Bonds of Blood

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

Postby foodaddict » Sat Jan 10, 2004 6:19 pm

Argileth opened his eyes slowly and felt the early morning sun shine into them. He sat up and realized he’d fallen asleep on deck. The snow white masts of the ship were billowing in the warm wind, and he got up, stretching his tall, lean frame. He brushed his straight sable black hair out of his eyes and looked up into the sky. It must have been just past nine o’clock. <BR> He’d gotten to know his crew so well that he didn’t mind the amused stares they were giving him, and he walked over to the starboard side of the ship and looked to his right, where the shores of Middle Earth were slowly coming into view. <BR> Looking at him, it was difficult to tell that he was a Corsair. Perhaps because he was only half a Corsair, although he didn’t take this into consideration. In his heart he remained his father’s son. Dressed in a clean, crisp white linen tunic and well-defining dark breeches, he didn’t exactly give off the aura of the cutthroat pirates his race had been known for. Neither did his crew or the ship they were sailing. From rough, rugged, and bloodthirsty, his elder twin sister had transformed the Corsairs into groomed, reserved, and well-disciplined. The filthy, derelict isle they had known in his father’s rule became a metropolis of gold, ivory, alabaster, and bronze, and the corrupt, self-destructive government had become organized, united, and worked for the benefit of the people.<BR> Yet Arwilen differed not from their father in one thing, and it was this that had him sailing towards Middle Earth.<BR> Their mother had not bothered to comment when she heard of what they were setting out to do—she knew that her words would fall on deaf ears. Despite the fact that Arwilen carried her blood in her veins, she did not love her mother or listen to her, and kept her in the royal house more out of necessity than want. <BR> As for him, Argileth loved his mother as any son would, but he loved his sister more, and he sought to help her achieve her purposes by any means she wished. Arwilen’s words regarding their mother came to his mind as he thought of this.<BR> “<i>It gets complicated, Argileth, if I listen to her. Naturally, she’ll try to stop me from taking Gondor because she</i> comes <i>from Gondor. And though I am grateful for her bringing me—us—into this world, I cannot allow her to get in the way of my plans.</i>”<BR> Arwilen and her plans. She’d always been the ambitious one and she knew how to get what she wanted. He was simply pleased to be a part of whatever she did, because simply being near his twin fulfilled him. As she’d told him in their childhood—they were two parts of a whole, and their destinies and fates were one. Other men wouldn’t want this and would mock him for believing it, but he was happy enough on his own to bask in her strength and glory. Because as far as he was concerned, Arwilen’s fate and destiny involved those two things only. <BR> There was only a mild wind and the water near the ship’s bottom was calm save a slight ripple here and there. He strained forward and stared into the face that looked back up at him.<BR> Stormy gray eyes framed by thick, dark lashes peered at him observantly, and two perfectly arched brows were slightly contracted out of strain. The man had a perfect nose and full lips, and his black hair tumbled forward and framed his face, although normally it would have just touched his shoulders. Arwilen looked almost exactly the same, only in woman’s form, and everyone he knew found her cruelly beautiful. Sadly, her looks didn’t seem to look as good on a man, and though he was acknowledged as striking and handsome in his own right, his appearance was voiced to be nothing compared to his sister’s.<BR> He sighed and was just about to straighten up when a voice cut into his thoughts.<BR> “Good morning, Captain. I’m glad to see your love for yourself has increased.”<BR>
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Sun Jan 11, 2004 8:00 pm

Echo sat on the beach, watching the tide roll in. There were white sails on the horizon, which kept getting bigger, so she knew they'd be making land soon, whether it was nearer or farther from where she was positioned.<BR><BR>The sun had dawned warm, which was good; her shoes were gone, having been destroyed from continual wear, and her clothes were tattered at best. She'd stolen a girl's black mourning dress in Osgiliath after a funeral prosession, and beyond that her clothes were all approximately three months old.<BR><BR>It had been about three months since she'd lost her memory. The only thing she knew was that however she'd lost her memory, she'd received the twin scars running the length of her arms as payment for her life. All she knew was that she had some sort of magic in her, and that she couldn't control it, leaving her an outcast.<BR><BR>Still, her life wasn't all bad; she'd taken to living by the sea, catching fish and selling them, or keeping them to eat, depending on how she felt, and the little lean-to stationed behind a sparse stand of trees up the beach was her only home. She'd only been there a week, but she was used to it already.<BR><BR>Suddenly, a feeling of fear washed over her, and she leapt to her feet, the ocean breeze making her hair swish around her head momentarily. That boat on the horizon was drawing closer, and it seemed the nearer it drew, the greater her feeling of disquiet grew.<BR><BR>"This could be bad," she murmured, looking around for her lizard, a small black-and-gold creature, which she looked to for advice. There was something very wrong at work in the distance, and whatever she was supposed to do about it was beyond her.
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Postby atalantea » Mon Jan 12, 2004 3:13 am

She stood quiet for a while, certain she was being followed. She searched her surroundings with her keen eyes and listened with her elven ears. With one last look back, she started running again, running as fast as she could, running as fast as her limbs would take her, running to help save the people she held dear.<BR><BR>Yes, she was of the elven kin, grand daughter of the elf-Lord Elrond and with her skin that glowed in it's milkiness, her senses ever sharpened, her slender figure delicate, and her hair, rich and mahogany no one would mistake her for anything else but one. <BR><BR>It was too, because of her features that Elrond loved her more, she resembled Arwen in every way, in grace and flow of movement, in all but two, her voice that was musical and lulling and her eyes... Arwen's eyes were the color of the sea, blue and calm while her eyes, her eyes were the color of midnight, dark and deep, almost troubling in her own reflection.<BR><BR>It was also because of this that Elrond holds her dear. Why he kept her ever so hidden from the outside world, why he refuses to let her go alone. He was afraid to lose her to mortality like he did Arwen. <BR><BR>All was fine and she was satisfied. She understood well for she, too loved Arwen and to give her to Elassar, however noble he was and is was painful and she kept that little detail unspoken, forever lingering inside her.<BR><BR>But there was something that Elrond or anyone never thought of... She possessed the same gift Elrond has. The gift of forseeing and it was because of this that she now ran. She forsaw something she never should have.<BR><BR>She foresaw death, hurt and burning. She foresaw the seige of Minas Tirith.
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Mon Jan 12, 2004 8:33 am

"Stupid white boat," Echo panted, hauling herself up onto a boulder. She'd run up the beach from where she'd been to where the ground rose sharply in a craggy mass of rocks. Her lizard now perched delicately on her shoulder, she did not find it hard to scramble up and onto the outcropping, which stretched some twenty feet out to sea, ending abruptly into the water.<BR><BR>"Why is there a stupid white boat here?" she asked herself again, stumbling her way to the edge of the plateau. The water thrashed against the rock, spraying her bare legs, and the cool ocean breeze made her shiver despite the warm midmorning sun. She would have continued to sputter mildly if, upon looking up from her carefully-chosen path through the rocks, she hadn't been so startled.<BR><BR>Somehow, in the short amount of time that had elapsed since the start of her race up the beach, the vessel had drawn so near to the shore that she could see the people moving on deck, and their shouts barely found their way to her ears, which were strained over the calling of gulls and the roar of the sea. Two figures, a man and a woman, stood at the bow, looking toward the land, and she was stricken witha sudden wave of nausea.<BR><BR><i>'You're going to fall,'</i> she heard in the back of her head. <i>'You're going to fall, and then they're going to get you,'</i> it repeated.<BR><BR>"Shut up," she muttered through clenched teeth to the litzard, which was jabbing her thoughtfully in the neck with its claws. The world spun around suddenly, grew hazy, and fell away, and a sudden biting of rock and water told her she'd fallen, just as the dratted lizard had warned she would. <BR><BR>Unfortunately, when she'd fogotten the rest of her life, she'd forgotten how to swim as well.<BR><BR>****
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Postby foodaddict » Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:53 am

