View Full Version : Angmar: Coup d'État

22/Aug/2011, 06:28 PM

the Lord of Iron, Seward of Angmar, is weak, faltering, and failing in
the lost realm of Angmar, following a confrontation with the elven
host, and a pact of non-aggression. He remains camped in the ruined
city of Carn Dûm, drawing close about him those inside his bleak
fortress whom he still can trust. After all, he long maintained the
fell presence of Angmar before his ill-advised and ill-considered moves
southwards. But unrest is daily growing; the northern orc and
werewolves, wildmen and creatures of darkness thirst for action and
vengeance. Recently Damrod has received word that another denizen of
the dark tower is being sent north to Angmar, a fearsome she-witch who
was once Lord of Shadows in service to the eye. Preceding her coming
like the first scent of a gathering storm, orcs and men alike have been
appearing in the lost realm and Carn Dûm itself marked with three
crimson claw-marks upon helm and garb alike. The Lord of Iron, sensing
supersession, gathers the most loyal of his minions about him to await
the arrival of the one known as the Delgaran…

This RP will be short and swift, showing the transfer of power in Angmar and serving as a prequel to the Queen of Iron</font> RP
to come. Use it as an opportunity to experiment with Angmarian
characters- orcs, werewolves, wild men, trolls, and so forth. Intrigue,
treachery, and bloodshed abound.

Please sign up in the OOC
thread </font></font>forum_images/bullet.png (forum_posts.asp?TID=242065&amp;PID=7418432#7418432) before posting; you are free to claim a specific
role, or to simply play an Angmarian roaming around the action and
deciding where your loyalties lie. GM updates will be made in</font> bold #CC0000</font>, </font></font>s</font>o please keep off that color.

There will be a 48 hour signup period before the RP begins. Wait for the first GM prompt before posting.

Edited by: Moriel

24/Aug/2011, 07:48 PM
The Lord of Iron sat upon his iron throne, where once the Witch-King had sate in state and splendor. Now the throne was a decrepit thing, seeming to dwarf the man who occupied it, though Angmar’s steward was not a small man. Damrod had grown old and disconsolate in his service, and his last attempt at a push southwards had been met with overwhelming resistance by the northern elves… the ensuing pact of non-aggression had quite thoroughly pulled his teeth. Nevertheless, he was still Lord of Iron, and Angmar his domain. Damrod gazed about the throne room, where advisors, officers, and those important enough in some way or another, milled about. Vultures, he thought caustically. Circling buzzards, just waiting for me to die. He leaned back in the throne, gripping at the armrests with bony fingers and emitting a slow sigh of contempt. Not only was he surrounded by vultures, but now a new threat was rising. This witch from the south, the Delgaran as she was called, once Lord of Shadows- Damrod had heard of her even in his northern wastes, though long ago when he had served that secret sect she had been unknown to him. He sneered, reflecting on the missive he had received weeks before, announcing her coming.

A hopeful usurper she would be, no doubt, using her duty as an excuse to recompense some of the power she had lost. No doubt the cause of her removal from Lordship was some affliction of weak, womanish vapors; no doubt the reputation was greatly overinflated, and the sending of the witch north tantamount to exile. A doleful moodiness settled over Damrod, and he drummed his fingers against the arm of the throne. The situation was not at all ideal. The letter had said nothing of subservience, nor of what precisely this Delgaran’s charge was in coming here. The Lord of Iron had shared the message only with his closest advisors- so naturally, all of Carn Dûm knew that something was amiss, if not precisely what. Yet another problem on the heaping feast-table of Damrod’s vexations. His eyes narrowed an he called out in a barking voice, “Iúlon! Attend me here! Auðri, you as well.” When the two advisors had come near, he addressed the first. “Ensure that my hall is well guarded, and that I am informed when our guest enters Carn Dûm. It may be at any time. And you,” Damrod turned to Auðri. “I want you to observe this witch closely when she comes, and tell to me anything you can divine of her supposed skill.”


Posting may begin! Establish yourselves in the throne room or about Carn Dûm as necessitated by your character; those who have signed up as the five advisers who either betray or remain loyal will be in the throne room.

24/Aug/2011, 08:52 PM
Auðri fairly well kept her eyes to herself as she stood in the hall, silent and still as a statue. It was a virtue learned at a young age and perhaps one of the toughest for a child. Now it was her nature and it was the stance and character of stone that she assumed in nearly any situation or place and, indeed, how she managed her affairs and counsel. Standing thus and staring ahead at the wall as though into nothingness, she nonetheless could see the Lord of Iron before her. She had no need to actually be gazing upon him to look at his face. She knew his looks and his manner so well that there was little she could not guess at and envision. His thoughts and emotions, however, were something only to be imagined - not known. She supposed they alternated between anger, despair, and the many subtle varieties of the same. There was no way to be certain, though she would have given a good deal to be so. Auðri had her own reasons for wishing to glimpse into his thoughts, but those she naturally kept close to herself in her cold, darkened corner of the hall.

It was well that she wore her traditional attire: her heavy robes and the mask that covered nearly half her face and shadowed her eyes and their expressions. She could feel her heart beating, her veins pulsating, and her bones aching so that she thought it must be visible. There was no panic in it, but merely a steadiness like that of a drum that grows louder and stronger toward either a sudden silence or onto the joining of a chorus or a new strain entirely.

It was so audible in her own mind that she almost missed Damrod's call, which otherwise would have been loud and unmistakable. While there had long been legitimate talk of his hand weakening and his grip over Angmar fading, Auðri did not doubt the current strength of his will or his malice. When he requested her presence, she came. When he told her to go, she left. When he asked for her to complete a task, she completed with frightening swiftness. When he rebuked her, she withstood it and mended it. But there is a kind that will withstand a storm for many years before breaking back upon a tormentor with a fury and a force ten times the sum of all that was hurled at them and Auðri was of this kind.

As she walked toward their king, her eyes were on Iúlon's shadow and they followed it as her fellow advisor ascended to Damrod's side. Her step quickened in order to catch what he said to the other and as she heard it, inwardly she smiled. She hadn't the least idea of what this 'witch' - as he called her - was coming for nor what she hoped to achieve, but anything that stirred his heart with worry lifted her own with pleasure. As it was, a solemnity settled over what little could be seen of her face and her colourless lips as she bowed her head, simultaneously stepping backward. "As you please, my lord," was her only reply. The smile another might have had to hold back out of their voice merely settled darkly inside her, as it was accustomed to doing.</font>

Naith Liathant
24/Aug/2011, 11:11 PM
The Flight of Ravens : Harbinger

The Raven stood on the hill at Estermill, north of Evendim, and stared into the wind. It was said that if you stood upon that high hill and looked north, you could see the ice of distant glaciers, and the bay of Forochel. It was another untruth. The Raven couldn't see much beyond the burning buildings on account of the thick, acrid smoke, billowing up like grey plumes of breath exhumed from broken earth. The land was wounded, it's people dying. And so it goes.

Nothing could erase from his memory what they had found at the mill that morning. The timbers charred black told a miserable tale of their own, as the Flight had scouted the ruins of the village. There had been few bodies and initially the Rangers had sought signs of women and children fleeing farther north or west, before the war band arrived. But no such warning had reached the village. They discerned that the attack had caught the town unprepared, and in the onslaught dozens of villagers had run to the mill, to hide behind it's strong doors. It was the only defensible point. As the shelters burned, and the war band swept in to hack down those who were stragglers, it must have been chaos.

Goathul the Blighter must have soon gathered his mighty warg-rider host, and driven them through the village to the mill. There, frustrated by the weight of heavy wooden doors barring the way, the war band had simply burned the villagers out. Only it seemed the villagers had not come out. And so in the darkness of the mill, hidden like frightened children, the folk of Estermill perished in flame. The darkness dispelled as the fires of Angband returned from legend to turn their world incendiary...

The Raven spat into the grasses. His blue eyes shone with passionate fire of their own. Goathul and his band would perish, and he would avenge the deaths of so many villagers and farmers across northern Eriador. From the brakes of Rhudaur, across the North Downs, to Fornost, and beyond, up to the shores of the lake, he had pursued them. He had gathered the band at Osdolen after he assumed the mantle after the fall of the previous Raven. The cloak sat heavy upon the shoulders of he who bore it, for with it came responsibility. Each new war chief of the Flight was renamed the Raven and eschewed all past. In return, he became the leader of the Flight, the Raven and wore the mantle. To him now spoke the Ravens, and they responded to his whims. They were his sight beyond sight, in lands where the blind led the blind.

In the evening, the Flight divided. Some made back for Osdolen to bring the tidings to the Rangers gathered there in hopes to muster a larger host comprised of many bands. In the mean time, someone had to continue to pursue Goathul, who it seemed had finally abated and turned his evil war band east. Across the wilds of the cold north. Was he making for the Icebay or were there scatterlings of villages and farms up that way, untouched? The Raven knew not.

With little rest after scouring for any who might yet live, the host divided in the morning. The survivors, a few children found hidden in the depths of the ruined mill who somehow had survived the burning, and those charged with taking these ill tidings to Osdolen and the other chiefs, departed south east. The rest of the Flight shouldered their packs and followed the path of the Raven, heading north east, into the unknown reaches of the barren north. Following this war band was easy. Keeping up with it would be hard. Wargs need a great deal of food, and leave a great deal of waste. They were easy to track. But they were merciless scavengers and terrible beasts, running fast as any horse for brief spells and certainly on foot, the Flight would fall behind. This was no reason not to give chase.

Should Goathul lead his war band of warg-riders into another settlement, no matter how small, their delay would be as significant as the loss of life. It might enable the Flight to interrupt, catch the miscreant goblin and slay him and his. End this. Time would tell, reasoned the black haired man with the blazing blue eyes, as he strode along purposefully, scouring the horizon...Edited by: Naith Liathant

Fairy Nuff
25/Aug/2011, 10:54 PM
NPC Arnuzîr
A wildman of Carn Dûm

Arnuzir was skulking in the shadows of the keep. Theoretically he was supposed to be waiting to rendevous with someone who would be arriving at Carn Dûm shortly - another stinking orc most likely. He was more interested right now in trying to eavesdrop on the affairs of The Lord of Iron and his cronies - there was much whispering behind closed doors and furtive glances over shoulders these days. Everyone knew that Damrod was weak now; barely strength left in his fingers let alone his rule, and change was on the wind.

He pulled his too-large cloak around his thin shoulders - no one could accuse him of being burly - from where it kept slipping down off his shoulders. Beneath the cloak - which had been liberated from an unsuspecting gambler in one of the dens - his jerkin bore three crimson claw marks; a badge of honour.

Arnuzîr looked out across the path in front of him. People had been walking past, but none had seemed to require his attention. He growled under his breath, and by way of reassurance, patted his dirk and his knives at wrist and ankle to confirm that they were available if needed. If his contact did not arrive soon he would head back into the keep, throw some dice and find a more interesting way to spend his time.</font>

Aerlinn Mordagnir
26/Aug/2011, 09:23 AM

</font>The tavern didn't have a proper name, and no one knew much about the bartender either. It was just another rough stone building, set back from the road a little bit, marked only by wooden sign hanging above the door. The sign carried a rather shoddy, faded painting of a dagger lying slantwise over a tankard. So locals called the place the Dagger, those few times they had to refer to it by some sort of name. Mostly, it was where everyone went to do what they weren't supposed to be doing. It was a place to buy and sell what one didn't want others to know one had, to stab someone in the back (often literally), and, as Akuun was most interested in, to hire men to do those sorts of services one would rather keep quiet.</font>
</font>Currently it was rather empty. In one corner a pair of sleazy looking men rolled dice and argued over pennies. Near them a merchant was trying to charge an absurd amount of money for something in a vial. Poison, most likely. That discussion would probably end with a blade at someone's throat. A few others sat slumped at the bar, dead to the world, victims of too many spirits the night before. "Bloody idiots," Akuun muttered in disgust as he pushed open the door. Things were always like this before midafternoon.</font>
</font>Akuun gave the bartender a curt nod and sat down at a shadowy table in the opposite corner from the gamblers. Windows were scarce in this establishment, there was only one set on either side of the door . The rest of the place was lit by flickering lanterns. Next to his table was a forbidding looking staircase that led up to a handful of rooms for sleeping, secretive dealings and wenching. Now and then they were even cleaned, in bad attempts to disguise the place a respectable inn for a few hours. Akuun would rather not be here, but he didn't have anywhere else to be. And here, people knew where to find him.</font>
</font>He was a small man, slim and an inch or two shorter than most of his fellows. He was dressed in all black, from boots and breeches to a long-sleeve tunic, though at present his sleeves were rolled up to his elbows. His hair matched his clothes, and even his eyes were of such a dark brown they could be mistaken for black. The only color he wore was a tiny ruby set into the hilt of the dagger sheathed at his waist. A...lucky charm, of sorts.</font>
</font>"Get me a brandy, would ye?"</font>

Edited by: Roo

26/Aug/2011, 04:37 PM
The Flight of Ravens They were at Estermill on the high hill, Timrin, standing behind theRaven his leader, looked out over the area, not much to see. He was looking for signs of possible battle, given who they were tracking. Timrin had chosen to stay with Raven and continue the trek following the Wargridders. The wind was in his face now and the stench left behind was on the wind.Timrin was silent remembering what he had just seen, the carnage, the senceless killing and wanton distruction. The Flight would make them pay. They had no rest, they needed no rest, they were on the trail and were deturmind to catch up as quick as possible. To long had these creatures roam free it was time to put an end to them and The Fight of Ravens were the ones who could do it. Up here on the hill with the wind in his face Timrin loweredthe hood of his cloak to let the wind flow through his dark brown shoulder leight hair. He closed his deep blue eyes and let the moment wash over him. Soon he opened his eyes and began to look about at the trail left behind noting direction and trying to remember what lay in that path. As he did this he awaited what his leader would say.

26/Aug/2011, 05:33 PM
The Flight of Ravens

Erefride had a bad feeling all these days, like a darkness growing in her mind, like future was covered by a curtain and prevented her from seeing anything, for planning anything. With the Flight of the Ravens they had witnessed the monstrosity of the warg riders, the slaughter and the death of so many innocent people and the dark feeling grew even more. She was used to seeing such things the last years and knew she had to deal with them as a ranger. But that was the worst thing she had seen, a whole village burnt, all the people gone. She hadn't said a word since they arrived, just looked at the smoky scenery and tried to control her rage.

Their leader, Raven stood on top of the hill, watching silently in the distance as if he was trying to see Goathun and kill his with the strength of his sight. She wished it could happen, not because she was afraid to face him and his riders in battle but because she didn't want more people hurt. One of the other rangers stood near her, Timrin. He left his hood fall to his shoulders. Erefride looked at him ,with her dark grey eyes and her hair, almost blond caressed her shoulders. She smelled the air, tried to forget the scenes of barbarism. They were monsters and had to be killed. Their leader knew better of course but she just couldn't wait. "When are we going, Raven? We must get to them before they're away." Her voice echoed above the silent hills, and a band of ravens mourned in the sky. She shivered as a sudden wind blew her hair away and the darkness came to her again.

27/Aug/2011, 12:02 AM
Gwathmir (The Flight of Ravens)

I will return as grass in spring

I'll try to reach you, germinating

As buds reach forward to the green

When they are waiting to awaken.

To start the blossoming anew

One morning, secretly and shyly,

Already sparkling with the dew

That dries away if sun is shining.

The sun arises every time

And warms the humid earth for seeding

It reaches joyously your eyes,

But I already do not see it.

It cannot open heavy eaves

My closed eyelids, cannot force them.

But it's ridiculous to grieve

For me as for a single person.

For I am grass and autumn leaves

That fly and fall to putrefaction

But there is nothing new in these

Banal ideas and reflections.

It's the eternal hope and dream -

To be, to stay, at least as grass does,

To grow through the soil in spring

And join the life, the new life lastly.

(ooc: poem by Gennady Shpalikov, translation by Natasha Gotskaya)</font>

The lines of the poem had been running through Gwathmir's mind all of that morning. On and on. It seemed natural to begin it again when it ended. It does work, he mused. Your body does rejoin the earth when you die. But is there anything left that can see it, is there anything that thinks "I was Gwathmir, I am grass now"? Then again, need there be? Is it not enough that the grass and flowers on a grave help those who remain remember? And why do we want so much to be remembered?
Myrtle, his fiancée had given him a small poetry book at their last parting. She was a strange girl, Myrtle. Gwathmir had asked her for something that was hers, that was precious to her, and that he could take with him. He had expected a ring, or a locket, but she instead gave him this. The book was precious to the young man, though, and it gave him comfort. He used to read one poem every night, when they could light a fire. Then, on the next day, he'd often think of it. That is, when he wasn't constructing castles in the clouds. Often his friends noticed Gwathmir smiling, when he had no apparent reason to. He was to marry Myrtle when he returned to Archet.

Gwathmir's chain of thought was brutally broken by immediate concerns. Carnage. Carnage that even the grasses wouldn't hide soon, revealed itself to the ranger's eyes. The ground told the ugly story. A surprise attack. Helpless villagers fleeing in fear to the mill. And then burning or suffocating inside it. A handful of children, protected perhaps by their parents' bodies from the flames, were all that remained. And what was to be the fate of these children? Orphans, all their family, neighbours, friends - everybody they had ever known - dead. What scars would such an event leave on their minds? For a moment Gwathmir imagined Archet being attacked in the same way, when the rangers were elsewhere, and his beloved Myrtle... But No! he drove the invasive thought away. Breeland was a central location. It was well-protected. No attack could come there. It was essential for a ranger to know, or at least to believe, that his home, and those he loved, were safe. How else could he leave them, and wander far away?

Several men were sent back to Osdolen to bring a report. Someone suggested that Gwathmir should go with them. The Flight was now going into danger graver than usual, and the young man had a bride waiting for his return. But Gwathmir refused. "Nay," he had said. "Would you have me come to Myrtle, and say "I used you as an excuse to avoid whatever my friends are going into?" Is she to marry a ranger, or an - I don't know - the kind of man who voids duty because it's inconvenient?" And he thought to himself I will come to her proud of having removed an evil from the land. And I will tell her nothing of it. Myrtle need never know fear. Eloquence wasn't one of the young man's talents.
Swordsmanship, however, was. And so, his sword was ready, as the Flight prepared to chase the miscreants who did this. Gwathmir had half a mind to ask the Raven how they were to catch warg-riders on foot, but he did not ask in the end. The Raven had led the Flight through many dangers before. He knew what he was doing. And also, truth be told, as much as Gwathmir respected and trusted the Raven, he never felt comfortable around him. Maybe it was the mantle, maybe what it signified. Maybe it was the way ravens obeyed the leader. Gwathmir was proud of being a member of the Flight, but what the leader had to do - eschew all past, give up even his name - that seemed to the young man creepy, frightening. Far more frightening than facing a dozen orcs.

Naith Liathant
27/Aug/2011, 03:29 AM
The Flight of Ravens : Harbinger

""When are we going, Raven? We must get to them before they're away." It was Erefride, keen to be after Goathul. She broke his reverie, though in truth his focus has been loftier than the band might suspect. Timrin looked on expectantly, wondering. The Raven tore his eyes from distant ground, lost between hills and copses of forestry.

" Gwathmir knows." He replied as though it were an answer, seeing the clouded doubt that brewed within that one. He sighed and muttered words under his breath, a prayer or an invocation. " They are already away." He finished, ruefully. He hoped they could catch the band, that the wargs would be too bloated on human flesh to run so fast after last night's attack. That they might be sleeping off the feast in the hidden places not so far distant. But in his heart, he knew that Goathul's motley warband would like as not reach another settlement soon. Maybe not tonight, but the next night, or the night after. Always one step behind!

" I know not the lay of it. We have passed through the villages and steads I know and all have been burned. It is as it was back home." His voice choked as memories of ashen embers smoking in the dawn skies came to him and of the grave he had dug alone for his beloved. Then his mind went where it should not. He should not remember this! He had taken the mantle to escape this! Was he not to have eschewed all past? Did he not speak the damn words!?

Her face, screaming, her body a wreath of flame, her hair smouldering, and flesh peeling off her blackening body, her sticky scalp, her blood eyes. O Elbereth Gilthoniel! Lift this veil and bring me light!

The Raven's azure gaze shifted from his band. He dabbed at his eyes, briefly, and rubbed the bridge of his nose, as though tired. He wiped the tears away. He fought the gulf of emotion back down into its forsaken sinkhole.

" If I know not the path from here or the direction of other homesteads or north man farms then I must have silence." He stood now a few feet on, as the rangers about him nodded and acquiesced. He pulled the hood of the mantle over his head, and spread his arms, still as a scarecrow on a field of blood.

The sound of birds winging down from the grey skies disturbed the quietude, and soon the Flight could hear them, croaking, but to one among their number these sounds made sense. The man in the folds of the ebon mantle listened to the Unkindness of Ravens...

From twenty feet away it was quite the sight, the hooded figure, arms spread wide, the multitude of birds about his feet, settling on his arms, his shoulders, and the eerie sound of their chatter.

27/Aug/2011, 02:15 PM
Belzagar, advisor to Damrod
The Throne Room

</font>His eyes followed Auðri as she went silently to their master's summons, her entire carriage speaking of a graceful subservience. She was a clever dissembler; Belzagar had not the least doubts in his mind that someone as clever as that young woman was could never be content to serve under someone as ineffectual as Damrod had become. Even now the old man's fingers tapped bonily on his vast, ghastly throne, which yawned heavily above him like a shadowy maw. Nevertheless, old though he was, he was yet full of cunning and malice. This Delgaran.... Belzagar would not be in the least surprised if Damrod had encouraged her visit on purpose, starting the rumours himself that she was a great threat and menace in order that her defeat would raise Damrod's own profile once more. Not that he had been privy to the exact contents of the letter itself, although he would bet that Auðri knew. These days, Damrod seemed to be relying on Belzagar less for advice and more as a bodyguard; at least, so it appeared to others.
</font>And Belzagar was formidable in a fight. Those cruel Númenórean features he could slump into the ox-like placidity of the other uneducated guards who stood around the throne room, blindly loyal; and thus listen in to the private conversations Damrod had with any messengers who came to him. Private, for guards are but arrow-fodder and have not the intelligence to understand anyway, are they not? When it pleased him to do so, Belzagar could ripple his muscles and grin lopsidedly with the best of them, although to his annoyance he had the feeling that Damrod made him do it sheerly to humiliate him.

As with Auðri, this pettiness would not be forgotten.</font>

Hallas C. Pehwarin
27/Aug/2011, 04:55 PM
Eärmir, son of Eärnôl
Flight of Ravens: Harbinger

The 33-year old northern dúnedain peered with his keen green-grey eyes to gaze across the desolate landscape of the far north... The key regions being the dreaded former realm of the Witch King Angmar and the Ice bay of Forochel. Though right before he, Eärmir while standing beside his leader the Raven and another kin Timrin as they stood atop a hill that over looked the village of Estermill that was north of Evendim. Though it was now but a smoldering ruins of numerous destroyed buildings. This was done on the orders of their chased foe; Goathul the Blighter and his band!

The wind continued to blow tugging continuously at his dark grey cloak with its wide hood raised covering his fair, yet weather face. His father Eärnôl had said upon him reaching the age 18 that he resembled his grandfather Eärnor who had perished while trying to rescue their Chieftains' grandfather Arador from Hill Trolls in the Cold Fells north of Imladris or Rivendell. Eärmir had a high oval shaped forehead crowned with long thick shoulder length black hair; a pair of thin black eyebrows, underneath them rested his keen green-grey eyes, in between them rested his long aquiline nose, either side of his face were two jug shaped large ears covered by his jet-black hair, two proud cheekbones, pair of pale pink lips and ended in a curved chin with a stubble of new beard that was setting in. Eärmir also had a dark tanned complexion from his own journies and assignments across Eriador aiding the free peoples and their ancient allies the elves.

He wore concealing attire preferred by most of his kin; </font>a long-sleeve cotton green shirt, a pair of black suede leather pants, and tall</font></font></span></font> knee high grey leather boots. Over that rested a</font> </font>slightly heavier short sleeved grey suede leather tunic, </font>whose sleeves from the shoulder the
elbow each had a mesh of chain-mail
attached securely by leather points. The interior of the mail was lined with soft tan
silk </font>to prevent chafing against the
garments resting underneath or any exposed skin.</font> </font>Over this inner but well worn inner tunic was</font> a sleeveless hard leather tan tunic with adjustable leather straps on either side. </font></font></font>This armor</span></font> offered moderate protection while not hindering mobility.
Protecting his lower body from waist to thigh was a matching tan suede
leather traveling skirt, whose interior had a sheet of identical
chain-mail attached like the above mentioned inner tunic was secured by leather
points and interior lined with soft </font></font></font>tan silk.
Over the entire outfit rested a long cotton dark grey cloak</font> and upon the front at the nape of his large thick
neck rested a finely crafted broach. It was shaped in the likeness of rayed and 6
pointed silver star. This was the only present ornamentation worn by
all of the Rangers of the North, including their long lived Chieftains. </font>On</font></font></font> Eärmir's muscled back rested faded black leather traveling pack, his quiver of 25 barbed arrows, and his prized yew hunting bow. The pack did contain all that he carried when on assignments or long journies. Spare clothing, an extra set of leather armor and vambraces, socks and underwear, a pair of tall knee high leather boots, a tiny one or two person green tent, cleaning kits for his

</font></font></font>Eärmir </font></font></font>protected
his forearms with a set of two-piece leather vambraces; an inner
patterned guard and an outer plate of boiled tan</span></span></span></span></span></font> </font> leather tooled with</span></span></span></span></span></font> </font>a
set of seabird's wings and matching tan tabs to protect his
callused hands from injuries or carelessness. Over the waist of the
exterior hard leather tunic was his plain grey leather belt. Attached
to it were his two brown leather pouches containing some healing herbs,
bandages, a tiny amount of coin, and some pipe weed that he'd brought
when he and his fellow rangers had stopped in the village of Bree to gather additional supplies, and his smaller wooden scabbard covered in black leather rested his long steel dagger of N</font>úmenórean design. </font>

the left hand side of the belt rested a long wooden scabbard covered in grey leather that crisscrossed down its entire length splattered with mud due to his travels. It was fitted
with a bronze locket and matching chape </font>that was identical to his the steel conical pommel of his </font>D</font>ú</span></font>nedain hand-and-half ranger sword. The handgrip was wide and matched the shape of </font>Eärmir's callused hands. The grip had eight bronze rings and in between them was placed fine black leather. </font>The sword's crossguard was </span>a
simple of flattened
polished steel that was twisted at the edges and in the center etched on either side was the stylized pattern of two
seabird's wings outstretched in full flight and was inlaid with a bronze
filigree. The three and half foot steel blade followed and was given a
standard fuller down most of the length of the polished steel stopping
short before the end of the blade. It tapered off to a fine point
perfect for thrusting into more heavily armored foes, and was sharpened
on both sides! Now </font>Eärmir finally spoke his deep bass voice quiet and cool, "Well Raven what do you think are we ending the near of our journey?" " So we can avenge this atrocities." "Bring Goathul to justice." Eärmir placed his left hand upon the hilt of his dú</span></font>nedain hand-and-half ranger sword as he awaited a quick </font>very criptive response to his recent question and words.....</font>

27/Aug/2011, 05:54 PM
Eámanë (known as Izrê)
The Dagger

The noise of a scuffle broke from upstairs – the smash of a wooden object against something hard, followed by a set of thuds and a groan that could be heard through the ceiling. A fleshy body fell to the floor with a loud smack, then all was again quiet. The silence did not last for long though, as a man of sizable girth began to roll down the stairs, pushed by someone unseen. Then from above, a girlish giggle preceded the appearance of Myra, one of the establishment's serving girls, who gracelessly clambered down the stairs, pulling the straps of a dress one could barely call appropriate around herself. "Serves ye right, ya loon!", she screeched at the man who was lying prone at the bottom of the steps. "Don't be forcin' yeself on we ladies if ye don't have the gold ta pay!" After glaring evilly at the man who could lie down and groan, the blond began to preen, noticing that she had caused quite a scene &amp; enjoying the resulting attention.

Then, heeled shoes began to descend from the stairs slowly, making a sound with every step. Metal-capped toes were the first to come into view from the shoddy stairs, attached to a boot that, in turn, encased a shapely leg. Soon, a female who was altogether a different specimen from the unrefined Myra appeared, standing out from the rest of the similarly-dressed women who followed her – she gave the impression of a Black Widow hiding among dandelions, not only because of her great height but also because of her proud bearing. Her grey-violet eyes narrowed as she imperiously inspected the writhing man on the floor. Known to the regulars of the Dagger as Izrê, the dark beauty was a new addition to the line-up, though she had established herself in the wenches' strictly overseen hierarchy with record speed. Like the proprietors of the tavern, not much was known about her, but then again, no one seemed to need more information than the news her prodigious…skill. At her appearance, that piece of knowledge began to circulate around the room once more, though the woman in question did not heed the whispers. Instead, she bent over the fellow on the floor, her hands quickly rummaging through his clothes until, with a smile, she located the moneybag that she was looking for.

Twice, Izrê tossed it in her hand, gauging the weight of the coins inside, before pocketing it for future dissemination among the women. Then, she spoke, her voice as low-pitched and hoarse as a lover's whisper, though the command in its tone was ice-cold. "Leave." The man pushed himself up on his elbows, though he winced as he tried to prop his leg up. Perhaps it was his ankle that was broken or his bruised leg that prevented him from standing up right away, but when it became obvious that he was not going to follow her order any time soon, he found another thing to suffer from as Izrê's metal-toed boot forcefully met the junction between his thighs. The howl ripped from his throat by Izrê's assault unnerved even the drunken men, though the sound of it happening once, then twice again, sounded more harrowing.

The rest of the women (around six in all, though those were only the ones who woke up when the sun was still up) began to disperse, some going back up the staircase and others choosing to loiter among the customers around. Izrê chose to stay, picking her way almost daintily across the writhing body on the floor to make her way behind the bar. The man (Akuun) seated near the stairs had caught her attention as his reaction to the incident that played out was most interesting. He might just be what she needed, and besides, she heard that he wanted some brandy. Avoiding the poisoned bottles displayed in front, she reached behind and pulled out a dusty bottle. With her other hand, she grabbed the two cleanest (or, more accurately, least dirty) glasses, and made her way to the man's side, slamming the bottle on the table with insouciance. "Izrêagân.", Eámanë said, mentioning her willfully mangled pseudonym as an introduction. "And you look like you could be useful."</font>

Edited by: Zâirazruarî

27/Aug/2011, 08:36 PM
Iúlon, advisor to Damrod
Throne Room

He had been standing in a shadowed corner of the throne room, fretting silently and inwardly over the news. The lord had long held him in his confidence, and Iúlon had been fortunate enough to be privy to the letter's contents. Glancing up at the throne and the man perched on it, he clenched his fists and scowled at the thought of someone other than Damrod sitting on that throne--particularly some witch banished north for unknown reasons. Iúlon trusted that the Lord of Iron's will would prevail, and resolved to stand by his side, loyal as Damrod had been in opening his most private matters and counsels to him, among only a few others, despite the Lord of Iron's increasing age. "With age comes sagacity," he thought, looking once more up at his lord's seat of power.

He had only looked up when Damrod called for him and Auðri to his side. There was a sharp edge to Damrod's voice which made Iúlon wince a bit. He was a strong, powerfully built man, though his reverence for his lord increased the sting of harsh words or tone. He turned so that his broad shoulders faced squarely at the throne, and ascended the steps. He could hear Auðri's soft footfalls following him.

Eyes fixed on Damrod's, Iúlon accepted and internalized his orders quickly. He gave a curt nod and a soft "It shall be as you wish," as he swept from the throne's pedestal and down the stairs to assign men to the guard and establish a path for news of the witch's arrival to travel.


Naith Liathant
30/Aug/2011, 04:19 AM
The Flight of Ravens : Harbinger

" Nay, Earmir, alas. Greatly had I hoped that our Enemy had taken to ground, their mounts grown too fat for the run on the meat of the fallen. If such a hope is not too grim to countenance." The Raven spoke in response to that man, after the birds as if dismissed, took to the skies at once and left him bereft of their brooding burden. " Our friends inform me that Goathul has led his band north by north east, beyond yonder hills." He raised a hand and pointed in that direction. " We must make haste, for we have long leagues to travel and little time. I am told there are several farms that way, and one small village that lies farther east. Know this - " The Raven stood now among the band, his stern face and azure eyes solemn. " I know that we may reach farm after farm and find them all in ruin with their people snuffed out like candles in a storm. I also know that if we push hard east where the land is barren and yet where the path is not so treacherous, then turn north for this village, that we might reach that settlement before Goathul. It is forsaking the steadings." He said, his inner pain showing at this revelation. " But it may mean we will be awaiting Goathul in the village ere he drives his host through it."

He took a slug from his waterskin, and eyed each man and woman with thoughtful discernment.

" So that is my intent. If any of you object, I will hear you. Otherwise we march east, and we will run as many miles as we may. I know this course not to be the most humane, yet perhaps if we save so much as a single life, and put an end to this scourge of the innocent people of this land, then it is a worthy sacrifice than to chase shadows." He hoped the band would accept his gamble, and that, in his treachery, Goathul did not turn aside from the village seemingly lying many leagues ahead and along the path of the warg riders ruination.

30/Aug/2011, 09:52 PM
Gwathmir (The Flight of Ravens)

The dark birds surrounding Raven, the leader, were to Gwathmir an unsettling sight. He had seen this many times before, of course, but he could never get used to it. A dark hooded figure, surrounded by circling, crowing, chattering, black birds - it was an ominous image. The hooded man looked almost like a depiction of death, as you could find it on cards used in some villages. Black birds, with hard beaks good for tearing meat, big birds with a look in their eyes that suggested they thought of something - the average person did not like seeing them. To the flight, they were allies. Good allies. But old habits and superstitions die hard. Gwathmir had respect for the birds, but no love. Just as he respected and trusted the man who could talk to those birds, but he never felt at ease in his presence.

And so, Gwathmir averted his eyes from the dark hooded figure. But that meant looking at the sacked village again. We came too late. The thought gnawed at the young man. They do not know danger, they do not fear it, because we are always there to protect them, and we never let them know. This time, we were late, and they didn't even know there was anything they should have been wary of. Maybe, if we had told them what we do, they would have been more wary, more prepared to fight for themselves. How can they learn to protect their villages, when we don't let them know there's any danger? The Lord Aragorn says the simple folk must know no fear, if they are to remain simple. But isn't a long life of wariness better than a short blissful one, ending on a goblin's spear?

Raven's voice broke Gwathmir's thoughts. The leader's words were hard, but it seemed he was right - there was no choice. If the rangers followed Goathul's trails, they'd always be one step behind, always find burned houses and dead bodies. Men on foot could not hope to outrun warg-riders. Forsaking the farms offered a chance to save the village. And yet - and yet, sacrificing the farmers, simple people who would be slaughtered before they'd be aware of danger - it was a bitter pill. It was a failure on the rangers' side, one that it appeared they were too late now to amend.
Gwathmir thought hard. Was there indeed no other way? Was there nothing at all they could do for the farmers? An idea struck him. Perhaps not a workable one, but it was something. He spoke up. "The ravens - they fly faster than the warg-riders. They could reach the farms. People don't like seeing them. A flock of black birds circling and crowing would be regarded as an ill omen, men would be wary, it might just give them enough time to run." There could be no talk of fighting. A family of farmers with pitchforks could not stand against a band of goblins. "And, even if it doesn't work on the first farm," Gwathmir was talking faster now, as the idea was expanding in his mind, and he was growing excited, "one survivor, and the next farm would know that a flock of raven's in the sky means that a band of monsters is coming. And there might be survivors. When people are uneasy, they keep their children close, hide them. The farmers would no doubt assume that the ravens are in league with the goblins, the forerunners of the band, but does it matter, as long as they know to run?"
The young ranger looked at his comrades, and most of all at Raven, his leader. He was searching for the nod of consent, and he feared the shake of the head, and somebody pointing out the flaw in his plan.

31/Aug/2011, 01:33 AM
Flight of Ravens

Erefride listened their leader carefully. Others were weary too, couldn't wait to fight the monsters and avenge the people. Eärmir's words revealed her own thoughts. The rangers chased these creatures always, always defending the innocent people of these lands. The people might not know it but without them they would be dead a long time now. No ranger could stand his failure in his one and only cause. She realized that Raven understood her bad mood and looked away. The ravens circled the hooded man. Erefride loved all animals because Elves loved all animals. Some were the enemy's spies, whoever that enemy was, but not all of them and surely not these ebony-feathered birds that mourned for the lost people, or not? She looked at Gwathmir. He didn't seem to have that same affection towards them. With this thought in her mind she tried to smile and send away all the dark thoughts. A difficult thing to do.

Raven informed them that the wargs were already away. They hadn't stopped to rest, they didn't grow tired or weightier with so much food...she felt disgust with this thought, the thought of the people, the children being food. Not now, she thought, You're a woman but you have to be strong. And she always managed to. She had never cried in front of a fellow ranger and she wouldn't do it now. She turned her attention to Raven again.

Erefride heard Raven suggesting that they went from a different path. They couldn't outrun the wargs but could deceit them and go east, then to a northern village and wait for them there. There were some farms they probably couldn't save but...Erefride wished there was some other way, however she was ready to follow Raven's orders. There was no other way really. If they wanted to kill the creatures and end it once and for all they should leave some more victims behind. Not even now did she cried. In her dreams, while sleeping, then she would mourn for the lost children. Then Gwathmir spoke up. "One survivor, and the next farm would know that a flock of raven's in the sky means that a band of monsters is coming. And there might be survivors", he said. The idea was good, if it could be done. Raven could maybe talk to the ravens, lead them to the farms and villages to warn the peasants. Even one soul saved would be a victory against all that bad luck and in all that death. She nodded her head towards her fellow ranger and smiled at him with acknowledgment. But it was another matter what Raven would think and say. She turned towards him and waited for his reply as eager as Gwathmir. She even dared to support him. "It is a nice idea, Raven. We have nothing to loose if we do it. And if it works, the wargs might even be delayed if the villagers try to escape from them!"

Aerlinn Mordagnir
31/Aug/2011, 04:40 AM
Akuun</font>Assassin</font>The Dagger</font>
</font>Akuun raised an eyebrow. Then he rolled his eyes. Thud, boom, bang, screeeeeeeeech. It was always the same. Some idiot biting off more than he could chew. At least the wench could take care of herself. But...oh, this was interesting. The women of the Dagger changed out quite regularly, and Akuun didn't normally bother figuring out who was who, but there was something eye-catching, besides the obvious, about the lady with the metal toes. He hadn't been in here for a couple of months, business and all, and she was a new sight. "Aren't you a proud one?" the dark man murmured to himself. He was familiar with wenches in the general sense. They tended to be full of useful of information and it was far more pleasant to kiss names and places out of one, than hold up possible informants in dark alleys.</font>
</font>But Akuun had the feeling that wrangling important words out of this tall, dark stranger would be rather more difficult than usual. As if on cue, the woman made her displeasure known to the man moaning on the floor. The second time was enough to make even the assassin wince. Scratch that, he thought to himself, not a feeling any more. But he did enjoy challenges. As the excitement finally died away, Akuun returned his attention to contemplating the ceiling. It was fascinating. Bugs, cobwebs, rafters, dust, erm...bang! Why hello there...</font>
</font>"Akuun," he answered the lady who had caught his attention. It looked like he wouldn't have to go hunt her down at least. "Nice show back there. Short and to the point. We could get along if I like whatever proposal you seem to have in mind...Izrêagân."</font>

Rian Eliowen
31/Aug/2011, 04:57 AM
Morchald - Carn Dûm - The Keep
Morchald had returned from her meeting with the Web Mistress to her room and packed immediately for an unexpected trip to the capital, Carn Dûm, where she had been assigned on an undisclosed errand of great importance, or so the Web Mistress herself had implied. She was to prepare a number of usable identities, and to be ready to disappear at a moments notice. It did not take her very long to organize the necessities for her journey.
<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Morchald[/B] had left a spare horse housed in an old barn used by her academy on the outskirts of Carn Dum, along with a bag of spare clothes, money and weapons well hidden in the straw. It never hurt to have a plan B (or a plan C for that matter!) She quickly changed her clothes and appearance to that of a young man, barely more than a boy, and after carefully checking that she was completely un-observed, continued on to the capital on her second horse – booking herself in at the Welcome Inn under the name of <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Tam Whitlow[/B]. Having established herself there and eaten a quick meal in the dining room to establish credibility, she then quietly went to her room and changed again into the costume of an old woman, and with a lumpy bag carried over her shoulder, exited inconspicuously through the service doors, and out to the late afternoon.
She was to report to the <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Wolf Spider [/B]at the keep – the code name for somebody very close to the Steward's throne, although she knew better than to ask too many questions. Disguised as an old cleaning woman, she knew that few would pay her much attention and not hinder her entry to many a building. She made her way through to the keep, looking around her and memorizing every little detail. She was a day too early, but wished to learn her way around and establish whether her disguise would work, before the designated meeting the next evening.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Hallas C. Pehwarin
02/Sep/2011, 02:48 PM
Eärmir, son of Eärnôl
Flight of Ravens: Harbinger

Eärmir turned his hooded head to face the Raven as he spoke his words filling the 33-year old northern dúnedain with a slim, but good chance to end Goathul and his band once and for all... The seasoned rangers' keen green-grey eyes glinted as he continued to listen to the Raven outline his plan to flank them and be able to save at least one village. Eärmir's purpose and course was resolved when two of his fellow rangers both spoke Gwathmir, and Erefride. The latter and only female ranger word's rolled around in his mind... Eärmir took a deep breath smelling the scent of his own body, that of his fellows and still the burning carnage of what was a village of innocent people...

