The Valley of Shantau - See OOC first

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

Postby Tanith » Sun Aug 04, 2002 7:56 pm

<i>Arising from the North<BR>It shall burn like fire<BR>Clench the heart with a fist of cold<BR>Draw the mind into depths of darkness<BR>Torturing all<BR>Death, to behold</i><BR><BR>It had long been rumoured, in stories of old, whispered by the wise and scribed by the knowledgeable. And now, like a blanket of darkness, the affects of the plague had begun to sweep the realms, a contagion so fierce it could distort a man’s mind and set him upon those closest to him. So many had flown into blind rages, and fallen victim to the horrible onslaught of the dreaded <i>‘Grelorn’.</i><BR>Where would the horror stop?<BR><BR>The mountain ranges of Erid-luin rose strong and picturesque against the small town of Beredhirn, as if to protect the inhabitants from the nightmare engulfing the outside world. But alas, not a ten-day ago the first few townspeople had fallen to its wrath. The death of Hal the Innkeep, and the murder of his young daughter Shena had hit hard upon those of the area, and was clearly noticeable in Brenna, Hal’s wife, now tending to the <i>Firefly Inn</i> on her own.<BR>Seated alone at the bar, Tanith assessed the middle-aged woman and felt once more the cold pang of empathy within her chest. Brenna seemed to have gained years to her age in a matter of days, she looked utterly exhausted and indeed she must be, if only emotionally. Her hair hung limp, as did her once youthful features, and she seemed to exist within a world of her own, hardly noticing her customers but serving them with quiet doggedness.<BR>Tanith let out a heavy sigh, swallowing deep and letting her head fall upon her tanned forearm on the bar-top. <i>Something must be done. The Valley of Shantau.</i> The thought nagged at her more earnestly with every passing day. How long would it be before she herself fell victim? She let her deep-green eyes droop closed painfully, reminding herself sternly, <i>it wouldn’t matter, you have no loved ones, no family to endanger</i>. They are lost to you. Shrugging off painful memories of old, the youthful half-elf righted herself, pulling her wild aspen-brown tresses into a loose braid at her back. To lose hope now was to sacrifice the lives of countless others. Breathing deeply, she voiced it to herself, letting the words sink deep into her mind.<BR><BR><i>Something must be done. The Valley of Shantau.</i><BR>
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Postby Tanith » Mon Aug 05, 2002 6:42 am

She had first heard of the rumoured Valley of Shantau just moons ago, during a nights stay at the Latilla Inn in a town North of Rohan. Stories, so many stories, whispered from ear to ear and passed down from drunkards to stall merchants to women in the streets tending to their washing. The knowledgeble and wise were just as likely to speak of it as the lowliest begger from the street stalls. For in Shantau there was the wonder of a cure-all antidote - whether it be flora, fauna or of some other substance no-one could claim to know. But whatever this matter be, it seemed the realms were in dire need of it now.<BR><BR>Brenna neared her now, a bony, limp hand wiping the benchtop absently. Her grey eyes seemed to have dulled and were unfocused, as if her mind and soul had momentarily departed from her very body. She wore this look to often now. Tanith reached out a smooth, youthful hand tentatively towards that of the innmaids.<BR><i>"M'lady, noone can remove the pain of loss, it must mellow of its own accord over time. Let yourself mourn for them, but do not let fall the cheerful memories of old."</i> <BR>She paused, fixing Brenna with her deep-green gaze as if willing the other to break herself from her distress. Tanith's limited sense of tele-empathic talent picked up on the flashes of pain and anguish in Brenna's mind. She continued, quieter this time.<BR><i>"He was not of his own mind in those last days. What you saw, what he did, it was not your Hal that did so. It was a monstrous possessor, a disease, a sickness that controlled his movements. He was..."</i> she trailed off, her brow creased with concern as tears welled unforbidden in the barmaid's eyes. <BR>Unable to help the poor woman, Tanith looked away in shame. She knew too well the anguish of mysteriously losing a bloodkin, but perhaps death different. She absently let her eyes sweep the expanse of the inn interior, mulling over the strange faces of the customers, hoping blindly that aid would find her.
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Postby Tanith » Mon Aug 05, 2002 6:12 pm

((OOC: If you've expressed interest in the OOC thread, write yourself in as soon as you see fit. Please adhere to all Pony Guidelines and practice indepth, plot-enhancing posts. Thanks.))
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Postby SorceressintheGoldenWood » Mon Aug 05, 2002 6:55 pm

In the dim light of the Firefly Inn a stranger sat at a table. She had entered town only early that morning. But she was not from anywhere near these lands, she was far indead from home. The hooded figure sat uneasy, as if almost in fear or worry. She just sat there, silently watching the people of Beredhirn. She felt compassion for them, she had learned of the horrid <i>Grelorn</i>. In fact, that was why she was here.<BR><BR>It was two nights ago that she had recived word that some of her people were slowly dieing of Grelorn. That is why she had changed her path to lead her here. In hope that she might find if a cure exists, but from all she herd there was only one, to be found in Shantau.<BR><BR>She dropped her hood to push back her long brown hair. It was not hard for all who could see that she was of Elvish blood. Her powerful gaze met all looks, her green eyes looking beyond the faces. She read the people, their thoughts and fears, she senced the sadness.
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Postby Periannath » Mon Aug 05, 2002 8:44 pm

Two small, shadowy figures hurried down the alley, a pair of hobbits, very young. They were looking for one place in particular, called the Firefly Inn. They had each had a dream, as they often did, the same dream of the world, and its upcoming destruction. They had each seen an inn in this vision, with someone inside, of an elvish character, who knew something to stop this evil, this plague. The two had travelled a great distance, and often wandered to Elvish and human cities, mostly taking out of curiosity and thievery. They now knew that the cities which they visited were plagued with some sort of didease, and a most fatal one at that. And somehow, they knew that the person they sought would know where this cure was. They did not know whether they themselves were suceptible to this illness, but felt they now had a purpose to do everything they could to help, to save Middle Earth from this. <BR><BR>The two quietly slipped into the inn, splitting up: one to the left of the bar, and one to the right. The one on the right suddenly noticed a person sitting across in the corner of the room, at a small stool at the bar. There was the person whom they sought, the one who could help. But the halfling noticed something else: that there was another seated at a farther off table. An elf, with bright green eyes, and seemed to be watching the same person they were. The other hobit, through investigating the other part of the room, came over to meet with the other.<BR><BR>"Did you find her?" she asked.<BR><BR>"Yes," the boy answered, "She is right over there," he pointed to the barstool where the woman sat, now looking about her at all the others milling about. "But there is another, there!" The hobit said, and pointed over to the elf across the room, "I think she is also seeking this person, or is very concerned with her business. We should take a look." And with that, the two hobbits swiftly, and silently snuck over to where Tanith sat, trying as hard as they could not to be seen, until they could be sure it was safe.
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Postby Aloen~Elven~Half » Mon Aug 05, 2002 9:05 pm

~Aloen stepped into the in and pushed back her hood to reavel her fair elven fetures. She glanced around the room. Noting the dim lights, the singing of the drunkereds, and all possible exates, but also... She'd felt a call, the call of her kindered, to help if any be needed.~<BR>~She'd fallowed two hobbits in, she smiled. She'd always loved hafflings, ever sinse...but no, not now. She told herself to comsontrate. Brushing a lock of her long dark hair out of her eyes she looked again, this time with a special directness, to sinse pain and worry. Her heart instantly went out to the barmaid, but no that was not who had called her, she was no elf.~<BR>~Then she cast her eyes on Tanith. She saw the hobbits and was about to say something, but at a sign from the little boy, she held her toung.~<BR>~Acting more confedent then she felt Allie glided over to the elvish women and pulled out the stool next to hers. The stool squeeked softly as she pulled it out from under the bar. The noise made The women look up, for she'd seemed to be lost to this world for a moment, in deep thought.~<BR>~"Hello,"~Aloen said.~"Are you the one who called? My name is Aloen, what's yours?"~She smiled warmly, though she could sinse that this women was in deep thought. Well, Allie thought, she needs a smile from someone, it may help to brighten a foul day.~
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Mon Aug 05, 2002 11:16 pm