Hiera watched as Argileth leaned out across the rail and stared into the water. Dangling from one of the ship’s massive sails, she couldn’t miss that he was staring at himself. A smirk worked its way up her lips and she landed on deck, walking over to him. <BR> <i>Probably comparing himself to Arwilen—</i>again, she thought with a shake of her head. <BR> He didn’t compare enviously though. He compared simply because he loved finding the similarities between him and his sister—albeit they were the same similarities over and over again. But then who wouldn’t be pleased to find he was in most ways similar to the present Queen of Umbar? Hiera couldn’t help but admire her in every possible way. Only since Argileth was the Queen’s twin, Hiera had expected him to attest their similarity and claim he was his own person. He didn’t. In fact, he was glad enough to bow under the Queen’s shadow because he <i>hero-worshipped</i> her. <BR> “Good morning, Captain,” she said formally. “I’m glad to see your love for yourself has increased.”<BR> Argileth jumped ever so slightly and whirled to face her. A grin split across his face and he straightened up, his achingly beautiful masculine frame towering over her own petite one. Her smile deepened, producing two lovely dimples, and she laughed as he put a finger to his lips and said, “Hush. It won’t do to let them know that I’m vain.”<BR> “They won’t hear it from me,” she said reassuringly. “So how come you slept on deck last night?”<BR> “I drifted without knowing it. I was looking up at the stars and then before I knew it I was waking up to morning.”<BR> “That was rash. It’s colder along the coast of Middle Earth than it is in Umbar. You should have at least taken a blanket.”<BR> “Who are you, my mother?”<BR> She laughed at the look on his face and looked out across the sea wistfully. “I wish I were. Maybe then you’d listen to me.”<BR> Argileth was silent—and then he spoke in a cautious, testing voice.<BR> “Er—is it that time of month again, Hiera?”<BR> She kicked him in the shins and glared. “<i>What did you say to me</i>?”<BR> “I’m sorry!” he said, wincing and raising his hands before her in defense. “I just thought it was that time again because you’re acting very strange and sentimental!”<BR> “You insensitive cad! No wonder no woman in Umbar will have you!”<BR> He straightened up and smirked insolently at her. “And that’s based from your point of view? Or are you only referring to the women like you—masculine women, I mean?”<BR> Hiera’s jaw dropped and Argileth’s eyes widened.<BR> “I didn’t mean it like that,” he said at once, apology in his eyes as he reached for her hand. “You’re right—I am insensitive.”<BR> She pulled out of his grasp. “Oh go away, Argileth. You need to prepare for what you’re going to do once we reach Middle Earth.”<BR> “Come on, Hiera,” Argileth said nicely. “Don’t be like that.”<BR> She sniffed and glared at him, but at the way the sun touched his skin and made him appear like some pagan god fresh out of Umbar’s myth was already getting to her head. A slow smile spread across her face and she laughed.<BR> “You know I can never be angry with you for long,” she said, allowing him to give her a blood-warming embrace. “But you’d better watch yourself. Gondor people are jumpy and they don’t trust us.”<BR> “They shouldn’t,” Argileth said thoughtfully, staring out towards Middle Earth. “But I’ll make them.”<BR> <i>I know you will</i>, she thought, but she kept the comment to herself.<BR> She’d loved Argileth for as long as she had remembered. From the day she’d met him on the quays as the ships of Umbar sailed to aid Sauron against Gondor, she’d found his warmth, strength, and goodness all too appealing. Years of friendship had brought forth something else, and this was what had taunted her no end.<BR> He’d never looked on her as anything more. He’d had a few women on the side, but she didn’t want to end up like them. He’d bargained for bodily pleasures. They’d wanted love and romance. In the end, they wound up hurt and broken-hearted and unable to even hate Argileth for it. Nobody she knew could hate him. Not if they really knew him.<BR> If he ever did love her the way she wanted him to, even then she’d always come in second. Second, while his sister, Queen Arwilen of Umbar, came in first. She always came in first.<BR> Over all his loves, his love for his sister was the greatest. Hiera had no doubt that Argileth would go through the Hells of Iron for his sister, and that whatever Arwilen said, Argileth did. <BR> Including this godforsaken mission.<BR> Hiera would have understood if Arwilen’s purpose was driven by revenge or some old grudge. Perhaps she wished to do this because of the unfortunate fate that her father had met upon reaching Middle Earth. <BR> But no—Arwilen did not do it for this.<BR> She did it for pride, ambition, and power. Hiera admired the woman’s resolve and will, her intelligence and strength—but this was a mission that risked her people—her <i>twin</i>—and she was doing it for all the wrong reasons.<BR> “Will you be all right?” she asked concernedly.<BR> “Don’t worry,” he said smugly, a smile flitting across his handsome face. “I may not be her, but I’m Arwilen’s twin, after all.”<BR> <i>Yes, and there’s not a minute that you don’t think of her, is there?</i><BR> She opened her mouth to say something when she caught the frown on Argileth’s face.<BR> “What’s the matter?” she asked, alarmed.<BR> “Someone’s in the water,” he said, peering closely as the ship sailed smoothly forward, ever nearing the sandy coast, “and by the looks of it…she doesn’t know how to swim.”<BR>
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:57 pm

A rogue wave burst from the sea quite suddenly, pitching the boat further from the rock outcropping and free from danger. At the same time, it threw Echo up on the beach, coughing and sputtering. She pulled herself up, wretching as she spat up large quantities of sea water. A shadow fell over her, and her head jerked up, staring into a darkened face that the sun did not shine upon.<BR><BR>"Echo?" the man said, reaching down and taking her by the arm. She tried to pull away, but he was strong, and only did he release when she was fully on her feet.<BR><BR>"Who are you?!" she shouted. Her arms were dran up to her chest, as though to strike him if he drew close, and she whirled quickly to check the boat's position befor efacing him again.<BR><BR>"Now is not the time for questions," he murmured, grabbed her about the waist, and lifted her bodily into the air. She began to scream and beat at him, but she suddenly felt far too tired. The lizard on her shoulder curled up and bit its tail, hidden beneath her hair at the base of her neck.<BR><BR>A horse stood up the beach, its black mane flowing down its sleek neck, matching the midnight of its coat. This was his steed, and upon its saddle perched a bird.<BR><BR>"Fly fast to the White City," he said to the bird as he leapt into the saddle, sending the bird flapping up into the air. "Send word of war from the sea!" he called after it as it whirled into the wind. Whispering to his horse, it leapt away, galloping for Minas Tirith, where no call for arms had yet been made.
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Postby foodaddict » Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:15 am

