The Gathering of the Keepers

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

Postby Alandriel » Sat Nov 29, 2003 5:08 pm

“Bring me quill and a stack of parchments,” Alandriel said quietly over her shoulder. <BR><BR>As her head turned back again, she felt the by now familiar stirring of energy. Amongst all the other ‘strange’ and - at times disconcerting – ‘things’ she had discovered here, <i>it</i> had proved most useful; so far at least; and most of the time. Secretly she had named him – it was a ‘him’ she had decided for a female would be even more devious (<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>) - Shadowjack, for he was everywhere and nowhere, just like a shadow; and he had proved to be a ‘Jack of all Trades’, especially masterful at unlocking and locking - in turn - the many doors of the White Towers, making things appear and disappear (mostly the latter) and, on occasion, playing silly tricks on the Ranger. That’s why, despite his quite substantial powers, she could not quite come to trust him; yet so far he had proved most effective, valuable, even gallant at times, if not very reliable.<BR>To any onlooker he would appear, if he chose to ‘appear’ at all, as wisps of smoke, slowly gathering and melting out of the darkness, converging into a small cloud that would lazily yet purposefully streak away. That’s precisely what was happening now behind the Rangers back. She knew. She did not need to look.<BR><BR>A fresh breeze from the arched opening caught her hair and blew a few fiery strands across her face. Alandriel closed her eyes and shook her head slightly. She loved the clean, salty smell of the ocean. Now, early evening, was the only time when the wind blew from the west, bringing relief from the stench of the shipyards, workshops, the many cooking fires, camps, inns, markets and countless other structures that had been haphazardly errected as if in great hurry; places frantic with activity during all hours that had sprawled all the way to the edge of the foothills of the Emyn Beraid.<BR> <BR>Rumours had brought her this far west; whisperings of a great gathering of nobles. She had heard hushed voices speak of the building of many great ships, mighty vessels that would carry countless high ladies and valiant men. Concern only truly had set in when she had found out just who was amongst those called: too many names, too many important people to be leaving these shores all at once and all with the same destination: Tor-Ontó – a place she had never heard of before. An exodus not only of elves but men and all other races that inhabited Middle Earth was taking place; and right under her very nose! Something strange was afoot, something very powerful, and – potentially - something very dangerous. <BR><BR>Opening her eyes again she drew a deep breath, gathered her cloak and turned. Carefully she bypassed the massive stone pedestal at the centre of the chamber and walked out of the otherwise empty room into the adjoining study, shutting the ancient wooden door quietly behind her. The study or small library rather as she suspected for shelves, albeit empty except for one or two dust covered volumes and a few scrolls, lined all four walls right up to the ceiling, held a quite large table and high backed chair and to this she now directed her steps. Neatly placed on the desk was a stack of empty parchments and a quill as well as a set of candles. She smiled.<BR><BR>“And where is the ink? Or do you expect me to write these letters with my blood?” <BR><BR>She felt more than heard a small cackle at the back of her head. <BR><BR>“I am concerned, worried – yes! Determined as you well know - but not <i>that</i> desperate… not yet,” her voice tinged with annoyance for more than once he had made her feel as if she were overreacting, “I am sure that for one such as you it would only be a triviality to …….” <BR><BR>A pot of ink materialized to her right just as she sat down. “Thank you! How very kind! That spares me a whole lot of trouble.”<BR><BR>In the flickering candlelight Alandriel took to writing. Parchment after parchment she covered with the same letters. Her hand was not elegant for she was not an accomplished scribe nor was she a scholar. But the words were clear and legible to all that would receive them: <b>a simple plea for aid; to come to a council meeting at the tower of Elostirion by the 10th day of Ringarë *)</b> When she had finished rolling and sealing the letters with a simple wax seal she sat back contentedly and reached for a glass of mulled wine that had appeared some time ago without so much as a prompting. <BR><BR>“You know where to take them. See to it that they reach their destination safely and swiftly, for I need all the help I can get… and as fast as possible,” she said into the empty room. <BR><BR>Tendrils of wispy smoke curled around the stack of scrolls, lifted them up into the air and they floated towards the other door as if on small cloud. She watched them disappear and then took the last sip of her mulled wine. <BR><BR>‘I hope my call of aid does not fall on deaf ears,’ she thought as she made to leave the room. Sheltering the flickering candle against the occasional gusts of wind with one hand, she held the ends of her long grey cloak in the other as she gingerly took to descending the many winding stairs of the high tower. <BR><BR>‘I must find out if there is any way to bring back the stone. If I had that…..’ <BR><BR>Long ago, Gil-Galad had built the three elf towers on Emyn Beraid, the Tower Hills, as a gift to Elendil the Tall, setting into the tallest of the towers a palantír of a unique kind: a seeing stone that only looked over the ocean; so that Elendil might from afar gaze upon Eressëa and Eldamar, and at his drowned homeland of Númenor. The stone, after Elengil’s death, had been taken into custody by the High Elves. Where exactly it was now…. Alandriel did not know. Yet, as always, she had some suspicions, some ideas…. maybe there would be a way…...<BR><BR>Reaching the lower levels, she made a quick tour of the many chambers, large and small. She would need to hire some servants to prepare for the arrival of… many, she hoped. The kitchens and larders were as good as empty… there was much to be done. Shutting the heavy main portal behind her with quiet resolve she headed into the direction of the many glimmering lights.<BR><BR><BR>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<BR><BR>(((OCC))) This is an open RP with an invitation to any and all to join, especially non-RPers <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> that would like to have a go. Whether or not you’re actually going to the Gathering or not, jump in here if you like, in any of the places mentioned and do your own story-line; interact, have fun….. - since the RP is on it's way now, if you do like to jump in, check into the <a href='http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?catid=25&threadid=74804' target=_blank>OCC thread </a> first please.<BR><BR>Those that are left behind have been named ‘the Keepers’ and there will probably be a small ‘core’ group of writers that will move this story along (or pounce on any unsuspecting victims <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> ) I am <u>not</u> opening a separate OCC for this ‘story’ as there is already a Keepers thread in the B&B. Any OCC comments can go in <a href='http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?catid=24&threadid=73628' target=_blank>there</a>… if you must, but I’d rather keep this one as fluid as possible, roll it as we go along – not with tremendous planning (although I do have a few ideas to keep it going). Hope you come in and have a good time. The usual TOS and RP guidelines apply so please no one liners. <BR><BR><b> *) 10th of Ringarë is in our time the 10th December </b> – on this day the ‘council meeting’ will take place. If you want to be part of that, then write yourself in by latest that date.<BR>This RP takes place sometime in FA.<BR><BR>And to make it easier, I'll run a list of participants with some stats in the B&B thread (updates will be in the first post)<BR><BR>********* <b>Ammendment</b>*********<BR><BR>We do have an <a href='http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?catid=25&threadid=74804' target=_blank>OCC thread</a> as the B&B thread was getting.... cough.... a bit much <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> Use it wisely <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby prmiller » Sat Nov 29, 2003 9:42 pm

Far from the land where a mountain gleams<BR>and shadows over fields and streams,<BR>where samurai and noble lords<BR>once rode the plains in glinting hordes,<BR>where trains zip past in white-blue blurs<BR>and snow falls fresh on pines and firs<BR>and bamboo forests bend with white--<BR>come I, and hope that if I write,<BR>my presence will augment this band<BR>acclaimed within this cyber-land.<BR><BR>Bright blessings,<BR>Parm <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Praed » Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:03 pm

Forlond forest at dusk. Dispite the fast falling night the wind that blew through the forest was quite warm underneath the leaves of the old trees. All was quiet and dark but for a small fire that casted shadows among the trees.A group of five men were seated around the burning logs and were fully occupied with their own business; Sharpening their arrows, adjusting and patching up old clothes and other smiliar chores. All this happened with dimmed chattering and swift glances at one of the five who was situated a bit further away from the crowd. His black hair hung partly infront of his eyes though it did not seem to bother him while he was cleaning his sword with a stained cloth.<BR><BR>On his turn, Praed kept close track of every move his travel companions made. He had only met them a few days ago when he had taken the road again..The reason was something that still puzzled him though. He had received an anonimous letter sealed but with no autograph that had awoken his curiosity and made him head out again after he had stayed in the same tavern for quite some time. <BR><BR>He didn’t like groups much, there was always one who’d turn on your bad side.Praed was intending to leave before that happened again. And so he got up from the ground and patted his brown leather trousers to get rid of the sand before he turned to the blond elves that were now looking up at him questionaly.<BR><BR>“It is time for me to make my leave. I thank you all for your hospitality and sharing your possesions with me. It was most considered of you. Namárië”<BR><BR>The rest just nodded solemnly and watched him gather his stuff and take off.<BR><BR>It would be a long road to go if he wanted to reach that council before the 10th he knew.Determind to make it on time and find out why he was send this message he began to walk, not caring that the night grew nearer. His sight was sufficient to make him find his way out of Forlindon by night.<BR>
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Postby Braganil » Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:06 pm

Do - a warg, a female warg<BR>Re -it shines from the white Tree<BR>Mi - That's Minas called for short<BR>Fa - Harad's where they keep bees<BR>Sol - I don't know what that means<BR>La - a sound to follow sol<BR>Ti - the white town's second nick<BR>And that brings us back to Do…<BR>Lala-lala-lala…<BR><BR>Braganil was happily singing in one of the tavern, his horse and hedgehog by his side, although the bartender at first objected to the presence of the animals. However, the Rider had offered to pay for any small… "accidents" by his companions with some of his songs, for the Rohirrim were fabled for their intelligent and arousing songs and ballads. So for the better half of the evening, Braga had sung great epic song followed by an even greater epic song, hiw audience riveted to his lips, his voice and his genuine good looks.<BR><BR>Although… there came a point in the evening when he noticed more and more people leaving the tavern. At first Braga feared that was due to his songs, or maybe even due to the fact that his hedgehog Tegi had begun to gnaw on several of the patrone' boots. But much to his surprise, none of that seemed to have been the reason for the slow exodus from the bar and the lands.<BR><BR>During a short break, when he moistened his throat with another mug of ale, Braga beckoned one of the elven customers over. An old acquaintance named Fabiolas, the most gorgeous looking elf in all Arda. At least according to himself. Braga asked Fabiolas and got only one enigmatic answer:<BR><BR>"They are being called by the To-Ontó!"<BR><BR>"Toe-Ron-toe?"<BR><BR>"No, Tor-Ontó, you silly Rider. Mark my words, they will all disappear and when they'll come back they'll never be the same again! You will hear all about it at the Council!"<BR><BR>Then the elf handed Braga a scroll telling all baout the when and hwere of that Council, and with an enigmatic nod, Fabiolas then disappeared, just like the rest. Poor Braga was left to ponder on his own. Soon he packed his seven things, his horse Rahedan and his hedgehog Teginaeg, and off he went into the general direction Fabiolas had pointed him into where that council would be taking place. He wondered how many others would be there... and if this time a Secret Council would welcome a Rider of the Mark!
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Postby Arwen902 » Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:53 pm

