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  1. Aduchil's Avatar
    Mentor of Lothlorien
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    #1



    Shadows of Dol Guldur

    For many years, a shadow has crept into Mirkwood, little by little. At first it seemed to be only the giant spiders, dangerous but content in their own webs and never straying far from them. The Elves did not react, waiting instead and avoiding the southern trees of this great forest. And so even under their watchful gaze, what seemed like a minor evil grew in malice. A towering structurestands in the southern forest, reaching above the tallest trees. Where there were before merely scattered creatures, dangerous only to the clueless wanderer, a terrible will has taken hold. The Elves call that place Dol Guldur, the Hill of Sorcery.
    They keep far from it, for those who venture too near do not return. And even from afar strange events can be witnessed, events which none can fully understand but inflict fear in all those who watch; hence the ill-boding name of the tower. For seventy-three years, there has been a tentative peace
    as the Necromancer was driven away by the White Council. So far, the Guard has received strict orders not to approach this location, but with the recent devastations, the Galadhrim can no longer afford to wait passively. Rarely has the Golden Wood been in such peril, and Mirkwood stands threatened as well. It may not come to war - but at the very least, the rulers of the Galadhrim must know if there is imminent danger.


    It was with this knowledge weighing on him that Aduchil stood on a small talan, elevated slightly from the ground. It served as a small platform on which he could address the assembled warriors. He had informed all those not tied up with tasks or those with injuries to gather at this place. He noticed with some concern that the number was rather low; many had received at least minor wounds in the calamity that had struck Lórien, and many others were still scattered across the woods to assess the damage and provide aid where necessary. Normally, for a task as dangerous as this, he would have hand-picked his very best scouts and trackers; but there was no such luxury. There were several new warriors in the Guard too, whose abilities the captain had not had a chance to evaluate yet; he would have to trust their own judgement. Clearing his throat and doing his best not to let any concern show upon his brow, Aduchil spoke. "I have gathered you because there is a mission which must be completed; haste is of importance," he said while his eyes swept over the assembly. It had been several days since the flood and things were mostly in order, but still there were signs visible, such as the absence of the lieutenant who had her own mission.

    Averting his thoughts from that, Aduchil continued.
    "I need a small handful of warriors to accompany me. I will be sparse with details for now; but I need Elves who can move fast, quietly and know their woodcraft. Those of you who have served as scouts already will know what skills I speak of." Aduchil paused to let each Elf gathered there consider whether they felt capable. "Each person here who feels able to perform such a duty, please step forward. If I accept your offer, you will be told at once and should prepare for departure." It was a slightly unorthodox method, or certainly not how Aduchil might usually have done so, but the times were strange and required stranger decisions. He had kept the knowledge of the destination a secret for now because he did not wish any rumours to spread; but he hoped that any Elf who stepped forward was prepared to enter a place that promised perils second only to Mordor itself. Aduchil remembered one war that had once led into that desolate and barren place; he feared that Dol Guldur would turn out to be much the same. But they did not venture forth with purpose of war, but rather in secrecy and stealth; perhaps things would not go ill.

    Thread rules:
    This is an RP open to all members of the Swan Guard.
    Non-members may go to the HQ thread to join the Guard, here.
    All OOC-comments are to be made in the HQ thread as well, here.
    All posts made here by Guard members are awarded Valour points.
    No signatures, please.
    Usual plaza rules apply.
    Last edited by Aduchil; 12/Dec/2012 at 08:44 PM.

  2. Dincairwen's Avatar
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    #2
    Dincairwen
    Thranduil's Halls- Mirkwood

    The intelligence Dincairwen had gathered from Thranduil and his guards had been patchy, but had still confirmed their fears about Dol Guldur. The elves of Mirkwood had gone their own investigation into a mysterious fire they had suffered, and ventured near the edges of the dark fortress. Baingil, the chief guard, had told her that some of the wood men near the woods had been corrupted by the darkness, and that a single power was gathering all sinister creatures and those who would pledge allegiance to it together into one place. All of this was worrying news, and Cair had had no choice but to send word back to Aduchil and the lord and lady and suggest that they mount a scouting mission of their own to try and learn more. It was too suspicious to be ignored, especially with Sauron more or less openly declaring himself in Mordor. Which of his servants was in command in Dol Guldur, though? They would need to learn that to know who and what they were facing. Galadriel and Celeborn had long years of experience fighting and watching all of the incarnations of evil in Middle-Earth since the Eldar Days, and any information they could learn would help them put together a strategy and communicate with their allies in Imladris and elsewhere.

    After bowing respectfully to Thranduil and thanking him for his hospitality and assistance, she left his throne room and headed back to her borrowed quarters to put her things together. An extra set of clothing identical to the tunic and leggings of brown and green she already to wore was carefully folded into the pack, along with a coil of hithlain rope she had brought from Lorien, a bottle to hold water, some rations from Thranduil, several packages of lembas from Galadriel, a map of Mirkwood, a knife, and several other personal odds and ends. Lifting it onto her shoulders, she shrugged a few times to settle it and nodded once in satisfaction. It was not overly heavy, and would not make her shoulders ache for quite some time. Over her pack she fastened her grey cloak with colors that shifted and changed to match whatever she stood in front of, securing it into place with a mallorn leaf brooch. Glancing into a mirror, she could not help but smile. She looked very much like one of the Galadhrim, which made her proud. Her Noldorin heritage, not overly obvious with her dark hair, green eyes, and middling height, made her an adopted resident of Lothlorien. Nowhere else had she felt as at home, or had such a sense of purpose. It was her home even though she had not been born there. Cair made sure her shortsword was secure at her waist, and that her bow and arrows were in good shape.Satisfied that all was as ready as it could be for a journey through the treacherous Mirkwood forest, she set off to find the headquarters of the Mirkwood guards. She was not sure how many would be accompanying her, or for how long. At least the chief guard, Baingil, would be with her for some time. They would not ask Thranduil's folk to risk themselves a second time to accompany the Galadhrim contingent. It would be nice to have company, though, she had to admit. If she were attacked by spiders or some other untoward creature, she would much rather have another bow or sword with her. Cair made a mental note to find out which weapon Baingil preferred, so she would know her ally's strengths.

    There were a number of elves gathered in the guard's headquarters, and Cair entered quietly, feeling a bit out of place. At home she was confident with the Swan Guard members, but here she was a visitor and not in command. Spotting Baingil, she approached the maiden and stopped near her. "Suil." She said with a nod. "I am ready to leave. Do you know how many might be accompanying us? I'm afraid I do not know how many will be coming from Lorien with Aduchil yet. He is making the mission voluntary since, well... where we're going." She ended lamely, meeting the other officer's eyes. "They should be leaving in several days' time, according to the latest message. If we go now we can meet up with them some distance from Dol Guldur, as we have farther to travel."

    Any Mirkwood Guard member may post and join me.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 06:41 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  3. Baingíl Randír's Avatar
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    #3

    Baingíl Randír
    Chief Guard of Thranduil
    Thranduil's Halls - Mirkwood

    Baingil had left the throne room with haste. She had not expected to have to immediately leave to partake in a scouting expedition to Dol Guldur; she had little to do to prepare, but there were a few things.

    First of all, to find a guard to take her place in the throne room. She looked up as she reached the hallway that marked the entrance to the headquarters of the Mirkwood Guard; she motioned to a young guard walking along it. He stopped immediately and saluted. "Gaerethir, is it not?" She made it her business to know the names of any guard who worked for her. "I need someone to take a post in the throne room today. You will be rewarded."
    "Yes, Captain,"he said deferentially, and saluted again.

    "Left pillar, second tier. Try to be inconspicuous, especially as you aren't wearing a Court uniform." Baingil saluted and continued on her way; she heard the guard's footsteps begin behind her at a quick pace.

    Her room was close to the entrance of the Guard headquarters; a fairly large room, compared to most of the guard chambers. It wasn't completely spartan; there were a few touches here and there - a rug on the floor, a small tapestry on the wall, and the furnishings - a desk, chair, large chest, wardrobe, and bed - were well-carved with a few flourishes added to the design. However, the clean-swept room was a little dark, and there were no knickknacks, nothing apart from the tapestry that could have been considered only useful for ornamentation. Baingil spent some time in this room, but very little. Her place was with her guards, or in the forest itself; and, as a former wanderer, she hardly cared where she slept. She stepped inside and closed the door.

    The chest held most of what she needed. A large pack, her well-used bow, a quiver of arrows, a set of knives in sheaths made for concealment. She placed these on the desk and stood again. She opened the door of the wardrobe and pulled from it two plainer dark green uniforms than the one she wore; she quickly changed into one of these - placing the decorated sword she had been wearing into the chest and first buckling the set of concealed knives onto her arms and ankles - and folded the other carefully into her pack, which already held a few belongings, ready for a journey - in her years if there was one thing Baingil had learned, it was to keep a bag packed.

    She paused, eyeing a long sword that had been neatly placed in the chest, less adorned than the ornamental one she had worn before, then shook her head. She fought better with her dagger; it was familiar, comforting, if unimpressive at first glance. She removed said dagger from the fancy belt she had previously worn and placed this in the chest as well, drawing another well-worn belt from it and buckling it with the dagger around her slender waist, this time with the dagger in its proper place on her left side.

    Her quiver buckled on, a dark green cloak slung over her back, and the bow over her shoulder, Baingil stepped out the door again. She stopped by the kitchen first to pick up a few rations, then headed for the main room of the Guard headquarters. She stood near the door to wait for Cair, the Lorien elleth whom she would accompany.

    She spotted Gaerethir's supervisor and motioned him over. "I assigned Gaerethir to a post in the Throne room. Make sure he is appropriately rewarded for being asked to take it on such short notice." The guard responded deferentially that he would do so. Baingil motioned him off and was about to speak, asking for volunteers on this little expedition, when Cair appeared, having packed her own supplies.

    "I was about to call for volunteers now," Baingil said in response to Cair's queries. She nodded to her own pack. "I myself am ready to leave as soon as we have found who will join us."

    She paused, and then stepped forward and raised her voice over the muted babble of the guards in the room. "May I have your attention, everyone!"she said commandingly and with greater volume than might have been expected from the quiet Chief Guard. "I ask for volunteers for a dangerous mission." She glanced about, her eyes meeting a those of a few guards present seriously. "But we shall not go alone. The Guards of Lorien desire that we accompany them on an expedition to scout our old and foul neighbor to the south, whom we have battled for so long; and I, for one, shall offer them the courtesy of accompanying them on this mission. Lorien has long been an ally of Mirkwood, and we now have a chance to show our southern kindred that Mirkwood is just as true a friend, and that despite the darkness there is valor to be found here, as great as the valor of any elves in Middle Earth. Now who will join me?"
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 06:44 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  4. Haflin's Avatar
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    #4
    Beltayn
    Gathering Talan - Lorien


    Beltayn
    stood near the rear of the small group that had gathered at the Talan to hear captain Aduchil's announcement. He had been one of the last to arrive, and though he did not make a habit of being late, he had debated with himself for a while after he had received the summons from his new captain. A series of doubts plagued his mind as to whether he should have shown up here or not. He was not the most inexperienced amongst the group but neither had he been in the guard for very long and so was unsure of his ability in comparison to other guards around him. Eventually though, he was able to quell the different voices in his mind which told him to remain timid and he decided that any help he could offer, he would, wholeheartedly.He stood there, listening to others around him speak softly amongst themselves as he contemplated the possible reasons they were here. It seemed the captain might have something in mind in response to the flood that had so accosted the realm.

    Beltayn
    studied his captain as he stepped forwards to address them all. He was broad and dark haired, attributes that Beltayn's kin did not normally have, of course, there was more than one kin of Elves in Middle Earth and Beltayn had seen many like the captain on his travels into the west near the shores of the great sea. He counted himself lucky to have a commander who seemed to be of strong Noldorin roots. Aduchil approached the group and suddenly they all became silent, looking up at the captain expectantly. Many, like Beltayn, wore their cloaks about their shoulders and had swords visible on their belts. All had come ready to offer them in service to Lorien and Beltayn was no exception. Then Aduchil spoke and true to his nature, kept the address short. Beltayn was much pleased to hear that the captain was in need of Elves who were adept at moving through the forests. Beltayn had spent most of his life surrounded by trees, there were few forests now in Middle Earth that he had not seen or been in and being silent was also a trait he had an inherent knack for. His pleasure suddenly turned to confusion though as the captain asked for volunteers. Beltayn had not been in the guard for long but he was sure the captain would handpick the elves that went with him, then it dawned on Beltayn as he looked around. The wood had been left in a critical state after the disaster of the flood, this method was probably being employed to compensate for the few numbers that were available. Nonetheless, Beltayn found himself stepping forwards in his tall boots when the captain made his offer, it seemed he had been the first to do so although he tried to make sure his willingness to help was not misconstrued as over-eagerness."I offer my bow and sword for your errand, Captain." Beltayn said clearly as he strode to the front of the group of elf warriors that had assembled, aware that now all eyes were on him. It was not a very comfortable feeling being the center of attention for Beltayn. He looked up into his captain's eyes and bowed slightly in deference before meeting them again.

    "I may notbe your most veteran soldier but long have I travelled the forests outside of Lorien and in those places the marks of a woodsmen are still quite needed to live."
    He said, trying his best to look determined. It occurred to him after he spoke that he didn't even know where the Captain was going. He found that he did not care so much, Beltayn knew in his heart that the Lord and Lady trusted the captain with the command of the guard of the realm and that was enough for him to follow.





    Last edited by Haflin; 21/Dec/2012 at 09:37 PM.

  5. Sailacel's Avatar
    Garment-crafter of Lothlorien
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    #5
    Sailacel
    Gathering Talan - Lorien

    Sailacel was in the middle of the group of Swan Guards, listening very closely to everything Aduchil said. Her heart pounded harder with every word, she met the requirements! Surely she should do her duty and step forward, but she stopped herself. She could not allow herself to get swept up in her excitement. She had just joined the Swan Guard, surely there were others that were more suitable for this mission, she did not even know what the mission entailed. Again she stopped herself; she could not allow herself to panic either. Just then she saw an elf go to the front and offer to go on the errand. He said he was not a very experienced soldier, but he had travelled the woods outside Lorien. Well she had just come back from visiting Mirkwood, and she had traveled to Rivendell in the past also. She had no experience with the Swan Guard, but no one else was stepping forward. Her skill with a sword needed improvement, but she had her bow. Aduchil needed elves, and she would be one of them, if he allowed her.

