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Angelikus Snape
18/Aug/2016, 05:09 AM
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“Away in the distance eastward they could now see a line of hills. The highest of them was at the right of the line and a little separated from the others. It had a conical top, slightly flattened at the summit.
“’That is Weathertop’ said Strider. ‘The Old Road, which we have left far away on our right, runs to the south of it and passes not far from its foot.” (Fellowship of the Ring, A Knife in the Dark)

“’But long before, in the first days of the North Kingdom, they built a great watch-tower on Weathertop, Amon Sul they called it. It was burned and broken, and nothing remains of it now but a tumbled ring, like a rough crown on the old hill’s head. Yet once it was tall and fair. It is told that Elendil stood there watching for the coming of Gil-Galad out of the West, in the days of the Last Alliance.’” (Fellowship of the Ring, A Knife in the Dark)

Welcome to Amon Sul! This is a free RP Thread which means that you can create your own stories within the location of Weathertop and the Watchtower of Amon Sul.

Guidelines:
The location is open to all races
In character posts only
Posts over 300 characters preferred
Titling of RP stories within the thread is allowed
Double post is allowed after 1 week has passed

Ercassie
20/Oct/2016, 02:21 PM
'Long nights, stay up late
Drink the sky, we'll meditate ..'

(Lone Ranger, Rachel Platten)


http://imageshack.com/a/img922/6610/1JR4i1.jpghttp://imageshack.com/a/img923/1381/YN2CS9.jpghttp://imageshack.com/a/img922/2344/0su61i.jpg

Jowan Elfor and Mirana Elforiel
With Gwandhyra Harion


She found him lost in thought, or so it seemed. It stood to reason he should want to be here, now, which was how she'd known to seek .. Here. But laying eyes upon him, the young woman was forced to admit; her father looked as much part of the scene as though he always had been here. And she wondered at the common sense of such a foolish feeling.

"This is no safe place," she felt compelled to mention. "It is the watchtower of our people no more. Now things from below watch these raised ruins, peering up from the shadows, like resentful weeds in a neglected garden," Ana shivered as though her reference summoned such unknown terrors. "Come father; home."

"I have heard it said that from this elevation, one might see all Eriador," Jowan sighed. The wind ran along the Ranger's hair, like fingers run along a piano. "I wish I might have come before now."

His daughter drew to him, easing one hand high unto his shoulder so that she might turn him from the sight he could not spy. In so doing, the wind caught her hood and tore away its meagre defences. The cold laid it's hands upon her cheek and bade the Ranger to behold the wonder of its wilderness herself. Breath snagged somewhere within her throat, as the rugged landscape assailed her. Jowan's hand found her's and anchored the young woman still in waking world.

"It is a sight to see," he supposed, well aware how difficult it usually was to impress his ever-practical child. He heard the wonder speaking through her silence. He felt the awe in how her body sagged against his hold.

"I .. I can not describe it to you," the woman was small, and yet she managed oftentimes to speak that folk would hear. But this, this sad little sentence that she dragged kicking and screaming from her heart, it was a meek and frightened thing. The blind man squeezed his daughter's hand.

"How did you get out here ?" Ana returned to her typical pragmatic, sniffing back emotion. Tears did no good but to encourage more tears still for company. So her mother had always counselled. She missed her mother so. She worried terribly for her father. So ..

An answer and it's tall, dark shadow separated from the great stone tombstones. They had once been walls. Now though they sat flaccid in the earth like loose teeth, crooked in some ancient jaw of the world. Gwandhyra came late upon his northern kin, flanking Ana from behind now to her left as she held still her father upon her right. Upon the precipice of the hill.

"The destruction of our people, of our civilisation, is written in these ruins,". The Gondorian spoke eager as was his cousin reluctant to do same. "As though it were a scar set in the earth," he sighed, devouring the landscape now in person. A more satisfying morsel than the mere taste of such desolate marvel sketched in a book. "Here was much doom wrought upon Arnor .." Ana pulled away from both her kinsmen and beheld neither one of them turn to behold her.

"The enemy has made our past a sadness," the Southerner mused yet, as though she had never left them.

"You are not wrong," Jowan sighed. "Although they can not wipe all trace of our existence from this land. These ruins, these few of us that remain. We wait. It seems all we do is wait. One day we shall see hope on the horizon .."

"This is a waste of our time," the woman reasoned behind them. "Maudlin mood is idleness. We must act. We must .." She scowled at the pair of tall, dark Rangers. "Hope will not come any swifter if you look for it. It but hurts more so."

"I am looking for the others," Gwandhyra mentioned with a smile he shared, pointlessly, with Jowan. The unseeing Ranger held a more ambiguous expression to his face. "We hold camp here tonight. With luck even Halbarad may join us. Elves, perchance .... Who knows ..."

"You spoke nothing of this to me at Osdolen," Ana sulked.

"You would not have come," observed her cousin knowingly.

"You would not have let me come," the girl's father chided her, adding to the hint of the well-meant conspiracy. "But here we are," This time he smiled toward Gwandhyra.

The woman's eyes narrowed dangerously. "I hate you both," she seethed.

"Come, Mirana," her father beckoned her to return back atween them, to survey the world. "The world is for a time at peace. Hear that silence .. "

"All require a little hope upon occasion," Gwandhyra diagnosed, with a sage nod of his shaggy dark head.

"Hope," she settled her hood back about her thick tresses to ward off their amusement a piece. "I believe in things that I can see," she reminded them both. And then kicked herself mentally as her cousin looked back at her, shocked. And her father .. did not.

Nolewen
20/Oct/2016, 08:36 PM
http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w449/Nolelf/BlackBorder%203%20Elsilner%204_zps6czm3nas.png?t=1 477308821?927 http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5090/5334412740_f2dc58262f_t.jpg

Elsilner
Maethor


The Lone Lands.

How unfortunate that so rarely one could pass through those areas without encountering a single being. Perhaps, as is the habit of men, they named the lands after the people who made this place their home, who will allow no company to disturb their silent watchfulness. Perhaps. One may never know the reasons for a naming of a certain place, if one allows men to pick the name.

Silence.

As though birds found no reason to chirp, as though beasts found no cause to growl. As though the wind and shadows made an agreement, and in all those wide lands no one dared break it, be it stone or tree or walking thing. An agreement of silence.

Was it within the limits of possible, that today he will be an exception? That today, he will not press an arrow to his bowstring or hear the whistling of a dart aimed at his heart, even once? Hardly. The Lone Lands preferred neither friend nor foe. They will hinder one's presence to the best of their ability. Simply to delay one's leaving a bit more. To have some company for a little longer.

He had been here before. When one had scoured those lands for half a dozen centuries, one had to pass at the famous hill and its broken stones.

Weathertop.

Men had a strange liking for names which did not portray half the subject's true characteristics. Weathertop. A grim smile somehow found his lips. If only they knew.

He did not bother to climb the road. There was much comfort in walking upon a known path, of course. Yet he was well aware that any creature camping on the weathered top of the hill will expect an attack from the main road. Better surprise them a bit, if anyone was indeed awaiting company on the summit.

He could have been blindfolded and walked all the way up without hesitation. He knew the hill that well.

He slipped through weeds without making the slightest rustle, stepped upon the earth so lightly no footprint could be noticed, skipped over broken rocks so easily it may have been a simple game. At last he paused, crouching behind a tall, dark stone, hidden in the shadows of the hill's crown.

Men... their voices were carried by the slight breeze, directly into his listening ears. He waited, still as statue and watchful as eagle. Their conversation was understood perfectly; their meaning was sometimes blurred by his active mind, struggling to detect signs of danger while remaining close enough to hear the men's words.

It seemed their conversation had ended, passing into a shocked silence of one of the men... who looked disturbingly familiar... and leaving the woman's last remark resting heavily in the air, like a particularly uncomfortable cloud.

He realized he had two options. He could reveal himself, and risk encountering enmity; or he could wait in the shadows and carefully calculate his moves. Usually, he would have chosen the second option; but this was no usual day, and the man did look so strangely familiar...

Even after he straightened himself and stepped forward, it took a few moments to differentiate him from the landscape. Tall, hooded, and cloaked in a unique shade of grey that kept him well-hidden until he wished to reveal himself, he looked as though he had been shaped from the ruins themselves. For a moment his face was masked in shadow, with only two specks of warm brown light recognizable, his sharp, wise eyes narrowed as he surveyed the strangers. Then, with two gentle yet firm hands, he lowered the hood, and his face was revealed in all its beauty and fairness.

