The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Teltasarewen » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:21 pm

Eyes widened at Hue's idea and Telta's were no exception. She sat there speechless as the idea sank in. She had done many things in her lifetime but this, this was something new. A raid on a town?

Telta's thoughts raced through her mind as she contemplated the advantages and disadvantages of this raid. Hue, Brondgast, Meneldor, herself and the other knights skilled in fighting trained to kill when it was necessary. Akara was not.

Telta watched the young woman. She sat upon her horse her demeanor calm. Perhaps too calm. Akara looked her way her eyes meeting the sky blue ones of the elf. After a few moments Telta broke contact as she turned back to Hue an uneasy feeling settling over her.

"Hue I am not new to having a reputation as you well know nor do I object to your idea." Telta glanced over at Akara as she continued.

"But is this wise?"
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Cock-Robin » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:13 pm

"You want us to be bandits?" asked Brondgast, still pondering the mysterious riddle left by Radagast. "They'd belive us, but what about the Eagle?"

"Nobody would believe I had gone over." said Meneldor. "I'll have to make myself scarce until this is over. I'll fly way up so nobody can see me."

But Brondgast was still worried about what Radagast had said, and closed his eyes, focusing on the Stone of Bar on his breast. He immediately found himself in that strange forest where his eleven predecessors sat. "Can the Stone be controlled from outside?" he asked. Bar looked at the others. "I have never heard of anything like that happening. It obeys you and you alone, last of the Dragon Warriors. But be careful. Those who have tried to take it and use it for their own ends have met a terrible end."

He found himself back among his new friends, deep in thought.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby erinhue » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:05 pm

Meneldor, “ Erinhue said “ it’s true what they say about great minds because that is exactly what I would ask you to do. Stay up high where you will not be seen but not so high that you cannot see. Radagast’s message hinted that the Knights of the Sillmarill were active here and that could mean the Red Hammer dwarves as well. The stone hills around Kuw would be just the sort of place dwarves might fel most comfortable. You can keep a sky eye out for any signs of activity in and around those hills, whatever you can see from on high. I won’t risk you being spotted just yet, not for information we might otherwise obtain."
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Cock-Robin » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:59 pm

Meneldor laughed as he heard what Erinhue had to say. "You forget to whom you speak, my friend." he said. "From heights higher than the tallest mountain I can see a mouse scurrying in the grass below, as Thorondor my lord could do long ago. They will be unable to see me from where I will be, but I will see them. Elven eyes couldn't see me from where I will be!" With that, he took off, soaring to great heights, circling ever upwards until he was only a dot in the sky.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Cock-Robin » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:15 pm

From Meneldor's vantage point, he saw all. The road ahead to Kuw. The hills beside. The travelers, and the village. And he saw the peril, just as Erinhue had warned. He dared not go down to warn them, or their cover was blown. How could he tell them. He still didn't know why he had chosen that elfstone. It had no power that he knew other than to recall past days. It was unlike the Stone of Bar that Brondgast bore. He thought hard on how to warn them, but then his thoughts were borne through the heirloom of Gondolin to the dragonharp that Erinhue bore.

My ancient brother, there is peril on the road ahead, it is as he feared. There are dwarves in the hills, waiting to ambush any on the road. Do any of you need my help?

Somehow he knew Agarak heard.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby erinhue » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:25 am

The city of Mir sat at the crossroads of two major trade routes. The population made its living off the traders and caravans that had to pass its borders on its way to anywhere.

The city was also a major trade center and the final destination for many of the merchants that came within its walls. Mir was known for its great warehouses and storgage facilities that held the necessities and treasures from every corner of Middle Earth.

With its great walls, Mir was considered inpregnable and with its reputation and stategic position it was considered untouchable. By unspoken yet mutual agreement, Mir was considered to be neutral territory. That made it fair game in the bard's mind.

After hearing a basic explaination of their Captain's plan the company of Mithril Knights made their seperate ways to the city of Mir. While the others slipped into the city quietly with the intent to remain unnoticed, Erinhue made a great show of entering Mir.

The silver bells in Trebel's main and tail tinkled merrily as the pony pranced through the great gates. Erinhue wore the cloke and tunic of a Master Bard and the green-gold dragonharp hung from his saddle in promenent display
The bard entered the nearest tavern and presented the innkeeper with his standard agreement, a song for a tall mug of beer.

When the song was done, Erinhue drank the beer and left. He did this several times until finally his search ended. He sang the bargined for song, drank the traded for beer, but instead of leaving as before, he made his way to the gaming tables and charmed his way into a seat.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby erinhue » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:44 am

At the tables, Erinhue won enough to prove himself a worthy opponent, and lost enough to keep the game interesting. As he played cards he also made no secret of his interest in the city's warehouses and where what might be stored. He joked about how it was a good thing that the city was so well protected because it would be a tempting draw for some unscrupulous characters with larceny in their hearts.

Erinhue was charming and loud and seemed to be far more effected by the beer than he was. The more he drank the friendlier he became and the more he lost at the game.

The bard knew that his plan was working when he noticed many faces from earlier in the day. They had been following him around in hopes that he might sing again. At odd times the bard obliged them, Erinhue wanted to attract as much attention as he possibly could.

He had just finished the last chorus to a rather ribald ballad when someone rushed in from the streets shouting "the gates to all the corralls have been opened. There are horses and cattle running all over the east end of town."

No sooner than that excited statement was spoken than another man ran in through the doors. He, too, was shouting

There is a fire in the textile warehouse district. We need all hands to prevent disaster."

As the crowd pushed itself out onto the streets, Erinhue laid his left hand flat against the strings of his dragonharp.

