Mithril Knights: Guardians of Middle-earth

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

Postby nienor-niniel » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:15 am

They had taken the road at last.

Or had it only seemed to Nin that it had taken long? Maybe because eyes were fixed on her and questions were in those eyes, which she could not answer. She would have wanted to answer them! But there was just a huge nothingness in her mind, a bleakness, she did not like. She felt numb, dizzy, overcharged. Sure, the lady-knight Vana was kind and gentle and the knight in training – from the clothing – named Brondgast seemed alike. There seemed no hostility in Anorast’s answers and he had been her fellow initiate. Nin sincerely thanked her for her kind and welcoming intention.

But it all passed her ears like through a thick veil. There was something between here and the others, something she could not lay hands on, but she felt it, like a disconnection.

It was good to move forward. Yet, Nin yearned for a horse of her own again, being independent, free to let her thoughts wander and maybe to find where she had been, what had happened to her, what all this meant…

But time for rest and thought would be another time – as time for loneliness. The knights had to stick together and to move forward.

Far behind their group, two persons followed them from so afar, that even the elves could not see them. One was the man who had brought Nin to the village the day before, The other was a woman with fierce look and a scarred face. Her name was Janaris. A month ago, she had been caught stealing in the inn where Nin played the flute at that evening. The keeper had been about to hit her, when the musician he had hired for a few evenings, interfered and paid for the damage. The women had starting to talk and gotten familiar after a few days. Janaris stole for her companion, a rough man named Klohil, but who stayed with her despite her scars. When talking about the past, Nin told that she had been a Mithril Knight – one of the few things, she had nothing to be ashamed about. Janaris listened eagerly.

Years and years before, her father had been on trial for robbery, brigandry, rape – maybe he was bad man, she did not know – to her he only was her dear father who came home in the evenings to her wake her mother, who had often been too “sick” to get up all day. He fed little Janaris and brought her toys – beautiful toys, which children had given him for her, he told and as she had been waiting on the earthern floor of the hut the rest of the day, tearing her mother’s dress and crying to wake her up, she was always happy when he came. He warmed the food and gave mummy her medicine from those strong smelling bottles – and after she got that medicine, mum woke up and laughed and sung and sometimes even got up and walked and danced around in the house – albeit never straight, she really had to be very sick. Janaris loved her father. Sometimes, it took him longer and she had to wait for days and mother without her medicine could get very angry sometimes and yell at her girl and throw one of the empty bottles, and Janaris hair got filthy and smelly, before he father ever came back.

One day, the men came. “Sent by the steward of Gondor.” they said, but Janaris did not know what a steward did and who he was. The men had huge horses and fair cloaks and swords of cutting steal and at least one did not look like any man she had ever seen before – there was nothing filthy in his hair, which shone like gold. Their clothes were clean and some of them wore rings of beautiful fashion. Her father was taken away and it took her mother days to even realize that he was gone. Janaris was 11 by then. One of the men came back to tell them about the justice of the West and the knights as guardians of the realm and their duty. The words seemed fair, but she did not understand. She only remembered the name.
“Mithril Knights”.

The man in armour took her to the local leather-maker to live and work there. Her mum was too “sick” after all, even a knight could see that. It was hard work and little love. During the first week, one day, she dropped a pot of chalk from a shelve on her face. It burnt terribly and she was scarred ever after. But worse than that she was hit – for spilling such an expensive solution which was needed for the work. The healer helped her a bit and taught about the poisons you use to make leather, But her face was devastated forever.

Shortly after that, she was told that her father was sentenced to death. Then, she cried for the last time in her life.

Years later, she could not believe her ears, when she realised the simple sentence Nin had said. “For a while, I was a Mithril Knight, but I shall no return to that life.” From there, her plan had ripened. But of all this, Nin remembered no more than of the death of her horse or the battle.

That night, Janaris had made a plan. And taken the next two weeks on executing it thoroughly. A plan of revenge and gain. She did not leave an inch of space to Nin, not a second unobserved.

In the group she followed, Nin was still silent, feeling the trot of the horse and wondering, wondering all the time.

And while she was not speaking, she heard Erinhue’s words about memories and felt the concern, they had about the bard sweating – but for the moment, she did not speak, questioning herself, how such a seemingly little trouble could worry such powerful knights. Because of Erinhue and the berserker on a battlefield, she remembered not more than of Janaris.
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Postby erinhue » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:14 am

The company of Mithril Knights moved closer to their goal in a semi silence that clung to them like the cloaks they wore. On a few scant occasions the bard began to sing but no matter what song or how merry it began, it turned morbid and more dirge like by the end. At one point, during a particularly morose melody, Tempest snapped “If you can’t sing something more cheerful, don’t bother us with singing at all.” Erinhue did not sing anymore.

Anorast began to understand how he had underestimated this warrior/bard from Belfalas. While Erinhue’s lighthearted attitude seemed frivolous at times and in the elf’s opinion, the man relied way too much upon that contrary harp of his, but there was wisdom greater than a first look would reveal. In a natural, effortless manner Erinhue kept their moral, their spirits high. He kept them optimistic under the most dire circumstance. He made them laugh in the darkness and kept their hearts in the brightness of the light. All these things were easier to see and to appreciate now that the bard road silent.

The few times he had tried to sing, Erinhue had been trying to lift his own spirits yet some how each attempt brought the opposite result. The days were hot, so was he. The worsening condition was beginning to concern him. At first he thought it some condition of the integration with the Berserker, then he noticed that the heat he burned only when they progressed towards their goal. His thoughts drifted backward as Erinhue tried to remember where and when he first realized that his body was reacting to the heat. In his mind, the bard went back along the road and realized. The first time he had felt this odd sensations of heat, was not until after he had followed that messenger… and discovered Nin.

A few notes in minor key sounded loudly from the dragonharp fastened to the saddle of Erinhue’s mount.

“What do you mean you are not certain?” the bard responded, “That does not sound like you.”

A murmur of melody made lengthy reply.

“ Oh, I understand” Erinhue said, although he had not understood even half of what the harp was saying. “Well let me know when you decide”. Erinhue let out a dry bark of a laugh. “If they would follow where we’re leading, it is they that will find themselves with more trouble than was discussed in the bargain… and that trouble will not come from us.”

Erinhue sighed and swiped his forearm across his more that moist forehead.

“Agarak can you do something to put a stop to this sensation of heat. You do know it is, I guess you’d say increasing as we travel forward, don’t you?”

A single pitying note came as answer.

Erinhue understood it as, “Necessary.”
"Where ever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzi

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Postby Cock-Robin » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:41 am

The heat was becoming oppressive. But something was weighing on Brondgast which almost made him ignore the heat, the feeling of ever-present danger. A sense that animals often had. He at first dismissed it as anticipation of the coming battle against things that hadn't been there since the War.

But it wouldn't go away, it increased on him. He couldn't see or hear anything around him to justify that feeling. It had grown on him since Nin had joined them, yet it wasn't her. He wished the eagle was still above them, flying reconnaisance, but Meneldor had left right after giving his message from his mentor, to keep tryst at Carn Dum where he awaited them.

Finally, it got too much for the Beorning to bear, and he dismounted from Thunder, taking bear's form even as he touched the ground. He stood and sniffed the air, the feeling of enemies was strong, even though there was nothing in sight, He took off running, making a wide circle around the Knights, his senses alert. Still nothing. But a feeling of intense hatred focused on them was strong, and he couldn't shake it.

