Teherin's Secret

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

Postby Khorazir » Thu Oct 30, 2003 7:48 am

<i>Minas Tirith, Hisimë 7th, Fourth Age 8 <BR><BR>Faramir, Steward of Gondor and Prince of Ithilien to Imrahil, <BR>Prince of Dol Amroth and Lord of Dor-en-Ernil, greetings.<BR><BR>Dear Uncle,<BR><BR>I am sure you have already heard rumours of the disturbing events that have kept us more than busy up here of late, but I thought you might wish to hear of what befell from a more reliable source. I very much hope you and your family are well, and have recovered from the shock and distress the ambush must have caused. Please convey Éowyn's and my regards to your wife, children and grandchildren, especially to Amrothos and his family, whose health I hope has been fully restored by now. <BR><BR>All of you have been sorely missed at Túrin's and Visilya's wedding, which was a splendid and moreover highly exciting feast. I shall tell you about what befell there in a short while. As for Túrin and Visilya, contrary to all fears they have actually managed to get married, and according to what I have heard have not regretted their decision yet. In fact, they seem perfectly happy, and I am glad for them. After all, they have waited more than twenty years for this. Originally they had planned to journey through Gondor for a while and perhaps go south as far as Poros, but apparently the bad weather has delayed their setting out. A few days ago autumn came with all might, bringing heavy winds and cold rain from the west, stripping what leaves there were left on the trees from their branches, and conveying everybody who does not have important business outside to their houses. Thus I do not mind too much having to remain in Minas Tirith instead of going home, although I may change my mind rather soon. As things look, I will not be returning to Dol Arandur for quite a while<BR><BR>Now, where to begin?</i><BR><BR>Faramir paused in his writing and raised his eyes from the parchment to look out of the window. Grey clouds sailed past, driven on by a cold, forceful wind that carried faded leaves and drops of rain, swirling them about the walls of the citadel. Already dusk was at hand, soon it would be dark outside. He rose from his chair and went to fetch a new candle to replace the one on his desk that had almost burned down, then sat down again, glancing at the letter thoughtfully. <BR><BR>Yes, where to begin? So much had happened of late that he found it difficult to pick out only a few isssues and leave others aside. A conspiracy had been unmasked whose aim had been to destabilise Gondor from within, and he, his wife and some of their friends had been amongst those who had been assailed the most, with almost fatal consequences. And although what were considered the chief culprits had been apprehended, and were now in custody, Faramir felt far from safe. There had simply been too many attacks on Éowyn's and his life – and on that of their yet unborn child – to trust the momentary peace. He took a deep breath that caused the flame of the candle in front of him to flicker, took up the quill again and continued:<BR><BR><i>Already our journey to Minas Tirith two days prior to the wedding was fraught with difficulties. We were waylayed by a company of Umbarians while still in Ithilien, nigh to the shores of Anduin. They took Éowyn and myself prisoner, and purposed to send us per ship to Umbar. Luckily we were rescued by Maradir and his Noldor – yet again, I should say. I have lost count of the many times he has saved my life, and wonder if I shall ever be able to repay him. 'tis my great luck to have friends like him, and Túrin.<BR><BR>Anyway, we managed to take some of our captors prisoner, but I cannot tell you much about their identity, as they have not been properly interrogated yet. It seems realistic, though, to believe them sent by Marek Al-Jahmîr, and 'tis certain that the ruthless, powerhungry Umbarian has allies in Gondor, as long we have feared. <BR><BR>We finally reached Minas Tirith on the evening ere the wedding, disguised as Southrons travelling with a caravan from the Harad. We thought it best to arrive in secret, to keep people in their belief we had perished in Ithilien. In the City we met again with Maradir who had not joined the caravan, also with Túrin, Visilya, and the King. They provided us with news of what had befallen in the City meanwhile, and how rumours of our "disappearance" had been received by the people. Also tidings awaited us more grievous and shocking, and more difficult to bear than all hardship we had encountered on the journey. For our friends had gained knowledge of a conversation between servants of our enemies that finally shed some light on things that have troubled Éowyn and me for years now, and – although I am reluctant to admit it – have cast a shadow on our marriage. Now we know what has brought about Éowyn's miscarriage a few years ago which caused her to secretly suffer far more than I realised, and the reason we have stayed childless for so long. <BR><BR>I think you can imagine what this revelation did to her, troubled and weary and slightly injured as she was after our journey. Never before have I seen that hurt and desperate. You know how strong she usually is. She had endured the rough treatment of the Umbarians from which I had not been able to save her, and the strenous journey despite her condition. But when we were told that the miscarriage had not been due to natural causes as we had believed, and that moreover she carries a poison or some kind of dark curse inside her that may kill the child we are so looking forward to, I thought she could bear no more.</i><BR><BR>Again he paused, looking absentmindedly at the leaning, somewhat irregular yet quite graceful handwriting, thinking back to that horrible evening. Not only Éowyn the revelation had hurt deeply, but him as well. Never before had he felt so utterly helpless. He could see how it suited the enemies of Gondor if the Steward of the realm and the lord of one of the more important fiefs remained without an heir. He had no close relatives anymore. If they killed him, the remaining nobles would quarrel about the vacant office and princedom, thus weakening the realm with their internal strife. Yet, he could live with the fact that his political enemies would stick at nothing to get rid of him, but that they extended their enmity to those he loved and cherished above everything, and that there seemed little he could do to protect them, was extremely difficult to bear. But there had been one good thing to it: now that they knew where the danger lay they could try and fight it. This knowledge was comforting, and Faramir thought there was a more confident stroke to his writing when he continued:<BR><BR><i>Luckily she has somewhat recovered from the shock by now. And there is light ahead. By some stroke of good fortune we have met Teherin, a mysterious healer with remarkable skills who may be able to fight the curse or poison or whatever it is that lies over Éowyn like a dark cloud. I do not know much about this woman, in fact not even she herself seems able to unravel the mysteries of her past. But whoever she is, and wherever she hails from, I have utmost trust in her abilities, especially after what she did to Túrin on the day of his wedding, which, had it not been for her, would have been the last day of his life.<BR><BR>But ere I come to the account of how he was saved from the shadow, I must tell you about the wedding-feast, and about Falastur. The latter may astound you. You of all people know that the Lord of Pelargir and I have had (and still have) our difficulties, and have certainly never been friends, but quite the contrary. And yet it was Falastur who helped the most to unveil the conspiracy we have been trying to discover for months now, and who moreover saved the wedding-guests from dying of poison. And to do so he had to betray his own wife and son to the authorities. It appears that Lady Arúthiel and Vinyaran have been involved in the conspiracy to a major extent. Also apprehended have been Carandil of Lebennin, Lady Arúthiel's brother Lord Amandil, and Barahir of Tolfalas (no surprise there, I reckon), as well as a number of lesser nobles. I guess the full number will only be revealed in the trials, and if we are not careful, people like Arúthiel will manage to escape punishment. She is clever enough to have secured herself against conviction for treason. <BR><BR>Vinyaran, however, has not been as careful. When at the wedding-feast he was confronted by the King, he managed to evade the guards and took the groom hostage. Realising that no escape was possible, he stabbed Túrin fatally. I know not how Teherin and some of Maradir's Noldor managed to bring him back, but somehow they did, and only a short while after his miraculous recovery the wedding-ceremony took place. Túrin is his old cheerful self again, and appears to be retaining no trace of the incident apart from a faint scar across his throat. Hopefully Teherin and the Elves will be able to work a similar miracle on Éowyn.<BR><BR>Anyway, I am sure you will receive an even more official account of the events soon, together with the summons to the trials that are going to occupy us throughout the winter. Although I am certainly not looking forward to those, they do have one advantage: as long as they last there seems little chance I will be asked to revive the Morgul-campaign. I cannot tell you how much that eases my heart. I think I have never loathed and feared a place as much as I fear this cursed city, and were it to any avail, I would wish never having to go there again. And of course I do not want to forsake Éowyn in these troubled times. Not again. When I went last time she was unwilling to let me depart, and the ensuing quarrel was the worst we ever had. But I have promised her to reconsider my priorities and mend my ways, so as not to place my office and political duties above my marriage, and I have not heard any complaints so far.<BR><BR>I shall close now. I have just heard a door. Most likely Éowyn has come back from a short walk with her brother, who wants to return to Rohan in two days. It was quite a surprise to meet him at the wedding, especially for Éowyn, who I know has missed his company. Éomer was troubled not meeting you at the feast, but he sends greetings, also from Lothíriel and little Elfwine, and hopes to see you at the winter solstice at the latest. I hope to meet you sooner than that. Surely your presence will be required in council ere the month is old. Have a safe journey when you travel here. Fare you well for now, and may the Stars of Elbereth shine upon you on all your ways.<BR><BR>Faramir</i><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>OOC: For those interested in joining, there is an<a href='http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?catid=25&threadid=72939' target=_blank> <i>aside</i></a> available
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Postby Canamarth » Mon Nov 03, 2003 4:52 pm

“Where have you been?” Cynara asked.<BR><BR>“To the Houses of Healing,” Maradir answered.<BR><BR>“You haven’t asked for a healer yet again?” The question was followed by a coughing fit. Maradir strode over to his daughter’s bed and helped her to some medicine which at length stopped the coughing. He pulled the young woman against him and stroked her hair while peering out of the window into the Citadel’s courtyard. The wind had picked up since the morning and the cold gales were chasing fallen leaves across the yard. A few guards were briskly marching towards the gate, their cloaks pulled close around them. It was time for the changing of the guards.<BR><BR>Cynara disentangled herself from Maradir’s embrace. “You’ll catch the cold if you persist in nursing me like this. I have everything I need. The healer was only here this morning and he said…”<BR><BR>“I know,” Maradir smiled. “I assure you I did not pester them again about your health.” Though he had been sorely tempted to drag Teherin over. He had witnessed her healing skills and was sure she could cure Cynara in an instant. But she had more important things to consider at the moment and he had not told her of his daughter’s cold. “I went to see Sîrel and Teherin who are in the healers’ library, trying to find out more about Éowyn’s condition.”<BR><BR>“How is she?” <BR><BR>“Apart from being anxious, I think she’s alright. Or that’s what Teherin said she should be. But there is no telling when the poison inside her starts to work.”<BR><BR>Cynara shook her head and took a deep breath. “What about Teherin? Should she not be very exhausted after the miracle she worked on Túrin?”<BR><BR>“She should be. But somehow… I don’t know. I think she and Sîrel…” His voice trailed off.<BR><BR>“What?” Cynara looked astounded. “You’re not telling me the two of them are…?”<BR><BR>“No. They just seem to have a certain link to each other. I can’t explain it if even Sîrel could not put it into words. He said he somehow channelled and merged Teherin’s and Lordel’s powers to help Túrin and that his and Teherin’s energy are attuned to each other…or something. Don’t ask me. You know I don’t understand anything about magic.”<BR><BR>Cynara smiled. “You said as much before. Any other news in the city?”<BR><BR>“Why are you so curious today?”<BR><BR>“I haven’t had a visitor for ages. The healer they sent this morning was the silent guy. I don’t even know his name. And the servants have been too busy to linger and spread any gossip they might have heard about Vinyaran, or anyone else, for that matter.”<BR><BR>“So, you interested in Vinyaran, are you?”<BR><BR>“Amongst other things – yes.”<BR><BR>“As far as I know, he’s safely behind bars. And the King and Steward will soon turn to interrogating him. A task Faramir is not looking forward to at all.”<BR><BR>“I can imagine that. Will you attend?”<BR><BR>“I don’t know. I might if he asks me. Though I hope he does not want my expertise on interrogation techniques.” Maradir’s thoughts wandered back to the times when he was still in Steward Denethor’s service and he involuntarily shuddered at the remembrance of the last interrogation he had held. Sometimes it was better to let the past rest.<BR><BR>Cynara seemed to have noticed that he was thinking of something uncomfortable and decided to change the topic. “Have Túrin and Visilya left for their voyage south?”<BR><BR>“Unfortunately not. They did not want to leave in this weather. But I’m sure they’re having quite a good time in the city, as I have hardly seen them at all since the wedding. Rumours have it they don’t even leave their bed at mealtimes…”<BR><BR>Cynara laughed heartily at that. “Just like me then.”<BR><BR>“Well… You’re alone in bed and you’re ill. So you’re allowed to.”<BR><BR>Cynara threw a pillow at her father. He, of course, threw it back and a pillow-fight ensued, which was only interrupted by the entrance of a servant. They had not heard the woman knock. Small feathers were drifting through the air and father and daughter tried to look as innocent as they could with the pillows behind their backs and feathers in their hair. The servant cleared her throat and bestowed a disapproving glance upon the two culprits. “You have a visitor, my lady.”<BR><BR>“Let him in,” Cynara said with as much dignity as she could muster at the moment. <BR><BR>The woman admitted a young Noldo, his complexion pale, his arm in a sling and a bunch of autumnal flowers in his other hand. “Himohtar!” Cynara exclaimed and all but jumped out of her bed to welcome her guest.<BR><BR>“I’ll… go and get some lunch,” Maradir said, fully aware that the time for lunch was well over, and went to the door. “Oh, and good to see you on your feet again, young elf.” With that he left the two to their own devices.
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Postby Khorazir » Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:51 am