"Time to go to work, old worm."

He vanished from the taproom before the echo of his words died away.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Tempest » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:31 pm

Akara had made it clear from the start that she disliked Erinhue's plan, and it was only after a stern word from both the Bard AND Telta that the girl had begrudgingly allowed herself to be swept along with the others. Still, the Mithril Knights were wise enough to see that she could quickly become a liability, so she had been strictly ordered to stay with Telta during their piece of the raid. The two of them would be responsible for opening the horse and cattle corrals, causing panic and confusion while the rest of the Knights completed the more difficult parts of the mission.

The girl complied as best she could---she was not fool enough to wander off by herself in such circumstances. She knew all too well what happened to thieves who were caught red-handed in such towns, and she did NOT want to suffer such a fate. These Mithril Knights were proving interesting, more so than she had given them credit for, and though she did not like to see her own people plundered, she had to admire the Knight's courage and ingenuity.

But she was aware ever more of the space between them, between her world and theirs. They wished to walk in the light, while her world was all shadows.

And into one of those shadows Tempest has slipped.

She shook these thoughts from her with a start. Telta had just managed to lift the last barrier free and with a little wild yell, Akara spooked the horses towards the now open gate. The rush of wind from their hooves, full of the dust and the scent of dried grass and dung, hung in the air all around them. Shouts mixed with the dust as the townspeople began to realize what was happening.

But just as suddenly, Akara was grabbed from behind by two rough hands and held so firmly that she lost her breath for a moment. "What do you think you're doing, sweet heart?" a man's hot breath whispered in her ear. "Pranks like this will get you killed."

He was squeezing her so tightly she could barely hiss back, "Let me go."

"Not before you tell me what you're doing. I didn't think the Rohirrim paid much mind to the horses of the East, when they pride themselves so much in their own precious breeds. You're not here trying to sabotage now, are you my dear? Because though I can surely find some other uses for you, I think the general consensus will be that we take a piece of you for every horse that we lose."

"I don't care about your horses!" she snapped back, though her heart was pounding through her chest. Where was Telta?

The man swung her around to face him so sharply that she felt light headed. He brought his face down close to hers and she could smell the ale that still lingered on his lips. "So young, and already such a liar. Who put you up to this? Where's the rest of your gang? Already abandoned you, and left you to take the blame. Tell me where they are and what they want, and I'll let you go. Be quick about it, or I won't be able to save you from the mob when they get here."
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Teltasarewen » Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:06 am

Up till now Telta and Akara had managed to free the animals with little problem. But that was quickly changing as the elf removed the last barrier. The strong odor of smoke drifted on the air and shouts from the villagers alerted others of the situation around them.

Things were stirring up as villagers moved into the street. They needed to remove themselves from the area and quickly. Telta was not worried for herself but she was responsible for Akara. That thought weighed heavily on her mind when the young woman was caught. The man had not seen her as the remnants of the gate had blocked his view.

Telta reached for her bow.

"I wouldn't if I were you." Telta dropped her hand and turned slowly around.

The voice belonged to a tall man with long greasy black hair a beard and a scar than ran across his nose. The elf took this all in as she watched him his own arrow aimed at her. His eyebrows shot up as he realized what he had.

"Well I'll be. An elf. I caught me an elf." He sounded pleased with himself. Telta stood there motionless. Waiting. The sound of Akara's struggles reaching her.

"A friend of yours?" He indicated Akara. She stared at him no words forthcoming.

"Hey I asked you a question." One of the freed horses chose that moment to run back smoke and shouting sending it into confusion. The distraction was enough for Telta to rush in and knock the man unconscious and tossing his bow away she made her way around and came up behind Akara's attacker.

"Tell me where they are and what they want, and I'll let you go. Be quick about it, or I won't be able to save you from the mob when they get here."

Not chancing injury to Akara Telta chose to speak.

"I'm right here."

The man holding Akara's wrist with one hand drew his knife and turned swinging but it was only air that he hit. The elf had stepped back out of his reach her own knives drawn.

"Let her go."

The man smiled thinking he had the advantaged. Yet Telta's calm demeanor made him uneasy. He held the young woman's wrist tighter. Akara struggled making it difficult for him to keep focused on the threat in front of him.

"Keep still girl." he growled wrenching her arm behind her stopping her struggles. Akara stopped and acted as though she had lost her balance. She slid sown and he bent over to raise her up to get a better grip. Akara's head came up and connected with his nose a loud crunching noise followed. The man screamed and let her go.

Telta grabbed Akara's hand. "We need to leave now."
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Cock-Robin » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:50 pm

Meneldor was flying above, left out of the reckoning down below. The trouble with him is, while any man, elf or even Beorning had been known to have gone rogue, that could never be said of one of the Great Eagles, who were messengers of Manwë himself. What he could do in this foray is something even he couldn't fathom, so he was content to watch from above. And he saw Brondgast in bear form back away from the walls, then rush them and clear them with a mighty leap.

The Beorning proceeded to spread chaos in the town, smashing gates of stables and corrals in another corner of town from Telta and Akara, chasing animals out of their homes into the streets. Telta and Akara did the rest, so he proceeded to the textile area. There, a ne'er do well saw the shiny bauble on Brondgast's neck and made a grab for it. That was particularly unfortunate, as the Stone of Bar was not to be trifled with. The ruffian died a flaming death, which set the textile warehouses afire which were dry like kindling. He felt bad in acting this way, as he didn't want to act like one of the rogue Beornings that were mean and bad, but it was for the greater good. Brondgast raced off, spreading chaos elsewhere as Erinhue had instructed him.