The sun touched the marble white stone that composed the city of Minas Tirith. As the warm, golden flush crept from the east and dispelled the twilight blue that clung to the sky and land, a tall and powerful man stepped out into the clean, morning air and took a deep breath. His clear eyes looked out towards his realm and he experienced the same rush of contented satisfaction and bliss he had felt year after year since he had claimed it. Two decades had passed since the blessed day it had been given to him, and though his dark head had taken a lighter shade and his body seemed less able, it did not diminish the effect that came to be whenever King Elessar--once known as Aragorn, son of Arathorn--stood upon the White Tower of Gondor and looked at what he had spent long years of his life fighting for.<BR>Albeit this, today his satisfaction and joy was mingled with an irrevocable nostalgia and sentimentality that was not common of him. <BR>Today his eldest daughter turned eighteen.<BR>He was a father--and like most fathers he resented having to give up the little girl he had raised and pampered. It was different from having a son--that much he knew. For Eldarion he held hopes and expectations and pride--for his daughters he wanted nothing more than to shield them and keep them happy--for all times. <BR>Was it a sort of twisted recompense, he wondered? He was forever doing what he could to protect and help his daughters because this was something he would never be able to do with Arwen. Was it guilt, perhaps? Was it guilt of having deprived Arwen of immortality that pushed him to do so much for the sake of his daughters?<BR>"It is a glad day, Elessar. Why do you frown so?"<BR>Arwen's calming, soothing eyes met his and she placed her soft hand over his, brushing her lips over his cheek and looking at him with a smile. She took one look longer at him and ran a hand over his cheek.<BR>"It will be all right," she said, kissing him lightly on his lips. "She is not yet betrothed."<BR>"But today is the day that makes it permissable for men to offer for her," Elessar said, not bothering to conceal his unwillingness to place his daughter within the reach of the males of his kingdom.<BR>"She will not yield at once, I think. I would worry more about your <i>other</i> daughter, if I were you. She was seen in the company of Faramir's son the other day..."<BR>Arwen's musical laughter rang through the air as Elessar dashed off with remarkable swiftness, giving sharp commands to his valet to send a message to Faramir regarding his son's conduct.
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Wed Jan 14, 2004 12:40 pm

Omni's horse ran swiftly through the trees, racing hard for Gondor, though it would take nearly half the morning to get there. It had been almost an hour since he'd picked up Echo on the beach, and now he had yet to find his informant, who promised to be waiting in the woods.<BR><BR>As his horse exploded out of the underbrush and the plains appeared in the distance, the trees thinning and the shrubbery growing shorter, he heard a the whiney of a horse to the north, and pulled up hard on his reins, bringing his horse to a trot. A white and brown dappled mare galloped toward him, its rider hooded, a cloak flowing behind as the wind caught it. In a moment the hood was blown back as well, revealing an Elf maiden of some years. Had Omni been unfamiliar with her, he would not have known her to be nearly 50, for she seemded only a child to mortal eyes.<BR><BR>"Lady Daeanna," he greeted her, nodding his head. He did not bow to her, for she was not his Lady, nor his princess. Her father was the King Elessar, she being his eldest daughter, and counted least among them for her elven blood.<BR><BR>"The gulls cry of danger to the west," Daeanna said calmly, her horse shifting uneasily beneath her. The creature longed to run, especially with a rider as light and bearing such news as she was. "We cannot tary here long. I see you found our quarry?"<BR><BR>He looked down at Echo, resting in the saddle before him, her head against his left shoulder, and smiled. "She put up quite the fight," he laughed, rubbing his sore right shoulder. "Unfortunately she does not remember enough to be as much use as I'd hoped. There is still need for her, though.."<BR><BR>"Then let us bring tidings to my father," she replied coolly, whispering to her horse and looking back at Omni only an instant before galloping off toward the plains. He sighed, patted his horse on the side of the neck, and held on as he shot off after her.
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Postby Aiduial » Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:32 pm

Thalia ran through the Halls of the Palace, laughing as she went, her skirts flowing behind her. Her brother, Eldarion, chased her in another endless game he played with his younger sister. In all reality, they were both too old for this, but it was their way to unwind and forget the courtly behaviour and nobles trying to get a piece of them. They ran into the main part of the palace adn into the Hall, where their parents sat on their thrones. IT was closed to others but the family at this time, time for midday. The queen and King smiled at them as they all took their places at the table. <BR><BR>It was gaily set, with flowers and delicacies. All of it for Daeanna's birthday. Her absence was noted, and Thalia worried about her sister. She missed her, the older one, who was supposed to be there for her. Her musings about her sister were cut short, though by her father. <BR><BR>"Thalia, what's this I here about you being seen on the arm of the Steward's son?" He smiled at her, nad she was about to answer when Darion cut in.<BR><BR>"Oh do tell, Thal, darling! Are you choosing beaux now?" She shot a glare at the teasing look on his face before answering.<BR><BR>"Father, he only asked me to go for a walk in the garden. I wasn't even on his arm! We were just talking. I mean, it's not like we haven't known each other since the cradle!" Sh would have gone on with her little speech, but at that moment, the doors swung open to reveal none other than the birthday girl, Daeanna, herself.<BR><BR>Thalia stood up as quickly as she could and practically sprinted uover to her sister, enveloping the older woman in her hug. "Oh Dae! I missed you so much! Have you come for your birthday? Are you going to stay this time?" She looked up at her sister whom she adored to no end, hoping against hope that she was finally here to stay.<BR><BR>(OOC: I'm still the one getting kidnapped and all. Just thought I'd make this more dramatic.)
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:26 am

Daeanna embarced her younger sister, the two of them smiling brightly, but as Thalia broke away from her sister's arms, the older sister stood and looked across the room to her father, the smile quickly dying from her eyes.<BR><BR>She had her great-grandfather's eyes, as she'd been told; they held the same crisp distance and dark knowing that his had once laid claim to, and it was these eyes that pierced her father so deeply. The Elven spirit that her mother's eyes had long ago been stripped of burned brightly within her, so that she was never able to stay long within the walls of the White City.<BR><BR>"Baby sister!" Eldarion laughed, getting up to give her a kiss on the cheek as she approached the table, Thalia motioning for her to sit beside her, putting her directly beside her father. Fortunately, she'd managed to wash and change quickly as soon as she'd returned with Omni, and her dark blue dress seemed fresh and lovely.<BR><BR>The meal was wonderful, and for a time Daeanna was able to forget the trouble brewing on the edge of the mind and on the edge of the sea. But as soon as the dishes were cleared away, and her sister ws safely out of the Hall, she became completely serious.<BR><BR>"There is a ship sailing into the harbor from the South," she said, looking levelly at her father. "They bare no banner or standard, but the ship is Corsair."<BR><BR>"You must be mistaken," her mother said, smiling briefly before realizing that her eldest daughter was not wuite as uncertain as she'd hoped.<BR><BR>"She is," her father said, his voice resounding through the hall. The regular tide of Pages and Councelors had returned to the court, standing to the sides and muttering with one another. "The Corsairs would never dare sail against Gondor. We have seen to that."<BR><BR>"You think too highly of yourself, father," Daeanna said, shaking her head slowly. "You may have had your victory then, but now they are led anew, and they will not stop on the beaches, after they have ceased to find blood to spill upon them."<BR><BR>"Take your nonsense elsewhere, you foolish child," her father said through clenched teeth. "Or I shall send you away this time instead of allowing you leave like every other time I've entrusted you with your own life. You see too much, daughter."<BR><BR>Daeanna looked to her mother momentarily, then turned on her heel and left, running into Thalia outside the doors to the great Hall.<BR><BR>"You must be gone from here," Daeanna said, pulling her sister aside. "I will not allow any harm to come to you. I have someone who will take care of you, but you must trust me, little sister."<BR>*****<BR>"Why would she make something like that up?" Eldarion asked. He'd been standing beside his father's throne while his sister spoke, and now he wondered aloud at her declaration.<BR><BR>His father did not answer, but stood and paced several times. He knew Daeanna was not lying, but he could not cause fear in his people. He was too old for such action, and he knew it.
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Postby Aiduial » Fri Jan 16, 2004 8:18 am

<i>"You must be gone from here," Daeanna said, pulling her sister aside. "I will not allow any harm to come to you. I have someone who will take care of you, but you must trust me, little sister."</i><BR><BR>Thalia looked up at her older sister in alarm. "What? Leave the White City? You have to be kidding me! You heard Father, same as I did, didn't you? He said you must have been mistaken. Corssairs would never attack Gondor... Would they?"<BR><BR>((OOC: Sorry this is so short, but I don't have much time))<BR>
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Fri Jan 16, 2004 8:32 am

