In Search of the Ringbearer: The Crownless Shall Again Be King

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

Postby Elbren » Tue Mar 06, 2001 9:57 am

You are a visitor or resident in Rivendell or a message reaches you from Gildor Inglorion saying that Frodo Baggins is leaving the Shire, unguided, and bears a great burden. Gandalf has not been heard from in quite some time and Frodo is pursued by the Enemy...<BR><BR><BR><BR>***************************<BR><BR><BR><BR>It was a September day in the valley of Rivendell, and Elbren was sitting by the river, enjoying the sunshine of the autumn day. The darkness that Elladan had been speaking of seemed very far away at the moment, and Elbren was almost tempted to believe that perhaps they were all wrong.<BR><BR><BR><BR>Then again, there was Elrond. Elrond spoke no nonsense and he had been clear: The Dark Lord had arisen again and his servants were abroad. The borders of Imladris were to be guarded with more than a keen eye and all roads were being watched.<BR><BR><BR><BR>Gandalf was missing. Elbren shook his head; he STILL could not believe that. Lady Galadriel had sent Elbren to Imladris to seek news back in the Spring, and though messages had come to and fro from the Golden Wood, Elbren was hesitant to return just yet.<BR><BR><BR><BR>Not yet.<BR><BR><BR><BR>Something tugged at the back of his mind. Something...something not quite tangible.<BR><BR><BR><BR>"Elbren!! Lord Glorfindel seeks you, hurry to the stables!"<BR><BR><BR><BR>Elbren looked up and saw Erestor sitting upon horseback on the bridge. Elbren waved, "Aye? Something amiss?"<BR><BR><BR><BR>"Indeed, waste no time!"<BR><BR><BR><BR>Elbren was then amazed to see Erestor gallop away from the valley and up the trail leading out of Rivendell. What errand so urgent would have Erestor on horseback and galloping out of the valley?<BR><BR><BR><BR>Quickly, Elbren was on his feet and sprinting to the stables. Once there, he found Elladan, Elrohir, Glorfindel, and other Elves and guests of Rivendell gathered, all looking arrayed for travel.<BR><BR><BR><BR>"Ah, Elbren, glad to see you, we've received a most urgent message from Gildor," Glorfindel was saying, "he met with Bilbo's nephew, Frodo, and some friends as they were preparing to leave the Shire."<BR><BR><BR><BR>Elbren did not know Frodo but he certainly had met and delighted in the funny little Hobbit named Bilbo. "Aye?" Elbren said as shifted his feet.<BR><BR><BR><BR>"Aye," Glorfindel continued, saddling his horse and checking his supplies, "the Hobbit bears a great burden and is making for Rivendell without guidance," Glorfindel hesitated, "Mithrandir was to have guided him, but there has been no word from him."<BR><BR><BR><BR>"Beyond that," Elladan said as he swung into his saddle, "the Enemy's servants are in pursuit of Frodo, on his heels, in fact."<BR><BR><BR><BR>Elbren's breath caught in his throat, "Servants? The Nine?"<BR><BR><BR><BR>Glorfindel nodded, leading his horse out into the yard, "Yes, so Elrond has asked for all available to seek Frodo and get him to Rivendell safely. He will take the road, we think, for he has no guide for the wilds, though we hope that Aragorn will join up with him near Bree."<BR><BR><BR><BR>"Aragorn will be the best to get him through the wilds," Elbren mused, "Where would you have me search?"<BR><BR><BR><BR>Glorfindel swung into his saddle as the bells upon the bridle sounded, "Take the main road towards Bree and search near Amon Hen, make that your station, and, here, take these," Glorfindel tossed a leather bag to Elbren.<BR><BR><BR><BR>Elbren opened it and saw several green stones inside.<BR><BR><BR><BR>"Use them to mark safe passage," Glorfindel instructed, "we will all know, including Aragorn, that a green stone marks a safe path for travel. If you come upon the Nine, remember that light and fire do them harm, and they do not like dealing with Elves."<BR><BR><BR><BR>"I shall pack my horse and be on my way immediately," Elbren said as Glorfindel nodded and galloped down into the valley, following Erestor's trail from only a short while before.<BR><BR><BR><BR>Elbren's heart was pounding as he quickly prepared. He took note that Elrohir was waiting nearby.<BR><BR><BR><BR>"We can travel in pairs, perhaps," Elrohir said, "and then split up if we think tis best."<BR><BR><BR><BR>"I shall be glad of the company," Elbren said, smiling.<BR><BR><BR><BR>"But I shall leave you to the solo road if you do not hurry and pack that horse," Elrohir grinned.<BR><BR><BR><BR>Elbren finally finished and then he and Elrohir rode out of the valley of Rivendell...
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Postby Elbren » Thu Mar 08, 2001 8:07 am

Elbren stood atop Amon Hen and looked at the world below him. It was a late September day and thus far, he and Elrohir had seen no sign of Black Riders or heard any further messages from Rivendell or Gildor. Elbren turned at Elrohir's approach.<BR><BR>"No signs here," the son of Elrond said, kneeling and studying one of the ruined stones that were once the outpost of Amon Hen.<BR><BR>"No signs of what?" Elbren replied, turning around.<BR><BR>"Anything...Gandalf...Black Riders...visitors...there's an old camp below, but it's days old and it was Dwarves."<BR><BR>"Glorfindel wants us to make our watch here, though," Elbren muttered, walking towards the Eastern ruined wall.<BR><BR>"I think we should head towards Bree," Elrohir said, standing up, "Frodo spoke to Gildor six days ago in the Shire, he was making for Rivendell, he will, no doubt, keep to the Road for he has no guide for the wood. He is in peril beyond his imagining, for I am sure the Nine are also aware of this."<BR><BR>"You think we head West on the Road? And hope to meet him?" Elbren asked.<BR><BR>"I think we head West and hope to meet the Nine and waylay them long enough for Frodo to find Aragorn, or at least grant him safe passage for a day or so," Elrohir answered, fingering the hilt of his dagger thoughtfully.<BR><BR>Elbren shrugged, "Alone or guided, Frodo will eventually make his way here to Amon Hen."<BR><BR>"And what lies in between, cousin? Are you SURE he'll make it?"<BR><BR>"No," Elbren had to admit, "I'm not."<BR><BR>"Then let us make for Bree with all haste."<BR><BR>Elbren agreed. The two Elves made their way down to their horses and mounted up. Moments later, they were galloping down the road like the wind...<BR><BR>
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Postby Elbren » Fri Mar 09, 2001 9:53 am