He raced to where he saw Akara and Telta. He paused, letting them mount the large bear, and then rushed on, roaring his challenge to any that would dare oppose them.



Meneldor saw all from his high vantage point. He knew he was to do something, but was at a loss on what to do without blowing the cover of his companions. The green stone in his mithril collar shone brightly. "O great brother," he called out to Agarak down below. "What am I to do? Never in the history of Thorondor's blood has my kind done what all others are doing, to gain credence to them in their quest. What I am to do is hidden from me?" He cried out to the skies, and one of the hidden powers of the shiny, the bauble that he desired relayed his cry to the dragonharp below. The Eye of Thorondor as it had been called back in the days of Gondolin had more than met the eye at first.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby erinhue » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:08 pm

A faint but soothing melody rode the high winds. Words spoke in Meneldor's mind

Be at peace, Little Brother, there is no need for concern for your honor. It will not be besmirched. There will be pursuit. Act as your honor dictates.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby erinhue » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:35 pm

A small dust cyclone spun to life in front of the wrought iron gates of the Tresury Building. In seconds, Erinhue stood before the gates. He stepped forward to examin them.

Inquiring notes ran up the scale and then down

" I know you could just vanish the gates but I want it to look like a normal break in."

The responsive notes had a derisive tone.

"Yes, I still remember how to do it" Erinhue was annoyed by the implications.

He pulled a small wallet from his pocket and took out a long thin metal stick with a hook on the end. He stuck the hooked end into the keyhole and proceeded to pick the lock.

When the satisfying snick of success was heard, Erinhue pushed the gates open and walked to the buildings front entrance. Again he picked the double locks on the door, then walked into the building that held the wealth of Mir.

There were many rooms to accommodate the many merchants and craftsmen woulc come to conduct their business. These rooms were decorated with many statues and other items of great value on display all designed to impress.

Erinhue ignored all of this and went straight to the lower chamber that contained the vault.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Cock-Robin » Mon May 11, 2015 12:52 pm

Meneldor was circling far above. He saw Brondgast pick up Telta and Akara and run off, them on his back, and he looked well able to defend himself and the others. Hue had vanished and reappeared outside another building, only to disappear within it. He had heard the reassurance from Agarak, and still wondered how he would do it, and be believable. None would believe a Great Eagle would go rogue, but what if....

As he circled, he looked Westward,and suddenly found himself speeding unclad towards Taniquetil where Thorondor awaited him.

You have questions, my son.

Yes, my lord. I need to aid my friends, but I need to appear like a rogue, and nobody would believe me if I appeared as I am, nobody would believe me if I dived down as I am.

Think, my son. Think of Beren and Luthien, and how they gained access to Angband to retrieve a Silmaril.


With that, he found himself back above the city, it had happened in less than a wingflap. Beren and Luthien. How did they do it?

The thought came to him in a flash. Illusion! And the beryl he bore, which came from Gondolin was of ancient Elven make, from one of the gates, the Eagle Gate. Idril had borne it herself for years. It gave memory of ancient times, and it had been there when Beren and Luthien made their journey.

He gave an eaglish grin. The answer was so simple, like most riddles when one knows the answer.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby erinhue » Fri May 22, 2015 5:10 pm

A blue white ball of illumination floated down the stairwell, casting just enough light for Erinhue to see a step or two ahead. When he reached the lower chamber the ball expanded, filling the room with a soft, shadowy glow.

Erinhue stood before the great vault of Mir and shook his head. A wry smile played at the corners of his mouth. Why, the bard wondered, did they always think that a bigger lock meant a more secure closure. There were five huge locks on the door. One by one Erinhue picked them ina as many minutes.

The vault door was pulled open to reveal a truely wonderous sight. There were banks of drawers reaching half way to the ceiling. There were chests and sacks stuffed with gemstones, gold coins and other valuable trade worthy items.
Trade goods, no matter how valuable would be an inconvienence and while loose stones were acceptable any gems set in recognizable jewelery would be avoided by an experienced thief. That left the abundance of gold coins.

"Wake up, old worm." Erinhue said while tapping the dragonharp on the nose. "Time to get to work."

A rapid fire series of clicking sounds followed the bard's words. A full third of the drawers slid open. The lids on all the chests popped up and the knotted bonds on the sacks undid themselves. Gold coins began to rise up from them all to float in mid air.

The coins began to move and swirl around the vault in a wide circle. A bottomless black hole opened up in the floor. The swirling coins began to spiral down, down and down into the gaping space in the floor. When the last coin trailed into the depths, the hole in the floor closed over as if it had never been.

Erinhue turned to leave the vault when something remembered stopped him.

"Wait. We will need some of that to spread around. Proof of the pudding, so to speak."

Two small but buldging sacks appeared on the floor at the bard's feet. He opened one and pulled out a handful of coins. Each was stamped with the seal of the Mir treasury.

"That ought ta do it." Erinhue said with a smile as he replaced the coins and retied the sack. Leaving everything in a state of disarray, Erinhue walked out of the vault, up the stairs and out of the building.

Chaos was in control out on the streets of Mir. There were dozens of citizens rushing here and there. There were the cries of animals and people shouting. The air was sharp with the acrid smell of smoke hanging over all.

"You will do something about that fire, won't you?" Erinhue inquired of Agarak. " I didn't mean things to go that far and I do not want the city to burn." Following an affirmation from the harp Erinhue nodded and said. "It is going to be awfully hard for me to just walk out of town. I don't think I can run very fast for very long carrying this gold and you."

Trebel, the bard's painted pony, suddenly appeared standing in the treasury courtyard. The horse, long used to traveling by dragonharp, scrapped one hoof across the cobblestone, demanding and receiving his reward apple for traveling by dragonharp.