    She worked her way to the front and addressed Aduchil, "Captain, I have no experience as a soldier, but I too have travelled the woods outside Lorien. I offer my bow for your
    errand." She said as she tried her best to look confident. Whatever this errand entailed she was determine to give her all.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 06:43 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  6. Aranaur's Avatar
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    #6
    Naur
    Gathering Talan


    Naur looked around the talan- there were not many familiar faces. This bothered her slightly, with such a small group one must trust those around them. Not that Naur did not trust her fellow soldiers, she just liked to know their skill sets were up to par- something was afoot, and she wanted to know everything, as usual. A proper assessment of skills would define the dynamics of a small group- a very important factor, especially in perilous situations. Curiosity also drove her, sometimes for the better and a few times for the worse.

    Leaning against a pole of the talan, Naur rose to her full stature as Aduchil approached the platform. His body language confirmed the strain that all of Lorien felt, though only to a trained eye. As he spoke, confident in his leadership and his tall figure rising above all other heads, Naur's eyebrow rose with the mention of the scouts. Once upon a time, she had been the head of the scouts- though that was many, many years ago. She shifted her weight from one foot to another, revealing her dagger strapped to one side. Her pack was at her own home, though she had been in Lorien for such a short time it was barely touched. Wanderlust and intrigue set in as Aduchil mentioned there would be details forthwith, but this did not bother her, as long as she eventually knew what this mysterious mission was.

    She watched carefully as two elfs - Beltayn and Sailacel- stepped forward, offering their services. She looked at Aduchil, watching his reaction- they were very green, though both seemed perfectly determined, and Naur had heard that both had excellent training. She too stepped forward, making no sound: not even her cloak swished as she walked around the taller elves of the group. Looking into Aduchil's eyes, Naur placed her hand on her dagger. 'Captain, how convenient that such a mission is in need of a hand. I offer my services as a scout and soldier to Lorien, if you so command.'
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 06:44 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  7. Gh0st!'s Avatar
    Chieftain of Mordor
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    #7
    Nethalion
    Thranduil's Halls - Mirkwood

    Nethalion was returning from the dungeons where he had been tending to prisoners when he noticed a commotion in the guards' room. He arrived just in time to hear what it was all about. The chief of guards had everyone standing at attention, and wasted no time in calling for volunteers for a dangerous mission to Dol Guldur, accompanying their Lothlorien allies. The young guard had suspected it would come to this. He had heard about the great flood that had hit the Golden Wood, and knew as well as any that it was highly suspicious and hinted at some kind of dark sorcery. The attack had been so close in time to the fire that had swept across his own home that it was too much to be a
    coincidence.

    Nethalion had hardly been a guard for long at all, and did not have the experience of age on his side. But already he had been highly involved in the efforts against Dol Guldur's attacks, both physically and emotionally. In the past year he had shed the blood of enemies for the first time, seen friends fall, and witnessed the loss of innocence that had come upon previously peaceful people. Although unsure of how useful we would be on a mission such as this, there was no hesitation in his mind that he would join the scouting party. His skill was in stealth and he was clear headed in tricky situations.

    When Baingil asked who would join her, the young guard stepped forward. "I will join you," he said. "Please excuse me while I take a brief moment to gather some things." He dashed out of the guards' room and quickly went to his own room. His daggers he already had on him, but he collected his quiver and put it on, then grabbed his bow. He picked up his travelling pouch which contained a few necessities and placed a good supply of lembas (which he had received as a gift when he departed from the Golden Wood) in it. He would travel light. He did not need much to sustain him. He was already dressed in appropriate travel gear, for his olive coloured guard's uniform was useful for many purposes including travel. He fasted his cloak onto himself and returned to the guards' room where he stood with the others, near to Baingil and Dincairwen, wondering which route south they wished to take.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 06:53 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  8. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
    Counsellor of Imladris
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    #8
    NPC Bodgolas - Thranduil's Halls - Mirkwood

    Bodgolas
    was in the depths of despair. His most recent lady love - she of the ‘come hither’ looks and ‘sparkling green’ eyes - had dumped him and taken another lover. He felt that his recent gesture in joining the Guard and slaving away at weapons training (which had at first been undertaken in order to impress her) had all been for nothing. In fact, he was now considerably fitter, better skilled and had lost a bit of flab since joining the Guard, training every day under the watchful eye of Mirima. He still suffered from an acute inferiority complex however, as nearly all the other guards were not only older, taller but more experienced than him – whereas he would always be short and somewhat clumsy (for an elf) and his true talents lay more in the intellectual sphere than in physical prowess.

    He was miserably lounging around in the Guard’s Headquarters when Baingíl Randír, the Chief of the Guards entered with another elf (Dincairwen) – a lieutenant that Bodgolas recognized seeing at the Court of the Galadhrim back in Lothlorien. She called for volunteers for a dangerous mission and immediately Bodgolas knew that this was the path for him. When he died, risking his life on such a perilous mission, then his love would be sorry and regret her fickle cruelty. Bitterness and pride may have been forefront in his mind – but in his heart there was also true patriotism and commitment to the cause. He had been born in Lorien, and was now training as a guard of Mirkwood so strongly felt that such a joint venture was the right one for him to join.

    He hardly listened to the “old and foul neighbour to the south” bit of her speech as he was so wrapped up in his own thoughts - otherwise he might have felt more fear and been less likely to volunteer for an elite group that might actually be well out of his league.

    When Nethalion bravely volunteered, Bodgolas followed, hesitantly raising his hand and said “I too would like to volunteer, if I can be of any use.” He waited, unsure of the response he might receive, praying that his heartfelt offer would not be rejected. He really did want to give his young life for his people at that moment!
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 06:51 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  9. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #9
    Miruiel – Swan Guard - at the Gathering Talan

    Miruiel was up bright and early, driven by her renewed sense of commitment and purpose as a defender of Lorien. She undertook her usual morning exercise regime and even fitted in some extra archery practice before arriving at the hastily called meeting in the clearing where members of the Swan Guard were already gathered. There were not as many warriors waiting below the talan where the captain, Aduchil, stood, as she had expected. It seemed that many of the Guard were still engaged in work parties, or recovering from injuries sustained in the recent flood and storm.

    As Aduchil began to speak, clearing his throat in a nervous manner that suggested that he wasn’t completely at ease, Miruiel wondered what could be the reason for his wariness and the brevity of his recruitment speech. Did he fear unfriendly ears, or was there some other element to the mission that was not yet clear? Miruiel also wondered why the lieutenant Dincairwen, was absent. There were many questions in the air and not much in the way of answers it seemed.

    At least Aduchil was asking for the skills she had to offer – “elves who can move fast, quietly and know their woodcraft” were his words. She had lived her whole life in the Golden Woods - and like her race knew how to be stealthy and was skilled in tracking, and was ean xceptionally good shot with her bow. Miruiel was aware that she still had no experience in actual battle but did not doubt that with the sense of gathering darkness and the impending preparations for war that she would soon gain that experience. It was time to take their fight to the enemy.

    The first volunteers were all new faces to Miruiel, who was not familiar with their names or backgrounds. She stepped forwards and added her name to theirs regardless. Lorien had need of every scout and soldier that was available.

    I too am willing to join the mission, Captain,” she said hoping that she need not say more to secure her place, now that she had proved herself during the hunt for the monstrous bear. She waited with the others to hear who would be accepted.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 07:14 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  10. Aduchil's Avatar
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    #10


    Gathering Talan

    As his words finished ringing out, the captain breathed slowly and let his gaze sweep over the small assembly. There was a slight hesitation among the crowd as the information sank in, and each Elf contemplated the decision before them. Aduchil was not surprised when several Elves, one after the other, stepped forward. There was a deep sense of duty among the Galadhrim, an earnest desire to defend their woods. He needed not say anything further and it would provoke a response; looking at their expectant faces, he felt a cloak of trust on his shoulders, since they were volunteering to risk their lives solely on his word and nothing more. And some of them even though they were new to the Guard and had no previous experience to base that trust on. The captain only hoped that he would return to Lórien with all of them.


    Aduchil stepped down from the talan to stand directly in front of his warriors. One by one, he passed by them to accept their offer as they each spoke to him. First came Beltayn, new to the Guard but seemingly experienced enough. Aduchil listened to his words and nodded slightly. He had already evaluated the Elf when he first came to sign up; now it was time to give him a chance to add action to oath.
    "Very well, Beltayn, you shall join us," Aduchil spoke, looking into the eyes of the Elf to impress the severity of the situation, while the captain himself was aware that Beltayn had stepped forward as the first and would not forget that. "You will have the chance to impress your captain with your skills," Aduchil added and stepped towards the next Elf.

    Reaching Sailacel, Aduchil recognised her as another newcomer, who had been so eager to help that she had received a task at once. It had been a simple scouting trip, within the usually safe borders of Lórien. Although similar in nature, this mission would be much more complicated as well as perilous. It would certainly test her mettle; but Aduchil knew that if she could handle a trip such as this, she would have gained all the experience necessary to join the elite scouts of Lórien. "We go beyond the woods of Lórien, so maybe your knowledge will be of use. Keep your arrows ready, you will join us as well," Aduchil told her, staring at her for a moment as he had done with Beltayn before moving on.

    Turning to the next Elf, Aduchil was glad to see that Naur had not hesitated in putting herself at Lórien's disposal, even if she had only returned a short while ago. He recalled that she was accustomed to the sort of mission at hand, and so he expected she would perform her duty admirably. Inclining his head to her, Aduchil spoke in response to her offer. "I do so command, and I thank you for your willingness," he told her. She was somebody he had not thought he would see again under these golden leaves; but he was glad that surprises of the pleasant variety happened, and not merely because it gave him another skilled warrior at his command. The situation was too dire for mirth, but something resembling a smile passed Aduchil's face before he turned to the fourth Elf who had stepped forward.

    Reaching Miruiel, Aduchil was not surprised to see her. So far, since she had joined the Guard, she had proven herself willing to serve in what capacity necessary. The hunt a while back had been cut short by the monstrous torrents of rain, but here was another chance for her to serve. If this mission went well and Miruiel returned, Aduchil would consider her among his best warriors. That would go for anybody, he realised, who followed him on this journey and did their duties well; although the captain had ventured into dangerous places before, it had rarely been under the present circumstances. He dearly hoped that all would return and none would pay the price for their readiness to defend Lórien. "I do not doubt you are willing," Aduchil said to Miruiel, nodding to her as well to accept her offer.

    Stepping back to better address them, Aduchil raised his voice so they might all hear.
    "Very well then, I believe we are sufficient in number then. Unless anybody else stand ready, I do not wish to delay any further. Those of who you stepped forward; if you have any final preparations to make, do so now. Bring weapons, but little more than a bow and a blade so as to nor burden yourselves. Clothe and cloak yourselves to remain best hidden, and let no metal be uncovered lest it might reflect light and reveal you. Bring sparse provisions, water and a little food to nourish you; we travel as light as possible, with speed and stealth as our goal. Be here within the hour, when we leave," Aduchil finished his speech. He knew that experienced scouts would take all these precautions already, but wanted to make sure each of his small group were aware of them. The captain wore a grey cloak himself, rather than his usual blue, and a black surcoat covered his chainmail. He had bound leather strips over the metal of his sword hilt, and had but a little meat and a small flask in a pouch by his belt. Leaning himself against his longbow, Aduchil believed himself as ready as he could be; it would have to be enough.



  11. Aranaur's Avatar
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    #11


    Gathering Tower

    Naur inclined her head as Aduchil allowed her to join the group. She caught a look from him, one that was positive if only for the company. If they were in peril, then let it be so with him, as well as the few other soldiers. Naur looked around at the three other faces- Beltayn, Sailacel, and Miruiel. She decided she would introduce herself once they had regrouped, and giving a second nod, went swiftly back to her own talan and made quick preparations.

    Thankfully, Naur had not the time to unpack and was, on the whole, a light traveller. She switched cloaks from her usual dark red that she often wore in Lorien to her travel cloak- a slightly over-sized taupe cloak that completely enshrouded her and hide her from the most precarious of situations. Her dagger was already well hidden, and bow and arrows secure across her chest. Her pack was small as well, as she was small and needed very little. Ready to leave, she made her way back to the gathering talan.

    As the others trickled in, Naur made it a point to greet Beltayn, Sailacel, and Miruiel. 'Suil,' she said, extending her hand to each person. 'I am Naur, a wanderer. I look forward to working with each of you.' She came to what was close to a smile, though given the gravity of the situation it was not her usual sparkling grin. She glanced at Aduchil, a look that was meant to imply that she was ready to follow when he was ready to leave.


  12. Sailacel's Avatar
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    #12
    Sailacel - Gathering Talan

    Sailacel had just finished packing and had returned to the talan. It was exciting to be going on a mission with other members of the guard. So far she had not met any of the elves she would be traveling with, except Aduchil of course. She was looking forward to getting to know them. There was already someone else there. Sailacel smiled she had thought she was a fast packer. The elf was wearing a taupe cloak, she introduced herself as Naur. Sailacel shook the elf's hand and smiled, "I am Sailacel. It is very nice to meet you Naur. I look forward to working with you also." Naur, she knew had experience as a member of the guard, there was probably a lot she could learn from Naur. Sailacel went over, in her mind, all the things she had packed, she did not want to forget something. She was a light packer, she wore her usual grey cloak and green dress, which would blend in well. Her bow and arrows were safely strapped to her back, a small dagger was attached to her leather belt, and she carried a small pack. Now her mind turned to the little information Aduchil had given them on the mission they were about to start. She wondered what it could be.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 07:15 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  13. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #13
    Miruiel - Gathering Talan

    As Aduchil quietly acknowledged and accepted each of the volunteers for the mission and gave his closing instructions, Miruiel looked around at the other members of the scouting party. Both the Captain and the tall silver haired ellon, Beltayn, looked like seasoned warriors and strong fighters. Naur was definitely experienced and although not as tall, looked as if she could defend herself. Sailacel appeared to be a youthful silvan archer like herself. No prizes for guessing who would get the tree climbing detail she wryly thought to herself.

    She quickly made her way back to her room in the barracks, and emptied out her small pack leaving only the bare essentials for this journey – including a flint stone, a length of hithlain rope and a leather water flask. She was dressed in the usual dark brown and green of the Galadhrim, but packeda light, warm grey cloak made of the soft silken fibre which was so useful in moving through the forest unseen. She chose soft leather slippers which were particularly good for climbing and moving silently. Her small dark green quiver for arrows was fine for the expedition as was her longbow. From the armoury she he chose a long dagger and found a suitable leather scabbard – lighter than a sword and therefore easier to run and climb with. Strapping this to her belt she then covered all with her cloak, checking that there was no metal exposed anywhere as instructed by Aduchil.

    Miruiel then went to the kitchens and located some dried fruit and nuts, and several freshly baked lembas cakes which she wrapped in Mallorn leaves. She already had a small container of honey which her mother had replenished during her recent visit home (useful medicinally as well as for energy) and her aunt had gifted her with a small vial of bee pollen known for its a miraculous energy giving properties. As they were small and light she had left those items in her pack along with the other necessities. She now added the food and tied it up securely. All was ready, and she returned to the Gathering Talan where some of the others were already waiting.