Just when Faramir had finished sealing the letter, and was on his way to open a window to let in some fresh air to dilute the heavy resinous smell of the seal-wax, there was a knock on the door. Surmising that it was not Éowyn who had returned, he went to open it himself. A servant was waiting outside, bearing a tray with a steaming tea-pot and two cups. <BR><BR>"Good evening, lord," she said and curtsied carefully so as not to spill the tea. "The cook thought you might wish for some tea. Has the lady returned yet?"<BR><BR>"Nay, not yet," he replied. "But she should be here soon. The weather seems to be getting nastier by the minute."<BR><BR>"Indeed," the servant said, walking up to the desk to put down her tray. "Hopefully the lady won't catch a cold, with her condition and all. When is the little one due, by the way?"<BR><BR>Faramir smiled slightly to himself. Some of the servants were extremely inquisitive. No wonder rumours and gossip spread through the City and indeed the entire realm of Gondor at the speed of light. "Lotessë," he said. <i>If all goes well,</i> he added in thought, and his smile faded.<BR><BR>The servant smiled. "Ah, in spring, how wonderful. Two of my lasses were born in spring. That's just the right time for babies." Some of his concern must have shown on his face, for the servant gave him a keen glance, then shook her head. "Don't you worry, lord," she said encouragingly. "All's going to be alright, you'll see. You men tend to worry too much about these things. My husband, now, he was all nerves each time I was with child. Oh, and when I gave birth you'd have thought he was the one in labour, and not I. But he survived. So don't you worry. The lady will be fine, and the little one too. And we'll look after you well, that you can count on."<BR><BR>Faramir had to laugh at the servant's confident assurances despite his concern. "I am glad to hear this, Haleth. Thank you for the tea."<BR><BR>"You're welcome, lord. When will you be wanting supper?"<BR><BR>"We shall inform the cook in time. I do not know if Éowyn has any particular plans for the evening."<BR><BR>"As you wish." The servant curtsied again and departed. Faramir poured himself some tea and went over to the window to shut it again, as the heavy gusts of wind threatened to extinguish the candles in the room. He remained at the window, sipping his tea, glancing out at the darkening sky and the lights of the city below, and wishing he was as confident as Haleth about how things would turn out.<BR>
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Postby Eoden » Tue Nov 04, 2003 8:09 am

“Ahhhhhh…..” sighed Eoden deeply and contentedly as he closed his eyes. <BR><BR>The inn had been so busy since his arrival that it had taken a good amount of cajoling and flattery to haul up a tub to his room. He had managed though, finally; resourceful as he was and relentless, albeit in a courteous way, when necessary. Of course, a few small coins into the right hands had helped as well.<BR> <BR>The throbbing ache in his feet was slowly receding and he sank a few more inches deeper, giving himself over to the luxurious warmth of the herb scented water. His mind leisurely wandered back over the last few days and so he did not hear the delighted if slightly embarrassed giggle of the young maid that, after having dropped off some fresh towels with a last glance over her shoulder, left the chamber.<BR><BR>Minas Tirith truly lived up to the many tales he had heard - and then some. Since his arrival about then days ago he had spent countless hours wandering its busy streets, revelling in all the sights, sounds and smells of this wondrous place. There had been quite some commotion going on then, with countless supply wagons arriving – due to a wedding of some note as he found out later. It had been easy for him to slip in; just another weary traveller arriving amongst the throngs. <BR><BR>Grabbing for the washcloth and soap he set to scrubbing his sore feet. <BR><BR>Helm’s Deep was a mighty fortress and its caves were extensive yet never before had he spent so many hours, days, walking, roaming. First he had explored the lower levels, after having taking up lodgings. The fresh and bright colours of the sign swinging in the wind above the massive double door had looked as promising as any: a man kneeling before a woman with long dark hair and a crown. The Queen’s Blessing apparently had changed ownership quite recently, as was in evidence not only by the new sign, but also by the fresh plastering in the common room and the woody smells of newly worked tables and benches. Renovations were still going on throughout and this was probably the reason Eoden had been able to cut quite a good deal with the inn keep, a burly and somewhat sour-faced man that clearly had a hard time managing all the goings on yet was eager to attract valuable custom in any way possible.<BR><BR>But then, a few days later, the place had filled up, right up to the rafters and Eoden had noted with some dismay that more than one customer was from Rohan; King’s men actually – and those he wanted to avoid. Overhearing the wildly coursing rumours during one of his meals where he sat huddled in a corner with his hood drawn up high, he had found out that King Éomer himself was attending that wedding and he had cursed his bad luck.<BR><BR>It had taken all his charm to convince one of the busy cooks to make him a thick brew of dark onion skins; a liquid he had told her he would need to re-stain his worn breeches; something he would rather do himself since they had been a gift of his much beloved sister. Whether she had believed him or not was not his concern but eventually she had produced the concoction. Half of it he had used to do as he had said. The other half he had used daily and in small quantities to gradually stain his hair darker – a trick he had learnt from his sister, ever one to want to stand out and be different. Yet his purpose was the exact opposite: his aim was to blend in better amongst the mostly darker haired denizens of these parts. A blonde and blue eyed Rohirrim was easily spotted amongst the crowds here, as he saw daily, even though he wore similar peasant-like garb like them. But his ruse had worked so far, for no other rider had yet approached him with any queries apart from asking directions to one Inn or another. <BR>Some of the staff here of course had noted the change in his appearance too, especially the pretty serving maid Wren, the very one that had taken a fancy to him and treated him better than any other customer. He had put it down to having less exposure to the sun and the elements for it was true: in winter his normally light blonde hair always turned a shade darker.<BR><BR>A smile spread over his face as he dropped the soap and cloth and relaxed once more.<BR><BR>Wren. She was quite charming he had to admit and maybe she was up for more than just smiles and flattery later. For if the rumours were true then the Queen’s Blessing would have some dancing and music tonight.<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Lady_of_Rohan » Tue Nov 04, 2003 2:11 pm

"Perhaps we should think about going back inside," Éomer suggested as he brushed away a leaf that had lodged itself halfway inside his cloak's hood. That last wind gust had happened right as he and Éowyn walked through a large patch of fallen leaves. He missed several others, as the dark green cloth managed to camouflage some rather well. Though he had appreciated this time to talk with his sister, he wished more than a little that she could have picked some place indoors. But no, she had insisted on taking a walk outside, and he knew it was wiser not to argue with her right now.<BR><BR>"Are you cold?" she asked, giving him a glance. Her own hood had fallen back with that last breeze, and she showed no sign of replacing it.<BR><BR>"A bit. I don't know how you couldn't be."<BR><BR>Éowyn shrugged slightly. Her cloak was very warm, and, while the blue was no longer as dark as it had been when it was first given to her, the embroidered silver stars along the edges still looked like they had fallen from the heavens. She couldn't explain it, but she always seemed to feel more secure when she wore this one. Looking out to the horizon, she said, "You're right, it is getting late. We should go back before people start wondering what has happened to us."<BR><BR>"That's just what you need to have happen to you, another disaster," Éomer offered in jest. Éowyn didn't take it.<BR><BR>"I've started getting used to it," she replied glumly. "Losing one baby, having my life threatened numerous times, then having my life threatened again and finding out that I could lose this child as well," she kicked (rather forcefully) a small stone in the pathway and sent it bouncing ahead, "I don't know how I would be able to stand the monotony otherwise."<BR><BR>Éomer sighed. So, this is what had been on her mind. During their walk, he sensed she was distracted by something, and the several times when she missed some of his questions for her had only added to his theory. While he couldn't blame her for the anxiety, he felt she was focusing too much on the negative aspects of the situation. "Éowyn, you have been in much more danger than this. I remember seeing you lying in the houses of healing after you struck down the Witchking. I remember thinking you would never recover from that. No, even out on the battlefield I thought I had lost you already. But Elessar brought you back, just as Teherin brought Túrin back from certain death. You are surrounded by powerful healers. I, for one, am certain that things are going to turn out for the better."<BR><BR>They will find the proper healing formula. Things are going to be fine. How many times had she heard that over the last few days? Too many, it seemed. And something could always go wrong. Who knew what sort of things the originator of the poison had whispered to it to prevent it from being simply eradicated with a word and a gesture. She crossed her arms. Of course it was simple for everyone else to say those things. They didn't have anything to lose. She had her child, and quite possibly her sanity, at stake. Éomer's words agitated her. "I know you are sincere in hoping that things will happen as we want them to, brother, but it is far easier for you to believe that than me."<BR><BR>Her brother shook his head. Her mood had changed again. He was amazed at how quickly that could happen nowadays. "Éowyn—"<BR><BR>"No, it's too easy for you to say that. You haven't had your heart shattered like I have. You have not gone through the joy of knowing that a little one is on the way and then suffer the pain of having that stripped away from you. When you go home, you have Elfwine eagerly waiting for you. When Faramir and I go home, we have no one." With that, she spun on her heel and started back toward the Citadel.<BR><BR>Éomer watched her go for a moment, ignoring the light rain that had started to fall. He sighed heavily again. "You're afraid, Éowyn, and that's when you get defensive." He hugged his cloak closer to himself and started to follow his sister back, albeit at a much slower pace.<BR><BR>Shortly thereafter, Éowyn found herself back in the hall leading to her and Faramir's quarters. Her angry steps echoed off the floor, and the few servants she met wisely let her pass without interference. Reaching the door to her chambers, she entered, and shut it a bit harder than necessary. The cloak she took off and flung over the back of a cushioned chair. Only when she brushed a hand over her hair did she realize how chilled she had become. Her hands felt like ice. Teherin would have her neck if she found out about this. But she would have warmed up by the time supper started, even if the healer managed to make it this evening. Over the last few days she had requested that meals be sent to the library, much to the chagrin of the librarians. No doubt they were imagining half of their volumes filled with sticky fingerprints and drink stains.<BR><BR>The sound of tea being poured startled her out of her thoughts. She had thought she was alone in here. Turning, she saw Faramir standing by his writing desk, finishing pouring tea into one cup and filling a second. He set the teapot down and picked up both cups, offering one to her. She walked across the room and took it from him. The warm cup felt good in her hands. "Thank you," she said softly.
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Postby Rainfield » Tue Nov 04, 2003 3:34 pm