On their third day of hard riding from Weathertop, they found two of the Black Riders. <BR><BR>Elbren and Elrohir were studying some signs just off the road, near the Midgewater Marshes. It was near dusk, a strangely warm evening, and a silence was on the land that was uncanny.<BR><BR>"It looks like four Halflings and a man," Elrohir said, kneeling and peering closely at some very obscure footprints.<BR><BR>"Your eyes and skills are better than mine," Elbren replied, trying to see what his cousin was seeing in the dirt and branches of the underbrush.<BR><BR>The horses rearing and neighing in alarm caused both Elves to leap to their feet. Elbren and Elrohir drew their swords and sprinted back to where the horses had been left, just a short way back towards the road.<BR><BR>The dark shapes were retreating already, barely discernible in the fading light of day, but the chill in their wake was unmistakable.<BR><BR>Wraiths. Both Elves could see them clearly with their keen eyesight in both the spirit world and the mortal world.<BR><BR>Elbren sheathed his sword, grabbed his bow and strung it, and leaped upon his horse, with Elrohir following. They galloped after the Riders, notching arrows, and soon gaining enough ground to see them clearly again on the road.<BR><BR>Elbren let fly an arrow that whizzed harmlessly past one of the Riders while Elrohir's arrow made fast into the haunches of his target's horse. But it did not slow the chase.<BR><BR>Suddenly, three more Riders entered the road from the South, just ahead of the two that were fleeing, and held their ground.<BR><BR>Elbren and Elrohir did not hesitate, notching new arrows, they let fly. With a song of starlight and cries of war, the two Elves bore down on the Five.<BR><BR>Contemplating the situation and deciding that their quarry of Ringbearer was more important than battle, the Riders turned and fled, leaving the road and heading South towards the Downs. Elbren and Elrohir gave chase until the brush became too thick and the darkness overcame the signs of pursuit. Reluctantly, they headed back to the road.<BR><BR>Once there, Elbren wiped the sweat from his brow and gestured back East towards Bree, "The Riders clearly know where the Halflings have gone, and we can only hope that the tracks we saw were those of Aragorn. He's making for Weathertop on foot and in the wild. Rather than pursue Frodo through the marshes, I say we keep to the road and guard it against the Riders."<BR><BR>"Maybe next time they won't flee so easily," Elrohir remarked.<BR><BR>"What do you suggest?"<BR><BR>"One of us take the trail after the Halflings while the other keeps to the road," Elrohir replied.<BR><BR>"Aye, then, you are the better tracker, so you should take the wood," Elbren said.<BR><BR>Elrohir nodded, "See you at Weathertop, then, and remember they do not like fire."<BR><BR>Without another word, the Elves split their provisions and parted company with Elrohir plunging into the wood and heading first North to the marshes and then West towards Amon Hen. Elbren took to the road again, making for Weathertop, finally stopping and making a camp near midnight.<BR><BR>As he made his fire and ate a small meal, he was astounded to see lightning streaking FROM Weathertop back to the sky. He stood, staring at the distant mountain, going over in his mind what could make such energy.<BR><BR>He could only think of one thing: Gandalf. Was Gandalf, then, also waiting at Weathertop for Frodo? It was a natural enough target to be a meeting place; but then, the Nine also knew that. They had seen Five hours earlier and they could not have made Weathertop in so short a time. So, that would mean that more were about.<BR><BR>Elbren pursed his lips in thought. Could ALL Nine be in this pursuit of Frodo? If so, the Halflings were in an even more grave peril than originally thought. Elbren hoped to Iluvatar that Aragorn HAD found them and was leading them.<BR><BR>Determining to make for Weathertop with all haste, Elbren let his horse rest until near dawn, then broke camp and rode West on the Great Road...
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Postby Tinivel » Fri Mar 09, 2001 10:09 pm

Riding and riding Elbren was becoming frail inside and felt his heart thump. He could journey no more on his horse. He felt his hands go dead and he could remember no more.......
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Postby Elbren » Sat Mar 10, 2001 12:43 pm

When Elbren made it to Weathertop late afternoon the following day, he knew that something had taken place in between his last visit there with Elrohir. The ground was scorched atop and there were signs of a confrontation of some sort, no blood, no bodies...but something had clearly taken place.<BR><BR>Elbren sighed. What do do now? Perhaps Elrohir had caught up to Aragorn and the Halflings, then again, perhaps so had the Wraiths. Glorfindel had asked him to stay near Weathertop, and since Frodo was apparently headed this way, he may as well do as the Elven Lord had bid him. Standing up, he looked first West and then back East, and there on the road, two black specks that his keen Elven eyes could discern were Black Riders.<BR><BR>He quickly made his way down to his horse and then made his way to the road. He waited, fingering his sword hilt and then his bow, but the Riders did not appear.<BR><BR>Must have left the road again, Elbren thought. He road a short way back East, seeing the signs of their horses, which were mortal enough, and then saw where they had turned back East, away from him.<BR><BR>He sighed. He thought a moment. If there had been a confrontation last eve on Weathertop involving great energy exchange, surely Gandalf had been involved. It wouldn't have been any other Istari this far East, would it?<BR><BR>If that were the case, then Gandalf must still be close by. Would he have taken the road? Aye, Elbren thought, he would have. The wizard would have taken the fastest path...but would he have taken it East towards Bree and the Shire or West towards Rivendell?<BR><BR>The sun was sinking fast in the late autumn day, so Elbren determined to make camp at the foot of Weathertop. In the morning, he would make his decision, and by then, perhaps the Halflings would have made it to Amon Hen.
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Postby Tinivel » Sun Mar 11, 2001 9:26 am

hmm seemingly elbren my lad you seem to be the only one posting on your own thread....
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Postby Carnimiriel » Sun Mar 11, 2001 9:38 pm