<BR><i>Arwen was woken by ice cold water dripping onto her cheek and down her neck. She moaned, pulling her shoulders up and using the blanket to cover her head but the material was worn thin and the insistant water soon soaked through it. She sighed, although she would rather be awake than fall back into her nightmares, it was extremely unpleasant to be woken like this.</i><BR><BR>Do - a warg, a female warg<BR>Re -it shines from the white Tree<BR>Mi - That's Minas called for short<BR>Fa - Harad's where they keep bees<BR>Sol - I don't know what that means<BR>La - a sound to follow sol<BR>Ti - the white town's second nick<BR>And that brings us back to Do…<BR>Lala-lala-lala…<BR><BR><i>She rolled her eyes, smiling gently, that Rohirrim had been singing since she arrived at the tavern earlier that day, and forced herself to get out of bed. She extended a hand, pushing back the sleeve of her shirt when it fell over her fingers, and braced her other hand on the wall beside the window frame. Using most of her remaining strength the slender she-elf managed to pull the rusty window closed and shut out the rain that had fallen the night before and was only now dripping off the roof, but hit her head on the low ceiling as she did it.<BR><BR>She made her way downstairs, rubbing her forehead, but halfway down the creaky wooden staircase she found a sealed letter. The letter bore no note on the outside so Arwen broke it open to see who it had been written to. Inside the only writing read, <b>a simple plea for aid; to come to a council meeting at the tower of Elostirion by the 10th day of Ringarë.</b> <BR><BR>Curious, Arwen went to the stables and found her horse, she would set out on the road and find out what this secret meeting was about.</i>
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Postby Aliana » Mon Dec 01, 2003 11:26 pm

At a little tavern in Bree, a young man and a young woman were sitting at a round wooden table, metal tankards before each of them. Night had fallen swiftly over the town, and the flickering of the fire in the hearth cast busy shadows over the walls. The woman, slightly older than her companion, had a couple of ales in her already. She was slouched in her chair in a very unladylike manner and had an amused sort of smile on her face. The young man (more of a boy, actually) was wearing a more ambiguous expression. His eyes were fixed on the paper that lay on the table between them; he read the words to himself once more: <i>a simple plea for aid; to come to a council meeting at the tower of Elostirion by the 10th day of Ringarë</i><BR><BR>"Let me get this straight, Ali," he said to his sister. "You're prepared to pack up and head to some tower because of an unsigned note that appeared mysteriously yesterday." Aliana said nothing, but her smile got a little wider. "I'm taking this away from you now," he said, reaching across the table for her drink.<BR><BR>"You'll do no such thing, Ceorth," the young woman said, suddenly straightening in her chair and clamping one palm over the top of her mug. "I am not <i>nearly</i> as messed up as you think I am..." Ceorth looked unconvinced, but sat back and folded his arms. "Listen-- hasn't this place seemed a little emptier lately?"<BR><BR>Ceorth looked around. Come to mention it, the inn did seem a little desolate, small as it was. They had seen a few people on the roads, but most of those travelers had been heading west...<BR><BR>"You think something's going on? You think we ought to go see if whomever wrote this letter could use the help of a Rider of Rohan and an inebriated scribe?"<BR><BR>"AND I'm a Bard, AND I'm an apprentice shieldmaiden... And I am not inebriated, you dunce!"<BR><BR>"Sure, Ali..."<BR><BR>The two young Rohirrim sat quietly, regarding the strange note.<BR><BR>"Besides," Aliana said, pushing back a strand of dark hair which had fallen over her face, "what else have we got to do?"<BR><BR>In spite of himself, Ceorth returned her smile this time.
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Postby areanor » Tue Dec 02, 2003 12:47 am

She had taken the road down along the Bruinen and the ruins of Ost-in-Edhil were now in sight. There she would camp that night before she'd cross the Sirannon at the small ford. Slowly the young Gondorian scanned the surrounding pastures. No living soul to be seen in the open. <BR><BR>While the sun was about to set and the peaks of Caradhras and Celebdil to her left started to gleam in a golden light, she reached a sheltered place where she had often spent the nights on her errand rides for the king. She got out of the saddle and made the horse comfortable for the night, hobbling it, so it wouldn't strive far away.<BR><BR>When she laid out the blanket for herself on the ground, a small parchment roll fell to the ground. "Well, what's that?" She was sure to have delievered all parchments she had carried up to Rivendell all the way from Minas Tirith. Strangely there was no string attached on which the name of the adressée was given. And the wax seal was unknown to her. She pondered the scroll in her hand. Should she open it? But the message riders weren't supposed to read the messages they were carrying. On the other hand, they were given some sort of spoken message, if the actual scroll was lost, burned, scorched, pierced by arrows or stolen by spies.<BR><BR>Areanor sighed. Well, she could postpone that decision till the morning light. She stored the scroll in her empty tube that usually held the messages, then started to walk around her camping place in circles to see if there were any marks of other life to be seen in the now dwindling light.
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Postby Jaeniver » Tue Dec 02, 2003 3:24 am

A lazy morning had gone by almost unnoticed and changed into a fresh, calm afternoon. Jaeniver pulled her green cloak a little tighter around her body to prevent the cold wind from chilling her while she sat on a large dead oak branch.<BR><BR>She had gone out to the forest of Trollshaws to practise with her new bow. The brown taxus wood that was used was flexible yet strong and was decorated with golden ornaments. With a gloved hand she retraced the golden lines and smiled. This would prove to be a good day, away from any kind of obligation that may get forced on her. Just her and the wind, the sun and the clouds. After a moment of peacefully looking up towards the grey sky she turned back to her bow and quiver that she had placed on the ground. The arrows were of the same wood as her bow and were decorated with short, white feathers. She randomly picked one and stretched her legs while she looked around for a first target. She saw a dark spot on the bark of a tree some feet away.<BR><BR>"That will do just fine," she mused <BR>She tightened the bow, closed one eye for a second and opened them both to get a clear and focussed view and shot. With an incredible speed the arrow shot through the air, embedding its tip into the soft bark, and trembled by the sudden stop. <BR>Satisfied, Jae let her bow down and placed it against the wooden log for she wanted to move to the tree to retrieve the arrow when the wind brought news:<BR><BR>The breaking of branches and the rustling of dried leaves were what got Jae’s attention. She turned her head sideways to take in all sound. She was not alone. <BR><BR>Her eyes screened the surroundings but could detect no one. As she let her eyes slide to the nearest bush, her hand reached for the small dagger she kept hidden underneath her olive-green tunic….<BR>Suddenly a stranger appeared out of a group of small bushes, not far from the large tree Jae had used as a target. He was taken by surprise when the elf grabbed him from behind and threw him against the tree, his face only inches away from the arrow that still stuck into its bark.<BR><BR>"Who are you," she hissed in his ear while she held the dagger close to his throat. <BR><BR>The young man stammered in broken Sindarin: "I-I’m just a messenger lady send to get you!! I c-came to tell you…"<BR>"Oh please man! Speak your common tongue. It’ll make more sense than what ever you’re trying to utter now!" Jae interrupted him annoyed for he had given her such a fright (for a moment) and now he was even making terrible use of the elven language. She’d give him credit for trying to speak it, later, after her annoyance had past.<BR>Somewhat reddened the young boy continued in common tongue: " I came to get you as a message arrived for you…Could you please stop pointing that thing at me I carry no weapon," he said, eyeing the shiny dagger that was dangerously close to his throat.<BR>He looked at her with such genuine fright that Jae stepped back while letting go of him and then crossed her arms. "A message you say, couldn’t it wait till I got back? I specifically asked not to be bothered during these few hours away."<BR><BR>"I was send up to your chamber to collect some roles and thought it was important as it flew in and was sealed. I assumed…"<BR>Again, Jae interrupted. "Hold one… It <i> flew</i> in?" This was getting too strange! A flying errand??<BR>"I don’t know exactly," the boy sighed. "It just sort of…appeared. Like that out of thin air."<BR><BR>Jaeniver took off one of her black leather gloves and held out her hand. "Give me the errand now please." She still followed the boy’s movements when he took it out of his pockets.<BR>Quickly she broke the waxed seal and unfolded the parchement. She didn’t recognise the handwritings but saw by the fast and spotted letters it hadn’t been a scholar who had written this... More like the person had been in much of a hurry. The message confirmed her first thought: <BR><BR><b>a simple plea for aid; to come to a council meeting at the tower of Elostirion by the 10th day of Ringarë </b><BR>With a concerned frown she dropped the parchment and mumbled, "Much ado about something that’s for sure." Then she turned back to the boy who clearly awaited some kind of instruction or a message to send back. But as Jae didn’t know who had send it in the first place she decided more drastic actions were in order here. <BR>"Get my stuff ready," she said quickly to him. "Saddle Caberion and get me enough provision for a journey to the Grey Havens."<BR>Jae turned away from him and began to walk back to the log with her bow and quiver. The boy followed at a close distance. "The Grey Havens lady? " he asked, for he had no idea what there had been written in the scroll that it had caused the elf to react in such haste. <BR><BR>But Jae continued to ignore him: "Pack my long bow, the white one with the long arrows from Lorien. I’ll take this one on my back. Oh, also add a few daggers, they will do just fine."<BR>With that said the boy hurried off and Jae followed shortly after, after she had looked at the grey coloured sky again and had whispered: " Help’s on its way who ever you are, I shall be there before the 10th." <BR><BR>
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Postby Mahynoor » Tue Dec 02, 2003 6:23 am