His weathered yet fair face now took on a stern look as he spoke his deep bass voice full , "Indeed my fellow rangers and Raven its a sound plan. "Let us depart so that we can reach that village and defend against the Wargs since they have tough hides that take at least two of our arrows to pierce and 3rd one before finally dying most of the time." " The Orc riders then should be easy targets for us either using our remaining arrows.. Or get in close for some satisfying sword work.." Eärmir now turned in the direction indicated by his stern leader and prepared himself for the long journey ahead ready to run as fast as his muscular legs could go.... The wind continued to ruffle his dark grey cloak and ranger attire. The palm of his left hand though never faltered as Eärmir continued to grip the hilt of his dú</span></font>nedain hand-and-half ranger sword resting inside his </font>long wooden scabbard covered in grey leather that crisscrossed down its entire length splattered with mud due to recent events. His keen green-grey eyes now gazed in the direction of the far away village and what these villagers were to face at the hands of </font>Goathul and his band.......

02/Sep/2011, 03:16 PM
Flight of Ravens: HarbingerTimrin listened to both Raven the the others about plans. To him Ravens made the most scene. The other he thought to himself although it sounded good, Goathul, Orc he be but he wasn't stupid and might take the ravens as an omen too. Knowing they come to eat the dead after battle might think that's why they are fling and would avoid that area. Sure it would save some famers lives for the momentbut it would also change Goathuls movements and most likely cause him to pass the Rangers by and do more harm elsewhere. Timrin shook his head and put up the hood of his cloak and waited. Ready to run the moment Raven gave the word to chase.

Fairy Nuff
02/Sep/2011, 10:18 PM
NPC Arnuzîr
A wildman of Carn Dûm
Carn Dûm - Heading towards The Dagger

Arnuzîr was fed up now. He had been waiting hours under dull grey skies, a bitter wind constantly tugging at the cloak which was clearly too large. His face bore a near-permanent scowl for the hardship he had endured today - and all for nothing! He spat on the stony floor beneath his feet, and drew a wrist across his trickling nose. It was clear his contact would not be appearing - who ever it was. They must have found another way into Carn Dûm, or backed out completely, or else they were late. Either way, </font>Arnuzîr had done as he had been asked, and he did not intend to spend anymore time in this barren corner of the citadel.

He pulled his cloak back up around his shoulders and turned to trudge back to 'civilisation', or whatever passed for it around here. There was a tavern he was a frequent patron of, with the few coins he had to spend - The Dagger - and a few ladies there he was fond of - a far better way to spend his time than standing waiting for a stranger.

Not to mention of course, that in the tavern he had plenty of people he knew he couldn't trust - and that is an important thing to know. Too many people trust each other, he reflected as he walked, without really testing the trust. Now, at least with these folks, you knew where you stood. And in </font>Arnuzîr 's </font>case, he was the kind of person who stood where he would hear the most and be the most useful to the person with the right...incentive. He smirked, showing a row of blackend teeth, as he entered the tavern.

03/Sep/2011, 08:16 AM
A chill wind whipped over the plains of Angmar from the north, carrying a breath of snow in its grasp. Upon the top of a grassy hillock, three travelers paused, gazing across what remained of the plain at Carn Dûm. One was a broad, burly, hulking orc, whose gaze was sour and who carried a heavy spiked warhammer across his back, and a compact bow and quiver at his side. Another was a tall, lean orc, black of skin and eye, with a slight twist in his spine. Despite this seeming infirmity, he bore on his back no crude orc-sword, but a fine weapon of folded steel, the blade longer than a man’s arm and tapering outward from the hilt before hooking to a lethal point; the weight and the length garnered its two-handed hilt, but Swiltang, for this was the lean orc’s name, could wield it easily with a single strong arm. The two orcs were brothers: Swiltang, the elder, the swordmaster, and Yarltang, the younger, the archer and brute. Each was intelligent, barbarous, and unscrupulous as only an orc could be. Ahead of them, head tilted back to breathe deeply of the sharp air, its curling gusts buffeting her wealth of carmine hair into great clouds, stood their leader: not orc, but woman.

She was a lithe creature, hard-muscled and quick to strike; Umbar lay in her skin and eyes, Númenor in a name once held and long forgotten. Her swarthy face was fine-boned beneath the olive-toned complexion, but above the beauty of her high cheekbones burned a set of rubicund eyes that looked out on the world with a baleful malevolence. She was not overtall, but peeping from out the flitting strands of her hair were sharp-tipped ear points. Such a combination gave lie to both heritage and age, neither of which few dared question. Amarthel, called Delgaran, had come to Angmar. “Swiltang,” She said, not loud- but clear and with a huskiness that lent a contrary musicality to her voice. “What think you? Does the old fool know we have come?”

The lean orc stepped forward to her side, sniffing the bleak air and staring out at the high peak that rose from the plain, and the fortress carved into its sides. “No doubt he has eyes on the watch for us. We’ve made no secret of this last part of our journey, and are well in sight of his walls.” He spat noisily on the ground behind, narrowly missing his brother’s feet. “He’s probably surrounding himself with guards at this very moment.” Yarltang grunted noncommittally, moving up from behind the pair. “What are we waiting for then?” he asked pointedly, “Better to move in quickly.” Only silence answered him- silence, and the Delgaran’s stare. Her eyes remained fixed, unblinking, the hint of a smile tugging at her lips. But the burning gaze was flat and unfriendly, and Yarltang seemed to shrink within himself, taking have a step back and lowering his head. Without a word, Amarthel exhaled expansively, and set off across the plain.</font>


Hours had passed, and the atmosphere in the throne room had grown yet more tense. Reports had reached Damrod from Iúlon’s men on the walls that a group was approaching Carn Dûm, and only moments ago it had been hastily whispered to him that they had entered the city. The Lord of Iron’s fingers had begun to drum more fervently on the arm of his throne as he waited, and lifting on clawlike hand, he beckoned Belzagar close. He wanted the bulky Númenorean near when the witch came; who knew what treachery she might attempt to commit, even upon arrival? The minutes ticked past interminably, and the buzzing of the hushed chatter of the room’s occupants seemed to press on Damrod’s ears. At last, the heavy doors opened inward; the thudding of his fingers stopped, halting with a screech of nails. Those doors swung forward to admit a motley trio: two orcs and a woman who could only be this Delgaran. The Lord of Iron’s lip curled in contempt- two orcs were all that she had brought? If the interloper was planning any treachery, she was going to need more and smarter than that.

The various courtiers, soldiers, and miscreants in the room drew back as the newcomers came forward, carving a path through to the throne. Damrod rose stiffly and stood straight, adding his own not inconsiderable height to that of the dais upon which he sat. As the group passed through the crowd, whispers began at the back of the hall and followed them forward until they halted before the dais. The woman bowed, the two orcs following suit, and as she straightened, Damrod saw what the whispers must have been about. The Delgaran boldly raised her gaze to his, and her dark eyes were not brown, nor even black, but a scintillating, unknowable red. A slight chill ran down the Lord of Iron’s spine as that imperious stare pierced him, as though she could see through skin and bone and into the secrets beneath. Damrod shook himself, but before he could speak, she had stolen the opportunity. “I am Amarthel, called Delgaran,” the strange woman said, “come here at the behest of our Lord. I assume you received my message?”

“Indeed.” Damrod replied coldly, “And you are most welcome, I’m sure. Auðri… Belzagar. Show our guest to her chambers, please. Your, uh, associates, Amarthel, may take quarters with my soldiers.” He cast a gimlet eye over the two orcs, noting the look of contempt on the face of the lean, twisted one. “I’m sure they will find them quite suitable.” Damrod waved his hand in dismissal. A nod and a word passed between the Delgaran and the two orcs, and all three bowed again, before Amarthel followed the masked woman and the broad man from the throne room, and the pair of orcs, oddly alike, made their way back in the direction from which they had come. The Lord of Iron sank back into his throne, surprised at how smooth and non-confrontational the meeting had been- if one discounted the swarthy woman’s challenging gaze. Damrod allowed his eyes to close briefly, attempting to shut out the memory of its burning, boring power. When he opened them again, he turned to Iúlon at his side. “See to it that the preparations are made for the banquet tomorrow eve… be sure that everything is secure, and I want to know the moment that witch stirs from this keep. Should she go out into the city, I must know at once. The orcs are no doubt of little consequence… orcs seldom are.”


Throne room people: react as you will; Auðri and Belzagar, being sympathetic to Amarthel, fraternize as you will while carrying out your orders.

Denizens of Carn Dûm: a further update will follow when I get home from work in which some of you will be contacted by Swiltang or/and Yarltang.

03/Sep/2011, 10:03 PM
Belzagar, the throne room but moving to quarters

As ever, he moved silently to his master's side when he was called, his face as impassive as ever, yet noting the evident insecurity that prompted Damrod's wish for the reassurance of Belzagar's physical strength. Watching and waiting- for none of them saw much effectual action these days. Well, perhaps that was about to change. No fanfare, rather a ripple of hush to announce the coming of the enemy into their very midst. Personally Belzagar wondered what creature would come so fearlessly, knowing the treachery of the servants of darkness- and yet she was safe for now, as, to his knowledge, Damrod had given no orders for her to be shot promptly upon her arrival. Perhaps the old warlord had not told Belzagar everything or, more likely, he was merely dithering.

A cold chill of what might have been excitement sparked in the Numemorean's heart as he beheld her for the first time. A woman, but not as other women- and Belzagar was not a man who had much respect for them. But she was of his own blood, he could practically smell it; and his own eyes, a grey common to his folk, could not quite meet that red glimmer but flickered to Audri instead, wondering if she too could sense the danger and the power emanating from this Amarthel. He kept his tone neutral and polite as he stepped forward, offering only a court bow. "My lady," he said, "follow me."

04/Sep/2011, 03:52 AM
The Throne Room, with Belzagar and Amarthel

There was no reply; there rarely was. He never spoke save to command and it festered within her without end. She suppposed it to be typical in leaders, having never known anything else, but Audri felt her mind was built to extend and offer more than a mere 'yes' or 'no'. If anyone existed who would truly seek counsel, ask questions, and look for wisdom and guidance, she had yet to cross their path. In such cases, it becomes rather typical to want to assume power for oneself and not have to bother with any others. Auðri wasn't particularly the sort that needed or even wanted to be at the helm, however. Oh she liked a fair amount of control and it pleased her to be Queen over some things, but to rule a realm or to dictate what everyone ought to do was not and likely never would be her ambition. Yet this reticence didn't dampen her realisation of her full and very valuable worth. That it was kicked to the ground with little to no thought was like a chain heaped upon her shoulders which she longed to cast around Damrod's neck and to pull him down into the depths of a pit of servitude. Priestesses get violent thoughts, being solitary creatures and especially when, in Auðri's case, relegated to slitting animal throats and doing very little else indeed.

When the other, this Amarthel, arrived, well...there was not much expression to see upon her masked face. She was at once vexed, pleased, excited, worried, and angered as she gazed at the woman. The entrance wasn't a surprise, of course, as it had been announced and she'd had time to prepare herself. It was only when the order came from Damrod that her glance flashed as quickly as a flame over to Belzagar's face. They had looked at the same instant, but her eyes said little enough beyond a faint - and perhaps imperceptible - warning. She had swiftly taken in the other woman's appearance, and instantly took a strong dislike to her. She was lovely, in her own way, and that was enough to darken Auðri's heart against her. Still, perhaps there was something to be gained from this and the chance to be alone with this Delgaran was a victory she was glad to have, especially as she'd not even had to fight for it. As she hastened to obey, feet moving with strong steps that were oddly silent across the stones, she let a backward glance creep over her shoulder and toward the two orcs. There was nothing in her looks to say what she thought of them other than a vague unease.

Dropping her dark head before the guest, she extended a pale hand from underneath her heavy sleeve, indicating that she would follow once Amarthel took Belzagar's lead. Her master's earlier command to 'divine what she could' was not forgotten, but it was very difficult, not knowing this creature's position, ambitions, or orders.</font></font>

04/Sep/2011, 07:05 AM
Eámanë (known as Izrêagân)
The Dagger

He said his name was Akuun but Eámanë would not have been surprised if he had lied to her, though nothing in his countenance said so. It was simply the way of the underground – the killers, spies, and dealers in illegal trades – and this particular man, she would have placed squarely in the the category of killers. His dark eyes, so close to black, said so themselves as she looked in them. She studied him closely, not replying to his testing statement yet, sizing up to the man before her to see if he was capable of doing what she wanted, and though her dark eyes were heavily lidded like a seductive wench's, they were Elven eyes, blessed with Elven vision, and they noted every detail of his appearance carefully.

The woman did not sit down, pouring a measure of brandy in each of the glasses and choosing to sip hers as she walked around Akuun slowly. She contrasted his appearance with his, if only to amuse herself. Dark clothing fit for darkness and mystery covered his body, quite unlike the threadbare mock-gown she wore, and a dagger gleamed at his waist, while her own weapons were hidden under her dress. These things did not say much about him, but it did not trouble her as he first needed to prove himself before being given the job. Another would-be assassin had caught her eye a few weeks ago, but his work was slow and execution lamentable and he had to die. Would this man be of the same make, or would he surpass the previous ones? By the next day, she would know the difference.

As she considered these thoughts, their eyes met. Akuun's expression was unreadable, but Izrê's projected desire she did not feel. Eámanë herself would not have acted the same way, but since she was pulled from her own training in Mordor to participate in a mission in far-away Umbar, she had inhabited the role of Izrêagân – sweetheart Death – so completely that such actions already felt natural. Her job was simple, but she had to play a part; her pointed ears were always hidden, but it was her Elven attributes that made her made-up persona so successful in taking the information and finding the people that the Delgaran wanted. Challenge crept into Izrêagân's gaze, and she walked behind the man and bent down. "You would like this proposal.", she whispered in his ear, the sweet smell of brandy wafting with every word. "But there is a time and place for everything, and this conversation's place would be somewhere more…private." Her hand reached towards the other's wrist and she pulled him towards the stairs, expecting him to understand what her words meant.

For all intents and purposes, they looked like the usual pair that searched for and gave companionship to the tune of golden coins, and they maintained that charade until Eámanë closed the door to the furthest room down the hall. Sunbeams streamed through small cracks on the outer wall, illuminating the dusty air, broken only when the woman walked through them to sit on the curtained bed. Cutting straight to the point, she spoke. "There will be a great change sweeping through the land, and at its helm shall be one whose power is stronger than your Lord of Iron." She closed her eyes and reclined, the knife handle peeking out of her boot exposing itself. "You were fortunate to be here at this moment, for this can be the start of your rise in this land. Renown is in your grasp, and if that is not to your liking, then perhaps gold would suit your taste." Her eyes opened, glowing uncannily in the shadowed darkness of the bed. "But that is all you will know for now. First, prove yourself, Akuun. You have 24 hours." It was a challenge, even if she did not specify what the assassin needed to do. He was free to choose, though if it was a mediocre job or a simple murder, then he would have chosen wrong. When he came to present his proof in this room within the allotted time, Eámanë would either accept him or kill him. Either way, she would be waiting patiently.</font>

Edited by: Zâirazruarî

04/Sep/2011, 06:14 PM
Iúlon, advisor to Damrod
Throne Room

Word from the walls had reached them long before the doors swung open, bringing the expected guest and two unexpected henchmen--orcs. At least he could breathe a sigh of relief that his appointed task had gone well so far and delivered all that it could--at the moment--to Damrod.

He was standing at the Lord of Iron's side as the motley three approached the throne. The woman was not the terrible apparition he had expected as her reputation had preceded her and reached his ears in the throne room. Her voice was not bewitching when she spoke, she exuded no aura of terror. No, she was unremarkable in appearance--but then he saw her eyes. He could feel Damrod tense as he noticed them, too. But even as Damrod reacted to her otherworldly gaze, he straightened and addressed her in a coldly polite tone. As the three newcomers retreated from the room with Auðri and Belzagar, Iúlon felt himself relaxing and looked over at his lord. Damrod was still, eyes closed, and Iúlon knew he too was trying to overcome the creepiness of those eyes. "My lord . . . " he began, but as soon as he had spoken Damrod opened his eyes and gave him his orders.

"Yes, my lord," he said, acknowledging his double-duty in preparing for the banquet and maintaining vigilance in the city. "It shall be as you desire." He strode away, robes flowing behind him, as he moved to carry out orders. When he reached the guards at the door, he repeated Damrod's instructions. "Secure the throne room, and assign men to a watch on her quarters," he said. "Lord Damrod and I are to be informed immediately on any movements she makes outside of her chambers, into the city or otherwise. Relay the message to the walls." He swept away to prepare the banquet, still seeing those red eyes flash in his mind every moment or two . . .


Almarëa Mordollwen
04/Sep/2011, 08:08 PM
Layna, known as Vella</font>Poisoner</font>
</font> Layna was lurking in a dusty, deserted room of Carn Dûm; well and fairly out of the way of all the kerfuffle that she knew would undoubtedly be going on around the Throne Room at the moment. An assassin by trade, she was not interested in being visible at this precise moment; the last thing she wanted was to be associated with the new arrivals. She would have to emerge, shortly, as everyone else would have, to wonder and spy on what was going on Damrodand theDelgaran. It would look strange if she was not interested; since despite owing allegiance to Damrod, almost everyone in Angmar also took a very vested personal interest in power struggles - specifically, gaining more power for oneself and ensuring that whoever was in power approved of one's actions. In truth, of course, the dark-haired, half-Numenorean woman from Khand was far more knowledgeable than most about what was actually going to happen - except for the Delgaranherself and a few of her chosen followers. An orc, Switang, and others - Laynahad not been privileged to know all of their names. She had arrived in Carn Dûm just over two months ago, travelling covertly from Mordor in the company of an Easterling man named Tarias, and then paying allegiance to Damrodand doing what she might to ingratiate herself - without revealing some of her deadliest talents. As far as anyone knew - or at least, to the best of Layna's knowledge, as far as any of Damrod's cronies knew -she was not a bad hand with a blade, quick and ruthless with her daggers, obedient to orders given, and quite firmly loyal. And not a bad dancer, to boot. In short, useful and efficient but not spectacularly bright or prone to creative thinking. Her job was to keep out of the limelight, if she could - she did not want anyone to put the pieces together and realize that she had only arrived in Carn Dûm two months earlier and could possibly have been sent by the powers that be in Mordor.</font>
</font> Her job, now that the Delgaranwas here, was very nearly half over. Passing messages through Tarias - who had been sending messenger birds south for some time - she had detailed for the Delgaranthe names and positions, and anything she could find out about the characters, of Damrod's advisors; she had noted the numbers and attitudes of those groups that served Damrod; the current state of available supplies, weapons, and so forth; whatever she could observe about the fortress's defenses; any detail that she could find out that would be useful she had carefully noted and passed on. Now that the Delgaranhad actually arrived, Laynadid not know what she would be called upon to do next but she assumed that, as a plant, she would undoubtedly be given tasks to complete. Overthrowing a ruler was a tricky business ... and it might be that some of her other talents would be required. Hence the reason s</font>he had been once again taking stock, as she did on a regular basis, of her various assorted collection of herbs and ...less savory substances. She kept her poisons well hidden, in a small locked box that she concealed in various places about her person or quarters - changing the location regularly - and always carried the key on her in a concealed pocket. Locking it again as she finished her inventory, she put it away and stood up. It was, perhaps, time to take a walk. Down to the barracks, or outside; mayhap while she was wandering a little bird in the shape of an orc would whisper some instructions into her ear. At any rate, she definitely needed to investigate if Damrodhad come to any decisive plan about what to do, now that Amarthelhad finally arrived ...</span>

Edited by: Almarëa Mordollwen

10/Sep/2011, 07:18 AM
Amarthel Delgaran - The Keep

</font>Before her strode the Númenorean, and behind her the pale priestess, silent and unflinching. Amarthel allowed the quiet to stretch out and linger as they walked down the stone corridor, away from the throne room, considering what she had heard of them from Layna. After several turns –and she could not help but feel that she were being relegated to the furthest possible quarters from Damrod’s seat- they slowed as a set of large and heavy doors came into view on the left side of the corridor. “So silent.” The Delgaran said finally, “Is this something the Lord of Iron requires of his servants?” she asked, emphasizing the final word ever so slightly. “I should not be so restrictive, were you my advisors. I am always welcoming of a reasoned opinion. Particularly from those who keep to the old ways…” her gaze lingered on Belzagar, then Auðri, each in turn; there was a kinship between she and they, and she was certain that the Númenorean had sensed it, though her connection with the priestess had yet to be fully revealed. As it had when she had faced Yarltang outside of Carn Dûm, the hint of a smile tugged at the corner of Amarthel’s mouth. “…those whom I know I can trust. The both of you seem to fulfill all these qualities, and I wonder that Damrod does not entrust you to exploit them.” She paused with her hand on the door now, ready to disappear into the chambers within, unless either of her keepers decided to speak.. “Perhaps new opportunities will come your way soon.”

Swiltang - The Dagger

The Dagger… what an uncreative and obvious name for a disreputable black-market tavern. Of course, this didn’t seem like the most subtle of neighborhoods, so Swiltang could excuse the Delgaran’s people for choosing the best place they could, imaginative or not. The lean, twisted orc pushed open the door and stepped into the dingy place, awash with the unwashed, patrons and women of ill-repute alike. At the bar was a sullen man wiping a broken mug, and Swiltang approached him at once, though his gaze swept the tavern over once, and saw none of those whom he expected. The Harad man, perhaps, had lost his nerve, and chosen not to take the Delgaran up on her most generous offer. How disappointed she would be. The others though, he knew must be about, only lurking in wait. “Izrêagân.” Swiltang demanded of the bartender; he had no time to waste with the man, who was of no concern to his mission. The barman blustered, replying that she had gone upstairs with a customer, and was occupied, nor was she likely to serve his kind, whoever he might be. A severe glare and the sight of the formidable blade on Swiltang’s back silenced the man, and the orc made his way quickly up the stairs, ignoring entreaties from those below who were less choosy about their clientele.

The hall was long and the air dank, light peeping through the cracks in the walls, and only one seemed occupied at this time of day; the rumblings of voices caught Swiltang’s ears, and he silently moved to the door at the end of the hall, and listened. The voice was familiar, and the words, manipulative and fortunate. However, Eámanë had not yet been privy to certain events, and it was time she were informed. Swiltang twisted the knob and pushed the door open unceremoniously. “Twenty-four hours may be too long, Izrêagân,” he spoke by way of greeting, striding across the room to pull open the bedcurtains. “She has arrived.” He did not need to tell Eámanë of whom he was speaking. “And she desires that events move forward swiftly.” Swiltang cast his black gaze over Akuun- the man certainly looked the part, dressed all in black, small and slender, easy to fit in and out of tight spaces, and quickly. “Yes, I think he’ll do.” The lean orc nodded, “But there is not the time for him to prove himself, he will have to do so in the trial itself, and if he succeeds… the rewards will indeed be great.” Though his eyes remained on Akuun, Swiltang spoke to Eámanë. “Tomorrow eve there will be a banquet welcoming the Delgaran. You know what will happen there, and this one must be ready to perform his task in the night that follows. Prepare him.”

Swiltang turned to look at the elf now. “I am not surprised to find that this newfound occupation suits you, but have you let it distract you from our purpose entirely? In all this time, you have found only one? We are in need of another. Fortunately a bird tells me that one has already been obtained and entered the keep, so no doubt Delgaran will make contact with her at once, or my brother shall.” He paused for a moment, considering. “There are many who we encountered on the journey here who now bear the Delgaran’s mark, and unless you have spent all your time inside those canopies, I do not doubt you have seen them. One such entered the tavern just before I- Arnuzîr, if I recall. Connect with him, have him gather others, and ensure that they are in the appropriate positions tomorrow eve. The Southron Tarias will be doing the same. We do not wish any of the Delgaran’s plans to go awry.”

Maza, do as Swiltang has asked and coordinate with Fairy as needed; Akuun will need to be in position in the keep well before the banquet tomorrow night, and Iúlon will be his target.

Yarltang - The Keep

</font></font>Each had gone to their own separate purpose, and Yarltang had been reduced to quartering the keep and cursing the flighty nature of humans and females. Layna was not where her last communication had said she would be- no doubt the assassin had succumbed to the paranoia of her kind and decided to up and move just when she was needed. The burly orc cursed her again, soundly. She was within Damrod’s halls themselves, she knew that the time was nigh- and yet, she had not made herself available to complete her task. Yarltang’s eyes narrowed and he almost wished that she would defect, so that he could carry out her punishment. But no- she was needed, and the Delgaran would no doubt not have chosen her did she not think the Variag girl was to be relied upon. Still, the pleasing thought of what her hypothetical punishment might be carried Yarltang further on in his search, and he had just emerged out into a courtyard which led to the guard barracks where he and his brother were to be billeted, when he saw her, going along as if out for a Sunday stroll. “You there!” he barked, loudly enough to get her attention, but not so loudly as to draw a crowd, though the courtyard was fairly quiet, but for a few knots of men and orcs lounging about and talking amongst themselves.

“Vella.” Yarltang said flatly, when he had reached her. “Discretion is good, but we have to actually be able to find you in time to pull this thing off. The Delgaran is pleased with your performance so far, but she requires a few more things of you. Walk with me.” He gripped Layna’s arm briefly to turn her, and set off back the way he had come, through a side door into a small deserted corridor of the keep. “Now.” Yarltang continued when they were alone. “You must be at the feast next night, but you must be there before all others. You must become part of the servants, or oversee them, whatever it is you do, who are arranging the table. Use your most potent concoction, and ensure that the Lord of Iron does not pass the soup course unscathed. You know also which of Damrod’s advisors are unbending, and what must be done to them. There is one who has infiltrated the keep in the guise of an old maid, a hag, avoiding notice by cleaning floors. Find her and inform her of her task.” Yarltang halted, and his normally dead black eyes were alight with fervor as he faced Layna. “If we want to have a Queen in the keep in less than two days’ time, you must not fail! Now go.”

Alma, make contact with Morchald (Rian) and informer her that Ceantt (corlisswyn) is her target, and to be ready tomorrow night. For Layna's part- think Dal Perivor and Naradas.
ALL: You may begin to play into the next day

Rian Eliowen
10/Sep/2011, 08:05 AM
Morchald had completed her initial reconnaissance of the keep and learned the layout of the inside corridors, finding her way inside the buildings via the laundry room, where she had souvenired some dirty linen to carry in case anyone asked any awkward questions – but she had so far been completely overlooked by all passers-by. She had returned to the Welcome Inn later in the evening where she changed her appearance back into the young man <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Tam[/B], slept a little and enjoyed an early breakfast. She was back at the keep in her washer woman disguise the next day, keeping out of sight and hiding in the shadowy corners of the servants quarters, when her sharp eyes observed a burly orc with an unusual accent (<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Yarltang[/B]) emerge into a courtyard near the guards barracks, who after calling out to attract the attention of a dark haired foreign looking woman, (<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Layna[/B]) disappeared with her in a conspirational manner through a side door. Unfortunately <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Morchald [/B]could not catch what was said between them, nor was she able to follow them without drawing undue attention to herself, but it was a sufficiently unusual meeting to arouse her interest! Whispers about the arrival of The Delgarran and her two bodyguard orcs had been running like wildfire through the servant’s quarters and the barracks, so <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Morchald [/B]was able to draw her own conclusions about recent events in Angmar. The time of her appointment with the contact who bore the code name of <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Wolf Spider[/B] was drawing close so she knelt down beside her bucket and began to scrub the tiles with a brush, privately relieved that she didn’t have to actually clean like this for a living. Her knees were already getting a bit sore! She waited to see who would arrive next.

10/Sep/2011, 04:47 PM

</font>He had held his tongue - as had </font>Auðri, although Belzagar had taken note of the tiny flicker of warning that </font>Auðri had sent to him, something that smelt of dislike. It was impossible to say whether or not that was simply the distrust any woman has of another who may be more powerful or beautiful than she; and there was something compelling about Amarthel, that could not be denied. Attractive in the conventional sense she might not be - but Belzagar's eyes never left her. Whether or not he told himself that was because of the danger she might represent, or any other reason, he did not think of even to himself.</font>

</font>She followed them, at any rate, as trustfully as a child with its mother; Belzagar did not at all like the feel of having her just behind his shoulder, and hunched his muscles slightly, even though he was aware </font>Auðri was bringing up the rear. Mystical as </font>Auðri could be, she was not, Belzagar thought, the kind to bring harm to him. Clever and cunning she might be, calculating and cruel; but not especially full of malice - not to him at least, although he had recognised the glitter in her eyes when she looked at Damrod of late.</font>

</font>At length they reached the chambers that had been selected for her. They were pleasant enough guest chambers, but positioned in a place where it would be not too easy for Amarthel to go out and about wandering without being noticed. Nor were they anywhere near Damrod's own quarters, paranoid as he was (and rightly so, no doubt). Instead of nodding to them briefly as to any escort and passing into her quarters, the woman stopped briefly and caught their eyes, quite deliberately. Again Belzagar felt the faint tingle down his spine as the red gleam crept from her gaze into his own, something of recognised kinship - of blood shared. The old ways. Now what did the wench mean by that? If it were a promise of the return to blood-sacrifice, to glory and worship, surely </font>Auðri would welcome that; and it was not something Belzagar was against, either. In such circumstances, a man such as he might rise...</font>

</font>Almost coyly Amarthel was turning, her hand at the door already, when Belzagar made an involuntary movement; a twitch of his hand, as though he would lay it upon her sleeve, but had checked himself. It was generally a bad idea to touch possibly hostile strangers, as anyone with good reflexes would have taken this as an invitation to cut Belzagar's throat to the bone, something he was not at all keen upon. Instead, he spoke.</font>

"Trust, Madam?" he said, his voice soft and polished. "And what is it you would trust us to do?"

10/Sep/2011, 10:10 PM
The Keep with Belzagar and Amarthel

She was inclined to ignore this Amarthel. While the arts of manipulation and bewitching speech were not the weapons of Auðri's choice and skill, she could nonetheless usually recognise it when it was being directed toward her. If it weren't for her general apprehension and a sense of things building, she might have almost looked bored. As it was, the face that was turned to their guest was an impassive one, the eyes dark and the pale, chapped lips barely pouting as if to silently say, "I've other things to do." But that little chance - or was it? - remark about the old ways vivified a long link of thoughts that knotted into one which fell wistfully from her mouth, nearly uncontrollably.

"I feel the blood sometimes, in my fingers," she said, looking down at empty hands. "But it's never there, is it? There is never a people that lay down at my feet and solicit death, as they ought. But what is this to do with you?" she asked with a look of almost startling directness such as she'd not yet given, as though suddenly coming back to herself from where the gods know not and totally without disquiet in her looks. This one had not yet earned the right to fall under her suspicion. For now, she was merely a charmer in a court where </font>Auðri </font>already knew her place and her power.

Belzagar's sonorous tones took over for her as she stood in waiting stillness, ever so slightly expressing a seconding of his inquiry with a shift in her glance. </font>

Edited by: Auðri

11/Sep/2011, 09:01 AM
The Dagger

After the journey he had had, Zagathôr had hoped that his destination would provide some reprieve. However, the sleazy establishment that he was surveying seemed to offer little relief of any kind that the Southron could desire. He almost hoped he might have misunderstood his instructions, but he doubted it. This was the place. He walked forward, entering its shoddy doors. Once inside, the interior confirmed what the exterior had suggested. The patrons were men drinking their remaining wits away or gambling their last coins away. Neither earned them much respect in Zagathôr's opinion, and he felt his bad mood souring everything. Everywhere he looked, he disliked deeply what he saw. He did not see his contact either, which meant he had either missed the appointment or he was early. If the latter, he would have to stay for a while, which was unpleasant but endurable. If the former, all of this could have been for naught; and he would have to stay around nonetheless, just in case the contact did appear. Walking up to the bar, Zagathôr tried to keep as much distance between himself and the others before he ordered whatever seemed drinkable.

He had lost track of how many days, or weeks, it had been since he left Mordor. Although he found nothing pleasing to his eyes here, not even the women he could scout around the room, his sour disposition had been founded right after leaving Mordor. First of all, the knowledge that his enemies might have caught up to him and he had to go to the ends of the earth to feel safe. Secondly, that those ends were a frozen wasteland; Zagathôr missed the sun, even when it had tried to kill him during his first days of training in the Black Host. Now, no matter how much he packed himself in clothes and furs, he could not feel warm. And the journey itself had been a nightmare; somebody of his appearance was not welcome this far north. He still had an arrow of strange design as a souvenir from when he passed through the great forest on the way here.

After a while, a drink had yet to materialise in his hand. Zagathôr wondered if it was because he was so obviously an outsider that he was not served, or merely an indication of the tavern's low standards. He had lost the dark red and black clothes that were the colours of his homeland of Umbar, since they had been suited for warmer skies anyway. Now he wore a motley of dark leather for his pants and a jerkin, lined with furs including the hood. It was rather conspicuous, which was why he had let the hood down, knowing that his dark skin might attract attention as well. Or the tattoo on his face. He only hoped that this far north, none would care, certainly not know what it identified him as. He imagined that here, the only thing people cared about was the sword strapped to his waist as the only thing that prevented anybody from taking advantage of him.

Looking around, Zagathôr saw a bottle of what seemed like proper drink on a table. The table itself was empty, which the Southron also desired; he was not interested in company or conversation, save from his contact. Grabbing the bottle, Zagathôr took a sniff. Nothing in the odour seemed disagreeable, so he cautiously took a sip straight from the bottle, not trusting any of the glasses nearby. He was not an experienced drinker, but it tasted like brandy, with quite a strong content. If Zagathôr remembered correctly, alcohol killed diseases, which was why it was usually healthier to drink than water. So with a strong content like this, hopefully it was safe to drink. Feeling too tired by now to care much anyway, the Man of Harad took a healthy swipe, letting the liquid flow through his mouth and burn its way down his throat. It felt good, heating him up, and he felt his spirits rise a bit. He suddenly understood those men in here who were drinking their last wits away, and decided with himself not to trust the brandy too much to alleviate his bad mood.


13/Sep/2011, 01:09 PM
Eámanë (known as Izrêagân)
</font>The Dagger

"Who let the filth inside?", the Elf whispered sarcastically under her breath as she watched Swiltang swagger into the room, preceded by his usual odious cloud of fetid stink. Irritatedly, she twisted the rings on her fingers, slipping out of the character she had adopted as if it was a silken gown. The effect she had been going for while speaking to Akuun was mysterious and charming, complete with seductive offers of power, but the creature's mere presence turned all of that into one big joke. He did not even need to pull the curtains away to make sure of that. Slowly, she sat up, deigning to listen the orc's words carefully, not because she respected him, but because they were orders from the Delgaran herself. Long fingers massaged tense temples as she took the new information Swiltang presented and reworked the plans she had in mind. She knew the mark he spoke of – it was painted on the outside of her thigh after all – and the planned entertainment for the banquet, but the twisted minion's tone rubbed her the wrong way.

Perhaps, just perhaps, Eámanë would have accepted the orders calmly, had the halfwitted minion of the former Shadow Lord kept his trap shut on the subject of insults. Blood fled from her lips as they were pressed to a thin line, the Elf waiting for the orc to finish his diatribe. His last sentence, though meant harmlessly (as if!) stirred her blood, and her lust for a fight. Was he implying that she would be the reason for their well-laid plans to fail? Without letting him get another word through, Eámanë snapped. "Very well then, orc, I will appraise this Arnuzîr of his orders. But make certain you understand that it's not you I'm following, filth, but the Delgaran."

Before sweeping out of the room, she turned her eyes to Akuun. Sharp as ice they cut, and though the man had nothing to do with her change of mood, he bore the full brunt of it as she spoke. "You may leave out the back door to prepare for your job tomorrow. The name of your target is Iúlon, one of Damrod's advisers.", she spoke cuttingly, the enticing woman from earlier all gone. Akuun's target moved in high circles, and his identity may have surprised the assassin, but this was his job now. "Imagine sharp and angular facial features, and remember: his eyes are dark brown, as is his hair, but his skin is pale. Upon first sight, he cuts an arresting figure, being little less than 6 feet and broad-shouldered, but he is not much of an independent thinker." Humor lit up the ice of Eámanë's eyes as she noted the critical information, but it fled just as quickly. "To his Lord of Iron, he will remain loyal, and that may as well be his weakness. Exploit that if you must, but do not fail." The threat in the last three words was unmistakable, but she did not reign in a parting shot at Swiltang. "People pay me to be with them, orc. Last I heard, even torture could not get you a woman." With one last glare at the two occupants of the room, she stomped her way down the pub proper.

Of the newcomers, the only man who caught Eámanë's eye was a thin man with a pinched look on his face. Apparently, he was displeased at the world the same way his trickling nose displeased him. She sneered, expecting a real man and irritated at being sent to talk to less than adequate specimen, but the flash of red from Amarthel's sign underneath his open cloak told her all she needed to know. Rudely, the tall Elf walked him, not bothering with introductions as she spoke. "Arnuzîr, am I right? I am not your pitiful contact, and it displeases me to be assigned so impatiently as such, but our mutual friend – a woman who must not be disobeyed, as you well know – has given orders for you." She tossed her dark hair to the side, staring intensely into the human's face as she looked for signs of insubordination. "Gather the others, she said, and ensure that they are in the appropriate positions come the celebration tomorrow." After waiting a couple of seconds to give the appearance that she listened to his reply to her vague instructions, she nodded and left the table. Those were the only instructions given to her, so the man must already know what he was to do.

Her sole goal and intention, at that point, was to retrieve the bottle of acid masquerading as brandy from earlier and drink 'til the stench of the orc was replaced by the stinging alcohol, but that was checked by a man in furs (Zagathôr) who sat at her former table, drinking from her stores. Unacceptable! Without further thought as to the scene she was causing (which, admittedly, was a daily occurrence anyway), </font>Izrêagân</font> approached the man, pulled back her arm, and let loose a powerful uppercut. The rings on her curled fingers caught the man under the chin unawares, making his head snap back. "The Dagger does not provide liquor for free.", she scoffed as she watched the man massage his face. Unexpected though was his swift rejoinder. "Take your bloody drink then, woman! It's as foul as you.", he shouted, hurling the bottle at Eámanë. Caramel-colored liquid spilled in the air as the bottle whipped towards the Elf, but she was not one of the First-born for nothing. She caught it awkwardly, preventing more spills and took a long swallow, feeling the good stuff travel down her throat. Once finished, she wiped the liquid off with her sleeve, listening as stolid bartender called out, "Anything wrong, Izrê?" The Elf only smirked, knowing that if worst came to worst, the whole bar would choose the side of its wench, rather than a stranger's... And it seemed like the man knew it too as he backed down. "Nothing, old man.", she said as she began to walk backwards, smug grey eyes on the seething man behind the table. "Just make sure I'm not disturbed." And with that command, the woman went up the stairs to another unoccupied room, accompanied only by her drink. It would be her only companion and friend all night long, until the sun rose again.


Naith Liathant
13/Sep/2011, 04:34 PM
Flight of Ravens - Harbinger

He looked to Timrin and Earmir, then to Erefride and to Gwathmir, his eyes no longer bespeaking distance of mind. But then and of a sudden, his blue eyes misted over, or seemed to roll back, his body rigid and his posture strange and still.

The lands coursed below, a lush green and brown, of undulating hills and matted grasses, thickets and forests. Distantly, lines of wood smoke plumed into the skies, and these tendrils of life were the destination.

" Fly to the homes of the men in the hills, bring in your coming the warning of death. In this way, the sight of Ravens will herald to those ahead the coming of the Wargs, and perhaps save lives.." The Raven's thoughts were voiced in the ether.

" And what is they aim their barbed tips skyward, Raven? What then?"

" Remain high in the skies, friends, we make for the great gathering of shelters, the village. Here this will end."

The Raven visibly slumped, his eyes unmisting, or rolling back from whence they had gone.

" It is done. We move." He said, his stare meeting the face of Gwathmir. A nod of respect.

Then the Raven began to run...

15/Sep/2011, 03:33 PM
Flight of RavensTimrin watched as his leaders eyes rolled back into his head and his body go ridgied. Timrin had seen him do this a few times but it still was an eerie sight. Timrin looked up and saw the Ravens gather then go. He smirked and laughed to himself at this sight. He was brought back to himself when he heard his leader speak and Timrin ran.

17/Sep/2011, 11:13 AM
Amarthel Delgaran – The Keep


She watched their reactions carefully; one eager but refined, the other
pensive and reserved, yet longing. After each had spoken, Amarthel directed her gaze first at the latter, meeting Auðri’s
direct gaze. “It is a strange and sinful feeling, is it not? To relish
the sensation of blood devouring one’s hands, sleekly coating the skin
and dripping with the desire to do its duty. But as you say- it is not
there. A pity. Were it in my power, supplicants would kneel before you
daily… but alas, it is not.” The Delgaran’s eyes flicked to the
Númenorean, cool and collected, close before her. “Trust, Belzagar? Why,
I would trust you to do no more than what you think is right. As I
carry out the duties required of me here, certain changes will no doubt
come to pass in Carn Dûm, and I hope that I may have your support in
them.” Here she completed the movement from which the man had stopped
short, allowing the tips of her fingers to briefly and familiarly glance
off his upper arm as she spoke. “After all, we are not so different,
are we? All of us.” Amarthel included Auðri again, taking a
step back so she could survey them both, the impassive hint of a smile
tugging once again at the corner of her lips. “I bid you both a pleasant
evening. If I do not see you before tomorrow’s banquet, I am sure we
will have ample time to talk then.” The door came open beneath the Delgaran’s hand, and she slipped inside the chamber.</font>

Swiltang – The Dagger

A harsh chuckle trailed Eámanë out of the room. “Actually, it quite frequently can.” Swiltang remarked,
half to the she-elf’s retreating back, and half to the man still
occupying the room. “As can many other methods not involving the
exchange of coin.” The twisted or turned his head to glance back at Akuun.
“Petulant as she may be, Izrêagân is correct, footpad. You must not
fail in this task or, though it may not lead to all being for naught, it
will make things much more unpleasant for all concerned… particularly
you.” Following after Eámanë, Swiltang left Akuun
alone in the musty room, descending the stairs down into the pub just in
time to hear the tail end of the commotion, and see the she-elf snatch a
flying vessel out of midair, before brushing by him to make her way
back up the stairs. He turned his black eyes on the cause of the
disturbance, and lo and behold if it was not the errant, tattooed Zagathôr. Swiltang strode towards him deliberately.