The sounds of tumultuous commotion were growing louder and coming closer.

"Time to make our get-away."

Erinhue swung up into the saddle, nudged Treble lightly in the ribs and set off at a gallop. If all had gone according to plan, if all had gone well, the others were doing just as he was doing at the moment, headed out of the city with all possible speed.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Cock-Robin » Fri May 22, 2015 10:27 pm

Meneldor saw Erinhue emerge and his horse appear before him as they started to race out of the city. It spoiled a plan he was hatching in his mind, but wait a minute! He couldn't carry Hue now, but how about Hue and Treble as well?

He dived down from the heights, screeching his challenge, as the stone of the Eagle of Gondolin shone brightly. And as he screeched, his appearance changed. The feathered form now was the form of a large fell beast, like the ones who carried the Nazgul. His screech now reverberated like the cry of the accursed creatures, and none would recognize him as the last of the Great Eagles. It was like the illusion that Beren and Luthien bore as they entered Angband.

Fear not, my brother, it is I under the illusion. he sent to Agarak. He didn't want Erinhue to call for Clarion. He and the horse were burdened with the gold. Meneldor/Fell Beast cried out again. He thought of picking up Erinhue, Treble and all, but decided against it. He instead flew above them, crying out once again. The frightenened citizens of Mir looked on. It was as if the War had never ended. They scattered as Meneldor/FB swooped down over them and then flew up again. He looked down and saw Brondgast with his two passengers heading out as well.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Teltasarewen » Wed May 27, 2015 5:44 pm

No sooner had Telta spoke of their need to leave then she caught sight of something large and heading towards them fast.

Brondgast! The name passed quickly through her mind as he came to a stop beside them waiting for them to climb up. More shouts and closer now, prompted the elf and young woman to move faster. The only available means of staying on was grabbing the fur of the bear which Telta did as Brondgast took off. Her strength would have to do for the both of them.

"Hold on Akara!"

Akara sat behind arms wrapped around Telta's waist. At the elf's words and the first strides of Brondgast her grip tightened.

They were headed out of town away from the chaos they had created. She had no doubt Hue and the others were on their way too
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Cock-Robin » Thu May 28, 2015 6:12 pm

Telta and Akara would probably go down in history as the first of the bear-riders. No bear, especially a Beorning would allow it, but things had changed, and Brondgast bore them as they made their escape out of the city. Brondgast gave a roar once in a while as he raced on, making sure they stay on his back.

He glanced up and saw what looked like a great fell flying above, terrorizing the citizens, and they were going the same direction. Now things were truly topsy-turvy.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby erinhue » Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:20 pm

The small fire was set low in its pit, the glow of its flame partly shielded from sight against the dark of a night sky. Water, food and a skin of wine where readily provided by the young knights in training who were left behind to guard the camp.

Last to arrive, Erinhue handed Treble over to one of the young trainees, the one who won the short but intense scuffle to see who would get the honor of tending to the Captain’s horse. Passing on the water, the bard took the offered wine skin and walked over towards the fire where the others were seated.

“That went over even better than I hoped.” The bard’s voice beamed at them. “I’d wager our full take that caper will make a song worth singing. Just might write it m’self if I ever find the time."

Telta had been munching on a hunk of brown bread but she stopped eating to turn troubled eyes on her captain and friend.

“Erinhue, how can you be so pleased, we set that town on fire.”

“ No, we didn’t” Erinhue quickly replied. “ Well, I suppose, technically, you could say we did do that, but not ta worry. I mean everything there is fine, maybe a little bit singed here and there but the town is just fine.” Here the bard’s deep rich laughter rang out.

“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten how the old worm likes to set thing ablaze but sets things right again to keep the sheriff off my back. How many times did Agarak set the Lucky Fortune on fire?”

Here the bard’s cheerful expression went momentarily dark. His voice dropped as he added “ All but that last time.”

Darkness could not long cling to Illuvatar’s Bright Spirit and just as quickly as it had come the cloud passed away and Erinhue flashed his starbright grin. “Aren’t you curious to see how much we got?”
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:52 pm

"Not really." said Meneldor. "And you haven't commented on me taking on this pug-ugly form." He still cast the illusion of being a rather large fell-beast.

"You really scared me. I couldn't recognize you." said Brondgast, back in human form. "And I thought you were going to pick Hue up horse and all."

"I thought of doing that, it would have added to the reputation we all have now." said the erstwhile Eagle. "I shudder to think what Thorondor would say now." But then, it was Thorondor that suggested it, by mentioning how Beren and Luthien entered Angband.

"It's all right." said Hue. "Agarak told me all about your illusion. C'mon, you still want to know how much I got?"

"I'll bite." said Brondgast.

Hue opened the bag, and everybody's eyes popped.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Teltasarewen » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:00 pm

Telta straightened herself on the spot she had picked not too distant from the fire. How could she have forgotten Agarak described as mischievious, stubborn, exasperating, spiteful and others yet she had no cause to mistrust the little dragonharp. She had seen it work unbelievable tasks so why not this time too.

The elf shook her head knowing full well that Hue would not let things get out of hand...if at all possible. Perhaps the unexpected and rather unnerving ride on Brondgast had addled her a bit. Telta chided herself quietly.

"Unnerved? Me?" She shook her head. "Foolish elf".

Hue's quiet words did not go unheard. Her keen hearing picked up on his mention of the Lucky Fortune's misfortune. His words struck deep scraping away at the small open wound that she knew would not easily heal. But the present was what she needed to concentrate on.

The bread left fell onto the cloth in her hand her appetite gone. She wrapped it carefully so it could be stowed in her pouch to eat later not wanting to waste food when one didn't know what was to come.

