered over to where the elf sat.<BR><BR>"I believe we met once before...tonight, at the inn. I am Santhec Arandakh, as you no doubt overheard. What is your name?"<BR><BR>--Aiwe<BR>
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Postby Luinil_2007 » Wed Dec 17, 2003 5:47 pm

ooc: thats ok Mithnen i do that as well sometimes...<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Luinil sat down to the side of the room.. she turned around as she hear someone bang throught the door... it was mithnen she had fallen on to the floor.. must have been those doors, they were hard to open when she came in as well... then the stange man came up to mithnen and helped her up... that was nice of him thought Luinil... as she turned back to face Denethor..the man came to sit next to her... this time she would be ready to catch anything suspicious about him.. she was on her guard....<BR><BR>"I believe we met once before...tonight, at the inn. I am Santhec Arandakh, as you no doubt overheard. What is your name?" he asked of her....<BR><BR>"my name, lord Santhec Arandakh is Luinil of Greenwood the Great. Im sorry for not answering you before. May i know where you come from? and why you were called here?" she said with completly no emotion in her voice or any hint of anything in her eyes.<BR><BR>......this was interesting for Santhec, because when he saw her for the first time in the inn he saw incredible dislike in her eyes as well as when she was at the enterance to the meeting room....
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Postby Aiwe » Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:24 pm

Santhec chuckled slightly. "I am no lord, Lady Luinil. I am but a man of the Ith'sai, one of the many nomad tribes that roam the deserts of Harad. My people find no alleigances with the Steward or with the Eye or Hand. But, personally my loyalty lies here, in Minas Tirith with the Steward. If he calls for me, I come, and I do what is needed for the White Tree."<BR><BR>He sat back in his oaken chair, stroking Crow absently. The black dog was quite tall enough to see over the table, and was currently watching the assebled faces with his vividly blue eyes. <BR><BR>After a moment, Santhec stole a glance at the elf. She seemed to have swallowed his story without much difficulty. People generally did--it was a good lie in that it said very little at all, yet seemed to answer the listener's questions. He would need to be watchful, though. These women seemed the type who would not be satisfied with ambiguity for long. <BR><BR>Crow sighed a doggie sigh and leaned heavily against his master, resting his sleek jackal head on the wood of the table. He sniffed at the scent of meals from ages past that had soaked into the wood, and, eventually deciding that he wasn't going to get any, he shut his eyes and let Santhec stroke his ears.<BR><BR>The hall grew silent and pensive as the clockhands marched towards midnight, and still the Council was not complete.<BR><BR>--Aiwe
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Postby fishy071 » Wed Dec 17, 2003 11:04 pm

A bang, followed by a voice announcing "Nigh on half past eleven, miss" interrupted Fishy. She turned around and saw the female ranger leaving, followed by the elf. Fishy gathered her belongings and headed for the door.<BR><BR>She stopped as she heard voices of the ranger and a guard. The words, “council” and "I am Beregond, son of Baranor, Of the Third Company of the Citadel" caught her attention.<BR><BR>It was followed by "If it will get you gone, I am Mithnen, fledgling of Armithlas Elnaurien and Halbarad Dunadan of the Rangers of the North...now may I continue?" So the ranger’s name was Mithnen.<BR><BR>Fishy quickly stepped out of the inn, and greeted, “Hi Captain Beregond!” Since she studied in Minas Tirith, she had gotten to know Beregond and his family.<BR><BR>“I think there are several of us attending the Council summoned by Steward Denethor. I’ve had a bad feeling since Boromir said that he was going to Rivendell,” Fishy added.<BR><BR>“You may be right,” Beregond replied. “The Steward has been behaving strangely at times.”<BR><BR>Fishy hurried her way towards the citadel. As she approached the council chamber, she saw the man she saw earlier pulling weapons out. He had a dog with him. This was followed by Mithnen being stopped by the guards, and then Beregond helping her out. How did those 2 men get here so fast? Fishy guessed that they must have come by horse or other secret passages as she saw Beregond leave by another route.<BR><BR>After Mithnen struggled open the doors and tumbled in, Fishy quickly hurried through before they closed or the guards had a chance to question her.<BR><BR>She entered on time to hear Denethor announce, "We shall begin shortly. We await several more members, and then we may discuss the matter at hand."<BR><BR>The man and his dog sat next to the elf. "I believe we met once before...tonight, at the inn. I am Santhec Arandakh, as you no doubt overheard. What is your name?"<BR><BR>"My name, lord Santhec Arandakh is Luinil of Greenwood the Great. I’m sorry for not answering you before. May I know where you come from and why you were called here?" the elf asked.<BR><BR>Santhec chuckled slightly. "I am no lord, Lady Luinil. I am but a man of the Ith'sai, one of the many nomad tribes that roam the deserts of Harad. My people find no allegiances with the Steward or with the Eye or Hand. But, personally my loyalty lies here, in Minas Tirith with the Steward. If he calls for me, I come, and I do what is needed for the White Tree."<BR><BR>This relieved Fishy as she approached the tall-backed chair and greeted, “Hi Stweard Denethor!” He just kept his stern face. Fishy often felt sorry for Faramir as Denethor unfairly favored his older son. She wished Lady Finduilas were still alive. Maybe she could soften her widower a bit.<BR><BR>Fishy walked over to the three people, “Hi, didn‘t I see you at the inn? I’m Fishy.”
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Postby Luinil_2007 » Thu Dec 18, 2003 12:21 pm