“You are fortunate to still be in time, desert rat.” He growled at the man quietly- Eámanë
might be able to cause a scene in this establishment and have no one
think anything out of the ordinary, but in this particular circumstance,
Swiltang would prefer to err on the side of caution. “It would
please the Delgaran if you were more punctual in future. As it is, you
may join with that one. Arnuzîr.” He pointed, and spoke the name loud
enough for the man whom Eámanë had just instructed to hear, then
beckoned at him with a gnarled finger. “You will join with him and make
you way into the keep upon the morrow with whatever others Arnuzîr has
gathered, and when the time is right, you will stand in readiness to put
down any who may stand against the Delgaran.” Arnuzîr had already had his instructions, but it couldn’t hurt for him to hear them repeated for Zagathôr’s benefit- so often Swiltang
found that men must be told a thing more than once in order to get it
through their thick skulls. “Now take your worthless hides out of here
and get to work.”

Damrod, Lord of Iron – The Keep</span>


“Iúlon!” Damrod shouted, “Iúlon, where are you!” The Lord of Iron
stalked through his halls, scattering servants and the lower
inhabitants of the keep as he went; at least he still maintained enough
power to do that, even if he did appear the crochety old man. Of all his
advisors, he most desired to speak with Iúlon, and yet it seemed the man was nowhere to be found. Ceannt
too was scarce- had the world chosen this morning to abandon him
entirely? He banged through the doors into his throne room, which was
currently undergoing the transformation into a banquet hall. Not that
his keep did not house another suitable room, but after the appearance
of this insolent interloper, Damrod had chosen to alter the
location of the feast to a place where his authority would be more
palpable. Although the work went on, he still did not spy the man he
sought. “Iúlon!” he bellowed again, at the top of his voice, “Where are you?”


ALL, begin to move into the next day as quickly as
possible. You may play up to the beginning of the banquet (people
arriving, etc.) if you wish.

Extra muscle (Tarias, Arnuzîr, Zagathôr, &amp; co.), begin to make your way into the keep under whatever guise you think is appropriate.


Hallas C. Pehwarin
17/Sep/2011, 07:52 PM
Eärmir, son of Eärnôl
Flight of Ravens: Harbinger

The 33-year old northern dúnedain now listened the Raven speak apparently in some sort of trance... The words obviously were a sort benediction in regards to their quest and its outcome. Now the Raven took off running fast as his legs could carry him. Timrin was next following and Eärmir now raced after them and glanced back at the rest of the band wondering who'd being following the three as they headed in the direction of the final yet untouched village.....The breeze kept him cool as he ran with his fellow rangers and prayed for victory! Now the race was on and Eärmir was confidante that they would succeed....

17/Sep/2011, 07:53 PM
The Keep / Various Rooms Throughout the Next Day

Auðri's dark eyes stared back with visible disdain, but she said nothing in reply, allowing the door to shift into place without interruption. She turned very briefly to look at Belzagar with a cheerless look at the very moment they were left alone in the hall.

"Twisty," she said, spiritlessly, before turning on her heel and stalking down the hall with her robes whipping behind her like bats' wings toward her own chamber at the chilled summit of one of Carn Dum's many towers. She kept her thoughts to herself and as a result, they kept her active and fatiguing company all evening.

The next morning had dawned cool and calm. Some time had been spent in front of her window, empty eyes turned outward, thoughts turned inward, and fingers numb from cold busily working at the braids that formed a sort of crown along the line of her darkened hair. Her skin was painted dark about her eyes with lines of meaning to only herself and few others. The rest of her face was untouched, colourless, and severe. She was not unlovely, but her mouth was set almost perpetually in a state of absolute inflexibility and the shape of any occasional smile was that of bitterness. And now, upon her head and entwining itself with her braids, was the headdress she but rarely wore - a light half circlet of dull silver that slipped just barely over the edges of her skin and dipped in a half-diamond over her forehead and just down to the bridge of her nose. This silver diminished, in little spires, into silken feathers of black-blue that cascaded drowsily over her hair and onto her shoulders. It was said by many that only the gods knew how it had kept its shape and fit over the years, adorning and sanctioning the head of many before her. Others suggested that there was an intricate spell woven about it. Auðri knew the honour belonged to excellent pins and many, many birds.

About her frame was a simple, long shift of black, the sleeves and waist pulled in by twists of twine. Her woolen cloak with its enveloping fur collar sat heavily on her shoulders. She rose from her seat on the windowsill with a sigh, knowing that her continued lack of presence in the banquet hall would be noticed and would not be tolerated. It was not yet time for guests to be arriving but the time was approaching quickly - it was expected that she ensure things were ready, though actual preparations were naturally no her task. Yet as she came like a cloud into the room (and some serving-child fled like a rabbit), it became obvious things were not nearly at the level they should be. Without warning and with a quickness that would have astonished someone who had only seen her typical, languid behaviour, she snatched one of the pretty little waiting girls gossiping with one or other of them by her hair and jerked her with one fluid moment, like a doll, over to an opposite table where settings had barely begun. "Work swiftly," she intoned, drawing the two words out into a length, depth, and tone suited for a requiem. The slightly deranged look on her face indicated that dirges -would- be in order should matters not be handled more adroitly within a very short period of time.</font>

Edited by: Auðri

Almarëa Mordollwen
19/Sep/2011, 02:21 AM
Layna</font>The Keep</font>
</font> "You there!"Years of experience suppressing her reflexes stoppedLaynafrom rolling her eyes and attempting to slit the orc's throat on the spot. Did his kind possess no subtlety whatsoever? She followedYarltanginto a more deserted location, keeping her mouth firmly shut at his reprimand. Getting upset over his idiocy would not help her one whit - the orc, for all his inadequacies, stood quite high in the favour of theDelgaranat the moment and thus placing herself in opposition to him was not really in her best interests. Someday, of course, there could be a different fate in store for the orc ... someday whenLaynawas sure she could deal with him without repercussions, without it being traced back to her, surely not a hard task for one as experienced as herself, a few drops in his drink, or his food, or an accidental fall from a vulnerable location ... but for now, she was here to listen to and to execute theDelgaran's instructions, not fantasize. She listened attentively, committing the instructions, word-for-word, to memory. AsYarltangconcluded, dismissing her, she nodded once, then turned and exited the room.</font>
</font> Her first task was, in itself, not difficult. She had seen the old woman,Morchald, around the keep frequently and it was not too difficult to deduce that the hag who obviously had little experience in the way of cleaning and doing laundry was in fact a plant.Laynafound the woman scrubbing floors not far away - and privately wondered if the hag had seenYarltangdrag her off only a few minutes before. At any rate, she had a message to deliver ... in the middle of an open courtyard. Not the best of plans. And - given that anyone could have seenYarltang, if anyone had noticed his andLayna's temporary disappearance, it would only endanger the mission further if she were to go and speak with the hag directly. It would look suspicious. Of course, the orc would not have thought of that. It was up toLaynato think about all these things, and to come up with ways around them, or else to judiciously take the risks anyways. In this case, when she found the woman, the corridor was fairly deserted.</font>
</font> She did not overtly glance around as she walked up to the hag; that would make it far too obvious to anyone who might have been watching that she was delivering a surreptitious message. She simply strode to where the woman was cleaning floors and spoke with the authority of one giving a command, making eye contact. "You are needed elsewhere." She turned and strode away, assuming that the woman would know to follow, and led the way to a smaller, deserted room. After the hag had entered, Laynashut the door. "Your target isCeantt. Be ready tomorrow night." The assassin's gaze was completely emotionless, cold and efficient. The instructions were simple, and precise. There was no more to be said; Morchaldwould use her own talents and discretion to carry out her task, and if she failed, the consequences would be on her own head. She waited a moment to see if the hag had questions, though. Otherwise, her task here was done, and she would next begin preparing for her own part in the puzzle - the part that would silence a ruler forever.</font>

Rian Eliowen
19/Sep/2011, 05:59 AM
Morchald had beenexpecting someone to make contact, so was not too surprised when the messenger turned out to be the dark haired foreign woman, whom she had seen with the orc. She quietly got up and carrying her bucket with her (which had a weapon or two hidden beneath the opaque suds) and keeping all expression out of her face and maintaining her character so that if anyone could see or was observing themher alias wouldn't becompromised, she whispered back :"Ceantt is not here at present. I will need more information to work from if she doesn't make an appearance here at the keep- what other information can yougive me about the target?"

19/Sep/2011, 07:40 PM
Flight of Ravens

After waiting for the Raven's long awaited response, all they got was a nod of respect towards Gwathmir. Such was the Raven always, laconic and always thoughful. And yet many had happened before that, things Erefride had seen before. She heard in the air Raven's voice calling to the ravens, accepting Gwathmir's proposal. There was hope coming out if it really. She looked at the other rangers wondering what their feelings were. Hers was a darkness with a small ray of hope, like the dream she usually had the last nights. A pitched darkness and a stunning, bright single ray of light. She heard their leader telling them to move. About time, she thought as the blessed birds above flied towards the village. She too began running as fast as she could, knowing well enough that they had a long road ahead of them.

19/Sep/2011, 08:28 PM

Twisty was one word for it, Belzagar thought wryly, his own mouth twisting as Amarthel disappeared into her chamber with a smile and a promise and no actual delivery. "Just like a woman," he said in very quiet exasperation before quickly turning to check that yes, </font>Auðri had left. She had always struck him as an intense type of girl, unlikely to enjoy a joke made at her expense. Still, Belzagar had always enjoyed a challenge. "Damn you," he said emphatically but without malice towards Amarthel's closed door, before stalking off.

The next morning he took especial care with his appearance, almost as if he were courting. Belzagar had always been quite vain, but even whilst he examined his eyes and high, cruel cheekbones in the mirror with apparent care, adjusting the cut of his tailored garments, there was a distracted air about him. Belzagar was dressed as a courtier, almost, but wrist-gauntleted, with a sword and a long knife, though he wore no armour. He was there as a guardian as well as an advisor, after all.

An advisor to an old, failing man. A guardian of a decrepit, useless life. He remembered the red glitter in her eyes - before splashing cold water on his face and striding down to the room with slightly more vehemence than usual. There was a buzz about the keep - as though everyone were waiting...

Beren Camlost
20/Sep/2011, 07:52 PM
Dhamon - The Patriot</font>
The Keep</font>

Dhamon </font>was bored. Again. King Damrod had once been a courageous leader but he had become a coward and a turncloak. He feared the might of the Dúnedain and Halcyon Guard so he wouldn't order troops to frustrate the Rangers and the Elves. Damrod thought they would come to destroy him ; Dhamon was a man of action but Damrod believed, after the titanic defeat at the Expanse, that if the Rangers and Halcyon Guard were provoked they would amass their forces and come here, kill to the last man. And put him to the sword. Dhamon was loyal so he wouldn't betray his king to fight on the marches. So the castle guardsman Dhamon was making his pointless rounds at watching within the keep of King Damrod again ; the Lord of Iron thought that if he sought no confrontation with the powers of the North, then the Rangers and Elves would not attack but he was still scared that there was a possibility they might come here anyway and unleash their fullest strength upon his domain.

Damrod was clinically suspicious, overwhelmed by fear. We need a new leader, someone bold ; a king or even queen that could unite us, Dhamon passionately thought. We're a warrior race ! The Ironborn should be fighting ! Not sitting complacent with spears in our hands waiting for the impossible, Dhamon seethed as he walked an open court on the parapets facing southwards ; the Rangers and Elves were too noble-hearted to consider obliterating their enemies, they would never fight an offensive war. I could kill him ;many of us can. So many of us won't, Dhamon brooded as he moved through a tower door into the blood-red keep.

Knowing our Majesty is a fool is one thing but assassinating him is another ; I don't have it in me, I swore an Oath. I won't break it, patriotic Dhamon mused as he walked down the loftiest hall of the keep. Suddenly a cloaked, hooded figure moved smoothly from the cover of a crimson marble pillar ; the loyal guard gasped, going for the hilt of his short-sword, but the tall, broad-shouldered menace was too fast ; the interloper's fist smashed against Dhamon's angular jaw and he collapsed to the floor roughly. He grunted, trying to rise. What is happening ? Dhamon said aloud frantically, fearfully to himself. The looming figure's mighty fist fell upon him again, striking his temple with terrible velocity and Dhamon was plunged into velvet darkness and his body lay very still. He was alive but Dhamon surely wouldn't be awakening any time soon.


</font>Tarias - Cloak of Deception
The Keep</font>

The strong, mysterious ruffian knelt and cast back the silken fabric of his ebon hood, revealing the ruggedly fair visage of a sunbrowned, dark-eyed man of Rhûn. You have no idea, Tarias responded laconically to the unconscious guard as he began to disrobe him of the uniform black enameled armor....</font></font>

</font> You are relieved, Torvald, Tarias spoke to one of the helmed guards on duty at the throneroom portal ; Tarias had been given the names of each guard posted today by Layna herself. Tarias communicated fluidly in the tongue of these men, voice devoid of his natural thick eastern accent ; Layna had taught him during their travels north. She was a patient woman and...a merciless instructor. Good, I'm starving, Torvald responded grumpily ; Layna had told Tarias that Torvald would be relieved at this hour. A guard named Corran was supposed to claim his position but Tarias had bashed him, too, and hid the body. No murder ; Amarthel would be displeased with him, and she trusted Tarias. He didn't want Amarthel to doubt his faithfulness and intelligence ; not only because he was honored that Amarthel thought highly of him and that Tarias valued her judgement of him but ultimately because Tarias feared the Delgaran. Torvald blinked, looking at him. I don't recall ever seeing you before and isn't Corran supposed to be here ? Tarias forced a smile. I'm the new guy. Corran was feeling sick ; I wasn't doing anything of utmost importance so the Captain of the Watch chose me to replace him. Torvald relaxed and walked away ; his counterpart, a slim rat-faced man guard named Cathan wasn't impressed. Out of towner ? he asked. More like demanded. Mostly the people of Angmar and Carn Dûm were pale of skin ; Tarias' was bronze.

His father had been a man of Rhûn, a warrior, but his mother had been a Variag amazon ; Layna had Khand forebears like Tarias - those people had been allied with the men of Rhûn since the first of Ages ; one reason why both she and Tarias' relationship was something close akin to friendship - but one of her parents was Númenorean, so her skin was an attractive white. She passed for a woman of Angmar easily but Tarias....stood out like an Orc at a hobbit family reunion. My father was a man of Rhûn, Tarias replied and that much was true, but came to live in Angmar and fell in love with a maiden of this realm, my mother, Tarias lied. Cathan snorted. Tarias raised a brow, as he took position where Torvald had stood. My mother worshipped our Lord Sauron. The Wizards Pallando and Alatar were - and most likely still are - fomenting rebellion in the East ; my father didn't want to be persecuted and so fled here. Cathan studied Tarias and became silent ; that couldn't be argued with, it made sense, it was plausible. Tarias almost smiled ; Layna had made it up, she was an actress and so she was adept at creating the most interesting, believable cover stories. The time would soon come though when Tarias wouldn't have to pretend to be something he wasn't.</font>

Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

Naith Liathant
20/Sep/2011, 09:16 PM
The Flight of Ravens - Harbinger

The flight was fast and darkness came swiftly, as the ether tumbled into a turmoil of smoking grey and clefts of purple with sunset.

The broken hills and thickets surrounded them in the cool air as they hunkered down, and made a cold camp.

When morning came they moved on, clearing out as fast as they arrived, and moving with a sense of steely resolve and determination, ever north easterly, above the north downs and toward an unknown place.

Except Raven did know it. A few leagues north of the ruins of Esteldin it stood, and it occurred to him as they made such haste, that he had been there once, long ago. Black Ridge was the name of the village, and they sold lumber and traded skins. There were hunters there. Hunters meant that there would be some who could wield weapons, even if normally they were out after game.

On the third night out from Estermill, the band very tired, they camped down in the shoulder of a shallow valley in north east Eriador. They had been to ground for three hours when one of the Rangers alerted the company of the Ravens to the sound of a dog barking.

Upon investigation, they discovered that the dog was a northern breed of hunting dog, a Snowfell Hound. Used both domestically as pets and as guard dogs, hunters often would take such dogs out with them for their keen sense of smell and tracking ability. Obviously the trusty hound has caught their scent on the breeze and was getting tetchy.

Realising they had bedded down only a league or so from their destination, the Raven ordered the Flight to crest the vale, and sure enough, upon its rockier northern escarpment, there stood a settlement of wooden buildings constructed on black rocks.

Lantern light and lamp light shone from the buildings, that were like town houses and long halls, surrounded by a low picket of timber. A fissure formed a crevasse before the town itself which sat in a defile or depression in the northern valley facing. It was high above the northern plain, and invisible from the south. You had to climb to get there. Across the crevasse was a trestle bridge, and around the perimeter several smaller single story buildings that were quite new in comparison to the rest of Black Ridge.

Under the light of a silvery moon, the Flight of Ravens ascended to the trail leading to the village of glowing lights...

21/Sep/2011, 03:32 AM
Iúlon, advisor to Damrod
Various Locations

He awoke drenched in sweat, the final lingering image of his dream swimming before his waking eyes--Amarthel's red eyes. He rubbed his eyes vigorously as if trying to erase the image from his mind. Being unsuccessful, he sat up and dressed. As usual, he wore long brown robes that reached to his feet. The darkness of his clothing contrasted starkly with his pale skin, a pallor he had acquired after many years of sitting at Damrod's feet in the shadowed halls of Carn Dûm.

He found water had been placed in his basin for the morning's wash-up and used it, splashing his face for cleanliness and a jump-start of shocked energy. </font>Iúlon dried his face with a soft, luxurious cloth and laid it down on the washing table when he thought he was done. A few droplets of water slid down his angular jawline onto his neck like tears.

Iúlon swept from the room, his long robes flowing behind him silently. The preparations for the banquet he had been ordered to oversee were happening even now, and he did not want to be late. He hurried up to the throne room, where preparations for the banquet would be underway. Lord Damrod had ordered him to see to it that they were completed, so he would fulfill that request without question or complaint. He entered the throne room to find it humming with talk and full of objects not quite at home in such a space--cutlery, tables, plates, bowls. He looked around, checking to see that every man and woman was doing something to assist in the preparations when he heard Damrod's voice ring out sharply in the hall. "Iúlon!" He started at the sharpness in his lord's voice. "Yes, my lord?" he simpered, scurrying toward the sound of Damrod's continued shouts of "Where are you?" He found the owner of the barking voice at last and bowed low, showing the top of his head to Damrod in reverence. "How can I be of assistance this morning, my lord?"

21/Sep/2011, 02:01 PM
Flight of RavensThe first nights camp was a cold camp, no fire. The group didn't speak much if at all, Timrin had been silent the whole time and restless. Not wanting to stop but his werryness made him. After just a few hours sleep the Ravens were on the move again. They were running into lands that Timrin had never been before and he wondered what may lay ahead for the band. The Ravens reached a shallow valley by thethirdevening out and made camp. Timrin was worn but still willing, if that could be said. He had no cheer in his heart for these were dark lands to him and such darkness was hard to over come. Timrin was almost asleep on his feet when the sound of a dog barking jolted him full awake with his addrinallin pumping. Timrin ran to the creat as ordered by Raven, the lantern light was a fine sight for Timrins eyes and a slight smile came across his face. Grabing his pack Timrin follwed his leader to the trail...

Hallas C. Pehwarin
21/Sep/2011, 03:34 PM
Eärmir, son of Eärnôl
Flight of Ravens

Eärmir had continued to run as fast as his legs could carry him across the desolate lands that was this north eastern part of Eriador and approaching the dreaded realm of Angmar.... The company had made camp during the night with no fire. It allowed them to hide and rest for few very restless hours of sleep before being roused breaking camp and continuing to run... Stale sweat now stained the seasoned rangers' attire, Eärmir though was used to wearing the same clothing if the need was great for several days... Now again night had come and the company took shelter in a shallow valley. Eärmir was now feeling worn out but also extremely weary due in part to the stories and tales that he'd listened to his father Eärnôl when he'd joined the Rangers at the age of 18.

Most were tragic relating the fall of their once proud kingdom of Arnor and its struggles against the Witch-King.... Now here he was in the former's domain helping protect innocent villagers who just wanting to live in peace and not worry about the troubles of the rest of Middle Earth. To them everything was focused and stayed to the far south in the realm of Gondor.... The evil now again that had slept for long the north was rearing its ugly head again to cause grief and sadness for the surviving Arnorians.... Now the 33-year old northern ranger heard a dog barking in the night, The sound of its noise may everyone alert and awake including himself as adrenaline began to pump its way into his blood... In the distance a lantern could be seen by everyone including Eärmir whose keen green-grey eyes glinted faintly... Now the wearied ranger shouldered his pack and followed his leader the Raven and fellow ranger Timrin to the trail and up into the village...

22/Sep/2011, 04:08 PM
The Dagger

Zagathôr was still sitting at the table, taking small sips from the bottle, when he was interrupted. Calling it an interruption was an understatement, as a hand came out of nowhere and connected with his face. His right hand was already on the hilt of his sword, ready for a fight, before he saw that it was a woman. She seemed unarmed as well, apart from the rings on her hand that had just made an impact on him. Removing his hand from his sword again, realising that it would be a foolish escalation to draw his blade, he instead rubbed his chin where it had received its blow. Looking at Eámanë, he assumed she was either a serving girl here, or maybe some wench whose drink he had stolen. Her clothes suggested the latter, though in this barbaric place, Zagathôr wondered if there was much difference.

Not wanting to start a fight over brandy, especially not while he was supposed to wait for his contact, Zagathôr instead decided to hand over the bottle in question. He could not help himself though, and hurled it rather aggressively. Not being able to strike back and get even, it was the only kind of revenge he could get for now, and he flung some words along with the spirits that came through the air. "Take your bloody drink then, woman! It's as foul as you," he spat. In truth, he did not actually consider her foul to look at; her attire revealed sufficient for him to judge such. But given what else her appearance suggested to him, he found little worthy of respect. He noted her face as best he could, just in case he might get a chance to repay the blow she gave him, before he moved back slightly, to indicate he was not interested in a fight.

The woman caught the bottle, unfortunately, so she was not particularly troubled by his throw; but he had a feeling he might see her again. Certainly if all went according to plan and everything would be shaken in this place. The tables would be turned, and those without influence or power might gain both. Zagathôr was waiting for that, hoping for that, and until then, he could convince himself to back down and pay no further heed to the offence made against him. Eámanë turned and left, satisfied with how things had turned out. Zagathôr moved towards a corner of the tavern, hoping to lose the attention that had suddenly been fixed on him, and after a few moments, the tavern as was before.

As it turned out, Zagathôr did not have to wait long. Indeed, he had barely retreated before he was approached, this time without fists involved. Recognising the person as his contact, Zagathôr's eyes swept over Swiltang as he did his best to keep his contempt from showing. He had had his fill of these creatures in Mordor, and was less than pleased to find them here as well. It was almost a kind of measurement in itself; a place was only truly loathsome if orcs could be found there. However, personal feelings aside, this was about power, position. Zagathôr had abandoned any squemish tendencies when he first arrived in Mordor. Listening to Swiltang, Zagathôr took note of his task as well as the other man pointed out to him, Arnuzîr. "It will be done," Zagathôr said, trying to phrase it as a simple statement. He would do his part, and the less dealings he would have with these others conspirators, the better.

The Keep
Anybody who had seen Zagathôr yesterday at the tavern (which unfortunately had been rather a lot), would not recognise him now. At least that was his fervent hope. He had exchanged his fur-lined clothing for more rough leather attire, more suited for a simple working man. He had dirt in his face, mostly to cover his tattoo as well as make his dark hue seem less obvious and exotic. On his shoulders he carried a heavy load of firewood, long branches tied together. And in the centre, hidden well, lay his sword. He had his orders, to reach the inner keep and be ready for a fight; this was his solution. People rarely noticed servants, at least if they were of higher stature than them (or considered themselves to be). And servants were not armed; should any be seen with a weapon, they would stand out and immediately be apprehended.

Zagathôr's plan was to imitate a servant's lot, and with his weapon hidden, he presumed he could move unhindered. In a cold and dark land as this, firewood would have to be necessary constantly. Who would notice one more servant carrying kindling and tending to a fire? Every large room in this keep would have to have a fireplace, the Southron further assumed; in fact, even with such measures, he could not fathom how these northernes could stand the cold. But at least thanks to his plan, he would be able to stay warm until it was time to go into action. Find the right room, tend to the fire, keep his logs close and be ready to draw steel once the dancing started. The dance of swords, that is; Zagathôr had no idea if people danced in these hostile lands. He would not be surprised if they did not; this seemed like a land, much like Mordor, devoid of simple joys.


Naith Liathant
23/Sep/2011, 03:09 PM
Flight of Ravens - Harbinger - Black Ridge

" What is it boy? What's got you all riled up?" Came the gruff voice of a senior man. His rough hand ruffled the neck of the dog as his other slipped on the leash.

" Reckon I can tell you, Cal." Came a younger voice, filled with foreboding. A hand pointing at the Flight of Ravens ascending toward the bridge where the two men now stood in their patchwork hauberk.

" Who goes there?" Came the older voice, as the figure with the dog straightened up and a hand went instinctively to the pommel of an old sword and his hip.

The Raven walked ahead of his men, and the sullen looking company were quite a sight. Dark and shadowy in the moonlight, ashen faced, weary and ghost-like apparitions.

" I am the Raven, friend, and we mean no harm here. I come with a warning for your townsfolk, and intend to help you. My men and I have travelled long leagues in short course to get here in time." The Raven said.

" In time?" Stammered the younger man who now it could be seen was probably in his late twenties. " Time for what?"

" The Raven?" Came the gruff voice, eyes widened, and a hand resting on a sword pommel lifted to push back an untidy mop of tangled brown hair laced with flecks of grey. Then the hand rubbed at the tired eyes. " How can it be so?"

" You know me friend?" Asked the Raven, drawing closer, so that the band were now between the outlier buildings and afore the trestle bridge with its blazing braziers on either side.

" You pulled me from the fires, when I was a boy..." The gruff voiced older man said, astonished. " You haven't changed. How can that be?"

The Raven's azure eyes took in the old man and he wished he could remember. But he could not. He could tap the power of the mantle, but he was already weary.

" Be it by gift or curse, I know not, but it does not matter. I have come to pull you from the fires once again." The Raven said with intentional drama.

" Whatever news you bring, harbinger, I sense it is ill." Said the older man, Cal. " Yet to you I am indebted sixty years of life, and that goes a long way with me! Bring yourself in to Black Ridge. We'll get you rested, then we can talk. I'll take you to the long hall myself and ensure that you get to speak to our burgomaster. He's a surly sort."

And so Caldol and Hardin, the young man, escorted the Flight of Ravens over the bridge and down into Black Ridge...Edited by: Naith Liathant

26/Sep/2011, 02:13 PM
Flight of Ravens

The female ranger had no problem at all with their long and tiring route. She actually found herself lost in the attempt to follow her companions and prove as strong and as they were. So, her worries vanished as they ran and ran, stopping only once to have a cold rest under the pale stars. They had stopped now again, three days after they began in a valley somewhere to the east of Eriador. Erefride could vaguely recall having travelled here before, when she was a lot younger. Now she was in her 40s, still very young, but some memories of her early youth seemed to fade away, unimportant things such as places in the Lone Lands that she hadn't killed orcs there.

They were all still and silent, lost in their thoughts and worries, when a dog started barking and they all were alarmed to the sound that broke the silence of the haunted night. Erefride and the other rangers then discovered a village, with its light glowing in the darkness, a hopeful sign of life in the middle of deserted, ruined lands. Erefride however felt no hope filling her heart as she followed Raven silently on the road to the village. She stayed behind from the other rangers as they walked on and heard the two men from the village talk. And then Raven introduced himself.

The female ranger listened to the interesting dialogue between the two men, Cal and Raven. It seemed that the older man actually knew Raven and owed him his life. He offered to escort them to the village, Black Ridge, and provide them a nice resting place maybe. Erefride wasn't entirely happy with staying in the village. She had spent so much of her lifetime out in the wilds, that now it seemed odd to her to sleep in a comfortable bed. Not that it never happened, it was rare though. They passed the bridge all together, Erefride on the back, with the dark feeling leaving her for a while. Whatever she was used to, the safety of a village -even the fake one- is always welcomed even by a lonely, depressed ranger.

26/Sep/2011, 02:44 PM
Flight of RavensTimrin listened with intent as Raven and the man from the village spoke. It was good to see a welcome for once he thought to himself. Though now his thoughts turned to the area around. Timrin looked around in the darkness at what he could see and gathered as much infromation on the place as he could, in the dark. Noteing the bridge as they crossed Timrin began to formulate a defence. Though the light of day would prove of better use, still darkness offers hiding plcaes and stealth so seeing what he could in the dark was a head start.

27/Sep/2011, 01:32 AM
Gwathmir (The Flight of Ravens)

Approval of his friends, a nod of respect from Raven. A nod from that man was higher praise than many words from another. It might work then. Gwathmir
hadn't been sure, when he spoke. Now he felt lighter, as if a weight
had been removed from his chest, and he could breath freely again.

Then followed three days of running. Running, running, running, trying
to outrun wargs. Even for a ranger, this was not an easy march. During
the days, Gwathmir's thought dwelt most of the time not on the
task ahead, but on Myrtle, his fiancée. She was a beautiful young woman,
his Myrtle. She had curly brown hair, and a face all covered with
freckles. She was short, so short that kids used to tease her that she
was half-hobbit, only she was no hobbit - she was slender as a gentle
flower. He called her his Elven princess, and she laughed every time.
When she laughed, her eyes shone like a pair of mischievous stars. But
she could also be serious. In the winter, when Gwathmir could
spend some time in Archett, they built snowmen during the day, and
discussed poetry at night, by the fire in Myrtle's mother's cottage. In
spring, she walked with flowers in her hair, and with hands dirty from
tending and weeding her garden. In the summer - ah, this summer he'd see
her all in white. He had begged her to show him the wedding dress, but
she refused. Said it was going to be a surprise. All of this wedding was
going to be a surprise, organised by Myrtle, and her mother, and her
friends while he was away on his ranger business. Gwathmir felt
lucky to have such a girl for a wife. She was intelligent, hard-working,
pretty, and extremely patient. What other girl would have waited for
him, while he went out on those quests? He could never say when he'd be
back, sometimes he couldn't even tell where he was going. It happened
that he returned wounded, at other times what he had seen made him
gloomy and silent for weeks. And yet, she understood, though she wasn't
of the dunedain, and she waited, always waited patiently for him to come
back. This time, on the last night before he left, Myrtle had asked Gwathmir
for a promise. The young man remembered it well. She had stood on her
toes, and still he had to bend down to kiss her. "I'm worried about
you." she had said. "Give me your word that nothing will happen to you,
that you will be back, safe and sound. You always keep your promises."
He had laughed it off. "Fine," he had said eventually. "I promise. And
if I don't come back - then I'm a bad man who turns back on his word,
and you should go and find yourself someone more worthy of you." She had
been so angry then,

On the third night, having hardly rested after a long day, the rangers
heard barking. They had reached their destination. Wearily, Gwathmir
rose, moved again. He was short on sleep, tired after many days of hard
march, his feet ached from walking. But he rose, and was walking again,
taking the trail to the village. He knew his duty, he was glad to hear
the barking - it meant that this time they weren't too late. But
most of all he thought not of the coming battle, not even of those
villagers they had come to save, but a simpler soon it will be over. Tonight, or tomorrow, we face Goathul, and then I can turn South. Soon I'll see my Myrtle again.

They met two men on the road. One appeared to know Raven - the mantle, if not the man himself. The warning was given. The rangers were being led into the village. The night air was cold and crisp so far to the North. Gwathmir found it refreshing. He was more focused now, though Myrtle was never far from his thoughts. His eyes were bright with anticipation. They had come on time. How long did they have now? A few hours, or a day, before the warg riders reached here?
Timrin appeared to be considering defences as he walked. He was a quiet fellow, or at least that's the impression he always made on Gwathmir, but his expression always suggested keen thought. Gwathmir considered addressing his comrade, then decided against it. He would have liked to know Timrin's thoughts, especially since he himself had no good grasp on strategy, but disturbing the man seemed to him like a bad idea. And also, in this quiet night, when you could hear the rustle of every leaf and the screeching of every insect, breaking the silence felt almost sacrilegious.

30/Sep/2011, 10:41 AM
Jaec the Bear
The Dagger

Jaec had always hated Carn Dûm. There was something about the sickly, cloying feel to the air that had always set him a bit too much on edge for his own preferences. Still, there was just too much going on around this place for Jaec to leave it alone. He had heard during his travels whispers of the approach of some witch, bringing tidings of a new dawn to the crumbling regime led by the Lord of Iron. Now Jaec didn't care overmuch about who was in charge of these infernal wastes, but there was one thing that kept his attention greater than any other, and that was the opportunity to practice his trade.

Being a peculiar man, Jaec had never been trained in any of the practical arts that most young men of the world would be educated in; he knew nothing of metalworking, nothing of tailoring, nothing of tanning. If anything, you could say that his only skills could be compared to that of a butcher. His trade was simple: find a man who needs killing, and see that he gets killed. Now, there are many who ply at this trade with middling success, but Jaec could be called an artist in this work. Working hand in hand with 'the only woman he would ever love', his greatsword Belle, he had carved a name for himself among the filth-ridden underbellies of what these northern lands called civilization. But now, he had an opportunity to write their names in the annals of history. Never mind the fact that he had been paid by Damrod for his services in this coming conflict (and paid well, at that, since there were few in the area that could be recruited at such short notice); Jaec knew the winds of change were blowing, and he also knew that there were plenty of men to kill on either side. What good did it do him to die with coin in his purse, when he could use that same coin to continue living?

It was by this logic that Jaec had entered the service of the Delgaran. It had been easy enough to keep this development a secret from his erstwhile employers; Jaec was not a simple man, and being a foreigner, his motives were even harder to trace. Despite his relative safety in the den of his new enemies, Jaec's anxiety began growing. There was something about the impending bloodshed that set his heart aflame, and he was growing weary of waiting.

It had been a short time, though far longer in Jaec's mind, since he had began watching the patrons of The Dagger, waiting for any of the men he had come to know as comrades when Arnuzîr entered. He didn't seem to intent on companionship right now, but if anybody knew how to get Jaec closer to the action it would be him. The time had finally come for him to play his part in the grand show working itself out here in this dreary land.

Almarëa Mordollwen
03/Oct/2011, 08:46 PM

</font> "Ceantt will be at the banquet; he's one of Damrod's advisors." She spoke in a hushed voice. "A fairly tall man, strongly built, but not particularly intelligent - or at least, not intelligent to choose the winning side." A smirk crossed the woman's face. "His quarters are on the western side of the keep, not far from the old well." She waited a moment, to ensure that the hag was quite clear about what she had to do. They could not afford any mistakes - not one, if Angmar was to have a queen in less than forty-eight hours.</font>
</font>*** The Next Day*** (</font>timewarp</font>)</font>
</font> Vella the servant girl, Vella the slave, Vella the seductress, Vella the particularly appealing and talented waitress - at one time or another, Laynahad played all these roles. On this occasion, she was to employ all of these talents and more - granted, not all at the same time. She had appropriated an old outfit that she had found and kept - one of the kitchen workers had been executed about four weeks previous, and Layna- never one to dispose of something that might be useful - had kept a couple of her outfits. They didn't fit quite right, but then she wasn't playing a particularly rich or fashionable lady, so it wasn't as if it mattered!</font>
</font> Once she had convinced herself that she was appropriately attired for her new station, she had visited the kitchens and procured herself a job waiting tables. It took a bit of fast talking, but the supervisor of the kitchens was male, and Laynafound that it was not too difficult for her to get a job - in return, of course, for certain favours that she had no intention of ever bestowing upon him. He would be disposed of - or simply frustrated and disappointed - as soon as Angmar had her queen. And if he tried anything in the meantime, well, Laynaalways had her daggers. It was not, as she had hoped, a job in the kitchen itself - cooking for instance - but it would do quite nicely.</font>
</font> She had checked and double-checked her store of herbs once again that morning; concealed in her bosom was a little pouch that contained the vial she needed. No mistakes; no hesitation. She, and she alone, had been given the task of taking out the ruler of Angmar, and Laynaintended to do it as unobtrusively, smoothly, and efficiently as possible.</font>

Rian Eliowen
04/Oct/2011, 02:52 AM
<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">
<DIV>Morchald - The Keep

Morchald[/B] waited for the woman (<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Lanya[/B]) to depart, and then once she was sure that she was completely unobserved, she allowed herself the luxury of stretching out of her hunched, "hag" posture, for a minute. She would be returned to her youthful self in only a day or so she reminded herself, and be able to command her own servants, instead of being treated as one! The old hag character had been extremely useful so far. In her washing sack she could hide many a necessary item, and as a mere servant she could gain access nearly everywhere without suspicion.
<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Morchald[/B] had recognized (from the many subtle tell tale signs that her experienced eye could discern) a sister assassin when she saw one, and idly wondered where the stranger came from - by her accent, she was obviously not a local. She also wondered why the Black Widows had been hired, when the foreigner was likely to be able to assassinate the target herself. "<I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Hmm wheels within wheels…"[/I] she thought to herself as she prepared to hunch herself back into character.
Her task now was to identify this 'tall and strong <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Ceantt[/B]' whoever he was, and decide which was the most appropriate method with which to rid the realm of Angmar of his presence, (without leaving a shred of suspicion of course - that's why the Black Widows could charge such exorbitant commissions!) <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Morchald[/B] was not concerned with the <I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">why[/I] – merely the <I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">how [/I]of the present assignment. She set off to quietly scout out Ceantt's quarters on the western side of the keep.

16/Oct/2011, 07:48 AM

Damrod – The Keep – Throne Room

Soon this sordid affair would be over, and the better for it. The Lord of Iron looked sourly about his throne room, made over into a feasting hall for the occasion. He had chosen to host the event in this room rather than one of the wide, drafty halls elsewhere in the keep in order to retain a sense of formality and power; after all, this bleak hall was the seat of his authority, and that throne was where the Witch-King himself had once sat. Obviously the throne, carved up out of the very granite of the mountain itself, could not be moved. So Damrod had placed himself in a wide, tall, imposing wooden chair at the head of the table, elevating himself above the two rows on either side of the long board before him, so that the throne would loom ominously over his shoulder. Yes, it was a strategy to be rather proud of, he thought- and still, the Lord of Iron was malcontent.

Damrod stood brooding, one hand resting on the back of his chair as he gazed at the throne. Yes, it was his, but for how much longer? There were rumblings all around, only having intensified once word had spread that an envoy was being sent from the south, and now that she had arrived… well, the rumormongers only had more to talk about now, didn’t they? His bony fingers clenched, hails scratching against the highly polished wood, and his body tensed, the shoulders thrusting back and head raising as he glared at the throne. Curse you. Damrod though venomously, What is it you would have of me? But then the last of the preparations had finished, it seemed, for a nameless scraper appeared at his elbow, bowing sinuously. The Lord of Iron waved him off, affirming his question. Across the hall, the wide wood doors, shut while ablutions to the hall were being made, now scraped open; he would have to face them now, all of them- loyal hands, treacherous scum, and hedgers alike. Damrod sank into his chair, straight-backed, and for once looked as though he fit there. Tonight, he would ensure that all of Carn Dûm knew to whom their allegiance lay.

Amarthel Delgaran – The Keep – Throne Room
It was highly unusual for Amarthel to take any considerable amount of time with her appearance, but this was a special occasion. She had availed herself of the bathing facilities, cleansing herself of the long journey’s grime, so that her swarthy skin emerged clean and smooth from the confines of her clothing. The lustrous mane of her carmine hair had been pulled back away from her face by a web of small braids, so that the rest of its unbound length rushed down her back, rather than over her shoulders. Here the concessions to female formality ended: though she had changed her attire from the travel-worn clothing of the day before, the Delgaran stood still garbed in trews and tunic, the long leather jerkin meticulously cleaned and oiled over them, and soft black boots on her feet. The clothing was finer than that of the previous day, but no less utilitarian, and its inherent masculinity marked her apart. As was the usual provision, in concession to her position she had retained the jeweled dagger that rode at her left hip, its rubied pommel and silver-chased sigils glinting in the firelight.

Thus girded for the evening’s festivities, the Delgaran left her rooms, to attend upon the niceties of a state dinner. Inwardly she snorted at the thought as she made her way through the corridors, unescorted- as if this ramshackle remnant of a realm could be called a state. The strange hint of a smile played again around her lips, not reaching the corners of her burning eyes. Ramshackle it may be- but one had to start somewhere, and Carn Dûm was due for a good dose of repairs. Repairs, reparations, remuneration, and revenge. A delicious cadre of Rs, ripe and ready for the revealing. Amarthel pitied any fools who anticipated a dull feast this evening, of the type no doubt normally hosted by the Lord of Iron in his musty hall. As she reached the entrance to the hall- slightly later than the appointed time, for these things never began on schedule, and there would still be plenty of mingling occurring- her eyes slid over the dark man guarding the left of the doors. The Delgaran did not acknowledge Tarias, merely noted that he was in position- he knew what was to come.