Daeanna looked levelly at her sister and said in a soft voice, "No, they wouldn't. Don't worry your head about such things, Thalia; father knows what he's talking about."<BR><BR>Thalia tried to smile as Daeanna swept away, but the distress on her sister's face was crushing. In her own mind, Daeanna was working out how to get Thalia from the city and the forces of Gondor at the ready, for she knew the Corsairs were coming...<BR><BR>******<BR><BR>A ship with white sails floated into view, and the men at the port watched with great interest as more ships began to spring up out of the sea behind it. All of them bore white sails, and as they neared port, a horn blasted out a low note, and all the others took up the call, shaking the White City to its foundations.<BR><BR>The Corsairs had come to Gondor.
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Postby Aiduial » Fri Jan 16, 2004 10:52 am

Thalia watched her sister, leave, feeling torn. Daeanna was obviously worried about this ship she ahd seen, but their father had told them she must have been mistaken. Shaking her head, Thalia turned back to the Hall, where she ran into Eldarion. She opened her mouth to recount her conversation with Daeanna, when the sound of multiple horns rang out, shaking the city. She fell into her brother's arms and looked up at him in alarm. He placed a finger over his lips, and led her off towards the stable. <BR><BR>"Come on, Thals. That sounded like it was in the Harbor. Might be that ship Dae was talking about. Let's go see." Thalia lifted her skirtsa bit, trying to keep up with her brother, glad she was wearing one of the plainer dresses, the one without petticoats. <BR><BR>"Darion, why don't we forget about horses and just run down to the HArbor? It would be easier, nad then we'd be less conspicuous." He nodded and the two ran to the cliff, to look down at the ship. When they got there, Thalia could tell the ship really was corsair by the sharp intake of breath from Eldarion. What they didn't know, was that on the ship, very curious corsair were watching the royal children with interest. Especially the Princess.
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Fri Jan 16, 2004 1:17 pm

"What business have you here?" Felodrir, lieutenant of the Guard, called to the ships, where the sounds of men had died away to absolute silence. A moment later, an arrow sailed through the air and struck him in the chest, sending the soldier to his knees, dying before his body fully hit the ground.<BR><BR>With a loud cheer, the Corsairs leapt from their boats to the stone platform of the harbor, the white stone of Minas Tirith shining in the midday sun. Their curved blades shone red as the sailors and soldiers, as well as merchants and all who dared stand in their way, fell in death.<BR><BR>"On to the city!" cried Argileth, raising his sword over his head. "On to the King!"<BR><BR>*******<BR><BR>The gardens beyond the Houses of Healing were shaded from the sun, which was why Echo had chosen to hide there from Omni. She'd awoken around lunch, hardly an hour after arriving in the city, and had run from the nursemaid who was trying to apply a cold cloth to her head. Now she sat in the limbs ofa young tree, looking out over the Pelennor, the mountains in the distance carrying her far away from the cage that seemed to be closing in around her.<BR><BR>"Do you know what lies there?" Omni said as he stood beside the tree. Echo let out a gasp, twisted sideways, and nearly fell to the ground. She hung over the limb, attempting to climb higher, when the man approached and plucked her out, setting her down before him; she sank to her knees.<BR><BR>"You need to remember who you are," Omni said, kneeling beside her and looking into her eyes. His hands rested on the scars racing up her arms, and she shied away. "There is no time for this foolishness, Princess. If Daeanna discovers who you are-"<BR><BR>"What will happen then?" Daeanna asked; she'd appeared silently and suddenly beyond the tree, but Omni had not noticed her. He stared at her, despairing and wide-eyed for a moment, before sighing and looking back at the girl. The Elf came and knelt beside the two of them, looking from the man to the little one.<BR><BR>"You must remember, princess," Omni breathed, placing his hand against Echo's cheek, but the noise from the harbor could no longer be ignored. Daeanna was off like a shot, but Omni dragged Echo to her feet, bringing her along as well.
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Postby foodaddict » Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:01 am

"<i>Hiera! What the hell did you shoot for?!</i>"<BR>Argileth's cold, baritone voice snapped through the air, and there was blazing contempt in it. Hiera turned her gaze up at him, truly annoyed, and snapped right back.<BR>"Can't you see that they've expected our arrival? That man could have sounded the alarms for war!" she said angrily, hurt by the way he was so angry.<BR>"We're <i>supposed</i> to make them believe we come in peace!" he hissed so venomously that she took a step back in fear. "How the hell are we going to pull that off now that you've killed one of their own?!"<BR>Hiera opened her mouth and then closed it. There was a fury in his handsome face that impaled her on the spot, and it was all she could do to hold his gaze. Moments afterwards, however, he snapped his eyes back to the coast, where the men were now charging out onto the sand. A new idea came to his mind and he grabbed a torch, hastily crossing to the other side of the ship, where more Corsair ships were coming in behind them. He flailed the torch about in signal for them to withdraw, and Hiera clutched at her chest, feeling her heart hammering against her ribcage.<BR>"W-What are you planning?" she asked in a shaky voice as she saw the other Corsair ships turn and begin to distance themselves from the shore. "Its too late--the men have started the attack! Why are you letting the others withdraw? We'll lose without them!"<BR>"We'll lose this fight, yes," Argileth bit out icily, "but I'm not going to fail Arwilen. This can be remedied."<BR>"How?"<BR>"You'll see. Just lead an attack onto the shores for now and when enough of our men have died, call for a surrender."<BR>"<i>What</i>?!"<BR>"Once we've gained enough ground and Elessar's troops begin to grow in number, call for a surrender."<BR>She watched in confusion as he turned back to the other ships, which were quickly sailing away from the harbor. <BR>"Argileth--"<BR>"There's no time to explain!" he snapped, and she grew silent at the coldness in his voice rather than the urgency. "Get out there and attack!"<BR>-----<BR>King Elessar leapt to his feet at the blasting horn that shook the foundations of the city. He remembered it all too well from the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and it made his blood run cold in his veins. He turned to Arwen, who had risen and was looking grave, and then to the soldiers, who were now exiting the throne room. <BR>"So Daeanna was right," Arwen said softly, and Elessar felt the reproach in her voice. "The Corsairs have indeed come."<BR>"We must muster the men at once," Elessar said, refusing to fret over his mistake. "I will see to it. Go to the Tower, Arwen--"<BR>"Wait," she said, and there was a certain something in her voice that made Elessar listen raptly. "Before you go, I say that you must have care. Not for yourself alone, Estel, but for he that rides to meet you now. For my heart tells me that before the end we shall all see the cause of this as it was meant by Eru--and for all we know, it is different from the cause that we assume."<BR>Elessar opened his mouth to question the prophetic-like statement his wife had made, but as the shouts from the harbor rose up to even the city, he reconsidered and simply nodded before he dashed out of the throne room.<BR>
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Postby fishy071 » Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:12 am