    Although the mood was sombre Miruiel’s spirits were cheered by the kind smile of Naur, who introduced herself merely as ‘a wanderer.’ As she returned the smile to this elegant and pretty elleth, she felt hopeful that there might be the opportunity for friendship and camaraderie on this mission – and not just the lonely watchful silence of duty and fear. 'Suil,' she greeted the others quietly– “Miruiel is my name - elen sila lumenn omentilmo (a star shines on the hour of our meeting)” she added formally. "Does anyone yet know where we are going?"
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 07:17 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  14. Haflin's Avatar
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    #14

    Beltayn - Gathering Talan

    Beltayn
    listened closely as the captain met all of their gazes and told them what was expected of them. He couldn't help but feel a bit apprehensive when Aduchil's eyes rested on him. The moment passed though and he was confident he had the skills required to do what was expected of him, if not more, he had no intention of doing any less. Beltayn nodded as Aduchil told them what to bring. He usually traveled with only what was completely necessary at any given time, immediately he started mentally listing the things he knew he would need and as they were dismissed he went to go gather them.His chosen gear consisted of many things, firstly there was his heirlooms which he kept well maintained; his sword, a relic of the Elder days shone just as brightly as it had when it was first forged. Beltayn made sure it was properly sheathed and its handle wrapped with leather to prevent any glittering. It was a practice he was familiar with being a stalker of the forests and so took no time at all. Next was the chainmail that he rarely wore, it was also a hand down from his father who he only remembered in his distant memories. Over the shirt he wore leather and then his tunic and leggings, both rustic and colored like the land around him; green and brown. Then there were weapons and equipment of his own making, there was his belt which held many pouches holding important things such as bandages and other necessities. His blade might have mighty and he may have been proficient in its use but his favored weapon by far was his well used bow which was made from the flesh of a mallorn and traced with golden designs and patterns. The bow was crafted in a recurved pattern and was mighty in length. Beltayn tested its draw like he had done countless times before, satisfied he strapped it to his back with its quiver which held many long arrows. Next was his knife, it was a simple thing, curved and made for hunting and skinning prey, Beltayn rubbed it with boot black to dull its shine and sheathed that with his sword. Last was his leather gauntlets and vambraces followed by the dark green, hooded cloak he usually wore while he was about and his satchel and water skin which held what little food and water he was bringing as well as other tools he would need while ranging such as rope, hooks, caltrops, and other assortments that he could easily carry. Finally satisfied he was ready, he took a deep breath and headed back to the talan.On his way, he heard the distinct sound of fluttering wings and simultaneously looked up and held out his arm for his friend to land on. Beltayn laughed a bit as the hawk sat itself down on his arm and looked at him as they walked.

    "I am glad you have decided to come with me, Sehra, but I hope you know that it may well be a quite dangerous road I am taking." Beltayn said to the bird who only tilted its head as if to wonder why this time was any different. He just nodded knowingly and then shrugged as if it didn't matter to him.

    "Have it your way then, I hope you haven't forgotten how to hunt, I'm not sure how long we'll be gone but we are not to bring much with us."
    The two made it back to the gathering talan to find the elf named Naur already there, Beltayn nodded to her as he approached, behind him came the rest of the chosen warriors and it was then that Beltayn felt a bit awkward. He didn't know any of these elves and now he was about to potentially put his life in their hands. He did not doubt their abilities, still though, he had no knowledge of any of them and barely knew their names. Introductions were passed around and Beltayn couldn't help but smile when Naur called herself a wanderer, perhaps he had more in common with some of these elves than he thought.

    "Mae govannen, my friends, my name is Beltayn as some of you may know."
    He began "I have been away from Lorien for some time but no more. Ah, and this is my friend Sehra." He said tilting his head up to half look at the hawk that had now perched on his shoulder and was looking upon the assembled warriors silently. "She has been my comrade for a while now and I am certain her keen eyesight will be invaluable in spotting trouble, wherever it is that we are going." It was then that Muriel asked if anyone knew where they were going. There was a pause and Beltayn spoke. "Captain Aduchil did not say. I fear the reasons for this may be dark indeed. It will be best to steel ourselves for a hard journey." Beltayn warned, though it was out of goodwill and not malice, his hand gripped the hilt of his sword in anticipation for their start.
    Last edited by Haflin; 21/Dec/2012 at 09:40 PM.

  15. Morgan la Fée's Avatar
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    #15
    Feowen Súrindis
    Thranduil's Halls - Mirkwood


    Her audience with the king over, Feowen left the throne room and walked leisuredly back to where she left her horse, thinking she would now have ample time to settle both of them in, change into fresh clothes and have a proper look around. Before she even left the cavernous halls, she noticed a bit of a commotion, with guards hurrying to and fro, though she paid little enough attention, her mind still full of her conversation with Thranduil.

    When she had a breather and a drink of water to refresh herself, however, she thought back to the audience chamber and remembered the visitor from Lothlorien conversing with the king and how urgent their exchange seemed to be. Putting two and two together, Feowen hastily unloaded Imaha, throwing all the unnecessary for the moment items haphazardly into her saddle bags, shouldering her bow and quiver, buckling on her swordbelt, tucking every blade she had into its usual place. Satisfied, she unstrapped the saddle as well, hoping that, on her way to the headquarters, she could find a storage area or perhaps an unoccupied room reserved for the Guard members, which, she supposed, was what she was now. Back in the barracks, eh, she grinned to herself.

    Giving Imaha an affectionate stroke on the muzzle, she smiled apologetically. "Not the proper way to treat you after all your hard work, roch mell, I know. I promise I'll be on my best behaviour as soon as I get back," she whispered; then turned, and all but ran back into the great doors.

    Having successfully located a nook where her life's possessions fit into one canvas bag and her saddle would not be in anyone's way, Feowen hurried into the Guard's headquarters just in time to hear an ellon (Bodgolas) eagerly volunteer (So there is an expedition afoot! she thought contentedly) to join the company apparently setting out at once. Feowen didn't exactly hear the mission statement, but given a basic knowledge of geography, and well, the world, her guess was as good as a bet.

    She couldn't help a knowing smile tugging at the corners of her mouth as she looked on the young elf whose head seemed to be elsewhere, yet his earnestness showed all too clearly. Allowing herself a chuckle, that she fervently hoped went unnoticed, Feowen reflected on how much of the same eargerness to be useful she had just displayed in the throne room. She hasn't come all that far from an unruly, fanciful young girl, but the last few decades have taught her to sober up, if nothing else. She took a step forward and addressed Baingíl and Dincairwen, whom she had seen with Thranduil not long ago: "Same goes for me, I wish to be of help, I will come with you. I have just returned to Mirkwood, but I'll spare no effort at its defense." She added, with a deferential nod to Baingíl, "I hope I'll prove my worth, Captain."

    There, another journey, another battle. Settling in would keep a little longer.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 07:17 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  16. Sillandhas
    Thranduil's Halls - Mirkwood

    Sillandhas, trainee,was enjoying a steaming cup of berry tea where he sat at a small table near the homely fireplace in the main room of the Mirkwood Guard headquarters. Green-eyed Sillandhas, clad in green and black, was a scion of of two kindreds, Sindar and Silvan ; he had a hard, trim frame and shoulder-length silver hair. Though he was pleasantly sipping his beverage, Sillandhas was attentive to all that happened within the chamber so he was able to listen to the grey-cloaked elleth Dincairwen of Lórien speak to Baingil, Thranduil's Chief of Guards ; Randír asked for volunteers on the expedition to Dol Guldur.

    He finished his drink as Bodgolas, Nethalion, and a fighter he didn't know (Feowen) stepped forward to join the quest. Sillandhas smiled as he arose from his chair ; Bain was such an eloquent and inspiring commander. I'd like to come on this investigation, Chief, Sillandhas spoke up, already reaching for his scabbard which leaned against hearth ; his longsword was already sheathed therein. I was on my way to do some scouting so I'm all set. He touched his pouch of necessities, making sure it was still there.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 07:17 AM.

  17. Dincairwen's Avatar
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    #17
    Dincairwen
    Thranduil's Halls- Mirkwood

    As Baingil mentioned that she was just about the call for volunteers, Cair merely nodded and stepped back to let Mirkwood's captain do her job. She tried to blend in with the wall she was standing against, which ended up working better than she thought it would, as she was wearing her cloak. It was an odd image, really. Her shoulders were covered by her cloak and blended in with the wall, while the rest of her was visible. Not quite the same effect a ring of power would have with invisibility, but something like it. She was not thinking about this, but rather watching the Mirkwood guards step forward to volunteer, eyes remaining expressionless. Naturally she was quite glad to see that a number were willing to accompany her, but she did not want to appear so, as it was dangerous. Baingil's speech had been quite well-done, although she had to know that Lorien had never doubted Mirkwood's valor. Something to motivate her guards, she supposed.

    The first one to step forward was Nethalion, someone Cair recognized. She smiled at him, making a note to talk to him later. They had met in Lothlorien some time ago and gotten along rather well. It was too bad they had to meet again in such circumstances. Three other, Bodgolas, Feowen and Sillandhas also volunteered. She did not know them, although Feowen did look familiar. Cair remained silent for a few moments longer, waiting to see if Baingil was going to give others more time to step forward. When it did not appear that any more would, she stepped forward again and met Baingil's gaze inquiringly. While seeing if the her Mirkwood counterpart would call for their group to move out, Cair looked to those who had volunteered. "Le hannon." She said. "We appreciate the aid. It is long past time that we started working together for our common good." It was true that they had delayed for long years, not knowing the danger that they faced. Now, it seemed, they would need each other to survive if their enemy was as powerful as she feared he might be.

    Again she looked to Baingil and spoke so that only the captain could hear her. "I will leave it to your judgement what route we take. You know this forest far better than I do. We just need to be near Dol Guldur in several days' time. Aduchil and I can find each other once we are nearby." Lorien's captain had an uncanny sense of where people and things were. She attributed it to his millenia of experience stretching back to the Eldar Days. She suspected he had used some skill lost to elves of her age to attempt to combat whatever had been causing the storm. He had been unusually weary afterward, it seemed. Not that they all had not been, but his was different. If he could read situations like that, her skill was in reading people. Being a healer certainly helped with that. "I am ready to depart whenever your company is." Cair said to Baingil, waiting for her to take the lead on her home turf.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 07:18 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  18. Aduchil's Avatar
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    #18
    Gathering Talan

    As soon as he had spoken, Aduchil witnessed the warriors disperse swiftly. They were sufficiently well-versed to not waste time, but immediately leave and make their preparations. Only one remained, the stout Maethor who walked up to Aduchil and spoke with a lowered voice.
    "You know, captain, I would be more than happy to join as well." Aduchil smiled a little and nodded. "I know, but both the lieutenant and I will take part of this. I would feel better knowing that with both of us away, the Guard remains in experienced hands," Aduchil explained. He did not add that should something happen to them, the Guard would need new leadership. Maethor did not seem particularly thrilled, preferring to use his skills on the front rather than safely in Lórien. But he did not gainsay his commander and walked away, nodding to himself and accepting his orders.

    Alone for a brief while, Aduchil decided to check his gear one last time. Most importantly, he checked his bow and the bowstring. The smallest fracture in the wood, or the faintest sign of threads unravelling would be enough. The tremendous pressure applied to the longbow in order that it might release its great power required perfection in the material. It would take but the smallest weakness and the bow crack or the string would snap. Either way, a scenario that potentially left Aduchil defenceless in the middle of the fight. Thus heexamined his weapon carefully and only when completely satisfied did he pull the bow back in order to string it. He placed an arrow from his quiver, notched it and pulled back. Finding it all in order, Aduchil placed the arrow back in its quiver and continued his examination.

    Checking that all metal had been covered up properly, the captain finally checked the small pouches tied to his belt. One contained a flask and cloth, another dried meat and some honey. It was the manner he was usually equipped when travelling in the wild, except he would normally have had more provisions to stock for a longer journey. Not so
    this time, Aduchil thought as he straightened up and watched his warriors return to him. They were a small group, which seemed suitable; especially knowing that Elves from Mirkwood would join them. A larger group would be too vulnerable to detection, the captain surmised. He looked at Naur and flashed her a quick smile, knowing she was prepared to complete whatever task was ahead. One by one the other Elves joined, quietly chatting among themselves and making introductions.

    Aduchil inclined his head to Sailacel and Miruiel as they arrived as well, a silent approval of their presence and dedication to the Guard. It took only moments before Beltayn joined them as the final scout. Letting them talk for a minute longer, Aduchil looked up to check the sun's position. It was still early; they would have to time things more precisely as they approached their destination. Using his observation to map their route as well, Aduchil located south and east according to the sun's journey across the sky and then turned north, north-east.
    "It is time," he said, turning to glance back at the four Elves standing ready nearby. "We will go beyond Lórien's borders today; when we reach the edge of the forests, I will explain more," he said. This way, they knew that they needed only to trek to the edge of the woods before their mission would be explained. Looking
    around one last time to ensure he had all his belongings, Aduchil led the small group on their set course in an average pace towards the rising sun.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 07:21 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  19. Aranadhel's Avatar
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    #19
    Aranadhel
    Thranduil's Hall - Mirkwood

    As like Cair, Aran merely kept silent as the warriors of Mirkwood stepped up for the roll call headed by Baingil. He did not know what luck had brought him far south from Lorien only to know that he will be joining them and be reunited with the Swan Guard around Dol Guldur.

    After Cair had spoken to Baingil he then stepped up to her and also said We will follow your lead, Guard of Mirkwood he nodded. He was armed to the teeth and he was ready. More orcs to kill. Good, he said to himself. For my fallen comrades he vowed. This also would mark the first time he would patrol with Silvan elves he noted.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 07:26 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  20. Morwen Daegomir's Avatar
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    #20
    Manwathiel Raenmin
    Thranduil’s Halls- Mirkwood


    Manwathiel pulled her red-gold hair forward onto her shoulder and began to adroitly weave it into an intricate braid as she turned to face the elleth addressing the group. The half-elleth assumed this must be the Captain of Thranduil’s Guard. She ran an appraising eye over the Captain, assessing her as she spoke. The elleth seemed somewhat quieter than many commanders she had known, but that was no judge of leadership. Leading required much more than the ability to shout crassly at underlings. Unfortunately, some (especially humans, she noted, wincing inwardly at a memory), did not comprehend this distinction. It seemed, however, that this Captain had herself, and those around her, well under control. Quiet she may have been, but timid she most certainly was not. Manwathiel was glad; it was always preferable to serve under someone for whom one had respect, and she had a feeling that this Captain was well deserving of her allegiance.