<i>A still silence hung about the village of Beredhirn. The grass was growing brown, farmers saw no need to labor anymore. It was the typical sign of a plague. The streets were empty, the cobblestone grew overidden with faint traces of moss and dirt long unswept. Wandering wondered if anyone even truly lived still in this town. True, he could see recent footprints in the dust- but how much breath was left even in those lungs? How much food was left in the storeholds? Had they burned their supply like most towns would? Had bandits come yet as they inevitably would?</i><BR><BR><i>Wandering pulled the hood of his cloak deeper below his brow. His eyes stared blankly at the open road, the town lie in the distance, silent- dead or dying. He had heard of this plague only three weeks ago, during a small rest inside an old inn. His heart always broke for cases like this... his only regret was how common plagues had become now days. This one, though, seemed different.</i><BR><BR><i>He slowly unsheathed his sword. He knew what this plague exacted upon his victims... it would be merciful to use it...</i><BR><BR><i>His feet left firm yet subtle impressions in the dusted cobblestone road. The pavement was cold, even through his boots. He remembered traveling through here years ago with his Master. They had been so friendly, the street venders selling their wares- shaking hands. All that was gone now. Rightful fear had set in and stolen away their lives. Infected or not infected, in such a state, they were dead.</i><BR><BR><i>He slowly pulled his book from out of his pack, and began to write in it- under the disease section- brief observations of the town. His feet still, his cloak slightly blowing in the dead evening wind.</i>
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Postby Tanith » Tue Aug 06, 2002 9:35 am

<BR>It was as if fate itself had answered. Could it be that amongst all this chaos and anguish, amongst the gradual, increasing turmoil of the realms, there were those that held the courage of heart and faith of soul to aid this cause? Indeed it must be so, for Tanith's focus fell upon the tall, slender form making its way confidently toward her, with a grace only beheld by those of elven blood. The woman seated herself calmly beside Tanith, and a wordless moment passed between the two, as one assessed the other.<BR><BR>A captivating individual indeed, with green eyes alike to her own but of a much lighter hue, as Tanith's were of a deep woodland meld. The she-elf's intricate features were framed by shining locks of brown, her skin as fair as Tanith's was tanned. A half-elf perhaps, for she seemed to behold more of an elven appearence than Tanith, whos elven descent was of a mere quarter. Her own long-limbed, muscular stature rivelled many elves, but she did not seem to possess the inner worldliness and ethereal beauty of this woman, who seemed even younger than herself. She remained motionless as the half-elf introduced herself as Aloen.<BR><BR><i>"M'lady, it is a pleasure to meet you, but may I ask, how is it that you say I 'called'? It is true, I do possess some minor telekinetic talent, but I haven't the ability to direct it such that..."</i> she drifted off, slightly distracted by a shuffling of feet off to her left. A halfling perhaps, but she couldn't be sure. she cleared her throat, leaning closer to Aloen.<BR><i>"Called or not, it is a marvel that you answered. You seem of elven descent, and if I judge correctly, no stranger to travel or combat. There is a reason why you are here, and I prey it is for the very reason I awaited your arrival. Perhaps it is the same reason we are being watched."</i><BR><BR>With a motioning flicker of her deep-green eyes, Tanith brought Aloen's attention to the dark-haired she-elf almost concealed in the shadows toward the far end of the inn. The elf's piercing gaze seemed to penetrate the two, her eyes of an unidentifiable hue. It was easily seen that this elf of full-blooded descent, and senior to the youth's - Tanith and her newfound companion, Aloen. She turned back to the half-elf, fixing her in her steady gaze.<BR><i>"She will approach when she is ready. I wouldn't want to confront a she-elf of seniority, for surely that is what she is. Tell me, Aloen, will you aid me in this plight? My skills are vast in the areas of stealth, unarmed combat and mindspeak, but I cannot claim to have any superior skills in the areas of weaponry, save my longbow. And of utmost importance, we will be needing another with healing talent.</i><BR><BR>By now her keen senses had picked up on the soft footfalls of the halflings at either side of the bar. She new little of hobbits, even less of their customs, but the knowledge that they had been rumoured as immune to the effects of Grelorn, the contagion, had her mind racing with thoughts anew.
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Postby Periannath » Tue Aug 06, 2002 10:44 am

The two hobbits were now both under the table next to the two elvish folk, studying them very carefully, trying not to make a sound. Tobias suddenly tripped over his bow, which had come under him while he had been crawling about on the floor, and hit the leg of the wooden table hard. A loud "bump" could be heard coming from the table now, and Tanith casually pushed it aside, revealing the two eavesdroppers, who now quickly looked up at her, the young girl trying to get the boy's bow off him. Neither one of the two looked surprised to see the halflings, and looked at them with amusement, suspicion, and curiosity. <BR><BR>The two both immediately froze, and grinned nervously. "Tobias," the girl said to her brother, through clenched teeth, forcing a smile, "say something...." she glanced at him quickly, then back to the women. <BR><BR>"Ummm..." the boy stuttered, "U-uh, are y-you, I mean, um, you wouldn't happen to go by the name of <i>Tanith</i>, would you?" He looked up at her, still nervously frozen beside his sister. The woman looked at them amusedly and wonderingly, then responded, "I am. And what may be the names of the two who seek me?"<BR><BR>The two hobbits stood up. They looked much the same as each other, apart from the gender difficiency, clearly revealing that they were twins. Thier dark, curly brown hair, which they flung out of their eyes to look at the elves, was about neck-length. They wore tattered, weather-worn clothes from travel, and looked to be just a couple of scalawags picked up of the street. They answered, one after another, somewhat hesitantly.<BR><BR>"I am Tobias," the boy said, now eying the green-eyed elf by Tanith's side. <BR><BR>"And I am called Perry." the girl beside him added, locking her eyes with Tanith's. "We've been searching for one in particular for days, that one is, I assume, you." Tanith waited patiently for the hobbit to continue. "We, my brother and I," she motioned to Tobias, "we sometimes have dreams, or visions, about critical happenings in Middle Earth, but it very rarely happens. We've had one only a week ago, but this seemed one of the most serious. We've been travveling through various towns and cities, some of which are elven. What surprised and startled us about these happenings were that there seems to be some sort of plague spreading through these places, apparently horribly fatal. In our dream we saw you, the one called Tanith, who somehow knew where the cure of this illness lay. We've been searching long, and now that we've found you, we ask, since this disease is most deadly, and even elves themselves may be killed by it, which is unheard of, we ask to help you. We somehow know that we have not been suceptible to this disease, even in the most dire areas. We may be of some help to you, if you want us, and if our vision was accurate in telling us that you know how to stop it." The hobbit finished, still unbreaking her gaze at Tanith. She had always been good with words, and so had her brother, when he was not stirring up trouble with his big mouth. He was now eying the kitchen, his mind on one of the loaves of bread sitting on the platter. Perry nudged him hard, and he quickly looked back to the two elves, awaiting their response.
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Postby Aloen~Elven~Half » Tue Aug 06, 2002 11:56 am