Luinil was just about to greet fishy when...<BR><BR>"You there..." Denethor pointed at Luinil "Come here."<BR>she got up and went before the Steward as she did she removed her hood so that he could see her face.... her long brown ponytail flowed down her back.. <BR><BR>"ahhh.. I see we have an elf.. a she-elf! That is suprising when I asked for a warrior." remarked Denethor... "What is your name and where is the elven warrior that was said would come..?"<BR><BR>"My name is Luinil and I'm an elven warrior!"<BR><BR>"What was Boromir thinking? I told him to give the letter to a warrior! Do you even have the letter?" complained Denethor.<BR><BR>as Luinil handed him the letter.....<BR><BR>"Boromir didn't give the letter to me, he gave it to Prince Legolas. Legolas feeling draw to the Fellowship declined and gave it back to Boromir. I, feeling that i might help the Fellowship on the quest decided to go in Legolas's sted." <BR><BR>"Why would an elf want to help the fellowship on their quest?" questioned Denethor with an untrusting voice.<BR><BR>"I want to help the fellowship succeed in riding this world of evil.. your son seemed to think the same way because he joined the fellowship as well."<BR><BR>"Boromir went on the quest as well.? Very good.. mabye he can teach that Legolas a thing or two about fighting since he was a coward to decline this mission!" laughed Denethor.<BR><BR>"Lord Denethor Prince Legolas is no coward!" she angrily retorted clenching her fist tight "He is far more skilled than your son in battle and has see more battle than your son ever will!" She exclaimed in an furious voice.<BR><BR>"You should learn to hold you tongue before a Steward, elf. Next time I might not be as merciful."<BR><BR>Merciful! Merciful, Luinil thought to herself as she tightened her fist... clearly she had lost her temper but he was disrespecting Legolas! That she could not stand for and if he does it one more time he will have wished he didn't! She retorted in her mind.<BR><BR>"Now that you have calmed down, why were you so defensive when i mentioned Legolas?" said an amused Denethor<BR><BR>"It is a personal matter that I shall not talk about." she said back more calmly.<BR><BR>"Very well you may join this mission. Go and take your seat! Santhec come here." said Denthor<BR><BR>Luinil angrily walked back to her seat and sat down.. Santhec walked up to Denethor and Denethor whisper something to him that Luinil didn't catch.<BR><BR>She was feeling as if she could kill Denethor and stick his head on a stick, but she quickly released those feeling since she had overheard that Denethor was not himself, ever since Boromir had left. Boromir had been very nice to her, so his father could not be all that bad.<BR><BR>((OOC: i fixed it for ya Lanuviel!!))
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Postby Mithnen » Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:09 pm