The elves features wore no expression save slight cautiousness. The golden hair rippled in the wind as he flung it aside to grip his bow. An arrow was also grabbed, but both were carefully held without any immediate use, comfortably enough to react if danger leaped, yet lightly enough to make no threatening feeling among the strangers should they prove to be friends.

"Dúnedain?" He voiced the question somewhat roughly than he usually would. He had no time for games. Real men of the West will know the meaning of the question and answer properly. Foes will not, and will be dealt with accordingly.

Although apparently this time, the question was useless. For he had finally remembered when he had seen the man's face previously.

"Gwandhyra?" He recalled, almost disbelievingly. "Mae govannen, mellon en Authon Sílûgnir."

A small smile calmed his expression, and he turned to the woman, quite sure he had not met her before.

"My name is Elsilner." He explained briefly, bowing with his hand placed over his heart as politeness required. "I am a Maethor of the Halcyon Guard... and perhaps the estel you just doubted. Although I daresay you have quite an Estel of your own, Men of the West..."

Lastly he approached the second man, the woman's father, judging by their similar features and manners. Elsilner stood beside him and looked upon the breathtaking landscape revealed beneath quietly. There was no estimating how much their mortal eyes saw... but his own, sharp, elven eyes pierced the lands before them so deeply he was forced to retreat, a step backward or so, just to focus on the man at his side.

"Well met," he spoke softly, laying a warm hand on the man's shoulder. The elf could sense the man could not see, and used his voice and touch to greet the Ranger instead. "The world outside is at peace only after we are at peach from within, Dúnadan. Let your heart guide you rather than your eyes. What do you feel, here upon Amon Sûl?"

Aranadhel
23/Oct/2016, 02:56 AM
http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/b600/Adirion26/Nyrane2_zpscpyqaoms.png (http://s1293.photobucket.com/user/Adirion26/media/Nyrane2_zpscpyqaoms.png.html)http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/b600/Adirion26/5334412740_f2dc58262f_t_zpsy7joobfm.jpg (http://s1293.photobucket.com/user/Adirion26/media/5334412740_f2dc58262f_t_zpsy7joobfm.jpg.html)

Maethor - Rivendell Guard

Nyarane with Elsilner

Meeting Old Friends



Nyarane was delighted after she had managed to bagged a few connies (rabbits) in these parts of the wilderlands. Tis true that life here was unlike 3000 years past when people were around and animals and plants flourished like the summer season of Old. She need not know the paths or hidden road to make her way to Amon Sul, where her comrade Elsilner was. She hoped.

She was getting hungrier now, after consuming a few wild berries taken amongst the bushes that still flourished. She skipped a heart beat once the sight of Weathertop came into view and before long she was amongst the crumbled walls of the desolate watch tower. She smiled to herself as she recognised two out of the three Mortals who were present and her comrade had also kept to the shadows to gauge if they were friends or foes. Rane would let him figure out for himself as she disappeared amongst the ruin and positioned herself opposite to where Elsilner finally made his presence known to the Dunedain.

As if on cue, Rane then also stepped out from the shadows and greeted Gwandhyra and Mirana in Sindarin after she let down her hood. <Ah Mirana and Gwandhyra of the Dunedain. You are known to me. We are well met, my elven friends.> She nodded at them both and gave a bright smile to the third person next to them. I am Nyarane of Rivendell. You are amongst allies now. She greeted him in Westron.

Rane then turned her head back towards the Gondorian and Mirana. <I hope the three of you are hungry. I will cook some roasted rabbits and potatoes for us to feast on> She winked at them both then left them in the company of Elsilner while she began her preparations. Before she started skinning the rabbits she quickly relayed information to her comrade that the surrounding area are secured and no Enemy have been seen in these past few hours.

Ercassie
09/Nov/2016, 11:42 PM
'And one by one they wander, one by one meander, never go astray.
Sun is high above and winds are still enough, and all I want to do is stay.

And so I stand and gaze, and so I watch the maze of blues depart the day.
Sun is high above, and winds are still enough, and one by one they fly away ...'

(Pale grass blue, Enya)


http://imageshack.com/a/img922/6610/1JR4i1.jpghttp://imageshack.com/a/img923/1381/YN2CS9.jpghttp://imageshack.com/a/img922/2344/0su61i.jpg


Jowan Elfor and Mirana Elforiel
With Gwandhyra Harion


They gathered as the foremost of fair stars, emitting a silent beacon's call to summon their belated brethren; to encroach upon the deepness of ebony night, and mark it with wonder of celestial collective. Twilight had not yet cast down its mantle to disarm the Rangers' sight. Yet the arrival of even a mere pair of Elves demoted the bleak white of the distant sun to jealous rival for their undiminished glow. Such illumination lit the two sheer golden haired Immortals from some place within, and it seemed to Gwandhyra that each wore a frail skin of dusting which but scarcely veiled the great sentient star of their respective souls. He felt, as ever he had within the company of Eldar, as a child, despite all his years of hardship and experience. He barely noted even the perilous arrow that might have so swiftly arrested his life, so glad was he to observe who in fact had snuck upon them.

"Le nathlam hi,*" he met the warm greeting of Elsiner, with an undiluted expression of jubilation, replicating the Maethor's own cordial hand to heart gesture. "Tolo, govanno ven !**" he added, rounding in amazement as Nyarane fell also upon them.

"May I humbly present my kinfolk, Mirana, and Jowan ?" he made point of joining the Elves (a little begrudgingly) in introductions of the common tongue, for the sake of his cousins. Mirana retrieved the hands which had instinctively drawn to her crossbow, eyeing the two newcomers carefully. Though grateful for the initial distraction from her slip of tongue, she inwardly groaned to recognise Rane, from a perilous journey to Annuminas.

"How long afore we lose your wit and wisdom to the charms of your delightful girlfriend here again ?" she supposed of her cousin, rolling eyes and recalling the flirting on that previous encounter. "Is there word of hope honestly from the valley ?" she would learn. "I have heard a rumour that Elves are deserting these shores with an ever advancing frequency .."

"I recognise the song of countless souls abounding yet about this bastion of legend," Jowan confided, timely, towards Elsiner, turning his sightless eyes to meet the Maethor. "We are not so alone as we imagine," he concluded. And his daughter took his hand, supportively.

"If Elves and Men come yet together in such days as these, that should bolster my confidence," she confessed quietly.

"I have brought along a stash of something to bolster all of our confidences," Gwandhyra produced a bottle of elderflower cordial, and ignored his kinsman's soundless question of

"Alcohol ?" Jowan mouthed the word in query toward Ana. She squeezed his left hand, tellingly, and watched in some wonder as Nyarane commenced with her habit of providing vittles.

"That Lady's hunger is rivalled only by her competency in preparing food," Gwandhyra chuckled, amused.

"There is rosemary at hand," the blind man interjected. "I have known it to taste well with rabbit."

"I saw an overgrown remnant of what might once have been a herb garden," Mirana recounted.

"Aye. The wind told me," her father stretched a smile over his jaw, grateful for the fortitude his other senses had accomplished as a compensation. "I am curious, if it whispers as well to Elves. What news would it speak to you of Angmar and the perils that may snake down from far north ?" he wondered.

"I shall hunt the rosemary," his daughter decided, eager to do a thing properly if it were to be done at all.

"And I shall keep at least one eye on the horizon," decided Gwandhyra gruffly. "Lest there be things with desire to hunt us. Always .."

"Elves see better than you. Are the two of our Immortal allies here met to one another, or else strangers ?" Ana returned and asked of the two Elves, handing a small harvest meantime of quite flattened rosemary sprigs to help with Nyarane's cooking.

Gwandhyra rolled his fist about the pommel of his sheathed long sword, as he surveyed the lonely wilderness. The scent of slow roasting meat and potatoes to tantalise his distraction.

There was little to observe of the terrain. Save a single solitary bird, with feathers black as though dipped well in tar. It squawked not, nor dispelled any other odd behaviour. Still the Ranger was inexplicably intrigued by its lone presence ..


*You are welcome here.
** Come, join with us.

Nolewen
10/Nov/2016, 07:17 PM
"Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?"