Rinanfeld's eye's squinted with each drop of rain that hit the hood his cloak. He wiped his hands on a piece of cloth that he kept in his inner shirt pocket, and took several more steps torward Éomer and Éowyn, keeping a good distance. A rain drop hit the tip of his nose, and refused to slide down his face. He twitched his nose to the side trying to force the drop of water to slide off, but it stuck there nevertheless. Finally, he gave up and exposed his hands to the cold whether and wiped the raindrop off himself.<BR><BR>As Éomer and Éowyn came to halt, Rinanfeld stood with his back to them and looked up to enjoy the sites of city. Not had he seen the city of Minas Tirith since the battle at Pelennor. He gazed at the sculptures, and towering walls. The architecture had always astounded him, and the entire layout of the city was something that he had always admired.<BR><BR>Rinanfeld couldn't help but attempt to eavesdrop on Éomer and his sister. However it was hard to hear, with the roaring wind and the occasional crack of thunder, Rinanfeld's ear seemed to try and reach out to whatever the two were speaking about. As the dark clouds above began to cover the fair city, and a even chiller wind blew between the buildings, he couldn't help but wish to escape to a place with some heat and a nice ale.<BR><BR>As his leather boots stepped on through the puddles beginning to fill the streets, he watched as Éowyn began to become furious, and eventually storm away from her brother. Rinanfeld waited a bit before going to join his friend. Éomer hugged his cloak closer to himself and started to follow his sister back, but was soon joined by his advisor and companion. <BR><BR>"Rinan, did you hear much?" Éomer asked, pulling his cloak tighter against his cold body.<BR><BR>"Of course not, I would never..." <BR><BR>"Don't lie to your King," Éomer interupted with a laugh.<BR><BR>"I tried Sir, but this weather makes it difficult for one to eavesdrop!" Ranin said turning to Éomer, giving him a pat on his shoulder.<BR><BR>"What should I do about Éowyn? She seems unwilling to listen to any of my pleads."<BR><BR>"She's a lady Éomer, thats her job," Rinanfeld replied with a comforting tone. "She'll come around, and everything will work itself out."<BR><BR>Éomer sighed, "Your optimisim never ceases to amaze me Rinan! Even while we were in the middle of Pelennor did you not have nothing but a victory in your eye."<BR><BR>"Ahh, I knew we were going to win. Nothing to worry about," Rinan said laughing.<BR><BR>"Do you really think will be able to extract the poison?" he said walking inside the hall, cloak and boots drinched with water and leaves. <BR><BR>"There is no doubt in my mind, everyone in the city is doing everything they can to help your sister. And everyone, including myself, would give there life to save your sister's baby." <BR><BR>"Your a good friend, and a good advisor Rinan! We shall see each other later tonight?" <BR><BR>"Of course," Rinan said nodding to Éomer. The two parted ways with a smile, and both retired to their own buisness.
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Postby Khorazir » Wed Nov 05, 2003 1:49 am

With a sting of concern, Faramir noted how cold her hands were when she took the cup from him. Her cheeks were flushed, but obviously not only from the weather. The way she had forcefully shut the door, and even more the grim expression she had borne when she had rushed in, and which had softened a little by now, seemed to indicate that she and her brother had had some discussion. <i>Poor Éomer,</i> he thought. <i>Most likely he just tried to ease her anxiety with a few kind words.</i><BR><BR>He himself had ceased trying to convince her and himself that things would turn out perfectly alright, realising that this kind of encouragement was not appreciated at the moment. He still tried to offer as much solace and confidence as he could, but he did not conceal his own doubts and fears from her. If that was the right way to deal with the situation, and to help Éowyn to endure things a little more easily, he did not know. In fact he had the uncomfortable feeling of increasing helplessness. He did not know what was expected of him, and her swiftly changing moods of late did not exactly improve his situation. Sometimes a kind, well-meant word of encouragement would infuriate her, sometimes it seemed that it was being appreciated, even needed. Sometimes she appeared to be sick of people telling her that all would be well, and was glad to hear that he shared her fears, and admit this to her, sometimes she simply wanted a shoulder to lean on, and receive at least the pretence that she was safe and protected there, and not be bothered with the fact that her "protector" felt as troubled as she did herself.<BR><BR>He had always been under the impression he was good at perceiving people's moods, and even able at times to read their thoughts, but during the past days he had begun to seriously doubt that ability. As careful and attentive as he was with Éowyn, he repeatedly seemed to be getting it wrong. Of course, as soon as a mood passed, she would come and apologise, had their talk led to an argument, but nevertheless, at the moment even normal conversations with her were challenging.<BR><BR>Not sure what mood she was in right now, he decided to not to inquire about Éomer. "You are welcome," he replied, then reached out to fish a leaf from her hair. He smiled slightly as he looked at it. "This one must have had quite a journey. There are only few birches in the City."
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Postby Lady_of_Rohan » Wed Nov 05, 2003 8:35 pm

"It's very windy outside," Éowyn said quietly. She looked out the window at the darkening city below. Part of her still smoldered over what had happened between her and her brother, yet more of her was starting to see that she had over-reacted. Just a little. Well, more than a little, really, but she was not ready to admit that yet. Éomer was simply concerned for her. While she gazed out at the flickering lights, Faramir stepped toward her and slipped his arm around her waist. She glanced at him, but he said nothing but looked out over the city as well. The simple gesture threatened to weaken her resolve to not speak.<BR><BR>Eventually, that resolve crumbled altogether. "Éomer and I got into an argument," she said. "Although, it was more me than him. I don't think I let him get a word in at all."<BR><BR>"That's not unusual," Faramir dared to say. To his surprise, a smile touched her lips.<BR><BR>"You would know something about that, wouldn't you? For as often as we argue about things." She sighed, and then took a sip of the tea. It had cooled just enough to not burn her mouth but was still hot enough to warm her inside. Running her free hand through her hair, she was surprised to find it was damp. Apparently, she had left her hood down longer than she had thought. That would not make Teherin happy if she found out about it too. "He was just trying to help me. But he doesn't understand." Her voice trailed off.<BR><BR>They stood together there silently. After a while, Éowyn placed her hand over her middle. Over the course of the week, she had discovered that some of her dresses, especially the ones with tapered waists, no longer fit properly, a revelation that both pleased and disappointed her a bit. She loved knowing that her child was growing; yet, it was still disheartening to know she would not be looking like herself for a while.<BR><BR>She smiled as Faramir set down his teacup and pressed his hand over hers. "Which do you want?" she asked softly. "A boy or a girl?"<BR>
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Postby Khorazir » Thu Nov 06, 2003 1:49 am

Faramir thought for a moment, then smiled. "Twins would be nice, actually. One of each. But I am sure Teherin would have felt if there was more than one, and told us." He shrugged. "Other than that, I do not have any preferences. What about you?" he asked, drawing her a little closer, and kissing her cheek lightly. "Do you think you could put up with another man in the house, someone likely to bring in frogs and other nice creatures as soon as he can walk, or would you rather have a headstrong girl who almost certainly will want to ride horses ere she can talk properly?"
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Postby Bréhon » Thu Nov 06, 2003 5:41 am

With his hand still resting on the handle of the door Bréhon looked up at the sign that hung above it, swinging back and forth as it followed the lead of the irregular gusts of wind.<BR><BR>So far he had spent the entire morning and part of the afternoon in his room, trying to get out of bed and trying to ignore his throbbing headache: the result of too much foreign ale. He had rather indulged into the local delicacies last night.<BR><BR>Turning his back to the wind he pulled his shoulders up and protectively covered a tiny flame with his hand. His efforts were in vain though, for the whirling wind managed to extinguish the flame before he could use it to lit his pipe.<BR><BR>Bréhon grumbled some unclear words with his pipe dangling between his lips. Then he tucked the wooden object -its already smooth surface polished even more due to excessive use- back into the pocket of the jerkin he wore under his cloak. Both were of his personal belongings -like the rest of the clothing he wore at this moment- and not part of his formal outfit. Since no official business was required of him inside these wall, neither was there a reason to follow the Riders’ official dress code. Especially since he already was on official leave, enjoying his well deserved break at the fullest.<BR><BR>A new gust of the chilly wind and the rolling of thunder in the distance drew his gaze to the door and for a moment he was tempted to go back inside, to the warmth of the common room. Yet above all else he now wanted to be in the open air, stretching his legs and exploring more of Minas Tirith. Even though he had walked the city’s pavements already every day, he knew there were many aspects he still had to discover.<BR><BR>It was the second time he visited the city, but since he had been too young to remember anything from his first stay it was like a first visit to him. Following the main road upwards he still stared his eyes out at the sight of the tall houses that were of a completely different style than the ones in Edoras, or anywhere else in the Mark for that matter.<BR><BR>A couple of days before the wedding had taken place they had ridden through the gates of the White City, King Éomer and his escorts. Flattered Bréhon had been, having been chosen to be part of the King’s entourage on this trip. Yet not half as flattered as about a month ago, when he had been promoted to the function of patrol leader. The promotion had been sudden and much to his own surprise as -considering his young age- he had expected to yet remain a scout for a few years more.<BR><BR>Walking under the arch of the city’s fourth circle he was glad he wouldn’t have to leave with the others in two days. Minas Tirith had much to offer and the atmosphere that hung over it made him feel quite at ease. He even had the feeling he stuck out less here than in Rohan, where the sight of his features made heads turn occasionally, especially when he was in uniform. He already got used to being addressed in Westron, a language he was master of though with a clear Rohirric accent. According to some of his fellow riders even his Rohirric was spoken with an accent. He had grown up in a different part of the Mark than where he lived now and it showed in the way he intoned some words. The critisism though had never bothered him.<BR><BR>Musing he looked out over the city walls to the lights of the city below. The sky was darkening fast with the autumnal weather and the approach of the evening.<BR><BR>Then the sky lighted, accompanied by a loud crack of thunder right above the city. Bréhon quickened his pace as he hurried back to the Inn and huddled his cloak even tighter around him. The first squalls already rushed through the streets when he noticed the sign of the Inn that now swung wildly, a lamenting creak accentuating the rhythm of the wind.<BR><BR>Quickly he entered the Inn and took his drenched cloak off. After rolling it into a bundle he used his fingers to rake through his damp hair while his dark eyes scanned the crowded room. People passing through, people that had attended the wedding, people who merely were looking for a temporary shelter until the weather would improve again... None of his countrymen that he knew were present at this moment though.<BR><BR>He looked around for an empty chair and was about to give up when he noticed a free space in the back of the common room. Not taking the risk to lose this opporunity he decided to order his drink from one of the waitresses who fluttered around instead of waiting his turn at the bar first. Swiftly he made his way through the narrow passage between tables and chairs. He almost bumped into one of the waitresses but avoided a crash in the nick of time while he gave her his most charming smile and mumbled, "One ale please".<BR><BR>Finally he reached the back of the room where a wooden bench ran along the wall.<BR><BR>"May I?" he asked the young man sitting at that table and pointed to the free seat.
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Postby Canamarth » Thu Nov 06, 2003 8:19 am