<BR>I]"M'lady, it is a pleasure to meet you, but may I ask, how is it that you say I 'called'? It is true, I do possess some minor telekinetic talent, but I haven't the ability to direct it such that..." </i><BR><BR>Aloen listened with wonder and confusion. She had felt the call, and if It hsd not come from this women directly then perhapps it was just by happy chance and a priminition. Tanith spoke again.<BR><i>. Perhaps it is the same reason we are being watched."</i><BR> <BR>"I don't think she means us ill, whatever she may appear." Aloen whispered. "Should we perhapps..." but her words were cut off by a bump under the table. She smiled and rolled her eyes; the hobbits! "On the count of three." She mouthed. "One...two...three!" Tanith moved the table aside and Aloen grinned to see the two blundering halflings trying to disintangle the little boy from his bow.<BR><BR><i>The two both immediately froze, and grinned nervously. "Tobias," the girl said to her brother, through clenched teeth, forcing a smile, "say something...." she glanced at him quickly, then back to the women. </i><BR><BR><i>"Ummm..." the boy stuttered, "U-uh, are y-you, I mean, um, you wouldn't happen to go by the name of Tanith, would you?" He looked up at her, still nervously frozen beside his sister. The woman looked at them amusedly and wonderingly, then responded, "I am. And what may be the names of the two who seek me?"</i><BR><BR>Aloen gased down at the little boy, so like was he to the child se'd once cared for. He met her eyes and smiled nervasly. She whispered in Quinya for him not to be afraid. And that he must tell his sister to do the same.<BR><BR>She broke eye contact and looked once again around her. Her glance was then held by the elven Lady by the wall, who was she and what did she want with them? Like an arrow shot strait into her heart came an answere. "<i>You are hurting. Why have you come? To heal for others while you yourself suffer? </i> Aloen recoiled slightly. She stared at the ground in defience think all the while, "I am not! What does she know? Nothing! I'm fine, I don't care! It doesn't matter to me what she does with her life!" But it was a lie, and they both knew it. <i>"As you will miss elven-half. but we shall speak again, O yes."</i> Aloen shuttered, goose bumps were all over her arms, she was quite shaken. <BR><BR>Relising just how much of a daze she'd been in, she started. Looking down she relized that the the hobbit boy, whose name was Tobias, was staring hungrily at a loaf of bread. His sister nudged him hard and he quickly looked back up at Tanith. Aloen looked at Tanith, she was still gazing at the halfling girl.<BR><BR>"I accept your help, though what good it will do me I do not yet know." Tanith said slowly. "Tell me more about your skills, I'd be interested to learn them." She pulled up two barstools and the elven wemon helped the halflings up onto them. "Can I get you something to eat?" Aloen asked sweetly. Tobias nodded but at a look from his sister shook his head. "O come, nothing? " She looked at Perry. "Can I buy you a drink then?"<BR><BR>To that Perry yielded. Aloen ordered a Athalas Water, Tobias a root beer, and Perry a virgin "Sparkler". Aloen then looked to Tanith, "Can I get you anything?"
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Postby *Hobbit~Ranger* » Tue Aug 06, 2002 7:37 pm

The two halflings now sat on the barstools beside the two elves, unsure of what to say next. They were both rather astonished at the kindness of this elf Aloen; they had never been given anything before, even if it was just a drink, which was actually very significant to the two, mostly relying of theft for survival. Tobias quickly downed his root beer, and hopped down from the stool to go explore around the room. Perry, on the other hand, took Tanith's inquiry into thought and answered as well as she could, without revealing the twins' one or two special abilities which they agreed none would know of unless they really trusted them. Perry wasn't sure how to begin her response, thinking of the proper things to say. Though she didn't hesitate more than a moment.<BR><BR>"Well, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by skills; compared to any elf we would probably have to shorten that a great deal, but down to the basics, let me see... Well, first off, I believe my brother and I are assuredly immune to this disease, whatever it is, since we have been through many places in our travels, and not yet have we been in the least way affected while nearly all others have. But our natural talents would probably include our hand-eye coordinations: we are both exceedingly skilled archers, and know a bit of knife-to-knife combat skills, and we can travel almost anywhere unnoticed. We hobbits can be very silent, swift and stealthful when there is a need. And we are constantly searching Middle Earth's Wilderlands for - well, um, what I mean to say is that we've had much practice with that type of thing." <BR><BR>Perry could be extremely persuasive with words when she wanted to, or when she wasn't arguing away with her brother, and now she was doing a pretty good job for it, especially for a hobbit. As she finished telling Tanith these things, she noticed her brother across at the far end of the room, and this certainly caught her attention.<BR><BR>"Oh, cripe," she remarked, rolling her eyes hopelessly, "he's gotten into the wine again." All three now turned around to see the young hobbit, who indeed had had one sip too many from the table drinks and was rather tipsy, now standing on a table whimsily, two others by his sides, all three capering about on the tables with their drunken foolishness.<BR><BR>Perry smacked her forehead. "I knew it was going to be a challenge, coming to another bar," she said, shaking her head, "What's the count now? Six?" The two women looked at Perry, then back at her brother, who was now singing rum-lagged folk songs with the other two, now dancing about off-balance and woozily around atop the bar counter. As Aloen watched the foolish hobbit, she couldn't help trying to stifle a laughter. The boy was now downing yet another mug, and singing off-key all the while. "Idiot," Perry mumbled to herself. "Excuse me," she said as she turned to the others, "I'll only be a moment." she got down and hurriedly ran over to her brother, who keeled over and fell on top of her. Perry quickly got up off of the floor, brushing her shirt off, and dragged Tobias up as well, and the two shufled over to Tanith and Aloen. <BR><BR>"Well," Perry said to them, "I think this may be a goos time to leave this inn?"
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Postby SorceressintheGoldenWood » Tue Aug 06, 2002 8:19 pm

She watched the small company with growing interest. They knew now of her presence, that she was watching them. With one swift movement she rose from her chair and walked lightly across the floor. She chose to be more bold, for time was waining and action was needed. <BR><BR>Talking a seat close to the ladys she spoke, <i>"You need not fear me, for I only wish to aid you. I have come in search for the cure to Grelorn, as it is called here"</i>, her face fell at the very mention of the disease. <i>"Though some of Elvish blood do not fall to the disease some have. And now many I know are dieing or have already passed on. I have herd little of the Valley of Shantau, were it is said that a cure can be found. Do either of you now further on this?</i>, she asked.<BR><BR>She studied the two ladys as she spoke. Both were many, many years younger. She wondered how they saw her? A Elvish lady who had seen many ages, now to be found in a town of Men, searching for answers. But that showed how serious this was. Even the great knowledge of the Elves did not contain the answer to the disease.
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Postby Tanith » Wed Aug 07, 2002 5:10 am