"Is something wrong?" said Vana as he rejoined the group. Brondgast shrugged with a little half growl and looked up at her. He wasn't sure, but it wasn't good. He would be on his guard from here on in.

He shambled up to a bit of high ground and would accompany them from there, a vantage point he would take on the way. And there, he went with them, watching.
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Meneldor, Warrior Bard, and Brondgast, Mithril Knights

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Postby Claymore » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:09 am

Brondgast and Erinhue where not the only ones who had feeling of being observed. At first Djazi tried to ignore it especially after Brondgast search came up fruitless but after rubbing irritably at the back of his neck for the thirteenth time he gave up.
‘I’m going to scout out behind us,’he told Tempest as he reined Dabayl in.
-Brondgast didn’t find anything.
‘Brondgast is an excellent tracker but he is also a very big bear, and bears are rather rare and very visible here,’he answered as he gestured at the desolate moors they were crossing. ‘Whoever is following us probably saw him coming, and had ample time to hide.’
‘And a rider is less visible?’Tempest said dubiously.
‘Who says I’ll be riding,’Djazi replied as he slid down from Dabayl’s saddle. He took off his faded blue cloak, too visible in the dun moors, and started to rummage through the saddle-bags in search of the dusty, old leather jerkin he’d worn before joining the Knights. The the blue Vest that he ‘d been given before leaving the Mirkwood was probably one of the nicest piece of clothing he’d ever worn but it was also one of the most visible.
‘You plan to go on foot?’Tempest asked somewhat incredulously. ‘You’ll never catch up with us again.’
‘Before I came north I’d never ridden a horse,’Djazi replied. ‘My Tribe has learned to travel quickly and over long distances on foot. If you don’t go faster than a trot I’ll probably be able to catch up with you before the evening.’
-It’s a lot of effort for just a hunch, and potentially dangerous if turns out whoever is following us has evil intentions.
‘I’ll be fine. I’ve been hunting since I was twelve and I think I know more or less what I’m doing by now,’he said with a wry grin. ‘Besides I prefer to run around for one day for nothing, than have an unknown enemy at our back and I think it goes for all of us.’
Tempest still looked a bit dubious but capitulated at a nod from Anorast.
-Alright but if you’re not back this evening, I swear to the Valar, I’ll personally ride back and haul you scrawny Southron hide back.
Djazi grinned.
‘Worried, Tempest?’ he asked half-teasing.
‘Maybe,’Tempest answered with a straight face.
Djazi grinned again and after a few murmured words to Dabayl he set out in the direction where they had come from, settling in an easy loping run he could sustain for hours.
Though the Knights hadn’t been following a real road, they had left a very visible trail and Djazi followed it at a distance, careful to keep a constant eye to it while avoiding to be too visible. Soon he was out of sight, a slightly darker brown dot against the undulating dun canvas of the moors.

He had been running for nearly two hours and still he hadn’t seen hide nor hair of whomever his instinct said was following them. Frustrated he climbed on of the knolls dotting the landscape, risking the chance to be seen to have a better view. For a moment he thought he saw a dust-cloud far in the distance but it was gone the next moment. He considered going on and investigate what had caused the cloud but a look at the sky convinced him otherwise. The wind had free play here on the moors and may very well be the origin of the cloud instead of pursuers of any kind and it was growing late. He still had a long way to go before he reached the Knights again and though Tempest’s statement had been made jokingly he knew she would ride back to pick him up if she deemed it necessary. The Knights could miss one fighter but not two. With one last look over his shoulder he made his way back.

By the time he reached the Knight’s Camp it was late in the evening and as he’d predicted Tempest had ridden back to meet up with him.
‘And? ’she asked after he’d tiredly climbed back in Dabayl’s saddle.
He shook his head.
-I only saw a dust cloud just before I had to turn back. It could have been anything. If someone is following us they are doing it from a great distance.
‘Which isn’t very difficult I guess with the trail we’re leaving,’ Tempest added with a snort.
Djazi nodded.
- Well at least now we know that if someone is following us, it will take some time before they can cause us any mischief. Now come. Vana kept some dinner warm for you. You look exhausted.
- I am.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:13 am

Brondgast continued his journey on the high moors, watching the Knights below. The feeling of hatred focused on them didn't cease. He would join them when they paused for a meal or rest, but then went back up.

This was such an ideal place for an abush, he thought to himself. He knew the rest were thinking the same thing, as he noticed Tempest didn't let her hand off her weapon.

Still, this was to be expected. They were nearing Angmar, the place where Carn Dum was the center, the ancient realm of the Witch-King.

It was always a place of evil, even after the War. It was probably an outpost of Angband long ago in the Elder Days as well. It would probably never be cleansed till the end of days.

And he wondered, where was Meneldor. Not even a dot in the sky. He didnt' know that Meneldor was casting an anxious eye west for the arrival of the Knights himself, while waiting on Dirk.
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Postby SmaugsBane » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:50 pm

If the Hithaeglir were a Scorpion then the Mountains of Angmar would be its tail, and Carn-dûm its gleaming black sting. Dirk was now so close to those evil peaks that he stood in their shadow, though it was the second hour before noon. Meneldor, even with his Eagle-vision, had had a difficult time finding the Shadowed Warrior within the mountains' gloom; for there was more to Dirk that was Black than merely his garb and armor.

The ancient Eagle's eyes would not have missed the toil that Dirk endured in order to keep hold of the last vestiges of himself. The young Knight was sweating profusely, and he stammered as he spoke, often losing his train of thought completely. In the end, Dirk could not recall most of what he had said to the great bird, which was mainly to remind the Mithril Knights that they must join forces with the Rangers in the area so that they could fight the orcs and other beasts, allowing the Knights to concentrate upon the Drakes and the Dragon. Dirk also managed to remind Meneldor that the Knights must be ready two days hence, for that was when the Dragon would emerge from the mouth of the Witch-king's ancient lair, if his plan worked as he had foreseen. Other words were exchanged that would never be remembered by either man nor Eagle, until their farewell.

Shakily Dirk approached Meneldor and tentatively reached out to touch his wing, "Y-you have honoured me, O great Eagle. F-farewell, and if I sh-should come out on the other side of this, uh, adventure," he paused for several moments, his brow knitting and un-knitting, "if I am still intact, wh-whole, that is, then I will do my best to honour my commitment as your mentor Knight. For I have been a poor one s-so far."
Last edited by SmaugsBane on Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:19 pm

Great Eagles. Messengers of Manwë. Guardians of Middle-Earth. Lords of the Sky. Many were their names. And many were their heroic deeds. And yet, they remained aloof. Even when Thorondor went to Thangorodrim to rescue Maedhros. When he bore away Beren and Luthien. When Gwaihir plucked Gandalf from Orthanc, then from the mountain, and rescued Frodo the Ringbearer from the fire. Meneldor was there to bear Samwise away.

And yet they remained aloof, emotionally distant, lords of all they surveyed. But that time was past. Meneldor could no longer remain aloof. He had already sacrificed much, turned away from the call of the West, and embraced the dark path that the rest of the Knights did in their quest. The Last Eagle, called Sorontel now, could no longer claim that luxury. He had bonded with the one called Knight, called Dirk, and felt his struggle with the dark and struggled with him. He felt his pain. The Eagle's great heart was breaking.

He drew Dirk near with a wing and gave him an Eagle's embrace, and he wept, his head bowed, an unusual thing for one like him, holding Dirk in a feathered embrace.

