Riders of Rohan (all people are welcome)

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Postby shieldmaidenofrohan » Tue May 24, 2005 7:15 pm

Ok, since I have no wish to remain story-less and thus incur the wrath of Lark :wink:, I wrote up something (decided to take advantage of my last free evening this week. :P ) So here's the story of why Rowyn decided to try to pass herself off as a guy in another eored. Just to let you know, this is a couple of years before our RP started, so she's around 17 or 18 at this time.

(A quick warning though: as is typical for me, it ended up being longer than I intended, and I didn't even really get to the good stuff. So feel free to skip it and/or throw things at me for being too long-winded. :roll: )

***
Rowyn glanced around the corner of the stable to see her father and Deorwine were standing by the paddock, too engrossed in their conversation to see her. With a sigh of relief, she hurried into the stable, certain that being around the horses would calm her troubled thoughts. Besides, she was supposed to clean a few of the stalls out before she went to prepare supper for her father and brother anyway.

She had just finished mucking out one of the mares’ stalls when a teasing voice said behind her, “I should have known you’d be hiding in here.” Rowyn jumped and whirled around, only to nearly strike her twin brother with the pitchfork she was holding. He jumped back just in time, a lopsided grin on his face as he added, “And I also should have known better than to sneak up on you, apparently.”

“Serves you right,” she said, smacking Haleth on the arm, but she smiled. “So what are you doing here?”

“Thought you might want some help, and I’m done working with the foals for today,” he answered. “Besides, it’s either this or try to listen in on Father, and I doubt he’d appreciate that.”

“They’re talking about me again, aren’t they?” Rowyn groaned.

“Afraid so,” Haleth answered, picking up a second pitchfork and beginning to spread clean bedding on the hard-packed dirt floor of the stall. “I think Deorwine is going to ask for your hand before much longer, ‘Wyn.”

“Wonderful,” she muttered, getting to work on a second stall.

“You don’t wish to marry him, then?” he asked. “Many of the girls around here would love to be in your place.”

“I know,” she said, sighing. “And he is a good man—he works hard, he’s never shown me anything but kindness, and I have no doubt he would treat me well. But I don’t want to marry him.” Her brother just gave her a level look, and she added, “It’s not even that I don’t love him, though I don’t. I just don’t want to have to spend the rest of my life keeping house and raising children for a man who’s twice my age. He’s almost as old as Father, Haleth!”

“I know.” The siblings worked in silence for awhile, until Haleth asked, “So what will you do, then?”

“I don’t know,” Rowyn answered quietly. “You’re lucky that you’re a man. You can do things that actually mean something, and no one cares if you marry or not.” She suddenly laughed and added, “Except for a few of the young ladies in town, of course.” Haleth threw a pitchfork-full of straw at her, and Rowyn just grinned in response, raising her own pitchfork, which was loaded with manure.

“All right, truce!” he quickly said, shaking his head.

Rowyn quickly grew serious again. “I’m really going to miss you, you know,” she said, dropping the dirty bedding into a nearby wooden barrow.

“I’ll miss you too, ‘Wyn. Who’s going to keep you out of trouble when I’m gone?”

“I should be asking you the same question,” she retorted.

“True,” Haleth said, laughing. “You know, if we hurry, I think we’d have enough time to get in some sparring before supper. I’ll help you with making the meal too, to make up for the time.”

“Really?” Rowyn asked, smiling brightly. Haleth nodded, and the two quickly got back to work.

---

The subject didn’t come up again for another week; Rowyn and her family were far too busy preparing for Haleth’s departure. He had just completed his training to be a Rider and had been assigned to one of the eoreds based in Edoras. The man in charge of training the new recruits for their village had been very pleased with his rapid progress, and proudly told the twins’ father that he had no doubt that Haleth would be reassigned to either the Prince’s or Lord Eomer’s eoreds before long. What neither the trainer nor their father knew was that part of the reason Haleth had progressed so quickly was that he got a great deal of extra practice in the evenings, working with his sister. It had been an ideal situation; Haleth was able to hone his skills in teaching Rowyn, and he felt better about leaving knowing that she’d be able to defend herself if necessary. Rowyn, who had always been interested in swordplay, enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with Haleth immensely and, as of late, found it a great way to relieve her increasing frustration with the Deorwine situation.

But finally, the time came for Haleth to leave. Rowyn and their father accompanied him to Edoras, then returned home. Two days later, Deorwine came to visit after the evening meal. Rowyn politely excused herself shortly after, saying she needed to visit the stables. But she hesitated outside the door, listening quietly.

“Your daughter seems sad,” Deorwine said. “She was being terribly quiet.”

“She is missing her brother. The two of them have always been close,” Heorl answered.

“I see.” There was a pause, then Deorwine asked, “Does she always spend so much time in the stables?”

“Rowyn’s always had a much greater interest in horses than housework,” Heorl said with a short laugh.

“I have to admit that will take some getting used to, a woman who knows her way around a stable better than a kitchen,” Deorwine said, laughing. “My mother never would have stood for that with my sisters.”

Heorl sighed audibly. “I’ve done the best I could, raising her and her brother alone, but I fear that I may have treated her too much like a son, especially in allowing her to help so much with the horses. I admit, I needed her help, and she does a good job. I had thought she would outgrow it, but she still does not seem to show any interest in the things the other young ladies do. Perhaps if her mother had not died so early…” his voice trailed off. “She needs to learn her place. She just needs time to get used to the idea of being a wife and mother, I think….”