Tanith had found herself strangely contented and calmed in the company of her companion, Aloen, and the two young hobbit-twins. Enjoying their careless banter, and amused by the girl's mindful attempts at politeness and the boy's slight run-in with alcoholism, she had almost let the urgency of the moment slip her mind.<BR>She accepted Aloen's offer of a drink, sipping sparingly at the warm mead, keeping an eye on the dark figure still seated motionless in the far corner of the inn.<BR><BR>It was then that the elder moved towards them. With a flowing confidence that was almost intimidating in its execution, the elf, evidently full-blooded, approached.<BR><BR><i>"I have heard little of the Valley of Shantau, where it is said that a cure can be found. Do either of you know further on this?</i><BR><BR>Tanith righted herself, sliding to her full height and preparing to don her silver-lined travelling cloak, suddenly eager to leave the confines of the inn.<BR><i>"If it is knowledge you wish for, I cannot offer much, and of the information I do possess, little has been proven at this point. The contagion spurned from the dark-region of Arknor, to the far East, but it is to Shantau, South of Gondor, that we must travel. I have a friend who will prove invaluable to our cause, he has learnt much of the cure, and although he may not join us, he has called for me from the region of Mirkwood, so it is to the NorthEast that we must first set off.</i><BR><BR>She paused here, overlooking her companions with phased emotion. She had met them so swiftly, had not yet offered them her trust, but was she to drag them halfway across the realms after a cure that was yet undetermined? She assessed the company with her penetrating, deep-green gaze. Aloen, a youth, the most alike to herself, tall and fair and with a strength that suggested her skill with weaponry. The hobbit-twins Perry and Tobias, younger still, but both with a determination and bravery that belied their small stature. They had much to learn, evidently, but their immunity to the disease would prove inexpendible. <BR>And then, perhaps the greatest asset to the party, the slender she-elf, whos name still remained undisclosed. Beholding a knowledgeble wisdom, grace and fluidity of movement, she would be confident in combat. Aside to this, there was little she could say about the newcomer, and her superiority marked her as the most dangerous of the group.<BR><BR>Tanith had but one choice.<BR><BR>She let her dark eyes cloud over, concealed by a misty film, as she let the invisible tendrils of her telekinesis reach out from her mind into the consciousness of the other. She would not - could not- deepprobe the she-elf's mind, for being more superior Tanith ran the risk of endangering herself. Lodging her mindmeld into the outer consciousness of the elf, she found all she needed to know. Flashes of recent memories told of her skill as a sorceress, versed in the ways of magic. And beneath that, a kindness and honesty that proved her both a valuable companion and perfect for their journey. Confident at her discoveries, Tanith prepared to withdraw her mindprobe, pulling back swiftly, her eyes returning to normal and her breaths calming.<BR>Had the company noticed her short entranced episode? Perhaps. It was irrelevant right now.<BR><BR><i>"Come, friends, the night lengthens and we must set forth at once. The fresh air will do well for our...er....little friend here, who seems to be having an argument with gravity."</i> she motioned towards the drunken Tobias, laughing softly, a sound almost unfamilier to her ears, it had been so long unheard.<BR><i>"Come, introduce me to your mounts."</i><BR>With swift agility, she had exited the inn to the nearby stables.
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Postby Tanith » Wed Aug 07, 2002 5:11 am

Double post <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0>
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Postby *Hobbit~Ranger* » Wed Aug 07, 2002 7:27 am

As they left the inn and headed for the nearby stables, Perry dragged her brother along, still half-conscious. Before they reached their detination, Perry suddenly stopped short.<BR><BR>"Oh, I forgot!" she exclaimed, and looked around, "Tobias, we-" but looked down at the young hobbit, who was now bursting out in a fit of laughter and rolling around on the ground for no apparent reason. Perry rolled her eyes. "Well, I guess <i>he</i> won't be recovering his little bit of sanity left for a while now, so I'll just introduce our horse for him. She turned to the dark corner of woods about 50 feet away, grabbed her small, wooden flute from Tobias's pocket, (which she had discovered during their little "incident" under the table), and gave out a long, sharp call on it. A small, black horse came trotting out of the wood, and came up to the group. It walked up uneasily to Pery and Tobias, wary of the new strangers that accompanied them, and they all noticed something very strange about it. It had red eyes, for one thing, but certainly more curious, was its wings. It was a jet-black beast, with even darker wings. It saw Tobias, still rolling in the dirt with inane laughter, picked him up in its teeth, and threw him onto its back, with Perry steadying him on to a somewhat-balanced sitting-position. Perry then turned to the group.<BR><BR>"This is our horse, Drauguial." she said, but they were mostly concerned with the unusual wings protruding from the thing's back. "You are certainly wondering about his, erm, interesting features, so let me exlplain a bit. We are wandering travellers, as you can probably tell, and on a few rare occasions, we, well, erm, we ventured into Mordor, for reasons of our own, and on its borders, we found this." she motioned to Drauguial, now staring at the strange company, as if he expected them to just fly up into the sky or something; he had never been used to elves, or any creature besides the two hobbits. "Being a Mordorian steed," Perry continued, "he of course has the eyes of one, a fiery red, and...well...the wings." she finished, now staring at Tobias, who was now singing, face down into his pack, some weird little hobbit song, interrupted by occassional hiccuping.<BR><BR>Perry once again smacked her forehead in hopelessness, mounted the horse, (with much difficulty for her stature- she and her brother usually helped each other with mounting), and got up beside Tobias, half-conscious but still laughing pointlessly into the pack in front of him. The two now looked back at the others, and waited for them to bring out their own steds, so that they may continue, to wherever they may be going.
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Postby Wandering_Wood_Elf » Wed Aug 07, 2002 11:33 am

Arien had been cleaning saddles and bridles in a corner when she saw the hobbits bring out their horse. She smiled softly, what a surprise it had been when they had first brought in the steed of Mordor.<BR><BR> She put up the saddle and thought about going home. Home...then she remembered what waited for her there. Bloodstains on the floor, and the stench of Death, that no amount of scrubbing would ebb. She sighed, maybe a night at the Inn would be better. <BR><BR>She heard the small company around the Black Mordor steed speaking and heard them mention Grelorn. She froze. What could they possibly know of Grelorn? Has it spread even farther? Some of the company seemed to be from distant lands. Could they be the ones rumored to be trekking to Shantu to find its cure? She had thought many times of making the trip herself, but the others in the town were either to sick or to afriad. She would do anything to prevent such a disease from plauging other families. It wasnt often such a company formed at the Inn though it was a common place for one to find companions on some quest they were destined for. She wondered if they needed any more companions. There were many of her helpers that were capable enough to run the stables.<BR><BR>Pushing ill memories to the back of her mind she apporached the small group. She asked politely "Can I help any of you? Would you like your horses cleaned or perhaps do you need to find a new one to suit you?" The company turned and saw the lady smiling at them a bit nervously, towering over the Hobbits she stood behind, her green eyes kind but reflected sadness. She spoke again before they got a chance to answer "Actually what I mean to say is..are you the ones searching for the cure to Grelorn?" They nodded silently waiting for her to go on "Could I join the company?"
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Postby Aloen~Elven~Half » Wed Aug 07, 2002 12:28 pm

As the hobbits brought out the morgal steed, Aloen gasped in shock and something near to rage. "<i>Mordor</i>" The name rang in her ears. How could these two have anything to do with that acursid land? Breathing deeply to control her emotions, Aloen studied the horse. It's red eyes were, to her heart, a sign of death. "You must master this!" She told herself. But how could she?<BR> <BR>She looked at Tanith who seemed in wonder at the beast. As much in aw as Aloen was in dred. "It is a fine creature, and no dowbt it can move swiftly. Alright." Said Tanith decisivly. Then turning to Aloen said, "Call your horse, and let's be off." Aloen nodded. <BR><BR>"I malle lelya ivera or a or, Losse!" She yell in the direction of the northwest. All turned to the woods and saw out of it a ghostly shape. Losse the pure white horse came running out of the trees like a wind over the grass. Everyone gasped in delight, but Losse reared up and would not come near the morgal steed, insted she appeared to go mad. She'd seen Aloen to near the beast for her liking. Aloen ran up to her beloved horse, stroking her, whispering to Losse to calm herself. <BR><BR>When both the horse and the elf had calmed down a bit Aloen led Losse over to the rest of the group. "I appologise." Said Allie, first turning to the hobbits (one of whom was still humming absantly),and then to Tanith. But Tanith was talking to a newcomer. could it be that they were to have yet another new companian?<BR>
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Postby Periannath » Wed Aug 07, 2002 1:08 pm

