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  1. Almarëa Mordollwen's Avatar
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    #1
    Castles in the Sand (Free RP Thread)



    Have you ever explored the Dark Lands? Has your character ever visited the famed vineyards of Dorwinion? Travelled to the southern lands of Near and Far Harad, Khand, or Rhûn? Climbed the Orocarni Mountains in the far east? Passed through the Grey Mountains, or the Emyn Muil? Visited the Ice Bay of Forochel? Have they sailed past, or landed on Tolfalas, Himling, or Tol Fuin?This is a free RP thread for places and time periods that do not exist elsewhere on the Plaza. You may RP in any age, in any location.

    Rules:- All general Plaza rules apply.- Please include your location, and the year, at the top of your post- Please mark your RPGs with All is Welcomeor Private, according to your choice- The GM may sometimes post prompts, which you are free to follow or ignore.- Please white out OOC notes at the bottom of your post, like so: @Alma(this is an OOC comment)- Have fun!





    (click here to consult a larger version of this map)

    You can also use this map for the Second Age, and this is a fuller map of Numenor.
    Last edited by Aigronding Mordagnir; 01/Jul/2013 at 08:48 AM.













  2. _____________________________________________________________________________





    ______________________________________________________________________________


    The Wayfarer

    [Private with Almarëa, for placement in AoA X : The Wheel of Fire]

    T.A. 1868.

    Tuilë ("Spring", Quenya)







    (Private - with Almarëa)




    The wind gusted through the leaves of the
    rowan trees and stirred Iella's golden hair as she ambled gingerly up,
    up, up the aged stone steps of Amon Hen, the Hill of Seeing, that were
    worn and cracked. From her vantage
    point upon the fair hill, the blue-eyed elleth could espy the
    Great River far below and the lake within the midst of Anduin, its waters
    shining in the sunlight and the endless mighty roar of the Falls of
    Raurous was a pleasant sound to her elfin ears. The sharp crown of Tol Brandir
    shone like a spike of gold beneath Vása's light and many colorful birds wheeled
    about the sheer-sided stony island's inaccessible spire. The small
    upland lawn, Parth Galen, lay near the western shore of Nen Hithoel at its the southern end ; that was where her
    family - yes, she always thought of them as so - was encamped, the elves
    of Bar-en-Raen, House of the Wandering. Iella, a tall and leggy
    warrior elf-woman clad in clinging dark-brown leather, came to
    the summit of Amon Hen. It was a broad, flat-topped place, paved with
    great flag stones, and was surrounded with a gradually declining
    battlement in the midst of which upon a quad of four carven pillars, was
    a lofty seat, reached by a stair of many steps.



    Up she went, stone by stone, and found the man she much adored and
    admired sitting on the ancient Seat of Seeing, seeming like an Elf king
    silent and venerable. Earenolwë Noldorseron, the Eldakan ("Leader",
    Quenya), of Bar-en-Raen. He was a tall and imposing elf, kind and reserved. The transplanted Falmari elf was one
    of the Begotten, elves not born but created by the God ; the Nelyar man, clad this afternoon in blue and gray,
    had long hair that shone like silver and his eyes were like blue starlight. Laying near the Seat of Seeing was
    his faithful wolfhound, a limber dog of Valinor named Ráka, the Wild. Her eyes were bright gold and her voice was like a deep-toned bell ; Ráka's coat was as white as cream. Earen, addressed Iella softly as she approached the Seat of Seeing hesitantly. Earenolwë seemed
    riveted in place, as if he was One with the Seat, appearing as if
    molded to it. He sat unmoving, rigid, and his hands clasped the arms of
    the Ancient Stair in a grip so fierce that his hands were paler than
    his skin.



    Her heart almost broke, seeing the rapturous look on his face ; she
    hadn't seen him in such a rhapsodic pose for a very long time. Iella took another step and Ráka regarded her movement disapprovingly ; the wolfhound of Aman was a sentient creature and knew well that her master wanted to be alone right now but Iella was an elf so the hound was loath to stop her. Earenolwë slowly looked at Iella when she touched himand with a shocked, pain countenance as a sleeper awakened too soon from a good dream. What did you see ? Iella asked, trying a smile though it faltered for Earen's stare was ungentle. Many things, he answered in his usual mellifluous voice though there was an undercurrent of displeasure. I felt as if I was flying above the world and with the eyes of an Eagle, he went on. Every mountain and every river, every forest and every land, and all the people....so many people.



    He noticed Iella's cheeks flushing in embarrassment for
    interrupting his enjoyment of using the magic of the Stone Chair ; he
    loved her very much and decided to relax. He laughed, attempting a joke
    to please her. Even an ant-hill in Rhûn. Iella began to merrily laugh and Earenolwë smiled, arising from his seat ; the two best friends embraced each other. Is there something you wish to tell me ? Earenolwë asked and she kissed his cheek. Everyone
    wants you to come back to the Lawn ; they're all eager to go. They're
    wondering where we should visit next and you're our leader, you know.
    Earenolwë rubbed her back. All right, I'll come along. Iella began to lead him down the stairs, taking his hand in her own, grinning, excited about the new destination ; Ráka nimbly followed, white tail wagging, mouth parted so her tongue could
    hang happily ; she was joyous, wanting to see somewhere new, too..



    *



    Thank you. Earenolwë raised a silver brow, approaching the greensward, its green earth watered by a small babbling spring nearby, with the healer's sister. For ? Blond, blue-eyed Elfaron who was gutting the last slain rabbit - that Ráka had previously hunted for the elves - with surgical ease (it was his turn to cook) smirked at Earenolwë. For not falling down those stairs. It's been a month since I've had to doctor anyone, a record, you know. Earenolwë snorted. I should run back and jump off the battlement and break my leg, just to spite you. Elfaron chuckled. Let's get down to business, shall we ? Yulmanilda asked with a grin ; she had already one of Teithon's maps of Wilderland laying upon several stones here upon the greensward of Parth Galen. Earenolwë's blue coruscating eyes closed for a moment, remembering the loss of Teithon. He hadn't died like the others but after the incident with Moriel,
    while they were tarrying in Lindon for a while a few years after, he
    fell in love with the place and had married a woman. He wouldn't
    travel with the band anymore - although whenever they stopped by for a
    visit, they always paid a call on the mapmaker and his wife and son - he
    did at least gave them all his maps since he woudn't need them
    anymore. Let's go north somewhere ! Yulma cried, beaming. She
    was a svelte elf, the youngest in the group and her hair was dark and
    wavy ; the vivacious Silvan woman had been raised as Earenolwë's ward in the First Age and even to this day she called him Ada ("Father", Quenya). She was clad in white and hunter green ; Yulma wore a foxhead silver medallion of Dwarven craft, and its eyes were emeralds the color of which matched her own.

    No ! We just came from there, Elfaron mentioned in amusedly shocked tone, as if thinking the idea was ludicrous. Well, I had fun, Iella remarked with a lopsided grin, caressing the dragon's tooth that was the pendant of the leathern cord she wore as a necklace. But I'd much enjoy a warmer climate. We haven't been to that island in the Bay of Belfalas yet,
    Tolfolos.
    Remember Balar ? Yulmanilda grinned ; she had kept a pet monkey on the isle during the last years of the First Age.Earenolwë smiled. It's not inhabited that I know of and we can explore the jungle and the mountains, enjoy the picturesque scenery ; I imagine it's quite beautiful there. Elfaron laughed.



    Yes, it might be pretty, Háran ("Chieftain", Quenya), but dangerous ; maybe there are people there. Just watch us get chased by cannibals again.
    There was a gale of laughter from Iella and Yulmanilda - who was olive-skinned - became as white as a ghost,
    remembering the barbarous fisher-folk that dwelt between the mouths of
    the Gwathló and the Angren ; the band had encountered them many years
    ago while passing through and Yulmanilda had almost been devoured by those brutes if it weren't for the heroics of her father and Valmegil. Oh, c'mon, you know that would be funny ! Iella said, raising her voice, over Elfaron's laughter, giving the woman's knee a swat. Not particularly, no... Yulmanilda quietly disagreed. Earenolwë shook his head with a smile. The more things change the more they stay the same, he quoted Maglor, reminding himself more than anyone else. He loved his family. Earenolwë knelt
    on the grass and took a look at the map, his finger drawing straight
    lines to the most apparent local features they could get to from here.
    Anórien and Eastfold, marshlands.... Earenolwë's eyes strayed west. And north.....

    This place, he spoke and tapped the map near the Sea of Rhûn, in the southwestern borders of the great body of water. Dorwinion, yes, it's a great land of vineyards ; the Avari and the Silvan Elves make the best of wines there, Yulmanilda said excitedly, finally returning to her usual olive coloring. Gellam told me about it.... Earenolwë
    rolled his eyes ; Silvan Elves loved their liquor and Jinglebell had
    gotten his daughter inebriated much too often. Which had been embarrassing.
    Eldakan's daughter beaten by a clown. Well, we will travel northwest until we reach the Land of Wine, Earenolwë determined and laughed as Yulmanilda whooped. If you all like it - Yulmanilda interrupted, nodding viogorously that she would - then we can stay there a while. Weeks. Months. Years - Yulmanilda interjected merrily : Years ! Years will be good !








    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

  3. Almarëa Mordollwen's Avatar
    Spy of Mordor
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    #3











    __________________________________________________ __________________________
    __________________________________________________ __________________________
    The Wayfarer

    T.A. 1841Quellë(Fading, Quenya)The Orocarni(Private)

    The eerie song of a wolf pack
    running free, chasing a hapless deer or caribou; the call of a great horned owl
    - a series of deep hoots that echoed through the mountain forest -; the soft
    rippling of the nearby brook; these were the soundtrack to Almarëa’s last night in the Orocarni Mountains. All about her were
    the sounds of the night. She had only made a small fire, for cooking – not that
    she was an expert at that, but at least she wasn’t going to starve – and the
    crackling flames had long since burned low; she had finally doused it with
    water from the brook, since she had pitched her camp for this night not far
    from the running water. The waning moon hung bright and low in the sky. There
    was a bit of a chill in the air, and the wind whistled through the branches of
    the great pine trees that covered the lower slopes of the mountains. The year
    was already more than halfway over; the seasons were changing, and winter would
    soon visit the mountains with furious blizzards and freezing temperatures. Almarëa had already spent close to seven
    years travelling through the mountains; she now had no particular desire to
    spend another winter there. Treacherous avalanches made the higher elevations
    dangerous, and even further down, the snow pack could deepen until it was above
    her head. Although as an elf she was not normally bothered as much by the cold
    – or by the snow – Almarëa was
    nonetheless quite ready to spend a winter in a less bitter climate. In some of
    the high passes over the mountains the snow never melted, not even at the
    height of summer, leaving the red rocks that emerged from the snow to stand in
    sharp contrast to the pure, white brilliance of the packed snow.


    She had climbed those passes,
    by ways perhaps more suited to the mountain goats than to one of the Children
    of Eru; she had stood on the roof of the world, and gazed down at sheer cliffs,
    thunderous waterfalls, deep glacial valleys. She had seen the sun rise red from
    the far side – the eastern side – of the mountains, its rays blending with the
    scarlet peaks, the deep red hues of the rockfaces. She had tried to climb those
    peaks herself; ascending until the atmospheric pressure became so low that she
    had to descend due to lack of oxygen. (As Almarëa
    had learned the hard way, keeping on going up was a bad idea. Unless one really
    wanted to end up with pounding migraines and nausea, that was.) She had found
    her way south, to the trackless expanses of the Wild Wood; had travelled the
    northern end of the Orocarni, where even in the foothills the ice and snow
    never melted; where glaciers advanced, foot by foot, down from the great peaks,
    growing every year as new snow was packed down, forming ice that not
    colourless, but an eerie crystal blue. The rivers of ice were treacherous
    indeed to cross, even for an elf who could walk above normal snowdrifts without
    fear of sinking. Narrow, piercing crevices fell hundreds of feet, often covered
    by nothing but a few inches of snow; occasionally covered by nothing at all.
    The ice was often unstable, shifting as it slowly moved down the valleys.


    Almarëa had crossed two of the great expanses of ice on foot; after
    that she had decided that going around was a much, much better idea, even if it meant walking miles out of the way. When
    she was far enough north that all was covered in sheets of ice, she had turned
    around and headed back south. In the central regions of the Red Mountains she
    had also encountered several clans of Dwarves – whose ancestors had never left
    the mountains of their home – clans Stiffbeard, Blacklock, Ironfist, Stonefoot.
    They were not all friendly; many of their ancestors had served the Dark Enemy,
    Morgoth, in the First Age – and though Melkor had been banished beyond the
    walls of Arda, his influence still remained and spread. Not all peoples were
    inclined to be friendly towards elves. Almarëa
    held no prejudices towards dwarves; but neither was she inclined to be too
    pleased when they wanted to capture her, restrain her, or accuse her of spying
    them. She was relatively certain that she had left no trail; they would have a
    hard time indeed tracking her, but they did know the mountains better than she
    did, and after her last encounter with some dwarves of the Ironfist clan, she
    had determined that it was time for her to bid farewell to the Orocarni. She
    was, in a way relieved, and yet still loathe to leave the treacherous alpine
    wilderness. The mountains were stark; bleak; inhospitable; yet charged with a
    sublime and indomitable beauty. It was a beauty that was, in many places,
    completely untouched: wild, and eerie; awe-inspiring, and free.


    The dark-haired elven maiden was lying on her back, by what had
    formerly been her firepit and was now a pile of rather wet ashes; watching the
    stars. This far east, heaven’s lights were changed; most of the constellations
    and patterns were unfamiliar to her, as they would have been unfamiliar to any
    who had only ever stayed in the West of Middle earth. Now, of course, Almarëa had, theoretically, erected a
    tent. And her sleeping roll was technically a bit more comfortable than the
    rocky ground that she was currently lying on. But from the shelter of the tent,
    it was impossible to see the twinkling, gleaming pinpricks of light that dotted
    the dark carpet of sky above her – and since sleep was eluding her, as it
    seemed to be doing so often recently, she had been trying to star-gaze,
    creating her own names for the constellations that she didn’t know, and
    listening to the sounds of the night. And it was also true, practically speaking, that she had been travelling for so long that she was not particularly picky about where she slept. She could fall asleep quite happily on a pile of rocks, or on any other patch of bare ground that presented itself. Almarëa took a deep breath and let it out. The
    night was perfectly peaceful, and yet she was not truly at ease. She was
    beginning to weary of her travels; of the solitude that she had chosen for
    herself. It had been a long time, a very long time, since she had spoken with
    one of her own people, and her thoughts had ever more frequently turned to
    those she had left behind. Almost unconsciously she began to hum quietly to
    herself, finally adding the words in a soft, clear voice.



    The sun is sinking low

    in the sky above my homeland

    The pines and the willows

    know soon we will part.

    There’s a whisper in the wind

    of promises unspoken,

    And a love that will always

    remain in my heart.



    My thoughts will return

    to the sound of your laughter,

    The magic of moving as one,

    And a time we’ll remember

    long ever after

    The moonlight and music

    and dancing are done.



    Will we climb the hills once more?

    Will we walk the woods together?

    Will I feel you holding me

    close once again?

    Will every song we’ve sung

    stay with us forever?

    Will you dance in my dreams

    or my arms until then?



    Under the moon

    the mountains lie sleeping

    Over the lake the stars shine.

    They wonder if you

    and I will be keeping

    The magic and music,

    or leave them behind.



    (Ashokan Farewell, by Jay Ungar; lyrics slightly adjusted)



    The solitary elleth sat up
    abruptly, brushing strands of hair away from her face and dashing away the
    tears that threatened to fall. This was why she did not think of home. Or, the places she had once called home. She had
    cut ties to both Imladris and Lindon when she fled. And she had no intentions
    of returning. Almarëa rolled to her
    feet, checking to make sure the fire was completely out. It was, and she looked
    back up at the stars with a sigh. There was actually only a small part of the
    sky that was visible from the clearing; though at this level the forest on the
    mountain slope was fairly sparse,
    the branches still blocked many of Elbereth’s lights; and the mountains rising
    higher and higher to the east – preciptous cliffs, ragged boulders, jagged
    rocks, lofty peaks that ascended into the darkness – blocked yet more. She was alone in an alien land – and
    though she loved the stark wilderness and harsh beauty of the moutains - and
    though she had spent several years travelling through them – she had never
    stayed for more than a few weeks in one place. She walked alone. She had chosen her path and she had not turned
    from it; and like the solitary eagle that winged its way above the earth,
    soaring free on the zephyrs of the air, or a lone wolf that abandoned the pack
    to travel alone, she was free: a traveller who had fled her past, her memories,
    and her guilt – left them all behind. And yet - her freedom had come at the cost of
    everyone who remained to her that she had ever loved. She abruptly brushed the tent flap
    open and crawled inside, refusing to look back up at the stars – and instead
    rolled onto her side and determinedly shut her eyes. She did not know
    exactly where she was going yet – but she did know two things. At least for a
    little while, she wanted to find a place where she could stay, and rest, and
    not have to constantly keep moving. And she was not returning to the west of
    Middle-earth.











    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir


















  4. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night"

    T.A. 1

    Fangorn Forest near the LimLight River

    (Private (for now))





    Lhantien Di'maluin




    The battle-cries of the orc-kind were right
    behind her, their pounding footsteps matching the pounding of her heart,
    beat for beat. The flickering light of their torches licked at her --
    they were so close behind her. She turned and wove through the
    underbrush for she knew that if she went in one direction for more than a
    few seconds they would catch her with their light and she would be done
    for. Her only hope was to run faster and run longer, to increase the
    distance between them. If she could only hold out for a little
    longer... She tripped on a root and slammed headlong into the brush.
    She didn't stop moving, however, but instead rolled and bounced down the
    short but steep hill. When she came to a halt she groaned and held her
    sides, but only for a moment. The orcs had crashed to a stop and were
    snarling as they sought a gentler slope to descend to her level. Then
    she was on her feet again and running on.

    Her tunic and breeches were torn and sticking to her beneath her elven leather armor, and her feet felt like they were bleeding inside her boots from all the running. She was vaguely surprised that her thin cape remained clasped to the shoulders of her armor. Over the cape tumbled her long, thick, curly red-brown hair. her dual elven rapiers, a gift from her mother, were strapped to either hip and tapped wildly against her legs. But it did not bother her, or slow her down. They were sleek and finely-wrought, made of purest mithril, but most of all they were light and thin, and did not impede on her progress, such as it was. They were her only means of an offensive strike. She had lost her bow and quiver of arrows back at the campsite...

    She choked as her throat constricted with pain, but it was not a physical pain. It was a pain that only those who had had their heart taken from them and cut in half could possibly ever know. It was worse, even, for she had had her heart cut in half seven times over. Now she felt as if she had no heart left. No will left in her except to run. For a moment she forgot what she was running from, and then the sounds of the yrch came crashing back to her, and she pressed on, ducking under low branches, jumping over bushes that sprang up in her way, twisting around trees that seemed to pop up all around her.

    Then she sprawled again on her fact in the dirt as once again she tripped in the darkness. Her keen eyes aided her tremendously in the inky blackness but even she could not see the many roots and brambles that snared and entangled her feet, time and time again. As she scrambled to her feet she felt an overpowering wave of emotional exhaustion that nearly brought her back down to her knees. But then an equally strong force struck her and she ground her feet into the hardness below her and forced her legs to remain straight. And she turned to face what was only moments behind her. She was tired of running and she would run no further. Come what may.

    She pulled her dual blades from their sheaths and clasped them both by the hilts in one hand, while she fumbled for a small padded flask that hung on a string around her neck. It was just about the only other think she still had on her. She uncorked it and poured its contents hurriedly along the lengths of her rapiers and then tossed the empty bottle aside. It was useless now. And then, ready for them, she screamed.

    "Alae! Nan aear a geil, im innas degant le! Le garo dangen noss nin; gen u-velin! Si ath thur!" (Behold! By the sea and stars, I shall slay you! You have slain my family; I hate you! Now to victory!)

    And they came. The one in the lead carried his great sword with a notched tip in one mighty fist and a torch in the other. He swung them both at the same time, and she stepped forward and parried. His sword and torch struck against hers and the flames embraced her rapiers, kissing them up and down the blades, for she had poured lantern oil on them. She pushed him back and lifted her blades on either side, the flames flickering up from them into the night. And she laughed. Seeing the lone warrior with two flaming swords and a crazed shout of glee, the yrch found reason to pause and they jostled each other, waiting to see who would charge first. Then with a roar they all rushed her.

    Through the treetops the stars twinkled down, and the moon watched those two blades sing -- parring and thrusting, blocking and slashing. The elleth danced her own way, sliding between the two yrch to gut a third, and spinning a full circle to kill yet another. Their bodies fell like boulders around her as she stepped lightly from one spot to the next, ignorant of the blood that dripped from her many wounds. She was caught on the arm by the notched tip of one orc's blade, but she didn't even notice as she sliced off his head. She did not count her kills, nor could she if she'd tried. They came at her from all sides, bent on completing their objective. But they had not her will to defeat them. She had taken nothing from them. Their fellows lay dead or dying around them but they were acceptable losses. So long as she was defeated it would not matter if only one of them remained. But they... they had taken everything away from her, and her eyes flashed bright blue in the light of her swords, emotionless save for a bloody rage. A rage they could not match.

    Finally her arms fell to her sides and she panted in the pale glow her swords gave off, only remnants of the burning weapons they had just been. She stood in the middle of a ground littered with bodies and the blood that poured from them, but she didn't notice. Her swords slipped from her fingers and her knees buckled beneath her, her adrenaline gone. She felt nothing but cold now as she slid forward into a dreamless embrace.

    An owl hooted in the darkness.


















    Edited by: Mar Fireblade Mordagnir

  5. Aerlinn Mordagnir's Avatar
    Guardian of Imladris
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    #5










    __________________________________________

    (Private)
    __________________________________________

    Years of the Trees, F.A. 4994ValinorForgetting is a Child's Smile

    His people slept little, butNemmíroslept less than most. The paths of his dreams were troubled. Dark. Unclear, but lined with shadows. He hardly knew the shadows, for Valinor had been too kind to understand what they meant. But something was changing. Would change.Fëanárohad turned an hourglass when he forged the Silmarils, and now the sand was running out.Ruivielfelt it not, he knew. Perhaps because her thoughts rested solely with the child. Or perhaps because she was fire, and fire burnsnow, too busy bringing light to the present to fret over maybes and what ifs. From his perch on a boulder the Noldor found a flat pebble and skipped it out over the top of the water. Drops of water splashed up and glistened on the silver threads embroidered on the sleeve of his tunic. One, two, three, four...
    "Atto!"
    Nemmírospun around and the pebble sunk forgotten to the bottom of the shallow bay along with his troubled thoughts."Ealindë, titta er,"he called gladly, and he ran the few steps to reach the little girl and lift her up into his arms. She giggled and kissed his cheek."Amme say to come in for foo,"Ealindëreported, her face turning stern."Food,"Nemmírocorrected automatically,"With a 'd'."But the seriousness in which the child delivered this message made her father smile."Did she now?"he asked rhetorically."Well then, first we must find some flowers for her. Here,"Nemmíroset the girl down and pointed her in the direction of a patch of wildflowers a few yards away."Bring me some of those,"he instructed.
    LittleEalindëobeyed happily, though she soon found herself presented with a difficult choice. After a moment of biting her lip, she turned back to her father."Atto, blue or yellow?"The elder elf laughed."How about some of each?"he suggested."Don't laugh at me! It's important!"Ealindëhuffed as only a child can, even as she gathered the flowers.Nemmírostifled another chuckle, but he couldn't stop the corners of his mouth from twitching upwards."Of course it is,"he assured the girl."But hurry now!"
    She returned with her two small hands full of blossoms and presented them proudly to her father."One is mine,"she informed him,"Then there are..."she took a moment to count,"six blue and six yellow left! The same of each!"Ealindëtook the flower she meant for herself and tucked it behind her ear."There! Now let's go to Amme! I hungry!"
    They went inside to a low wood table and the smile of a tall, raven haired lady."Amme! Amme! We brought you these!"Ealindëcried.Ruivielknelt and accepted the offered flowers."Thank you, child,"she murmured, and kissed the little girl on the nose.Ealindëmade a face in protest,"Hey! That tickled."
    Nemmírojust shook his head and plucked one of the blossoms from her hands asRuivielstood. He wove the stem through a braid near his wife's ear."There. You match now,"he explained, and kissed her forehead.
    Several minutes laterEalindëturned to her father with a face covered in sticky fruit juice."Can we go riding?"she pleaded,"Please!"She was still too small to ride on her own, but she often rode sitting in front of one of her parents. 'Soon,'Nemmíromused, 'Soon we'll find her a pony.' He didn't mention the idea out loud though, it would only sendEalindëinto a tizzy."Only when you look less like you dived headfirst into a pile of honey!"heteased instead, even as he began to wipe off her face with a damp cloth. His thoughts drifted briefly as he did so, back to the pebble and the shadows. What could touch this? This child and the flowers and the smiles. Surely all would be kept safe.
    The words of an old friend slipped uncalled for into his mind. 'Evil does not wait for children to grow up. You will have to keep all safe yourself.' 'That was a different time!' he thought fiercely in protest.
    Ealindëwrinkled her nose."Atto! Aren't you done yet?"Nemmíroblinked."Yes, yes of course. Come,"he said holding out his hand."To the stables with us!"The child grinned at him excitedly, and once more thoughts of darkness were banished by the brightness of her eyes. She did a little skip-hop as they walked out the door and didn't look back except to call an "I love you" over her shoulder to her mother.













    Edited by: Aerlinn Mordagnir







  6. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night"

    T.A. 1

    Northern Fangorn Forest

    (Private (for now))





    Lhantien Di'maluin




    The Morning After...

    Stars twinkling through the veil of morning's first light were the first things she saw when she came to. Somehow in her sleep she had rolled over onto her back and now lay at an unusual angle, staring up at the sky that was just barely visible through the tree tops. The forest was silent -- not even the crickets were awake -- and she did not move for some time. Instead, she closed her eyes and slept once again...

    -----

    The next time she awoke the forest was as silent as it had been before, but sunlight streamed down through the treetops where she lay and bathed her in warmth. She pushed herself into a seated position and looked without emotion at the carnage around her. Bodies, chopped and slashed, strewn all over the ground. Blood was everywhere around her and on her. In her hair, under her nails, caked into her garments... And she felt nothing, no emotion, as she rose to her feet, picking up her rapiers. They too were layered with blood. The smell of burnt flesh rose up but she ignored it and concentrated on breathing through her mouth. Then she looked around and gathered her bearings. If she was not mistaken, then she was quite close to the River LimLight, a tributary of the Anduin. And she knew she was not mistaken.

    She turned south and started walking. She barely took stock of her surroundings as she went. She didn't need to. She knew the orcs were gone. She was alone in the forest. Very alone. Except for the ents, but they did not move. They had seldom moved in the centuries her family had spent there. They had not moved even in her time of need. They offered no resistance to the force of yrch that had invaded the home she had shared with them. They had not attempted to stock the yrch from slaying her family. They had not tried. The ents had left the elves to fend for themselves. The ents had for once abandoned her.

    Such was the gratitude of the ents.

    She struck bitterly at the nearest tree with one rapier, with only the faintest trickle of relief because she knew it was genuinely a tree. Even she had not the daring to attack an ent unprovoked. As she moved through the forest she saw with distaste that the ground was not nearly as rough and confused as it had been the night before. Her fury growing she finally reached the spot that she, and her youngest sister, had camped at. The fire had been long-since stamped out. Her belongings, such as they were, were strewn hither and yon: her fine bow and quiver of arrows had been smashed and broken. And she found no signs of her sister.


    "Maerinnas!" She shouted, again and again as she went in circles around the campsite, moving farther out each time. Finally she knew she had gone too far. Her sister was gone. Certainly dead. Taken away by another band of yrch. She could almost hear her sister's begging scream still echoing through the forest, reverberating in her very soul, her cry to save her...

    "Lhantien! Lain nin!"

    But all was now lost. Her heart, torn in half seven times over, was bleeding inside her, never to be whole again. Despite its severely reduced size, her heart was heavy in her chest, held by a single thread of determination: determination to avenge the deaths the yrch had brought about. The darkness of night shrouded her emotions, pushing them down until she was left only with the darkest of desires: the bloodthirsty desire for revenge, burning with a rage inside of her.

    She moved now with a steadfast determination through the northern parts of Fangorn Forest until she finally came upon the LimLight. She stopped and cast down her unsheathed -- still bloody -- rapiers and stripped to her bare skin -- to the great relief of her feet. She waded into the river tributary and ducked under the surface. She knew was cold, for it ran straight out of the Misty Mountains that rose up just to the west, but she did not feel the chill. She scrubbed herself clean, rinsing her hair until it shone dark russet in the midday sun. Then she rose from the water, ignoring the breeze that teased the water droplets running down her fair skin. She had not felt so physically clean since... since before... Mordor... She shivered now, her brows furrowing at the reminder... and she set herself to the task of scrubbing clean her garments in the river water.

    She hung her freshly-cleaned clothing and armor to dry in the sun and carefully rubbed down her rapiers until they gleamed. Then she sheathed them and put them on the ground. While she cared not to waste further time, she was hungry -- very hungry -- and couldn't move on until her clothing dried anyway. With her long, flowing hair as her only covering, she moved back into the darkness of the forest and scavenged for nuts and berries to fill her empty stomach. She only just remember to send a prayer of thanks to Yavanna, the Giver of Fruits and other growing things of Middle-Earth.

    When her hunger was abated she returned to the LimLight and found her garments crisp and dry. She cast them on with little care and put on her armor over them. Then her swords she buckled around her waist, and her cape she clasped to her shoulders. And then last of all she donned her boots, trying to ignore the protest her feet gave her, and turned north.

    And she walked all day.




    Edited by: Mar Fireblade Mordagnir

  7. Lottie Dagda Girarion's Avatar
    Linguist of Lothlorien
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    #7

    Twarted Flight
    T.A. 2998: Beside a Lindon ship prepared to sail for Valinor
    (Private)

    Merethe leaned over the railing of the great ship, staring silently at the shoreline. The ground was still only a few feet away. The ship hadn't yet set sail. She could still turn back if she wanted to - in theory, at least. In reality, she had nowhere else to go. She could not return to Lothlorien, not now. She'd done nothing wrong, certainly. She was allowed to return. But she couldn't face her friends and family, not after coming so close to leaving. No, she couldn't turn back now. It hurt to leave, but it'd hurt more to stay.

    She'd been staring at the ground for so long, she didn't notice when her view was interrupted by a pair of feet. Rather, a pair of boots, when she finally noticed and jerked her gaze upwards, she automatically assumed that feet occupied those boots. She met the brown eyes of an ellon - probably of Lindon, judging by his ease so close to the docks - with her own wide eyes. She stared for another long moment. Most of the elves here didn't pay much attention to those leaving for Valinor, particularly not a Sindarin elleth wearing a cloak from Lothlorien. After all, they'd almost certainly never met her before, and they wouldn't see her longer than a couple of days. There was no point in getting close to every elf who passed through. But this ellon noticed her. She didn't know why. There could be any of a dozen reasons, and none of the ones that came imediately to mind were pleasant. But this was Lindon. Bad things were not supposed to happen here. They couldn't happen here. "Mae govannen," Merethe said finally.

    The ellon smiled - a half smile, with only the corner of his mouth twitching upwards. He said nothing. Merethe blinked in confusion. "I'm sorry, but do you need anything?" she asked, glancing around nervously. The ellon shook his head - sparsely: left a fraction, right a fraction, and back to center. Merethe stared at him for a moment, then, nerves getting the better of her, turned to leave her spot at the railing. She'd await their departure from the side of the ship facing away from the land.

    "I am wondering," the ellon said, just as she'd turned away. Merethe paused, standing still for a moment, still facing away from him. She was the silent one now, waiting for him to speak or make the next move. This was turning into a complicated game, and she didn't know the rules, the objective, or the terms of victory. And her opponent had all the advantages. So she simply stood still until he spoke again. "I am wondering," he repeated, "why a young elleth who has not seen even half of what this land has to offer, and has almost certainly not seen even half of its sorrows, would choose to leave forever."

    Merethe turned back. "What is your name, sir?" she asked softly.

    "Enetheru Cairista," he said. His surname proved him as a shipwright - from Lindon, then; she'd been right in that, at least - and his wry grin proved him less solemn than his words would indicate. She saw him raise an eyebrow, matching his grin. "You have not answered my question, lady."

    "I am wondering, sir," Merethe responded after a moment, "why an ellon who seems so familar with the beauties of this land and so knowledgeable of the sorrows of it would not choose to leave it forever." She had not answered his question, and she knew it. She did not have an answer.

    "Lady, would you say then that there is nothing here to induce you - or me - to stay?" the ellon asked.

    "I would."

    "I would say that there is nothing in Valinor to induce me - or you - to leave."

    "But sir," Merethe protested, "Valinor is...wonderful."

    "Have you been there?"

    "No," Merethe said softly. Then, stronger, "Of course not! That is why I am going."

    "You are going because you have never been there?"

    "No," Merethe protested. "I am going because..." her voice trailed off weakly.

    "My lady," the ellon said, "stay for a while in Lindon. If it is places you have never been that you desire, I can show you plenty here. You can always leave later if you choose to stay. You can never come back if you choose to go. You say that I am familiar with all the beauties of this land. I am not - I do not know you. But I would like to."

    Merethe stared at him again. "Sir," she said softly, but did not add anything to it for a while. He seemed content to wait, watching her with his patient eyes, leaning against one of the dock's poles. Merethe looked down at her hands, twisted up in her skirts from her anxious fidgeting. "I can't stay in Lindon," she finally murmured.

    "Why not?"

    After many moments of silence, Merethe looked up, met the ellon's eyes - Enetheru's eyes. "There is no reason why not," she marvelled. "I could. I could stay here, I could see this land. I...there is no reason." She smiled at him, eyes bright for the first time in decades. He smiled and held out a hand. She took it the moment she'd left the ship.









  8. ________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________
    The Wayfarer

    [Private, with Almarëa, for placement in AoA X : The Wheel of Fire]

    T.A. 1868.
    Tuilë("Spring", Quenya)



    (Private - with Almarëa)

    A burned rose,Elfaron observed bitterly from

    where he sat cross-legged on the blasted earth, grief-stricken at
    the sight of this once-beautiful place that could never be healed. Earenolwë's blue-eyed gaze raked the scorched earth as hepitched his tent he would share with Yulma, downcast and nostalgic. This realm had been pleasant once and radiant ; the
    Ent-wives had planted lovely gardens here thousands of years ago and
    nurtured what they grew but Sauron, during his war with the Elves and Men, had
    destroyed it. The Enemy had uprooted and set Paradise aflame. Iella and Ráka had gone to scout, leaving Earenolwë, Yulmanilda, and Elfaron to encamp here amidst the long and rambling, shapeless and dull, dun slopes of the Brown Lands stretching up
    and away towards the star-sprinkled sky ; for hundreds of miles west lay a realm
    brown and ugly and withered, scourged by a titanic tempest of
    raging fire that left not one fair tree or pretty meadow or berried bush
    or a living green leaf of grass : Everything was dead, an unfriendly
    waste without even one proud stone.



    Yulmanilda stood with her back turned to Earenolwë, ebon hair stirred by the spring breeze, arms folded beneath her bosom ; even without seeing her pained mien, Earenolwë knew at once that she was hurting ; Silvan Elves perhaps appreciated nature than any other kindred of their Race. Long ago, Earenolwë and his band had visited the Gardens many times so he was sure that Yulma was
    remembering the once-awing majesty of the place. He came to her where
    this high hill, resembling a clump of mud, began to decline. His strong limbs held her. Smile, child, softly pleaded Earenolwë and kissed her onyx hair, there are other lands than these. You've seen them.
    She relaxed, appreciating his embrace, and with a sigh relaxed in his arms, starlight shining in the tears that rolled over her cheeks. What if I don't again ? Yulma asked. What if the Enemy destroys them, like the Gardens. Or warps it, like Sauron did with Dorthonion....and Greenwood the Great ? For a hundred and eighteen years a mysterious nightshade fell upon the forest ; it had become a realm of eternal night - and horror, for monsters and fell beasts and giant spiders came to trouble the Elves there. The name of Greenwood the Great was changed by Men ; the mortals began to call the elfin kingdom 'Mirkwood.' Now everyone called it that - the Silvan Elves, too - and the name appeared on maps even now. Earenolwë's lips brushed her cheek ; he squeezed gently her arms and felt them softly, whispering in his daughter's ear : Evil cannot conquer forever.

    He kissed her dark hair. Get some rest, he spoke, beginning to lead her now to the tent, and, Irmo willing, may sleep chase away these imaginations of darkness. She stooped to enter their tent. I'll be a while, Earenolwë said and looked now to the east. I will join Elfaron, keeping watch ; I am sure I cannot sleep without knowing Iella and Ráka are safely returned to us. The memory of the Massacre still haunted Earenolwë. Yulma nodded and Earenolwë turned away. Ada ("Daddy", Sindarin), Yulma asked from just inside the tent, on all fours ; it made Earenolwë smile, remembering their camping trips in the Ered Luin and the greenwoods of East Beleriand when she was a little girl. and Earenolwë stopped to look at her. When...you used the Seat of Seeing...were you looking for Nana ("Mommy", Quenya). Earenolwë raked his silver hair with his fingertips ; he could never lie. Not to her at least. I wanted to see the world and I was....hoping to find Moriel, Earenolwë answered quietly and he felt a stab of pain inside his heart seeing Yulma close her wet eyes and wordlessly dissapear into the tent.






    Edited by: Koala

  9. Aerlinn Mordagnir's Avatar
    Guardian of Imladris
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    #9


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    Years of the Trees, F.A. 4994ValinorKitten Up a Rock

    Ealindë liked heights. She especially liked getting to heights in the most difficult way possible. Walking up hills was boring. And hard. If hills were involved she would much rather be running, or rolling, down them. Heights were best reached by rocky mountains or trees or boulders. Things she had to climb. Climbing was fun. It meant pulling herself up by her arms and scraping her hands and ripping the knees of the breeches she had manage to run off wearing before her mother could yell at her to come back and put on a skirt. It was hanging off the side of something until she suddenly reached the top and everything looked different and she could see forever and ever and ever.
    Of course Ealindë was still rather small. Steep referred to things that were likely not too dangerous and long, deadly, bottomless drops were actually only a few yards high. Unfortunately, neither of those perfectly rational facts were currently stopping the young elf from biting her lip and glancing down nervously from where she clung to a large hunk of granite with her right foot dangling and the left about to slip.
    For what felt like the hundred and first time Ealindë scrambled for a purchase with her loose foot. Oh where, where, where, where, where was the crevasse she had seen earlier? If she didn't find it she was going to fall and there was another smaller rock below she had used to push off from and she wouldn't be able to avoid and she'd break something or twist her ankle and ack, Amme was going to kill her! And Atto too! And she couldn't see anything because of the angle of the rock and where in the name of Varda was-
    Oh, right there. Ealindë jammed her foot into the gap, and re-set her other one. Much better. And now that she wasn't busily looking down in worry the girl saw that she was nearly to the top. She just had to get a hold onto the miniature ledge to her left and um...work her way up the rediscovered crevasse far enough that when she tried to yank herself over the edge she'd have enough momentum to get over instead of ending up on her back on the ground. Sometimes, Ealindë wished she had the nerve to sneak several pounds of pillows out of the house.
    But despite the small part of mind that was worrying, Ealindë found herself on top of her self-proclaimed summit less than a minute later. She grinned and hopped up and down a few times. Ha! This would show her parents. She wasn't about to get hurt!
    She sat down with her legs crossed over each other and drew a piece of cheese wrapped in wax paper out of her pocket. Adventurers needed sustenance after all. The view around her was spectacular. Ocean to one side and mountains to the other. And she was higher up than...well, not very many things. But she could see further than she could from the ground and if Amme or Atto came to find her and scold she'd even be taller than them! Not that that would get her out of a scolding...
    Speaking of..."Ealindë! What in Valinor are you doing up-...oh why am I even bothering to be surprised?" Nemir finished exasperatedly as he tilted his head up to his daughter.
    "Er...hullo Atto! You want to come up?" She wasn't techinically doing anything wrong. As long as she was nice she couldn't possibly get into trouble...
    "No I-"
    "Pleeeeeeeease..."
    Somehow, Nemir found himself apologizing. "Sorry little one, but Amme has made plans for the afternoon and you need to come down."
    "But-"
    "Ah! Don't even start!"
    "Yes, Atto," Ealindë finally gave in obediently. After all, she wasn't really a bothersome child, just...sometimes.
    With a sigh more affected than sincere, the little elven girl stuffed the remaining cheese wedge back in her pocket and started to pick her way down. She wasn't too upset at having to leave, sitting on a rock could get boring after a while but...she did hate going down. It was scary, and somehow harder than going up. And even if one managed to scramble all the way down, there was nothing for it at the end. Just ground. And occasionally a mouse. No summit or birds or being able to touch the sky. Bah.
    After a few moments, "just ground" was the least of Ealindë's problems. She was once more hanging off the side of the boulder trying to find somewhere to put her foot. The only difference was that this time she already knew where the crevasse was and she needed something lower. There? No. A few inches to the right? Still no. Left? No. Other foot? Uh...maybe...no. That left her with the rock a few feet below her she had used to start her climb. It wasn't really that far away, now that she came to think of it. And if she could just land right she would be fine. It hadn't been very well balanced but as long as she hit the middle...
    "Ealindë! Wait! Just let me get you..." Nemir protested as some parents intuition hinted at what his daughter was about to do. Too late.
    Still looking down, Ealindë dropped her feet as low as she could and then let go of the holds her hand had found. She heard the knee of her pants rip as they scraped against the rock, then her left foot hit it's target. For half a second she thought she was safe, before...
    "Oof!" The rock had rolled and Aerlinn was flat on her back with her foot trapped under what was supposed to keep her from falling so far.
    "Atto...can you move that off my toes? Please?"
    Nemir rolled his eyes.





    Edited by: Aerlinn Mordagnir









  10. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night"

    T.A. 1

    Northern Fangorn Forest ---> Lorinand (Lothlorien)
    (now open!)





    Lhantien Di'maluin




    To Lorinand...

    She did not quite know what day it was. She had lost track of time. She had been walking for many days, she knew that much. She had exited Fangorn Forest on the first day after she had fought all those yrch. Perhaps a week maybe two had gone by. During those days she had stopped often, as well. Not because she needed rest, but because her feet were blistered and bleeding in her boots and she could not take another step without stopping for several hours. She did not care whether it was night or day. When she was nearly asleep on her feet she would stop and sleep. Then she would walk on when she woke back up. She was hungry. Very hungry. She ate what berries and wild plants she could find that she knew were safe to eat, but it was not much to sustain her. Without her bow she could not hunt very well, and she didn't have time to set traps and wait for something to get caught. She had managed to kill small game with a stone and a crudely fashioned sling, but they did not give her much sustenance.

    Most of the time while she traveled she walked. She ran some of the distance but tired too easily with her lack of nourishment and the fact that her feet were refusing to heal. She found some wild athelas growing and she made a poultice from it and bound it as best she could to her feet, but continually walking was counter-productive. She had traveled alongside a rill from the Limlight, providing a steady supply of drinking water, but eventually the rills disappeared altogether and she was on her own. She came by chance upon a mere that was fed by the rill that flowed from the north. She had considered bathing in it, but the mere was filthy since it had no outlet. She had to go several miles north of the mere before the water became pure enough to drink from. As she went she came to realize that it must be flowing from the Nimrodel River, another tributary of the Anduin, like the LimLight was.

    Finally when she did come within sight of
    Lorinand, she almost passed out with relief. Even so she had to lay down
    and sleep before going on, regardless of how close she was. She was hot
    and her bare-skinned bath seemed so long ago. She was dirty,
    sun-burnt, scratched, and worn in more ways than she could count, because none of the rills coming out of the LimLight had been big enough to bathe in, and the same went for those flowing south from the Nimrodel.

    When she woke she pushed herself upright and was only vaguely aware that twilight had fallen. Now the trees of

    Lorinand
    appeared to her as a great darkness looming ahead. She plodded on and came to the edge of the great forest some time after midnight. It was so dark and she was so weary that even her elven eyes could see little. Finally, perhaps only a mile into the forest, she tripped and fell down into a bed of leaves softer than she imagined they would be. And she did not get up.

    -----
    In Lorinand...

    When she opened her eyes, she was no longer face-down in a pile of leaves. Instead she was lying on her back, with a leafy canopy above her, and whatever she
    was lying on, it was very soft. She pushed herself upright and looked around, ignoring the pain that rushed to her head. She was lying in a soft bed and instead of her worn and torn clothing she wore a pure white gown that was soft and light. And her skin -- clean and almost all signs of her many scrapes and cuts were gone. She was in a room, or a platform, really. Plank flooring was beneath her, there were no real walls, only hangings that afforded a person some privacy. Judging by the forest of nearby trees visible through gaps between hangings at the edge of the platform, she was pretty sure she was high in one such tree. In fact, the head-post of her bed was against an enormous trunk at least 10 meters wide.

    Then a voice came to her and she was surprised to hear that it was not unlike her native language: Sindarin. She turned to the speaker and found a regal elf slipping in through the hangings from a different part of the platform. His hands were folded peacefully in front of him.

    (all following words spoken by the Galadhrim are in Silvan; all words spoken by Lhantian/Mar are in Sindarin)

    "Greetings, friend. Have no fear, for you are among friends." The elf moved closer, his robes shimmering in the light that filtered from the edge of the dais and from small lanterns that hung from the canopy above.

    "Who are you?" she asked.

    "I am Amroth, King of the Lorinand."

    "Where am I?" she inquired, not entirely believing that he was King Amroth.

    King Amroth -- if indeed that was he -- spread his hands and looked down, with a slight inclination of his head. "I cannot tell you where you are exactly; only this: that you are within the borders of my realm, and you are safe from that which you flee from."

    "How did I get here?" she asked this time.

    He smiled, this time a little indulgently. "We knew of your approach before you entered our wood, and you were brought here by one of our March-wardens."

    Her wariness required her to not believe him. She had had little interaction with strange elves over her the many centuries. In fact, almost her entire interaction had been in the first seven years of her life, which she barely remembered, and in the last weeks journeying to and fighting in Mordor... Never once during those centuries had she wandered outside of Fangorn Forest. She -- and her siblings -- had followed the wishes of their father and mother to remain safe and hidden in the Forest. Her siblings never met another elf at all until Sillandhas I came to Fangorn Forest bidding them to come and fight at the Last Alliance. She had been so excited when he had first shown up. More so than her siblings, for Sillandhas I was her god-father...

    She wondered what had become of him...

    But her wariness required her to ask,
    "Why should I believe you?"

    His eyebrows furrowed quizzically slightly, and he inquired, "Why should you believe that you were brought here by the March-wardens?"

    She felt as if he was testing her, and she rose her chin with a challenge. "Why should I believe I am safe? I have no friends here or anywhere else. I do not know you or any of your people. You call yourself King Amroth, but how do I know that is true? I have never heard of a King Amroth. Amdir is King of the Lorinand."

    "You mean Amdir was King of the Lorinand. He is no more, and now I am King, for he was my father. He..." and here the ellon bowed his head in mourning, "died, a matter of a few very short weeks ago. He found at the Last Alliance and... did not return."

    "I fought at the Last Alliance," she declared, and she could see that this had shocked him. "And I met no Elven Lord who went by Amdir."

    "And you met all the elves on the battlefield?" he asked harshly, his voice cracking with anger. Then they both were subdued. She, because his challenge was true: she had not met many elves at all. At least she hadn't learned many of their names. And he, because he had not intended to lose his temper and regretted it. The pain of their respective losses filled the silence for many minutes, and she bowed her head in shame and sorrow. Then he spoke again, his voice even softer than his first utterance to her.

    "We have healed your afflictions, many though there were. You are, however, dehydrated and lacking in nutrition. You must eat and drink. I will send for someone to bring you these things."

    "Thank-you," was her soft reply, and she did not look up for several more minutes. When she did, he was gone. And only then did she realize that she had never told him her name.






    Edited by: Mar Fireblade Mordagnir

















  11. __________________________________________________ _______________


    __________________________________________________ ________________

    The Wayfarer

    [Private with Almarëa, for placement in AoA X : The Wheel of Fire]

    T.A. 1868
    Tuilë ["Spring," Quenya]





    It's so beautiful here, we ought to linger for a few days, Yulmanilda suggested as they hiked through the pleasant, sunlit greenwoods of Rhovanion ; several butterflies, blue with spots of yellow, flitted past the four elves and the trotting she-hound. We will, Earenolwë, walking at point with Iella and Ráka, promised, and added, speaking over his shoulder, when Gondor breaks the power of the Wainriders. For a few years now, the Easterlings had inhabited the realm between Mirkwood and the Celduin ; the mortals of the once mighty realm of the Northmen had fallen to the brutal invaders out of the East who warred in wains and chariots. The Northmen had become enslaved. Earenolwë was guiding the Bar-en-Raen along the wooded outskirts of the nation on their trek towards Dorwinion.

    But that could take years,
    Yulmanilda whined and Earenolwë turned to calmly remind his daughter they were passing through enemy territory - Easterlings hated Elves, well, most of them did - but paused when he caught sight of two mortals rushing through the woods from the west ; Earenolwë, grim, lifted a hand for everyone to stop. The man was a warrior, Earenolwë saw, armed and mailed ; the Wainriders were the only militant force in these parts. I have a bad feeling about this, Iella whispered in his ear and Earenolwë nodded slowly ; the man had a woman with him, hand gripping hers. Earen wondered if he was forcibly dragging her, she appeared tiring. Yulmanilda quickly tightened her hold on her lebethron staff, slipping fluidly into a fighting position and Elfaron touched the handle of his dirk that he wore sheathed on his hip ; both looked at Earenolwë and Iella, wondering if they should come to her defense. Ráka growled, jaw opening to threaten the coming foe with her deadly fangs.

    Please, may we join you ?
    cried the young strong, dark-haired sun-browned man in the Common Tongue. Earenolwë instantly waved for Elfaron and Yulmanilda to stand down ; Elfaron slowly removed his fingers from off the sleek black hilt of the dirk and Yulmanilda adopted a casual position, holding her staff loosely. Ráka sat at Earenolwë's heel, alert. Overlapping plates of his armor were red and black outlined with gold ; even his steel gauntlets were crimson and gilded ; the longsword he wore in a black, gemmed sheath on his back was hilted in ebon and vermillion leather. The worried, youthful and blue-eyed breathless woman whose hand he tightly clung to wore an exotic diaphanous garment and an electrum necklace, and there were green pearls in her ears ; her skin was pale as cream and her radiant blonde hair was unbound. Earenolwë could smell perfume on her, so heady that its scent could only have been concocted in the lands of the East..... You are a man of the Wainriders, perhaps a knight and she...is a slave, Earenolwë observed in the Common Speech and Elfaron remarked pointedly in the same language, You are a traitor that is helping an escaped slave. Iella and Yulma smiled approvingly.

    The man nodded reluctantly ; Earenolwë could understand his hesitance to reveal he was an Oathbreaker. Earenolwë was himself. And there was not a day he was wasn't ashamed of it. I am a guard of His Majesty's palace and she was a thrall, yes, he spoke in a thick, accented voice. Felicity is a wife of King Javar ; she was forced into marriage as were other women of Rhovanion when Javar dominated the region...and she is my lover. We took flight hours ago ; we want to be together. My king is a cruel man and I have no love for him nor respect. And there are plenty of lands in the East - we did not have to conquer. I've never been proud of the invasion. Earenolwë slid the palm of his hand over his silver hair. This wasn't good indeed, like Iella predicted. He smiled though ; not that many Easterlings were good of heart. He flicked his gaze to the nervous female. And who would expect that a woman of Rhovanion could fall in love with a man whose people had overrun her home and enslaved her kith and kin. Well, I don't expect you to get too far ; one does not easily escape the wrath of Easterlings ; I'm sure you know that. The bold man stepped forward, releasing his woman, the maiden whose name was 'Felicity' ; a lovely name, that - a Taliska word, 'happiness.' That's why we could go with you. To wherever it is you're headed, the man pleaded, clutching Earenolwë's arm in desperation. Earenolwë stared at him and the mortal hesitantly removed his hand from off the High Elf's toned limb.

    The six of us against the charioteers of the Wainriders ? Earenolwë said, lifting a silver brow and laughed mirthlessly. You are a warrior ; must I tell you the odds ? This man, despite the nobility of his heart and the passion of his love, wanted utopia so badly that he was going to lose ; he was blind to the dangers his act would cost him. You should have thought about them before you planned to flee the palace with your woman. I am quite sure that King Javar will want his pretty blond wife back....or kill Felicity in rage, revenge for her betrayal. He just might send a regiment to hunt you both down. Which of course, if you're traveling with us, means that my companions and I might be murdered along with you and your comely lady. The man of the Wainfolk grimaced and burst : But you're Elves ! The awed exclaimation made Earenolwë smiled wanly, appreciating the reverence but remembered too many fallen comrades ; he explained quietly, sadly : And just as easily killed, I'm afraid ; we're immortal, yes, but not invincible. Earenolwë glanced at his family ; he could tell by the look in their eyes they wanted to help this man and the woman he loved.