“Would you bring me my cloak?“ Maradir asked the servant who was still on the corridor when he left Cynara’s room. <BR><BR>“Of course, my Lord.” She was back in an instant, handing him a thick woollen cloak with a hood attached. <BR><BR>“So, you think it is going to rain?”<BR><BR>The servant nodded. “The wind is coming from the White Mountains, my Lord, so there is a good chance.”<BR><BR>“Thank you, Fíriel. Would you tell Cynara that I went back to the Houses of Healing and that I do not know when I will be back.”<BR><BR>“Very well, my Lord.”<BR><BR>“And would you do me a favour?”<BR><BR>“If it is in my power to grant it, my Lord.”<BR><BR>“Do not call me <i>my Lord</i> all the time. Once in a conversation is quite enough.”<BR><BR>“As you wish, my…”<BR><BR>Maradir interrupted her by clearing his throat and shaking his head. Fíriel curtsied and left for the kitchens. Still smiling to himself, Maradir descended a flight of stairs and went into the corridor right underneath his own appartments where some of his Noldor were lodged. One of the doors was guarded by an elf. <BR><BR>“Amrod,” Maradir addressed the guard. “I need to…”<BR><BR>“I already know, my Lord.” With a slightly exasperated look on his face, Maradir entered through the door the elf had opened for him. It was a middle-sized guest-chamber, fitted with a comfortable bed, a large chest, a wash-stand, two chairs and a table. Everything in the room looked like it had never been touched, apart from the table which was laden with books, scrolls, and parchments. A quill and an open ink bottle rested on top of a pile as if the writer had just left his desk. Maradir closed the bottle and put it aside so that he could search through the parchments. The third paper from the top was what he was looking for. It contained notes in a tiny script, written in Quenya. <i>Ritual… vast powers… merging of forces… requires ingredients…</i> <BR><BR>Maradir’s scanning of the page was interrupted by a clattering noise from the window. He looked up and saw Lordel’s buzzard on the sill outside, tapping its beak against the glass. Maradir opened the window ever so carefully in order to prevent a gust of wind blowing over the scrolls and parchments on the table. The large bird of prey squeezed through the little opening and started to re-arrange its feathers with its beak and claws as it came to rest on the back of one of the chairs. The strong wind had ruffled them quite considerably. Maradir now saw that a slip of paper was attached to the bird’s leg. As he approached the buzzard, it held out its claw and patiently waited till the man had untied the message from its leg. It went back to ordering its feathers while Maradir read the short note in the same tiny handwriting as the papers on the desk.<BR><BR><i>Will be back tonight. L.</i><BR><BR>Maradir nodded his approval and looked up at the buzzard. “In our out?”<BR><BR>The bird shook itself, its feathers where they were supposed to be now, and hopped over to the window again. “I wonder why you even bothered,” Maradir muttered and let the bird out. It soared high into the air and let itself be swept away by one of the strong gales. Maradir folded the paper he had taken from the desk, put it into one of his pockets, and donned his cloak. He left Lordel’s room with a slight nod at Amrod and was on his way to the Houses of Healing.<BR><BR>
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Postby Lady_of_Rohan » Thu Nov 06, 2003 8:49 am

"I'm not sure if I could manage having a daughter like myself," Éowyn replied. "But a son?" Here she smirked. "Since I've figured out how to control his father, I'm sure I could find a way to keep him behaved as well." Her smile faded, the happy thoughts overshadowed by a stark reality. "But all I really want is a safe delivery and a healthy baby to cuddle."
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Postby Khorazir » Thu Nov 06, 2003 2:58 pm

"Yes, so do I," Faramir agreed softly, then he fell silent. He was tempted to add a word of comfort to ease her troubled mind – and his. But what should he tell her? He did not know how things would turn out, and he himself was torn between hope that with Teherin's help everything would be alright, and the nagging thought that it might not. Thus he said nothing, just held her a little closer. <BR><BR>For a long while they just stood at the window, each lost in thought. Outside the sky darkened ever more. The wind increased, the gales tearing at the black royal banners on towers and battlements until those were lost to sight in the gloom. Heavy rain beat against the windows. The rumble of thunder was not so distant anymore, and suddenly a bright flash of lightning seared the darkblue sky, closely followed by a loud crack. Faramir felt Éowyn give a little start. Obviously the lightning had interrupted her musings.<BR><BR>"'Tis unusual weather for the season," he remarked. "I cannot recall the last time we had a thunderstorm in Hisimë. Ere the War we sometimes had fierce storms and surprising colds when the wind was in the East. We attributed this to the Dark Lord. But this storm comes from the West ..." His voice trailed off. Then, as his gaze fell upon his half-empty teacup on the windowsill he remembered the servant. "Do you have any particular plans concerning dinner tonight?" he asked. "Haleth asked me about it, but I could not tell her anything precise. I do not even know if anybody beside us will attend. I have not seen Teherin for days, nor Sîrel or Lordel, Cynara is still bed-ridden, and Maradir has not sent word if he wants to dine with us. Your brother ... – well, perhaps not tonight."<BR>
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Postby Eoden » Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:24 am

“May I?” <BR><BR>The voice belonged to the same dark haired young man Eoden had seen enter. He gauged the stranger for a moment. His appearance was similar to the many folk Eoden had seen in the city, although taller than most peasants; for that was who he judged him to be at first. <BR><BR>‘Here for less than five minutes and already charming the girls?’ Eoden thought amused, having witnessed his fast reflexes and beguiling smile when he had almost collided with one of the serving wenches.<BR><BR>Yet his attire, although plain and simple, was well made. A traveller maybe? Minas Tirith certainly was full of those since his arrival and there had been just a hint of an accent. But then, those two words were not enough to really come to any conclusion. Over all, he seamed a pleasant sort and certainly better company than many present and so he said:<BR><BR>“By all means, fill the seat…… and fill my glass.”<BR><BR>Somewhat taken aback by the unexpected answer, Bréhon’s eyebrows shot up. But then his face split into a broad grin, amused by the man’s gall. <BR><BR>“An ale will be then?” he asked, having noted the empty half-pint.<BR><BR>“An ale it is”, Eoden retorted now also grinning.<BR><BR>“Two full pints then if you please,” Bréhon shouted over the hum of the room in direction of the counter, suddenly feeling charitable. <BR><BR>The bar keep nodded, shouted back ‘in a moment’ and took to filling two glasses with the golden and foamy brew.<BR><BR>When Bréhon had settled in his seat next to Eoden he took to fumbling in his pocket and soon pulled out a pipe and some dry leaves. All the while he kept an eye on the pretty girl that stood waiting by the counter. Their drinks would be forthcoming shortly. Eoden’s watched the stranger from the corner of his eyes and silently gasped: unmistakeably the pipe was of Rohirric origin. Was he from the Mark or had the acquired it somehow? But then, the pipe was rather simple, similar to the ones he had seen belonging to Mark’s-men of the Eastfold. Certainly not of the kind one would care to purchase. He would have to be careful.<BR><BR>“Care for some?” Bréhon asked, pointing to the leaves and about to light his pipe.<BR><BR>“That’s generous of you but no thanks; maybe after dinner.” <BR><BR>He was careful to pronounce each word properly in westron, hiding any hint of accent as his step-father had taught him. Once more he was glad for the teachings he had bestowed upon him although he would never bring himself to like the old man. His mother having re-married so soon after his father’s death was one of the reasons he had left the Riddermark. That, and the incident of the brawl. <BR><BR>His companion nodded and then, between puffs of aromatic smoke, went on to introduce himself:<BR><BR>“Bréhon’s the name…..”<BR><BR>Yet before he could venture to ask more he was interrupted by the girl who brought their drinks over. Eoden’s mind worked furiously, glad for the short respite. He was fully aware that the simple mention of his name would immediately place him and he had to come up with a good tale until he knew more of his companion. Bréhon took out a few coins and paid for their drinks smiling beguilingly at the waitress. When the maid had pocketed them and turned to leave Eoden cut in quickly:<BR><BR>“Nice to meet you Bréhon, a generous man and with taste when it comes to women. I’m Eoden”. He slipped the name in as non-challantly as possible and continued immediately in order to draw his mind away: “That was Hilda, sister of Gwen – the one you <i>met</i> earlier.”<BR><BR>“Ah! You saw that?” Bréhon chuckled. “Some rather unusually good looking staff they have here, Eo….” <BR><BR>Hilda must have caught the words for she turned and shot him a brilliant smile.<BR><BR>“Indeed,” Eoden interjected, “and if the rumours are true then there even will be entertainment this night. You’ve come to the right place, for there will be some music and dancing. Word has it there are some Haradrim in town. I’ve never met one of their performers but I’ve heard plenty. You look like a man that travels. Have you ever seen a Southron dancer perform?”<BR>
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Postby AragornElessar » Fri Nov 07, 2003 6:03 am

Elessar looked out the window of his chamber, his frown deepening. The approaching storm was unexpected this time of year and seemed to fill all of Minias Tirith with dread.<BR><BR>A quiet knock at the door he didn't even turn his head as he called "Come in."<BR><BR>"Kinsman."<BR><BR>Despite himself, the King smiled. No matter where he was, or what was going on, he was always comforted by the presence of the Dunedan.<BR><BR>He turned then, and saw it was Dolthan who'd responded to his call. Still smiling he walked over and clasped the older man heartily by the shoulders. Dolthan returned both smile and gesture.<BR><BR>"The storm troubles you."<BR><BR>Aragorn gazed deep into the grey eyes of his friend. "Yes."<BR><BR>"You fear it brings more than just bad weather."<BR><BR>"Yes."<BR><BR>"What do you fear my brother?"<BR><BR>"Vinyaran, deceit here in Minias Tirith, the Umbarians..." He stopped with a small grin when he received a chuckle from the other.<BR><BR>"Fair enough." Dolthan noted then stepped away from the King and walked over to the window himself. "You knew it wouldn't be easy."<BR><BR>"Yes. Nor would things be fair. But I..." <BR><BR>"You want to protect them all. To keep them all from harm. You are, after all, their King!"<BR><BR>Elessar shot the other a hard look. "And what's wrong with that?"<BR><BR>Dolthan turned to look at him then. His expression infitely sad. "There's nothing wrong with it Aragorn. It's a noble gesture, and part of who you are. But it's also pointless. You're one man, Son of Arathorn. You do what you can. But do not berate yourself because you can't do it all!"<BR><BR>The words slapped the King's pride and he had to turn away. He pretended to concentrate on a small party of children who were playing in a yard. "I do not wish to wait until the Winter's over to launch the Morgul campaign."<BR><BR>"It will be a tough journey, but perhaps will take them by suprise. They likely expect us to wait."<BR><BR>"Faramir, no matter WHAT he feels, will NOT go with us. I've risked him enough. And now, more than ever, Eowyn needs him. However, as soon as the child is born, I shall ask, beg even, that he join us."<BR><BR>Dolthan actually grinned again. "It'll be hard for the little imp to stay saddled, but I suspect he'll be relieved." Truth be told, Dolthan was quite fond of Faramir, and had often watched over him when the younger man had never known it. Dolthan had been a friend of Denethor's.<BR><BR>"If Imrahil feels up to it, I'd like he and party from Dol Amroth. And Maradir. And whatever Elves will join."<BR><BR>"And your Kinsmen."<BR><BR>Now Aragorn turned and smiled. "I wouldn't even DREAM of undertaking this without them. But at least four shall stay behind."<BR><BR>"Two for the Queen, two in Ithilien."<BR><BR>"Sometimes Dolthan, you're too smart for your own good."<BR><BR>"Nay my lord," The other Dunedain replied in jest, bowing low. "Sometimes I'm too smart for YOURS."
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Postby Rainfield » Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:50 pm