(Colors of the Wind, from Disney 1995 Film Pocahontas)

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5090/5334412740_f2dc58262f_t.jpg http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w449/Nolelf/BlackBorder%203%20Elsilner%204_zps6czm3nas.png

Elsilner
Maethor


The setting sun, a red ball of fire in deep blue skies, gave the last clear of view of the hills. Dotted with lonely, ancient trees, the brown earth and grey rocks flowed endlessly, rising and sloping as they wished. Even as the last rays of light were swallowed by the looming darkness, Elsilner finally broke his silence. He had noticed the unexpected presence of his fellow Maethor, and greeted her with a quiet nod of acknowledgement. There was much to be told, and he would certainly speak later; but for now he was fascinated by the sun, and would allow no disturbance interrupt his wordless watchfulness. He therefore bid farewell to the sun as it departed for its nightly journey. Only when the light finally withdrew from its daily hobby of tracing the outlines of the hills, did he shift his gaze to the sightless man beside him.

"All souls pass into the West," the Maethor's reply was meant for both Mirana and Jowan. "Many bright souls were extinguished on Amon Sûl, and their memory still abides here. We are never alone... and as long as we remember this, hope will always be remarkably easier to find."

Elsilner's dark eyes drifted away from father to daughter, his words carrying the slightest hint of sadness. "I do not share this knowledge with a light heart, but the age of elves is drawing to an end. Soon there will come a day, when elves and men will no longer encounter each other. Grim as it may be, you as men and women must prepare yourselves for an age of your own. An age of men. The elves are no longer attached to those shores: behold, for even now my bones sense the song of the sea. My soul is yearning for the journey west, though I still hold Middle-earth dear and will not depart just yet. There is much to be done still in those lands... and our days together, as men and elves united, are not yet over. Does this very meeting of elves and men not bolster only your confidence but also your hope?"

He fell silent again, taking only a brief step towards Rane and bowing his head to better hear her words. With a nod to clarify he'd reached the same conclusion, considering the area relatively safe for the moment, he turned back to watch the lands below.

Elsilner's lips tightened ever so slightly at Jowan's question. "The wind whispers nonstop, Dúnadan. Many of its words are of no importance to living men, and some are of vast importance but are misunderstood. The art of reading the wind's signs is a difficult and curious one, and I cannot pride myself on perfectly preforming it. Perhaps, however, my understanding of the wind is deeper than others'... though I do not doubt you can hear its words as well as I do, or even better..."

He was silent once more for several moments before continuing, this time more carefully and quietly than before. "Angmar destroyed this Watchtower. The presence of the evil of Carn Dûm is still etched into those very stones. It is no wonder your thoughts turn to the Accursed Kingdom upon standing in this place. Although there may be a different reason that caused your mind to recall Angmar specifically now and here. Certainly, there are dangers that, even as we speak, snake... nay, wolf... down from the north. There is a growing shadow there, that even my sharp elven eyes cannot penetrate..."

With those words, his eyes returned to scout the horizon, sweeping over both earth and sky. For a while he stood, and watched, and listened; and the voices of the wind and the hills combined, whispering ancient secret untold and hidden, bringing strange tidings of even stranger events occurring currently far and wide, wondering who the five living beings upon the Weathertop were and what brought them here.

"Rane and I have met previously," Elsilner did not allow his eyes to look away from the landscape, but supplied an answer to Mirana's question nonetheless. "In Rivendell I am familiar with most of the elves, I assume; and we are both members of the Halcyon Guard, both Maethors."

His voice drifted away, as he noticed Gwandhyra's eyes focusing on a certain spot in the sky. A bird. A black bird. Not a good sign, never a good sign. He swiftly fell on his knees in the shadows of the ruins, pulling his hood over his face and almost completely melting into the background. He hastily set an arrow on his bowstring, and stooped, still as statue, in the shadows. Preparing for the worst.

Aranadhel
11/Nov/2016, 01:23 PM
http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/b600/Adirion26/Nyrane2_zpscpyqaoms.png (http://s1293.photobucket.com/user/Adirion26/media/Nyrane2_zpscpyqaoms.png.html)http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/b600/Adirion26/5334412740_f2dc58262f_t_zpsy7joobfm.jpg (http://s1293.photobucket.com/user/Adirion26/media/5334412740_f2dc58262f_t_zpsy7joobfm.jpg.html)

Nyarane
Maethor



Rane whistled a merry tune as she thanked the Mortals for the rosemary and rubbed it on the roasting rabbits while the potatoes burned slowly in the slow heat. She had not met the third person, Gwandhyra's father before and she was looking forward to make his acquintance. She did notice his eyes were glazed but asked not the question. She knew the Edain were susceptible to pestilence and this could be one of many ailments of theirs.

Her elven ears picked up the conversation between Elsiner and the Mortals regarding the past, the present and the future. She smiled sadly at the reminder, that someday she will also pass over the Sea. Unlike Elsiner who had confessed feeling the Call, she had not and she was not interested anyway for the Enemy lived still. Her Master lived still. She knew her Nolmener would only go back "home" once the foundation of Barad-dur is demolished. Until then she could only hope.

She picked up once her fellow Elf had finished his speech. Fear not, elvellon. she spoke in Westron for the benefit of all. The Eldar may be fewer than the past Two Ages of the Sun, instead rejoice that there still walks amongst us those of the Elves that have seen the Light of the Two Trees in Valinor. She smiled encouragingly at the trio. The Noldor forget not the malice of Morgoth that he wrought in both Worlds. They will see to it that their sacrifice to cross over the Helcaraxe Ages ago would not be in vain and they will do their part in bringing down Sauron. Believe in that, my friends. She nodded at them.

As she stirred the embers and turned the rabbits she'd noticed Elsiner absence and shook her head in amusement. Sometimes that ellon can be too vigilant, she said to herself. Dinner will be ready soon. She remarked to the group and took out some plates and utensils from her backpack.

Lantaelen
24/Jan/2017, 10:43 PM
Uialtôr, wayfarer
Amon Sûl, Eriador

The Weather Hills was not an agreeable place to dwell.

Or even hunt. It had been a thousand years since these lands last knew the tribulations of war and destruction yet even after many lives of men it still seemed so…wasteful and empty. It was still flushed with teeming life, for no people had inhabited these regions for long years uncounted and the wilderness had been allowed to reclaim its former domains from those who had once dominated the landscape. Wild beds of herbs and even plants grew freely at the base of trees. Tall grass allowed a myriad of creatures both big and small to conceal themselves from passing predators, such as the wayfarer who passed them by. In the air was an amorous scent of pine and the lingering dew from a recent rainfall.

A lot like home, Uialtôr thought. But it had been long years since he last went to Evendim, now behind him to the west.

The sky above was shrouded with bleary, sad clouds, which allowed shafts here and there of light to pour down. The trees themselves offered little shade or comfort, dotting the landscape here and there in small thickets, last remnants and pockets of what was once a greater whole. Trees were ever the sign of a blossoming land, a marker of peace and bounty. There were no evils to destroy them for mirth and savagery. No men to hew them down for the building of homes and forts. It was his own folk, the Dúnedain of old, who had deforested these regions had they not? And they blame the foe most readily for that evil, not knowing it was our own ancestors who did the same. Acceptable, no doubt, for they called it Kingdom and progress.

The Lone Wayfarer was dressed in ragged, dirty garb, as one might seem after spending months in the wilderness. There were no tailors to visit to exchange them for another. If his long-sleeved tunic of dark blue, almost black, ever ripped, he merely tore a length from his green cloak and patched it up, disregarding fashion for comfortability. Even now there was a rift upon his shoulder, exposing some of his flesh to the elements. His breeches, tucked into his fur lined boots, were much the same and the once brown hue of his footwear were now long stained with the darker shade of mud and clinging dirt. There was nothing remotely fair about his clothes and it gave him a hard, wary appearance, which suited him just fine. He lived an unhappy, toilsome life and it was displayed openly in his approach wherever he went.

His sable hair was messily tied up in a bun at the back of his head, though several strands hung loosely about either side of his face, framing the determined expression there. Determined it was, but not overly to the point where he might seem ruthless. Like those of his race, there was a hint of nobility and wisdom in his brow and eyes, which were as green as the forestry about him, shaded much like the cloak he wore.