Sullenly Mahynoor fed another log into the small fire and drew her much worn travel coat closer. The moist wood hissed and crackled angrily. Acrid smoke, so very different from the fragrant woods of her country, rose and made her eyes water. She coughed. How she loathed the cold, the damp, the dirt! But most of all she hated the way people looked at her: some with outright curiosity, some with barely held back anger and animosity, some with shock, quickly averting their eyes once they saw the many tattoos on her dark face, the deep slashes of ceremonial scars on her cheeks. They all stared as if she was some strange animal. What did they know, those ‘chawaegas’? Nothing! <BR><BR>She poked the fire some more and cursed silently, her dark eyes returning openly each passer-by’s glare. Only yesterday when they had pitched their tent on the outskirts of the ship-yards they had had a clear perimeter. This morning, a good two hours before dawn, they had been rudely woken up by loud banging and hammering, and a huge piece of plank wood that flattened their shelter. No one had apologized or even made an attempt to help repair the damage. Of course they had managed, they always did. Yet she fervently hoped to move, to leave – and as soon as possible. Further out, anywhere, just as long as she would not have to endure one more day sitting and waiting like this, admits those ‘haywanaat’.<BR><BR>In the distance, she heard a raucous laugh followed by leering voices. Then the banging of some doors. Good! The evening at least would bring some peace, at least from those workers. They would be going to the nearby inn now, only to re-emerge some hours later, drunk. If only he would be back by then and hopefully with some good news. As the sounds ebbed away her finely tuned ears, used to the small sounds of the deserts, suddenly picket up quiet footfalls.<BR>Without stirring she said quietly into the approaching night:<BR><BR>“Jhet, achy. Fee achbar?” *) <BR><BR>~~~<BR><BR>Chawaegas= foreigners<BR>Haywanaat=animals<BR>*) You have come my brother. What are the news?<BR>
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Postby Sprite_writer » Tue Dec 02, 2003 8:38 am

In Imladris, the last Homely House of the elves, it was not quite as peaceful as normal. To put it more precisely, one mortal girl was tearing around franticly, close to upsetting the balance that had been set when Lord Elrond had left for the West.<BR><BR>“And I’ll need a new cloak, for the last one is worn practically thread-bare, although with some patching and such I suppose it could still be used as a travel cloak, but really it’ll be done before the season is out I think, and the...”<BR><BR>“Sprite, calm yourself. It is still two weeks hence; you will have plenty of time, but if you place all your focus upon this supposed gathering and none upon your studies, you shall find that your teachers will stop your lessons from sheer frustration!”<BR><BR>“But I feel it. It is a yearning in my soul, so deep and boundless that no distance, no mere barrier, no <i>testing</i> shall keep me from it! Would you deny me the one thing I have longed for in my heart but did not know it?” Looking up, Sprite met the dark-haired elf’s green eyes, eyes seeking for some sort of rationale. “It is seldom that my heart tells me anything in a timely manner, and the testing you speak of is a mere inconvenience, hardly worth the worry it causes. Tor-Ontó though, does not the mere name fill you with hope and desire?” And indeed the mere mention of the name had caused her eyes to glaze over once more, pleasant thoughts about plans, lists, and things that had not yet come to pass filling her mind. With a slight shake of her head, her eyes focused once more, and she found that Figwit was looking at her in a most concerned manner.<BR><BR>“Can you not see what it is doing to you? The name of the location causes you to be deaf, dumb and blind until your mind reasserts itself. Such enormous power – would you allow yourself to be drawn in by it? To blindly follow heralds unknown? To leap, unsure of where the path may lead, or if there is a path at all! Such foolishness I have seldom seen in one who proclaims to have a mind of logic. Will you not reconsider?”<BR><BR>“Can you sway the mind of one who has the sea-longing upon them?”<BR><BR>“I would not equate this mere fancy to the longing for the peace and rest offered in Valinor!”<BR><BR>“What would you call it then?”<BR><BR>“It is some foul spell, set out to capture unwary minds, trammelling them as tightly as the spiders that still reside in the forest of green leaves.”<BR><BR>“Evil then. Can evil create joy?”<BR><BR>“Evil is capable of many things, the one thing it excels at is deception, but pure joy is beyond it.”<BR><BR>“But that is what I feel in my very heart! A lifting of the spirit within, of which naught can change...”<BR><BR>Sprite broke off seeing a messenger from the Twins approach and turned towards him, curious, and more than willing to put a pause to the argument that was taking place.<BR><BR>“My Lord, my lady, the Lords Elladan and Elrohir summon you.”<BR><BR>“Of course they do.” Figwit rolled his eyes heavenward and took a deep calming breath. “I knew this day would come, Sprite. You’re finally getting us both kicked out.” To which Sprite simply grinned, but the messenger looked most concerned.<BR><BR>“I am unsure as to the reason my Lord, but follow and you may see.” The messenger replied, and turned, heading for the library, leaving the two to follow.<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>Upon entering the library, the messenger announced them then left, the Twins turning in greeting.<BR><BR>“If you will follow but a short time more, you shall see the reason why we called you here.” Elladan said, answering the unasked question. “It is something most unusual.”<BR><BR>“And as such we immediately thought of you, Sprite.” Elrohir finished off his brother’s sentence.<BR><BR>“Fear not, you are not in trouble, it is merely something that we thought you might like to see.” And with that, the Twins turned as one and led them deeper into the library, to one of the more westerly rooms.<BR><BR>“If Mithrandir were here, I would attribute this to him, but suffice to say that it is not his presence that I sensed; it is a fëa with far more mischief in its intent I believe.” Elladan said, indicating the scroll that was gently bobbing up and down in the soft morning light. “Sprite, would you care to try your hand at its retrieval?”<BR><BR>Tilting her head to one side to gain a better view, Sprite nodded, noting the unfamiliar wax seal upon its side. Taking a step forward, she frowned as the letter bobbed back. Another forward, another back. Two quick forward, two more back. One back, and the letter came forward a pace. The barely disguised elven snickers from behind did nothing for her temper, and it was with great restraint that she merely muttered “Stay here,” as she stalked off. <BR><BR>The layout of the library in her mind, she went the long way around to another door almost opposite of where the original stood. Seeing the letter a ways away, but pretty much in line with herself and the elves, Sprite runs toward it, leaps at the end so it cannot rise above her, snatches it with one hand and curls up into a tuck and roll, coming to rest in front of the elves on one knee.<BR><BR>Hastily straightening out the bent corners where she had grasped it, Sprite bows her head in mock formality and raises the scroll with two hands. “Your missive, my Lords.”<BR><BR>“Well earned.” Elrohir replied, a grin on his face. “What does it say?”<BR><BR>Getting up and brushing off her knee, Sprite flicked open the seal and read aloud the sentence found upon the paper “A simple plea for aid; to come to a council meeting at the tower of Eelos, Elõstir...”<BR><BR>“Elostirion?”<BR><BR>“Elostirion by the 10th day of Ringarë. It is unsigned.” Sprite looked up, wondering what the Twins would do, but they simply looked towards each other, not taking the letter from her hands to check as she would have expected.<BR><BR>“Well, as it is unaddressed, it is clearly meant for the person who retrieved it.”<BR><BR>“Let us know what you will be needed for your journey and it will be provided.”<BR><BR>“But what of...”<BR><BR>“Your testing will be postponed until after you return from your mission.”<BR><BR>“No, I...”<BR><BR>“We know you have been studying, but this is more important. Needs be that you prepare as swiftly so as to arrive on time.”<BR><BR>“Aye my Lords.”<BR><BR>At that, they smiled and turned towards the door leaving the confused Sprite and Figwit in the map hall. Turning towards him, Sprite looks up to meet his eyes.<BR><BR>“Where the $%#&*% is Elostirion?!?”<BR><BR>
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Postby nienor-niniel » Tue Dec 02, 2003 3:50 pm

<i>Nienor-Niniel stared at the door of the Inn - it had been so long she had not entered an inn in this particular mood, on this road somewhere between despair and grief, where all the memories of guilt and loneliness seem to scream at you, yell out of your nightmares to make you weak like the pale sun of a December morning. It was almost like a voice whispering in her mind: » Where will he go? Whom will he meet? And why can you not follow him? » <BR><BR>A few days ago, Anorast had told her that he left for a kind of gathering, in a place she had never heard off, called To-Ronto in Ca-Nada. He would not tell anything, suddenly so eager to leave that he had no words for her left. And there she was, left alone, abandoned in her questions, still wondering which obstacles made the gathering closed for her. And in the suddenly lonely and cold nights of the early winter, when only the body of her faithful Nadjeshda kept her warm, she did not really know any more, which thoughts were her own and which were whispered by this almost imperceptible voice that seemed to come form the void. 'He will not come back. He will dance with some elvish maiden and forget you quicker than a fly. You should have taken a dagger, like you have once and put an end to those elflings. Take the dagger and taste the sweet taste of blood again. Take it - cut your way towards your own life free.' When she woke up from those nightmares, the air was much colder than usual, and she felt like someone was watching her, a smell of ashes was in the air. But there was nobody. Nobody she could see. <BR><BR>So she had ended up in front of this inn, stepping from one foot on the other, thinking of one thing only: gin. She wanted to drown her mind in the crystal clear liquid like she had done many times when she was alone, go to the moment when nothing was left. And that she did, decided all of a sudden that she had nothing to loose anyway, and that she knew everything that there was to know about the crying game. The air in the inn was sticky and some Rohirrim sang a dreadful song, that hardened her decision to bring herself to the state where the world would be shining and the dark laughter in her mind, that sounded like an echo would stop. Nadjeshda was in the hands of the stable boy, almost a child still, a thin, clumsy guy, who had kept his head bound and whose voice had not yet lost the height of childhood. <BR><BR>Time went by - in fact little time, but many glasses. And of all a sudden, through the mists, Nin heard a voice:</i> « I think, Lady, you have lost this parchment. » <i>Nin tried to say something in an answer, but her tongue would not obey her, and she just managed to stretch out her hand, avoiding to get up her from her chair, in which case she would have surely fallen on the ground in the moment when nothing but her feet gave her hold. She could not remember any parchment (and frankly, she did not remember that she knew how to read it), but in subconscious movement opened the piece of paper. The lines danced in front of her eyes, and she already wanted to throw it away and order another bottle when a cold vague of air caught her and for a second made her conscious clear. Someone wanted her to read that letter.</i> <BR><BR><b>simple plea for aid; to come to a council meeting at the tower of Elostirion by the 10th day of Ringarë</b> <BR><BR><BR><BR><i>The words could not be any clearer - was it not the day when this gathering should take place - slowly she remembered some of the missing pieces of the puzzle. 'Well, if I cannot go with Anorast I can at least make myself useful at this council' she thought (still frankly, her thoughts were less clear than this sentence, but basically that was the meaning). <BR><BR>Nienor-Niniel stumbled out of the inn, wonky, and if some people shrugged back at her passage, it was not so much because of the smell, but rather because of the vague of cold that surrounded her, when she was really close to falling. Someone wanted her to get out of this safe and to take her road. After two or three wrong guesses, she found her horse, but when she tried to get on the saddle, no cold guiding hand could help her - she hit the ground swiftly and strong. Before the stars had stopped to dance in front of her eyes, she felt a helping hand getting her up and between the bouncing stars and the twirling air she recognised the stable boy.</i> <BR><BR>« Thankg ye.  » <i>she managed to say. The boy looked at her in a strange way.</i> « Where are you going, mylady? » <i>Nin thought that it was an odd moment to be called mylady, but tried to answer.</i><BR>« Do a counsel, in Ay-Low-steerion. » « Elostirion - I have heard the name several times today. Take me with you. » <i>There was a plea in the light voice, something unexpected that made Nin rise her eyes and look at the lad. Was it something in the way he put his hair behind his ears? Was it the voice? Was it the smile? In the next morning, Nienor-Niniel did not even remember their meeting clearly, and she could not have told what betrayed his true identity.</i> « But- you're a girl ». <i>No objection was possible, and the girl hissed her shoulders.</i> « Yes, I am. And if you realise that in your state, what do you think how much time will it take for everybody in the light of the morning? You cannot ride anyway, and even together, we're no heavier than a full-grown man. Take me with you! I'm tired of stables and inns. And so should you be! »<BR><BR><i>Nin frowned her eyebrows - but the voice in her mind was silent and there was no cold around her.</i> <BR>« Whassya name? »<BR>« Sioban, mylady. »<BR>« Well, Sioban, here we go. »<BR><BR><i>So they left the two of them, both relieved for different reasons to leave inns and customers far behind. They did not look back and even if they would not have distinguished a dark creature moving in the night, quick as a shadow, silent as a breath, cold as death. It was following them.</i><BR><BR>edited for a missing word...
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Postby Kaya » Tue Dec 02, 2003 4:07 pm