Carnimiriel was also concerned, as she was learning to master the power in the red jewel which had come down to her through the line of Aegnor. Mithrandir had told her that it's greatest strength was in inspiring fear in servants of the enemy, making her seem to grow tall and terrible and shining with a white light.<BR><BR>Though Carnimiriel had felt a sense of this when she became angry and had learned quickly to not let her emotions be absorbed by the jewel, lest she alarm her friends, she had never put it into practice.<BR><BR>She rode out with Elladan that day, nervously fingering the jeweled brooch on her cloak, wondering if they would encounter any of the Riders.
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Postby Elbren » Mon Mar 12, 2001 9:10 am

(Tinivel--I may be the only one posting in this thread, but that's okay, I've always wanted to write a character into LOTR, and now I'm doing it!! hehe)<BR><BR>Near dawn, after a quiet night, Elbren heard a rider approaching through the wood. He stood, flaming branch in hand, and waited, poised for action. He smiled when he recognised Elrohir.<BR><BR>"Hail!" Elrohir called, dismounting.<BR><BR>"I see you are alone, no halflings?" Elbren inquired, tossing his cousin a flask of miruvor.<BR><BR>Elrohir shook his head; he looked like he had been riding hard since they had parted two days ago.<BR><BR>"No sign, I took the most direct route here, finding and losing their trail. They must have Aragorn with them, for only a Ranger could take their path and cover it so well. I wonder if they aren't bypassing a direct route to Weathertop and going North in order to avoid the Road," Elrohir replied.<BR><BR>"Something took place here two nights ago," Elbren said.<BR><BR>Elrohir nodded, "Aye, something indeed. I think that Aragorn will make for Rivendell from the wild, and if that is true, we will serve them best by waylaying the Riders. If we continue to search for them in the wild, finding their trail, then we may actually end up leading the Riders to them."<BR><BR>"Then we make for Rivendell?" Elbren asked.<BR><BR>"We take the road and do our best to keep it safe between here and Rivendell," Elrohir said.<BR><BR>Elbren nodded. The two Elves then took a hasty breakfast, broke camp, and took the road, heading East again.<BR><BR>It was near noon when they found Glorfindel.<BR><BR>"Ho!" Glorfindel hailed them.<BR><BR>Elbren and Elrohir held up as Glorfindel approached them. They quickly shared news of what they had seen.<BR><BR>"I saw three this morning," Glorfindel reported, pointing back West, "they are clearly waiting for the Halflings to emerge from the wood, knowing that they must do so at some point. Unfortunately, we must guess, as must they, where that emergence will be. Will Aragorn, if he is with them, make for Weathertop or will he stay to the wood until he absolutely must take the road?"<BR><BR>"Perhaps they are ahead of us," Elbren suggested, "perhaps the lightning from three nights past was from Gandalf WITH the halflings and Aragorn."<BR><BR>"Not likely," Elrohir replied quietly.<BR><BR>The three Elves sat their horses in silence, pondering their course.<BR><BR>"I would send one of us back to Rivendell to see if Gandalf has arrived yet and to take his counsel," Glorfindel finally said.<BR><BR>"Elrohir is the better tracker, he should stay and continue the vigil," Elbren admitted reluctantly.<BR><BR>"So be it," Glorfindel agreed, "Elbren, you make for Rivendell with all speed. You may even need to prepare the borders of Rivendell for confrontation with the Riders...I feel that this may come to the very edge of Elrond's domain."<BR><BR>Elbren nodded, they checked supplies, and then Elbren was off to the East like the wind...<BR><BR>
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Postby Idril » Mon Mar 12, 2001 12:31 pm

He had had a long night 2 nights before and yet he was still seeming to be on the run. He was a bit taxed still but was recovering. He decided to make a camp and rest. He found a spot nestled in a alcove of the mountain with trees all around. To find him someone would have to ride right into his camp. He took his things off of <b>Shadowfax</b> and gave him an apple that he had and set him to wander at his will. They had bonded over the long road since they had left Rohan. Their travels were laid with traps and the Nine, evil seemed to be everywhere! He knew where he headed and that he must reach it quickly. <BR><BR>But for the rest of this day and tonight, he would rest and see what followed him. He made a smokeless fire and made something warm to drink and eat. He then stretched out and rested, ever listening.
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Postby Idril » Tue Mar 13, 2001 10:27 pm

<b>Gandalf</b> woke with a start! He had dosed off and thought that he heard something far off. There it went again. The sun was just waning in the west and the shadows had grown long. He decided to just sit and stir the fire, maybe add a log or two to it. He didn't want to scare off any friends but then again if it were enemies, he best be prepared. A couple nights ago was almost more than he could handle and he had promised himself that it wouldn't happen again! <BR><BR>He slowly got up and grabbed a log that he had gathered early that afternoon. He turned to add it to the fire and decided to heat water for something hot. He listened intently for any noise, whether friend or foe. As night came on, he felt rather than saw, evil on the edges of his area and he hoped that they would make themselves known to him. <BR><BR>He decided that he would have a smoke to settle his nerves a bit since he already had announced where he was by his fire and he would be darned if he would move on tonight unless absolutely necessary. He found his pipe and weed and lit up. He sat back and enjoyed his smoke and made rings dance in delightful colours while all the while listening for the approach of anyone or anything, appearing to the oncomer as negligent and unattentive as he could.
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Postby Elbren » Wed Mar 14, 2001 8:54 am

Elbren set out for Rivendell with a burdened heart; he feared for the Halflings and he wondered...hoped...that what they were doing was indeed helping and not hindering. The Black Riders were dangerous and Glorfindel acted as if the fate of the world lay before them.<BR><BR>Elbren kept to the road, and with frequent rests for his horse, made good time back towards Rivendell. He saw no other Elf or Man, nay even a Black Rider. He searched for signs when he could and found nothing. <BR><BR>He finally came to the Last Bridge that crossed over the Mitheithel. He dismounted and searched the area as best he could, finding the passing of travellers here and there, but nothing that was indicative of Gandalf, Halflings, Aragorn, or even Black Riders. He leaned back on his heels and sighed. Nothing.<BR><BR>
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Postby Carnimiriel » Wed Mar 14, 2001 9:48 am