    But I could lose you all ; I don't want anyone else to die,
    Earenolwë thought, remembering Moriel and the massacre. I hate slavery and a woman deserves the right to choose the man she wants ; they ought to marry and live happy lives, Earenolwë mused, studying the frightened and anxious couple, standing akimbo. The Eldakan made his choice. But it just so happens that, Earenolwë spoke, glancing at his friends again with a smirk, remembering good old times, we do have the stuff of heroes. Iella and Yulma and Elfaron brightened at his words. We'll help you and your darling, I promise. Felicity flung herself at him, weeping as she embraced him tightly ; Earenolwë patted her back reluctantly with a laugh. Removing her gently from him, Earenolwë began making introductions and the female knelt to pet and stroke Ráka who had given her thigh a nuzzle.

    I am Micaiah, said the bearded human, but I don't mind Micah. Earenolwë nodded and got everyone moving northeast again. My friends and I are heading towards Dorwinion, he mentioned. The realm of the Avari and Silvan Elves near the Sea of Rhûn ; I have heard of this place and their great vineyards there, Micah replied with a smile and a firm nod, perhaps glad at last to know exactly where he could take the girl. Somewhere they could be safe for a little while. Yes, Earenolwë said, and we can part ways then. The Mirkwood elves get their wine and other goods from their kinfolk in Dorwinion and from the settlements of Men in distant lands. Once you and Felicity are supplied there, you can have a ferryman escort you both across the stream of the Celduin, uh, the River Running, that flows near Dorwinion. There are villages of peaceful Swarthy Men in the lands northwards ; you can settle down in any one of those if you like or you may cross the Carnen, uh, the Redwater and trek across the plains westwards until you reach Dale. Micah smiled broadly and squeezed Felicity's hand. That sounds like a plan, Earenolwë, we are glad of the opportunities open to us, Micah gladly responded and Iella piped that this is why Earenolwë was the leader - he always knew what to do best. Earenolwë closed his blue eyes once.

    That's not true,
    Earenolwë thought silently, remembering how good Moriel had felt inside his arms. He missed her kisses, her friendship. The smile that was only for him. He never hurt her ; she loved him for it, many people had done her wrong. He shouldn't have pushed her away. What happened to her hadn't been her fault...and she liked the change, Moriel had expected him to be happy for her. Earenolwë had failed her. And she left. And in rage... Aside from musing on perhaps one of the greatest mistakes of his life, there was this present tribulation ; if the Wainriders came after Micah and Felicity, would Bar-en-Raen survive the onslaught ? And Dorwinion, if the company made it there ? He looked at the joyful couple. He thought of himself and Elerrína. He remembered Moriel. Lost chances, no happy endings. These young people deserved one. He had to help them. And to Cúma with the consequences.












    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir





  12. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night"

    T.A. 1

    Lorinand (Lothlorien)
    (Open RP)





    Lhantien Di'maluin


    She felt drained of all energy when she found that she was, once again, alone in her strange "room". So she sank back down on her so-soft bed and laid down. She intended to only close her eyes for a few moments, but before she even realized what was happening, she had fallen asleep again.

    (later)

    When she next awoke, the first thing to assault her was the scrumptious smell of food. Her eyes flew open and she sat upright, looking for the source of that smell. There was a tray on a stand by her bed and it was filled with fruits, lembas wafers, and a crystal cup of miruvor. She reached eagerly for the food and started cramming it into her mouth, not feeling even an inch like the dignified, well-mannered elf that she used to be. She was like an animal, gorging itself on its kill. And she didn't care.

    It was only after she forced down a mouthful of food with a gulp of miruvor did she realize she again was not alone. She stood and faced her observer who had stood out of her line of sight. It was another elf maiden, like herself. And yet, not like herself. This time she spoke first in Sindarin, challenging the newcomer.
    "Who are you?"

    "I am known as Ethuil e·Daur, maiden of Lorinand. My Lord Amroth instructed that in his absence you are to be fed and allowed to come and go as you wish so long as you do not disturb our customs."

    "And just where is your king?" she asked of the elleth.

    Ethuil bowed her head slightly. "My Lord Amroth has many responsibilities in Lorinand."

    "That does not answer my question," she replied coldly, but when Ethuil did not answer, she went back to eating and ignored the elleth. She had hardly taken another bite, however, when suddenly she fell strangely unwell and light-headed. Seeing a bucket that she assumed was for relieving herself, she grabbed at it and only just managed to reach it before her stomach emptied itself. When she was finished she crawled back on the bed and laid down, closing her eyes tightly as the nausea passed.

    "You should not have eaten so fast. Your stomach has not received sufficient nutrition for some time and is not used to so much food at once. You must try again, slower this time," Ethuil told her in her soft, gentle tone of voice.

    "No, I do not feel well," she retorted with a whining groan.

    "How you feel is not important in this. If you do not eat, you will not recover."

    She allowed Ethuil's words to hang in the air unanswered for several moments before she forced herself upright and tentatively reached for the miruvor, which she sipped. It did feel good on her angry stomach, and she managed a few small berries and a corner of a lembas wafer before she decided she was too tired and exhausted to eat anything more.

    "Once you are able of eating regularly, I will assist you in going out to exercise your body."

    "Why?" she asked. "Why are you doing this?"

    Ethuil's answer was simple and rang of obligation to Amroth, but she sensed a genuine compassion as well. "Because you are unwell, and have been through much sorrow."

    She looked up at Ethuil with blank eyes. "How do you know?"

    Ethuil looked down with a sad but serene expression. "Because I saw." And before she could as what Ethuil meant, the other elleth turned and disappeared through the veils, and she was alone once more.



  13. Lottie Dagda Girarion's Avatar
    Linguist of Lothlorien
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    #13


    LossTA 3009: Lindon(Private)Ene trudged through the streets of Lindon, his head down, favoring his right leg. He'd survived the battle. Better, even, he'd been on the winning side. And he was sure he'd appreciate that fact in hindsight. For now, he just wanted to get home and lie down. Maybe his belovedMerethe would have food waiting for him...or maybe he would sleep first. He could clean up later. None of his injuries were particularly severe. Scratches, mostly. Even his leg didn't require much attention. A good wash to clean it out, maybe a bandage to protect against infections, it'd be fine. Or at least that's what he told himself now. Exhaustion was probably not the best state to be judging injuries in. Looking around at the devastated street around him, Ene thought wearily that he wasn't sure he could face another Orc if one turned up, separated from the army and wandering the streets still. It'd be awful to survive this long, endure so much war, only to die when he was almost home. Warily moving through the ravaged Lindon, he made it to his home and looked at it with travel-weary eyes.The door was open.It wasn't the sort of open where Merethe leaned out with baby Idhy in her arms. It was the kind of open where the door dangled awkwardly on one hinge, swinging into the house. It was the kind of open where the wood on the door and doorframe was scuffed and splintered. It was the kind of open that screamed "all is not right here". It was the kind of open that made Ene forget how tired he was, and how not fit he was to fight anyone right then, and charge into his house with his sword drawn.He searched the whole house and found nothing - no wife, no child, but no body, either. When he came back to the kitchen, he slumped against a wall, burying his head in his hands. After a minute, he summoned his strength and drew himself back onto his feet, slowly limping out the door. If Merethe had fled, he'd have to find her. He couldn't let his wife spend the night outside. Not if Orcs were still wandering about.As he turned the second corner of the house, directly behind the garden, he saw her. Or rather, her body.She lay, stabbed bya Orc's sword from behind,in a puddle of blood. It was a sickening, almost fake looking bright red. Ene stumbled, falling to his knees. He groaned in horror at the sight. His Merethe had grabbed their infant daughter and fled, just as he'd thought, but she hadn't gotten far enough. The Orcs had caught her while she was running. He'd survived the battle, yes, but it no longer mattered.Ene crawled forward, tears slowly coursing down his cheeks, and turned Merethe over. Her eyes stared out at him in fear, frozen in the expression she'd had when she died. "Moehûn," he whispered, "you should not have died afraid. You should have sailed to the Undying Lands the moment you came here. I am sorry, so sorry. I should have let you go. I held you here to your death, and for that I will never forgive myself." He gently touched her eyelids, drawing them down over her eyes. He couldn't bear to look into them any longer. They seemed to accuse him with their fearful stare, and though he knew his Merethe would never have hated him for her death, he hated himself. He pried their baby daughter from her cold arms, lifting the tiny body to his chest and pressing a soft kiss to her forehead. She stirred in his arms, and he nearly dropped her before pressing her tightly to him."My darling, my angel," he whispered to her, "you live! How can you live?" He closed his eyes as he cradled Idhy in his arms. "My little daughter," he whispered, "I will not make the same mistake twice. You will never leave me. You will never die afraid. You will never be afraid," he promised rashly, tears falling faster down his face. "You are my heart, little one, and you will never want for anything. I will go somewhere quiet - isolated - you will never face danger. I will never let anything hurt you. Oh, my daughter..." he trailed off, gazing at his only living family. "We will bury your mother, and then we will leave," he said finally. "No delays. Your safety is everything to me, my beloved Idhy."






















  14. __________________________________________________ _______________________________________
    <u style="">
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________________

    [/u]
    The Pursuit

    [Private with Almarëa, for inclusion in Ages of Arda X : The Wheel of Fire]
    <u style="">
    [/u]<u style="">


    [/u]T.A. 23.
    Laire ("Summer," Quenya)

    I know a smile I would love to see
    A loving face so dear
    I know a hand I would love to hold
    A voice I long to hear
    I know a heart thoughtful and true
    I know them all, because I loved you


    She's gone,Valion.The son ofLord MordagnirignoredRoinawho
    had been searching with him, and he removed not his gaze from the gloom
    of the northwest. The stalwart, blond-haired man stood yards away from the still
    waters of the Mithiethel River whereAlmarëa's tracks had
    inevitably led. The wolfhounds were getting restless, fearing the sound
    of the growling thunder and the crack of the silver lightning that
    blazed in the greenish-black storm nimbi roiling above. It had begun to
    drizzle, his strong handsome face wet now from the dew of rain and
    tears ; he loved her very much, an aunt really in all but name. His
    lips tried a smile, remembering the beauty of her laughter as she admonished him and tickled, emerald eyes bright with amusement, for
    running too quick atop the rim of the carved stone basin of the
    fountain ; she had snatched him just in time, had slipped. It's too dangerous and we've scoured this region for days - we must return to Imladris, Roina was saying in that dulcet matter-of-fact, prim tone voice of hers but she laid hands on him from behind, clutching his shoulders ; her lips touched his cheek softly in apology. Valion ignored the kiss and the pressure of her fingers and the cold rain which was falling harder, in sheets now. He was lost in memory.

    He didn't realize the heavy rain had become pelting stones of hail. Valion didn't feel the pain nor did the son of Mordagnir even see the rocks of heaven striking grass and river nor the sizzling brightness of the jagged lighting tearing across the skies, only sweet Almarëa, her fingertips stroking his flaxen hair in a loving way ; she smiled and her lips moved but he coudn't understand - even as a man he could not recall most of the things she said in these early memories, he was too little to comprehend them in his young ages, but these recollections nevertheless Valion remembered and fondly - but it was something tender, probably saying how much of a good boy he was. Almarëa was looking after him today, his babysitter again ; he was a small boy and sitting upon her lap in a garden of bright flowers and birdsong, watching the world go by in a fountain-lit square of Gondolin. Valion, I'm sorry, but we must find shelter and soon. You're a noble but I won't let you endanger people, came Roina's persistent firmness slithering into his reverie like an intruding serpent, sullying the merriment of this memory of Almarëa.

    He heard the hoofbeats of many horse, elves of the Home Guard and friends of Almarëa - people like Edan Amrun and Telkelion - who had been searching witih Valion and Roina for two days amidst the beautiful, rugged green lands of the Angle for signs of the ellethwho had taken flight mysteriously without a reason. We will cross this river, Valion proclaimed, shrugging Roina off of him and whirled ; he gestured at the flowing Hoarwell. Valion Mordagnir's fair features were marred by red welts and threads of blood ; still he didn't think of the hail, he didn't care. Only for Almarëa. And we will continue the pursuit, he finished loud and clearly ; he had a tall and muscular stature and a charismatic and honorable personality, people in the vale respected and admired him, but the elves sensed keenly now that the son of Lord Mordagnir had become...emotionally unbalanced by Almarëa's leavetaking and they sadly hesitated to follow his instructions, looking at Roina - the co-leader of the search - for instruction.Valion was asking them all to risk their life in this inclement weather to search for one person ; it was probable that any remnant of her flight could be destroyed now and the search might be needless but still wild-eyed Valion seemed consumed to pursue Almarëa with passionate, heedless intensity. There were mortals beyond the Angle and wandering companies of Elves, Rangers...someone could have known where she was going. He would find her and apparently, it seemed to Roina,that it wouldn't matter to Valion who got hurt in the process or perhaps he was so momentarily blinded by the shock of all this and so moved and fervently guided by the notion of discovering her, that he was truly not aware of the potential risks involved.

    He had to find Almarëa and plead with her to return - not just for his own peace of mind but his father's...who was taking Almarëa's sudden disappearance even worse ; he had lost many people in his life and the loss of another loved one had all but destroyed him.Roina, who did not enjoy the ringing in her ears - the hail was pummeling her white-crested helm - nor the white frozen pellets striking her exposed skin and neither Valion's negligence raised her gauntlet to thrust a finger at him. I know this hurts, I love Almarëa, too, and hate what she has done, but I won't let - the next words he couldn't hear ; the thunderclap made sure of that - and jeopardize everyone ! She finished through clenched teeth and commanded the patrol to retreat from the river ; they needed to find a haven from this storm immediately. The elves were sorrowful but they followed her orders, giving pitiful looks at slack-jawed Valion. Roina grabbed Aigronding's son and shoved him to his whinneying white steed and mounted her worried cream-colored mare, ignoring Valion's vehement cursing and vitriolic protestations. She restrained a sob ; that wasn't like him, he was usually calmer than his own father when things went awry and intelligent, when he was upset he was usually silent and glowering, but this was a complete nervous breakdown and only served to remind her just how much Almarëa's flight had affected him deep inside.

    His three homes had been destroyed and Valion's grandfathers and mother had been murdered, his uncle Arasoron and aunt Indilë had been killed and his father's sister Tavari had left Rivendell almost two thousand years ago and had sent no word of her whereabouts thus ; she could be dead, too.The bubble of security had been broken and now Almarëa had run away, causing the last flame of sanity within his mind to blow out. Valion broke away, galloping his white charger for the river. The horse screamed ; it was in pain and scared. No, Valion, no ! Roina yelled and the band of elves went after him. You'll drown and Nimroch ! Valion wore mail, he couldn't swim in armor ; the Mitheithel was too deep for any steed and especially in weather like this. Roina shouted again but Valion didn't listen. She ordered the team to swarm him and Valion resisted and was dragged from Nimroch's saddle to the earth. I have to find her ! Tavari's gone, too ! Valion wailed almost boyishly and Roina bit her lip. Faced with opposition he became truly unhinged, reacting violently ; he punched one-eyed Telkelion in the gut and kicked Edan to the ground. Valion unsheathed his sword. Tears of Nienna ! Roina thought and blanched as Valion wounded several warriors rapidly ; he ran for the river. Roina, still mounted, bolted for him and bashed her Heavenly Shield against the back of his skull, dropping him. Roina covered the elf as he lay moaning on the wet earth and waved her blade for the others, unhurt, to help her.












    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

  15. Almarëa Mordollwen's Avatar
    Spy of Mordor
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    #15















    __________________________________________________ __________________________

    __________________________________________________ __________________________
    The Wayfarer



    T.A. 1841

    Hrivë (Winter, Quenya)

    By the banks of an unnamed river. Three weeks’ journey west
    of the Orocarni.






    (Private - with Aigronding)



    She was standing on the eastern
    bank of a rushing river, where the water churned and boiled, falling over a
    series of small cataracts. Just upstream, the water poured over ledges on both
    river left and river right, forming a wide hole across the entire middle
    channel, where the water was driven down and then curled up upon itself. Right
    below the ledges, a pillow rock - 'twould have been barely visible from the
    upstream side - sat directly in the centre of the clearest downstream V. There
    were two small eddies on either side of the river, below the ledges; and two more
    below the next drop - the water dropped a good five or six feet over an
    underwater ledge on river right, and protruding rocks guarded river left - the
    rushing water flowed in a torrent down the centre. Even in the eddies, the
    water was deep; Almarëa could see a high, sheer rockface that rose on
    the opposite side of the river by the eddy just below the drop. Below the
    second set of ledges, the water split, divided into a couple of primary
    channels by rocks in the centre. To river right, the water plunged through a
    narrow ledge that was barely four feet wide, into a deep and undoubtedly deadly
    hole. River left was no more hospitable - a shallower passage, yes, and a less
    furious flow, but dotted with a myriad of rocks that were barely visible above
    the water's surface. The rapids continued like that downstream as far as Almarëacould
    see. She had camped by the water the night before, and now, in the rosy dawn of
    early morning, was looking for the best way to cross. She would have to ford
    the river somewhere; she did not, obviously, have a boat, and building a raft
    would be time-consuming in the extreme - and besides which, such a raft as she
    might build would be quite unwieldy indeed in such a precipitous current.
    Breaking camp, she had headed downstream for a couple of miles, before
    determining that the river in that direction remained too deep and swift for
    her to cross with any sort of safety. And she really did want to cross this
    river safely. She remembered it all too well from her journey east - she had
    been fortunate to escape with only a wetting, but had come perilously close to
    being caught and pinned underwater by the branches of a strainer when she had
    been swept off of her feet by the current. Retracing her steps, she had
    followed the riverbank in the other direction - upstream - and was continuing
    to head yet further northwards in the attempt to find a shallow place to
    ford.



    Initially she had had very little
    success. The river was extremely rocky - and the water levels were high, a
    combination that meant crossing anywhere that she had seen so far was somewhat
    out of the question. The river also appeared to split into two channels, and the far channel was not visible from this side of the river - if the near channel was anything to go by, it was far too treacherous to attempt a crossing. She was a bit further north than she had been the last
    time she had crossed - but Almarëa really didn't want to have to walk
    two or three days journey south in order to ford the river. And her attempt at
    finding a suitable location last time had not really been all that successful,
    objectively speaking, so repeating it wasn't exactly on her plan. About a third
    of a league further up the river, however, Almarëafound a place
    that might, possibly, work. Here, the river was wide and shallow - the current
    still fast, yes, but the water - at least from what she could see - was rarely
    deeper than about knee-height, and rippled more softly over the loose stones on
    the river bottom. There were no major rocks in sight to create obstacles, no
    strainers, no holes, no rushing rapids - with a current yes, but certainly (in Almarëa's
    estimation) a place that would be possible to ford. She turned around, and
    after adjusting her pack to make quite sure that it was fastened securely,
    looked around beneath the trees for a fallen stick that would serve her
    purpose. A thick, wooden staff would be a third point of balance if she encountered
    any particularly slippery rocks. She took off her boots and attached them securely to her pack, then rolled up her pants until they were several inches above her knees and she was standing barefoot on the shore. There was absolutely no point in getting her boots - or her clothes - unnecessarily wet.
    Once ready, she gave the river another appraising survey. Technically, technically, technically, fording upstream of rapids was not the ideal proposition. However, she had already scouted downstream and gotten essentially nowhere - and she was not willing to walk leagues out of her way simply to find a better ford. This looked safe enough - and she was perhaps a couple of kilometres above the start of the major rapids anyways, so she shouldn't be in too much danger. She smiled wryly, remembering the first time she had tried fording this river, years before. She had ended up tripping, falling, and getting quite soaked, though she had been able to regain her feet quickly - and once on the other side, had quickly made a fire - and had suffered no more than a brief douse in cold water for her trouble. This time she intended to ensure that she made a nice, uncomplicated, uneventful, crossing.Almarëastooped and picked up a rock in her left hand, holding her makeshift staff in her right. It was wide enough that she couldn't see quite all the way to the other side of the river, and the water was definitely not all that clear - but if she was uncertain about water ahead of her, she could lob the rock into the current and watch what happened. She stepped into the water and could feel the current almost immediately; even though the water was shallow, it was still quite fast. Leaning into the current, she stepped sideways - crossing at a slight angle, and moving slightly downstream as she waded out, but facing upstream. The rocks were slippery underfoot, and she moved carefully, not wanting to twist an ankle, or fall, or anything like that. The water gradually deepened, coming up to just below her knees, and it became slightly more difficult to keep her balance, but she managed well enough.
    She was more than halfway across - perhaps three-quarters of the way to the other side, it was difficult to tell when the river was so wide - when the water began to deepen again, quite suddenly. Almarëastopped, gripping her staff and proceeding more cautiously as the water mounted above her knees, and continued deepening. The current was stronger than she would have liked; she would certainly have some difficulty regaining her feet if she fell now. She looked back from whence she'd come for an instant, then looked across the river. She was not, really, all that far from the bank now; it would be silly to turn around, and it wasn't as though she had found anywhere better to ford. The dark-haired elleth continued walking, looking ahead at the bank that was quite clearly only a short distance away. What she was not doing for those crucial several seconds was watching her footing - and promptly stepped off a small ledge directly into the main, deeper, channel - the depth of which had not been visible from the far side, where she had started. Her feet were immediately swept out from under her by the force of the current and the weight of her pack pulled her down under the water for an instant, before she emerged, coughing and spluttering. Her staff had dropped from her hand, as she needed both arms to swim.Almarëawas a strong swimmer, under all ordinary circumstances, but the current was quite powerful and she was still encumbered by her pack. The water was carrying her downstream at a slightly alarming speed, but she struck out quite diligently for the bank, still not willing to jettison her pack unless it became truly necessary. She did know how to swim in swift water, though quite obviously she had not planned on doing so today, she thought wryly.Almarëa headed towards the bank at an angle, using the current to her advantage instead of fighting it. The water was chilly but not freezing; and Almarëa, as an Elf, and a High Elf at that, was certainly less susceptible to the cold that a mortal would have been - but still, she did not want to remain in the cold water any longer than necessary. Getting to the bank quickly would be important.







    And then the river turned a corner, and a sound almost like thunder came to her ears. Almarëalooked downstream, her eyes widening. Although she had known there were rapids below her chosen ford - she had scouted for quite some distance, after all - she had not remembered them being quite so close. Or perhaps it was simply that the water was carrying her faster than she would have anticipated. She redoubled her attempts to reach the bank - a series of quick, decisive strokes carrying her to within a few yards of the side, where she attempted to stand. The current, however, was still much too powerful to allow her to stand in chest-deep water, and she was immediately knocked off her feet again, carried by the rushing water further down the channel, and suddenly slammed into the side of a rock wall that rose up from the bank and stretched out into the water. Almarëagasped for breath, her head ringing from the impact. One of the straps on her pack had snagged briefly on the rock, and she ducked out of it, kicking backwards as she did so in the attempt to slow herself down and give herself more time. Light her pack might be, but she was not about to try to swim whitewater with it ... she still had the most basic of survival gear in a small pouch attached securely inside her shirt; and in all probability the current would carry her pack downstream and she hopefully would be able to retrieve it after she got out of the water. The water swept her along the rock wall - too sheer and high for her to attempt to climb up on it, or she would have tried - and back into the centre of the current. She had not scouted this side of the river, she had not been able to; she knew it split at least once, but she had been on the other side at that point and had been unable to see. She expected that there would be an eddy behind the rock wall, and was prepared to head for it - and then the river carried her over a wide ledge, and thoughts of finding that eddy were banished from her mind as the water pushed her down to the bottom.
    The hole, fortunately, was not a particularly dangerous one, and she was able to kick her way back up to the surface despite the recirculating water that tried to push her back under. She had no time to reorient herself, once she reemerged, however - the river was a minefield of rocks and even as her head broke water, the current was carrying her sideways - further out into the middle of the stream. Almarëaquickly changed positions, slipping from a more active swimming position on her front, to an almost semi-seated position on her back, so that her legs were out in front of her. It had been a very long time indeed since she had done much in the way of whitewater ...but she did remember being taught how to swim through rapids. Granted, she would be much happier if she knew *what* exactly lay ahead of her ... but at least she could take some measures to keep herself safe. The position she was in now was designed to protect one's torso, spine, and head, allowing one to use the legs to fend off rocks. She also would be able to easily swim backwards - not that she would be able to fight the current entirely, but it would have the effect of slowing herself down and giving her more time to plan how to get around any obstacles the river might throw at her. Or at least that was the theory. In practice, the next minutes became a bit of a confused blur, not enough time to plan, not enough time to reason, only time to react, and that instinctually and often too late. She had barely reoriented herself when she was carried straight into a couple of rocks. The impact, though softened by the bend in her knees, was still jarring. But she had no time to even think about it, for the current carried her on, over another ledge - she could feel the jagged rocks scraping her back - and down - and over another ledge - and down, into a rushing channel that plunged between two rock faces. Her concern deepened. As far as rapids went, these had been fairly manageable so far - but the river had now split, and this - the right branch - apparently ran through a canyon, sheer rock walls rising higher and higher on either side as the water carried her downstream. There wouldn't be an easy way out, even if she could find an eddy - the only way out of the rapids now was through them.
    Not that there seemed to be a lot of eddies to find - as the water poured through the gorge, the character of the rapids had changed. Where initially there had been rocks and rocks and yet more rocks to dodge, now they were few and far between. But as the water funnelled through the narrow, narrowing passage, the volume of water hurtling through such a small space created huge standing waves. Ahead, on the right side of the channel, Almarëacould see that some of the rocks were undercut, and so she tried to stay to river left, not wanting to run any risk of being trapped under a ledge. The water tossed her up and down as she swam through the huge haystacks of water, that sent foam and spray flying wildly. Timing her breathing carefully so that she wouldn't run out of air when the waves dunked her under, Almarëasuppressed the urge to scream in excitement. She had swum - and paddled - in such waves before, and they always had the same effect on her. This sort of standing waves were not all that dangerous, not really, if she kept her head about her, and they could be quite a lot of fun ... Then, above the tossing swells, she noticed a large rock, rising perhaps up to six feet out of the water, and almost twice as wide, below her. It was not the rock itself that worried her; it was the place where water should have been under its right side. The waves dunked her again and she lost sight of it for a moment, then caught another glimpse when she was thrown upwards by another haystack. Most of the water flowed around the rock to the right, plunging down what might have been a hidden ledge - she couldn't see well enough. What she did see looked like a huge - and with this volume of water, at this speed, a very nasty - hole just to the right of the rock. And she was being swept straight towards it.
    She tried to change course - slipping into a strong backstroke to slow herself down, simultaneously trying to guide herself over further to river right so that she would miss the rock entirely. But she was already too far over on river left - and the speed and energy of the water was great enough that even though she was a strong swimmer, she could not fight the current. Almarëamanaged to gulp a single breath of air, just before she was swept down and under. Instead of carrying her to the right of the rock, as she had feared, the current pulled her straight down, and down, and ever further forwards, until her legs met something hard - the rough side of the rock. She tried to swim up to the surface - and her hands met more rock. By now her lungs were begging for air. Disoriented, she glanced up. What had seemed like a hole from up above was merely part of the problem. The rock was dangerously uncut, and she had been swept into a large room under it - a large suction hole, where the force of the water pressed against the rock, trapping her. She tried to work her way out to the side, pushing off the side of the rock, but the current pushed her back down. Though she tried to control her racing heartbeat,Almarëawas beginning to panic. She couldn't breathe, the current was pressing her against the side of the rock, holding her down. Straight up offered no refuge - the roof of the room must have been a couple metres under the surface. She pushed hard off the side again, trying to make it to the edge of the undercut so she could swim up to the surface but despite her best efforts, she was forced back, the current slamming her back hard against the jagged rock. She barely caught herself from crying out in pain, knowing that that would only send water pouring into her lungs.
    Black spots began to dot the edges of her vision. The pressure on her lungs was immense. She was desperate for air, still forcing herself not to try to breathe, but her body would not listen. Barely able to think, she tried a different angle, trying to work her way around the room over to the right. There *had* to be a way out, she just had to find it. She pushed off the rock, kicked, pulled her way upwards - she thought she might make it. Then the inexorable current took over and forced her back. When she hit the rock, Almarëacould not stop herself from gasping, her need for air overruling any voluntary attempts she might have made to hold her breath for longer. There was no air to be found, pinned as she was under the rock. Water rushed into her lungs, as she choked and gagged - and all that did was let more water into her mouth. As her heart pounded uncontrollably in her chest, the thought crossed Almarëa's mind that she would die here. That there was no way out, nothing she could do. Her lungs burned. The black spots in her vision were multiplying. Water was slipping down her throat, filling her lungs. Blindly, with a vehemence borne out of desperation and panic, she pushed off the side again, and with the last of her strength forged out towards the edge of the undercut and her elusive freedom. For a horrible, desperate moment, she thought she would be forced back under. Then her head cleared the edge of the rock and she shot to the surface. She coughed, choked, retched, nearly passed out.How she managed to keep herself afloat in the next several minutes, as her lungs spasmed, expelling water and gulping air, she never knew.The current was still sweeping her onward, through the gorge, but her vision was still hazy, her head pounding, her muscles burning from lack of oxygen. She could not see what was coming up, could not have seen if she had tried. The standing waves continually dunked her under, and she alternately choked on water and gasped for breath.
    The next several moments, as she teetered on the brink of consciousness, Almarëacould never remember with any clarity. She was swept through the waves, through more waves, over another ledge - the next thing she recalled was a sharp, sudden pain in her chest that left her fighting for breath again as the current smashed her into a rock in the middle of the stream, drawing a soft cry from her lips. She thought she might have felt a crack, but couldn't hear anything at all over the roaring of the water. Breathing - difficult enough before - now became intensely painful. She tried to get back into the proper swimming position so that she would be able to fend off rocks, but barely had the strength to move her legs. She was being tossed about by the rapids, as though she were a rag doll, tumbling about on the waves, unable to defend herself, unable to do much more than get her head up long enough to gulp air every few seconds. The river slammed her against another rock, her head and shoulders taking the brunt of the impact. Stars flashed before her eyes; for a moment she was disoriented enough that she could not have said which way was up, not even where she was. She almost blacked out. Then she was tumbling over a shallow underwater ledge that stretched across most of the river, the rocks bruising her back and sides and making her injured ribs protest violently. She was pummelled by the waves, swept downstream, helpless.
    And then, in the haze that was her uncertain vision, she spotted the strainer. A huge pine tree, an ancient giant, had fallen down across the entire canyon, its branches blocking the watercourse. Almarëasuddenly found that she had enough energy left to panic. It was seemingly impassable. She tried to backpaddle for a moment - but that was completely ineffective. A stroke that might once have bought her some time was completely useless when she was this tired. Weakened, battered, exhausted, she was swept towards the strainer. A memory flashed into her mind, of a golden-haired elf she had once known so well - Ril, trying to explain to her how to avoid strainers, or what to do about them if you couldn't go around. Rilwould have managed this sort of rapid in a boat with no problems, she thought randomly. He was always good at inventing unique ways to get through things, ways no one else would have thought of. Finding eddies where there apparently weren't any and that sort of thing. But she couldn't remember what he had said about strainers. As she was swept closer, Almarëahad frozen, her eyes locked on the obstacle. She couldn't get around it. Almost at the last moment, she rolled on to her front and began to swim - forward, towards the tree. If she had enough momentum, then maybe, just maybe, she could climb up onto the trunk, above the water. She didn't know where the idea had come from, had no idea if it could even work. But the thought of the water pushing her down, trapping her underneath the branches was enough to recall all-too-recent memories, sending her entire body into panic mode. In her mind, she was under the rock again, lungs filling with water, about to pass out, desperate and drowning.
    She was swept into the strainer. Just before she reached it, Almarëatried to propel herself upwards - caught hold of one of the branches that was out of the water and tried to pull herself up. But she had no upper arm strength left, she did not have enough momentum - and fighting the current was like trying to stop an avalanche. She was swept under the trunk, and pinned against the branches underwater. She tried to squirm through them, to no avail. She tried to break them, to force a way through - to no avail. She was once again running out of air, and she did not have the control left to hold her breath for long. She tried to swim backwards, up to the surface long enough to breathe - and the current was too powerful. Then, as she thrashed about, a branch that she hadn't seen slammed into her battered ribs. A wave of raw, searing agony burned through her chest, almost obliterating all thought. Tears pricked at the corners of her eyelids. For a moment she wished for unconsciousness. At least that would spare her the pain; spare her the agony; spare her the panicked, frantic waiting as her lungs ran out of air and she waited for death.
    Then, by the grace of Ulmo or Uinen or someone, the branch broke, and she was swept through, back into the rushing current. Disoriented and confused, choking on water, she barely noticed that the river was widening, that the canyon walls were lower, and yet lower, and finally had disappeared entirely.Almarëa passed a small rock outcropping on river right, and tried to swim towards it. She could barely think. There was only one thought in her mind: there had to be an eddy behind it, there had to be. There was, a small deep pool behind the rock, where the current flowed more gently, in a wide circle back upstream. She forged towards the eddy line - she should not have made it. There was a series of ledges and holes immediately downstream - had she known it, the very ones that she had scouted earlier that morning - and the main current swept out into the centre. But she did - she broke the eddy line panting and gasping, her chest protesting vigorously the sudden, violent movements as she swam into it. She reached the bank, crawled out on hands and knees, still coughing water, retching. She could not stand. Her clothes were torn, bloodstained. Adrenaline began to wear off, and she began to shake uncontrollably. She could feel the bruises on her back, on her legs, on her arms; the scratches across her back and legs; the pounding of her head; the grinding and the stabbing pain in her ribs every time she coughed. She collapsed sideways to the ground, her head spinning - and slid in to merciful, blissful darkness.












    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir




















  16. __________________________________________________ __________________





    ~The Sea and Mountains of Rhûn~

    __________________________________________________ __________________

    The Wayfarer

    [Private with Almarëa]




    Tuilë. T.A. 1868




    Are you all right, Earen ? Iella asked,
    coming to him, embracing the Nelyar man from behind. The elves of
    Bar-en-Raen and the escaped mortals from Rhovanion with them had come to the
    Mountains of Rhûn ; the range was scenic and peaceful, overshadowing the
    sunlit waters of the country's inland sea. This is a remnant of Helcar's great ocean, if you remember, he said ; they hadn't been here in a few years. I was one of the first Elves to awaken
    near Helcar's waters far in the East at the Gulf of Cuiviénen which is no more. Still, this
    place makes me feel...nostalgic.
    Iella apologized for disrupting his reminiscing. Miach is cooking lunch, she explained. Iella and the Eldakan returned to camp within a grove of eucalyptus trees on the coast which Yulmanilda discovered. Elfaron wasn't there - Earenolwë had told him to find a village they had been to before here and bring back some friends of theirs that could help them out - but Yulmanilda was sitting upon the white sands of the shore, petting a koala which sat upon her lap ; koalas were the small marsupial, bear-like herbivores that inhabited the eucalyptus trees, the bark of which gleamed with a cream and copper satiny sheen ; they were cute, mostly silent gray-furred creatures with big white fluffy ears. They were a rare, adorable friendly animal that Earenolwë had only encountered here, at Tolfolas, and the coastal realms of the far east amongst the eucalyptus which seemed to be the only kind of tree that the little beasts took for an abode since their diet appeared to exist solely upon the leaves.

    The Rhovanion lass sat cross-legged on the ground near Yulma, bright-eyed and happy, feeding the koala a handful of the eucalypt leaves ; she was arrayed in breeches and tunic, clothing that Yulma let her borrow. Micah was free of his armor and wore a pair of trousers that Earenolwë had given him ; he was bare of foot and shirtless, cooking fish. Lunch almost ready Eldakan ! The Easterling said excitedly and Earenolwë smiled. Splendid, we haven't any since we left Parth Galen. Micah looked at him wonderingly ; he never had dwelt further than Rhovanion. It's a lawn near a great lake in a mighty river west of her land, Earenolwë divulged, gesturing at Felicity, as he and Iella took a seat on the beach near Yulma and the mortals. After we eat, if Elfaron is back with our native friends, we'll be leaving camp, Earenolwë mentioned. Men of Rhûn, these friends of yours ? Micah asked curiously. Yes, Earenolwë replied, I know plenty of benevolent kindreds of Swarthy Men who inhabit these mountains and there is one tribe closeby which I've had some dealings with in the past. Micah began to disperse the fish and Yulma gently removed the koala from off her lap and patted its bottom for the cuddly creature to get a move on ; now it was her turn to eat. They'll help us, Earen ? Felicity asked, now sitting with her lissome arms folded around her legs as she waited for the meal to cool. They will help us defeat your enemies, Earen assured with a comforting smile.

    It's a possibility that the Wainriders will search east for you both but they should know better than to risk their lives against the Elves, Yulmanilda said, which is why they have never tried to fell trees in the southern eaves of Mirkwood or make war on Dorwinion, and the Silvan Elf began to eat her fish. So, they'll probably look for you both here, Iella clearly stated ; Micah put his arms around a nervous Felicity. The King has probably dispatched teams to look for you northwards, thinking you might escape beyond the waters of the River Running, said the blond erstwhile dame ; she and<b style="color: rgb0, 102, 153; ">Earenolwë[/b]were the tactical planners in the band, <i style="color: rgb0, 102, 153; ">and he might send his warriors to search for his slave and traitor guard here, believing that you both have possibly fled into the mountains to escape and live amidst what gentle Easterlings there are here. [/i]<b style="color: rgb0, 102, 153; ">Earenolwë[/b], who had been silent, eating his fish, chimed in, <i style="color: rgb0, 102, 153; ">They can't search for you in the mountains because their carts and chariots cannot explore this rugged terrain but the warriors may journey here and disembark to explore the range on foot. The King's men may think you are both bound to head to Dorwinion through these mountains, hoping to lose them so they might scour the northernmost chain first.[/i] <b style="color: rgb0, 102, 153; ">Earenolwë [/b]grinned dangerously and his shining blue eyes seemed to glow even brighter. <i style="color: rgb0, 102, 153; ">Tracking you both will lead them to my friends....and they know how to defend themselves quite well. [/i]
    When they come after you both, we won't be outnumbered. Once the Wainriders are defeated, we'll go to Dorwinion safely and once you are both rested and ready, you may leave the vineyards to cross the River Running and find a place to call your own in the lands northwards among the free folks of the East. Don't worry about anything ; things are going to be okay. Felicity began to weep and Micah removed a limb so he could shake Earen's hand wordlessly, his own eyes wet with tears now, overcome with emotion. Here they come, Yulma said suddenly and began to wave energetically with a wide smile. Out of the forest came a beaming Elfaron leading two brown-skinned, dark-haired bearded mortals. They were big men and they wore possum-skin cloaks. Do you mind if they share our food ? Earenolwë asked. My saviors, of course they may ! Micah said and Earenolwë arose. Altair ! Jaabir ! Mellyn nin ! Earenolwë shouted merrily, naming them friends lastly in Sindarin ; he had taught these people both the tongue of the Grey Elves well enough. The two men cried joyously and ran to greet him ; Elfaron made a bee-line for the others, hungry. Earenolwë knocked knuckles with with Jaabir and embraced Altairas if he was his own brother.

    Kasaph, addressed Altair, hailing Earenolwë in his own tongue with the name his tribe had given him which meant 'Silver' because of the Nelyar's hair. It is very good to see you again ; Elfaron, he tells us that you need help, Altair continued, speaking in crude Sindarin, his voice thickly accented. Well, my friends do. One man is a Wainrider - Jaabir interrupted, cursing in astonishment. He is a friend. I promise. Micah is a good man and a capable warrior ; he betrayed his king to save a slave, a woman of Rhovanion the Emperor took for wife. Jaabir made a long whistle and ran a brown hair over his black hair and looked at Altair. Not good, he told his older sibling who nodded gravely. They'll be coming to search for them here, I think, Earen said, and northeast near the River Running. If the Wainriders search for the lovers here, they need to be protected. I think we have about a week ; we could use a place to stay, too. Altair nodded again. He will be followed, yes ; the Chief will be furious, this one thinks, too Altair thought aloud, and they will come after. We will help protect your friend. Your band, Micah, and his lover can stay at our village. Altair looked at Jaabir : Go home, he said, our warriors must be ready ; tell Adira the women and children must go to the caves, they'll be safe there until this crisis has ended. Jaabir bowed his head in deference to the eldest - his brother was clan chief - and he ran back into the mountain forest. I will go with you to speak to this Micah ? Altair asked. Earenolwe led him towards the defector. I will tell him good news. We will kill his enemies. And he can go where he will and his mate. Free, like leaves on wind.














    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

  17. Almarëa Mordollwen's Avatar
    Spy of Mordor
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    #17







    Flight


    Thus let me live, unseen, unknown,Thus unlamented let me die,Steal from the world, and not a stoneTell where I lie.
    ~ Alexander Pope
    Three days before current events in Rivendell. T.A. 23Lairë ("Summer", Quenya)
    (Private)


    She was lying quite still,
    almost motionless, her long hair tangled and tousled on the pillow, her eyes
    closed as if in sleep. Her breathing was soft and gentle; she wore a cream
    nightgown embroidered with light purple blossoms and delicate green leaves. She
    was lying on her side, knees bent, her sheet pulled up almost to her neck, but
    the coverlet lying in a heap across her feet – it was a warm summer’s night. If
    anyone had glanced into the room, they would have thought the elleth lost in
    peaceful dreams. It was almost three hours past midnight, and the feasting and
    festivities in the Hall of Fire had long since ceased. The maids, the servants,
    the lords, and everyone else was fast asleep in bed. The house was quiet and
    still – and Almarëa was still awake.
    Almost an hour after all sounds had died away, she decided she had waited long
    enough. Green eyes snapped open in the darkness. One slender arm pushed aside
    the covers, and she sat up – slowly, carefully, silently. She was staying in a
    chamber in the House of Elrond, in the Hidden Valley of Imladris – and she was
    not at all interested in waking anyone else. Granted, this could all have been
    made much easier if she were staying in her own home – a small cottage on the
    edge of the valley, a few miles away. But she was not trying to arouse
    suspicions ... and denying Lord Elrond’s proffered hospitality this night might
    do just that. She had only arrived back in Imladris this afternoon, after many
    days’ swift journey from the Havens. She had spoken with Aigronding ... and he had reacted as she had known he would. She
    had said her farewells to Aerlinn,
    to Roina and to Valion – though she somehow doubted that they would realize
    what her words had meant until after she was gone. She had told Aig, with another display of guile,
    that she would consider staying – and at any rate, that she was not leaving
    immediately. He trusted her word; he had believed her. They had had a merry
    evening that night; music and dancing and feasting in the Hall of Fire. And
    despite her urgency to leave, she had managed to look at least somewhat lively
    – engaged, maybe even happy. Though, she had no idea if her meager attempts had
    convinced anyone.


    But there was not a shred of
    doubt in Almarëa’s mind about what
    she was doing. Neither Aig nor Ril would have let her leave if they
    knew her true intentions; so she had lied. Deliberately, carefully, and
    cunningly. Her bare feet whispered across the floor; she opened the door of the
    closet and pulled it ajar. Her pack was already made; her supplies were already
    gathered; on her way back to Imladris
    she had already retrieved anything she wanted from her house; she had even
    arranged her means of transportation. She had unobtrusively gone for a short
    ride, and instead of returning Vaiwa,
    her horse, to the Lord Elrond’s stables, she had picketed the mare some
    distance away, in a secluded and rarely-visited glade, and had returned on
    foot. The grooms at the stable would not have noticed; Vaiwa was rarely stabled
    there anyways, since Almarëa generally
    quartered the mare at her own home. She had thought every step through
    carefully, almost obsessively. She undressed, slipping the nightgown over her
    shoulders and folding it neatly on the bed. A tunic and breeches would prove a much
    better choice for the moment, and she donned them silently. They were dark
    green, and she wore a leather belt. Almarëa
    shouldered her pack carefully, belting on her sword and making sure that her
    bow and quiver were attached securely to the pack. She picked up her boots in
    her left hand, planning to put them on after she was safely out of the house
    and did not have to worry about making noise – she would move far more quietly
    in bare feet. For a moment she looked down at the dagger sitting on her bedside
    table, and considered leaving it behind. Then, with a sudden, sharp movement
    she picked it up and thrust the sheathed blade into a pocket of her pack. That
    was one part of her past Almarëa was
    not quite ready to abandon – not yet, anyways – and she justified it by telling
    herself that it would most certainly be useful.


    The dark-haired elleth
    made her way silently down the corridors of the Last Homely House, finally
    stepping outside into the darkness. She stopped for a moment to put her boots
    on, and stepped off the porch, walking briskly away. She wanted to look back –
    and stopped herself. If she didn’t leave now, she would never make herself go.
    She did not want to imagine what Aig
    and Aerlinn and Valion and Roina’s
    reactions to her sudden departure would be. And Ril ... he might guess what she was doing, but he could not yet know
    for certain. He would likely arrive in Imladris sooner rather than later,
    looking for her. She had to be gone before he arrived. She had not made it easy
    for him – she had left Lindon in the dead of night, just as she was leaving
    Rivendell, and she had covered her tracks carefully. Underestimating Ril, however, was not in general a good
    idea. If she had truly wanted to vanish, she never would have come back to
    Imladris in the first place – it was too predictable, the first place he’d look
    when he realized he couldn’t track her. But she had wanted ... well, she had
    wanted to say goodbye, at least sort of, to Aig, and to her friends. Vaiwa
    nickered softly at her approach, and Almarëa
    spoke to her quietly, mounting in a fluid motion and guiding the horse towards
    the river. Her plan was to head relatively speaking northwest – she would cross
    the Mithiethel and then head more directly west, almost as if she were
    returning to Lindon. Returning to Lindon, she hoped, was the course of action Aig or Ril would think her least likely to take, if they tried to pursue
    her. She banished them from her mind and urged Vaiwa to a canter, seemingly heedless of the darkness. Above her,
    the sky was clouded, portending rain. A storm would be a blessing, she thought –
    rain would wipe out tracks, help her vanish. She would make good and sure that
    she could not be followed ... and then she would go as far away as she could. Where precisely was not important: of
    importance was only the vital fact that she would be alone.

















    Edited by: Almarëa Mordollwen

  18. Aerlinn Mordagnir's Avatar
    Guardian of Imladris
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    #18



    F.A. 5After this post:I Dreamed a Nightmare

    In the dreams her mother didn't die. She walked away. Aerlinn would shout and cry and run after her but she could never shout loud enough or cry hard enough or run fast enough. Ruiviel would only ever turn 'round for a moment and whisper those final, fatal, last words to her. "The flowers are dead."
    ~ ~ ~"No! Don't let go! For me. For Ealindë. For Middle-earth and the trees and the sun and the flowers. Remember the wildflowers? Don't let go." He's pleading. Begging.
    "It's too cold. The flowers are dead." Her eyes close.
    "Noooooooooooooooo!"
    ~ ~ ~
    Then she would keep walking, and walking, and never stop. Aerlinn would stare out from the edge of the camp trying to find her, but all she could see was swirling snow and fog and darkness. Black and white. No color. No bright red tunic or green cloak or dark blue breeches. Just black and white and shades of grey.
    ~ ~ ~
    Too numb to care for proprieties, Nemir slipped his wife's worn but beautifully embroidered cloak away from her still shoulders and wrapped it around his daughter.
    "No! What are you doing? Amme will get cold!" Aerlinn protested, struggling to yank it off.
    "She's fine. Wear it."
    ~ ~ ~
    But after Mithrim the dreams changed. Now Ada followed Amme out into the depths of the Helcaraxë. He grabbed Aerlinn's shoulders before he leaft and said "Remember the stars!" Then he was gone. Aerlinn still tried to follow, but she still wasn't quick enough, even though they're walking and she's running as fast as she can. So she would look up, trying to find the stars but there would only be clouds.
    "Remember the stars...remember the stars..."
    "I can't!"
    ~ ~ ~
    "No buts," Nemir insisted. "Some day you will understand why I am leaving you. There will be a time for you to come north and fight, but it is not now. For now you must be brave. You will not be alone. Remember the stars?"
    Aerlinn nodded, crying again.
    "When you see them at night, think of me. And know that I will be watching them and thinking of you, little Ealindë."
    ~ ~ ~
    Time would rush forwards, as it is wont to do in dreams, and dawn would come. The rest of the Noldor would break camp and begin their march. And they would all walk by without knowing her. Aigronding and Idril and Turgon and Aimira and even Ellindalë, the one they saved...they would all pass by and they would look at Aerlinn's face without recognition. The girl asked and called for help, and then yelled and screamed just so someone would hear her, but no one answered. She would spin in cirlces, the ice wearing at thin leather boots, searching for someone, anyone, who knew her.
    Within minutes Aerlinn would be alone, the column having passed her by, and yet again she would be too slow to catch up, no matter what she did. No one would turn back. No one would stop. No one would even remember.

    When she woke up in the morning Aigronding might be nearby. Or Idril, or even Turgon. But the in the dreams no one ever came for the little girl.





    Edited by: Roo

  19. Asha'bellanar's Avatar
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    "Sur Vanar Utírieste: Darkness of Night" THEME


    T.A. 1


    Lorinand (Lothlórien)





    Sur had heard no word of her brother Sul in some time, for he had chosen to march with the Last Alliance, as many others of the Grey Havens had chosen. He had promised her he wouldn't ever fight again with the loss of their family in the destruction of the Falas, and the loss of their uncle in an attempt to reach Valinor and seek the help of the Valar from the Isle of Balar. Sur was angered with his desire to leave with those who sought to end the days of the Dark Lord Sauron, for breaking the promise he had made her. Yet despite this betrayal of certainty to remain at her side, Sur parted well with her brother before his departure. Most of the shipwrights they housed also marched, though only a fraction returned to the manor.


    One ellon in particular, brought back the pearl, seashell necklace of Sul Venor Utírieste, that his sister had made for him thousands of years ago. Before taking his last breath, he had asked for a comrade to bring it back to his sister for him, since he would not live to see her again. Upon receiving the item, Sur plunged into a deep sorrow, knowing the last of her family, was now gone. The two had become one in mind and heart, with his death, Sur felt that half of herself was torn so brutally away. All too soon, all too cruel. She wept for days following the news of the death of her brother, and would not tend to the errands of the manor. She did not leave her bed, crying and sleeping in turn, and nothing else.


    Her pale skin had become sickly grey, her dark brown hair had lost its sheen, and her body diminished with lack of supplemental nutrition. She sipped water the shipbuilders placed by her bed, out of dire need for it, but turned away any food they offered her. They grew concerned, and discussed among themselves in the many rooms of the manor as to how to help her.

    A mutual decision was reached, to take the maiden to heal where she would not be reminded of their time together, away from the house they shared and the shore they both loved. As Sur slept deeply, with eyes swollen sore, a handful of elves carried her gently away from her chambers and aboard a wagon. When Sur awakened, her transporters forced a strong wine down her throat to knock her back to a state of slumber, knowing she would anger and demand to be taken back.


    After several weeks, the elleth was brought to the woods of Lorinand, there, the shipbuilders made a special request to Amroth, king of Lothlórien. To help the maiden by any means necessary, for the Sindar of the White Sail Manor, could not.

    With the effects of the wine no longer in her system, Sur awoke one day, only to be told she could not leave until her caretakers saw fit. Enraged by what her manor residents had done, she continued to push away any food that came her way, and even to consume water now. She would yell from her platform to allow her to die, for she no longer wished to live, and wanted to join her family to what came after. Unsuccessful, Sur, refused to leave her canopy and broke any plate or goblet they put in her hands.

    "
    You need to eat" pleaded her Silvan caretaker, one day, who by now had become hurt with the insults and dishes thrown at her by the Falathrim elleth.

    She offered a plate hesitantly, knowing well, what would happen next.

    "
    I WILL NOT!" shouted Sur.

    She slapped the meal away and turned her face to an opposite side and tightening her lips, to seal the drink that would come next.

    The worn Silvan elleth, walked away to speak with the other caretakers, standing away.

    They returned together and nodded to each other, moving quickly to seize hold of the elleth. One forced her mouth open, while another poured the contents of a cup down her throat. The others struggled to hold back her hands and legs, as Sur tried to free herself aggressively.

    She fought back the liquid for a moment, but gulped it down eventually.

    Sur could no longer hold her own against them, and found herself now moved by their good will towards her, and their wishes for her to press on from the loss that had befallen her.

    She called to the one that had offered her food earlier, with tears forming in her eyes, she wished to eat and mend her heart now. Glad to hear so at last, the Silvan elleth informed the others and left her to dress in the gown and slippers they had left by her the day she arrived, as they brought her something to eat.