True to her expectations, the hall was already filled with milling people; faces she had seen the previous day in the throne room, and those she had not. Faces yet more familiar were dotted here and there, intelligent enough not to give recognition when eye contact was made. A bit of a tremor moved through the room, those who had noted her appearance turning to mutter to their compatriots who in turn engaged in surreptitious sideways glances. It would be too much to say a hush fell over the room; no, these people were too controlled for that, and as Amarthel made her way to the table, the momentary lull surged back into a more frenetic activity and buzz than it had been before. When she neared him, Damrod ingraciously indicated the seat to his immediate left, in tight-lipped silence. Let him think her respectful; the Delgaran tipped her head in his direction and smoothly lowered herself into the chair, her eyes flitting down the table to take in the arrangement of others as they began to filter into their seats.</font>

Ceannt – The Keep – Throne Room
He may have been broad and muscular, but he certainly wasn’t stupid. True, Ceannt wasn’t the sharpest mind of his day, but he was clever enough to know when something was up- and up something certainly was. Though he had not been present in the throne room when the witch from the south had presented herself the previous day, the whispers of her arrival had spread like wildfire through the keep- and no doubt through the whole of Carn Dûm, since none of its inhabitants seemed to be able to keep their blithering mouths shut. Briefly Ceannt had seethed at not being summoned at once by Damrod, but in the end he concluded that perhaps the Lord of Iron wished to present as varied a picture as possible, in order to find out more about this Delgaran- the old man wasn’t entirely witless, after all. The seat to the Lord of Iron’s immediate right remained empty for Iúlon, but to the right of that, Ceannt sat, and his green eyes narrowed as a swarthy woman approached the head of the table, and Damrod pointed her to a chair; so, this was the intruder. Though his face did not betray his surprise, a chill touched Ceannt’s spine as he watched her- there was an inherent malice in her gaze that unnerved him, and the fingers of his right hand went to stroke the hilt of the heavy dagger at his waist, as the left came up to perform the same action on his bearded chin, and he leaned sideways in his chair.

Damrod – The Keep – Throne Room

Eying the gathered group, the Lord of Iron determined that all had arrived- all who mattered, in any case. He could see also that his request for heightened security had been fulfilled; armed guards stood at intervals about the walls of the throne room, and at a brief signal, the pair guarding the doors pulled the heavy wooden constructs shut, stepping within the hall to stand on either side of the portal. This would catch the attention of many, but nevertheless, Damrod seized a long knife from beside his plate and clanged it against the heavy silver goblet before him as he stood, causing silence to spread over the hall. “My… friends,” he said, pleased that none of the caustic sarcasm he felt had filtered into his voice, “As you know, we gather tonight to welcome a new arrival to Carn Dûm. As all know, we are the most devoted petitioners of our Lord in the south, and we welcome any servant,” he stressed the word ever so slightly, “he may choose to send us. Let us therefore all sup together, in a sign of our continued devotion and allegiance to the Eye, and the Iron Throne.” With a wave he indicated that the first course should be brought forward, and stiffly returned to his seat.


All, move into the time of the banquet as quickly as possible.

Assassins, you may be in the throne room or elsewhere in the keep as you please; your tasks will occur after the feast has concluded.

Muscle, be in the throne room under the pretense of Damrod's "extra security."

Naith Liathant
16/Oct/2011, 09:13 AM
Flight of Ravens: Harbinger

Caldol and Hardin led the flight through the midnight streets of Black Ridge to a long hall at it's heart, where glowing braziers offered warmth to two armed guards and light over the entry way.

Crossed pikes barred entrance for a moment, or two, as Cal explained the men and women in his company. Cal alone was then permitted entrance.

" Late is the hour of your arrival." One of the guards said, addressing the band and Hardin. " Though we do not think you foe, we must observe respect of the Burgomaster, who long since retired into his cups."

Raven looked to the band and nodded, a slight roll of the eyes. A drunken burgomaster in the small hours, and a goblin war band en route. Life didn't get much better really did it?

Cal returned after several long moments passed, looking mildly irritated, but no more.

" Well, I have spoken with Bregan, the Burgomaster, and he will receive you now. He has taken a moment to settle in the hall and now bids you enter. He requests you leave your weapons with the guards as a mark of respect. No blood is ever to be shed in the long-hall of Black Ridge, so says our master." Cal smiled warmly, then beckoned the band inside.

With reluctance the Raven surrendered his weapons with the guard, and he expected all the band wishing to enter to do likewise. Then the Flight entered the long-hall.

It was a simple affair, a long-hall in name and nature, with arches leading to antechambers, and quarters, but all in all, one long feasting table, a fire-pit, several standing braziers, and sconces into which torches were set though not lit, and brooding on his chair at the head of the table, Bregan the Burgomaster. For his part, he seemed tired, and was fat, but broad and still seemed strong, with a shock of white hair, blue eyes and deep crows feet beneath a craggen brow.

" Come friends, be seated." Came his booming voice, unexpectedly strong. " What brings you to Black Ridge in dead of night?"

Raven explained who he was and introduced the band, and their reason for the flight to Black Ridge, and the Burgomaster listened to all, occasionally gesturing for cups to be filled and re-filled for retainers had appeared to accommodate the needs of the rangers.

" Drink then, and we will discuss these matters." Bregan said, when Raven had concluded his tale of Goathul. " Long have I heard rumour of this goblin war band and their warg-riders. We've seen nothing of them in these parts. Merely traveller tales, I presumed. We hear many stories like this one. No harm has ever come to Black Ridge."

" Mark my words, Bregan. Goathul is coming here." Raven warned.

Bregan snorted.

" That is as maybe, he will find Black Ridge no easy target! We have warriors and huntsmen. We have a means of defence. How he intends to bring his warg-riders to bear beguiles me! But come,come, let us not argue. You say this goblin-chief brings his horde to bear on us, and I take your word as true, no matter how hard it is to believe. I warrant rangers such as yourselves do not make haste lightly through the days and nights such as you have."

" No indeed." Raven admitted. " This band are fierce, and have left a trail of razed settlements in their wake. Villages, farms, small holdsteads, and nothing living remains. I've seen it. We've seen it."

" Indeed." Gravely bespoke the Burgomaster. " Then what is thy plan, Raven of the Flight?"

Raven looked to the band.

" I am willing to listen to suggestions ere I weigh in with my own..." A gleam entered his eye. For in truth it was his nature to test those among the flight and giving them the answers would be no test at all.

16/Oct/2011, 03:28 PM
Flight of RavensTImrin looked about the buildings of this town noteing size and position of each, should fighting here happen. He had to stiffel a laugh when Raven turned and looked at them and rolled his eyes. When hearing that weapons had to be left out TImrin had to think about it a moment but he steped up and surrendered his bow, quiver and sword. Shaking his head as he entered the place. Once inside this, hall, Timrin took a seat and really didn't think much of this Burgomaster and what he had to say. He seemed liked most of his kind... Timrin drank, it was refreshing and hedidn't mind the refill. Raven then asked for suggestions. Timrin was the first to speak up. "I have question first before I can offer palns." he said. "That chasum we crossed entering. Is that the only bridge over it? Is it very deep? Are there other areas where it can be easly crossed? Can anyone enter this town from the raer? Do you have wagons and carts?" Timrin finsihed. "Sorry for all the questions but they are nessary to consider." Timrin waited to see if he would be answered or if Raven would think there was not enough timefor this to be put to a plan. He also wounder what the others were thinking.

Beren Camlost
16/Oct/2011, 08:44 PM
Tarias - The Keep's Throneroom</font>
</font> He reacted just as nonchalantly as he had when Amarthel had strode past him when he realized how confident Damrod seemed in the presence of those he was sure would protect him ; there were those who would sacrifice their life to defend their King and his corpse's honor butTarias, of course was only loyal to the Delgaran and Sauron - and to some extent, Layna, who was something like a friend - so the brawny, sun-browned acolyte of Amarthel had no intention of securing the fool's right to the throne. </font>
</font> Tarias, at Damrod's signal, helped to pull the heavy wooden portals shut and faced the dinner guests and guardsmen from his place at the threshold. Tarias smiled inwardly as Damrod gestured for the first course to be presented. </font>
</font> Come, murder me, Tarias thought wryly, knowing that Layna would poison the King somehow. When that happened, surely Damrod's finest would react to the assassination quite brutally. That's why I'm here, Tarias thought, and hoped Delgaran's muscles were ready to put down the vengeful backlash quickly and efficient, not just here but throughout the keep after the Red Supper had concluded.... </font>

17/Oct/2011, 01:02 PM
Iúlon</font>The Keep - Throne Room</font></font>His master was busy with other things, of course. Matters pressed on his mind that Iúlon could only imagine, leading him--understandably--to distraction. He could wait for attention from his lord. Damrod's brow was furrowed far more tonight than Iúlon had seen it in the past, and he wondered what the Lord of Iron was thinking about the newcomer--Amarthel, with her fierce eyes. Iúlon supposed that he was concerned for his post--that the woman had been sent to supplant him.</font></font>"If that were the case," he thought, "Then I must do my utmost to support him and offer him any opportunity to feel confident in this troubled hour." He seated himself at the second chair from his lord on the right side of the table, watching his lord raptly. Damrod's position was one of magnificence, and Iúlon credited Damrod's genius with the inspiration. A perfectly aligned ordinary wooden chair had been transformed by its placement, such that the throne rose above it in splendor, a sign of Damrod's power.</font></font>Then a creak and a murmur that spread like a wave sprawling on the beach--by those two sounds alone, it was clear that she had entered the room. Iúlon glanced quickly toward the door and saw the woman's hair shine in the light that fell upon it from the open door. He turned away, hoping to avoid the gleam of her eyes, instead looking to his lord to be the inspiration of strength and steadfastness that he had been for his advisor in the past.</font></font>"My lord," he began in a whisper, leaning in conspiratorially. But before he could continue, Damrod had stood and called the hall to attention. Then he began to speak. His words provided the stability Iúlon needed to hear from him; weakness in such a man as he would never do in the face of confrontation. Satisfied and smug in the wake of Damrod's seemingly confident speech, Iúlon turned to his plates, awaiting the food that would soon arrive.</font></font>"Wise words," he said sycophantically, "And inspiring, as always. We must do what we can to support one another in service of the Power in the south." These last words were spoken more as formality, to play his part convincingly--in this, as in all things, he followed Damrod's lead. "Let us look forward to days of united service!"</font>


17/Oct/2011, 03:11 PM
Erefride - Flight of Ravens

Black Rigde was a small village but as she passed through the streers the female ranger thought it wouldn't be so easy to defend. There were hunters here from what she knew, that could aim and shoot with a bow and even handle a sword, but the enemies were frierce and milicious and, she thought bitterly, far more experienced than the villagers. It would all fall to their hands, the rangers, to deal with them, and that was not a bad thing really, but how many of the innocent people would die here it was hard to tell. She looked at her companions as they walked. Was any of them to die too? Was she to die? It was not impossible and she had learnt to live with dealth as a constant, shadow company but now, he seemed closer than ever somehow. Well, some would die but more would be saved; it was the way of the world.

They entered the hall after a short waiting and the Flight came in front of the Burgomaster Bregan, a man with bright blue eyes. They had left their weapons behind and when the ranger gave away her sword and three daggers, she wondered if she would need them inside. But it was obvious that she wouldn't. She relaxed a bit and remained near her companions while their leader explained the situation to the Burgomaster. She sighed when the man talked vainly, naming the coming of Goathul "rumors". But the Raven managed to convince him of the danger. In such desolate lands, a long peace was something that happened rarely. Even the most protected villages and outposts were prepared for a fight, if not practiacally, at least in mind. She was ready to follow Raven's commands when she heard him ask of them their proposals. She sighed again. They didn't have much time for this. She hesitated to talk and Timrin rashed to ask his questions. She had also these things in mind, though she could be called more impatient. She had checked the village but in the darkness she couldn't see far. Bringing in mind the towers she had seen often build in other desolate villages for their protection she also stepped forward, swiftly, only a second after Timrin had spoken. "We need not fear so much from the south" she pointed out, remembering that the city was almost invisible from the south and they themselves had camped so near and yet nearly missed it. "It seems to me that we have to worry more about the northern part and put less people to the south edge of the village. If there is a tower there we could get some archers to hide and watch out. Then, as Timrin said, we should know if the crevasse can be crossed by some other place than the bridge and enhance the timber pickets there to stand to an attack." She stopped usure of what to say next, she needed more information but decided to make a last suggestion: "I think we should surprise them. The wargs can easily climb to the crevasse and will be really fast so we won't have much time to exploit our advatage of being higher...in my opinion."

Hallas C. Pehwarin
17/Oct/2011, 04:34 PM
Eärmir, son of Eärnôl
Flight of Ravens: Harbinger

Eärmir now followed his small band as they were lead through the village called Black Ridge. Nearly every member of the company was weary after the race against the foul Wargs having beaten them here! The seasoned 33- year old northern dúnedain now brushed a hand down his somber ranger attire that was done in the hues of the forest being the colors black, grey, tan, and green. Now then did the company halt before the doors that lead entry to a large hall. Two glowing braziers stood at either side offered warmth to the two armed guards and light over the entry way. In one swift moment the guards brought the pikes across to bar entry to the hall. One of the two men named Cal who'd lead the Ravens to the hall now rolled his eyes and quickly slipped aside and entered the hall to speak to whoever was the leader of Black Ridge.

So did Eärmir wait patiently rubbing his callused hands together to keep the blood flowing throughout his 6 foot and 3 inch well toned muscular body. Now the two guards chose to make small talk addressing the Raven and the rest of the band; " Late is the hour of your arrival." " Though we do not think you foe, we must observe respect of the Burgomaster, who long since retired into his cups."

</font>Now did the 33-year old ranger grimace his weathered yet fair face tinged pink due to rather cold night. "A drunken leader of the village does not bode well for this upcoming battle!" </font></font>Eärmir's thoughts were interrupted by the prompt appearance of Cal who then spoke to the whole band, " Well, I have spoken with Bregan, the Burgomaster, and he will receive
you now. He has taken a moment to settle in the hall and now bids you
enter. He requests you leave your weapons with the guards as a mark of
respect. No blood is ever to be shed in the long-hall of Black Ridge,
so says our master."

</font>Eärmir now was reluctant to surrender his ranger hand-and half sword and </font>his long steel dagger of N</font>úmenórean design. Both rested at his waist inside their respective wooden scabbards one in grey leather the other in black both adorned with simple steel lockets and chapes that match the polished pommels of his two chief weapons. So did the 33-year old ranger remove his </font></font>grey leather sword belt from his slim waist. Underneath that belt rested a plain brown one which he attached his</font> two brown leather pouches containing some healing herbs,
bandages, a tiny amount of coin, and some pipe weed that he'd brought
when he and his fellow rangers had stopped in the village of Bree to gather additional supplies</font>.

He then quickly began wrapping it about his ranger sword's scabbard and making sure that his smaller scabbard containing his long dagger was atop it as</font> </font>Eärmir </font>finished. He then extended the wrapped grey sword belt containing his weapons of war to the left hand guard who was collecting all of the band's arms. Now did </font></font>Eärmir </font>choose to speak softly his deep bass voice filled with authority and carrying a quiet simple warning, " Guards please do not lose these proud weapons that I'm giving into your keeping." "</font></font> </font>Inside these two scabbards dwell ancient blades forged by my kin; the d</font>únedain of Arnor and later its chief splintered kingdom Arthedain." "For both carry spells to aid us Rangers during battle to slay the evil that now begins to bring trouble to Eriador." " Death shall come to any who does draw these blades save the heir of </font>Eärnôl!" The 33-year old northern </font>dúnedain now moved on with a slow tread as he headed toward the opened doors behind Erefride.

</font>Eärmir </font>then moved on entering the long wooden hall looking about with his keen and bright green-grey eyes. He was not surprised by the interior</font></font> with arches leading to antechambers,
and quarters, but all in all, one long feasting table, a fire-pit,
several standing braziers, and sconces into which torches were set
though not lit. Thankfully the illumination still going by the fire-pit was enough for the 33-year old ranger to see a massive man seated at the far end in great wooden carved chair. "This must be Bregan, the Burgomaster!" thought Eärmir as he observed the leader of Black Ridge. Tall and wide in girth around the stomach the aged leader wore simple clothing and looked tired but still strong in his advancing years. The 33-year old range noted to seeing that the Burgomaster had a full head of white snowy hair crowing his skull, two bright blue eyes and deep crows feet beneath a craggy brow.

The band moved toward the Burgomaster who then spoke aloud in a booming tone! He welcomed the Flight of Ravens into his hall and asked what brought them here in the dead of this bleak night. Thankfully Eärmir was glad to see his band's leader the Raven explain the situation, while drink was being handed out to the rest of the band.
Tonight they could rest for a while then prepare for the coming battle! Bregan then asked the Raven for his own battle strategy. Now Eärmir leaned forward his drink clutched in his left hand waiting on tenterhooks for his leader's plan of battle to defeat Goathul......

Now then did the Raven allow members of his band speak offering suggestions as to options to plan the battle. His fellow ranger Timrin fired off with several questions; regarding the crevasse how deep it was, was the bridge the only place to cross and approach the village did the villagers have weapons to wield in the coming fight... Erefride was next offering sound advice for the defense of the village. Eärmir absorbed the talk with his keen mind thoughts churning around inside. Finally did he too address his fellow rangers his deep bass voice cool and vigilante, "Good suggestions Erefride." "There is something else I think we could use in the coming fight. " Burgomaster Bregan does your village have a small stock of oil and hay or straw?" " If the crevasse is not deep we could fill it with the hay or straw and coat it in the oil." "When the Wargs head into the crevasse and if the riders halt them there for a moment we could then ignite the coated hay or straw." "Then the fire will do its work catching all of the Warg's fur on fire that will send them howling back." "Giving us time enough to slay them with several vollies of our arrows." What do you think my fellow rangers, Burgomaster?" Eärmir now looked to his fellow kin and the burgomaster with his keen green-grey eyes wondering if his thoughts about battle planning might be of help.....

Edited by: Hallas C. Pehwarin

22/Oct/2011, 02:36 PM
Belzagar, the keep, Throne Room

</font>He had garbed himself appropriately for the banquet in a mechanical fashion before his grey eyes met his own in the mirror and narrowed. At the best of times Belzagar was a vain main and all of his clothes were of excellent quality; but this time something seemed to be missing. There was a tiny prickle up the edge of his spine that advised him to be even warier than usual. With this in mind, instead of a jacket he belted his most formal brigandine around him, with a back sheath concealing a long knife and other knives in his boots. A single shot crossbow was probably a little much to get away with, but after all, Damrod had requested extra muscle... He wore his sword openly; as one of Damrod's acknowledged guards as well as advisors, he could get away with it looking ceremonial. If that dreadful woman Amarthel were not plotting something then he, Belzagar, was a Númenórean lamprey. Dreadful, but attractive; and not physically. She had a huge, fierce, cunning energy burning through her that Belzagar found far more appealing than Damrod's dry ineffectuality. Belzagar thinned his lips.
</font>In the Throne Room itself Iúlon was already hovering over their lord. Belzagar merely caught their eyes and nodded, a cool gleam in his own face as he assessed the people arriving; some of whom he did not know. He had not yet caught sight of Amarthel, but knowing her, she was waiting to make an impressive entrance. It was what he would have done in her circumstances. Belzagar kept his gloved hands near to his weapons at all times, which was not difficult, considering that he was so heavily armed that he clanked slightly. It was more than he was used to, which made him slightly irritable, as did the heat coming from his brigandine. What was even more annoying was that, as he was being muscle, no doubt he would not even get the chance to eat until everything was done.
He had absolutely no idea what was about to happen, but he was certain it would be something momentous. And perhaps afterwards, if he was on the winning side, he would get dinner.

Rian Eliowen
25/Oct/2011, 02:49 AM
Morchald – The Keep – Throne Room and Kitchens<BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Morchald had almost finished her careful but deadly preparations, and there was now only a longish wait as the banquet progressed before it was time to execute the last step in the assassination of Ceannt. Layna's instructions had not included a huge amount of detail and so she was really a free agent as to when and where she would strike. It went without saying that she had also prepared for her own exit, and in fact she had a 'plan B' (and a backup 'plan C') up her sleeve in case of any unexpected events. Morchald had never failed to deliver on her assignments, or failed to make asilent and unnoticed getaway afterwards. She did not intent to spoil her unblemished record tonight.

Dressed for the time being as a maid in a cloth cap and with a cleanapron (its pockets containing quite a few unusual items) tied around her dark clothes, she watched her intended victim, Ceannt, from a dark corner that was overlooking the banquet hall. He seemed wary and suspicious as he sat at the banquet table in a seat next but one to Damrod himself, sometimes stroking the hilt of his waist dagger under the tableand sometimes stroking his beard as he watched the Delgarran arrive. Morchald wondered how the evening would play out and if there were to be any unexpected and unpleasant surprises that she hadn't planned for. The was an unusual atmosphere in the hall - one both chilling and ominous, which warned her to stay vigilant.

Naith Liathant
29/Oct/2011, 04:43 PM
The Flight of Ravens ~ Harbinger

Bregan shifted in his ancient chair which he sat much like it was a throne, and in this hall, the Raven supposed, it was.

" The woman makes a good suggestion. The timber line could be enhanced. To answer the other questions, we do have limited supplies of wains and carts with half a dozen horses and as many again of other pack animals, mules and donkeys. We've no alternative ways in and out since the landslide several years ago to the north, which left us with the eastern pass over the bridge as the only way in and out of Black Ridge, without using the precarious north-eastern ridge line, narrow and steep on either side, and susceptible to strong winds - very dangerous!" He chuckled mirthlessly.

" And the crevasse? Earmir is not alone in his interest." The Raven asked.

"Ah yes, well it is narrow but a deep defile, it reaches far below into darkness and there are many rocks and a narrow stretch of river down that way. The bridge is less than thirty feet across as well you know, however."

" So we could destroy the bridge, and then there would be no way in?" The Raven asked.

" Other than the ridge, but also no way out." Bregan countered. ' We'd be cut off and though effective against siege..." His voice trailed off. " We've limited supplies, our farms are beyond, our fields below." Bregan gestured southerly.

The Raven nodded and looked to Erefride.

" Please, if you and Gwathmir with the permission of Bregan could muster every archer or able bowman to patrol the timber line, in the morning we will begin to reinforce it. The fence should be raised higher, though we've limited means no doubt, and little time. Every man, woman and child should set about that task that is able. We'll also have to scout this north-eastern ridge and see if it is indeed too dangerous or if warg mounted goblins might risk such a journey." The Raven glanced at the band.

" If this Blighter is truly on his way here, Raven, then the people of Black Ridge will assist you in any way possible. You have my assurance." Bregan said.

" Can anyone think of anything else? For if not, we should take point and begin our work. Starting with Earmir and Domhall looking into that ridge line."

02/Nov/2011, 01:26 PM
The Flight of RavensTImrin sat back in his chair and listened to everything taking it all in. This was going to be hard work and it would have to be as fast as possible. He wondered if these people could do it. Then he thought as Raven asked if there were any more questions. Timrin spoke up, "Is there a tall tree close to thecrevasse on this side that a man could climb and see out beyond and possibly see the hord coming? To give at least a little early warning so we are not caught off guard when they arrive." Then Timrin waited to see if there was an answer and also waited to hear what Raven wanted him to do.

Naith Liathant
04/Nov/2011, 08:45 PM
The Flight of Ravens ~ Harbinger

The great doors crashed open with a resounding boom! Several men strode into the long-hall, and they had weapons.

" Why do you sit here in this damned hall, old man?" The leader of these men spat ferociously. He strode in in sheep-skin boots, fur topped, and wrapped in a wolfskin cloak. " We are the Wolves of Winter, and I am Dralabor, and I say prepare to defend yourselves! My men and I have just pulled sixteen villagers from the steads westerly, and not one of those places has not been razed by Goathul the Blighter and his band of warg-riders! They are coming here, old man! They will be on us this night! We are not far ahead of them, for even hungry wargs and Goblins do not stop long to feed on the dead!"

Thunder and lightning blazed in the eyes of this man.

Bregan stood, his face red with fury of his own.

You dare defy my law! No weapons in this long-hall!" He bellowed with surprising strength.

The Raven stood quickly and stared long into the eyes Dralabor.

" I have not heard of you, Dralabor, but if this is truth then we have not time for idle bickering nor sitting in this long-hall. We must rouse the people from slumber and get every able bowman to the bridge! Domhall, Timrin! To the ridge, see if this warg-rider war band might traverse it! In haste!" He looked back to the angry burgomaster. " If it is so, Bregan, we will need to divide our numbers and tarry not on broken laws and impugned honour!"

The sudden danger of the night thickened in the air, and all in the long-hall knew that the dawn could not come soon enough!

07/Nov/2011, 02:15 PM
The Flight of RavensTimrin noded to Raven and got up and walked through the the men standing at the table. Not really paying them any attention as he passed. At the door he gathered his weapons and looked to Domhall and said, "Let us get a move on. It will be dangerious enough in the dark but if we are taken by surprise it will be worse." Making his way to the ridge in haste Timrin kept a hand on his sword just in case. What he could make out in the dark didn't look to good for any type of climbing but it was dark and what the eye may miss now the foot will not.Once at the ridge Timrin looked over what he could see and there was't much in way of being able to climb. "Good." he said aloud. After a minute or two Timrin was able to find a foot hold and a possible path up. He said to Domhall, "Here. There may be a way to the top. We wil have to try it. Because if we can climb up it then they might can come down it. Plus we need to know if there is any other way up anywhere eles around." Timrin began to climb.

08/Nov/2011, 11:04 PM
Gwathmir (The Flight of

village at peace. A village in a place that couldn't be called safe
at the best of times. The men here knew how to hold a weapon. And
yet, with Goathul drawing near, children were sleeping peacefully in
their beds, men were eating dinner with their wives, or drinking in a
local inn. Or at least, so Black Ridge appeared to </span>Gwathmir.
And this image clashed in his mind with the images of Estermill. Were
these houses here too going to become smouldering ruins before the
sun sets again? </span>We
mustn't fail them.</span> he
thought to himself, as the rangers passed in the street. </span>

Delay, and then delay again.
Finally, the rangers were led to the local long-hall, to meet the
burgomaster of Black Ridge. Another delay by the entrance – the
burgomaster requested that no weapon be brought into the long-hall. A
local tradition. A strange tradition,
found himself wondering. </span></span>Does
the burgomaster fear assassination, like a King who has many enemies?
Or are the locals so hot-headed that every drunken argument might
lead to weapons being drawn? Perhaps,</span>
he thought to himself as he removed his sword, </span></span>Perhaps
this is a memory of older times, of the customs of greater lords, and
here, they but keep and copy something that has lost its purpose? It
would please a burgomaster's vanity, of course, to be treated as an
ancient lord.</span>
The rangers were reluctant to part with their weapons. Some bore
family heirlooms, crafted before the fall of the Northern Kingdom, or
even brought from beyond the Sea. </span></span>Gwathmir's</span>
sword and bow and dagger were of no such ancestry, but even so, the
sword was an extension of his arm, his bow – </span></span>realisation</span></span></span>
of his eyesight. Parting with them, crippling himself, even for a
short while, was not easy. Doing so at the eve of battle was harder
still. </span></span>We're here
to help them and to save them!</span>
The young man thought in exasperation. </span></span>Once,
just once, can somebody trust us?</span>

inside, the hot fire, and the wine, calmed </span>Gwathmir
somewhat. At the table, tactics were discussed. The man found his
mind drifting away. The chair was comfortable, the room was warm, he
was weary, and strategy wasn't his forte anyway. Sometimes, he had
his ideas, but he was one of the youngest in the flight. This time,
he did listen to what his comrades said, but had nothing to add.</span>She
will be beautiful in white, and with flowers in her hair. </span>The
ranger's thoughts half-shaped themselves. </span></span>It
will still be warm down in Archett when I get home. We'll have
roasted chestnuts, and goats cheese, and this wonderful apple cake
Myrtle's mother makes. </span>The
fare of a ranger in the wild was not one to envy. Even when there was
enough food, and time to eat it, it could not compete in taste or in
variation with what a housewife prepared in her home.</span></span>
was making suggestions about the village's defenses. A good idea –
turning fire against the wargs. </span></span>Gwathmir
nodded silently in approval. Fur burned fast, and also, beasts,
tended to fear fire. Trained as they were, the wargs surely had
instincts. </span></span>How did
that dance go, the last she taught me? </span>he
thought. </span></span>Left,
then right, then turn, then clap. Oh Myrtle, I miss you so!</span>
image rose before him: </span>“Promise
me you'll come back.” I will come back, </span>he
answered in his thoughts now, remembering that poem from the book. </span>If
I fall, I will become tall grass, and the wind will bring my seeds to
you, so that I may grow in your garden. I could never leave you, my

was startled when </span>Raven
spoke his name, telling him and </span>Erefride
to lead the archers of the village. Did the leader notice that the
young ranger wasn't quite listening, and wished to rouse him? Or was
</span>Gwathmir chosen for
this role simply for his skill with a bow? Perhaps, the older man
picked the girl and the soon-to-be-married boy for a position that
might be safer than the others? </span>Gwathmir
had no time to wonder. For no sooner had </span>Raven
finished speaking, than men broke into the hall, crying that already,
Goathul was drawing nigh. The ranger sprang to his feet at once. Gone
was the weariness, gone the wandering thoughts. He was a Dunadan
again, a man strong and brave. He waited only for </span>Erefride
before getting out of the hall, and taking again his weapons. The
village was small. Summoned by a bell, if they had one, shouts or
horns if they did not, the men should soon be ready, and the women
hiding. </span>They must hunt
here, and they protect their flocks from wild beasts.</span>
</span>Of course they can use a
bow!</span> </span>Gwathmir
tried to assure himself. But it would be dark. Hard targets, even for
an experienced archer. Will everything they've planned – the fire,
the bridge – be ready in time? How long did they have? One hour? Or
three? No answers. The only thing to do was to get ready fast, and
hope it would be enough.</span>Not
that </span>Gwathmir was
afraid, or even very worried. It was not his first battle. Their
position gave them a big advantage. Goathul wasn't a minor enemy, but
neither was he a huge undefeatable thing. Nay, perhaps erroneously,
the young man trusted in the strength and experience of his comrades,
and the advantage of position. He did not truly doubt that victory
would be theirs. His thought was to </span>minimise</span></span>,
if possible – avoid, loses, especially loses from among the people
of Black Ridge.</span>

Naith Liathant
10/Nov/2011, 04:17 PM
Flight of Ravens - Harbinger

The trestle bridge over the crevasse with it's burning braziers of coal either end illuminated the picket fence of timber that was to be the defence from the west. Some defence!
Dralabor and the Raven with Bregan and a group of villagers had vanished into the night, leaving a scattering of rangers as Gathmir realised that on this night, no bell nor horn would sound. Raven's decree with Dralabor initially protesting. Instead runners roused each household, the ones with the most men and boys first, and the sleepy-eyed but confused and frightened bowmen started to arrive quite quickly.
Lumberers brought the remnants of rudimentary shelters, chicken houses and pens had been stripped down and somewhere in the village these animals roamed about in a single pen, and soon would be fighting for space. The wood was soon being put to use, building a higher fence in haste beneath torch light.
Caldol and Hardin revealed to the rangers that the women would fight too, those who could, for some knew the bow, though there were no warrior-women here, and none knew the sword, save but to avoid it at all costs. The women of the ilk that could not fend for themselves were caring for the young in the now cramped long-hall which Bregan had arranged a defence for.
It was however not long after the initial trench had been dug, and some timbers inserted into the cold, wet mud, that the first howls of the Enemy reverberated from the matted brakes surrounding the hillside and the crag. Black ridge would soon be assailed.
The reaction was frenetic, the fear palpable.
The Raven came to the fore, and gathered those about him in haste. His eyes burned with a zealous passion, for this night was the night he had awaited for three long years. Perhaps in this instant, his old self would truly die, for although the mantle's powers were his he had not unlocked some of them. He had to forget himself, eschew all that he was, and he found that hard to do. She had been so young, so beautiful, so full of life, when they burned her house out and a Warg had bitten in her half before his eyes. He had been charmed by the music of her laughter and the way she would chew on strands of her hair when she was upset. She had cause to have been, her life had been hard and he'd desperately wanted to make it good. But that seemed longer than three years ago. Had it even been Goathul responsible? Suddenly confused the Raven shook the semblance of memory from his mind. It unnerved him. It had not been three years but thirty. Time was a trickster of had the mantle finally begun to eat into his memories? The ones he'd retained.
" Gather your bows and be not afraid! You will face a terrible Enemy, but not alone and not without warning. There are eighteen Dunedain here, and we rangers are skilled archers and able swordsmen. Caldol and Hardin will pass out the spears from the huntsmen, and we've enough bows and arrows for thirty defenders. All is not lost, but only if you keep your wits about you when the warg-riders are not howls on the wind, but made of flesh and running at the village. Tonight, Black Ridge will earn it's name, for it will be a ridge blackened with the blood of our Enemy. Tonight we send Goathul from the Circles of the World, screaming!" The Raven's voice grew in pitch and power, resonant and inspiring, which was more important than the words he spoke.
Circling overhead the Ravens looked down from the bejewelled firmament. Keen eyes surveying the scene, and no doubt calculating the chances of survival for he who wore the mantles.
Then the howls grew louder as the frightened villagers, marshalled by the no less frightened rangers, who of course were too proud to admit to any fear, perceived the Enemy, black spots amidst the deepening dark, like flashes of midnight in the long grasses, streaks of death. Then the shrieks and war cries of goblins reached their ears, and two dozen warg-riders bounded for the trestle-bridge!
" Hold!" Cried the Raven. " Don't fire yet! Not until they are closer!" But he was too late, some archers nerves broke despite his speech, and bows were dropped in five places as a few boys and a man ran. Of the three women in the line, all of them held their nerve. However they had started shooting, and were wasting arrows, but soon enough that would change. The Raven caught his breath at how fast these warg-riders could move! They carried shortbows, and bore scimitars, a few had long-spears. These came to the fore as the bridge loomed for them atop the ancient road, and the archers dropped behind but begun to fire.
Soon the skies were filling with slithers of dark promise...

Hallas C. Pehwarin
11/Nov/2011, 05:23 PM
Eärmir, son of Eärnôl
Flight of Ravens: Harbinger

The 33-year old ranger now leaned forward in his chair his somber ranger attire being the chain-mail sleeves ringing faintly as he listened to his bands' leader the Raven issue a flurry of orders to prepare the village's defenses. Eärmir suddenly bolted to his feet when the front door of the main hall was flung open! A tall man (Dralabor) came racing up still bearing his weapons as he informed all that the Enemy

Goathul was approaching drawing ever closer to the Black Ridge! The</span> Raven gave orders to Domhall and Timrin to secure the ridge from incursion by the wargs. Eärmir realized that he did not have enough time to implement his plan of defense properly. So he'd now have to alter it accordingly. He moved off out of the long hall at the entrance the guards returned his grey leather sword belt</font> that had his two wooden scabbards one covered in grey leather, while the other was black. Inside these simple scabbards rested his two primary weapons;a ranger hand-and half sword and </font>his long steel dagger of N</font>úmenórean design. The steel pommels of both weapons gleamed faintly in light of the nearby braziers their fires still going strongly as the night continued to wear on.

Quickly did Eärmir refasten his sword belt around his slim waist of outer hard sleeveless leather jerkin. His inner belt chafed against his weapon's scabbards. So the 33-year old northern dúnedain take a moment to remove his two brown leather pouches and headed back into the long hall placing them inside his faded black leather traveling pack that contained his gear. Eärmir removed his prized short yew hunting bow stringing it with deft movements of his callused hands and canvas quiver containing his few remaining steel barbed arrows only 20! The seasoned ranger then attached it to a faded red leather belt that doubled as simple suspension system which Eärmir quickly pulled on over his dark grey cotton cloak. All rangers wore the same cloak and some had altered theirs to including a lining of soft leather to provide additional warmth on long missions or journeys across Eriador. Eärmir's cloak had a lining of soft leather dyed rich royal blue and his wide hood was the same.

Now he, Eärmir, son of Eärnôl was ready for the upcoming battle! A fierce expression of confidence appeared on his weathered yet still fair face. The 33-year old ranger now raced to the outskirts of Black Ridge heading wooden fence that was now erected in haste! His fellow rangers along with a few villagers that wore simple leather armor and carried bows now stood looking out across the carvesse and the wide wooden bridge with its braziers burning bright to provide illumination. The villagers faces showed expressions of fear when the howls of the wargs could be heard more as they and their foul riders approached!

The Raven then spoke his deep voice commanding and inspiring at least to Eärmir and the rest of the band, "Gather your bows and be not afraid! You will face a terrible Enemy,
but not alone and not without warning. There are eighteen Dunedain
here, and we rangers are skilled archers and able swordsmen. Caldol and
Hardin will pass out the spears from the huntsmen, and we've enough
bows and arrows for thirty defenders. All is not lost, but only if you
keep your wits about you when the warg-riders are not howls on the wind,
but made of flesh and running at the village. Tonight, Black Ridge
will earn it's name, for it will be a ridge blackened with the blood of
our Enemy. Tonight we send Goathul from the Circles of the World,

</font>Eärmir now bore an expression of confidence and seriousness on his weathered yet fair face! He gripped his bow and quickly fitted an arrow the bowstring ready! The howls of the wargs and their riders continued soon followed by the terrible screeches of the Goblins! It made Eärmir's noble blood boil relishing the chance to to bloody both his bow, sword and dagger! He showed no fear to the Enemy as they approached the bridge with 24 Warg-Riders! Fear was now in night air as the 33-year old rangers' grey-green eyes caught sight of some of the villagers fleeing being one full grown man and several boys who looked no older than 14 or 15!

"Damn!" "We can't afford fear to paralyze the rest of the villagers!" thought Eärmir as he heard the Raven call out more commands and orders! " Hold!" " Don't fire yet! Not until they are closer!" </font></font>The 33-year old northern </font></font>dúnedains' keen grey-green eyes caught sight of the Enemy's weapons; Wicked looking scimitars, short bows, and a few crude yet long spears! Thankfully not all of the villagers for 3 females stood firm clutching their bows and arrows. All suddenly started releasing their arrows at the Enemy trying their best slow them down! Eärmir glanced to his fellow rangers as everyone including himself had their bows at the ready arrows fitted strings pulled back!

They now awaited the command of their grizzled leader Raven to release their hold and send their arrows into the enemies chests or mishapened heads! But it would Not be long before Eärmir muscles in his right arm would tremor and shake and he be forced to release his arrow and send into the Enemy ranks! "Any Time Sir!" "Give the Order!" as the 33-year old ranger thought to himself while at the same time continuing to hold his fire waiting for the moment to unleash a hail of arrows at the enemy!

Edited by: Hallas C. Pehwarin

11/Nov/2011, 06:43 PM
Flight of Ravens: HarbingerTimrin reached the top of the ridge and helped Domhall up. "Damn..." he muttered as he looked and saw there were two good paths that could reach the top of the ridge. As he shook his head and sighed he heard the yells of Raven and knew what they ment. They had come, the goblins were here. It was too late for the two to try and run down and join the fight. Timrin knew they had to stay here and guard these paths for there was no other reguard. He looked to Domhall and said in a half hushed tone, "Well my friend, it is now our charge to guard this way. There will be no reenforcements coming to our aid." Timrin looked down the path and thought he saw something move but couldn't be sure. He then continued to Domhall, "If this be our last stand let us fight well so such a song could be sung of us and we be worthy of our kin." Timrin then turned his gaze to the dark moonlit sky and said, "Hear us Eru, give us strenght so we fight with honor and keep our friends and these people from harm." He closed his eyes as the winds suddenly blew by in a quick gust. When he opened his eyes Timrin looked down the path and saw a glint of steel in the moonlight. He said to Domhall, "Here they come."

15/Nov/2011, 11:32 AM
Flight of Ravens - Erefride

The female ranger nodded at her captain's commands and looked at Gwathmir, who seemed quite surprised, ready to depart the hall. This ranger was younger than her and Erefride knew he had some obligations towards a certain girl. He at least has a life out of all this, she thought. My life is the wilds and the killings, what woman really wishes for all that? She thought of Gwathmir's young girlfriend whom she didn't really know and wondered if she would like to be right here, with her beloved, despite the danger. She then tried to remember why she had decided to be a ranger in the first place, but her mind was empty. She shook her head and grabbed Gwathmir's hand to take him out when the door opened and this Dralabor man rushed in with dark tidings. Goathul had almost arrived and they had no time for their plans of defense. Raven sent Timrin and Domhall to the ridge and then they all got out to prepare as they could for the upcoming battle.

Erefride led the people that tried to raise the fence higher. She gave some men torches to provide the workers with light and then waited for more timber and wood to arrive. A young man of twenty maybe arrived last. "Is that all?" she asked seeing that they couldn't do a lot with it. The man shrigged and she decided they didn't have enough time anyway and joined them. They had to work hard and fast if they wanted the fence to have a chance against the riders. At this point however, Erefride knew that even a little obstacle to the warg riders would suffice. They would be delayed but for a few minutes before the upper timbers collapsed but that could make a difference. After a while her muscles ached and some of the workers had stopped. She looked around and she saw them all raising their heads to the darkness towards the bridge. What was happening? she wondered. Some small child wept and then she heard it; the howling of the wargs and the ominous sounds of marching. The villagers were still and did not talk but a sense of fear crept in the air. "Do not be afraid", she called them. Erefride was not one of great words really and she looked down at the ground and then to the moving darkness. "The Dunedain are here" she almost whispered but apart from the howling and shoutings of Goathul's band, there was no other sound. Some old man near her nodded. "The Dunedain have protected us for time immemorial. We are not afraid." Whether he meant it or tried to convince himself, Erefride could not tell.

She left them and ran to her band, taking a bow and some arrows on her way there. Raven had gathered them around him and he gave them instructions...or better, courage. His words were not meant only for them but Erefride gained her hope when listening to him. All is not lost, she kept telling herself when she went to her post, beside three women from the village who had decided to fight with bows. She would smile at them but her face was too tightened, she was tensed and wanted to get over with it. She saw the warg riders appearing like ghosts from a black mist, arrows, spears, spikes, scimitars and ugly, mostrous faces. The arrow on the bow was ready but the Raven had said not to fire. Some however, started firing arrows on sight of the enemy, even when the riders were too far away and the women beside her too. She thought of telling them to stop but the riders ran and soon came in target. She calculated the distance. The archers were dangerous but too far away. A warg rider was so near the bridge now, she held and held and then sent her arrow right into the thin line of flesh between the helmet and the mailed leather of his armor. She looked at the beast as black blood sprung from its throat and the rider fell down. The warg kept pacing, its rider still being held on his back by his leg, but that didn't seem to slow it down. "You got him!" one young girl on the left said in a tone Erefride could not understand. She sighed. She was never good with the bow, never too patient to lock on the target and wait for the right moment. If she had killed one with her first shot that should be a good sign, right? She saw that it was two dozens of them but who knew, maybe more were coming. All is not lost, she thought echoing Raven.