Meanwhile, Elladan and Carnimiriel searched south of the road, having little luck.<BR><BR>Carnimiriel knew little of tracking, so she road behind Elladan, who had impatiently told her to keep back, lest she destroy some track or sign he might recognize. She fingered the hilt of her shortsword nervously, unused to carrying a weapon. She knew that the reason Glorfindel had sent her along was because of the jewel. While she trusted that Mithrandir was right when he said its power could inspire fear in the servants of the Enemy and make them flee, she had not yet put it into practice for this purpose.<BR><BR>Thank goodness she was with Elladan, though he had viewed her with mild disapproval when Glorfindel told him they would ride out together. For now, she kept back, saying little, and guiding her horse to follow his.
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Postby Elbren » Mon Mar 19, 2001 1:44 pm

Elbren made camp in a hollow past the Last Bridge; he was wary, for trolls were rumoured in the area, and he had no wish to deal with clumsy creatures that might prove to be dangerous. He built a small fire, for the chill of autumn was full in the evening air, and as his stomach grumbled at the dried meat and nuts he chewed, he thought of the House of Elrond and what fine foods would await him there when he finally returned.<BR><BR>Something prickled the back of his neck then, alerting his senses, and he looked around the small camp warily. Nothing but growing darkness. And shadows.<BR><BR>You're growing jumpy, he told himself. Then again, with Black Riders about, he had a right to be jumpy, he consoled.<BR><BR>There it was again. Something moving, albeit stealthily, in the woods.<BR><BR>Elbren stood, loosening the sword in his sheath, and reaching for his bow to string it.<BR><BR>Nothing. Silence. <BR><BR>Elbren strung his bow, notched an arrow, and stood ready, the fire to his back. The tension was enough to give him a headache.<BR><BR>Then, suddenly, out of the shadows, stepped something tall and dark. Elbren turned to the fire, lit the arrow, and turned to loose the arrow, but held fast.<BR><BR>"Argh!! I nearly put an arrow in you!!" Elbren scowled, lowering his bow.<BR><BR>Elladan stepped closer to the fire, motioning to the wood. Out stepped an Elven lady.<BR><BR>"Make room for us at your fire, cousin, and share what you have. This is Lady Carnimiriel, she's riding with me on the hunt for Frodo, and we've lost our supplies in a small skirmish," Elladan said quietly, sitting by the fire, seeming to be exhausted and perhaps even a bit shaken.<BR><BR>"Welcome Elladan, welcome Lady Carnimiriel," Elbren said, gesturing to the fire, "you are welcome here, for truth be told, I am glad of the company."<BR><BR>Carnimiriel brought their horses in close and they were tethered near Elbren's. Elbren shared his food, water, and small skin of wine.<BR><BR>"So, tell me, what have you seen of the Enemy? For surely that haunted look in your eyes is a sign that you've seen them," Elbren asked.<BR><BR>Elladan hesitated, looking to Carnimiriel...
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Postby Carnimiriel » Mon Mar 19, 2001 9:10 pm

"Two we saw, as we were, or I should say, Elladan was, examining some broken branches where it looked as though someone had gone down a steep bank into a ravine." Carnimiriel looked rather pale and shaken.<BR><BR>Elladan nodded, saying "Though the lady has no skill in tracking, she wields a formidable weapon. I doubted Glorfindel's choice to send her with me, but no longer." He looked to Carnimiriel as if he expected her to continue.<BR><BR>Elbren listened thoughtfully. Elbren had seen Carnimiriel a few times before in Imladris, and he knew she came from the Havens, but their paths had not crossed and he knew nothing of this weapon Elladan mentioned. She did not carry herself like one who was used to arms, though she had a shortsword sheathed at her belt. He knew that Elladan must mean something else.<BR><BR>"While Elladan was examining the tracks," she continued, "I felt a chill creep over me like nothing I had ever felt before. That is when we heard the hoofbeats and two riders came along the ridge behind us. Elladan turned his horse quickly and drew his sword. In a loud voice he bid them to be gone in the name of Elbereth. My horse reared and threw me, then bolted off down the ravine. I was uninjured, but did not dare go after my horse, so I stood beside Elladan's mount and took hold of the reins. His ears were flattened back and I feared he might also throw his rider."<BR><BR>Carnimiriel shuddered at the memory. "The riders seemed to shrink back a pace at the name of Elbereth, but then one of them said something which I could not understand but surely sounded like a foul curse."<BR><BR>"It was in the Black Speech." added Elladan, "And though I understood it not the memory of it still fills my ears with revulsion."<BR><BR>"The Riders were terrible to behold." Carnimiriel continued. "Once they saw I was unhorsed I think they meant to charge us, but at that moment I made use of my jewel. Glorfindel says that to be truly skilled, I must be able to call on its power regardless of my emotions at the time. But I am not yet at that level, so I have to call upon anger and hate to use it against an enemy." She looked to Elladan, hoping he would continue.<BR><BR>Elladan saw the quizzical look on his cousin's face when Carnimiriel had mentioned the jewel. "Yes," he said, "The lady wears a jewel of the Noldor of which she is still learning, but it made quite an impression upon the two Riders, I must say. She seemed to double in height and shone with a white fire. The jewel flashed from its place at her throat and its light seemed to cause physical pain to the Riders. They spurred their horses and rode back the way they came."<BR><BR>Carnimiriel nodded. "Naturally, it was not really us they were seeking so they must have decided to continue in pursuit of the ring. That is fortunate because I do not know how long I could have kept the jewel focused on them, or how long they could have resisted it."<BR><BR>Elladan took up the story again. "I still think perhaps Frodo had gone down that ravine, but by that time Carnimiriel's horse had muddied any tracks there was no further sign I could read for certain. We had to go down the track to catch the horse, who had thrown off the pack with all our supplies. We looked in vain for a while, but the pack must have tumbled to the bottom of the ravine or into some thicket. Unsure of whether we were indeed on the track of the hobbits or whether it was worth pursuing the riders back the way they had came, we decided to head due north back to the road, hoping to head them off. When we saw no riders at the bridge, we then followed the track of your horses to the camp here."<BR><BR>Carnimiriel shuddered again involuntarily. "I have never had to use the jewel like that. I was not prepared for how exhausting it would be." Her eyes grew unfocused and Elladan passed the wine skin to her. She nodded her thanks and took several small swallows.<BR><BR>"What tidings do you have of the enemy?" Elladan asked Elbren.<BR><BR>(OOC - edited out Elrohir since I realized he wasn't there! Ooops)<BR>
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Postby Elbren » Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:13 pm