Rowyn didn’t wait to hear any more, fleeing to the safety of the stables. Once inside, a barn cat rubbed against her legs, purring. She quickly stroked the cat’s head, then went to Wildfire’s stall. The chestnut stallion whinnied in recognition once he saw her, proceeding to nuzzle at her in hopes of a treat. “Nothing tonight, sorry,” she said, stroking his velvety nose. “But I can give you a good grooming.” She grabbed her curry-brush and stepped inside the stall, beginning to brush Wildfire’s coat.

“They talk about me like I’m a brood mare up for sale. What do you think of that, Wildfire?” she asked as she worked. The horse shook his head vigorously, snorting as if in protest. “Me, too,” she said. “This would be so much easier if I had been born a boy. Then I could just stay here with the horses, and I wouldn’t have to hide my sword in your stall…” her voice trailed off as she looked at the corner where she had hidden the sword underneath the hay. The sword had been her brother’s; before he left, her father had given him their grandfather’s sword, and Haleth had secretly passed the one he has used during his training on to Rowyn. She had heard earlier that a new group of young men were to begin their training shortly, near Dunharrow. “If I were a boy, I would just go there,” she said softly. “Then at least what I did would be worth something.”

Rowyn silently finished grooming Wildfire, then put the brush away and reached up to take the battered water-bucket down from its peg. She could see her distorted reflection in the beaten metal surface; her reddish-gold hair was falling loose from where she had tied it back at the nape of her neck, making it look much shorter than it was. Rowyn paused, then pulled the cord binding it back out, then gathering up her hair and experimentally twisting it up to make it look as if her hair were only shoulder-length. Perhaps it could work…an idea began to take shape in her mind, but she quickly dismissed it as madness, returning to her work.

When she finally went back to the house, Deorwine had left, thankfully. Rowyn said a quick good-night to her father, intending to go back to her room, when he said, “He did ask, Rowyn.”

“And what did you say?” she asked, trying to look as if she didn’t care, though her mouth went dry.

“I told him I would need to speak further with you about it,” he answered. Rowyn’s shoulders slumped in relief until he continued, “But I think it would be a good idea to accept.”

“I do not wish to marry him, Father,” she said, turning to face him.

“It is a good offer, Rowyn,” he replied.

“I know, but…” Her voice trailed off, as she realized that she did not have a convincing argument, other than her own wishes. “You still need me here, to help with the horses,” she finally said.

“I can hire someone to take your place. And Haleth will have leave in a few months,” he said.

“So that’s it, then?” she asked, quickly getting upset. “I like working with the horses. But it seems like whether I marry Deorwine or not, you’d rather have me doing nothing but keeping the house and cooking the meals!”

“Rowyn, you’re a grown woman now, and as such, there are certain things that are expected of you,” her father said. Rowyn stood there a moment, unable to come up with a response, then turned and went to her room. Then she lay down on her bed, feeling trapped.

She lay there for a long time, unable to sleep as she tried to figure out a way out of the betrothal. Finally, long after the house had fallen silent, she came to a decision. Rowyn silently opened a small chest. Underneath a saddlebag and a few things that had belonged to her mother, she had long kept some of her brother’s old clothing hidden; she usually wore that to practice in, since the breeches were easier to move in than even her split riding skirts. After stuffing all but one tunic and one pair of breeches into the saddlebag, she found an older, badly torn skirt of hers that she had never gotten around to mending and cut it into strips. She used these to wrap around her torso, hoping that between this precaution and the loose-fitting tunic, that it would conceal her figure. Then she quickly dressed, crept out of her room, grabbed some food and a water-skin, and left the house, shutting the door carefully behind her.

Once in the stable, she lit a small lantern, hoping her father would not waken and see the faint glow. Then she saddled Wildfire as quietly as she could and moved him out of the stall. There was only one thing left to do. She pushed the straw away from her sword’s hiding place, carefully brushing the chaff and dust off of the scabbard, before buckling it on underneath her cloak. She then drew the sword, the steel blade gleaming faintly in the flickering lantern-light. Wildfire grew restless at the sound, as did the other horses. “Easy,” she murmured, hoping to calm them, before gathering her hair into one hand and raising her sword to her shoulder. A moment later, it was done, and Rowyn shook her head, trying to get used to the weight missing from her now-shoulder-length hair. She buried the hair under the straw, blew out the lantern and returned it to its place, then led Wildfire outside and around to the side of the stable. He seemed to sense his mistress’s wish for secrecy, and made no sound as she mounted and walked the horse away, waiting until she was further out of earshot to spur him into a run.

Once she was safely away, she turned back to look one last time. The village was completely quiet, barely visible in the faint moonlight. After one moment’s hesitation, she reached up and fingered her hair again—there was no going back now, she realized. And though she knew she would not be able to keep up the deception forever, at least it would buy her some time. “I hope Father forgives me for this,” she said to Wildfire, before continuing on her way and disappearing into the darkness.
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Postby lark » Tue May 24, 2005 8:54 pm

Smor, your story was awesome!!! :) I know you have a busy week ahead of you, but you can’t leave us hanging like that for too long. Maybe you could give us the rest of the story in little installments. :)

The best part is now I don’t feel like my story was too long. :D

Wimsie, of course you can join us! :) Have a seat, grab an ale, or water, or tea or whatever you like. Share a story or just listen if you wish. :wink:
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Wed May 25, 2005 5:08 am

Smor, that was a beautiful story. Very well done, and I agree with Lark, you have left us hanging, which is a very good thing. That will keep us coming back to this thread, to see part two. :P :) It wasn't too long either.