She saw that some of the villagers had fled. Why do they always flee? she asked herself. What do they hope, to hide and never been found? What don't they stand at least until their arrows are over? She would run, yes, but only when everything was lost and only for a cause, to inform someone for the danger. All is not lost. What of Gwathmir? Should he flee and go find his beloved wife and have a happy life afterwards? A life full of shame, she thought and not really safe. Every ranger knew it and their fellow ranger would never leave his band for anything in the world but still the female ranger could not help but think the pain their deaths would cause, like the death of her own people cause so much pain in her. But they were not dead yet. they're not too many and the odds are not bad. We may still win, we have won before many a times. She released another arrow but that only scratched the armor of a rider. Who said the rangers never miss? Her swords was anxiously sheathed in its scabbard waiting, ravenous for lives and blood.

17/Nov/2011, 01:13 AM
Gwathmir (The Flight of
Ravens) </span>

villagers were gathered. Men, old men who had grandchildren to
protect, able-bodied menthe strength of Blackand Ridge, boys who
wished they were men, and women, who would not stay idle when their
home was in danger. They were afraid – you could smell it in the
cold night air. You could see it in their eyes, turned to the leader
of the rangers, you could hear it in their whispers, as they turned
to one another: “Can you see anything?” “What now?” Raven
spoke, and there was strength, and courage, and inspiration to be
found in his words. But still, the men were shaking. And what man
would not quake, looking at his niightmare come to life, to devour
the cold wind brought a wolf's howl. Gwathmir drew an arrow. A
man, and some younger lads, dropped their weapons and ran. The young
ranger's heart swelled with pity for them. For those were simple men,
not warriors. They saw no danger that might be defeated, but certain
death, and they could not muster their hearts to face it. Could they
be blamed? And yet tomorrow, they would be shamed, even the children,
and their shame would not be forgotten. Small villages in a dangerous
location tended to be unforgiving. In such a place, a man had to know
he could rely on his fellows.
men, no less afraid than those who ran, started to shoot. Too early.
Wasting arrows.A
young villager, a lad already tall as a man, but lanky as a teenager,
and with only a few hairs on his chin, was standing, at Gwathmir's
right. He did not fire yet, but the arrow in his hand was shaking so
badly, there was no chance it would hit anywhere close to the mark.
The ranger laid a hand on the lad's shoulder. “Do not think about
them,” he said. “They are targets, nothing more. And don't be
then there was no more time to speak words of encouragement. The orcs
were here. Erefride dispatched the first one. Good shot.
thought. He had sometimes wondered about </span>Erefride</span>,
the only woman in the flight. That a woman should chose the path of a
ranger did not surprise him. But there were other companies, where
there were women. What was it like, being the only woman in a team of
men? They had long since ceased thinking of her as a woman in their
day-to-day life, or at least so it felt to the young man. She was a
comrade. The men's conversations, their jokes – were they always
appropriate? And even when they remembered she was a woman – she
was the one </span>Gwathmir </span>would
have felt most comfortable with if he needed advice about a gift for
Myrtle, for example. But there was always something to do, and the
questions remained unasked.</span>
warg-rider was coming near. </span>Erefride</span>
missed that one. </span>Gwatmir's
</span>bow, at this moment, was
already drawn. He held his breath, and released the arrow. The
feathered shaft sang as it cleaved the air, then, with a dull squish
pierced the warg's eye. The beast fell, suddenly, dead or badly
wounded. The rider was thrown off by his own momentum. Somebody else
finished him with another arrow.</span>
went on. </span>Gwathmir</span>,
the thinker, the day-dreamer, the poetry-reader, was all focus now.
In this time of battle, he was the bow, and the arrow, and little
else. Was he afraid? Perhaps, if he had time to think he would have
been. Adrenaline, the rush of battle, did not allow him the leisure
to consider his chances, to imagine death, to think of Myrtle waiting
for him. There was only the here-and-now, and there was plenty of it
– plenty that required attention.</span>

09/Jan/2012, 10:49 PM
Damrod, Lord of Iron - Throne Room - The Keep

Inadequate, Damrod judged as the canapés were cleared from before him. At least, he considered, the staff were efficient in their service, even if their cooking was somewhat less than exemplary. As the course was changed he surveyed the room, attempting to divine what conversations could be taking place down the far end of the table, below the salt and away from the prying ears of his closest confederates. The Lord of Iron narrowed his eyes, but his glare was just as unenlightening as his ears had been. Fortunately distraction came, in the form of the soup course. Thus far he had refused to acknowledge the harlot to his left, and she had treated him with equal silence. The difference being that where his silence was frigid, hers was demure, almost conciliatory in its softness, as she conversed with the others around her. Damrod relaxed back slightly in his chair, thinking that perhaps this wouldn’t be such a trial after all, if this Delgaran were so easily cowed. The hint of a smirk played about his thin lips as he reached for his spoon. The soup was hot and delicious full of meat and barley- at least if it heralded the future arrival of a paltry main course, he would have had something good to eat this night.

Damrod smacked his lips thoughtfully as the aftertaste of the soup crossed the back of his tongue, wondering where on earth the cooks had found lemons in this wasteland. He made to raise his voice to comment on this, and found he could not. The words stuck in his throat, which was suddenly terribly dry. He tried to cough, and found that he could not do this either. Damrod gasped for breath, but the breath did not come; the insides of his throat had swelled and clamped down against each other, cutting off his lungs from the air the so desired. He thrashed in his seat, gripping the edge of the table, attempting to stand as his head strained forward, tendons and veins popping out on his neck; his hand slipped and knocked over his goblet, scattering wine over the table like blood as he thrashed in his stone chair. Foam flecked his lips and the uproar of the room was dim in his ears- his skin had begun to purple and as he slipped downwards, a pair of arms caught him. A wisp of carmine hair brushed his face as the witch cradled his shoulders, an expression of horrified astonishment on her face. But as the Lord of Iron succumbed to darkness, the last thing he discerned was a gleam of triumph in her burning eyes.

Amarthel Delgaran - Throne Room - The Keep</font>

Pleasant conversation could be a deliciously tricky art, but in these circumstances it was hardly more than an exercise. “Tell me sir,” Amarthel remarked across the table at Iúlon, swallowing a mouthful of soup. “Do you find that the climate of the north agree with you? I am very curious as to how this structure and its city hold up during the winters, which I have heard can be quite ferocious-“ she broke off, as a strangled gurgling sound came from her right. Damrod was clutching at his throat, his eyes mad and staring. “My lord?” she questioned anxiously. Then he began to thrash, and the Delgaran leapt from her seat, arriving at his side before any other could arrive, and a hush fell over the hall as others arose and pressed in. “A physician! Fetch a physician!” Amarthel shouted, holding the Lord of Iron under his arms; there was a flurry of activity, but before the door could be reached, the old man stilled, and quiet fell again. The Delgaran pressed her fingers into the junction of Damrod’s jaw, and felt nothing. “He is dead,” she said, softly.

“He is dead!” she said more loudly, over the murmuring that had spring up, and turned her swarthy face towards the crowd. “The Lord of Iron is dead!” Amarthel sprang up onto the first level of the dais, at the top of which stood the throne. “Bar the door!” she cried, her eyes flicking over Tarias amongst the guards “Stop any who try to leave!” A series of thuds and cracks indicated that the former Lord of Iron was not surrounded by quite as many stalwarts as he might have believed. “My friends!” The Delgaran thundered, her mellifluent voice echoing off the vaults. “A great tragedy has befallen us this night. Clearly there is a traitor, or traitors, in our midst. I have seen many deaths, natural and unnatural, and such a death as has befallen the Lord of Iron can only have been brought about by unnatural means. Those who have attempted to flee,” she raised her hand to gesture towards the guards, “shall be thoroughly questioned. I promise you an end to this before another day is out.”

Amarthel beckoned to Iúlon. “I know you as his most trusted advisor will do honor to Damrod in seeing to the arrangements for his body.” Then she pointed to Ceannt, who came forward. “And you shall take charge of the interrogation of these faithless ingrates. I am confident that your late lord would have approved these choices. As the next in rank in the eyes of our Dark Lord, I shall take charge of these matters. Belzegar, Auðri: come, I have need of your council.” The Delgaran alighted from the step and swept to the end of the hall, where there was a pause as she waited for the door to be unbarred. Following the twisty course back to her rooms she strode the keep’s corridor’s with confidence, and upon reaching the door, held it open for the two adviors to pass within. She stepped in behind them and shut the door with a snap, before crossing to the lingering fire, tossing in, as she stirred it to life, a silver spoon.

“As I have intimated before,” she said, turning from the fire to face. Belzegar and Auðri, “I shall need your support in the coming days. I shall not require it, for ends may be achieved without it, but with it, the path in all likelihood will be much shorter and less bloody. Blood is no objection to be but I would much prefer a realm to be at its full strength when I assume its head, and that does require the acquiescence of former powerful elements. My patience for political maneuverings is thin. Declare yourselves now: drink to the prosperity of our alliance,” she indicated a sideboard, where rested a crystal decanter, and three goblets full of dark red wine, “Or, if you are not so sure of yourselves… you are free,” Amarthel fingered the jeweled hilt of the dagger at her him, the corner of her lips tugging upwards, “to run.”</font>


All in throne room: React as you will to what has just happened, and disseminate. Sil and Tzu, follow Amarthel and respond as you will.

Assassins: Move into the nighttime and eliminate your targets. Linny and Tara, please confer about how you would like to do it; Rian, you may do as you like with Ceannt.

Muscle: Clear out the throne room, assume strategic guard positions around the keep, gossip in support of Amarthel. Tarias, guard her door.

Those in the city: Hear of the news and titter, whisper, and speculate as you will.

Rangers: *throws rations* We'll be with you shortly.</font>

12/Jan/2012, 09:26 PM

</font>Shifting slightly where he stood, Belzagar felt a trickle of sweat run down his neck and into the back of his armoured jacket, which was abominably hot. And itchy. That being said, this light armour was still much easier to wear than full steel, impressive and muscle building though it was. What was mostly annoying him was still that he was hungry. Belzagar would far rather have preferred to be eating with the lords and ladies, as he completely deserved, not standing by the door of an old and frankly, slightly distasteful-smelling man.
</font>The delicious scents of meat and barley began wafting to him, but even as Belzagar's eyes flicked back and forth - because of course he was on duty, not because some of the serving wenches were very good looking, of course - he suddenly decided that the soup was not to his taste, after all. Just as it was not to Damrod's. His lord was going rather purple in the face. Or should that be blue? Indeed, it was black.
Adrenalin welled up in Belzagar, something more akin to excitement than outrage.

</font>Amarthel was quickest to react - indeed, almost as though the woman had known this was going to happen, Belzagar thought cynically, clanking over after her to check professionally for his lord's breathing and pulse. It was not unknown for people to fake their own deaths or merely be poisoned into unconsciousness, after all. It was even entirely possible that Amarthel was taking advantage of Damrod's coughing fit and would shortly slip a dagger into his ribs to make certain of the fact she had so swiftly announced. And Belzagar could not have been the only person she had spoken to; swiftly, swiftly she had taken charge, ordering the doors barred. Belzagar held his tongue until she approached him, offering the goblet of dark wine. Then he hissed between his teeth, taking the wine but not making a move yet to sip.
</font>"Madam," he said softly, "why dissemble? Announce that you have slain him. Our people take comfort in strength, after all; you need not follow his rule. Anyone foolish enough to allow himself to be poisoned at dinner deserves his death. Just as someone who allows himself to be poisoned at an alliance deserves his."
</font>He smiled at her, a quite delightful and intimate smile, so close that his sigh stirred a lock of her shining red hair. Turning his back towards her so that the goblets were shielded from her gaze, he switched the goblets' positions before he offered her one, and one to that pale lady Audri also. What Amarthel wanted her for Belzagar could not quite fathom, as most women, and most priestesses , were quite useless. Still, dead-eyed doll though she was, she was clever enough.

"Drink, and I shall," he offered, not breaking the smile for a second.


15/Jan/2012, 11:11 PM
Throne Room - The Keep

His hands shook as the red gaze pierced him, despite her seemingly innocuous attempt at conversation. Iúlon was about to respond--he liked the cold very much, nothing a few good furs couldn't keep out--when a horrifying sound broke the dull murmur of dinnertime talk. He balked--it couldn't have been more than a second--while registering the contortion of Damrod's features, standing a moment too late to reach his lord before her. Iúlon bristled as he watched her pale fingers holding up--supporting--the lord he had so long and loyally served, panic rising in his throat. "My lord!" he shouted, throwing himself over her and grasping for Damrod's hands. "My lord!" His voice had risen to a desperate cry, cracking with emotion. His words were as useless as his hands, clinging to the Lord of Iron's lifeless ones.

</font></font>“He is dead,” </font>Amarthel murmured coolly. Then again, and louder--"He is dead!"</font> </font>Iúlon shrank away from her, still clutching Damrod's cool hands in his own. Tears fell to the floor beneath him, his whole body trembling with outrage at this murder--for that he knew it to be as soon as the doors swung shut--and the tragic loss of his lord. The Delgaran's words rang icily through the hall, now silent in the wake of Damrod's dying sounds. He stood when she addressed him. "Yes. He would have trusted me and no other with this job," he replied stiffly, eyes averted from Damrod's still body, fixed on Amarthel's gaze. As she swept from the hall, his fists clenched tightly and his jaw worked visibly in an attempt to restrain the furious tirade he would have gone on had he been a braver man.

"The Lord of Iron shall be buried in a manner befitting one of his rank and esteem," </font>Iúlon said to those who still gazed, shocked, at the high table, allowing the completion of his task to mask--temporarily--his panic and outrage. "Let us begin by laying him down at peace." </font>Iúlon removed a tablecloth from one of the tables, carelessly allowing goblets and plates laden with food and drink to crash to the ground and shatter the loaded silence that still hung over the hall. He motioned for Ceantt to help him lay out the body of their late lord, straightening his limbs and shutting his eyes with one last look of bereavement. Then </font>Iúlon gestured to the servants idling in the hall to approach. "Wrap his body and bring it to his bedchamber," he said wearily. "We begin the preparations for burial at sunrise."

</font>* * *</font>

</font>20 minutes later . . .</font>

</font>Iúlon sat hunched on his bed, the door barred behind him. His face flushed with anger, he fought constantly to hold back the scream of bitter despair that threatened to escape him. He knew his time to be limited--a half-packed sack of clothes and papers lay abandoned on the ground. But he had always been too hesitant, and now it showed in his reaction. He could run, and be hunted down. He could stay, and almost certainly follow Damrod to the grave. Riddled with uncertainty, he slowly went back to loading his bag with papers and various things he felt--as a man used to a certain standard of living--he thought he might need. Moments after throwing his one weapon--a small dagger--into his bag, he extinguished the candles throwing shaky shadows onto the walls and collapsed onto his bed. "Tomorrow," he thought, urging himself to fulfill his last responsibility to Damrod before fleeing for his life . . .

Edited by: Tarawen

Rian Eliowen
16/Jan/2012, 02:52 AM
<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">
<DIV>Morchald - Throne Room - The Keep

Morchald [/B]was as surprised as anyone when <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Damrod[/B], suddely turned an interesting shade of purple and keeled over right in front of the assembled banqueters. From the way the <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Delgaran[/B] quickly assumed control, it was apparent that it was all a done deal – and now <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Morchald[/B] as a private assassin was left with two problems. The first was how to quickly dispatch her own victim now that the situation had changed so quickly (the Black Widows <I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">always[/I] delivered on their contracts no matter what might happen.) Her second problem was how to avoid being swept up in the inevitable hunt for Damrod's killer. She had enough incriminating bits and pieces on her person that she would find it hard to look innocent, should she fall under suspicion.

While the clearly shocked Iúlon caused even more confusion in the hall by flinging crashing crockery and dishes all over the floor she made her move. Taking out a small blow pipe from her pocket she quickly fired a dart into <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Ceannt's [/B]neck as he stood up to assist. The dart contained a slow acting poison which would give her ample time to make her escape. <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Ceannt [/B]barely noticed the stinging barb, as he called for the guards to bar the doors, and tried to keep some semblance of order as the hall erupted in panic After some time, beginning to feel the effects of the poison, he sat down on a chair and then shortly after slid onto the floor. His unusualcondition and untimelydeath was barely noticed in the general pandemonium that had broken out in the hall.

<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Morchald [/B]had prepared for her own exit by means a few hidden ropes secured to a nearby window. She quickly climbed down them and into the cover of some bushes in the grounds below. Making sure she was not followed, she then made her stealthy way back to the Welcome Inn where she had established herselfin the character of ayoung man called Tam. She planned to depart the city very early the next morning before first light if that could be arranged. She definitely did not want to become emboiled in any aftermath or hunt for enemies of the state.By the morning there were already wild rumours circulating in thestreets regarding the previous evenings mayhem.

Beren Camlost
16/Jan/2012, 08:47 PM
Tarias - The Keep - Throneroom</font>
</font> The Delgaran ! Praise her with great praise ! Tarias exulted merrily as Damrod breathed his last breath and the pandemonium was loosed as Amarthel declared the Lord of Iron dead. With hand being now removed from off his heart to extend high into the air as if worshipping a god Tarias exclaimed : Amarthel Delgaran, the Messiah of Angmar ! </font>
</font> Tarias would have time to compliment her later ; she commanded him to bar the door and Tarias twirled swiftly to grasp the great block of wood nearby and with help of the others, grunting he secured the great portal in place. Several men ran for the great door, hoping to remove the heavy plank ; the act would have been futile, outnumbered by the Delgaran's patriots, but Tarias wouldn't let them try. </font>
</font> His mighty fists swept and pummeled, his feet moved in a blur shattering bone ; four traitors lay groaning or unconcious, broken upon the floor. Tarias, following Amarthel's speech, ultimately followed the Delgaran into the hall and through the labyrinthine course to her rooms where upon reaching her door, he gave Amarthel a fleeting reassuring smile and stood guard outside her chambers. If anyone tried something foolish, Tarias would be ready to defend the Delgaran's right to rule and the lives of Belzegar and Au</font>ðri who may prove useful to her.</font></span>
</font></span> He had no weapon ; he needed none.</font></span>

Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

Aerlinn Mordagnir
17/Jan/2012, 05:57 AM
</font>Black was ink.</font>
</font>A scrap of paper had been slipped into Akuun's hands earlier that day by a ragged, little lad who couldn't have been more than five. The small, unassuming man had been greatly perturbed by his employers choice in messenger until he had asked the boy a question, only to have him open his mouth and find it...empty. He had no tongue. The child was mute, and too young to read or write. He could share no secrets even if he wished to throw his short life away by doing so. Worries silenced, Akuun had given him a copper and walked away without looking at the parchment. Now, alone in the corner room of a shabby inn, he finally read the single word he had been given by the dusky, grey light filtering through a grimy window. "Iúlon," was all it said. No location, no method, no time. Only a name. He liked it best this way. The game was his to play, with only the final objective being inscribed. Akuun tossed his short instructions into the fire that had been provided to him and watched the paper shrivel and burn.</font>
</font>Black was smoke. Black was ashes.</font>
</font>Akuun unsheathed his knife and took a square of cloth and a tiny vial from a concealed pocket in his tunic. He tipped a single drop of thick, dark liquid onto the cotton and ran the fabric along the impossibly sharp edge of his weapon. Then the cloth went the same way as the paper, too dangerous to risk leaving it elsewhere. It had been tainted with the extract of a rare and deadly plant. A delayed bringer of death. It was Akuun's back-up, more reliable than another human could possibly be. He had used it only once. Oh, it was always there, but he had the mercy, or perhaps it was the cowardice, to give a clean death if the choice was his own. But all he really needed was a prick. A single drop of blood. The rest was extra. A challenge, of sorts.</font>
</font>Black was poison.</font>
</font>He already knew who Iúlon was, but not where, and the latter meant far more than the former. His morality was his work. Who did not matter, as long as he could get it done. Akuun walked downstairs into a shadowy tavern. His fire could do no more for him. He thought he would have to ask questions, but instead the answers were nearly handed to him along with a tankard. Written in the sour ale, as it were. As always, news from the Keep had reached the main city long before reason said it could, brought by the twitter of birds and the whispers of spiders. Someone was dead already. Dark wings, dark words. It was not Iúlon though, and therefore it was none of Akuun's business. But Iúlon had been in the throne room, they said, those voices in the stale air. He had wept, and had not yet left. 'Fool,' Akuun thought, but at least his foolishness would save him from further tears. The assasin padded out of the tavern without touching his drink, and the men he left behind knew not that their drunken gossiping had left yet another life forfeit.</font>
</font>Black was the sky when evening died.</font>
</font>Once outside, Akuun flitted upwards through the deep shadows of the only city he had ever known. It was a city of people who had chosen to look the other way, and so even without the hood pulled up over his head or the thin silk scarf wrapped around his face, he would likely not have been noticed. As it was, he was less than a wraith. It was the work of minutes to reach the Keep. He scaled the outer wall away from any roads, where the guards would scarce bother to look, rather than talking his way through the gates. This night would be a silent one.</font>
</font>Black was the crack in the stone.</font>
</font>Where was now harder. Somewhere nearby, was all Akuun knew. So he trailed from room to room, with only his eyes able to reflect the guttering torchlight. He found hushed conversations and yelling. Plotting, disguised as mourning. He crept around corners, pressed close against the walls: a reason to be afraid of the dark. There were many reasons to be so, in a place such as this. But as these things went, Iúlon was not seen until one soft word gave away his location at the last door at the end of the last hall in Akuun's arbitrary search pattern. One spoken word to match the scribble on the paper that he had burned. The door was locked, but no one could make a lock that someone else could not undo. Carn Dûm's shadow worked as quickly as he could. Lockpicking was hardly his specialty, but he would have to be as fast as he needed to be. Done, he shoved the door open hard and laid the metallic edge of his dagger against the throat of the man on the bed. "Bad luck," he whispered, the meaning of his name.</font>
</font>Black was nightmares.</font>
</font>But silver was death.</font>


Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

19/Jan/2012, 12:11 AM
Private Quarters

With the door barred, he felt somewhat safe. But with the dark closing in, grasping at all signs of life in his quarters, he felt the crushing immensity of the events that had transpired in the Keep today. And then with those thoughts his lingering confidence in his safety vanished like the flames in the candles he had so hastily extinguished.

Two bitter and despairing tears slid down his cheeks, but in the inky blackness of the room no one would have known that the man was weeping. He was alone with his grief, his wretchedness, his knowledge that Damrod's fate would in all likelihood soon be his own. But it was too late. If he had truly wanted to escape to a desolate life of persecution, he would have run after barring his door. Maybe he would have repelled down the wall with . . . with what? There was no means, no use in thinking about what might have been. He knew what lay ahead--now it was just time to await its coming to find out its form . . .

These were the last thoughts to trouble him as he drifted to uneasy asleep, a mere preview of the emptiness that awaited. He dreamed of red eyes glaring at him from the dark, Damrod himself rising to chastise him for his cowardice, and cold, grimy hands that reached out to envelope him in a grotesque, choking embrace. The arms were cold, and as they enfolded him he heard the footsteps of his Death coming for him . . . And then it was real.

He could only imagine, in the fleeting moments that remained to him, the clicks of a lock undone, the figure bursting through the door, the cloak sliding across the floor toward him. The figure's faintest breath was as loud as the breaking of the door had been--or louder, he couldn't tell. He could smell the man's perspiration, hear the soft rustle of his hood as the head turned, envision a spectral Death emerging from the darkness to take him away. As he opened his mouth to cry out his voice caught in his chest. The coldness of the hands in his dream was nothing to the icy blade that released the breath he had been unable to release. A sigh, a shudder, a burst of blood against a white pillow that no one would see till morning, a tear. The darkness pressed in upon him, erasing </font>Iúlon </font>in its inky oblivion.


03/Feb/2012, 04:10 AM
She felt obscenely tired. A sort of mist had come over her in the hours betwixt the banquet's preparation and culmination. Truly they had been dead eyes that had looked on at the sudden, tense lines that were Damrod's departing figure and languid fingers that had beckoned for more wine as Death tickled her sometime-lord's soul one last time before having done with the game and carried it away entirely. With luck, her wine or food also would have been poisoned, but sadly she had remained steadily seated in her cold chair with her cold features and her cold thoughts.

Only moments later she had found herself on her feet before Amarthel, Belzagar at her side and being as lyrically loquacious as ever. She almost let a sigh of disgust escape her as she listened to the tripe overflowing from his tongue, but something stronger than her sudden weariness and lank disdain soothed it down, saying that she had yet a part to play if she would but assume her place. For it was all clearly a production and while very little in her wanted to be a part of it, the alternatives seemed somewhat bleak. Out of necessity, she spoke.

'Madame, I neither know nor care what your objectives are. I can exchange one master for another easily enough. My desires are simple, my uses to you manifold, and all no-doubt apparent to you. If you can bring what pleases me about, I am your counselor and your servant. If not, then I am whatever lies between that and an enemy, as I've no energy for much else. But I do assure you my ability to run would exceed your ability to chase. I suppose the question really is: What are you offering?"

Taking the proffered cup from Belzagar's hand, she tossed its contents neatly into her mouth with one swallow that would have seemed almost mocking or irreverent if it hadn't been totally devoid of concern or emotion. "I suppose we'll see in time. I truly doubt whether you have the authority or security to declare yourself as I would wish you to now." The girl was well aware of the line she was treading but somehow, it seemed the only thing worth doing just now.


Naith Liathant
07/Feb/2012, 12:26 AM
Flight of Ravens - Harbinger
The Wolves in Winter and the Flight of Ravens fought like lions. Unknowing of what was being faced by half the pack Dralabor had brought with him and his scouts, Raven dropped his bow into the cold mud and drew his sword at the advancing goblin warg-riders.

With no time to prepare, and it being ill advised to destroy the bridge that Black Ridge needed for access, the enemy were soon pouncing on their beasts of nightmare - firing their wretched arrows and in blood-curdling leaps the wargs were over the fence. Many had fallen to the stalwart defenders shots, others wore arrows like scars of pride rippling their hides. But not enough had been slain, and not enough of the defenders had held their nerve save for scant few and the ranger presence.
Chaos reigned now. The band was larger than Raven had believed, and it did not look good for the townsfolk or the Rangers of the North. The bestial howls of feral rage and animosity rent the air, along with terrified screams, battle-cries and goblins spitting black mouthed obscenities.
Hardin screamed in agony as a warg's jaws snapped on his outstretched flailing arm, and took the limb clean off with a terrible crunching, snapping sound. He plunged his sword into it's thick hide but it thrashed about over him as he stumbled. The goblin rider speared Hardin through his chest. Caldol saw this and raging his defiance, gathered his courage to leap from one side and hack down the goblin. The warg sprang at the youth, and Raven interjected, hacking with mighty hews into the side of the great beast, and taking it's legs. When it fell, both Caldol and Raven savaged it.
Bregan had gathered the women and children and men too old for the fight at his long-hall, and now strode into the night, fury and determination in his eyes, fear clawing at his heart...

Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

15/Feb/2012, 12:54 PM
Amarthel Delgaran – The Keep - Chambers

“Dissembler or no, it is desirable for any transfer of power to proceed as smoothly as possible.” Amarthel answered Belzagar’s sinuous inquiry, watching his back as he turned to fiddle with the glasses. Her swarthy hand received a crimson-filled goblet from his fingers, and her eyes flicked to Auðri as the priestess spoke. Pragmatism, tempered by doubt, seemed to be the woman’s stand, and well justified enough. “I offer very little. What there is to be gained is to be gained through loyalty and service- your position secure, your temple- our temple, restored to its former glory, and outlets aplenty for your arts. These things are of use to the both of us, and to Angmar itself. I would far prefer to have your skills at my disposal, than expend my own skills in tracing and eliminating your ultimately inconsequential self, should you choose to flee.” The Delgaran rolled the thick stem of the goblet between her fingers, watching the reflections of the room’s umber light on the dark liquid within. “I believe we may all mutually benefit each other. The declaration you seek shall come on the morrow, when certain potential complications will have removed themselves. Until then,” she lifted her goblet to Auðri, then in salute to Belzagar, whose suspicion of the term prompted her to repeat it. “to alliance.” Amarthel set the vessel to her lips and drained it, to the last bloody drops.


Amarthel Delgaran – The Keep – Throne Room

The hall was once again abuzz, though the voices were varied: anticipation, excitement, suspicion, dread. Certain figures were notably absent: Iúlon and Ceantt chief among them. With a suddenness that caused the stout wooden door to rebound off the stone wall behind it and be caught by a meaty orcish hand, the portal adjacent the hall’s dais banged open, to admit four figures. Preceding the Delgaran was Yarltang, the younger and burlier of the pair of orc brothers who had traveled north with her to Angmar, massively headed warhammer at casual alert in his left hand. Immediately following her came Swiltang, the elder of the two; the swordsmaster, tall and lean, his twisted spine giving lie to the dexterity that lay beneath the orc’s black hide. And following after Swiltang was a new figure: not new to Carn Dûm, nor a total stranger to this hall, but a brute and savage, whom Damrod had given charge of certain forces and left to his own devices. The werewolf Khaine bulked enormously behind the orc, his broad and thick-furred shoulders just managing to squeeze through the door. He was a mottled sort of dark brown in color, with hints of tawny creeping in here and there, and half-mad eyes glinted green above his slavering jaws.

These three mounted the dais and halted to the right of the throne, Swiltang closest to the ponderous object; Belzagar and Auðri were arrayed on the opposite side, the Númenorean nearer than the priestess. Amarthel herself swept up the steps to stand before the throne itself. She was garbed much as the previous evening, only now an iron circlet bound her brow. The crown that had so recently rested upon the Lord of Iron had been spirited to a forge in the intervening night: broken, twisted, and reformed- clearly identifiable in its colors and elements; the sigil of the Witch-king, its many tiny rubies replaced by a single red emerald; but re-made for a new bearer. With her hands clasped behind her back, the Delgaran surveyed the persons amassed before her, as a hush fell over the hall.

“Subjects of Angmar.” She addressed the assembled throng, her husky voice level, almost quiet. “Defenders of the north and stalwart resistors incursions both elvish and mannish. A great treachery has been perpetrated upon you, from within these very walls. Yestereve, the Lord of Iron was poisoned at his own table. Yes, poisoned!” Amarthel’s voice lifted, carrying over the low buzz that swept the room. “No cause natural carried him off, though his age was great, and that eld weighed upon him. A low and cowardly assassination by those nearest and dearest to Damrod, who had not the courage to face him. Yes… you will have noticed their absence. Many were put to the question who may have had knowledge of the deed, and by their own admittance, Ceantt and Iúlon conspired to the deed.” The buzz swelled into a roar, and the Delgaran raised her hands, stepping forward to quell the tide of sound. “Rest assured! The betrayers have paid dearly for their crimes- even now their heads are being mounted atop the battlements, warning to any others who may think that the ear of power is a safe place for connivance. Any other conspirators of these shall be rooted out, and just as swiftly dealt with!” Her strident tones rang through the vaults of the hall, and cold malevolence glittered in her rubicund eyes, a threat as well as a promise.

“It is clear,” Amarthel continued, returning to her former volume in the renewed silence, “that Angmar, once ruined, now rising, requires leadership: strength and power and pitilessness must occupy this throne.” she paced back to the great iron chair, trailing her fingertips along it; and when she turned to face the crowd again, the movement evoked a swirl of stately robes. “Our lord the Witch-king, who gave this realm its name and from it took his immortal title, sent me forth from the south stand at Damrod’s side, and in his waning years prepare to receive the stewardship. But the fates have intervened, and I perceive that Damrod had already waned more rapidly than any could have forseen- I doubt there is one among you who did not feel the bite of winter more harshly for an old man’s waning attentions. I have the wisdom of Damrod’s years and more, but not the crushing penury of body. I hold not with statecraft, but with strength of back, might of arm, and cunning of wit. I have retained those of the old lord’s closet who are loyal,” she indicated Belzagar and Auðri at her left, “and shall introduce those I have brought with me, and whom I have found faithful since arrival.” Her right arm raised, indicated the three figures to her right.

“The glory of this once-proud nation has never been forgotten, I think, else why should you all be here? You desire for Angmar to rise- to rebuild, to arm, and to range out from our mountains against elf and man alike, and all who dare to tread upon our territory. Since Fornost you have lurked and lingered, awaiting the day when the Witch-king might return to lead you to battle- wait no more! By his power and investiture I, Amarthel Delgaran, will take up this throne, and the good people of the north shall quake at the horde that will issue from our gates! Steel your hearts and gird your loins, for I will not delay. Our first task lies very nearly on our doorstep, with an interloping clan of those who call themselves rangers. I will set out at once to fall upon them with a force of Carn Dûm’s fiercest and without mercy, and we will send a message unmistakable to all who would oppose us!” A great burst of noise crashed around her, buffeting every corner of the room with its roar of approval, and Swiltang stepped forward. His dry voice cut through the tumult to lead the cry,

“Hail, Delgaran! Queen of Iron!”

</font>GM UPDATE:

All: We will now be proceeding into the much-shorter Part II of this RP, which involves the extermination of the Flight of Ravens. You are free to be in the throne room for what has just happened with any character you have used so far, or/and any character you will use in Part II. If you choose to be elsewhere in Carn Dûm, news of what has just happened will spread almost at once.

Those who will be participating in Part II: Once you have finished reacting to the news of the Delgaran's accession, gather in the courtyard of the keep- assume orders have been disseminated that you will be departing one hour from the time of the events in the throne room. Once all or most of you have appeared in the courtyard, I will move us in pursuit of the Ravens.

Beren Camlost
15/Feb/2012, 10:40 PM
The Dungeons</font>

</font> He awoke with a painful headache, groaning ; Dhamon gingerly inspected his wounded jaw and bruised temple, sighing deeply as he heard the telltale ringing clatter of chains. The clean-shaven and well-built, brown-haired pale guard was shirtless, wearing only dark woolen breeches.</font>
</font> Through the radiant veil of gyrating stars that mantled his vision, Dhamon espied the ruggedly-handsome, strong sun-browned Easterner lounging indolently against the stone wall of the dungeon cell ; the Man in Black was smirking as if he found Dhamon's incarceration rather amusing. The warrior wanted to knock the mysterious fiend to the ground and rip out his heart.</font>
</font> You hit me, Dhamon barked at the tanned Stranger ; the Swarthy Man laughed. Of course I did ; you were in my way, nothing personal. I had a mission to complete. I wouldn't let you impede the very momentum of History, my Queen would have been most displeased with me. </font>
</font> Dhamon sneered, arising from his fetal position to settle himself against the wall in a sitting position and carefully rested the back of his head, wearily staring at the smiling man in tight-fitting black. You're an agent of some empress or high lady in the East then ? he asked, becoming nervous, wondering ifKing Damrod knew one of his trusted warriors was attacked and imprisoned in his own castle. The foreigner chuckled. What does a noble or sovereign in the East have to do with the Mountains of Angmar ? I apologize, I ought to have said 'Our Queen.'</font>
</font> Dhamon's mouth formed a small O as he realized what those words meant and possibly why this blackguard had stunned him unconscious, why he was so placidly conversing with him as if he was in no danger at all.... You son of a - the villain removed himself from the wall with grace, reaching Dhamon in a swift instant to grab the Angmarian soldier by the throat. Dhamon emitted a strangled cry as the Easterner's powerful grip choked.</font>
</font> Mind your tongue, he spoke silkily in his richly accented voice, gaze flinty, even men like I love their mothers. Dhamon's icy-blue eyes bulged as The Stranger tightened his grasp. The agony was over shortly, in moments the man released him and Dhamon gulped the dank air, relishing the opportunity that theFar Outsidermercifully had afforded him to take. You killed him....my King, Dhamon accused in a rasping voice eyeing the fiend, wondering grimly of his motives. No, he answered clearly, retaking his position at the wall opposite beneath the guttering torchlight. I barred the doors, so the weak, capitulating coward could be poisoned and I beat down the sycophants trying to escape. The Delgaran, Amarthel, has succeeded Damrod. I am Tarias of Rhûn, acolyte of the Queen of Iron.</font>
</font> Dhamon wished his hands were free ; he needed to still the palpitations of his wildly beating heart ; the world had turned upside down....perhaps. You've known we needed finer leadership.... he thought to himself reluctantly. What is it you do for her ? Assassinate, infiltrate, topple governments ? Dhamon queried dryly. Tarias smiled tightly. Whatever she asks of me, he replied casually with a shrug of his shoulders, looking at him steadily, but enough about me.</font>
</font> Let's talk about you. Dhamon closed his eyes once. Reopening them, Dhamon saidquietly: Will I be hanged ? Another laugh from Tarias. Kill you ? Tarias gaffawed ! Unnecessary. The Queen needs soldiers ; the king is dead, you can start over swearing fealty to the Delgaran and avenging your ancestors. If you choose not to accept the Delgaran as your new ruler, she may want you regretting the decision for the rest of you life...down....here.... Tarias slowly approached Dhamon and knelt. Tell me ? his voice was like velvet, what sounds grand ? Chains or freedom ?</font>
</font>The Courtyard</font>
</font> Released from the bowels of the keep, he emerged into the cool air of day and journeyed to the courtyard. Once Tarias had his oath he recognized Amarthel as Queen, Dhamon prepared himself for battle, hearing from the Easterner that the Delgaran needed a team to dispatch a band of Rangers.</font><b style="color: rgb102, 102, 102; ">
</font>[/b] </span><b style="color: rgb102, 102, 102; ">Dhamon [/b]wore ringmail, grim and grey, beneath a sable surcoat ; the brooch that fastened his fur cloak was a wolf's head. He was armed with longsword and axe ; he awaited patiently for others who'd go with him in the courtyard.</span></font>

Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

Hallas C. Pehwarin
15/Feb/2012, 11:13 PM
Eärmir, son of Eärnôl
Flight of Ravens: Harbinger

The battle continued to rage and Eärmir had managed to wound numerous Wargs and riders! But still they kept coming! Their howls and war cries made him restock his quiver and fire off another volley until his bowstring snapped like piece grass! Now did the 33-year old northern dúnedain now gripped the leather bound hilt of his ranger hand-and-half sword its steel fullered blade gleamed faintly in the nearby torch light. Now advancing joining his fellow rangers Eärmir issued his own war cry his deep bass voice firm and loud, " For the Dúnedain!" "For the free people of the North!" With that the seasoned ranger plunged into the fight swinging his sword with swift strokes hacking and dismembering the enemies who sought to slay him and his fellow rangers who defended the village named Black Ridge.

OOC: Sorry all I'd forgotten about this long ongoing struggle/RPG. Now Eärmir is back and ready to face down a few goblins and smelly wargs!</font>smileys/smiley11.gifsmileys/smiley13.gif

16/Feb/2012, 02:11 PM
Flight of Ravens - HarbingerTimlin with bow streched and ready was on the ridge that was the back of the town. He and one more Ranger were the only rear guard there was. If the goblins got through them his fellow Rangers and the villagers would be wide open and unawares of attack. He was confident, having the high ground was to thier advantage. Timlin counted his arrows in his head as he spied out at the goblin and wargs gathering at the bottom of the ridge. "Right now just enough." he thought to himself. He had enough arrows to take out each warg if need be, but with two of them maybe he had some extra, he could only trust to luck. Soon his bow sang with thefiring of an arrow stright into the throat of a warg dropping it dead. Timlin quickly reloaded and began picking targets, the battle was engauged.

29/Feb/2012, 04:12 AM
The Keep - The Courtyard

He had slunk in from who-knows-where, a greasy bone </font> that he occasionally used to pick at the variety of slimy and repugnant things that adorned his grin gripped</font> between his teeth. His ragged clothes spoke of a life spent creeping from one hole to another, trading his services in stealth and murder for a few scraps to carry him over till the next client emerged from the shadows with a vendetta only he could carry out to its end. He cared less about the salary and more about the promised rush that a slit throat, a wound to the stomach, or a blow to the head could bring. Balchon was skilled in his trade, though he wasn't too particular about who his victims were; mostly, he cared about how. A knife or a club were desirable means; subtle things like poison or a neatly-aimed arrow would never do. He liked the mess.

When the voices that rode the wind with news whispered of a regime change in Carn Dûm, Balchon couldn't help but be intrigued by the amount of blood that a new commander in the Keep would need to shed in order to ensure security. Dirty, with his bone-pick clenched firmly between yellowed and rotting teeth, he moved swiftly through the streets, threading his way between shops and shadows to the Keep, making no attempt to conceal the weapons he carried with him at all times not only for safety, but also because he simply liked having them around. They were his constant, unfailing companions.

Under Damrod it would have been odd to see him here. Damrod, in his later days, had not been nearly aggressive enough in his campaigns against the bumbling rangers who prowled their lands or the traitors within the city limits. No, it had been the furtive and the underhanded--so common in Angmarian society--with whom he had operated. Almost everyone within the realm bore a deep-seated grudge, and it was his job to see to it that those with the greatest ire saw their enemies' demise. All his work was done quietly, and he was always paid well for his trouble in adrenaline: that odd, cold-blooded ecstasy he experienced when he watched a soul depart its body with a last, ragged exhale.

And now it seemed the new woman needed to exterminate some rangers. "Easy prey," he thought, standing along the wall of the courtyard among a few others gathered for the slaughter. He fingered the curved and cruel knives stored within the tattered remains of a jacket, noting the firm and reassuring weight of an iron-studded club at his side.