Elbren told of his two encounters with the Black Riders and of the lightning he had seen atop Amon Hen. <BR><BR>"It was there that Elrohir and I parted company; he to seek Frodo and me to see if they had somehow passed us and were ahead of us enroute to Rivendell. Alas, the last two days I have seen nothing, not even a Troll."<BR><BR>Elladan snorted, "Speak not lightly of that, 'Bren."<BR><BR>Elbren nodded, "Aye, but I meant it: I've seen nothing. The land is quiet and watchful."<BR><BR>Elbren passed around a flask of miruvor that he had and watched the fire burn, his eyes aglow with the red and orange light.<BR><BR>"I had thought to make for Rivendell on the morrow with little time to spare. What is your counsel, Elladan? What will you do now? We've passed the Last Bridge. Frodo is probably still behind us and the Black Riders, at least some of them, before us," Elbren said in quiet Sindarin.<BR><BR>Elladan thought for a moment, "Well, someone should go to Imladris to see what news has arrived since we left a week ago. It will take the Hobbits, at best, more than a fortnight to make it to the Ford from Bree. If Aragorn is with them, and my heart says that he is, then they will be just past Weathertop now, close on our heels, but not at us yet. Their danger is still very real..."<BR><BR>"And there are several of us who seek them," Elbren finished.<BR><BR>"Aye, Glorfindel, Elrohir, and Erestor are still out looking, as are we," Elladan replied softly.<BR><BR>Silence filled the small camp. <BR><BR>"Carnimiriel's jewel is a formidable weapon against the Riders, it would be my counsel that she remain on the search and use her talents to waylay the Riders, my heart thinks this is best," Elladan finally said.<BR><BR>Elbren nodded, "And I was already making for Rivendell--"<BR><BR>"Aye, you were, but I think I shall take that path, as I can cut off a few days from the Road by a few shortcuts I know," Elladan grinned.<BR><BR>"As you wish, cousin," Elbren laughed.<BR><BR>"Good then, on the morrow, I shall make for Imladris and find what news I can, you two, I counsel, stay together and seek the Riders, stay on the Road, for once the Hobbits leave Weathertop, they may take the road for speed. You two may become essential to their reaching the Valley," Elladan sipped some more from the flask.<BR><BR>Elbren nodded, looking to Carnimiriel...
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Postby Shyne » Tue Mar 20, 2001 3:01 pm

I wonder what those elves are up to...<BR>Snap! Damn! A darn twig, Uh-oh the elves are looking over here<BR><BR>"Hel, hello?" says Shyne, " Hello! What is this small meeting of?"<BR><BR>" I reconize those items" says Shyne looking at bows, and the stone " You elves must be from Rivendell?"<BR><BR>A strong silence hung... The elves wondering what he heard...<BR><BR>" I have do not worship The dark lord, please can you tell me your journey and If I can join your search?" ....
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Postby christianchick » Tue Mar 20, 2001 4:25 pm

Meanwhile...<BR><BR> Aragorn had been with the hobbits, but he had sensed the Nazgul nearby, and had hidden the hobbits and gone to investigate. And his senses did not fail him...there were indeed Nazgul.......five of them. With all five at once, even the power of the King with Anduril could not hold them off. The Nine overpowered the King Elessar...though it was a fight. The Dark Lord would be most pleased...
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Postby Carnimiriel » Tue Mar 20, 2001 4:34 pm

Carnimiriel nodded wearily to Elbren. "I am pleased to meet you, sir. I truly hope I can be of some use in the hunt. My family has a..." here she paused, not sure how to phrase this without revealing more of her family history than Elbren perhaps wished to hear or she wished to tell. "...a debt of sorts to Master Elrond and I will do whatever is in my power to help."<BR><BR>Elbren nodded and wordlessly handed her the flask of miruvor. He could see that she was very tired from her encounter and hoped she would recover swiftly. Though it was obvious to him that she was not entirely comfortable with using her jewel, he could sense that behind her trepidations she had an iron will and possibly a temper to match, if her anger were aroused.<BR><BR>Carnimiriel drank some from the flask and handed it back to Elbren. "If you think it is safe, I will sleep now for a short while to regain some strength. Wake me at once if there is need or if we should be on our way."<BR><BR>Elbren answered, "Yes, sleep but a little while. We must be off soon, but I will keep watch and wake you when it is time."<BR><BR>Carnimiriel lay down with her back to the fire and wrapped her cloak more tightly around her, falling quickly asleep before Elbren had a chance to offer his spare cloak as a pillow. The firelight glinted on her hair, but her face was in shadow. One hand, though, clutched the red jewel at her throat. <BR><BR>Elbren stood and draped his extra cloak over her sleeping form, then returned to sit by the fire, staring off into the night, his ears alert for any sound.
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Postby christianchick » Tue Mar 20, 2001 4:59 pm

Suddenly, a chill shot through him. Someone was in trouble...big trouble. They had fought hard.......Nazgul.......badly injured........taken by the Nine....royalty.......Sauron would be pleased.....ARAGORN!!!!!! "No..." he whispered. "It can't be..."
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Postby Shyne » Tue Mar 20, 2001 6:14 pm

Hey I guess these elves can't see me! Oh Yes, my cloak! It was woven by Lady Galadriel. I'll have to take it off.<BR>WHOOSH!! The cloak is taken off!<BR><BR>"Hello" says Shyne " I have overheard your conversation, I am friends with many of the likes of Lady Galadriel, and Elrond. I ask may I join your company for the ring-bearer. Lady Galadriel has spoken to me about the quest. So may I come?"
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Postby Elbren » Tue Mar 20, 2001 6:35 pm