Lark, I would never say I told you so. *coughItoldyousocough* :P


Dan
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Postby shieldmaidenofrohan » Wed May 25, 2005 5:46 am

Thanks, Dan and Lark! (And Lark, this is why I thought your story was actually kind of short. :roll: ) I'll try to continue with it when I get a free moment here and there.

And I forgot to say hi to Wimsie!! :woah: :doh: :bang: Hi, Wimsie!
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Postby whereismysam » Wed May 25, 2005 7:35 am

Thank you, Lark...I think I will help myself to some tea :D and just sit and listen to the stories for right now. Although I do think I might have one a bit later. I just need some time to get it all straight in my head =:)

Hi Smor! No head-whacking! What have I always told you about head-whacking?!?! :D And awesome story!
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Wed May 25, 2005 9:58 am

whereismysam wrote: I just need some time to get it all straight in my head =:)



My stories or RP posts are never straight in my head. If they were they would be much sharper. :P :roll:

That has to be the lamest one liner I have ever typed. :roll:

Looking forward to more on your story Smor, and for one from Wimsie.

Dan
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Postby Maranwe-Ar-Feiniel » Thu May 26, 2005 7:28 pm

Hullo, Whimsie!

A story...a story...What can a dredge up in my inoccent little mind? :twisted:

Aha! I think this would be about....um...Mara would be about twelve...Maybe thirteen...four or five years before the RP. I think, though I have not really emphasized it as much as I could, that Mara is really close to her horse, and I wanted to put a bit more with that.

Its kinda long...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mara whipped the final stitch into the spread, put the needle into the leather case, and took off. Today she was to get to pick a foal to have as her very own, to train, gentle, and ride, and there were many young foals in the pastures, all of breeding to make a king proud.

Rushing to her room, Mara changed from the long trailing skirt to a knee leangth tunic and breeches, pulled her hair into a braid, and started to dash out side, when her Father, Folca, called her.

"Mara, have you seen Caranaranel?"

Skidding to a halt on the smooth stone pavers, Mara shook her head. "No, I have not been out all morning. Is she not in the paddock?"

"No. The top rail has been knocked off. I think she may have jumped it."

"Jumped? She's in her eleventh month. Why would she try to escape?"

"I am not sure, but the fact that she is in her eleventh month is what worries me. A storm is coming, and the air feels like it carries the bite of snow."

Mara knew what that meant. The foal, and the mare could both easily be lost. Caran was a delicate mare, of Elvish breeding, and the strain of foaling could kill her, and she was the main brood mare of her fathers farm. She was as well bred as a mearas.

Soon they were out together, her father on his ebony black stallion, and Mara on an older chestnut gelding. Tracks led out towards the Forest, and Mara held back slightly. Folca turned when he noticed her hesitation.

"Are you frightened?"

Mara nodded. The trees leaned over the plains menacingly, their bare boughs rattling in the November wind.

"Come, there is naught to be afraid of." Folca rode back and caught her bridle. " The forest looks enough like an enemy, and may be to those coming for wood, but we have nothing to fear. You mother stayed here for a time, by herself, so I think it is not so bad."

Mara nodded, and allowed herself to be led along. They passed into the edge, when the storm struck. Snow was driven through the branches, but by the time that they had penetrated through the edge of the wood, and into the interior, the branches were too thick for the snow. They stopped in a small glade, at the base of a hill where a firery red horse lay on its side, panting and sweating in the falling snow.

"Caran!" Mara dismounted and stumbled over roots and rocks in her efforts to get to the mare.
The foal lay almost out, but the mare did not push, and then, to Mara's horror, it started to slip back in.
"Father! What's wrong?"

The experienced horseman stepped in. "Shes too tired. Grab the forefoot!"
He took the foals left side, and Mara took the right. The mare panted, and father and daughter heaved as though their lives depended on it. Caran grunted, and, as it seemed, gave a final heave with all her strength, and the foal slid out, to lay on the ground, wet and dark.

Mara hastened back to the horses, to find something to rub the two down with. Catching up a cloth from the saddlebag, she ran back up the hill.
Her father was gravely examining the foal.
"She won't make it. Shes too tired, too cold."
"She must, though!"
He shook his head. "I might, but the mare needs all my care."

"I'll take care of her, then." Mara started to vigoriously rub her stffining little legs, praying all the while that the tiny filly maight make it.
"Eru, please!"
A weak nicker broke off her prayers. She filly raised its head, and tried to stand.
"should I let her?"
"'t'would probably be the best thing."
By this time he had the mare on her feet, and the filly nosed her way to the full teats, suckling noisly. Father and daughter smiled at each other, and then the sun broke through the sombre clouds, sending a single ray shining down on the filly, who, suprised by it, kicked up her heels.
"Look, father! She dances in the sun!"
He smiled. "so she does....Would you like her for your horse?"
Mara had forgotten about the promised horse. She gazed happily at the foal. "Yes, I think I would....And I'll name her, in mothers tongue, Sunlit Spirit, Are Fea."
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Postby shieldmaidenofrohan » Thu May 26, 2005 7:55 pm

That's sweet, Mara. :) I like it.

Oh, and Lark and Dan-- working on continuing mine. *runs off and scribbles furiously*
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Postby shieldmaidenofrohan » Thu May 26, 2005 8:57 pm

This is not a DP!! :D But I finished part 2. So here it is. I should be able to finish this off in one more post, I think. :roll: still too long-winded for my own good.