"Say not that you are a poor mentor Knight, my friend." he said. "Any who would walk with eyes wide open into that dark place has honor beyond even Beren One-Hand. And if we come out of this, I will look to you as a great friend, indeed I do already. Know that wherever you walk in the dark, I go with you." Looking to the heavens, he said "Great Valar, grant him an Eagle's strength to guide him in the dark."

He released Dirk "Farewell, Knight Dirk, wherever you fare, till the eyrie receives you at the journey's end."

And without another word, he took off in the direction where the approaching Knights would be.
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Postby SmaugsBane » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:57 pm

Meneldor's sorrow washed over the young Knight even as his hot tears did. Even within the Eagle's feathery embrace the pain of his wound was almost unbearable and he had to lean upon the bird for support. Feeling Meneldor's heartbeat, he recalled their last conversation - Dirk's confession that he was dying. Now the Knight was weeping as well. He gave his emotions their head, that the well within him could dry up and refill with what must inevitably live there if he was to fool the serpent beneath Carn-dûm.

Then suddenly their embrace was broken and the great Eagle was flying away west, the beating of Meneldor's wings echoed within Dirk's poisoned chest. Dirk continued to watch and weep, until at last he could no longer see the bird; and he could no longer produce tears.


He turned then and shuffled to where Endlómë stood stamping at the ground. The great warhorse tossed his mane and nudged the saddle upon the ground.

"No my f-friend. Not this time," he told his long-time companion. With a deep sigh to collect his composure Dirk continued, "once before I chose a different mount and now I must do so again. But this is not folly as it was before, but necessity."

The tall black courser lowered his head and nuzzled Dirk's shoulder, allowing his bridle and halter to be gently removed by fumbling fingers.

"Go now, my Midnight, my Endlómë and be free. Should I make it through this we will find each other, I promise." He paused, patting the horse's neck, "If not, follow your heart. Choose another warrior if you will, and carry him into battle as you have me: with strength and courage and honor."

Dirk lovingly scratched the horse's ears and kissed his nose. Then he slapped him upon the rump, with which the great destrier reared and neighed. Then the thunder of his hooves shattered the silence as he bolted not east toward the mountain passes and his homeland, but west. Dirk knew that he was heading to join the Mithril Knights and hoped he would find a worthy rider among them in need of a mount. He smiled despite the pain for he knew his horse would have done nothing else.


After Endlómë's hoof beats had faded into the silence of that dead place, Dirk drew up his remaining strength and threw the last of the wood upon the dying embers of that morning's cook fire. He then girt himself with his arms and armor and proceeded to destroy everything else in the blaze: saddle and tack, pack and blanket, food and water skin. But this task of purging proved too much, and even as he laid his coin purse and the little pouch that held a small quill, ink pot, and bits of paper into the fire, he collapsed beside it. The sun was at its zenith.
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Postby SmaugsBane » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:19 am

He awoke to the sound of beating wings. But this was not the life-embracing heartbeat of a Great Eagle's wings, but the thrumming beat of a war drum signifying only death and despair. This was the inexorable leathern whump that seemed to suck the very air from Dirk's lungs. It could only be a Dragon.

He opened his eyes and immediately realized that it was night, moonless and dark, with the stars of the Valacirca shining brightly above him. Briefly, a thought floated through his mind like a ghost from the distant past:


“A Star enters the darkness
And consumes him from within…”