As she took her place at the table, Mithnen could feel the eyes of everyone else stare at her. She sat and tried to ignore the feeling that it gave her; but she failed. Her face was flushed a bright shade of red and she began feeling hot underneath the collar. After what seemed like ages to her, she heard an angered voice sound through the cavernous council room:<BR><BR>"Lord Denethor, Prince Legolas is no coward!"<BR><BR>She looked over to her left and saw the she-elf from the inn standing angrily over the Steward. The sharp tips of the elf's ears were beat red, though there was no other physical sign of anger upon her face. Biting her top lip, Mithnen sighed inwardly, grateful that their piercing eyes were on the elf and not her. She wondered (as well as Denethor, apparently) what kind of connection the she-elf had with the Prince. <i>I've never seen one of the Eldar so defensive,</i> the pondered. <i>Memo to self: remember to inquire.</i> <BR><BR>At that moment, the doors that she had had such trouble with flew open and a group of ragged, yet defined-looking men strode across the marble floor. The breath caught in her throat as she recognized the group of men as the Rangers of Ithilien. She scanned their faces, hoping to find a familiar one. After a moment, her eyes found the face of one whom she had never again expected to see. Faramir nodded and grinned in he direction; but at seeing the stern and impatient expression on his father's face, his expression stiffened and the light in his eyes that she had seen just second before had dimmed. She felt sorry for Faramir, always being in the shadow of his brother...<BR><BR>"Is all of your company in attendance?" boomed the thunderous voice of Denethor.<BR><BR>"Yes, my Lord," Faramir replied, taking up his own chair beside Mithnen. "All save Argond and Firith, who have taken up the guard at Henneth Annûn."<BR><BR>"Good," Denethor stated. "Children are always better off left at home." At this, he shot a contemptuous glance at Mithnen. Turning his attention back to one of the guards that stood at his side, he muttered something and motioned for the door. The guard hurriedly crossed the floor and exited the chamber. Mithnen sat still and straight, seemingly experienced in council procedures. On the inside, however, she could feel her stomach jump into her throat and the beating of her heart quicken. Faramir bowed his head and whispered to her, "He's a stickler for punctuality."<BR><BR>"I can tell he's a stickler for more than that," Mithnen replied softly.<BR><BR>Faramir smiled. "He refuses to start anything five minutes early or five minutes late. You wait and see. As soon as the clock stikes its twelfth note he will begin. Not a second more, not a second less."<BR><BR>"I'm sorry," she replied jokingly. Faramir coughed as he tried to hide his laughter. Mithnen bowed her head to mask her smile as Denethor shot them a look of utter disgust.
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Postby fishy071 » Thu Dec 18, 2003 11:37 pm

Lunil turned to Fishy, but was interrupted by Denethor. "You there...Come here."<BR><BR>“Uh oh!” Fishy thought. She watched and listened in anger as Denethor insulted Lunil and Legolas. Lunil defended Legolas, adn Fishy could see that she was upset. Fishy herself wanted to throw one of her shurikens at him. Her bad feeling about Denethor and the whole thing seemed true. She was glad her weapons were so small that they could be hidden and sneaked into the room. Her dagger was under her shirt, and her shurikens were in a little waist pouch. Even if she had handed the dagger and shurikens over, she still had weapons: being of Easterling descent, she had studied some martial arts.<BR><BR>She wanted to run up and complain to him for his behavior, but he ordered to Lunil, "You should learn to hold you tongue before a Steward, elf. Next time I might not be as merciful." He sent Lunil back to her seat and called Santhec up. They appeared to be whispering.<BR><BR>Fishy walked over to Lunil and whispered, “I heard what that jerk said about you and Legolas, and he is wrong. He has no right to disrespect either of you. I really admire you elves. You and Legolas sound like great warriors and wise elves. Ever since Boromir left for Rivendell, I’ve had a bad feeling about the whole thing, especially Steward Denethor.”<BR><BR>Just then, a group of Rangers of Ithilien walked in, and Fishy caught sight of Mithnen and Captain Faramir exchanging smiles. Fishy waved and started towards him, but was interrupted by his father’s arrogant yell.<BR><BR>"Is all of your company in attendance?"<BR><BR>"Yes, my Lord," Faramir replied, taking up his own chair beside Mithnen. "All save Argond and Firith, who have taken up the guard at Henneth Annûn."<BR><BR>"Good," Denethor stated. "Children are always better off left at home." He then muttered to a guard and motioned for the door. The guard hurriedly crossed the floor and exited the chamber.<BR><BR>Fishy approached Faramir who was whispering and laughing with Mithnen.<BR><BR>“Hi Captain Faramir,” Fishy greeted. “It’s good to see you again.”<BR><BR>“Hi Fishy,” Faramir replied. “You here for this meeting?”<BR><BR>“Yes,” said Fishy. She leaned closer to his ear, and softly added, “I have a bad feeling about all this since your brother left for Rivendell. I think something’s wrong with your father. As I’ve mentioned, I really hate the way he treats you. I feel the whole thing is just not right. You should be the Steward instead of him. You’re a much better leader.”<BR><BR>Fishy saw Faramir smile, “Thanks, but by law my father, then my brother, is supposed to be Steward. I feel something is not right as well.”<BR><BR>Fishy then sat down with Faramir, his rangers, Mithnen, and Lunil. She caught a glimpse of Denethor glaring at them.
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Postby Lanuviel » Fri Dec 19, 2003 7:44 am