    Sur's arms were too weak to slip out of her blue Lindon nightgown, she had to ask for assistance to dress. As they helped her lift her arms and slip on the light green gown and slippers. Sur realized how severe her death wish had reached, and how close she had come to taking her own life by refusal to eat or drink. She could only nibble a bit on the food they gave her, for she not eaten in weeks. Her stomach had shrunk dangerously, but she was assured her appetite would return to normal very soon. Barely able to stand for the moment, they insisted she practice first leaving her canopy and walking about the platform.

    Going a little further every day, Sur was finally able to leave the platform and started walking below the tree she had stayed. She began wandering the woods soon after, supervised at first but later alone.

    She felt acceptance for the loss of her brother settle in at last, but the wound of his passing, fresh still. It helped indeed to be away from the manor, from Mithlond, and sight of the sea. And Sur wondered for the first time during her stay, if she actually wanted to return home. In all her days in Eglarest, Balar, or Mithlond, she had never seen the other parts of the world. Amroth was certainly the first lord she had met, that was not of her home-realm. She found herself almost liking the idea, or journeying to other places she hadn't been. But for what purpose? There was no one she knew anywhere else, and no matters to attend to beyond the Grey Havens.

    One day she walked through the woods, and found a wonderful glen to rest for a moment. Clad in an amber gown, her hair tied up as always. She felt her strength had returned, her body, gained much of its former weight, and the shine of her face and hair come back. Sur knelt on the ground and held the necklace of her brother in her hands.

    "
    If my destiny has been pre-written, please, tell me what happens next" she said aloud.






















    Edited by: Sur Vanar Utírieste





  20. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night"

    T.A. 1

    Lorinand (Lothlorien)
    (Open RP)





    Lhantien Di'maluin


    Days passed with little to interest her, and that was just as well. She did not want to be interested in anything. She wanted to sleep and never wake. The elleth who had called herself Ethuil came and went but they did not speak to one another. She ignored the elleth, and the elleth did not attempt again to draw her into conversation. Finally, several days after their first encounter, Ethuil came bearing not food or drink but an order.

    "I do not wish to go for a walk."

    "You will not regain your strength fully if you do not use your body. It is not optional." Ethuil calmly informed her.

    "You cannot make me," she replied stubbornly. Even as the words left her mouth she knew how juvenile she sounded. She didn't feel as old as her 1755 years would indicate. She felt young and inexperienced and terribly alone. And she felt anger. At first she had felt nothing at all, but slowly she noticed it growing inside her. At first it was just a spark, but that spark had matured into a flame that licked her sore wounds and made them hurt even more. She was angry at herself. She was angry at Ethuil. She was angry at her godfather Sillandhas -- it had been his fault that her father and brothers -- and yes, she herself -- had gone to the Last Alliance. It was because of that that she had been tracked back to Fangorn and her mother and sisters... She hated him for it.

    The anger burned inside her.

    She wanted to kill something. Anything. If her godfather came before her, if he had somehow managed to survive the destruction he had led her family into, she would slay him without mercy, without hesitation. If she didn't kill herself first.

    "I cannot force you to walk, but neither will we harbor her here forever. We are not your slaves, for you to sit here and be waited upon by us because your heart is despairing life and everyone around you." Ethuil's words were harsh but not without compassion. "You must put forth an effort for yourself or travel west and take a ship from the Lindon harbor."

    The words stung her and the flame in her heart tempted her to strike the other elleth for saying those things. But then she realized for the first time the desire that had been growing in her for all those days. It wasn't genuinely the anger and hatred at just anyone. She did hate her godfather, but she hated the hands that had wrought such destruction even more. She hated the orcs that had pursued her and destroyed her life. They weren't rogue and they were surely not action on their own behalf. There had to be someone, somewhere, leading them to take those actions. And with Sauron finally defeated... who had sent them?

    She did not know... yet. But the flame of anger was morphing into some mixture of anger, determination,... and revenge... yes, she wanted revenge. Revenge on everyone and everything that had caused her so much misery. And
    then she would kill herself.

    "Very well."

    If Ethuil noticed the blood-lust that practically dripped off her tongue, she didn't say anything about it. The other elleth merely turned and went through the curtains. She hesitated for a moment, then followed. On the other side of the curtains she found a wide staircase moving down on one side and up on the other. Ethuil was only a few steps down and did not look back as she continued to descend.

    She peered over the side and saw how very high up she was. Then she followed. She followed Ethuil down for many long minutes until finally they reached the bottom. Ethuil turned to her and said,
    "You may walk freely, but I advise you against straying too far. Even welcome guests may meet trouble if they leave the sanctuary of this area." Then the elleth turned away and disappeared into the foliage.

    She frowned but did not follow this time. If she was able to walk so freely, then she would do just that. She turned and started walking in the opposite direction. She went aimlessly but finally came to a stop when suddenly two elves stepped out from behind to trees. They didn't raise the bows they held, but only stared at her. Suddenly she didn't feel quite as free to go where she wished, and she wasn't entirely sure she wanted to try. So she turned around and headed in another direction. Only five minutes had passed before again two elves stepped out and watched her. The same process continued for quite a while and she had the vague sense that she was being herded away from some sort of invisible border that ringed around the area that she had lived in for the many days that had passed by.

    Suddenly she found herself coming out unexpectedly into a small glen. She frowned slightly, wondering at it and almost turned away but then she saw another elleth. This elleth was not like any of the elves she had seen in her walk. The elleth wore an amber gown and was kneeling on the ground, holding something in her hands.
    "If my destiny has been pre-written, please, tell me what happens next."

    She almost turned away again, but something inside her held her from doing so. Instead, surprising herself, she said, "The request we all make at one point or another."

    Ethuil watched unseen from her place partially behind a tree nearby. The elleth sitting on the ground was Sur Vanar Utirieste, an elleth from Lindon. Not unlike Lhantien, Sur had suffered greatly due to the Last Alliance. Her brother's only message sent back to her was in the form of the necklace Sur had made for him. Even after being in Lorinand for some time, the anguished elleth still did not seem to have made a full recovery, though she did seem to be trying. She had, at least, gone willingly on walks to strengthen herself. She would make a suitable companion-in-misery for Lhantien, who was making no effort whatsoever to truly recover. Finally, satisfied that her attempts had been successful and Lhantien was at least staying in the glen for the moment, Ethuil turned and walked away.

    OCC@Sur - (I hope this is to your liking. I didn't want to invade on Sur's privacy too much, but felt this would be a good way for Sur and Lhantien to meet. Let me know if you'd like me to change it or something. )



  21. Almarëa Mordollwen's Avatar
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    #21

    The Pursuit





    And the dead leaves lie huddled and
    still,


    No longer blown hither and thither;

    The last lone aster is gone;

    The flowers of the witch hazel wither;

    The heart is still aching to seek,

    But the feet question
    "Whither?"



    Ah, when to the heart of man

    Was it ever less than a treason

    To go with the drift of things,

    To yield with a grace to reason,

    And bow and accept the end

    Of a love or a season?



    ~ Robert Frost









    T.A. 23.

    Lairë (“Summer,” Quenya)




    The sky above the Hidden Valley was dark and ominous; peals of thunder could be heard in the distance and flashes of lightning illumined the northern sky. A lone rider was cantering swiftly towards the Ford of Bruinen, seemingly heedless of the pouring rain and grape-sized hailstones that were pelting down. His mount was eager enough now - in Rivendell they would have shelter from the storm. The golden-haired ellon was soaked to the skin; his grey cloak was sopping, and even the white bandages wrapped around his left forearm under his shirt were wet. He shivered slightly.Rilienhad been riding for hours, regardless of the weather. The ellon had slept but little in the past few days, stopping only long enough to rest his mount, before pressing on, in a race against time - a race he feared he had already lost, but a race that he was not willing to give up on - the life, the sanity of one of his dearest friends was potentially at stake. He had spent three days trying to track her north from the Havens, before realizing that there was a purpose to the confusing muddle of trails: she had laid an - apparently careful planned - series of false trails. Of her actual destination, he had been able to garner no idea. Almarëahad vanished, swiftly and skillfully, as though the green-eyed elleth had been planning her disappearance for ages - though in truth he knew it could only have been a sudden decision. There was one place that she called home, though - one place that she might have returned to, if only briefly - and it was to Imladris he had headed, hoping that maybe, possibly, she had gone back there.
    He headed first to her cottage, after crossing the Ford - it was locked up and deserted. If she had returned, she had likely been gone for days. His heart sinking, Rilien rode to the Last Homely House, leaving his horse in the stables, and - ignoring the fact that he was still dripping wet and Erestor would be none too pleased if the floors were covered in water - headed straight for the chambers of the one person who *would* know if Almarëawas anywhere in the valley, if she had returned. The door was locked;Rilknocked, and was rewarded by hearing the growls of Nimlos, Aig's wolfhound. "Aigronding? Are you there? I need to speak with you, it's urgent." At first he heard no response, but a moment later the door opened - but it was not Aigrondingstanding there, but Nimlos, who had apparently managed to unlock the door. The golden haired ellon stepped inside, looking for his friend, and paying very little attention to Nimloswho was trying to lick him. "Aigronding?"








  22. __________________________________________________ ________________________



    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    The Pursuit

    T.A. 23
    Lairë

    I asked one draught of earlier, happier sights
    One taste of the old time sets all to rights

    - Robert Browning, from 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came'



    Valion awoke. And his first thought was 'She lied in every word,' and Mordagnir's son wept anew and the elf's body writhed as he sobbed. He was caressed, a woman's fingers stroking his golden hair. Impulsively, forgetting what had happened an hour ago, he believed it was Meril, his wife, whom he awakened by his fitful disturbance in their bed at home. A nightmare, Valion thought, Irmo, let it all be a nightmare. I was asleep and this is all a bad dream, but when he opened his blue eyes he discovered Roina, sitting unarmored and cross-legged in the lantern-light, and then he remembered all of it. The elves, some of them his friends and his father's, were close near resting in the soft cerulean radiance of their own lanterns ; those who being healed, he had wounded. He remembered the furnace warmth of fury, Valion remembered peeling his lips off his teeth striking down those who were trying to save them, he remembered the sudden ebony hatred when he told Roina he loved Almarëa better and in this blazing moment he realized he had never been this ashamed of himself. I'm so sorry, he swore to Roina, weeping on the cold stone floor of the cavern.

    Valion Mordagnir expected Roina Soronilda to speak harshly at him in that calmly precise, clipped tone of hers but she said, I forgive you and so do they, so softly and scooted herself towards him ; her lissom arms embraced him. He allowed it. I'm so sorry, Valion repeated himself and Roina, her own eyes brimming with tears now, assured him that she knew and she pressed her lips against his flaxen hair but Valion kept rambling. I just want her back, I love her. This doesn't feel right, like the world's turned upside down ! I can't imagine my life without her in it ! Impossible ! Valion insisted and furiously swept at his runny nose and he shut his stinging, salty eyes tight. I see her. All the time. Inside my memories, I can't forget. Even when I close my eyes just like this, her green eyes are there . But it's not enough. I want to hold her again and hear her silvery laughter ; why does everyone have to leave ? Roina gently moved her chin against his yellow hair and her feeling hands slowly marched down his arms.

    Not everyone who cares about you is gone. There are those back home who still love you, like your father and I. Your wife and children, and Anárië. We won't leave the vale; Almarëa knew that, which is why she must have been strong enough to disappear, to walk out of our lives forever because we have others to cling to.
    Valion's mouth opened in a silent scream of agony ; Almarëa's leavetaking hurt in such a way that the pain seemed almost physical, like the coldness of winter's heart and the searing heat of fire, mingled, tormenting. No, she was strong enough to leave because she wanted to do whatever she wanted and didn't care about us anymore. Tears trickled from her eyes as she hugged Valion fiercely, hissing : That's not true ! It was almost a whine, begging him ; she didn't want to believe that, she didn't need to hear this. They held each other in the lambent blue glow of the lantern light, crying.






    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

  23. Almarëa Mordollwen's Avatar
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    #23







    Expedition



    F.A. 35On a cliff ... in the Ered Wethrin
    "Remind me why I let you talk me into this?" Calanonwas standing on a thin parapet of rock, just above a sheer ledge, which dropped perhaps a hundred and fifty feet down towards the valley, where a loose scree slope met the rockwall and descended steeply towards treeline. Far below was the brilliant turquoise of a large alpine lake. The waters sparkled, the bright sunlight playing off the ripples at the edges of the lake, where mountain streams - born of runoff from snowpacks melting high on the slopes - rushed and cascaded into the lake. The twins were hiking around a singularly isolated valley, surrounded by stern, rocky peaks and dramatic icecaps. In contrast to the high, barren alpine slopes, the lower elevations, nearer the lake, abounded with lush vegetation. Alpine flowers - most of which neither Almarëanor Calanonhad ever seen before, but which were uniquely equipped to survive and flourish in the ever-so-short growing season, dotted the slopes and filled vast meadows in the shadow of the mountains. At the southern end of the lake, seven lacy curtains of water poured down over a series of ledges - the water flowing down over rocks and stones and winding streambeds until it flowed clear and cool out of a miniature, shallow delta into the lake. But the most remarkable thing about the lake was not the mountains surrounding it, not the high rocky ledges and glacial snowcaps, not the verdance that covered the lower slopes, not even the cascading streams that fed it. The most remarkable thing about this particular lake was its colour. It was not blue; it was not green. It wasn't even turquoise either, though that term came closer than most. All Almarëacould think, looking down at the scintillating waters, was that it was the most vivid and spectacular colour that she had ever seen, and that she had never seen quite its like before.
    "It's not that steep, Cal! Here, I'll go first." Despite that there was barely enough room to walk, never mind pass anyone, on the narrow ledge along which they were walking, Almarëamanaged to scramble past her brother, barely brushing the rock wall as she stepped around him. The twins were on their first ever solo backpacking trip; after taking several days to hike into the valley, they had established a sort of base camp by the lakeshore and were taking several more days to explore the immediate area. "And you were just as excited as I was when Ehtyarion told us about it!" She set off down the steep, slender trail at an appropriately rapid pace, blissfully ignoring the fact that one misstep would send her falling off the ledge and that she likely wouldn't stop falling for a good hundred feet or so. Callaughed, and followed more slowly, shaking his head slightly, partly in amusement at his sister's speed, and partly in sheer wonder at the beauty that surrounded them. It was still quite early in the day - the two had managed to rouse themselves to breakfast before sunrise, and had set out to complete a circuit high above the lake. There was, theoretically, a trail. Or rather, there was not a trail, there was a route. Ledges, narrow paths, rockslides, scree slopes, one could apparently link all these features to create a route. Almarëahad heard about it in extensive detail from Ehtyarion, one of the twins' friends from Valinor whom they rarely saw anymore. Ehtyarion's parents had followed Fëanor's host from Valinor and now owed allegiance to Maedhros. Both Ehtyarionand his two older brothers were now part of Maedhros' host, though the brash, dark-haired ellon actually made for a much better weaponsmith than a soldier. At any rate, during a (very rare) visit west, Almarëahad listened in some detail to the ellon's account of an absolutely marvellous camping trip that he and a group of friends had taken. She had made note of the location, and had suggested to Calthat - as it was not actually all that far away (well, her parents thought it was far, but in comparison to the size of Beleriand itself, Almarëaremained unconvinced) - that the valley would make an ideal spot for some adventuring.
    Which, of course, was the reason they were now imitating mountain goats and scampering along the sides of cliffs. The only problem, at least in Calanon's mind, was that mountain goats, firstly, had two more legs for balance than elves did, and secondly, had hooves. Neither of which his sister possessed, although she seemed to be determined to proceed down any slope at a pace - in his estimation - more befitting a goat than a person.Not that he wanted to seem tardy in keeping up with her - and certainly, when carrying a pack, Calwas quite a bit faster than his sister when it came to climbing *up*hill, but he really had no desire to twist an ankle, sprain something, roll down the path, or alternately go sliding off the ledge and falling through the air onto the rocks below. He stopped and rolled his eyes, looking down at her. She had paused to wait for him about fifty yards further on, with her hands on her hips and a mildly exasperated but teasing expression on her face. The dark-haired ellon shook his head to himself, before proceeding down the path at a slightly more sane pace,ignoring Almarëa's exaggerated sighs, posturing, and gestures for him to hurry up. "Come ON, Cal, please? I want to see the lake." Her brother was being distinctly uncooperative, and it seemed to Almarëathat at least part of it was simply to irritate her. Which very well might have been true, since the twins were experts at irritating each other, and tended to bicker about a dozen times a day. Earyendëhad jokingly asked if the two would even manage to survive each other's company on a backpacking trip with only each other to talk to, and though both had assured her, laughing, that they would, neitherAlmarëanor Calanonwas quite so sure anymore. "I have a new name for you." Calannounced with a smile, finally catching up. "Downhill Queen."







    Edited by: Almarëa Mordollwen















  24. __________________________________________________ ________________________












    __________________________________________________ ________________________







    The Pursuit
    Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. - Proverbs 14:10









    Snow White arose hearing the rap upon the door
    and promptly growled, white fur bristling, as she had done for days now
    whenever someone approached, bearing her fangs at the unseen intruder ; the Love Master (Aigronding) wanted no visitors and Nimlos didn't let even one housekeeper into his chamber. The Love Master wanted neither food nor drink either, he hadn't the desire to nourish himself since that unhappy hour he had discovered Green Eyes (Almarëa) had betrayed him and fled. When it came
    to suicide, Snow White was pro-choice ; if the Love Master wanted to be
    alone to die, then Nimlos would loyally provide him the means to do so. It was
    the manner of hounds to seclude themselves and perish alone, wracked with
    grief.



    Snow White
    , a sentient immortal creature, knew the sound of
    Tracker's (Rilien's) voice and surprised herself with only a moment's
    hesitation before unlocking the portal and giving its knob a deft twisting so it could open ; Nimlos missed him.
    She was disgruntled by Rilien's ignorance of her fervent displays of
    affection ; Nimlos snarled at Trotter and entertained herself with thought of ripping the fabric of his breeches so as to nick the skin of his leg forhis disrespect but realized shortly that the elf was urgently wanting to reuniting with her master so she restrained herself.



    The young she-hound padded towards the
    bedroom within the once ornately-appointed chamber, leading foolish Rilien who had forgotten where
    it was ; Nimlos led her master's old friend throughout the airy, messy room ; the place was a ruin, existing now in varied degrees of
    destruction - when Green Eyes had taken flight, the Love Master had become enraged. Nimlos
    daintily avoided small mounds of broken grass and the shattered wood strewn
    across the chamber, now and then looking over her shoulder to see if
    Rilien
    was following and if he was uninjured. Nimlos halted
    just outside the threshold of her master's room ; against the carpet lay
    the shattered remains of the High Elf's rosewood door. The Love Master had slammed it so hard that the force of his mighty strength had burst it into splinters.



    *




    From where he was slumped on the floor, holding almost reverently an artist's fair, painted rendering of Almarëa in
    the Gardens of Imladris several months prior to her disappearance (the
    decorative frame was one of the few objects unbroken by his titanic
    fury), in the corner of his room where the sunlight beaming through the
    jagged remains of crystal windows could not touch, Aigronding heard Rilien's voice. Mordagnir was startled to hear his voice. And angry. He decided not to answer and snarled when Snow White brought the yellow-haired man to his bedroom. So, did you finally figure out where the deuce you belong and urgently wish to beg my forgiveness ? Old friend, Aigronding asked mockingly, staring at Rilien in
    disgust ; as he spoke, his voice which was hoarse from disuse. His voice squeaked to silence
    and his blue eyes shining from pools of shadow glistened with unshed tears.



    He never wanted Rilien to live in Lindon and ever since the
    golden-haired elf had chosen that realm for a home not too long
    following Eregion's fall, the strength of their friendship had weakened ;
    Aigronding had been mad at him for a long time. His wife had sacrificed herself, Tavari had already vanished, his father had been killed and Fareglín had died and Callanon had been murdered, Aigronding's mother had taken ship into the West, and both Arasoron and Indilë had been slain ; Mordagnir didn't want to lose anyone else, he wanted everyone who remained to be safe in one place and where he himself was needed. Looking at him, Aigronding's
    unhappiness with Rilien began to slowly disapparate. If you're not
    here to live, are you here to visit ? I suppose I can live with that at
    least,
    Aigronding admitted honestly to Rilien and his voice was rough and raw, and ragged. He slid his fingertip
    softly over Almarëa's forced, almost-there smile which she must have
    decided to put on for his benefit ; he still remember the day she had given him this. Did Almarëa know she would be leaving when she had posed for this portrait ? He traced the ebon skeins of her hair softly and Almarëa's phantom pale fingers stilled the course of his fingers. Rilien is here now ; please be happy, her spectral form leaned her gossamer brow against his flesh, quietly pleading, and her tears were like the light of stars.

    He touched the delicate cheek of the apparition whispering, invadvertently loud enough for Rilien to hear : But why can't I have the both of you ? She disappeared without an answer and his dirty fingertips touched only air ; he curled his hand into a fist and unsteadily unrose. Almarëa leaves and what does Fortune's whirlwinds fling to my door ? You, Aigronding said to Rilien through peals of disturbing maniacal laughter as he staggered towards him ; Aigronding clutched Rilien's shirt, pulled his friend to him. In the sunlight, the myriad of stains on Aigronding's blue shirt was evident including the grime on cuffs and collar, and elbows ; his clothes were wrinkled, soiled, and his blond hair was unkempt - his body reeked, he hadn't cared to washed since her vanishing. His voice became a bass rumble, speaking clearly sharp to Rilien : Almarëa's gone, she left ; she told me she was going to stay ! Do you know anything about it ? Aigronding shook him, yelling, not because he was angry, but because he was so desperate for answers : WEHRE IS SHE ??!!!! Aigronding shook his friend for several seconds before ultimately gripping Rilien into a tight embrace and sobbed against his shoulder, his body shuddering.








    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

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    "Sur Vanar Utírieste: Darkness of Night" THEME


    T.A. 1


    Lorinand (Lothlórien)





    OOC@Mar:(Not at all, that was perfect )

    Not more than a moment had passed after Sur had called upon that which controlled her fate, that she realized she was not alone in the woodland glen of Lorinand. Because elves were naturally light on their feet, it was by a presence, not a sound, that she lifted her sight from the pearl, seashell necklace she held in her pale hands and slowly turned her head to the one behind her. Sur had accustomed to being accompanied on her walks through the woods, especially after exhibiting the aggressive behavior she had. Though she was not being supervised anymore, the Sindar elf knew, they spied on her occasionally, just to be sure she wouldn't run away.

    The elleth of 4072 years, glanced over her shoulder, to find a beautiful elleth standing there,
    Lhantien Di'maluin. Sur stood on her feet immediately, holding the necklace close to her chest. Surprised. Not by her sudden appearance in the clearing of the forest, but by her unfamiliarity to the Silvan of realm. The sea-loving elf tilted her head to one side, almost unsure of what to say. She approached the stranger hesitantly in her amber-colored gown, and slowly extended her right-side hand to shake hers, the necklace still clutched tightly in her left.

    In the language of the Sindar, she said, "
    H-hello, I am Sur Vanar Utírieste. Of the Coast People when the Haven of Eglarest stood at the shores of Beleriand. Refugee then, who dwelt in the Isle of Balar, until the Lord of the Falathrim lead his people to found the Grey Havens of Lindon. The maiden of the White Sail Manor, now bound by grief under the shade of these trees. For my brother, he who completed me, fell at the hands of the Dark Lord's hosts. Never to see his sister again, or depart with her to the Blessed Realm..."

    Sur looked at the elleth, unsure how she would react, or if she would introduce herself in return. She had not seen or heard of another guest of the Lorinand. Then again, discretion may have been in their natural courtesy. Having also lost her family in destruction of the Falas, thousands of years ago, the elleth knew a heart -burning- with pain induced hatred when she saw one. Peering into the stranger before her, not with her eyes, for they looked straight at hers, but with her heart.

    "
    You-you are not of this realm, are you?" Sur asked, hoping she wouldn't drive her away with inquiry, "I have never seen you before, if I had, I would have remembered. I never forget a face, even if I do not know the name that bears it. Pray tell, what is your name? if I be so bold to ask. If you are not under the rule of the King of Lorinand, then who do you kneel to? if you wish to answer. If you are a guest to these woods, bound until release as I am, then what has brought you here? if I may be allowed to know. For I know not what path to take from here, but I believe you do yours, don't you? you know exactly what it is you wish to do now..."

    Sur had no expectations of a reply, and would accept whatever the stranger gave her in answer, no matter how little. Though she was no doubt, older in existence, their wisdoms, and perhaps losses, were matched evenly. Unlike Sur, who could not avenge the one who took her brother Sul's life,
    Lhantien could. Sur had asked for an answer from the writer of her life, and seemed to have found one now.

    Coincidence, or perhaps, fate?

























    Edited by: Sur Vanar Utírieste





  26. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night"

    T.A. 1

    Lorinand (Lothlorien)
    (Open RP)





    Lhantien Di'maluin


    She watched the elleth rise and face her, clutching the item to her chest. As the elleth approached to shake hands she saw that it was a necklace of some sort. The elleth introduced herself as Sur Vanar Utirieste. She did not respond immediately as Sur continued speaking, talking about how she was from Lindon and how her brother had been slain at the hands of the Dark Lord. A cold shiver traveled up her spine at the words and she had the feeling that her own brothers and her father and even herself had fought alongside Sur's brother.

    Finally she answered when Sur began to ask her questions.
    "I am not of this realm. I am unsure of how long exactly I've been here. Days, I think. I am..." she hesitated and then, feeling there was no need for secrecy, said, "I am Lhantien Di'maluin, and I kneel to none. As for my quest, I seek vengeance." And she said no more on what that vengeance would be for, only that, "I will leave when I have gained my strength, and then I will exact revenge on all those who have wronged me."

    "I know not what paths I will follow, but I will follow them when I learn what they are. And you? What will you do when you leave these guarded lands? Return to the shore, that land of crystal blue waves that I have never seen? The lands of most beautiful freedom, from whence one might some day pass into the West and perhaps, if blessed by Eru, reach the Blessed Realm?"

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    "Sur Vanar Utírieste: Darkness of Night" THEME


    T.A. 1


    Lorinand (Lothlórien)




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    Sur sighed of relief and smiled, she had certainly shared a
    lot with someone she knew so little of to begin with. It wasn’t like her, to
    speak of her personal pains or what she saw in the heart of others. She had
    done this perhaps, because she wanted to demonstrate she could be trusted and
    knew what she was talking about. An approach that was apparently successful,
    since the stranger had introduced herself and <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Sur[/b] was glad. Her hand, eased now from her earlier tension, loosened its grip
    on the necklace she held.




    A pleasure to meet you then Lhantien Di'maluin” she replied, “you and I both my friend. I know not how long I’ve
    been here, and wonder just how much that’s been since those of the shores have
    seen my face



    Sur listened as Lhantien
    spoke of vengeance and she shook her head a little. “
    Spilled blood can never
    bring back those we love, but this you must already know…” she answered, feeling almost
    obligated to say so, but the tone of her voice changed quickly, “
    I do however…
    admit, that one cannot be at peace without justice. I would have the Dark Lord raised
    from his fallen state again, just to have him die at my hands. For those who
    have committed crimes of death, deserve to meet their end at the blade of those
    they’ve aggrieved



    She listened attentively as Lhantien discussed her plans to leave and fulfill her vendetta when she was
    fully strengthened. “
    I-I will leave also, I have mended all I could at the
    hands of my caretakers. The elves of Lorinand cannot do for me what time will,
    stitch shut the gap in my soul. I do not wish to return home, but I have no
    purpose elsewhere. The splendor of the sea
    will be dwindled to a grey puddle, and the feeling of sand beneath my feet,
    coarse and unpleasant. I would come back, to nothing and no one, without the joy I once had for the shore. No heart or
    blood wait for me in the west, I cannot leave to a place that holds nothing I
    wish. Blessed or not..."
    The elleth turned her head to the peeking sky above the glade where both stood, waiting for an answer perhaps to come in thought or miracle.
























    Edited by: Sur Vanar Utírieste







  28. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night"

    T.A. 1

    Lorinand (Lothlorien)
    (Open RP)





    Lhantien Di'maluin


    Lhantien did not return Sur's smile. She did not feel like smiling. She doubted she ever would. There wasn't much left in the world as she knew it to smile about. "Those shores have never seen my face," Lhantien told the other elleth. "I was born of this land, the Lorinand, but Fangorn is what I used to call home. An unusual home for an elf, perhaps, but the world was shrouded in such gloom as the Darkness of Night. Still the sun does not shine for me. It is night in my heart, and when I sleep I am plagued by the evils of the dark."

    She said the words without emotion, simply stating facts. But when spilling blood became the topic of conversation, her brow tightened and her voice grew thick with anger. "Spilling blood may not bring back those I loved but I will still seek it, if unto my death. I have spilled much blood in vengeance but it is not enough. Those I have slain were little more than a scouting party. I seek to spill the blood of the one that sent them! The Dark Lord is gone now, but there remains one at least that still carries out his bidding. I must learn who it is, and vanquish him!" Her voice had risen steadily with energy but now dropped back nearly to a whisper.

    "I will leave these naive wood-elves to their business and attend to my own. No other action will bring me any peace, and if -- once my task is complete -- I still can find no peace, then I will cast myself into the river and let the darkness claim me, as it claimed my loved ones. I go alone in this dark path... unless... We seek the same thing. Them that killed your brother are likely dead already, killed by our kindred. But them that killed my mother and my sisters, they still live. They must surely have been doing the Dark Lord's bidding. I seek them, and you may join me. I had planned to go alone, but your mission is not unlike mine, and together we may stand stronger than we might alone."

    She drew herself up straight and held both her hands up slightly. "I can offer nothing else to ease your burden than I can to ease my own burden. But I would welcome the company of one whose heart matches mine, beat for bleeding beat."

    OOC - (We'll need to have a scene of preparation before they depart, in which Ethuil approaches and tries to dissuade them from going, and then as they leave she shows up determined to go with them.)




    Edited by: Mar Fireblade Mordagnir

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    "Sur Vanar Utírieste: Darkness of Night" THEME


    T.A. 1


    Lorinand (Lothlórien)






    Sur continued to look up at peeking sky, reflecting on the words of Lhantien Di'maluin. She didn't mind her smile not being returned, or the elleth's anger. I mean, who could blame her? If Sur knew the one responsible for her brother's death was alive, she would not be much different. What helped her pull the corners of her lips back, was perhaps, that she had done so for thousands of years now. For she had learned long ago, to do so, despite the most painful experiences. Something, that even with the loss of her brother, couldn't go away.


    She looked again to Lhantien, and thought about her offer, and a small chill came over her, Sur could almost hear her brother telling her - don't. But the hole at her center wasn't going away, and she felt no obligation to listen him. And as if he were present, she shouted in her head - I can do as I please! He hadn't kept his promise, what made him think he could tell her what to do now? He didn't know what it was like, to be the one grieving. In fact, he would probably have done the same thing!


    Sur dignified her actions with these thoughts and took a deep breath, she looked Lhantien straight in the eyes and gave a firm nod. A gesture - I'm in.


    "I accept" she said at last, "my blade Cáen is here with me, I did not expect to find it with my belongings. My tenants may have known, I would not return immediately. Just tell me what I must do.."

    OOC@Mar: (Sure, you just post - I'll go along )















    Edited by: Sur Vanar Utírieste

  30. Almarëa Mordollwen's Avatar
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    #30
    The Pursuit


    T.A. 23.
    Lairë (
    “Summer,” Quenya)

    Nimlos
    led him through the devastation that was Aigronding's chambers and Rilien's heart sank with every damaged article, smashed artefact, and heap of broken glass that he saw. She had left ... or ... he didn't want to think about the alternative, but whatever she had done, had devastated Aig. And he was hours, if not days, too late. Rilien wondered how much Allie had told him, if anything - but more urgently, he wanted to know what exactly she had done - Allie's words were not currently a very good prediction of her actions - and even if they were, the little sheet of paper tucked securely into his pocket was far, far too ambiguous.The wolfhound halted just outside Aigronding's room; the door lay in a twisted, shattered, heap, and Aigronding himself was slumped on the floor holding a picture frame - Rilien didn't have to see it to guess whose image it was. Aig was ... a mess, to put it mildly, but Rilien paid little attention to his friend's appearance; he had much more pressing thoughts on his mind. He ignored Aig's initial, caustic, greeting - their friendship had been strained for some time, and they had not spoken much. Rilien had moved to Lindon for his own reasons, and had thought little of Aig's attempts to convince him to say.

    All of that, however, was utterly immaterial at the moment as far as the golden-haired ellon was concerned. "No, I'm not here to stay, and I'm not here to visit. I'm here to find Allie." There was a tense urgency behind the words, and Ril watched Aigronding carefully. The man seemed lost in thought, eyes gazing at something or someone who existed only in his own mind. "But why can't I have the both of you?" Had Allie's... temporary departure, as Ril would persistently refer to it until presented with firm evidence otherwise ... truly unhinged Aig? His laughter was unnatural and harsh. The ellon rose, shakily; clutched at Ril's shirt, yelling at him - before his grief finally overwhelmed him.Rilien swallowed, hard. "That's what I came to ask you." Aigronding's words had confirmed one thing that Rilien had already known - or strongly suspected - Almarëa had come back to the valley. At least, then, she had made it from Lindon without incident. "How long ago did she leave? What did she say to you?" Aig had said something about Almarëa claiming she wouldn't leave; Ril didn't understand. Had she told Aig that she would stay and then changed her mind? Or had she simply purposefully deceived Aig the way she had deceived him, in order to ensure that neither of them would be able to stop her from whatever she was about to do? The golden-haired elleth frowned; wondering how much he could - or should, rather - explain to Aig. "She left Lindon in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago. I tried to track her but she left no traces. A bit of luck or providence and some guesswork brought me here. I need to find her."

    There was no hesitation in Ril's voice concerning that final statement - he had to find Allie, and he would if he had to search the entire continent for her. Granted, she was probably going to make that somewhat difficult - if her departure from Lindon was anything to go by - but he *would* find her. There wasn't another option in the golden-haired ellon's mind. Aigronding, once he had calmed down, would undoubtedly have yet more questions - aka, just *why* Allie had left Lindon so suddenly - and Ril would have to answer or dodge them as best he might, without betraying her. It would be her choice, and hers alone, to speak with anyone else of what had transpired. Right now, Ril was far more concerned about finding the distraught elleth and bringing her back home where she belonged, where they could help her - and details would have to come later. But in order to have any hope of finding her, he needed answers from Aig. "What exactly did she tell you?"
    Last edited by Almarëa Mordollwen; 03/Jan/2015 at 10:57 PM.





  31. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night"

    T.A. 1

    Lorinand (Lothlorien)
    (Open RP)





    Lhantien Di'maluin


    Lhantien did not smile here either. What was there to smile about? They were resigning themselves on what may prove a hopeless task, one that could very well be the death of them. But it was the task they had chosen and for her part she would follow it through to the end. Whatever end that turned out to be. "Then we should go our separate ways here and prepare to depart. I feel no need to remain here any longer. These tranquil woods do not touch my heart and only serve as a reminder of what I've lost. We shall meet here in... one hour. And then we will go. No point in telling these Lorinand elves what we intend to do. They would, no doubt, try to stop us."

    She inclined her head in a brief farewell and turned away. She moved straight back to her lonesome chamber where she shed herself of the fancy gown she'd been given to wear. Instead of it she donned her worn but repaired clothes -- the same clothes she'd worn to the Last Alliance, the same clothes she had wore from Fangorn to Lorinand. She had repaired them on her own, demanding that the Lorinand elves give the clothes to her. Perhaps somehow she had, in her heart, known she would run away and wanted to be prepared. Her cape and armor she had also demanded for, and they were all in much better condition than when she had arrived at Lorinand.

    Lastly she clasped her dual elven rapiers around her waist, one on each hip, and was more or less ready. Just food, she needed. She grabbed a flask of miruvor and a waterskin. She packed these into a cloth sack that had stored her old clothing, and then put the cakes of lembas -- wrapped in large green leaves -- that had been brought with her meal into the sack. The berries she left -- they would not survive a day's travel -- but the cheese she wrapped in a napkin and added to the top of her sack. Then she descended from the great tree and made her way back to the clearing, hoping that Sur Vanar would be there already, prepared to leave...



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    "Sur Vanar Utírieste: Darkness of Night" THEME


    T.A. 1


    Lorinand (Lothlórien)





    Sur nodded her head at Lhantien's words, "I agree, we best leave before they notice" she said, turning with Lhantien's signal to her own direction... The elleth lifted the sides of her amber gown with her hands and ran to the tree she had been staying in, still holding on to the pearl-seashell necklace. Once there, she scrambled to get her things and make ready. Slipping off the gown and slippers for other clothing she had piled together in a corner. As she changed, Sur looked over her shoulders constantly for a sign of her caretakers, but they were not visible. Perhaps she had gained their trust enough to not be spied on, or maybe they wanted her to believe that. She thought it best she hurry either way.

    The clothing was a mixture of that which her manor residents had brought for her when they forcefully transported her here, and those which were so graciously given by Silvan here. She slipped on the thickest fabrics available, a light-blue tunic of sturdy cloth, grey leggings and boots, over that, pieces of detail sculpted armor and leather covering. Her father Surindol, had never wanted to her to fight, he only taught her to wield a blade for the sake of her defending herself when a male of the family wasn't there to do it for her. Gifting her the blade of her grandfather Unwë when she had learned well. But Sur never saw battle, he didn't permit it, and the same restrictions were placed around her by her brother Sul in the centuries that followed.

    But Sur had a way of sneaking past the borders of her station in life, and purchased some protective gear when settled in the manor her brother had established for them. This she kept in the wardrobe of her chambers, where her brother could never find them. She was surprised to see it here when she awoke in Lorinand. Her tenants must have searched every inch of her bedroom for things they should pack for her.

    They were quite fortunate she would not be returning, otherwise, Sur would have kicked them all out for having interfered in her business. But it didn't matter now. the elleth strapped on the sheath with her Falathrim blade, and she tucked away a dagger in a smaller sheath on her belt, above her backside. She didn't want to eat, not feeling hungry at all, but knew she would need to stay strong and packed whatever food and drink she could find closest to her, especially water. Then Sur did something she never did, she took a hand to her tied hair and removed that which kept it bound upwards. Her dark brown fluff descended past her shoulders, and she reached for a dark blue cloak and tied it around.

    She pulled the hood over her head and took a deep breath, wiping the smile off her face. Then in one swift motion, the elleth tore apart the necklace. The pearls and shells shattered and rolled on the platform, and she hardened her brow and her heart. Sur rushed down from her platform, and ran again to the glade, without looking back.
















    Edited by: Sur Vanar Utírieste

  33. Aerlinn Mordagnir's Avatar
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    #33



    (Private)
    __________________________________________
    Years of the Trees, F.A. 4994ValinorFound

    This was probably a bad idea, Nemir reflected. This was the girl who took off at the crack of dawn to pick flowers half a league away and who regularly found herself stuck on top of boulders, and sometimes falling down them. She didn't need yet another way to get into trouble, which meant she certainly did not need a pony. And yet...here Nemir was, fatherly reservations and all, making his way through a vast set of stables in search of the perfect animal. When would he ever learn?
    There was no lack of beautiful horses as Nemir strolled through the airy walkways, but none of them were striking him in quite the right way. He wasn't really looking for 'majestic', or 'noble'. He was just looking for...well, a friend, he supposed. Not that that kept him from occasionally stopping to admire some beautiful stallion and offering up a hand to sniff at. What was the use of being here if he didn't allow himself the odd distraction. Or two. Or dozen.
    Then, just as he was in the middle of such a distraction, gently stroking the head of a tall, proud strawberry roan, a quiet nicker caught his attention. Nemir turned sideways towards the sound and was greeted by a face full of short grey fur and a wet nose. "Aye!" he cried startled, and drew back a step. Big, wide, black eyes looked back at him with perfect innocence. Now where had he seen that expression before?
    Nemir tilted his head speculatively. "Hello there," he spoke in way of apology, "do you mind?" and he stepped into the pony's stall. Upon taking a closer look he saw that the little mare was still young: full grown, but just this side of being a colt. She acted as such too, butting her head against his chest repeatedly. "Oh quit that," Nemir protested, but he absentmindely rubbed at the animal's ears anyways. She was a sturdy thing, built more for distance than for speed. And beautiful, though in a different manner than the lordly mounts he had been so enthralled by earlier. Her coat was a hundred different shades of grey and white, and her main and tail were black. The former fell forwards a ways between her ears, nearly covering her eyes. "You belong to the mountains, don't you?"
    There was a small puff of dust as the pony stomped her foot and nickered again. Nemir laughed and brought his hands back up from where they had fallen to his sides. "You're not going to let me ignore you, are you? Well I suppose..." he trailed off a moment, considering, and tapped his fingers lightly on the horse's neck. "How do you feel about elflings?" Nemir finally asked the young animal with a grin, his own decision already made. In response, that now familiar wet nose nearly found it's way into his eye.
    Good enough.





    Edited by: Aerlinn Mordagnir







  34. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night THEME"

    T.A. 1

    Lorinand (Lothlorien)
    (Open RP)





    Lhantien Di'maluin


    When Lhantien returned to the glade she saw Sur Vanar rushing across it from the other direction. It seemed they both required no more time than the other to collect their meager belongings. The other elleth's hair was unbound -- Lhantien could see glimpses of it under her hood. Lhantien's own hair she seldom kept bound; even now it flowed freely over her shoulders, cascading down til its tips reached their length several inches below her waist. She inclined her head at Sur Vanar. "Then we leave." There was no need to elaborate on that statement. They both had chosen the path to take. They both had gathered what little they had. There was no looking back now.

    Lhantien considered the options (aka: I need to get a hold of Aig before we actually
    leave Lorien). Where ought they go? Lhantien knew little of what lay outside the borders of Fangorn. She knew of Mirkwood to the north and east, and of ancient Khazad-dum to the west in the Misty Mountains. There was Gondor, of course, in the far south-east, but it lay very close to that dark land from whence many of her nightmares arose. She knew of little else.

    She ought to have considered faster, for as she stood in thought, with Sur Vanar waiting beside her, she heard a voice from behind. This voice she knew well, but wished she didn't. Turning she found the elleth Ethuil moving towards them. What surprised Lhantien most, however, was the traveling garments the elleth wore, the elegant bow strapped across her back, and the sack that Lhantien could only presume contained stuff one took on all journeys: food, medicinal items, etc.


    "Where go you? Have not these lands been a peacefulness to your minds? Why do you seek to leave this shelter, for the vast unknowns, before either of you are fully healed?" Ethuil asked, but as Lhantien always felt when she spoke with the elleth, it was as if Ethuil already knew the answers to the questions she asked.

    "I could well ask much the same of you," Lhantien replied coldly. "You do not appear to be taking a stroll. Why have you followed us here?"

    Ethuil bowed her head and Lhantien was surprised to see traces of shame in her eyes when she lifted her head again. "When I guided you here I did not anticipate that together you two would conspire against me and my kindred. I had hoped that in your sorrow you might recover together. Pain wants the company of none other but more pain. And yet instead I find that you plan to escape and seek what? More pain? To relive your sorrows?"

    "If that is how you feel, why do you come dressed as this?" Lhantien asked.

    "I come like this because I was instructed by my Lord Amroth to guard you both. This I cannot do from afar. And so I will go with you. I shall travel at your side if you will allow me, or shadow you from behind if not." She looked keenly at Sur Vanar and asked, "You came here with more than you have now at your leaving. Is this truly the path you wish to follow? Do not speak," she said sharply to Lhantien, shooting the elleth with a piercing look. "She must speak for herself, unhindered. If it is truly her wish to follow you on this mad quest, then I shall not stop her. Much as I would not -- and could not -- stop you." She returned her gaze to Sur Vanar. "What say you?"




    Edited by: Mar Fireblade Mordagnir

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    "Sur Vanar Utírieste: Darkness of Night" THEME 2


    T.A. 1


    Lorinand (Lothlórien)



    Sur bowed her head briefly when she came to Lhantiens side. They were ready now, ready, for what they were determined to do - or fall in the attempt. As a voice entered the glade with them, followed by a face. Sur looked to Lhantien, as to what they should do now, but she watched only as both exchanged words. She raised an eyebrow pointedly when Ethuil told her companion to hold her tongue, and when addressed, Sur replied.

    "
    Maiden" she said assertively, "I cannot speak for the one beside me, and would never. And I say to you that the decision I have made, I have done so from my own independent will. The one I exercise at this moment, choosing to follow Lhantien to the goal we have agreed. For I was brought to your realm by force of others, my own kin, who so treacherously meddled in my circumstances. Truth be told, I am neither thankful to them, to you, or to your king, who is not my lord, for what has been done to me. I am no different now, than when I first plunged into grief. I am eating, yes, but you have only prolonged the desire you cannot take from me. Do not speak to me as if I were a subject to the one I leave with, she has no more influence over me, than I over her. Do not speak to me as if I were a child, reckless and ignorant, unaware of the amount that I carry with me. I have lived longer than you, if not close to your years. Do what you wish, but so will I..."

    Sur
    turned
    Lhantien once more from the base of her neck, "whenever you are ready elleth" she said.














    Edited by: Sur Vanar Utírieste









  36. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night" - THEME

    T.A. 1 (roughly a month after the Last Alliance)

    Lorinand (Lothlorien)
    (Open RP)





    Lhantien Di'maluin


    Lhantien felt an angry flush rise in her at Ethuil's words, and she was quite pleased when Sur Vanar replied to the other elleth with force and determination. She saw Ethuil flinch slightly, and was glad of it. "Come, Sur Vanar. Let us go."

    Ethuil felt the words of Sur Vanar slap against her. It is true, she knew, she was much younger than Sur Vanar, though older than Lhantien by several hundred years, but she knew in her heart of hearts that she was the wiser of the two. She knew things neither of them knew... she'd been shown things that only a select few had ever seen. Looked into mirrors that went beyond the present time and place. And they showed many things...

    "If you both are going, you will need a guide. Lhantien, whether you want to admit it or not, you lived a sheltered existence in the Forest of Fangorn. You have scarcely seen the outside world and do not know its paths. Sur Vanar, you come from the West where you make the harbor your safe haven, and while you may have at some time come here, it has been some time. The world changes. Here faster than elsewhere, perhaps, being so close to Doom. I say again, you will need a guide. I will be that guide. I know paths forgotten and obscure, secret safe paths that my people laid down generations upon generations ago when my people first populated these lands in 1115 of the Years of the Trees, before the First Age, when my people the Teleri came to the River Anduin and took residence in the vales both in Greenwood the Great and here in Lorinand." Without a further word she turned and started west.

    Lhantien frowned slightly and, knowing that Ethuil's words rang true, didn't press the issue. She couldn't resist asking sharply,
    "Where are you leading us?"

    "West. The orcs you encountered in the Forest of Fangorn are most likely not those of Doom but rather those of the Misties, the mountains you will see west that stretch their arms north and south. The Longbeards who inhabit the carved halls of Khazad-dum are your best bet and finding those you seek. They are often besieged by orckind from the north. Orcs like the dark -- it is during the night that they prefer to travel. Indeed, they often will not step out of the shadows into the daylight, even if it means their quarry escapes. So we shall travel west to the border of Lorinand where we shall find a tributary of the River Anduin and follow it to Khazad-dum. It is an ancient place, founded in the First Age by Durin the Deathless. He discovered the system of caves under the mountains and shaped them into his kingdom. The River Anduin has tributaries and the one we shall follow we named the Celebrant and it flows into the Mirrormere which the Dwarves name the Kheled-zaram, in the Nanduhirion, the valley that the Dwarves call the Azanulbizar. It is there that we shall find the East-doors leading into Khazad-dum."

    It was a lengthy description, one that surprised Lhantien. She'd had no idea that Ethuil knew so much. She'd always thought the elves of Lorinand to be as secluded in their forest as she'd been in Fangorn. She looked at Sur Vanar and shrugged, then followed their "guide". "Who leads the Longbeards?" She had seen many dwarves at the Last Alliance but knew nothing more of them.

    "The leader of the Longbeards at this time is Durin IV. He wields one of the Seven Rings of Power given to
    the Dwarves: it is called the Ring of Durin, for it was given to Durin
    III and in his line it shall pass. Durin IV led many of his people into battle at Doom but has since returned to his halls, where he has many troubles of his own to face. Less than a month has passed since the fight at Doom ended and while the Longbeards have been in seclusion for a long time, we may yet catch them before they close their gates once again. I have seen that their gates are still open... even so, we will have to travel fast. We must reach the gates within the next few days or miss our chance altogether." She looked back at them as she walked. "It is some 20 leagues distant, the Mirrormere. If we travel fast and do not stop often we can reach it in the late hours of evening tomorrow, or the morning of the day after. And by fast I mean we run and do not stop running unless we can't take another step." She looked back again and said, "Enough talk. Run or stay behind!" And she took off running through the woodland with graceful speed. Lhantien followed at the pace that had been set, knowing that Sur Vanar would follow also.

    OOC @ Sur - (Between Aig's knowledge of history and my knowledge of the geography from The Atlas of Middle-Earth I am trying to piece together a path and timeline that fits what little we know about this time in history. Let me know if its confusing or anything. )






    Edited by: Mar Fireblade Mordagnir

  37. Asha'bellanar's Avatar
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    #37











    "Sur Vanar Utírieste: Darkness of Night" THEME 2


    T.A. 1 (roughly a month after the Last Alliance)


    Lorinand (Lothlórien)



    Sur had never spoken to anybody, for any reason, the way she did to Ethuil. Then again, she wasn't Sur anymore. The sea-loving maiden was gone, now all that was left was a body with breath. Dead inside. A hollow shell, in which the wind echoed an empty song. Lifeless.

    She had only taken a step behind Lhantien before Ethuil addressed them again, now stern with both of them. The Silvan gave the reasons why she had to lead them, why she must. Sur took a deep breath when the woodland elleth finished speaking. Not happy.

    It was fact, Sur was eldest of the three, but most of her life had been spent by a shore, however the world had changed. Never beyond the edge of the ocean had she ventured, at least not literally. Any knowledge of Endor was attained by means of songs, tales, and writings. She would never admit Ethuil was right, but Sur was cornered. Perhaps the maiden knew this, judging by way she began to walk, knowing they would follow.

    When Lhantien asked as to where they were being lead, Sur nodded, for she wondered too. Ethuil went on to give an exceptionally detailed answer. Her tawny eyebrows rose, she was thrown back by the Silvan elf's wisdom. It was certainly unforeseen. Sur returned Lhantien's shrug with one of her own.

    With the subject of dwarves, Sur felt a little less ignorant, but not by much. Ered Luin had its share, not many, but those who remained there were seen every now and again by those in the haven. It probably didn't count, but Sur had at least seen something she had heard about. Ethuil ended the Q&amp;A, and told them of the distance they had to travel, and the manner in which.

    Kicking her legs in the sea since she could walk, and strong again, Sur saw the leagues ahead as no challenge to her. Behind
    Lhantien, Sur ran.