Rinan stretched his arms out in front of him, hearing the pop in his knuckles before relaxing them once again. He blew to the side against his face, moving a string of hair that was nudging against his lips. He reached behind his head and tugged on a small knot of hair, letting it fall freely with the rest. He looked out over his balcony, watching many people try and escape from the harsh weather. Most seemed to retreat to pleasent inn to the left of him. Luckly his corridor offered a small outstretched roof over his balcony, so Rinan kept nice and dry.<BR><BR>Rinan jumped at a large flash of lightning in the sky, followed by a very loud crack. He simply laughed, shaking his head up and down, making the pipe in his mouth fall into his lap. Which burned his knee for that matter. Rinan lifted himself out of the chair, and took a step torward the balcony, stretching his hand out to splash some water on his face. He rubbed his eye's, and tucked his hair behind his ears. He looked down to his left and recognized a familiar face walk into the inn. Rinan smiled, he couldn't quite remember the name, but he was certain that the man had served under him, back when he was a Captain of course.<BR><BR>Rinan sat back down in his chair. The days when he was among the ranks, which was not too terribly long ago, "I'm happy now as an advisor to the King..." He thought to himself, letting out a long sigh. He rested his head in his palm and thought about the days of the ring... Helms Deep, Pelennor, the Black Gate, he sure did have himself an impressive list of battles in his pocket. But after the aftermath of Isengard, and the cleanup of stray orc company's around Harandor and Anorien, Rinan replaced his sword for a pitchfork. However, after some time, Rinan could no longer tend to his parents farm, he had to return to Éomer, and to Rohan. <BR><BR>Rinan shook his head and walked back into his room. He was tired, but not in the sense of sleep. He needed to lift his spirits a little, and have some good times with laughter and ales. He walked over to his bedside and grabbed his cloak, then quickly walked away from his room, and his thoughts.
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Postby Bréhon » Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:19 am

“Southrons you say? Dancing here, this evening? …Marvelous! That’s something I’ve wanted to see for a long time already! I heard they got quite enchanting hip swings.” Grinning Bréhon held his pint up to toast with his companion, and their drinking vessels met in mid air. <BR><BR>“So no, I haven’t had the pleasure to behold their exotic rhythms yet. And now you’re telling me that could change this very evening? Splendid! It’s a good thing I swapped Inns then… The previous one was so dull.” <BR><BR>Then, while bringing his pint to his lips, Bréhon pondered Eoden’s other words, about him looking like a man who had strayed over many known and unknown roads.<BR> <BR>Following his nomadic nature, Bréhon indeed had wandered a lot. Most of it after he had turned his back to his region of birth, when he had been not much older than 12. But none of the people back home that surrounded him these days knew of this, just as they knew not of the true story of his past. And he had every intention to keep it that way. The where and why was no one’s concern but his own.<BR><BR>Though this chap he was sitting next to right now, he was merely trying to make conversation. Bréhon considered it not to be likely that he would ever see him again when his leave would be over as he took Eoden to be one of the nearby villagers. Looking at the man’s hands it dawned at him they were rather smooth to be those of a farmer, though he didn’t gave it any more thought at the time. His main conclusion was there was no harm in telling the man a little about himself. Not that what he could tell was all that exiting, but maybe it was enough to distract Eoden a bit from whatever seemed to make him skittish. <BR><BR>“But indeed, as you remarked: I have traveled, though not to the South.” The war of the ring barely had been over, and he had considered it to be wiser not to go there. Much evil had come from South and East, plundering and murdering… <BR><BR>With a knock against the sole of his boot Bréhon emptied his pipe and then put new leaves in it. Young he had been during the war, though not too young to have forgotten the cruelty. Yet, he wanted to keep this conversation lighthearted, so he continued with a dreamy, longing look in his eyes -and wasn’t there a similar look in his companion’s eyes? <BR><BR>“Traveling is great, much more than actually arriving where you had planned to go… It even made me realize that my homeland was more important to me than I ever would have thought it to be.”<BR><BR>At that time Bréhon’s original plan had been never again to return to Rohan. But as strong as the call of the unknown always -and still- was, as intense became the longing for the home fires after a while. So eventually he had returned, not to the Eastmark but to Edoras: another orphan -due to the war- who tried his luck in the capital of Rohan. <BR><BR>“But I’m sure you also have experienced the joy of traveling, Eoden,” he said with a grin. <BR><BR>Still Bréhon assumed that everyone had that same urge to wander even though experience should have convinced him of assuming the contrary by now. Yet this man, he didn’t look like one who was made for a stay-at-home existence.<BR><BR>Eyeing the guy with the light brown hair he noted a whirlwind walking by from the corner of his eye- one of the waitresses he didn’t know by name- to stop at a nearby table to take some orders. A hearty meal would be more than welcome since he now realized he was starving. <BR><BR>Wanting to ask Eoden if he was hungry as well Bréhon then frowned for a moment, as the name that had a familiar ring now came over as strange for one who was of Gondorian origin. “Say, do you have relatives in the Riddermark by any chance?”
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Postby Teherin » Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:26 am

Teherin stared into the shadows flickering against the wall. Her eyes ached from reading in the flickering light – necessary now that days were overcast and cold with the onset of winter. Her mind wandered down well trodden roads of memory, reliving the extraordinary events of the past few weeks. <BR><BR>The chance meeting in the Inn with Sîrel … the Noldo who sat a few desks away from her, similarly engrossed in a parchment, leading to momentous cascading of circumstances involving her healing skills, up to the incredible gift her Goddess had given her of healing the Lord Turin at death’s door. <BR>Her head still throbbed with the remembrance of the incredible unleashing of power that had been necessary to keep the young Lord’s life on the track of fulfilling its destiny.<BR><BR>She shifted in her seat, sore from the hardness of the bench, and sipped from the cup of strong herbal brew sitting in front of her. The incredible wealth of knowledge and information that surrounded her in the libraries of the Houses of Healing, as always comforted the healer, and she read through the scribbled notes that she had made on the parchment in front of her.<BR><BR>Teherin and Sîrel had spent day after day in the library, researching the Ritual necessary to cleanse the poison that lived and breathed inside Lady Éowyn, coiled like an angry snake around the precious life within her, ready to strike as soon as the reagent was administered. <BR>Having come upon it merely by chance, and having only a small idea of how to go about removing it, the Healer had found the library and the patience and knowledge of her elven companion an invaluable source .. looking over at Sîrel, Teherin once again felt the familiar tightening around her chest, the feeling of … power .. that accompanied the 2 of them when they were close and touching. Even a few chairs apart, the chemistry sparked and crackled between them like a living entity. <BR><BR>Teherin breathed deeply, forcing herself to relax, forcing the quickening thud of her heart to quieten. There was so much still to learn, but she felt within her that time was beginning to run against them She needed to make a move soon.<BR><BR>The healer arose, her eyes straying again to the window that showed dusk beginning to fall and the grey clouds gathering in the sky. She made her way to the door, feeling the need for fresh air on her face, needing to think through, as well, the previous evening’s meditation. <BR><BR>She knew that she needed 2 others at the ritual – a powerful magic user to help counter any spells that may be waiting within the poisonous entity in the unlikely event that someone would try to tamper with it. And she needed someone to ground her, for the healer would be performing a dangerous separation of her spirit from her body, much as she did when she had performed her trance on Éowyn that first time, but this would be much more complex and would require someone to help her return to her body once she had completed the ritual … <BR><BR>‘Lady Teherin .. do you require any sustenance .. or will you be returning to your quarters for the evening meal ?’ One of the Master Healers approached her, speaking with reverence and respect. She smiled, if only her parents could see her now, being treated with such respect by these venerable scholars and healers in the King’s Own City. ‘Thank you Verenir, I will be returning this evening, and Teherin is sufficient .. we are all one in the eyes of the Goddess.’<BR><BR>It was a blessing to have people similar in thoughts and words to herself, and Teherin found that she enjoyed interacting with others more and more .. although few of them were her equal in years.<BR>Mysteries .. mysteries and yet more strange feelings. The healer frowned as her steps took her to the doorway out to the gardens and she felt the cold wind blow through her braided hair. Gathering the warm cloak – a gift from the Steward and his wife – around her, she braced herself for the cold dampness and wondered once again who she was.<BR>Born 60 years ago, a foundling child, she had grown in a small village with her adopted parents, in a family of warmth and love. Developing her healing skills early and encouraged greatly by her mother, a herbal woman herself, she had gradually taken over her mother’s ‘practice’ but had never left the small village. This had changed after her parents’ death, and after a few more years at a neighbouring village had produced no aging despite her 60 years, she had felt a need to leave and seek answers in the greatest city of all – Minas Tirith.<BR><BR>Teherin sighed, noticing as the darkness was beginning to fall all around the great city she had spent her last few weeks in … her journey to the city had been uneventful, but once here, she had simply found more questions to add to those she already had :<BR><BR>Who was she ? Who had been her birth parents ? Why had they had to give her away ? Why did she not age ? Why did she react to strongly to Elven magic ? Why had she always had such a love for life but never any interest in taking part in it as an active person, until now ? Why did she feel what she felt ….<BR><BR>The healer stopped her thoughts there, those were dangerous corridors to run down and she had no intention of opening any of those doors on this evening.<BR>She shivered and closed the door, the chill wind once again insinuating through the cloak and managing to infiltrate her with its damp feel. <BR>Turning, she came face to face with Sîrel ..
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Postby Canamarth » Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:12 am

One of the healers opened the door. “Ah, my Lord. Back already? Step in and leave that dreadful weather outside.”<BR><BR>Maradir followed the healer’s command. The wind had picked up even more and the clouds were so dark and heavy now that rain would come any minute. “Seems I was lucky to get inside just in time.” He shook himself which resulted in a few leaves that had become entangled in his cloak falling onto the floor. He also saw two feathers drifting down. “I’m sorry,” he apologised to the healer. <BR><BR>“Do not worry. As long as Mersina, our housekeeper does not catch you, everything is fine.” He smiled at Maradir. “You know your way?”<BR><BR>“I certainly do.” With that he made his way to the library where he found Sîrel bent over a parchment. The Noldo looked up and stretched himself in his chair. “You look tired,” Maradir stated.<BR><BR>Sîrel only nodded. His dark eyes wandered over to where Teherin had been sitting only a few moments ago. He had felt her leave after a surge of what was almost excitement had hit him. It had been difficult but he had forced himself to read on and not look up and into her eyes. Those deep wells, hiding a secret that had to be unravelled. But not now. The ritual was what they had to concentrate on. He looked back at Maradir. “Have you found it?”<BR><BR>The man produced the paper and handed it over to Sîrel. “And I also got a note that Lordel will be with us again tonight.”<BR><BR>“Has he been successful?”<BR><BR>“I do not know. The message was very short.”<BR><BR>“I should have known. We are, after all, talking about Lordel.” The elf scanned the paper Maradir had brought him. It contained a list of ingredients they would need for countering spells that might protect the poison. Lordel had gone in search of what was most difficult to find. They had to take care of the rest.<BR><BR>“I shall fetch Teherin to show her the list.” He got up and went to an adjoining room which had a door to the gardens. It was ill-lit, as it was starting to get dark so Teherin did not see Sîrel as she re-entered. She closed the door behind her and was startled when finding the elf standing right in front of her. “I am sorry,” he said and stepped back a few paces. “I did not want to startle you.”<BR><BR>Teherin shook her head and gave him a smile, though he felt sadness wafting his way. “Lordel will be back tonight and Maradir has brought the list of ingredients we need for the counter spells. We should have a look at them and see if we will be able to find everything in the city.”<BR>
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Postby Khorazir » Tue Nov 11, 2003 12:04 pm