Erinhue's smile brought on one of her own and as the others jumped in with "Let's have a look" she found herself caught in the moment.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:37 pm

He shifted his foot an instant before the hoof descended. Instead of the leathery target, iron shoe met gently with dead leaves. Paul was uncertain wether Treble didn't like him much or was simply frustrated at having missed so many times over the passed months. Most of the other initiates had been stepped on at least once; the stable master in Dol Amroth had warned them that Treble enjoyed showing the KITs who was boss around the stables. It had become a bit of a competition, and one that made Paul believe the animal had its own kind of cunning. Treble attempting to stand on his foot, and Paul always being aware and shifting out of the way. It never turned into a full fledged dance; once attempted and alluded an unspoken truce seemed to come into effect until their next encounter.

The number of encounters had greatly increased over the last weeks as the party had journeyed further and further East. There were only a few squires along, and they handled the majority of the chores. It was to be expected and eccepted and Paul did both, however it did not curb his longing to be included in the circle currently sitting around the fireside trading jibes and laughing at jokes that spanned lifetimes.

Paul finished rubbing Treble down and unclipped his feedbag. Another initiate deposited a pile of hay to be communally grazed upon. The horses fed, watered, and tied the initiates retreated to their own fire. Their number was small on such a dangerous mission, and Paul noted how Akara was again warming herself by the knight's fire. It rankled some of the KITs that she received so much special attention for a new initiate, but Paul noted there was more than just well meaning interest in the glances and looks of her mentor and the other knights.

As soon as Paul plopped down on a dead log near the fireside one of the other KITs reached over and slugged him in the arm. "Did he get you?" the other initiates laughed and leaned forward.

"It was close," Paul hesitated aware that a good some of money was wagered on his next syllables, "But he missed!" One groaned, the rest cheered and the pot grew.

"How do you think the heist went?" an initiate asked, a little later.

"Who knows," responded another, "though judging from how it just got really quiet over there-" he pointed to where Erinhue had just opened his bag of loot, "-I'd say we are no longer poor traveling circus performs, playing for our daily bread, aye?"

"Aye"

"Not that being circus performers isn't fun," Paul interjected.

"I just wish we did more than collected money and setting up props and such," somebody else chimed in.

"Well somebody has to do it," Paul said loyally, though he too was tired of simply doing the grunt work. "Someday when we are all knights we can start a band."

"A band of what?"

"Just a band, band, we can do music maybe," Paul added lamely. As usual his attempts at humor fell flat.

There was a brief awkward silence broken after a moment by somebody's stomach growling loudly which ultimately culminated in hurriedly prepared supper for the KITs. A little later they drew straws for night guard, and even though Paul knew how the trick was done he allowed himself to be "randomly" selected for the first watch. He grabbed his bow and the "whistling" alarm arrows.

Turning his back on the glow of the fires, Paul walked a few paces into the trees surrounding the clearing where the "circus" had camped for the night. His eyes slowly grew accustomed to the darkness and the details of his surrounding began to emerge from the night. Tall deciduous trees, marching up a rise to the east of camp, still maintained a healthy crown of green leaves while the ground bore the evidence of many a past autumn. Bushes, some bearing berries others flowers and thorns, clustered around the bases of the trunks and everywhere made large colonies in an ocean of dead leaves. Insects drowned by, invisible in black atmosphere, and it sounded as though the birds had tucked away their instruments for the night.

There was a heavy silence, the last remnants of merriment from the camp sounded muted. Paul had been growing ever more uneasy since the beginning of their journey. It had begun with the pirates and sprouted further with the decision to infiltrate as a circus.

Paul judged that should there be trouble tonight it was most likely to come from the obscuring trees, and what better location to scout for an oncoming ambush than from the air. He pulled a rather odd pair of gloves from his belt and slipped them on, tightening several strap and buckles to make sure they were secure. Slipping the bow over his shoulder and across his back he gave the arrows an extra pat to make sure they were well situated. The moment they had set camp much earlier that day he had already sized up the trees and now it became apparent why Paul had not objected to guard duty.

Paul took two quick steps toward a tree, planted his foot against the bark and leaped off at an angle. His other boot landed against another trunk further up and he rebounded in the direction of the original tree, gaining altitude. The scales sewn into the finger tips of the gloves provided extra purchase on a thick branch which in turn provided the leverage for Paul to walk his legs up the trunk and balance on top in one smooth, continuous motion. It was too dark to risk making blind leaps into the surrounding foliage so Paul contented himself with climbing a little higher in that one tree and then settling in for his watch.

His unease had been growing especially palpable most recently when he realized that, due to the skill of the knights in performing, their group was actually drawing quite a crowed and what was more quite a profit. He did not know if the knight's realized, because the initiates handled the set up and tear down and the admittance, but should they desire, they could make quite a go of it as show-people. He was also quite sure, from certain calculating and greedy looks on the faces of certain shifty looking men, that that fact had not gone un-noticed by others as well.

He wedged his back against the trunk and set to scanning the forrest floor. The open field west of the camp was also clearly visible from his elevated perch.

When it came down to it Paul didn't really know what to think of the whole circus deception. They were knights! Well, some of them were still in training, sure. When Paul had applied, his imagination had been filled with charges, battle, chivalry, honor, kingly courts, and so on. Concealing their identity and sneaking into enemy territory by way of the figurative backdoor did not match no matter how much he might grudgingly understand the necessity.