    OOC@Mar: (Not confusing at all I actually own the Atlas and was looking into it too )














    Edited by: Sur Vanar Utírieste





  38. _____________________________________________ _________


    Eriador and the Doctor<str&#111;ng style="color: rgb0, 0, 255; ">[*Private with Almarëa, my Rose *g*<str&#111;ng style="color: rgb0, 0, 255; ">][/b][/b]__________________________________________________ _____
    A NOTE TO YOU, CONSTANT READER :
    The following short-story of mine and Almarëa's iscompletelyfictionaland for the purposes of theDoctor WhoEriador Halloween only.
    The Year 2863
    Rangol, Andromeda
    Rose, your bow ! Defend yoruself !TheDoctorpleaded frantically withRosethough the sharpness of his tone and the strength of his yell made the begging exclamation seem more like a command ; certainly Rose hadn't believed she would use her archery skills, which had been taught to her, to slay her friends. TheDoctordodged a spear aimed to skewer him from behind ; an arrowhead whistled by his ear, embedding itself in the trunk of a nearby hardwood tree. He whirled, stony-faced. I'm so, so sorry.The screwdriver's sonic blast shattered the branches of several trees ; the broken boughs fell atop the screaming natives that Rose hadn't shot dead, killing some of the tribesmen and dropping the remaining warriors unconscious. Get inside,theDoctororderedRosethis time sharply ; she was standing on the threshold of theTARDIS, staring at the broken and pierced corpses and still comatose forms of thepeople who had been their friends. Roseknew better than to hesitate hearing that icy tone of his and swiftly ran deeper inside the box. TheDoctorflung the doors shut behind him and ran to theTARDIS. TheDoctor, refusing himself to look at the woman he loved, could feel the heat ofRose's repulsion emanating from the young and beautiful blonde, blue-eyed girl. You can sympathize with me, bawling, (and I assure you that I'll be sobbing as well) or even yell as soon as I get out of here, understand ?he asked her, tearing off his brown longcoat thatJanis Joplinhad gifted him ; he cast it aside and strode to the controlboard. He tried not to glance her way still ; theDoctorhated times like these when he appeared so cold and cruel. TheDoctorwas in love withRosebut that never stopped him from doing what he had to, even if it meant sacrificing others, to save their lives.
    They're all dead,Rose; they're all going to die,theDoctorreiterated for the umpteenth time since they both discovered the truth,and we'll perish alongside them if we don't get away from this planet. If we don't leave this galaxy, period.TheDoctor's eyes flicked, examining the mechanisms he needed to use, and beads of sweat descended his cheek with rolling slowness as with lightning swiftness his hands tapped veridian controls, pulled these long levers, jabbed those two small blue buttons, twisted large bright red knobs. From within the safe confines of theTARDIS, he - and undoubtedlyRose- could hear the wails of hundreds of dying Rangolthen Andromedans in the local village ; theDoctorwept.TheAnabis, a galaxy-spanning consciousness, was a malevolent and starving organism, the only one of its kind left in the universe ; the Time Lords had eradicated their kind star by star eons before the Doctor was born but they had missed one.Anabii, essentially space-roaming Will-o-the-Wisps, feed off the death of living sentient organisms, moving from galaxy to galaxy destroying world populations to remains alive by the absorption of a race's life energy.
    TheDoctorhad been terrified as a little boy hearing stories of these terrifying creatures from his father ; theDoctorhad divulged the harrowing knowledge of these evil entities to would-be famous Canadian-born sci-fi writer A.E. van Gogt and so it was from the time traveler of long-dead Gallifrey that the author would develop his own hair-raising tale of anAnabiscalledThe Voyage of the Space Beaglein 1950 - Elred Elton van Gogt would become regarded as one of the most popular and complex science-fiction heavy-weights of the mid-twentieth century : the Golden Age of the genre.
    Whoosh, whoosh whoosh. The horrific, chilling screams of the dying subsided, receded quickly now that theDoctorandRosewere in hyperspace, fleeing from the fall of Rangol Andromeda at the speed of light. The two of them were safe but a community of innocent souls were being devoured by a gluttonous, scintillating spectral monster. He nervously looked away from her. It wasn't like I decided that your life was worth the death of hundreds,Rose,theDoctortried to explain hoarsely, hunched over the control board.It wasn't that the needs of one -notRosebuthimself; theDoctorwas parched earth without her -was more important than the rustic lives of a remote, barbaric tribe in the backwater of the Andromeda Galaxy. Hea dmitted hesitantly for the umpteenth time (he took pride in his abilities to solve any enigma ; knowing that he couldn't defeat a foe didn't become easier to discuss no matter how much he spoke of the failing and he hated feeling inept in her presence),I didn't know what to do,Rose.
    I never studied how to fight and beat that kind of fiend. Among the Time Lords only the Lord President -Rassilon- and his Advisors, and...a powerful colleague of mine named theMasterpossessed that archaic knowledge and that secret has died with them. I've never even encountered anAnabisin all my life,Rose, so I haven't ever been able to find a way to kill it ; there's a possibility that the plan to destroy theAnabiscould have been so convoluted that I wouldn't have any resource to destroy the being while we were on the planet even if I could have discovered a way. TheTARDISis bigger on the inside, yes, and is quite capable of ferrying people from Point A to Point B but,Rose, you know the time machine doesn't have room for hundreds of people. Some of our erstwhile friends were going to kill us if we didn't agree to take their tribe with us ; what was I supposed to do ? Let them murder us ? And theAnabiscouldn't leech our soul's essence from inside theTARDIS; unknowing of how to slay the beast and aware that the villagers wanted to make us pay for our 'betrayal', I had to get us back where'd we be safe.He forced himself to gaze onRose's tearstained face ; he embraced her and pressed his lips againstRose's golden hair, closing his dark eyes.
    *
    Six hours later
    He hadn't made a blind jump ; the Doctor never did something that dangerous. Roseand theDoctorwere journeying back in time and far away. The Milky Way, Earth ; he wanted to takeRosesomewhere that was familiar. They were okay, they were always fine no matter what happened, butRosewanted some time alone. A few hours is enough,theDoctordecisively concluded as he walked through a green-gold corridor that led towardsRose's chamber ; theTARDISwas their home and in the big houseMiss Tylerhad her own room, of course. With hands in his deep pockets, theDoctorstared at the shining floor of the passageway, slightly fearful thatRosemight tell him she wasn't ready to talk yet. He was a lonely angel and wanted comfort though, neededRose's soft arms gently wrapping him, he wanted her near presence and easy loving smile to stop the hurt.
    A smile flickered on his lips, thinking ofRose; it was a big ship but there was only the two of them onboard, only the two of them to depend on each other across the stars. Trust had been forged, a close friendship neither had ever the pleasure to experience with anyone else. Facing tribulation and being alone together had strengthened the affinity theDoctorandRosehad for each other. And deepened the romantic yearning he had for her and she for him. Raking his unruly dark-brown hair with his fingertips, theDoctorsighed ; they cherished their friendship so much he believed they were both too scared to jeopardize it by embracing to their passionate need for each other.Is that really a bad thing though,he thought, perhaps it's better like this.
    If we failed as a couple and that ruined our friendship, that would devastate the both of us. I'd rather have her companionship. He came to the threshold of her chamber and leaned against the doorway with a boyish smile at Rose ; she was laying upon her bed reading..... The Two Towers,the Doctor spoke excitedly, venturing into her room now. He took a seat at her desk, turning it so the back was facing Rose and sat. He just remembered now that she boughtThe Lord of the Ringsat a bookshop when he had landed the TARDIS in the seventies recently. You know it wasn't just Tolkien's creative belief that the story and its accompanying tales were novels and lore of Earth's prehistory.I know, because I was there many times. Middle-earth, for all its Ages. He winked at her. We're on course to Earth...the year 1813 ; we were going to visit Virginia and have supper at Monticello, the manse of my friend Thomas Jefferson, but if you like to see Middle-earth.... I think I can be persuaded to alter our destination.....










    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

  39. Almarëa Mordollwen's Avatar
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    #39


    Rose Tyler
    The Year 2863Rangol, Andromeda
    Roseducked, throwing herself flat against the ground as a volley of arrows flew over her head. The Doctorwas yelling at her to defend herself, his words a sharp, stinging command that Rosenonetheless completely ignored,and she looked at him askance as he blasted several trees with his sonic screwdriver, trapping the people under the branches. "You're killing them!"She stared at the bodies, some pierced with her own arrows, others crushed beneath the branches, others injured and comatose but still alive. She had tried, initially, to defend herself, but had quickly become overcome with revulsion for what she was doing and had refused to continue fighting. The Doctorordered her inside and she ran into the TARDIS, turning away from the Time Lord and refusing to meet his eyes. "We shouldn't be goinganywhere - we should be helping them!" Seemingly completely insensible to the cries of the injured and dying outside, the Doctor flipped levers, pushed buttons, sending the TARDIS flying through hyperspace at the speed of light. "Why. are. you. leaving."She glared at him, tears pricking at the corners of her eyes.She didn't want to think about it, but the only explanation she had come up with was that they had left because the Doctor wanted to save her - and Rose couldn't bear the thought that her life was more important than the lives of the Rangolthen.
    He tried, hesitantly, tentatively, to explain, but Rosewas far too upset to listen. "So we figure out what to do! You're the Doctor, I'm Rose, we've saved people from far more dire situations before, if we don't know what to do we make it up as we go along and we do our best and if we fail, we fail, but we don't turn around and run away and leave an entire population to die! And I know the TARDIS isn't big enough to take the entire tribe, but even if we couldn't defeat the huge, world-devouring monster that's killing everyone and will continue to kill until someone does something about it, we could have saved some of them, at least!"She was yelling now, tears trickling down her face. The Doctorembraced her, pressing his lips to her hair, but she pushed him away. "Bad timing." She whirled and stormed out of the control room, pausing just before she left and sighing, closing her eyes for a moment. "Just let me have some time alone, please?"It was more of a demand than a question, though, and she ran down the corridor to her room and closed the door.
    *** Six hours later ***
    Several hours, a lot of quiet tears, and a nap later, Rosewas lying on her bed, leaning on her elbows, with a certain book in her hands - The Two Towers, by one J.R.R. Tolkien. Rosehad never read the Lord of the Rings before, but had picked up a boxed set a few days before and had whizzed her way through the Fellowship of the Ring before starting on the second book. Fed up of trying to sort through her conflicting emotions concerning the morning's events, she had dived back into the story, more as a way of escape than anything else, although she knew it was foolish to imagine her problems would vanish simply because she was reading a book. But at least for a few hours, she didn't have to think about the utter fiasco that had been their stay on Rangol. To be precise, she was reading about Ents, and their long, slow speech at the Entmoot. She laughed at Merry and Pippin's argument over which was the taller, and was just about to start the next chapter when she was abruptly wrenched out of the story by the one person whom she did *not* want to talk to at the moment. We left them to die. He left them.Rose rolled over and looked at the Doctor steadily. "What part of, 'please let me alone', was unclear?" She sighed, rubbing a hand across her eyes and trying very hard not to start crying again. "We just left an entire planet to its destruction, and you think you're going to cheer me up by taking me on a vacation to somewhere with nice scenery?" Roseknew she was being harsh - too harsh - but she could still hear the dying Rangolthen in her head, and the thought that they could have prevented the destruction of an entire race - and didn't - weighed heavily on her. It wasn't that she didn't want to visit Middle-earth - a very large part of her was absolutely thrilled that it was actually real, and it could actually be visited - but still ... she couldn't forget what had just happened, not yet, not for a very long time, even if the Doctor seemed to be able to.





    Edited by: Almarëa Mordollwen







  40. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night" - THEME

    T.A. 1 (roughly a month after the Last Alliance)

    Lorinand (Lothlorien)
    (Open RP)





    Lhantien Di'maluin


    The miles passed as they made their way along the Celebrant. Lhantien was quiet for most of the way, and Ethuil barely said a word; they had stopped for a drink and a small bite to eat only a few times. The silence did not bother her, however. It gave her time to think. After they had run roughly eight leagues with little rest, it was dark. Finally, Ethuil held up a hand, panting. "We should stop now for the night. Eat then sleep. Though still in the borders of Lorinand, we should take turns keeping watch."

    "I will go first," Lhantien offered. She was exhausted, but knew she would sleep better knowing that she wouldn't have to wake again until the morning.

    Ethuil nodded and looked at Sur Vanar.
    "If you take the second shift, then I will stand the last one. Regardless, we should not waste any time with our eating. Eat quickly and get what sleep you can." She sat right where she was standing and pulled out bread and cheese. She didn't offer any to Sur Vanar or Lhantien, but that didn't bother Lhantien and doubted it would bother Sur Vanar - they all had their own food.

    Lhantien followed her lead and sat down. She pulled out food almost identical to that which Ethuil was now eating, and dug in, starving.

    OOC - (sorry it has taken me so long; I've been a bit overwhelmed in RL and have been running low on inspiration for posting)




    Edited by: Mar Fireblade Mordagnir

  41. Asha'bellanar's Avatar
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    "Sur Vanar Utírieste: Darkness of Night" THEME 2


    T.A. 1 (roughly a month after the Last Alliance)


    Lorinand (Lothlórien)



    OOC - (Oh no worries , I can totally relate to both )

    In silence and concentration, the trio of elf maidens ran an abundance of long miles. Halting briefly to sip fluids and consume a nibble scarcely, testing their endurance no doubt, but enough to keep their bodies going. Without reflection and closed lips, Sur focused on the path ahead alone. Her gray eyes and swimming legs were fixed on the elleth leading them, and she lost track of time in the extensive while that they had dashed beside the river. The dark-brown hair coming down from Sur’s head, bounced with the rhythm of her heart, and her pale face did not wrinkle with a single expression of any conscious process.

    As strong as her limbs held on, a push to the stream joining the Lorinand waterway proved much to take on. Coming to a stop, Sur leaned over, putting her hands on her thighs with labored breathing. Ethuil announced a time to rest and replenish, while still maintaining their guards up that night. Though Sur refused to show she had taken a physical strain, she was relieved to hear so.

    Lhantiel volunteered to keep watch first, it didn't matter to Sur, nothing did. If it weren't for the limitations of her own carcass she would have wanted to keep going. Sur thirsted eagerly for that which she hoped to gratify her, if there was such a possibility. Ethuil then advised she keep a succeeding vigilance, and stressed the lack of time they had to eat. Sur nodded in agreement and plopped on down to seating. Ethuil pulled out her meal without offering, similar to that of Lhantiel's.

    Sur wouldn't have shared anyways; biting into the portions of dried deer meat and bread rolls she had brought with her.













    Edited by: Sur Vanar Utírieste








  42. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night" - THEME

    T.A. 1 early March
    (roughly a month after the Siege of Barad-dur ended, by my reckoning)

    Lorinand (Lothlorien)
    (Closed)





    Lhantien Di'maluin



    Lhantien, knowing that the urgency in Ethuil's
    voice told clearly of the importance that they not waste time, stood
    and walked to the edge of their small encampment upon finishing her
    meal. It had been satisfactory, if a bit dry, but the cheese lent
    flavor to the otherwise bland meal. She ate only little, however.
    Taking first watch meant she could eat more in a bit if needed, but
    after their great exertion she knew it would be folly to eat too much
    too fast. She would let her stomach digest what it had, then, and
    reexamine the matter later.



    Ethuil completed her meal nearly as fast as Lhantien,
    and washed it down with a draught from her elven waterskin. She corked
    that and set it aside, and laid down on the flat ground. It was hard
    but the springy grass gave some cushioning. She rolled her cape and
    tucked it under her head. After lying on her back a spell, she rolled
    onto her back and looked up through the trees of her homeland. She
    could glimpse stars peaking through the branches every so often as the
    great mallorn trees bended and swayed in the gentle breeze, their golden leaves still clinging to them. She regretted that she would not likely be there to witness the arrival of spring, when the golden leaves would fall and be replaced by new green leaves with yellow flowers. No matter the centuries since her birth she never grew tired of the glorious awakening of new life, nor of the golden carpet that stretched the expanse of her homeland. The very thought of missing it caused a pang of sadness, but she knew that what she wanted was of no importance. Her duty was to protect the two wayward elleths from misfortune. She would do it to the best of her ability. With that thought in mind, she allowed herself to slip beyond dreams into the following darkness and welcomed the relief it brought.

    Some time passed, and Lhantien ate more in that period, and finally when it had come to about midnight, she went and bent low over Sur Vanar. She placed a hand on the elleth's shoulder, hoping she had gotten some quality sleep.
    "Oronte, rhui gwathel (Rise, sister of the hunt)." When Sur Vanar had taken her place on watch, Lhantien retired in the same fashion as Ethuil. Their guide's breathing was soft and even -- she was not, Lhantien thought, in the dreamland. She had gone deeper into slumber, anticipating the exertion the next day's travel would require. Lhantien was not overly tired in body, but her heart ached and a dull pounding was in her head. She fell swiftly into a sleep as deep or even deeper than their guide's, trusting to the skills of Sur Vanar and Ethuil to keep them safe until morning.



    OOC@Sur - (Are you fine with me leading the group and you posting in reply? I don't want you to be bored or anything. Let me know if you want more autonomy.
    Also, I tweaked a few things around when I noticed my calculations were
    a bit off. The total distance ought be closer to 20 leagues, and given
    the time they departed and the average speed they were likely to have
    gone at, it seems more logical for them to have traveled only 8 leagues
    in the first day; therefore they didn't quite reach the Nimrodel Furthermore, I've done a lot of study on elves. They do sleep, but don't necessarily require it. They can sleep deeply, or only in a dream-state; Legolas slept with his eyes open, for example, apparently aware of his surroundings. At other times elves have slept much deeper. I figure that, given the emotional drain on Sur Vanar and Lhantien, Ethuil would be mindful that they would require more rest than normal, thus her choosing to stop and genuinely sleep.)









  43. The Doctor
    The Milky Way Galaxy
    Hyperspace
    'Please let me alone' was certainly clear, I got that, theDoctorreasoned, nodding, but smoothly responded with what she surely would deem to be a nerve-wracking smirk,but you didn't tell me exactly that you wanted privacy, you just asked for it. This -the Doctor gestured, indicating his seating by her bedside- is me refusing. She wouldn't carefor his wit but as usual he was trying his best to relieve the tension... and was failing at it but his answer still dreadfully tumbled on despiteRose's displeasure,and I distinctly remember hearing that you wantedsometime to yourself. It's beenhours.He sounded too pleading at the end of that, he had already lost his smile, but he didn't care."We just left an entire planet to its destruction, and you think you're going to cheer me up by taking me on a vacation to somewhere with nice scenery?" she spoke, beautiful blue eyes glistening with tears. He suddenly felt like crying himself, and restrained a sob ; Rose and the Doctor, they were good together, and he'd rather be stabbed through both his hearts than endure her censure. His fingers were talons now, gripping the back of the chair tightly. Yes, he said hoarsely, agonized by Rose's fury. I'm so, so sorry, he swore to her fiercely, closing his eyes ; tears escaped them, slowly coursing down his cheeks now. Reopening them, he reached to touch her flaxen hair.
    I reacted brashly and I've hurt you but I want things to be normal between us again, the Doctor begged her, this sort of tragedy might drive a wedge between uspermanently. I love you ; I can't allow that to happen, he said more to himself than her fearfully, wringing his hands now. So that's precisely what I want, Rose - take you far, far away wherever sounds amazing. And you will like it because you always have ! His voice cracked at the last, tears distorting his sight of her ; things were falling apart for them and he hated it ! The Doctor swept the palm of his hand against his eyes and sniffed. The Doctor took a breath and tried to speak calmly but his passion for her made him stutter several times. You can't forget what happened and never will I, but what can we do ? I can't change what happened. We have to move on and you can give me the chance to win back your respect. His features contorted as he added bitterly : And your love if that's completely destroyed. He arose slowly, anger swelling within now. "Your wish is my command." I told you that once ; do you remember, Rose ? He pointed a forbidding finger now. But not this time, the Doctor warned Rose decisively. The Time Lord loomed over her ; ire replacing the heartache now. Before, you could snap your fingers - the Doctor mimicked as he spoke - and I jumped for you but not today ; this is different. You won't command me not to atone for my mistakes, Rose. You won't ask me to damage our relationship worse by doing nothing. Silence won't heal what's happened, Rose, and no amount of apology, it seems ; we'll see what a change of scenery might do and maybe I can actually earn my way back into your arms..





    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

  44. Asha'bellanar's Avatar
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    "Sur Vanar Utírieste: Darkness of Night" THEME 2


    T.A. 1 Early March


    Lorinand (Lothlórien)



    OOC@Mar - ( Oh I don't mind. I like posting Sur's reactions to what you have us do - not knowing what will happen next, keeps me interested *g* . I'll be sure to edit my previous post accordingly as well. Elves have a high level of endurance from my understanding, and emotional strain makes sense for a cause of deep sleep. I had actually forgotten about the way Legolas slept, thanks for letting me know.)

    After several minutes of masticating on moistness flesh and baked goods, Sur felt satisfied - by her new definition. She had consumed what she needed, no more no less. As the modest mass sat now in her belly, the Falathrim maiden turned now to fluids. Squeezing a black waterskin, Sur allowed a squirt of water to enter her mouth, followed by many more. She put it down repeatedly, attempting to suppress the ravenous urge to drink again. Sur bit her lower lip and drummed her fingers on her thighs, until the necessity became too great, and the waterskin was grabbed once again. With the immense needs of her thirst met, Sur gulped down the last of the liquid in her mouth and gasped for air. She wiped the transparent drops from the corners of her lips and chin, realizing she had actually been more thirsty than hungry. Sur could feel her stomach, and the contents within swishing with every move she made. Good, she'd need it for the next push of their journey. The one she intended to see through, to whatever end. Sur tossed the container back in one of her packs carelessly, she didn't care much for anything anymore. As agreed, Lhantien took her position as the first to keep watch. Without speaking or taking a single glance at their guide, Sur made a modest pillow from some of her sacks and laid down to rest on her chest. She closed her eyes sarcastically, not believing she could ever truly sleep...

    Such notion proved false.

    The next thing she knew, Sur awoke to the voice of her companion and fellow amazon. She nodded in agreement and came up to standing, adjusting the navy cloak that had twisted and wrinkled in her state of slumber. Stretching her arms above her head for a moment, Sur went on to stand and maintain vigilance over them. During this time her mind was both still and wandering. Memories of the life she once had and the one she had abandoned so coldly in her sorrow. Beautiful, heartfelt events - that had lost the weight of significance. Sur felt nothing. Even as cherished flashes of her childhood and late family surfaced, she was unyielding. Instead, her conscious processes turned to those that turned her brow into a frown. The crumbling structures of Eglarest, engulfed in fire in mixed screams... She could almost hear them; her grandparents, father, and mother calling out to her - as they might have in their last moments. Sur hated herself not having been there to aid them, or with her brother for that matter as he was overwhelmed by the enemy. It was almost as if, she was responsible for their deaths, that she had killed them. Sur slapped her own ears and collected her focus again to the place, purpose, and time present.

    Allowing her festering resentment towards the world to take hold once again, she turned her eyes to Ethuil and stepped quietly towards her in the late watches of the night. Sur kicked the Silvan Elf gently as a gesture for her to rise. When their eyes met, she flicked her head bluntly for the last person to stay up and returned to her own corner. Sur came down and reclined on her back, turning her gray eyes to the sky. She wondered, just how the same lights could look so different in another part of the world? And if her brother Sul had seen such marvelous views as he marched to Mordor. Enclosed to the shores the majority of her life, Sur found a new sense of freedom and understanding at the borders of Lorinand. If her heart were not so stone-cold, it might have almost meant something. Pale open hands, curled, and Sur snarled to herself as she drifted into sleep again.



    "Yukôbach: The Feel of Cold Steel" THEME
    Present Day
    South-east of the Wold, Rohan
    (Private with Amaniel Laegiel)

    "Any unarmed people are... subject to slavery at any given moment."
    - Huey Newton


    Her skin was scarred and swarthy, her eyes amber and glowing. Long sharp yellowed teeth, protruding from her mouth, and long raven hair descended down her pointy spine to her bare tattooed feet. Four feet tall, hunchback, no more than ninety pounds in weight. Clad in naught but a scarlet gown and golden chains draping from her neck and dangling from her bony wrists, of exquisite shine and value. For Yukôbach was a cunning minion of the darkness, using her size and speed for her own nefarious purposes. Traveling by night and hiding by day, to various locations around the world - taking what she wanted and eliminating those who got in her way. But jewels and furs had become guarded in the Home of the Horse-Lords, rumors of a thief in red had spread from village to village. Locks, chains, and vicious dogs soon prevented Yukôbach from breaking in and stealing what she could later sell. Furious, she went about slaughtering the steeds in their stalls, lambs of in their fenced areas, and even children who wandered out alone. The hunt for the Murderer of the Westfold began by enraged fathers and weeping mothers, and the chase for Yukôbach forced her north and then east.

    As much as she desired to face her pursuers, she knew better than to do so. Another pair of contributing traits that made up
    Yukôbach - deadly patience and unholy wisdom. Yet her run had bankrupted her, and all that she had attained dishonestly was lost. Dropped as the weight of the precious metals and trinkets that glinted in the sun, were too much to hurry out of her range of the Calvary. But empty-handed, she would not leave. For a flaxen-haired family, journeying out of the borders of their homeland had camped in the Wold, and Yukôbach saw the opportunity of a lifetime. Specifically, the opportunity of one life... As the household slept peacefully and without care, and the fire beside them warmed them deliciously, the scoundrel in a worn crimson dress, crept stealthily to them. Yukôbach unsheathed a radiant cutlass with a short ebony handle, but before she could slaughter the family in silence - a twig of wood snapped under her tawny toenails. Then, the slaughter began. Blood filled the air, and screams made the flames of the campfire jump. All the while Yukôbach snarled, cackled, and licked her dagger.

    Savoring her kills.
























    Edited by: Sur Vanar Utírieste





  45. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night" - THEME

    T.A. 1 early March
    (roughly a month after the Siege of Barad-dur ended, by my reckoning)

    Lorinand (Lothlorien)
    (Closed)





    Lhantien Di'maluin



    Ethuil had not enjoyed being woken with a kick, and she fixed Sur Vanar with a stare as the other elleth moved to retire. As she laid down, Ethuil forced herself up. Without moving from her place of rest, she surveyed their encampment. Quite obviously the night had been peaceful thus far. Lhantien slept peacefully and Sur Vanar... Ethuil tensed when the elleth snarled, but then realized it was a dreamful snarl. As she moved beyond the two sleepers to stand watch, Ethuil gave the other elleth a sympathetic touch on the arm, hoping to calm the painful memories away from her dreams without waking her.

    Then she stood watch. She watched the forest lighten with the early rays of the sun. She marveled as the forest came alive with the arrival of dawn. She watched as foxes danced under the golden canopy; kingfishers chased each other from limb to supporting limb of the Mellyrn (pl of mallorn); there was even a bear out there, though she did not see it -- she sensed its presence and reveled in its waking. Just as she was about to rise to wake her fellow travelers, a white-tailed doe and two very young fawns crept into their camp. Ethuil smiled at the sight. Though it was quite early for the average doe to bear young, she knew the singing of her kindred brought many changes to the patterns of life for the wild animals of the realm. Neither the doe nor her fawns were at all repelled by the elves slumbering on the ground. Ethuil approached them, moving gracefully across the lawn, and pet the doe and her fawns with loving caresses.

    Then she became aware of distant singing and realized they must be near one of the many isolated flets of Lorinand. Either that or a group of elves were traversing the golden forest, as they so often did. To her amazement a single golden leaf detached from its mallorn parent and drifted down. She held out a hand, palm up, and allowed it to come to a rest there. She trailed a finger upon its edge, and then she laughed.

    Lhantien was awoken abruptly to the sound of laughter -- light and joyous laughter. She twisted around and saw Ethuil, who was facing away from her. She was surprised at the sight of a doe and two fawns, but was swiftly becoming cross at the rude awakening. Lhantien rose and strode over to the trail-guide.
    "Pray tell, what do you find so humorous?"

    Ethuil turned and held out the mallorn leaf. Grinning from ear to ear, she exclaimed, "I grieved that I would miss the spring, and yet here it is."

    Lhantien puzzled at her words, and her face must have showed that, for Ethuil kept speaking. "Surely you must know! The golden leaves fall and are replaced by their young counterparts: green leaves with yellow flowers. It is a beautiful event, one that all my kindred cherish and revel in. Can you not hear my brethren singing their glee?" With that she raised her own voice for one sentence of song.

    "Ai! laure lantar lassi surinen,
    Yeni unotime ve ramar aldaron!"

    She let the leaf slip from her fingers and the doe and her fawns pranced from the encampment. Ethuil moved, singing indistinctly under her breath, and started gathering her belongings. Now that the day had come, it was time that they rose and departed. Her heart was light and glad for the early spring. Though she would not be able to enjoy it fully, she was glad that she would not miss it entirely.



  46. Asha'bellanar's Avatar
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    "Sur Vanar Utírieste: Darkness of Night" THEME 2


    T.A. 1 Early March


    Lorinand (Lothlórien)



    Sur's eyes opened, like the swinging of heavy curtains, welcoming the early sunlight. She blinked her eyes to full alertness, but remained on her back. The same position which she had come down to for her slumber. Ethuil's voice had woken her up, not in word of speech, but in song. Jubilantly. Sur slapped her hands to her eyes, rubbing them. Coming up to seating as a doe and her fawns left their modest encampment, and Lhantien standing.

    If she cared, Sur would have asked what had happened.

    She watched as Ethuil, jovially began to collect her things. And with this, Sur mobilized to do the same. She adjusted her cloak once again, shifting the belt around her waist from where her sword hung. Running her fingers through her brown hair quickly and pulling her rich blue hood over. She twisted the thread that tightened her sacks and pulled them up to carry them.

    Sur
    dusted off her leggings swiftly, a motion to unwrinkle them, and looked to the trail-guide. Ready to run or walk, whatever was asked of her and Lhantien.











    Edited by: Sur Vanar Utírieste









  47. __________________________________________________ _______________
    <b style=": rgb255, 255, 255; ">
    [/b]<b style=": rgb255, 255, 255; ">The Forest of the Sea of Rhûn[/b]<b style=": rgb255, 255, 255; ">________________________________________________ _________________[/b]
    <b style=": rgb255, 255, 255; ">
    [/b]<b style=": rgb255, 255, 255; ">The Wayfarer[/b]<br style=": rgb255, 255, 255; "><br style=": rgb255, 255, 255; ">[Private with Almarëa]<br style=": rgb255, 255, 255; "><br style=": rgb255, 255, 255; "><br style=": rgb255, 255, 255; "><br style=": rgb255, 255, 255; "><br style=": rgb255, 255, 255; ">Tuilë. T.A. 1868

    *The fight in the Mountains of Rhûn will be RP'ed in AoA's tenth installment The Wheel of Fire*
    True to his word, Earenolwë had brought Micah and Felicity to Dorwinion so they could be supplied and take boat over river into the wild but Bar-en-Raen did not stay in the land of wine as was intended ;<b style="color: rgb0, 102, 153; ">Earenolwë[/b]wanted his friends and daughter to be removed from this vicinity as swiftly as possible. We'll come back here in a few years, he now promised his companions at camp in the fair woods of the Sea of Rhûn close near its still waters which mirrored the shining light of stars and moon. <b style="color: rgb0, 102, 153; ">Earenolwë[/b]feared a war between the Wainriders and Gondor was fast approaching. Where will we go, Ada ? Yulmanilda asked with her back softly laying against her father's chest ; his strong arms gently held her from behind ; Elfaron was extinguishing the fire and Iella was dozing. Ráka was contentedly devouring the hare she had caught for supper.
    Well, said<b style="color: rgb0, 102, 153; ">Earenolwë[/b], I suppose we can head northwest if anyone wants an adventure. Elfaron blinked : You mean for us to visit Mirkwood ? he asked clearly. <b style="color: rgb0, 102, 153; ">Earenolwë[/b]grinned and although the night was cool, there was a dangerous glint in the Nelyar Elf's shining blue eyes that made the golden-haired healer feel cold. You know how perilous that forest is now, Elfaron insisted, as usual trying to be the voice of Reason within the party. <b style="color: rgb0, 102, 153; ">Earenolwë[/b]chuckled. It's the woods' dreadful hills you should be frightened of most ; that's our destination. Elfaron kneaded his brow with his fingers, feeling a headache coming on. Emyn Duir ? The Dark Mountains ? Yulmanilda asked excitedly knowing that many monsters and giant spiders lived there ; she glanced at her bow leaning against a nearby tree, anxious to slay a hidious vile thing. Elfaron thought she was crazy for entertaining the idea. I researched Mirkwood in Elrond's Archives the last time we dwelt in Rivendell and I read of the nightshade descending on Greenwood the Great years ago ; wicked beasts and cruel spiders began to hunt and lay their snares there, then Silvans began to call the jumble of fir-covered, low-lying hills Emyn-nu-Fuin : The Mountains of Mirkwood.
    Elfaron groaned and buried himself in his sleeping roll, grumbling. Hey ! Yulma launched her foot out to nudge Elfaron. The Silvans could use our talents to purge the mountains of the evil and you can heal wounded warriors ; we can do some good ! And I am half Nandor, you know. Yulma tried to make him understand the benefits of tarrying there and she felt pretty wounded ; Yulma wanted to help save her close kin and did not care for what she felt was Elfaron's cowardice. Iella responded sleepily after a yawn : Killing maleficent creatures is my specialty. And my pleasure. Ráka barked her agreement and Yulma winced as the white wolfhound, eyes glowing eerily yellow in the darkness, sheared the leg bone off the hair with a terribly audible ripping sound. I guess I'm the only one saying "nay" to this mad enterprise ? Elfaron asked glumly, laying on his back to stare into the starlit heavens through the boughs of the trees. Everyone said Aye ! and loosed a gale of laughter. Elfaron smirked - some people never changed - and shook his head, and prayed on the glowing skyborn luminous jewels scattered across the sable night skies hoping the Vala Queen could hear him. Ai ! Elbereth Gilthoniel ! They're all insane ! Elfaron hadn't a clue that in short time to come another lunatic would become a much beloved member of his band of unbalanced friends. She happened to be much less crazier than those he had known for so long - the elleth would become passionate to heal because of him even - but the elf maid was certainly cracked indeed.




    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir





  48. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night" - THEME

    T.A. 1 early March
    (roughly a month after the Siege of Barad-dur ended, by my reckoning)

    Lorinand (Lothlorien)
    (Closed)





    Lhantien Di'maluin



    Lhantien didn't understand the guide's happiness. She scowled, stamping as she moved around, packing her few belongings. She felt, to her displeasure, a swelling of giddiness blossoming in her heart, and she mentally pushed it back down. She wasn't going to be happy. She wasn't going to let their guide's strange ways make her forget her mission and the reason for that mission. An unhappy glance at Sur told her that her companion was equally dismissive of the singing. Sur was packed and ready to go, and Lhantien joined her as they waited for their guide to finish packing. Ethuil continued to sing faintly under her breath as she packed. It seemed to take forever, but it was in fact only a few minutes, and then Ethuil straightened and faced them. "Let us run." Then, without pausing, she sprang forward and out of the encampment, the words of song already back on her lips. Lhantien shrugged and then followed after.

    The pace was hard, but steady. Even so, Lhantien often caught scraps of verse from their guide and she was astonished at how the elleth could keep singing as they ran. Miles passed beneath their feet. They stopped once at noon for a brief half-hour rest to eat, drink, and relieve themselves, before pushing onwards. As they ran, Lhantien thought over and over about the distance and the rate at which they were running. Again and again she made estimations, calculating how far they might run and how long it might take. They did not start their run the day before until close to noon at least, and still they had run roughly eight leagues. Ethuil had said the far end of the Mirrormere and the East-doors of Khazad-dum were some twenty leagues distant. Given that they had started out this morning at a much earlier hour, Lhantien was confident they could run the extra four leagues to end the race that very evening.

    They passed the Nimrodel and then, finally, they found themselves on the edge of the woodland. Lhantien had nearly run into Ethuil, but managed to hold back at the last moment. They gazed out over the land that stretched north and east. The Celebrant River continued north-east, and though she could not see any sign of the Mirrormere, she knew they had to be close. Ethuil pressed them onwards after only a few moments at the edge of the forest. The great trees of Lorinand rose behind them, still visible as they traversed many miles more, and their path eventually steepened as they climbed the roots of the Misty Mountains. However,
    as the sun disappeared behind the far reaches of Lorinand and twilight fell, she began to doubt
    her estimations. How much further must they go? They were high enough now to master the height of the Mallorn trees, and she could see how far the forest stretched so far behind them. And still they had not come to the western shore of the Mirrormere.

    Then, suddenly, they came to a stop once more. The ground, moving steadily up, had come to an abrupt stop and had leveled out again. And there, in the valley before them, was the Mirrormere. It stretched far and Lhantien could not see the far shore, yet the great Misty Mountains rose up on their left, their right, and before them, and she knew that somewhere in the hazy distance that the edge of the lake would be there somewhere. The moon was sharp and lit the path clearly as Ethuil pointed along the south edge of the lake.

    "This is where the Celebrant reaches the Mirrormere, as you can see. So too, this is where we shall depart from it. Now we will follow the path along the south and western shore of the lake, all the way to the East-gate, which lies perhaps a third of the way along the shore. It is late now, but our path goes only a few miles more, and our mission requires much haste. As I have said, I have seen the East-gates. Our distant scouts confirm that the Longbeards show signs of withdrawal. We must reach the East-gate before it is closed, else we shall never gain entrance. The Longbeards are honorable, but they are very stubborn. Once the gate closes, we will be stuck."

    And onwards they ran. The Mirrormere twinkled on their right as they pressed onwards. The valley was mostly flat, but it had just enough slope to keep them moving upwards and the water that fed the Celebrant running downwards. Finally she saw in the gloom beyond a great cliff face, flat and carved with strange runes and images. The Mirrormere continued on past the cliff-face, reaching to some unknown water-source. At the base of the wall, up a grand length of stone steps cut right out of the mountain, were two of the largest gates she had ever seen. In fact, they rivaled the Morannen, the Black Gates leading into Doom. Those gates had been some fifty or sixty feet high, and very wide. The East-gates, she saw, were not as wide as those of the Morannen. They were, however, very high. The runes carved on and around them seemed to shimmer in the moonlight, and she couldn't help but wonder if they were inlaid with mithril, finest of silvers.

    "That is our destination?" she asked, awed.

    Ethuil came to a stop and looked back at Lhantien and Sur Vanar. "Those are indeed the gates. However, we can see from her that, though open, they are heavily guarded. I would rather that we might approach in daylight, for the Longbeards are suspicious by nature. However, our errand might not afford us that. We must go now, before the gates close, and beg refuge."

    Lhantien looked sharply at their guide. "Refuge? Surely they won't believe that. We are elves -- they would expect us to seek refuge in Lorinand. And we aren't seeking refuge anyway."

    Ethuil inclined her head. "What you say is true. However, once the East-gates close, we will in effect be taking refuge within Khazad-dum. We will seek, in truth, audience with the Longbeards' king, but at the cost of taking refuge."

    Lhantien looked at Sur and shrugged. Then they set off once more. The last few miles trickled by. As they reached the great steps leading up to the doors of Khazad-dum, a large number of Longbeards came down, axes in hand. Ethuil halted and stood with her hand free to grab her weapons, and Lhantien mirrored her stance, ready to draw her dual blades at a moment's notice. The Longbeards finally came within earshot, then stopped. In deep, rough voices, the language of the Westron tongue met Lhantien's ears. It was guttural and difficult to understand, but she managed to figure out what they were saying.

    "Why do three elves of parts unknown come to the Dimrill Gates? Speak, and tell us your errand, lest you be slain on these noble steps."

    Ethuil was outwardly calm, but Lhantien could sense her discomfort. "We come, myself and my two companions, to seek counsel with your king, the great Durin the IV. It is on a matter of importance."

    "Name yourself, elf," the Longbeard commanded.

    "I am Ethuil e-Daur of Lorinand, in the service of my Lord Amroth. My companions are Sur Vanar Utirieste of Lindon, and Lhantien Di'maluin, who fought in Doom. We are armed, as you see, but seek no quarrel. We come in peace."

    Silence stretched several moments as the Longbeards conversed in their own harsh tongue, then one broke off and ran up the steps, disappearing into the darkness. The Longbeards made no attempt to initiate further conversation, and Ethuil remained silent, so Lhantien did the same and only looked over at Sur Vanar. It was too dark to read her expression. Finally the Longbeard came scurrying back down and they resumed their guttural conversation. Finally the first of them turned back to the elleths and said, "The Leader of the Guard has decided you may be granted entrance to our halls and if you meet with his approval, he will grant you audience with my King Durin IV." Without a moment's pause, he turned on the spot and ascended the steps. His companions scattered on either side, waiting for the elves to continue upwards. Ethuil began the trek up without hesitation, but Lhantien looked at Sur before following. In their own tongue, she asked of the other elleth, "What do you think of this? We may be entrapped forever in this tomb of stone." She wouldn't say that she was having second thoughts, but she couldn't deny that she was doubtful.











  49. <b style=": rgb251, 251, 253; ">________________________________________________ __________________________[/b]

    __________________________________________________ ________________________
    <i style="color: rgb0, 0, 255; font-family: 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: x-large; ">The Pursuit[/i]


    Better by far you should forget and smileThan that you should remember and be sad-Remember, Christina Rosetti
    T.A. 23. Rivendell, The Last Homely House
    Laire ("Summer," Quenya)

    An Emergency Council Meeting,Valionspoke tonelessly, his face bleak, as he andMerilDuvain("Beautiful Darkness," Sindarin epessë)left the Hall ofLord Elrond,that probably hasn't occurred in thirty-four years.Valion's Sindarin wife replied in that intelligent, matter-of-fact voice he loved so much.Well, youdidwound several people in your anger ; Elves haven't attacked each other since the First Age sonaturallythey'd want to judge how they ought to discipline the perpetrator, don't you think ?Meril<b style="color: rgb0, 102, 153; ">[/b]asked too seriously, sounding almost sarcastic without meaning to.Merilwas a pale statuesque woman ; her white silken raiment had no ornament save a belt of leaves wrought in silver.Duvain's lissome arms and patrician angular face were flawless and smooth, her countenance stern and queenly ;Meril's eyes were gray and star-bright, herlong wealth of shadowy hair was bound in silver lace netted with gems. Older than he and wiser, a woman of Gondolin where once upon a time the maidens who dwelt there were as fair as the sun and as lovely as the moon and more radiant thanElbereth's stars.
    Valionpaused and slowly turned to regard her. She looked into his cerulean eyes calmly ;Merilnever apologized for her forwardness.You don't agree ?she asked cooly, one raven brow arching. Her composure masked the deep anger that burned like a sun inside her heart.Valion's rash violence and the doom of his banishment had embarrassed her and sullied the family's honor, heating her temper to the boiling point.Just that...Valionbegan softly, there was a catch in his voice, blue eyes brimming with tears. Noticing her husband at the brink of weeping, her fury began to subside. Just what ?Merilasked quietly, touching his sleeve tentatively. He tried to smile. You sounded rather likeHer.Merilshut her grey eyesat the subtle mention ofAlmarëaand tightly embracedValion; she was hurting, too.Exile,Valionuttered ; he wept, tears coursing over his cheeks.Don't call it that,Merilchided sotto voce, still holding him ; she felt warm and stinging droplets emerge from her own eyes, laying her face against her husband's shoulder. A century - she silenced his mouth with a softly sustained touch of her lips.
    *
    Aigronding was disappointed that Rilien wasn't staying but he didn't want to start an argument ; he was relieved he could see his old friend right now in the wake of Almarëa's disappearance. Besides, Rilien was looking for Allie apparently ; if Aigronding cooperated well, they might be able to piece together the true reasons for her vanishing and perhaps discover where she might have fled to, if Almarëa had a destination at all. Three days ago she left, Ril, Aigronding answered morosely, and it's been three more since Valion and Roina took a team into the angle to search for her, tracking Almarëa. Six days, Ril. Aigronding repeated that lastly again but more quietly, arming his tears away. And as you know ithere was a storm recently in these parts ; it could have destroyed various traces of her, wouldn't it ? He swept a palm against his face and sighed heavily. He wondered what she had spoken to Aig ; Mordagnir looked pointedly at Rilien. Allie told me she wanted space, Aigronding aswered clearly. Ever since the Fall of Gondolin, life has kept worsening for her, so much loss ; she thinks the only way to deal with the pain is to just get away from all that reminds of her of the tragedies of the past and the agonies to come. The longer she stays among the people's she let inside her heart, the harder she'll fall when they get hurt...or worse. Almarëa wants some distance not just from me but from all of us. He ran fingers through his unkempt hair.
    I begged her to stay - Aigronding spoke hoarsely - and she lied to me. Said she'd stay. The last evening. Singing and dancing in the Hall of Fire, making merry. But no, Allie was always a good actress ; if she was having fun it was scant little, it was me she wanted to be happy. Let me hold her even, assured me I had nothing to worry about. His vision blurred with tears as he mumbled, and it was all a facade, plotting to leave, ran away like a thief in the night. She took my joy with her. Aigronding looked up at him. Ril, he said, quietly, did she decieve you, too ? Where else had she gone, I wonder. Spent time with her friends before abandoning us all, was that it ? Ril explained that she had left Lindon in the middle of the night - Aigronding, gritting his teeth, slammed the wall, cracks instantly radiating from central point of his striking blow like forks of jagged lightning bolting from a cloud of a tempest - a fortnight ago when Almarëa had visited him in Lindon. We need to find her, Aigronding firmly corrected when Rilien uttered he had to search for her. Mordagnir observed the destruction of his room keenly, possibly for the first time realizing how enraged he had been.
    Breaking things and crying won't bring her back, he said rising carefully to his feet, niether will standing here chatting ; there will be plenty of time for that in the days ahead of us. He smiled awkwardly. How's that ? You're not the only one who loves her. I come with you ? Aigronding asked. Come with Rilien where ? asked Meril's voice from behind the two men as Aigronding gripped Rilien's hand and Nimlos barked at Rilien, nuzzling his head, wanting to know if she could tag along, too. Rilien ! Valion cried happily, practically running inside despite protestations from his wife who wanted him to slow down lest he trip over the wreckage - which Valion did, tumbling to the floor after colliding from a broken chair. Silly man ! Listen next time or at least pay an iota of consideration to where you're recklessly plunging yourself into !Meril snapped acidly and thwacked Valion upside his head after she hauled him to his feet. Meril muttered angrily, folding her arms, that her husband never cared about his self-preservation but Valion wasembraced Rilien.
    Aigronding smiled ; Valion, when he came of age in Gondolin, swore fealty to the House of the Pillar which Rilien served, and the pair had become close. What's wrong ? Aigronding questioned Meril as he held her ; Aigronding saw her eyes appeared reddish perhaps from weeping. She mumbled something incoherently against his chest, his daughter-in-law had chosen to rest her cheek there lightly. Are you here for long ? Valion asked Rilien, disengaging from the hug. It seems...that I'm on a long holiday. Meril snorted, rolling her gray eyes at her spouse's choice of words. What's happened, son ? Aigronding demanded ; he had enough of dear ones keeping secrets from him and he needed to know if he and Roina had encountered Almarëa. I wasn't allowed to search for Allie in the storm once we followed the clues to the Hoarwell, spoke Valion reluctantly, glancing at Rilien. And ? Aigronding pressed. The muscles of Valion's jaw tightened. I lost my calm and attacked my party ; Elrond has sentenced me to a hundred years in the wild, Valion stiffly explained.Aigronding hollered, WHAT ??!!! rather loudly, astonished. He gently removed Meril from his person and stalked towards Valion, staring balefully.




    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir






  50. <i style="text-align: -webkit-left; : rgb255, 255, 255; ">Most of the shipwrights they housed also marched, though only a fraction returned to the manor.[/i]
    - Narrator, Darkness of Night<i style="text-align: -webkit-left; : rgb255, 255, 255; ">
    [/i]<br style="color: rgb51, 51, 51; : rgb255, 255, 255; ">Girion Coruben : Darkness of Night"THEME
    (Roughly a month after the Siege of Barad-dur ended.)
    Khazad-dûm
    (Closed)


    Weeping but silent, he had stoically placed the seashell necklace onto Sur Vanar's palm, and guided her head to his shoulder ; droplets trickled from his blue-gray eyes to softly drip into her brown hair. Before his last breath, her brother had given Girion the beautiful talisman that had failed him, telling his old friend to return it to Sur, that he would not come home.
    And he was gone. She had plunged into dark despair then, and Girion couldn't deliver his friend out of the sunless chasm of deepest sorrow. Sur did not leave her bed, sobbing and sleeping ; Girion slept nowhere else but a chair nearby, there to hold her when she screamed and cried, to touch Sur's hair as her features contorted in misery in her unhappy slumber.
    He wasn't Sul, he wasn't her blood, but he wouldn't ever forsake her but even that knowledge wasn't enough to pullSur back into the light. Her skin paled to an unhealthy gray pallor and her brunet tresses lost their lustre ; Sur's body thinned, she wouldn't accept the meals Girion and the shipwrights had brought from her, subsiding only on the water he and the builders had proffered.
    They decided to move her elsewhere, away from Lindon which 'haunted'Sur - Sul was dead but his spirit lived in the coasts and the docks, the trees and streets ; Sur shouldn't be removed from his presence. Girion was outraged at the thought and had vocanically argued, saying that if any sibling of theirs had been killed they wouldn't be so happy either, it was a phase and she'd come to grips sometime soon ; Lindon was Sur's home, she ought to stay right where she was.Girion's demands were overruled, his defense of Sur's wishes ignored ;Girion was prohibited forcefully the day they came from her, screaming outside the gates of White Sail Manor for their 'friends' to leave her alone ; he was knocked out before they transported Sur, powerless in her drunken stupor, away. Far away.
    Giron awoke in a copse outside Mithlond and when he returned to White Sail Manor, the Gate was shut and the porter wouldn't allow him in. Betrayed by his co-workers, and Mírwen whose permission the staff had won, Girion angrily departed the city in search of Sur ; she had made it no secret that she probably resented Girion for bringing her the news of Sul's death but he couldn't give up on her.
    He wandered, seeking Lórinand, haggard and miserable ; a beard grew, he let it grow. On a night of rain he was wounded by a territorial bear he just couldn't manage to evade ; Girion would have lost his life if it weren't for a patrol of Longbeard dwarves. The Naugrim transported Girion to Khazad-dûm where he spent a fortnight, healing ; Girion, still scarred and unkempt and rough-featured, wore an onyx dustcloak, limping to the Hall of King Durin IV with the aid of a blackwood staff. Now that he was on the mend, the King wanted to know why the Sinda elf had been discovered in the vicinity of his great ancient city.








    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

  51. Asha'bellanar's Avatar
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    "Sur Vanar Utírieste: Darkness of Night" THEME 2


    T.A. 1 Early March


    Lorinand (Lothlórien)



    "Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it"
    Lucius Annaeus Seneca

    Sur crossed her arms as she waited for their guide to finish packing, Mandos' love, how much time did this woman need? Was she not the one always pressing them to hurry? She continued her rant in her mind, and when Ethuil at last did finish readying her things, the Silvan self-proclaimed leader of their mission told them to run. Sur rolled her eyes back in unison with Lhantien's shrug, Ethuil had been quick indeed to change tones. Nevertheless, Sur followed.

    She felt her legs strain with the run, but they were ever strong. Even when they stopped to rest for what seemed like only a moment, it was more than enough for her. She didn't keep track of time or distance, and Sur didn't care much for it. If it had been a year since they left Lorinand it wouldn't matter, if they just kept running until the end of time, she wouldn't mind. Perhaps Sur wished for them to keep going, never ceasing and be tormented with a vacant mind, and broken heart that had almost stopped beating.

    A sigh of relief came from Sur's mouth, though it was no doubt unheard by the other two she was with. When the edge of the forest was reached and they had begun to tread up the Misty Mountains, which was no physical test for a Falathrim who had accustomed her body to long rigorous swims. Sur had come to detest the very trees she had been surrounded by for longer than she would have liked, despite how bland the shore was now, the forest was far worse in her disdain. Sur spoke not once during that climb, then again, there was nothing to say.

    For the first time in her life, Sur was seeing a fraction of the world she had never seen before, but there was no weight of significance in her mind. Nor was she willing to submit to such notions of enjoyment. Sur listened attentively to Ethuil's description of their location and their destination, simply because she felt compelled to know where she was at the moment. She scoffed when informed the Longbeards were "stubborn", because so was she, now anyways.

    Sur beheld the grad East-gates with her mouth agape, the very magnitude of their make, was astounding even to her. The admiration quickly faded, and Sur raised an eyebrow. "
    Beg?" she said, speaking for the first time in hours, and not happy with the idea, not at all. She nodded in agreement to Lhantien's words, only a fool would believe they needed sanctuary. Sur rolled her eyes back again in harmony with Lhantien's shrug, following along but quite irritated.

    When an adequate amount of dwarves prepared to meet the invaders, Sur's pale knuckles cracked, ready to draw her sword at the necessary moment. Her eyes widened and she was terribly perplexed with the tongue of the Longbeards. Sur felt her still heart throb for the first time in days out of sheer worry of what they could be saying, but felt a sense of control of the situation when Ethuil addressed the mass.

    In the darkness, Sur heard the voice of Lhantien and bit her lower lip. "
    I... I don't know" she answered in their own tongue, "I don't know anymore, besides... I'm already dead..." Sur followed up behind Lhanthien. Her brother was gone, the worst of her fears had come to pass. Now there was nothing that could scare her...












    Edited by: Sur Vanar Utírieste











  52. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night" - THEME

    T.A. 1 early March
    (roughly a month after the Siege of Barad-dur ended, by my reckoning)

    The East-gates of Khazad-dum
    (Closed)




    Lhantien Di'maluin
    -

    Ethuil e-Daur - Durik



    Lhantien wished she could see Sur's face as they ascended the great steps, the slabs of stone set one upon another for what seemed to go halfway up the mountain wall. They followed their resolute leader, Ethuil who pushed them on and gave little choice regarding pace or travel activities. Not that Lhantien minded. She did not feel she was in fit condition to decide much of anything, and she didn't know the lay of the land. She was -- for now -- willing to follow Ethuil. Not necessarily satisfied to do thus, but willing and able. She could hear, however, that Sur's own feelings seemed once more to mirror her own. In Sur's voice and in her words, Lhantien heard her own thoughts, though she had not yet dared reveal them. Like Sur, she felt as if she might just give up living, and yet... there was the mission. She must seek vengeance, above all things! And then... perhaps only then... she might join her ancestors, her parents, her siblings... No voyage across the Sea for her, unworthiest of all. No, she would rather have herself slain upon gaining vengeance, or even drive the blade home with her own two hands, than permit herself to be borne across those magnificent waves to all elves' ancestral home.