<i>The Twelfth bell rang.<BR><BR>Denethor cleared his throat. </i>"Thus begins the Council of the Steward." <i>He said, looking about him. His eyes fell upon each of the company, and as they reached the last in the row - Mithnen - he frowned. Not at her, but at something else, as his eyes did not meet hers, instead alighting upon the doors.</i><BR><BR>"Lieutenant Arthelion, you may be seated. And feel free to remove your hood."<BR><BR><i>A figure from the group detatched itself - who had been standing beside Faramir, listening to every word that had been said - and pulled down the deep brown hood, revealing the woman who had met Mithnen, Fishy and Santhec that evening - and who had also spotted Luinil watching them from afar. <BR><BR>She bowed to the steward, and took a seat beside Mithnen. She looked no different than when she had met Santhec that evening, other than her curly black hair was now loose past her shoulders, under her cloak. In a smooth voice, she introduced herself.</i> "My name is Saeran Arthelion, Lieutenant of the Rangers of Ithilien and Captain Faramir's second-in-command."<BR><BR>After speaking to them - for other than acknowledging her potential presence at the council, she had barely spoken - she had returned to her quarters and cleaned up, then headed straight to the council... just in time to 'mingle' with the other Rangers. Now, she crossed one leg over the other and leaned back in a gesture of defined ease, her ash-grey eyes watching the cmpany thoughtfully behind the jet-black ashes.</i><BR><BR>"And yet some are still missing of our number, I see." <i>Denethor commented, and directed his blistering glare once more to the door.</i>
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Postby Luinil_2007 » Fri Dec 19, 2003 8:49 am

A few seconds after Luinil sat down Fishy came over to her.... <BR><BR> “I heard what that jerk said about you and Legolas, and he is wrong. He has no right to disrespect either of you. I really admire you elves. You and Legolas sound like great warriors and wise elves. Ever since Boromir left for Rivendell, I’ve had a bad feeling about the whole thing, especially Steward Denethor.”<BR><BR>"Thankyou Fishy, you very kind." replied Luinil.<BR><BR>Just then a group of Rangers of Ithilien came into the room. Luinil didn't know any of them but she guessed that Faramir was also Denethor son, she saw the resemblance between him and Boromir. Apperantly Denethor favored Boromir over Faramir. She could tell from the way Denethor talked to him and also Faramir eyes revieled what she suspected.<BR><BR>Sitting there waiting for the meeting to being, she pondered over the story that Santhec had told her. It seemed plausible but there was something not right there. What was she thinking... if Denethor allowded him into Gondor then surely his alliance was to Gondor right?? She didnt have much time to think when Denethor spoke again... <BR><BR>"Lieutenant Arthelion, you may be seated. And feel free to remove your hood."<BR><BR>A figure from the corner came forth. She removed her hood and bowed to the Steward then took her seat by Mithnen.<BR><BR>"My name is Saeran Arthelion, Lieutenant of the Rangers of Ithilien and Captain Faramir's second-in-command." she said to everyone.<BR><BR>Denethor spoke once more before everyone went back to waiting..<BR><BR>"And yet some are still missing of our number, I see." He shot a look at the door.
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Postby fishy071 » Fri Dec 19, 2003 9:44 am

The bells struck midnight. The sound was good, but too loud for Fishy. Even worse, it reminded her of her bad feeling. <BR><BR>Denethor announced, "Thus begins the Council of the Steward," and looked around, frowning at the doors.<BR><BR>"Lieutenant Arthelion, you may be seated. And feel free to remove your hood."<BR><BR>A hooded figure revealed herself to be the woman Fishy had saw outside the inn. She bowed to Denethor and introduced herself.<BR><BR>"My name is Saeran Arthelion, Lieutenant of the Rangers of Ithilien and Captain Faramir's second-in-command." She went to sit with the other Rangers.<BR><BR>"And yet some are still missing of our number, I see," Denethor spoke sternly and glared towards the door.<BR><BR>Fishy stiffened, ready for more yelling and insults from Denethor's mouth. The atmosphere of the room was really stressful.<BR><BR>"How many people were called to the meeting?" she wondered, but knowing the Steward, kept the question to herself.
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Postby qwertymoo » Fri Dec 19, 2003 2:48 pm