It had been many months since Fishy had left her birthplace to study healing, technology, creatures, geography, and cultures of Middle-Earth at Minas Tirith. Descended from the Easterlings who arrived and lived in Rhovanion, her parents settled in Lossarnach after the War of the Ring, seeking better life. She grew up hearing and reading stories about Middle-Earth and its peoples. During her childhood in Lossarnach, she had poured over maps, visited Minas Tirith with her family, and met elves, dwarves, and hobbits who came to see King Elessar and his family. Fishy hoped one day to study some of their cultures in their lands. For now, she was studying the arts of healing, her biggest interest, under King Elessar and his children.<BR><BR>Though small for her age and never physically strong, Fishy had studied martial arts and learned to throw ninja stars. She and her family rejected the ways of their own race, glad that King Elessar was attempting to make peace with them and the Haradrim.<BR><BR>After a quick lunch, Fishy returned to the library. She was barely seen without a book, which would probably explain her glasses. She often kept her long black hair out of her face in a ponytail. Besides the Steward Faramir, Fishy was the one who frequented the library. Right now she had planned to do some more studying before the party for Deanna’s 18th birthday tonight. <BR><BR>As she turned the page of a book, the sound of a horn blasted through the city, followed by some shouting. Startled, Fishy stood up and went to the window. Recalling the stories about Middle-Earth, she knew something wasn’t right, that danger was near.<BR><BR>`Another war?’ Fishy thought. `When will Middle-Earth ever have peace?’<BR><BR>She put away the books and dashed out of the library. Guards and servants were scrambling through the halls, preparing for the upcoming danger. Fishy wondered if she should find King Elessar or head outside to see what was going on.
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Postby atalantea » Sun Jan 18, 2004 12:53 am

The sounds of horns came from afar and she froze and her features paled. She brought a hand up to feel her heartbeat.<BR>"I come late! I must hasten! My heart be still..." she jumped off the tree branch she had been on. She didn't care to conceal herself anymore from the one who follows her. <BR>She ran desprately towards Minas Tirith which she could see from afar and fear started swallowing her whole. Her heartbeat hammered inside her that almost made her deaf to everything else. Even the sound of hooves that came fastly behind her.<BR>It came too late for her to realize what happened, a hand came and gripped her firmly around the abdomen and hoisted her up the horse. She brought out a dagger in reflex and pointed at her assailant.<BR>"Do you really plan to murder your future husband? I've been looking for you and following your not so obvious and confusing trails,"<BR>She couldn't answer for a few moments, muted by the man who held her firmly againts him. The prince of Mirkwood was talking to her.<BR>"I'm sorry, you took me by surprise, You're lucky I recognized you if not then I would have caused more pain to my father," She answered, unable to remove her eyes from his face.<BR>"I wouldn't have picked you up in that manner if I knew you would kill me, whats wrong, tell me, what deafend you from my coming? What caused you so much fear that you ran off on the day of our wedding?" he asked rather coldly still not looking at her.<BR>"I forsaw death. A foresaw the fall of Minas Tirith, we need to hasten, I heard war horns from afar, it might have started and my family lies in the line," she answered, still not taking her eyes off his face.<BR>"Well then, let us go, we have no time to waste," he hastened their pace.<BR>"No time indeed, might I ask, how come you help me? Are you not one who says <i>we should not meddle with the affais of mortals</i>?"<BR>"Tell me, if I should say that, will that hinder you from going there?" He asked looking straight ahead.<BR>"No it wouldn't, and that would not hinder a friend from helping too, would it?" she answered. "I'm sorry for not coming, I was unprepared for what lies ahead for me..." She said, looking away now.<BR>"I understand,I, too, am unsure of what lies ahead now," he looked at her now and she looked back at him too. "What lies ahead for us," he finished and with that, they rode in silence towards the walls of Minas Tirith.
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Sun Jan 18, 2004 12:14 pm

Daeanna flew through the crowded streets, knocking pedestrians aside and dodging horses and their riders as nimbly as she could. A horse reared before her, and had Omni not been following so closely, he'd never have pulled her away so quickly, saving her from being trampled.<BR><BR>"This is not the best way down," he said to her, pulling them into the shadows of a doorway. Beyond, they could see people still running and pushing, word of the fighting at the docks reaching their ears and spreading fear like a fire.<BR><BR>A moment later, he mumbled some sort of incantation, and she felt a great wind rush about her body, sweeping her away. The next moment, the three of them were on the docks, watching as Gondorian reinforcements rushed to aid the dying number of soldiers, surrounded by Corsairs and their own dead kinsmen. Looking at the ground in despair, Daeanna barely saw a figure out of the corner of her eye. It was a girl...<BR><BR>"THALIA!" Daeanna cried, leaping up and running for her sister, whose hands were bound and at her sides were Corsair soldiers, leading her toward the banks. She reached down for a sword, grabbed one from a dead body, and muttering thanks to the dead man for use of his blade, she took a running leap at her sister's captives, wondering what could have become of Eldarion in the scrape.<BR><BR>A sharp kick in the chest sent her flying as her blade met flesh, and the shriek of the dying man mixed with her own cry as one of his kin fell on her, his sword gone, strangling her with all of his fury.<BR><BR>Just as suddenly, the man was gone, and she struggled to her feet. It seemed that several had come to her aide simultaniously, resulting in a glut of people around her. Echo was there, as was a girl slightly taller than her, an Elven maiden she'd met during her travels, and Legolas, who'd taught her almost everything she knew about bows and daggers, her father having taught her the rest.<BR><BR>A tidal rush of air and heat made all fall aside, and she turned in time to see Omni standing amongst the rabbel, his hand raised high, and an echoing darkness resonating from his upstretched palm. This was why she'd hired him, for this devastating power, and now it seemed as though the very thing that had brought him to her service would end her life.<BR><BR>As suddenly as it had begun, the torture ended, and the Corsairs that had not fled lay unconscious at his feet. Thalia was gone, but to where it could not be certain, and Echo sat crying at Omni's feet.<BR><BR>The two Elves came to help Daeanna, but she brushed aside Legolas's hand, glowering at him.<BR><BR>"Never learned how to keep a promise, did you?" she said vehemently to the man, who looked away from her biting stare. "And who might this be?" she said, rounding to look at the maiden behind her. "The object of his affection? Then I pity you for your ill fortune."<BR><BR>"Shut up," Fishy shouted at them. The Gondorians who'd been attempting to clean up and reconcile the dead and round up the Corsairs all froze, though Fishy had only been yelling at the Elves. "There's something wrong with this kid!"<BR><BR>Omni knelt beside Echo, who Fishy was sitting beside; the girl was in some sort of trance, mumbling and crying, flailing at shadows. Daeanna brushed past Legolas, rushing to Echo's side, and the other Elf hesitantly followed.
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Postby fishy071 » Sun Jan 18, 2004 11:33 pm

King Elessar and Queen Evenstar would definitely be very occupied, so Fishy checked her waist pouch to make sure she had a good supply of shurikens and herbs. <BR><BR>Yelling, “Excuse me!” as she pushed her way through the crowds of guards, soldiers, servants, and scared people of the citadel, and into the sixth layer. The same thing was taking place in the city below: crowds rushing around, panicking and trying to do their job. The noise deafened her ears. After blindly running down through each layer, Fishy arrived at the dock, out of breath, to see a Corsair ship and battle waging. There were bodies lying all over. She caught sight of Legolas and an elven lady helping up Princess Daeanna, and Omni was with a girl who was crying.<BR><BR>Fishy rushed towards the disturbed girl and sat down beside her, trying to comfort her. <BR><BR>She turned to Omni. “What is her name?”<BR><BR>“Echo,” Omni replied.<BR><BR>“What’s the matter, Echo?” Fishy asked, but Echo did not answer and continued weeping so she yelled, “There’s something wrong with this kid!” However, Daeanna’s scolding Omni suddenly shifted her attention.<BR><BR>“Shut up!” Fishy yelled. Daeanna and the elven lady approached the girl, and she added, “She seems to be possessed, like under some spell.”<BR><BR>“I found her unconscious at the beach,” Omni informed, “and on my way here I met up with Daeanna.”<BR><BR>“That was before I went in for lunch and tried to warn my family about the danger,” Daeanna said.<BR><BR>“I thought about getting your father when I heard the horns, but with the state of the citadel and city, I figured that he would have so much on his mind, so I rushed down here,” Fishy explained. “That was when I saw all this going on. You know Echo? Who is she and where is she from?”
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Postby Aiduial » Tue Jan 20, 2004 8:14 am