Then it was gone like smoke rising from a funeral pyre, and with it the final iota of self that Dirk had clung to. What he was, he was now wholly. None could deny him. None could withstand him.

~~~~

So it was that the hovering beast was drawn to him. The Sickle of Varda was blotted out by its immense shadow as it wheeled slowly downward until finally it lit upon a patch of bare rock a few yards from where the Zaugoth lay, its terrible talons scritching upon the stone.

The young shadow lord rolled and stood. He dusted himself off and stamped caked mud from his once-proudly polished boots. He inhaled the brisk northern night air and found that he felt no anger, no joy, no love, no sorrow. And despite the pool of coagulating blood upon the ground where he had lain, he felt no pain. He touched his side and felt the blood there it had soaked through his shirt, mail and hauberk, then lifted his blood-covered hand to his mouth and savored the sanguine fluid with his tongue.

Grinning bloodily, he turned to the huge beast and discovered that it was not a full-grown dragon, but neither was it as small as a fell-beast like those he and his father had ridden before. There stood before him an animal with green-gold reptilian scales and bat-like wings the span of which was nearly double that of its length. The young man's eye was drawn to those of the beast: immense and yellow, with cat-like pupils and filled with ancient intelligence and malice.

"Do you speak, beast?"

"Aye, master," it said in the common tongue.

"Are you what they call a 'Cold Drake'?"

"It is true, my Zaugoth, that my brother and I are not gifted with fire, as are the larger serpents. But you will find that we are useful in our own ways."

"I'm sure you are," sneered Zaugoth. "Do you have a name?"

"I am called Balorosak, my lord."

"Good, Balorosak, let us away."

The Drake lowered its head in a gesture that was taken by the young Dark Lord to mean that he was to mount and ride the beast. Therefore he strode to its side and grasped the horny spikes that grew down its spine to pull himself up onto its shoulders. As he settled between the spikes, the Drake spread its wings and with a powerful thrust of its legs, leaped into the air. Where a man might have feared, the Zaugoth exhilarated, spreading his arms wide and laughing at the wind.

The journey was short however, and as they approached Carn-dûm the Zaugoth saw that it was not deserted. Many fires were lit on the plateau near the main entrance; and when they were near enough, the deep booming of many great war drums could be heard.

Balorosak lit upon the stones directly before the gaping maw of Carn-dûm's main entrance and, gracefully for such a huge beast, lowered his head for the Zaugoth to dismount. Once the dark warrior was deposited upon the stones, the Cold Drake once again took to the sky, this time to fly up to his perch upon the pinnacle of one of the three peaks of Carn-dûm. It was then that the Zaugoth noticed its brother, a red Drake he could only assume was called Kukurosak upon the opposite spire, presumably leaving the central tower empty for their true master, who yet slumbered below.

The drums stopped as the Zaugoth turned and faced his small but enthusiastic host. Immediately, his guard of forty Uruk-hai charged to the fore and arrayed themselves before him. Their captain stepped forward and bowed, waiting for the order to speak.

"I'm glad for your sake that you heeded my command and allowed none to enter my home before me."

With eyes still cast down the Uruk answered, "it wasn't easy, my lord. The mountain bugs wanted to scurry underground as soon as we got here. It took a little head-rolling, but we brought them in line, me and my lads did."

"Tell me what we have here, captain, all told."

"Seven-hundred bugs from under the mountains, my forty mighty Uruk-hai, and three great stinking trolls." Growing bolder, the Uruk spoke freely, "These northern trolls are easier to handle than the southern lot, seeing's how they can talk and all, but they eat everything in sight and haven't stopped beating those infernal drums all night until you arrived."

The Zaugoth ignored the small insolence. "See that the orcs are arrayed in squads for patrol and appoint a sergeant to each squad to lead them in battle. See that the sergeants are liberal with the whips if need be."

"And if they aren't?"

"Then see that your boys are liberal with the swords upon the sergeants' necks."

The Uruk captain leered.

"Also," continued the Zaugoth, "all forces except the Drakes are to be housed within the mountain once I've entered. Find suitable housing for all near the entrance," he looked directly into the black pupils of the Uruk, "and no-one is to go below the main level upon pain of long, slow death."

With that the Zaugoth turned to enter the fortress.

"My lord, there is one other thing."

The Zaugoth turned, a slow-burning flame kindled behind his grey eyes. "What is it?"

He saw that the Uruks had parted and the only other man within leagues strode tentatively forward carrying a large object under an oilcloth. He was a small man with a bend back, darting eyes and greasy hair and clothes.

"Who are you and what have you got there?" demanded the Zaugoth.

"Me I'm nobody sir. Just Drewe. Drewe the delver from Bree. Digs, I do, for me livin' sir."

The Zaugoth stood motionless, growing impatient, until finally Drewe uncovered his burden. It was a great iron helm, topped with an iron three-pointed crown. The ancient crown of the Witch-king

"Where did you get that?" said the Zaugoth, eyes wide with lust.

"In Dead Man's Dike sir, that is Fornost they calls it now," he answered.

"And just how, Drewe the delver, did you manage to get this away from Fornost with the king's men there?"

"I didn't rightly know how I was gonna do that, sir. At first. 'Til I heard all the fuss over those two." He jutted his chin up to where the Cold Drakes rested. "It was easy then. I just slipped out while everyone was fussin' and fightin' over them beasties."

"And how did you know such a thing was there to be found?"

Drewe's tongue thrust from his wet lips as his hairy brow knitted and his eyes shifted nervously, "you see sir there was these two blokes, elves they were in shiny armor. And they walks right up to me at the Pony one night and says, 'you the delver?' and I says, 'aye'. They says get yerself to Fornost. They says there's sometin' they want that'd be in the deepest pit where the old castle were. They says get it and bring it here and I'd get me a reward. So I got it and took it here. For weeks I been waitin' and nobody ain't around for miles. Then this evenin' just when I were almost out of food, all these beasts and orcs and other nasties start showin' up. I were afraid, sir I was. But they didn't touch me once they saw this," he lifted the helm slightly.

"No, I'm sure you were quite safe as long as you bore that." The Zaugoth strode forward and took the helm from Drewe.

With a deep breath, he settled the helm over his black locks. Instantly, it seemed as if he gained stature. Where he had been eye-to-eye with the immense Uruks, he now towered over them two feet or more. Unbridled power coursed through him as he had only felt when he bore a ring of power. He drew Neleg Amlug and flames danced red upon its edges. Lifting the sword above his head, he blasted his terrible voice into the weak minds of his minions:

"Maurdat lat Zaugoth, baurobzot Nazgûl!"*

The incessant murmur of the crowd had stopped. Only the crackling of bonfires broke the silence.

Until a seemingly tiny voice spoke out, "sir," squeaked Drewe, "can I be havin' me reward now? So I can be goin' an' all?"

The Zaugoth looked down upon the insignificant man. Drewe saw a flash of white teeth and crimson eyes behind the hideous façade of the Iron Helm.

"Boys, give him his reward."

The Uruks closed ranks around the small man as the Zaugoth turned and strode toward the entrance of Carn-dûm. Drewe's blood-curdling cries were drowned out when the trolls resumed beating their war drums.

But the Zaugoth heard none of this. With the light of Neleg Amlug to guide him, he walked beneath the threshold of Carn-dûm and disappeared into its inky blackness.

It was midnight.

*I am your Dark Master, the son of the Lord of the Nazgûl!
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Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:31 am

Maneldor flew on, though his heart felt like a stone inside him, weighing him down. He hoped Dirk would be well, but he doubted it. He felt the darkness encroaching, and bore much of it himself.

It was a while before the Knights came in sight. He circled around. Something curious far in the distance. A glint of metal and a cloud of dust. He circled wide to check. Little escaped the eyes of an Eagle. There was a group on the path. Was it just a coincidence they were going the same way? He wished he knew. Finally, he decided they were just travelers on the road and dismissed it.

Wheeling around, he circled down to the Knights. Once a pang went through him that almost sent him spiraling down before he regained control. He knew Dirk was in trouble.

Finally, he landed. "Two days." he said, feeling weary like he never had before. "Two days before the dragon emerges. We must join up with the Rangers who are also converging on Carn Dum. And I fear my friend Dirk will be lost to us unless the Valar intervene in some way. We must make haste."

He didn't tell them of what he saw on the road, deeming it not important. It was what lay ahead that concerned the Eagle.
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Postby Tempest » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:04 am

It was the weariness in the Eagle's voice that alerted Tempest to the real peril they were riding into. And it wasn't for her own safety that she suddenly felt alarm, but it was in the nebulous words that the Eagle spoke, "I fear my friend Dirk will be lost to us unless the Valar intervene in some way."

She KNEW she should not have let him go alone. Now she cursed herself for her folly. So what if had caused complications for him, having her around? At least he would not now be alone in Carn Dum. Alone. What could there be worse than facing such a task alone?