Faramir felt Éowyn stir slightly at the mention of Éomer, but she said nothing. He began to doubt that she had really paid attention to what he had asked her, or even listened to him. <i>Most likely not,</i> he thought, and sighed softly. She had been like this repeatedly during the past days, and the moods appeared to be increasing in frequency the longer they were forced to wait for word from Teherin. Surely, part of it was caused by the pregnancy, and the changes her body was going through at the moment, but still ... Sometimes Faramir hardly recognised her, whom he had believed to know relatively well after nine years of marriage. Sometimes fierce and angry for no apparent reason, but ever more often silent, withdrawn, lost in her thoughts and worries. Every time he encountered her in this state his own worries increased. She seemed so unlike herself. She had slept only little in the past week, her sleep obviously troubled by nightmares. The weariness was plain to see in her pale face. Also she had eaten sparingly, for fear of poison, perhaps, which was not surprising after the many assassination-attempts they had been subject to lately. But Faramir suspected that rather than this fear the things weighing on her mind had killed her appetite. More than once he had had to remind her to at least try and eat a little. After all, she should taking food for two now. <BR><BR>For a moment he considered suggesting that they should go to the library and ask Teherin how research was advancing (and also if she wanted to dine with them), but then rejected the idea. If the healer had found anything helpful, she surely would have sent word, and most likely she would not welcome any interruption of her studies. Still, a distraction to take their mind off things, at least for a little while, seemed like a good idea. Then again, leaving the house in this weather did not. He was about to ask Éowyn if she wanted some more tea, when there was a knock at the door. <BR>
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Postby Bryttar » Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:20 pm

<BR>As Bryttar and Herger continued to ride, the beams of late afternoon sun filtered there way down, illuminating the dusty path in front of them. In the distance there was one more ridge they needed to reach before they finally would see Minas Tirith, their destination. Bryttar pulled his horse to walk knowing the two men had pushed them hard over the previous two days. He had wanted to reach the White City before the storm over took them and while the rain still seemed far off, the weather had definitely taken a turn for the worst. As Herger reached his side Bryttar glanced over at his cousin and gave him an annoyed smile. "You know we'd have been there by now...I hope she was worth it." Bryttar then held up his hand, "Wait, I know! They are always worth it."<BR><BR>Herger shot Bryttar a sly grin. "I don't do anything that isn't worthwhile, Bryt. Besides, we're not that far off - we'll still get there before nightfall and have plenty of time." <BR> <BR>"Have plenty of time to what?" Bryttar asked with a faked innocence.<BR><BR>"Why, smell the roses, of course," Herger replied, breaking into a laugh. "And perhaps pluck a few fair blooms while I'm at it." He winked at Bryttar. "Meanwhile, what will <i>you</i> be doing? Eru knows you need the company of a woman more than I do, yet somehow you always seemed to avoid just that."<BR><BR>"I have no problem enjoying the company of women, I just enjoy them differently then you do." Bryttar answered playfully urging his horse up just a bit. "You just have your ways and I have mine is all."<BR><BR>Herger rode up to keep pace with his cousin and gave him a hearty slap on the shoulder. "That you do. Tis a good thing too, less competition!" he laughed. "So where will you be taking me tonight? You spoke long and enticingly of these Harad women. I'm more than a bit curious to see these dances for myself. I've never known you to be much for exaggeration, but I find it hard to believe all you say regarding this." He studied Bryttar for a moment with a quizzical look. "The way you spoke of it, more like it was the woman and not so much the dance that took your fancy." The mischief in Herger's eyes was clear.<BR><BR>"Competition?" Bryttar whispered and chuckled to himself. "No Herger that is one arena I would not want to compete against you in." Just then a quick icy breeze whipped by and the younger Rohirrim pulled his traveling cloak around himself tighter. "Rho said we could stay at her place, so let's head there first. Then we can clean up from the traveling and head down to the lower part of Minas Tirith. That's where the Haradrim traders seemed to be found these days. At least those brave enough to come to our lands." Bryttar went silent for a moment as he thought back to the land he had visited for the first time not so long ago. <BR><BR>"And the women?" Herger finally asked interrupting his cousin's thoughts. <BR><BR>"Yes.” Bryttar sighed with a smile. “The women are...well…different. Trust me you’ll like them and I'm sure they will like you too. Many are quite intrigued with blonde hair and blue eyed men." Then he winked at back at Herger.<BR><BR>Herger nodded to himself. "Good," he grinned. "Well, what are we waiting for then?" He kicked Baran and shot ahead, yelling wildly into the wind and riding as if the hounds of Morgoth were at his heels.<BR><BR>The younger Rohirrim kept his horse at a walk as he watched Herger race off. It seemed his cousin was always racing off towards something, but Bry wondered if he was really running away from something else. There had been women, many women, and yet while they seemed to keep Herger happy for a time, it never lasted. Quickly he was off after the next one before his bed was even cold, or so it seemed. As far back as he could remember Herger had been this way. Finally Bryttar shook his head dismissing these thoughts, nudged his horse off at a gallop, and caught up to Herger just as they crested the last ridge and saw the White City below.<BR><BR>Herger had pulled his mount to a stop as Minas Tirith came into view. The sun glinting off the White Tower through a break in the clouds was breath taking, and even Herger had to stop in awe of the sight. When Bryttar had come up beside him he didn't take his eyes from the city, but whispered to his cousin, "I could never live there, but I understand why others can." He gave his horse a pat on the neck and finally looked over at Bryttar. "But Rohan will always be home, eh?"<BR><BR>"Yes." Bryttar agreed and then stared down at the City below as his horse breathed hard from the sprint. <BR><BR>Herger watched a moment more until the clouds moved and the flash of sun was lost, and then started down after Bryttar.<BR><BR>A few hours later the two Rohirrim finally reached the White City. Not long after that they had made their way to the fifth level and had stabled their horses. When they finally reached Rho's small estate, the male head servant greeted the two men warmly and showed them to their rooms. But just after Bryttar entered his, another servant appeared, handed him an envelope, and closed the door behind her as she left, leaving Bryttar as he studied the handwritten letters of his name.<BR><BR>
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Postby Lady_of_Rohan » Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:48 pm

Supper hardly seemed appealing to Éowyn right now. She didn't feel hungry and, even though her more sensible side said she should at least try to eat something, she knew that she wouldn't feel sick later in the evening if there was nothing to upset her stomach. As for Éomer... well, he had told her during their walk that he had other commitments for this evening. That at least took care of the problem of having to see him again so soon.<BR><BR>She watched the rain fall and listened to it splatter against the window. The gloomy weather did nothing to help her spirits. At Faramir's sigh, she glanced at him slightly, but when it appeared that he was not going to speak, she let the silence go on. Her tea was almost gone, but she didn't think it had warmed her as much as she had hoped it would. Maybe standing by the cool window had ruined part of that.<BR><BR>The knock on the door startled them both. They looked at each other asking the same silent question and getting the same answer,"I wasn't expecting anyone, were you?"<BR><BR>While Faramir went to answer the door, Éowyn set her almost empty teacup on the writing desk went over to the cushioned armchair where she had thrown her cloak. Now she took the cloak and set it on the floor while she sat down. On the other side of the chair, resting on a footstool, was a neatly-folded blanket. Last night, she had come to sit out here for several hours when she had been unable to sleep.<BR><BR>She wrapped up in the blanket, tucking the upper corners behind her shoulders. Apparently she had chilled herself more than she had first realized. After finishing bundling up, she tried to hear whom Faramir was talking to. She couldn't pick out any words clearly, and their voices were too quiet to recognize. Giving up that pursuit, she rested her hair against the chairback and let it turn slightly until she was comfortable. Within a few minutes, she had drifted dangerously close to dozing off.
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Postby AragornElessar » Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:08 pm

Aragorn smiled softly when Faramir opened the door. "Hullo Steward." He said softly with a small nod. "Forgive my intrusion. But may I have a moment of your time?"<BR><BR>"Of course!" The younger man said with a voice mixed both with surprise and delight. "Would you like to come in?"<BR><BR>Grabbing his rich, ruby cloak around him, Elessar stepped inside shutting the door behind him. "How is she?"<BR><BR>"As can be expected." Came the weary reply. "I pray an answer can be found soon!"<BR><BR>The King was touched by the sadness in Faramir's eyes. He reached out and gently clasped his Steward on the shoulder. "I can't even being to imagine what you must be going though Faramir. But our prayers are with you, and if anyone can heal her, Teherin can. Plus I have offered my services if they can be of use."<BR><BR>He blinked and waited for Faramir to reply.
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Postby Khorazir » Wed Nov 12, 2003 1:22 am

"I am sure Teherin will appreciate your offer," Faramir said, smiling gently. "And so do we, greatly." He cast a glance over his shoulder and saw that Éowyn had settled in an armchair and wrapped herself in a blanket. <i>Hopefully she has not caught a cold,</i> he thought. He watched her a moment longer, his face grave and troubled, then sighing softly he turned back to the King, and continued in a lowered voice. "After all, you have saved Éowyn's life before, and I have begun to wonder if the shadow lying on her now is not in some way or other related to the Black Breath, and what befell her on the Pelennor. I know the memory of that day is still painful to her, especially in Sulimë, at the anniversary of the battle. And according to what Teherin has found out so far about the person working the spell or administering the poison, there appears to be the chance of a link to the forces of the Dark Lord. Surely she has made herself some powerful enemies that day, when she slew the Witchking," he ended thoughtfully. <BR><BR>Then he shrugged slightly and raised his eyes to meet Elessar's again. "Please forgive my ramblings, sire. I already have a bad conscience for troubling you with these matters in these busy times, and I do not wish to make it worse," he said. "I assume there was something else you wanted to discuss with me? And please, take a seat. We need not stand here by the door."
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Postby Sioban » Thu Nov 13, 2003 7:40 am