On top of that, they had raided a town! Many of Paul's preconceptions were being thoroughly challenged and he was still trying to fit the pieces back together and reconcile them with his goals coming into the knights. Still, just being in the presence of knights (and that great eagle!) sent shivers down his spine and painted glorious fantasy before his eyes. He was proud to be in the Mirthril Knights, he decided, he just didn't understand chivalry the same way and to the extent that they did. After all they had been doing it longer.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby erinhue » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:04 pm

Erinhue set his makeshift bundle on the ground and opened it, allowing its contents to spread out in all its glittering glory. Dozens and dozens of heavy gold coin shimmered in the light of a waxing moon. Every one was imprinted with the great seal of Mir.

“’Hue,..” Telta started ,but it was Brondgast who completed her thought. “We didn’t really steal that money, did we?”

An expression of horrified shock and wrongful accusation came over the bard’s face.

“I would no more steal anything than I would cheat at poker and I never cheat at poker.

Now while it will look like our merry band made away with about 50 times this much, and that amount will grow each time the tale is told, truth be told the contents of the Great Treasury of Mir are exactly where they have always been. ..right inside the vault. I left it all there, they just don’t know it. In a few days they will open that vault and everything will be where it belongs. By that time we will be far away and the story will have spread even further.”

“Then what, if I might ask, is all of this?” Meneldor flipped the tip of a wing to indicate the pile of gold coins.

“That is for our cover story. I had Agarak whip that up for us. If we really made off with so much people will expect that we would be spending it and that is exactly what we will do. From here on out we travel in relative style and when we encounter a settlement or village we are going to live high of that proverbial hog. Nothing too lavish not enough to call any official attention but it will be enough to get us noticed by those we want to notice us. When they do, we will take it from there.”

Erinhue’s voice was full of confidence and he secretly used the influence of Mythweaver, Air Ring of the Wordsmith to encourage that same confidence in his companions. What he did not want them to see was that he had no idea where to take it from there.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby erinhue » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:10 pm

The night creatures sang uninterrupted as all trace of daylight slipped from the sky. The blanketing night offered the peace of rest and slumber but the danger it presented meant the camp must be watchful. The company had bed down for the night and for a time there was no sound.'

The soft notes of a harp whispered in the darkness.

“No, you’re right, I didn’t really think that all through, but I didn’t have any other ideas at the time.”

A phrase of melodic inquiry sounded. It was met with a deep sigh.

“I do not know. There couldn’t have been anyone more surprised than me that Elbren would entrust me to captain a company on such a mission. Nobody would peg me as a figure of authority and yet here I am.”

A tone of commiseration hung heavy in the next series of notes.

“In the end, what I am is a bard, this warrior business…” The bard paused, “…I’m not even good at following orders, who would set me to giving them?”

A soothing melody, barely audiable over the natural night sounds, played as Erinhue walked away from the dimming campfire. His seemingly aimless wandering brought him to stand beneath a certain tall tree at the edge of camp where he leaned back against the sturdy trunk.

Erinhue raised his voice so that it would project into the branches of the tree.

“This hasn’t been exactly what you were expecting, has it?”
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:02 am

Paul noted Erinhue leaving the boundaries of the camp, but soon lost him among the trees. He had to admire the skill that allowed Erinhue to blend so easily with shadows, or maybe it was Agarak giving a little helping... string?

He turned his attention back to the surrounding boarders of the camp, not overly concerned about Erinhue's night time wonderings. He had a feeling he would be hearing from their leader sooner or later that night. This wouldn't be the first time a spot inspection was made and the man always seemed to be able to find their self appointed guard posts with ease.

"This hasn’t been exactly what you were expecting, has it?”

But not this soon! Paul's heart leapt but he forced his body to remain still. Erinhue was just standing beneath the tree, not looking up. It wouldn't do to give away his position to anybody else watching the camp.

"Honestly, sir, no."

Erinhue sighed, "It usually isn't. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems."

"Except ale?" Paul chuckled at the old drinking joke, but his mirth died down as the memory of the attack on the guild house during the last initiation reared its head. "Sorry.... never mind."

"Its ok, initiate," Erinhue's chuckle came up through the branches and Paul could imagine one of those grins of his even if he couldn't see his face, "I just wanted to know how you are doing with all this. I know some of what we did today may seem a bit out of step with our creed."

Paul had confided much of his inner thoughts, including hopes and ambitions, in Erinhue over the last two years whenever he had had an opportunity to meet him. He had that grin and bard's manner that invited the other person to pour out their soul.

"Can Agarak read minds as well?" Paul hesitated for a moment, not wanting to be thought of as complaining. "Its just... we are knights. I guess I never thought of us sneaking around, breaking into banks and sowing mayhem in a city as part of what we might be involved in. Involved in stopping maybe. Involved in investigating perhaps. But not involved in causing... sir."

"I understand your feelings," Erinhue regretted that part of the job of the older knights was to winnow out some blatant black and white that made up the boarders of the younger member's, sometimes, rather narrow view of life. "Paul what you must understand is... well you tell me. Put that brain of yours to use. Where are we? What is our purpose?" Erinhue enjoyed making Paul think, and found it refreshing as it seemed that so few were able to figure things out for themselves; constantly demanding to be spoon-fed hard earned wisdom.

Silence fell in the night, punctuated by the voices of an occasional nocturnal animal. A fox yipped somewhere and a sparrow called out from over the hill.

"We are in the territory of the Easterlings, searching for a missing companion." Paul summarized and then paused. "I understand that charging in on horse back would be foolhardy, but-"

"And the king isn't about to send in the army and break what little peace there is over one lost knight," Erinhue added.