Thalia watched the attack with horror. Her brother ran down to help the people gaurding the harbor telling her to go to the palace. She stood, rooted to the spot watching the roiling masses. All of a sudden, a hand clamped over her mouth without warning. She tried to scream, but her voice was muffled by the hand, and the voice of its owner.<BR><BR>"Well, well, well. What have we here? A pretty little girl standing all alone. One shouldn't come out to the harbor without a friend or brother. Oh wait. You did have someone with you, didn't you? He ran away to help in the fray. And left you here for me to catch. The Captain should be pleased with you, as it is obvious you are someone important's daughter. Bind her hands! And gag her." This last was addressed to his assisstant, who pulled a silken scarf off of her belt. She bound the Princess's hands, gagged her and then they led her off, stumbling toward their boat. She was scared of what they would do to her. When they reached the turmoil of the dockyard, she searched the crowd for her brother. <BR><BR>Eldarion was nowhere in sight, and she was about to give up hope when she heard her name. It wa Daeanna! Her sister came towards her captors, but the man draped her ove rhte woman's shoulders and turned to the older Princess as his partener ran off with her captive. When they reached the ship, Thalia was ungracefully handed up to a waiting sailor who dumped her unceremoniously on the deck. As she struggled to her knees, she caught sight of a pair of boots in front of her. Following the body up, she locked gazes with a handsome, and yet terrifying man who could only be the captain.
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:12 pm

Tipping Echo back so her head rested against his shoulder, he lokoed into her eyes; the pupils had enlarged and it seemed a darkness had come over them, so that no light reflected from their depths. <BR><BR>He knew this look.<BR><BR>"I will care for her now," he muttered darkly, picking her up in his arms and turning from the group. As soon as he began to walk through the tumultuous crowd, he disappeared. Daeanna knew this as one of his favorite tricks; they were there somewhere, but she had other things to deal with.<BR><BR>Running for the docks, she wished she was not wearing a dress any longer, though it had ripped considerably during the fight with the enemy. Beside the waters edge, Felodrir's twin brother, and now new lieutenant of the Guard, Felogrir orchestrated half the available forces in the gathering of the dead, while the rest were sent in search of the vessel bearing the younger Princess.<BR><BR>"M'Lady," Felogrir said, nodding his head and giving a curt bow as Daeanna slowed to a stop before him.<BR><BR>"Where has the ship gone?" she gasped, her heart racing. "Tell me now, Felogrir, or so help I'll-"<BR><BR>"Don't be hasty," Legolas said, as he and his Lady came up behind her. She rolled her eyes and wished more than anything that she could turn on her heel and punch him squarely in his smug face, but Thalia was in danger, and the time for taking out her anger on her former Master was not then.<BR><BR>"They fled out to sea," Felogrir said to the Princess, giving Legolas a similar condescending look. The fellowship between Men and Elves had been stretched during the days of the Ring, but now that most had fled cross the sea, all those who remained were regarded as shifty, untrustworthy characters. "If you are swift, you may catch them, but your father would never alow-"<BR><BR>"Father would not even heed my words before the darkening of the hour," Daeanna said, walking swiftly downstream parallel to the water's edge, Felogrir following behind her, along with the other two Elves and the younger girl, though the last of the group seemed to have her own agena to attend to and broke off.<BR><BR>"So you would act rashly against him?" the Elf maiden said, grabbing Daeanna's wrist and whirling her around to face her. She wore a serious expression and held her arms tightly as she spoke. "You must not put yourself in danger as well. To do so would be foolish."<BR><BR>"And if someone you loved were in danger, would you not fight for them?" Daeanna answered curtly. Both of them glanced at Legolas, who remained as stoic and calm as ever. Daeanna wrinkled her nose and wrenched herself free of the girl, grabbing the reins of a horse whose rider had let it unattended in the frey. Swinging up into the saddle, she called to Felogrir, "Let any man loyal to my sister and my family ride with me! If our lands must be stained with the blood of our men, let the decks of their ships be stained with the blood of their own in turn!"
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Postby foodaddict » Tue Jan 20, 2004 8:40 pm

Argileth looked down coldly at the pretty young girl at his feet, who was looking at him with wonder and fear--he didn't know what was more dominant. Hiera was standing beside him, biting her tongue literally to keep from saying something that would only worsen their argument. She had followed his orders, but it didn't mean she approved of them. Nevertheless it <i>was</i> her fault that they had to do this whole maneuver in the first place, and that was more of her reason to be silent. But when Argileth said nothing and simply ordered the ship to be put at bay for a while, Hiera couldn't take it much more.<BR>"Was that satisfactory, Captain?" she asked in as calm a voice she could muster.<BR>He turned his piercing eyes to her and it was all she could do to keep from shaking like a leaf. Her palms became horribly sweaty, however, and she clenched them behind her back.<BR>"I would have preferred it never happened," he replied, "but since it has, then <i>yes</i>, it <i>was</i> satisfactory."<BR>She winced at the coolness of his tone--better him snapping at her and arguing with her than treating her as if she were below contempt. She opened her mouth to say something--<i>anything</i> that would make him talk to her normally again--when she realized that their captive was watching them with more interest than any stricken prisoner usually would. Annoyance flashed through her and she shot the girl a threatening look before she looked back up at Argileth and pushed her apology aside--for the moment. <BR>"What now?" she asked just as calmly.<BR>Argileth lowered his voice and began speaking in their native language.<BR>"Judging from the looks of this one," here he gave the prisoner a glance, "she's some sort of nobility in Gondor. Hopefully, the people will give chase to us."<BR>"And?" Hiera asked, speaking also in the native tongue.<BR>"We wait for them here. Gondor's fleets have greatly improved since the reign of Elessar, but they still do not match the greatness of the Numenorean ships that first came here. He knows that he cannot defeat the Corsairs in water--meaning this will be a better place for negotiation. He can't openly attack us--at least not before he listens to what we have to say."<BR>Hiera nodded and bit her lip. He was still looking at her with definite coolness and she knew he was waiting for her apology. <BR>"I--I'm sorry," she said quickly, expelling the breath she was holding.<BR>"It's not me you should apologize to. I'm not one of the dead men lying on Gondor's shores."<BR>Hiera tugged her hair in frustration.<BR>"<i>Do you always need to make it so difficult</i>?" she asked, not caring that the prisoner was watching her facial expression very carefully.<BR>"Its my vanity," he replied offhandedly, and a slow, lazy smile swept across his features and made her heart flip over. <BR>She hid her flush and smirked.<BR>"Am I forgiven then?" she demanded.<BR>"By me, yes. I'm not sure about Arwilen. She's still waiting for our signal, and knowing her, she's already impatient."<BR>"She'll skin me alive." Hiera quaked physically at the thought of the Queen of Umbar's wrath.<BR>"Don't think about it. As long as we can persuade Elessar, she'll be happy. So let's just concentrate on our task, all right?"<BR>She nodded and he turned his attention to their captive, speaking once more in the Common Tongue.<BR>"You're lucky," he said to her with a smirk. "You're going to spend the night in the best accomodation on the ship."<BR>The pretty girl's eyes widened with horror and Hiera looked inquiringly at Argileth as he straightened up.<BR>"Tie her to the prow," he said with obvious humor in his voice. "But," he said in a lower voice, "make sure she doesn't fall, all right?"<BR> <BR><BR><BR>
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Postby atalantea » Tue Jan 20, 2004 10:05 pm