"Time to play."</font>

Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

Naith Liathant
01/Apr/2012, 10:31 AM
Flight of Ravens ~ Harbinger

Dusk claimed Black Ridge like a funeral shroud thrown over a coffin, in some rite for the damned. The goblin warg riders were inside the defences, and the Rangers were fighting valiantly. Dralabor and his Wolves in Winter had held the fore for some time, but with heavy casualties. The Raven himself had broken away in order to fall back and defend the long hall with Bregan. The burgomaster of Black Ridge was full of wrath and ire.
It was in that late hour that Goathul himself struck, leaping the low fences upon his mighty warg, ' Chomper' whom he'd raised from birth. The great goblin war chief had a red painted face, and squinty eyes, but was larger than most of his kind, and he slew many of the Black Ridge townsfolk, for it was his preference to kill the weak, while his boys took on the more worthy opponents. It wasn't that he himself was weak, but he liked to see terror on the faces of those he killed.
Dralabor thus overwhelmed with the weight of the other warg-riders piling in around the Rangers, could do nothing more than watch as Goathul, screaming blood-lust into the night skies, rode forth into Black Ridge, toward the long-hall where were hidden the venerable, the women who could not fight, and the children they tended.
Six other warg-riders followed and yet it was Bregan and Raven who stood in defence, defiant of the wargs and bent on ending the reign of destruction that had witnessed Goathul travel far and wide across Eriador, razing like townships and steads to the ground.
Flaming arrows struck the long-hall however, and thick smoke plumed up from a thatched roof, and cries and screams of horror could be heard from within.
" This ends now!" Bellowed Raven, gripping his longsword and preparing for the charge, but Goathul circled, and sent his followers in. They rushed on in mad lopes, below the darkling moon.
Bregan felt the jaws of a warg snap about his right thigh, as he stabbed the goblin upon it's back. In this way was he wounded, and then ravaged, by the beast, with little any could do for him though the Flight about the long-hall did their best to save the burgomaster.
Raven finally broke free of the carnage, and there amidst the smoke and flame he did sight Goathul, the Blighter, raging, and burning.
The Ranger ran at the goblin war chief, and leaped high, slashing down with his mighty blade, and Goathul saw him at the last, his warg rising up onto it's hind legs. Both the Raven and Goathul went spinning, crashing to the muddy ground in a heap between two dwellings. Chomper rounded, searching for his master. Arrows struck the mighty warg and Raven knew not who fired them, he only knew that this was the goblin chief who had slain his townsfolk all those years ago, and now it was time for revenge, to push back the darkness and to prove that Eriador was destined to be free of evil and all it's yoke.
" Goathul! Long have I desired to end your wretched life!" The Raven spoke.
" Then ranger, you will not mind waiting longer!" Said the goblin, spitting venomously and stabbing with a knife gripped in his left hand, even as the swords the duellists held in their rights, clashed. The knife caught the Raven but wedged in his mail shirt, only nicking flesh.
Driving the goblin back with strike after strike, the Raven stoically pursued his dream, and lo! As the stars seemed dimmed by some eerie shadow, and the flames about smoked and crackled through the roofs of the buildings, and even as the doors of the long-hall burst open, and women and children poured out, choking on the fumes, did Goathul fall!
He in fact stumbled over the bleeding and broken body of Bregan, who was alive enough to snatch at the goblin's ankle and send him to ground. Off balance, the overhead arc of the slash from Raven caught the goblin in the side of the head, and the force sheered it downward, cleaving through the thick neck. Black blood spurted from the wound, and Goathul the Blighter would be blight no more.
Yet even in this victory were the Flight of Ravens not done, for a terrible shadow was about to rise, one that was darker and more terrible than any evil of Goathul the Blighter, and one that might engulf the land if not the earth, in a new tyranny.
Prompt: If you are part of the Ranger band, feel free to engage Goblin warg-riders to your hearts content, in this battle that sees high casualties. Goathul may be slain, but his boys won't give up easily. In due course, a worse Enemy shall arise, one that perhaps we cannot defeat!

11/Apr/2012, 07:15 PM
Flight of Ravens ~ HarbingerTimrin began fireing arrow after arrow until all were at least spent. Yet they flew not in vain each arrow struck a warg bringing it to the ground leaving the rider without a mount. Having the high ground and the only rear defence for the town Timrin fought without thought of his own safty and only consern for the villagers and his fellow Rangers. As each of the goblins tried to gain the hight Timrin ranthem through. Only after the first ten had fallen did the remaining goblins rethink thier attack. It would be a rush of the remaining few on the lone guard. As the goblins gave a fearful scream and began thier rush up the ridge Timrin steadyed himself and gave a slight smile. He knew he had the advantage and he knew how to explot it. As the goblins came nearer the night sky grew darker and the it seemed as the world around had gone quiet. Even the screams to the enemy were muffeled. Then again this could have been nothing more than Timrin's own concentration tacking over him. The onslaught was great but Timrin held it off enough, killing only two more goblins and knocking three back down the ridge. It was enough to cause the rest to stop and leave the area. The rear guard held they would not enter the town from here. Timrin, exhausted from the fight droped to his knee and silently watched the ridge for any more attacks.

30/Apr/2012, 02:33 PM
Gwathmir (The Flight of

and more wargs were coming. So many. Maybe too many? No, that was not
a thought for a time of battle such as this. The people of Black
Ridge had nowhere to run, and even if they had, they could not outrun
the warg-riders. No, the monsters had to be defeated here, the trail
of carnage they left behind them brought to an end now. Not that
despaired of ever seeing his bride again, at the sight of the horde
coming at the defenders. </span>It's going to
be a tough one,</span> was all that he
thought. There was, as yet, no doubt in his heart that victory would
be on their side, just an understanding that it won't be easy. It was
surprising, though, that the rangers did not expect Goathul's band to
be so big. The tracks and the ravens should have given them adequate

fired arrow after arrow. He was a good archer, a better archer than
swordsman too. But the wargs had a thick hide. And the small eyes of
the beasts were a hard target. Even more so when the creatures were
many, and charging. The young man no longer aimed for the eyes at
all. It was good for the first shots of battle, when he could take
his time aiming. Now, speed was required. Still, his longbow was
strong, his arrows stiff and sharp, his aim true. If his shafts did
not kill, they maimed, and caused much pain. Had the men of Black
Ridge possessed equal weaponry, and the strength to use it, the hail
of arrows might have turned the tide of this battle, even without the
skill of careful aiming. But the shorter bows of the villagers did
not have the same draw strength, and too often their arrows pounced
off orc armour, or got stuck in warg hide without doing much damage.
Even the tips of the arrows had an impact. Prepared for battle,
used bodkinheads. Too many of the villagers had nothing but
broadheads - excellent for hunting, for they cause a bigger wound and
incapacitate the prey, but not as effective for piercing.</span></font></span>
after arrow</span>.
The defences of Black Ridge were breached now. Wargs and their foul
riders streamed in. Vile creatures, they were so intent on slaying
the innocent, that some of them didn't even bother with the
defenders, unless those were directly in their path. But not many
defenders still stood to defy Goathul's band. The rangers were few,
and as for the men of Black Ridge – too many of them fled at the
sight of the huge beasts, and the fearsome goblins, and their friends
cut down. The air rang with the clash of metal against metal, with
the shrieks of the orcs, with the howls of their steeds, with the
groans of the wounded. It stank of sweat and blood and orc and
burning fur. Who would blame the man who looked at all this, and fled
in terror – the man who was no warrior, who had shot nothing but
game before? Once, </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
would have been angered, disgusted, by such seeming cowardice. Was it
not their home? Were not their friends standing there, and their
wives hiding inside, counting on them? But he had learned since then.
He was young in years, but the life of a ranger aged you. The young
man knew now: when death is charging at you with an open maw, running
is the most natural thing, an instinct. Standing, thinking of your
friends, of honour, of anything really, was possible for a man with
battle experience, with training, with skill, with friends who stood
near, supporting each other. It was not to be taken for granted. Nay,
as ever, it was the dire task of dour rangers to stand between the
enemy and the simple men.</span></span>
Still, men running were a
problem. They lowered morale, and they turned running into an option.
It wasn't, until the first one turned tail. What right did the ranger
have to call on those men to stay? They were not warriors, what
chance did they have of surviving this battle? However, if all would
run, Black Ridge would fall. The warg-riders were too many. The
Ravens would find it hard to hold them off alone. "For Black
Ridge!" Gwathmir cried, raising his voice, his battle cry
reminding the people who they were and why they had to stand. Too
little, too late - only a handful remained to fight, together with
the rangers. Still, for the most part, they were archers, and now,
combat was joined, swords were drawn. Arrows, especially fired by
shaking fingers, could easily hit a friend.
heard his comrade Eärmir's voice ringing ahead: "For the
Dunedain! For the free people of the North!" But
in the raging battle, between the wargs and the goblins and the men
of Black Ridge, he could not see him. Still, he was heartened by the
after arrow. It's a strange thing. You can be a young man, who reads
poetry, and sings well, and likes apples, and is about to get married
to the girl he loves – in the moment of battle, it's all gone.
There's only total focus on the task at hand – location of
comrades, location of enemies, picture of battle, course of next
action. A warrior's training strives to achieve just this – the
clarity of mind, as much as the skill with a weapon.</span></font>
after arrow. </span>Gwathmir's</span>
quiver was almost spent now. And it was then that Goathul himself
appeared, the greatest monster of them all. On the creature rode,
towards the </span>long-hall,
where the women and children hid in fear, trusting the men to protect
them. Arrows were sticking out from the warg's body, but it appeared
not to notice them. So great was this beast, so thick it's hide, that
the defenders' arrows caused it little harm. And with Goathul came
others – evil followers of a vile master.</span></span></span></font>Gwathmir</span>
responded at once. The long-hall had to be protected at all costs.
The women and the children – they were the future of the village.
He was not the only one. </span></span>Raven</span>
came after Goathul, and Bregan stood by the long-hall. The goblins
were firing flaming arrows at the roof of the long-hall, trying to
smoke the villagers outside.</span></span></span></font></span></span></span></font>
young man fired at the closest warg. The beast howled in pain as the
arrow stuck in its leg. The rider, snarling angrily turned round,
charging at the ranger. The wounded warg was slow – </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
had time to fire another arrow at the animal. A long shaft of hard
wood, tipped with iron, it should have hit the creature's soft nose –
the warg was close enough for good aim. But even as the arrow left
the archer's hand, the beast raised its mighty head, and the arrow
struck its thick neck. Blood spurted out, but the warg still stood –
wounded, mortally wounded, but not yet dead. And then, thrashing
beast and furious goblin were upon the ranger, too close for arrows.
drew his sword.</span></span></span></font></span></span></font>
the best thing to do in this situation was probably retreat, drawing
the goblin away, and letting the warg die of its wounds. The young
man attempted to do just that, but retreating in the dark, in
unfamiliar territory is easier said than done. In but a few moments,
</span>Gwathmir found
himself with his back to a wall of a house, fending off the attacks
of a fierce goblin clad in heavy armour. He could not afford to look
around, to see whether he should edge left or right. There was time
only to parry, and attack, and evade. But strong as the goblin was,
one goblin is no match for one tall ranger, even if that ranger is a
better archer than swordsman. This one was strong, but the man was
taller, and not being encumbered by armour, he </span>was
much more agile. Moreover, the goblin was enraged by the loss of its
steed, for it is not true, as many believe, that those creatures know
no other feeling than hatred and hate. He charged furiously,
committing himself to what would have been a terrible blow. But the
ranger ducked under his enemy's sword, and by his own headlong
charge, the goblin impaled himself on </span></span>Gwathmir's</span>
blade. </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
freed his sword from the fallen enemy, just in time to see the
wounded, bleeding warg coming at him. Its bloodshot eyes were rolling
in its head, but its legs still bore its weight, and its jaws were
still snarling. On soft paws, the creature had crept near, unheard.
Now, having been seen, it prepared itself for one last jump. It
leaped, or tried to, staggered, fell. Giving it no time for a second
attempt, the ranger cut off its head with one clean blow. Then he
hurried to pick up his bow: the battle was not over yet.</span></span></span></font></span></span></span></font>
lay dead. He had fought for his village to his last breath. Even as
</span></span>Gwathmir </span>looked,
he saw Goathul's warg rearing over </span></span>Raven</span>.
He fired without thinking. And fired again, just to be sure. Now he
had only one arrow left. </span></span></span></font>

Goathul engaged. Even as </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
looked, this fight was finished. Without their leader, the goblins
seemed to lose heart. Their attack was not as fierce as before. But
the long-hall was burning fiercely now. Women and children were
running outside, choking on the smoke. A terrified mass. The young
ranger made his way into the burning hall. There would be old men
there, needing assistance, and small children separated from their
mothers in the press. It was lucky the smoke was rising up, but now
burning timbers were falling inside.</span></span></span></font>
his comrades held the goblins at bay, </span>Gwathmir
toiled inside the burning hell. There was a cripple boy, who, unable
to walk, tried to crawl outside. There was an old woman whose hair
caught fire. There was nothing the ranger could do for her. There was
a little girl: she had been running towards the doors when a burning
beam fell across her path, and she stood terrified, unhurt, but cut
off from escape. The air was now so hot it was hard to breathe, but
hearing the child's cry, </span>Gwathmir went
into the building one last time. His eyes stung. His throat burned,
and he coughed painfully. His leather boots creaked on the burning
debris. He ran, jumped over the burning beam, caught the girl in his
hands, ran back towards the door. Creaking above warned him just in
time – he was rolling on the ground with the girl still in his arms
as another beam collapsed behind him. Having hardly slowed down, the
man was on his feet and running again. He got out just in time:
another beam collapsed behind him. The door was barred now by a solid
sheet of flame. There was no entering the long-hall again. If anybody
was still trapped inside the building, the was no helping them. The
girl was crying in </span>Gwathmir's
arms. She </span>clung</span></span>
to him with unexpected strength, so she couldn't have been seriously
hurt. A woman came running towards them out of nowhere, weeping,
taking the child in her arms. The mother, judging by the behaviour.
</span>The girl
would be OK now. The young ranger retreated, and leaned wearily on a
wall of a nearby building, breathing heavily.</span></span></span></font>
seemed they had won – Goathul was dead, his band routed. Black
Ridge had been saved. </span></span>Gwathmir
the sweat from his forehead, and stretched his tired arms. He had
burnt his left hand and arm back in the long-hall. It was now pulsing
with pain. But it didn't matter now. The battle was over, he thought.
Soon now they'd start on their way home, and then Myrtle would be
waiting. She'd smile, with dimples appearing in her cheeks, and her
brown curls would fly behind her as she'd run to meet her beloved.
He'd hug her, and hold her close, and call her a silly goose for
worrying about him. And then there would be the wedding. The young
man's heart beat hard with anticipation, and his throat was tight
with longing, and he held his arms to his chest, as he imagined
holding his beloved.</span></span></span></font>

Edited by: Galastel

08/Jun/2012, 05:50 AM
Amarthel Delgaran</font>
The Keep – Courtyard</font>

The Delgaran surveyed the assemblage of scoundrels, brutes, and rogues at her disposal. There were those of Damrod’s old guard, whom for what they lacked in discipline, they made up for in enthusiasm as they gathered, polishing rust from disused weaponry and adjusting armor about limbs, muscular or gnarled. There were those who had come at her behest or ridden into Carn Dûm on the word of her coming; she gave a brief nod to Tarias, noting that he seemed to have snagged himself a follower (Dhamon), though the man did not seem nearly so excited for the coming fête as the Easterling. And then here were those who had crawled up from the bowels of the city at the news of a new power and a chance to use their skills. Some were sleek, some were rough, but all looked dangerous and ready to kill. A few, like a standoffish man carrying a studded club at his side (Balchon) looked prepared for just the sort of brutality that the Delgaran desired in her servants. Two fine examples of it flanked her: Swiltang, and the werewolf Khaine. Yarltang stood off in a corner of the yard, having gathered to himself the small contingent of archers who had appeared.

Amarthel shifted her shoulders, adjusting the weight of her own quiver of black-fletched arrows angled across her back. Beneath the quiver and at opposites to it, the hilt protruding over her left shoulder, was a scabbarded longsword- a plain, serviceable weapon with a black cord-wrapped hilt. At her left hip rode a long, jewel-hilted dagger, and in her right hand she held the black horsebow that was her constant companion. The Queen of Iron was garbed now not for rule but war, retaining only the iron circlet with its red emerald, resting in the center of her forehead, above the carmine brows. Satisfied that all those who had heard the call and meant to answer were there, Amarthel turned slightly and nodded to Khaine. The werewolf hunched and reared back on his enormous back legs and expanded his hulking chest to let loose with a deafening roar. At once the courtyard fell silent, and with a quirk of her lips, the Delgaran’s sibilant voice commanded,

“Let us depart.”


</font>Host of Carn Dûm – Approaching the Black Ridge</font>

For as ungainly and unorganized group as they began, the host moved surprisingly swiftly out from Carn Dûm and across the plain. Swiltang, Yarltang, and Khaine whipped them into some sense of order along the way, enforcing the swift dogtrot that was Amarthel’s preferred pace, and forming them into rough ranks behind her as she ran on tirelessly in the lead. They had not been gone from the mountain city long before a plume of smoke appeared, evidence that the troublesome band of Goathul had met with the rangers of the Flight of Ravens, in timing that could not have been more perfect had she planned it herself. As they drew nearer, the sounds of battle reached them, and the Delgaran’s pace increased, up the long incline, until at last the light of their torches in the blackness met with the light of the flaming village, and she raised her fist for a halt. The host crowded in behind, eager at the sounds of carnage below. The village was already falling to ruin; rangers and townsfolk battled goblins in a melée of uncontrolled fear and rage. The light of the flames illuminated Amarthel’s face, seeming to coruscate in rubicund depths of her eyes, and she turned to her lieutenants.

“Yarltang, go with your archers and take the rooftops, ensure that none leave this place alive, and protect our forces from the clever ones. Swiltang, you will lead the blades and bludgeoners with Tarias as your second. Khaine, take your weres and destroy everything in your path. Burn, kill, and devour. Circle the village and drive stragglers back into the flames. I will go with Swiltang, but there is a task to which I must attend.” The Delgaran raised her voice, addressing her host at large. “Here lies your first proof of loyalty and faith! With one stroke we rid our land of two impairments. I give you free reign to put your talents to work. Plunder and renown lie below, yours for the taking. Follow your leaders’ orders, and we will win the night with force and with cunning. Kill everything. All below will perish- but the one known as the Raven, the ranger leader you will know by his cloak of feathers, he is mine. Go now, and taste the blood of your enemies!”

</font>GM UPDATE:</font>

All Angmarians: Storm the village and do as ordered. Kill the villagers and Goathul’s goblins, feel free to torch more buildings, and begin to engage the rangers. If possible coordinate with the played rangers before killing, so we can work together for everyone to get a fun death!</font>

Rangers: Here we are! Engage and kill random Angmarians as you wish, and once the PC’s have placed themselves in the village, feel free to engage them before they engage you (fair is fair after all, especially since you’re going to end up dead). Also feel free to plan your deaths in the OOC thread.</font>

Naith: I will find and engage you in my next post, unless you want to go ahead and jump on that. If you post seeing and engaging Amarthel, I will respond accordingly!</font>

Hallas C. Pehwarin
25/Jun/2012, 09:30 PM
Eärmir, son of Eärnôl
Flight of Ravens: Harbinger

The onslaught continued to rage in the village of Black Ridge as the remaining members of the Ravens continued to do their best to stay the constant fighting between battling wargs and goblins! Eärmir continue to use his ranger sword to great effect slaying numerous goblins their shrieks giving he a faint hope that he as one of the surviving dúnedain might survive! But as he leapt on the crumbling remains of the outer defenses did his keen green-grey eyes survey an ever great mass of the Enemy!

Now taking a deep breath did Eärmir, son of Eärnôl speak his deep bass voice rumbling out firm and commanding, " Rangers Fight On!" " More Enemy approaches namely the surviving accursed Men of Angmar!" The 33-year old northern dúnedain now quickly parried a blow for another goblin quickly slicing lengthwise across its scrawny chest and opening it to the dark night spilling his innards into the ground as it croaked its final shriek of agony! Eärmir did a quick glance down to his ranger attire seeing it was ripped and blood splattering yet still seemingly whole! "Won't last long against these dreaded Angmarians!" thought the seasoned ranger as he leaped down into the trampled ground of the village. Everywhere he turned his face did Eärmir see the battle continue to rage and so again did this proud descendant of the Elendili; the Elf Friends of Númenor plunge into the cruel onslaught vowing to take at twenty of those accursed servants and vassals of Angmar with him before dying! He might even wish to challenge their leader!

OOC: Afternoon Moriel feel free to challenge my NPC ranger and grant him a warrior's death in this bloody ongoing fight!</font>smileys/smiley11.gif

Naith Liathant
29/Jun/2012, 06:43 PM
Flight of Ravens ~ Harbinger

Exultant in victory, staring down at the corpse of Goathul and his feral warg, Chomper, Raven sank to his knees in the dank earth of Black Ridge. He leant on his sword, and gathered his breath. The sounds of battle began to fade. Several faces emerged from the gloom of night, some townsfolk to tend to the women and children and the aged within the long-hall.
Bregan was gasping and Caldol, the rangy youth, was cradling him in his arms. The old man's mouth was frothing with spittle. There was no blood in it though.
Dralabor and his Wolves in Winter gathered ranks around the broken outer defences, and the chief headed into the village toward Raven and the long-hall.
" Hul! Raven! Victory!" Dralabor's eyes gleamed. " This is one township that Goathul shall blight not, eh?" His cold laugh was hollow with the win. He knew a price had been paid across Eriador.
Raven looked up, his blue eyes shining with that zeal of old. Ravens circled in the air overhead in the twilight. The Raven saw through their vision and what he saw shook him to the core! Another Enemy force, many times stronger, Orcs and evil men. A terribly beautiful and cruelly cold woman laughing in the darkness, chilling and menacing.
He stood up from his knees and stared at Dralabor.
" Friend, our battle is not yet won!"
" What?"
" There is another Enemy come to knock upon our door this night!"
" It cannot be!"
" But it is, Dralabor! Gather the women and children, get them back inside! Prepare the villagers. Caldol, get Bregan ins-"
" It's already begun! We are under attack!" Bellowed Dralabor, his attention shifting to the outer ward. The Enemy were rampaging into Black Ridge and over running the beleaguered defenders.
" Damned if I'll lie still for this!" Sneered Bregan, gathering himself, and standing despite his bad leg. Caldol rushed to usher the women inside, but some refused, and went to take up any arms that they could find, including goblin weapons.
Dralabor, The Raven and Bregan the Burgomaster strode forth and stood to meet the new Enemy, weary but not ready to accept any defeat this night.
Amber fires burned into the smoke ridden skies of darkening twilight, as the acrid stench of scorched homes permeated the air, which carried on it the chill scent of death and blood...

29/Jun/2012, 10:35 PM
Flight of Ravens: Harbinger The night air was cool but the breeze blown from the fires in the villagewas warm and along withhis recent activity sweat dripped from Timrins brow. His breathing was more normal now and he looked out over the bottom of the high ridge. To his shock Timrin saw figures moving below in the gloom. More goblins come to play, he thought to himslef. Yet something was different, these figurs didn't move like goblins, in fact they had a human form about them. Timrin stood to try and get a better look. His eyes strained in the darkness buit he could tell they were men. Thinking that these might be re-enforcements from the village Timrin called out to them, "Low! Watch yourselves, goblins raom these heights, with thier fowl wargs. Tread with caution." Timrin waited for a reply yet none came.He called once more, "Are you come from the village!?" Still no answer as the figurs slowly made thier way up the ridge. Then in a glint of stray light Timrin caught the sight of steel. He realized then these were not re-enforcements but a new threat. He raised his sword and steadyed himself for battle. It didn't take long before the first of the group had reached the top. Timrin engagued then three that were there. Dodging, slashing, blocking, the sound of blades clashing rang over the ridge top. Once again Timrin would be greatly outnumbered but he fought on knowing he was the only one here to keep this rabble from reaching the village. A quick slash and one was done, a block and kick another went tumbling down the long drop not to return. By this time more had reached the top. There was no place to retreat to only the ridge. They were not the most experianced lot but there were enough of them to make up for that. Timrins reactions were starting to slow with exahugstion. One half block caused his enemies blade to dig into his leg but Timrin showed no sign of pain. A sudden twist and two of these men gutted each other missing Timrin altogether. Three more stepped up to take thier place. Blades flying Timrin did a deadly dance among these men killing as he went, but a price he paid in doing so. They were just too many, too many blades. TImrin cried out as one blade pireced his side. Fallen to his knees Timrin barely block the sword coming down on his head. Athrust took another one down. Jumping to his feet Timrin began again. His blade sang it's horrable death song, wheeling about Timrin took another stab into his chest this time. Blood was caughed up as his lungs began to fill with it. Each breath became labored but still Timrin fought on. Finally the last of them fell dead before his feet, there would be no assualt from the ridge this night. His breath slow, strained and filled with blood Timrin drove his stained sword into the ground. He dropped to his knees, spit blood, looked over his shoulder at the village then he looked into the night sky. Timrin looked up to the stars and felt a cool breeze upon his face. There was no longer any sound, any pain... any thing, just him and the beautiful stars. He smiled and closed his eyes for the last time.

01/Jul/2012, 11:24 PM
Gwathmir (The Flight of

Minutes –
only a few minutes did Gwathmir
rest, leaning on a fence. Then he heard </span>Raven,
his leader, crying “There is another enemy come to knock upon our
door this night!” and Dralabor shouting in reply “It's already
begun! We are under attack!” And that was accompanied by the
whistling of arrows. Orcs and evil men were streaming into Black

thought dimly. </span></span>And
we are already weary</span>.
The young man did not doubt the rangers would win this battle. The
village relied on them – they could not afford to lose. Indeed, he
did not think much at all. He was just tired. His mind was clouded
and numb. He wanted for it all to be over, so that he might go home,
and rest for a while from the gore and the pain in his bride's

raised his bow. Weary as he was, he was a warrior, and there was
still strength in his arms. But he was forced to bite back a cry of
pain: the burn on his left arm was worse than he had thought. Well,
was a ranger. He could bear pain. There was a battle to be fought. He
had already used most of his arrows – this was worse. But there
were more arrows to be found on the battlefield, and the village was
bound to have stores of arms, perhaps at the blacksmith's, if not an
actual armoury. Indeed, the young man knew he should have used the
respite to refill his quiver. He had been too quick to assume
victory. Still, perhaps it was not too late to do this now.</span></span>

the first dark figures appeared over the rooftop, firing from above,
released his feathered shaft. Wounded or no, he was an excellent
archer. In the light of the fires, he saw the figure falling. But
there were more – many more, and they had the higher ground. The
young man jumped over the fence he had been leaning on, and crouched
behind it. If only he could get onto the roofs himself without
getting shot in the process... He looked around. Behind him was a
dark garden, a tall tree with spreading branches, and a small
cottage, still untaken, for it was on the side of the village farther
from the gates. There was even a chimney that could perhaps offer
partial shelter. It was perfect. With the ease of youth, </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
climbed the tree, and hopped from its branch onto the cottage roof.
Balancing on its </span></span>uneven
surface was easy. The hard part was remaining unseen, with the fires
washing Black Ridge with eerie red light. The young ranger bent down,
crouching behind the chimney. He could see dark figures on the other
roofs from there. They were vaguely humanoid, but that was all he
could tell. Hoping none of them were his own comrades, </span></span></span>Gwathmir</span></span>
aimed, and fired.</span></span></span>

(ooc. Gwathmir's just waiting to see an enemy. Or two. Or three. Let's make this a beautiful tale.</font>)

04/Jul/2012, 05:28 AM
Swiltang - Village of Black Ridge

The Angmarian forces fell upon the village of Black Ridge like leaves upon the wind, swarming its buildings as they descended into the din of battle. Swiltang raced at the head of his group, the Delgaran at his side, a manic light glinting in her rubicund eyes. Adrenaline surged through Swiltang’s lean, twisted body: this was what he had come for, why he had allied himself with the corsair in the first place- the ruthless greatness that now swept the orcish swordmaster up in her rolling tide. In unison they ran, swordhands pumping up and down, the firelight glancing off the blades. Swiltang’s sword was no crude orc-blade, but a find weapon of folded steel, the blade longer than a man’s arm and tapering outward from the hilt before hooking to a lethal point. Its weight and length garnered a two-handed hilt, but he carried it easily, and it would be some time before he tired. In what seemed an instant they had reached the line of houses, and with a swift cut that barely slowed his rush, Swiltang nicked the head from a villager running at him armed with a pitchfork. The blades and bludgeoners immediately began to spread as they reached their first opposition, and out the corner of his eye, Swiltang saw the Delgaran’s blade flicker and dart as she separated from the group, wending into the village on her mission of execution.

“Tarias!” Swiltang bellowed towards the Easterling, several yards away, “Take half and circle the village west, filter through and sweep as you go. We’ll do the same to the east. Go!” Roaring orders to his half of the unit, Swiltang led them off to the east, peeling out around the edge of the village before beginning to dart within. Swiltang’s twisted body moved with an incongruous and brutal grace, leaping, bending, running, and spinning as he dealt each man who crossed his path a swift and efficient death. Most were mere villagers, untrained, and easily conquered. But here and there he saw grim men, armed and girded as warriors, who did not belong. One of these appeared in Swiltang’s path: a tall young man, shouting encouragement to his comrades in rumbling tones (Eärmir). He lowered his sword, adopting a strong en guard as he stalked towards the ranger. The element of surprise was not here with this one, but still he anticipated no great difficulty- only a greater attention to detail required. Before the ranger could make the first move, Swiltang leapt forward, both hands on his hilt, delivering a massive overhand stroke that, if it connected, would split the man from crown to belly.

((OOC Hallas: Amarthel has some business to attend to, so I hope you’ll be happy with her second!</font>))

Amarthel Delgaran - Village of Black Ridge

Amarthel’s feet seemed hardly to touch the ground as she sped away down towards the village. In the pulsating orange light from below her swarthy skin seemed darker than ever, and a wild, cold laugh escaped her lips. Once her force reached the village it exploded with action: Khaine and his weres immediately bolted straight into the center of the village, and their howls and guttural cries rang out above the clash of steel and roar of fire. Yarltang and his archers immediately split up at the burly orc’s command, dashing for perimeter buildings and scaling their walls to gain vantage points for picking off the enemy on the ground. Now was the chance, and without a word to Swiltang, the Delgaran slipped off- he would know what to do. Like a crimson wraith, she ducked and weaved, her blade harrying the unsuspecting and panicked men of the village, robbing them of breath before they had even seen her. None were her intended victim, however, and she made her way ever-closer to the heart of the village, where the cries of women could be heard. And there, just beyond the longhouse, she saw it: the unmistakable glint of light on feathers, a shifting, breathing mass of feathers. The Raven. Amarthel lunged forward, her pace quickening as she rounded a burning building- but as she did so a woman appeared in her way, armed with the rusted sword of one of Goathul’s goblins. The Delgaran’s laugh rang out again, even as her sword cleaved the woman from neck to sternum. With no regard for her victim twitching on the ground, she stepped over the woman’s body, eyes flicking back to the scene before her. The feathers had gone, but two men remained: the further off a big and hearty man (Dralabor), and the nearer and old man (Bregan), grey and limping, from wound rather than age, but Amarthel doubted it would make much difference. Two long strides brought her within striking distance, and her blade arced from low to high, aiming to uppercut the old man into oblivion.

((OOC Naith: </font>I think we decided on going for Bregan first. If I’m remembering wrong and it was Dralabor, let me know and I’ll edit!</font>))

((OOC Galastel: </font>Aig is coming for you!</font>))

Beren Camlost
04/Jul/2012, 09:17 AM
Tarias and Dhamon ~ The Courtyard, the Red Keep</font>
</font> "It's an indecent expreience, watching a hound of the Angmar Remnant padding at the heel of an Easterling carpetbagger,"Dhamonlamented as he observedTarias, clad in black ringmail and ebon leather and dark mantle, swaggering over to his side ; a powerful female dog of battle trotted, following her new master obediently. The she-hound was a breed indigenous to the Mountains of Angmar, a Molossus ; the canine had a broad, short muzzle and a heavy dewlap similar to mastiffs. Molossers were usually trained to contend with snow tigers and mountain lions, wooly mûmakil and trespassing mortals ; they also served shepherds to herd their flocks but the dogs were mostly renowned for their brutal violence and dependable capability in a confrontation. And Tarias has chosen one Molosser from the kennel of the slain King Damrod for his own guardian in warfare, seemingly. Dhamon couldn't object to the nature of the Easterling's choice though."When serious work needs doing, when courage must be demonstrated, then you could not but admire the fell Melossians so much,"the Angmarian scholarDivoonce praised.</font>
</font> "Would it perturb you greater if I were to say, oh, I don't know....that I named the beast in Rhûniac ?"Tariasasked and he smiled that annoying smug grin of his.Dhamongrimaced ;Tarias'grin tightened, gladdened he could rankle the Angmarian so easily. He was beginning to enjoy it."I'm breathless with anticipation,"Dhamon respondeddryly."Daimona. Horror,"Tarias answered, bending to caress the neck of the brown-furred and muscular, unlovely creature which had rubbed his leg affectionately."Not bad,"Dhamonhedged."Truly ?"Tariaswondered, surprised."A good name," Dhamon admitted hesitantly, loathing to say the truth, glancing away from the man of Rhûn. It isn't the disgusting gibberish like I'd thought I'd hear."Tariaslaughed as he punchedDhamon's shoulder comradely."I think we're going to get along famously," Tarias assumedcheerfully and Dhamon actually...smiled. "Pallando's beard ! I didn't enjoy decking you twice but you did have it coming. Both times." Dhamon scoffed. "All right, not the first time," Tarias agreed, "I was performing my job but you definitely earned the second punch. You don't even know my mother."</font>
</font> Dhamon chuckled. "We speak diverse languages and the pigment of my skin is darker than yours," Tarias reasoned and, an instant later, lifted one black-gloved finger of his strong hand. "But," Tarias interjected sharply, "we both serve and worship the Dark Lord. We both fight for the same Cause, don't we ? That makes us something akin to brothers, does it not ?" Tarias proferred his palm for the other fellow to shake, suggesting an armistice between them. Dhamon raised his own and stared at it for a long moment before extending his arm. The man of Angmar and the man of Rhûn clasped, gripping hands in fellowship. As they disengaged, both warrior and assassin gazed as ethereal and carmine-haired Amarthel passed near.Damrod's usurper gave Tarias a curt nod of recognition, acknowledging him. Dhamon watched the bronze foreigner bow lightly, hand laying over heart, with a faint smile upon his mouth. Are you two friends ? Dhamon questioned. "I am the Delgaran's right hand man. Her Majesty's tool," Tariascorrected as the order was given to depart, "and a reliable one ; the Delgaran tells me what she wants and I comply. That's enough for me."</font>
</font> The might of the Angmar Remnant smashed into Black Ridge, the community already reeling from a recent slaughter ; the fist of Amarthel hammered both the Good and the Evil alike, sparing no one. Tarias blocked once and struck twice, striking down a halberd-wielding guard of the Ridge with his crow-marked axe ; Dhamon rushed to his defense as a new attacker made a stab at Tarias with his spear. Dhamon's sword-arm whipped to deflect a blow meant to impale the Easterling through his heart. Daimona, bellowing, charged ; she crushed the city defender's right leg in her mighty jaws and yanked. As the hound's teeth sheared through his bone, the man wailed collapsing, and Tarias finished his adversary with a cut across the throat.</font>
</font> “Tarias!”</font><b style=": rgb255, 255, 255; ">Swiltang</font>[/b]bellowed towards the Easterling, several yards away, “Take half and circle the village west, filter through and sweep as you go. We’ll do the same to the east. Go!”"On it !" Tarias yelled back at the Orc captain. "Luck to you, Swiltang !" Dhamon looked at Tarias in consternation. "What is it now, man ?!" Tarias shot, agitated. "You take orders from goblins ?!" Dhamon replied, features contorting in disgust ; the day really had turned upside down. Tarias grabbed him. "You fool ! There is no time for this ! Hearken to me, Dhamon. Your people have been working with Orcs for centuries !" "Quite so," Dhamon interrupted, "but Angmarians will never be commanded by -"</font>
</font></span> "You'll listen to whoever the Delgaran puts in charge, Iron Man," Tarias barked, giving Dhamon a rough shove. Daimona growled warningly at Dhamon, human blood still smeared across her lips and teeth. "I don't have the time to banter with you," Tarias snarled, fire light reflected in his strange dark green eyes. "I have a troop to lead." He turned and signaled his company to bolt after him and the big Molosser. "Into the fray ! Wipe them out ! Leave none alive ! Arise, Angmar !" Tarias looked over his shoulder and saw an undecided Dhamon staring after him. "Get to the roof tops !" Tarias hollered at Dhamon. "I want those coward archers off my back !" The Easterling and his company vanished around a smoking domicile, circling to the west.</font>
</font></span>*</font></span> Dhamon's stealth took him northeast, unopposed, and he came to a pause near a woody residential district far from the gates of the village and the raging fight, a nice spot for a shooter to anchor down and pick off villains one by one uncontested ; Dhamon vaulted over the fence in the way and slipped behind the shelter of a oak tree's trunk in the dark garden and slowly espied the rooftops of the surrounding houses. Atop the cottage that loomed before him he noticed a young Ranger bowman preparing to shoot his foes. Goblins or Amarthel's host, Dhamon guessed. He didn't want to fathom the possibility that the Dúnadan could harm the new Queen or maim Tarias, slay Khaine or Swiltang. The Angmarian hurriedly entered the home. He quietly ascended the stairs of the emptied house until he came to a bedroom. He cast aside a door that was left ajar on the right and crossed the chamber to reach the balcony, the floor of which he crept onto.</font></span>
</font></span> Dhamon lifted his arms and then grappled the edge of the roof with his hands, pulled himself up ; he recovered his longsword he had sheathed before hopping the fence and watched the youthful Ranger loose his arrows. He began walking toward his turned back. "Think you can really win this fight, son ? Idealist, are you ?" Dhamon asked conversationally, shaking his head. Ah, he had his attention now. Dhamon halted. "Have you realized what's happening ? Do you truly understand what's going on ? Your people are outunumbered and overpowered, Ranger. Fact. Dhamon saluted the Dúnadan with his own blade. "This is your last day alive," Dhamon spoke clearly. The Angmarian soldier motioned for the Ranger to put away with his bow ; he was armed with a sword as well. They would duel. Here. Poised between Earth and Heaven."Make it count, lad."</font>
</font></span>Galastel : ((</font> I hope this is kind of what you were hoping for. If you like, Dhamon and Gwathmir can have a civilized discussion *g* before they fight each other. Your character can wound Dhamon but not maim him or kill.</font>)).</font>
</font> Tarias swore as something huge slammed against his side ; the Easterling collapsed on the street with a grunt and hurled his elbow backwards at his clinging opponent ; the Goathul goblin's nose burst with mucus and blood. The creature, howling, reeled away. Tarias came quickly to his feet and yanked the goblin onto its knees ; a sharp blow with the knife of Tarias' hand shattered that part of his assailant's neck in an instant.<b style="color: rgb102, 102, 102; ">Tarias [/b]stooped to recover his axe ; his team had been ambushed here near the longhall and he had to defend himself. Just as a goblin charged, armed with a scimitar, baying </span><b style="color: rgb102, 102, 102; ">Daimona [/b]appeared.</span></font>
</font></span> The she-hound hewed her way to her master's side and leaped, tackling the goblin ; her pounce drove the Orc to the ground where she ravaged his face, rending his grey facial skin with violent tearing strokes of her terrible claws.</span><i style="color: rgb102, 102, 102; "> "Get to the hall !" [/i]<b style="color: rgb102, 102, 102; ">Tarias [/b]yelled as his unit finished dispatching </span><b style="color: rgb102, 102, 102; ">Goathul[/b]'s minions and he ran toward the rectangular structure in the distance. Perhaps the women and children of the town had been herded there. Their would be no safety for them now there.</span></font></font>

Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

Naith Liathant
05/Jul/2012, 06:17 PM
<b style="text-align: left; : rgb255, 255, 255; ">Flight of Ravens ~ Harbinger[/b]

<b style="text-align: left; : rgb255, 255, 255; ">
[/b]Caldol watched helplessly as Taneara ran forth, holding only a goblin sword as a weapon, his jaw falling open in surprise. As he watched that shadow form flit through the darkness, with brave intent, fear stabbed at him. He saw the crimson wraith seem to shift from location to location with such frightening speed. He heard the chilling laughter, and saw the satisfaction on the face of the dark skinned woman, as Taneara was cut down without effort.
Dralabor, the Raven and Bregan saw the threat to their left later than Caldol who had watched the young woman run headlong into the clutches of the Enemy. Bregan's face was thunder, and his ruddy cheeks flushed with rage, the cords of his neck standing out, as he gripped his broadsword and hefted it high to meet blades with this maniacal and unknown darkness.
" Foul wretch, this is Black Ridge! Even the blood from your dark heart shall stain it not!" Bellowed the aged Burgomaster.
Then the Iron Queen, fierce eyes burning with crimson fire, iron circlet inset with claret stone atop her crown, swept under the guard of Bregan as if he were a novice with the blade. He would have been swept through as Taneara had been, if it were not for the timely intervention of the fleet footed Caldol!
The youth had bounded from the long hall after the great doors had been sealed closed, and deftly intercepted, to push Bregan aside, and parry the blow with a clumsy effort, that saw the sweeping arc of the upper cut catch his chin and draw blood with the tip of the blade.
Feeling the warmth of the wound and the sting of the nick, Caldol breathed hard, setting himself. Bregan stumbled into Raven and the Ranger Chieftain struggled to prevent the both of them tumbling over. Dralabor span around, his eyes had been scouring the northern point of the settlement, trying to see if any Enemy was coming over the ridge itself rather than using the bridge crossing. He thought he saw wolfish shadows in flight, and fires burning beyond the village. What could climb that ridge? Orcs of the mountains? Perhaps. Wargs? Doubted. His attention lost to the immediate scene for a moment now returned to it, in time to see the lank haired youth Caldol, confronted by the flame haired figure of shadow-blighted beauty, radiating evil menace...
" Die!" Shouted Caldol, teeth clenching after, as he desperately thrust his sword toward the midriff of the woman wearing the circlet. If woman she was. It was wishful thinking perhaps, but he was young and naive and desperate.