----
It was late in the afternoon on the second day before Rowyn found the camp. She had figured that if she followed the Snowborne down into the mountains, she should be able to find Dunharrow easily enough, and, sure enough, as she rode Wildfire down into the valley, she could see a small encampment set up, with people milling around.

She could see a couple of odd glances directed her way as she dismounted, holding Wildfire tightly by the reins as she looked for whoever was in charge. Finally, a man with graying hair walked up to her, giving her an appraising look. “You look lost, lad,” he said.

“I…I’m looking for the Captain, sir,” she stammered.

“Well, you’ve found him,” he said, grinning. She could hear a couple of snickers from the men behind him. “How can I help you?”

“I wish to join for the training, sir,” she answered. The laughs grew louder, and she glared at the men behind him.

The captain rubbed at his beard thoughtfully. “You look a little young. How old are you?”

“Fifteen summers, sir,” she answered, glad that the journey had been uneventful enough that she had been able to come up with a story.

“Usual age to begin this type of training is seventeen,” he said. “You should go back home, lad. Finish your basic training there, and come back in a few years.”

“I have no home, sir,” Rowyn answered, frowning. “Not anymore.”

“Sounds like a runaway,” one of the men called out. The captain motioned for him to be quiet, then asked, “Where are your parents?”

“They're dead,” Rowyn said. “My mother died when I was very young, and my father died in a riding accident a few weeks ago.”

“I see.” He paused, then asked, “And you have no other family?”

“A brother, sir,” she said without thinking. Then, to cover her slip, she added, “He’s older than me, and he’s riding with his eored now.” At least that part was true, she thought before adding, “I have nowhere else to go, sir. My father and brother trained me well; I can fight.”

He looked at her thoughtfully. “What’s your name, lad?”

“Edric,” she answered.

“All right, then, Edric, we’ll let you stay for a few days and see what you can do,” he finally said.

“Thank you, sir!” Rowyn said, smiling brightly.

“That’s ‘Captain’, lad. Captain Gaermund.” He then turned to the men behind him and added, “Guthlaf, take the boy over to the supply tent and see that arrangements are made for where he shall stay. And see that his horse is taken care of.”

“Yes, Captain,” replied a man with a thick golden beard and a scar running down one side of his face. “Hurry up, lad,” he added, turning to Rowyn. “I’d like to get you settled before the evening meal.”

“Yes sir,” she said, taking Wildfire’s reins and falling into step behind him as he walked briskly through the encampment. Rowyn was quite aware of the odd and sometimes amused glances she received from the other cadets, and was relieved when he finally stopped in front of a large canvas tent.

“Well, Edric, I suppose you did not bring a tent with you?” Guthlaf asked. Rowyn shook her head. “What about armor?”

“N..no, sir,” Rowyn stammered, her face reddening slightly. She hadn’t even thought of bringing any gear of war beyond her sword.

“Well, that won’t do,” Guthlaf said, looking somewhat amused. “We’ll go to the armorer’s first then, and then see what we can do about your sleeping arrangements.” Rowyn nodded.

It was not long before Rowyn had been supplied with a shield, a helm, and various pieces of leather armor—less of a burden on the horses than metal, Guthlaf had explained to her. She had even gotten some gear for Wildfire. Once her horse had been picketed with the other horses and left to graze, Rowyn awkwardly carried her bundle of gear in her arms while trying to balance her saddlebag on her shoulder, as Guthlaf approached a small cluster of young men. Guthlaf had to be an officer of some type, she decided; the cluster quickly broke apart and the men stood at attention as he approached.

“All right, lads,” Guthlaf called out to them, “this is Edric. He’s going to be joining us here for awhile, so I’ll need you to show him the ropes.” The cadets eyed her curiously, and Rowyn shifted her weight, feeling rather uncomfortable. “He’ll also need a place to sleep tonight—do any of you know if there are any tents left?”

Rowyn opened her mouth to say she could just sleep outside, but before she could speak one of them spoke up, saying, “Leofwine has a tent to himself—he could stay in there.” The young man in question shot a questioning look over to the one who had spoken, but he ignored it.

“Very well. I will take my leave then.” Guthlaf turned and walked away, leaving Rowyn standing there with an armful of gear and several pairs of eyes on her. There were about five men there, all of whom were a good bit taller than her.

One of them, a broad-shouldered youth with pale blond hair, finally broke the awkward silence. “I didn’t know they were allowing Halflings to train here now,” he said with a smirk.

Rowyn scowled, but before she had a chance to reply, a red-haired man jumped in and said, “Look at him—not even the slightest trace of a beard yet.”

A third man, who had darker golden hair, rubbed at his goatee and shot back with a grin, “He’s still young though, Alric. What’s your excuse?” The others burst out laughing, and Alric gave him a friendly punch on the arm. Rowyn forced a nervous smile, already beginning to rethink her choice to come here.

“Quiet one, isn’t he?” the first one asked. “Can you talk, boy?”

“Of course I can talk!” Rowyn blurted out indignantly. “And you don’t have to talk about me like I’m not here.”

“Relax, lad,” the one they had called Leofwine said, giving her a reassuring smile as he pushed his fair hair out of his eyes. “This is normal treatment for the new recruits. You’ll get used to these orcs soon enough.”

Alric rolled his eyes. “You’re one to talk, Leofwine! And I don’t know about you, but I’m starving. Can’t we finish this over supper?” The others quickly voiced their agreement, and Rowyn soon found herself practically dragged behind the small group to the cookfires.