The dark green cloak perhaps, much stained and ragged with wear, torn and shredded when required, was perhaps the only indicator of who he was. Like other men of his dwindling race, Uialtôr was destined to become a Ranger, to join one of the many troupes or companies and patrol the wilds. Yet he struggled much with authority and command, having been raised parentless and thus by his own strength and endurance, to which he only trusted in. How could others understand? he often thought. But his hardships were the making only of his own foolishness.

He was armed with bow, sword, and knife, for though he might be friendless within his own race, he was not friendly in turn with the servants of evil. He hunted them where he could, the only art and service he thought appropriate for someone like him. It was his only succour in this life, to live by the bow and perhaps one day perish by it. It slew his enemies. It provided him with food from the hunt. It kept robbers and bandits at bay. It offered comfort, but never a solution, and it could not bring him boons in the form of meals or foes to hunt to keep his mind off his deeper issues. Even now, he had been faring poorly, for no sight of beast, whether sign or track, had he seen all day. And his stomach was beginning to pester him more fiercely, demanding sustenance.

Weathertop is ahead. Surely I will find some sign there, of beast or prey. I can’t survive on roots and wild berries for ever. On an empty stomach the acidity of such a diet was beginning to burn and making the hunger even more painful. And why is the land so empty and quiet? Uialtôr thought suddenly, with a foreboding of warning. Only when the enemy is near. Or if something strange is afoot. Something that even the trees and the stones are unused to. I should be on my guard…

And lo! As he came over a small hill, in sight of the famous, and infamous, watch tower of old, he spotted the faint smoke plume of a fire.

It was nearly invisible, disguised among the overcast clouds. Uialtôr at once threw himself upon the moss and hard earth, casting his hood over his dark hair. His dirty palms he brought up to either side of his face. An old scouting trick, allowing his eyes to focus more keenly on that narrow vision he gave himself. But nothing upon the broken hilltop fortress could he make out. Were they allies of good or servants of the foe? Even after the fall of Angmar, there was still rumour of evil in the north. Uialtôr was feeling a need to return to his folk and join in whatever was afoot. Yet here he was, wandering the wilds, dragging his feet.

In the distance, a dark bird flew, the first that he had seen all day. But mistakenly, he paid it no mind, deeming the inhabitation of Weathertop to be a more pressing issue. And perhaps it might see him…

For a time, he simply watched, thinking that whoever was there would make themselves known. But none afforded him that answer and he sighed. If there were foes up there, bandits utilizing the ancient watchtower of his people for their gain, it was his duty to clear them out. And if they numbered too greatly, it was his duty then to find his people and accomplish the task. But first he needed information and he rose again, unslinging his bow and drawing one of his arrows. He did not notch it, simply holding the curve of the bow and an arrow in one hand together. And with as much stealth and silence as his skill could offer, he stole his way down to the foot of the hill.

There were no voices, but the crackling of fire and the clinking of dishes. Settling down to eat? If they are hungry like me, they will be focused on their food, allowing me a quick peek to see who they are. And if they are not friends, then perhaps I can destroy them with haste and ease.

But he was mistaken, for as he ascended and peered, he saw a group of figures, four or five, huddling about. Not exactly close together, but together nonetheless. Men and…elves? Uialtôr was astonished and his fear and worry dissipated at once as he looked upon the fair folk, awakening some longing in him. How we should be, were we ever to attain the true nobility of our purpose. But that chance is long gone. With a sigh, he stepped out of his hiding place, walking plainly so that his presence would be heard before he actually appeared. And appear he did, standing the edge of the watchtower, bow in hand, looking at those gathered within.

“Apologies for my intrusion.” He murmured, throwing back his hood. “I thought you were foes, but you clearly are not. Might I ask your purpose on this watch-tower? Rarely do I see others upon it who are not of my kin. Are you merely travelers? Or is there some devilry afoot here that drives you here, for the land seems quiet with a sense of foreboding upon it.” He inquired, grasping his bow tightly at his inquiry of possible danger, for that was his desire to combat. He did not introduce himself, for he did not think he was going to be staying here long if the refugee was already occupied. And the smell of stew and rabbit was so…enticing…

Nolewen
29/Jan/2017, 05:55 PM
"Not all birds are to be trusted..."

(Aragorn, FotR, A Knife in the Dark)

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5090/5334412740_f2dc58262f_t.jpghttp://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w449/Nolelf/BlackBorder%203%20Elsilner%204_zps6czm3nas.png

Elsilner
Maethor


The black bird drew his attention owing to several reasons. None of which was particularly encouraging.

Firstly, Elsilner had not seen a single living thing besides himself and his current companions for nearly a fortnight. Secondly, its color, noticeably dark against the twilight sky, was never a good sign among the birds that often flew over Eriador. It usually meant they were serving some purpose of evil, usually spying; and the bird was just in the perfect position to be doing exactly that. It flew relatively low, at a location in the air from which scouting the area was clearly easier, and soared right over Weathertop - a known spot where most of the living beings traveling through the Lone Lands could be expected to have at the very least stopped at one point of their journey.

Elsilner, despite valuing loyalty above most traits, was a suspicious elf by nature, and it took him a mere heartbeat to reach a decision. The wood of his bow felt somewhat comforting in his tight grip, that hard pattern rough against his soft skin. The arrow was already set, pointed directly at his target. He caught his breath. All sounds were suddenly muffled. All sights were a blur of color and shapes. He concentrated on one thing, and one thing only: the dark bird in the sky. Waiting patiently, he took careful aim. The bird seemed to be moving in slow motion, flapping its black wings at a ridiculously slow speed. Elsilner waited, counting softly in his mind. His heart hammered against his chest, his muscles tense and his sharp elven eyes squinting to focus completely and entirely on his target.

Then the bird was flowing above him, tilting slightly due to a light breeze. Elsilner released the arrow. The bird never stood a chance.

Rarely did the Noldo Maethor miss; extremely rarely. His brown eyes filled with satisfaction, not of the killing itself but rather of the preciseness in which he preformed his task. Raising from his stooped position, Elsilner raced down the hillside, ignoring Rane's clear amusement at his suspicion and actions against a seemingly innocent bird. If his years in the wild had taught him something, it was that the most innocent-looking were the most guilty and dangerous. He would risk taking no chances.

He searched for the bird only briefly before finding its body, laying on a small bush jutting from the weed-covered earth at the foot of the weathered hill. Carefully plucking weeds and leaves to serve as makeshift gloves to avoid touching the bird, he flipped the dead animal lightly and discovered the familiar shaft of his arrow stuck deep inside its heart. Gripping the dead bird tightly, Elsilner made his way quickly up the hill, once again refraining from making any noise or touching the body. Dark red blood was dripping around the wound, and the elf was glad he chose to cover his hands before touching it. Something about the bird made his skin prickle with alarm.

Upon reaching the hilltop, he approached Rane with a grim smile. "I have heard the Cerbain taste well with rabbit," he mocked, ceremoniously presenting her with the dead bird.

In truth, he had no idea what the bird actually was. He was not an expert on beasts and animals, save the members of the wolfish families, which he has hunted for over half a dozen centuries, and naturally horses also, though he never claimed to even approach the level of expertise the Rohirrim had mastered over such animals. Leaving the bird at Rane's side, trusting her inspection of the creature would produce better results than his, Elsilner moved on to stand in the shadows of a large stone, his bow and an arrow at the ready. Something told him it would necessary to place a guard at this strange hour, otherwise they may get some unwelcome surprises.

His watchfulness was true and deep, with all senses. His eyes scanned the road before him. His ears strained for the softest sound. His body was ready to leap at any moment on a sudden attacker, his hands prepared to use his weapons at every immediate risk. His nostrils were flared to catch any unexpected smells. The wind was still blowing, gently but determinedly, and he had a bad feeling the ever-changing weather may be arranging something unpleasant for this night. The last rays of the sun had faded, and the sky was gradually but swiftly darkening. Behind Elsilner, Rane's fire crackled and the soft smell of smoke wafted through the air, joined by Mirana's herbs and the smell of roasting rabbits and cooking potatoes. When was the last time he'd eaten? Elisilner did not recall his last meal, but surely it was not quite a delightful experience. Alone in hostile lands, not daring to light a fire and munching on some stale bread. He was pleased that at least tonight he'll feel the pleasantness of an actual full stomach.

His attention snapped back to the side of the hill. Someone was moving there, climbing towards Elsilner. "Who goes there?" The Noldo demanded. He tensed, fitting an arrow in his bow and taking a step forward to greet the stranger.