Edited by: Naith Liathant

Hallas C. Pehwarin
05/Jul/2012, 06:58 PM
Eärmir, son of Eärnôl
Flight of Ravens: Harbinger

Now the 33-year old northern dúnedain had barely paused in the fighting to renew himself for more when a huge hulking Angmarian(Swiltang) came at him! The brute had his wicked sword held in both hands for one mean swipe that if it connected it would go through his head and continue all the way down to his belly! Eärmir reacted by leaping back a few feet! The seasoned ranger's grey-green eyes now flashed as he quickly assessed his opponent! Now the Ranger of the North tried to mount his own attack as the Angmarian's sword came ever closer to rented the trampled ground of Black Ridge. Rolling forward Eärmir now attempted to slice off his opponent's feet at the ankle with his own honed yet still sharp ranger hand-and-half sword!

OOC: Moriel that is find. Let our two NPC's join in the death together or he can survive with wounds given to him by my valiant ranger whom will be dead soon!</font>smileys/smiley11.gif

06/Jul/2012, 09:29 PM
Village of Black Ridge

</font>"Plunder and renown lie below, yours for the taking."</font> He scoffed when the woman shouted to the Angmarian host, letting his fingers roam lightly over the sharp studs that adorned his club. What were plunder and renown to those, like him, in it for the sheer rush of the hunt? No, this woman had gravely misinterpreted his motives--and probably the motives of several others in the host. He knew them to be fellow shadows that slipped between cracks to perform the messiest jobs in Carn Dum.

Balchon's features were lit with a grim smile, though, when the Delgaran ended her speech: "Go now, and taste the blood of your enemies!”</font> That he could use as motivation.

As the others tore off into the night, hunting down villagers and rangers alike, Balchon approached the scene with the cadence of a requiem--grim, slow, but even-paced. His disregard for the orders to follow the orcs who did the woman's bidding came from a desire to observe first. This was always his first step--and he knew there were enough weakling villagers and pitiful rangers to go around, even if he took his sweet time. A sharp bone still clenched between his teeth, he surveyed the chaos that followed the Angmarians' attack from beside a hut that had recently been purged of its inhabitants by other marauding attackers.

He watched the woman sped away to engage a group, then turned as a whoop echoed through the darkness around him--an orc, not of the host, approached at a wild pace, meaning to run him through with its sword. Balchon smirked as he ducked, and the orc's sword grazed his left shoulder blade as he twirled to face the creature. It had skidded to a halt some yards away and surveyed him with a look of mingled curiosity and scorn. With the casual air of someone about to sell his wares, Balchon opened his jacket to choose the knife he would use. He could feel the warm trickle of his own blood on his back. The fire lit the orc eerily. "Try that again," he said in a low, silky voice. "And let's see what happens this time."

(OOC: If there are any rangers who still need killing, I'm in.)</font></font>

07/Jul/2012, 07:20 PM
Amarthel Delgaran - Village of Black Ridge

</font>Her blow was interrupted. Not by the old man, though, but by a boy (Caldol). A boy, whose blood now stained the point of her blade, his chin dripping with the scarlet fluid; a nick, a scratch, not deep enough to kill, but deep enough to warn him of his impending doom. If he was wise, he would run. Turn now, and run: dodge the flames, hide from the archers, flee into the night and live at least a few more hours. But he was not wise. Allowing herself to become momentarily distracted from her intent, the Delgaran focused on the boy. "You are afraid," she said softly, sibilant. "So very afraid. I can feel it pulsing from you, child. Your fear could save you. But alas, it will not." He shouted and leapt at her then, thrusting his sword clumsily into her midsection. Amarthel stepped into the attack and beat his blade away easily with the sword in her right hand, as simultaneously her left drew the dagger from her hip and with a backhanded upward cut, laid his cheek open to the bone. Continuing her motion, the swarthy woman pivoted and shoved the youth's should to send him stumbling away from her. Blood tinging both her blades now, she stood still, waiting for him to move. "A noble thought, saving your elder. But nobility will save neither him nor you, child. Nobility will save no one, nor honor. This is something you must learn before you die."</font>

Swiltang - Village of Black Ridge

The ranger leapt back, putting distance between himself and Swiltang's searching blade- just enough for the stroke to miss flesh, though a severed bit of cloth fluttered through the umber air. The lean orc made to step after his opponent, circling his sword back up to the ready near his shoulder, but the ranger had thrown himself forward, rolling on the ground as he lashed out with his sword. Nimbly Swiltang jumped, evading the blade, and at once sped after the man, sending out a flat-footed kick would impact Eärmir's hip as he rolled and send him sprawling, and followed up immediately with a two-handed downward thrust at the ranger's chest.

Edited by: Moriel

07/Jul/2012, 08:32 PM
Village of Black Ridge

</font>The stench of smoke was heavy in the air, pouring into the darkening sky and thickened with screams and the stench of fear. Belzagar inhaled the heady bouquet as he tracked Amarthel. Hers was a much more attractive back to guard than the old man's, even if she had drunk all the wine before he had been able to pledge himself to her in solemn service. Oh well, she would simply have to take his word for it. Belzagar had not been too disappointed, given that the old Lord of Iron had not been given to supplying the best wine for his guests. Nor had he been too interested in supplying his people with interesting slaughters, and so this was a refreshing change. If Amarthel chose to immediately go out raiding villages instead of consolidating her reign, that was absolutely fine with him.
</font>He stayed close, his helm open-faced so she did not accidentally mistake him for a Ranger and brain him. After all, they had only met the other day. As guarding backs was traditionally close work, Belzagar was wielding sword and shield rather than his two handed monstrosity of a greatsword.
</font>The ground was getting soggy enough with blood that he was actually sinking in slightly as he ran, due to his metal shoes. Metal shoes are fantastic for when you want to kick someone, or when you want to look smug when someone hits you in the foot, but they are not lightweight. Belzagar looked around him for any potential threats and almost absently slashed open a shape that was rushing, panicked, towards him. He was unreasonably disappointed when this turned out to be a goat. Wasn't there anyone human to kill? He'd take humanoid, but frankly goblins were really boring to kill. The little wretches had become aware that their weaponry, if it wasn't Mordor-produced, would be useless even as cutlery and preferred to lace you with arrows from afar, or failing that, chew on your leg until you fell over. Belzagar had guarded against the latter with his steely boots, but he was thirsting for some swordplay.

His eye fell upon a heavy-set fellow who was hulking around, apparently due to run into Amarthel's path sooner or later - the Rangers became queerly sentimental about them slaughtering women and children, so Belzagar wondered if this would present a problem for him as this was a woman, killing a child. Belzagar actually laughed, his hand tightening around the hilt.

Hallas C. Pehwarin
07/Jul/2012, 10:23 PM
Eärmir, son of Eärnôl
Flight of Ravens: Harbinger

The fight against the Angmarian was brutal and cost the ranger part of his dark grey cloak!

Eärmir could not avoid the kick to his hip and him sprawling again to the blood splattered ground of the village of Black Ridge. The seasoned ranger now spat out some of his blood from having bit his tongue. The grey-green eyes now fixed the Angmarian(Swiltang) with a look of pure hatred! Pain racked

Eärmir's midsection but the ranger ignored it as best as he
could focusing strictly on the fight that would mean the end of his
existence! But if it was to be his end then he, Eärmir, son of Eärnôl descendants of the Elendili would make such an end to be worthy of remembrance. Now the battered ranger pulled himself up once more to face his opponent for the final time. Eärmir now held his hand-and-half ranger sword with both hands barely parrying the wicked blade of his foe aiming a light slash toward his opponents stomach!

Naith Liathant
08/Jul/2012, 12:21 AM
Flight of Ravens ~ Harbinger

Caldol listened to those words, and they chilled him, made him fight back tears at being so transparent. Made him rebel, lose his control. As he shouted his anger turned to surprise, for his blade was turned aside with consummate ease by the fire-haired woman, and suddenly it felt as though a firecracker had exploded in his face!
He tumbled to the dirty ground, screaming despite himself, trying to master his pain, but his youth and years betrayed him! His hand released his sword, and went to his cheek. It was flayed open and pulsing blood as he sat stunned. He barely registered that he had been shoved to the cold earth. He just knew the woman was towering over him and her words penetrated even his dying howl of stricken pain.
"A noble thought, saving your elder. But nobility will save neither him nor you, child. Nobility will save no one, nor honor. This is something you must learn before you die."</span>

</span>Raven and Bregan were stable now, and both men rushed in to defend the fallen lad, swords raised. Dralabor was clutching drawn steel, but had seen another figure, lurking in the darkness. An impressively powerful looking figure, and clearly making for him. The seasoned warrior prepared to ward off this threat. Surely Raven and Bregan could easily deal with the woman, whoever she was?</span>
</span>" What do you know of nobility and honour?" Bregan snarled. " Get back lad, you are out of your depth!" His broadsword raised and came down in a powerful arc toward the woman wearing the crown. " Take your poisonous words to the grave with you!" He panted, in exertion, feeling an unfamiliar tightness in his chest.</span>
</span>Raven saw the wounded boy sat on his rump in bewildered shock and moved around, to put himself between the lad and this woman. She seemed to delight in malice, and Raven had never seen such a creature before!</span>
</span>" Careful, Bregan! This is no whelp!" But the warning was unheard, and would have fallen on deaf ears regardless...</span>

08/Jul/2012, 02:03 AM
Village of Black Ridge

The orc snarled, reflecting the look of scornful hate on Balchon's face on its grotesque visage. "So you're going to try again?" he asked silkily. The orc responded by brandishing its sword and charging toward him with a shriek, its armor glinting in the firelight. "Come on!" Balchon shouted, relishing the continued trail of warm blood down his back, feeling in it the very stuff of his life and knowing he would pay the creature back tenfold.

The orc was about four paces away when it raised its sword, intent on bringing it down to cleave Balchon's head or neck. A flash of metal in the firelight later, the orc had staggered backward, hand at its throat and sword falling to the ground with a dull thud. In an instant, Balchon had sprung to life like he had not done in a long time; while he had dealt in secrecy and stealth, agility and speed had not been his primary tools.

He was on top of the creature now, finding his knife embedded in its throat. Blood oozed quickly, thick and dark, from the wound when he extracted the weapon in order to put the finishing touches on this little project. The blade of the knife, covered as it was in the orc's blood, was curved and cruel. Balchon held the orc's weakening arms down by planting his knees in the crooks of its elbows, doing a fine job--or so he thought--with carving the creature some new facial features to a soundtrack of its dying screams.

The orc having shuddered and gasped its last cry, Balchon wiped the knife on the grass and stood to survey the scene. He considered that his warm-up, and knew himself capable of this more outright battle now. Turning his head about in the dark scene, he saw a female ranger (Erefride) shoot clumsily at oncoming attackers illuminated by the fires blazing in the huts that had once housed families. "Easy prey," he thought, smiling and rubbing his hands together in anticipation of the kill.

His hand plucked the studded club from where he had dropped it next to the orc's corpse so that he could perform his intricate knife work, handling it lovingly as he slunk through the battle. In the chaos that reigned around him, he clung to shadows as a means of self-preservation and stealth. Sneaking up behind the woman, he whispered conspiratorially in her ear as he laid a hand firmly on her shoulder: "My, my. How did you find yourself out here among such brutes? It's too bad you wouldn't fit in with our side." He laughed, feeling the tension that seized the woman's body to hear him speak. Then he uttered the last words she would ever hear: "Why don't I spare you the trouble of fleeing?"

Balchon relished the messy work of a club. Who said his job had to be all finesse and knife work?

(OOC@Galastel - I posted in the OOC thread; Aig and I were thinking Balchon could somehow be involved in your character's epic death. How does that sound?</font>)

Edited by: Tarawen

08/Jul/2012, 10:26 PM
((NB: All godmoding in this section approved by Naith</font>))</font>

Amarthel Delgaran - Village of Black Ridge</font>

</font>She stalked towards the boy, preparing to raise her sword for the final blow, when two men rushed towards her, a third (Dralabor) becoming occupied with Belzagar, who had followed her though the village. One of the men was the Raven, and as he positioned himself between her and the boy, the Delgaran briefly sought his eyes- this, the defender, seemingly willing to let others die before him. Surely he must see that the old man was of no more use here than the boy? Nobility and honor, no more than excuses for cowardice. Her chill laughed raised again, in concordance with the upward stroke of Bregan's sword, and she met his descending blow with a high horizontal parry, shunting his blade to the side with a clatter. The momentum would leave him open, but Amarthel paused just long enough for the old man to recover. Then she advanced, forcing ground with a series of blows: high right shoulder, left flank, thrust to the inside of the right thigh; like a training exercise, easy enough for even the old man to block, but inexorable. "I know much of both," she lectured as she forced him back, "their treasonousness, their emasculation, their great.... weakness!"

At last the Delgaran increased her speed, the sword flashing blindingly in the firelight as she wielded it one-handed with nigh impossible quickness, finally echoing Bregan's attack with a wide overhand cut, and as he raised his sword to defend himself, she beat it aside and with the grace of an acrobat, kicked him hard in the chest. Not waiting to see the result of her attack, only hearing the crash as the old man's body hit the ground, she spun and charged at the oncoming Raven, upraising her sword again. As she did so she seemed to stumble, arms dropping, laying her core open to attack. But the triumphant thrust of the Raven towards her chest came at a price: the feint accomplished, Amarthel ducked beneath the blow and as her opponent's momentum carried him forward, she lashed out with the jeweled dagger. Its keen edge cut through the material of his trousers, through skin, biting deeply through the great muscles of the right leg, and neatly severing the great tendons of his hamstrings. Blood gouted, covering the hilt of the dagger and the Delgaran's hand. She straightened and took several steps before turning to survey her work, as though this were no more than the pruning of a tree.

But in her eyes was a cruel jubilation, and the corners of her mouth reflected great amusement as she walked slowly towards Caldol. The boy, frozen with pain, shock, and fear, had remained where he was: now Amarthel thrust her sword into the ground and transferred the dagger to her right hand, sinking to crouch behind Caldol. She lifted her bloodied left hand to caress his face, the Raven's blood smearing over his neck and cheek as her right arm hooked under his, pulling him slightly more upright, and against her chest, her head tilted over his shoulder. "You see, child?" the Delgaran said softly to the boy, "nobility and honor. A waste." Beneath her hand holding the dagger, she could feel his heart racing, and chuckled breathily into his ear. "Such a waste. But I fear now, for you, there is no turning back. At least you may serve as an example to your elders." Amarthel kissed Caldol's cheek, and her right hand thrust upwards. The dagger tore open the front of the boy's throat, laying his windpipe open. He gagged and thrashed, gasping for air to no avail. All quietude gone, the Delgaran seized the boy by his hair and hauled him up to his knees as she stood. Blood ran down the boy's neck, but still he lived, the vessels not severed. She did not mar the moment by speaking: the pathetic noises of his agony were enough. Wrapping one arm about his head as his struggles began to weaken, the other clamped down on his shoulder, and with a swift jerk and a crunching snap, Caldol crumpled to the ground.

</font>Swiltang - Village of Black Ridge</font></font>

Swiltang snarled as his blow made only superficial contact with the ranger's belly. So, the man would not lie down and die, but neither would he be taking the orcish swordmaster with him this day. Swiltang's glittering black eyes met the ranger's glare of hatred and he laughed, a harsh, guttural sound- the most defiant were always the most entertaining. He circled as the ranger arose, crouching low, his blade at the ready. He could see the blood straining the man's middle, and how his wound impeded him- but still he came on, and that would be his mistake. A light slash would not be enough to dissuade Swiltang, and he parried the attack easily, immediately flicking his wrist to twist the sword around in his hand, and stepping into the ranger's advance lashed out with the pommel of his sword to the man's face, before reversing his grip again to thrust straight at his heart.

Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

09/Jul/2012, 02:59 AM
Gwathmir (The Flight of

exhaled, fired, and waited
until he saw an orc falling to the ground before he drew breath
again. He knew it had been an orc – even in the sharp contrasts of
light and shadow, there was no mistaking the misshapen gait of those
creatures. Behind the crackling of the fires and the anguished
screams of the villagers, he could not hear the thump of falling
body. </span>

did he hear </span>Dhamon
creeping up behind him. The Angmarian could have, perhaps, taken the
ranger at unawares. But instead, </span>Dhamon
spoke. “</span>Think
you can really win this fight, son? Idealist, are you?”</span></font>
sprung to his feet at once, turning, his hand shooting back
automatically, seeking for an arrow. That was the moment he realised
he had just used the last one. “</span></font>Have
you realized what's happening ? Do you truly understand what's going
on ? Your people are outnumbered and overpowered, Ranger. </span></font>Fact</span></span></font>.”</span></font>
Why was he telling him this? Why was he waiting, rather than attack?
Was it mockery? And calling him “son” of all things. </span></span></font>Gwathmir</span></font>
laughed back proudly. A ranger, a dunadan, son of a dunadan, he was
no kin to this creature of darkness, to this man who, willingly,
chose to serve Sauron. But the laughter could not quite conceal the
young man's nervousness. By now, the battle-cries had informed the
ranger who they were up against: the forces of Angmar, the same power
that had slain King Arvedui, and broken the Northern Kingdom, and
reduced its proud sons to lonely wanderers, mocked by villagers in
their warm homes. And he knew also they were massively outnumbered.
Yet, had they not also been outnumbered by Goathul's band? And did
not that band now lie defeated? And now the villagers too took up
arms in defence of their homes. Nay, the young ranger would not give
way to despair yet. Even should Black Ridge be reduced to smouldering
ruins, its men could survive and rebuild. And he himself was young
and strong. Why should he not live to see another day?</span></span></font>
is your last day alive," </span>Dhamon
“</span></span>Make it count,
did not deign to reply. He was no lad. He was a man grown, in his early twenties, and a warrior. If his enemy considered him easy prey, he sorely underestimated him. Casting the useless bow aside, he drew
his sword. The young man had forgotten for a moment the slope of the
roof. The bow clattered down to the ground far below. Not good, but
he should be able to pick it up later. His sword, however, was what
some called a bastard sword: a one-and-half-hand weapon, long and
keen. The fires gleamed on the polished blade. With both hands on the
hilt, the ranger advanced. No flamboyant swishing with the sword.
was a warrior, and this here was real battle. There was no room here
for fancy gestures. The point of the blade was directed straight at
throat. The sloping roof didn't quite allow correct stance, but the
young man attempted at least to sidestep towards higher ground, so
that he'd be attacking from above, gravity adding strength to his
swings. Higher ground on the sloping roof had another advantage:
blood will soon be flowing here: flowing down, making the thatching
treacherously slippery.</span></span></font>
ranger did wonder what was happening down below. Screams of pain, and
the gurgling of someone choking on his own blood were rising now to
his ears, mixed with the crackling of fires, with curses and
battle-cries. But he could not afford to look. </span></span>Dhamon's</span>
sword was bared in his hand. One moment of lost concentration could
be </span></span>Gwathmir's</span>
last. The Angmarian had not attacked so far for some reason, perhaps
seeking to gloat, but surely he would not go on talking forever.</span></span></font>
his opponent, </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
lunged into a series of short attacks: aiming sometimes higher – at
face, sometimes lower – at his arm, always prepared to finish the
thrust, should the opportunity present itself, but never fully
committing himself. His hands remained both on the hilt, ready for
defence (for </span></span>a
block is more effective with the strength of two arms behind it). And
all the while, even as he was half-stepping forward or backward with
each thrust or parry, his legs were searching for the better footing.
A plan was forming in the ranger's mind: if he could herd the
Angmarian towards the edge, perhaps the man would fall off. And even
if not, the very awareness of the emptiness behind him might prove
distracting enough to be of use.</span></span></span></font>

Actually, I had planned for Gwathmir to gradually realise on his own
that there would be no escape. He's still got that – one enemy
saying stuff isn't going to suddenly change a confident youth into a
desperate one. Not yet, anyway. Although I suspect I chose the wrong ground for what I
wanted: I thought that from above Gwathmir would be able to see the
atrocities, then realised he's going to bee too busy for that most of
the time</font>).</span></span></font>

Edited by: Galastel

Almarëa Mordollwen
10/Jul/2012, 02:32 AM
</font>Layna, known as Vella</font></font>Village of Black Ridge</font></font>
</font>She could feel it hovering over the villagers, as devastating as the smoke that billowed up into the clouded sky. </font>Layna</font>allowed the barest hint of a smile to touch her lips as she thrust the torch that she carried in her left hand up into another thatched roof. The straw was dry and brittle - it took mere seconds for the flames to spread, across the eaves and up to the peak of the roof. The walls were not far behind, and </font>Layna</font>could hear the shrieks of the home's occupants as they realized their danger. From her perspective, it was a clear and unambiguous situation: women, children, cowards - they hid inside, mistakenly thinking that these flimsy walls would protect. them. Well, now they had two options, and only two: one, they burnt to death, or two, they fled out the front door and died by </font>Layna</font>'s waiting blade.</font>
</font>The dagger she currently wielded had a long and slender blade, with straight edges and a deadly point. The pommel was set with jet black onyx, and the quillons were coated with tarnished silver. Built into the pommel was a secret compartment, which contained a minuscule container of extra poison. The entire blade had been coated with a highly concentrated solution of aconitine - practical and deadly. Which was why, even if </font>Layna</font>had not sliced open the woman's carotid arteries as she burst out of the front door carrying her six-year-old daughter, neither would have had a hope of living to see the next sunrise. The roof began to collapse behind her as she pivoted to meet the charge of a male villager who had obviously noticed her skill. The woman's husband? An elder son?</font></font>Merely an appalled villager who had no clue what he was up against? All possible, and </font>Layna</font>did not particularly care which.</font>
</font>His very first strike was mistimed and sloppy, as he charged straight towards the assassin standing in front of the burning house, a torch in one hand and a blade in the other - a blade still dripping with the woman's blood. Anger made you make mistakes - or perhaps it was just that his technique was absolutely terrible to start with. A wild slash at her neck - </font>Layna</font>sidestepped carelessly, not even bothering to block. Another cut to her shoulder; this one she did bother to parry, just for a moment, as she deflected the flat of the blade with the torch, transferred it to her dagger, and then simply extended her left arm and thrust the still-flaming torch straight into the man's face as he screamed and then dropped to his knees, desperately trying to turn his face away from the fire. The dark-haired woman disarmed him with a single spin of her dagger, sending his blade flying off to the side and then kicking him backwards so he fell to the ground.</font>
</font>She traced her blade up along his neck slowly, enjoying the fear in his eyes, and also the disbelief. For a moment the point of the dagger hovering over his jugular, and then </font>Layna</font>raised an eyebrow at the man, who was cringing, frozen in terror and agony from the burns that already covered his face</font>. </font>"That would be far too quick." She withdrew the dagger with a quick motion, but before the villager had any time to react, or feel anything - even relief - she thrust downwards with the torch, holding it firmly against his eyes and nose. The smoke would ensure he could not breathe - and he would die of suffocation in about three minutes, three minutes that would seem interminable to the man writhing in pain as his clothes, hair, skin, muscles, and bone were burned and charred beyond all recognition.</font>
</font>The child had apparently run off, but </font>Layna</font>was hardly concerned. The expected lifespan of one six-year-old in the middle of this chaos would be less than five minutes, and she was hardly going to be a threat to anyone. What the assassin was more intent on were the houses that remained standing - the ones as yet untouched by the spreading flames. Her attention was caught by a building that appeared to be a stable, and she dashed over to it, keeping as out of sight as possible. She really had no intention of letting herself be attacked by any large group of rangers while she was in the middle of happily turning their town into an inferno of fiery chaos.</font>
</font>She yanked open the stable doors and slipped inside, looking around quickly and determining that she was in fact alone in the small building. There were eight or nine dozen stalls, most of which were empty, but down at one end there were three horses still restrained there, restless and alarmed by the noise and confusion outside. The assassin's evaluation of them took no more than a moment, and </font>Layna</font> chose the oldest and most ungainly carthorse. It was the work of a moment to tie a bale of straw to its back before leading it out into the street, soothing it quietly to ensure that it would in fact come when she asked it to. She set the other two horses free - they would cause plenty of confusion when they came face to face with flames or the fight and panicked. They might even trample some people, but that would just be too bad. If they did survive, they might be of some use later.</font>
</font>As an afterthought, she torched the building before she left, walking calmly out into the confusion of the fight, which had spread all over the village. The halter in one hand, a torch in the other, and clothed completely in black, </font>Layna</font>had no illusions about her ability to remain inconspicuous for long. One ranger (</font>Eben</font>) spotted her and paused in uncertainty, perhaps wondering at the presence of a young woman in the midst of the battle, or perhaps even mistaking her for a villager? She would never know, but a smile touched her lips as she met his eyes and cheerfully extended her left arm and set yet another roof alight. </font>Layna</font>then set fire to the straw tied to the horse's back and slapped the animal with the flat of her blade.</font>
</font>The terrified animal bolted down the narrow alleyway, forcing the ranger to move or be immediately run over. He was fast enough - </font>Layna</font>was willing to give him that - but he hadn't thought far enough ahead. As soon as she released the horse, she had dropped the torch and drawn two small throwing daggers from her boot. One was sent towards the ranger, impaling itself in his shoulder - a non-fatal wound, but one that would cause him a momentary lapse in concentration nonetheless. The other brought down the panicked horse, which collapsed and landed neatly on top of the unfortunate ranger, together with its still-burning load of straw. His end would be rather slow - and even if he did manage to dig his way out somehow, the dagger that had pierced his shoulder had been coated with a neurotoxin. In less than twenty minutes - if he survived that long - he would be permanently paralyzed.</font>
</font>If not, death by charred horseflesh.</span>Such a sad way to go, </font>Layna</font>thought. She pragmatically retrieved both daggers before looking about for her next victim...</font>

Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

Hallas C. Pehwarin
10/Jul/2012, 06:52 PM
Eärmir, son of Eärnôl
Flight of Ravens: Harbinger

The 33-year old northern dúnedain now grimaced as his stroke was parried and now his Orc opponent twisted his wrist and flipped his sword around to bash him in the face with his pommel! More of his own blood now seeped from broken nose! Then did time itself seem to slow to a crawl as Eärmir felt the cold embrace of (Swiltang)'s blade puncture its way through his thin armor and enter his tall lean body! Groaning audibly Eärmir now pushed himself along the blade up to the hilt. Now with his life ending did the dying ranger form his fingers into the claws and extended both his arms and hands out! Now the ranger choose to leave his own mark on this Orc! So did the ranger claw one side of his opponent's face barely deep enough to draw forth some of its oily black blood and his upper arm doing the same before turning his weathered face skyward and sighing as he passed on. In the throes of death did Eärmir's bladder too release itself voiding its contents through the sweat soaked garments caked now with copious amounts still flowing blood that now stained the Orc's own ragged attire.....

OOC: Afternoon Moriel your NPC 2nd in command has triumphed over another dúnedain. But beware his folk for they shall defend Eriador until the last! Yet I decided to give him a messy ending. Your choice now to pick on someone else to slay</font>.smileys/smiley11.gif

11/Jul/2012, 10:57 PM
Black ridge, the village, you know

Coolly, Belzagar's grey eyes flickered back and forth, his heartbeat steady, even as he assessed the situation. It had been clear from the outset that this was no easy village raid - not only were there inexplicable goblins infesting the area, but Black Ridge was defended by a group of rangers who had risen to confront them and were converging upon him and Amarthel now.

Casually, Belzagar took them in, glancing over their armour and weapons, their reach, their stances. They were kindred to him, but where they and their fathers had long ago taken the weak, sentimental path of the Elf-friend, Belzagar was a Black Númenórean, those who had followed the Shadow willingly, seeking after immortality and power. It meant that he was a survivor, first and beyond all else. If Amarthel could not protect herself, at the end of the day, Belzagar would do what he could - but not at the price of his own skin. Besides, she seemed to be holding her own well enough... for a girl, at any rate. Belzagar had been raised in a household where women were mostly ornamental or functionary - even the priestesses were only servers, after all - and found himself quite bemused by the red-headed harridan. She barely seemed human at all at times. But that was all right. Belzagar found most normal humans incredibly tedious.

But to the business at hand, there was a hulking fellow, steel in hand (Dralabor), who had apparently fixed Belzagar with a gaze as steely as .. er.. what he had in hand. Belzagar was not the kind to roar and rush in; instead, he flourished his sword in casual invitation. "Care for a dance?" he offered. If not, oh well, he could always follow Amarthel's unsubtle route - there were always children to dismember, he supposed. That should attract some attention soon enough.

17/Jul/2012, 06:03 AM
Village of Black Ridge

The woman's lifeless body fell in a graceful arc that ended with a dull and anticlimactic whumph as it hit the grass. Balchon was pleased with his club-work: the girl was hardly recognizable thanks to his intervention. And the fun was just beginning.

His face, grim with satisfaction at the grisly scene around him and in which he participated, lit up with interest in the firelight when he saw a bow come clattering off a nearby rooftop. He could hear a teasing, greasy voice that could belong only to a fellow Angmarian; the voice that responded seemed to be the steely tones of a drawn sword.

He let his club dangle from his belt, looping a leather strap around the beaten and worn belt that girded his waist. To prepare himself to meet what he suspected was a ranger, Balchon replaced his habitual bone-pick with a knife, gripping its flat sides with his rotting teeth. In this way he scaled the side of the building, clambering stealthily onto the roof. It seemed the men who were engaged up here were on the other side of the house, hidden from view by the sloping roof's height. Knife still clenched between his teeth, Balchon slithered to the ridge of the roof to peer at the fight taking place.

It was as he suspected--a fellow Angmarian (Dhamon) taunting and challenging a ranger (Gwathmir) who wore the determined look of someone prepared to die for principles. "And die you will," he thought, watching the young man lunge and block with two hands, the force of his entire body behind each self-righteous stroke. It seemed the young man was trying to drive Balchon's colleague over the edge of the roof, there to meet his doom. "Lucky for him I'm here," he mused, wondering if the other Angmarian would share the slow task of putting this man to a most unpleasant end if Balchon saved him from breaking his neck.

Just as the two men stepped dangerously near the edge of the housetop, Balchon stood to reveal himself. The firelight from below flickered nicely to illuminate their facial features. "Careful there, mate," he called lazily to the Angmarian. "Or you'll go over and I'll have all the fun. Not that I'd complain to have this job all to myself." He smirked, taking in the smoky haze around them appreciatively; he was full of satisfaction to note how it added to the aura of death that had descended upon the village.

"Club or knives?" he asked the Angmarian, hoping the man would appreciate his flexibility.

Edited by: Tarawen

17/Jul/2012, 10:13 PM
Gwathmir (The Flight of Ravens)

was gradually pushing </span>Dhamon
towards the edge. As yet, his opponent's sword had not touched him,
and things were going his way. Whatever the Angmarian had said, the
young ranger was not going to die just yet. But then, he heard the
creaking of boots on the thatch roof behind him, and a harsh voice
called from above. It was time to finish this fight, and quickly,
before he'd find himself caught between two enemies.</span>

parried yet another attack from </span>Dhamon,
</span>Gwathmir swung his
sword in a wide arc, gathering momentum, and at the highest point of
the swing released his right, front, hand. From there, the blade came
hurtling down, gravity and momentum pulling it, the relaxed left arm
serving merely to guide it in the needed direction. It appeared to be
aimed for the head, but it would take a mere turn of the wrist to
send the sword lower: </span>Gwathmir
counted on </span>Dhamon
raising his sword to protect his head, at which point the bastard
sword would come down, cutting the air with a swish, to strike the
Angmarian's right thigh. He made a step forwards, bringing his left
foot ahead, allowing his sword to reach even further, and at the same
time turning his torso so that only his left side was directed at the
enemy – the side protected by the blade. The way this manoeuvre was
supposed to work, as far as </span>Gwathmir
was concerned, either he would leave a deep cut in </span>Dhamon's
leg, which would make balancing on a roof much harder, or </span>Dhamon
would move his leg away backwards, and might just overbalance and
fall. And either way, momentum would bring the sword back into the
ranger's right hand, even as he would step backwards. It was a quick
move: the sword would complete a full circle, swishing as it cut the
air, step forwards, step back. Too short a time for the other enemy,
</span>Balchon, to reach
him. After that, he would be dealing with one enemy again.</span>

all that time, </span>Gwathmir
had not turned to look at </span>Balchon.
The voice was enough for him to judge distance, and he could only
hope the enemy was not an archer. But then, an archer should have
shot him already, unless it was the way of all Angmarians to prefer
gloating over strategical advantage. The alternative – looking back
in the middle of a sword-fight, was too dangerous for the ranger to
contemplate. But the second Angmarian's question caught his
attention: “Club or knives?” he was asking, as if teasing. “</span>Not
an archer,”</span>
the ranger concluded with an inner sigh of relief. And still
silently, he prayed “</span></span>Knives,
knives, knives!</span>”
With his big sword, </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
did not fear knives. He would cut his enemy in half long before he'd
be within knife range. But a club was a different matter. The young
man's armour was boiled leather – a ranger could not creep through
woods, or attempt to outrun wargs, in anything heavier. He relied on
speed for protection, but that could prove insufficient against a
club's heavy blow.
</span></span>(OOC. Aig, I left a note for you in the OOC thread.</font> Tarawen, Club, I assume? At least as long as Gwathmir has his bastard sword?</font>)

Beren Camlost
18/Jul/2012, 06:31 AM

Black Ridge</font>
</font> Dhamon became unbalanced as he took a step backward and fell ; fortunately, the home wasn't so tall. No bones were broken but Dhamon grunted from the impact, hitting his side somewhat roughly ; that would leave a bruise. "Have all the fun," Dhamon called out to the Angmarian soldier (Balchon).</font>
</font> He wanted a piece of the action apparently. Probably, he had saved his life ; Dhamon wouldn't forget him. He<b style="color: rgb102, 102, 102; ">[/b]reached for his fallen longsword and arose. Concerned about </span><b style="color: rgb102, 102, 102; ">Tarias[/b], </span><b style="color: rgb102, 102, 102; ">Dhamon [/b]ran from the house to rejoin the fray, hoping to find the Easterling still alive.</span></font>
</span></font>OOC @ Galastel ((</font> I'm PM'ing you</font> ))</font>
</font>Tarias and Dhamon</font>Black Ridge</font>
</font> Tarias' brutes set the longhouse aflame ; from within he could hear the wailing of frightened children, the screaming of their mothers, the moaning of old men and the shrieking of their aged wives. The civilians had thought they'd find shelter in this structure ; they were sorely mistaken. Tarias heard the clatter of a back door swinging shut and saw a young teenage boy running off with his little sister. "You ever tasted kid before ?" Tarias questioned the Molosser gaily ; brass-collared Daimona edged away silently, obviously doubtful she'd enjoy slaughtering children. A glare from her new master made her think twice ; she ran to intercept them. "Guard this entrance !" Tarias ordered his troops, cutting down the first man - a grizzled man in his seventies with most of his teeth already missing - to burst out of the front door. "I need a team with me to secure the rearway !" He shouted, shoving a plump, red-cheeked escaping pre-teen back into the inferno.</font>
</font> Tarias ran at full tilt passed the longhall's eastern side and swallowed a curse as Dhamon appeared on his right flank. "I told you to eliminate archers on the roofs !" "They're being taken care of," Dhamon responded, casting a look back toward where the youthful Ranger had forced him off a house. "I'd rather be at your side." "You're an honorable fool," Tarias spat, "You better have a black bone in your body if you hang with me." Together, Dhamon and Tarias ambushed the fleeing non-combatants. Tarias punched down a freckled, dark-haired woman in her twenties ; her brother, a twin, swung a fist but Tarias side-stepped and with a back sweep of his right arm, the blade of his crow-marked axe beheaded the defending brother. The sister, right eye blackened by the force of Tarias' blow, loosed an agonized cry. Dhamon shut her up, sinking his blade into her heart. "Alright, I trust you," Tarias conceded with a laugh.</font></font>

Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

23/Jul/2012, 08:22 PM
Yarltang – Village of Black Ridge

Roaring and screeching and triumphant, malicious laughter filled Yarltang’s ears as she stood atop the slate roof of a charred and blackened house. The light and head of flames flickered and hissed all about, and he could see his archers dotted about the place through the grime of the smoke, dealing their swift death to the villagers and rangers alike. The big, burly orc had very nearly run out of his black-fletched arrows, and made each one count as he drew, knocked, and released. With a satisfied grunt he let fly with an arrow, watching it sink into the throat of a woman below, and her form crumple silently to the ground. Voice caught his attention then and he spun about, drawing the last arrow from his quiver and setting it to the string of his bow, drawing as he moved. There, on the next building over, a meager few feet of space between the roofs, he saw a ranger (Gwathmir) battling. There were two Angmarians facing him- but soon to be one, as the ranger forced Dhamon off the room. Yarltang scoffed; he wasn’t sure what Tarias had ever seen in that lout, but then, he wasn’t sure what the Delgaran saw in Tarias either. Balchon was a different matter though. Yarltang did not know the man, had scarcely met him in fact, but he liked him. He was dirty and brutal and far more like an orc than any man Yarltang had met, which was probably why he liked him so much- not that he wouldn’t put an arrow through his skull if necessary. This particular arrow, however, was destined for a different body.

Yarltang took careful aim as the two combatants seemed to assess each other, waiting until the ranger’s back was to him, and then released. The arrow flew straight and true, and if it met its target, would sink deep into the man’s right shoulder. A killing shot would have been easy enough from this vantage point, but why take all of Balchon’s fun away? Indeed, from the way things were progressing, it seemed as though there might be time for Yarltang to have a little fun too. Even as his arrow flew the burly orc limbered the bow back around his torso and sprinted to the edge of the building, following the shaft in a leap that took him over the gap between the roofs, to land heavily on the top of the building where Balchon and Gwathmir stood. As soon as he had landed, Yarltang straightened and drew from its frog on his back an immense warhammer. It was a fearsome weapon, the shaft nearing four feet and topped by a forged head which on one side flattened into a wide crushing head, on the other tapering into a broad spike, and surmounted with a needle-pointed one. He held it easily in one hand, the head down and waiting as he walked slowly towards the pair, his darkly glittering black eyes waiting to see who would make the first move.

24/Jul/2012, 07:39 PM
Gwathmir (Flight of Ravens)

swung, </span>Dhamon stepped
back to avoid the blow, lost his footing and fell. The ranger laughed
in relief. This was the Angmarian who had promised to kill him. Well,
it seemed fate decreed otherwise, and the Valar still watched over
the Dunedain. But the laughter died on the young man's lips as he
looked down. The ground was strewn with corpses: men, women,
children. Houses were burning, and orcs were cutting down the
frightened villagers who tried to escape the fire. </span>Erefride,
his comrade and friend, lay dead. </span>Gwathmir
only recognised the young woman by her light hair, covered now with
blood. Her face was gone, smashed in by some heavy object. Perhaps
even the club of that other Angmarian, </span>Balchon,
still waiting above. </span>Timrin and
</span>Eärmir were not to
be seen, and the air did not ring with their brave battle-cries.
</span>Raven still stood,
facing an Angmarian woman, but he too was wounded. </span>“I
should have been by his side, not here on the roof,”</span>
was the first thought that struck the ranger. Yet even as he thought
this, he knew it would have been to no avail. They were outnumbered
too badly. And now there could be no victory. For even if </span></span>Timrin</span>
and </span></span>Earmir</span>
were still alive, even if the skies themselves opened now to save
them all, it would be too late. Black Ridge was taken, its folk
slain. </span></span>Raven's</span>
plan had worked – they had reached Black Ridge before Goathul. But
it had proved fruitless. “I'm sorry, Myrtle,” the ranger
whispered, looking at the carnage. “I have failed.”</span></span>
as the young man stared horrified at the carnage bellow, his ear
caught a whistling of an object cutting the air with speed, and he
responded without thinking, his reflexes honed by many years of
battle in the wilds. He started to turn. Not fast enough, and yet
even that saved him. An arrow struck his right shoulder, and he
staggered at the impact. But though he stood close to the edge, he
did not fall, nor did the arrow sink deep. The leather pauldron took
most of the damage, and with what remained of its momentum, the arrow
went into muscle rather than cutting tendons. A flesh wound. It hurt,
without question. But </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
could still hold his sword. The ranger spun round to see where this
new attack came from. He would have liked to break the arrow – the
long shaft sticking out of his shoulder could get caught on
something, driving the arrow further in, but there was no time. Even
as he turned, </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
saw a huge orc (</span></span>Yarltang</span>)
leaping from another rooftop towards him, and then unsheathing a
warhammer. The young man swallowed hard. It was not that he was
afraid to die. He was a warrior and a ranger. But he was young. He
was twenty-three. And he had a bride waiting for him in Archet. He
had been in hard battles before, he had sustained wounds, even heavy
ones. But the way those two, </span></span>Balchon</span>
and </span></span>Yarltang</span>
were coming at him, slowly, as if they had no need to hurry, and he
was all alone, his friends dead, or too far away, it was... </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
gripped his sword tighter, and stubbornly raised his head. Two
enemies, both strong and heavily armed, and he already tired, and
wounded in both arms. Well, he'd just have to work those two against
each other, and try to be faster than them. A bastard sword was a
versatile weapon, allowing for longer range if you released one hand,
or shorter range if you gripped the ricasso. It was a tool designed
for many different battle situations. He'd have to put forth his
skill and his ingenuity to match his two enemies at once. But who was
to say it could not be done? He was a ranger, alive, strong, he had
something to fight for, and someone to return to. He was not going to
give up, when he could still stand.</span></span>
while thinking, </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
backed away slowly - away from </span></span>Yarltang</span>,
but more important – up, away from the edge. And that, of course
brought him closer to </span></span>Balchon</span>.
And when he drew near enough, the ranger sprung suddenly, performing
the same manoeuvre as before: a feint to the head, then down towards
his enemy's leg. </span></span>Balchon</span>
was still above him. The slope would force him to have more weight on
his front leg. Perhaps he would not move it away in time. And then
the hilt would again be in the ranger's two hands, ready to parry
anything </span></span>Balchon</span>
or </span></span>Yarltang</span>
would throw at him. The adrenalin of battle allowed the ranger to ignore the pain in his right shoulder and left arm. But he could feel the blood trickling down his back, and knew this to be a bad sign. Flesh wound or no, eventually the blood loss would wear him out. And now the hot smoke from the burning village was getting into his throat - it was becoming harder to breathe. He knew his only hope, if indeed he had any hope, lay in speed.
his two enemies, the young man chose to get rid first of the one who
looked weaker, if he could. </span></span>Yarltang</span>,
with his warhammer, looked threatening enough without reinforcement.
But there was another reason he went for </span></span>Balchon</span>
first. If he was to die here, </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
wanted at least to avenge </span></span>Erefride's</span>
gruesome death. If he was to die, </span></span>Balchon</span>
was the one he would choose to take with him.</span></span>

Edited by: Galastel

28/Jul/2012, 06:09 AM
Village of Black Ridge

He watched the ranger struggle futilely against the other Angmarian (Dhamon), grinning when his comrade offered him the spoils of the fight all to himself. "Don't mind if I do," he called, more to the ranger than to the other Angmarian. A snide smile flickered across his face, replaced momentarily by a thoughtful expression as he contemplated the weapons on his person. "Well he wasn't of much help. But see, here's the thing. Either way, I'm going to kill you. Knives or club, it doesn't really matter to me. I'll still get to savor all your little emotions as the life seeps out of you." He smiled broadly, face illuminated eerily in the smoke-enhanced flickering firelight. "And I can tell you've got a good store of 'em. What'll come first? Despair? Spite? Pure, unadulterated fear?"