Elbren started at the sound of a twig snapping. He had been staring into the fire, eyes seemingly glazed over and unattentive, but every sense was alert. The Elven lady, Carnimiriel, seemed to be resting soundly, and prior to the branch snapping behind him, Elbren had been wondering about her.<BR><BR>He had seen her at Imladris during his stay through the summer, and he had even dined with her and others several times, but there were always folk coming and going in the Valley, and Elbren had withdrawn a bit, staying in the library mostly or taking long walks, and rather enjoying his holiday away from duty in Lothlorien.<BR><BR>Yes, he thought, she fascinates me.<BR><BR>And then the twig had snapped. Elbren whirled towards the sound, sword drawn and feet apart. Yet, he saw nothing. Looking down, he could see the branch that had broken, but nothing stood upon it...or, did it?<BR><BR>Elbren squinted his eyes and peered harder into the darkness surrounding the small campfire. Was something there after all?<BR><BR>Elbren nearly cried out with surprise when suddenly...someone was there!! <BR><BR>"Hello," came a voice," I have overheard your conversation, I am friends with many of the likes of Lady Galadriel, and Elrond. I ask may I join your company for the ring-bearer. Lady Galadriel has spoken to me about the quest. So may I come?" <BR><BR>Elbren frowned as he sensed Carnimiriel wake behind him and then quickly get to her feet, her hand still on the the jewel.<BR><BR>"Friend, are you? Certainly what lies on the ground at your feet is a cloak made by my people...but times are dangerous and such things as you...suggest are not spoken of openly or willingly by most. You mention Lady Galadriel, who is my Queen, and I have lived in Lothlorien with her and my people for many more years than you've been drawing breath," Elbren poked his sword towards the visitor. "So, who and what are you? Friend or foe? Step closer to the fire and let's get a look at you..."<BR><BR>"Elbren...do you think that's wise?" Carnimiriel said in Quenya.<BR><BR>Elbren cast her a quick glance as he stepped back, making a path for the newcomer to get closer to the fire.<BR><BR>"I don't know, all I know is if that's a Black Rider, then I'm a Halfling," he answered back in the same tongue.<BR><BR>"Black Rider or not, she said 'ringbearer', and I don't think that any of us used that particular kenning," Carnimiriel replied, still using Quenya and eyeing Shyne warily.<BR><BR>Elbren nodded...
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Postby Idril » Tue Mar 20, 2001 9:23 pm

There was a noise in the distance ... and an evil presence closing in on his location. Suddenly <i>Shadowfax</i> was there snorting at him. <i>"I am awake boy ... easy now. Let's hide here in the alcove of the rock wall and with a little magic we will not be seen"</i> says <b>Gandalf</b>. Gandalf quickly put out the fire and used magic to cover any signs that he had been there. Then he covered himself and Shadowfax using his staff and casting a spell to cause them to be invisible. <BR><BR>Suddenly overhead, the presence of the Nazgul, one of the most feared of Saruman's minion. They waited for him to pass but he seemed suspicious of something, turning and circling overhead ... but then moved on. That had been close and Gandalf decided that they should move on. Using the cover of darkness, he gathered his meager items together and prepared Shadowfax. <BR><BR><i>"We will continue our journey now if you will allow me to mount you friend."</i> Then he finished by bridling the horse and then placed his head to the horses and mumbled some words in an elven tongue long forgotten. Shadowfax neighed lowly and nuzzled Gandalf and then with a quick movement he was mounted and they were on their way to Rivendell.
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Postby Shyne » Wed Mar 21, 2001 7:20 am

<BR>"I can speak elven tongue" replies Shyne " And do not doubt Lady Galadriel sent me herself to help the elves in Rivendell. I've been around for awhile, and I've seen elves far and wide. I am not a Nazgul and do not worship the nameless. I have terrefic hearing, and a strong mind. So what is your choice? I will report back the the fair lady?"<BR>
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Postby Carnimiriel » Wed Mar 21, 2001 8:03 am

Carnimiriel, her hand still on her jewel, said under her breath,<BR><BR>"You are right, Elbren, this is certainly not one of the Nine, but there are other evils in the world and not all of them wear its face as obviously. It bothers me to hear our mission and that of the hobbit spoken of so openly by one whom we know not." She had been jolted suddenly out of sleep by Elbren's conversation with this unseen person, but she felt rested, though her nerves were now on edge. <BR><BR>Elbren nodded.<BR><BR>"But perhaps you know this person from Lorien? Let us ask the newcomer to step forward into the light, but let us be on our guard and keep our hands on our weapons."<BR><BR>Elbren agreed, and called out, "Whoever you are, step forward out of the shadows with both hands out so we may have a look at you."<BR><BR>Someone stepped forward into the hollow with both hands outstretched, bearing no weapon. As the firelight shone on the face of the stranger, Carnimiriel and Elbren studied this newcomer thoughtfully.<BR><BR>"Who are you and what do you know about our 'search' as you called it?" Carnimiriel said, her voice perhaps a bit colder than she intended it to be.
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Postby Elbren » Wed Mar 21, 2001 2:04 pm

Elbren nodded, making room for the visitor to move closer, though his sword was still drawn and his muscles were still tense.<BR><BR>"So you speak our language," Elbren continued in Quenya, "sit, if you will, and tell us more of yourself and your journey. I cannot think.." Elbren frowned as he studied her, "I have been in Rivendell since the Spring on an errand for the Lady, I was born in another land, but I have dwelled among the Galadrim for...thousands of mortal years. Yet, I do not remember you."<BR><BR>Elbren cast a quick glance at Carnimiriel, catching her eye and nodding to the fire.<BR><BR>Carnimiriel took a seat again next to the flames, coaxing them a bit with fresh wood and breath, as Elbren kneeled close by.<BR><BR>"I suppose names might be appropriate," Elbren continued, "mine is Elbren, son of Elbred. The Lady Carnimiriel and I are are on an errand for the Lord of Imladris, an errand that you seem to be familiar with...yet, as she has said, this matter is not spoken of so openly amongst our own people. The road is dangerous, but it is a road we mean to ride."
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Postby Carnimiriel » Thu Mar 22, 2001 6:34 am