Perry and Tobias, now mounted onto their Mordorian steed, looked around curiously at the company for their reactions. They had had some bad results from the appearance of their horse ever since they found him. Many elves and humans they met thought the hobbits to be pure evil, with a horse like that. The Gondorians especially. They had been run out of the lands because of the belief that they were evil, though they were hobbits, and just barely escaped a most painful death. Sometimes they even used the horse to scare others away who may have caused them harm, or to make theiving easier. But as they looked around at the company, none seemed to distrust them much now, though they were somewhat suspicious of how they got the beast, and what their purposes could possibly have been for going to Mordor. Except Aloen who now called her own sted out. It was a beautiful horse with a glistening white coat, but when it came up to Aloen it stopped short and reared up, not daring to be near to the hobbits' beast. Drauguial's red eyes glared uneasily; he never liked being nearer to other horses, especially those of elves. This could be more difficult than expected. Aloen herself didn't take much to the idea of their Modorian horse either. She had a flicker in her eyes, that of an elf who had rage and hatred of a horse of such an evil land. Perry was a little nervous of this now, she hoped it would not affect their companionship. <BR><BR>When the newcomer came out from the stables, they were even more surprised, to her her speak of Grelorn. She too had lush green eyes, sparkling in the light, and didn't seem as concerned about the hobbits' horse. Perry hated to have her brother in this embarrassing state at such an awful time for a first impression, so she smacked him on the head in attempt to get him up.<BR><BR>"Wha-? Hmm...uhhh...hmmm....ermma..." Perry dragged his head up off of his pack, he was still only half-conscious, but sat upright and tried to look cool.<BR><BR>"Hello." Perry greeted Arien, "my name is Perry. And this is my brother -" Tobias opened his eyes and looked at Arien, trying to remember what his name was. <BR><BR>"Uhhh...." he stuttered, "Tobias, me, beer, good." and slumped back down onto his pack laughing senselessly.<BR><BR>Perry covered her face with hands, shaking her head in disgrace.
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Postby SorceressintheGoldenWood » Wed Aug 07, 2002 5:50 pm

In the nearby stable, the Sorceress went and brought out her mount. It was a horse of mixed colors. The main body shone the color of fresh snow, but on the face and rump in was a rich brown. Both the mane and tail were half black and half white. She rode without bride or saddle, but instead she had on a kind of harness. It's use was to attach the bags across her back.<BR><BR>As she stood by her horse she fixed the staps that had gotten lose over time. They had done much traveling lately, comeing from southern Mirkwood to here. And now they would be makeing that trip again. Though her horse was one born in the Elvish stables she still tired at times. Even now her hocks were slightly swolen. The Sorceress then remembered the gem set in her sword, the ruby. The ruby was a gem of many powers but one would aid them right now. If the ruby is set aginst the flesh of a horse it will not go lame or tire as fast. She unhooked the belt that held her sword and attached it to the harness, putting the gem across the horse's shoulder.<BR><BR>The Sorceress then turned her attention back to the group. It seemed that another might join them. She wondered if they would be leaving soon. <BR>
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Postby Tanith » Wed Aug 07, 2002 7:36 pm

The short-statured, winged beast eyed the company with wariness, daring not to meet Tanith's penetrating gaze. A curious creature indeed, from the very darkness of Mordor itself? Perhaps. But she sensed in this creature a gentleness that would prove itself in later stages. She took into account the glare of distain from Aloen. Regardless, he seemed swift, nimble. He would be welcomed along with the rest.<BR>The 'rest' turned out to be two brilliant steeds, standing tall, one of a pure white, the other with traces of brown and black, both befitting of the graceful she-elves that would ride them.<BR><BR>Tanith smiled to herself, suddenly struck by the irony that the soul leader of this quest, the instigator of this journey, had no beautiful elven beast to call from the wild places of the earth. Instead, she reached jauntily for a nearby stable, and lead from it a sleek young beast, with a deep red-brown coat, nowhere near as magnificant as the other two, but made for lightfootedness and speed. Quintyn had never let her down.<BR>She leant against his soft side for a moment, whispering in his ear, before feeling a presence nearby and turning swiftly on her heel.<BR><BR>The stranger was tall and slender, human, but perhaps with traces of elven blood, one could not be sure. Her long hair of a light golden-brown washed like a halo around her troubled features. She spoke of Grelorn.<BR><BR><i>"M'lady, we are but five on our quest at this time, but a better five to face the troubles of a journey unknown, I could not hope to find. Perhaps more proves useful for skill and safety, or perhaps more in number would endanger our ability to travel silently and without disruption. It cannot be known. I take a risk here, with every one of the persons you see before you. Were I to refuse your offer, I would be judging you against individuals I scarcely know.</i><BR>The company listened gravely to her words; it was true, they had all come across one another as mere strangers in the dark of a small, lonely town. Who was to know what lay ahead?<BR><i>"You will join us."</i> she turned to the others, mounting Quintyn and motioning for the others to follow suit. Noticing the senior elf pressing the hilt of her sword to her horses shoulder, her features creased in curiosity. Shrugging it off, turned Quintyn around, facing the highlands of the NorthEast.<BR><BR>And they set off. The night was cool, silent, motionless. The streets completely void of all movement. It was almost as if the town's soul itself had packed up and left overnight. Driven away by the horror of a sickly disease sweeping the land like a blanket of death. Tanith's greatest fear, a fear she hadn't yet disclosed to the others, was that she herself had not proven immune to the disease. For that matter, a few of her companions might suffer that same fate. And what would follow if one was to contract the dark madness of Grelorn? For during the days of incubation, one could not tell if another was inflicted. It wasn't until the madness starts that one could be sure.<BR><BR><i>Arising from the North<BR>It shall burn like fire<BR>Clench the heart with a fist of cold<BR>Draw the mind into depths of darkness<BR>Torturing all<BR>Death, to behold</i>
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Postby Wandering_Wood_Elf » Wed Aug 07, 2002 7:47 pm

Arien rode along on her white horse Kerr filled with troubled thoughts. What exactly would they find in Shantau? It seemed even her leader did not know the answer to this. Despite all her doubt she trusted and repected the near strange. Should she have told them...no they never would have accpeted her..Besides just because her father had Grelorn did not mean that she did..She traced her fingertips lightly over the thin but deep cut that ran from the middle of her nose to almost her jawline. It would fade later..but she would always have that mark to remind her of her Father's madness. She decided then and there that if she ever showed signs of Grelorn she would kill herself to save herself from the others.
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Postby *Hobbit~Ranger* » Wed Aug 07, 2002 7:57 pm