    As Lhantien was thinking these grim things, Ethuil herself was forming words and speeches in her mind that she would deliver to any captains that stood in their way, and of course the ultimate declaration she would deliver to Durin the IV himself. She was certain that if they could at least gain audience with His Excellency, then they would be as good as invited to stay forever in those glorious halls. In fact, it might turn out that they would have more trouble getting out in the future than getting in in the first place. Once in, how willing will Durin the IV be to let them go? He was closing his borders for a reason, after all. She hoped she would find some common ground with His Excellency that might lend to her something to use as a bargaining chip. She knew not yet what that might be, but surely there was something that she could do to gain his favor. And still, ultimately, she knew there remained the object to learn what they could of the passage of yrchkind in those lands. She had not told Lhantien and Sur, and they had not asked, but she felt certain that the band of yrch that had slain Lhantien's family in the Forest of Fangorn were of the northern parts of Rhovanion. She had told them only that they were likely to be of the area of the Misty Mountains, rather than of darkest Mordor, but she had not been any more specific. It seemed very likely to her that they were from as far north as Grey Mountains, or even further.

    The thoughts of both Lhantien and Ethuil were interrupted at some point along these musings as they found themselves at the top of the great steps and the East-gates towered over them, impressive but dauntingly so. Their Longbeard guide passed almost reverently through the gates, touching his fingers to his brow in a manner foreign and yet so familiar to Lhantien. And then they passed through the gates and left the darkness of night behind. There was a moment in which neither light from within nor light from without touched them, then the great, torch-lit, chambers met their eyes and they were bathed in crystalline light from many-faceted gems. The wealth of precious colors struck Lhantien with a force and she heard a very light gasp of awe from Ethuil. So their leader had not actually been in Khazad-dum before? A moment of panic washed over Lhantien. Is this where they passed out of knowledge and met the unknown? What was going to come of them?

    It seemed that the Leader of the Guard had come to wait to meet them, and they had barely taken a dozen steps inside the halls before they were halted by the short Longbeard.
    "I am Durik, Leader of the Guard."

    Ethuil bowed to him, dropping into a graceful, elven curtsey. When she had risen to her full height, a good few feet higher than the Longbeard, she said, "Mae govannen, Durik."

    "You will find that your kinsman has been taken care of readily and is now much recovered," Durik declared, in his race's guttural tone.

    Lhantien frowned, mystified at the Longbeard's words Their kinsman? Looking at Ethuil she found surprise, however, not confusion written upon her face.
    "Who is this kinsman you speak of?" Ethuil asked.

    "One of your kind, though from the other side of our glorious halls. He was in poor health until one of our patrols stumbled across him but a fortnight past." The Longbeard hesitated, seemingly uncertain of what he spoke now. "Do you mean to tell me you are not here to collect him away? But for what other reason do you come?"

    When Ethuil next spoke, Lhantien could hear the guardedness in her voice. She was, quite clearly, not disposed to reveal any part of their mission to any but the Longbeard King himself. Lhantien felt she was being rather foolish. It was no great secretive fact that they chases yrchkind. Why conceal that from anyone? What harm could come from telling this Longbeard, who surely must share their dislike for the abominations.

    "Forgive us, Honorable Longbeard, but if it is all the same to you, I would withhold the details of our quest until presented with King Durin the IV himself. I can only say that we seek refuge and a chance to hold audience with His Greatness. We desire his council most highly."

    "You speak with a riddled tongue - why should I be inclined to believe you?"

    "Have we given any reason to doubt? Your great peoples outnumber us to the thousands, perhaps more. What have you to fear from three elven maidens?" Ethuil spread her hands wide in surrender.

    "Three elven maidens you might be, and yet you come gilded with blade and bow. But you are correct on your count." Here the Longbeard seemed to puff out his already-ample chest, with pride for his people. "We are a race as great as any, and far outnumber you. Very well. I shall grant you entrance into Khazad-dum, but let this be a warning: you enter this domain under Lord Durin the IV's rule, and only he may pardon and misdeeds you perform, and only he may grant exit from this noble realm, and if he finds fault with you, no escape shall you have from the falling blades of our axes. Do you accept these terms?"

    With an incline of her head, Ethuil agreed, but Lhantien's heart thudded strongly in her chest at the threatening words, for they were spoken by someone she knew would be only too ready to carry out such orders. Is this how her own people were viewed by outsiders? What great fortune that she was an elf herself, or perhaps she might have been slain in her most desperate hour of need, crawling like an animal under the furthest limbs of Lorinand!

    "Our King is soon to be in council with your kinsman, if he is not already. Until their talk is concluded, a guard shall escort you to chambers not far from the High Hall." Durik motioned to the Longbeards who had escorted them in, and ther moved down the chamber, hesitating until sure that the elves were coming. Some of the Longbeards followed behind, and they continued in this way.

    Lhantien found that if ever pressed for descriptions of those halls, she would have had to disappoint the askers, for those halls were the most magnificent that she was likely ever to see. Never in her later years did anything compare, and it was to her great remorse that those halls eventually fell to foulness. For in the height of the Dwarven reign, nothing in all of Middle-earth could quite compare to the sights one could find within Khazad-dum, and never again was it quite the same, even after the turn of the Fourth Age, for so much devastation had been brought on by the Balrog of later years and the yrch from Angmar, who had been sent on behalf of Sauron.

    However, she could tell in dull descriptions, of the general structure. Great pillars of stone, built right from the mountains themselves spanned the great distance from the ground to the high ceilings far, far above. Runes in the dwarven tongue were carved all over, and even if Lhantien was fluent in their tongue and could stay in those halls for all her life, she would likely not be able to read every thing every written, for though she was immortal, Khazad-dum went on so far and wide and high that there was simply too much for her to take on alone. It had taken Ages for it to be writtten down, and would take ages longer than she could withstand to gleam all the secrets from those runes. Indeed it is likely that no dwarf alive at the time had read it all, and of course in later years too much had been ruined to read much of anything.

    Crystals of many sizes and colors stuck out from the rock walls, and up from the ground, and in the great distance above their heads hung even more, glittering in the light cast from great fires spread throughout the halls. On occasion they passed crudely-hewn passages that led, according to Durik, into the Mines, and the distant, never-ending cry of many hammers and axes ringed in their ears no matter where they went. At first it made Lhantien's head ache, but by the time she eventually left those halls, she found the outside far too silent for her liking, for she -- like the dwarves who had been born in those halls -- had grown used to the clamor.

    Finally they reached a large, pleasant chamber, with squat slabs of stone adorned with soft -- but firm -- drapes. They were, she assumed, dwarven beds. Far too short for any elf save the very, very young, and much wider than she would have liked. The "mattresses" were like hard leather bags filled with almost-as-hard wool, and the blankets were scratchy and rough. There was little else in the chamber besides these beds. A great hearth, which was already roaring away when they arrived, and a low, wooden table that was very thick and strong enough to hold an ox, if Lhantien had to guess. Upon this table food had already been set. Both the food on the table and the fire in the hearth told her that word of their arrival had been sent on ahead of them. The moment the heavy door closed behind them and the three elves were alone, Lhantien hurried forward and stooped low to reach the table. There was meat and bread and cheese and some sort of mossy stuff that tasted tangy but pleasant. There were also some fruits and vegetables, and large tankards of mead and rum. The elves had hardly had to go without during their journey, but all of a sudden Lhantien found she was exhausted and hungry, and she said not a word to the others until she had eaten her fill and quenched her thirst.

    With much more grace but no less hunger, Ethuil also knelt to partake of the meal set before them. She found she had little to say to her silent companions. They seemed almost sullen in their quietness, but she knew she could hardly expect otherwise, and there would be plenty of time for talk later, after they'd rested a spell. So when she finished eating, she sat back, leaning against one of the stone beds, and waited until they were finished. Then she would speak and hope to receive answers.


    -
    Durin the IV, King of Khazad-dum - Durik
    Durin IV sat on his hard throne in the High Hall, awaiting the arrival of the Silvan elf his western patrols had come upon two weeks before. He had not seen the elf yet, for the elf had required much healing and rest. However, his healers told him that the elf -- Girion, his Longbeard fellows told him -- was now much recovered and fit for audience. Therefore, Durin IV had sent for this elf to come before him. Durin IV was curious about the elf's appearance so close to his great Khazad-dum. Having just come from great and terrible war, Durin IV was very much suspicious of everyone but his own kin.

    A long row of Longbeard guards stood at intervals down the narrow yet grand chamber. It was brightly lit, for his eyes had grown much used to the outside sun. It would take time before he was used to the dimmer lights within his ancient city. As he waited, he idly twisted his father's ring, the first of the Seven gifted to his people. Because his father had, naturally, been Durin before him, he called it the Ring of Durin -- for it had been and still was.

    Footsteps sounded down the hall and he saw the Leader of the East-gate Guards coming towards him at a fast pace. When finally Durik reached him, the Longbeard bent low in humble bow.
    "My King." He said, not rising.

    "What news have you for me?" Durin IV asked. He had not expected to see Durik until after the closure of the East-gates had ended. Perhaps the closing had already finished? Was that why he now found Durik bowing in tribute to him?

    Durik straightened, a hand on the axe hanging from his belt and the other still and straight at his side.
    "King Durin the IV, I bring unusual tidings from the East-gate. Not an hour past three elves from our Eastern neighbors came upon our steps. They come armed and dressed for battle, but say they have come in peace and have requested audience with Your Kingship. They now reside in a nearby chamber, where they await your command. Shall I bring them before you?"

    Durin IV looked away from Durik in thought. First one elf from the West and now three from the East. Strange tidings indeed; what was going on? "Not now, Leader. First I await audience with the injured elf, who has yet to arrive. Stay here... these are unusual events and as you bring three more of these Fair Folk, perhaps you should hear the tale of the fourth."

    Durik bowed low again and then took a stance to one side, by a vast, round table shaped like a horseshoe, upon which many charts, scrolls, tomes, and similar things were sat, and where many scribes sat, some reading and others scratching records of things on previously blank parchments. And Durin IV continued to roll his father's ring around his finger.








    Edited by: Mar Fireblade Mordagnir


  53. -THEME
    T.A. 1 early March
    (roughly a month after the Siege of Barad-dur ended)
    The Hall of Durin IV
    (Closed)




    Girion nervously observed the royal guards opening the doorsl of King Durin IV's High Hall ; Dwarves had killed Elves before and as brave as he was, Girion feared that he'd be executed if he didn't mind his matters. The chamber was narrow but opulent and brightly lit ; ahead of him sat the noble lord of the Longbeard Dwarves, Durin IV, holder of a Ring of Power.

    Even Girion, an Elf, was humbled in the Dwarf's august presence.

    Your Eminence,
    Girion addressed, inclining his head low in the Dwarf sovereign's honor.

    Now that I'm on the mend I'd like to give you formally an apology for disrupting the peace of your realm. It is known to me that the Dwarves want their Gates shut against dangers and there are many ; all Orcs that are in the mountains have been commanded for many years to harry your people wherever they are found in the Hithaeglir.
    Though Sauron has fallen, the goblins are still happily content with making life miserable for the dwarves. So, I must aplogize that I became a threat to your kingdom's security.

    He risked moving close to the throne and tried to keep the anxiety out of his voice.

    I swear I was only passing these parts and had no intention of finding a way to sneak inside Khazad-dûm, Your Majesty ; I have lost a friend, she was kidnapped and taken somewhere secret, where I know not.

    Girion
    , overcome with sorrow,could not prevent himself from weeping openly. He lost too many homes, too many loved ones.

    I was searching for her
    , Coruben sobbed,when the wolves attacked. The injured elftook a shuddering breath, trying to calm himself, and swept at the tears streaming down his cheeks. Will you release me, Your Highness ? Girion tentatively asked Durin IV. I will resume my journey ; I will make leave this place quickly as I can. I'll go eastwards. Perhaps you can send an armed escort to protect me until I reach the borders? Or should I remain here in Khazad-dum until I am fully healed?



    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir
    Last edited by Aigronding Mordagnir; 04/Jan/2014 at 09:21 AM.







  54. "Lhantien: Darkness of Night" - THEME

    T.A. 1 early March
    (roughly a month after the Siege of Barad-dur ended, by my reckoning)

    The High Hall of Durin IV
    (Closed)


    -
    Durin the IV, King of Khazad-dum - Durik
    Durin IV rolled his father's ring for only a short time further before his great doors creaked open once again. A single figure stood washed in the firelight of the chamber. The figure, tall and regal though injured, approached with an incline of his head and the tapping of his blackwood staff on the stone floor. Durin made no effort to respond as he watched, waited, and finally listened. The elf's tongue was not in the least dulled from his injuries, Durin was quick to realize. He spoke quick a quickness and urgency that Durin could appreciate if not quite share at the moment. The first movement he made in the whole speech was the raising of a single meaty finger when his guards reached for their axes and made as if to defend him from the elf, when Girion stepped forward still closer. At the raising of his finger, the guards fell back, though their hands remained readily on their axe blades. When words turned to tears, Durin stirred uneasily. He knew that elves were far more publicly emotional than dwarves tended to be, though tears aplenty fell on the field of battle from all sides in the recent confrontation. Durin pondered idly how close this elf-friend must be to Girion to bring tears, but decided that was not quite important.

    Durin remained silent for some time after the elf finished speaking. Indeed he remained silent until he sensed even Durik was uncomfortable with the silence. He waited even further, already knowing his answer yet using his own wisdom to find the words to convey it. Finally he broke the silence.
    "Elf, you come in a time of sorrow for my people... and your own I am sure. Your disruption is cause for concern, for you bring wolf and warrior to my doors. I cannot say that I am not curious about your arrival, and your words -- though not relieving me -- do satisfy that need for knowledge." He paused and then continued in a slow if not casual tone. "Goblins have plagued my people under the mountains for many years, flooding down from Mount Gundabad. They need no guide to find us under rock and chasm, though it had been my hope that our doors might remain more secret to them.

    "You are trapped, elf. You face the dangers you left behind on the west, or the unknown foes on the east. My doors are closing even as I speak. No haste could your injured limbs make that would be swift enough to carry you from my thresholds, either one. No armed escort could bear you to them before they seal." Lifting his voice minutely, he added, "I fear my people must remain your hosts for a time inconceivable, however your hopes may perhaps not entirely be shaken. As I say, goblins find their ways through cracks even we dwarves know not of. Our doors may shut, but there are other, secret paths delved by our mortal foes. If you cannot bear innumerable years in these halls of mine, perhaps it is your wish to seek out paths through the northern caverns? And yet, I might ask you remain. You are not of good health even now and it has reached me that three of your kindred have been brought from the East-gates. They too are now trapped under my mountains." He cocked his head and contemplated the elf before concluding with, "Perhaps I should summon them. I know not who they are, where they come from, and what their purpose is -- yet I feel there might be something to be gained from all concerned by your waiting." He motioned Durik forward, and his Leader of the East-gate Guards came and stood near the elf. "What can you say on the matter?"

    Durik bowed again, to Durin first and then the elf, and then spoke. "Three women of your people have come clad in garments of war, but their tongues speak of peace, missions, and the request for council with King Durin the IV. They are even now in a room just a short distance from here. If summoned now, they could be here in minutes." Durin nodded. "Let it be done." And so the elven three were summoned...




    Lhantien Di'maluin - Ethuil e-Daur


    The questions which Ethuil had planned to ask were left unspoken, for as their meal drew to a close, their chamber was opened and entered by a dwarf-messenger, who said he was to lead them to the High Hall, the throne room. Ethuil rose and Lhantien quickly followed suit. Ethuil looked to Sur who had been silent for some time. She wondered what was going on behind those quiet eyes. "Shall we go now?" she asked, for she would not be ordered around, even by the king whom she hoped to gain aid from. And besides, she saw no purpose in going to his hall with stomachs still growling...

    (OOC@Sur - You can go ahead and RP the three of us gals going and arriving in the High Hall throne room. There you can start up the reunion of Girion and Sur. I'll post again after as the dwarves and my two gals... )




    Edited by: Aigronding Mordagnir

  55. Asha'bellanar's Avatar
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    #55







    "Sur Vanar Utírieste: Darkness of Night" THEME 3

    T.A. 1 Early March

    The East-gates of Khazad-dum --&gt; High Hall of Durin IV



    "Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it."
    - Harry Emerson Fosdick


    Sur did not reflect anymore, on anything or anyone. She had already given so much thought in regards to her home, those undoubtedly waiting for her return, and the purpose in which she embarked with Lhanthien from Lorinand. She was as cold as one already dead, anger her new companion, and darkness her fate. Walking briskly behind the one consumed by desire for vengeance, beyond the East-gates and then into lit chambers, torches burned bright, and Sur's eyes shut instinctively for a second. Though the light they gave was dim and could not measure to the intensity of the sun, Sur had not been prepared for their sudden greeting. As quickly as her eyes had closed, they opened. Sur's pale lips smacked open softly, when she beheld a taste of the glory of Khazad-dum. In all the long years of her life, Sur had never taken in the sight of such a marvelous realm, save for what she envisioned from songs and tales. With Durik's introduction, Sur's eyes did not shift to the Leader of the Guard. If Ethuil had declared herself leader of their mission, then what need was there for her to be concerned for any trouble they encountered? Nevertheless, as she took in the glimmer of the many-faced gems, Sur's head cocked to the dwarf when he disclosed the existence of another such as them in their keeping. Sur was terribly perplexed. Who but they could have come so far, deep into territory that was not their own during this time?

    Sur shook her head to herself. Even without knowing who this fellow was, she had already deemed him a fool in her disdain. When Durik inquired as to their purposes here if not to fetch him, Sur froze still, plotting with a rapidly beating heart as to how she would put up a fight if things were to suddenly go ill. For that was sure to occur if anyone but King Durin IV, was told of their mission. Despite the sting of her sharp tongue, it was Sur who bit her own that moment, quite submissively. An overwhelming sense of respect forced itself from the four limbs of her body. Neither sarcasm nor boldness did the Lindon maiden lash out, subtly or frankly, in walk or speech. With an accord in place, Sur followed both women, as high ceilings almost infinitely out of their reach hovered over the
    m, and pillars and gems boasted magnitude and strength. Inspiring both awe and intimidation. Finally setting foot in a warm chamber, inviting but not fit for their kind, Sur brushed a side of her tawny tresses behind her right ear and looked around. Her gaze fell on the food set for them, and she looked at Lhantien to see if she would help herself. Watching Ethuil eat, Sur deliberated within herself with an awkward position of her lips. Finally extending her hand for a hard biscuit, a messenger abruptly entered and called for them to follow.

    Cross with the quick shifts from rest to summons, Sur's brow furrowed as she walked behind Ethuil and Lhanthien in forceful strides. Many thoughts raced through her mind, some dark and others melancholic. As all three ladies entered, Sur's stone heart suddenly fell to the pit of her stomach when the rugged figure at a distance turned to face them with the clamor of their arrival. A long gasp erupted from the base of Sur's throat, and her pale complexion, with a warm undertone, flushed white. "G-GIRION!" she screamed, clutching the sword at her side and sprinting towards the man feet away. Durin's guards where provoked in an instant and moved to eradicate her. With Sur's touch on the sheath of her blade, it was right to believe she intended to harm their King, but it was not so. Dark brown hair flying behind her, Sur pushed herself off her feet towards Girion and embraced him. Her legs wrapped around his knees, her arms squeezing him as if she would break into pieces otherwise. Rivers of tears ran down her cheeks, traveling all the way down to her bosom, as she kissed both his cheeks repeatedly and sobbed. Beneath the cool shade of Lorinand, Sur had come to believe that there was no cure for the gap torn through her with the loss of her brother, and that only blood and death could slate the thirst of her wound. But it was not so.










    Edited by: Sur Vanar Utírieste

  56. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    #56










    16 years ago... One fateful day (private RP)
    Chetwood forest; TA - 2998


    Galanír and
    Sérëní Hérandil

    Galanír
    had just finished breakfast with his beautiful wife Sérëníand his adorable toddler Emeralda. It seemed it would be a normal day, as he helped Sérëníclear the table and put the dishes in the sink. She had asked him the night before if he would mind searching in the forest for a certain herb that she didn't have. Always willing to help his wife with anything, he had promised to do so today.

    He thought himself lucky to have a healer for a wife, especially being a ranger as he was. If he got injured, she could help him. Or, in less serious cases, he could heal himself because she had taught him much of what she knew about healing. So, as soon as the table was cleared, he picked up his little daughter and hugged her, kissed her forehead, and told her to go play and be good. Giggling, Emma hugged him.
    "I wanna go with you daddy!" She begged.
    "Not this time sweety. Maybe next time, if you're really good." He promised with a warm smile. Sérënílooked back at them and smiled as she started washing their breakfast dishes. Galanírwent to get his pouch and sword. He was only going on an herb gathering errand, but he still brought his sword just in case of trouble. He also took his bow, in case he came across a deer or other game. "I'll try to be back before nightfall." He told her.
    "Be careful." She said quietly. He gave her a parting kiss before heading out the door for a long trek through the Chetwood.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Osdolen; 2998
    Víriel Hérandil


    Víriel
    came inside from gathering flowers. She filled a vase with water and set the flowers in it, arranging them prettily. She took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet scent of the flowers, and smiled softly. She set the vase in the center of the table, to make it look nicer. Feeling a bit tired, though it was yet early, she sat down in her chair to rest a moment. She wasn't sure why she felt a bit lightheaded all the sudden, but she was sure it was nothing. She may just have a headache, she thought. She waited for it to pass, then went and got herself a glass of water and sipped on that as she returned to her seat, resting a moment longer before she went back to cooking breakfast.










    Edited by: Rillewen Aran
    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~

  57. Haflin's Avatar
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    #57

    One Fateful day...
    (Private)

    Osdolen; 2998
    Vorondil Hérandil


    The sun had just raised itself over the horizon painting the sky bright colors when he had decided to take a morning walk and enjoy the coolness of the breeze outside. From his spot standing on the hill, he could see most of the old city around below him. He sighed, long ago this settlement was a bustle with people of all sorts, it thrived, it lived and was kind and full of bliss so long ago. Sometimes he wished he could have seen those times of his forefathers but little availed to spend his time thinking of whims. And so with heavy thoughts, he descended back down into the old, quiet city. His wife was probably awake by now, making breakfast no doubt. He managed a smile, if there was anything to cheer him up it was her. After a few minutes walk he was back at his abode. He entered quietly and took his cloak off to hang on the hook next to the door before standing in the kitchen door. There he found her, Viriel, as she went about preparing their food. He found it difficult to disturb her, she seemed to be quite peaceful in her morning routine but at the same time as he looked on she seemed a little off, perhaps something was bothering her.

    "Good morning Dear."
    He said, announcing his presence and moving over towards her as she turned to see him. His smile faded and he looked at her with a slight concern in his face. "What's the matter? You don't look too well."
    Last edited by Haflin; 05/Jan/2013 at 09:37 PM.

  58. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    #58


    16 years ago... One fateful day (private RP)
    Chetwood forest; TA - 2998


    Emeralda

    Emeralda
    wanted to go with her daddy so much that she tried to follow him, though she waited a bit too long to start. She slipped out of the house when her momma wasn't looking, then set out through the woods. She pretended that she was out gathering herbs, and started playing along the way. Before she knew it, she didn't know where she was. She kept wandering, and then she came to this little clearing. She looked around and saw a boy there, about her own age. Smiling, she walked up to him. "Hi!" She said cheerfully. "I'm Emeralda.. what's your name?" She asked.
    "Darius.." He replied, surprised to see another kid here. He'd never seen this girl before, so he wondered where she came from. But that could wait for later. "Wanna play?" He asked eagerly.
    "Yeah!" Emeralda agreed, jumping up and down.
    Pretty soon the two children were playing happily in the middle of the forest.

    Galanír and
    Sérëní Hérandil

    Galanír
    had been out for hours before he returned to the house with the herb. As soon as he got in, Sérëní met him at the door, worry and near panic written all over her face. "What's wrong?" He asked, instantly worried as well. "Emeralda's gone. She's been missing for hours." She told him, worried. He frowned, then handed her the plant and kissed her. "Don't worry, I'll be back as soon as I find her." He said. He quickly searched around until he picked up a small, light trail, and set off quickly into the forest to find his little girl.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Osdolen; 2998
    Víriel Hérandil


    Víriel
    looked up as Vorondil spoke, and smiled at him. She shook her head slightly when he asked what was wrong. "Nothing, just a bit tired is all." She replied. "A slight headache." She smiled reassuringly and then went to serve up their breakfast. She looked up when Jacob walked in. "Good morning. Are you hungry?" She asked pleasantly. "Would you like some breakfast? We have plenty." She indicated the food with a small smile.

    Jake paused for a moment when he entered, briefly captivated by her beauty, then quickly pulled himself together and glanced at the breakfast, considering accepting, but shook his head. "No, sorry I can't, maybe later." He said. It would mess up the plan if he took time to eat with them. He turned to Vorondil. "I've here that there's been reports of a handful of bandits causing trouble for travelers Bree the surrounding areas." He told him. "Seems they've set up a toll booth on the road from Bree to Archet, and are demanding that people pay a high toll in order to pass through." He frowned. ""If any refuse to pay, they're murdered in cold blood, according to all the reports I heard." He explained. "I was asked to relay a message to you, requesting that you gather a few choice men and go put a stop to it as soon as possible." He added, seriousness in his voice.

    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~

  59. Haflin's Avatar
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    #59
    One Fateful day...
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    Private)
    Osdolen; 2998

    Vorondil Hérandil

    Vorondil
    noticed when Jake walked in and listened closely as their ward spoke of some rather strange occurrences. There always seemed to be trouble in these lawless lands that his people guarded and every so often the troublemakers would band together to cause such a stir that the response had to be great and swift, lest real damage be done and the door be opened to the influence of darker forces...He sat in silence for a few moments in thought as his wife and Jake looked at him for a response, finally, with a deep breath, he looked at Jake.

    "These are some serious reports...They are accurate yes? Where did you get them?"
    "Your own father." He responded, no doubt thinking quickly

    "I was out and around in the North these past few days when a messenger found me on the return to Osdolen and told me that Thorondil had just been informed by his scouts that this was happening. I got back here late last night while you were both asleep and figured it wouldn't hurt to tell you first thing this morning."

    To Jake's relief, Vorondil nodded and sighed before looking sadly to his wife.

    "I'm sorry dear, it looks like breakfast will have to wait for my return."
    He said and rose from the table to prepare a pack of supplies for his journey. Once he was ready, he met his wife by the front door of their house.

    "Duty calls and I must answer, I'll be gone for maybe a week."
    He smiled at her and the two embraced. "Please don't worry to much about me my darling. When I return happier times will be ahead, never forget that I love you and no amount of danger in this world can change that."They embraced once more and then, after a long moment of silence between them, Vorondil pulled himself away reluctantly and mounted his horse that Jake brought him. As the two rode down the road that would take them out of the near empty city, he looked back to see his wife standing there outside their house and smiled to himself, not realizing it would be the final time he saw her.

    "Where to first?"
    Jake asked. A few moments later, Vorondil answered.

    "My brother Galanir, he can help us find others to fight this threat."
    He replied as the two headed off into the distance.
    Last edited by Haflin; 29/Mar/2013 at 06:21 AM.

  60. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    #60


    16 years ago... One fateful day
    (private)


    Osdolen; 2998
    Víriel Hérandil


    Víriel
    's cheery manner vanished rather rapidly as Jacob gave his news, requesting that Vorondil come away. She listened quietly while he told of the goings on and where he had heard them. Thorondil was certainly a reliable source, and she knew that if he asked Vorondil to come, he must have a good reason, and so therefore, her husband would have to go. She was disappointed, and she would miss him, but it couldn't be helped. She nodded in understanding as Vorondil explained that he would have to leave. "I know." She replied softly.

    She stood and hugged him, holding him tight, before he would go, then when he went to pack up a bag to take with him, Víriel went into a back room to get something as well. She met Vorondil as he was leaving, meeting his parting embrace with a soft kiss. She slipped something into his hand before he parted. "Take this.. be safe and return home soon, melindo("my love" = Q)." She said, giving him a finely made elvish dagger which could be easily hidden in his clothing, and drawn to be used as a last resort if he were to lose his sword or other weapons, or in closer combat. She didn't know why, but for some reason she had a sense of foreboding about this mission. But then, she worried every time he left on ranger business.

    She watched as he mounted his horse. "May Elbereth be with you, and bring you home safely." She said in her gentle manner, just before he and Jacob rode away. She stood in the doorway for a while, leaning against the door frame and watching until even her half-elven eyes could no longer see the dust which they stirred up as they rode away in the distance. She sighed lonesomely and absently placed a hand on her belly. That unusual feeling was returning; lightheaded, and slightly nauseous as well. She moved from the doorway to sit back at the table, but the food didn't seem all that appetizing anymore. Rather, it just made her feel more nauseous. So she put the uneaten food away and then went to lie down for a while, hoping it would make her feel better.

    Jake was relieved that he had agreed to come so easily. He nodded as soon as Vorondil rose from the table. "I'll get our horses then." He said helpfully. He went out and soon had Vorondil's horse saddled and ready, and proceeded to saddle himself a horse as well. He led both horses up in front of the house, waiting for Vorondil to come out. When he did, Jake got up into the saddle and looked back, seeing Viriel standing in the doorway. He lifted a hand in a parting wave and then rode away behind Vorondil.

    He pulled up beside Vorondil after a few bit and asked where he planned to go first. Upon receiving an answer, Jake thought for a moment. "Between the three of us, we should be able to handle that small group of bandits with no problem. Word is, there's only a handful of them anyway." He commented. He wondered where Vorondil's brother was, and if he was much of a fighter. Jake couldn't really claim to be much of a swordsman, but he could be rather crafty when he chose to be, though his younger brother was far more clever. "Perhaps when this is over, I might go take that ranger oath and join you in the ranks." He suggested in a companionable tone.

    He smiled in a friendly manner toward Vorondil. "We could be brothers of sorts, right? You rangers are all close friends, from what I've seen.. I'd like to be a part of that.." He added thoughtfully, knowing that Vorondil would know he had no family to call his own. Viriel was always so sympathetic toward him because of that, which is probably a big part of why she had convinced Vorondil to let him stay there and all. Beautiful, sweet, gentle Viriel... he couldn't wait to get back from this wild goose chase and see her again. Without Vorondil around...



    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~

  61. Haflin's Avatar
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    #61
    One Fateful day...
    (Private)

    Osdolen; 2998

    Vorondil Hérandil

    The two rode on. Vorondil tried to keep a confident demeanor despite the slight depression he felt in his spirit. It seemed like too often he was pulled away from his wife to satisfy his oath to the Dunedain. Nobody said the life of a ranger would be easy, it was with this thought he finally put the spiraling notions from his mind and tried earnestly to focus on the landscape around him and its wild beauty.After a few minutes of riding in slience, he nearly started when Jake's voice perked up speaking of the task ahead of them. Vorondil thought the notion over in his mind for a few moments, it was never a good idea to enter a fight outnumbered, but Jake spoke as if these bandits were nothing special, simple bullies and oppurtunists he would bet. He considered the idea, the three of them together could no doubt hold their own against a small group of highway men. He'd been on forays such as this in his younger years, sometimes the crooks in question didn't even need to be battled. The reputation of the rangers proceeded them and more likely than not any neer do wells would think twice about breaking the laws of men when they knew the rangers of the north watched them. With a slight smile he simply nodded.

    "We should be done sooner than I thought if that is indeed the case. A nice surprise for Viriel, to see us both again in a day or two."
    Then Jake said something that caught Vorondil's attention. The man had been his guest for some time and had always been rather humble and seemed quick to repay his debts. Vorondil thought Jake a good man but never had he once thought to offer him a place in the protectors' order. He couldn't help but smile as Jake spoke of the brotherly bond he saw within the rangers.

    "It is a noble but hard thing you speak of, joining the rangers."
    He said, meeting Jake's eyes with his own. "I will not lie to you, it is often hard and sometime you will have to do things that your heart dreads." He paused, remembering flashes of years gone by. He recovered, however, and stuck his arm out to place on Jake's shoulder."But if brotherhood is what your heart desires, I would be happy to call you brother and accompany you to Osdolen to take the oath. The day we do will be a proud day for me Jake."Silence once again reigned in their ride south towards his brother's home. In the distance, he could see the brushy masses of trees that made up Chetwood. There were trees abound in this part of Eriador but no more than Chetwood and maybe the Old Forest on the borders of the Shire. As they passed under the shade of the trees, Vorondil pointed towards the woodland a couple miles ahead of them.

    "There is where my brother lives, perhaps he and his wife will have some drinks for us, this road is so dusty I think my throat may resemble the eastern deserts."
    He said with a chuckle. "You'll like his family, he has the most darling daughter with the brightest smile." He said wistfully, his smile broadening as images of his brother's happy family went through his mind.
    Last edited by Haflin; 29/Mar/2013 at 06:23 AM.

  62. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    #62


    16 years ago... One fateful day
    (private)


    Galanír, Emeralda and Darius


    Galanir
    finally came upon a little clearing, and saw Emeralda playing.. with a little boy around her age. He was slightly surprised. They were quite a ways from the nearest town, Archet. He watched them for a while, smiling as he stood by a tree, hidden by the shadows. He observed that they were playing some sort of game.. was Emma pretending to be a ranger? He smiled, finding that so cute. But, noticing the shadows growing longer, he decided it was time to be heading home. So, he stepped out where they could see him.

    Emma was pretending to shoot a bow, when she saw her daddy step out from the forest! "Daddy!" She dropped her sticks and ran to him, glad to see him. She hugged him, wrapping her arms around his knees. "I'm sorry! I gotted lost." She told him sadly. "I just wanted to be a ranger like you.." She added, looking down but still hugging him.
    Galanir smiled a little and hugged her to him. "I was so worried about you.. and so is your mother." He told her. He knelt down and looked at her, glad to have found her alright.

    "And who's your friend?" He asked, nodding to Darius. He stepped forward nervously.
    "That's Dar..ee..um, Dare." Emma said, having a little bit of difficulty with saying Darius, so she just called him Dare. She went on to tell him excitedly about their games and how they met and everything. Galanir listened with a smile.
    "Well, where do you live Dare?" He asked.
    "Arkit..." Dare replied a little timidly, unsure how to act with the grown up he'd never met. Galanir raised his eyebrow slightly. "How did you get so far out here?" He wondered. The boy shrugged.
    "I dunno.. I just got lost. Then I found Emma." He explained.
    "Well, I'll take you home, don't worry. I know this forest so well I'd never get lost." Galanir told him. He picked Emma up and then took Dare's hand, and set off toward Archet.

    Jake seemed interested as Vorondil was speaking. He appeared thoughtful after he finished, and they rode in silence for a while. Really, he was thinking about his plans. Wondering if things would work as planned, if Mordrin would be where they had planned, worrying about the possibilities of things not going as planned, etc. Finally, Vorondil broke the silence and pointed out the forest ahead. He nodded slightly at the mention of that being where his brother lived. "Drinks would be great." He agreed. He was rather thirsty.

    He wasn't too sure about the other comment though, about liking Vorondil's brother's family. He hadn't ever mentioned it to Vorondil, but he didn't really care much for kids. It wasn't like there were many of them around him usually, and he hadn't ever had a reason to mention not liking kids, so Vorondil couldn't know it, and he didn't think it the best idea to mention it now. So he just nodded and played along as they rode along toward the forest. Eventually, with Vorondil leading them, they came upon a little cottage in a clearing in the woods. A dark haired woman came out of the cottage. Jake thought she was pretty enough, but nothing compared to Viriel.

    Sérëní Hérandil

    Galanír
    had been gone for a while now. She was still rather anxious, worrying about Emeralda and also a little about Galanir. She was more worried about her little girl though, because she knew Galanir could take care of himself. Then she heard horses. Was it him? Or could it be.. no, she dared not even think of that. She stood in the cottage, frozen as so many thoughts rushed through her mind, hearing the horses get closer and closer. Then she decided that the best thing to do was just to go see who it was, and find out what they wanted. But what if it was bandits or something? She hesitated. What if it was important news about Galanir.. or Emeralda? What if someone needed healing? She sighed and shook her head at herself for nearly panicking, then she stepped outside to see who was coming.

    She saw two horsemen, one she had never seen before, but the other.. "Vorondil!" She said in surprise, her slightly worried expression breaking into a smile. She hadn't expected to see Galanir's brother coming. She glanced around in the hope of seeing her husband coming back with their daughter, but no such luck. She almost asked if Vorondil had seen either of them, but then she realized how ridiculous that would be. If he had seen Emeralda, he would have brought her home, and if he had seen Galanir and Emeralda he would have traveled the rest of the way with them. And she was pretty sure that if he had seen just Galanir, he would have helped him search for her. She went to meet her brother in law. "What brings you here? And who is this?" She asked, putting on a cordial and friendly smile despite her worry.


    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~























  63. OOC @ Mar ((I'll post back whenever Sur returns to the Plaza))

    *Set sometime after the events ofPeril in Lindon II : In the Dead of Night*
    After the 'breaking of the North' in the Great Battle,the shape of the North-west of Middle-earth was changed.Nearly all Beleriand was drowned in the Sea.Taur na Fuin became an Island.The mountains of Eredwethion &amp;c. became small isles (so also Himling).~ Tolkien,The Treason of Isengard : The Council of Elrond (1)
    ________________________________________
    Ages of Arda : The Untold Chronicles<b style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: x-large; ">_________________________________________[/b]<b style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: x-large; ">
    [/b]<b style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: x-large; ">
    [/b]<i style="color: rgb0, 102, 204; font-family: 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: x-large; ">The Voyage of Nenmiriel[/i]<i style="color: rgb0, 102, 204; font-family: 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: x-large; ">
    [/i]<i style="color: rgb0, 102, 204; font-family: 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: x-large; ">
    [/i]<b style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: large; ">[Ages of ArdaTheme,Serenata Immortale:HERE][/b]
    __________________________________________________ _________________________________


    ~ The Wethrin Isles ~__________________________________________________ ______________________________________

    <b style="color: rgb0, 0, 255; ">[[/b]Private, with only myself and Haflin<b style="color: rgb0, 0, 255; ">][/b]
    Chapter I :<b style="color: rgb0, 102, 204; font-size: large; ">At White Sail Manor[/b]

    The Main Gate and The Stairs
    At the end of Oeruil Path, a lone and silver-haired,green-cloaked High Elf gave pause at the mossy feet ofElwing's torch-bearing statue.Earenolwë Noldorseronshamefully lifted his face to gaze on the Lady's marble visage ; the light rain of the mid-evening pelted his fair, brooding features. The beauty of the figure,Earenolwëdeemed, could not compare with the pulchritude of the woman herself.
    "I ought to know ; I was there," Earenolwë, a veteran of the attack on the Havens of Sirion,thought somberly as he woodenly passed through the gate to ascend the lengthy flight of steps of the Long Stairs ; those would inevitably bring him to the august mansion, White Sail Manor, set upon the High Hill looming over the harbor city of Mithlond.
    *
    The Third Storey
    "Is this friend of yours arriving soon ? If we're leaving early tomorrow morning, I'd like to get a decent rest,"Khallador, a strong and tactiturn Ranger of the North barefoot and clad in dark-green nightclothes, moodily addressed the blue-robed Sindarin sailorGirion Corubenwho was pouring Elderflower wine - the bottle came fromEärmana's Vineyards ; White Sail Manor was well supplied bySur's friend - forEdan Amrunwho also sat in the cozy sitting room here upon the manse's third floor ; it was black-cladEdan, the green-eyed Noldorin Elf with the slicked-back ebon hair, who had brought him here to the Grey Havens to embark on a pilgrimage of a sort.Edanhad knownKhallador's family for generations (much likeAigrondingand his sisterVeowynknewBeren's), ever since the days of the Siege of Angband, and had brought a few chosen members of his clan to the distant isles of the Great Sea since the second century of the Second Age. 'Why?' was a closely guarded secret only known toAmrunand those he had taken with him....whom were now all passed away saveKhallador, the last of his house. "I have two dozen sailors here at White Sail to help me keep the caravel afloat butEarenolwëis another adroit mariner I wish to take with me ; hewill be voyaging with us on Nenmiriel. I'd like for you to meet him before we sleep,"Girionanswered with a smile, not phased by the Ranger's bad temper.Khalladorcould be a very genial man but he was, at present, mildly upset ; he was a man of duty and thought his absence from Eriador may jeopardize the success of several missions.Khalladordidn't well know the meaning ofrelaxation.
    His daughter, a lovely and raven-hairedellethnamedAlarawho wore a white gown tonight that bared pale shoulders, affixed her sire with a glare as she continued to play, well-wrought and beautifully,Maglor'sHymn to the Seaby the sitting room's oriel window. "Well...excuse me, I meant also to acknowledge,Alara. My daughter, is also adept at boating and will bejoining the crew,"Girionamended.Alarawas once lost at sea centuries ago in the storm-tossed waters of the Inner Seas ; last winter, father and daughter had reunited at last though.Girionloathed to consider the the rage ofOssëseparating them again....this time permanently, butAlarawas strong-willed and would accompany her father on this journey."Varda's stars, you knowEarenolwë?"Edanexclaimed ; a good thing it was that he hadn't a sip of his wine orAmrunwould have spat out his drink."Small city, is it not ?"Girionasked, eyes glittering in amusement."Anyways,"continuedCorubenafter a long satisfying taste of the bright-colored wine,"SurandEärmanahave much to do and I will let them keep busy.Alara's andEarenolwë's talents will suffice on this trip and the experience of the seafarers who dwell here that you've met already."There was a knock at the door andGirioncrossed the living room to open it.Earenolwëhad rapped. His cloak and bright silver hair were sodden from the deluge ; the rain was falling heavier outside now and through the wet glass of the window byAlaraone could glimpse the coruscating flashes of silent lightning flickering over Mithlond and the Bay of Lhûn.
    It's a new trend in this country to drink when the last member of your party hasn't appeared,Coruben?Earenolwëasked wryly as he stepped inside the room."You arrived here too slow, my friend,"Girioninformed glibly, patting the Ancient's shoulder.Earenolwëgripped hands withEdanandKhalladorin merry salutation and he hanged his mantle on a drying rack before taking a seat on the sofa by the window next toAlara; he smiled softly at her, enjoying the elleth's talented handling of the majesticHymn to the Seawhich had been written by the Elf who had been Earenolwë's king and friend once upon a time."What brings you back to the Grey Havens, mellon ?"EdanaskedEarenolwë. "Oh, I'm just chasing a wolf,"he answered sadly, staring at the carpet."Okay...."Edanresponded and, confused, quieted."So, where are you taking your caravel, Nenmiriel,Girion?"Earenolwëquestioned as he accepted a glass of Elderflower wine fromCoruben.The Sindaswallowed a mouthful of the full-flavored and fruity wine, let it roll for a moment, and swallowed in pleasure before answering."I haven't the foggiest idea, mellon,"Girionresponded with laughter,eyeingEdan Amrun.Alara's music faltered and she slowly lowered her instrument.
    "Father,"Alarahailed calmly although her icy-blue eyes seemed stern and disapproving,"Are you trying to say that you agreed to transport us to some unknown destination simply becauseAmrunis your bosom friend ?"Alarawondered aloud, glaring.Girionshared silent glances with an expressionlessEdanand then turned his attention back toAlara, answering,"Yes,"straight-faced.Alaradropped the flute on her lap and palmed her face with both hands."I swear that he would jump off a mountain ifEdantold him to,"Alaragroaned."I betAmrunwants your father to leadus to our doom," Earenolwëpredicted sarcastically with morbid inflection."Amrun, this is ludicrous !"snappedKhallador,"When in this archaic tradition of yours do you finally reveal the location of this journey ?" "Right now actually,"assuredEdan,"now that I know everyone I need will be with me. We'll be visiting the Wethrin Isles."
    "I told you all," Earenolwëmuttered warningly before raising the rim of the goblet to his lips. "Pardon?"Alarafrightfully asked the High Elf."Well,"Earenolwëhedged after a delicious quaff of his beverage,"When I was at Gate Town in the south kingdom, I heard rumors that for the last five years pirates have fashioned lairs in the mountains on these Wethrin Islands. Some of the criminals are just hiding out but some are searching for Elven treasure though I think they'd be only lucky to find any on Himling where the ruins ofKingMaedhros' citadel still remain. Still, we might want to equip ourselves with arms on this excursion ifEdanplans to step foot on any of these islands...."He stared atAmrun."For whatever reason."Khalladorleaned forward."Something tells me this isn't about chasing away any plunderers or pirates from lands of Antiquity, am I correct ?"themortal guessed.Edantwirled the bowl of the goblet that contained the delicate, yellow liquid between his palms, staring into space with a sorrowfully fond expression as if he was remembering happier times.
    "There's a remote isle in the western sea. Fair, mountainous and green ; the earth beyond the shores once, before the drowning of Beleriand, were vales of the southern slopes of Ered Wethrin in the First Age. It has no name as do all the relics of Ered Wethrin in Belegaer but I have always called itMel Lónain the High Speech."He looked atKhallador."Your ancestors are buried there, two of them, a wife and husband, whom I knew well,Kal. And their love was very great.Mel Lóna has endured the sinking of Beleriand, the tumults of Númenor's fall, and thousands of years of storm...and for two Ages of this world have I brought your kin to their resting place. At no other spot in this world will you encounter the remains of your earliest forebears." There was silence in the chamber for a few moments, broken by a solemnKhalladorwho reached out forEdan's hand."Thank you for the honor, my friend,"he uttered.
    *The Mainmast Tower
    "Hello."Khalladorlooked over his shoulder to behold the owner of that deep, musical voice.Alarastood just outside the door that opened to this balcony in the Mainmast Tower, the pinnacle set above the entrance of White Sail Manor between the Port and Starboard turrets ; the portal was ajar, the guttering torchlight haloed the Elven woman's svelte form in ruddy light. The mortal admired her beauty for a moment for it was rare for him to see such loveliness ; seldom it was that female Elvenadventurers journeyed with the Dúnedain thusKhalladorhadn't encountered many ladies of the Firstborn."My quarters are near to yours, she began to explain, "my door happened to be ajar when I saw you leaving your room ; I was curious as to where you were going, so I followed. Hope you do not mind." "You speak Common excellently well,"the Ranger complimented her from his place in the steady drizzle near the railing of the terrace ; the worst of the pouring that ceased, it had spat quite a bit, but now there was only a consistent sprinkling from heaven."Well, I grew up in the East of Middle-earth, Palisor, where many humans live,"Alaradivulged,"I know many languages, including my Avarin mother's speech, but I am well tutored in speaking a multitude of the human dialects of the East. I learned Common when I lived in Wilderland though to interact with the mortals of Dale."She carefully walked across the marble floor to be at his side."The longer you stay out here, you'll be soaked,Khallador,"Alaraobserved amusingly, "Perhaps you'd marvel the grand view when you return, if it's sunny rather."
    From atop the lofty towers of White Sail Manor, the wharves and town of Mithlond could be seen below, a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Lhûn and the grandeur of Elven architecture."I'm so excited I haven't thought of sleep sinceEdantold me where we are voyaging to,"Khalladoradmitted as he revered the magnificent cityscape and storm-tossed harbor waters."I've never even been on the ocean before,"he reluctantly revealed andAlaragasped, grasping her heart in astonishment."And how old are you, mortal ?"Alaraasked."Seventy-five,"Khalladorreplied, trying not to laugh - he had a reputation to keep - butAlaracouldn't restrain her mirth."You're seventy-five and have never been sailing ?"she asked incredulously and broke into a giggling fit asKhalladorreplied he hadn't."Swimming, at least ?"Alarademanded."That I've done and plenty !"Khalladorconfirmed and joined in the laughter.
    When they were calmer,Khalladoroffered :"Maybe when we get back you could instruct me before I return to Osdolen ? I plan to visit often though, I think ; I like this town,"andAlarasmiled, touching his hand."I'd like to teach you,Kal, and I'll show you the best of this realm."They were silent for a time, moved by the awing spectacle before them."I wonder what they were like. My kin thatEdanknew. He won't even tell me their names. Not yet at least, not until we're there. On Mal Lóna. I'd like to harangueAmrunto tell me more but I ought to respect the execution of this antediluvian tradition." "We Elves are stubborn about such things,"Alaramentioned and she tried to steerKhalladorto the still opened door."We both need our sleep, mortal, and my hair is dreadfully wet !"


























    Edited by: The Eleventh Doctor

  64. Haflin's Avatar
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    #64
    One Fateful day...
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    Chetwood; 2998

    Vorondil Hérandil

    The shade was definitely nice; a cool break from the long trip, and the land around them was beautiful in its natural state. Vorondil could see why his brother had chosen to raise a family here, it was so tranquil in contrast to the turbulent and violent lives that they had to pursue as rangers.Up ahead along the trail, in a clearing there was the outline of a house sitting alone amongst the trees. He smiled with the knowledge that he had not forgotten the path to his own kin's home. As they approached, a woman whom he immediately recognized as his brother's wife came out of the house to meet the two as they led their horses forwards.

    "Hello,
    Sérëní!"He called as she greeted him. "I'm sorry to bother you but I've come to call on the aid of my brother, something has come up that requires our attention. This is my friend Jake, don't worry, he's not nearly as rough as he looks." He added with a chuckle, teasing the man next to him. The two dismounted their horses as they neared the house. Looking about him, Vorondil saw no trace of his brother or their child and immediately wondered why they had not come out to meet the two of them with his sister in law.

    "Where is Galanir and Emeralda?"
    He asked, then noticing that something in Sérëní's eyes betrayed her worry, his own face became grave as he looked to her.

    "Is something wrong?"
    He asked, wondering what was going on.
    Last edited by Haflin; 29/Mar/2013 at 06:26 AM.

  65. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    16 years ago... One fateful day
    (private)

    Sérëní Hérandil

    Sérëní had unsuccessfully tried to keep him from noticing her worry. She sighed lightly. "Oh, well, I'm sure everything's alright, but Emeralda took off into the woods, and Galanír has gone to look for her." She explained, trying to seem less worried than she was. But it was nearing dusk by now and she thought they should have returned by now. Though there was still plenty of daylight, it would be very dark in the woods. "He should be back any minute.." She added. "But please, come in and have a drink." She offered, smiling to them both.

    She was unhappy to hear that he needed Galanir to come away with him, but she understood he was a ranger and that he had an oath. It was because of him and those like him that the land was kept safe for her and their family to live in relative peace. "You can put up your horses in the barn.. and Vorondil, how is Viriel?" She said. She was wondering what trouble there could be now that they would come for Galanir. Just as she was leading the way to the barn so they could put their horses in there , she saw Galanir returning from within the forest, carrying a sleepy Emeralda on piggyback. Her worried look from earlier broke into a smile of relief as she saw them. "There he is now!" She said, then ran to meet him.

    Galanir smiled and stopped at the edge of the forest, meeting Sereni with a hug and kiss. Then he looked past her and saw with surprise that his brother was there. "Vorondil!" He said, happy to see him. He put an arm around his wife's shoulders and went to meet Vorondil, Emma still hanging from his back. She giggled slightly and held on as her daddy walked over to meet with uncle Vorondil. He pulled him into a friendly hug and then stepped back. "How are you, brother?!" He asked, happy to see him. "It's been too long, you have to come by more often!"

    He reached up to his shoulders and tugged lightly on Emma's arms, adjusting how she hung just a bit. "I have such a heavy load on my back!" He commented jokingly to Vorondil with a grin, talking about Emma of course. "Care to help me out a bit, brother?" He asked teasing Emma a bit. She giggled, knowing she wasn't really that heavy. She was unable to wave at her uncle because she was holding onto her daddy's shoulders. "Hi uncle Vorondil!" She said. "I made a new friend today!" She told him proudly.