The stranger soon appeared, clearly wishing them to be aware of his presence, if judging by all the noise he made and how plainly he positioned himself in their sight as he walked. His dark cloak was torn and ragged, his boots and clothes dirty, his hair messy and his expression determined. Though hard to spot in the dying twilight, Elsilner's elven sight caught a glimpse of a green cloak, usually meaning its wearer was a member of a very certain type of Men. The color of his eyes almost matched that of his cloak, and the elf watching him recognized certain wisdom and power in them, which again hinted of a specific type of Men who often wandered through those lonely lands. His entire appearance seemed to speak of toughness and an excellent ability to survive in the harsh conditions of the wilderness, but there were pain and loss in his face, too. This man had faced many hardships, and was still determined to go on.

"Your kin often visits Amon Sûl?" Elsilner frowned at the man's words. "Then surely you must be a Dúnadan... or a Hill-man. Which are you, friend or foe? Speak swiftly, and name yourself, or the arrow will free your tongue."

Aranadhel
29/Jan/2017, 11:44 PM
http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/b600/Adirion26/Nyrane2_zpscpyqaoms.png (http://s1293.photobucket.com/user/Adirion26/media/Nyrane2_zpscpyqaoms.png.html)

Nyarane

Dinner with the Dunedain


Rane watched as the potatoes sizzled in the iron cast pan & the fire dancing brightly under the stars. She stirred the pot to gauge the thickness of the rabbit stew and added some corn starch in between cutting up the crebain and gutting off it's innards. This she tossed into the fire as added fuel and she shafted the bird on a make shift wood spit and let it roast on top of the embers.

The fresh rosemary she took gladly and crushed it in her hands and sprinkled it over the golden potatoes as she added another spoonful of beef tallow into the pan lest the taters get burned. The aromatic scent of the herb permeated her nostrils and lifted her fea considerably.

As she concentrated on turning the bird, she paused for a second as her ears suddenly picked up soft footsteps and within seconds Elsilner sounded out the intruder. Rane listened as the stranger voiced out his astonishment at the sight he was now seeing. From his voice alone she'd already know he was a friend and called out to the newcomer in Westron without looking up at him.

You asked too many questions without introducing yourself first, Dunadan. She admonished him gently. Better not keep my comrade waiting lest he let fly his arrow again to kill another bird. She said in a lighthearted banter, hoping the newcomer gets the message that he is not among enemies. Rane then picked up the wooden ladle to stir the pot again and turned the bird over the fire. She sprinkled salt over the bird and waited for the newcomer to speak again. As far as she was concerned the potatoes were already cooked and she replaced the pan onto the stone hard floor next to her feet.

Lantaelen
30/Jan/2017, 12:24 AM
Uialtôr, wayfarer
Amon Sûl, Eriador

It was not surprising at all for the man to be confronted with a drawn bow, arrowed notched and no doubt aimed to kill. The figure who held it though was clearly of the elder kindred, an elf whose fair complexion seemed only more wrathful when threatening such mortal danger to his person. Uialtôr met the elf’s stare firmly and held the other’s eye, not glancing to any of the others about. The suspicion of his background was warranted, given his foul appearance. It was not uncommon for Dúnadan to be mistaken for one of the lesser races of men, wild and barbaric. Surely the elf should see that if Uialtôr was indeed one of the hill-man, would he not have come seeking to ambush and pillage rather than speak and discover news? Uialtôr did not think common Hill-men of the north to be capable of such cunning to trick an elf. At least, not in these days. But it had been long since he wandered the eastern lands of Eriador.

Off to the side, another elf spoke, chiding him in a soft tone for his brisk approach. She was a fair looking one, busy with her cooking, not even bothering to gaze at him as if such encounters might have been commonplace with her and their group at large. Her tone was seemed almost jesting to him. Perhaps it was, for it had been long since he heard anything in jest or mirth. He took her lesson to heart regardless. Who was he to ask questions of the Elder Kindred without a proper introduction? So adamant had he been on discovering who might be utilizing the ancient outpost of his people that he had forgotten common etiquette. Not an uncommon occurrence for the Ranger.

“Your arrow will most likely silence this bird’s tongue for good, rather than free it.” He answered, a small morbid smile creeping across his lips. “But freely I shall answer regardless, for I do not wish to exchange bowshot with one of the Elder Kindred, who is no doubt far beyond my own skill with the bow.” Uialtôr answered, spreading his arms slowly to the side more, separating the bow and arrow from each other that he held, to show he intended no harm. “Mae govannen.” He then said in Sindarin and after that continued to speak in that tongue, moving a hand to his breast in a gesture of greeting. The arrow was clutched in his fist as he did and he even inclined his head a little in deference to the elf. “I am called Uialtôr, a Ranger, from the Everdim Hills, though I tend to travel alone these days rather in the company of my kin. But my purpose and theirs usually remains aligned, as I have stated before. I have come seeking to trade blows with the Enemy and I do not deem you to be thus. So I offer you no harm, if my word means anything.”

Without waiting for the elf’s answer, he stuck the arrow back in his quiver, further disarming himself. Uialtôr assumed at least that given his answer, he would not be shot over such a simple action. He straightened his posture and moved to hold the curve of his bow with both hands, positioned horizontally across his lower body in a relaxed state, as if to further show how he would not suddenly reach for an arrow and try to shoot one of them. “If that does not prove me friend or foe, then I do not know what else might.” He added with a shrug. He would not move from that spot though until the elf across from him lowered his bow. He glanced once more towards the small fire and pot again, where the more polite speaking elf laboured, feeling his stomach growl upwards at him at the sight of the steaming meal. “I can see though where the scarce game in this country has gone…” He murmured, again with a small smirk on his lips, before looking back to the elf.

There were others, his own race in fact. Two gruff males and a female who didn’t look any less intimidating than the two men. He still wished to know their purpose here, but his upbringing had ingrained him enough not to question the doings of elves if he should ever meet them. They were a fair and wise folk, more so than the Dúnadan had been at the height of their power.

Ercassie
06/Feb/2017, 11:55 PM
’As soon as I had made up my mind, I was ready to tell you whatever you asked. But I must admit,” he added with a queer laugh, “that I hoped you would take to me for my own sake. A hunted man sometimes wearies of distrust and longs for friendship. But there I believe my looks are against me.”’

(Strider, FOTR)


http://imageshack.com/a/img922/6610/1JR4i1.jpghttp://imageshack.com/a/img923/1381/YN2CS9.jpghttp://imageshack.com/a/img922/2344/0su61i.jpg

Jowan Elfor and Mirana Elforiel
With Gwandhyra Harion


Remote as their venue now stood, the remains of Amon Sul attracted more than its fair share of scrutiny. It seemed as though a landmark it’s fate was ever to be, whether decked in glory or steeped in phantasm. To the latter of these two it’s reputation leaned of late. And might be that was the cause for nerves to be so taut. Yet Mirana felt an affront on behalf of their latest invader, who had swiftly attracted all the sorts of suspicion that the Elves had not inspired on their entry. It scarcely seemed fair. And yet, history made camp with the Eldar. Rare it was indeed to come across one of that ilk who was malignant through and through.

Dangerous of course, the woman recognised. Petite Nyarane, reflective Elsiner, both so swift to put their hand to arms. Fortunately for the strange man, he possessed a tongue more than the bird had done. Uialtôr might yet survive the group’s conjecture.

Rather than express her mind, Mirana watched the elfmaiden diligently work her little harvest of dried and curling rosemary. It was a poor offering and yet potent enough, in the cook’s hands that soon the alluring tang of fine fare had begun to enchant all. Jowan sat yet crosslegged where he had sagely tucked his chin to throat, contemplating the archer Elf’s prophecy. His grey eyes blinked pointlessly yet focused, as though he could see an answer to the questions nobody had asked yet. Gwandhyra stood, towering, over, behind his sightless kinsman. The yearning and yet quizzical expression which had overcome her cousin set thought in Mirana’s mind that he looked still for the bird which Elsiner had felled so neatly.

“The bird is dead,” she observed, matter of fact, turning the Southerner suddenly about face. “Turn eyes toward the world we dwell amidst.” And rolling her own eyes, and inwardly grimacing that she had directed the subject back once more to sight … the woman promptly squatted beside her father. Strands of long dark hair whipped from the knot she’d composed, tickling her brow. Ana swiped at their mischief, irritably. At length she tore the braid to loose, and did it all anew. Only for a few strands again to wriggle to their liberty. She frowned.