A sense of doom and depression, which on a good day she wasn't far from, now fell upon Tempest in an avalanche. Two days!! At least there was a sense of finality in the hastening of time. In two days, it would all be over. Either they would be victorious, or they would be dead. She had faced death before, perhaps too many times to count, and often she had been outnumbered. But she didn't fear for herself, or even the other Knights around her at the moment. Her thoughts were fixed squarely on Dirk.

Once, not so long ago, she had faced a similar darkness. A similar choice. And she had failed.

What if he failed now?

At least Elbren had fought for her then, had won her back from darkness. But who did Dirk have to recall him, should he falter? Tempest found herself stroking the great Eagle's feathers softly, as Vana soothingly whispered healing words into it's slightly bowed head. But then, the Eagle turned and looked back at Tempest, her eyes and his meeting fully, and the sorrow that filled those fathomless eyes caused her heart to beat wildly.

She found Anorast and Erinhue talking quietly together, the bard wiping the sweat from his brow, for the heat was beginning to be intolerable. "So, we come to it at last," she said gravely. "We will be joined by the Rangers in less than half a day, and in front lies countless enemies. Even the Eagle could not give us an estimate, as most of them are concealed underground or hidden beneath mountain stones."

"What did Djazi find?" the old elf asked.

"Not much. Perhaps we are being followed from behind as well. But it makes little difference because we will most likely reach our destination sooner than we would be overrun." she answered.

"Two days."

"We have everything that Radagast told us to assemble. Now, our fate lies partially in the hope that he knew what he was doing," Tempest noted, though her tone did not convey much confidence.

"So, what is our plan?" Elenath came upon them suddenly. "Do we ride all together, or do we break into smaller groups and coordinate an attack?"

"We cannot hope for concealment. They will see us coming from miles away," Tempest said darkly. "We are safer together."

"And, we need all the assembled objects together too, for we do not yet know how they will be needed," Erinhue pointed out.

"Still, it seems dangerous to have no other recourse than to simply ride in as one."

"Isn't that why we sent Dirk in? Alone, I might add?" Tempest interjected. "Perhaps the Eagle can tell us more, or at least send us in the best direction. After all, Dirk sent him back to us for a reason."
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Postby Cock-Robin » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:40 am

Meneldor resisted the urge to keen in his grief. He had a job to do, and his companions were watching from afar off on the holy mountain.

"We must warn the Rangers of thier danger. Their job is to take care of the Orcs and trolls and such." he said. "We are to remain together to battle the drakes and the dragon. Those are Dirk's words to us."

He wished he had remained behind, but knew that Dirk must face his destiny alone. He would only hinder it until the time.

"As for your other question, I cannot answer, as I am bound to secrecy by an oath, other than the fact that his is the more deadly peril from his....heritage. And I share a bond with him and share his burden."

It was unlike a Great Eagle to show weakness, but he almost faltered at this point. His talons were making furrows in the ground due to his pain. Vanaldiel's healing words were helping, but there was still a deep ache, darkness clawing at him that he must fight. For he had a battle outside of himself that he had to wage when the dragon came forth with his drakes.
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Postby erinhue » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:14 pm

Erinhue listened to the words of the Great Eagle and suddenly knew the truth behind them. Dirk was going to die. One way or another the young knight was in far more danger than any of them knew and there was little to nothing that they could do to help him..

“Agarak” the bard questioned the dragonharp, “Could you just take us the rest of the way?”

“No, bard, I cannot.”

Erinhue was startled by the response.

“That’s nonsense,” he protested, “we’ve traveled distances twice this in the time it takes for a maiden to sigh.”

Agarak remained silent.

“You mean you will not.”

Erinhue’s irritation swelled up in his voice.

The dragonharp murmured apologetically,

“ No, I mean that I cannot interfere beyond certain restrictions. The young knight must face his fate, as must you all.”
"Where ever you go, there you are." - Buckaroo Bonzi

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Postby Cock-Robin » Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:25 pm

Brondgast came down, changing to man's form evven as he did. He saw the Eagle come down and heard his news even as he came.

He was beside Meneldor, but saw the Eagle wasn't looking at him. He was gazing to the west, his eyes seeing things hidden to the rest, visions of ages long past, long before his kin came to Miiddle-Earth.

A time before he was clothed in the feathered form he bore now. The mysterious words spoken back them, the eyes of Varda the Queen gazing deep into his spirit.

Meneldor murmured the ancient words. "Ah, Varda, now I begin to understand those words you spoke to me:

These words are for you alone,
Sorontel, the last.
Remember them, though you will not comprehend,
Not until the dark days are upon you.

In a day when you are left alone by your brethren,
To find your own way,
The lost road of the last one,
When you will be able to comprehend the darkness,
Alone among your kin,

For only by going under the shadow
Will you be able to help the dark knight;
Though a sword shall pierce you
And you shall know suffering.

Go with the silver ones,
For there lies your destiny,
Unlike that of your brethren
Shall be your path.

You shall bear the burden
Together with your brother,
Though you be apart.
But you must lay down your desire
Leave your hope behind
So others may have hope.

A burden shared is a burden halved
And one day you will understand
And know who you are,
Only then shall you win your battle,
When you know your name.


Meneldor knew not that his new friends heard those staves as they fell from his beak. "Now I understand, though I wish these times had not come."
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Postby nienor-niniel » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:56 pm

They made haste. From the eagle’s words, it could be told that Dirk’s need was dire – or like they all felt that it was too late. None was speaking any more, after the decision to stay together. And Nin liked it that way, the time of silent, the urge of a mission, a sense. A fellow knight was in danger and they were his companions in whatever need he might have. Even if the need be, as they feared, a pyre.

Two days, Tempest had said, and tow days seemed so close and yet so far, even with the rangers coming to their aid and meeting… Nin did not know what perils they would encounter once they had found their fellow knight. A huge part of the road the group had taken lay in darkness for her.

« Too late », it turned around in her mind. « Too late. » It had been too late for her to come back, too late to reach Dirk. Were all fights in vain in the end ? Would Middle Earth never reach complete peace ?

The speed helped against the heat, wind blowing in their hair. But it could not blow away the thoughts of darkness in Nin’s mind. It would be good to face an enemy, a peril to remember what they stood for. She needed it.

As urgent as the need was, the horses needed a rest, and so did the knights, as restless as they were. Erinhue commanded them to halt – for short only, time to catch breath. Nin thanked the lady Vana who was still taking her along on her horse. It would soon be time to find a mount for each of them, although the burden for Vana’s steed was not all too heavy. The fierce of their fighting spirit was not visible in their slender bodies.

A few hours of rest… before they would make the horses gallop again, faster, stronger. They had stopped close to a river, so that the horses could drink. And the knights too took some of the water. Nin felt again the questioning glance of tempest, the sadness in Anorast’s eyes, the things she did not understand. Not yet. They were discussing roads with the eagle, where they would meet the rangers. Not riding on her own, Nin felt strangely unconcerned and rather turned to the river, listing to its quickening sound. They were trouts in it and it took her no longer than a few minutes to catch a couple of them. They would quickly be roasted, even in the haste, the knights admitted that it would be time for it. Good food is always your friend on the road, and perils are more easily met with something in your stomach.

When she handed him his grilled trout, Nin saw a short flicker of a smile on the newcomer’s face – Brondgast, she remembered his name and for a short moment wondered if his bear nature in him was liking the fish. But she did not dare to ask. In fact, she barely dared or desired to talk at all. For her own food, Nin felt the urgent need to put some salt on it which she kept apart in a rather huge bag. She did not remember whence it came from, but once she had eaten a bit of it on the trout and then even some more, directly licked from the hand, she felt calmer, more present and her thoughts were clearer. Although, it had no taste of salt at all. Only Erinhue refused to eat, the heat seemed particularly unbearable to him and with it the thought of warm food.

After their meal, they took back the road again, swift, silent, fearful, deadly.