<i>Grey Havens - Crys’ place</i><BR><BR>Kaya had not been sleeping well. Yes indeed, elves don’t need much sleep to look their natural sparkling self but even so, it showed. She was a bit cranky even, though that had nothing to do with a lack of sleep but more with the fact that she hadn’t had her first cup of coffee yet. Strange that she only missed and seemed to need those when she was in civilization and could do without one drop of caffeine very well while she was out in the wild for weeks, even months.<BR><BR>With slow but nervous steps the she-elf kept on walking… back and forth… back and forth…. Round and round the kitchen in Crys’ house.<BR><BR>Crystal Seed looked up from her work and sighed loud. “For Eru’s sake, Kaya…. Stop walking around all the time… You’re making me nervous.” The woman waved with a nightblue satin fabric and some narrow ribbons of the same color, bordered with gold. “If I sow one knot wrong because of your hyperactive walking…”<BR><BR>Kaya stopped and looked at her friend. She just couldn’t get it. Why?? Surely Crys must have heard the rumors as well. “But… I don’t understand… I just don’t understand… You’ve been working on that dress now for how many weeks?”<BR><BR>Crys gave her a warning look, her eyes indeed tired from all the late nights working on the dress by the light of an oil lamp. The dress was becoming a true piece of art though, that had to be said.<BR><BR>“Okay, okay… it’s a lovely dress, I said that before… But really Crys… To Tor-Ontó??? You know where that is??”<BR><BR>Again, Crys looked at her with a warning look. “You think I don’t know where I’m going?? Oh really Kaya…” The woman shook her head and then focussed back on her work. “It’s a gathering, I told you… Besides you could have come with me but you were more interested in spending all your coins on renovating that house of yours… Really, now what were ‘you’ thinking… Making a hobbit bathroom…” Crys shook her head in disbelief while she put the thread in the needle again.<BR><BR>Kaya grumbled. “Well come to think of it I prefer my hobbit bathroom over getting corrupted in some unknown place cross the Sea… You must have heard the rumors as well, Crys? You must have… It’s been said that those who go will be completely different people afterwards!” she said in a conspiring whisper.<BR><BR>“Eard womthing ike that…” Crys mumbled with a few pins between her lips.<BR><BR>“You know what that could mean, don’t you?” The she-elf just had to keep on trying. She had the feeling this would end all wrong, very wrong. “Fan d'Hôme rings a bell? You could be stuck in there for quite some years.”<BR><BR>Crys now looked at her; her jaw fell to the floor and the needles did as well. “Okay, that’s it! I wasn’t gonna give this to you but now I’m willing to do almost everything to distract your mind of this whole Tor-Ontó thing.”<BR><BR>With vehement gestures Crys put her fabric on the table in front of her and got up. She walked to the cupboard and pulled one of the drawers open. Out of it she took a scroll and pushed it in Kaya’s hands. “Read this… This might be something for you.”<BR><BR>Kaya looked down at the scroll and noticed the seal had been broken. Carefully she rolled it open and looked at the handwriting that was clear yet it seemed the writer’s hand had been a bit cramped. Maybe from writing too long? Not that there was much to read on the paper. Yet what was most intriguing was that there was no address on the scroll; not from the one who had sent it, and not from the one whome it was for.<BR><BR>“Who gave you this?” the elf asked.<BR><BR>“I came flying in, a few days ago… Yes, flying,” Crys grinned. “I know as much as you do what it’s all about, but it seems something for you to dig your teeth in… hmmmm?”<BR><BR>“Yeah, it is interesting… intriguing… mysterious…. And it sounds urgent.”<BR><BR>“Indeed! So you’ll be going?” Crys noted that Kaya was still a bit in doubt about what to do. “Someone has to keep an eye on the situation in Middle-earth for us,” she said to push her over the line.<BR><BR>At last Kaya nodded while she looked one last time at the scroll, then she rolled it up again and tucked it under her tunic.<BR><BR>Quickly she gathered the few belongings she had from the guestroom where she had been sleeping during her stay here. She wrapped her warm woolen cloak around her, for it was getting colder already, and took her weapons and pack.<BR><BR>Looking at Crys before she turned to leave, she smiled faintly. “Thank you for letting me stay. You enjoy your trip, you hear me… And I want to hear all about it when you come back.” With a hug they said goodbye. <BR><BR>“Namarie,” was the last Kaya said before she closed the door behind her.<BR><BR>Not long after that, Kaya rode away on her mount. Elostirion was her destination… but her mission was unknown.
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Postby Katren » Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:11 pm

<i>Blop. <BR>The sound of a fishing hook flying into the waters, waiting soundlessly for a fish to take hold of the bait. Holding the reel was a she-elf, chewing on a strand of wheat absently, lazing in the warmth of the sun. <BR>Beside her was a woven basket - an empty woven basket as it had been for past 3 months. Why she couldn't catch a fish was beyond her knowledge but her stubborn nature forced her to stay at that point until a fish took the bait. </i><BR><BR>"Come on fishiess...." <i>she muttered softly to herself.</i><BR>"Come to elfy..."<i><BR>But nothing worked. <BR><BR>Katren felt alone and bored, her finger placed against the fishing line in case it moved. She remembered the days when there were others fishing alongside her. She remembered the bitter moments when they would leave, their baskets laden with fish and she would look at her empty one and sigh. <BR><BR>Now, no one came to fish at the Gulf of Lhûn, the last person she saw had told her excitedly about some gathering in a place she had never heard of before.</i><BR><BR>"Tor-Ontó...what's so special about that place? And most importantly, are there any fishing oppurtunities there?"<BR><i>Katren raised her eyebrows but in her heart she knew that she would never leave Middle-Earth.. even if they did have bigger and fatter and easier to catch fish in Tor-Ontó. <BR><BR>Pushing the end of the fishing rod into the dirt beside her, Katren laid back and closed her eyes, there would be no fish today. </i><BR><BR>-- <BR><BR>"KATREN!!"<BR><BR><i>The she-elf jumped up, nearly colliding with the other elf looming over her.</i> <BR><BR>"By Eru it's you Kaya!! But even if you were excited to see me again, did you have to scare me like that?? My heart isn't what it used to be you know."<BR><i>Kaya grinned,</i> "So, what are you doing there?" <i>she peered over at the fishing rod, the line was tugging wildly.</i> <BR>"Fishing eh? That's...uhm...interesting. So have you heard about the meeting?" <BR>"Oh. The Tor-Ontó gathering? I've heard. And I'm not going!"<BR>"Good! But what I mean is our meeting." <BR><i>She dug out a scroll from her pack and handed it to Katren.</i> <BR><b>a simple plea for aid; to come to a council meeting at the tower of Elostirion by the 10th day of Ringarë.</b><BR><BR>"You know, I'd love to come along Kaya, especially since I haven't moved much in three months, but I've got serious business to take care of." <i>She gestured to where her rod once stood.</i><BR>"Where's my..."<i><BR>Down the river, the rod floated away with the current, her fish dislodging itself from the hook and swimming away with the bait.</i><BR>"What business?"<i> Kaya asked politely, her eyes wide and innocent.</i><BR>"Well seeing as you're not so preoccupied anymore, I suggest you come with me. We can journey together!"<BR>"No Kaya, but I am going alright. It says 'a simple plea for aid', I'm making time to go to Elostirion out of pure goodwill and not because I'm not 'preoccupied' anymore, I've always got plenty of business to attend to."<BR><i>Kaya rolled her eyes.</i><BR>"You never change do you Katren?"<BR>"Change? I'm only 632 years old, what's the point of changing? Come along now, we have little time to get there."<i><BR><BR>Katren packed up her belongings and heaved them onto her shoulder.</i><BR>"I wish I didn't have to walk." <BR>"Kat, quit complaining. You haven't even taken a step yet."
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Postby Elven*Warrior » Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:22 pm

Izara watched the last stars fade as the first light of day began to appear. Always did this elf rise before the break of dawn, cherishing the sight of the stars overhead. A fair reminder of Eldamar they were. <BR><BR> A sad smile played across Izara's face....Eldamar. "How foolish we were then," she mumured, recalling those days when the world was young. A child she had been, yet ne'er would she forget the glory of <BR>Valinor. <BR><BR> Nor would she forget the strife that had torn the Elves apart. She had been among those exiled to Middle-earth and still in that land did she remain. The last of the Noldor, as far she knew. Izara would live her days in Middle-earth, until she was called into the Halls of Mandos. Too much blood had been spilt on her account for her heart to allow her entrance into the Blessed Realm. Izara had fought many a battle through the ages; a warrior was she. It was a fact, yet it troubled her often.<BR><BR> Izara broke from her reverie, knowing there were things to be done that day. She had not gone far, though, when something strange caught her eye.<BR><BR> Hovering above the ground was a scroll. It seemed suspended there of its own accord, but Izara knew better. Cautiously, she approached.<BR>It remained, so she grasped it. Unfolding the scroll, she read the message.<BR><BR> A warning was in her heart, and she knew this was no small matter. She would go to the Tower of Elostirion. <BR><BR> Izara packed her things onto her horse quickly, and then departed with haste.
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Postby areanor » Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:29 pm