“You are a fine shot,” Gwandhyra finally broke words and the uncomfortable silence, applauding the Maethor. “Though not as spent in years as our cook,” he guessed, a game of his to incite conversation. He was curious of the Maethor, who he knew less well than the elleth. Gwandhyra had noted that the male Elf looked not to educate them, or considered them as children, as did Nyarane. He told no stories, nor claimed familiarity with the world as a whole. Rather, the archer seemed eager to prove himself, far more reserved within company. He carried himself a little more seriously.

Particularly where it came to their ‘intruder’.



The stand-off with Uialtôr was fast becoming awkward. Gwandhyra could see both sides of the dilemma, but it was Jowan, who saw naught, who spoke up in defence of the man, or in favour of his own impatient stomach. For although he had baulked at Elsiner’s crebain being so received by Rane, his sense of smell had not forsook him. He hungered.

“How should we ask for a man to answer whether he be foe,” the blind man queried, “when we tell not who in fact we, or our foes by default, may be ?”

“We stand absent of all need for such an explanation” Mirana took up one of the elleth’s bowls, and looked for approval from Nyarane before she began to spoon some of the food for her father. “I have never heard of Hillmen who would make camp with the Eldar,” she brandished, aghast that she might be thought of as anything but her distinguished heritage.

“I have never known a Hillman survive on his own,” Jowan accepted the bowl he was passed, but passed on accepting his daughter’s judgement. “Fewer still Hillmen who could make an approach that Elves might not mark until the last.” The blind man patted the ground close to him, with an inviting smile. “He says he is of our kind. And I believe him.” he diagnosed, confident.

“Well I would judge a man by his deeds, rather more than words,” put in Gwandhyra his own marked accent branding him sample, that appearances are not all that they may appear. Just as weather-lined was his hard face, and his form garbed in items on loan from Jowan’s wardrobe, no less. Still he could not sound as did his northern kindred. His mouth had shaped words of too many dialects along his travels to now ever sound fluent in any. “Snakes can ply deceit with sweet delivery,” he counselled, pleading with a patient hand for Rane to feed him too. “But we can know not this one’s deeds until he should make speech with us. So I say come, sit, warm yourself at our fire. No Enemy would be so bold as to risk our daunting company ! For he might soon make guess at what becomes of foes that we uncover.”

Tawny brown eyes glittered at the hint of veiled threat behind his smile. Gwandhyra turned suddenly on alert, faced the West and bowed his head. Words tumbled into his short-shorn beard that none might hear. And then he took a place beside Jowan. His Southern rituals of dining satisfied.

“If you were waiting for an invitation, that was it,” Mirana mentioned, seizing up a hot potato, in the shield of one worn, fingerless-glove. “They will not shoot you, I am sure.”

“Wouldn’t fit in the cook pot, I reckon,” Jowan grinned, in what was meant as a reassuring manner. He had not noted his cousin’s odd custom before eating, and his appetite spared him from similar conviction.

Nolewen
13/Feb/2017, 06:17 PM
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Elsilner
Maethor

Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbits

Rane may have instantly recognized the stranger as a friend, but Elsilner had chosen to challenge her confidence previously and follow his instinct, aiming to remove a possible threat, and was not disappointed. The dead bird was happily roasted above the flames hosting the very same dish Mirana was now pouring her father, and as far as the Noldo was concerned, he'd eliminated a dangerous spy, against Rane's judgement. Therefore, when now facing a similar situation, Elsilner did not hesitate to question her apparent assurance that the man was no foe, deciding instead to continue pointing his bow at the possible danger at hand. Ignoring Rane's comments and not moving at all until the man finished speaking.

"I have long ago mastered the unfortunate art of freeing one's tongue without removing it," the elf scolded, "allow me to assure you that should I have wished, or should you have not provided a satisfying reply to my inquiry, you would not have still been in possession of your tongue or the information I was seeking by now." There was a slight warning in his voice, hinting it was not too late yet to perform that mentioned threat.

"However, I am pleased with your answer, at least for now. Begging your pardon, Mellyn, I must disagree," he remarked without turning to look at his companions. "For not by looks nor deeds, nay, not even by the courage of a lone man addressing our fearsome company when surely no Hill-man in his right mind would have done that, do I find this man worthy of our friendship. It is the tongue which you used," here the pale shadow of a smile sneaked across his lips. "Few strangers had ever learnt the Noble Tongue, the Fair Speech of the elves, and I doubt an enemy would have been as skilled or cunning to speak in Sindarin."

Elsilner splayed his fingers over his heart, trapping the arrow underneath them in both a repeat of the greeting gesture performed by the man, and a sign of trust similar to disarming himself. "Suilannad, Uialtôr uin Dúnedain*," he greeted the Ranger with a soft smile, replacing the arrow in his quiver and slinging his bow over his shoulder. "My name is Elsilner, and I am a Maethor of the Halcyon Guard of Imladris, as is my friend here, Nyarane." He swept his hand in the general direction of the cooking elf. "Gwandhyra, his cousin Mirana, and her father Jowan are of your kindred too, Dúnedain of Eriador."

Elsilner stepped aside, allowing the Ranger to pass. "We have gathered here coincidentally - although I doubt such a thing as coincidence may exist in our world. Weathertop, as men call it nowadays, is a landmark difficult to miss, especially when one wishes to find a good lookout spot overseeing the area. We did not intend to meet here, and yet we have. So come join us, if you please, and feed yourself from the wondrous cooking of our talented friend here," he nodded appreciatively at Rane.

Standing near his feasting companions, on the lookout, Elsilner hesitantly replied to Gwandhyra's question. "I will not pretend Rane had not seen more winters than I had," he confirmed a little begrudgingly. "I have spent much of my life among mortals, and seen nearly three dozens generations of men; I personally value deeds more than years and measure wisdom by words and actions... though nonetheless experience matters when judging one's character."

Hurrying to change the subject, Elsilner pointed skywards. "We will soon have more company," the Noldo predicted. "Wet company," he clarified. Storm clouds swept across the sky as though the wind, using a giant broom, has decided to dust the stars. "We better enjoy what time we have left with the fire and our dry clothes," he chuckled grimly and turned his eyes towards the darkening landscape. "They won't last long in this weather."


*Greetings, Uialtôr of the Dúnedain

Lantaelen
13/Feb/2017, 09:51 PM
Uialtôr, wayfarer
Amon Sûl, Eriador

It was not an easy thing to stand there while Uialtôr was discussed like common prey during a hunt. Should they shoot him? Should they invite him to sit? Not once was it mentioned of sending him off, implying he was stuck here according to whichever judgement they pronounced on him, either to die or share in a meal. He did not move his pale eyes from the elf with the ready bow directed at him, regarding the figure with orbs like fading moss in the autumn, caught on the verge of losing its illustrious green hue to a more pale and receding state. The others, whom he saw, and felt, were of his kindred were more accepting, but the elf remained suspicious. Nor did Uialtôr blame him, for he himself would act no differently had a stranger wandered upon his camp or dwelling.

But Weathertop is the fortress and relic of my people. I should be no stranger here. If I die here, it would be alongside thousands of my fellow dúnedain who came before and did so as well. His defiant eyes narrowed at the elf's veiled threat, but still he said nothing further. But it all turned to naught, whether it be anger, difficultly, or suspicion. He had proven his friendliness, not by deed or word, but the manner of his speech. Yes, Uialtôr knew the tongue of the Elder Kindred, the Sindarin speech, which he learned before the common tongue even. The arrow was removed and both it and the bow replaced by a smile and an invitation to sit and join them. Uialtôr could not deny he was hungry and his gaze, freed of the threat of harm, turned once more to the boiling stew, which the others already shared in. How he missed the comradeship of a restful meal after travel.

His eyes then roamed over the others when names were given. Nyarane for the cook, who was of the Halcyon Guard of Imladris which he was aware of. The one who had held him captive with bowshot was named Elsilner, his demeanor changing as fast as a passing cloud sweeping before a summer sun. The other three were his kin, though he had never met, seen, or heard of them before. But his Evendim tribe of dúnedain tended to be more isolationist than most, sticking to the hills, from which few ever ventured forth. "I thank you for your clemency and generosity. The meal and companionship will be appreciated and I shan't prove much burden upon you, for though I may not fit in your pot as sustenance, there is still little of me that needs nourishment." He answered at last, bowing to the elves in greeting, then to the other three dúnedain. He couldn't help but quirk a half-smile to the blind man, Jowan. He had a sardonic sense of humour, even among the toils of the wilds, that Uialtôr found welcoming.