Carnimiriel shivered involuntarily and drew her cloak more tightly around her, which is when she found she had another cloak layered over her own. Funny she hand not noticed that when she jumped up at the sound of the stranger's voice. Elbren must have covered her with it as she slept.<BR><BR>"That was thoughtful of Elbren." She thought to herself. Elladan would certainly not have done that, though she hoped maybe his opinion of her had been changed since he saw her use the jewel.<BR><BR>Mithrandir had warned her, on their journey to Imladris. "Elrond is among the wisest of the wise, and could teach you much about your jewel, as he is skilled in the lore of objects of power. He holds no grudge against your father or you on account of your father's mistake, but he does have a blind spot regarding what the role of a Lady should be. I understand completely; it grieves him more than most people know to be parted from Celebrian, and Arwen never leaves the valley without being under heavy escort. His sons may feel the same way, and are very protective of their sister."<BR><BR>Carnimiriel had nodded, sure that the advice of the old wizard was good.<BR><BR>"You may learn more of Glorfindel, who has no such bias. He is more of a strategist and will imediately see, as I did, the worth of putting you to work. Though I know you long to meet some of your father's kin, remember that this stay in Rivendell is no holiday. There are dark times ahead, and even Rivendell may need to be defended. It lies in a vulnerable spot."<BR><BR>Mithrandir had alluded often to these 'dark times', and she didn't dare ask him more about this. It wasn't until they reached Imladris and Mithrandir had been gone for a while on another errand when the message reached them about a hobbit bearing a 'great burden', and Glorfindel had seen fit to tell her about the Ring. <BR><BR>Mithrandir had been right about Elrond and his sons, though they certainly were very kind to her. She knew it rankled Elladan that she had been sent out with him, a Lady who was not experienced in the Wild. He tried not to show it, but she felt she had to be extremely careful with him. She thought that it was possible that when he left her with Elbren and volunteered to go on to Imladris himself, he was glad to be rid of her.<BR><BR>Perhaps Elbren would be different. She glanced at the elven Lord, his sword still pointed towards the stranger, his keen eyes focused, though his posture was a bit more relaxed now. She was surprised to feel herself blush faintly.
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Postby Shyne » Thu Mar 22, 2001 7:36 am

" You think wary of me" says Shyne " You think that the dark lord does not know your searching. Your not in the realm of Lothlorien. As you see I am of Lothlorien, and the Queen thinks highly of me. I do not fear the dark lord, because of my encounter. I was one of the elves who searched through Barad-dur, and I saw the dark lord. He is evil beyond a doubt, but I did not fear him. For a reason I do not know."<BR><BR>" I will go now, but I urge you that I will show you a few things...<BR>I will be around the area searching, I will leave but just cry Eleberth! and I will come. good-byE!"<BR><BR>And then he rode off...
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Postby Elbren » Thu Mar 22, 2001 9:46 am

Elbren finally sheathed his sword and sat by the fire, listening to Shyne tell his tale. He was an Elf of Lothlorien, though Elbren knew him not, but there was no mistaking his accent and what he knew of the Golden Wood. As dawn approached, Shyne took his leave while Elbren and Carnimiriel watched him ride away.<BR><BR>Elbren stood still for a moment as Shyne's horse disappeared into the brush, then he turned to the fire with a sigh.<BR><BR>"I know not what to make of that," he said quietly.<BR><BR>He felt Carnimiriel watching him, and he felt obliged to make some sort of decision, "I suppose we remain fast to the cause, M'lady, keep a wary eye as before and do what we can to aid the Halfling."<BR><BR>Elbren then walked to his horse and retrieved a leather pouch, sitting again by the fire. He took some lembas from the pouch, handed one to Carnimiriel, and began to chew thoughtfully, gazing into the flames.<BR><BR>She took the lembas with a smile of thanks, " I thank you for the use of your cloak," she said shyly.<BR><BR>Elbren's eyes left the flames and focused upon her, "Most welcome, it was a chilled evening."<BR><BR>He turned again to the flames, seeming to be debating something in his mind. The crisp September wind blew his silvery hair in wisps as his mind worked over the time since he had left Rivendell.<BR><BR>"Frodo is somewhere between us and Amon Hen," he finally said, looking again at Carnimiriel, "and, no doubt, the Black Riders know that as well. Why haven't they formed up as the full Nine and openly attacked him? They could easily overpower them, even if Aragorn is with them, perhaps not so easily, but in the end..."<BR><BR>Carnimiriel frowned, touching the jewel beneath her tunic, "Perhaps they are waiting."<BR><BR>Elbren nodded, looking at her and raising an eyebrow, "Aye, but for what? A sign? More aid?"<BR><BR>"You are the warrior," she said thoughtfully, "if the roles were reversed, why would you delay?"<BR><BR>Elbren crossed his legs, put his elbows on his knees and cupped his chin in his hands. "Hmm, why indeed..." He finally rubbed his chin and looked back at her, "I would be looking for the best attack site and for my forces to converge."<BR><BR>"Then let us think like them, if we can."<BR><BR>"The best spot would be Amon Hen," Elbren replied, "and if not there...then at the Ford. There's wide, open space between the road and the Ford, plenty of room for maneuver from horseback."<BR><BR>Elbren looked over at the Elven lady, studying her for a moment in such a way that Carnimiriel was unsure if he was looking at her or through her. He then sprang nimbly to his feet and began to break the camp, "Let us ride."<BR><BR>"Which way?" She asked, packing her things and untethering the horses.<BR><BR>"We will backtrack a bit on the road towards Amon Hen, try to determine safe passage for the Halflings, and mark them a way. That jewel," Elbren said, turning towards her as he prepared to mount his horse, "from your tale, I know you can use that, but what about your sword? For it might come to combat as well, are you skilled?"<BR><BR>Carnimiriel shrugged as she mounted her horse, "I can take care of myself, if need be."<BR><BR>"That's not what I meant," he said, swinging into his saddle and riding up next to her, "for the moment, we are a team, my life may depend upon your skills, and yours may depend upon mine. I'd like to know if I can turn my back and rest assured that you are covering it."<BR><BR>"You can rest assured, M'lord," she said a bit stiffly.<BR><BR>His face broke then into a sincere smile of delight, something she had not yet seen. He looked to the West, sizing up the day, and patted the neck of his horse, "I've not met many Elven ladies like yourself, Carnimiriel, ones that carry swords and jewels of power, but I am honoured to accompany you. Perhaps when we again rest in Rivendell, we can sit by the fire in the great Hall and truly enjoy each other's company. I would like to know more of your tale, if you will tell it, and perhaps I can tell you something of mine as well."<BR><BR>"Mithrandir thinks that such days are coming to a close, or at least an interruption," she said simply.<BR><BR>"Does he?" Elbren frowned, a shadow crossing his face, "well, that does not bode well." He shrugged, turned his horse towards the road and looked at her again, "In my home, the Golden Wood of Lothlorien, such dark times have not yet come...though the darkness creeps at our borders. Still, the darkness has not won and we hold it at bay as long as we have hope. There may yet be time for tales by the fire, M'lady."<BR><BR>He smiled again, clucked to his horse, and they rode slowly towards the Great Road..<BR><BR>
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Postby Carnimiriel » Thu Mar 22, 2001 10:30 am