Slowly she opened her eyes. The red light of dawn was filling the dale, almost lazily stopping here and there to fill up a ditch. Another lonely night spent in the wilderness. It was about time to get back to civilisation, even if it meant the crowded streets of Minas Tirith, but that was still a long way to go. Areanor sat up and reached for her water flask. Then her hand touched the message tube. She pulled out the scroll that had appeared so mysteriously out of nothing last evening. What to do with it?<BR><BR>After taking some time to think about it, she broke the seal. If she didn’t know the contains of the message, she would never know what to do with it. Her eyes wandered over the parchment....<BR><BR><b> a simple plea for aid; to come to a council meeting at the tower of Elostirion by the 10th day of Ringarë<BR></b><BR><BR>Nearly 400 miles to go in the next 8 days. She might even be able to make it. She considered the thought. Her orders had been rather clear, she could still hear the voice of his highness, Prince Faramir, in her ears: “Remember, you’re not a simple message rider, you’re one of the ‘kingfishers’, Areanor. Gather all news on your journeys and if you come across something queer, investigate and report.” Well, if that scroll and that plea wasn’t something queer, then what was?<BR><BR>At least it was an excuse to stay in the North some more time. Maybe on her way to the Emyn Beraid she would meet some old acquaintances she had among the Northern Dúnedain. She stored the parchment in her saddle bags and got her horse ready to go. <BR><BR>After crossing both the Sirannon and the Glanduin, she turned westward. She would hit the South Road near the Ford at Tharbad and then follow the Greenway. Crossing the Baranduin at the Sarn Ford would be the next step. And at the messenger place near Tharbad she could leave a message with her whereabouts that would be brought to Minas Tirith soon. At least she would sleep in a bed next night. She urged her horse forward for she wanted to reach the messenger station before nightfall.<BR>
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Postby Braganil » Wed Dec 03, 2003 5:02 am

We’re off to see the tower<BR>Elostirion it is called<BR>Where it may lay, I cannot say<BR>But somewhere it is I’ve been told<BR>A council’s there, no time to spare<BR>So we’ll ride like the wind ‘till we’ll be there<BR>We ride, we ride, yes ride without a care<BR>We hope they’ll have beds in that tower to share<BR>We’re off to see the tower<BR>And ride so fast just like a flare!<BR><BR>Finishing his little ditty as he rode in a light trott passing fields, streams and little groves of hazlenuts, Braganil felt good. No – he actually felt great! At last some mystery to explore, some challenge to his non-inconsiderable skills. Just the job for a Rider of the Mark, Eomer King would be proud of him! And where Elrond had forgotten to invite any Rider the last time when he held a Council of his, this time the Riddermark would be represented.<BR><BR>“Ha! New Age, new game, so watch out you elves! I seriously wonder how that fabled company could have gotten as far as they did last time, without any Rohirrim on board. I mean, they went on foot? Without any horses? How short-sighted was that?”<BR><BR>Talking to his hedgehog Tegi, Braga spurred his horse Rahedan onwards, passing through a small glittering stream, the water splashing high as rahedan’s hooves send it spewing against his legs and arms. “Brrrr, cold! And there will be many more streams to pass if I am right about the location of that tower. Somewhere in the West, even west of the Shire…”<BR><BR>Again, Braga burst out into song: “And all will turn / to silver glass / A light on the water / Grey ships pass / Into the west.” He kept humming that haunting tune he had recently heard somewhere, when suddenly a brilliant thought struck the Rohirrim. What if he took a short cut and rode through a very mysterious forest he had heard about from other Riders? Strange creatures were in there, fearsome and foreboding, not to be triffled with, and many a traveller had lost his sanity at their hands.<BR><BR>“What the heck, it’ll cut short our journey by two days! Didn’t that nice man say this tower lay just beyond that forest? Well, I think we should chance it, what do you think, Tegi?”<BR><BR>Tegi, at that point, had his little snout full with a piece of meat, and thus Braga decided to take his silence as a definite yes for his plan. <BR><BR>After about two hours, Rider, horse and hedgehog finally arrived in the forest. It was dark, it smelled like rotting leaves and moss, but what Braga found strange was the stray potted plants he saw standing around the forest floor, seemingly in no particular pattern, even though some looked as if they spelled out a message. Craning his neck, Braga tilted his head to read one of those pot signs: “Beware, do not speak to them who say….” The last couple of pots had been tossed over rather carelessly, like a squirrel would do when searching for nuts. Well, at least there probably were squirrels in this forest, and Braga licked his lips as he thought of the delights of roasted squirrel with acorns!<BR><BR>Braganil was torn out of his contemplations when suddenly Rahedan reared up and he found himself surrounded by a group of strange looking figures, all clad in shining silver armour with a little flower sticking on top of their helmets. before the Rider was able to shout a greeting to the men, his ears became inundated by a shout eminating from all figures standing around him.<BR><BR>“Bree! … Bree! Bree! Bree! Bree! Bree! Bree! Bree!!!”<BR><BR>“Who are you, oh men who wear flowers onto their heads? Tell me quick, for I am in a hurry!”<BR><BR>One of the men stepped forward then, looking Braga up and down, pushing up his visor, the flower on his head, having wilted long ago, dangling in front of his nose. <BR><BR>“THOU SHALT NOT PASS!” The voice boomed, and Braga felt as if he was in some sort of strange movie. “We are the Knights who say Bree! Bree! Bree! Bree!!! We demand flowers, for our old ones have wilted and our pots are empty! Bring us some flowers and thou may pass. HA!”<BR><BR>“OY!” Braganil groaned and rubbed his eyes. he had heard of these strange folk, and from the tales he had heard, this could take quite a while!<BR>
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Postby Sprite_writer » Wed Dec 03, 2003 7:42 am

“Where is Elostirion? That is a question easily answered.” Figwit replied, and pulls a maptube off of a shelf. He dusts off the area near the opening, and pulls out the aged paper, placing it on the table in front of him. Sprite has already gotten weights and places the four of them down so the map doesn’t curl up again and looks on with interest.<BR><BR>“Here is Elostirion.” Figwit says, pointing to a hilly region just past the Shire.<BR><BR>“What’s the difficulty then? Should only be about...” Sprite paces off the distance with her fingers, “400 miles, give or take a few bends in the road.<BR><BR>“And what of the decree that none save hobbits may travel in the Shire? Ah, now you see. You will have to travel south, take the <b>long</b> way round.”<BR><BR>“But that would make it... closer to 525!” Sprite grimaces and rubs her forehead “53 miles a day. Not fun. My but’s going to be sore!”<BR><BR>“Indeed. You will have to take the ointment with you.”<BR><BR>Sprite looks suspiciously at Figwit. “What’s with all the ‘you’s’? You’re coming with me.”<BR><BR>Figwit merely raises an eyebrow. “Have you forgotten the visitors we’re expecting in the next couple of days? The earliest I will be able to leave Imladris is the eighth.”<BR><BR>“But that would mean that I...” Sprite’s eyes widen as she begins to realize the true extent of the situation. “No. I don’t want to go.”<BR><BR>“Nonsense! The Twins have commanded it; they would not have if they felt you were unable, and you were willing enough to go to the Gathering alone.”<BR><BR>“But that’s different.”<BR><BR>“I fail to see how. In any case, think of it this way – you will be heading west, the direction you would have to go in order to make it to Tor-Ontó. You will be closer this way; and will not need to pay as much for the passage.<BR><BR>Come, today it is nice out; while you pack, I will make a copy of the map and directions, procure some travel rations, and tend to Iluin, and you may be able to make some miles today before the night closes in.”<BR><BR>And so it was that after lunch Sprite found herself on the road, a pack on her back, a more heavier one on Iluin’s, heading westward along the road.<BR>
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Postby Aliana » Wed Dec 03, 2003 1:20 pm

Aliana held the map a few inches from her nose, squinting. The day's sunlight was fading, turning the horizon into a dark silhouette. Nearby her brother stood, holding the reins of both their horses. His foot tapped impatiently on the grass at the side of the Great East-West Road. They would have to make camp on the road, a prospect that Aliana did not particularly relish. Still, with the two of them together, it would be relatively safe. Something more was bothering her, though...<BR><BR>"%$#@!" she finally exclaimed, thowing her hands down to her sides. "I can't read this piece of crap! Why is it that every single map in this %$#@ world seems to be the size of two pages of a paperback novel! Elostirion isn't even <i>on</i> here, as far as I can tell!"<BR><BR>"You could buy one of those atlases."<BR><BR>"Ceorth, we've been over this before. What with the cost of tuition, I simply cannot afford to buy a stack of hardcover books!"<BR><BR>Ceorth let out a sigh of teenaged frustration. "Ali, why are you bothering yourself with that map, anyway? The Tower is just due west of here. All we have to do is follow--"<BR><BR>"Weren't you listening? I told you, we need to figure out a route to take us around the Shire."<BR><BR>"I don't see what the big deal is. I mean, you're so short, you could practically be a hobbit, yourself."<BR><BR>Normally Aliana was able to take her younger brother's teasing good naturedly, but this evening she was in a particularly foul mood for some reason, and unleashed a string of epithets which would be considered ridiculously inappropriate to a family-friendly messageboard.<BR><BR>"Jeez, Ali, it's not my fault you're hung over." Oh, this one really thought he was on a roll, didn't he...<BR><BR>"For the last time, Ceorth, I am NOT hung-over. And if you keep squabbling with me like this, we'll NEVER get to Elo-- whatever it is, so--" She broke off midsentence, and suddenly looked around. "Ceorth," she started quietly, "did you hear tha--"<BR><BR>This time, however, her words were cut off involuntarily, as a hard, blunt object connected with the back of her head.
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Postby Elven*Warrior » Wed Dec 03, 2003 1:54 pm

Izara rode hard that day, heading northwest from her home in Anfalas.<BR>Her mount, Isil, was surefooted and swift and Izara hoped to reach Ered Nimrais, the White Mountains, by night fall.<BR><BR>The roads were lonely and Izara saw only one company. These folk were Elves and Men. They spoke but briefly with Izara for they were anxious to continue on their way.<BR><BR>"We journey to Tor-Onto," they said.<BR><BR>The same foreboding Izara had known upon reading the scroll came to her at those words. "Where is this land?" she asked.<BR><BR>They travelers gave her no definite answer, but said only that it was distant, to the very edges of the known world. No more would they say and thus Izara parted ways with them. She pondered the encounter, but most heavily she considered the excitement she had seen in their eyes. It was a great fervor, almost hysteria... <BR><BR>Izara had little doubt the council was in some way connected to it.<BR><BR>Late into the day, it began to rain. Isil's pace was slowed and Izara feared they would not make it to the mountains. Indeed, night fell and they were still five leagues away.<BR><BR><BR><BR>Morning dawned dark and grim with rain still falling heavily. The wind blew cold.<BR><BR>Izara wrapped her cloak tightly about her,speaking soft words to Isil.<BR>The horse watched her with wise eyes and nickered in response. On the peaceful, though often lonely, coast of Anfalas, Isil had been Izara's sole companion more than once.<BR><BR>"Let us be off, my friend," Izara said, mounting Isil. "The road to Elostirion is still long."<BR><BR>
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Postby areanor » Thu Dec 04, 2003 12:32 am