    It was no wonder Manwathiel had not yet met the Captain yet. She had not been long yet in Mirkwood, and had not had a chance to settle much; not that she had really ever been the type to settle. It’s only fitting; the half-elleth thought wryly, I always knew I was meant to wander. Her attention was pulled from her thoughts as she suddenly realized what the Captain was speaking of, and a cold fire lit deep within her icy green eyes. It has been many years since I have been on campaign. And the chance for my blade to taste the blood of enemies once again is not to be missed. The thoughts were accompanied by a fierce sense of joy. She had missed the sense of purpose that came with such a mission.

    Stepping forward, she announced her intention in a cold even voice. “I offer my sword, Gwarth named, and would join you, Captain.” Her eyes seemed to dare any to contradict her, emitting an unspoken challenge not to be taken lightly.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 20/Jun/2014 at 07:27 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  21. Baingíl Randír's Avatar
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    #21
    Baingíl Randír
    Chief Guard of Thranduil
    Thranduil's Halls - Mirkwood

    Baingil was pleased that her call did not go unanswered. Several members of the Guard stepped forward. She hadn't had the chance to fight alongside most of these, except for Nethalion; she smiled a bit as he was the first to step forward to volunteer. Always ready to serve. A little young and impatient on occasion, but his willing service and generosity, along with his quickness at learning, did not go unnoticed and did much to advance him. She looked forward to a mission with him alongside her again. "Thank you,"she told him simply, and watched as he hurried from the room to gather his belongings.

    The next to volunteer was an elf named Bodgolas, a new guard whom she had not spoken with much. He seemed hesitant and sheepish; Baingil kept enough tabs on what was going on to know that his training had progressed slowly, though otherwise well. He seemed intelligent though, and intelligence was often as useful as a quick hand with a bow, as Baingil knew. She'd just have to keep an eye on him, to make sure he didn't get into any severe trouble. She nodded at him with a slight encouraging smile. "Of course." She raised an eyebrow. "Courage is always useful to me, and you seem to have it."

    Feowen then spoke up. Baingil had just seen this elleth in Thranduil's throne room; she looked into her eyes for a long moment. The elleth's story sounded much like Baingil's - wandering, parents sailing to the West, returning to her the place of her birth - Mirkwood - to settle. She spoke quietly. "Your father was a Guard, no? You should know what you are getting yourself into, then." Baingil saluted the new Guard ceremoniously and spoke a little louder. "Welcome to the Guard, then, and thank you for your willingness to volunteer yourself on such short notice." She motioned for a nearby guard - one who had not joined the expedition. She turned to him. "When we are finished here, please show this elleth to where she can find a few spare uniforms and her room, so she may store whatever she does not wish to carry."

    Sillandhas was next. He seemed a plucky fellow, and had some understanding of fighting. He definitely seemed like the useful sort. Baingil nodded. "Very good," she said. Excellent that he was prepared already.

    Nethalion had returned by that time; Baingil noticed him come into the room and move to stand with the other guards. However, she only noticed this as one more spoke. Manwathiel, another elleth - well, half-elf - who had recently joined. Baingil had not spoken with her or seen much of her; however, Baingil had made sure to learn of her from Mirima. A dangerous fighter, who had served in other Guards; a serious sort, who one would likely not wish to cross. Baingil looked this one in the eyes as well. Those eyes were serious; the Chief Guard could almost feel the elleth's desire to fight. "Then join me you shall, and welcome."

    One more spoke up - Arandhel - whom she had also seen in the throne room. He was apparently a member of the Lorien Guard, and followed Dincairwen. She nodded at him, then turned to survey the room once more. Baingil then turned back to Dincairwen, who had stepped forward herself. The Lorien lieutenant thanked the Guards who had volunteered, and Baingil added her own voice. "Indeed, I thank you all. All of you who have not done so already, please gather your belongings and meet us at the main gates of the palace." She nodded to the guard who she had asked to accompany Feowen as a signal that they were finished, then turned away.

    Dincairwen spoke in a quieter voice about leaving it to Baingil to choose the route. The Chief Guard nodded. "I was born in that area, in less dark times. I still know it fairly well." A few years before, she had made the dangerous trek to find her old home; there had been nothing left of it, but the trip had been strangely healing, and had afforded her some scouting opportunities. She thought she knew of a path that they could travel without running into too much trouble. "I am ready. I do not think it will take the others long." Baingil turned away and headed toward the gates.

    It was remarkably little time before she stood at the gates waiting for the rest of her Guards to show up, idly toying with the handle of her dagger.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:19 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  22. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #22
    NPC Bodgolas
    Thranduil's Halls - Mirkwood

    As instructed Bodgolas left the guards room and made his way to his quarters where he gathered a few belongings. He was gratified that Baingil had commended his courage and not laughed him out of the expedition altogether. Bodgolas was even more determined to live up to her expectations than when he first volunteered. As he did not expect to return alive from this dangerous mission, he wrote two brief notes making his farewells – one to his mother back in Lothlorien, and the other to his erstwhile lady-love. These heartfelt letters he left with a friend to deliver after he had departed.

    Bodgolas was a bit of a collector of interesting and unusual items as well as being a voracious reader, so thinking of possible contingencies he looked around to see if there was anything that might prove useful on their scouting party. He packed a few extra odds and ends, (including rope, a strong metal hook, a flintstone and a small lantern which had a cover for signalling , some string and a fish hook, a small bottle of Nimrodel water and a few essential first aid items) into a pack. He visited the kitchen for some food and a water flask. He had been given a bow and a sword during weapons training which he also carried along with a quiver of arrows. His pack feltrelatively heavy at first but he hoped that he would soon become accustomed to its weight. He returned to the main gates of the palace ready to depart where he found Baingil the Chief of Guards waiting, idly toying with the handle of her dagger.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:18 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  23. Gh0st!'s Avatar
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    #23
    Nethalion
    Thranduil's Halls -
    Mirkwood

    Nethalion
    stood by and watched as a number of Mirkwood's guards stepped up to answer the call to duty. They had a good number for a scouting expedition, he thought to himself. Once they joined the Lorien Guard in the south, the extra numbers provided from Thranduil's people would open up the options for how they could all approach the task of getting close to Dol Guldur. Nethalion saw Dincairwen and returned her smile. He had been very pleasantly surprised to see her. It had not been long ago when he had met her on the lawn at Caras Galadhon. He had noticed her earlier when he returned from the dungeons, but had been so focused on what was going on that he hadn't had a chance to greet her. He looked forward to speaking with her when she had time as they travelled south.

    The young archer turned his grey eyes back to Thranduil's chief guard, Baingil, when she began her final words to the group. He had a great deal of respect for her as a leader and was encouraged by the confidence she showed in the way she spoke. He listened attentively and nodded, before leaving the room and heading towards the main gates of the halls. He had already gathered everything he needed and would be travelling lightly, so he was ready to leave right away. He had nothing more than his weapons and quiver, some food to sustain him, his water skin, and other small essentials. That was definitely the way he preferred to travel. His greatest ability apart from archery was in stealth and agility.

    Soon he was overtaken by Baingil, and he followed her the rest of the way to the great gates. Once all were gathered, the huge gates would open for them, and they would begin their quick journey into danger. For now, Nethalion stood by wondering what route they would take. It was a much shorter journey from Lorien to Dol Guldur than it was from Thranduil's Halls. He assumed they would take the elf-path west to the border of the forest then travel south, in the open, along the edge of the woods until they met with the Lorien scouts. But that was only his assumption. He had never taken such a long journey as this one would be, and did not know what secret paths there were through the south of the forest, if there were any at all. But he did know that whichever route they took, they would have to travel fairly quickly. He was ready for that.





  24. Dincairwen's Avatar
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    #24
    Dincairwen
    Thranduil's Halls- Mirkwood

    Cair smiled in relief when Bain mentioned that she knew the area they must travel well, having been born there. Perhaps the woods had been more peaceful in those times. It was hard to tell just how old Bain was, as it was with any elf, so she could not say how many years ago it may have been. She eyed her speculatively, but said nothing else about it as she followed Mirkwood's captain to the gates. They had picked up two more Mirkwood soldiers as well, Feowen and Manwathiel. The former looked somewhat familiar, but Cair could not say for sure whether they had met or not.

    At the gates she stood near Baingil, watching as the elleth toyed with her dagger. Cair unconsciously reached for the hilt of her sword and was comforted to find it still there. Her bow would likely be more useful, however, and she was much better with it than she was with a sword. Her skill was not completely imbalanced, but there was a marked difference between her archery and swordsmanship. As they waited at the gates, her emerald eyes looked out at the trees beyond Thranduil's halls. Anything could be hidden there, waiting for them. Or waiting for the group from Lothlorien. "Anno ammen Enner gaun*." She muttered to herself, thinking of both groups of elves traveling to meet one another, and what they were going up against.

    Some time later, it seemed all of those planning to join them had appeared at the meeting place. Cair looked around, mentally counting their number. Again she turned to Baingil. "Well, shall we?" She gestured toward the trees, and followed Bain away from the gates, into the forest. Letting herself create a bit of distance between she and Bain and everyone else, she spoke quietly with the other officer. There was a tricky issue to resolve before they got too far. "As far as command, I feel it may be better if you retain command of your folk, and once we join with Aduchil, we will command our own people. I will defer to you while we travel, since you know your business here far better than I." She glanced sidelong at her, hoping this was acceptable.

    *(May Tulkas give us courage.)


    GM Note- Mirkwood Group: To keep up with the group leaving Lorien, we're going to have to make a few time jumps, as it were. We'll say we are leaving several days before they are.

    For your next post, RP yourselves out in the woods, and we are on our 2nd day out of Thranduil's halls and into the forest. We may come up against an enemy of some sort before we meet with Aduchil's group, so stay aware!
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:20 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  25. Aranaur's Avatar
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    #25


    Naur smiled as she took Sailacel's slender hand. 'Indeed! I have not worked with others in a very long time, so perhaps we will learn much on this journey.' Naur turned to Mirueil, listening to her quiet voice. 'Ah, a soft sound you speak with- this serves you well, I assume- delicate and lovely to companions, but in a time of need, very handy when communicating.' The elleth seemed enthusiastic, and Naur couldn't blame her, she was a bit excited now that everyone was gathered.

    It was an odd excitement, a mixture of fear and travel. Naur was not one to settle, even though Lorien was as close to a home to here as any place, except for Gondolin perhaps. As Mirueil pondered where they may be off to, Naur herself could only imagine- not because there were no threats to Lothlorien- but because there were so many. She decided, however, not to share this with the rest of the group. Tension was already mounting, the elves were ready to go.

    Beltayn introduced himself then, along with his bird friend. Naur smiled- this creature would be especially helpful, and Naur had a certain fondness for animals of the wild. 'Mae govannen! Well met! What a lovely friend you have,' Naur listened as everyone speculated as to where they would be off too. She sighed, swung her pack over her back, and nodded. 'Well, we have no way of knowing until we get there, I suppose.'

    Naur listened to Aduchil, and swiftly began to follow him. She would always have an optimistic outlook, but she was not kidding herself either- this small band was facing a large unknown, a perilous one at that.


  26. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #26
    Galadriel Note:(Miruiel, I edited out the top part of your post, since it looked like IR poetry/snowball fight combined. Not sure how it got there?)

    Miruiel - Gathering Talan, Lothlorien

    Miruiel waited with the others, and listened to Naur speak, also admiring the hawk, Sehra which was perched on Beltayn's shoulder. Captain Aduchil made only a brief comment that they would be travelling beyond the edge of the forests - beyond Lorien’s borders, then led them off in a north easterly direction towards the rising sun. There was plenty of time as the morning wore on for Miruiel to consider the implications of his words and to draw her own conclusions from their general direction. At first they travelled through peaceful golden woods where her people dwelt in such perfect harmony with the forest and its creatures. This was very different to the way their Northern kin in Mirkwood lived so she had been told. Her elders had explained to her that the Galadhrim’s custom of dwelling in trees was not a general habit of Silvan elves, but had arisen from the unique nature of their land which although rich and abundantly forested had few resources of rock or stone with which to build great halls or refuges. The flets and telain with which she was so accustomed had become especially useful of late as refuges and outlook posts from which the land and its borders could be surveyed Lórien had become a land of uneasy vigilance.

    If they were to hold their present direction, she knew they would soon come to the Great River, across which were once the ancient dwellings of King Oropher’s people. They had since moved north and were ruled by King Thranduil. Impossible to ignore was the menacing presence of the dark stronghold of Dol Guldor just across the river from the Golden Wood. The Greenwood forest was now known as Taur-e-Ndaedelos or forest of great fear by her people for a good reason.

    Miruiel had never crossed the river Anduin, or ever imagined that she might one day scout out the enemy’s dreaded stronghold. All that she could remember about Dol Guldur was that it was built on a hill known as Amon Lanc or hills beneath shadow. Miruiel tried to concentrate hard on her own footfalls, the appearance of the woods about her, the sounds and smells and colour of the trees to keep her mind from fear. She desperately hoped that her guess as to their ultimate destination was wrong.

    (OCC to Galadriel - apologies for the extraneous text - it must have been hiding above the part that I could see - and I didn't notice it...thanks for removing it!)
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:22 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  27. Baingíl Randír's Avatar
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    #27
    Baingíl Randír
    Chief Guard of Thranduil
    Thranduil's Halls - Mirkwood

    Baingil waited until all had arrived, not paying much attention to anything in particular as she let her hand rest on the hilt of her dagger. She stared past the gates, into the trees. What would they find there, she wondered? Likely danger; the forest always held danger. But also hope, while the elves still fought. She smiled a bit to herself as the last Guard finally arrived; these whom she led held back the darkness, kept it one more day from the homes of their kin. Dincairwen spoke of leaving, and Baingil nodded. She motioned toward the gates while glancing toward the gatekeeper; then looked back once again at her guards. "Follow me," she said, though she knew she hardly needed to.
    Baingil walked quickly and silently, her feet making no noise, even when she left the path and made for the forest itself, making her way through the trees and amid the leaves.

    Dincairwen came up beside her and spoke quietly about the chain of command. Baingil considered, and nodded. "That makes sense." She turned to look at Dincairwen, still moving silently and swiftly, her feet finding the familiar ground with ease. "When we reach Dol Guldur, however, then I will allow you and Aduchil to decide what we will do, as it is your expedition, after all." She turned again to look out into the trees. She squinted a little; under the dark canopy of trees, it was easy to go in the wrong direction unless one knew every branch and tree and could tell where they were from it.