And with the invitation made, he was seemingly forgotten.

That was well enough, as it gave him a moment to himself to simply recompose his mind and take more stock of the surrounding. As the others turned to their own conversation, he let out a sigh and raised a hand up to his stained green hood, throwing it back to reveal his weathered, dirty features, with a mop of black hair framing. There was a rugged look to him, one that indeed gave him an appearance akin to the Hillmen of the north. He slung his sole satchel down from his shoulder to his elbow and approached the cook, the elleth known as Nyarane. "I am not so ill a guest that I may only beg for fare. I have berries and some roots, collected in the wilds, which I offer as a gift. They are still sweet and possessing of their juices. I leave it to your wisdom what you may do with it." He told the elleth in the elven tongue, digging into his pack and pulling out a smaller bundle wrapped in clean cloth, which contained various dried wild berries he had been surviving on for the past several days. Frankly he was sick of it.

His own bowl and spoon he had as well, craved from wood, plain and unadorned. He waited politely to be served last among this company and had no issue with receiving mostly broth, for it was regenerating and empowering for his cold, tired limbs. He sat somewhat apart, facing inwards towards the fire and the debating elf and man, the one called Gwandhyra. Coincidence or not, they seemed to be of like mind, which was the repelling of foes and Hillmen from their desired goal of troubling those in the south, who were far richer and possessing than these wild folk.

He listened rather vaguely to the debate on the nature of one's character and trustworthiness. He was no philosopher or deep thinker, being on this earth for only a short time. Such studies he would leave to the aged and immortal. The bow and hunt were more to his liking. The mention of rain though drew his eyes upwards and the ever threatening clouds above seemed to grow heavy as they carried their offerings across the land, ready to bless a patch of dirt with a deep thirst. It seemed to have been foreboded for a long time in his bones that rain should fall soon. And Uialtôr knew if he sensed it, others might as well. "It seems to me that coming rain and storm will drive others to ground and as you say, Weathertop is a domineering monument upon the land. Others might come here less friendly than soaking water and chilling wind." He added in a warning tone, to everyone and no one in particular. "You ought to be prepared should others come, speakers of the fair speech of elves or not."

Uialtôr had not said We, for he did not know where he exactly stood. This was, as he currently deemed, a chance encounter, with those he probably would not see again. His heart seemed less sure of that fact, though. He decided then, once their attention was on him, to speak once more on his original inquiry. "Your intentions here you have not shared, which is all very well if you do not wish to, but mine remains the same. I seek out rumor or news of the enemy, as is the duty of my blood here. Have you any to share with me?" Uialtôr asked, looking to each individual in turn.

Ercassie
19/Mar/2017, 02:55 PM
'Indeed in nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him. Yet so little faith and trust do we find now in the world ... that our hands are more often upon the bowstring than upon the harp.'

(Haldir. In 'Lothlorien', FOTR)

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Jowan Elfor and Mirana Elforiel
With Gwandhyra Harion


The eyes of Elves saw true, and certain roved the tempest which might test their makeshift camp. It conquered the skyline, promising a swift arrival. Weathertop, Men called it, this broken crown of tumbled stone, bejewelled by small tufts of brittle, pale grass. And they were little protected from the elements, save to gain timely warning of what to expect. As though they anticipated need would soon be with them, the Rangers took their fill of offered substenance, to arm them for what might intrude. Ana ensuring that her father had satisfied his appetite, before she looked to appease her own. Gwandhyra glanced up with interest over his bowl to view the back and forth between Elsiner and Uialtôr. Only as the Elf turned to aside with him, and while the stranger made his kind offering of berries to Nyarane's mix, only then did the Gondorian lower his spoon.

"We Mortals do not know quite such a luxury of countless years as do our Elven brethren, with which we might court patience as priority," he ducked his head modestly before Elsiner. "We have thus become accustomed toward perhaps trusting our choices upon gut instinct. And, of course, there is a little thing that we call 'hope'. Sometimes to assume the bad would blind us to the good." Gwandhyra had marvelled at the Elf's young age, by contrast to his peers from the valley at any rate.

"Do not," he held up both hands, "I beg you, mellon nin, think I meant you an unkindness in my mentioning your years spent in this world. For sure, how should one of far more scant years deem you any the lesser, for cramming any string of accomplishments into such a time spent ? How many heroes of our own folk have perished long before they were due, and still claimed feats in short lifespan that might put a thousand long-lived Elves to shame ?"

"You must forgive my kinsman," Mirana offered Uialtôr, and all. As though she were the mother and her cousin a boisterous child. "He is prone to ramble on as though he stood still in great halls that likewise stood still." She fetched her crossbow to hand, heeding the prospect of trouble to arrive. The promised threat did naught to still the Gondorian though.

"Amon Sul stands as a veteran of wars long past. And owing our respect as much as might an aged grandfather, his wrinkled skin still scarred by courage shown," Gwandhyra put in, with a nigh injured air. "All that is gold does not glitter. And I stand in some amazement that it is a Man of the South who here raises tongue in her defence, while a native of the north demotes our location as though a lowly tavern !"

"Neither would I expect that same aged veteran to strap on his now buckled armour and march off to war, ravaged as his once strong limbs stand now, by time !" The Woman put her utensils away, and washed her dinner down with a swig from her water bottle. Almost as though she readied her throat against the perils of an argument. "The rain at hand obscures our observation of the land at large, and moreover shall slay our fire, much as though brute Werewolves do themselves conspire with the sky to lend advantage, to our foe. We are exposed and should not fool ourselves that ghosts shall save us, should some living peril present itself."


Jowan shifted where he sat, warding off the sentiment that the others referred as much to him, in current helpless state, as they did to the ruins of Amon Sul.

"We sit beneath the calm before the storm .." the blind man ventured abruptly, rising up unto his feet and waving off the certainty of Mirana's attempts to aid him. He inclined his head pointlessly to where he could not spy the stranger. But he had listened. "You ask for news, Uialtôr. But it may be we who ask for you, to take up arms and delay your return to the Evendim Hills. Your arrival here may be as coincidental and yet fortuitous as our meeting in general. What news ?" Jowan cast his unseeing eyes over the small group. "Aside from the resurgence of foul things drawn to a new power up in Carn Dum ? Aside from recent devastation done by Hillmen to the ceaseless watch at Lond Daer ? Aside from the Werewolves which now look to roam these lone lands as though naming such their own territory ? Ogres lurking in the mining tunnels of Emerald Heights ? Rumours of fell sorcery enough to see suspicion raised in all ? Aside from all of that which we might speak of ? I would say a little rain is the least of our troubles. The sky turns to shadow, not solely from weight of rain. But worse, I deem".

Ana moved to stall her father as he turned to depart their small circle, but it was not his passionate outburst which had roused him. Rather a need to privately 'relieve' himself, as he quietly let her know. The woman retrieved her place, tucked the antennae of her dark hair behind the catch of her ears, which were blossoming up a healthy blush now. Gwandhyra slapped his knees and rose, in his turn, that his cousin should stare up in wonder, and be diverted from her own anxiety.


There was no way he could have anticipated the sharp yelp of surprise which then sounded. Emitted by Jowan, out of sight, it's alarm soon extinguished the debate. Gwandhyra and Mirana raced in their mutual efforts to lend aid, though neither knew yet from what or for what cause. They met on either side of an exposed chasm in the desk of the hilltop's stone deck. A shift in the flagstone had exposed a gloomy passage downwards. They could not see their kinsman, rather the flurry of dust coughed up from the ancient chimney.

"Rope !" gasped Ana, frantic. "We must have him out .."

"Or rather, you might think to follow suit," her father's voice rose up out of the deep. "I have solved our dilemma as to shelter."

"Are you hurt ?" Gwandhyra cupped both hands around his mouth, to ensure his enquiry was carried the unmeasured length of shadow.

"I do not believe so," Jowan picked himself up tentatively, and rubbed various limbs which might bear a bruise in time. "The grace of this bastion protected me from harm. But you might want to set torches while you yet have a fire. It is so dark that I can not see a thing down here .."