Sioban looked at her hands. Strains of foam were running down from them, mingled with soap. The water in the sink before her had been warm in the start but now had become cold and grey and the flakes of soap floating on it rare. With a sigh she dived yet another plate in the water, wondering if they really were any cleaner after their passage in the bath of this water. Had she not run away from her village to escape from this, washing dishes, hidden in the backroom of some smoky inn, coming home with swollen hands, smelly clothes and scattered dreams. Yet, when she had arrived in Minas Tirith, she would have accepted much worse than this. Her stomach had become the only entity to dictate any of her behaviour and after a few apples and some bread stolen from the market, she had looked for a job, just for a night or two the time to fall on her feet in the city and to find the traces of some of her parent’s friends. And maybe after all it would not be the best possible of all introductions to the guards of the white Tower to be thief, even if only of a few apples. <BR><BR>So she had found the inn. A girl had been sick in the morning, and the city seemed to be quite full of strangers. At least the innkeeper seemed to be happy for help, promised a warm meal and a few coins in the evening, if not a bed for the night. It was all she wanted. <BR><BR>The door swung open and the noise from the main room entered for a short moment. Sioban raised her head as high as she could- curious as she was – trying to catch some words of conversations. Oh how much she wanted to know what was going on in the city! She would have wanted to see proud guards and fair ladies, talking with chosen words and exotic accents, clad in elegant garments, so many things she had been dreaming about. But most of the costumers seemed to be peasants, simple folk and Sioban tried to convince herself that in other places her curiosity would be better served. <BR><BR>One of the waitresses, Wren or Wlen, was waiting beside her sink for the dishes that she was told to serve. Amused and smiling she looked at the young girl. " Just arrived from your countryside, have you ? " she asked. Sioban was too nervous to answer but managed to nod. The waitress laughed. " You know what – take my two next ones – two lads there, both of them with brown hair, one slightly lighter than the other. I’m glad if I don’t have to go there - right now they’re only lurking, but especially the older of the two seems only to eager to let his hands follow his eyes, if you see what I mean. Take your time to have a look around, and don’t forget to throw an eye on your costumers. They’re quite cute, actually…." <BR><BR>So, Sioban stumbled her way out of the backroom, holding a tray in her hands, which seemed terribly heavy for her. She spotted the two guys easily, and almost dropped her tray when she got holder of the one with the lighter hair. Now, that was a man !<BR><BR>Only when, she tried to put the plates on the table in front of them, none of them was looking at her. She heard the words " Southron dancer " and all of a sudden wondered if any of them had realised that she was a girl. In a sudden decision she put the plate on the edge of the table and hearing the clinging sound, the blonder turned, touched the plate which fell on the floor, breaking in thousands of pieces. Now for sure he was looking at her. <BR>" Please, " she whispered, " don’t tell the innkeeper. It’s my first day. And look at your shirt ! " With a resolute movement, she tried to wipe off the spots, of which most were perfectly imaginary.<BR>
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Postby Rainfield » Thu Nov 13, 2003 2:06 pm

Rinan stood under a little outcoving of roof, across the street was a delightful inn that he had seen a comrade of his walk into earlier. He pulled his hood over his head and ran across the street. He tucked his head down while running, the rain drops were starting to really pound down. He ran through many puddles splashing water everwhere. He reached the inn and quickly went through the door. He lowered his hood and shook his hair back and forth, getting the dampness out of his hair. He sniffed the air a bit, Rinan was beginning to get a sort of cold. He coughed, and then tried to breath through his nose again, but again nothing but stuffyness. <BR><BR>He walked through the inn, looking for an open table. The people all around him seemed to be having a good time. Raising their pints high into the air, yelling "Cheers" while clanking their mugs together. Alas, Rinan saw his comrade, "Oh what was his name..." he thought starring over to the table. He was sitting with another man who also seemed somewhat familiar but he couldn't completely see his face. There was also a young girl taking an order, or so it seemed.<BR><BR>*crash*<BR><BR>Rinan laughed a bit, poor girl dropped one of her plates. Rinan watched as the girl began to get that panic look on her face. He began to walk over to the table, trying to dodge the mass of drunken people parading around the inn. "That's it..." Rinan thought to himself, remembering the name of his comrade.<BR><BR>"Bréhon?" Rinan asked finaly reaching the table.
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Postby Novice » Thu Nov 13, 2003 5:15 pm

The palace of the principality of Dol Amroth was peculiarly placed high on a grass-topped promontory of rock, which jutted from the larger headland on which the city was built. The promontory itself sheltered the shallow bay into which the Morthond River emptied, creating the harbour immediately below. The palace was within the walls of the city and yet separated from it, so that at need its great gate could be shut as a last bastion against attack. From behind and both sides the great sea cliffs which dropped sheer were defending walls and its great wide gate set in the high wall was cunningly wrought and impregnable.<BR><BR>The main market square of the city was not far from the gates of the palace and, as always, the thriving market was crowded and many stopped to gawk at Nienjah and her attendant, hindering her path as she led the way to the palace. Some of the men -- those who had fought in the War -- bent black looks towards Khorva but after nearly six years of having the Southerner in their midst, most were resigned to his presence. Khorva's well-oiled charm, swarthy good looks and raffish grin had won him companions amongst the more roguish of the young men.<BR><BR>Although they were now used to the sight of the golden woman who was so frequently seen on the path to the palace, many eyes were drawn by the exotic beauty who seemed to glow in the rich cream garments, riding a fiery black stallion through the market with ready, animal ease and control. Transactions stopped as she passed, eyes and minds distracted from business and one fat merchant, his mouth hanging open, overbalanced his cart in the gutter, spilling lush green, red and yellow vegetables across her path. <BR><BR>The crowds irritated her, though she showed no outward sign, sitting so easily upon her mount with her customary languor. She wished, just as she did every time she rode this path, there was a less public road to Imrahil, but with fine thought to strategy the city builders had decided the only access to the Palace would be through the main square.<BR><BR>As it exited the market the broad road crossed the small green lawn planted with trees and flowering shrubs, which led to the great gate. Nienjah ran appreciative eyes over the graceful lines of the building beyond, constructed of white stone, not particularly large but with high turrets and large windows which reflected the light and sparkle of the blue ocean beyond it. From the highest, northern-most tower the blue flag of Dol Amroth with its swan insignia fluttered in the morning breeze. Nienjah breathed a pleasurable sigh; its aesthetic always pleased her.<BR><BR>The guards at the gate stood at their ease, checking the traffic in and out, for the most part townsfolk who were always welcomed in Imrahil's grounds. The sergeant quickly rose from his seat behind the guard table, brushing himself off and smiling as he saw Nienjah and Khorva approach. She dismounted with quick, delicate grace, smiling with ladylike composure but her eyes glittered at him, the sun calling out the gold in their topaz depths. <BR><BR><i>So handsome, these Knights of the north</i>, she thought. <i>So tall and athletic, so fresh skinned and luscious.</i> Her face must have reflected her salacious thoughts for the sergeant flushed before her gaze, dropping his eyes like a bashful school boy and glancing up at her form and face with quick flashes.<BR><BR>Nienjah twitched her eyebrows in irritation at her own lack of focus. She would have to keep her proclivities in better check with Imrahil. It had been a fine balancing act, captivating Imrahil enough to keep him bound to her and yet not rousing him to suspect his own motivations toward her. He was extraordinarily perceptive; elven blood would tell. Immediately, with subtle shifts, her ladylike poise was restored and she addressed the sergeant with measured dulcimer tones.<BR><BR><i>"Good morning, Ethrahil."</i><BR><BR><i>"Good morning, Milady."</i> His chest puffed up, obviously flattered that she recalled his name, and gestured to a guardsman to take the two horses to the stables. Nienjah, with Khorva in her wake, walked through the great gates towards the palace, the guards ensuring the way was clear for her as a matter of course.<BR><BR>Beyond the portcullis, the broad path cunningly wove between two interlapping walls -- a final defence against enemies -- and then turned a corner into the large sun-filled courtyard beyond where businessmen and visitors milled around the grassy sward. It was treed and the cups of bright red flowers waved among the grass. Water played in a broad shallow stone pool in the centre of the court, falling from the beaks of marble swans, wings outstretched and neck held high and graceful.<BR><BR>Nienjah made her way along tapestried corridors and up a sweeping marble staircase of graceful make to the Lord's audience hall, her languid, sinuous tread and exotic looks unsettling those in her wake. When she came to the doors, elaborately carved with delicate images of river reeds and swans, the guard advised her the Hall was still empty and then watched her, star-struck, as she handed him her cloak, pushed open the doors without ceremony and entered.<BR><BR>Nienjah walked the length of the marble floor, intricately inlaid and polished to give the impression of sea foam, gliding with distinctive feline grace, the feminine sway of hips and line of body slight but mesmerizing. She stepped up the two broad steps of the dais and stood there at her ease, knowing that Imrahil would come to her without delay.<BR><BR>-------------------------<BR><BR>As always, Imrahil began his day in the upper chamber of the north tower. Surrounded by windows overlooking the sea and the city below, with the ships bobbing in the startling blue of the harbour, he was in the habit of gathering his thoughts thus, while taking in the life of his people.<BR><BR>He was pensive despite the sunshine. He stood before the window looking past his walls into the market square, but his grey eyes were oblivious to the colour and movement. In spite of their best efforts, they had not yet discovered the identities of the perpetrators of the violent ambush he and his family had suffered. His son, Amrothos and the children were now recovering well, but undoubtedly this had been part of a wider conspiracy. The missive from Elessar giving details of yet another ambush clearly demonstrated the plot was deeper and the danger broader than they envisaged.<BR><BR>Imrahil's noble face hardened. There would be nothing spared in rooting out the perpetrators. The connecting thread seemed to lead to Umbar which did not surprise him; it had always been a hotbed of forment and despite their best efforts they had never achieved more than a semblance of truce with those Southerners. His mind ran through the identities of conspirators who had been uncovered. Vinyaran...from what he had learned Falastur’s son had made unhealthy connections in Umbar during his governorship there.<BR><BR>Imrahil breathed deeply and turned his attention to the activity below, his eyes attracted to two black horses approaching the gate. One of the riders was a woman whose lithe figure glowed and flickered in the morning light and Imrahil's face lit with a smile of recognition. Sight of Nienjah always gave him pleasure; she quickened his spirit and illuminated the very space around him. Even from this distance, Imrahil observed the attention and energy she attracted amongst those around her.<BR><BR>He turned quickly to leave the tower chamber and make his way down toward his audience hall for Nienjah would doubtless make her way there. He’d take her aside to a more secluded chamber where he could speak to her privately about this latest communication from Elessar which had arrived so urgently and seek her opinion and knowledge –- with her long years of intimate familiarity with the court of Umbar she was better placed than any of his official counsellors to give him insight.<BR><BR>He entered the audience hall quietly by one of the small doors that gave entry from the private quarters of the palace. He stood at the door, seeking out his friend and confidante and saw her flickering golden on the dais, dimming even the morning light behind her. He breathed deep with pleasure to see her again. She was very beautiful, breathtakingly so, her long, lean curves hiding strength beneath the languid softness. He would have rested his eyes upon her longer but she had already turned expectantly towards him, taking some steps in his direction so the sheer fabric of her dress floated around her like a mist of shimmering golden white light. He smiled in greeting as he approached and took her proffered hand. <BR><BR>Nienjah suppressed a mocking smile as she felt the subtle quickening in the veins.<BR><BR><i>"Nienjah, my dear, I’m very pleased you came early."</i><BR><BR>He greeted her with his usual warm courtesy, brushing his lips over the back of her hand. He took a soft, long inhalation, stealing a moment to breathe in her intimate aroma. He was struck as always by the caramel satin of her skin, hinting of light spice, cinnamon and vanilla which teased and enchanted his senses. <BR><BR>When he met her gaze again his grey eyes were warmed by kindliness and a warmer inner stirring. Those golden eyes pierced him with gemlike intensity, her alert intelligence seeing much more and deeper than he wished. He would have to be most wary of himself in her presence, he cautioned himself once again and released her hand.<BR><BR><i>"We have not even an hour before my counsellors gather...will you give me your company while I break bread? I have had disturbing news from the King and I need your advice before the Council commences."</i>
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Postby Lady_Aremin » Thu Nov 13, 2003 7:03 pm