"Stubborn, does she not see she leads herself to danger, she cannot do it alone, even with her men, however loyal they are," Atalantea whispered, watching the form of Daeanna from afar.<BR>"She goes alone like she always does, she reminds me of another too, stubborn and one who leads herself into danger without hesitation," Legolas answered, catching her earlier words. She cut her eyes at him and she faced the people who still cried and ran apanic.<BR>"Silence!" she called and though her voice was not of anger, all stopped in their tracks and lifted their heads. "Gather all wounded and bring them to your Houses of Healing, there is no use in weeping, that will not save them, gather the fallen and let them lie, they are to be honored for they fell in the name of Gondor," <BR>People looked at her in awe and followed hesitantly. Their faces were of fear, pain and yet wonder as they looked at her.<BR>"What of the fallen corsairs lady Arwen?" one asked.<BR>"Put them away. Where are my children?" Arwen's voice came from behind the people and murmurs spread. <i>How come there are two Arwens?</i> The people stood still as they surveyed the two.<BR>Atalantea's eyes brightened in recognition. "Lady Arwen!" She exclaimed as she ran towards her, the crowd making way. She stopped in front of her, bowing before her and Elessar.<BR>"Atalantea! How come you here? Where are my children?" Arwen came, lifting her up. "I thought you were to be married? How come you here?" Arwen asked.<BR>"Now is not the time for this My Lady, they took Thalia, Daeanna is followed and Eldarion is-" Legolas was cut off by a voice.<BR>"Right here, the Corsairs will pay for this, they better bring back Thalia unharmed... mother... who is this?" Eldarion came, refering to the elf-maiden that looked like his mother.<BR>"Atalantea, daughter of Elrohir, your cousin," Ellesar answered for them all.<BR>"We came to warn you, but we came late," Legolas announced.<BR>"Prepare to sail, we are not as skilled as they are in water but they are still in our boarders, Let us keep it that way, they will not leave my land with my daughter in their keeping!" Ellesar intoned, his voice authoritative. <BR>The people cried in answer and the horns of Gondor made sound.
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Postby fishy071 » Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:13 am

Relieved that Omni would take care of Echo, Fishy ran toward the docks with Princess Daeanna, Legolas, and the elven lady where Lieutenant Felogrir informed them about the Corsairs taking Princess Thalia out to sea. At the same time, Fishy was grieved to see the dead body of Lieutenant Felodrir and many others.<BR><BR>“We better find King Elessar!” Fishy suggested as she began her way through the maze of live and dead bodies. Meanwhile, Princess Daeanna had ignored the elven lady’s advice, mounted a horse, and rode off.<BR><BR>‘Now, Princess Daeanna will be in danger too!’ Fishy said to herself. `Where is Prince Eldarion? Don’t tell me he’s on the ship too!’ Fortunately, King Elessar and Queen Evenstar appeared.<BR><BR>“I was looking for you,” she said. “You are probably aware of the danger.”<BR><BR>“I was wrong to doubt my daughter,” King Elessar admitted. “Come now.”<BR><BR>Queen Evenstar faced the docks and yelled, “Silence!” and gave the order to gather the wounded and dead.<BR><BR>As some of the soldiers and servants followed the Queen’s order, Legolas informed them of the kidnapping and riding off. Suddenly, Prince Eldarion appeared.<BR><BR>“There you are, your highness!” Fishy exclaimed, but in his anger and haste to report the kidnapping, he did not hear her. King Elessar introduced the elven lady.<BR><BR>“Hi Atalantea,” Fishy greeted. “I am Fishy. We’ll save the introductions for later.”<BR><BR>At the King’s order to sail, everyone prepared and headed towards a Gondorian ship. He also assigned some soldiers to follow Princess Daeanna. Fishy quickly handed out herbs for seasickness and injuries, then boarded with the others as she shoved an herb into her mouth.
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Postby Echo_Starlite » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:58 pm

Daeanna rode alone along the bank, the mud making it hard for the horse to find purchase. Despite her speed, the boat's was greater, and soon it was out of view, save for its white sail bobbing in and out of view as trees attempted to obstruct it.<BR><BR>Pulling up on the reins, the horse came to an abrupt stop, and Daeanna slid off its back, defeated. There was nothing she could do for her sister. Resting her head on the horse's saddle, she bid herself not to cry, but found it a harder task than she' bargained for.<BR><BR>A hand rested gently on her shoulder, and she looked up into the dark and emotionless eyes of Omni, who wore a grim expression himself. His black horse stood a little ways off, and perched in the saddle was Echo, watching her levelly with similarly unfeeling eyes.<BR><BR>"I know why you have come," she whispered to him. "And I do release you from my service, Omni of the Twilight Peoples. Go now, and may your Princess be braver than I."<BR><BR>"This is not a time for courageous deeds as you would think," Echo said, spurring the horse gently so it came toward them as she spoke. "Your father will know what to do, when the time comes. Yours may come yet."<BR><BR>"She has regained much of her memory," Omni said, smiling slightly at Daeanna's confused expression. "I am taking her back to her people. To our home. That is where she belongs."<BR><BR>"And you must return to your own people," Echo said, looking from Omni to Daeanna. "One day, the last of a great Fellowship will return to the land of the Noreans, to the land of the Ever Young, and you will go on that ship to your kin, Daeanna Aragil of the White Tower."<BR><BR>Omni bowed then to Daeanna, a curt but touching expression of their friendship, and swung up onto the saddle behind Echo, clucking his tongue to the horse, but Echo held up a hand to stay him.<BR><BR>"Seek the Darkness Reborn if you should wish for the aid of my people," she said to Daeanna, reaching out and taking the princess's hand in her own. "We will help you where we can."<BR><BR>"A promise between princesses," Daeanna smiled as tears welled in her eyes. The small hand pulled free of her own as Omni's horse trotted, then cut into a full gallop, carrying the two strange creatures away.<BR><BR>The king's guard came into view, and Daeanna rode to meet them as the black horse charged through the shallows and past the Gondorians, the riders a blur of black and foreboding, and disappeared suddenly in a shadow as the horse came up out of the water behind them.<BR><BR>Daeanna stopped, her horse becoming overheated, and watched a Gondorian vessel appear in the waters not far off, sighed, and turned the horse around. She would follow that white sail in the distance to eternity if it meant freedom from a sedentary and binding life. Even if it brought death.<BR><BR>With a shout, she dug her heals into the horse's sides, speaking to it in Elvish, and the wet earth sprayed up behind in a rain as the horse ran swift and light along the bank and into the sunset.
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Postby foodaddict » Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:12 pm

The Queen of Umbar leaned out across the ship's prow, looking northwards...to Gondor. A breeze kissed her skin and she welcomed the soothing touch of it as her emotions came threateningly close to the surface.<BR>There had been an unnecessary delay in plans...Argileth was probably doing his best to remedy whatever untoward incident that had befallen. She was <i>so close</i> to achieving her father's dream and yet everything seemed to be falling out of plan--perhaps that was why she was so impatient...so driven...<BR>She smoothed her hand over her face and whispered a message to the winds.<BR>"<i>Isil lochta, Argileth</i>..."<BR><BR>---<BR><BR>Argileth's eyes snapped open and he whirled around, his eyes probing the south. He dashed towards the southern end of the ship and peered forward.<BR>"...<i>Hurry, Argileth</i>..."<BR>His sister's voice had whispered in his ears and he felt the underlying force of her words...she was getting impatient. He pressed his hand against his chest and whispered back.<BR>"<i>Doreth mathra, Arwilen</i>."<BR><i>Be patient, Arwilen.</i><BR>Just then a commotion behind him made him look back. Hiera came flying from behind him, running towards the rumble.<BR>"Its that <i>damned</i> captive!" she hissed as she passed.<BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Aiduial » Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:17 am