"True, but... it just seems..." Paul paused. Now that he thought about it in the light of the Mithril knights being out here all alone, without support, looking for one lost member, his view suddenly shifted. Noble charges? There could only be one of those as the entire country side turned out to slaughter them and cut off retreat. If word got out that they were there, or what their intentions were, there very well would be trouble, and the kind of trouble that led to much blood and death. But he had known that from the beginning. What was finally sinking in was just how limited their options were and how their situation and their goals justified much of what they were involved in simply by virtue of not having any other reasonable options. True, in the town nobody had actually gotten hurt, but-

"You should know we didn't actually steal any of their money," Erinhue's voice startle him, he had been so deep in thought. Once again Paul couldn't help but wonder if the harp....

so the only real damage was a few bruised egos and scorched thatch. And what a small price to pay for a life; a dear friend. The lesser of three evils when in fact doing "evil" was unavoidable. Three evils? They could have left Tempest to her fate. Paul's mind instantly recoiled from the thought, for it would truly be the worst evil. A little dark corner of his world turned grey but Paul felt his conscience lighten and his mind ease a little.

"Thank you, Erinhue," Paul said finally, "That helps alot."

Erinhue grinned into the darkness, "No problem, Paul."

Another long pause and then Paul's voice drifted down, "Sir, I don't believe sparrows sing at night"
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Tempest » Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:21 am

Akara whistled softly in the darkness, and the gentle sound of the whistle back from somewhere over the next hill filled her with relief. She had left the other Knights laughing around the campfire, proud of their day’s adventure and pouring over the “treasures” they had plundered. She often walked the perimeter of the camp at night to be alone with her thoughts, but this time a familiar whistle greeted her ears and her eagerness to encounter her old friend surprised her. She had not realized how much she longed for something, or someone, familiar.

She did not see him before she was almost upon him, so silent was he as he slipped from the shadows of some scraggly brush. ”By all the sands of the desert of Harad, I never imagined to find you back here,” he said with mirth.

”And I never expected to find you this far south,” she smiled wryly.

”You know me, always rather a drifter.”

”How did you find me?”

He was silent for a moment, and she found it a little unnerving that even in the starlight, she could not see his eyes. ”News travels fast.”

”You could not possibly have heard about our raid on the town.”

”No,” he laughed. “I heard such wondrous tales of a traveling circus and came to see what all the fuss was about. Imagine my surprise when I see our little Akara has become a bear trainer! Well, I’m no fool. I knew there must be more to it than that. So, I followed you and your little party since your last stop---nice final show, by the way. You really brought down the house. I remember how much you liked to see whole towns burn.” Here he stepped closer and she could see the suspicion painted on his dark face.

”It wasn’t my doing,” she said defensively.

”Some comfort to the town’s inhabitants. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, for all your talk about being one of us.”

Here she stepped forward defiantly. ”The tribe drove ME out, not the other way around. After everything I did for them, after I pleaded, after I begged. I was only fifteen, and they threw me to the wolves. I owe them nothing. I owe you nothing. You all made that VERY clear to me.”

”And how quickly you’ve proved us all right. Zenobia would be so proud to see how you’ve turned out.”

”A girl’s got to make a living somehow,” she snapped. ”Especially when she’s entirely alone.”

He eyed her darkly. ”Maybe. Maybe not. You always were rather slippery though.”

She sighed and shook her head sharply. ”Look, Krillen, I don’t want to argue with you. The past is the past. I’ve given up the dream of coming home, of ever being welcomed there again. But, it WAS my dream. I never wished harm on our tribe, no matter what you say." Here she paused. " But you had better go. I don’t want my traveling companions to get the wrong idea.”

”Leave them. And come with me.” His voice has lost its harsh edge.

”What?”

”I’m serious. Like you said, forget the past. You’re better than a cheap trick in a traveling carnival, or a thief on the run. I can find better work for you.”

”I...I don’t know to say. But I...I can’t leave.”

”What do they have on you? A debt?”

”No, nothing like that. But...I can’t leave. Not yet.”

He was quiet, but now that she could see his eyes clearly, she could see no malice in them. At least, not towards her. Finally, he asked softly, ”Where are you headed next?”

She licked her lips nervously. On one hand, the less she told him the better. But then again, it would be nice to have a friend around if things got messy. She did not fully trust Krillen, but she also did not fully trust the Mithril Knights.

”Towards Kuw,” she finally said.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby erinhue » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:44 pm

"Sir, I don't believe sparrows sing at night"

The whispered comment came down from the sheltering leaves of the tree Erinhue was leaning against.

“No, I don’t believe they do, m’lad, and that is no sparrow. We picked up a tail some time ago but it does not seem to be more than that, for now, so let it be, for now.” Erinhue stepped away from the tree. He did not look up towards the young knights perch as he spoke a final directive. “You keep a sharp eye out and pass that on to the next watch.”

Erinhue tucked the dragonharp under his arm and made his way back to the center of the camp. He knew he would not get much sleep tonight but he had to try and get whatever he could because they needed to make time on the road. Once settled down, a soft sound caused him to turn his head in time to see Akara returning from her nightly walk about the camp border. He noticed something different in her step and that she was coming from the same direction where the bogus sparrow chirped.

The girl was up to something, the bard thought. It was no surprise. From the moment he first saw her, he had known the girl was hiding something and now she was up to something she did not want them to discover. One more thing to keep an eye on, Erinhue sighed and tried to sleep.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Cock-Robin » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:16 pm

Brondgast couldn't sleep. That sparrow, whatever it was, wasn't a sparrow. Maybe he should do some watching as well. He transformed into a bear. What better to do a night watch, especially in this dangerous place.