<i>“ Ringarë, 2nd <BR><BR>Bergil! <BR>Greetings. Something weird happened and I want you to report to His Highness.<BR>Included scroll appeared out of the air two nights ago. I decided to follow the plea and am going to Elostirion right now.<BR>I will try to send more information as soon as possible.<BR><BR>Areanor”</i><BR><BR>She waited for the ink to dry and rolled the parchment, including the mysterious scroll in it. Then she sealed it with a small signet, showing a kingfisher in full dive. On the string she knotted the name of Bergil, highest of the guard at Emyn Arnen. She handed it to the house-keeper. “Please make sure this will go to Minas Tirith and further to Emyn Arnen as soon as possible.” He nodded and stored the parchment on a heap of others waiting for someone to go to the South. “I expect a messenger to come tomorrow to get these.” He said. “Then I’ll go to sleep now. Would you please wake me at dawn?” Again he nodded and then shuffled out to make a final round to the stable where her horse enjoyed an evening meal after an uneventful, but rather long ride. She smiled behind him. Ivar had never been one of the talkative type.<BR><BR>Yawning, she made for the back room where a row of beds was lined along the wall. The message rider, too, had enjoyed a meal, though the silent presence of Ivar never lead to a chat. At least he told her that no roaming marauders seemed to be around. But then again, no other wanderers had taken the Greenway for some days. She had never reckoned to have company for the next two days’ journey to Sarn Ford anyway. Tomorrow she would cross the Greyflood, leaving the ruins of Tharbad to her left and take the usually well-used street to Michel Delving. After crossing the Baranduin, she’d have to leave that road to get to the path used by the messengers to go around the Shire. If everything went smooth, she would get to Elostirion on the evening of Ringare 9th.<BR><BR>Laying her bundle on one of the beds, she heard soft footsteps behind her. Areanor whirled around. “Greta! Ivar didn’t tell me you were here.” Ivar’s wife smiled. “Ah, you see, I was tending our beast, when I heard the steps of your horse. And while Ivar was capable enough to entertain you and to get you a meal, I set up a bath for you. Would you care for one?” Areanor smiled. Ivar entertaining somebody? A rather new thought. “The Valar may bless you. I’d love to get into a hot bath tube.” Together the two women went to the bath-room.
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Postby Kos-el-Qadah » Thu Dec 04, 2003 4:18 pm

“Kos-el-Qadah is my name.” <BR>–“Kuadah?” <BR>“No sir, the sound has to come from deeper inside… guttural.” And the man had pronounced his own name again, some letters being formed in the back of his throat. “Kos-El-<i>Kgggadach</i>.”<BR><BR>Strange land. Almost- no, for sure barbarian… and its people were as warm as the weather! It seemed they never had heard of hospitality in the form of offering a mere cup of coffee. And on the one occasion that he had bought a cup himself, he had ascertained to his abhorrence that it was the poorest concoction made from the coffee bean that he ever had tasted.<BR><BR>Savages they clearly were. Yet he tried to ignore their shameless gazing, their whisperings once he and his sister had passed them, their muttered curses… And he knew to succeed in that, for he still had to gather information. <BR><BR>With patience he had been able to make contact with a few helpful souls. And the burden was less heavy as well for he had the foresight to a speedy return to the vast and brooding solitude of the desert with its shifting sands, to the long and sloping strides of camels, the fresh cardamom-spiced coffee, … to the East.<BR><BR>Yet, for a while things hadn’t looked good concerning their return home. <BR><BR>A few days back rumor had reached them that the mountain passes in the east were all but closed as a result of heavy snow storms there. For the time being even the Gap of Rohan was inaccessible! This was bad news, and even though Mahynoor had said little he had seen in her dark eyes that it saddened her. She missed the warmth of their homeland maybe even more than he did, and he wanted to keep her in this environment where rude people ruled no longer than necessary. <BR><BR>So after they had decided to try to get on board of a ship steering south, to Pelargir, they had packed their belongings and had ridden to Grey Havens –only a day’s ride away for their horses rode with speed and spirit. <BR><BR>Upon arrival at Grey Havens, they had noted -much to their surprise- that the city had been expanded with hazardly put together shelters. Every day the new settlements had extended, more ‘animals’ arrived, and more empty ships gathered in the Gulf of Lune. People were running around like war was at hand, yet no one wanted to tell him what it was all about. For two days now he had hung around the docks, from dawn til after dusk, trying to glean information, hoping one of the ships would go south, yet without result. Until today…<BR><BR>Maybe they had gotten used to seeing him hanging around the docks by now, for at last he had been able to get some information out of one of the deckhands. <BR><BR>Apparently the ships were going to sail westwards, to take the people to Tor-Ontó. He had never heard of such a place yet to his opinion it had to be a place of ruin, seeing the kind of people that were eager to get on the ships. No ship would steer south any day though.<BR>One had asked him if they maybe wanted to come along, to Tor-Ontó. He had turned the offer down immediately, though politely. His sister was a woman of status, and all the sands of his desert would have to fly over to the west before he would let Mahynoor go to such a place. And certainly not on a ship in the company of those who went!<BR><BR>Kos-el-Qadah sighed. His sister would be grieved with the news that no ship would be able to speed up their return home. With robes billowing in the wake of his eager steps he walked back to the outskirts where they had put up their tent. Out of consideration for his sister he had left her there, minding the tent. He saw her sitting by the fire, waiting, filled with hope. And he had to destroy that hope now.<BR><BR>He was not a happy man…<BR><BR>“Jhet, achy. Fee achbar?” <BR><BR>He saw the flames reflecting in Mahynoor’s eyes while he crouched at the other side of the fire. With a far-away look into the flames he then said:<BR><BR>“The news is not good… No ship will sail south in the upcoming days, maybe even not in the upcoming weeks. We must search for another solution… One thing is sure though: there is no reason for us to stay here any longer. We will break up camp before dawn and move on. To where…?” He sighed. “Maybe the stars will bring advice… ”
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Postby ILvEowyn » Thu Dec 04, 2003 7:48 pm

Lord Mirdain sat on the porch of his house in Lorien, watching the leaves swirl in the wind. More and more of them were falling from the trees these days; it depressed him. He needed to get out. Then came the message, carried by the wind over the porch railing, seemingly from out of nowhere.<BR><BR><b>a simple plea for aid; to come to a council meeting at the tower of Elostirion by the 10th day of Ringarë *) </b><BR><BR><i>Hmm, is Lady Alandriel in distress? The 10th of Ringare...not too urgent it would seem</i> Mirdain thought to himself. Then looking around at his surroundings, he declared aloud <i>I will go...when the time comes.</i> Then he stood up and went into the house.<BR><BR><BR>OOC: short, but oh well. I hope it's good enough for now Alandriel<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Hobbituk » Fri Dec 05, 2003 3:52 am

High atop a great mountain a Hobbit with long hair which was once short and of slim build, though once portly, stood framed against the sky and unravelled the scroll. He stared at it for a long while, barely moving, his eyes unblinking and resolute. After a time he gave a deep sigh, rolled the scroll back up and then with deliberation dropped it to the rocky floor. He turned his back and wandered back to his cave. There was no-one there to hear, yet had there been they may have heard him mutter to himself,<BR>"<i>Nothing now can disturb me from my solitude...</i>"<BR><BR><BR>Many miles to the West a Pub stood by the Last Bridge and another Hobbit, the Landlord, was busy outside the stables readying his Cart and Donkey for a quick visit home. Harold had decided that he had been working so hard at The Lucky Fortune Inn these past weeks that he was owed a brief respite. So, leaving his favourite barmaid in charge he had packed his bag and slung it on to his old rickity cart. The Donkey was a bad tempered old beast, but he knew his master and knew better than to give Harold trouble when he was in a hurry.<BR><BR>At last the preperations were complete and Harold made ready to leap aboard. Suddenly out of the corner of his eye he noticed a white object fall to the floor, spinning around he saw that it was a scroll of parchment, "Hello, hello," he said to himself, "Now where did you come from?"<BR>In wonder he reached down and picked it up, unravelling it quickly. Inside it was mostly blank but for one single sentence,<BR>"<b>Simple plea for aid; to come to a council meeting at the tower of Elostirion by the 10th day of Ringarë</b>".<BR><BR>His mouth dropped open, a plea for aid? From whom? For what purpose? Why would they send it to him and what could he do to help? The questions buzzed around his head like flies yet he could make little sense of them.<BR>"What do you think Derek?" he said, referring to the Donkey, "Should we answer this...heroic..plea for aid?"<BR>The Donkey stamped his feet impatiently, not concerned with the destination, only that they complete the journey quickly and easily.<BR>"Very well," said Harold at last reaching a decision, "We shall travel to Elostirion and see the Council. Father will simply have to wait a while longer for my visit."<BR>With that, he leapt atop the Cart and cracked the reins on Derek's back. Derek snorted loudly and then set off at a quick trot. They were in need of haste for the Winter was quickly drawing in and the 10th day of Ringarë was near.
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Postby Alandriel » Fri Dec 05, 2003 6:04 am