A loud knocking on the door wakened Brickleboar Cutter from his ale induced sleep. <i>Rap rap rap. “Sir! You asked to be wakened! Sir!” </i> Brickleboar recognized the voice to be that of the barmaid from the Inn below. The old dwarf was still trying to shake the cobwebs from his mind as he growled after her, “Waken for wha--?”<BR><BR><i>”Oh for the love of all that’s right and good in Middle Earth, how could I have let this happen when I knew of the summons,”</i> he thought to himself and then yelled to the maid, “What time is it?, The time! The time!”<BR><BR>“It is just shy of dawning the new day,” replied the maid.<BR><BR><i>Shy of midnight. Shy of the time of the meeting!</i> Brickleboar was already strapping his shieLd to his back and notching the war mattock in its holder. “Have a mug of water ready for when I get down,” he called after her through the door.<BR><BR>The old dwarf berated himself for the predicament he had placed himself in as he hurriedly placed the throwing axes at his sides. He could imagine the trouble that Denethor, Steward of Gondor, had gone through to track down the dwarven mercenary, and now to keep the Steward waiting. <i>“And why,”</i> Brickleboar thought? <i>“Because I needed to forget about my past.”</i> He shook his head in disbelief.<BR><BR>In the past seventy seven years he had done plenty of mercenary work, and for many causes (mostly when it involved the orc colonies), and only on rare instances did he ever try to drown his memory of the Iron Hills: his homeland of exile. Only when it came to highly important missions or for high nobility did he think of the dishonor that he befell upon himself. Unfortunately, this was one of those times.<BR><BR>He rushed out of the room and down the stair on the Inn. As the barmaid handed him a tankard of water, he noticed she had a fearful look in her eye for having waken him so late. There was no apology needed. He realized that she had probably been outside the door pounding for the past ten to fifteen minutes trying to rouse him. <i>His realization wasn’t that far fetched.</i><BR><BR>Taking the tankard, he emptied it over his head. The cool water refreshed him and helped to clear out the remaining cobwebs. He handed the tankard back to the girl and reached into his pouch. Knowing his late arrival to this meeting was more his fault for having drank too much than it was the maid’s, he handed her a silver piece for the trouble and fright she put herself through and said, “Thank you getting me on the road miss.”<BR><BR>Brickleboar rushed out of the Inn and up the streets of the White City with his helm under his arms. The chain mail he wore jingled with each step he took. <i>“So much for arriving unannounced,”</i> he thought as his armor signaled his every move toward the Council that Denethor had called. <BR><BR>As he made his way up the step of the hall where the meeting was being held, Brickleboar thought, <i>”What an odd time to call for a meeting as this - midnight. Got to be important to not let the populace know what happening: stealth.”</i><BR><BR>Three men were at the door: a guard of sorts Brickleboar supposed. Two of the men had the look of authority. The third, he noticed, had a nervous look on his face: obviously he didn’t want to be there. He apparently wasn’t there as guard, but as escort. <i>”Well that cuts it,” he thought to himself, “first I bring shame upon myself with my own people, now I make a mark for myself within Gondor’s capital.”</i><BR><BR>The nervous escort leaned over to one of the ‘guards’ and whispered. Brickleboar was ready to explain his requested presence by the Steward of Gondor, but the ‘guard’ motioned to Brickleboar and said, “You’ll not enter the chambers while armed, by order of the Steward.”<BR><BR>“No, of course not,” the old dwarf replied, as he reached for the mattock at his back. The ‘guards’ gave him rather disrespectful looks while he proceeded to hand his throwing axes and knives to them. Brickleboar decided to play to it for these two - just how far would they take it, knowing that Denethor had summoned him (late or not), “What’s the matter gentlemen, never encountered a dwarf before?”<BR><BR>With a frown the ‘guard’ on the left replied with a hint of malice, “Not one that was clean shaven - dwarf.”<BR><BR>The gentleman that presumably had come to ‘escort’ Brickleboar, raised his eyebrows and was beginning to perspire, though it was a cool night outside. Brickleboar new the ‘escort’ finally realized the meaning of the remark and the malice that was carried with it from his comrade. He was visibly shaken by the thought.<BR><BR>The ‘escort’ looked at the dwarf and said, “If you would follow me Mr. Cutter”. He turned from the other two and Brickleboar to head into the hall. At the door to the Council the ‘escort’ paused to compose himself.<BR><BR>Brickleboar took this opportunity to put the young man at ease, ‘What’s your name soldier?”<BR><BR>The man turned slightly to face the dwarf and replied, “Evan Tourdon of the Third Company of the Citadel.”<BR><BR>The lines on the dwarf’s forehead smoothed as he smiled up at the soldier. “Evan, don’t let my appearance unnerve you. What I live with daily, I deserved some many years ago - before you were born, and probably before the Steward you now serve as well.” Shaking his head, he continued, “And don’t take this as a rationalization for what I did in the past. Cowardice in battle is inexcusable - no matter what the cause. I’ve learned that lesson, and I learn from it every day I draw a breath of air.”<BR><BR>Evan’s face seemed to relax a bit and he turned back toward the door and gave it a hard shove.<BR><BR>A dim light filtered through the doorway from the room itself. Brickleboar could see that everyone was assembled - or so he assumed it was everyone (minus himself).<BR><BR>He quickly took in the assemblage: an elf lady; a couple women that were rather lithe and muscular of build (fighters? - perhaps); another figure, though he was cloaked, he assumed was a gentleman (what was at the table with him - a dog?); a gentleman that resembled Denethor (most likely a son - he had heard of the two sons Boromir and Faramir, but wasn’t sure which he was); and a young lady with delicate feature - definitely not skilled with a weapon of sorts, but Denethor must have known she possessed some ability for the mission (whatever it may be).<BR><BR>Having taken only a brief moment to take in the entourage, Brickleboar focused his attention toward Denethor: the person who had summoned him in the first place. The look from Denethor shot straight through the dwarf, and it told volumes: why did I call upon this dwarf, can I trust him, what disrespect he shows me by arriving late and unkempt.<BR><BR>Brickleboar swept his arm arcoss his body and bowed his head. “Lord Denethor, Steward of Gondor, Brickleboar Cutter at your service as you have summoned. My apologies to you for the demeanor and timing of the appearance before your Lordship.”<BR><BR>Denethor glared at the beardless dwarf that was bowing before him for what seemed an eternity. The Steward was aware of the uncomfortable presence in the air as he let the salutation hang unanswered. After a moment more Denethor said softly, “It’s nothing more than I’d come to expect from one who has disgraced himself amongst his own people, than to assume his time were more important than that of the Steward of Gondor.”<BR><BR>Though the Steward had spoken in low tones, the malice in his voice hit Brickleboar to the core. Brickleboar bowed a bit lower at the waist, accepting this rebuke - he had earned it after all through foolish self pity after so many years. He straightened and looked at Denethor with a hint of respect but also authority of own who has earned the respect of his skills - disregarding the past.<BR><BR>Denethor acknowledged the glare and instructed Brickleboar to, “Be seated.”<BR><BR>The dwarf seated himself next to young woman with delicate features and placed his helm on the table in front of him.<BR><BR>Fishy could smell a faint bit of alcohol on the breath of the dwarf.
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Postby Luinil_2007 » Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:39 pm