<BR>Once Thalia realised where the corsair was taking her, she decided that now was the time to act. While the two corsairs had been talking, she had been working at the silken scarf which had been tied around her wrists. The material made her smile. Silk could be strong, but it was extremely slippery. After she had freed her hands, she looped the scarf over her hands loosly, as Pippin had taught her. <BR><BR>When they reached the prow, however, she balked. This was too much. She had been kidnapped, bound, gagged, nad now they were trying to use her for a mast-head. No! This was way too much. Pulling her hands from the loops, she pulled the gag from her mouth and lunged past her gaurds, slipping her slender form between them to run back towards the main decks. The clumsy fools lunged at her and missed, hitting each other and falling to the deck with a resounding noise. <BR><BR>She dodged behind a mast when she saw the female Corsair who had brought her aboard, and after she had passed, ducked out to find the captain. As she did so, the woman spotted her, and tried to catch her. Thalia raced until she came in front of the captain, and the woman behind her stood stock still. Thalia stood on a higher deck than he, looking down at him. <BR><BR>"WHAT is the meaning of this? First you kidnap me, tie me up and gag be, bring to this ship against my will, and now you want to tie me to the prow? I'm NOT a masthead for your flaming boat! If you want me for bargaining, that's not th eplace to keep me, as I'll end up covered in seaspray and then I don't think the Gondorians will be very kind to you if they see how you treat me. And I think I know my people better than you do, Mister!"<BR><BR>She put her hands on her hips and tossed her head, sending her hair out out of the loose ribbon which had kept her long auburn ringlets under some control. Now the wind caught them, blowing them, making her look quite stromy with her flashing, icy blue eyes. What she didn't realise, was that when she tossed her head, her pendant had slipped from the bodice of her gown to hang in plain view, ofr all who saw her to see. It was saphire and mithril, a gift from the king of mirkwood to her upon her birth, one known to all in Middle Earth, as only the daughters of Elessar and Undomiel wore them, their Evenstars.
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Postby foodaddict » Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:46 pm

"You've got to hand it to her--she knows how to run."<BR>Hiera rolled her eyes at him as they stood looking up at the girl. Apparently, she didn't like him admiring enemies. Smiling at her, he turned his eyes up to the young lady.<BR>Argileth's eyes caught the pendant flashing before his eyes and realization dawned on him. Hiera had her bow in hand again and he placed his hand on her shoulder, staying her. He called out a sharp command to the Corsairs nimbly making their way up to the girl and they stopped short.<BR>"So..." he said softly, though he was certain she could hear him from the way her face paled at his tone, "...what we have here is no ordinary Gondorian chit."<BR>"What are you talking about?" Hiera asked, her gaze snapping towards him as she lifted her bow again.<BR>"Put that away, Hiera," Argileth said, a smile playing on his lips. <BR>"<i>What</i>?" <BR>He ignored her and signalled to his men, who withdrew silently, watching him with great interest. He walked up towards the girl and bowed sardonically.<BR>"My humblest apologies, princess," he said, straightening up and grinning. "I realize now that lovely though you may be, you are not exactly my ideal masthead. Would you like to come down now? Or would you rather stand there and wait for your father to arrive?"<BR>"What will you do with me?" she asked, and though she was looking down at him with every sign of defiance, he heard the quaver of fear in her voice.<BR>"What I'm <i>going</i> to do with you? Or what I <i>want</i> to do with you?" he asked, completely serious.<BR>He controlled the laughter that came threateningly close to the surface as she looked at him in an almost bewildered way.<BR><i>Stop it</i>, a voice terribly like Karimlan's said in his head. <i>You're picking on an innocent, you insensitive cad. She didn't even understand the joke.</i><BR>"I'm not going to hurt you," he said with a smile and a shake of his head. "Like you said, you're no use to me unless you're in good condition."<BR>She looked down at him mistrustfully and her hand closed over her pendant protectively. Argileth stepped closer and held out his hand.<BR>"Come," he said with a smile. "Trust me."<BR>
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Postby fishy071 » Fri Jan 23, 2004 4:09 am

“Hurry!” King Elessar commanded. “Full speed ahead!” His wife stood by him with the same urgency.<BR><BR>The Gondorian ship had elven designs carved in the wood. Legolas, Gimli, and their elves and dwarves had done a beautiful job carving and putting together the wood to build a nice ship. The black and silver sails had white trees and stars on them.<BR><BR>Fishy stood nervously at the head of the ship with King Elessar, Queen Evenstar, Prince Eldarion, Legolas, and Atalantea, keeping eyes on the white sails of the Corsair ship.<BR><BR>“We’ll never catch up to them,” Fishy complained.<BR><BR>“We will,” Prince Eldarion replied. “Our father and his friends are great warriors and know what they’re doing. As long as we keep the Corsairs in sight, there shouldn’t be a problem.”<BR><BR>The Corsair ship was indeed increasing in size. It seemed to have stopped for awhile in the middle of the sea. Fishy was happy for the progress, but anxious that the Corsairs probably had many tricks up their sleeves.
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Postby foodaddict » Fri Jan 23, 2004 8:36 pm

King Elessar saw the Corsair ship drawing closer and closer and he felt his hand absently stray to the hilt of Anduril. Beside him he saw Fishy cast him a look of concern and he withdrew his hand and placed it at his side once more. Despite her silence, she had quietly reminded him that violence was out of the question while Thalia was in the hands of the Corsairs. <BR>Appearances, he realized, were deceptive. Looking at the grand ship that they were drawing near to, it was difficult to believe that the ones who had built it were the same uncouth, ruthless pirates that the Dead had overcome twenty years ago. In the fading sunlight the rich wood gleamed like dark honey and the billowing snow-white masts were tinted a reddish gold. The prow was plain and unadorned with no significant masthead, but it was intricately carved all the same, precious gems winking from the carvings. <BR>It took him a moment to see that the Corsair ship was not moving--contrary to the quick retreat he had been expecting from them. His brows contracted in a frown as he noticed that the ship's prow was facing them.<BR>"They've been expecting us," Atalantea commented, and it was apparent she had been noticing the same things. "They didn't even bother giving us a chase."<BR>"If it's a battle they want, they know we can't fight them," Fishy said worriedly. "They have the upper hand--they're better as sea warfare <i>and</i> they've got Thalia."<BR>"What are we to do, Father?" Eldarion asked, turning towards Elessar.<BR>"For now we must play into their hands," Elessar replied, his eyes nebver leaving the ship. "We have to find out what their agenda is, but first we have to recover your sister. Once we've done that, everything else will be much easier. Tell the men to go faster. I will not permit my daughter to spend even a night in the hands of such men."<BR><BR>---<BR><BR>Argileth watched as the princess slowly and hesitantly reached for his hand. Hiera twitched agitatedly beside him, but he did not make a move to snatch her at all. He kept his hand outstretched and open, and as he felt her place her cold hand in his grasp, he closed his fingers over hers and supported her as she jumped nimbly down beside him. A silence reigned over the entire deck and for a moment Argileth stared into her profoundly blue eyes, her hand still clasped in his. He then realized he'd been holding his breath ever since he'd held her hand and he abruptly released her and stepped back, taking in the sweet air and letting it fill his screaming lungs.<BR>"See?" he asked, smiling. "That wasn't so difficult, was it?"<BR>She simply stared at him, but before he could say much more Hiera's sharp tone cut through to him.<BR>"They've come!"
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