After they had grabbed wooden bowlfuls of a thick stew, along with hunks of bread, the rest of the group introduced themselves to her. Besides Leofwine and Alric, the pale-haired man was Freomund, the man with the goatee was Maldred, and the fifth man, who had surprisingly dark hair that seemed to indicate some Gondorian blood, was Brychan. Shortly after, they seemed to forget her presence, talking loudly amongst themselves, which was fine with Rowyn. The less talking she had to do, the less likely she was to give herself away. So she sat there silently, content to listen to the stories they were trading, until Maldred suddenly jabbed her in the ribs. “What’s the matter, Edric? Are we boring you to sleep?” he asked with a grin.

Rowyn still didn’t have a chance to answer before Alric jumped in and said, “He reminds me of you when you were his age, Maldred, except he apparently knows when to keep his mouth shut!” The others laughed at this; even Brychan, who had been nearly as silent as Rowyn, cracked a smile. Rowyn looked over at Leofwine, who was sitting on her other side, and asked quietly, “Are they always like this?” nodding towards Maldred and Alric.

“From what I’ve seen so far, they’re usually worse,” Leofwine answered with a smirk. He would have said more, but Gaermund stood up, calling out in a voice loud enough for them all to hear, “All right, everyone to their tents! Tomorrow we’ll be working on archery again, and from what I saw today, we’ll need to get an extra-early start.” There was a collective groan from all the young men, then they slowly began to scatter. Leofwine grabbed her arm. “Come on, Edric. I’ll show you where the tent is.”

Rowyn picked up her bundle of armor and saddlebag, and followed him. “I don’t want to intrude,” she said timidly. “If you can just show me somewhere to put my gear, I can sleep outside.”

Leofwine laughed. “No need for that, boy. Besides, from what I’ve heard about the later training, you should enjoy having some shelter while you still can.”

“But…” Leofwine motioned towards one of the small canvas tents, cutting off her protest as he said, “Captain’s orders. And I promise I won’t try to play any pranks on you while you sleep. I don’t think you’d be able to get the same assurance from a few of the others.” Rowyn had no choice but to enter the tent, propping her saddlebag against one of the canvas walls as she untied her bedroll. She was glad that it was dark so that Leofwine couldn’t see how red her face was getting—she hadn’t even considered the possibility of having to share a tent with one of the men when she had made this plan. Her blush deepened even further when Leofwine pulled his tunic off and stretched out on his own bedroll, and she quickly averted her eyes, turning so that her back was to him as she lay down. After wishing her a good night, Leofwine’s breathing quickly grew slower and more even, but Rowyn lay awake much longer than that, realizing that perhaps she had gotten herself in way over her head. But she relaxed a little when she remembered that she had gotten through the initial test—she was in the camp, and there had been no indication that anyone realized she wasn’t what she appeared to be. With the tiny hope that perhaps she could pull this off after all, she finally closed her eyes and went to sleep.
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Postby lark » Fri May 27, 2005 6:16 am

Great story Mara. :) That was really sweet.

Smor, you could write a book! :) I’m so glad Leofwine only took his tunic off. :shock: :P

Awesome Stories!!!!! :D

I’ve been trying to come up with another. J_F has had some ideas, but the poor things just been to busy to post much. Maybe I’ll have him tell his stories to me and I’ll post them. :wink:
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Fri May 27, 2005 6:31 am

Mara, that was a great story about your's character's horse. Good job.

Smor, awesome story. I am thoroughly engrossed in it now. I have to agree with Lark too, nice touch.

Lark, that is ok. Post one when you can.

Dan
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Postby shieldmaidenofrohan » Fri May 27, 2005 7:47 am

lark wrote:I’m so glad Leofwine only took his tunic off. :shock: :P


Well, I have a strict policy of keeping my writing PG, except for the occasional PG-13 for battle violence. :wink:

I hope you can get another story up, Lark, or get one of J_F's down. I bet those would be really funny. :lol:
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Postby whereismysam » Fri May 27, 2005 7:49 am

My muse was kind enough to give me a bit of inspiration which I might be able to transpose into an actual story :) I gave a bit of a hint about it in the RP thread the other day...

Smor, excellent story!!! :D:D:D :rofl::rofl::rofl: Leofwine with his shirt off coming from you... :shock::shock: ;)

Mara! Wonderful story! :D:D:D
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Postby shieldmaidenofrohan » Fri May 27, 2005 7:57 am

whereismysam wrote::D:D:D :rofl::rofl::rofl: Leofwine with his shirt off coming from you... :shock::shock: ;)


Hey! You'll notice I didn't go into any detail, other than being horribly embarrassed over the entire thing. Which I would probably be anyway. :blush: So :thppt: to you. :D

Yeah! Write a story!! If nothing else, we could always come up with one later about Elwing and Rowyn ganging up on Elrosar or something... :angel:
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Fri May 27, 2005 11:53 am

shieldmaidenofrohan wrote:
Yeah! Write a story!! If nothing else, we could always come up with one later about Elwing and Rowyn ganging up on Elrosar or something... :angel:


I saw that. :nono:

*Throws a mudpie at Smor and Wims for plotting evil things against me.*

:P

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Postby whereismysam » Fri May 27, 2005 12:16 pm

*ducks the Mudpie*

:thppt::thppt::thppt::thppt:

=:):twisted:=:):twisted:=:):twisted:=:):twisted:=:):twisted:
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Postby lark » Fri May 27, 2005 8:27 pm

*catches mudpie in the face that was intended for Wimsie, and turns angrily toward Dan.* :x

Can’t you behave yourself? :evil: Go write a story or something! :P

Okay, this is a continuation of the last story about Ranthim and Lark. It’s a little dark in my opinion. Some of it came from J_F. In other words, any part you don’t like is J_F’s fault. :P :P :P Oh, and this one’s even longer then the last. :roll:

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Deeper into the woods the two rode, until the sun light was blocked out almost entirely. Lark felt quite fearful of the forest, but Ranthim seemed so at ease, she decided to trust that he knew what he was doing and where he was taking them. She allowed him to ride in front, controlling Viggo‘s direction.