Amidst the ruins of Amon-Sûl a figure shrouded in black melted out of the lengthening shadows. He turned his gaze east, tested the air and then took one more step out into the open, tugging the reigns behind him. Turning west he noted that the sun had just dipped below the horizon. It was time! Horse and rider left their hiding place and took to the road, flying west along the Great East road at terrible speed. There was no warning of their passing. No noise of thundering hooves churning the dirt. No stirring of the air. The only clues as to their passing were the sounds of dislodged stones hitting the dirt road and a trail of dust that quickly dissipated. <BR>He did not pay heed to the occasional travellers that were still on the road despite the fast approaching night. He passed them by at such speed that most would believe his passing to be nothing but a fiction of their imagination; a trick of the failing light – were it not for the horrifying chill he left in is wake. But even that passed, and swiftly. <BR><BR>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<BR><BR>“You are certain of this?”<BR><BR>The Noldo nodded. “Yes, the seeing stone of Elostirion was taken west on the Ringbearer’s White Ship after the War of the Ring.” <BR><BR>Alandriel rubbed her tense neck pensively and regarded the elf with a sinking feeling in her heart.<BR><BR>“You might be able to talk to Elrond or even Galadriel about it for I hear either or possibly both may attend the festivities in Tor-Ontó.”<BR><BR>Alandriel’s brow furrowed: more bad news. Putting a few coins in payment for their drinks on the rough wooden table she stood.<BR><BR>“Thank you for your time – and good journey.”<BR><BR>“The same to you, my lady,” answered the elf, “and may our paths cross again. It was a pleasure to talk of our histories and the events of the past. Not often it is I find someone as interested as you.”<BR><BR>Alandriel bowed: “You greatly honour me.” And with that she took her leave. Needing to clear her head, she strode towards the shipyards. As she passed through the now emptying docks and work yards she noted two strangely clad figures taking down a tent. ‘Southrons… or…Easterlings this far west?’, she mused yet soon her train of thought was diverted elsewhere again. Coming to a stop in front of an empty pier she gazed out across the darkening waters of the gulf. The salty night breeze was refreshing and she took many slow and deep breaths until she felt her inner tumult lessening. Menelgavor, the swordsman and hunter of the skies was just rising. Gazing at the brilliant stars her eyes suddenly narrowed. Was it a trick of her imagination or was the constellation indeed dimmer than the others, as if overlaid by a haze...... a shadow?<BR>
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Postby Jaeniver » Fri Dec 05, 2003 2:21 pm

(OOC- a small one <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif"border=0> his post is <b>before</b> Alandriel looking up at the stars..but <b> after</b> the rider's departure from Weathertop<BR><BR>The evening was approaching and Jae whispered in Caberion’s ear to make haste. She didn’t want to be in the middle of the wild when night hit. Their journey had been prosper throughout Rivendel and the land of Rhudaur dispite the wind. Caberion her mount rode bravely through the hard winds gaining speed when going downhill.<BR><BR>So now she was following the Great East Road that lay infront of her as dark clouds gathered above her. With an anxious frown she looked up, and made the horse slow down a little.and Jaeniver took off her hood attached to her green cloak<BR><BR>‘A night without stars means growing danger somewhere.’ She mused to herself and as she inhaled deeply when she pointed her ring Sartinco- Nírë to the dark sky and said with clear, comanding voice: “<i>Kalya!”*</i> <BR><BR>The blue glow coming from the ring brightned and as if someone lit a thousand candles slowly briliant stars appeared casting silver shimmers over the lands. Jae gave an appreciative nodd and pulled Caberion’s reins and he began to move forward again. <BR><BR>“No traveller can ride without the navigation of stars. <i>Annali len**</i> to all of you other there. May the Valar protect you.” After that whispered to the night she placed the hood back over her head and bowed her head a little to shelter herself from the icey winds....<BR><BR>After a few hours she reached the ruins of Amon-Sûl that layed west of her now. The ancient dwelling lay silent yet something made her shiver. A cold feeling of fear drew nearer.Something was here. No, she was wrong, something had *left* and had left this trail of coldness behind. <BR><BR>Quickly the elf reached for her bow with her gloved hand while her blue eyes screened the surroundings looking for something or someone. Nothing, just the whistling of the wind and the last songs sang by birds in the woodlands behind her. Caberion let out a quiet neigh as he too sensed the shadow that lay infront of them.<BR><BR>“Sorry my friend, but go through it we must, We must reach Bree before midnight.” And after alot of gentle whispered words and patting his neck he moved again. <BR><BR>For now nothing happened and Jae considered them safe as who had passed her had left and was now infront of her...still she’d keep her eyes and ears open and her bow ready for any kind of movements. <BR><BR>When she reached the city of Bree and therefor the crossing of the Greenway and Chetwoodroad another feeling took hold of her senses and heart this time. Something was amiss...someone was in trouble. <BR><BR>“Who is it...come on...” she tried to place the bits of information in the right order “Who are you...send out some kind of call for help...let me find you...” Looking from west to east she doubted.Which way was she to go? Then she turned Caberion westways and made him take the Greenroad. The cold feeling was still very well tangible here an she knew where this kind of fear was, innocents would be more likely to get hurt. She bit her lip and took firm hold of the reigns<BR><BR>She didn’t have to ride long before she saw the outlining of a person along the side of the road. It took her another minute to realise there was not one but two persons there.<BR><BR>Then it hit her. “Aliana!” she said loudly and stopped immidiatly. The familair feeling she had felt was that of her friend. what was she doing here out in the middle of nowhere in the darkest of night? ‘Questions are for later.’ she thought. The elf dismounted and ran as quick as she could to the side of the road and kneeled next to the laying image of her friend. Then she turned to the person that stood somewhat helplessly next to her...he looked familair but Jae couldn’t find his name and gave up after after a short amount of time thinking of what it might be.<BR><BR>“What happened to her?!” she asked the boy but he remained silent and she let out a frusterated sigh as she turned back to Aliana feeling for a pulse. She was alive thank Eru but far gone. She could feel a big bump on the back of her head though. Frowning, she took of her cloak and made a pillow out of it to lay it under Ali’s head. It would give more comfort then the cold wet ground. While she was laying Ali in a more comfortable position, she got up and walked back to Caberion taking a piece of lembas and the flask out of her pack. <BR>With a small nodd she gave both to the boy and watched him take a big pull. After making sure he had calmed down a little she spoke again with gentle but determind voice . “Now boy, I really need to know what happened to her. Please tell for she might need more help then i can offer here in the open fields.”<BR><BR>Jae had kneeled next to her friend again and now looked up at the dark outlining of the young boy, waiting for him to answer.<BR><BR><BR><BR><i>*Illuminate!<BR>**Good luck</i>
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Postby Elven*Warrior » Fri Dec 05, 2003 4:46 pm

The council date approached rapidly, and still Izara had far to travel. The miles seemed only to add weight to her heart. Some evil was at work in Middle-earth, subtle and dangerous it was. Izara could feel it growing and her unease grew with it.<BR><BR>When darkness overtook them, Izara and Isil stopped. The elf knew what she must do that night, though she was wary. In the soothing silence, Izara reached out with her mind, searching.<BR><BR>Izara broke from her trance-like state as the sun rose above the horizon, bathing the land in golden light. Izara had forseen many things, yet she knew not which events would come to pass. Long had it been since she had delved into the hidden things of the world, for she feared her gift of foresight, if a gift it was. Nonetheless, it had served her that night. Izara now knew how desperate her journey was, and how much depended on the council at Elostirion.<BR><BR>Izara traveled hard that day, and rode through the night as well. By dawn of the following day she was two leagues from the Greyflood. Still she knew it was not nearly far enough. Also, she knew Isil could no farther without a rest.<BR><BR>Unwillingly, Izara halted. After she let Isil loose, Izara sat and leaned against a tree. She had almost drifted to sleep when she was awaken. Izara stood, her pulse quickening. She sensed danger was about, something more tangible than the foreboding she had known earlier. <BR><BR>"No," she whispered, realization setting in. She recognized the foul creatures ere they were in sight. How could she forget such as they?<BR><BR>Izara's sword came from its sheath as quick as lightening. It was not a moment too soon, for suddenly the Orcs charged. They were five in number, and they shrieked like demons from the pit.<BR><BR>Izara sidestepped a wild thrust by one, and slid her sword in under her opponent's. The Orc went down without a sound. Two of the others barreled in with reckless abondon,waving their scimitars. Izara dodged the first Orc, and parried the second one's wild swing. A dagger appeared in the elf's right hand but quickly disappeared in the Orc's gut. The third creature drove in, seeming to seek death, and found itself impaled upon Izara's blade.<BR><BR>The two remaining Orcs had become wary, unsure what to make of this elven warrior. Izara was not surprised though, when one of them charged her, never considering that its odds of survival were better if it had fought beside its comrade. Down it went.<BR><BR>The last Orc was bigger than the others, and it gazed at Izara with pure hatred. "Today you die, she-elf," it hissed.<BR><BR>The elf and Orc fought fiercely, and it was indeed evenly matched. <BR><BR>Izara started to go in for a strike on her enemy's shoulder when she felt cold steel pierce her flesh. She staggered, but did not fall.<BR>In what should have been her defeat, Izara felt new life pulse through her and she came down on the Orc with such fury it fell under her blade.<BR><BR>The five Orcs dead around her, Izara stumbled to Isil and dragged herself into the saddle. What life she had felt moments before was gone. Pain coursed through her shoulder and blood streamed down her arm.<BR><BR>The elf slumped over her horse's neck, fading into darkness.
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Postby areanor » Fri Dec 05, 2003 6:24 pm

After enjoying a relaxing bath in the adjacent bath house, Areanor started to walk over back to the main house, past the stables. She looked up at the night sky while she walked. <i>Strange.</i> she thought. <i>The stars could be seen a bit earlier. How did the sky darken that fast?</i> A chill run along her back. She shook her head. Maybe the hot bath was clouding her senses, she should really get to bed. But she couldn’t resist to peek into the well-kept stables to look after her horse. He seemed quite content with the contains of his manger and snorted at her in a greeting manner. She went into his box and patted him on the neck. Then she let her hand wander down his leg to see if there was any injury there. As she pulled up his hoof to examine it, he took the opportunity to lean his weight on her. <BR><BR>“Hey, hey, my friend, you’re far too heavy for me!” She nudged him to shift his weight after she had found that Ivar seemed to have cleaned the hooves already. Nonetheless, she took up the same procedure with each leg, taking her time. She didn’t want to leave him here because of an injury not taken care of. Though Ivar seemed to have some good horses in here to trade for the bypassing messengers. With a final pat on the head she parted and wished her travel companion good night and a well-earned sleep.<BR><BR>Just as she stepped out of the stables again, she heard slow hoof-clapping on the road. A traveller this late? Very slowly the horse came nearer, seeming reluctant to leave the shadows and step into the small lighted square to show itself. Areanor frowned. Something didn’t feel right. Then she started to walk towards the horse. Coming nearer she saw the rider, a cowered, swaying figure in the dark, more asleep than awake. “Hello?” she called out. The horse started back from her, so she stopped in her tracks and choose soft words to talk to it. “Come on, dearie, come here, nice horsey.” The horse rolled its eyes, but let her come nearer, when she took very slow steps towards it. Finally, she reached out for the reigns. “Got you, my precious.” She caressed his neck and found the hide very sweaty. “Now, where do you come from, dearie?” She wanted to address the rider, but in the light coming from the open stable door she needed just one look in the pale face to see that the elf wasn’t asleep, but unconscious. Then she noticed the blood.<BR><BR>“Greta! Ivar! Come quick!” She yelled, holding the horse firm by his reigns. But she couldn’t prevent him from startling. With one hand holding the reigns, she tried to hold the rider in the saddle with the other. Just a few seconds later she felt the big presence of Ivar next to her, who took the elf down and carried her over to the house, with Greta in his wake. “Now, what to do with you, dear?” In a soft voice she talked to the horse all the way over to the stable, where she found an empty box and straw to dry the horse. The elf was in good care, she knew, so it was left to her to tend the beast. Later, when he had calmed down and didn't sweat anymore, he'd get some water and something in his manger.<BR>
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Postby fishy071 » Sat Dec 06, 2003 12:19 am