    Her footsteps led westward and south a bit; her guards would probably realize almost at once that she was headed toward the elf-path that led through the forest to the gate at the other side. The pace was a bit faster than some of them might be used to; she expected the guards to be able to keep up, but they were likely to be weary by the end of the day. However, speed was of the essence. Baingil didn't want news of their travel to reach Dol Guldur before their group did; therefore, they would have to travel with both speed and invisibility. She glanced toward Dincairwen's cloak; the Lorien guards would likely have little trouble with the invisibility part, she thought wryly.


    Time-Warp
    Two Days Later
    Mirkwood Forest - Near the Elf-path, turning south

    The previous few days had been uneventful. Baingil looked up at the dark canopy of trees, trying to figure out where the sun would be by this time; still morning, though nearing noon, she thought. She frowned a little. The forest was still scarred in places from the fire that had raged through those months back - trunks blackened, dead branches that hung limply from equally dead trees that she spotted here and there amidst the live ones. The sunlight filtered through where the leaves had yet to grow back, strengthening her suppositions of the time. She eyed the underbrush; since the fire it was a bit thicker, now that the sun was now better able to reach the forest floor. The more easily for them to hide if necessary, she supposed, but also the easier for enemies to hide. She could only be grateful that the darkness of the forest kept the underbrush to a minimum, for the most part; it made for easier movement.

    They had managed quite a distance in the past few days. Baingil had not actually taken the elf-path, except where necessary to cross the Enchanted River; she had led the group of guards along the same general route, but had kept to the trees, flitting almost shadow-like among them. Despite being so far north, she didn't trust the path to not be watched; therefore, she had done her best to make sure the group traveled for the most part with as much secrecy as possible - keeping to the shadows, for the most part keeping quiet. Her ears were open at all times to listen for danger. On a few occasion she had stopped, holding up a hand, then had pulled her cloak more tightly around her and led the group in a roundabout way around some sort of danger she sensed - a nest of spiders here, signs of wolves there.

    Now she stopped again, but she did not melt into the shadows as she did when she sensed danger. She instead straightened and surveyed the forest around her. Despite her years of wandering, she had spent a good deal of time familiarizing herself with this forest again - forcing herself to memorize the nooks, the crannies, the shapes of the trees. Now, though most folk traveling through the forest might have thought it all looked the same - trees, trees, and more trees - she recognized this weird clump of beeches here, this log lying there. She listened hard for any sign of danger, but at the moment, she heard nothing but a squirrel here and there chittering. It should be safe enough to speak of her plans.

    She turned to find Dincairwen. "I think it best if we keep to the forest," she said. "I do not know much of the lands beyond the forest in this direction - I have been there, yes, but only as a wanderer. I did not pay close attention. And if we travel in the forest we may be better hidden - these uniforms were not made for open fields." She paused, moving her hand absentmindedly to rest on the hilt of her dagger. "We will stay near the edge, though. The mountains are treacherous, and though I know them well enough, I have not thoroughly explored them."

    She raised her head to look at the rest of the group. Some were probably starting to be tired by now - Baingil had pushed onward quickly, not pausing to rest very often, and keeping a brisk pace. However, there was little room for complaints in the Guard - it was the price one had to pay to serve King Thranduil as a guard. She spoke a bit louder than she had to Dincairwen. "We turn south here," she said, then whirled on her heel, her cloak and long black hair flaring out a bit as she did so. She paused for a moment to make doubly sure of her direction before starting onward again, in a new direction - mostly south, though a little west, leading away from the elf-path and into the even darker parts of the forest.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:41 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  28. Aranadhel's Avatar
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    #28
    Two days later
    Mirkwood forest

    Aran stayed close to Cair, as she was the one he was familiar with only amongst the group of Silvan elves as they trodded silently in the forest. He did not like the feeling of what lay hidden, he had heard countless stories of the giant spiders but throughout his 7000 over years of life had not encountered one and hoped he did not have to.

    He nudged Cair, and whispered to her saying Do you bring with you an extra sword? I only have my bow and dagger with me. I came to Mirkwood not imagining we would find our way to Dol Guldur and though the bow is my weapon of choice for the last Three Ages, in my heart I feel something is amiss and I may find a sword in hand to be a friend in need.

    He glanced around and kept his ears out for sounds that were not of the elves. He gripped his bow tightly, and his dagger kept safe in his boot in case something came within range of the patrol. This he marked was the first time he ever came close to mingling with the Silvan elves and he now only realised the subtle differences in their features in regards to their Sindarin cousins. His Lorien cloak kept shifting colours in the dark but it would be of no use when the Enemy is right in the face.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:23 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  29. Morgan la Fée's Avatar
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    #29
    Feowen Súrindis
    Thranduil's Halls - Mirkwood


    Feowen was not particularly worried about proving her worth, as she put it, but being accepted into the society of Elves again was something she dearly longed for, and the acceptance of her new Captain, Baingil, was a key step towards that. It seemed she shouldn't have been nervous on that account, either, for the Chief Guard showed her even more curtesy than could be expected in such urgent circumstances. Feowen met Baingil's gaze steadily, and then nodded in reply to her question. She was grateful for this little moment of serenity that passed between them, and she took it as a good sign. Feowen returned the Captain's salute and promply blushed at Baingil's next words, meant for another guard, though there was absolutely no reason for it, except Feowen's own perceived lack of discipline. Seeing another elf (Sillandhas) rise from a table by the fireplace, clearly with intention to speak, Feowen cleared the way and stepped back to wait for the conclusion of the meeting.

    Another two elves spoke after her, and then it was done. Acknowledging Dincairwen's thanks and Baingil's dismissal with another nod, Feowen found the eyes of the guard assigned by the Captain to show her to her new quarters, and walked out. Having picked up her saddle and bags in the corner of the antechamber, she turned to the guard and followed him deeper into the caves. They turned a few corners, quickly coming to a longish tunnel lined with doors. Her guide opened one of them wide, inviting her to go in. "I'll fetch you fresh bedclothes and a uniform, it would be quicker than showing you," he said with a kind smile. "You'd better get ready to go." Feowen thanked him and went in, finding everything as she remembered. She deposited her canvas bag in the closet, perched her saddle on the back of a chair and unbelted her weapons, preparing to change into her new uniform. The guard was back shortly. He put the stack of cloth on the bed and saying a quiet blessing in farewell left her alone.

    There was no time to lose. She changed quickly, finding a small measure of comfort in the familiar green garb of.. well, Greenwood. Despite having very little in the way of protection, not a even boiled leather jerkin that she used to prefer when in the Imladris army, the green clothes afforded a degree of anonymity, of security, even, in the deep of the wood. And she always preferred to fight light, anyway. She repeated the process of tucking her weapons in - dirk in sheath at her right hip, dagger in a calf sheath partly hidden by her boot, sword at her left; bow-strap across her chest, and crossing it, the strap of a smallish leather pouch tightly packed with the barest necessities - a couple flats of lembas and some more common food, dried apples and nuts, a purse with herbs, flint and steel, and a flask of water.

    Ready, Feowen sprinted out of the room, shutting the door behind her, and out to the gate where Baingil was waiting for everyone to assemble. Silently giving thanks for not being the last to have shown up, Feowen kept her eyes on Baingil, waiting eagerly for the sign to depart. Not that she was eager for danger exactly, but she loathed to waste (as she would put it) time as a rule, and when everything was settled and there was nothing to do but act especially.

    Before Feowen could even think to fret, however, all going on the expedition were present, and the company was off, walking to the south. Looking at Dincairwen speaking quietly with Baingil a way ahead, Feowen was reminded that there was another party to this expedition, going out from Lorien, but, being unable to hear what was spoken, she had no clue how significant that fact might prove for herself.

    Two Days Later
    Mirkwood Forest - Near the Elf-path, turning south

    Feowen's impatience was duly rewarded by the pace of their march. After years of traveling mostly in the saddle, her body was reveling in the exercise, her mind was alert, and she breathed the forest air in deeply. Their speed has been considerable for the last two days, but it didn't tire her yet, and the terrain was easy enough - although she suspected if they kept this up, the journey would prove to be arduous.

    Keeping herself focused on scanning her surroundings, both for signs of danger, and for future reference and re-aquaintance, Feowen gradually drifted to the rear of the group. She would have liked to walk up front, be the first to hear the commands, perhaps talk to Baingil for a short while, but her instincts told her to choose the position that should be covered before idle talk. Perhaps there was little chance of a pursuit of attack from the north now, but she always found it was better to get into battle mindset ahead of time. Besides, walking last afforded Feowen the opportunity to study her companions, all of whom were stangers as well as teammates. Her observations had a history of turning out very handy at unexpected moments, and besides, it was good entertainment.

    Baingil's order to turn south came as no surprise, since they were gradually doing just that for a while now anyway, but the shape of the mountains now cutting directly across their path didn't inspire much confidence as regards their speed. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, she chastised herseld silently. Feowen generally found platitudes quite refreshing while she was the one to deliver them. Keeping her position in the rear of the group, Feowen walked carefully, midning the rougher ground now beneath her feet, and kept her eyes open.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:40 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  30. Haflin's Avatar
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    #30



    Beltayn
    Lothlorien


    Despite still being within the splendorous confines of the golden wood, Beltayn's thoughts had turned to much darker paths as the group now traveled east towards the many shadows. Beyond Lorien were many dangers, some of which Beltayn had seen with his own eyes and many that he had not. If they kept their route they would soon find the great Anduin that ran North and South. To the North lay the vales of the river and the great green wood and to the South lay the Brown lands, old Fangorn forest and the realm of Rohan. But Beltayn did not think those were the places they were going.He had heard a few things before and after arriving at Lorien. Whispers in the mouths of his kin and even on the wind itself. At first he was not sure, but the captain's instructions to them earlier almost guaranteed it in his mind. Why else would they need stealth other than to evade their enemies? Who were they hiding from? Storm clouds drew together outside the elven realm and the kindred of Lorien could feel it encroaching on their borders, their homes were at stake.On his shoulder, Sehra's head bobbed and turned left and right, her unblinking eyes taking in the wood around her, other than that, she remained still and silent as was her way. Perhaps when they reached the realm's edge Beltayn would send her out to see their path, but for now he was content to be her perch. As they went, all was silent, but Beltayn decided he would break the silence. "Am I correct in suspecting this mission has to do with the flood, captain?" He said in a sombre but respectful tone. "Since coming home I have heard many...dark rumors about that awful storm and its origins."
    Last edited by Haflin; 21/Dec/2012 at 09:48 PM.

  31. Gh0st!'s Avatar
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    #31
    Nethalion
    Mirkwood Forest


    Nethalion knew the forest well as they travelled nearby the Elf Path. He had made his way through those parts many a time in his short life, and had frequented them even more regularly since he had been promoted to the position of guard of Thranduil. He would have kept up with Baingil, except he had made a conscious decision to follow somewhat behind her. She knew the forest better than most, and would probably not need another set of eyes or ears surveying the things that she herself was surveying. So he stayed near the back of the group, using his own eyes and ears and sense of familiarity with this part of the woods to pick up on any thing that may present itself as a danger from behind. They travelled quickly, as he guessed they would need to do, and had avoided danger so far. The chief guard's expert navigation skills had made sure of that, and Nethalion tried to take note of her strategies in avoiding things like spider's nests so that he himself could utilise those strategies in the future.

    The young guard was enjoying the challenge of the swift travel. He still had the exuberance of youth, was light framed, and was as well conditioned as any other guard. So the two days of steady movement did not fatigue him. If anything put stress on him, it was the prospect of having to walk right up to the doorstep of the enemy in Dol Guldur. He had not yet felt true fear, but he guessed that he may know the feeling before he returned for home. The time then came for the group to turn and travel south through the forest. It had been some time since Nethalion had engaged in conversation, and he still meant to speak with the lieutenant of the Swan Guard, Dincairwen, whom he had met in Lothlorien. He thought that now would be as good a time as any. The group had slowed, and Baingil was open in speaking to them, so he figured that danger was, for the present, far enough away.

    As they began to make way south, he quickened his pace and caught up with Dincairwen. "Hello there, Cair," he said quietly with a smile, turning to look at her as he strode alongside her. "Who would have ever guessed that we'd be journeying through these woods together so shortly after having said farewell in Lorien? If only it was a more leisurely stroll and for less drastic reasons."





  32. Morwen Daegomir's Avatar
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    #32
    Manwathiel Raenmin
    2 days later - Mirkwood
    Near the Elf-path; turning south


    The feel of the ground beneath her feet and the steady rhythm of her boots hitting the dirt was a familiar lullaby to Manwathiel. Very rarely had she known any one place for very long. If any place was to be called home, it would have been any road upon which she travelled. The feel of wandering was something she felt she had known forever, and she was somewhat at a loss to understand the attachments she had seen others grow in the world.

    Not much had occurred over the past few days, and the half-elleth had slipped easily back into the customary rhythm of travelling, albeit it felt somewhat strange to be with a group. She had not interacted much with the others thus far; however, this was no surprise, considering her rather solitary nature. Manwathiel did understand the importance of companionship, but it had been so long since she had been in a situation that required it, she was unsure where to begin. The group was a mix of young to old, inexperienced to well-travelled campaigners. Despite her relatively youthful 600 some years, she still would have placed herself among the more experienced, considering the way she had lived most of those centuries.

    A few of the group stood out in particular to her; first and foremost Captain Baingil, as this was the elleth she had first pledged her word to in order to join the expedition. The elleth was soft spoken but firm and steady; Manwathiel had seen a subtler but similar fire to her own behind the eyes of the Captain when they had spoken in Thranduil’s Halls. This Captain was someone she could understand. The next elleth she had noticed had been Dincairwen. She seemed familiar, and Manwathiel wondered if she had met her in her time in the Swan Guard when in Lórien. It was quite possible, she supposed, but she could not be completely sure. These two, as leaders of the expedition were the ones she had taken note of the most. However, there was one other that had stood out to her in particular.

    Manwathiel had noticed the young ellon (Nethalion) from the beginning; he seemed to exude a youthful energy and joy that could not help but be felt by those around him. And it irritated her to no end. She was not quite certain as to what about this ellon in particular rubbed her the wrong way; it had been centuries since she had been this acutely impatient with anyone. But the fact that she had hardly been around any others for so long may have had something to do with it. However, none of the others was creating this internal reaction within her.

    She had been walking near Dincairwen, unconsciously gravitating toward the one vaguely familiar face in the group, when she heard him prance up behind her to fall in alongside the other elleth. She could immediately tell it was him from the practically joyful way his steps fell. Manwathiel felt her teeth set on edge as he came into view out of the corner of her eye. What is it about this ellon that I find so vexing? I do not even know his name, and yet… Her thoughts trailed off as she could not help but overhear him speak to Dincairwen. She winced inwardly. Even his voice seemed cheerful. This was not saying much, however; as Manwathiel could make even some of the most distant and hardhearted individuals seem jovial under the right circumstances. The cold eyed warrior tried to ignore the irritation that was slowly wheedling its way through her, once she would have embraced it wholly; but long years of experience had taught her these sorts of reactions were utterly irrational. And she was nothing if not rational. Except, apparently, right now.