Aremin looked up as the first scattered drops of rain began to fall. Her horse, Fadres, was tiring but her and her companions were so near to the city that Aremin did not want to stop and make camp outside the walls tonight. <i>Just a bit longer, my friend. </i> Aremin whispered into her mount's ear. <BR> Sitting up again Aremin shifted on the horse's back to get a better view of the White City. The sudden and quick strikes of lighting illuminated the city, making it stand out like a ghostly white beacon for people from miles around to see. As well as revealing the city ahead, the sudden white streaks threading across the black sky made Aremin's golden hued skin and hair glow with fierce golden light. Noticing this, she pulled the hood of her cloak up to make herself blend in more with the grey night. <i>Light...that is my curse! Not even in the blackest night can I hide, so long as a miniscule particle of light is present!</i> she thought. <BR> Now nearing the gates, Aremin and her two companions reigned in. They came into the light of many torches and lanterns, swaying in the strong gales of a fast approaching storm.<BR> "Hail, who goes there!" cried an armed sentry from atop a watchtower.<BR> "I am the Lady Aremin, and these are my companions. We are elves of the Galadhrim, and we beg entrance into Minas Tirith!" Aremin yelled back, her voice fighting a losing battle to raise above the din of thunder.<BR> There was a considerably long silence, and then the great gates swung inwards, and the three travelers road up the paved road into the city. The sentries that stood aside to let them pass wore expressions of wonder, distrust, and curiousity. Suddenly a mounted soldier rode into the center of the street, blocking Aremin's way. <BR> "What business have you here?" he said a bit harshly. "The people of Minas Tirith have unknowingly harbored traitors and assasins in their midst as of late. We have found and apprehended most of these traitorious vermin but we do not need anymore entering the city. State your name and your business, and be quick, or we will throw you out," the bold soldier said, a definite note of dislike in his voice.<BR> Lowering her hood, once again exposing her golden features, Aremin said "As I have already said, I am the Lady Aremin, and these are my companions Onrenel and Leithlan. We are elves of Lothlorien, and we have come to Minas Tirith to see the Queen. You see, good sir, she is my cousin, and I have come to stay with her and provide for her friendship and companionship. If you doubt my purpose, simply escort me to the castle, and when I have seen the Queen you will know," Aremin said, the fiery gold threads woven into the royal blue color of her eyes staring into the soldier's until he looked away.<BR> "Very well, I and six others will escort you," he said. "Wait here, I will return with the escort momentarily."<BR> The soldier rode farther up onto the main road, getting too far away to see in the black of the night. He returned shortly with six mounted soldiers, and Aremin signaled to her companions to start, Onrenel leading the pack horse with all of their belongings. As they rode up into the higher levels, people on the street stopped and stared; some were even bold enough to point and gesture at the three elves. As they were nearing the inn, the face of a handsome man caught Aremin's eye, and she looked as the man ran into the inn, his cloak pulled tight around him. <BR> <i>He does not have the look of a peasant. </i> Aremin mused, but she thought no more about it, and instead concentrated on following the outline of the soldier ahead of her...<BR><BR>((ooc- This is my first RP ever, so bear with me please. Thanks <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>))
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Postby Eoden » Fri Nov 14, 2003 5:16 am

“Say, do you have relatives in the Riddermark by any chance?”<BR><BR>For a moment Eoden fell silent. Cringing inwardly, he hid his discomfort by taking a long draught of ale. His ‘diversion’ had initially worked so well. Bréhon had talked and talked about this and that without the need for him to contribute anything but now the conversation had taken a turn to where he did not want to go. But then, he grinned, glad for not having to retort to half-truths or lies.<BR><BR>“I do have relatives there,” he said, answering Bréhon’s question directly and truthfully. “Yet I haven’t seen them in quite a while.” That was also true for the trip from Helms Deep to the White City had taken him many weeks. “As you guessed, I also have travelled.” Now he was on ‘safe grounds’ again. “Not a great deal mind you. I’ve always wanted to see Minas Tirith. A splendid city, is it not, with so many levels to delight a saddle weary man?”<BR><BR>Bréhon nodded: “Indeed, I’ve rather enjoyed my stay here so far and if what you said is true about tonight’s entertainment, then it can only get better.” Eoden grinned and raised his ale in another toast. “Now, how about some food?” he asked. “I’ve seen your hungry looks and they were not only directed at the girls. The fare here is quite excellent.” Bréhon laughed and then waved Wren over. Moments later she disappeared into the kitchens, smiling and rolling her eyes at the same time, for Eoden had given her yet another of his sly winks.<BR><BR>“You seem to have quite a liking for that one,” Bréhon chuckled.<BR><BR>“Well, she is rather pretty don’t you think, and quite deftly too? Besides, I’ve always been one to try and sample…..” Eoden quickly corrected himself, “experience all aspects of a new place.” <BR><BR>At this, Bréhon almost choked on his ale; so much so that Eoden saw himself forced to administer a few hearty blows to his back. “You’re …my kind of …..guy, ….friend…” he eventually managed, between coughs. They both laughed and exchanged merry banter, the topic drifting back to the Haradrim dancers and their allures until a young boy approached their table. Eoden’s brow furrowed momentarily as he did not recall having seen the youngster before. Yet another pun of Bréhon quickly diverted his mind again. The remark had been so witty that Eoden roared with laughter and slammed his fist onto the table. The sudden movement sent the plate that had just been set down flying and it landed on the floor with a crash. All laughter suddenly ceased and several heads turned their way.<BR>‘Stupid boy’ he thought, casting a quick glance at the startled youngster. Without getting up, he moved his chair out of the way of the spill and then looked down his shirt, shaking his hands to get rid of some juice that ran down his fingers. ‘They should have kept ya in the stables.’ Too preoccupied with this small disaster, for his only other shirt he had just washed this afternoon and was still drying in his room, he did not see a newcomer approach their table nor heard him address Bréhon.<BR><BR>"Please, don’t tell the innkeeper. It’s my first day. And look at your shirt!" With that, the youngster deftly leaned over and began to pat his tunic with a cloth. Irritated at his administrations, Eoden grabbed his hand to shove it away mumbling ‘It’s alright’ but then, suddenly, he became aware of something soft bouncing against his shoulder. He looked up, startled. The boy……was a girl! Surprised, he let go of the hand and as the girl straightened, clutching the cloth and giving him a shy smile, his irritation soon vanished and he could but chuckle. <BR><BR>“Does the Inn-keep trust me no longer that he now sends the likes of you to serve me?” Her smile vanished. “Oh, come on, don’t be so quick to be offended. After all, you can hardly blame me for mistaking you to be a boy. Bring us new plates and find me a shirt to replace this one for the night. I intend to make a decent impression on the dancers that are to perform later.” <BR><BR>Had she been any prettier, for he certainly was not one to fancy girls with short cropped hair no matter how fine their features, he would have probably made her pay for her clumsiness by demanding a dance. As it was, he hoped she would just do as told and then stay out of trouble. <BR>
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Postby Lady_Aremin » Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:55 pm

Up the paved road they went, the troops and the elves. Aremin noticed that as she passed by, the few people on the street stood and gawked at her, pointing, their faces a mixture of wonder, delight, and ignorant fear. "What has so worried these poor people?" Aremin wondered. "Have they not beheld elves before?"<BR> A sudden, violent streak of lighting lit the sky, making Aremin's form stand out against the dark like a golden beacon of light from the shore of a sea raging with a fiery hurricane. The people under the eaves near a locksmith shop huddled closer to the building, shrinking from the riding party as if they would be burned if they dared to get too close. <BR> Leithlan rode up next to Aremin. "Pull up your hood once more, my lady, because if you do not, these ignorant mortals will flee. I have been riding closest to the side of the street, and can hear what the people are whispering to each other as you pass by. They think you are a spirit of light that has come to bring judgement upon the city," Leithlan said sarcastically chuckling. <BR> Pulling up her hood and drawing it close around her face, Aremin cursed her appearance once more, and tried to be as inconspicuous as possible. "How foolish these people are, to believe that I, an elf, am the flesh-form of a light spirit!" she thought with mixed amusment and exasperation.<BR> By now the riders were just rising into the seventh level, and looking up Aremin saw the vast, spacious palace of white stone, majestically rising into the mountainside. One of the soldiers spurred his horse on, and motioned for the palace guards to open the gates. The tall, white arches opened inwards to reveal sodden courtyards full of rain-washes trees and foliage. Here and there a knight or courtier was rushing about in the steady rain, eager to seek sanctuary and dryness in the palace walls beyond. The light of candles and fires poured forth from many windows on various floors of the palace.<BR> Nearing the intricate palace steps, the guards slowed their mounts to a walk, and the elves promptly followed suit. A man dressed regally in red and white with a deep red cloak stood at the top of the stairs, awaiting the travellers. With her elvish eyes, Aremin beheld an old face full of wrinkle lines, but sensed that these were lines of laughter, and not of worry or despair. Aremin halted Fadres at the foot of the steps and dismounted with agile grace from his tall back as a stable boy grabbed the reins of Fadres' white and silver metal and leather bridle.<BR> Before her, the seven soldiers walked up the broad steps, and upon reaching the top, saluted the regal man in red. Aremin climbed the last step, and beholding the man before her, made him a reverence as a sign of respect.<BR> "I see you are indeed of noble breeding, my lady. If you would be so kind as to let me escort you into the palace, out of the rain, we can make our introductions there," the courtier said, swiveling his head in the direction of the tall, brooding palace doors ahead. <BR> Turning to Onrenel, Aremin said "Would you see to the horses, Onrenel? Leithlan, accompany me inside, and we will see about quarters for you two to lodge in."<BR> "Yes, my lady," Onrenel said, making a slight but graceful bow. He then turned on his heel and descended the steps, following the path he had seed the stable boys take earlier.<BR> Shivering, Aremin turned back and followed the man towards the brightly lit palace, and in through the large, beautifully cut doors of the main entrance of the palace. Once inside, Aremin lowered her hood, and began to remove the sodden cloak from her lithe frame. A shy groom stepped towards her and helped her untangle from the wet mess of fabric that threatened to stick to her tunic and riding breeches. As she removed her cloak, nearby courtiers and servants gasped, seeing the uncomparably beauty of her shining golden brown hair, flawless golden skin, and bright blue-gold eyes all contained in a tall but slim frame.<BR> Then, at once, the nobleman turned to her and bowed. She did him a reverence once more and waited for him to introduce himself.<BR> "My lady, I am Lord Uneriol, a petty noble of King Elessar," he said with poise and bearing. "I am at your service. What is your wish?"<BR> "Noble lord, I am the Lady Aremin of Lothlorien, and I have come to stay with my cousin, Queen Arwen of Gondor. My wish is to have an audience with the King and Queen, tonight if possible, and to have lodging for myself and my two companions."<BR> When the lord heard the statement "of Lothlorien" he became alert and also full of wonder. "My lady Aremin, seldom do we see the noble kindred of elves here in Minas Tirith. It is a pleasure to serve you. Let me see what I can do to fulfill your needs," Uneriol said. He then sent two pages running, one to fetch the King, and one to seek rooms for the elves. He then motioned for Aremin and her companions to go into a sidechamber, which they did, and he followed in after them....
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