Far behind them, Janaris was also trying to haste as much as possible, ignoring Klohil’s complaints. Their dog sniffed the air continuously and she feared that he might loose the trail. « Look. », she had told Klohil « I have trained this dog. Over miles and miles, he can smell the white salt I gave to that wench. And she will carry that wherever she goes and the urge and need for it will grow in the next days and weeks. When it is empty, she will need more and it will keep her from remembering me. But the dog can’t smell it from too afar either. And once she is running out of the one I gave her… she will start to remember…. But she will need new one… or she will die. » Grumbling, he understood her urge.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:23 pm

The Knights journeyed on in their way to the coming battle. Doubts were laid aside and they were focused. There wsa a grim determination on each and every one of them, and on the apprentices.

Brondgast, having taken bear's form again, took the point, sniffing on ahead, looking for any sign of the Rangers that they must warn. He began to growl in anticipation of the battle ahead, a battle which would either prove his mettle, or prove his death.

Meneldor flew above, scanning the roads ahead and once in a while correcting the direction they were going. He still bore the pain from his bond with Dirk, but he used it to harden his will to adamant. His eyes were a flame, his heart was a flame, his vision sharp. One day remained and a cry burst from him, a sharp, cold cry which chilled those who heard it below. Yet it was unlike the cry of the Nazgul, which communicated despair and fear.

No, it was different, the cry of the herald of Mandos. And it was to Mandos that many would go on the next day. For the Knights and the apprentices, there was no turning back, the next day would as Tempest pointed out, would end in victory, or death for them all.

The cry burst from the Eagle again, a cry which sharpened the will, a cold, taut splendor which banished all fear. Meneldor still feared for his friend Dirk, but he realized that Dirk must face his own destiny, and it must not be interfered with, even he could not help. It must come from other sources.

And it would be the major test for the Last Eagle.
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Postby erinhue » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:32 pm

The increasing heat made the miles seem to melt away as the band of Mithril Knights hastened towards their destination. Concern for the fate of their comrade kept them constantly on the road stopping only to tend the needs of their horses. The oppressive temperature was effecting them all but none so severely as the bard who rode alone a few paces behind the company.


At one time evening and the setting of the sun had brought some relief from his feverish condition. The others still enjoyed that nightly respite but Erinhue felt the heat under the stars with the same intensity as riding beneath the midday sun. He had come to understand that the discomfort he felt was not the same as that of the others. The sun was indeed making their days on the road a challenge but what made Erinhue sweat as if he were standing in the rain came from within. The inner heat was steadily increasing the closer they came to their destination. The shaded skies and cool night air offered no longer offered any relief to the bard.

At night, when he did sleep, Erinhue dreamed of Belfalas and the fresh salt smelling breezes that blew in from the sea. He dreamt of the cold marble floors and drafty corridors of House Eletan’s main hall where he and Beleran his more than brother would chase each other about. The dragonharp crooned soothingly in the background of all his dreams, but Agarak offered no more than that.

Bothered to the point of constant irritation, his condition had totally transformed the bard’s usually cheerful disposition. He was sharp and snappish when he spoke at all and once Tempest put a gruff end to his morose singing the bard seemed to want little more to do with his companions.

The truth of the matter was that they were constantly on his mind. As an attempt at distraction Erinhue went over Radagast’s list of items, wondering at their purpose and possible usage. His sword, Clarion was an item on that list. At least one of the other items had been used to bring about his recent bonding with the sword’s berserker spirit.

This all made it crystal clear to Erinhue that he himself was now an item on that list. He had no confusion about what use this adventure meant to make of him. What concerned him was that all would work too well and that he would not be able to stand up to the challenge of controlling the Berserker in a battle situation.

Nothing had been said between them but Erinhue knew that Tempest was wondering the same thing. She had dropped back to ride beside him and made a few attempts to sort him out on the subject. When his silence did nothing to dissuade her he snapped back “ You told me to keep my mouth shut. Your wish is my command.”

She raised her hand as if she meant to slap him out of this uncharacteristic stance. She pulled her hand back as if she had reached too near an open flame. Her alerted curiosity was met with a shrug and an unreadable expression. She rode away in mock disgust and kept to the front of their line of march.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:17 pm

It was the last evening before they would arrive for the battle which would decide much. He was with the Knights, keeping vigil before the day, as he couldn't sleep. Much was pressing on him, so he kept watch. Brondgast kept watch with him.

And all during his watch, he repeated for those who had ears to hear,

He spoke names.

"Thorondor.
Gwaeryn.
Gwaihir.
Landroval."

And many, many more names of Great Eagles past and present, who were now West on Taniquetil. He was calling them to remembrance.

And far West, Thorondor and the Eagles kept watch on Taniquetil, and their brother was not forgotten. They spoke his name, and the name they gave him.

Meneldor, swift one.
Sorontel, the Last Eagle.

Then, Thorondor, who had not been given to song, spoke a song himself.

The Last Eagle goes forth,
Forth into Darkness to bring Light.
What shall come of him and his companions?
Only the Valar know.

Death or glory awaits him.
This time tomorrow, he shall either gain the renown his name beckons,
Or shall be at the halls of Mandos,
Alone among our kin.

Great Eru, be with him tonight,
And with him tomorrow,
as he faces great evil,
The evil more dark than any we have faced.

For he faces the darkness clawing at his soul.
Give him strength, valor, and farsight;
Help his companions as he goes forth to meet the dark ones,
One worse than Glaurung, than Ancalagon,
And let him remember his companion.

The Last Eagle meets his destiny,
And tomorrow, doom shall come.


Unaware of the entreaties given by his lord, Meneldor kept his vigil. And tomorrow would be his greatest test.

And his recitation of names continued, now of his newest friends and companions.

Erinhue.
Tempest.
Vanaldiel.
Anorast.

And it went on. Finally, his sight went farther, and he recited the name closest to his heart.

Dirk. My brother. I am coming.
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Postby erinhue » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:56 am

Clarion was singing in the darkness of his dreams.

It was not the maniacle blood lusting scream of demand that had been the sound of the sword in times past. It was a powerful song of war. Erinhue did not hear the lyrics, but he felt them. His bard's soul understood them very well.

Time was all used up. This coming struggle might not be the final battle but it would be the beginning of the war, a war their tiny band should have no chance of winning. Their passing had been under survailence, perhaps from a long distance and most assuredly from distances somewhat closer. Their travels had gone genuinly unnoticed for longer than they could have hoped, but that particular blessing no longer graced them.

Somewhere out in the soft night, the bard heard his name sung in the strangely melodic voice of the Great Eagle. Meneldor was the last of his kind left in Middle Earth. So much had been lost, sacrificed and ended by the Darkness that it was intolorable to think that it could possibly raise up once again to steal and destroy what had been left behind. Erinhue silently swore to give his very life, if necessary, to prevent such a dire possibility.

"You always were so quick to swear your heart, my husband." The mild admonishment came in the bell like voice of Aerin Clearstream, his more than beloved Elf wife, who years ago went West. Her gently chiding laughter sounded in his ear. "I would try to talk you out of doing so, but never did you listen to good reason."

"Who ever said I had good reason?" had been his reply that long ago day on the banks of the Anduin River.

Yes, good reason, Erinhue thought. If I had any sort of good reason, I would have that old worm get us all as far away from here as is possible.
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Postby Tempest » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:01 pm

Tempest had ridden ahead, to distance herself from Erinhue, whose unusually taciturn responses to her questions tempted her towards violence. They were all on edge, but she could usually count on him to brighten the mood, and seeing him morose and out of sorts caused the clouds to close over her mind again.

But as she rode forward, she was aware that Djazi had followed her, and in fact had ridden up close beside her, close enough to make her own horse snort with irritation. Glancing at the young man, she saw that his normally impassive face bore a strange look she had not seen there before, and she ventured to speak directly to him.

”Your mind misgives?” she asked.

He started, turned to speak, and then thought better of it again and remained silent. But his eyes traveled briefly to the saddlebag that held the Stone of the Lossoth, and Tempest frowned.

”What is it? Speak,” she ordered.

”You may think me mad….” he began.

”You’d be surprised.”

”It’s just that, occasionally….it speaks to me. In my head, I mean.”

”It formed some sort of bond with you. I would find it disconcerting as well. Blast Radagast for sending us to retrieve it. Perhaps it was better serving the bitterly cold North than attaching itself to a Southerner,” she replied, trying to allay his fears.