    She knew what she should do. The best solution would be to speak up and say something, learn the young ellon’s name. After all, they were on the same side, and they were here to work together. But it had been so long since she had attempted ‘friendly banter’ (if she had ever attempted anything that could be called such), and she had no idea where one might begin. Deciding this was her best course of action, Manwathiel sped up her pace just slightly so that it matched that of Dincairwen and (Nethalion), bringing her into line with them, although not right next to them. Glancing over, she opened her mouth to say something, but then realized she had absolutely no idea what to say.

    Realizing she was staring at them with her mouth half open, she blurted the first thing that occurred to her, “Leisurely stroll, indeed. Where is the use in that?” The words came out rather more tersely than she had intended them, not having planned on saying anything at all. Manwathiel had not meant to comment on (Nethalion’s) words, but she found them once again so irritating that she had spoken without thinking. After all, who walked around simply with the purpose of a leisurely stroll? She saw no reason in such a venture. Closing her mouth tightly so as to avoid any further utterances from herself, she busied her hands with re-braiding her intricate red-gold hair. It was a long ingrained habit she had; she always did it when she grew uncomfortable with any situation, though she would have never admitted such a thing to herself. Continuing to stride alongside the two, she tried to ignore that she was feeling far more foolish than she had felt in many long years.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:33 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  33. Aduchil's Avatar
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    #33


    In eastern Lórien

    They were making good speed, which made Aduchil consider their travelling plans. By his estimate, although he knew little of Mirkwood, they would be ready in the same day to reach the rendezvous point, if continuing at this pace. He had actually made them set off a day in advance, wanting to be sure they would not be late; it was possible that they might end up spending a night in Mirkwood before meeting with their brethren, considering that Dincairwen, Baingil and her people had a longer and more arduous journey to make. Aduchil had agreed with his lieutenant that they would see if they could meet on this day, but if not, then tomorrow at the latest; and it was for more reasons than mere idleness. Tomorrow night the moon would be fully hidden, and no light shine over Mirkwood. Considering the task before them, it was either tonight or tomorrow night they stood the best chances of success. Having contemplated the time and logistics, Aduchil's thoughts turned to their target next. There had been no actual writings in Caras Galadhon that detailed their destination, but he had spoken with several Elves until he knew the structure as per their instructions. He believed to have a solid plan formulated; now it was a question of putting plans into practice.

    A little behind him, Aduchil heard Beltayn speak up. They were still an hour away or so from the edge of the forest, when Aduchil had intended to explain their purpose. However, there seemed no harm in speaking now and make his warriors privy to their mission. They were still in Lórien after all, and at least inside its borders Aduchil knew they were safe.
    "You are correct, Beltayn," Aduchil said, turning his head to look over his shoulder. "There is a threat to Lórien. The storm and ensuing floods were malignant and full of malicious purpose," Aduchil said. He did not wish to intimidate the other Elves and lower their morale; but given their destination, they needed to know sooner or later that great risk and peril lay ahead. "As you can see, we are but a small group. We will join with others, but our task is not war today, merely knowledge. Before any battle is to be fought, we must know our enemy in full." Gesturing ahead of him, towards where the open plains lay and separated Lórien from Mirkwood, Aduchil pointed towards Dol Guldur. "Mark this path well," he instructed them, glancing behind himself once again to look at the faces of Naur, Sailacel and Miruiel. "If our suspicions hold true, you will walk this way again ere long," he finished.

    It was not something he had discussed in detail with either Celeborn or Dincairwen, but the more he thought about it, the more Aduchil saw it as the best option. If war loomed on the horizon, the Elves of Lórien would be hard pressed. Their numbers were few, compared to what enemies they might face; and although the woods gave cover to their arrows, they were not impregnable walls, nor were the Galadhrim plated warriors eager for open warfare. No, Aduchil was already planning the next step. Any foe that threatened invasion and destruction upon Lórien would find its captain not idle, and its Elves prepared to respond in kind. Before any orc stepped foot in the Golden Wood, Aduchil would see the arrows of the Galadhrim unleashed from every tree in southern Mirkwood, harassing and haunting the orcs as if Oromë himself hunted these lands. Unconsciously, Aduchil's
    right hand clenched to a fist in determination and his nails bit into his skin. He knew that if possible they should avoid any combat on this mission, but he felt a smouldering longing to grasp his blade in hand again and stain it with blood.



  34. Sailacel's Avatar
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    #34
    Sailacel - Eastern Lorien

    They had been walking quite a while, and were nearing the edge of Lorien. Sailacel had been busy thinking about the mission. The questions where, why, what,and how filled her mind. Different situations played themselves out in her head. Beltayn's questions interruped her thoughts. Sailacel immediately turned her attention to Aduchil, maybe he would explain what the mission was. The information he gave was not very specific, but maybe with more thought on the subject she would have a clearer understanding. She had heard the rumors of the origin of the storm also. From what Aduchil said it was not just a storm, it was an attack on Lorien. Whoever or whatever it was that created that storm was no idle threat, you could tell that just by the way that Aduchil acted. They were to get information on the enemy, whoever it was. The direction that the captian had pointed to was Dol Guldur, and Sailacel had heard enough about it that the thought of going there created a knot in her stomach. Well they were not there yet, so she had no reason to be afraid.She felt empathy for the captian, what a weight he must be carrying. Not everyone could take being in charge of protecting Lorien in these times. He obviously wanted to get rid of this threat. Lorien would not just sit there, they would fight. Once they had the information needed, the Galadhrim would fight, and she would fight with them. She felt a need to confirm to Aduchil that she would not turn from this mission."Captian, lead and I will follow." She was new to the guard, but she would not cower in the face of danger.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:34 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  35. Aranaur's Avatar
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    #35
    Naur slowed her paced immediately upon hearing where their destination lay. She had been near the front, concentrating, practicing, making sure her footfall was as silent as a single leaf falling on the ground. She knew she had no need for this: the occasional summer breeze that blew through the forest would hide most footfall, but on that off chance a sound was heard in between the wind- well, she preferred that the sound be from an enemy, or an animal, and not at all from her. She was doing very well until the Captain mentioned to Beltayn exactly where they were going.

    Naur was never one to question authority, ever. It was the precise reason she was on her own so often. And yet, she trusted Aduchil with her life- neigh, more than that, with the fate of Lorien. This was why Naur was honored to follow him, she knew him to be a great leader. Yet something nagged at the back of her head when she heard their final destination. Catching up with the Captain, she gently tapped his shoulder. Fearing not, as they were still in Lorien, Naur spoke, though not loudly. 'Captain, may I have a word?'

    Naur looked at the three other faces as she asked permission to pull Aduchil to the side. Their youth in the Guard was so apparent, though Naur knew they had experience elsewhere. Beltayn, Miruil, and Sailacel hesitated forward a bit, but not out of earshot, as Naur was hoping. Her red hair glistened as a reminder of her temper; she would try to hold her tongue but was unsure of how plausible this actually was. She looked into the Captain's bright blue eyes, a tremor of consequence running through her. Wincing a bit, Naur finally spoke, though she was barely able to hide the tension of her thoughts.

    'Amon Lanc, Captain?!'
    she whispered fretfully, her voice slightly panicked. 'Amon Lanc? We are taking ourselves to Dol Guldur? Why was this information withheld from us?' She looked at him steadily, her anger rising slightly. 'Do you know what lies in that hole below the hill? More importantly, do they?' She pointed at the soldiers. 'Please, I trust you and your decisions, you know I do. I have laid my own life before you, and indeed, I know now what we are up against. But to spring this on all of us- a team, which barely knows yet how to work with one another- and look, lads, I say this not from anyone's inexperience, but because we do not know one another- should we have not been disclosed to the danger we now face?'

    Naur looked at Aduchil now, and past him. She had been to the outskirts of Hill of Sorcery before, and briefly. Her in her cleverness nearly got caught and had to flee for her life- that Hill was one full of tricks, and secrets of dark magic she had tried to fish out, but could barely get too. She remembered how she had looked up to the fortress, a black castle rising from the darkest flora she had ever seen. The closer she came to it, the more the trees whispered, the more the birds spied. Giant insects often blocked her path, and more than one marauding band of yrch caught her by surprise. Even when she was sure no one had seen her, they had. She only touched the base of the Hill before she heard the warning cry of something so evil, that no knowledge was worth, and she had promptly turned around, only to discover she was just in time- something chased her long after that. Her time there had earned her a few scars, and even as she pushed those memories back, the concept now that she was going to have to return boggled her mind.

    'This is not just some Hill- and more than a fortress. I trust you, I trust you, but we should have been informed before hand where we go. There is trickery there, beyond the ordinary fox. My heart is full of dread.'




  36. Dincairwen's Avatar
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    #36
    Dincairwen
    Mirkwood

    The absolute silence with which Baingil moved through the forest never ceased to impress Cair over the two days they had traveled so far. The Galadhrim knew their share of woodcraft, but they had never had to share their forest with enemies. The elves of Mirkwood had stealth and silent movement down to an art. They had stayed along the Elf Path, which Cair recognized from the map she had, and also from her companions calling it that. Knowing that she could guess at what route they were taking. Whether they would stay within the forest to go south, or travel along its borders, she did not know yet. Nor did she know which way would be better. She was thankful for her guides. For her own trip to Thranduil's Halls she had followed the Anduin north, and then cut east across the forest once the mountains had been cleared. Perhaps not the most efficient way, but she had had no desire to get close to Dol Guldur before it was necessary.

    Almost missing Baingil's pause, Cair stopped and looked around, blinking a bit, surprised to be stopped. She was not weary in body yet, but she could feel the long miles of walking. Following Baingil had become a routine, something she could do without thinking. She focused her eyes on the elleth and listened as she explained the possible routes south, now that they had covered the width of the forest. "Yes, I agree, especially if you are more comfortable with that. There is no need to take unnecessary risks." Yet, she added mentally. Investigating Dol Guldur itself was perhaps the most risky thing she had done yet in her long life. Baingil changed their direction, and Cair followed, noting that the part of the forest they approached seemed even darker than those they had just traversed. A bit of her wilted, her insides shivering at the lack of sunlight. She loved warmth and light, not dark and dank.

    Before she could dwell too much on this, Aranadhel, who had been walking near her, spoke up. The darkness of the forest hid her puzzled expression at his words. "No, I do not." She replied quietly. "I would have nowhere to carry one without it being an unnecessary burden." Cair was surprised that he did not have one with him already. Given his long experience, it did not seem like him to forget it. She did not pursue the issue, since he had not originally come to Mirkwood on a Swan Guard mission.

    When Nethalion fell into step with her and greeted her, she could not help but smile. He was friendly and welcoming, which was something she was dearly grateful for in the gloom around her. Before she could form a reply, Manwathiel joined them and opened her mouth as if she wanted to speak. Finally she did, mocking Nethalion's greeting to her. Cair narrowed her eyes significantly at the elleth, but decided not to say anything, as she was not her commanding officer. Not everyone could have a sunny disposition. Or even a civil one, it seemed. Perhaps the woods were getting to Manwathiel. She shifted her full attention very obviously back to Nethalion and replied as if Manwathiel had not interrupted. "Stranger things have happened, I would wager. It is a shame that it is under these circumstances." She flashed a quick smile at him, glancing his way as she lightly stepped over a log. "You really ought to visit Lorien again. It is at its most beautiful this time of the year." She rarely thought it was not, but there was no point saying that. Another thought occurred to her, and she eyed the young elf sidelong. "Were you part of the last expedition to Amon Lanc?" His experiences and observations could be useful, and she would enjoy talking to him in any case.

    While they were conversing, a faint sound caught Cair's attention, and she stopped in her tracks, listening intently. Her eyes quickly sought Baingil, silently asking what it was. She had her own suspicion, of course. it sounded remarkably like a wolf's howl. Maybe they were off at a distance and did not even know the group of elves was there. A long moment passed without another howl, and she started to relax. As she took another step forward, however, she heard it again, this time coming from the opposite direction. Another shortly followed, from yet another direction. Cair glanced quickly from side to side, and then ran lightly over to Baingil. "They have encircled us. Will the wolves of Mirkwood attack elves?" The answer was likely yes, and Cair instinctively reached behind her back to her quiver and set an arrow loosely to the string of her bow. Another moment passed with nothing happening, their group standing silently where they were. From the corner of her eye Cair caught the slightest movement behind one of the Mirkwood elves. "Feowen, move!" She called out to the elleth, loosing her arrow as soon as she stood aside, hitting a large wolf in the shoulder as it lunged at Feowen. Cair hoped it was enough to kill it, or at least slow it down so Feowen could finish it.

    Forgetting that she was not fully in command, she reacted as she would have at home and called out to everyone, "Move in, backs together! Weapons ready!" She stood next to Bain, her bow already set with another arrow as more shapes emerged from the trees around them.

    GM Note - Mirkwood Group: Read the last part of this post carefully. We are being attacked by wolves and must respond. Fight and kill them at will. We'll move on again once they have all been defeated.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:39 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  37. Baingíl Randír's Avatar
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    #37
    Baingíl Randír
    Chief Guard of Thranduil
    Mirkwood Forest

    Baingil ignored the talk that sprung up near her between Dincairwen and a few other elves - apparently her breaking her silence had been taken as signs of safety to talk -instead narrowing her eyes a little as she constantly kept on the lookout for clues as to her direction. This part of the forest was familiar enough, but not as familiar as the forest surrounding Thranduil's halls. She kept steadily south and a bit west, more gradually circling toward the edge of the forest. By the time they came to the mountains they would be traveling just inside the forest, where the going would be a bit easier.

    Her ears perked up a little when Manwathiel spoke. No-nonsense, indeed. Baingil wondered what sort of training the half-elf had been through. But more to the point - Nethalion was young, and Baingil liked his enthusiasm; he could use a little encouragement. And the recruit could also learn the advantages of a stroll. She half-turned her head while keeping her eyes focused on the terrain in front of her. "A leisurely stroll is good for thought, and for scouting," she said. She stopped for a moment, and reached toward a root of a tree, then motioned Manwathiel over. She continued onward, looking down at the delicate sprig of a lacy plant that she had pulled from between the tree roots. "When I came this way before, it was leisurely," she said in a quiet tone. "I might not have noticed the athelas that grew here if I had hurried. But I know of it, and have thanked Elbereth many times that I had it. The bit I plucked while I was here has been invaluable; and it may prove to be so again." She suddenly fell quiet, and listened. She seemed to draw toward the shadows a little, her walk becoming even more fluid - though it could hardly be more quiet - then she held up her hand, pausing her steps. A moment later a wolf howled. Dincairwen stopped too. Baingil narrowed her eyes and fell back even more toward the shadow of the tree she was under; even if they didn't hear the elves, they could smell them, and that howl sounded like a hunting howl to her. For a moment Baingil berated herself for not being quite cautious enough, but even as she did so she knew that the wolves could likely have picked up the elves' scent despite even the best precautions, unless they took to the trees entirely for travel - too slow a process to be feasible.