As the group now rode on, one new member added to their journey, the hobbits rode behind the others in the darkness, as was their habit when travelling with others, which was indeed very rarely. Tobias now lay asleep on his pack, his head bobbing up and don from the slow, steady pace of their horse Drauguial, whose blazing red eyes now shone in the darkness like liquid fire. Perry was thining about things, as usual. She wondered, as Tanith did, about the effects of this didease, and whether or not it would affect them. Or maybe it already had. There was no way to be sure, until the carrier began to show symptoms of the illness. They had gone on now in silence for an hour or two, with little or no talk between any of them, save in whispers. Tobias now began to groggily wake up, moaned slightly, and gingerly rubbed his head.<BR><BR>"W-what's going on?" he asked out loud, his eyes still closed. "Where are we now?" he asked as he rubbed his eyes, trying to remember what had happened. It slowly, dimly came back to him, all that had happened since his last clear memory of the inn, singing senselessly with the other two hobbits, he had had one sip too many, once again. Perry answered him in an agitated whisper.<BR><BR>"You made a fool of yourself, as always," she turned to him, then looked back at the road, and continued, "You've been unconscious for long on two hours now, and we have already set off, for Mirkwood, it seems." Tobias seemed satisfied with that for now. He could guess most of the rest anyway. Perry still thought, though, about Tanith. She was the only one of them who knew where to find this hidden cure, and if the plague spread to her, and the other, too, perhaps, before they got here, all hope would be lost to them. But it was best not to think of the inevitable negative thoughts now. They needed to keep on, as quickly as possible. They did not have much time on their hands.<BR><BR>"Tanith," Tobias said to the elf in the lead, looking about them at the path ahead, "When do you suppose our next stop will be? I'm not exactly sure where we are, I don't know how long I've been out..." he rubbed his eyes, trying to think of where they should probably be, remembering the various maps he and Perry had studied before they came to the inn.
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Postby Astalder » Wed Aug 07, 2002 11:11 pm

Okay first off I am at a distance looking at you folks, just before and while your leaving. You can decide to see me and/or sense me, but please do not fly up to me with your flying horse of mordor. If it’s too violent I can change it, bring it up with me at the OOC thread, and hopefully its passable, and not to long. If there is anything wrong with it or insulting with this character or post please tell me, as it seems I went into my character Mainkar a little bit to far. <BR><BR>------------------------------------------------------------------<BR><BR>Astride his ancient steed Mainkar surveyed the town of Beredhirn. His eyes were old but still had the vision of a hawk. His eyesight had not diminished with his age of 52 years. Around him the sun shone, the birds sang, distant horses whinnied; but the old man and his noble steed noticed none of it. He felt cold inside, which only seemed to increase with time. He felt nothing but hate, and it consumed him, every part of him was filled with it. <BR><BR>Presently he noticed a group of five leaving what he knew was the Fire Fly inn. This is why he was here. He had noticed the madness, which had swept the land known as the Grelorn plague. In his travels he had come across the name and had well known the cause of it. As a trader he was asked to leave every town he came to and was blamed for bringing the plague. It had even caused blood to be drawn as he was attacked in his sleep by a group of foolhardy youths, foolishly blaming the cause of this accursed plague on him. Taken not completely off guard he had hewn the first one and mortally wounded the second. He was not without injuries, he had a few cuts, the worst of which was a deep gash to his leg. At that the others had ran off, leaving their comrades behind. Leaving the town he was followed by the sound of the boy writhing in pain. Upon the road he had met a men with a knife to a maidens throat whom he had dispatched quickly. The women only after partially coming to her senses proved to be the daughter of the man he had killed. After a couple of stiff drinks she revealed the story of his sudden madness, and through her tears she had revealed the name of someone who could help. The name had been garbled, Tarin the name seemed to have been. The maiden in her hysteric grief had said something about a silver fleck about her eye. <BR><BR>From this distance he could see a fleck glinting, which he assumed to be the "silver fleck about her eye." Just then Mainkar noticed something odd about one of the horses, it seemed to have broad wings, a beast he had seen once before in his escape through Mordor from the slave compound. The beast had filled him with horror and he had remember cowering in fear, thinking he was surely about to be captured, but the beast had passed and he had survived, but he had not forgotten the evil look and feel of the beast. <BR><BR>With this beast he knew he could not fully trust these folk even though it seemed to be sat upon by mere children. So he decided he would follow but at a distance, to see more of whom they were; then if he decided they were evil, he would slay them, flecked girl and all. <BR><BR>With this thought he made a soft clicking sound to his stead and he was, following them on the road he hoped would eventually lead to the mythical Valley of Shantau, or so he hoped.<BR><BR>The glint was steadily in his eyes and he thought for a second he had been spotted. He knew they would be careful, as he knew there was some evil trailing them. Hopefully they would make nothing of him. Mainkar was equally hopeful he would not get himself slain by some trigger-happy elf or some such phenomenon.<BR>
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Wed Aug 07, 2002 11:44 pm

<i>It was of little surprise to Wandering to watch the group leave. He had figured that sooner or later someone would head out to this valley of Shantu. Wandering also was wise enough to guess that they were not the first to try such a venture. He knew of the valley. He knew of its location even. He had seen it once... long ago... but he dared not travel into it. It was, at the time, foolish to attempt. Now, he wondered, with the skills he had gained, if it was not still foolish. They're were reasons why so few had aquired the "cure-all." If it was simply so easy, plagues like this would be as idle as a cold.</i><BR><BR><i>His cloak breezed slightly in the wake of their travels- they went at a quick enough pace. Wandering, however, was not afraid, nor daunted, by the task of pursuit. The flying steed, he had even seen one before. Mordor was not a place unfamiliar to him.</i><BR><BR><i>The dust gathered slightly around hsi blue cloak, a residual effect of the horses traveling so quickly. It seemed, for once in perhaps a month, the road looked as it did so many years ago when Master had taken him through here. It was a red brick, he realized again, not this gray brown tone that lingered upon its paths now. Something deep inside him mourned for the passing of this land. The dying of something that was, however typical, innocent.</i><BR><BR><i>He saw the man upon the hill top, slightly in the distance. Wandering noted his presence- something he was sure the traveling group had not- and quickly darted off after the company. Wandering did not so much hope as to spy, but more evaluate.</i><BR><BR><i>Would they be worth while to follow? Did they have a chance to enter the valley? He would observe, quietly. He was used to stealth as well. It was the only way one could survive as a Wanderer nowadays.</i><BR><BR><i>When night fell, his eyes were about them, his breath was still, his presence was there, but vanished. He watched the darkness set- aware of the lands, he wondered how long until he would be able to witness them in combat. Once the typical orc mauraders would find them- as often happened to travelers in these parts within a day or two- Wandering would see if they were worthy of his aid. He had noticed though that ever since the plague even the orcs had grown more wary of this land. Perhaps, he would have to wait longer to observe their potential in combat. Till then, he would note their potential as adventurers. It was a two skill role, traveling. Avoiding combat and the elements while be able to defend oneself if needed. In such dark times though, Wandering wondered morbidly which one was more essential.<BR><BR>He could not yet assertain their skills. There were only two people he liked to travel with- the sort that needed his help for basic survival, and the sort that needed his help to complete a difficult but not impossible objective. He had to determine of the Valley of Shantau was impossible for them- if there was a purpose in his assistance to this group. If not them, perhaps the old man he had seen earlier would be a potential option for another traveler...</i><BR><BR><i>If he was to save this town, he did not desire to accompany amatuers. It was not that he was prideful, or vain, but after so many years of experience, he knew that only the possible causes were the worthwhile ones.</i><BR><BR><i>All he knew though was that he hoped to reach the Valley quickly lest there be no one to save from the plague when they return... The longer it takes to reach a destination, the longer it takes to return.</i>
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Postby Aloen~Elven~Half » Thu Aug 08, 2002 6:17 pm