    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~

  66. Aerlinn Mordagnir's Avatar
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    #66
    Valinor~F.A. 4990(Private, all quotes from Stephen King's Dark Tower)
    __________________________________________


    "Time is a face on the water."There is time in Valinor. Somewhere, someone might even be keeping records of it. Seasons, years, eras -- all that Nemmíro could define was before and after, and before seemed like something very far away. His supposedly perfect memory had even let it fade, marked as unimportant next to every single moment in which his daughter had existed.The after merely shifted. He turned and she was not yet walking, then riding, then back in his arms with flowers. He dreamed and she was fighting, then spinning in the grass 'til she toppled sideways, and then just very, very tired.
    <b style="font-family: sans-serif; line-height: 19px; : rgb255, 255, 255; ">[/b]"When everything's a surprise, experience takes on a dreamlike quality."She thought she knew how to ride. She thought she knew speed and wind in her hair. She thought she might have some very small idea of what it was like to fly with the eagles. But as soon as her father boosted her up onto her pony and she gathered the black mane in her small hands, sitting alone, she realized with all the force of a child's conviction that she knew nothing."Let her run now," Atto advised, "before Amme comes to find us."So they ran galloped cantered flew -- and Ealindë thought she might be waking up.
    Ellindalë"If you love me, then love me."Courage. Strength. Empathy. Integrity. Honor. Duty. Love. The last was a very good reason to do terrible things, her mother had warned her. But what were warnings, here amid the sun? She slipped outside, not quite sneaking but not calling out to her parents either, and her feet tread familiar paths. Up the hill -- would he be waiting? Around the corner -- was he hers? Back down -- or she merely his? Left, through the trees -- she would not come first. She knew this, and she did not worry, but she thought.Because love was her word, but pride was his.
    "First come smiles, then comes lies."In Valinor, the line between lord and friend is blurrier than it becomes years later across the sea, perhaps because there is more laughter here. One can laugh when the layers of necessary formalities are tucked within language itself, and not in bows. Someday the Sindar will call Quenya harsh, but it is merely a tongue of stories instead of songs.But stories are just as faulty as their lyrical counterparts. He is close enough to see the lies but too far away to stop them. "Nothing's wrong," Findekáno says, but he forgets "yet", and with that lord surpasses friend.




  67. Haflin's Avatar
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    #67
    One Fateful day...
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    Chetwood; 2998
    Vorondil Hérandil

    When Sérëní told him that his niece had run off into the woods he became immediately concerned, the prospect of not knowing where one's child was being distressing for both family an kind alike. He scanned the forest trees fruitlessly in a vain attempt to spy her out there somewhere but was reassured when his sister in law told him that his brother was on the case. Vorondil knew his brother was a skilled ranger and this was his home and his own child. Emeralda was as good as safe he thought to himself, it was just a matter of waiting. When she offered them both a drink, he smiled remembering how parched his throat was.

    "Yes, that's a fine idea."
    He said. "You musn't worry too much about her my dear, Galanir is crafty and tough, as you said, he's probably already on his way back." As they all made their way to the barn, Sérëní asked him how his wife was, he smiled, remembering the last time he had seen Viriel.

    "She is just fine, though I am sure that she is less than pleased that I am called away on Ranger business."
    He said, then, realizing he may have touched on a nerve as his sister in law was in the same position, fumbled for words. "I'm sorry to have to call my brother away from his family but this matter is urgent and should only take a few days at the most to resolve." Just as they reached the barn, he heard his sister in law call out to his brother whom he turned to see was carrying his niece on his back. Vorondil laughed despite himself, it was always nice to see his family happy and well.

    Vorondil
    went over to give his brother a hug."Ah, well, if you wanted me to visit more often perhaps you would have settled somewhere a little further north!" He said with a chuckle, teasing his brother "It is good to see you as well! I'm just fine now that you and the little one are safe." He said indicating his niece who clung to her father's back. When his brother jokingly asked him to help with his heavy load, Vorondil reached forwards and grabbed his niece, lifting her above his head.

    "A new friend you say? You didn't scare him did you? Goodness knows you gave us all a bit of one!"
    He chided her though not harshly or even firmly. He gave her a hug and set her down next to him. Looking back to his brother, he continued."I'm sorry if I've come at a bad time, but perhaps we should clean up out here and head inside, we have matters to speak of my brother." He said to Galanir.Once they were inside and Sérëní had been nice enough to give them all some drinks, Vorondil, got down to business.

    "A message has been sent down from our father by my friend Jake here. Brigands have blocked the road near Bree and are demanding tolls from travelers and threatening violence. They are supposedly few in number and should not be much of a matter for the three of us to disperse. What do you say, Galanir, are you willing to help a brother out?"
    He said, adding a smirk to the end of the question while taking a sip of his drink.
    Last edited by Haflin; 29/Mar/2013 at 07:08 AM.

  68. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    16 years ago... One fateful day
    (private)

    Galanír, Emeralda and Sérëní Hérandil


    Emeralda giggled a little as her uncle lifted her up in the air. "No, I didn't scare him!" She said, then looked a little guilty when he said she'd scared them a little. "I'm sorry.. I just wanted to go with daddy." She apologized. "I'm gonna be a ranger just like daddy one day!" She announced, looking up at him after he set her down. "I was playing with Dare! He's from Archytown." She told him, bouncing a little. Galanir smiled in amusement.
    "Archet, sweety." He corrected her.
    "Yeah! We was fightin' bandits and stuff, and I was a ranger!" She said excitedly, barely acknowledging the correction. Sérëní smiled a little.
    "Come on Emeralda." She said, taking her hand gently to lead her inside. Emma went with her, using her free hand to swing an imaginary sword around to fight off imaginary bandits.

    Galanir grinned slightly as he watched her.
    "When I found her, she was playing in a clearing with a little boy around her age. They were fighting imaginary bandits." He told Vorondil, amused and slightly proud despite the fact that she'd wandered off when she was told not to go in the forest alone. He grew a little more serious when he said they had to talk, and nodded.

    Jake watched all of this quietly, observing the man with the child, and the little girl talking about her silly games. All the while, Jake was feeling impatient. He glanced up at the sky, judging the time, and tried not to show his impatience, but he knew that Mordrin was waiting at the predetermined spot, and they were supposed to arrive sometime between sunset and midnight, and he didn't want to be very late. He was glad when they finally went in for a drink, and he listened quietly while Vorondil asked his brother about joining them. He halfway hoped that the man would say he had to stay with his family, but he kind of doubted that he'd leave his brother to fight the bandits, even if it was supposedly a small group. Those rangers had some silly sense of nobility and honor or something.

    Galanir listened, now serious, while Vorondil explained the situation. Their father sent word? "Why did he not come himself?" He asked, curious. He set his glass down and nodded to his last question. "Of course I will, I wouldn't abandon my brother in need." He said, a small smile on his face as well. "Besides, I can't have bandits lurking in these woods, with my family here. Especially with they way Emma's always wanting to wander off and play in the forest." He sighed slightly, then finished off his drink. "I hate to leave, but it must be done. How soon should we leave?" He asked, regretting having to tell Sereni that he must leave.


    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~

  69. Haflin's Avatar
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    #69
    One Fateful day...
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    Vorondil
    smiled when his brother told him of his niece's antics. It seemed so very long ago when he and his brother were the same way as kids; dreaming of the days of their adulthood when they would take up their swords and hunt down the evil that lurked the lands of their forefathers. All rangers had grown up listening to the rivetting fireside legends of the kings that had crossed the western seas; tall men in lofty helms that bore long swords and marched grimly to meet their foes. In many ways, they grew up emulating these stories and honoring the memories that were now long forgotten by anyone except the dunedain.

    "Ah, to be that young again..."
    He said wisftully in response to his brother but said no more as it saddened his heart to know that such days were gone for him, never to return. It was then that his brother asked him about their father. Vorondil considered the question before answering thoughtfully.

    "It is my understanding that he and the rangers closest to him were busy on other more pressing business. I doubt he would come all the way down from the north to deliver the news himself when he could do so by messenger."
    This seemed to satisfy Galanir who nodded and agreed to come, gaining a smile from Vorondil who was always happy to have his brother at his back. He echoed his brother's snetiments about leaving his family, once again remembering the last time he saw Viriel.

    "I know the sorrow of leaving, Galanir. My Viriel waits for me back in Osdolen, but the sooner we go, the quicker we shall both be back home. The day is still high, I believe it wise if we leave just as soon as you can be ready."
    He said, rising from his seat and patting his brother's shoulder. His light hearted face suddenly became somber, however, and for a moment he seemed to stare into space before closing his eyes quickly and looking back to his brother."We must take heed, though, few as they may be, bandits are still bandits; wily and treacherous. Who knows what tricks they may pull when we encounter them?"
    Last edited by Haflin; 29/Mar/2013 at 07:09 AM.

  70. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    #70


    16 years ago... One fateful day
    (private)

    Galanír Hérandil



    Galanir smiled a little, silently agreeing with Vorondil. He enjoyed playing games with his daughter, it made him feel young again. She was so energetic and imaginative, and curious. And smart, he thought. She could be a good ranger some day, if she really chose to be one. He would be proud of her no matter what she did when she grew up, though.

    He nodded as Vorondil explained why their father didn't come himself to tell them of the bandits. "Ah, well, that makes sense of course." He said. He gave a sympathetic smile to his brother when he mentioned having to leave Viriel behind. "I'll be ready within a few minutes." He told him. "I'd like to kiss Emma good night first, though. Would you care to saddle my horse while I'm doing that?" He asked, rising from the table as well.

    He nodded at his comment about bandits being tricky. "Aye, that's true." He thought for a moment. "We can discuss it on the way." He said, wanting to make haste to get ready, since the sooner they left, the sooner they could return to their respective families. He smiled and went to tell his daughter good night. Sereni busied herself with preparing some food to take with them, having heard of the mission.


    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~

  71. Mar and Sur : (( I'll be getting back to our stories next.))

    "Edan had known Khallador's family for generations
    ever since the days of the Siege of Angband."
    ~ Narrator,The Voyage of Nenmiriel"


    Nathaniel was a descendant of a courageous man of Palisor
    named Robin ;
    the Dark Men called him an outlaw but he was
    a freedom fighter in the beginning of days.
    Nathaniel, a refugee, was adopted into the clan of the Galeridas of Himring
    in the four hundred and twenty-fourth year of the First Age.
    A shadow lay over his soul but he was not alone.
    Before he met Guinevere Dara, his wife ; there was his adopted sister, Tinuwen,
    and his friends were Trystan and Galadan Dunlan of Dorthonion,
    orphans likewise, and their friendship was very great."
    ~ From the histories of the Galerida family.

    Ages of Arda : The Untold Chronicles

    The Orphans


    Ages of Arda
    Theme, Serenata Immortale: HERE


    -Emyn Himring-

    "...the Edain dwelt in the lands of the Eldar, some here, some there,
    some
    wandering, some settled in kindreds or small
    peoples ; and the most part
    of them
    soon learnedthe Grey-elven tongue,
    both as a common speech
    among themselves
    and because many were eager to learn the lore of the Elves."
    ~Tolkien,
    The Silmarillion : Of the Coming of Men into the West

    [Private with Haflin and myself]

    Chapter I
    The Boy



    FA 424. The Hills of Himring

    "A few of either people [First and Third Houses] went to Maedhros
    and the lands about the Hill of Himring."
    ~ Tolkien,
    The War of the Jewels : The Later Quenta Silmarillion


    Edan Amrun didn't favor with a full heart his duties as an officer when he was posted at the fortress of Himring.

    Boring paper work, boring drills, boring inspections, boring moments where he had to sit in this guard tower managing subordinates who also had absoutely nothing to do.

    He had his family here, they lived at the base, but still he longed for action in either the marches or Lothlann. He had been stationed here too long. Well, no, actually, not really. His duration of service here at the fortified hill had only been three months thus far but it felt more like an age.

    Someone slowly approaches,"
    a lieutenant alerted Edan who had been admiring the majesty of the sunset glow laying over the fields and forests of the lower encompassing hills.

    Edan
    snapped out of his daze and arose from his chair, where he had been slouching, here in the guard tower and walked to where the soldier who had hailed him was positioned at the northern window.

    Edan
    looked down the long, broad road that led from Maedhros' citadel on the cold bald crown of Himring into the wooded hills below; the stranger was small but from this distance the person's features weren't exactly clear.

    Open the gates,"
    Edan ordered, touched slightly by the power of Elven foresight.

    "Archers stand down..
    ."

    Edan
    moved hurriedly out of the room and quickly descended the stone stairs of the tower to reach the gates which were swinging open ; he wanted to meet the guest personally.

    Usually when Amrun was posted here there were bands of returning soldiers, merchant caravans transporting material, or a son of Fëanor acompanied by guards who wanted to see King Maedhros.

    The unknown figure emerged from the cool, shivering forest as if born of it. The being wavered as if from exhaustion and Edan took a step back in startled amazement, bright green eyes widening in astonishment as he realized who this unexpected arrival was.

    A mortal boy.

    The scrawny human child, eleven or twelve winters, had disheveled brown hair and his clothes - tattered trousers, a ripped shirt, and a torn cloak - were dirty and bloodstained. His shoes were dusty and falling apart. The grimey youth must have traveled a great distance for quite some time, fleeing from danger....

    As Edan came toward him, the boy collapsed, raising a puff of smoke into the air. Edan sprinted to him and gently lifted the unwashed, unconscious tatterdamlion in his arms.

    Someone notify the medics at the healing house that I'm bringing a patient to their door,"
    Amrun commanded no one in particular as he re-entered the courtyard ; many warriors had been sparring or relaxing in the courtyard, others rushing by on their way to complete an errand, but now all the Elves had paused to gawk at the unusual, most likely doomed human. "Move!" Edan snapped, losing his temper, which prompted one of the soldiers to act; he ran for the great domed building west of the courtyard.


    *

    Edan stood arms crossed and brooding in the torchlit white stone corridor outside the healing ward where the hapless mortal boy was being cared for.Amrun was gazing through a window at the evening's hazy golden moon in the starless night sky when the door opened. Out stepped somber Tur Nestor Aelriel, wearing the grey silk uniform of a citadel healer.

    Is he alright now ?"
    Edan, blanching, questioned Aelriel as he pulled her to him.

    The boy will survive, Edan, I promise you,"
    the green-eyed and red-haired Noldorin healer spoke soothingly as she gently removed her friend's hands.

    I'm sorry,"
    Edan apologized, beginning to calm himself now,"just...." he fell silent, remembering how weary and rail-thin the injured vagabond child looked."No one that age should endure such hardship...." Edan spoke when he could find his voice and turned away, finishing quietly,"Whatever it was."

    "Nathaniel has spoken to me,"
    Aelriel revealed sadly.

    Edan
    straightened. "That's the waif's name ?" Edan asked and Aelriel smiled wanly.

    "Yes,"
    she answered and gestured to a nearby bench beneath tapestries of weeping Nienna and silver-robed Estë, Valar of Pity and Healing, for them to sit as they discussed the mysterious homeless child. "Nathaniel doesn't have an elven name but he can speak Sindarin well enough, he's been taught like most humans ; we were able to understand each other rather easily," spoke Aelriel.

    Clasping her white hands upon her lap she paused for a moment.

    "He told me what brought him here,"
    she continued steadily,"As you know, there are people of the Edain of like mind with Chieftain Magor who prefer to dwell among their own kind rather than being mingled with the Elves within their own lands. This boy, Nathaniel, was a member of one such family which, after much wandering, had settled in a remote town exclusively established for the Hildor to inhabit."

    "Where?"


    "Nathaniel's village, Llanfair, was founded twenty years ago in a valley amid the great, pine-clad hills southeast of Ladros, Dorthonion ; the hamlet prospered...until recently. Orcs and werewolves invaded the town and massacred the Fírimar."

    Edan
    's mouth was a thin line. The goblins had their victories in the Siege, too ; the Noldor and their Sindar allies tried to keep the Enemy contained in the North but it was a difficult task.

    "The Yrch didn't kill everyone ; they captured many humans and for what purpose in the Hells of Iron I fear to imagine,"
    Aelriel spoke, trembling, "and the werewolves kept the surviving Atani afraid to flee, all except for two. Nathaniel and his father, Josef, tried to escape during the forced march to Angband but their flight was prevented by the brutal intervention of the demon captain. Nathaniel and Josef were beaten down and the boy was constrained to watch his parent tortured and afterwards rent apart by a werewolf. Draugluin, lord and sire of the Ngaurhoth of Angband. Old in evil. You may have heard of that dread beast, I presume."

    Edan
    , aghast, stared in gape-mouthed at Aelriel.

    "Nathaniel was scourged,"
    Aelriel continued. "The boy has a stout heart. He absconded from his captors again sometime later and was successful but pursued by Orcs and werewolves ; Nathaniel fled south knowing there was Elven strength in the Pass of Aglon but the boy became lost in the wilderness as he evaded his hunters. Ultimately, by chance, he arrived in Emyn Himring."

    "Why would the demon risk werewolves and goblins to seize or kill just one human child ?"
    Edan pondered aloud, dumbfounded.

    "Maybe Zeboim probably considered Nathaniel's rebellion and stubborn determination as a personal insult,"
    Aelriel dryly replied.

    "Zeboim ? The witch that nearly wiped East Beleriand off the map in Dagor Aglareb ?"


    "The same,"
    Aelriel confirmed.

    "I've heard stories about that fallen Maia,"
    Edan said grimly, "her vengeance knows no bounds. It's possible she's ordered the Orcs and werewolves not to return to Dor Daedeloth unless Nathaniel has either been recaptured or murdered. I'll need to speak with the King ; a few bands should patrol the northern perimeter of Emyn Himring. If Zeboim's minions haven't been slaughtered by the hosts of House Finarfin, it's possible that the villains and beasts may have tracked the boy into the hills by now and, if so, then our people are endangered."

    "You ought to see Maitimo before he sleeps,"
    Aelriel suggested, rising to her feet with Edan.

    "One thing I'd like to know before we part, Aeriel, if I can keep you for a moment,"
    said Edan, "what will happen to the boy ?"

    Aelriel
    frowned, brushing aside flame-red locks of her scarlet hair.

    I'm not sure, Edan," she admitted. "We've done all we could for Nathaniel's health. He's been cleaned, his wounds are healing, the boy is resting. Nathaniel should stay with us for a few weeks here at Himring ; he's gone a fortnight without proper nutrition and his body needs to recover from the crucible he's endured and to mend itself from this terrible ordeal."

    She swept fingertips at the tears that trickled from her shining emerald eyes.

    "There's nothing much we can do for his peace of mind....only Time can heal him from his awful, haunting memories."

    "That doesn't always happen,"
    Edan disagreed, muttering, as he slid a palm over his slicked-back dark hair ; he would never forget the his misery on the Grinding Ice.

    "Nathaniel will need a home,"
    Edan stated clearly, "he's an orphan now, yes ? I don't think you mentioned whether or not the boy has any family left to him."

    "His mother, Lia, died years ago ; she was taken ill with influenza, one of the severe maladies that the Engwar may fall victim to. Nathaniel was only 8 years-old when she became sick ; he saw her suffer and...."
    Aelriel couldn't finish, touching her face again to rid the tears that dampened her porcelain features. Aelriel smiled faintly as Edan tried consoling her, gently feeling the small of her back.

    "Nathaniel's not old enough to enlist in the service yet so he can't stay here at the fortress unless he wants to be a stableboy or work in the kitchens, become a servant in Maedhros' tower...."


    "I think what the orphan needs is a family,"
    Edan decided. "If he wants revenge, he can train to be a warrior in a few more years. For the moment, Nathaniel needs love and contentment. Joy. He's just a child and he deserves the life of one. Certainly there must be a human clan in Emyn Himring who would like to foster the boy."

    "The Galeridas ?"
    Aelriel guessed, ridding the last vestiges of teardew from her pale cheeks.

    "That sounds familiar,"
    Edan admitted.

    "It should,"
    Aelriel riposted, laughing.

    "Do you remember Sereadan Galerida ?"


    Edan
    grimaced in embarrassment, realizing now. Sereadan Galerida had been a mighty commander of the Third House who led an all-human battalion that fought for Maedhros for a decade ; the veteran was retired currently, a father and a ranch-owner. The Galeridas lived in a village named Talgarth in the southern ranges of Emyn Himring not far from the waters of the Celon River.

    "Galerida is a good man. Could you pay their home a visit while I'm gone ? I need to hunt down the horde stalking Nathaniel if Maedhros gives me permission to lead a team in the northern marches."

    "I'll request a leave of absence,"
    Aelriel assured Edan. "We should see Maedhros at once."

    "Do you mind if I pay a look at the child first ?"
    Edan asked.

    "Just for a second,"
    Aelriel replied, hugging her friend, "we shouldn't wake him."
    "Of course."

    Aelriel
    opened the door and allowed Edan to walked toward Nathaniel's bedside.

    He wore a white patient's robe and was asleep, curled up beneath the fleecy cover of the bed. His unruly brown hair was thoroughly clean and the rest of him. Nathaniel didn't seem at peace as he slumbered; he whimpered and figeted, having a nightmare, probably dreadming of his ghastly experience in the clutches of the Enemy.

    Edan
    gently sweeped his fingertips over young Nathaniel's hair and turned to face Aelriel and looked into her wet viridian eyes.

    "I will avenge him,"
    he swore and strode purposefully from the room.
    Last edited by Aigronding Mordagnir; 05/Sep/2013 at 08:58 PM.

  72. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    Rainelle, Onyx and Mina - 3014
    The Runaways : Flight to Freedom
    About a day's Journey from Minas Tirith

    It was somewhat ironic that it was raining as Rain and Mina traveled along by horseback, away from Minas Tirith this time. She was glad she had a hood on her cloak, even though the rain kept tripping into her face from the hem of the hood. She had Onyx tucked safely and securely away in her jacket, where he was probably sound asleep and hopefully dry and warm. The younger girl rode silently behind her on the horse, barely touching Rain's sides. Actually, Mina was much better at riding a horse than Rain, but since she was older and knew more of which direction to head, Rain was steering the horse and hoping she didn't fall off or anything.

    She kept looking around warily, not paying much attention to the rainwater dripping into her face. She was keeping a sharp watch for anyone approaching from any direction. She was afraid that Mordrin or Jake would find her again, and she wasn't sure what she would be able to do if they did find her. She had a million thoughts running through her mind as she rode along in silence. Although it would normally be around dusk, it was already dark because of the rainclouds covering the sky. She knew soon they would need to stop for the night, and she was trying to keep an eye open for some place to stop. As it got darker and darker, she could barely see but she had an advantage. She was about a fourth elf, so she had better night vision than normal people.

    "We should stop soon." Mina stated quietly, in her normal flat tone of voice. Rain jumped slightly, started to hear her break the silence that had been seeming to press in on them for the last several hours. She nodded slightly. "I know." She replied softly, keeping her voice quiet. She felt bad for Mina, recently orphaned and left to fend for herself in the middle of the wilderness. She was lucky Rain, Lenna and Bruthane had come across her and brought her with them to Minas Tirith. Rain remembered that, as terrified as she might be about the thought of Mordrin catching up to her, Mina was probably even more scared. From what Rain gathered of her story, it was Mordrin and Jake who had killed her family, and she was only alive because she'd been over looked. Rain wanted to be able to protect the younger girl, she just wasn't sure if she would be able to protect even herself, if it came down to it. She didn't really know how to use a dagger, despite having two of them. She just hoped for the best.

    Looking up once more, she thought she spotted a building up ahead. She couldn't see it that clearly, thanks to the rain dripping into her eyes and the dimness of the night. But she was fairly sure. "I think there's some kind of a building up ahead." she said softly. She urged the horse to go a bit faster on the muddy road, wanting to get there faster, and hoping it was somewhere safe to spend the night.

    Soon they had arrived at a little shack, slightly rundown and in need of repairs, but at least it had walls and a roof. Rain kind of slid down from the horse, not very good at mounting and dismounting, and gripped the reins tightly in her right hand, her left hand gripping the handle of the dagger that Bruthane had given her. She handed the reins up to Mina, then ventured cautiously into the building, looking around. It seemed to be some sort of homestead shack, or claim shanty, or whatever they were called. It didn't appear to have been lived in for a while, probably whoever built it there had moved into a better, more permanent house and left this shack standing here, open to the weather. There were holes in the roof that dripped water, and small gaps in the walls where the boards didn't meet all the way, but it was shelter, and it was better than sleeping outside. She went back out and got the reins back from Mina, and motioned her to come. Mina dismounted easily, making Rain a little jealous, and then led the way in while Rain coaxed the horse to come through the doorway, since there was room for them all in there.

    Mina stood where there were no leaks dripping down on her, looking around while Rain brought the horse inside. She wondered if Mordrin and his friend were still in Minas Tirith, and if so, how long it would take them to find out that Rain and herself were no longer there. When would they begin to come after them? She wondered what to do, and also, if Rain's friends Lenna and Bruthane were going to come after her or anything. Rain finished making the horse secure, and then looked around. "Well, it's not very cozy, but it'll do for the night." She said quietly, sighing softly as she found a dry place to sit and let Onyx out of her jacket. He curled up in her lap, purring softly, content to sleep for now.


    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~

  73. Asha'bellanar's Avatar
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    #73


    What Hurts the Most

    [Special One-Time Post *G*]

    Lindon, T.A. 3011 - 3013. - THEME

    When Tinraldur first met Lúthia, he knew he would never love anything more. The lone adventurer had made a name for himself venturing the most perilous waters alongside his father, a renowned sailor, and on his own terms. Handsome, looks favoring his mother's fairness. Gallant, inheriting his father's undaunted spirit. Above all, a genuine soul. But never had Tinaraldur given his heart to any maiden, and at the age of three thousand and twenty-five, he started to believe that none would ever receive it. However, nothing had prepared Tinaraldur for Lúthia Bithdireil. A beautiful young elleth who had abandoned the world she knew in Lothlórien, for an independent life beside the shores of Lord Círdan's realm.From the evening he had beheld her at a spring ball, Tinaraldur became her captive in both thought and in sentiment. His mind seldom left Lúthia, who was two years shy of full maturity, and therefore much too young for that which he hoped to achieve. And so Tinaraldur waited, watching her from a distance whenever their paths crossed, careful never to forcefully impose that which he desired, and for the seasons to come and go until the time was right. Lúthia meanwhile, remained utterly unaware of her admirer, until she was approached by Tinaraldur one fateful morning and he declared his undying love for her. Lúthia, startled by the depth of his confession, was overcome with anxiety but arrested by his sincerity.

    Their wedding was carefully and blissfully planned before executed, and the entire capital rejoiced at their union. When the ceremony was over, Tinaraldur journeyed with his young bride to the headlands overlooking the sea in the western edge of Harlindon, where a home that would be theirs was located, and the crashing waves would sing for them every morning, noon, and night. Their first night as husband and wife was sweeter than anything either of them had ever known, and it is for that very reason that the following morning, Tinaraldur awoke only find his wife had left his side. He found her, face soaked with warm tears, clad in her wedding dress yet, just beyond the entrance of their abode.

    "Why do you weep my love?" he asked, gingerly unwinding her from a fetal position. "Because, you are leaving tomorrow and I shall be all alone." she returned, as he ran a thumb across her moist lips. "Only for a few moons more." he returned consolingly, clutching one of her hands gently, "Then you shall never be alone again." His breathe was nectarous and warm on her face, as he pressed his lips to her own repeatedly. Lúthia leaned her head against his chest, believing his every word, and allowing herself to be carried inside once more.

    The next day, a ship arrived to take Tinaraldur away for the final voyage of his career. Lúthia, heartbroken by his departure, could not help but weep as she bade her husband farewell, and it would be the last time she would ever see him. For two weeks passed without his return, and Lúthia worried that some ill fate had befallen Tinaraldur. Three days later, her fears were realized when several members of the Lindon Guard arrived at her doorstep and informed her of the wreck of Tinaraldur's ship, and the deaths of him and of his crew. Lúthia's knees gave way, and those who delivered the message caught her in their arms as she screamed and cried, with a torn heart and pregnant belly. To know that one day you would give birth to the child conceived with your true love, and that he would never know of it. That hurt the most.
    Last edited by Aigronding Mordagnir; 14/Apr/2014 at 06:29 AM. Reason: Altered because Ennora and I have long been planning Tharmaras (whom Sur has given me) to be Nariel's beau.

  74. Haflin's Avatar
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    #74
    One Fateful day...
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    Vorondil Hérandil

    Vorondil nodded to his brother when he requested a moment to speak to his family before they left. As he walked back outside, he felt relieved once more that his brother would be coming with him. Nothing against his ward, Jake, but he had no idea how the man would react to the situation they would be going into. At least with Galanir by his side he had someone who he knew he could count on. The two had never seen eye to eye on everything they did and they probably never would. That was the nature of siblings though, and the best part of it was that no matter what, he always had someone to back him and vice versa.

    He went to the barn, and throwing open the doors found their horses. His own and Jake's still had their saddles on them but his brother's horse was bare. A saddle sat upon a wooden bench next to its stall. Being familiar with horses, it was only a few minutes of easing the saddle around the horse and adjusting its straps before it was ready. Vorondil stood in front of the horse, a fairly calm beast, to examine whether his chore had been done correctly. The horse snorted and bucked its head a bit, snorting as if trying to get a whiff of Vorondil. The ranger smiled and patted its nose with a calloused hand.

    "The deal I have given to my brother I will also give to you. Carry him swiftly and we will see you home again before you know it." Vorondil looked out to the sky beyond the barn as a breeze slowly moved one of the doors slightly. Above them the heavens were bright blue, but for some reason he could not shake the feeling that somewhere along their path there would be dark clouds hanging over them.

    *****

    Where Sleeping Dogs Lie...



    [Private]

    (OOC:
    I wanted to provide some background on this character in a sort of short story, I think here is a better place to put it than where I had it originally as I plan on adding more parts to itin the future.)

    Erathor
    In Bree and The Prancing Pony, TA 3014

    When was the last time he had seen Bree? Years ago it had been and in much happier times. Pictures offolk laden cobblestone streets filled his mind's eye. Amongst them was a dark haired woman whose eyes glowed like the stars. It took him a moment to realize that it was his late wife, her memory in his mind was still there as clear as the first day he'd set his eyes on her. He was relieved that he could still see her; that lovely young bride he'd gotten to know and lovehere in this very town. It was said that after a loved one died, one's memory of their face began to become distorted, until the kin who was left was tortured by being unable to remember...to remember her fair skin and melifluous voice, her soft hands and enchanting smile...

    He smiled as he let the memory fade and returned to the present. It was early afternoon and the sun shone down on the clear water of the town square's bubbling stonefountain. Townsfolk big and small, men and hobbits of every dress and shape walked past each other, all headed for wherever their business took them. In the middle of it all, where the stone buildings cast long shadows into the streets, was Erathor, In his memories he had been just as scruffy as he was now, but at least he was proud, he had always been a rough man, but now he was a rough man with nothing at all...

    The Bree folk didn't bother giving him a second look, a few carriages strolled by on their big wooden wheels and strong horses whose passengers looked down upon him and lifted their noses. He didn't blame them, he was clothed in rags that hadn't been washed in days, torn, ragged, and desperate, just as his spirit also was. To them he was no more than a mere vagabond, a drifter, even the rangers of whom he was now a part of looked more handsome than he did. But to be honest, Erathor couldn't care less, he had been beaten down too much to bear any other shame. With a final sigh, he began to walk again, towards the building he had set out from Osdolen for. It was a rather large construct made of brick with white stone pillars holding up its front awning. A small set of stairs led the way up to the doors of the bank and with a last cleansing breath, he climbed them while the town behind him bustled with chatter and the sounds of walking feet. As he went to go through the double wooden doors, a man walked through them, exiting the building. The two bumped into each other accidentally, Erathor being the more flustered one.

    "Pardon me, sorry." He said to the man without really looking at him and moved on. He entered the building not noticing how the man continued on his way for a few paces before doing a double take and looking at Erathor as the door closed behind him.

    He looked about the bank's main room, so many parts of this town held memories for him. He was nearly ashamed of what he was here for, but he had no real choice. Walking past yet more rich looking types and town watchmen who kept wary eyes on him as if he was a ruffian (he did of course look the part) he finally made his way to the front counter where a smart looking woman was writing something on a piece of parchment with a quill before eventually looking up at Erathor and looking quite surprised at the vagabond in front of her.

    "Can...can I help you sir?" She said, adjusting her glasses as if doing so would make him look less disheveled.

    He tried to smile, if only for her sake and gave her the number of his deposit box which she went to fetch. A minute or two passed and then she returned, still with a puzzled look on her face as the box was rather heavy. She laid it on the counter with the key, he thanked her and took the box over to one of the tables in the lounge. Using the key to open the box, inside he found several leather bound purses fat with what he knew were gold and silver coins. A small fortune was contained in this box, a literal treasure chest of wealth. He sighed as he remembered its purpose...

    They had just been wed, he and her and though she loved him with all her heart she loved the little town she had grown up near and though she agreed to come live with him for the sake of their love and the concealing of his identity, she had always wanted one day to return and settle down on a little plot in Combe or maybe Archet. He knew making her move had been selfish but he had just gone through losing his father and rejecting his Dunedain blood to live on his own and had wanted to keep it that way. She made him promise to begin putting away some money every so often when she became pregnant withtheir child. they both wanted her to be able to live somewhere that wasn't so wild...butshe never got that chance.So many mixed feelings well up in his chest and for several minutes he sat as a man in pain, his fist balled and his body shivering as if it was cold. It took him some time to shake off the incessant feelings of guilt and finally he drew his hand over his eyes in a bid to relieve them of the tears held there.

    "I'm...so sorry." He said to nobody but his own demons, then, taking the purses and putting them in a beaten old satchel that hung from his shoulder thathe'd managed to scavenge, he closed the deposit box and brought it back to the teller with the key before walking back out into the streets of Bree, unsure of what to do next.

    As he stood there, pondering, a hand on his shoulder shook him from his thoughts, quite literally, as it spun him around to look at someone standing behind him. Erathor was taken aback but bit his tongue when he saw that it was the man who he'd bumped into going into the bank. Getting a good look at the man, he found something there was strangely familiar about him.

    "Erathor my boy is that really you?" The man asked, his examining squint lighting into ecstatic joy as he recognized him. It took a few seconds of awkward puzzled looks for Erathor to finally put the voice and the face together in his mind.

    "Connor? Heavens, I almost didn't recognize you!"
    He exclaimed, gripping the arm that held his shoulder as its owner let out a delighted laugh and hugged him so tight Erathor thought he might choke.

    "Lor bless me lad, when's the last time I've seen you?" The man asked, his voice full of disbelief. His hands on both of Erathor's shoulders as if the act of ;etting him go would cause him to disappear.

    "I...I don't know my friend, its been years, you've gotten so old and grey!" Erathor replied, stuttering for the right words and laughing nervously as he beheld an old friend. The man was just as tall as he remembered but more wrinkled and calloused, his wiry brown hair peppered with white and grey bristles. But neither had his grey eyes or his girth had changed, he was still the hardy farmer that Erathor remembered from his earlier days.

    "Well isn't that just the talk I'd like to here from the son of an old friend! You don't look so young yourself, by the winds you were just a twigling when I last saw you!"
    Connor replied, his face quickly descending from its thrill to a concerned expression. "Are you alright lad? I didn't recognize you at first."

    Erathor sighed, his eyes moving away from his old friend's. He knew Connorfrom childhood. He had been a good family friend ever since hisfather and him had met when they were young men. More memories came to him of Connor's farm out in Combe. His family hadalways beenfriendly to rangers despite what their neighbors might say behind their backs. When was the last time Erathor had seen him? It had been...It had been before he left everything behind him...

    "I've fallen on hard times its true. But don't let my troubles concern you, its so very good to see you Connor!" Erathor replied rather lamely. To be honest he didn't know what to tell the old farmer who obviously didn't buy him changing the subject but was quiet about it for the moment.

    "Yes its splendid to see you too after so many years. Where are you headed? I'm off to the Pony for a drink or two, why don't you come with me boy-o and we'll catch up?"Something in Connor'svoice left no room for argument so Erathor allowed himself to be led down the steps and into the streets, his head still spinning from the surrealness of the chance meeting. He was happy and nervous and sad all at the same time, his emotions preventing him from talking.
    Last edited by Haflin; 29/Mar/2013 at 06:58 AM.

  75. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    #75
    One fateful day
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    Galanír Hérandil



    Galanir said goodbye to his family, kissing his little daughter good night and then speaking to his wife for a moment. He assured her they wouldn't be gone long and that he would be back soon. After kissing her goodbye, he went outside with a package of food she had packed for him, smiling a bit when he saw his horse saddled. "Thank you Vorondil." He said as he put the package of food in his saddlebag. "Sereni packed us enough food for a week." He said with a small grin. "We won't be going hungry, that's for sure."

    He soon mounted up, checking that he had his sword fastened securely in its sheath, and a bow on his back with plenty of arrows. He smiled softly when he remembered making a small bow and arrows that Emma could use, and teaching her the basics of how to shoot. She did quite well for a child so young, and he felt very proud of her. He was sure she would become quite a good archer if she kept up the practice.

    "Alright Vorondil, lead the way." He said, taking up his reins. He could probably find his way without help but Vorondil already mostly knew where they were going, so it was better to just let him lead. And his friend, of course. Jake seemed like a quiet guy but he was sure that if he was a friend of Vorondil's, he must be alright.

    Jake watched all these proceedings without a word. He wasn't totally sure he wanted the other man to come. He had a family, and he clearly loved them very much. Not like his own father, who beat his kids constantly. He watched while Vorondil saddled up his brother's horse. Should he try to stop what-his-name from coming? But no, he couldn't say anything or Vorondil might become suspicious, and the whole plan would be ruined. He just kept his mouth shut and convinced himself that he shouldn't worry about it. It wasn't his concern, after all. Vorondil wanted to bring his brother along, so that was his problem. Not Jake's.

    Reminding himself what was at stake for himself, Jake forgot about the possibility of a family being devastated by losing their father/husband. He mounted his horse again when he saw Vorondil's brother mount his. "I hear that we'll find those bandits somewhere along the road from Bree
    to Archet." He commented. "They're stopping travelers, and demanding they pay a toll to
    pass through." He frowned. "And from the story I heard, if anyone refuses to pay, they're murdered in
    cold blood." He waited for Vorondil to lead the way, since those rangers knew the way more than he did.




    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~

  76. Uriphel Imrathor's Avatar
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    #76







    Maldathar Family History

    Book 1: Chapter 1: The Wedding

    Part 1: Preparations on the Home Front


    Ellisif and Elfreda

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Ellisif Maldathar--- The Account of a Wife and Mother

    What story should I weave today on my last day as the reigning wife of the Maldathar line? I suppose a summary of my life? I am no grad story teller; certainly no bard or song-writer. And my story is not all that grand. I grew up a simple girl. I was raised in a small home where I learned from my mother how to run a home and properly care for a family. Simple things. I've raised a family. Again nothing remarkable. Women before me have done the same, and my own daughters no doubt do the same. Simple childhood, simple womanhood, and it would seem even simple in the golden years. Doesn't make for the grandest tale does it? And yet, I shall continue.

    I confess right here and now that I spent far too many hours in my youth and beyond upon the archery range or on the back of a horse. I should have spent most of that time on my cooking or weaving skills. Sadly, even with age my obsession with riding and the bow does not seem to have diminished. And my shooting and riding skills to this day remain simplistic. Not much to show for the countless hours of obsession I'm afraid. Ah well, the other skills do not seem to have suffered overly much. Let if be forever known, my cooking isn't that bad no matter what my dearest husband or children might have said....

    They keep shoveling it into their mouths each day, after all. And no one is dead yet.

    I left the house of my mother and father when I was a woman and became the wife of Oloros Maldathar. Tonight my son's betrothed Jora will follow in my footsteps and cross the threshold of this house. I bore my husband four children, 1 son and 3 daughters. I have watched my children grow and have sought to teach them all that I know of life. My son is strong and this very day will become a husband as his father before him. It is my hope that he and his wife know the same joy that Oloros and I have shared. My daughters are all beautiful…or at least they are to me. But perhaps I am biased? I am sure my dearest Oloros will find excellent matches for each of my girls. It is my greatest hope that each of my children finds happiness and joy in their lives. The same joy and fulfillment which I myself have been so blessed to find.

    What story have I weaved? A simple yet fulfilled one.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Ellisif
    set down the old rounded stick she used for writing. Carefully she replaced the lids on the ink pots that lay at her feet. Once the bottles were securely resealed, the golden haired woman stretched her tired arms and legs. Well okay, she had once been golden haired. Now, she obviously had more grey than gold. She was certainly older than she used to be. After all, if she was being honest it was getting harder to sit upon the floor to make these accounts of her husband's family history everyday. She surveyed the stone tablet that lay across her lap. In a few short hours, you will no longer be the lady of the house she thought.And you won't have to sit on the floor for quite as long anymore. It will be Jora’s turn to sit here for hours on the dirt floor each day. She had mixed feelings about this. On the one hand she was sad about this being her last account, yet she felt a sense of relief as well. As she felt a twinge in her lower back she realized that...Yes, she was ready to let the responsibility of keeping the tablets go. Besides, it wasn’t everyday one’s only son took a wife. Best if she focused on the positive.

    Her grey eyes glanced out the window of their small home. Two young boys went running past. No doubt heading for the river for a swim. She smiled at the memory of countless hours spent swimming in the cool waters on a warm summer day such as this. With a grunt Ellisif finally stood up from the dirt floor. Dusting herself off, the woman took the stone tablet and carefully laid it in the open window to dry.

    With a final stretch of her arms, she started to make her way out of the house and into the front garden. No doubt the girls would already be waiting for her. Sure enough Elfreda and Moa were already waiting their day’s work in front of them. Elfreda was weaving the coiled ropes that would hang from their doorways; Moa was busy snapping beans for the night's dinner. However, Ellisif noted her youngest Sifora was nowhere to be found. She smiled softly as she took up her usual seat between her eldest daughters. Of all her children, Sifora was the most like her. And yet so very different at the same time.

    Beside her Elfreda let out a deep sigh. Ellisif shook her head and gave her daughter a pointed look. “She’s probably off at the archery field again. Lost track of the time no doubt.”

    On her other side Moa nodded in agreement. “Yes, I’m sure she’ll be here soon. And sister, it really isn’t very good of you to pout so. People will start to think you hate needle-work or worse that you are of an unpleasant disposition.”

    “You know well sister that I enjoy taking up my needle and thread each day And I do not have an unpleasant demeanor.” Elfreda snapped back.

    “Girls, that’s quite enough.” Ellisif commanded sternly never ceasing her work on the cloak she intended to present to her new daughter-in-law this evening. “Siofra will be along momentarily. She knows how important today is for your brother.” Moa acquiesced to her request at once. She returned to her chosen task without further comment. Elfreda though, continued to frown and kept shooting the occasional glance at the road. Ellisif Maldathar was left inwardly sighing. Couldn’t her girls go one day without an argument?






    Edited by: Dora Greengrass

  77. Asha'bellanar's Avatar
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    #77


    The Runaways

    [Special One-Time Post *G*]



    Sonoma Vineyard Stables, Dorwinion. T.A. 3013

    Nirakina
    awoke in the middle of the night. The sound of leather soles tip-toeing across the floorboards beyond her bedroom door, may not have been loud enough for her father Khalar to hear, but the same could not be said for her. Coming to seating, the dark-haired Avar elleth, rubbed her tired honey-brown eyes with a soft yawn and stretched out her sun-browned arms. Swinging her legs over and slipping her bare feet into the slippers beside her cot, Nirakina stole out of her chambers and out of the house with her arms crossed against the night chill. Once having stepped onto the porch of the Dorwinion abode her family and numerous relatives shared, she espied a small shadow faintly in the moonlight, making its way to the entrance of their stables and entering with the utmost stealth. Nirakina smiled to herself, white nightgown caught gently in the cool breeze, and followed suit.

    "What are you doing?" she asked evenly, closing the doors of the stables behind her. At the other end of the structure, a young figure with a mess of raven tresses, clad in leather and a variety of furs, turned with a sour countenance. "I'm running away Ny." he declared curtly, tightening the straps of a saddle. "Yes I can see that." returned Nirakina calmly, "But can you at least leave Lulu out of this?" Mackeli snorted. "She may be bald and ugly, but she's the fastest horse in these stables Ny." he shot back. Nirakina rolled her eyes, walking to where her impudent nephew prepared for a hasty departure. "And why are you running away this time?" she inquired teasingly. For Mackeli had left home on several occasions, only to return minutes later. Mackeli sensed the sarcastic undertone of her question, and was not at all pleased. "I mean it this time Ny." he said strongly, tying the robe that bound his wrapped provisions to the saddle.

    "Of course." smiled Nirakina, sitting down on a block of hay with her legs crossed, making no attempt to stop him. "I'm going to the lands west of here." went on to say Mackeli, right foot in the left stirrup, before mounting Lulu with his scrawny legs astride of the mare. "Oh." stated Nirakina. "Yes." said Mackeli, "I'm off to find one of the lost clans. Have them make me their ruler. Who knows, I might have five, six wives maybe." Nirakina snickered. "But, who would want to marry you?" Mackeli frowned with flared nostrils. "You just watch Ny." he proclaimed childishly, nudging Lulu forward with a pull of the reins, "One day you'll be on your knees before - King Mackeli!" Lulu bolted forward. Mackeli flew back from the saddle he had not tightened correctly, his right foot still hooked on the left stirrup. "S-Stop!" he yelled, before Lulu banked left and halted. Perking her ears and looking back at the young rider she had dragged, several feet across the ground. Nirakina grinned, but was kind enough to not laugh. Striding over to Mackeli and helping him to his feet.

    Mackeli
    pouted slightly, dusting off his vest. He had not even made his way out of the stables this time around. "You've been reading too many of grand-grand's books." remarked Nirakina, taking Lulu by the reins. Mackeli watched as Nirakina walked Lulu back in direction of her stable, and wiped the small line of blood that had descended from his nose with his right sleeve. His swarthy face, now smudged with dirt, and several strands of loose straw. Disappointed, Mackeli kicked nearby pebbles with his head hung low. "Well, aren't you coming?" asked Nirakina sweetly, who had left Mackeli, only to return with Lulu (saddled properly) and another horse. "What are you doing?" asked Mackeli, clearing his face of tousled hair. "We're running away." smiled Nirakina, offering Lulu to her nephew, "Let's face it, you won't last a day out there without me. And I want to see what's beyond the mountains of mist, just as much as you do."

    A heartfelt smile tugged at the edges of Mackeli's lips, as he mounted Lulu once more with caution, and looked at his aunt. "Well, okay then." he declared, confidence returning to his pride, "But I'm the boss." Nirakina rolled her eyes yet again, as Lulu galloped out of the stables with Mackeli. "Of course." she snickered, following close behind.







  78. "Edan had known Khallador's family for generations
    ever since the days of the Siege of Angband."
    ~ Narrator,The Voyage of Nenmiriel"


    Nathaniel was a descendant of a courageous man of Palisor
    named Robin ;
    the Dark Men called him an outlaw but he was
    a freedom fighter in the beginning of days.
    Nathaniel, a refugee, was adopted into the clan of the Galeridas of Himring
    in the four hundred and twenty-fourth year of the First Age.
    A shadow lay over his soul but he was not alone.
    Before he met Guinevere Dara, his wife ; there was his adopted sister, Tinuwen,
    and his friends were Trystan and Galadan Dunlan of Dorthonion,
    orphans likewise, and their friendship was very great."
    ~ From the histories of the Galerida family.

    Ages of Arda : The Untold Chronicles


    The Orphans

    Ages of Arda Theme, Serenata Immortale: HERE

    "...the Edain dwelt in the lands of the Eldar, some here, some there,
    some
    wandering, some settled in kindreds or small
    peoples ; and the most part
    of them
    soon learnedthe Grey-elven tongue,
    both as a common speech
    among themselves
    and because many were eager to learn the lore of the Elves."
    ~Tolkien,The Silmarillion : Of the Coming of Men into the West

    [Private with Haflin and myself]

    Chapter II
    The Galeridas





    FA 424. Talgarth, Himring

    "A few of either people
    [First and Third Houses]went to Maedhros
    and the lands about the Hill of Himring."
    ~ Tolkien,
    The War of the Jewels : The Later Quenta Silmarillion


    The pale and sad, brown-haired girl had been hoping to find some measure of solace here among the boughs of the beechen tree on the western fringes of her family's land to which she had always sought shelter in times of troubles however Tinuwen Galerida wouldn't be so fortunate this brisk, overcast autumn day ; from where the seven year-old was perched amid the highest branches of her special tree, Tinuwen espied her father,Sereadan, walking the winding road that led from out of the river-side town.

    The blond and strong, blue-eyed man was gently holding an animal, a grey-furred kitten. That certainly peaked the young child's interest but she mastered a bleak expression as Sereadan looked at her from beneath the beech, invading her privacy.

    "Do you have to climb so high?" he asked."You could fall."

    "I never have!"
    Tinuwen shouted, not leaving her perch.

    "I've brought you a peace offering !"
    Sereadan exclaimed. Grinning, he lifted the kitten.

    Even from where she sat among the red and gold leaves of Fall, Tinuwen heard the kitten's meow. She wanted to snuggle the cat and thank her father for his generosity but Tinuwen struggled. She wanted to stay angry with Sereadan because he was moving the family away from Himring. The little girl had lived here for eight years and loved the village she was born in and raised.

    When she didn't react as joyfully as he had hoped, Sereadan heaved a sigh.

    "Well, if you don't want a pet, I'll take the cat back to market and hopefully some family will want to give the poor abandoned kitty a home...."

    Sereadan
    slowly retreated down the road, allowing his child some more time to decide.

    Tinuwen shifted, biting her lip, as she wrestled with indecision ; she wanted to dislike her father but how could she still feel emity toward him while he was trying to apologize ? And she really wanted that cat... it was cute...

    "No !" Tinuwen yelled ; she carefully descended the tree."Wait !" Tinuwen leaped from the lowest branch and ran to her father who was on the edge of the road.

    "Changed your mind, eh ?"
    Sereadan asked, smiling faintly.

    "About the cat,"
    she answered clearly, reaching for the kitten.

    "This wasn't how I imagined," Sereadan, accepting defeat, mentioned as he passed Tinuwen the small, chirping cat. "You're supposed to forgive me because I gave you a present."
    "Maybe later," Tinuwen replied quietly. She was suddenly touched by her father's apparent concern and but she wasn't ready to say he was forgiven so soon.
    He brightened somewhat. "Alright, sweetie." Sereadan began leading her back to the big house but he turned around, hearing the clamor of hooves.

    "It's an Elf woman !"
    Tinuwen announced excitedly, pointing at the red-haired elleth who was trotting along the northern road to them.

    "Sereadan Galerida's residence, I presume ?"
    she asked, dismounting from her mare, in Sindarin.

    "Yes, this is my land,"
    he acknowledged warmly in Sindarin, "and I'm Sereadan and this is my daughter, Tinuwen. It's a pleasure to meet you." He and Tinuwen inclined their heads for a moment in respect. "We don't see much Elves in Talgarth and no one from the citadel or the other outposts have visited me in years. So may I ask what you're doing in these parts -" Sereadan noticed her uniform - " far from Ost-Himring?"

    "My name is Aelriel,"
    the elleth spoke as she walked her horse near the man and child,
    "and I did indeed embark from Himring's fortress. I need to speak to you about a patient of mine...."

    *
    Aranis Galerida - Sereadan's wife, a striking brunette - had been organizing the ranch crew's efforts to store away items from the household when her husband and daughter returned....accompanied by an Elf maid in the customary grey uniform that the healers of Ost-Himring wore. She excused herself from the workers, dismissing them so they could carry out their tasks.

    "Look, Mama, Pa got me a cat," Tinuwen
    said as the kitten nuzzled her white cheek. "She's adorable, sweetling," Aranis replied, giving the creature's grey fur an affectionate stroke but fixed her attention on the Elven woman, narrowing her silver eyes. "Sereadan is done fighting ; you can take that message back to Maedhros," his wife frankly adddressed. She spoke quietly for Tinuwen to go to her room so she could resume packing.

    *
    Tinuwen went to her room but left the door ajar slightly to hear what was happening, hiding herself behind it so the grown-ups wouldn't see her eavesdropping.

    Tinuwen
    felt ashamed of it but she hoped that there been some sort of conflict nearby and the Elves needed her father's skill and experience to stem the tide ; hopefully that would change his mind about moving altogether and they could stay here in Himring!



    *

    "My presence here doesn't concern your husband'sreturn to service. His Majesty respects Sereadan's decision to live a peaceful life, but I've arrived here on behalf of a boy orphaned by war,"
    Aelriel calmly answered.

    Aranis
    's icy demeanor seemed to melt quickly, the fury in her face dissolving ; now she appeared solemn, lowering her crossed arms. She was a schoolteacher and loved children. "Do tell us more, please," sheinsisted.

    "He's twelve,"
    Aelriel said, "and a refugee. His name is Nathaniel and lived in the hilly eastern border of Dorthonion. An enemy army brutally attacked the village where he dwelt, razed it to the ground ; many humans were killed, others taken captive. Nathaniel and his father tried to escape, refusing to be enslaved, but were apprehended in their flight. Nathaniel and his father were tortured ; Nathaniel was forced to watch his parent rent apart by a werewolf, Draugluin himself."

    Aranis'
    eyes, tearful now, closed, droplets sliding down her face ; she felt a pang of deepest sorrow for the young man.

    "He's very brave,"
    Aelriel said. "Nathaniel was able to runaway but the goblins and werewolves have been hunting him even now to the confines of Maedhros' realm ; an Elf commander, Edan Amrun, is presently leading a team to purge our borders of their evil. Nathaniel is alive and resting at the citadel. He had endured a terrible, heartbreaking experience ; he's a solemn, haunted, grim boy but..." Aelriel brushed red strands of hair away from her face, trying to master the sob rising in her throat, "he needs someone to watch over him. He's too young to be on his own or serve in the military so soon. Nathaniel's mother is dead ; she passed away years ago from an illness, influenza. He had no other relatives. So... here I am asking if you both would like to adopt him. The goodness of your family is well known."