As Luinil waited there she took in all that was before her. First there was Denethor seated at the foot of a high white throne. All around her was seats of white with a few white and black tables in between them. The floor of marble was waxed to perfection almost to the point where you could see your reflection in it.<BR><BR>Suddenly a dwarf came through the doors.... <BR><BR>He must be the last one of the members to come to this meeting, she concluded.<BR><BR>He was an odd dwarf, he had no bread. This totally was suprising since all the drawfs that Luinil had met had breads. Something that was not suprising was that he recked with ale. <BR><BR>Not suprising indeed she thought to herself with a laugh. Luinil remember Legolas and his incounter with Gimli, the only dwarf to go with the fellowship.<BR><BR>The dwarf introduced himself as Brickleboar Cutter, then took a seat next to Fishy. <BR><BR>"Hopefully this meeting can now start." she told to Santhec....
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Postby Aiwe » Fri Dec 19, 2003 6:47 pm

Denethor gave Santhec a significant glance and beconed with a finger. Obediently, the cloaked man went to his master's side, bowed low, and leand in close to hear the whispers of his lord.<BR><BR>"I hope my trust in you has not been misplaced, Arandakh"<BR><BR>Santhec felt a chill lump settle in the pit of his stomach. Did Denethor now suspect him? "As always, my lord, I hope to prove worthy of that gracious trust. It is more than I deserve from my lord the Steward." He kept his eyes averted, both out of respect and to keep the fear in them hidden. <BR><BR>The flattery and deference seemed to work their usual magic. "Good, good. I knew I could count on you. Do your lord a favor now," he whispered conspiratorily.<BR><BR>"Anything you ask, Steward. I am at your service always."<BR><BR>"Yes. Yes, I know. Now: watch the elf. I am not sure I trust that one. Keep your ears open, and your eyes watchful, yes?"<BR><BR>"Of course, my lord. It is always my pleasure to serve the White Tree."<BR><BR>"Now go."<BR><BR>"Yes, my lord." Santhec bowed low again, and retreated to his seat next to the elf. <i>That was a close one,</i> he thought, letting out a slow breath. <i>I thought he'd found me out for a minute there</i>. Santhec stroked Crow's muzzle for a few minutes to calm his nerves, glancing surreptitiously at the elf by his side. <i>My lord is always suspicious. I do not see the harm in this one, but I shall of course do what the Steward asks. I cannot afford to lose his trust. Not now, not ever.</i><BR><BR>He nodded cordially at the clean-shaven newcomer. <i>Hmmmm... I wonder what he did to deserve exile?</i> He put the thought aside. There would be time for such things later. <BR><BR>--Aiwe
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Postby qwertymoo » Fri Dec 19, 2003 7:20 pm