Aloen rode woth the company, as close to the hobbits as she could get without Losse throughing a fit. Tobias had just woken up and his sister was nagging at him. She grinned, ofcourse she would have done the same and more if Sadrien had gotten drunk. As she thought about her sister her eyes changed noticably from green to deep blue. She sighed. Sadi would never have done that, Aloen herself would have and Sadrien would be the one nagging <i>her</i> out.<BR><BR>Suddenly she felt eyes upon her sholders she turned and her keen elvish eyes picked up a silhuett(sp) of a man on horse back. And turning again, she senseed another behind them...distant but fallowing.<BR><BR>Riding up next to Tanith she said softly, "Tanith, I feel we are being fallowed. I do not think that these people are a thret, but they are both males and they come from diffrent directions. What do you wish to do about them?" <BR><BR>Tanith looked at Aloen suspitiously, "How do you know that they are males?" She asked, but then shaking her head, it did not realy matter. She looked behind them and her faace showed deep thought. "My heart bids me ignore them, at least for the present."<BR><BR>Aloen nodded and rode back to the hobbits, feeling the need of thought and guessing that Tanith would feel the same. They had much to do and so, much to ponder before the night was over. <BR><BR>The company rode on until dawn was at hand and the sun just bearaly showing herself on the far horrisen. It was her nestled between two hills that Tanith called the group to take an hours rest and something to eat before they began the second stage of their journey.<BR><BR>-------------------------------------------------------<BR> <BR>Please don't forget to write me in as I'll be gone until sunday. I hope it was OK that I said we would take a short rest...I know we're in haste. If I did, I beg everyones pardon. Well I g2g so I'll see you all on sunday. Em mel le!<BR>Byee!<BR>~*<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-rolleyes.gif"border=0>Allie<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-rolleyes.gif"border=0>*~
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Postby Wandering_Wood_Elf » Fri Aug 09, 2002 6:26 am

The breath of winter was creeping into the land. The road was coated with frosty leaves and the occasional drift of snow. Arien shivered a little and built a small fire for her and the others to warm by. She studied the people she would be traveling with. Most of them seemed forlorn, concerned which was expected considering the nature of their quest. She wanted to talk to them, get to know them. It had been a while since she could talk to someone without having them pity her or fear her. All because of Grelorn. She had been looking at Tanith when she slipped into her thoughts who suddenly looked up at her and caught her eyes. It was then she noticed the fleck of silver in her eyes. She smiled slightly and turned her gaze to the leaves in front of her. She felt foolish for trusting herself among people she barely knew, but something told her that she could. Something..she did not know what. It was to late to back out now. Perhaps a knife in the back while she slept was better than returning to the lonely stained house every evening.
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Postby Tanith » Fri Aug 09, 2002 7:43 am

The dawning of the new day brought with it the heralding of a cool, cloudy stretch to follow. Passing through thick scrub that had begun to tangle at the legs of the horses and drag at their formally steady pace, Tanith finally called a halt at a sheltered gully between two small hills. She had originally planned on keeping on until mid-morning, pushing the pace until arriving at the Pass of Ilka, but the dense outer foliage shrouded the small campsite from view. Swiftly circling the expanse of the small area, Tanith assessed all retreat points, should they suffer the troubles of an ambush.<BR><BR>Content with the area, Tanith dismounted, motioning for the others to do the same. Leaning against Quintyn's sweaty flank, she felt his breath coming in rasps, and felt a surge of relief that she had not pushed the party onward. Even the strange Modorian steed and the fair elvish horses - made for endurance - seemed slightly short of energy. Without the need to tether her disciplined mount, Tanith set him loose in an area of abundant greenary close by, and left the group momentarily in search of a water supply.<BR><BR>The nearest source of water proved to be a shallow creekbed nestled just to the east of the camp. Singling out the cleanest area, she let the cool water ebb around her tanned hands and forearms, before sluicing her face clean of the vigours of travel. Relishing this limited time alone to gather her thoughts, she righted herself and breathed deeply, eyes closing breifly. And there it was, that sudden wary intuition of eyes upon her, of a presence close by. She knew now that Aloen had been correct, although how exactly the half-elf had been so sure of the exact number, and indeed gender, of the followers, Tanith could not begin to presume.<BR><BR>She unleashed a lazy mindseeking probe from her consciousness, letting it curl and float on an invisible path of its own, taking on the life and thoughts of others just breifly enough for her to identify beings in the area. Although possessing an innate talent for telekinesis and mindspeak, she was not versed in its many ways, and could not entirely finetune her skills as she would have liked. Thus, the mindseeking recovered little, only that the 'others' in the area - be they followers or simply creatures of the wild - were close enough to reach them within a few minutes of swift movement. The thought filled her with sharp anticipation of what may be to come.<BR><BR>Pulling her wild tresses into a loose braid that swept just past her waist, Tanith took a last keen gaze around the area and returned to her companions, now rationing out morsels of food and resting themselves. She seated herself beside the older she-elf, whos name, surprisingly, she still had not learned.<BR><BR><i>"I know little of you, as indeed is the case with all those you see here. In my experience, there are those whom one can know entirely after a few minutes in their company, and others whom will remain a constant mystery to their very bloodkin and closest of life-long allies. You seem of the latter, m'lady. It is not for me to request you to impart your soul's secrets upon me, but I will ask to know a little of your purpose in this area, perhaps, and a little of yourself."</i> She paused, fixing the fair-skinned senior with an inquiring gaze. Filling the sudden silence, she continued.<BR><BR><i>"Understand, it is for the benefit of this party that I ask this of you. You are senior to all of us here at this point, although in matters of intelligence and knowledge I will not pretend to be naive. My youth holds no baring on my abilities, I assure you. But to know ones companions is to be able to anticipate their moves, their feelings, their very motivations."</i> At this point, she noticed the others taking heed to her conversation. She addressed them all.<BR><i>"Indeed, I know little of any of you. You are as unfamiliar to me as the very region we seek. Tell me of yourselves."</i><BR>She let her gaze linger over the fair features of Aloen and the she-elf, the upturned faces of the hobbits, wide-eyed and almost innocent in appearance, and Arien, sporting a curious cut across her face. She knew in that instant that there was much of these strangers to be revealed, that may never be told.
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Postby ~*Elvish*Starlight*~ » Fri Aug 09, 2002 7:54 am

Khartazul had just finished another kill, this time a miserable human who would not give her information on where the travellers from the inn had gone. Though it was no large matter; she would track them down nearly as quickly without knowing their current whereabouts. She made her way down the road, hidden in the night trees, somewhat enjoying the changes in the seasons. Winter was nearing; it was already late October, and the golden-brown and orange leaves on the ground, dead and dry with the passings of time, began to collect a light, crisp white frost. The wind was chilling, and the moon rose high. This was exactly how she liked things: cold, frozen, silent. But with a hint of sweet breezes in the air, which always managed to fill your senses with feelings of relaxation, and the winter months also had its advantages to her tracking ability. The silent air, undisturbed except by the soft thud of the steps of passing travellers. It cleared her mind, and made her more alert of her surroundings. She would find them sooner than expected. <BR><BR>She made her way down to a sort of ledge, or cliff, just above an open plateau, surrounded by sheltering trees beyond the road. There she saw them: six travellers, all with the one whom she saught. The one who knew where to find the cure of Grelorn. The ones which she was ordered to slay, and prevent from finding any solution to the Mordorian plan of domination, but also the ones who she would be able to get the cure from, if she chose to wait. Her masters had always the reputations of trickery and deciet, and go back on their promise of granting her immunity of the disease before it caught on to her, and a high place in the Mordorian ranks of battle and superiority. She had been created by the Dark Lord to serve as a secret weapon, to serve Mordor and destroy all whom may cross them, but if she joined these wanderers, who knew where to find this cure, this would assure her immunity and life without hesitation. But they may not even be able to find it; now that she looked upon them, she had her doubts.<BR><BR>There were four elves, it seemed, and two halflings. She hated elves in her heart, as an instinct, perhaps envied their power and freedom, and she knew halflings to only prove weaklings and failures. Why they would have hobbits to join them, she did not know, perhaps only to have ones which would not be affected by Grelorn. The elves looked promising though; they would probably be able to reach the land where the solution lay, though there would be many dangers underway. She then saw the halflings' horse. This filled her with utter rage and suspicion. She recognized that steed well, the ones of which belonged to the Mordorians. How two young children got their hands on one, and were able to actually tame it, was beyond her reckoning. But she was now filled with the urge to just slay the two now, but she would control herself. She would first test them to prove their abilities. She sensed a fairly large group of orcs nearby, an figured this would be a perfect chance for the group to prove worthy. She did not know what to expect of the hobbits now; they obviously had some doings with Mordor, no doubt, and they might actually have a bit of strength in them. But she didn't expect much. Kharazul closed her eyes and concentrated hard. Her mind blazed like red fire, she felt a ruch, and knew that she had finally called them. The goblins were on their way to the group now, and she anxiously awaited the outcome of the battle.
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Postby Wandering_Wood_Elf » Fri Aug 09, 2002 12:07 pm