    Thank you,"
    Sereadan said, sharing a look with his wife ; she clutched him, leaning her brow against his own, grey eyes looking into blue, the couple communicating easily without words. "We'll take him in," heanswered Aelriel moments later. "The fellow needs a home and we'll care for him. That's a promise. We'll love him as if he was our own son."

    "Yes,"
    Aranis agreed, "but we're moving in days...and there will be plenty of cattle we'll be guiding with us from here to the ranch at Ladros as we move across the plains. My grandfather has passed away and in his will, he wanted my husband to own the wool and meat business."

    "I could pick him up from the fortress myself before we leave,"
    Sereadan assured Aranis, caressing her cheek, and turned back to Aelriel, "if that's alright with you."

    "Splendid !"
    the elleth merrily replied, "are you prepared to leave now ?"

    "I'll get ready for the journey,"
    Sereadan confirmed. "I can leave within half an hour."


    *

    Tinuwen sniffled, letting go of the kitten with one arm but continued holding her with the other as she swept tears from her grey eyes ; she had wept for Nathaniel, this older boy she didn't know but nevertheless Tinuwen felt for him.

    She tried to smile as the kitten licked her cheek for a moment, sensing the child was upset. "I'm going to have a brother !" she ebulliently whispered in the feline's tiny, soft ear.
    Last edited by Aigronding Mordagnir; 05/Sep/2013 at 08:57 PM.

  79. Haflin's Avatar
    Guardian of the Arkenstone
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    #79
    "And the Ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West,
    until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water.
    And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back,
    and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green shore under a swift sunrise."

    -LOTR, Return of the King, The Grey Havens


    ________________________________________

    Ages of Arda : The Untold Chronicles

    ______________________________________________



    The Voyage of Nenmiriel
    __________________________________________________ _________________________________




    ~Tol Eressëa and Avallónë~
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________________

    [Private, with myself and Aig]

    Chapter II :The Valorous Journey



    The Marina

    The wooden planks under him creaked as he walked across them. The pale light of dawn was just beginning to brighten the sky and the stars above were beginning to fade from sight as Curinor walked out upon the narrow gangways that formed the enormous port that was Avallónë. He pulled his velvet cloak around him, it was a chilly morning, but not too cold. That was a happy trait of Eldamar; it was never too this or that and it was always good. So many of the firstborn sought it for this reason, it was a place that had no blight or sorrow, no weakness. It was a land where nothing faded and everything was renewed...a land they had been foolish enough to forsake in times now long passed.

    Curinor walked to the very edge of a gangway and looked at the calm sea beyond between the green covered arms of the harbor. It was a morning like this that made him remember those times when the world was young. And while he would never forget those times, for nothing could take the memory of the Eldar, he could be at peace with them, and that was what this place had always been for him; a long sought-for peace. But not all his memories were evil. He smiled, the keenness of some of the better experiences making him all the more anxious to get started today. For long had Curinor held one tradition for himself even having retreated from the world into the uttermost west. Away east where the road took travelers back to the circles of the world were mountains rising from the sea. And there was the ground under which his best memories now rested. Curinor passed his hand over his brow to rub his eyes from the wetness that had gathered there. "Not now." He told himself, he couldn't spoil the journey he would now undertake. Turning from the sea, he walked back down the creaking gangways where many white ships of several sizes were anchored. Behind him a likewise city of white stone rose up from the shore and at its highest point was set a spire that rose into the heavens. No light came from it but no lighthouse was needed in Avallónë as at night, or like now in the early morning, the city itself seemed to glow, and its light could be seen from the sea beyond. The gulls were just beginning to wake and emit their squawking cries above him where they floated upon the breezes of the ocean and everything seemed to be at peace...seemed to be right as turned to follow a much wider paved galley to its end where a ship waited for him.

    His ship, it was his. He still could hardly believe that after all the ages he had seen, he was one of the few amongst his kin that had forsaken the arts of the hammer in favor of those of the sail. "The Noldor have bones of iron" as the old saying went, he supposed. But in the west there was hardly a need for weapons. He had seen so many weapons, crafted so many of them in his life, that he had long ago forsworn their making and turned his hands to the work of a shipwright. When he began at the Havens of Sirion all those years ago, many had laughed at him, but Curinor was not discouraged, and much lore of the Teleri craft was handed down to him before and after the war that sunk Beleriand. That had still been an age or more ago and now he stood below a graceful carrack, carved of silver-white birch wood and hung with lanterns cased of gold. She was a proud vessel, and her frame had been built with strength. Curinor looked up to the stern where the word "Valcánë" (Quen: "Valorous") Had been carved exquisitely. Yes, it was his ship, and it was good just like everything else in the west.

    The deck was a flurry of activity, as the crew already aboard the ship made ready to set sail. As Curinor ascended the ramp that led to the deck, he could hear their voices speaking lowly in elvish tongue. Someone finally noticed his arrival and heralded it with an urgent "Captain on deck!" All aboard halted what they were doing and turned to look at their captain. But as Curinor threw back his fur trimmed cloak to look at them in the pale dawn light, many of them were taken aback. A few had been on journeys with the aged Noldorin elf before but many others aboard were young and had yet seen many voyages. As their captain stood before him, they perceived the a nobility in him that not many had seen. He was clad in rich purple and a gleaming cuirass adorned his chest with spaulders and vambraces also upon his arms. On his waist was set a belt of leather strapped with silver bells that jingled and tinkled as he walked. There also was a bronze buckle and a cutlass that had a hand guard of brass.His boots were tall and black and upon his head was set a silver circlet where a red garnet was embedded that matched the color of his velvet hair. More than an elf, he looked the part of a king or a conqueror, right down to the rings on his fingers. But more than all these things, they saw the light in his face and the gleam in his eye that spoke of age won wisdom. He was indeed an old elf, evidenced by the trimmed beard upon his chin, and for a moment he seemed to tower above them all as the golden light of the lanterns shined behind him.

    Finally, one of the crew approached him, and the spell was broken.

    "Is all ready for the voyage?" He asked.

    "Everything you have specified has been done, sir. What are your orders?" The ellon asked a bit timidly. Curinor looked at all of them and smiled, taking a deep breath in this moment.

    "Hoist the anchor and loose the sails. We make for the edge of the harbor. Then I will tell you where our destination lies." A pause followed before the sailors hopped to their stations. Curinor stood at the rail of the port side of the ship, looking away east where the sun rose to meet them.

    ***

    The Open Sea


    He felt the ship rock slightly as the wind pushed their sails aloft. Curinor felt the spray of the sea against his face; it was cool and clear. He embraced it, as he had long ago embraced the sea, and shielded his eyes from the brightness of the morning sun with a single hand. The Valcánë cut its way through the water and behind him his crew milled about anxiously. He had not yet told them where they were going because he did not want to ruin the surprise, but he was confident that they would trust him until the answer was apparent. Further behind them, the green beauty of Tol Eressëa shrank from view, but the tower of Avallónë was still visible against the violet sky. He knew from having gone this way before that they would not reach the road until they could no longer see its spire. Curinor moved up to the bow of the ship and stood upon the very precipice where his ship split the sea. He pointed away east and looked to his helmsman. In a voice that betrayed his excitement to once again walk the shores he had lived upon so long ago, he called to him.


    "Bear us east! We are leaving the west behind us, if only for a little while!"

    Full of the freedom that the open sea brought to him, he whispered to himself "Bring me that horizon."


    And soon the sound of songs from the shore behind them faded, then the air about them that had been silver glass turned to the drizzle of rain that rolled forward to envelope them and beyond it the calm seas fell away to be replaced by dark, rolling waters and a grey, cloudy sky. Then Curinor knew with rising anticipation that the straight road had taken them to mortal shores.

    Last edited by Haflin; 05/Sep/2013 at 09:14 PM.







  80. OOC @ Mar, Sur, and Haflin (( Segments soon for you all ! ))
    _____________________________________________ ___________________
    Arin and Medlidor - The Legendary Journeys__________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ __________________________

    _____________________________________________ ___________________________
    Set after the events ofPenny for Your Thoughtsand beforeFlight of the Butterfly : An Interlude - "Leave No Stone Unturned"

    [Private with Rillewen and I]

    "Heroes are people who rise to the occasion and slip quietly away."
    ~ Tom Brokaw

    Themes :<i style="color: rgb204, 102, 0; ">Dark Night of the Soul [/i]HERE<i style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb255, 0, 0; ">[/i]and<i style="color: rgb204, 102, 51; ">You Are Not Alone[/i]<b style=": rgb255, 255, 255; ">HERE[/b]
    *
    Dramatis Personae
    Arin Montagna - A knight errant of Dor-en-Ernil, Lady ofEred Tharonion
    Medlidor - A foreigner and Arin's guard, a man of Palisor
    Rainelle - A teenage girl, escaping from the South
    Mina - Rain's mysterious younger companion, an orphan
    Jake - A murderer who killed Rain's family
    Mordrin - Jake's cruel and sadistic brother
    Ents
    Dunlendings
    Anórien villagers
    Citizens of Rohan and cavalry warriors
    Lothlórien marchwardens*
    It was a dark and stormy night. "I told you it was going to rain, milady,"the irritable and freely-spoken guard,Medlidorof Palisor, reminded flatly for the umpteenth time as he andLady Arin Montagnajourneyed along the dirt, er, muddy road of the homestead ahead of them in search for given shelter."It would have been wiser to have tarried in Minas Tirith until there were favorable conditions." "It's spat a bit but not too badly,"Arininsisted."Isn't that right, dear ?"she asked Rochíril,her thoroughbred bay mare. The brave and slim, agile and spirited female steed whickered quietly and soft, appreciating the tender touch of her mistress just now asArinaffectionatelyrubbed her neck."She hasn't baulked once since the downpour started unlike a certain grumpy man I know."Arinteased her stone-faced and stubbled, balding warder.Arinrestrained a gale of laughter as she commented with an observing albeit amused tone,"Scared of a little rain, Medlidor? Are you a man or a cat ?" At the sight ofMedlidor's fearsome scowl,Arintossed her head loosing peals of silvery laughter ; the motion caused the fair knight errant's green hood embroidered in thread-of-silver to be cast back, revealing dark-brown hair that was bound with an ornamental mountain rose hairpin. "Looks like nobody's been here for a while,"Medlidor, changing the subject at once, remarked as they trotted their mounts closer to the shack in the distance, avoiding pits in the road filled with water. "No crops in the field,"Arinsaid, serious now as her grey eyes raked over the environs of their location."No light in that shack, I see ; it's not too late in the evening for rest.<i style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; ">A farmer must have moved recently, discovered a better opportunity elsewhere,"[/i]<b style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; ">Arin[/b], always the optimist, hypothesized,<i style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; ">"and since no one has claimed this place yet, it seems...."[/i]She looked at her man-at-arms.<i style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; ">"Are you thinking what I'm thinking ?"[/i]<b style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; ">Lady Montagna[/b]asked as she recovered her dampened tresses with the cowl of her green cloak she wore over her brown battledress leather armor. "That we ought to rest here for the night and begin our way to the Gap of Rohan tomorrow - IF this tempest has passed away ?" Aringiggled."Yes,"she conceded this time. "I advise we proceed with caution though ; there may be bandits within that shack." "There are no windows,"the noblewoman pointed out,"which is to their benefit if there are warrants for the thieves' arrest in these parts but at least they wouldn't have witnessed our approach." "That laughter of yours was loud enough to prepare them for a fight," grumbled Medlidor.Montagna rolled her silver eyes however her pale cheeks blushed faintly ; he did have a point.The knight errant and her bodyguard guided their horses toward the shack and once they were on the doorstep, a porch beneath the broad overhang, they dismounted. "The place is full of holes, miss,"Melidordisapproved, noticing that there were voids within the roof and tiny gaps in the walls where the boards didn't meet properly all the way. "Kitty mode again ?"Arinasked playfully as she removed the small lantern from out of a saddlebag. "Just looking out for you, milady." "Well, there's nowhere else to go," Arin said clearly as she prepared the light instrument to glow, "and we'll find somwhere inside for the both of us and our mounts to rest for the night where it isn't so leaky within this shack. I'm ready now."
    Medlidor pulled his messer weapon from its sheath, its long blade gleaming in the luminescence of the lantern's shine. Arin laid the palm of the hand not holding the source of light on the pommel of her bejeweled longsword and nodded ; Medlidor gave the shanty's door a push just as Lady Montagna lifted the lantern to shed some light on the scene......










    Edited by: The Boy with the Bread

  81. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    #81
    __________________________________________________ ______________Rain and Mina - Flight to Freedom
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________________________________

    __________________________________________________ ______________________Set after the events ofPenny for Your Thoughts and Flight to Minas Tirith and beforeFlight of the Butterfly : An Interlude - "Leave No Stone Unturned"[Private RP between Rillewen and Aigronding]
    Rainelle - Onyx - Mina

    "Heroes are people who rise to the occasion and slip quietly away."
    ~ Tom Brokaw

    Themes :<i style="color: rgb204, 102, 0; ">Dark Night of the Soul [/i]HERE<i style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb255, 0, 0; ">[/i]and<i style="color: rgb204, 102, 51; ">You Are Not Alone[/i]<b style=": rgb255, 255, 255; ">HERE[/b]
    *Dramatis PersonaeArin Montagna - A knight errant of Dor-en-Ernil, Lady ofEred TharonionMedlidor - A foreigner and Arin's guard, a man of PalisorRainelle - A teenage girl, escaping from the South with her cat, Onyx
    Mina - Rain's mysterious younger companion, an orphanJake - A drunk who killed Rain's motherMordrin - Jake's cruel and sadistic brotherEntsDunlendingsAnórien villagersCitizens of Rohan and cavalry warriorsLothlórien marchwardens
    *

    After getting Onyx settled in a nice dry place other than her lap, Rain went to the horse. She stroked the animal's nose gently and then moved around to the side, stroking it's neck lightly. She thought that the horse probably wouldn't want to have the saddle strapped onto it's back, especially if it was wet or damp. She took a moment before figuring out how to get the saddle off, then let it fall to the floor with a soft thud. She moved it out of a small puddle and into a dry spot, trying to make sure not to mess the thing up or anything. Then she proceeded to get the other stuff off. The saddle blanket and all that other gear that she didn't know the names of. She searched around in one of the saddlebags and found the stuff that was used for grooming the horse.

    She wasn't totally sure how to go about doing this, but she figured that grooming the horse wouldn't be too much different from grooming a cat, just a lot bigger animal and much shorter fur. She took the comb-brush thingy and started to brush the horse's fur, trying to make sure to brush it in the proper direction. "There, is that better?" She asked the horse, speaking softly. She noticed the horse suddenly prick up it's ears and seemed to be listening. She frowned slightly, wondering what it could be. She stood quietly, listening, her muscles going tense. She thought she heard voices, but she wasn't sure because the sound was covered by a loud clap of thunder, which startled her. She was already tense, and nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard the thunder, it was so sudden and loud.

    She breathed slowly while letting her heart rate slow back to normal, stroking the horse's neck because it was nervous, but she didn't know how calming she might be to the horse since she was nervous and tense too. She held her breath and listened hard, for a while hearing nothing but the steady drumming of rain on the roof and the breathing of the horse beside her. Then, she heard something that was totally not natural. Neither rain nor thunder, nor anything inside of the hut. Someone was on the porch! She looked at Mina, wide eyed and close to panic.

    There was no mistaking it, she heard what sounded like a horse or two, and someone was dismounting.. what if it was them? She looked around frantically, backing away from the door against the back wall, near Mina. "What do we do?" She asked in a very soft whisper. She was so scared that it might be Mordrin and Jake, that she started to panic. She looked around frantically, then reached for her bag before she remembered that her knife wasn't in there. Her eyes fell on Onyx, however, and she suddenly feared for him. She carefully picked up the sleeping cat and as he started to wake up, she slipped him into her backpack, then shoved it out of the way.. just in case. She hoped he'd stay quiet.. no matter what might happen to her, she wanted Onyx to stay unharmed.

    Mina
    watched Rain in boredness the whole time, rolling her eyes at her
    ridiculously pathetic attempts to unsaddle the horse, groom the horse,
    and then her silly panic when she heard someone coming. Mina listened
    carefully, hearing a female voice and a male voice. It wasn't Mordrin,
    and certainly not his pathetic friend Jake.. who, by the way, she had no idea
    why he kept hanging out with. She slipped her finger down the side of
    her boot and felt the tip of the knife's handle, just checking it.

    Rain's pulse quickened in fear when she heard muffled, murmuring voices outside, and..the soft sliding sound of a weapon being drawn! She backed away into the dark corner where Mina was sitting so placidly and quiet. She felt some sort of responsibility to protect the younger girl. She'd already lost her family, she was alone and orphaned. Rain too was orphaned, though not as recently as Mina. She felt a sort of big-sisterly instinct to protect her, and with that, she put her arm around her and kind of hugged her to her side while she found the handle of the dagger Bruthane had given her.

    She tensed when Rain put her arm around her. What, was she being all protective or something? Sickening. As if Mina needed protection from such a wimp like her. She grabbed the girl's arm and carefully removed it from touching her. "Get a grip.. on your knife please, not me." She said calmly and in a low, even tone. She watched the door closely, waiting to see who would come through it, ready to react however was necessary.

    Rain nodded slightly and did as Mina said, gripping her dagger's handle tightly, until her knuckles were white. She had briefly forgotten that Mina disliked people touching her. She figured it was something to do with the trauma of watching her family killed. But right now she had bigger concerns. Some unknown person, possibly and probably dangerous, was entering the leaky hut. She saw the light of a lantern, and pressed back against the wall, holding her dagger up as if it were a shield, waiting tensely to see who would enter.. would she need to try to fight?






    Edited by: Rillewen Aran
    Last edited by Rainelle Hérandil; 04/Feb/2013 at 05:39 AM.
    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~

  82. Haflin's Avatar
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    #82
    One Fateful day...
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    Private)
    On the road to Bree; 2998
    Vorondil Hérandil

    "A week?" Vorondil asked aloud as he mounted his own horse while the three prepared to leave his brother's home in Chetwood. "She really can't expect us to be gone for that long! We'll eat well these next few days at least then." He said with a chuckle. Galanir's wife made some decent eats as he well knew; it was just another good thing about having a loving family. Sometimes it was a pain, but in the end he wouldn't trade any of them for all the riches in the world.

    "
    Is that so?" He said in response to Jake's statement about the bandits on the road. Vorondil had little patience for those who preyed on the weak and unsuspecting; such men were low, vile things, cowards by any other name. "They wont be doing that for much longer if we have anything to say about it." At the behest of his brother, Vorondil gave his horse a light spurring and off they went one after the other down the road at a decent pace and soon the forest and the house were long behind them and their steeds.

    The road wound on for a few leagues, it was not a straight way; it had its hills and its curves, its slopes and its ridges. They passed ponds and a stream or two. Many folk passed on the other side of the road, giving the rangers a wide berth. Vorondil and his brother were quite used to it by now...the people of Bree land didn't often trust their kind and were in fact often suspicious of them. It was sad, most of the Dunedain of the North weren't bad people, but their secretive and recessionary nature was a bane at some times. It meant they did not have the trust of the very people they protected.

    Soon, Vorondil reckoned they were somewhere between Bree and Archet approximately half way and began slowing down a bit. If this was the area where the bandits were hiding, he wanted to see them before they saw him. With his eyes peeled, he spoke to Jake:

    "Well, we've finally made it and its still light out. My father gave you the message about these vagrants, Jake, is there anywhere specific on this road that he said they might be hiding?"

    ***


    "For long had Curinor held one tradition for himself even having retreated from the world into the uttermost west.
    Away east where the road took travelers back to the circles of the world were mountains rising from the sea.
    And there was the ground under which his best memories now rested."

    ~ Narrator,The Voyage of Nenmiriel


    "Trystan and Galadan were descendants of one of the Dark men of the East named Travis;
    Much of his life was dedicated to hunting the usurpers of his master's will. In the end
    though, he was redeemed by a vision of light and from then on became a leader of his kin
    into the west, forever leaving the darkness behind. The Dunlan brothers were adopted by their aunt in
    the four hundred and twenty-fourth year of the First Age when their father went missing,
    never to return. The two endured many hardships together but were not alone; there was Nathaniel
    of the Galerida clan, an orphan as well, and his sister
    Tinuwen, who were good friends all the years of their lives.
    ~From the histories of the Dunlan family.


    ________________________________________

    Ages of Arda : The Untold Chronicles
    __________________________________________________ ____________

    The Orphans


    [ Ages of Arda Theme, Serenata Immortale :HERE ]
    __________________________________________________ ____________




    - Emyn Himring -
    __________________________________________________ _____________
    "...the Edain dwelt in the lands of the Eldar, some here, some there, some

    wandering, some settled in kindreds or small peoples; and the most part of them soon learned the Grey-elven tongue, both as a common speech

    among themselves and because many were eager to learn the lore of the Elves."
    ~ Tolkien, The Silmarillion : Of the Coming of Men into the West

    [Private with Aig and myself]

    Chapter III : The Brothers

    _____________________________________________




    __________________________________________________ _________

    FA 424. Ladros, Dorthonion

    "The people of Beor came to Dorthonion and dwelt in lands ruled by the house of Finarfin"
    ~ Tolkien, The Silmarillion: Of The Coming Of Men Into The West



    The Dunlan Family; Trayvan, Trystan, and Galadan

    The sun shone down through the leafy branches of the lofty pines that two boys played under that warm day. The floor of the forest was covered with fallen foliage but for the most part it was clear of thickets and brush which made it a great place for brothers to pass their time.

    "Trystan, pass it over here!" The smaller of the two, a young lad with curly dark locks that covered his ears cried to his older brother who held a leather skinned ball in his hands.

    "Go long, Gal!" The elder brother cried as he aimed the ball to throw across the distance between the two. Galadan chuckled to himself a bit as he ran out to catch his brother's throw. "Go long, Gal" was a sort of slogan he and his friends had been using when they played ball with the other kids around the countryside of their home. It was usually accompanied by a lot of shouting and then someone heaving the ball as hard as they could down the field towards the end where Galadan made a point to be. He might not have been the biggest kid in the group but few could say that he didn't have the most heart.

    The ball was thrown and it soared high in an arc that went a little left of Galadan who dove to catch it. Unfortunately, the move led him to land in a patch of damp soil, more or less face first. Seeing this from yards away, Trystan ran over to where his brother landed to see if he was okay. Peeking down into the patch of earth, he saw his brother there, still in one piece and holding the ball.

    "You didn't pop the ball did you?" Trystan asked. Galadan got up slowly and attempted to wipe his clothes free of the grime, ball still in hand.

    "No, don't worry, I'm just fine." Galadan replied half heartedly, rolling his eyes and sticking his tongue out at his brother. Trystan made an audible "pfffft" noise with his mouth but still held out a hand to help his brother out of the patch.

    "I've seen you take worse hits, you'll be fine." Trystan assured him.

    "Uh huh." Galadan replied, further wiping the dirt off his pants and standing back up straight. "Your turn, go on and I'll throw the ball."

    "You hear water?"
    Trystan asked before doing anything else. The two were silent for a moment, listening. "didn't you say there was a stream around here somewhere?"

    Galadan had been out here earlier on his own, it was a part of the woods the two brothers hadn't yet explored and later he'd convinced his older brother to play ball with him out here.

    "Yeah, but its still a long way off. I'll tell you when we get close."
    Trystan just nodded and ran off to catch his brother's throw. When he got a little way out he turned back.

    "Farther! This is gonna be a big one!" Galadan cheered waving his brother out with one hand while the other got the ball ready to be thrown. Trystan obliged him and ran a bit farther.

    "You sure you can throw that far?" He shouted back.

    "Yeah, just a little bit farther!" Galadan replied and laughed, he watched his brother go even farther back until he almost couldn't see him past the trees...

    Trystan ran just a little bit farther, he and his brother were always trying to outdo each other in whatever they did. He would just have to try harder when his brother made this-- He stopped dead in his tracks, the sound of water running had gotten much closer with each passing step, just a few yards beyond him a bank dropped off sharply and descended into a wide, pulsing stream below. Trystan's eyes widened, he turned to shout to his brother but it was too late, he watched his ball sail over his head and into the water below where it disappeared amongst the white rushing depths. As he stared blankly down at the water, his brother quickly joined him and the two stood dumbfounded, trying vainly to spot the ball but to no avail.

    Galadan swallowed hard as he looked at his older brother's uncompromising glare. He'd just sunk their new ball with no way to get it back and was now privy to an undeniable fact...

    He was dead meat...

    Galadan's legs worked furiously, his feet seeming not even to touch the ground as he helplessly attempted to escape his brother's wrath, all the time heading back towards their house and his only salvation.

    "Get back here!"

    The call only made Galadan run all the harder, yelling "Sorrysorrysorrysorrysorry!" all the way back.

    ***


    The house was quiet as Trayvan sat at his desk. He was, like most of the men of the clan, dark haired and fair skinned and even a bit on the tall side. His boys were outside somewhere playing in the backyard where the woods surrounded their house. It was a nice little home; not at all luxurious but down to earth and big enough to house a family. He sighed, his family had been broken for years now, it was hard on him, all of them really. The boys still had their aunt but it wasn't the same, it never would be.

    Stirring his mind from these dread thoughts, he looked back down at the parchment in front of him. A friend of his had come by a few days ago and spoken to him about a job the lord of the land had offered to the hardy men of the area. They needed scouts to venture north to the borders of the kingdom. Reports had come in of the movement of vile things that way. It all recalled Trayvan to the days of his soldiering when he had fought such things. He rubbed his temples in a bid to wipe away the memories. Oh to be young again like his sons and to feel once more the blissful ignorance of youth. Still though, it was a job that the Lord was paying well for and Trayvan always needed money to help raise his boys. He'd already made his decision, he just had yet to tell them. He was waiting for them to get back--

    Suddenly, rapid footfalls echoed through the rooms of the house and the slamming of several doors told him that he need not wait any longer. In just a moment the door to his study was thrown open and a panting Galadan barged in and ran to dive to his father's side, soon to be followed by Trystan who looked completely livid.

    "What's going on here?" Trayvan asked, perplexed. They had obviously disagreed about something, as brothers were wont to do.

    "That little twerp lost my ball in the stream!" Trystan yelled as angrily as he looked, glaring at his brother spitefully who hid his face half behind his dad's large arm.

    "I said I was sorry." Galadan replied meekly. Trayvan sighed again, he always had to play mediator between his boys, it was the burden of being the father to two brothers.

    "From the beginning you two, what happened?" He said, trying to calm the both of them with his even voice.

    "Me and Trystan were playing ball in the woods and--" Galadan began before he was cut off by his belligerent older brother.

    "And he threw the ball in the stream on purpose!"

    "Nuh uh! It was an accident, I promise!"


    "Now, I'm sure he didn't mean to lose you ball..." Trayvan began in vain. This argument was quickly getting out of hand but for the moment he was powerless to stop it save perhaps shouting over the both of them and he hated to do that.

    "That's what he always says about anything he does!" Trystan protested loudly.

    "Its not my fault!" His brother replied, the battle had reached its breaking point and Trayvan was about to end it with his own voice but his oldest son replied before him.

    "It is so your fault! Everything's your fault! ITS YOUR FAULT MOM DIED!" He yelled with a face contorted in child like rage. The statement hit Galadan like a flurry of blows but it was their father's reaction that got Trystan's attention.

    "QUIET, NOW!" He bellowed as he rose out of his chair, towering above his son with a severely displeased expression. Galadan ran off to the back of the house towards his room, sobbing all the way, and slamming the room door behind him.

    Trystan looked down away from his father's eyes, he could hardly look at the man in his anger. If looks could kill, Trystan would have been cut down where he stood. Trayvan breathed deeply and exhaled audibly, trying to control his anger at his son's hurtful words.

    "Come with me." Trayvan commanded in a voice that offered no room for arguments as he walked off down the hall toward Galadan's room. Trystan walked behind his father, slower and in defeat, hanging his head and rubbing the back of his neck nervously.

    Why couldn't he just keep his big mouth shut?

    ***


    Trayvan arrived at his youngest son's door. He turned to Trystan who was standing behind him anxiously in the dark hallway.

    "Stay here." His father admonished. Trystan only nodded somberly, unwilling to open his traitorous mouth anytime soon. Turning back to the closed door, Trayvan could hear his son's muffled sobs. He knocked softly but no answer came. Opening the door as gently as he could manage, he entered, finding Galadan sprawled on his bed, face buried in his pillow. Trayvan walked over and sat next to him on the bed and was quiet for a moment, trying to find something to say to reassure his child. The boys' mother was always better at these sort of things...

    Suddenly, Galadan stopped his crying and said something, his face still buried in his pillow. It was so muffled though that Trayvan didn't hear him.

    "Sit up, son." He asked gingerly and helped Galadan sit up next to him as the boy wiped his tears away from his puffy red eyes and flushed face.

    "I said he was right, it was my fault..." The young boy trailed off, wincing again as tears rolled down his cheeks. Trayvan hugged his boy tight to him and Galadan buried his face in his father's side.

    "No, son, don't say that. It wasn't your fault. Trystan doesn't understand what he is saying." He said as he held his son close to him.

    "I don't even know what she looks like, dad. I feel so bad." Galadan replied, sobbing once more, next to his father. He felt a hand on his cheek and gently Trayvan lifted his son's face to look into his own. Galadan was surprised to find that his father was also crying but did not sob as he did. He looked into the man's eyes and saw the light of memory in them, both good and bad.

    "You had just been born when she...passed on. It is not your fault you cannot remember her." He looked ahead, as if thinking of something and then looked to the door that had been left open and called for Trystan to come in and sit down next to him which the boy did.

    "You two are old enough now to know what happened to your mother." He began. Taking a deep breath he looked out as if to see the past with his sons looking up at him, hanging upon his every word. His father had never talked about their mother openly, and this change of practice filled them with curiosity and even a bit of awe.

    "She was so fair; pale skinned and dark haired. But her eyes were what enchanted me when I first laid eyes upon her. Deep and amber, brown as fall honey and her voice like that of the angels that live in paradise."

    "She must have been pretty."
    Trystan said softly. He sometimes had dreams of his mother, they were all he had left of her.

    "She was the prettiest of all the women I've ever seen and she always will be. She was my night and day...my everything, and for a long time I didn't know what I'd do without her." He looked down at his sons that he hugged next to him and chuckled. "But she gave me you two and she loved you even more than I do, if that is possible."

    He looked to Galadan who was now smiling. "She gave you your name before she fell asleep for the last time. One of the last things she told me was that she had never seen a child more beautiful."

    "But how did she die then, dad?"
    Trystan asked timidly, he still didn't understand. Trayvan sighed, how to explain this in a way they would understand?

    "Sometimes people die and it is nobody's fault, Trystan. Sometimes there is nothing we can do to stop it no matter how much we tell ourselves we should have been able to. It is neither of your faults that your mother is no longer here, so I'll have no more of this talk about whose fault it is, understand?"

    "Yes sir."
    The boys both said at the same time. Trayvan hugged them both close to him and smiled.

    "Now listen, I've been summoned to serve with the forces of the king once more, I'm sending you two to live with your Aunt Braida for a while until I return."

    Galadan laughed, his tears now forgotten. "Hey Trystan maybe you can try to push over another calf." Trystan sighed, the story of how he had snuck into a ranch field near their Aunt's home the last time they visited her was infamous. The story went that he had tried to push over an unsuspecting calf for a bit of sport but had run into an irate mother cow who quickly showed him the way out of the field via the airborne route. It had been hilarious to Galadan but their aunt had thrown a fit as she felt Trystan could have been hurt.

    "You two get your things ready, we're leaving this afternoon so we can get there before nightfall." Trayvan said to them and left while the two went about it. Before he left he heard Galadan call to him.

    "Dad?"

    "Yes son?"

    "What was her name?"

    Trayvan smiled. "Elan...her name was Elan." He said as he headed back towards his study.


    Last edited by Haflin; 05/Sep/2013 at 09:04 PM.

  83. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    #83


    One fateful day
    (private)

    Galanír Hérandil



    On the Road to Bree; 2998

    Galanir
    laughed, agreeing with his brother. "I know. She wanted to make sure we had plenty to last us until we got back." He grinned slightly. He took some goodies out and passed these to the other two, so that they could snack while they rode. He listened as Vorondil's friend Jake spoke, and wondered how it was that he knew this and not Vorondil, but he didn't question things. He listened, and paid attention, and surveyed their surroundings.

    * * *
    The sun was beginning to go down, though it was still fairly light out, as they neared the place they seemed to be going. He looked around the area and listened for Jake to reply to Vorondil's question.

    Jake

    He followed the two rangers as they lead the way. He began to see familiar sights the further they went. He remembered seeing that tree when he'd gone this way before to meet his brother here. And there, that big boulder. He remembered that stream, and there was that tree up ahead, that had been hit by lightning or something. That was the point he was looking for. He realized that Vorondil and Galanir had stopped, which couldn't be more perfect. He looked around as Vorondil asked a question. He thought for a moment about how to reply.

    "Nowhere specific, but perhaps we'll go forward a bit more? I imagine they might be lying in wait at a more closed section of the road.." He suggested. It did seem logical, to wait at a spot where it would be more difficult for travelers to get through. He held a mirror in one hand, the hand that would be farthest from the two rangers. He held it down by his side, where they couldn't see his hand, and tried to angle it so that it caught a beam of sunlight, hoping to signal to Mordrin that they were there. He was sure his brother would be waiting, hidden completely from sight.

    * * * * *
    Mordrin

    Jake was right. Mordrin was waiting, out of sight. He saw them coming along the road, and he also saw Jake's signal. It wasn't necessary. And Jake's timing was off, too. He was glad the men he had gathered knew to follow Mordrin's signal, and not his idiot of a brother's signal. He waited for the two rangers to venture further along the road, noticing how Jake hung back a little. When they were in just the right spot, he gave the signal.

    In seconds, a small army of bandits came rushing out from the forest on either side of the road. They brandished their weapons and quickly surrounded the three men on the road, already attacking as they came. One horse reared but the ranger on it managed to stay mounted, and draw out his sword at the same time. The bandits backed away from the rearing horse, probably to avoid the hooves that might injure them if they struck anyone. Mordrin stood out of the way of the battle, out of sight as he waited until the two rangers were either subdued or killed.






    Edited by: Rillewen Aran
    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~

  84. "Edan had known Khallador's family for generations
    ever since the days of the Siege of Angband."
    ~ Narrator,The Voyage of Nenmiriel"


    Nathaniel was a descendant of a courageous man of Palisor
    named Robin ;
    the Dark Men called him an outlaw but he was
    a freedom fighter in the beginning of days.
    Nathaniel, a refugee, was adopted into the clan of the Galeridas of Himring
    in the four hundred and twenty-fourth year of the First Age.
    A shadow lay over his soul but he was not alone.
    Before he met Guinevere Dara, his wife ; there was his adopted sister, Tinuwen,
    and his friends were Trystan and Galadan Dunlan of Dorthonion,
    orphans likewise, and their friendship was very great."
    ~ From the histories of the Galerida family.

    Ages of Arda : The Untold Chronicles

    The Orphans

    Ages of Arda
    Theme, Serenata Immortale: HERE


    "...the Edain dwelt in the lands of the Eldar, some here, some there,
    some
    wandering, some settled in kindreds or small
    peoples ; and the most part
    of them
    soon learnedthe Grey-elven tongue,
    both as a common speech
    among themselves
    and because many were eager to learn the lore of the Elves."
    ~Tolkien,
    The Silmarillion : Of the Coming of Men into the West

    [Private with Haflin and myself]


    "A few of either people [First and Third Houses] went to Maedhros
    and the lands about the Hill of Himring."
    ~ Tolkien,
    The War of the Jewels : The Later Quenta Silmarillion



    Chapter IV : Safe and Sound

    FA 424. Ost-Himring

    Nathaniel awoke in a cold sweat, gasping in the silver moonlight flooding his room.

    He had another nightmare, awaking as Zeboim's tortuous black lightning blasted from her fingertips to assail him.

    He cast the wet sheet from off his thin body and stumbled toward the washstand in the bathing chamber, splashing his face with water. He rubbed his closed eyes hard, trying to erase the haunting sight of the cackling demon, the fiery destruction of his home, the deaths and chains of his friends and neighbors.

    But it was impossible. Somehow he knew that he'd forever remember these terrifying images and the grisly memory of his father's dismembered corpse and his bloody flesh filling the chewing maw of the great werewolf.

    Hearing the door of his room opening, he turned to look at his visitor. Nathaniel expected it to be another healer checking his convalescence however he was surprised to discover a man of the Noldor observing him from his stance at the threshold, illuminated by the ruddy glow of torchflame from without.

    The High Elf's green eyes were piercingly bright and his black hair was shoulder-length, slicked back. His features were kind and fair, he had a smile that was wide and genuine - rather peculiar, Nathaniel thought, for someone whose left arm was held within a sling but it made him feel at ease. He was a warrior, Nathaniel knew when he saw that the Elf was wearing chainmail beneath a torn and bloodstained white surcoat emblazoned with the fiery sigil of House Fëanor. He exuded the demeanor of someone important, official ; perhaps he was an officer.

    "Suil ! Han-na glas nin le na-govannon,"
    The Elf merrily greetrf, which was the equivalent of something like"Hello ! It is my joy to meet you," in Taliska. He stepped inside and Nathaniel stepped out to be closer to him.

    "Ni veren an gi ngovaned,"
    Nathaniel said warmly, saying that he was happy to meet him, too. Nathan smiled wanly, noticing that the Elf was clearly impressed by how well and smoothly he spoke the Sindarin tongue."Are you here to give me news of what may happen to me ?" Nathaniel nervously asked. "I'm sorry if I put anyone in danger. I didn't mean to bring enemies to your doorstep, I just wanted to get away from them and -"

    "You won't be punished for seeking shelter in Himring in your time of need,"
    the Elf gently interrupted. "I've eradicated the vermin. All is well now; the threat has been exterminated. There were no Elven casualties and the healers think the wounded will survive."

    "It's over,"
    Nathaniel murmured to himself, relieved. He felt his cheeks flush and hot stinging tears blurred Nathaniel's vision as Edan ran a palm over his hair.
    "It's finished indeed, son. You need not worry anymore,"
    he assured the boy firmly.

    "I wish I could have been with you,"
    Nathaniel replied calmly, making a fist, as Edan softly rid his tears. Edan asked why, using his good hand to dry Nathaniel's dampened hair with a towel he had taken from out of a drawer.

    "I can still see it. Everything. When I close my eyes, even when I have them opened. All that I knew burning in the fires. All the innocent villagers killed or enslaved. Me, powerless to prevent my father's death."

    And there was more that he did not say: Being hunted like an animal; the maddening fear that 'he'd be caught, what they'd to him after; the thirst and the starvation. He was scared if it would happen again no matter where he'd go, that the servants of Morgoth would always destroy his happiness. Nathaniel was frightened but he was angry, too, and hateful.

    "I want to kill them. All the minions."


    Edan laid aside the cloth near the washstand's basin and looked into Nathaniel's golden-brown eyes as he cupped the boy's cheek.

    "You're much too young to try that right now ; there will be another time," Edan soothingly spoke
    ; the touch of his fingers were tender, paternal. The way he held Nathaniel's face nearly made the boy cry again. His father did that when Nathaniel was sad and he would never do so again.

    "What will happen to me now ?"
    Nathaniel asked as his fury dissipated, his voice cracking. "

    "Aelriel journeyed to a mortal village named Talgarth which is nestled in the south-eastern slopes of the realm to ask if a human clan would foster you as their ward until you are of age. Sereadan Galerida, a cattleman and veteran warrior, has solemnly pledged to raise you as his son when he heard tale of your unfortunate situation. He's traveling to the citadel even as we speak to meet you. He should be arriving tomorrow and you'll be leaving the same day. He and his family are moving to Dorthonion," the Elf explained tentatively, perhaps wondering if the revelation might upset the boy.

    Nathaniel wasn't sure what to think though, experiencing many emotions at once: he was relieved that he'd have a home, a place to call his own again; gratitude that someone could care so much for him, a perfect stranger; excitement, anxious to be loved agai; anxiety, knowing he'd be starting over from scratch; worry...would they like him in Dorthonion?

    "That was considerate ofAelriel,"
    Nathaniel spoke,"to find a family to take me in."

    "Yes, it was, and you may have the opportunity to thank her tomorrow; King Maedhros would like to speak to you personally here tonight. He'll visit any moment now."

    Nathaniel's eyes widened, still and shocked. Was he really that special?

    "He has his father's determination, charisma, and tactical intelligence however Maedhros is a caring person like his mother, more honorable than his father had been but that's just between you and I. The son of Fëanor has sympathy for you,"
    answered the Elven soldier,"and His Majesty would like to bestow a farewell gift onto you. I need to leave but I'll see you in the morning before you leave with Colonel Galerida. I hope you rest easy tonight."

    As he left the room, Nathaniel realiszed he may have seen him before."Just a second, if it's alright," Nathaniel requested, approaching. "Of course," the Elf replies graciously with another friendly, broad smile.

    "Were you there... on the road when I collapsed?"


    "That is correct,"
    he affirmed, nodding. "And I carried you in."

    "Thank you."

    The High Elf started to lay his right over heart which was a formal greeting of his own race but instead, he chose a gesture of mortals who had just officially met each other. Edan extended his hand to grip Nathaniel's.

    The boy took it, wincing slightly since it was stronger than his own.

    "Edan Amrun," said the Elf, introducing himself.


    *

    Chapter Five : The Star-gem


    "The first gems that Fëanor made were white and colourless,
    but being set under starlight they would blaze with blue and silver fires brighter than Helluin."
    ~ Tolkien,The Silmarillion : Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor

    "Nathaniel ?"


    The voice of who the boy knew immediately to be the Elf king of Himring brought Nathaniel's pacing on the marble floor of the balcony to an abrupt stop. He turned reluctantly to face him.

    Maedhros
    was very tall. He was a well-built Elf andremarkably handsome. His eyes were shining like Edan's but there was a hardness to them that unsettled Nathaniel for just a moment even though he knew of his torment in the north and his tragic history. The sovereign wore a bejeweled crown on the top of his dark-red hair and a blue samite robe embroidered with thread-of-silver. In the only hand remaining to him, the left, there was a small rectangular jewelry holder of peculiar dark metal.

    Nathaniel felt sort out of place in his presence, barefoot and clad in the pyjamas for a hospital patient....a human commoner, to boot.

    "That's my name, yes, Your Highness."


    His easy smile caused Nathan to relax somewhat. The king beckoned him inside and Nathan drew close.

    "Your tribulation is over. I hope you have a safe passage to Ladros, that your life will be long and happy,"
    King Maedhros spoke, opening the container."This is a gift. It's ornate but I want you to have it. The kings and lords of the Noldor brought many treasures of Tirion with them to Middle-earth ; this particular artifact...was made by my father, Fëanor son of Finwë."

    "I cannot accept such a present, Your Majesty," Nathaniel
    confessed, moved by the great man's genteel spirit and the depth of his giving nature."Your father has passed away, sir, like my own," he reminded him, his voice hoarse with emotion."I wouldn't part with anything like this -"

    "Please, don't refuse,"
    Maedhros insisted sotto voce, interjecting."And an enchantment lays upon it. When the memory of your ordeal agonizes you, Nathaniel, this will bring you aid. Take it, mortal."

    And so he did.

    Nathaniel peeled away the pale velvet cloth within. He was silent and astonished once he removed the necklace out of the box. An exquisite white gem shaped in the image of a star hanged as a pendant from the chain of strange braided silver. "Go outside and see what happens," Maedhros instructed and the boy hastened to do so.

    He was more awestruck than before as the crystal was revealed to the bright, glimmering stars of the night skies ; the jewel shone with radiant, coruscating blue fire. It was as if Nathaniel held one of those lofty, twinkling orbs in his hand and for the first time in a long time...he felt oddly at peace as Maedhros promised he would. "Thank you for the solace you've given me, milord."

    "It will do this always, each time you bear it at eventide if there are stars sprinkled on high," said
    Maedhros.

    "I am honored to be its wearer, sir, and thank you for your hospitality,"
    Nathaniel said, putting the chain around my neck.
    Last edited by Aigronding Mordagnir; 31/Dec/2013 at 04:34 AM.

  85. Almarëa Mordollwen's Avatar
    Spy of Mordor
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    #85




    Flight


    Thus let me live, unseen, unknown,Thus unlamented let me die,Steal from the world, and not a stoneTell where I lie.
    ~ Alexander Pope
    T.A. 23Lairë ("Summer", Quenya)Five days after Almarëa's departure from Imladris
    (Private)
    The Ettenmoors were not a friendly place for a lone elleth on horseback. Almarëahad expected this; but she also expected that by taking to the hills, she would make it significantly more difficult for anyone to find her. With any luck, her tracks within two days' ride of Rivendell would have been rendered useless by the rain. She did not think that Aigrondingor Rilienor anyone else would be persistent enough to follow her after that, but they might try sending messages to the other Elven realms, to see if anyone had seen her ... so she had no intention of simply going to Lórien or the Greenwood. Off the beaten track was the plan, and off the beaten track she certainly was - she was currently leading, not riding, Vaiwadown a rather stony and inhospitable ravine on the north side of the Ettenmoors. The horse had been mildly injured in the right forefoot the previous day, while escaping from a hungry - and rather lonely - mountain troll. Escapewas the right word - Almarëahad not been able to slay it, though she fancied she had given it sufficient deterrent to following her!
    Vaiwawas nervous - the shifting rocks beneath the horse's hoofs unsettled her. But Almarëa, though she walked with the grace of her people in the gathering dark, paid little attention to the dangers of the scree. A clumsier traveller, or a mortal might have been in danger of falling, especially in the dark; she was not. Or if she was, she was not in a mind to worry about it. The dark-haired elleth was, in fact, composing an extended rant in her mind on the virtues of common sense - with the result that she did not hear the increasingly loud rumbles of thunder in the distance until the storm was almost on top of her. It was a sudden, startlingly vivid flash of lighting that lit up the ravine that finally alerted her to the impending storm, and made her look about for somewhere to shelter.There was little enough in sight - a clump of bent, twisted trees a little ways below was the best she could see in the next dim flash of lightning that lit the sky. Urging her trembling mare onwards, Almarëapulled her cloak over her head and headed as quickly as possible in the direction of the trees. She did have a small tent-like structure in her pack; it would give her room to sleep and stay relatively dry if nothing else, but she needed somewhere to set it up, and Vaiwawould be miserable if they camped entirely out in the open.
    There was still quite some ways to descend, however, and Almarëahurried forward despite the protests of her mare at being led so quickly over the shifting ground. It began to spit, and then to rain steadily - not a downpour, not quite yet - but enough that the rocks became slippery underfoot ... Almarëacould never remember whether it was simply carelessness, or arrogance, or whether something had legitimately startled or frightened her, but she was never able to remember the next several minutes - for inevitably, she had somehow tripped, stumbled, and fallen, rolling down the rocky slope until she came to a rest, completely unconscious, with her head at the base of the tree stump that stopped her fall.

    The Pursuit


    T.A. 23.Lairë(“Summer,” Quenya)Two days previous.
    At Aigronding's immediate declaration that he intended to come along, Riliencould not help but be slightly skeptical. The golden-haired herald had just spent three days refusing to see anyone and trying to starve himself, and now he was proposing to join a rescue team. Aigwas not likely to be rational about this ... but neither was he, if Rilien was honest, and the two of them would probably have more of chance of finding her than either one of them separately. He clasped Aigronding'shand firmly.My horse is outside- we're leaving in an hour. Rilien refused to elaborate on the explanation Almarëahad given Aigrondingfor her departure - he wasn't sure yet how much he ought to reveal, and until then, Aigronding's assumptions were not going to harm him.He knew, or thought he knew,whyshe had left; that did not give him the right to violate her privacy by speaking of it. And what Aighad said was better than the truth, in some respects.
    It was at that moment that Meriland Valionappeared - the latter by means of tripping over the mess in Aigronding;s room and landing on the floor. In other circumstances, it would have been amusing; today, Riliensimply embraced Valin greeting after Merilhad managed to pick him up off of the floor. The two had served together for many years in Gondolin as part of the House of the Pillar. It was easy to notice that something was greatly troubling both of them - but Rilien's first clue that it was something more dire than Almarëa's departure was when Valionannounced he was on a ... "long holiday". Aigrondingforestalled Rilien'sown questions with his own - and Rilientensed involuntarily at Valion's revelation - he had been so distraught by Almarëa's departure that he had attacked those who tried to keep him from searching for her.
    Rilien'sreaction was not to blame Valion, or Almarëafor that matter, but a renewed grief at the devastation her departure was creating - or perhaps merely revealing. It was not the wars and the battles that brought them to their knees, it was surviving and enduring afterwards. Every one of them carried deep sorrows, deep wounds ... perhaps too deep to ever be healed outside of the Undying Lands, if even the Valar had that power. Valion's reaction was no more extreme than Aig's, and perhaps, at the end of all things, no more extreme than his own. It was this that made Rilien step between the two as Aigrondingturned on his son. "Aigronding. Valion. Listen to me. You cannot let this divide you. Aig - be honest with yourself, trying to starve yourself is no better a reaction to her absence. We will stand a significantly better chance of finding her if we work together."He turned toValion."No, I'm not staying. I'm leaving within the hour, to findAlmarëa's trail if I possibly can. Or to find her, period, even if the trail is gone." He paused, judging Aigronding'sreaction. "Aig intends to join me. You would be more than welcome to accompany us, mellon nin. There is no reason why your ...vacation - he finally settled on Val'sname for it -... must be spent in solitary confinement!"

  86. __________________________________________________ ___________


    - Mirkwood -__________________________________________________ ____________

    The Wayfarer

    [Private with Almarëa]




    Tuilë. T.A. 1868
    The rabbit swiftly avoided the arrow thatElfaronhad shot from his bow, vanishing into the tall grass at the fringes of the glade. "You're pathetic,"Yulmanildastated, amused. "I can't get it right all the time !"Elfaronshouted, exasperated. "Ada, the next person we pick up needs to be a proficient archer !"Yulmainsisted, turning to look at the man she called father. Earenolwëswallowed a tasty morsel of roasted meat, which happened to belong to an unfortunate rabbit that his daughter happened to slay unlikeElfaron, and chuckled."You have my word,"he promised. Iella, who was also at camp in the shadowy clearing disagreed with a shake of her head as she resealed her canteen after taking a draught of water."Someone who knows how to swing a sword,"recommended the blond sword-fighter. "Both,"Earenolwësuggested, shrugging. The wanderers of Bar-en-Raen had journeyed five days along the Old Forest Road and had turned northwards to the Dark Mountains of Mirkwood so they could begin their adventure or'safari' asIellahad humorously put it. Mostsanepeople hunted buffalo, leopards, rhinos, even lions....butnotBar-en-Raen ; no, they were going to vacation in Mirkwood, the heart of darkness in Wilderland, to intentionally track giant spiders and lethal horrifying beasts...for fun. For maybe...a few years. Elfaronhad declared his sister and theirfriends insane.Earenolwë, riposting, had made it clear thatElfaronwas also mad because he tagged along with crazy people anyway. It was afternoon now and they had paused for lunch ;Yulmanildawas trying to instructElfaronhow to shoot well. He wasn't a good learner. This time he chose a squirrel which had been cutely hopping across an oaken bough of one of the trees which bordered the campsite and had paused at sight of the Elf ; he pulled back with steady force until his index met the side of his mouth, a spotElfaronhad picked for his anchor point. Yulmahad to order him several times to leave it there and not his ear.Elfaronhad learned the hard way when the bowstring kept scraping his face... He lined up the arrow with the still target, closing his left eye whilst keeping his dominant, the right open, and loosed the green-feathered arrow at the count of two. And missed. The weapon vanished somewhere in the northern wilderness. "You're a novice !"Yulmacomplained, lowering her own bow before she could strike a plump forest mouse she had opted to hunt."Wait to the creature stops !" "Stop yelling at me !"Elfaronsaid despite the fact that he was hollering at her. "Don't let your quarry notice your tracking it !"Yulmanildalectured.EarenolwëandIellawere having a good rollicking laugh about this."It's not funny !"Yulmasnapped even though she chuckled for a few moments after. She flung her hand not clutching her bow toward the good healer."How is he ever going to catch game if he doesn't learn how to do it right ?"She commandedElfaronto search for his arrow and he stormed off into the woods. Ten minutes later,Elfaronwas screaming for help. Yulmanildaran lithely in the direction whereElfaronhad vanished followed by worriedIellawho had unsheathed her sword in a flash ;Earenolwëstayed behind for a few moments to stamp out their fire and hurried in their wake, pulling Eregvana out of its bejewelled white scabbard. They arrived beneath a towering stout oak and discoveredElfaronwas entrapped in a large net hanging from a bough, wailing for some assistance. IellaandYulmalaughed boisteriously ;Earenolwësighedand just as he was in the process of returning his longsword to its holder, a clamorous saurian roar rent the air ; goosebumps bloomed across the skin of both the High Elf's forearms. The two women suddenly were quiet, blanching, andEarenolwëwas frozen in place, tense. An instant later a huge and red-eyed, scaly monstrosity that looked like a two-legged, horned lizard emerged from the dense forestry at a hectic run, escaping Elves most likely - it was evading a storm of arrows and thrown spears. The vile thing, infuriated by their presence, perhaps believing the members of Bar-en-Raen were part of the team trying to exterminate it, rushed at them. Earenolwëleaped away toavoid a fearsome sweep of the monster's tail that had whipped toward him ; simultaneouslyYulmanilda, stone-faced, straightened her fingers to release an arrow that pierced the fell beast's right eye. Iella, who had gotten close took advantage of the bipedal, gigantic lizard's momentary pause as it mewed stabbing its unprotected belly. Rather displeasured,the howling creature swung its arm ;Iellawas batted aside with a powerful swing of its limb ;Iella collided with the hardwood trunk of the oak from whichElfaronhanged and dropped to the forest floor unconscious, bleeding from her skull. Earenolwë's first impulse was to run to her but he curtailed the decision, knowing they had to kill this monstrosity first ; he swung the blade of Eregvana in a brutal swipe twice, hacking apart the lizard's tail andYulmanildarelentlessly assailed it with her arrows. A troop of Elves appeared, archers and spearmen, and joined the assault. A brave and limber, strikingellethwith silver hair and emerald eyes who was clad in silver-chased green enameled armor and wore bracelets of gold on her upper limbs sprinted at the beast and sank her spear into the shrieking, wounded fell lizard's heart. It collapsed soundlessly and laid still. "Who are you all ?"the warrior-maid asked as she removed her spear out of the monster's cadaver."Visitors need to stay on the Road."
    "I amEarenolwë, leader of Bar-en-Rae, House of the Wanderers ; we are a traveling company -" "And I amTaurinadaughter of the AvarHaladornand a Sinda,Lossiel. That's enough talk for now. The blond is injured and...her brother ? is still hanging from that tree. Collect them and we'll be on our way to the local station to heal her and have ourselves a discussion."