“This is an interesting horse you have.” He said at last. “Not what I would expect form Rohan, but still a fine animal. My people have long bought their breeding stock from your land, but I’ve never seen them come back with an animal like this.”

Lark had the distinct feeling that he was teasing her. “Viggo was sired by my Grandfather’s old warhorse. His dam was my Father’s best plow mare. He may seem a bit slow, but he is fearless.” She said defensively.

Catching the tone of her voice, he turned back to smile at her. “Don’t worry. I’m not so foolish as to insult the horse of a maiden of Rohan.”

She relaxed a bit, and decided to do a little questioning of her own. “If we’re to be married, perhaps we should know more about each other.”

“What would you like to know?”

“Well…I’ll admit that I’ve had little contact with elves in the past, but I must say, you don’t look at all like the elves I’ve seen before. I mean, you have the ears, but…”

“Yes, I do stand out a little, don’t I.” He said proudly running his hand over the stubble on his chin. “I’m of a mixed lineage.”

“You’re not a full blooded elf?” Lark said a little surprised. It made sense now that he said it, but she hadn’t thought of it before. “Are you half human?”

“No actually. My Father was a dwarf…none other then the Black Dwarf Bladdathor, son of Gladabag, the scourge of Drengist.” He said dramatically, then glanced back to see her reaction.

“A dwarf!?” Lark said in disbelief. She had no idea who Bladdathor, or Gladabag were, and she wasn’t even sure where Drengist was, but the fact that he could be half dwarf and half elf shocked Lark to her foundation. “You’re half dwarf? But how? I thought…”

“That dwarves and elves hate each other? They do, for the most part. It seems my Father came upon my Mother, Anna Nicolien, as she was practicing looking mournful, deep in the forest. I was born shortly there after.” He said smiling broadly, as if it had been some great achievement of his.

Lark paused, choosing her words carefully. “You mean, your Mother…wasn’t a willing participant?”

Now it was Ranthim’s turn to pause. “You know, I’m not sure. I’ve never asked her, and she never speaks of it. The elvish council, however, thought it a terrible abomination, and hunted long for my Father to carry out a death sentence, but never found him. There were those who were in favor of destroying the child as well, but my Mother had friends on the council, and she was allowed to raise me.” He turned to look at her with a serious expression. “You should know, I am not a favorite in Thranduil’s court.”

Lark nodded trying to let it all soak in. “So your Father could still be alive?” She tried to hide the fear in her voice, but the thought of having someone known as The Scourge of Drengist for a father-in-law didn’t sound good.

“I’m quite sure he’s dead by now. Dwarves just don’t live that long.”

“And how old are you?” Lark asked, knowing that dwarves were quite long lived.

Ranthim shrugged. “I’ve been around for as long as I can remember. You can ask my Mother when you meet her, if you like.”

Lark was about to answer, when Ranthim suddenly pulled Viggo to an abrupt halt and signaled Lark to keep silent. “Do you hear that?” He whispered at last.

Lark shook her head, not hearing anything but the normal sounds of the forest.

“Spiders.” He whispered. “They’re further south then normal…sounds like they’ve caught something…lets check it out.” He slid silently from Viggo’s saddle and Lark followed as quietly as she could. They kept low, moving through the brush, until Ranthim gestured for Lark to look through an opening in the undergrowth. There in a little clearing, was an enormous spider. Bigger then anything Lark had ever seen. It was wrapping something up slowly with silk. Muffled screams could be head from within.

Lark turned to Ranthim and whispered. “You’ve got to do something.”

“Why?” Came Ranthim’s response.

“That monster has someone, and it’s going to kill him.”

Ranthim shrugged. “It’s nobody I know.” Lark shot him a look that showed she was not going to be dissuaded. He sighed, rolling his eyes, then pulled his bow off his back. Expertly, he strung it and pulled taught the string, not letting the arrow hang on his arm for more then an instant before it whistled away, and drove deep into it’s target. The mighty spider screamed and writhed with pain for a moment, before drawing it’s twitching legs up to it’s hideous body and then lay still. Lark rushed out to help the spiders victim, not noticing that Ranthim stayed back, still concealed in the underbrush.

Avoiding the great spider as much as possible, she pulled a dagger from her belt and started sawing through the tough cords. The man emerged from the spiders web coughing and gasping for air. Lark cut the rest of the cords from his feet, then laying a hand on his shoulder, spoke with concern. “Sir, are you hurt?”

The man took a deep breath, recovering for a moment. Then with a swift motion, he jerked the dagger from Lark’s hand, and had her pinned to the ground with the blade pressed to her throat. “Thanks for the rescue, Milady.” He said with an evil grin on his dark face. “But, I-”

His response was cut short by the arrow that was suddenly protruding from his throat. He fell to the ground, away from Lark, clawing madly at the projectile in his death throws. Lark staggered to her feet, gasping with fright and stumbled into Ranthim who had just come out of the undergrowth, bow still in hand. “You!…He!…”She gasped, trying to put the words together. “You killed him!”