<i>5th of Ringarë</i><BR><BR>After the War of the Ring, many Easterlings had fled. However, her parents had decided to live in Gondor, seeking better life, especially since King Elessar wanted to make peace with the Easterlings and Haradrims. Fishy had heard stories of the War of The Ring growing up in Lossarnach. She wished she had been able to be part of the Fellowship, and especially help Frodo and Sam when they were in Mordor. Physically she wasn't strong, but she would have been willing to go to her death. She might have been able to sneak into Mordor as a Easterling with the hobbits posing as her prisoners. She wished she had been able to prevent Frodo from being wounded by the Morgul blade and Shelob, which might have let him stay in the Shire longer to enjoy the world he helped save. However, she often feared that she would have been the first to be corrupted by Melkor, Sauron, and the One Ring. After coming of age at 18, she left home to learn the arts of healing. <BR><BR>Today was her birthday, and she would still be in her tweens. Sitting in the library of Minas Tirith, Fishy was studying for tests. Currently, she was studying under King Elessar and his children and servants. Because of the studying, tests, and lack of money, she could not follow the many people who were sailing over the seas to Tor-Ontó.<BR><BR>A strange breeze through the window startled her. Suddenly there was a scroll. She opened and read it:<BR><b>a simple plea for aid; to come to a council meeting at the tower of Elostirion by the 10th day of Ringarë</b><BR><BR>Elostirion? That would be far away, and there was only 5 days left!<BR><BR>She searched for King Elessar, and came across Prince Eldarion.<BR><BR>"Your Highness, I must present this to your father."<BR><BR>Prince Eldarion led her to the throne room where she presented the scroll.<BR><BR>King Elessar and Queen Evenstar looked at the scroll and Fishy.<BR><BR>"I'd like to go, but I have tests, and there are only 5 days to travel such a long distance. Besides, I don't think I'm qualified," she said.<BR><BR>"Your tests can be postponed, and I don't see why you can't go. It must be something important," King Elessar replied. "My wife will arrange for the Eagles to carry you to Rivendell later today. My children will accompany you there since they would like to visit with their uncles. They will arrange for you to reach Elostirion.<BR><BR>"Thanks!" she answered. This would be a good birthday present for her. If she couldn't go to Tor-Ontó, she could at least be doing some service for Middle-Earth.
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Postby Braganil » Sat Dec 06, 2003 2:48 am

Not for the first time was Braga able to put Tegi’s talents to good use as the small insectivore was set upon finding flowers for the Knights of Bree. He scurried along the forest floor, finally running out of it and straight to a flower vendor, there squeaking happily, attempting to stand on his hind legs to beg for some mealy worms. Braga had followed on his horse Rahedan, being mighty surprised to actually see a flower vendor. But then, he figured they must be close to the Shire, where the hobbits lived and these little creatures apparently loved flowers. So, cutting a long story short – Braga ended up buying the hobbit’s whole supply of flowers and returned to the Knights who say Bree. Much happiness ensued and the head knight stepped forward, whispering a secret word into Braga’s ear.<BR><BR>“You may say this word one time, and anything you wish for at that moment, be it material goods or immaterial, may come to you shortly thereafter! BUT – use it wisely, for only once may you utter it and use its quirky powers!”<BR><BR>Thus ended Braga’s encounter with these strange knights of Bree, and after each of them had replaced their wilting flowers on their helmets with the new ones the Rohirrim had brought them, they kindly pointed out the fact that now, in order to go to the tower he sought, he would have to make a detour around the Shire as no tall one may cross through that area.<BR><BR>Sighing, Braga nodded and thanked the Knights for their kindness, and rode on, now heading soiuthwards around the shire, still a happy tune on his lips:<BR><BR>Somewhere over green Rohan<BR>Don’t know why<BR>There’s a horse That I know of<BR>And it loves to eat pie.<BR><BR>Somewhere over green Rohan<BR>Mounts are true<BR>And the horse that you dream of<BR>Surely will kiss you too!<BR><BR><BR>Of course Braga was singing metaphorically, about Bema and his horse Nahar, and he needed to sing, for his buttom was beginning to ache and Tegi was getting restless inside his shirt, chattering with his teeth and demanding some mealy worms. Only Braga had run out of mealy worms about a day ago. Night was falling, and for as long as twilight would guide Braga around to find the best spots for digging for some earth worms for his voracious pet, the Rider decided to find a spot for the night, secure Rahedan against a bush and then take his knife and start to dig while Tegi ran in his cage, on a little running wheel Braga had constructed for him.<BR><BR>Soon, he had about two dozend earthworms dug up and while his hedgehog happily was munching on his worms, Braga sat at the fire he had lit, chewing thoughtfully on his dried boar jerky he had taken as provision, wishing for some nicely roasted fresh boar basted in ale with a few leaves of parsely. The scroll that Fabiolas had given him lay in his lap, the Rider trying to make out any secret meaning from the indisticnt scrabblings.<BR><BR>Alas, no more enlightenment came to him, and he soon lay down his weary head, rubbing his behind ruefully (he should have taken a cushion with him! Maybe if he used The Word for wishing for a cushion? But naaaah, that would be frivolous!) and soon falling asleep underneath the twinkling stars, the only sound audible that of some owls and Tegi’s gentle and soothing snoring.<BR>
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Postby Aliana » Sat Dec 06, 2003 3:43 am

As if in a dream, Ceorth felt almost removed from the scene before him, as if he were a spectator to his own actions. One moment, his sister was speaking. In the next moment, she had crumpled to the ground with a faint noise of pain and surprise. It almost seemed that she had been struck, though this was clearly impossible; Ceorth had seen or heard no one else in any direction. He watched himself thinking about the things he ought to do, the things he had learned in his training back in Edoras: check for breathing, get some water... But a numb, calm kind of despair twined itself through his chest and then he was paralyzed, apathetic...<BR><BR>"What happened to her?!" Ceorth had no idea how much time had passed when he heard the voice. To him there seemed to be a distant, muffled quality to the sound. It was darker, now, and the voice's owner, a female figure, was kneeling on the ground next to Aliana.<BR><BR>And then the woman was putting a flask in his hand, and then he took a drink and a deep breath and things came back to him-- the rush of empty wind filled his ears, and his skin reopened itself to the cold, and he felt both relieved and fearful. He shuddered.<BR><BR>“Now boy, I really need to know what happened to her. Please tell for she might need more help then I can offer here in the open fields.”<BR><BR>"She-- I don't know. She was standing there, and then she fell..." He was feeling helpless, frustrated. He was a King's rider, wasn't he? Warriors weren't supposed to stand idly by when things went wrong. What had happened to him? And what was wrong with Ali? Was she...? He wished he hadn't quarreled with her so... "Do I know you?" he asked, going to kneel beside the woman and his sister. Something about this newcomer's voice, about her movements, seemed vaguely familiar.<BR><BR>She was pressing a slender hand to Aliana's forehead, murmuring something that was unintelligible to Ceorth. She looked up with the briefest of glances, scanning his face with eyes that seemed to glow through the darkness.<BR><BR>"You're Ali's brother. The Midsummer's Faire; you loved those horses."<BR><BR>Now he remembered, and his stomach dropped another inch. It was his sister's friend, the beautiful elf. The one he felt so awkward around... Well, nothing had changed in that respect.<BR><BR>"What's-- what's wrong with her?" he asked anxiously. "Will she be all right?"<BR><BR>The elf closed her eyes. "I can't say yet, though something is very wrong. Women of your lands aren't exactly known for their tendencies to swoon or faint, are they?" She might have smiled. It was hard to tell.<BR><BR>***<BR><BR>Aliana woke up to a splitting pain in the back of her head. And she was cold-- not just in her skin, but down to the insides of her bones. Then she saw Jae's face hovering over her, outlined against a dark backdrop. <i>All right</i>, she thought. <i>I'm dreaming. I must be dreaming.</i> But then again, she had never been this cold in her dreams.<BR><BR>"Jae?"<BR><BR>"It's all right, Ali. Don't sit up too quickly."<BR><BR>"Ali!" It was Ceorth, sitting beside her on the ground. "Are you all right?"<BR><BR>"What happened?" she asked hoarsely.<BR><BR>Her brother and her friend exchanged glances.<BR><BR>"That's what we're trying to figure out," Jaeniver said quietly.<BR><BR>Aliana looked over at Ceorth. "And if you so much as <i>think</i> that this had to do with me imbibing too much last night, I swear to Eru I will wring your scrawny..."<BR><BR>Ceorth's expression was one of slight shock. Apparently he had not expected such a strong statement from his temporarily incapacitated sister.<BR><BR>Later she stared into the dancing flames of a small fire he had built. She felt better, now that she had had some water and eaten some of the elvish bread which her friend had given her. Neither heat, food, or the heavy blanket that was draped around her shoulders had done much to alleviate the cold, however.<BR><BR>"What brings you all the way out here, my friend?" she asked Jae.<BR><BR>The elf paused thoughtfully before recounting a story of a note that appeared out of nowhere, and an impending meeting in the Tower of Elostirion, and a strange sense of urgency. Aliana and Ceorth looked at one another.<BR><BR>"Us, too," the girl said slowly. "We're headed for that tower, too."<BR><BR>"Ali," Ceorth said, "are you sure you want to go on? We could head back to Bree tomorrow. I don't like this." He seemed to have forgiven his sister's threat of violence, and put his hand on her shoulder. "You know, I used to be jealous of you, going out on all those adventures with those bards of yours. But your adventures invariably end up with something burning down, or a tavern brawl, or you falling in a pond, or breaking something, or--"<BR><BR>"Okay, that's enough, Ceorth," Aliana winced. She huddled closer into her blanket and did her best to ignore the pain. He was right, of course. Too right, in fact. But still... there was something drawing her on, tonight. Drawing her towards the west. That was the way it was going to be.<BR><BR>"I know, some people just have all the luck, don't they? What do you think, Jae? Which way to go, tomorrow?"
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