Elbren and Carnimiriel rode west along the road, back towards Weathertop, where Elbren had seen the signs before that he had taken to mean Gandalf had been there. <BR><BR>Carnimiriel's eyes and ears were alert for any sound or sign of the enemy or the halflings, but her mind was pondering some of the things Elbren had said. She sincerely hoped she could, as she said, defend his back if need be. She had not had much experience with swordplay, but she was trying to recall everything Erestor had told her when she practiced with him. Putting her own life in danger, that did not bother her, but the thought that some mistake she might make would endanger someone else haunted her. Is that not what had happened to her father? It was on his watch that Celebrian had been abducted and Carnimiriel bore the guilt of that mistake as if it had been her own.<BR><BR>But Elbren seemed to trust her; why had he smiled like that? Was he eager for confrontation with the enemy? The thought of battle made her frankly sick to her stomach, though she was resigned to do what ever she must do. He was a very different companion from Elladan and she found she rather liked his company, though there was something about his presence that felt very confusing to her.<BR><BR>Driving these thoughts out of her head, she said, "Do you think Aragorn is with the halflings? I truly hope so. I have not yet met him but the Lady Arwen speaks of him often."<BR><BR>Elbren nodded. "I think, or maybe hope, that he is." He seemed to frown slightly, as if deep in some thoughts of his own.<BR><BR>They left the road and took the path towards the summit of Weathertop. The air was clear and warm, the only sounds they heard were that of birds and small animals in the brush. They did not talk much more, for they had to ride in single file, with Elbren leading the way.<BR><BR>Eventually they reached a hollow where Elbren knew the Rangers often camped. He dismounted and examined the ground closely. "Look!" He exclaimed. "Someone has been here since I was here before." He continued to study the ground carefully.<BR><BR>Carnimiriel dismounted and hung back a little, remembering Elladan's warning not to interfere with tracking. From her vantage point, she could not see exactly what Elbren was looking at, but she could see the footprints of many feet wearing heavy, probably metal, boots. Her heart sank.
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Postby Elbren » Thu Mar 22, 2001 1:56 pm

Elbren kneeled closer to the ground, studying an area out from the hollow where many footsteps, small ones, and a set of larger ones, booted, had trampled. There were faint signs of others there, but there were only faint traces of the presence. His heart was heavy as he continued to stare. Finally, he stood up and walked back to Carnimiriel.<BR><BR>"Well," he said, "someone has been here since Elrohir and I were." He pointed on the ground, "small feet, probably Halfling, and then a set of booted feet, a tall person, with them."<BR><BR>"Aragorn?" Carnimiriel inquired, following Elbren's line of sight.<BR><BR>"Yes, so says my heart," Elbren continued, "but out here," he carefully walked around the trampled area, Carnimiriel following at his gesture, and pointed to an area farther out from the camp hollow, "something else was here. Something moving in towards them, but look, the ground shows little sign of their passing, but from the other signs, it looks like the Halflings and Aragorn moved out to defend from them...or to greet them."<BR><BR>"I think the former, not the latter," she replied, squinting her eyes to see the faint marks to which Elbren pointed.<BR><BR>"And here," Elbren walked out a bit further yet, "someone fell. I wish to Iluvatar that I had Elladan's skills with scouting, so I cannot tell much, other than it was a Halfling, not a man, who fell."<BR><BR>Elbren turned to look at Carnimiriel, his eyes full of concern, "I do not think that they took him--the one who fell--for there is no signs of dragging or movement. It looks like whomever it was just laid here and then was lifted or helped up. No signs of struggle at all..."<BR><BR>The afternoon was drawing past noon, the breeze warmer than it should have been for a late September afternoon, and there they stood. <BR><BR>"There's no sign of Elrohir either," Elbren added as a quiet afterthought.<BR><BR>Elbren walked around a bit more, straying farther and farther away from the camp hollow, moving in a circle and trying to make sense of what he saw. Finally, he came trotting back to Carnimiriel, his face damp with sweat but a twinkle was in his eye.<BR><BR>"Horses were down below, tethered while they made their attack, only five, I think, so the Nine have not all gathered yet, that may serve us well," he said, almost smiling, "I think that Aragorn and the Halflings held them off, somehow, even though one of the Halflings may be wounded. Aragorn has covered their trail well, but he has a wounded Hobbit with him now, will he take the road or the wild?"<BR><BR>Elbren looked to Carnimiriel as if he expected her to answer, and indeed, the look in his eyes was one of indecision, but whether it was over Aragorn's chosen path or Carnimiriel herself, it would have been difficult to say. Then, something odd happened, for Elbren noticed the softness of her eyes and the sunlight dancing on her hair. His breath caught in his throat and the world seemed to lurch a bit.<BR><BR>Am I ill? He wondered foolishly, stepping back and running his hands through his damp hair. He nearly stumbled then on something hard and looked down.<BR><BR>A charred piece of wood. Fire wood. <BR><BR>Elbren looked over at the hollow some thirty feet away. He leaned down, studied it, and then picked it up.<BR><BR>"They fought them with fire," he said, looking again at his companion and holding out the burnt wood.<BR><BR>"Very brave," she said with wide eyes.<BR><BR>"They had precious little else to use," he mused, tossing the wood down again.<BR><BR>Elbren stood for a moment, staring at the road below them, his hands on his hips, his mind whirling with images. He stepped back so that he was side by side with Carnimiriel again.<BR><BR>"What say you to this, M'lady? If we try to pursue Aragorn and his company, with the wounded one, we may serve more to lead the Nine TO them than we would to aid them. What if we pursue the Riders? That is what they will least expect. Their path is clearer, for they are not hiding it at all, and we can probably overtake them well before we may even find signs of Aragorn."<BR><BR>Elbren's hand went subconsciously to his sword hilt as he asked for her counsel, his face turned towards her slightly.
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