“Yes.” Ranthim said, looking down at the man’s body, still twitching on the ground. “I’m afraid few people of good intention come through Mirkwood these days. I should have warned you.”

“But…but, you killed him!” Lark said again.

Ranthim looked at her pale face, and suddenly understood. “You’ve never seen another person be killed before, have you.”

Lark shook her head, still in shock. “I grew up on a farm…I couldn’t even watch Father slaughter pigs…I can’t believe you just…just…I think I’m going to be sick!” Lark said suddenly.

Ranthim turned his head politely as Lark proceeded to Summon the Earl. After giving her a moment, he spoke to her again, gently. “Lark, what did you do on the farm if a fox got into the henhouse?”

Lark took a deep breath then answered in a shaky voice. “You have to hunt it down and kill it, or it will come back and kill all the chickens. But he was no fox.” She added looking again at the still body of the dark man.

“No he wasn’t. But, you, my dear, are no hen either.” He took her gently by the arm and started leading her away.

“Should we at least bury him?” She asked, glancing back.

“The roots here are far too thick, besides, there will be no need.” already his sharp eyes had caught the shadow of creatures slinking about in the brush, eager to dispose of the bodies of both the man and the spider.

As they reached Viggo and remounted, Ranthim changed the subject. “It will take us a couple of days to reach the elvish stronghold in the north, I think I should spend some of that time teaching you to defend yourself. Have you a sword?”

“No, only my dagger.” she said wincing a little at the memory of the man’s face as he had held her own blade at her throat.

“Tomorrow I will fashion a quarter staff for you and start training you to use it. You could probably use a bow too.” He said, going over in his mind all he would need to properly equip her for life in the forest. “It’s getting late now though. We’ll stop and make camp soon.” Glancing back, he saw the look on Lark’s face and laughed. “Don’t worry, my dear. Separate sleeping quarters until we’re married. I promise.”

Lark sighed with relief. Already the day had been far more eventful then she had expected. All she wanted now was a good meal, and a quiet nights sleep.
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Postby Maranwe-Ar-Feiniel » Fri May 27, 2005 9:04 pm

Poor Lark. :lol:

Glad you liked the story....In the long story I am trying to write, the foal is born in the stable, nice and warm and comfy....And Mara does not have that much to say about life befor her parents death....Prehaps I should re-write it. I like what I just pop off the top of my head.
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Postby shieldmaidenofrohan » Sat May 28, 2005 5:48 am

Lark- wasn't expecting you to continue this! But I'm glad you did. I don't mind that it's darker this time either--I mean, it can't be all fluffy bunnies and stuff if you're in Mirkwood, right? :P

Gotta run-- graduating in a few hours! :happydance:
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Postby lark » Sat May 28, 2005 7:36 am

CONGRATULATIONS SMOR!!!!!!!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
:happydance: :happydance: :happydance: :happydance: :happydance: :happydance:

I know this is the wrong thread for it, but prayers for your happy graduation! :hug:

Fluffy bunnies. :rofl:
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Sat May 28, 2005 1:24 pm

Lark, great story. I loved it. Anna Nicolian: lol

Smor, congrats again on graduating grad school.

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Postby Maranwe-Ar-Feiniel » Sat May 28, 2005 7:24 pm

Fluffy bunnies of Mirkwood? I just had some interesting visions of vampir bunnies :shock: :shock: .....my imagination is active......VERY active :wink:
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Postby shieldmaidenofrohan » Sat May 28, 2005 8:09 pm

Mara- you mean something like this? :D
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Postby lark » Sun May 29, 2005 8:23 am

I want one! :D

Now I’m going to have to write something about killer bunnies in Mirkwood. :twisted: :P
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Sun May 29, 2005 5:47 pm

lark wrote:I want one! :D

Now I’m going to have to write something about killer bunnies in Mirkwood. :twisted: :P


Someone save us please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:P

Run away! Run away!

:P

:D

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Postby shieldmaidenofrohan » Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:28 pm

Ok, I've been working on my story-thing, and it's still turning out to be longer than I expected. So I'm just going to post what I have in smaller bits while I finish it off. So here's a little more.

No killer bunnies of Mirkwood. Sorry if I disappointed anyone. :wink:

---

By the afternoon of the next day, Rowyn was almost certain that she really was in over her head, after all. The chores she had done on a daily basis on her father’s horse farm seemed suddenly easy in comparison with the rigors of the unfamiliar training. It didn’t help, of course, that the entire morning had been spent on archery. She had never even attempted to use a bow before, so her first attempts at shooting it were quite clumsy and she was quite grateful when Brychan, who was one of the better archers of the group, offered to help her. Even so, she was quite relieved when the captains declared they’d spend the rest of the afternoon working on hand-to-hand combat. Though she was not fighting, at the moment, as the various pairs were taking turns, Rowyn watched the others intently, hoping she might learn something she could use in her own practice. Freomund and Maldred waited with her while Leofwine and Brychan worked together, but they seemed much more interested in taunting the man who was sparring with Alric.

“You fight like a woman, Cynewulf,” Maldred called out, laughing as the tall, broad-shouldered young man looked up to glare at him darkly, allowing Alric the time to whack him across the ribs with his wooden practice sword.

“Yes, I’d wager even the holbytla here could do better than that!” Freomund added, slapping Rowyn lightly on the back.

Rowyn scowled; besides Freomund’s tendency to refer to her as a Halfling just because she was shorter than them, Maldred’s comment about Cynewulf’s fighting abilities was really irritating her, particularly since she could not risk saying anything to the contrary. “Leave me out of this,” she muttered.