He padded out silently, sniffing the air. Circling the camp, he kept up the pace.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Quimrill_Renctar » Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:29 pm

It quickly became apparent that this night was not going to be particularly peaceful. No sooner had Erinhue returned to the camp than Brondgast rose from his bedroll. His muscles began to ripple and Paul immediately averted his eyes, determinedly gazing into the surround. One could not deny the romance of the notion of a whole race of men able to transform into spectacular creatures who fought evil where it lurked in the deep forests and wide planes, but the sight of the man becoming beast was disconcerting to say the least. Paul did not mind the sight of blood. On a farm and in the woods, cuts and gashes were nearly a daily annoyance, but the sight of dislocated bones was almost more than Paul could bare.

Paul glanced back. He was always surprised, no matter how many times he had seen it over the last weeks, how thoroughly different Brondgast looked in bear form. It really should not have been startling, but somehow Paul always expected their to be some kind of resemblance.

Brondgast disappeared into the woods. Paul thought better of following him for a moment, but then remember what Erinhue had said about their follower.

"We picked up a tail some time ago but it does not seem to be more than that, for now, so let it be, for now."

Despite Brondgast being a full member of the knights it was still difficult to see past the fur and the claws, and the teeth! What would the bear do if he found their tail? Paul hesitated a moment longer then leapt for where he could make out a sturdy looking branch on the next tree over. As his eyes became more and more accustomed to the darkness a whole world of arboreal pathways was beginning to open around him. I was still too dark to clearly see if some branches were "safe" or not, but the risk was small in a new forrest like this one. Besides, It was probably a good idea to let Brondgast know what Erinhue had said, just in case.

He landed on the branch and let his momentum propel him along it until he was able to grasp the trunk and swing himself around and down onto a slightly lower, broader limb. Three quick steps and he was leaping through the air once again, catching a high bow with some good spring in it, which allowed him to gain some altitude into the upper regions of the next tree's crown. In this manner Paul proceeded around the rim of the clearing. We was careful to keep the rustling of leaves to a minimum and stay hidden deep behind the foliage, while keep a alert eye out for anything amiss.

As Paul approached the spot were Brondgast had disappeared into the forest he slowed down and took care to move from tree to tree silently; suddenly curious if he could sneak up on a changeling- part of him wondering if it was such a wise idea to try!

Curiosity got the better of him, and he began to stealthily pursue Brondgast into the woods. He had lost sight of the bear on his way through the trees, but had a good notion of his heading. As he got deeper into the trees he also began to descend towards the ground, trying to more clearly see whether different clumps of shape had leaves or fur. He made a flying leap for the lowest branch of a neighboring tree and groaned inwardly halfway through his flight. The branch was much too bare of leaves, meaning it was most likely dead from some damage or blight. Sure enough, when his gloved fingers closed on the wood, it held just long enough for his weight to settle then gave a loud "crack!" Paul attempted to propel himself onward toward the trunk but it was out of reach and the branch broke off completely an instant later.

As Paul plummeted toward the leafy ground he twisted himself to prepare for landing only to discover, to his horror, that what he though were bushes around the base of the tree had resolved themselves into a huge fur covered bear. Dark intelligent eyes caught the moonlight as they turned upwards toward the loud sound of the branch snapping. Dark intelligent eyes widened in surprise as the vision of Paul descending rapidly, and already to close to dodge, filled them.

Paul cannoned down onto Brondgast's broad and (surprisingly) soft back while the broken branch cartwheeled away into the darkness. For a long moment there was perfect silence, as if even the nocturnal birds and insects had decided it would be best to be elsewhere. Finally, in a slightly elevated register, a voice said, "Please don't eat me."
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Cock-Robin » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:04 pm

Brondgast was on watch. The nocturnal bear was in his element as he padded silently around the camp, sniffing for any sign of the "sparrow." Any unfortunate intruder would find a berserk bear to deal with.

He padded though the forest with the ease of an animal. Eyes, ears and nose were on the alert for anything out of the usual. His ears twitched at the barely audible sound of rustling in the trees far above. He knew squirrels didn't move about in the night, but he gave no sign that he noticed. The stars were out, and the moon had just risen. There was the light rustling again. Most men couldn't hear it, but he was a bear at the moment, and hearing was sharp. Let it follow, there was bound to be a slip.

The slip came sooner than Brondgast expected. There was a sharp crack just above him, and he looked upward to see something, or someone, plummeting towards him. He tried to move out of the way, but whoever it was dropped too fast. WHOOF! It landed full on his back. The nocturnal birds flew away, not willing to see what would follow. But then, a familiar voice intoned "Please don't eat me." That had saved his life, for he would have rolled quickly to the attack.

His head wheeled back to see who was on his back, and it was Paul, one of the Knights in Training that had accompanied him. The bear gave a half growl, and the Stone of Bar translated the bear speech for him. Silence, friend, I will not eat you. Please get off my back, and we will go on patrol together. You made noise enough to wake the dead!

He waited for Paul to get off, so they could go together.
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Re: The Mithril Knights: Shadows in the East

Postby Cock-Robin » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:42 pm

Dawn was just breaking over the camp. Other than some suspicious sounds, it was uneventful. Meneldor, still doing his illusion, was overlooking Hue as he awoke. "Erinhue, I would ask a favor of you." he said.

Hue looked quizzically at the Eagle, who now looked like a large fell beast.

"I ask the privilege of bearing you for a while. I have some things I would like to discuss with you privately, and the skies are the perfect place for it."

He awaited the response of the Bard who was a warrior.
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the doomed bird





Meneldor, Warrior Bard, and Brondgast, Mithril Knights

Gwaeryn and Robin, The Expected Party

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Warrior Bard
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Cock-Robin
Friend of Eagles

 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2001 11:11 am
Location: Walking around the country and seeing folk
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