    Another howl confirmed Baingil's suspicions. Dincairwen ran over and asked if the wolves attacked elves; Baingil nodded silently, her eyes glancing about, listening to the rustling in the undergrowth around them, a shifting shape here, an eye that blinked here and back. She was about to give an order when Dincairwen yelled for Feowen to move and loosed an arrow at a wolf.

    Baingil drew her dagger with a swift motion. She turned to eye Dincairwen as the elleth started commanding everyone. She laid her free hand on the other elleth's shoulder and shook her head, then glanced around to the others. "Everyone to the trees!" she said in a clear, commanding tone. "Once you get far enough above the wolves shoot to kill. I'll hold them off while everyone climbs, so hurry." She stepped forward, under a low-hanging branch she could grasp if necessary, her arms at her sides, her dagger grasped in her right hand. "Here, little pups, you want a bite?" she said in a sing-song tone. "Come to Baingil, there's a good boy!" she said to one in the bushes in front of her. "Good doggies! I just love little wolfies." She smiled, a slightly wolfish grin. The wolves should be able to understand her; and that sort of talk would hopefully make them focus on her while the rest of her guard made their way up the trees. From here she could swing up into the tree she was under to escape, if necessary.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:45 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  38. Aranadhel's Avatar
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    #38
    AranadhelMirkwood forest

    The older Noldo could not hide his frustration when Cair had told him she did not have a spare sword with her and he cursed Morgoth silently that he was ill prepared in terms of weaponry. An errand that was meant to be of a peaceful situation had suddenly turned into a nightmare for an elf as experienced as him, what with him being clad in light armor instead of the usual heavy armored weapon bearing Noldor soldiers were renowned for in Middle Earth.

    He stopped when Cair stopped and he interrupted not the conversation between Baingil and her concerning a threat was coming close. All of a sudden the silent and stealth elves were confronted with evil wolves that had popped out as if from thin air and tonight it seemed the carnivores that found their meal of the day. When Cair had given the command he quickly took a stance next to her and prepped his arrow on the bow and let loose in the dark, knowing it would strike a clean kill towards the animals. But then Baingil, the Mirkwood chief guard summoned them all to climb unto the trees out of harm's way.

    Aran grimaced at that, knowing full well that climbing up trees even after Three Ages has and will not be his cup of tea. The Noldor were heavier than their woodland kin and not only that were not well versed in guerilla combat in the forests, being more adept at fighting in open fields. Aran beckoned the other Mirkwood elves to climb up as he adjusted his footing and looked for a reasonable tree to climb upon. Alas, it was not meant to be when he suddenly found himself tackled to the ground by a wolf as it tries to gnaw at him. Aran had dropped his bow by then and using one hand to try snap shut the canine's mouth he tried to reach for his dagger which was strapped to his boot with his free hand.

    He was unsuccessful and by this time Aran was beginning to tire as the wolf was much stronger than he had anticipated, knowing full well one wrong move could be fatal to the Noldo. He was pinned to the ground literally and screamed in pain when another wolf emerged from the shadows and buried its teeth on his free arm. Aran's left hand was still clasping the other wolf's jaw shut and he without hesitation quickly let go and jabbed the eye of the other wolf that was adamant to rip his arm off. It did the trick as it scurried not too far away howling in pain at its blinded eye but the other wolf then attacked him again. Aran was now in a crouching position, right arm bleeding from the bite but he unsheathed his dagger using his other arm and threw it at the wolf, hitting it on the skull and the wolf lay dead seconds later. This situation was getting out of hand for him. The blood trickling off his arm now made him a prime bait to the other wolves, who knows how many were lurking around the elves. The one eyed wolf was now focused on him, waiting to pounce for the second time avenging its lost eye. Aran kept still but vigilant of his surroundings, he could not retrieve his dagger nor was he near his bow and he was now weaponless. Both staring at each other, waiting for the time to strike. Aran gnawed his teeth in pain as the injured arm kept spewing out blood.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:44 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  39. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #39
    Bodgolas - Mirkwood forest.

    Bodgolas had spent the first few days of the journey lost in broken hearted day dreams which sometimes ended with him being rapturously reunited with his lost love, and sometimes with her weeping over his own untimely but heroic death. He floated along silently keeping up with the others in a dismal state of melancholy, barely taking much notice of his surroundings. He instinctively hated the dark and unkempt forest of Mirkwood which his people the Galadhrim named Taur-e-Ndaedelos - the forest of great fear and wondered how the elves of Mirkwood could bear it.

    It was on the third day, as they changed course to the south that he eventually woke up to himself – realising with a sudden complete clarity of understanding the true nature of their mission – and the likelihood that things were about to get dangerous very quickly. It was just as well that he did snap out of his useless state of self absorption – as shortly after they were attacked by wolves. There was only a bare space of directionless uncertainty between hearing the first howls and the sudden rush for the trees when Baingil countermanded Dincairwen’s initial instructions and made herself the bait – attempting to distract the evil beasts while the others climbed trees and got their bows ready. Bodgolas was glad of the fitness training that he had received lately – (which coincidentally had had included quite a bit of tree climbing!) as despite being a Galadhrim and well accustomed to living in and among the trees, he had never yet in his short life had to escape a pack of wolves by climbing. This was an entirely new experience. The old adage “Where the warg howls there also the orc prowls” came to his mind as he quickly shinned up the nearest tree, reaching for his bow and getting an arrow ready.

    To his dismay an older elf, Aran, clad in armour was not so quick up the trees and was immediately set upon by wolves right under his tree. Bodgolas was unexpectedly filled with outrage as he heard Aranadhel screaming in pain and saw blood spurting from the injured warrior’s arm. Aran was bravely fighting back and partially blinded one of the wargs – but lost his only weapon in the process. There was no time to lose and in a flash of inspiration Bodgolas hurled his heavy pack out of the tree onto the injured wolf’s head just as it was preparing to attack again, buying them both a few more moments. Pulling his own sword free he found himself jumping down out of the tree landing unexpectedly upright beside the Noldorian elf.

    Can you climb? I will try and hold them back while you gain the branches” he offered – faintly amazed to find himself in action rather than hiding up in the branches. There was no time to ask where this sudden fighting spirit had come from as all around on the forest floor were encircling wolves looking for a meal – or worse. He held out his sword trying to keep a lookout in every direction –waiting to see if Aran was able to climb with his injured arm.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:44 AM.

  40. Morgan la Fée's Avatar
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    #40
    Feowen
    Mirkwood forest


    As their march brought them deeper into the gloomier parts of the forest, Feowen noticed the tension rise in the group, and conversation sprung up among the guards, eager to ease it, no doubt. Feowen saw Nethalion hurry ahead to catch up with the lead, but stayed in her position, making sure to take note when Baingil adjusted their course to the south-west. She looked on with no little astonishment as Baingil paused to show something to Manwathiel. Athelas, Feowen saw as Baingil held it up. A peculiar moment to choose for a field medicine brush-up, Feowen thought, not having been keeping up with what was said. She could appreciate the tip, however -- anything to acquaint herself better with the forest. Getting her cue from the head of the group, Feowen automatically slowed her pace, too, and turned more of her attention to the undergrowth, wondering what other useful things she might encounter there.

    Feowen must have underestimated her own desire to relieve the gloom of the atmosphere by any mundane task – almost pleasant, in fact, as, however much not a healer she was, looking for the right herbs was too much like a game of hide-and-seek for her not to enjoy. Engrossed, she failed to identify the first warning sound for what it was, and when the second came, the precious seconds have been lost. Feowen froze as the howling sounded again, and a moment of complete stillness followed. "Well, that is really a bad case of group thinking," she muttered under her breath, as she began slowly, so as not to provoke an attack earlier than necessary, to turn to face the forest. She was greeted by the glint of eyes in the gloom, lunging at her, and, before she could act, she felt more than heard the push of an arrow through the air behind her, accompanied by a call from Dincairwen, “Feowen, move!” In other circumstances Feowen would have been the first to leap at the wolf with her dirk at the ready, but now she left go of her grip on the handle, keeping it sheathed, as she pulled her limbs in, crouching, and rolled back over her head to avoid the arrow.

    Coming up on her feet, still facing the forest, the other elves at her back, Feowen could see the arrow went through the wolf’s shoulder, not quite finishing him. Sweeping her sword from its scabbard, Feowen took advantage of its momentary confusion, pivoted to the side as it lunged again, and, gripping the sword in both hands, brought it down upon the wolf’s neck, shearing it clear off. As she did, she heard Dincairwen call out orders to form and fight. Now that was an order after Feowen’s own heart, but she fleetingly wondered what her captain was doing, letting the Galadhrim take the lead. Her question was answered a second later, as a different set of orders rang out in Baingil’s voice. Feowen shook her head, frowning, and looked over her shoulder at the others, simultaneously checking out which of the nearest trees would be best for herself.

    It was a shame to lose time climbing and waiting for a clear line of sight from above when her sword was already out and she was ready to fight. However, she did not doubt which order she had to follow, and she moved towards one of the trees, preparing to swing herself up. Presently she heard a scream from Aranadhel, another Galadhrim, as he was attacked by two wolves nearer to the bulk of the group. The ellon managed to fight off one of them, wounding him in the eye, but the other has already gotten its teeth into his arm, and he was struggling. Not done yet, Feowen thought, and dashed to the one-eyed wolf, getting her dirk out. Armed with sword in her right, and dirk in her left hand, Feowen felt complete, and the peculiar music of battle rang in her head, as it always did, no matter who she fought. True, it even pained her a little that the poor beasts had to die, corrupted as they were by the evil from the south. There was no time for philosophical ponderings, however, and there was no room in Feowen’s mind for anything but what was immediately important in the moment: speed, decisiveness, a firm grip on her blades.

    Before she could attack the wolf to distract it from Aranadhel, a bulky shape fell out of the tree straight on its head, followed by an elf leaping down from the tree. Feowen could see it was Bogdolas, coming back down to help Aranadhel despite having already climbed up a tree. Beautiful sense of loyalty, Feowen thought with a hint of irritation. If only he'd have thought to use his arrows instead of his travelpack, we'd be going somewhere. She was already upon the one-eyed wolf, and there was no sense in stopping now. Bogdolas would keep Aranadhel covered, and everyone knows a wounded beast is not to be toyed with. .

    The wolf sensed her coming, turning half-way to meet her with his good right eye, but it kept looking back, edging towards Aranedhel, whose arm was bleeding profusely. Eager to exploit the distraction of the creature, Feowen lunged at the wolf’s right side with her dirk, probing, and his teeth snapped inches from her hand as she fell back again. The wolf whirled to his right to face her attack, but Feowen circled away, and took another jab further down his right flank, with her sword arm this time for better reach. The wolf snarled and chased her, as if it is were chasing its tail, while Feowen drew her blade back and let him pass her, herself turning on the spot in the opposite direction. She dashed to his left, blind side, and buried her sword in its neck. The wolf howled hideously in pain, and started thrashing and moving its muzzle about, trying to get at her. Dancing to keep up with its erratic movements and parrying with her dirk as best she could, Feowen braced her weight lightly against the wolf’s side, and pulled her blade out, simultaneously twisting it to maximize the damage. The beast whimpered, and died.

    Sparing a glance at her companions, she saw the fight was nowhere near done, yet she could see no clear target. She was also torn between obeying Baingil's orders and killing something that wasn't conveniently weakened down for her. Finally the urge to fight won, and Feowen darted to the group of wolves drawn by Baingil's baiting. Perhaps lending the captain a hand she could gracefully avoid being reprimanded for insubordination. This is mind, Feowen engaged the nearest wolf, keeping to her tactic of baiting him and whirling out of the reach of his teeth. This one, in possession of a pair of perfectly good, perfectly malicious eyes would take a little longer to wear out, so she put all her focus to the task.




  41. Aduchil's Avatar
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    #41


    In eastern Lórien

    The mood could not help but assume a grim mantle as Aduchil hinted of Dol Guldur. He was reluctant to speak its name, but even so the thought could not be avoided. Hearing Sailacel speak to him, Aduchil looked over his shoulder to catch her eyes and he nodded at her, to signal that he understood. She was one of the newcomers to the Guard and Aduchil could not know how she might react; but her willingness bode well, at least. He turned to look ahead again, watching the forest grow thin as they neared its edge. It would not be long before they would be out in the open, and then came Mirkwood; neither place offered much cover or protection. Aduchil was not known in Mirkwod, but he had gathered many cautionary tales of its danger. He felt a touch on his shoulder and turned to look. The growing worry on Naur's face made him pause and he nodded a few times to indicate that he was ready to listen, while he slowed down his pace to fall behind a few steps.

    He heard in her voice the same reluctance towards speaking the very name of Dol Guldur. Naur quickened her words as they rushed from her, making her concern appear even stronger.
    "Calm yourself," Aduchil said quietly when he found the chance to interrupt her. She finished speaking, giving word to the dread that was slowly enveloping all their hearts. Aduchil could almost feel their collective courage slip from his grasp and he knew he had to act. "I kept Dol Guldur to myself because I thought it best to only share such knowledge with those courageous few who dared step forward at my request, even forward into the unknown," Aduchil said, emphasising the bravery of those who stood by him now. He was tempted to mention that Celeborn himself had approved this mission, but decided against it; his warriors were to trust him in the field, following his command, and they should have that trust on his name alone. "Lórien needs this task done," Aduchil continued. "I would not have devised it if I thought any Elf here incapable of returning with success," he added, wanting to stress his faith in his band of warriors.

    He raised his voice slightly to be better heard, while increasing his speed to once more walk at the front of the column. "This task must be done - more than you could know hinges upon it. I accepted the services of each of you; you would not be here if I doubted your prowess," Aduchil spoke with determination, wanting to erase any lingering doubt. He walked on with strong strides, exuding confidence to the best of his ability as he led the group forward. Ahead of him, he saw where the forest gave way to the open plain between Lórien and Mirkwood. It would take some hours to cross that, most likely, and then they would once more be in the woods, albeit those that were fraught with danger. Raising his hand to signal a break, Aduchil turned and spoke. "Rest for a few minutes, drink and eat," he said and took out his own flask of water. "We will cross the open land into Mirkwood, and pick up the pace; from now on we are no longer safe, regardless of where we go." Drinking from his flask and encouraging the other Elves to likewise refresh themselves, he motioned for Naur to approach him and follow him a few steps away from the others.