”It’s not that. It….has been saying for the last few miles… that it….wants to HELP.”

Tempest looked genuinely startled. ”I thought it simply wanted you to turn it into some dagger or weapon. How could it help us now?” she demanded.

It was Djazi’s turn to frown this time. ”I’m not sure exactly, but it keeps saying something about painting the minds. Or something LIKE that. I don’t really understand, but it keeps repeating that idea---painting the minds.”

”Painting the minds of whom?”

Djazi glanced at the saddlebag, and Tempest realized that he must be asking the weapon her question. Then, he turned a surprised face back to her. ”It says it wants to paint the minds of our enemies.”

Tempest drew her horse up short and called a halt to the entire group.

”Djazi, ask it what it means exactly. How could it do this? How would that work?” There was an intense excitement in her voice.

”You’re thinking, maybe what happened to us in the cave? But it didn’t work long….” he pointed out.

”Weak minds, Djazi. The Lossoth used it on their weak and dying. It didn’t work long on us because we weren’t weak minded. But it might just work long enough on orcs.”

”Long enough for what?”

”Ask it. Can it ‘paint the minds’ of our enemies so that they don’t see us coming?” she urged him.

By this time, Djazi had actually removed the weapon and was holding it in his hands. He shook his head. ”No. It says it can’t do that. It can’t work on large distances, but closer. It can…..I think it says….it can make them….our enemies SEE us differently. ”

”Paint their minds to think we are something we are not,” Tempest mused. ”That would be quite a trick. And I bet it would work only on orcs, not others who are stronger of mind.”

”If it works at all. But it might give us an advantage, when we need it most.” Djazi replied, running his hand gingerly over the polished surface.

Anorath and Elenath, riding in from the front, came up beside the two and said in unison. ”Why are we stopped?”

”We may have just discovered why the brown wizard sent us to get this Stone from the Lossoth.” Tempest answered, gesturing towards it.
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Postby Claymore » Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:26 am

As Tempest stopped the company to relay what they had discovered and what they suspected, Djazi remained silent. While it was now clear what Tenga was supposed to do, Djazi still wondered about the how. Then from the depths of his memories he heard his father’s voice.
When all else fails you, Djazi, fall back on the basics
Djazi frowned and then the solution dawned on him and he couldn’t keep back a startled laugh.
Who would have thought that an old children’s game would prove to be the answer?

The Knights gave him an odd look.
‘I think I know, how exactly we are going to do this,’he only said. He swung his leg over Dabayl’s back and slid down from the saddle.
‘In my Tribe we had a game, which we called “What am I?”’ he continued. “One of the players would imitate how an animal moved and the others had to guess.”
He struck a pose to demonstrate. He stood on one outstretched leg while he had bend the other and tucked it close to his body. His arms were extended sideways, his elbows bent, his hands pointing downwards, his thumbs folded away and the rest of his fingers spread wide. It should have looked awkward but instead it neatly evoked a crane about to take flight.

‘It was a fun game but it was also meant to teach us something.’ he said resuming a normal posture. ‘Sometimes even the most silent of stalkers could not get close enough to his prey and then we adopted a different tactic. We would imitate the behaviour of our prey and make them believe we were one of them. It didn’t always work but my uncle Wanolo was good enough and crazy enough that he once snuck right in and out of an orc encampment without anyone noticing until hours later when they discovered the hard way he’d poisoned all the water stores.
Tenga tells me that he can’t conjure an illusion out of thin air, not on strong living minds, but if he has something to base the illusion on I think we very well might fool them all.’
‘Are you sure?’Anorast asked somewhat dubiously.
‘Well now is the time to test it,’Djazi answered and now he had a merry glint in his eyes. The glint of trickster about to do a very good trick.

He retrieved Tenga that was still resting on the pommel and completely uncovered it. He nicked his thumb on the edge letting the blade taste his blood and tucked it in the back of his sash. Then he proceeded to completely change the way he stood. He widened his stance and bent his knees bringing his weight closer to the ground. He slouched his shoulders and let his arms hang around his knees but curled his fingers into claws. Then wit a jut of his chin and a grin that bared all his teeth the change was complete. While the Knights’ eyes told them it was Djazi standing there, their minds screamed it was an orc, ready to attack. Djazi saw more than one hand drift to its sword and several horses gave uneasy snorts.
With a shake of his shoulders he ended the illusion and he had to laugh at the sheepish and slightly stunned expressions of the Knights.
‘Well it seemed it worked,’he said and no-one missed the amused lilt in his voice.
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Postby erinhue » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:17 am

"Magnificently ingenious!" Erinhue exclaimed.

His compliment was immediately followed by a loud blast of aggitated notes. Agarak set up rising tonal whine. Tenga responded with a sharp screech. In seconds the two were screaming at a deafening and ever mounting pitch.

"One of you had better do something about this, NOW!" Tempest demanded, both hands clapped defensively over her ears.

While D'jazi turned Tenga around in his hands while softly murmuring to the stone, Erinhue dashed over to retrieve the screaming dragonharp from its place on his saddle. When he picked it up, Agarak leapt our of his hands. It hovered protectively above the bard's head and continues to scream. Tenga screamed in response.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:34 pm

Brondgast, still in bear's form, covered his ears with his paws and roared in pain at the infernal din coming from Agarak and Tenga. It was as bad as when he was helping Erinhue with the Berserker and the siren call of Clarion.

He hoped it would get less as the noise was deafening and would attract enemies. He prayed to Oromë that it would stop.

Meneldor, circling above, wondered at what was going on down below.
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Meneldor, Warrior Bard, and Brondgast, Mithril Knights

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Postby Vanaladiel » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:27 pm

Vana sat listening to the screeching going on between Agarak and Tenga!! Her head was starting to swim with all the noise.

Softly at first but growing in her mind she started to hum. First a droning sound and then light notes to soothe even the wildest of beast.
This was something she had practiced as a child in the woods surrounding the palace where she grew up. But she had not used it in many years
and had not even thought of it since. It just somehow came up in her mind to sing, so she started the humming and then started singing. Her
elven words were understood only by those who knew elvish but even if one could not understand the words, the feelings they stirred were of peace
and calm. The lilting melody playing on the breeze. Soon Agarak softened his tones and his eyes flashed at Vana as if to say he was liking what he heard.
Then Tenga slowed and quieted as well.

Erinhue started to smile as if he understood what Vana was doing. But he spoke not a word. He did not want to interrupt the sudden peaceful feelings.

Vana's eyes were closed as she sang and she wasn't even paying attention anymore to what was going on around her. The melody just seemed to carry her away to the fields of her birth.

Someone cleared their throat and Vana suddenly opened her eyes and stopped singing at the same moment. A gentle blush came to her cheeks as she turned suddenly from embarrassment. Anorast smiled slyly and turned away so that she did not see his face.

"Well now someone seems to know how to quiet these two finally!" Erinhue spoke out in his playful manner.

The others sat quietly thrust suddenly into the silence around them.
Image Spring come quickly!!
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~*Daughter of the Moon*~

Inyë melmëlyë my love, for you are the melody to which I now dance!!

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We mourn the loss of another wonderful man from TORC! oldtoby we will always remember you and your wit and smile! Love you my friend! RIP 1/20/18

Always in our memories, vison :rose:, Alex :rose:, Rowanberry :rose: and Watcher :rose:! Our world is a little dimmer without your smiles!

A tribute to Cynthia 11/14/2005 :rose:

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Postby Claymore » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:02 pm

Djazi breathed out a sigh of relief when the screaming died down and made place for Lady Vanaladiel’s gentle singing. He’d tried to ask Tenga to stop but despite the fact he was supposed to be the weapon’s wielder it definitely hadn’t been inclined to obey him. He gave the elf-lady a grateful nod.

‘Could you teach me to do that, once this is all over?’he asked when silence finally fell.

Lady Vana looked a bit dubious but nodded as well

-I can try

‘Thank you,’he said. “At least I would be able to stop it if Tenga ever tries that again. My ears really don’t appreciate the abuse.’

He smiled wryly before turning serious again.

‘We now have a way to sneak into the orc camp but what do we do once we’re inside?’ Djazi asked. ‘We’ll have to time it with the Rangers I imagine, because I think the illusion is going to fall quickly once we start fighting. And how do we battle the dragon? Do we attack it when it’s still in its lair and can’t move much or do we wait till it’s out where Meneldor can attack as well and do we try to cripple it as soon as possible?’