ooc: Arien is human btw<BR><BR>It was silent for a moment. Tanith frowned a bit at the silence. She was after all the leader and had the right to know her companions intentions. Arien cleared her throat a little and began. She did not hold the gaze of the elves or hobbits but rather seemed to be looking past them at something else. <BR><BR>"As you may know I breed horses. The Firefly Inn paid me some money to allow the use of my stables for travelers or rather my family." She smiled at the hobbits "I must admit in all my years I have never had a steed such as yours enter before. When I left a gave the stables over to a friend of mine who worked for me and I took my favorite horse Kerr. <BR><BR>You may not have noticed it, but Grelorn has affected my area. We try to keep it secret and the diseased indoors so that the travelers are not afraid and we can still earn money at the inn and selling our wares. <BR><BR>A few weeks ago my Father began to show symptoms of Grelorn. It wasnt bad at first. All of you know the symtoms. As he got worse he would go into fits of madness in which he would imagine those around him to be guilty of terrible things and would go after them. After that we kept him locked in his room. In the hope that someday they would find a cure. A week passed and he began to cry at us from the door how sorry he was and that the sickness had left him. We did not beleive him at first, but after a while we were foolishly conviced of his act. We just wanted itto be true so much that we beleived it. Needless to say he was not well and seized a knife from my mothers hands, she had been cleaning some wild game I shot with Daren earlier. Daren was there. He gave me this" she said briefly touching the thin golden circlet above her brow. "I felt silly at first wearing this, but I did so to please him and now I am quite attached to it. Daren is...was my fiance..."<BR><BR>Arien voice faded and she sat there for a moment looking at the ground. She had been telling the story a bit detached from it. Now she felt as if she was reliving it. She closed her eyes breifly and allowed a few tears to slip down her hot cheek. One of the tears slipped sideways along her cut on her face. She brushed it away and her hand came away with blood. She had reopened the wound in more ways than one. <BR><BR>The company waited silently one of them only moving to offer her a cloth for her face. She waved her away. For the first time in their presence she looked striaght into their eyes. Her usually warm green eyes now looked a bit flat and pained. There was no point in hiding herself from them now. She wasnt sure why she was telling them this. It went against her distrusting instincts and they might even kill her if they knew she might have Grelorn. The deaths had changed her that was for sure. She continued after taking a few shuddery breaths.<BR><BR>"He had been visiting with my mother. He had advised her not to open the door. She had been very devoted to my father. She still wanted to listen to everything he said. To let him guide her. It was all an act. Grelorn had given him the lust to kill and he would do anything to fufill it. He heard Daren teling my mother not to open the door so he was the first he turned on with the knife. My mother was to afraid to even move. She was in shock. It wasnt hard for him to take the knife after she realised that it was all a lie. I wont go into detail...Daren reached for his hunting knife to late...After my father was finished with him he turned on my mother..numb with grief and shock i just stood there for a moment...a moment wasted. I pulled Daren's knife from his sheath..the handle coated in his blood. This knife." Arien took out one of her daggers. Its simple leather handle was darkendwith blood in some places. She set it on the stone beside her. <BR><BR>"My father killed her and finally turned to me, his rage far from over. I was ready for him. He was exausted from his exertions and weakened by the disease, but I have only my knowledge of combat by sparring with Daren. I killed him though. I did not get away unscarred as you can tell. I have cuts on my arms, my shoulder, my stomach and of course my face. Some of them have faded. Others never will. My father killed my love and my mother. I killed my father...I have come with you to try to prevent this from happening to others. After the War of the Ring i thought the evil was over. I was wrong" <BR><BR>Trembling slightly Arien managed to hold her steady gaze with the others. She picked up the dagger again, looking at it's hilt. Her hand was still bloodied from her face. It mingled with Daren's blood in the leather. She took the edge of the knife and held it against her wrist. Someone stood up as if to stop her. She dropped the dagger in the dirt. Not yet...
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Postby Astalder » Fri Aug 09, 2002 3:44 pm

Mainkar awoke, cold, aching; even this moss which he had slept on during the night had not been merciful to him. Looking about himself he noticed grass and moss alike were sparkling with frost. Even so he dared not light a fire even to warm himself for he sensed evil about. He had known the fellowship was being tracked, he was absolutely sure of it. He was equally certain he was not, for he was still alive. Looking about he noticed his horse still asleep, snoring comically, even so Mainkar did not laugh, so deadened his emotions were. <BR><BR>Allowing his horse sleep, he grabbed his dagger, a small thing he had picked up in his travels, then grabbing his pony tail he had grown since his escape from the mines, he sliced his hair to just below his shoulders. He did not want for it to get in the way of combat, should it come to that. Re-sheathing the dagger on his belt he took out a couple of morsels of food. Then looking up he saw in the distance a thin but very noticeable wisp of smoke. "Those young fools" Mainkar muttered to himself, "Those young ignorant fools." With that he awakened his horse Yavie, startled the horse whinnied, loudly. "Silence" the old man whispered harshly, then the old man, calling upon his years of trading and before that his years of soldiering, he quickly saddled his horse. His horse saddled he set off towards the smoke as fast as the beast could go. <BR><BR>After a couple minutes the horse was tiring rapidly and he slowed to a fast trot. Then the horse, suddenly startled reared up. The horse seemed to scream in terror, as he saw and sensed what the horse did. A deep chill was around him, and it seemed as if the whole world had darkened. Before him not more than 25 yards, stood a Great Orc, and Uruk-Hai, but that was not what chilled his blood. Seeming to give orders to the Great Uruk was a creature he had never seen before. It appeared as if it was one of the Nazgul, a large black cloak flowed about the creature. The hood was black and covered his face, save for the eyes, which seemed to glow the colour of fresh blood. Those eyes put fear into him he had never dreamed of before. In a flash his sword was drawn, the giant blade shone in the sun, trembling slightly, and with the blackness about him, it looked like lightning blazing through dark night. The 20-pound blade was heavy in one hand; the other hand grasped the reins. <BR><BR>He knew he could not fight this dark creature and the giant Uruk's, he also knew he had to warn the fellowship, and hope they where not also evil. Another thing was made clear to him, his horse could not run the whole way, it was to tired from the earlier run to make it the rest of the way. Trusting to luck, he spurred his horse forward towards the Orcs. Screaming he hit the first Orc, using his horse as a battering ram, the next fell to his blade, then all was chaos, and a desperate hope for survival.<BR>
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