Much to her dismay, Cynewulf looked her up and down, then grinned. “I’ll take that wager,” he said. “What do you say, Freomund? When I win, I get your share of the sausage tomorrow morning?”

“Sounds good to me—I can taste that sausage already,” Freomund answered with a smile. “Alric, give Edric your sword, would you?”

Rowyn looked from Cynewulf back to Freomund in alarm. “You can not be serious,” she whispered to him. “He’s twice my size!”

“Just think of him as a big, slow orc and you’ll be fine,” Freomund replied, waving her off.

“You forgot ugly,” Maldred added with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Cynewulf scowled at him, his dislike for Maldred clearly showing on his face.

Alric handed the wooden sword to Rowyn, then looked over at Maldred. “Shall we make a wager of our own? I’ll have to place my bet on the giant though.”

Maldred grinned at Rowyn. “Loser has to give the winner his ale at supper tonight. And I’m very much looking forward to taking Alric’s share, so don’t let me down, boy.”

“My apologies, Edric, and it has been a pleasure to know you,” Alric added. Rowyn groaned silently as he shoved her to her feet; they weren’t helping at all.

“Don’t worry, I’ll try my best not to be too hard on you, boy,” Cynewulf said as she stumbled to a stop in front of him, shaking his blond hair out of his eyes. “But I can’t take any responsibility for it if I hurt you; it would be your own fault, thinking you can train with the men when you’re obviously too young to have left your mother.”

“My mother is dead,” Rowyn said through gritted teeth; it was too sore a point for her to attempt a witty response.

“My apologies,” Cynewulf said smoothly. “I suppose we had best get this over with then.” And with that, he swung his sword at her, and Rowyn just barely managed to jump back in time. Cynewulf laughed, adding, “And here I was hoping you’d make up for in courage what you lack in height.” Rowyn scowled again; suddenly, though he stood a good head and shoulders taller than her, the idea of striking at him was beginning to have more appeal. She tightened her grip on the wooden hilt, and this time she blocked him. She could feel the impact all the way into her shoulder as the wooden swords cracked together sharply, but managed to hold onto her weapon.

She quickly realized that until he tired himself out some, there would be no way she could even try to fight back. So she continued to dodge and block his blows as best as she could, but made no move to attack him, even when his sword hit her. Her friends were beginning to grow restless at this display, apparently; she could hear Freomund and Maldred egging her on, shouting at her to start hitting him back, but ignored them. Cynewulf seemed to be getting frustrated as well; the blows came harder, and she was finding it harder to block.

But it was not much longer before Rowyn realized her strategy was working; Cynewulf was slowing down, and his blows were growing weaker. She began fighting back then. After a few of her sword thrusts actually hit him, he began to look angry, his sword swinging around more wildly. Finally, he swung the sword high, seemingly intending to strike her in the shoulder; Rowyn quickly dropped down into an almost-crouching position, swinging one of her feet out to catch him behind the ankle, then jerking as hard as she could. Cynewulf lost his balance, falling flat on his back, and in an instant, Rowyn had the tip of her wooden sword pressed against his throat as he just stared up at her, stunned. Rowyn pulled her sword back, stepping away from him.

A moment later, Maldred and Freomund were next to her, cheering loudly. Alric came over a moment later, grumbling good-naturedly about losing the bet, but he grinned at her. Cynewulf, however, did not seem to take it so well. “You need to learn to fight fair,” he complained as he sat up, looking at her darkly.

Rowyn swallowed hard, not sure how to respond. Thankfully, Freomund jumped in, saying, “And had you really been an orc, what advantage is there in fighting fairly? They don’t have any idea what ‘fair’ means.”

Cynewulf’s expression grew darker as he stood up and brushed himself off. “You’ll regret this, boy,” he shouted.

Maldred ignored the threat, calling out cheerfully as Cynewulf retreated, “Told you that you fight like a woman!” Rowyn couldn’t help grinning to herself as the men began to drag her towards Leofwine and Brychan to tell them of her victory. Fights like a woman, indeed, she thought. If they only knew.
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Postby Elladan_Elfhelm » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:12 am

Smor, wonderful story. Its great, and I can't wait for the next chapter. Great job. :thumbsup:

Dan
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Postby lark » Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:14 am

Awesome Smor! :D Keep them coming!

I’m about half done with the third and final installment of the Ranthim and Lark story (killer bunny and all :wink: ) but my muse suddenly fell asleep. *sigh* Maybe it’ll wake up later. :roll:

Isn’t anyone else going to tell stories? I love these character backgrounds. I think it will make the RP much more realistic considering that if our characters really had spent so much time together these are all stories they might have told each other. :)

Dan or Wims…maybe a story about young Elrosar and Elwing would be fun. :wink:
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Postby whereismysam » Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:21 am

Nice job with all the stories, everyone! I have an idea for one, but have been overwhelmed with RL lately as most of you all know.

So until then...

*sits back and sips more tea*

*realizes she doesn't have the luxury of sitting back or sipping tea, so she frantically runs around like a Nazgul with its head chopped off and grabs the nearest IV and hooks it up to the coffee pot*
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Postby shieldmaidenofrohan » Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:26 am

*spikes Wimsie's coffee with chocolate* Now you have mocha!

And yeah, she has a story idea. She already told me. :D I'm pretty close to finishing the next part of mine, so guess I'll go work on it.

Lark, looking forward very much to the killer bunnies. :twisted: And I'm thinking that since so many of our people have been gone, that's why there aren't many stories at the moment. Maybe now that they're starting to come back you'll get your wish. :)
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