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Postby Cock-Robin » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:33 am

With a groan of relief, Brondgast took his paws from his ears as the din ceased. He was ready to strike down the offending items if they didn't stop, but Vana had saved him from that deed.

He shook himself and went on, forward to where his fate led him.

Meneldor was also ready for the coming battle. He was soaring, circling above. He saw the carrion birds already gathering, sensing the coming battle. He cried out, "A feast we prepare for you!" Then he saw the sight he longed for. Not the one he longed for the most, when he would be reunited with Dirk, his lost brother.

He circled down and called to the assembled Mithril Knights. "Friends, the Rangers are coming. Battle will be upon us soon. May the Valar watch over us."
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Postby erinhue » Wed May 23, 2012 7:26 pm

Erinhue’s complexion flushed in embarrassment. His fingers absently stroked the dragonharp’s little head as he coughed and began his apology.

“Never do know how Agarak is going to decide to react.” He began. “It seems the old worm does not take kindly to any other, um, entities fiddling around with what it sees as its duty, which means mainly, me.”

The dry cough escaped his throat again as the bard continued.

“Not ta worry, me and Agarak are old hands at the art of disguise”

As he spoke Erinhue’s form under went a series of quick changes. In the bard place stood an old man, then an Easterling warrior, a plump merchant, an young Elf and finally an Orc dressed for battle.

The visual masquerade parade took place within a few seconds. Each image while vastly different could, upon close inspection, be seen to still resemble the bard’s original features. The eyes of each image did not change from the seastorm grey they had always been.

The company was amused and relieved to see something of their old friend returning to himself. Their laughter was cut short by sudden movement in the high rocks. The racket made by the conflict between Agarak an Tenga had not gone unnoticed. They were under attack.
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Postby Cock-Robin » Sat May 26, 2012 8:20 am

Meneldor, high above and seeing the enemy movements, sounded the alarm. He was still on watch for the dragon and its minions.

Brondgast wasted no time, but rushed to the attack in bear form, batting right and left as battle was joined. Meneldor did his part, diving with his war shout, harrying the enemy.

Each of them were doing their part in the battle. Brondgast was soon hard put to keep on the offensive, roaring loudly as he attacked the attackers.
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Postby Vanaladiel » Sun May 27, 2012 5:16 pm

Vana had been enjoying seeing the changes in the old bards appearance and was having a good laugh with everyone else when the sudden rush of the enemy was made known.

Brondgast was first to meet the attackers head on as they clamored down the rock face to the level area where the Knights were gathered. Vana being off to one side stood to protect from the right flank any who tried to come at the group from that side. Anorast was on the left flank with Tempest and Djazi moving to the front lines with the Bard!

Vana quickly grabbed her sword and turned to face the enemy as the others came to join the fight. Her sword meeting and stopping a slash from the combatant coming at her. His face one of surprise that she could block him. She smiled at him. Turning and twisting she dodged his second sword and managed to bring up hers and catch him just above the knees. He went down but did not stop swinging his broadsword. Twice he swung at her trying to take her legs from underneath her and bringing them to even ground but Vana managed to danced around him and hit him about his neck to finally place him out of the battle permanently!

The horses shifted themselves out of the middle of the battle and to open ground behind where the battle was engaged.
Image Spring come quickly!!
~*Sister of the Twilight*~
~*Daughter of the Moon*~

Inyë melmëlyë my love, for you are the melody to which I now dance!!

Bearer of "Elen~Uial"
The Moon Ring of the Twilight Star

Bard of the land of Eryn Lasgalen

Mithril Knight of Lore
Mithril Knight of Eryn Lasgalen

Lifetime Award 2010

We mourn the loss of another wonderful man from TORC! oldtoby we will always remember you and your wit and smile! Love you my friend! RIP 1/20/18

Always in our memories, vison :rose:, Alex :rose:, Rowanberry :rose: and Watcher :rose:! Our world is a little dimmer without your smiles!

A tribute to Cynthia 11/14/2005 :rose:

For my dad who now resides with the Lord! :rose: 05/11/16 I love you daddy and will see you again someday in Glory!

TORC 365 project
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Postby Guruthostirn » Sun May 27, 2012 11:49 pm

It was only after Elenath turned her horse that Anorast noticed the other Mithril Knights had stopped. Though his eyes were scouring the countryside ahead of the party the old elf's mind was far away. At times he was pouring through his long life, searching his memories for any hint to the riddle he was presented with. The loss of Nin's memories was perplexing. If she remembered her time with the Mithril Knights, and only lost what had occurred after she departed their ranks, such a loss could be easily explained by any number of possible causes. But instead she didn't remember anything since her initiation, and Anorast was completely confident no one had been meddling with her mind during their time together. Her memories had been stolen out of her mind, erased from her past. Amnesia was not uncommon, particularly in battles, where injury to the brain could destroy memory, but not as specific as this instance. Her memories ended at the initiation, and started the day she rejoined them. Someone was meddling in her mind, one way or another.

Just as Elenath noticed the other knights halting Anorast had concluded there were only two possibilities for what had been done to Nin. Magic, or medicine, in ways that were entirely unknown to him. The old elf had never been particularly versed in medicine, other than what is necessary to save a life in battle. But he'd known many healers and herbalists, and they'd never mentioned anything like this. Of magic Anorast knew much more, but the complexity of the mind was daunting. Someone could take away memories with magic in such a way to make retrieval impossible. Though Anorast still held his own memories of Nin and her time with the Knights, and he had the ability to give them to her, that alternative frightened the elf. If a person reads a book about their own exploits, the descriptions could never surpass the person's actual experiences. If Nin received memories that were not her own, she would be merely experiencing her past as if she was reading it, not reliving it. And the past that was lost to her, those experiences, were ones that Anorast fervently hoped she would recover, even the memories of her leaving the knights and himself. He'd comforted himself knowing that she was out there, somewhere, herself, and now she was someone who was lost. To Anorast, her death would have been preferable to this state. At least she could have died, living her entire life, but now she had lost part of her past, lost events which she had lived through, and now could not know. Her loss created a vacuum within Anorast himself, and regardless of the outcome, the elf knew he would die if necessary to fill that void.

As Anorast and Elenath rode back to where the knights were dismounting, conversing urgently, a thought struck Anorast. Nin had lost her memory after her initiation. Something about that event was connected to her current condition. It did not solve his dilemma over whether magic or herbs were the cause of her loss, but it was a hint, a clue that pointed towards a possible solution. Anorast pondered the thought as they approached the other knights and watched Djazi demonstrate the powers of the Stone of the Lossoth. The effects were intriguing, and brought Anorast's mind back to the present, and the immediate problems facing the Mithril Knights. The thoughts on the past were completely banished by the infernal racket raised by the Dragonharp and the Stone. As the two otherworldly objects fell silent Anorast sent a silent thanks to his own sentient burden, that it had stayed out of the odd discussion that had just taken place. Anorast had just started to let his mind wander again when Meneldor called down to them, alerting the knights to the impending assault.

The force that clambered down the jagged hillside at the knights was surprisingly large. Anorast cursed their luck for only a cave or other hiding spot could have harbored so many orcs, and the Mithril Knights had journeyed just close enough to be detected when the Stone and the Dragonharp had gotten into their argument. The elf put further thoughts out of his mind, knowing that "what if's" were useless once the path of fate was decided. Quickly Anorast unhooked his shield from his saddle and drew his dark sword. Brondgast was keeping the largest group of enemies company with several other knights joining the giant bear. The terrain was too rough for mounted combat so Anorast moved to the left, preventing the knights from being flanked, and herding any outlying orcs to the middle, to inevitable annihilation. But the enemy kept emerging from the hills, and the elf was forced to retreat back, holding his own, but unable to press forward.

After several minutes of intense combat Anorast found himself fighting next to Djazi. A thought struck the old elf, and he unleashed a sudden assault that cleared space away from himself and the other fighter.

"Djazi, ask your friend if he can change the appearance of some of these corpses!" Anorast whispered intently to the young man. Djazi gave him a confused look back. "Can he make these orcs think we're all dead?"
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