The dwarf watched as the elf lady took her seat next to hooded figure. Witnessing the whispered conversation between herself and her neighbor, his temper stirred. As Denethor beckoned the hooded figure for a conversation, Brickleboar reached for the water goblet on the table next to him, cleared his throat, and spoke to the elf lady, “I’m sorry for having kept this meeting from starting a couple of strokes past the beginning of the new day.” He carefully took a swallow of water from the goblet.<BR><BR>Luniel started to reply, “I don’t expect any apology from ---“<BR><BR>Brickleboar didn’t let her finish her thought as he brought the goblet down on the stone table harder than he had planned, spilling some of the contents and interrupting Luniel, “But being a skilled mercenary, you’d be damn glad that I decided to come at all, as the message I’d received stated nothing about payment for the services received , for whatever this mission is about.” With this last statement he turned his gaze toward Denethor.<BR><BR>“With all due respect Lord Denethor and I apologize for having interrupted your conversation.” Brickleboar nodded toward the hooded figure and continued, “I’m aware of the trouble you’d have had to go through trying to get contact to me, besides even wanting to make such a contact with such as myself, as you’ve so eloquently stated before god and this Council.” And looking at the rest of those assembled, he said, “I don’t expect to be openly given respect for the heritage you’ve been bluntly made aware of. In fact, I won’t commit to anything until I’ve heard what this meeting is about. But out of respect for you Lord Denethor, and the title you hold and represent,” he returned his gaze to the Steward, “I came because you had trust in me to ask for my services in the first place. That, and I’m curious as to why you’d want someone as myself.”<BR><BR>He took the goblet firmly in his hand and drained it in one drink. Replacing the goblet, the dwarf glared at each of the individuals seated around the table. Hardly aware of the conversation taking place between Denethor and this stranger. <i>”How dare these people judge me.”, thought Brickleboar. “Aside from Denethor, none of them are old enough to know what loyalty is.”</i><BR><BR>When Denethor had finished his conversation with Santhec, he looked at the rest assembled one by one lastly glaring at Brickleboar. <i>“He may have dishonored his name so many years ago,”</i> thought Denethor, <i>“but no, my good dwarf that’s not why I called upon you indeed.”</i><BR><BR>Still looking at the dwarf, the Steward of Gondor said, “To finish the lady’s,” pointing toward Luniel, “statement, I don’t expect an apology either. And quite frankly I’m surprised that you’ve come at all, knowing as little as you did. But that all is to change shortly master dwarf.” Denethor pointed to those guards inside the hall who were nonessential and said, “You may take you’re leave and post yourself outside opposite the antechamber.”
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Postby fishy071 » Fri Dec 19, 2003 10:18 pm

The doors opened with a bang.<BR><BR><i>Oh good, a dwarf, too!</i> thought Fishy as she watched what looked like a beardless dwarf approach Denethor, greeting and apologizing for his tardiness. She could tell from Denethor’s expressions and words that he had no respect for the dwarf who placed his helm on the table as he sat next to her. She felt sorry for him as well.<BR><BR>Smelling the alcohol from his breath, Fishy could guess why he was late. Drinking and smoking seemed popular in Middle-Earth, but Fishy and her family grew up detesting them for they knew the results were not good. However, few people seemed to know that.<BR><BR>“Hi Mr. Cutter,” Fishy greeted. “I am Fishy, and I’m happy to see a dwarf here.”<BR><BR>“Brickleboar Cutter at your service and your family’s,” he replied, then turned to interrupt Lunil and drink from a goblet, which he soon slammed down. It seemed as if he knew Lunil, cared only about money, and glared at everyone.<BR><BR>Fishy’s impression on Bricklboar changed. <i>How rude and selfish! No wonder he was exiled.</i> Then she recalled that dwarves were not gentle and refined.<BR><BR>Just then, Denethor dismissed his guards. The council would begin. Finally!
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Postby Lanuviel » Sat Dec 20, 2003 8:23 am