Mirana rolled her eyes, and set back upon her heels, at her father's humour. Gwandhyra swallowed his own amusement, to save the threat of his cousin's wrath.

Nolewen
02/Jun/2017, 02:08 PM
http://i1076.photobucket.com/albums/w449/Nolelf/BlackBorder%203%20Elsilner%204_zps6czm3nas.png http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5090/5334412740_f2dc58262f_t.jpg

Elsilner
Maethor

Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit


Elsilner had moved not from his spot on the lookout as the conversation proceeded. He lowered his head once, to indicate he accepted the apology offered by Gwandhyra. Among the elves, one of short age such as himself had to prove their worth with marvelous deeds, before they could be considered equals to their elders. He was an elf of the third age, and was quite sensitive when the subject arose, immediately defending himself from the contempt and underestimation which accompanied the reaction of many to that information, which he so rarely revealed willingly.

The reply of the newcomer to Elsilner's warning surprised him. Not because he did not perceive that they would soon be joined by less pleasant company; but rather because of the way the Ranger chose to form his sentence.

"Do you not include yourself in our so-called 'coincidental' gathering, Dúnadan? Surely someone or something higher than mere 'chance' has chosen to bring us together, and we must not take it lightly. You are here now, Uialtôr, so do say 'we' and not 'you', because surely you are part of 'us', though whether for this night only or longer - that I cannot say."

At Uialtôr's following question he hesitated, but was spared the need of immediately replying by Jowan, who supplied a detailed answer.

"New powers have indeed openly declared their arise in the dark witch-realms of old. The kingdoms which we have long believed to be dead, are now alive once more, with the likeness of one of their evil spirits, leaving death and entering the wraith-world, only to appear as wights in the ruins of a once-mighty kingdom, and spread their evil throughout the lands from the mountains to the sea. Sorcery of the worst kind seeps through the thin barrier which once blocked their ever-growing power, and unimaginable horrors, worst than the nightmares which were once signified by orcs and trolls and their ilk, are slipping out into the world of awakening. We can no longer ignore the threats posed by the wargs and wolves and whatnot patrolling our borders. Soon they will discover the opening they have so long sought, and invade the little haven of peace in which we have hidden ourselves in fear of the upcoming onslaught, which is now only inescapable. I have battled werewolves, and so have Gwandhyra and Rane, and fought ogres; and those were only a handful of leaves in a forest - nothing at all compared to what I fear they are preparing for us. Imagine armies of those devilish beasts, and more surprises they have not yet revealed, attacking us. Imagine the world of men and elves destroyed by the tentacles of witchcraft wrapping themselves steadily around it."

Elsilner took a deep breath and turned to look at them. "I fear Jowan is correct. Darkness upon us. Evil is ever-nearing, ever-growing." He paused. "What have we to defend ourselves? Hope, my friends. Hope gives rise to great deeds. As long as we do not fall under the feet of despair, there is still hope - hope and light, my friends. Hope for victory and peaceful days, and light to show us the way."

When Jowan's cry pierced the uncomfortable silence that had fallen over the company, the Noldo's thoughts were wiped out of his mind immediately, as years of training and fighting took over. He leaped to the fire and grabbed a burning log, drawing it easily away and using its light to navigate the darkened landscape. He easily outmatched the Rangers' running, and hurried to inspect the cave their kinsman had found without meaning to.

"Move away from the opening,​" he warned the man inside, then jumped down unhesitatingly. He drew his hands and feet closer to his body, to minimize the impact of the fall, but managed to land on his feet and straighten himself.

"I've brought a torch," the elf said calmly to the Ranger, moving next to him to check the cave for possible threats. He walked around, discovering that the cave was not too large but not too small either, with a rather tall ceiling, so he did not need to stoop as he passed through, and with no continuation leading anywhere else - no tunnels connecting it to unknown depth and locations. It did not seem inhabited, and was most likely hidden from most travelers, because he could not find recent signs of anyone being inside.

"It's safe down here," he called upwards. "I hope," he added in a murmur to himself.

"Though you may want to get a rope. That way you will surely find it easier to drop inside."

Lantaelen
13/Jun/2017, 05:36 AM
Uialtôr, wayfarer
Amon Sûl, Eriador

Was Uialtôr included in the gathering now? He may have come coincidentally to this place but the way these others spoke among themselves he still felt like an outsider, even in this ancient fortress of his people. He did not believe in a higher purpose or fate though. Life and reality was as others made it, such as the condition of this place not being because it was willed by some purpose but by the deeds and actions of individuals who lived a thousand years ago. He understood it as being nothing more than many, countless interweaving strands of thought, action, and deeds culminating in moments like this, which in turn created new strands. To his mind, it was indeed just chance.

Perhaps I may be a philosopher after all. He kept his mouth shut though, listening to the debate continue on the differences between elves and men. He couldn’t help but smile towards the older man when he referenced the nature of its hope and extreme importance to their race. Doomed with mortality, without hope it could drive one insane, bringing on that outcome quicker than it might come naturally. How would one of the elder kindred ever understand? But still he kept his lips sealed, remaining out of that debate. He wondered too if he, like his father and many others, would perish committing deeds far before it was his time. But such doubt and anxiety was crippling. Best look to the future and what possibilities it may hold and if he was lucky, he would find pleasures and happiness along the way, though he did not expect them.

He waved off Mirana’s apologies. “There is nothing to forgive. It is considered great profit is it not, to listen to the words and advice of one who has gone through it all, in maybe preventing such hardships from falling upon those who keep their ears open.” Uialtôr answered, glancing again up at the sky. The grey clouds hung heavy in the air, drifting over and around them.

When the blind man then spoke, Uialtôr found his attention drawn all the more acutely, breathing in through his nose when mentioned by name and holding his breath unknowingly as the situation was laid out to him. His initial doubt about his presence here was assayed, the words of Jowan awakening the dormant feelings of duty to land and kin within him. And here, he was among kin and allies was he not?

“It is as I feared then.” He answered, once Jowan and Elsilner spoke their pieces, full of conviction and resolved. “Like weeds in a garden, evil can never truly be rooted out. The sickness is seeped into the very earth and time and time again it seems it shall spring new, poisonous fruit to taint the lands. You speak of terrors and threats which seem like terrible myths in this day and time, yet I see in your eyes without even needing to hear your words that they walk this earth again. My heart compels me even now to indeed return to the Evendim Hills, to warn my family and kin of the threat. But where can they go against such power? No, I will stay here and fight, as well as my bow and sword can offer, if you would have me. If the darkness is not dammed here, it will not be done so anywhere I fear. Where now can there be a place considered safe? But the very least, if I may say so boldly, we should not allow the foe then to feel safe in any regards either.”

The sudden crash drew his attention with a jerk, his green eyes narrowing as he at first thought their speech of the foe had drawn them here by some strange curse. Instead, it was the blind man Jowan who suffered a mishap, falling through an unstable section of flooring. “I have a short length here, though I do not know if it will be sufficient.” Uialtôr answered to the call for rope, pulling out the six foot length he had slung under his cloak. No good Ranger ever went off without one! It was weaved in elven fashion, or in some imitation of it, the original craft having been learned by his ancestors from the elder kindred themselves, though nowhere near in such quality as his ancestors or the elves could craft, the skill having deteriorated in recent years. Yet he came forward with the others, willing to help his new comrades however he might. They were all in this together and blind or not, every life mattered.

“The man must be borne from these very rocks himself. With a skull that durable, I pity what he might have done to the bastion.” Uialtôr remarked with a grin to Jowan’s bravado and snarky remark about the dark, not knowing his peril in angering the man’s daughter perhaps. The elf leapt in first as Uialtôr loosened the coil of rope, finding a small pillar of stone in which could be used as an anchor. “Even if it does not extend the full length down, we can at least clamber to a distance that should make the drop more akin to a hop. But I agree with the Maethor in lighting torches. No need to drop down in the dark and possibly injure a foot or worse. We may not be as robust as some.”

“You two go and I will help in leveraging the rope on this end. I will come once the fire has been concealed and the cooking completed, while there is still time before the rain falls.” Uialtôr suggested, looking not to Gwandhyra who ought to have seniority through age but rather to Mirana, who possessed a certain air of authority even over her two kinsmen.