  87. Uriphel Imrathor's Avatar
    Elder of Imladris
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    #87
    Any Last Words?Ocotober T.A. 1975"Do not mount on this sea-monster! If they have them, let the seamen bring us food and other things that we need, and you may stay here till the Witch-king goes home. For in summer his power wanes; but now his breath is deadly, and his cold arm is long."― Chief of the Lossoth



    The Halls of Lord Cirdan~ Lindon
    Uriphel pulled the sheet overZimrathôn's face. The man was gone to wherever men went upon their deaths. The fate of men was a mystery to her kind, and would likely remain such until the last days. Then perhaps she would know what had become of this last messenger of Arnor, and to those other men and women she had known over the course of her life time.
    Gently she wiped a tear from her eyes. She'd known this one was not going to survive the night, the wounds too infected even for the legendary power of the elves. However, she'd done all she could to make his passing from the lands of Middle Earth as gentle as she could. Only a few words had the battered messenger of the King been able to impart, and it was what she and all in Lindon had feared for weeks. King Arvedui was dead along with all the mariners her Lord had sent to Forochel. Drowned in a "most unnatural storm" That is whatZimrathôn had called it before he'd slipped forever into darkness. He alone of the king's men had been ordered to stay ashore. He alone had not perished in the sea.
    But he had not survived the journey across the now infested and broken lands which only months ago had been his home. Uriphel's green eyes lingered on the covered form of the king's last servant only a moment longer. She could not bear to dwell on the strange man's fate any longer. His death brought back too many painful memories for the elleth. Witnessing death had that way with her.
    Quietly she moved over to the table to where the man's personal items had been haphazardly thrown down. She set aside the weapons and soiled cloak (she would see that it was cleaned in the morning) and carefully examined the man's satchel. Inside she found a few maps, food, clothes, a compass, a set of keys, and books. Many books. The man had certainly enjoyed reading....
    Flipping through the books one at a time, Uriphel finally found what she had been seeking, the messenger's journal. The book was simple....made of leather bound shut with a red leather clasp. Lord Cirdan would wish to see this for certain. And he would of course want to know about the mariners...and the King. The prophecy had come true the line of Kings was broken. She sighed wearily. Slipping quietly from the room, Uriphel with a heavy heart made her way toward the Lord's Chamber.



  88. __________________________________________________ ________________________



    __________________________________________________ ________________________


    The Pursuit

    T.A. 23.
    Lairë(“Summer,” Quenya)

    As Rilien spoke Aigronding felt a spasm of guilt stagger his heart, his features contracting ; his friend's sensible reply convicted him. Despite the tragedy of what happened Rilien appeared just as calm, intelligent, and serene as ever but Aigronding had been hysterical, foolish, and emotional. He didn't answer right away, allowing Rilien's own composure to thoroughly relax him.

    "The knowledge of my son's exile has compounded the grief of Almarëa's guile and flight ,"
    Aigronding, still pallid and miserable but for once ratherlucid now, confided in Rilien as Meril gently embraced him, "but your strength will ultimately...." Mordagnir'seyes burned, his voice quietly resolved "- enable me to find my own, Rilien. I'm sorry you found me like this, old friend, but I will change." His gaze flicked to Valion who was approaching tentatively toward him. "Forgive me for over-reacting...your..." Aigronding smiled wanly. "...vacation, as Rilien put it, is quite inconvenient for me to deal with right now."

    They both laughed, perhaps a good sign that all would be well between then soon.

    "I apologize for alarming you but this punishment of mine may be of some use to the search for Almarëa, father ; I'll be coming along to find her. As Ril said, there's no reason why my time away from home must be spent in solitude."


    Solemn Meril removed her arms from around her father-in-law. "I would like to stay home, my adventuring days are over, but I will not spend years pining for you here ; I'll accompany you and Ril, and Adar," Meril decided, allowing her husband to caress her white cheek for a moment. "Our children are adults now and will be alright without us."

    Roina
    sighed heavily, watching Rilien and Aigronding shake hands ; she seized her wealth of red of hair in frustration for an instant. "You are not a rational man, Rilien," Roina snapped at the golden-haired Elf, thrusting a fingertip against the man's chest. "And niether are you, Aig," Roina addded sharply, pointing at him now. "And the apple doesn't fall from the tree," Roina wryly mentioned, looking at Valion who rolled his blue eyes despite his wife's nod of agreement. "If you love something, it does come back to you," Roina told the three men clearly, exasperated. "I think Almarëa will return because she cares about us. I don't know what happened in Lindon before she disappeared, Rilien, and I won't ask," Roina said frankly, glancing at Aigronding whom she knew wouldn't let it rest, "but I don't think she was just there forLindariel or Raina -I don't think she despises you, Rilien ; Aig, if she hadn't cared for us, she wouldn't come back here to say goodbye."

    Almarëa
    had bid them all farewell but Aigronding had tried to change her mind ; Alma had said she'd reconsider leaving, perhaps she'd stay... Almarëa had been dishonest, obviously...still though, she must have thought it important for them to have a happy memory of her while she was gone and perhaps...Almarëa thought it was vital for herself also to have a joyful one to recall until she came back home.

    "Ally has been over time devastated, shattered."
    Roina's emerald eyes stung, wanting to hold her. "Some people surround themselves with dear ones when things fall apart ; others want to be by themselves for either a little while or a long while. I think we ought to give her some space. I think if she finds out we're tracking her, Alma will just stay keep herself away from Rivendell. Seriously, gentlemen....what do you three plan to do when this hunt, er, pursuit of Almarëa is over ? What if you three finally reunite with her ?"

    Aigronding
    stood there silently, staring at Roina ; he blinked once, before turning to Rilien as if figuring he had the most logical answer to that....

    "Ask her very nicely to return to the valley,"
    Valion guessed.

    Meril
    made a sound that was part snort, part chuckle.

    "Demand it,"
    Aigronding said firmly adding, "respectfully," as an afterthought sotto voce.

    Meril
    tossed back her head, loosing a peals of vibrant, silvery laughter ; Roina stood there, looking at Aigronding with amusement, having rather been humored by that....contradictory statement. She hoped that if they ever saw Almarëa again that Aigronding would had changed by that point or sometime shortly after, if he would realize that honouring Almarëa's decisions and privacy would keep their friendship strong.

    "What if she gets hurt ?"
    Aigronding said insistently, still believing that he and Rilien and Valion were on the right side. "She's needed backup before. We all have in a fight."

    "Maybe she'll find some friends out there,"
    Meril supposed, "and even if not... Almarëa is smart, Adar -"

    "She's also reckless and a terrible cook ; she'll kill herself accidentally at her own camp,"
    Aigronding responded flatly countering Meril ; he looked at Ril whom he thought would probably concur with that.

    "If there's danger it's undoubtedly probable that she'll run to face it,"
    Valion hypothesized fondly, "and I totally agree that Almarëa has a lack of culinary talent....she could set a forest on a fire or burn herself...."

    "Which is one of the reasons why we need to locate her
    before we chance upon eitherAlmarëa's roasted corpse or a torched forest too late -"

    "- or just as something violent or carnivorous decides to either maim or devour her-"
    Valion interjected but was in turn interrupted by Aigronding again.

    "Or save
    Almarëa from falling the wrong way and bleeding, consequently, to death in a ditch -"

    "Please, no more," Meril beseeched suddenly with vehemence, "she's my friend, too, and I would quite appreciate if if you both would refrain now before becoming really creative with those worst-case scenarios, alright ?"

    "You three need to le Almarëa do what she wants !"
    Roina shouted, slamming one palm against the other before throwing her hands up in the air. That was the truth from her point of view and she, too, already had enough in all of several seconds from hearing what kind of calamities could befall Almarëa. "Whatever," she concluded, sweeping the air with the knife of her hand. "I'm done. Finished. I'll only go with this party to see that Aigronding takes care of himself. Rilien will just advise Aig about nourishment but I'll be the one that threatens to either drown him in the nearest stream or hang Mordagnir from the nearest tree if he doesn't capitutlate. He will not starve or thirst, no matter how intense his melancholia is."

    Meril
    giggled and Aigronding rolled his eyes, muttering something intelligible beneath his breath.

    "I'll speak to the pantler about what we can take with us for the start of our journey,"
    Roina volunteered, "and get ourselves a few pack horses from the market."

    "Meril and I will need to speak with our children but we'll meet you, father, and Rilien outside in an hour,"
    Valion said, clasping Meril's hand as the two of them left.

    "I'll speak to Eilianthel ; I won't leave without telling her what's going on. It might take us years,"
    Aigronding shared with Rilien and Roina.

    "In that case you better clean up this mess this first,"
    Roina ordered dryly, waving her arm grandiosely over the wreckage of his apartment.

    "Must you be so mothering ?"
    Aigronding asked with a withering look.

    "Shouldn't give me reasons,"
    Roina riposted with a teasing glint in her green eyes. Feeling slightly ashamed of how she had spoken to each of them, Roina embraced Rilien once and kissed Aigronding's cheek before carefully leaving the debris-strewn room.


    *



    Eilianthel Mordagnir, the daughter of Aigronding and deceased Alassëa,was startled by the telltale knock of her father's rap on her apartment door. The red-haired, striking elleth wearing a mauve skirt and sleeveless white blouse dropped the pin she was going to stick through the colorful representation of Lothlórien on a map of Wilderland that was against the wall of her room closest to her bed and the windowed door that opened to the veranda ; Eilianthel had left it ajar when she had awakened this morning to let in the warmth of summer and merry birdsong.

    Eilianthel
    stifled a sigh as she walked to the door to admit her father in ; they had always been close, but honestly his manic sadness over Almarëa's leavetaking was making her uneasy in Rivendell and thus hastening her decision to travel abroad. He was so injured by the deaths in his family, the loss of Calanon and Eärculintá, Tavari's disappearance, and Almarëa's vanishing that Eilianthel was still reluctant to guide her horse away from here. For love of him.

    Aigronding
    and Eilianthel tenderly held each other for a long moment before she disengaged and led him to the broad, rose marble balcony outside ; there was a panoramic view of the rushing sunlit Bruinen, myriads of fair waterfalls, and wildflowers blossoming into life in the Gardens of Elrond. And somewhere beyond the confines of this wondrous realm was the picturesque - and sometimes dark and harrowing - environs of a world she was aching to explore...

    Eilianthel
    guided her father toa white stone tablewhere they could sit ; Eilianthel returned inside her room to the kitchen and the cold storage to prepare them iced tea.

    "We need to talk,"
    Aigronding said after a long pleasing sip of his drink when his daughter sat with him.

    Eilianthel
    straightened, forcing a smile, willing herself to endure another morose conversation if necessary though she hoped it was anything but that. It was something she ardently wanted to begin happening ; she prayed for better days for herself and her father.

    "Rilien has arrived -"


    Astonished,Eilianthel sprayed her tea to the side (it was rather comical) ;joyful, she exuberantly bolted from her chair, tripping over long-bodied Nimlos who had stretched herself out on the veranda, relaxing ; Eilianthel struck the floor of the balcony and Aigronding yelled, wanting to know if she's okay.

    "Oh, yeah, I'm brilliant !"
    Eilianthel announced as she shot back to her feet. "Everything is intact, Ada !" Eilianthel assured Aigronding, lifting two thumbs in the air like a mortal who was supremely confident of matters.

    "Would you mind if you listened to me explain why Rilien is here, lissiorë ?"
    Aigronding, chuckled, asked ; Eilianthel blushed and perched herself on her sire's knee and smiled as his arms came around her.

    This was nice...they were laughing again. Why couldn't this happen more ? Would it ? "I just want to be happy," Eilianthel thought wistfully.

    "Rilien, your brother and Meril, Roina, and I are going to search for
    Almarëa," Aigronding divulged, "we don't know how long we're going to be. Wanted to let you know, dear."

    "I think everyone ought to let Almarëa spend some time alone with herself ; it will be good for her soul," predicted Eilianthel delicately, knowing the condition of her father's heart and mind currently ; she was a woman who always spoke her mind though her default wasn't harsh or sarcastic but mild and tactful. "I like to think I know Almarëa nearly as well as you and Ril, Lindariel and other friends...I want to believe she'll return but Alma is free like a bird, you can't tie her wings. Give her some a chance to fly and she'll land back here whenever it suits her. Almarëa doesn't want to hurt anyone...she's merely independent and wants some adventure, I suppose. Wandering could be fun."

    "That's what you want to do, isn't it,"
    Aigronding uttered, glancing at the maps on her sky-blue walls within her apartment; there were innumerable pins that marked out various territories of Middle-earth from coast to coast...even from the northern borders of the Forodwaith to the forested and mountainous southern fringes of the continent and the mysterious Darkland beyond the Inner Seas.

    He could never miss noticing those pins whenever he came here but had never brought it up, afraid. He assumed that each spot that was marked indicated somewhere that his child wanted to visit.

    "Eventually, yes, Ada,"
    Eilianthel affirmed, looking at him steadily. "Though I hope, well, that you'll come with me. I think it could benefit you."

    "I'd like that,"
    Aigronding replied after half a minute of thought

    "Really ?" Eilianthel piped, throwing her arms around him ; he stroked her vermillion tresses.

    "Yes...after the search, maybe. Would you like to come with us ?"


    "Of course !"
    Her reason was different than the others, at least Aig's and Ril's, though the women were friends of Almarëa, too ; she supposed that Meril didn't want to be separated from her husband - Eilanthel's brother, Valion - and Roina was usually stuck to Aigronding like glue. Eilianthel wanted Almarëa to find peace so she didn't approve at all of this pursuit of theirs but she couldn't deny the opportunity to see the world. The wanderlust was becoming too fierce now to bridle.


    *




    In just shorter than an hour, Aigronding and company met Rilien outside ; Aigronding and his children, Meril and Roina were all mounted. There were two pack horses trailing the group as they reunited with Rilien near the bridge over Loudwater ; the steeds carried their equipment and provisions for the beginning of the journey.

    "We're all set, Rilien,"
    Aigronding said. "We will be when Eilanthel releases him from that crushing hug," Valion remarked, causing a ripple of amusement briefly among Meril and Roina and Aigronding.

    Nimlos
    's jaw lowered so her tongue could loll, humored ; the wolfhound had trotted here alongside Aigronding's grey stallion.

    Eilianthel
    rolled her blue eyes and finally let Rilien go ; she had flung her lissome limbs up to tightly embrace the Elf after she had left her saddle for an instant but now returned to it.

    "Where should we look first ?"
    Valion questioned Rilien. "Perhaps over the Mitheithel ? That's where I lost all trace of Almarëa."
    Last edited by Aigronding Mordagnir; 13/Dec/2012 at 02:38 AM.

  89. Haflin's Avatar
    Guardian of the Arkenstone
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    #89
    "For long had Curinor held one tradition for himself even having retreated from the world into the uttermost west.
    Away east where the road took travelers back to the circles of the world were mountains rising from the sea.
    And there was the ground under which his best memories now rested."
    ~
    Narrator, The Voyage of Nenmiriel

    "Trystan and Galadan were descendants of one of the Dark men of the East named Travis;
    Much of his life was dedicated to hunting the usurpers of his master's will.
    In the end though, he was redeemed by a vision of light
    and from then on became a leader of his kin into the west,
    forever leaving the darkness behind.
    The Dunlan brothers were adopted by their aunt in the four
    hundred and twenty-fourth year of the First Age when their father went missing,
    never to return. The two endured many hardships together but were not alone;
    there was Nathaniel
    of the Galerida clan, an orphan as well, and his sister Tinuwen, who were good friends all the years of their lives."
    ~ From The histories of the Dunlan family
    ________________________________________

    Ages of Arda : The Untold Chronicles
    __________________________________________________ __________

    The Orphans

    [ Ages of Arda Theme, Serenata Immortale :HERE ]
    __________________________________________________ ____________




    - Emyn Himring -
    __________________________________________________ _____________

    "...the Edain dwelt in the lands of the Eldar, some here, some there, some
    wandering, some settled in kindreds or small peoples ; and the most part
    of them soon learned the Grey-elven tongue, both as a common speech
    among themselves and because many were eager to learn the lore of the Elves."

    ~ Tolkien, The Silmarillion : Of the Coming of Men into the West

    [Private with Aig and myself]


    Chapter V : The Meeting

    _____________________________________________




    __________________________________________________ _________

    FA 424. Ladros, Dorthonion

    "The people of Beor came to Dorthonion and dwelt in lands ruled by the house of Finarfin"
    ~ Tolkien, The Silmarillion: Of The Coming Of Men Into The West


    The Dunlan Family; Trayvan, Trystan, and Galadan

    "I spy with my little eye...something...tall and green." Galadan said in a cheery voice as he looked over the side of the cart that was being pulled along by a horse with his father at reigns. The horse trotted out a steady beat in its harness, his hooves clopping along the road in a rhythm of tapping that the two brothers had learned to ignore lest it annoy them as they slowly made their way to their destination.

    "Let me guess...a tree?" Trystan asked. From the sound of his voice, he was obviously bored of the guessing game the two had been playing for the past several minutes from their position in the cart amongst bags filled with all the things they would need to live at their Aunt Braida's house. The boys had mixed feelings about being cooped up at their house in the country for the next few weeks mainly because it meant having to live with their uncle Jaren as well. On each side of them the land rolled on endlessly, the road cutting through hills and meadows of tall, yellow grass. Beyond them were several patches of wood that obscured the horizon of the blue sky above them as the sun shone down on their heads from above.

    "What kind of tree?" The younger brother asked with a smile that his sibling found irritating. Trystan gave him a look of incredulity and spread his hands in exasperation.

    "How am I supposed to know that? Do you know what kind of tree it is?" He asked. Galadan looked down as he sat laid his head upon the side of the cart, similarly tired of the game, he shrugged. There was a short pause between them before a voice at the helm of the cart broke the continuing pattern of the clopping hooves.

    "Over to the right; most of those are oaks. And off to the left many of them are pines. You see that tree standing alone in that field over there?" Trayvan pointed off to one side while he held the reigns in one hand in his lap. "That's a magnolia, you can tell by the white flowers on its branches and the cones which bear red seeds."

    "How do you know so much about stuff, Dad?" Came his youngest son's voice, followed suddenly by the appearance of the boy's head and shoulders next to his father in the cart just behind him. A smile spread ever so slightly on Trayvan's face.

    "As you get older, you learn quite a few things." He offered as an explanation.

    "I'll bet scouting for the king's army helps too." Trystan said flippantly from the rear of the cart. His father sighed, his sons didn't really understand how hard it was being a single parent of two boys. He had to juggle caring for them and working to make enough to ensure the could be cared for. He was only thankful that his sister Braida was so understanding else he'd have failed a long time ago.

    "That it does son. Maybe when you're older you will want to do the same." He said simply. It was all he could think to say really and his son made no response. The rest of the trip passed with little more important conversation and soon they crested another rise and were on a part of the road that seemed to descend into a valley, and in that valley were several houses of different sizes and makes. Some had smokestacks pouring out of their chimneys and some had signs next to them. Further out were houses with great tracts of fertile land next to them in which horses and cows grazed. It was the town of Vesper; a quiet place, but for how long with his sons residing there for the next few weeks was a question Trayvan was glad he didn't have to answer.

    They passed through the town as it went on its day to day business. Streets, both paved with stone and dirt alike criss crossed between the houses and around tree mounted hills. Over yonder was a butcher's shop, the owner's wares in assorted display for the public to see in his window. A few roads over was a lofty tavern that the three couldn't see into but by the sounds coming from within knew that somebody there was having a good time. They passed men working in fields and women working in gardens. A stray dog chased their cart, barking happily as it went, until, as if by some unseen signal, it split off down another road.

    The three finally neared a familiar sight at the end of the lane; just around a bend in the lane that was bordered on one side by a field of wheat and the other side by a dike that lead up to a gently flowing brook; there was a cozy little house there that was made of wood with a foundation of brick and had a wide thatched roof. As the cart came closer they could see a scruffy hound drowsing on the porch and in the front yard stood a man splitting logs with an axe, his shirt sleeves rolled up for the work. The two boys leaned out of one side of the cart to see their aunt's house better and as they did so the dog bolted upright, seeing them approach and ran up to meet them, barking as it did so. The man working in the yard turned to look and they saw him; he was at least as tall as their father if a bit age worn. His head was covered in shaggy dark hair that was peppered with grey strands throughout and his face bore the wrinkles of a man who has seen his share of seasons. He stood there, a pipe that emitted a small trail of smoke sticking out from under his bushy whiskers. Trayvan remembered that he'd never seen a man other than his brother in law that could enjoy smoking while working. But the most distinctive thing about the man was not his pipe or his aloof posture, it was his left leg which from a few inches below the knee was a wooden peg. The man hefted the axe over his shoulder with his sweat covered arms and watched as his nephews jumped from the side of the cart and their father brought it to a stop. Galadan stopped as the dog bounded up to meet him, going stiff as a board when the pooch leapt up on him and started sniffing and licking his face. The boy giggled.

    "Hi Rufus!" He managed between giggles. His older brother smiled as he walked up to his uncle who simply beheld him, saying nothing, not even waving a hello.

    "Hey, Uncle Jaren." Trystan said weakly. He'd always found his uncle to be...intriguing. The man said very little, at least in Trystan's presence. He presented a mystery that the man's nephew would have liked to crack, to know what things his uncle guarded behind his eyes. His uncle had a grim demeanor about him and that was something that Trystan had always found admirable. It just creeped Galadan out but he was still nearly a baby, at least to his big brother, so what did he know?

    The man gave the merest hint of a smile and nodded to his nephew. Walking past him, Jaren reached out a meaty hand and messed up the boy's hair. Trystan chuckled at the way his uncle walked; a compensating gait for his wooden leg, as he went to speak with the boys' father. Suddenly, the sound of a door closing at the porch caused Trystan to turn and behold a woman coming down into the yard with a joyful smile on her face. Trystan sighed inwardly, knowing what was coming next.

    "Trystan! Come give your auntie a hug!" She called mellifluously across the yard. Without a second warning Trystan suddenly found himself trapped by his aunt Braida's embrace and then unpleasantly kissed upon the cheek. He faked gagging for a moment as she released him but didn't seem to mind. "My how you're growing! Just like a weed I'd say!"

    Wiping his cheek off, Trystan grumbled under his breath...this was going to be a long visit...
    *****


    All of them stayed the night and had a big dinner at their aunt and uncle's table. As usual, Braida did the majority of the talking while Jaren stayed quiet, she pestered them about the course of their daily lives and went into great detail about her own. They slept soundly that night after a long day and early in the morning when the sun was just peeking over the horizon and dispelling the night with a grey blue sky, Trayvan prepared his horse to ride out. He did so with a heavy heart. Since he had made his decision he had been struggling with the idea of leaving his children but it needed to be done and it would only be a little while before he saw his boys again, at least that's what he kept telling himself. He tried to keep his mind on saddling the horse but a voice suddenly broke the relative quiet of the spacious barn.

    "So your really leaving then?" He recognized the voice of his own eldest son before he turned around to behold the boy standing there, leaning against a stable post.

    "Yes I am, and you should be in bed." Trayvan said, it was supposed to be a chastisement, but it didn't come out that way.

    "I'm...scared, dad." Trystan eventually got out after a few moments of awkward silence. The statement caused his father to stop and look at him.

    "Scared? Of what son?" He asked honestly.

    "Scared for you. Scared for me and Galadan. We won't know what to do without you." His son admitted, looking to the floor of the hay covered barn. Trayvan walked over to his son and hugged him.

    "As long as you remember what I have taught you, you will become a fine man, Trystan. I wont be gone long, and when I see you again, I'm sure I'll be proud of the things that you've done. Keep your brother close and look out for each other, understand?"

    Trystan nodded as he held his father at the waist. Why did he have a feeling he was going to do the majority of the looking out? His father held him for a moment more and then mounted his horse and rode out onto the rode again, alone. Trystan watched him from the barn door and saw his father look back and wave to him just as he began to disappear from sight amidst the buildings and curving of the road. That day he had no reason to fear that he would never see his father again, but that day would turn to a week, and then two, and then a month and more...and soon with each passing day it became clear that the morning Trayvan rode out to serve the Eldar kings was the last time his sons would see him as living men.

    *****

    Many days later...

    "I really don't think this is a good idea." Galadan said plaintively. The two boys had chosen that bright morning to go exploring into the countryside after their chores were done while they waited for their aunt to finish making breakfast. A few leagues down the road they came to a familiar place; a long wooden post fence that kept in a heard of grazing cows. This was where Trystan had met his mortal enemy in pitched combat, or at least that was how the boy liked to think of it.

    "You never think anything fun is a good idea." Trystan mocked as he peeked through the gaps in the fence posts.

    "Yeah but you know what happened last time? How much you got in trouble? They make rules for a reason ya know." His younger brother protested, somehow he thought his pleas were falling on deaf ears though.


    "Rules are made to be broken. Besides, I'm only gonna be here for a few minutes. I've got some revenge to take!" Trystan said dramatically.

    "Revenge? What's that?"
    Galadan asked.

    "You know...like those bad guys in the storybooks. They're always saying they'll get revenge on the heroes." Trystan explained as if that made everything alright.

    "Doesn't that mean revenge is bad?" His brother proposed. Trystan however, was not amused.

    "What would you know? Now keep watch here and I'll be right back." Trystan said as he slipped through the posts in the fence and slunk off to cause mischief.

    "No! Trystan wait!" Galadan pleaded but to no avail. He sighed as he watched his brother go. Big brothers never learned it seemed.

    Trystan snuck through tall grass towards his intended target on the other side of the field. Ever since the day that mother cow had sent him flipping over the fence, he'd been dreaming of this moment when he'd finally get that pompous bovine back. It took him some minutes to crawl and skulk his way towards where the cows were blissfully unaware of his approach. Spying out an ideal target, a calf no taller than he was, Trystan smiled as he crept ever closer. He heard the mooing of the beasts of the field, smelled the grass that they were chewing almost thoughtfully. It was when he could feel the wind stirred up by the swishing of the cow's tail did he decide to strike.

    "Got you!" He yelled as loudly as he could and bolted for the calf, holding out his arms to tackle it. The poor animal wasn't quick enough and was knocked on its back by Trystan's charge. The boy laughed as he watched the young cow try to right itself. It cried piteously as it did so and eventually ran off in the direction of the herd.


    "Yeah that's right, run back to your stinking family!" Trystan mocked. His laughter died in his throat though as a sudden and angry call broke the relative silence of the pasture. The boy looked wide eyed as history seemed to repeat itself; a mother cow coming from the heard with its head lowered and nostrils flaring.

    "Uh oh." was about all the time he could say before the beast ran for him and he turned bolted in the opposite direction.

    "Here we go again!" Galadan yelled from a fence post nearby and settled in to watch the show.

    One Fateful day...
    (Private)

    On the road to Bree; 2998
    Vorondil Hérandil

    Vorondil goaded his horse onwards. It was acting strangely, pulling to the left or right or slowing down all of the sudden. This sent a red flag to the ranger's mind. They were getting close to something but what? Vorondil couldn't see, hear, or smell anything strange but looked about him nonetheless as the three went further down the road.

    "Careful now you two, there's something strange going on here." He said as he scanned the surrounding trees. Try as he might, he couldn't see what his horse was rebelling at. He turned to see his brother in a similar predicament but had to turn almost all the way around to see Jake who was hanging back. Vorondil was about to ask why when suddenly the woods around him exploded in the form of dozens of bodies all clad in leather and dirty clothes. They were armed with all manner of wicked weapons and leered greedily at the rangers. Vorondil immediately knew something was wrong, this was many more times the bandits they'd been expecting...it could only mean that this had been a trap all along.


    And apparently the bandits did not mean to negotiate as before the rangers could speak, bandits were rushing them even while they rode their horses. Vorondil's horse reared and whinnied in fear but being an experienced rider, the elder ranger was able to keep his hold on the horse's saddle while also drawing his sword. The first blow of a bandit with yellow teeth was swatted away and quickly followed by a counter-slash that sent the bandit sprawling. Little time did Vorondil have for another bandit came screaming at him, this one with a mace which the ranger easily thrust through with his blade. Though valiant, his struggles were vain. Multiple enemies came at him and threw him off his horse. In the struggle and the yelling and the shouting of horses, Vorondil lost his sword in the belly of a bandit. He continued to swing with his fists. He was a ranger and those folk did not know when nor how to give up, not matter how grave the situation. One of the bandits surrounding him decked Vorondil who promptly fell upon the ground, bleeding from the lips and nose, the bandits were on him in a moment and in the confusion there were soon bands about his wrists. As he was forced to kneel, he saw his brother fighting across the road and to his horror watched as a bandit stuck him in the back with a long dagger and the rest of the mongrels beat him as he fell.

    "Galanir! NO!"
    He wailed piteously even as his face was forced to the ground by his captors. A man walked forwards into the group who parted for him. He looked down hatefully at Vorondil who assumed it could be none other than the leader of the bandit group. Vorondil was happy to return the glare, and gritted his teeth, struggling to get at the man who had killed his brother.

    Last edited by Haflin; 05/Sep/2013 at 09:09 PM.

  90. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    #90
    One fateful day
    (private)

    Galanír Hérandil



    On the Road to Bree; 2998

    Galanir
    looked around as his horse started acting reluctant to go forward. "What's your problem?" He asked the horse gently. Vorondil cautioned them to be wary, and Galanir nodded. "Tell me about it.." He mumbled, still trying to get his horse to cooperate. One hand reached for his sword, just as a precaution, and then the bandits burst out from the trees. Galanir whipped out his sword and instantly began to defend himself, sticking close to his brother to defend his side as well. This was far from the amount of bandits they had been told of! What had been supposed to be a handful of men, had somehow turned into a small army!

    Even as the thought crossed his mind that they had been set up, he saw Vorondil's young friend slinking off around the group. He was suspicious instantly, and remembered how he had hung back.. as if he knew what was about to happen and didn't want to get caught in the cross fire. Galanir's temper flared, furious at this apparent betrayal and the fact that they had been set up. He was about to spur his horse onward to overtake the coward, then one of the enemies grabbed his leg and dragged him off of his horse. He held onto his sword, thankfully, and fought to get through them. He saw Vorondil being surrounded. "Vorondil!" He yelled, and fought to get back to his brother's side. If they could just get back to back, they might have a small chance of getting out of this...

    Jake stopped his horse and watched as the bandits surged out and began to attack the two rangers. He waited until they were surrounded pretty well, and immersed in the battle. Then he rode his horse around the edges of the battle and got to the other side, where he had spotted Mordrin standing off to the side, arms folded calmly over his chest as he watched. Jake dismounted next to his brother.
    "The one over there, that's the one." He told him, pointing to Vorondil. "And the other one's not important, that's just his brother. Don't know a thing about him." He shrugged, not interested in Galanir. He actually didn't want him to be killed, he hadn't intended for him to be dragged into this.. and the man had a family. He was happy, and his wife and daughter were happy. Jake didn't want the man to die or anything, he just wanted Vorondil out of the way.


    Mordrin looked where he pointed and gave a nod. He then spoke some words in their native language to the men which Jake interpreted to mean, 'Take that one alive, kill the other.' He pointed to Vorondil first, and then Galanir. Jake frowned, not too happy with that arrangement, but they followed Mordrin's orders before Jake had time to protest. He watched quietly as the men whom Galanir was fighting against changed their intentions to stopping the man, to killing the man.

    Galanir still struggled to get to his brother's side, puzzled about why they seemed intent on capturing his brother, and not killing him. Galanir impaled one bandit through the middle and shoved his body aside into three others who were coming after him, and ran three steps toward his brother, but then a blade pierced through his armor and into his back, not far below his right shoulder blade. He stumbled to the ground in pain as blood began to flow from the wound, hearing Vorondil yell his name. He gasped for breath with some difficulty and then forced himself back up onto his feet, staggering a little as he parried another series of attacks. He shoved the sword of other bandit aside and then stabbed the left shoulder of the enemy. He struggled to breathe though it caused him pain with every breath he took, and he was sure that his right lung must be punctured. He knew he was surely going to die, because even if this wound didn't kill him, he wouldn't be able to make it back to Sereni for her to heal him, and there were still too many bandits to fight. He was determined to take down as many of these guys as he could before the inevitable, though.

    He ducked a slash aimed at his neck and instinctively kicked the man's chest, sending him backward. The bandit stumbled backward over the body of one of his fellows who had been killed already by Galanir's sword. Galanir didn't have time to think before he had to parry another attack. But the force of this attack was almost overwhelming, and he was forced to duck again and twist away, barely evading a thrust from behind. The move caused him sharp, intense pain and he gritted his teeth as he stumbled down slightly, feeling like he was unable to stand straight. This move caused him to duck another slash without even meaning to, but the pain caused him to be slower to react to the next attack and he took a deep gash on the thigh.

    He struggled to stand again but felt too weak to do so, his breath coming in short, painful gasps. He parried a stab, but it was weak, and he was aware that the bandits surrounding him were really only playing with him at this point, like a cat toying with a mouse. The ranger dragged himself upright once more through sheer determination and willpower, swaying slightly on his feet. He couldn't put much weight on his left leg though, because of the wound in his thigh. The bandits gathered around, sneering and mocking him at this point, mostly just taunting him. He parried an attack aimed at his shoulder, but very weakly. He was growing weaker, and he knew it, but he wasn't giving up. Someone kicked the back of his right knee and he went down, his knees hitting the ground, a yell of pain coming from him against his will. He gritted his teeth against the pain and glared around at the men, unable to stand all the way. He held himself upright with one hand on the ground, the other still gripping his sword. He tried in vain to get back up, but he could only get to his knees before one of the men laughed and aimed a slash at him, which he weakly attempted to parry. His sword was knocked aside, and went clattering across the hard road, out of his reach.

    Then, before he could even hope to block it, the bandit's sword impaled through his chest with such force that the blade pierced through his chest and came out at his back. An involuntary groan escaped Galanir's throat as this happened, and he still struggled for breath through the intense pain. The man sneered and slid the sword blade in further, up to the hilt. He smirked into the defeated ranger's face. Galanir stared back at him, his green eyes hard and determined. He drew his knife, gritting his teeth hard. He was determined to take down one last bandit before he died. It was as if things were in slow motion for him, in his last moments. He gripped the knife in his left hand and with a quick motion, he brought the blade up into the other man's ribcage, burying it up to the hilt. He felt a small amount of satisfaction when the man gasped in shock, releasing the handle of the sword impaling Galanir.

    The bandit choked on his own blood, trying to pull the knife out. He crumpled to the ground, quickly dying from the fatal wound. Galanir managed to stay up in a kneeling position for half a moment longer before he too fell over. He tried to will himself to stand but he couldn't even breathe anymore; it hurt too much. "Ser..e..ni..." He tried to speak her name with his last breath. Blood had begun to pour out of his mouth, as he bled from inside. He was aware of a man walking up to stand over him, but he ignored this as he tried to think of good, happy things. His lovely wife, his sweet little daughter Emma. Thinking of those things, he let a faint smile cross his face as his eyes closed, allowing himself to fade into unconsciousness.. or more like death.

    Mordrin strode through the bandits as they parted for him. He didn't even have to give a command for them to do so. They feared him, and they made sure to stay clear of him. Mordrin paused briefly to look down at Vorondil and motioned for them to stand him on his feet, before He continued on to where Galanir lay. He stood over the dying ranger, his face showing nothing but coldness. He studied the man laying on his side, a sword impaling him through the middle, and with his boot he nudged his shoulder to push him onto his back, though the sword prevented this for the most part. Mordrin, a young man with dark eyes and dark hair, dark clothes, and a dark look in his face, drew his own sword and carefully placed the tip over the dead man's heart before stabbing down. He wanted to make sure the man was indeed dead.
    "There was no need to kill him.." Jake said quietly, standing next to his brother. He was already feeling a rather guilty about this man's death. "He's got a family.."
    "And if he had lived, he would have told everyone about what really happened.. and do you want that?" Mordrin asked sharply. Jake hesitated, but shook his head. "Alright then. He had to die, and besides, one less ranger wandering about is a good thing." Mordrin said, then pulled his sword out of the dead man, and wiped the blade off. Then he drew a knife and made a quick slash across Jake's arm.
    "Ow!" He yelled, hand going to the cut. "What was that for?" He asked, glaring. Mordrin smirked a little at him.
    "Do you plan to go back telling everyone that you stood back and watched the rangers fight against a horde of bandits?" He asked. "Or do you plan on saying you helped them fight?" Jake pressed a hand to his wound, frowning.
    "The first..." He replied, a little puzzled about what that had to do with why he had to be cut.
    "Then don't you think it'll be a bit more believable if you've got a couple of cuts instead of escaping unscathed?" He asked, rolling his eyes at his brother's dull thinking.
    "I guess.. but you could've given me a warning." Jake frowned.
    "What fun would that be.. brother?" Mordrin asked, grinning a little, giving a slight snarl as he said the word 'brother'. He made a few more quick, non-fatal cuts in various places, making them look pretty bad without actually being that bad. He was quite skilled at that sort of thing. Jake complained with each cut, though he stood still so Mordrin could work without messing up.
    "Ouch! You're going to kill me!" He complained as he made the last cut. Mordrin smirked at him.
    "No, if I wanted to kill you.." He said, turning him around to face him. "You'd die."

    When he was satisfied with his work, and Jake was close to whining like a little baby because of all his new injuries, Mordrin decided that was enough. He motioned for the men to bring the other one to him. They had been holding Vorondil nearby, just near enough that he probably heard the entire exchange between Jake and Mordrin, but not near enough for him to really address him properly. Now Mordrin was ready to do so, and the men brought the prisoner closer so that Mordrin could see the man they had captured. He was sure he would be having plenty of fun torturing him, later. A small, sadistic smile showed on his face as he thought of the torture methods he'd like to try on the ranger. Jake backed off slightly when they brought Vorondil forward, and looked down so not to meet the ranger's gaze.

    Last edited by Rainelle Hérandil; 11/Dec/2012 at 03:59 AM.
    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~

  91. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    #91
    Attûbêl and Belton Gûrphen

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    Private)

    Attûbêl woke with a start, gasping as her heart pounded in her chest. She was still seeing the scenes from the terrible nightmare she had just seen. The 17 year old girl jumped out of bed, not caring that the floor was cold on her bare feet. She rushed outside, still in her nightgown, nearly in a panic as she sought out her father.

    She found him outside, having just come from feeding the horse. He stopped and frowned in concern when he saw her running toward him. "We must leave here!" She gasped. "Right now, we have to leave!" She grabbed his arm, looking up at him desperately.
    "What's wrong?" He asked, startled. His frown deepened. "Did you have a dream?" He asked, lowering his voice a little. She nodded urgently.
    "Bandits.. coming here. I don't know when, but we have to get out of here." She said quickly, walking along with him back to the house. "They came and destroyed everything, and they killed you and.. well, I don't want to even think about what they'd do to me.." She bit her lip, trying not to think about what had happened to her in her dream.

    Her father looked worried, and hugged her.
    "Don't worry, they won't get to us." He assured her. "We'll pack up our things and leave as soon as possible. They won't find us." He gently put a finger under her chin and made her look up at him. "We'll be alright, ok Bell?" She exhaled slowly as she tried to calm her nerves, tense and anxious to set out after her dream. She nodded faintly, feeling relieved. "Go get changed, and I'll be packing up as much as I can so we can set out as soon as possible." Her father instructed her. He hugged her gently and then gave her a gentle push toward the door.

    Bell ran back inside the house and into her room. She grabbed a dress at random and hastily dressed, then shoved a few of her other dresses into a bag while she slipped her feet into her boots, not bothering to tie them yet. She rushed as she went around her room shoving all she could into her bag and trying not to trip on her untied boots. There were a few things that she didn't want to leave behind, but other things could be replaced and she wasn't that concerned about some of her things. She didn't other taking the time to brush her hair, she just ran a hand through her dark wavy hair and smoothed it, figuring she could brush it later when they had arrived at someplace safe, and she could tie her boots' laces real quick before they set out.
    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~

  92. Arin and Medlidor ~ The Legendary Journeys

    __________________________________________________ ____________


    ~ Banner, courtesy of Rainelle Hérandil ~
    __________________________________________________ _____________

    Set after the events of Penny for your Thoughts and Flight to Minas Tirith
    [
    Private RP between Rillewen and Aigronding]



    Arin Montagna, Lady of the South, and Medlidor, her man-at-arms
    [Models : Actors, Bridget Regan and Jason Statham]

    "Heroes are people who rise to the occasion and slip quietly away."
    ~ Tom Brokaw






    Dramatis Personae

    Arin Montagna - A knight errant of Dor-en-Ernil, Halion's beloved
    Medlidor - A foreigner and Arin's guard, a man of Palisor
    Rainelle - A teenage girl, escaping from the South with her cat, Onyx
    Mina - Rain's mysterious younger companion, an orphan
    Jake - A drunk who killed Rain's mother
    Mordrin - Jake'scruel and sadistic brother
    Halion Falconis - A Swan Knight o fBelfalas, Arin's beloved
    Anórien villagers, Swan Knights of Gondor, and Lothlórien marchwardens


    *

    There were no criminals inside much to Arin Montagna's embarrassment, only children, one of whom in particular - a beautiful, tense dark-haired girl armed with a dagger - looked quite frightened as she noticed the weapons the noblewoman and her man-at-arms had drawn.

    "Our apologies, girls," said Medlidor as he returned the blade to his sheath like Arin had done, "it was only a precaution. There's more to be feared in the countryside than in the alleyways of Minas Tirith."

    "My bodyguard and I are in need of shelter this stormy night,"
    Arin spoke as she laid aside her lantern, "so I do hope there's no bother with us sharing this space with you both." Arin slowly approached the teenager with the fair, raven locks. "I won't hurt you and my friend won't either, darling," she spoke with a calm and reasurring tone ; arresting grey eyes looked into shining blue as Arin gently attempted to lower the dagger-hand of the young woman, hoping she would relax her tight grip on its handle. "Put it away, dear."

    As Arin spoke with her, Medlidor appraised the silent blond ; the scruffy, watchful guardian arched a brow wondering how the child could be so...apathetic, seemingly. How a girl so young could have eyes so cold, so hard like iron...

    "I am Arin Montagna, a knight errant of Dor-en-Ernil and Lady of Ered Tharonion," his mistress introduced to the pale woman and her aloof companion. She gestured at the balding, tough fighter. "And this immigrant is my friend Medlidor, a man of the East who shares my adventures. We are journeying northwest to offer our skills to the Halcyon Guard for a time, perhaps a few seasons." The girl with the flaxen hair still appeared rather bored or uncaring so she looked back at the older maiden with the sapphire eyes. "If it's a lonely trip, may Medlidor and I join you twain ?' Arin asked, taking the hand of the lass in her excitement. "I don't often get to travel with other females that often, I must divulge."

    Medlidor loosed a gusty sigh. "Oh, great. Fantastic even," Medlidor grumbled as he leaned against the shack's wall, crossing his muscular arms. "Looking after one headstrong, silly woman is no picnic. Keeping up with three broads will drive me completely bonkers."

    Arin rolled her silver eyes, waving at him dismissively but smiled wide at the girl she had spoken to, softly squeezing her hand to prompt the child into agreement.


    *

    OOC @ Haflin, Sur, and Mar : My segments will be written soon !






    Last edited by Aigronding Mordagnir; 04/Feb/2013 at 07:13 AM. Reason: Gosh, I love writing Arin and Medlidor...just editing this post to make note of that *g*.
    "How long do you want it to be?" - Steven C.
    "As long as it needs to be." - Aimmi G.


  93. Rainelle Hérandil's Avatar
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    #93
    Rain and Mina ~ Flight to Freedom

    __________________________________________________ ____________


    ~ Banner, courtesy of Rainelle Hérandil ~
    __________________________________________________ _____________

    Set after the events of Penny for your Thoughts and Flight to Minas Tirith
    [
    Private RP between Rillewen and Aigronding]


    "Heroes are people who rise to the occasion and slip quietly away."
    ~ Tom Brokaw





    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."
    ~ Ambrose Redmoon






    Dramatis Personae

    Arin Montagna - A knight errant of Dor-en-Ernil, Halion's beloved
    Medlidor - A foreigner and Arin's guard, a man of Palisor
    Rainelle - A teenage girl, escaping from the South with her cat, Onyx
    Mina - Rain's mysterious younger companion, an orphan
    Jake - A drunk who killed Rain's mother; Also Rain's stepfather
    Mordrin - Jake'scruel and sadistic brother
    Halion Falconis - A Swan Knight of Belfalas, Arin's beloved
    Anórien villagers, Swan Knights of Gondor, and Lothlórien marchwardens


    *

    Rain was still waiting to see if she would need to fight, when the intruders entered and by the light of their lantern, Rain could see that it was not Mordrin and Jake, but it was also not Lenna and Bruthane as she thought for a second it might be, when she saw that it was a man and woman. She started to relax somewhat as they apologized for frightening them, but she still gripped her dagger tightly.

    Mina relaxed her muscles when she saw who had entered, though she remained alert and watchful. She kept still, not moving her fingers away from her hidden knife, but she didn't think she would need to fight. She also knew that since it wasn't Mordrin, she would need to keep up the act she'd been carrying on. She watched the woman approach Rain and she refrained from rolling her eyes at how excited the woman was to find some girls there. She sensed that she was being watched and turned her gaze toward the man, who seemed to be studying her in suspicion. What to do? Act frightened? No, she didn't think that would be necessary or beneficial. She watched him quietly, thinking.

    "There's more to be feared in the countryside than in the alleyways of Minas Tirith." The man said. Rain bit her lip lightly as she heard him say that. She was aware that it was dangerous out here. But she didn't think these people knew just how dangerous it might be. She still held her dagger up, even though they had re-sheathed their own weapons.

    She looked into the woman's kind eyes as she promised that she and her friend weren't going to hurt Rain or Mina, and she let her gently lower her dagger. She nodded slightly when she introduced herself as Arin Montagna, though Rain was a little confused when she said that she was a knight. She thought knights were men? She didn't quite understand this but she didn't question it, listening quietly as she explained who the man was next. Her gaze flicked over to him thoughtfully, then she looked back to Arin. She seemed kind, and Rain realized after a moment that she was even slightly reminded of her mother.. the dark hair, kind words, pleasant and friendly face.. she felt a sudden pang of longing as she wished that her mother was still alive. She missed her so much, all the time, but right now she was reminded just how much she missed her, because this woman reminded her of her, a little anyway. She didn't think that she was an elf, or even half elf, so there was that difference between Arin and Rain's mother, but still she did remind her a bit of her in how she was acting so kindly toward Rain.

    Mina remained uninterested as Arin spoke with Rain. She had observed them already enough to know that they couldn't have any idea of her and Rain's situation, so they obviously weren't here to protect Rain from Mordrin, and while the man may have an idea of Mina's lack of emotion about anything, she seriously doubted that either of them were at all aware of just how dangerous she could be if she so chose, nor how little she really cared about any of this petty nonsense. She began to preoccupy herself with plans of delaying Rain from arriving at the elf place she was planning on going to, though she kept her ears open and listened to what was going on.


    Rain didn't know what a Halcyon guard was but she understood northwest. That was the direction that she and Mina were heading, sort of. They were going west, anyway. Arin asked if she and her friend could join Rain and Mina, and seemed rather excited about the idea. She hesitated slightly in uncertainty, but smiled faintly as Arin continued to talk, seeming to be greatly excited about the idea of traveling with some other girls. Medlidor, however, didn't seem too enthused about the idea. She fidgeted slightly, nervous. He didn't seem like he liked girls and women that much for
    traveling company, and she was already nervous enough about men. He looked like he might be rather dangerous, and she couldn't help being a bit frightened. Her eyes flicked briefly over to her backpack, but Onyx seemed to be staying still, and she looked back up at Arin, not sure what to say.

    Mina stifled a sigh. She read the look on Rain's face, and knew the basics of what was going on in her head. She liked Arin and wanted to travel with her, but she was afraid of Arin's bodyguard who was leaning against the wall. She figured maybe Rain had a right to be afraid of him, he was pretty big and could probably look intimidating. But even the biggest, strongest man had to sleep, and she wasn't the least bit afraid of him because she could see that he was one of those good guy types. Probably a sucker for cute little girls, too. She made a mental note of those observations. Despite his words about it being a bother trying to keep up with silly women, she suspected he was mostly joking and actually didn't mind too much, probably enjoyed traveling with the woman. Mina was fairly good at reading people by their behavior, expressions, and words.

    She thought quickly to weigh the options in her head, deciding what to do. Traveling with the two adults would be the most likely and probably smartest thing to do, for two girls such as Rain and Mina.. at least under normal circumstances. Mina would prefer to keep them away though, but she thought perhaps it would be smartest to go along with the plan for now, at least. She looked over at Rain quietly. She still seemed torn and indecisive. She quickly decided on what to do.
    "I think it would be a good idea." She said softly, watching Rain. To turn down the offer of protection out in the 'dangerous countryside' as Medlidor put it, would probably make them suspicious or worried and they might try to follow them anyway to ensure that the girls were safe. She thought it best to try to act like they were just normal girls traveling together.. no special circumstances going on or anything. "Perhaps they could offer us protection?" She added in her 'innocent little girl' voice. She continued to look up at Rain, waiting to hear what she would say. She didn't mind Rain thinking that she was the one leading this little adventure. Mina was rather good at manipulating others, so she pretended like she was following Rain, when really the older girl wasn't as much in control as she thought she was.

    Rain bit her lip lightly, hesitant. She was sure that they could probably offer protection, but she was still worried. She'd felt safe with Lenna and Bruthane, but she had left them because she feared that she would put them in danger. What if the same thing happened with these two? She took a slow breath, thinking.
    "I.. I don't mind if you want to stay here to shelter from the storm." She said softly, trying to hide her nervousness. She didn't even really have any authority to say whether they stayed here or not, it wasn't her house. Or shack. She gave a faint smile to the woman, Arin. "It isn't my place, so I don't guess it's really up to me to say whether you may stay here or not, but I don't mind if you share it with us." She said. She decided that she would wait and find out more about these strangers before making a decision about whether they would travel together or not. Arin seemed friendly enough, and she would actually rather like to have her with them, but she was still nervous about Arin's companion.

    She thought for a moment, noticing the absence of the horses she was sure she had heard before the two entered. She fidgeted, shifting slightly.
    "You have horses.. don't you?" She asked quietly. "I brought our horse inside.. I thought he would be more comfortable in here than out there in the rain.." She said a little shyly. She wondered if perhaps they might know more about caring for a horse, because Rain certainly didn't. She had never really been around horses that much before she set out from Dol Amroth on one.
    ~ Yield not to misfortunes, but go on more boldly against them ~