<i>Denethor cleared his throat, evidently about to begin. His gaze once more wondered amongst the group, alighting a fraction of a second more upon Saeran, who offered him a barely imperceptable nod. The unspoken agreement that had passed between them had barely been spotted, and actually was a testament to the paranoia of Gondor's Steward. Unofficially, she had just ensured him that if there was any trouble, she, along with the guards she partially commanded, would deal with it. <BR><BR>Shortly, everyone had been re-introduced to the Dwarven newcomer, and Denethor truly began. There would be time for questions later on - now was the explanation, the reason why the group had been gathered in the first place.</i><BR><BR>"As I am sure most of you know, Mordor has awoken." <i>He stated simply, and recieved silence in response. Pleased, he continued.</i> "Sauron has returned, and is gathering his forces to him. At the minute, it is through the blood of soldiers and the Rangers of Ithilien..." <i>He nodded towards Saeran, who offered a cautious smile back,</i> "...That they are prevented from advancing. This stalemate, however, shall not last." <i>He paused again, and gestured around the room at the company.</i> "And yet there is a way that we may just be given the advantage - the chance to win this titanic battle of wills: the Palantíri."<BR><BR><i>Saeran sat up as though the had been electricuted, and stared at her Lord as if he was completely out of his mind. He staved off her potential comments, however, with a wave of his hand and continued.</i> "Saeran, I would ask you to tell the others of the knowledge we have of the Palantíri."<BR><BR><i>The Ranger scowled darkly and rose to her feet, her smooth voice beginning to explain.</i> "In the beginning, there were seven Palantíri of Middle-Earth. Now, only three are known of, the other four missing and lost from both our eyes and that of the enemy." <i>Her steel-hued eyes flicked upwards for the briefest of moments while she remembered.</i> "Those of Annúminas, Amon Sûl and Osgiliath are either lost or destroyed. The Osgiliath stone fell into the Anduin during a civil war known as the Kin-strife; the Annúminas stone and that of Amon Sûl were lost to the ocean, though rumour states they may have been washed inland. Ithil-stone has been missing ever since the siege of Barad-dur."<BR><BR><i>That struck a sore note with all Rangers of Ithilien... the Ithil-stone had once been theirs, until Ithilien had been taken by the dark powers, and the people fled without their precious seeing-stone. In effect, the Ithil-stone had ever been their birthright. As she finished, Denethor nodding appraisingly - but Saeran only offered another scowl as she returned to her seat. Denethor was raking over old wounds that had never truly healed, and it was not welcome.</i><BR><BR>"Thank you, Saeran. Now, the reason I have gathered each of you is to inform you that you are all the fellowship I have chosen to find these four stones, based on knowledge myself and others have obtained over the past months." <i>Denethor acknowledged each in turn now, and Saeran looked pensive indeed when she noticed the Steward's eyes flick to Santhec when he mentioned 'others'. An unofficial spy... interesting, for sure.</i><BR><BR>"Over tonight and tomorrow, you shall each have a chance to gather your belongings you shall need, pore over the intelligence that we have collected, elect a leader - though it doesn't have to just be one person - and rest in time to leave at ten o'clock tomorrow. You shall need the cover of darkness to flee the city."<BR>"Why 'flee', Lord Steward?" <i>Saeran asked, raising an arched eyebrow in scepticism, her arms folded across her chest. He looked at her, and answered the question directly to her rather than to the company itself.</i><BR><BR>"This shall be a race, Lieutenant." <i>He said, his voice deadly serious.</i> "The forces of Mordor seek the lost seeing-stones the way we do, and to let them reach them before us is to admit defeat in its entirety." <i>He turned to face the fellowship, his arms wide.</i><BR><BR>"Who would take on this task in order to defend the people of Gondor?"<BR><BR><i>There was a long pause, and Saeran sighed and stood, saluting the Steward smartly. She couldn't have wriggled free from this charge if she had tried - to do the bidding of the Steward was part of her duty as a Ranger of Ithilien, and she was bound to that.</i><BR><BR>"I shall, Lord." <i>She said, seating herself again without a smile. Once again, she would be leaving her squad and trying to forge a connection with a group of people she didn't know. So much for rest...</i>
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