"So I'll have to make a choice about what will be the most fun for me," he went on. His little speech, however, was punctuated by a thick, black arrow that sped through the night and hit the ranger before he could shift out of the way entirely. "A-hah." His lips pursed with a mixture of frustration and curiosity as he glanced warily at the hulking orc (Yarltang) who leaped from a neighboring rooftop to join them. "Interesting show of arms," he said through his teeth, eyeing the warhammer. "Don't mind if I do the same?"

As the words left his mouth, the ranger sprung toward him. Balchon anticipated a blow to the head and ducked low to avoid the blow, twisting as he recognized the ranger's true target: his leg. The sword sliced shallowly into his leg, with blood from the wound quickly staining his already filthy pants leg. "A little fight in you," he said, an ironic smile revealing his rotten teeth as he stood. "I like that. Keeps things interesting for us, eh?" He let a knife slip from its hiding place in his left sleeve down to his hand, though he kept it out of sight amidst the tattered remains of a cuff. He removed his club from his belt, swinging it casually by the leather strap affixed to its handle as he sauntered toward the ranger.

The pain in his knee was a mere preview of what he would dole out to this ranger before he ended his pain--and meddlesome ways--once and for all."But let's not get too . . . hasty," he said, shaking his finger
at the ranger, who looked like he might be caught off balance as he
adjusted to the slope of the roof. "This, ah, friend of mine and I will make short work of you if we have to. I prefer to take things a little more slowly."

He approached the ranger almost cautiously, though he was ready to spring at the first signs of attack from the ranger. They were both wounded, but Balchon relished the pain. This young man looked like suffering was the last thing he had expected to experience. And therein lay the key difference between them. Balchon whirled his club in hand one last time, using the motion to build momentum in the instrument as he launched himself toward the ranger, aiming for the head with his club. He sought to strike the man down, let the orc have some fun with him, then finish him with the knife that remained hidden but not forgotten.

29/Jul/2012, 02:30 PM
Gwathmir (Flight of Ravens)

Was this need to gloat
common to all Angmarians? Gwathmir
clenched his theeth. He would not give </span>Balchon
the satisfaction of a answer. But the evil man's words were getting
under the ranger's skin. At the face of this huge host of darkness,
he did wonder how a few score rangers, all that remained of the
Kingdom of Arnor long ago, could hope to stem this tide. Oh, they
could fight until the last of them lay dead on the battlefield, and
they would, if it ever came to that – no Dunadan would ever
surrender. But what use would it be to the simple folk, the villages
and farmers? What use to his Myrtle would be the knowledge that he
had died with sword in hand? She had begged him so often to return
no matter what else. But no, this was no time for such thoughts.
Battle, even a lost one, was no time for despair, or for
consideration. When an enemy was attacking you, thoughts had to be
directed at staying alive for another minute, and taking the enemy
down. Attention given to greater question was attention taken from
the situation at hand. The Angmarian was distracting </span></span>Gwathmir</span>,
succeeding in it too, perhaps because </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
was young. </span></span>I will
not give him the satisfaction of an answer.</span>
He told himself with an effort. </span></span>I
will answer him with my sword. I am a Dunadan, I will not stoop to
exchanging insults with a petty henchman of Suaron's.</span>
was only the change of resistance that told the ranger had sword had
struck true. On </span></span>Balchon's</span>
filthy trousers, the blood could hardly be seen. But the wound was
shallow – it did not impede the Angmarian's movement as </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
had hoped. </span></span>

now the Angmarian was advancing on him. He was still mocking, even
while swinging his club. Trying to get the ranger to lose his temper
and do something stupid perhaps. Or just waiting for him to make a
mistake, or catch his foot on the sloping roof. Or perhaps he just
relished the jeering. From the vile servants of Angmar you could
expect any form of perversity. The ranger retreated carefully, trying
to keep an eye on both </span></span>Balchon</span>
and </span></span>Yarltang</span>,
wondering if while one taunted him, the other would surprise him from
the rear. Both bore weapons he did not like fighting against: blunt
and heavy, they were harder to block, unless you had a shield, and
they could shutter bone without breaking the skin. They were also
harder to control than a sword, and less versatile, but that was
beside the point. But it was </span></span>Balchon</span>
who finally lunged at him, swinging that hateful club of his. The
Angmarian's attack was obvious and straightforward. There was no
attempt to feint there, no subtlety. Perhaps he was incapable of
subtlety, one who knew only how to beat those who were weaker, and
grovel before those who were stronger. </span></span>Gwathmir</span>,
a trained ranger, responded without thought. It was easy, really,
something a child of twelve practised in Maenorthrond. He performed a
perfect solid block, catching the club on the flat of his strong. But
the Angmarian's club was no sword that could be stopped that way. The
swords that were forged in ancient Numenor once could have perhaps
withstood such a blow, but not the blade of a poor ranger from the
end of the Third Age. As the club struck it, the faithful bastard
sword shattered. For a moment, </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
stood frozen, shocked. As if hearing the drums beating for an
execution, he saw, with absolute certainty, that he would not escape
this battle. Up until that moment, he had hoped. Despite all evidence
to the contrary, he could not believe himself mortal. He knew it in
his mind, perhaps, but not in his heart. He could not believe the
Valar would be so cruel as to take him, right before his wedding,
that they would allow Myrtle, his kind, merry, honest, childish
Myrtle, to be left alone. At this moment, he knew.</span></span>
remembering that though he was doomed, he was still alive, </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
did the only thing left to him in this situation. In his hands was
left the hilt, with about eight inches of blade. It had been the
ricasso, the edge was blunt. But the broken end was sharp. The ranger
dived in. His left hand struggling to catch and hold </span></span>Balchon's</span>
wrist, he lunged, trying to drive the broken piece of metal into the
Angmarian's armpit. Joints were the weakest point of almost any
armour, and a weaker point of the human physique as well. If only he
could succeed in this...</span></span>
the moment, </span></span>Gwathmir</span>
paid no heed to his other enemy, </span></span>Yarltang</span>.
But being so close to </span></span>Balchon</span>,
he could hope that the Angmarian man's body would give him at least
partial protection from the orc. And then... The ranger too had a
dagger, in a hilt on his side. If only he could have a second to draw
it, then perhaps he would stand another minute or two. At an impulse,
the young man raised his eyes for a second to see the sky. He had no
idea what time of night it was, or how long they had been fighting.
But the smoke of the burning village hid away the stars. The skies
above were as dark as the happenings bellow. Dawn, the light of Men,
was still a long time away. The rangers at Black Ridge would not see
it. And Elbereth's silver blossoms hid away from the carnage.</span></span>

Naith Liathant
04/Aug/2012, 10:05 AM
Flight of Ravens ~ Harbinger
She moved like a raging fire through the dark of night, and scolded all who stood in defiance. Brave Bregan was old, and his aged limbs did not have the spry agility of youth, but the ire in him burned deep enough. Yet even as his great sword raised to come down, a booted leg kicked him square in the chest and he fell back, stumbling, his red face reddening all the more, and a deep pain clutched at his heart from some place deep inside. He saw more than felt the sword drop. He stared, blinking, his eyes bulging as he fought for breath. She would surely slay him now...
Then he was saved! For in that instant the Raven threw himself in to prevent Bregan's death, and in that man's shadow the burgomaster of Black Ridge fell to his knees, fighting for a breath that wouldn't come. His brain registered the need to grab for his sword, to pull himself back up, to kill this crowned menace, but his body wouldn't respond for the pain seemed to wash through him, shattering him, coming on stronger and stronger, and he gasped, incredulously.
The Raven he saw succumb to her skill at arms, she was lithe and deadly in her art and he had over committed himself, he saw a weakness that was in fact pure intent and malice. A deception worse than the evil lies she would soon whisper into the ear of a stricken youth about to die. She was sadistic and economical in the application of her ruthless exertions. Bregan's eyes, already bulging in agony, now widened in horror as he saw the Raven tumble, his legs swept out from under him in a claret spray, the evil smile on the cruel lips of his enemy, the bloodied dagger in her skilled hand. Severed tendons, and the Raven sprawled, and Bregan knew that the best of them was done for, in a single almost callous dismissal of his own skills in battle. He was nothing before this whirling blade-mistress of death.
Raven tumbled hard, searing agonised pain exploding from his wound moments after the cutting. He knew his error, knew how fatal it was, and knew it was over, in the same instant as he met the muddy ground and tried to correct himself, to stand, but his right leg was damaged beyond repair. If he lived somehow, if he managed to kill this demon of a woman, he would be a cripple now. Better to die? He tried to push thoughts like that from his mind, but he was clouded with sudden despair. Rolling in the cold earth, keeping his sword in his hand, defensively, watching for a killing move from the crowned woman. But there was none, she was simply sauntering away, and over to the boy...

"You see, child?"</span>the cruel woman was whispering</span>softly to the boy, "nobility and honor. A waste." She leaned in and breathed into his ear with words designed to utterly and contemptuously crush the fledgling spirit of a life soon to be cut horribly short. "Such a waste. But I fear now, for you, there is no turning back. At least you may serve as an example to your elders." Caldol frowned, trembling in her grip as she cupped his chin and he watched as Bregan finally sunk forward, his heart giving out. As</span>Amarthel</span>kissed</span>Caldol</span>'s cheek, Bregan died face down in the mud, knowing that the defeat of Black Ridge was imminent, unstoppable, inevitable. Crushed beneath the iron fist of this crowned avenger from the heart of darkness. Caldol's senses were filled with the scent of her, his heart racing, his fear making him swallow hard and then...</span>
</span>Her right hand thrust upwards. The dagger tore open the front of the boy's throat, laying his windpipe open. He gagged and thrashed, gasping for air to no avail. Suddenly</span><b style="color: rgb204, 0, 0; text-align: left; : rgb255, 255, 255; ">Delgaran[/b]seized the boy by his hair and hauled him up to his knees as she stood. Blood ran down the boy's neck, but still he lived, the vessels not severed. She did not mar the moment by speaking: the pathetic noises of his agony were enough. Wrapping one arm about his head as his struggles began to weaken, the other clamped down on his shoulder, and with a swift jerk and a crunching snap,</span><b style="color: rgb204, 0, 0; text-align: left; : rgb255, 255, 255; ">Caldol[/b]crumpled to the ground.</span><br style="color: rgb204, 0, 0; text-align: left; : rgb255, 255, 255; ">
</span>His lifeblood coursed out, pumping and gushing to stain the dark earth, pooling and running into the matted mane of Bregan who lay face down, barely able to even convulse with dignity. He rolled over, clutching his own chest, and stared up through dying eyes at the towering figure of the crowned woman who seemed for one moment to consider him, her gleaming eyes filled with satisfaction and her cruel mouth twisted in a sneer of contempt, as the old man choked and perished...</span>
</span>Raven forced himself into a defensive position, his wounded leg not responding, his left pushing him back a foot or two, his sword readied across himself, to deflect any blow that might come, as the controlled and composed warrior woman languidly walked toward him. </span>
</span>Raven bit back tears of anguish. He saw the boy forced to stand and watched on powerless as she opened him up and he died, any spirit and goodness drained or corrupted in him for listening to the fatal words she wielded with the same skill with which she wielded her weapons. The simple kick she had delivered to Bregan had caused the old man to suffer heart failure. Too long in his hall at the feasting table. But what of the Raven? He had driven his men here relentlessly, to confront and thwart the razing force of Gorthaur the Blighter and his horde. He had succeeded. The passion within him to stop the evil desecrations of his blood letting had subsided and in victory there was satisfaction. A satisfaction and victory now torn from him. The ashes of his dreams began to fill the air as the smoke of burning buildings and the screams of the innocent rent Black Ridge, and here like a nightmare effigy came this unspeakably potent threat, a woman of terrible and ominous darkness. What could he do? His maimed leg was ruined and he could not stand. She would soon slay him, and it would be all over. Somehow defeat had ridden in on the heels of victory. The injustice in it burned in him like the pain searing up from his crippled leg. Calrisha, I will join you soon.</span>
</span>For a moment the fires were replaced with older fires, that burned long ago on the tempest wind of memory that brought with it chills. In those flames she burned and screamed, and screamed louder still. She was a shadow writhing in torrents of amber, and crimson, spitting miniature comets into the smog thickened air of a winter night. Love had died then, long ago, and the house in which it had resided became like a tomb, in a crypt that was a heart now born to vengeance. That vengeance had been a fuel, and that fuel had powered him. Been his strength, his obsession. Now it was burned to cinders, no fuel left, a coldness inside. He knew then that all was without the need for vengeance was one more empty tomb, in a haunted crypt, bereft of love and tender emotion. In the flame, like a shadow, stood another woman, only now she wielded the fires. And she wanted to know if he could still feel pain...</span>
</span>In the back of his mind, he held hope for he had a plan, his one chance to survive. She would never see the death descend on her from above, out of the acrid smoke and the eldritch night. For he could sense them, his left hand clutching the cloak mantle that had fallen into the mud as he fell, the clasp coming undone in his tumble. Now they were coming for her! Raven maintained a veneer of fright, as he secretly smiled, awaiting the rendering of her flesh.</span>
</span>Responding to his tortured despair, the Ravens circled then descended, but even as they did so she stepped in and swept his blade away, her foot crushing his left hand, with the popping of bone and ligament. The mantle that had been thrown into the mud, and had come loose in the tumble,was now under her left foot, and casually she stooped to claim it. Even as the thousandfold servants responded to the ailing call of their stricken master, a dark sorcery coursed over their manifold mind and exerted a cool, evil will. And as the Ravens responded to their mistress, thus was revealed the depth of their unkindness. There was no loyalty! Grimacing, he slashed at his tormentor, but she easily parried his desperate attack. </span>
</span>In stark realisation that this woman had in one moment assessed the source of the power over the birds, and claimed it, Raven knew he was defenceless. Prone. Vulnerable. Dead if she willed it. Her smile was one of total triumph...</span>
</span>" Oh please, no..." He stared up at her and gripped his sword tighter, trembling with a sensation he had not known for long years. Fear...</span>
</span>He had fought to keep the secret from being etched on his face as she so casually made her way to him, obviously seeing him as a trapped animal soon to be put out of his misery. He had commanded silently the birds to tear her asunder, to peck her to pieces as she loomed but now that vision was over, ended. How could she have foreseen that to which she should have been so ignorant? Now his final throw of the dice was over, and he'd lost.</span>
</span>He advanced on the Black Numenorean seeing the threat of such a warrior, and Dralabor was unsurprised to see that man adjust his path, and meet the challenge.</span>
</span>Without speaking, the Chief of the Wolves in Winter made his attack, a flurry of slashes and strikes, controlled and with unrelenting and furious pace, but married with quick footwork, never unbalancing himself, always ready for a counter, but intent on giving no quarter and no chance for this impressive soldier to show his worth. Keep him on the back foot, take him down! </span>
</span>But the warrior was no fool and amply skilled, parrying blow after blow and even grinning ear to ear after a time, with Dralabor's breath growing ragged, his brown kneading with the sweat of his exertions and with a frown. A frown he fought to overcome for it gave away that he sensed this man was playing with him, that with every new assault Dralabor revealed more of himself. That in some way this swordsman was his better, and now knew it. Which explained that damn grin! Well he'd make him eat that smile! Drawing on reserves deep within, Dralabor increased the speed and ferocity of his attacks, seeking to drive the grin from this blaggard's face and replace it with a rictus of pain!</span>

Edited by: Naith Liathant

10/Aug/2012, 07:12 AM
Yarltang - Village of Black Ridge

Balchon’s club smashed into the ranger’s sword, shattering the well-used blade, leaving Gwathmir with only a stunted shard in his hand. Yarltang snarled in triumph as the young ranger froze in astonishment, the unexpected disarmament rooting him to the spot. Despite this lapse he was a resilient young man, the burly orc would give him that, springing into action against Balchon with the little weapon that remained him. Yarltang scrabbled atop the roof, angling his body against its slope to circle around behind Gwathmir as the ranger lunged for Balchon, showing his intelligence as he aimed for a universal weakness. But that intelligence abandoned the ranger, his gaze drawing upwards to the sky. Yarltang grunted, half in disappointment. It seemed that this man, so determined, was going to give up without much of a fight after all. Two lapses were no longer lapses but poor judgement or submission. Best to end it, then- a pity he couldn’t have provided more entertainment, but they were there to do a job, after all. Yarltang lunged after Gwathmir, and with a powerful upward stroke, swung the broad blunt end of his warhammer at the back of the ranger’s head.

Amarthel Delgaran - Village of Black Ridge

The boy fell, his bright blood seeping through mud and tufts of grass to snarl in the hair and stain the face of the dying old man- dying; now dead, his weak and corpulent body sprawled as it should be: with his face in the mud at the Delgaran’s feet. She stood for a moment, the dripping blade in her hand, gazing down at her work. Then her eyes flicked up to the Raven, kneeling on the churned-up ground, struggling to order his mangled leg into some semblance of defense, and the cold smile reached them once more. Amarthel turned her back on the helpless man, to retrieve her sword from the tussock into which she had thrust it, pulling the shining length free with an easy tug. She stepped over Caldol’s lifeless form, past the huddled lump of flesh that had been Bregan, to move at a measured stalk towards the Raven. As she walked, the Delgaran sheathed the sword across her back, and brought the jeweled dagger to bear on the palm of her own hand, incising a shallow cut in its meat. Blood gathered and dripped, forming a track down her wrist, and to the cut she pressed the back of her other hand, where the Raven’s blood still glistened. Her voice arose, speaking not in the common tongue, but in a harsh, guttural, sibilant language as she clenched her fist, mingling their two bloods on her skin.

Cold waves of crimson dread built around the Delgaran, palpable and dark, surrounding her and swallowing up the Raven where he knelt. Already she could see his eyes glazing as she approached, the sword in his hand forgotten, and flickers of his awareness penetrated her vision. Amarthel’s arm raised, and with one more step, her outstretched hand pressed against the Raven’s forehead. A sharp inhalation jerked her head back, and as the guttural exhalation left her mouth, she sank into the ranger’s inner despair: the fires that twisted and tormented him, not those that surrounded them, but winter fires of anguish and death; the screams of a woman rose above it all, and from the Raven’s tormented mind came the name: Carlisha. The Delgaran felt her fear and her pain, the Raven’s fear and pain, his thirst for vengeance, the need to kill and to destroy, first burning like the fires that had awoken it in him, then suppressed, smoldering, and now, extinguished. The Delgaran saw his righteousness, his honor, his desperation; through the darkness and the fire she saw, and knew, and would have from him the last of his power.

Above her Amarthel could feel the denizens gather and circle, the fluttering, glittering, throaty noises of their approach subtly audible above the rage of fire and the distant sounds of battle beyond her cloak of dread- one cloak now to be joined by another. Even as the Raven commanded his namesakes to destroy his enemy, she pummeled his wrist with the hilt of the jeweled dagger, forcing it down and stamping upon it with one booted foot. The Delgaran ground her heel into bone and ligament as she bent, her bloodied hand grasping the neck of the ravens-feather cloak, lifting its shifting, shimmering length from the ground. With a thrust of her arm she raised it high and its manifold servants recoiled and then circled, faster and faster in a frenzy cawing and screaming their new allegiance to the heavens. Amarthel laughed then, short and hard, like the call of the birds themselves, her blazing eyes taking in a new set of servants. The cloak descended, settling about the shoulders of the swarthy woman, its clasp fastened firmly below her throat.

Still the man was not finished, but his feeble attack was easily turned by a strong parry from the dagger. He looked up at her then and at last she saw in him no bravado, no defiance, no posturing, and no hope, only that most fundamental emotion of his kind, which so many revealed in their final moments: fear. “Oh, please no…” his voice reached the Delgaran as she looked down at him; his weakened fingers clutched the sword but made no further attempt to wield it, and her smiled broadened. She crouched, reaching out to grip his face, nails digging into the flesh of jaws and cheek as his blood and hers rolled down his face from where her palm had pressed. “Poor Carlisha,” Amarthel hissed into the Raven’s face, “at least she died with some dignity. What shall you tell her, if you see her again? By whom shall you tell her your death came? Shall you tell her by sorceress? By witch? By corsair, or by savage? These titles and more have I known, but you shall tell her- and your ancestors, and theirs, so that all may know, and despair: your death came by Amarthel, the Delgaran, Queen of Iron and Angmar that shall rise again!” In a single motion the Delgaran threw back the Raven’s head and flung her arm into the air. The screams of ravens rent the air as the answered her call, plunging from the sky and funneling down in a mass of gaping beaks and outstretched claws and flailing wings to descend upon their former master.</font>

Swiltang - Village of Black Ridge

Eärmir’s nails dug into the side of Swiltang’s face, scoring it but lightly as the dying man’s strength failed. The lean, twisted orc hissed his victory into the ranger’s face as trickles of black blood slid down his jaw, but they were by far outnumbered by the gouts that surged from the man’s torso around Swiltang’s blade, spurting against his flesh and armor in a heated, iron-smelling banner. With his free hand, Swiltang shoved Eärmir’s shoulder, forcing the ranger back off his blade and to the ground with a meaty thud. He did not wait to watch the last glimmer of life leave the man, but turned his back, stooping to yank a tuft of dry grass from the ground and began to clean his blade. The sounds of battle were slowly becoming fainter as ranger and villager alike succumbed to the Angmarian horde. A sudden, raucous cry arose and Swiltang whirled to face it, drawn upwards to its source: the ravens circled and wheeled above an area of brilliant flame, and just through a crack in what was now the ruins of the village, he could see the Delgaran, her outline blurred and distorted as she stood over the crumpled figure of a man. Then all at once the birds engulfed the man and the high, cold laugh of the woman cut through their grating cries. Swiltang punched the air, sword in hand still glistening with the ranger’s blood. “Yes!” he crowed, his thin, rough laugh joining the perverted silver of his queen’s. “Yes! Delgaran! Delgaran Ghâshbúrz!”

</font>All to the OOC thread, please!

Edited by: Moriel

Naith Liathant
10/Aug/2012, 01:46 PM
Flight of Ravens ~ Harbinger

'Amarthel, the Delgaran, Queen of Iron and Angmar that shall rise again...' The cold words, sibilant, potent, smiting through his reeling mind, unable to calculate the loss, feeling hands of darkness tear at his very heart, through flesh and bone. Rending his ribcage, severing his very soul. Breaking him. </span>
</span>He had failed Calrisha! The dread woman before him had swatted him aside as though he were nothing. And compared to her the Raven knew that he was. In this world there were those who lived and those who died. A wounded beast was on the decline, another dark and terrible beast had reared from the depths of the abyss to stand before him now. He wore her blood and she owned his power over the birds. </span>
</span>Utter despair, anguish and defeat filled him. Gone was the triumph of ending his vendetta against Gorthaur with vengeance and victory. She had torn that from him. Now her will pressed against his ailing senses and ripped out his secrets. He felt her presence inside him. He lost all sensation of the flesh as blissful obeisance flooded him, stilled his struggles, and crushed his resistance as easily as she had bested him in combat. Her mind was powerful, alien, concise, controlled, malignant. It was as though the two played a game, and one was a grand master and the other a child. His weaknesses, frailties, his wounds and pain, all open to her. Piercing through with cruel intent she stole the deepest pain and as she spoke, the weight of that indomitable evil bore down and the Raven could no more lift his sword than he could stand. He belonged on his knees before this sweeping and glorious, dreadful Queen. </span>
</span>What use had the toil of his labours been? What fruits were there that were not now cankered and worm eaten, all victories made hollow. Was this woman not a darker and deeper threat to the Free Peoples of Middle-earth than Gorthaur had ever been? It was decidedly so. And in his last moments the Raven knelt at her feet, enthralled, lost in a spinning vortex of her words and feeling her ply and tug at the corners of his very being, and it felt almost good to finally be so known. It didn't matter any more, he was not going to live out the night. He was one more opponent whose life and achievements were nothing, he was one more victim of the Delgaran. His battle was over. At last. There should have been no peace in it, knowing what was to come here. But she touched the raw fibre of his sanity as she withdrew from his mind. She rewired his brain at the last, a simple twist of thought. The Raven's sanity was gone, and he sobbed her name, and softly declared her Queen of the North, as the air filled with the shadow-flight of a thousand fold flock. The Unkindness of ravens... </span>
</span>As she stood back laughing and the Raven collapsed into his own shattered reason turned to hideous madness, they descended, pecking and tearing and rending flesh. He didn't even try to protect himself. She had willed him to die and he would do so now. They took his eyes first. They peeled and pecked at cheek and bone, tore out his throat and ripped him to shreds. A thousand pin-pricks of pain, lancing, slicing, jabbing, as spurts of blood geysered in a flood from the living tissue.
When the teeming and writhing, cawing mass of feathered torment and razor weapons ascended to scour the skies awaiting the bidding of their new fell mistress, there was nothing left on the field of the battle that could be discerned as having been The Raven. There simply was one more faceless, flesh stripped carcass of mangled sinew and bone, bent back on it's crimson soaked knees, and surrounded by the snaking, raked and savaged tendrils of it's own twisted entrails...

Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

15/Aug/2012, 09:41 PM
</font>Black ridge

</font>Dralabor did not favour him with a reply; but instead attacked at once. Belzagar's only warning was the narrowing of the man's eyes and the tightening of his chest as the first blow came crashing down. Belzagar caught it on his shield and moved back on his left foot, flickering his tongue out between his lips in a taunting, reptilian grin. "Oh, feisty, I do like that," he mocked, parrying the next blow with ease before darting his own blade out to hack a bright chip from the man's armour. Belzagar's eyes assessed every movement swiftly; this man's blows were powerful indeed, but Belzagar was a big man himself, wide across the shoulders. He had even been called "mightily thewed" once by an overly-enthusiastic but wonderfully friendly tavern maid.

</font>With that fond memory, Belzagar pressed the attack forward, rewarded by a sheen of sweat across the other man's brow as Belzagar slyly began to vary the method of his attack, alternating slash and thrust between the fellow's torso and legs. Dralabor was only encouraged by this sport and increased the speed and fury of his parries. The way through this one would be guile, Belzagar realised; he allowed the pain of the bruises to show in his eyes, and allowed his left arm to lag, as though the shield was becoming heavy, attacking only on Dralabor's right side, barely raising his defense in time.

</font>A dangerous game to play, but fun. Belzagar had not the least idea that it might fail.

16/Aug/2012, 10:09 AM
Gwathmir (Flight of Ravens)

Looking up to see the sky
might not have been the wisest thing to do in the middle of a battle,
but it was this that allowed the young ranger to see the shadow
moving behind him. Even as Yarltang
raised his warhammer, </span>Gwathmir
jerked, driving himself further into </span>Balchon,
trying to avoid the blow. Not that it mattered much. The young man
was outnumbered, outweaponed, tired and wounded, facing fresh enemies
bent on the kill. He had no chance. The warhammer missed his head,
but perhaps a quick death would have been kinder. It landed instead
on his left shoulder, and the leather spaulder could not protect the
ranger from the orc's monstrous strength. It bended inwards and
broke, and the brutal weapon crashed through bone and muscle and
ligament. The ranger, who had remained stoically silent up until that
moment, screamed. For a moment the white-hot agony blinded him, and
he staggered forwards, into </span>Balchon.
Then he drew a shuddering breath, and though his chest and his
shoulder exploded with pain, his sight cleared, and he managed to
remain standing. He was a goner, he knew it now, and yet he struggled
to stand, to land another blow with his broken shard of a sword
before he was gone. He wasn't even thinking now – not of Black
Ridge, not of revenge for </span>Erefride,
not of anything. There was too much pain, a fog in his mind. It was
just that he was a ranger, he had to go on... But his heart was
pounding in his chest, there was a buzzing in his ears, his head was
swimming. It was the massive bleeding from his shoulder. He tried to
draw breath again, but the air was heavy with acrid smoke, and he
started coughing, and then there was blood on his lips – </span>Yarltang's
blow must have driven a fractured bone into the young man's lung, and
he collapsed to his knees, his body trying to clear the blood from
his airways and only obstructing them more, and the useless broken
blade fell from his rapidly weakening fingers.</span>

Then there must have been
another blow, from Yarltang behind
him, or from </span>Balchon,
whose club the ranger could no longer restrain, but </span>Gwathmir
was already too far gone to feel it. He might have fallen off the
roof – he would have, unless the Angmarians prevented it, desiring
to torment the young man some more. His eyes had shut down, and
everything was black around him. Unless it was the black starless
sky. His body screamed in pain, and he could no longer localise it.
It felt as if his whole body was on fire. Maybe it was – half of
Black Ridge was burning. Dimly, the ranger heard, or thought he
heard, the cry of ravens above, and his heart was lifted, for he knew
not their treachery. But then he thought </span>they
will feast on our flesh</span>.
The ranger did not know that </span></span>Raven</span>,
the man he had followed, was even now dying in torment. But he had
seen the might of Angmar. He knew that even should every ranger take
down twenty of the enemy, there would be no escape. Truly Myrtle had
spoken, more than a year before: “Do not go with those ones.
Unkindness of Ravens, this group has an evil name.” He had kissed
her then, and laughed: “There's nothing unkind about </span></span>us.</span></span>
It is safety we bring on our tired wings.” But the name had been
rightly chosen, in days gone by, when the first Elves woke by
Cuivienen, and gave names to things. There was nothing kind about
those black birds. And as for loyalty, slaves of the cloak, who knows
what master they would have chosen to obey, if the choice had been
given them?</span></span></span>

With the last shreds of
fleeting conscience, Gwathmir wondered what this sacrifice was
for. What had he died for in the end, he and his friends? They had
come to save Black Ridge</span>, but it lay in
ruins around them. Not one man had made it out of the carnage, or if
one had, they would not survive alone in the wild. They had come to
stem the dark tide rising again from Angmar to engulf the North, but
the enemies had conquered, and were striding on victorious.
Then, finding no answers,
his thought fled to Myrtle, his betrothed. Will you remember me,
my love? He thought. </span>I
would have come back to you as grass in spring, but it is far, so
awfully far, and will grass even grow here, so far north, and under
this shadow? Forgive me, beloved. I have not kept my promise. And
though there was no-one to hear, his lips formed one last time the
name of the woman whose image had shone brightly for him on cold
nights and in cruel battles. “Myrtle,” he gasped. The Northern
wind, perhaps, had the power to carry this last sigh over miles, to
where the bride waited. But the young man, the boy who enjoyed
poetry, the lad whose hand was so gentle when he caressed his girl,
the man who gladly raised his voice in song, the warrior who took a
sword to protect others, the friend who, being offered to avoid this
fight and return home, would not abandon his comrades – he was no

Naith Liathant
31/Aug/2012, 04:26 PM
Dralabor - The Wolves in Winter

This warrior was strong but fading under the powerful assault of strikes and slashes levelled at him by a relentless Dralabor. In his haze of red mist, the Chief did not see the fate of those around him, but he was distracted by a flurry of sounds from the ether, of wings beating in midnight madness. All it took was a glance then to see a thousandfold storm of ravens descending! Dralabor fought on, wary of losing momentum and perceiving that his foe now favoured his mighty right hand, the shield on his left arm dropping, lowering at last after fending off so many savage blows. It was dented and nicked and battered.
Bellowing ferociously, Dralabor parried a right sided swing that was low, aimed to cripple him, and took aim on the upswing, after sending the enemy blade out wide of his opponent. But the shield defied the apparent weariness of this crazed marauder, for suddenly the metal rammed the blade of his sword down into the earth. This left Dralabor exposed but the enemy would struggle to land a killing blow. Instead the giant man hefted the pommel of his sword back, regaining his balance, and brought it ramming home into Dralabor's jaw.
His head spinning, Dralabor reeled back in agony, teeth flying from his crunched features, blood spurting from split lips and mashed gums. The Chief of the Wolves in Winter went tumbling over the corpse of Bregan, and lay sprawled in the dirt with the now triumphant Delgaran over his prone form...

08/Nov/2012, 11:21 PM
Yarltang - Village of Black Ridge

Yarltang grunted in irritation as the ranger’s last dodge caused his hammer to miss the soft back of the man’s head- but the dodge had not been good enough, and the wide, blunt warhammer smashed with a sickening crunch into Gwathmir’s shoulders and the back of his ribs. Leather was no imposition to such a weapon and the burly orc’s power. The ranger staggered and fell, close to the edge of the slate roof. He was done for now, Yarltang could see, but unless he was there for entertainment, he hated to leave a job unfinished. The method decided by the ranger himself, Yarltang strode forward and with a second, massively underhanded swing, he sent his hammer crashing into the ranger’s back. The blow did not merely topple the man, but propelled him forward, off the roof, to drop limply to the ground below. Yarltang leaned over the edge to see Gwathmir’s body lying at unnatural angles, face up, on the ground below- and after a moment fancied he saw the man’s lips move. But as long as his body was not moving, he was of no concern to Yarltang any longer. He backed away from the edge and turned to face Balchon across the roof. “A bit of fun, eh?” he growled, in as comradely a tone as could generally be expected of him, then paused, listening. “I hear Swiltang a-shouting. Let’s get on.”


</font></font>Amarthel Delgaran - Village of Black Ridge</font></font>

“Queen of the North.” the Delgaran repeated quietly as she stood back, watching the teeming mass of beaks and claws and talons and feathered wings as the ravens devoured the destroyed carcass of their former master, his last cries still ringing in her ears. Queen of the North. Yes, she rather liked that. Amarthel turned away from the huddled, writhing pile of ravens: they had earned their feast, and would be ready when she needed them again. She had heard Swiltang’s jubilant cry, and through the slow haze she could see him, arm still upraised, and thrust her fist about the dagger into the air to return the gesture. The sounds of battle had dimmed and faded, although here and there a scream and a groan or clash of steel could still be heard. Pacing across the torn-up patch of earth, the Delgaran crouched, and ripped a hanging scrap from the dead boy’s tunic. Methodically she cleaned the dagger, carefully wiping out the small channel, and scraping away the bits of blood near the hilt that had begun to dry, with the edge of a nail. When at last she was satisfied, she slid the dagger into its sheath at her hip, and looked up to see Swiltang trotting across rubble and ruin to join her. “A solid victory,” he said, gesturing with his blade to the remains of the Raven, now bones being picked over, and eyeing the glittering black cloak his queen now bore.

“Yes.” She replied. “And now we have a message to send. Take Yarltang, Belzegar, and Khain, and round up any rangers still living. We will need information, and live bodies to work with. If any of Gorthaur’s ilk survive and look promising, conscript them. If not… dispose of them.” the Delgaran reached out and grasped the orc swordmaster’s shoulder in a firm grip. “You have done very well for me so far, cousin. Let us continue in this manner together, until all is achieved.” Black eyes met red, and the hint of a chill swept down Swiltang’s spine as the swarthy woman’s fingers tightened. He pressed the hilt of his sword to his heart and bowed as he spoke, not without reverence. “My Queen.” He turned and ran off into the smoke, bellowing for his brother and the others. Amarthel strode methodically through the ruined village, hands clasped behind her back, out from the houses and back up the rise down which they had come. The others would meet her there; the rest of her force, and the prisoners they would now be taking. There the final ruin of Black Ridge would take place, and the undoing of the North begin. As she crested the ridge, she saw the first fingers of sun creeping from the east- an errant ray caught at her hair, lighting up its carmine wealth with a pale shimmer. The Delgaran looked out over the waste, and smiled.</font>



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v138/TheDunedain/Angmar%20ic&#111;ns/Amarthelav.gif http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v138/TheDunedain/Angmar%20ic&#111;ns/Tezcacoatlav.gif

Snow hissed and whirled about the barren hillocks of the Forodwaith, whipped into a frenzy by early winter gusts. The cold lands seemed to stretch on for an eternity, unbroken by mountain or tree, an uneven plain of icy grey-white, where only the hardiest and most deadly survived. However, this was not entirely true. From a distance, one could not tell, but here, a day’s march north and east of Carn Dûm, the plain of the Forodwaith dropped suddenly into a cavernous valley, as through some giant hand had scooped a portion of the ground away, dropping bits here and there to form jagged tips of rocky earth. At the edge of this valley stood the Delgaran, alone, a thick blaze of fox surmounting the raven-feathered cloak about her shoulder. From this height, some of these stalagmitic protrusions looked no more than pinpricks, but she knew better; dotted here and there about them and the sides of the valley were dark, black holes, the entrances to caves- and she knew what lay within. Amarthel gave a shark intake of breathe; not from fear, but excitement. There were far more of these than she had predicted. As sure as she looked upon them now, their inhabitants would know she had arrived.

“Come forth!” the Delgaran roared, here voice echoing off the rocky walls of the valley. “Come forth, Urulóki! Come forth, drakes of ice! Come forth, Tezcacoatl! The Queen of Iron would have audience!” In answer, a grating screech rent the air, like the blade of a saw drawn over slate, and was joined by others: high and piercing, low and rumbling, and one of such perfect awful timbre that it rattled her very bones. Scaled heads and claws began to emerge from the cavern mouths, necks and tails curling, limbs flexing, but no wyrm leapt forth or took to the air to confront the Delgaran. Then, from beneath the edge of the valley on which she stood, massive reverberations began to sound: the beating of huge leathery wings against the chill air. The swarthy woman skipped back from the edge, both to make way and to wait for a better view of what was to come- and she was not disappointed. From within the valley rose a great, purple-black dragon, lithe and hard. His belly, breast, and the underside of his neck were scarlet, crusted not with gems as was told of dragons who slept upon hordes, but here and there with ice. Spines stood up along the back of his neck and from the end of his tail, and his face was long and sharp, with yellowed needle-fangs lapping over each side of the mouth, from which leaked bits of smoke and fire, and the eyes deep set into the head glowed with a pale golden intensity. With a last thrust of his wings, the dragon landed on the edge of the cliff, gazing down at the intruder.

“I am Tezcacoatl,” he said, the bass rumble of his voice marking has as the final roar, “and you have come a great way to take such a risk of being eaten.” </font>Amarthel bowed deeply to the dragon, before throwing back her chin to look him in the face. “I have come a great way to take such a risk towards alliance, Tezcacoatl. I was sent from the south to take stewardship of Angmar. Your name has been conveyed to me as the mightiest of these northern exiles,” she swept her arm out, indicating the valley, “and I think we may be of use to each other.” The dragon’s neck snaked down, so that his head was very nearly of a level with hers, golden eyes narrowed as he spoke. “Your name has come to me as well- hints and whispers from the observations of my kindred, Amarthel Delgaran. You call yourself Queen of Iron, mistress of the Iron-Home- does it not frighten you that fire will warp and destroy the iron you hold so dear?” </font>“Nay- I was a corsair before I was Delgaran, aye, even before I was Amarthel, and I have seen what salt and water may do to iron. But fire- through fire, iron may be shaped and molded, transformed from an humble beginning into anything a skilled hand sees fit. Both become something greater than themselves alone, and so it may be with us, if you are interested in my proposition.” Silence fell as dragon and woman considered each other, until at least Tezcacoatl pulled back his head and gave a single, barking laugh, showering the surrounding area with sparks. “Hah! Many a brazen warrior has come before, but none armed with aught but words. Speak, then: I will hear you.”</font>


Swiltang stood back, and surveyed his work. The cart which had carried the bodies of what had remained of the Flight of Ravens and Wolves in Winter was now in the process of being demolished by a very enthusiastic Khaine and the small band of orcs and men who had accompanied them. It had taken some fast talking to get the werewolf to agree to pull the cart in the first place, so Swiltang figured it was only fair to allow him the pleasure of destroying it. Its contents had been arrayed neatly here, in the heights of the North Downs, built up like a signal beacon, legs and arms and torsos laced through each other to hold the structure together. Some of the limbs stuck out at odd angles, having been twisted asunder as the question was put to their previous owners; burn marks stood out against exposed flesh, and dead faces were frozen is masks of pain or horror. Each twisted body was marked, in one place or another, by the three crimson claw-scores that were the mark of the Delgaran’s forces. Approvingly, Swiltang turned away from the bodies, and back towards his company. “Come on!” he snarled, “we haven’t got all day!”

It was a dangerous enough business, coming here, so close to the refuge of the rangers. Those now arrayed in the lee of this hill had been stalwart, the swordmaster would give them that: none had given up the precise location of the secret city they called Osdolen, but a thorough search of the approximate area would reveal it eventually. But that was not what they had come for, and now all pitched in with a will, hefting the broken spars and splinters nearby to the tower of corpses. Not on it or within it: the Delgaran wanted plenty of evidence left for the men who would soon discover their deceased comrades. Once the pile had reached a considerable breadth, Swiltang struck a spark, and with a handful of dead grass, set the mass ablaze. They waited only long enough to see that the fire had caught securely, before turning and loping away. As the fire grew, a dark smudge of smoke began to build against the sky of the downs. Soon it would be a billowing mass, and an unexpected fire was something no ranger could resist.


Final notes in the OOC thread here: </font>forum_images/bullet.png (forum_posts.asp?TID=242065&amp;PID=7526175#7526175)

Edited by: Moriel