    If somebody had concerns, it was Aduchil's method to handle them privately. In public, he felt it his duty to keep the impression of certainty. The captain might have endless concerns of his own; but it was his burden to shoulder that responsibility, his duty to resolve them. And the soldiers, if they were to be expected to carry out their orders, needed to know their commanders were capable of whatever task lay ahead. Therefore Aduchil retreated slightly to speak with Naur and impress this upon her. As she approached him, he turned around to lock his gaze on her, fully aware of the height difference between them. "All you have said, I know. Each obstacle ahead, whether it be the strength of the enemy or the doubts of our own. I understand you have concerns, but you leave yourself vulnerable if you keep your mind on them rather than orders given to you," Aduchil said. "The duty of defending Lórien falls first and foremost to me, its captain," he continued, biting on his lip as he felt that burden weigh on him momentarily. "Along with that duty comes the doubt of how to carry it out. That is not your duty. Leave the concerns to me, and trust that I will have them handled; and I, in turn, will trust that when I ask of you to perform a task, you will do so to perfection."

    Aduchil was tempted to add that he knew the situation was hardly ideal; it would be a relief to break the facade and admit his own doubts. But he could so once this was over; right now, the situation required that he was a captain, not himself.
    "You said you trust me; it is time for your trust to speak louder than your doubt. Whatever lies ahead, I not only ask but expect that will be the case," he said, still with his unfaltering eyes on Naur. Then, to soften any harsness in his words, he placed his hand on her shoulder. He motioned for them to rejoin the others and they did so quickly, moving the few steps back to where the others were waiting. Looking at them each in turn, from Sailacel to Miruiel to Beltayn, Aduchil knew it was time to explain the next step. The precise plans and missions for each he would wait with until the Elves of Mirkwood were present; but he could explain a little more now.

    "It is time we cross the plain between here and Mirkwood," Aduchil said, pointing towards the north-east. "We may not reach the meeting point today; if so, we will have to spend the night in Mirkwood and reach it tomorrow. Our meeting point is with a contigent of Elves from Thranduil's halls. If you were worried that we would do this alone, low in strength, be not. We will draw upon the woodcraft and knowledge that our northern brethren have of their own forest," Aduchil said, hoping this knowledge would encourage his people. Putting away his flask after one last sip, Aduchil beckoned for them all to be ready and continue their march. Then he turned towards the north-east and set into a quick marching pace, leaving Lórien.

    GM note for Lórien group, here.



  42. Gh0st!'s Avatar
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    #42
    Nethalion
    Mirkwood Forest


    Nethalion responded to Manwathiel who interjected and questioned his conversation with Dincairwen. "There was no deep significance in what I said," he informed her. "I was just making conversation with a friend. Conversation that would be more free and joyful if the situation were less dangerous." He turned and listened to Baingil when she informed them that if it was not for her own leisurely strolling, there would have been useful things about the forest that she had not noticed. Nethalion smiled, then turned back to Cair. "I will visit Lorien again, I promise," he said, then answered her question. "I was part of the expedition, yes. However I did not make it the whole way. Circumstances led to me being split up from the group, and I did not reach the stronghold myself."

    He would have explained more, but suddenly the tension in the group spiked when the howl of a wolf was heard in the distance. All thoughts of conversation left his mind as he focused on the situation. His heart jumped more when he heard other howls, now closer and from different directions. They were indeed being surrounded. Time seemed to speed up much too quickly, and all of a sudden the young guard found himself back to back with the other guards with his bow held out ready to attack. He had not expected a battle so far out from Dol Guldur. But it was Mirkwood, anything really did need to be expected. The plan changed quickly though when Baingil called for them all to take to the trees then bravely went about distracting the wolves and taunting them to attack her. He followed the order quickly, finding a tall tree that was easily climbable and had good spots to fire from. The quicker they all got into the trees, the less time the chief guard would have to spend dodging the wolves.

    Nethalion
    found a spot and readied himself to take aim at the wolves. But he became shocked to see that Aranadhel was wasting time on the ground beckoning other elves to climb the trees, when they had already been ordered to do so anyway. He became even more shocked when Aranadhel was tackled by a wolf and pinned to the ground. The Galadhrim soldier fought valiantly, but was never out of severe danger. Nethalion would have shot by now, but already Bodgolas had dropped from the tree in response, and Feowen remained on the ground to help. He would not put them in danger by firing arrows so close to them. He instead chose to shoot at the other wolves that were now encroaching from a distance. They had to be maintained before they got too close to the guards on the ground. He shot one wolf twice in the face and it went down writhing in agony. He shot another in the shoulder, before being distracted by the sight of Feowen disobeying orders and charging towards more wolves on the ground. The situation had become more disorganised than it needed to have become, and Nethalion found himself frustrated by that fact. He nocked another arrow and loosed it, hitting the wolf he had previously shot in the shoulder. The arrow struck it in the neck, and blood began to pour out in a horribly violent manner.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:47 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  43. Morwen Daegomir's Avatar
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    #43
    Manwathiel Raenmin
    Mirkwood

    Manwathiel
    was unsurprised at the way Dincairwen’s eyes narrowed sharply at her in response to her ill placed words. However, the elleth said nothing, and before she could say something in an attempt at salvaging the situation, the Captain of the Guard spoke up suddenly, apparently having moved back toward them during the conversation. And neither did she seem overly pleased with Manwathiel’s sharp tongue. Baingíl made a good point upon the value of ‘leisurely strolls’, and she had no reason to refute it. She had not been trying to create an argument or ill feelings by any means. However, it seemed her very presence was able to do that for her with little effort. She really did have to work on that.

    “A well thought out point, Captain. I could not dispute so reasonable a claim.” The half-elleth stated grimly, bowing her head slightly in acknowledgement of the Chief Guard’s words. Perhaps she had judged the young ellon too harshly and too quickly. Well, she already knew that; she had no reason to be so easily irritated by him. And she still did not know his name. As though her thoughts had been some sort of signal, he (Nethalion) spoke up in response to her biting remark. He was explaining he had merely been making conversation with a friend, and then continued on to speak of conversation being free and joyful under better circumstances.

    Manwathiel bit her tongue on another remark; but could not help her thoughts. Free and joyful? Conversation? The hardened half-elleth did not understand how the descriptors could possibly be used in the same context as such a creation as conversation. She did not understand conversation in the least; and as could already be seen, she failed at it quite miserably. Reports she could give, any information to be sifted through, the types of things that required cold analysis and logic; these were her forte. But casual conversation? She suppressed a shudder. It would be better to be tossed into the pits of Mordor for a century. But this train of thought was getting her nowhere. Now she had to try to clean up the mess she had made. Why could she not have simply introduced herself and asked his name? Where was the difficulty in that? But she knew the answer to that question already. Long years of lonely wandering and untrustworthy ‘comrades’ were the difficulty in that. Unfortunately, the fates were truly not on her side this day, for as she turned to (Nethalion) to speak, her ears picked out the sound of a wolf howling not far off. The half-elleth froze in place, her hand flying to her bow. She listened a few more moments, and sure enough, another howl cut through the wood.

    The experienced warrior did not move, however, but instead simply shifted her gaze to the Chief Guard, awaiting orders. It would do no good to lose one’s head now. It was not fear that would cause her to lose it, she knew. Instead, the adrenaline rush that she could feel beginning to take over her system would be the cause of her downfall if she let such instinct take over. Even now she wished for the wolves to appear, thirsted for it; her eyes were alit with a dangerous cold fire that would not be doused. But she contained herself, and the icy fire raged behind her clear green eyes, barely restrained. She had years of practice at keeping iron clad control on herself, and there would be no exception today. Thus, despite the fire in her blood that told her to meet the enemy head on, she heard Captain Baingíl’s orders to take to the trees, and did so immediately, glancing quickly to make sure the young ellon (Nethalion) had made it to safety. It occurred to her to wonder why she had looked for him in particular, but then dismissed it as simply being worried for the fate one so young. After all, he had hardly begun to live his life. She would by no means be considered old by the standards of the elves herself, but she had certainly lived longer than this youthful ellon. With some inexplicable feeling of relief, she noted he had made to a relatively safe perch. Manwathiel quickly ascended a nearby tree herself, and then established herself properly so she could draw her bow and aid in the battle below.

    Her attention was quickly drawn to one of the other soldiers, Aranadhel, had decided to stay on the ground instead of following orders to go into the trees and fire from that vantage point, as the Chief Guard had ordered. She herself was already risking her life on the ground to buy them time, but apparently he saw fit to do the same. What does he think he is doing? Manwathiel thought, feeling a different kind of irritation bubble up inside of her. He is going to get himself killed, and possibly the - Her thought cut off abruptly as she saw a dark shape fall heavily from another tree, and an ellon (Bodgolas) leap down in an apparent attempt to aid Aranadhel. This was getting entirely too far out of hand. Now even more lives were being put in danger because this first ellon chose to not follow orders and instead make some ill-conceived attempt at heroism. The half-elleth’s green eyes glinted stonily. She had little patience for such things. They cost lives. There had certainly been no logical reasoning behind that foolhardy move.

    Manwathiel noted another elleth, (Feowen), who had been almost out of danger, now joining the fray with Aranadhel. Did he not see what he had done? He was putting his companions in danger because he had made a foolish emotion based decision. She fired another arrow down amongst the wolves, but it was getting difficult, as there were so many of her own comrades mixed in with the wolves, despite her more than adequate aim with a bow, she worried about hitting one of them instead. A hiss of frustration escaped her, and she swung her red-gold braid back over her shoulder angrily. If everyone had been able to follow orders and get up in the trees in the first place, this would not have been a problem. Drawing back and searching for another target, she let loose another arrow, wondering how on earth the situation could be salvaged.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:54 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  44. Aranadhel's Avatar
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    #44
    AranadhelMirkwood

    The Noldo was oblivious to his surrounding at present, just clenching his right fist to suppress the pain coming from his bleeding arm. The wolf stared at him maniacally and he kept his focus, thinking of how to kill this beast. He kept his position in a defensive mode when suddenly a backpack hit the head of the one eyed wolf and Bogdolas, one of the Silvan warrior leapt down from a tree near Aran and asked if he could climb up a tree in his present state.

    Aran merely nodded and rose to his full height and gathered quickly his dagger and bow, knowing Bogdolas was covering for him. Now, while he was sheathing back his dagger and placing his bow on his back, albeit with a bit of difficulty with the state of his right arm the one eyed wolf which had its head pinned by the heavy backpack is now being engaged by another Mirkwood warrior, Feowen. He eyed her precision in engaging the aforementioned wolf and killing it with expertise and noted that Thranduil's people were far more adept in this kind of fight.

    He then said to Bogdolas Cover me! and he rushed to Feowen's side and nudged her shoulder and said Up the trees now! Go! He saw a branch that was perfect for him to climb up on using one arm and hurled himself up with great difficulty but at last was now crouched upon the same branch, now getting an aerial view of the wolves. He then said to Bogdolas You too, quick! The danger was not over yet though, blood pouring out still and dripping to the ground below. He looked at the other elves up on the branches and after spotting Baingil he said to her out loud still in painWhose the healer from your rank? Aran was used to pain and suffering, having been a warrior since the First Age but getting bit by a wolf was entirely new to him. He did not if the bite would be contagious but elves were more battle hardened in mind and spirit when compared to Men and they do not die from pestilence but poison was a different matter altogether and who knows what infections these hounds of Sauron bore in their system.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:59 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  45. Dincairwen's Avatar
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    #45
    Dincairwen
    Mirkwood

    In the back of her mind, Cair was a little taken aback that Baingil immediately countermanded her order to fight on the ground. Not that she had time to be upset about it. She shrugged her annoyance and Bain's hand off and obeyed the order to take to the trees. She turned without pause and sprinted for the nearest tree. Grasping the lowest branch, she jumped up and swung her weight onto it. None of the wolves had followed her, so she made it with a comfortable margin. As she climbed one branch higher and settled herself against the trunk with a clear line of vision to fire from, she saw why they had not followed her. Aranadhel had paused on the ground to repeat Bain's order to the others, as if they had not heard.

    Before she had any time to react, Bodgolas and Feowen came to his rescue, staying on the ground in defiance of their captain's order. An arrow flew toward the wolves attacking them, and Cair glanced to where it came from to see Nethalion's face through the branches. The three elves on the ground managed to fight off the wolves, and Cair shouted "Get up in the trees! Now!" to them as she nocked an arrow and fired at another beast approaching them. This was turning into a much worse situation than it would have otherwise been. Green eyes narrowed in concentration, she let her arrow fly to hit a wolf directly in the throat. If there was anything she was good at, it was hitting her target.

    Aranadhel
    managed to make it up a tree, and instead of waiting until the fight ended, distracted Baingil by shouting at her, asking who their healer was. "I am!" Cair snapped loudly in his direction as she took aim again, leaning forward on her branch. Her calm demeanor, so rarely frazzled, was evaporating quickly regarding him. He had deliberately not obeyed his superior officers immediately, and was now distracting others and putting them at risk. "I will take care of you-" she shot at another wolf, her arrow hitting it in the shoulder with a dull thud- "when we're done!"

    Without looking at him again, she selected another target, a beast that was approaching Baingil where she was on the ground, from a direction that the elleth may not have been able to see him from. "Tiro!*" She called out to her, firing although she lacked an ideal shot. Her arrow grazed the wolf's hindquarters, hopefully distracting it long enough for Bain to finish it off. She fired twice more, using her arrows to give Bain the time she needed to retreat into the trees. There were a number of wolf corpses littered in the area, elven arrows sprouting from their bodies. More wolves remained. Cair estimated their numbers to be about half a dozen, with 3 or 4 already down.

    If they continued to attack their job would be easy, but once the elves were all in the trees, Cair hoped they would not take cover and simply wait for them to come down from a distance. They would be treed if that happened. That had been the logic behind staying on the ground, in her mind. To draw them all out instead of allowing the opportunity to escape or keep them pinned down. Reaching behind her back, she pulled her quiver forward to hang on a nearby branch, counting her arrows. She had around 20 left. Hopefully they would last, and she would be able to retrieve her spent arrows once this was over.

    *(Watch out!)

    GM Note: One more post of fighting, then we'll assess damages, clean up, and move on.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:59 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  46. Sillandhas
    Mirkwood

    Insanity, Sillandhas thought, appalled that Aranadhel that disobeyed a direct order ; one would expect that low-ranking warriors would adhere to the chain of command, do as told. And now, because of his brash need to butcher any enemy without thought to self-preservation, he was endangering comrades who risked their lives to aid him. But he couldn't think about disrespect and ignorance of protocol right now - he had to rivet his attention on the grim, dangerous situation.From his perch in the trees, Sillandhas closed his left eye which wasn't his dominant and chose one of the attacking wolves to stop ; the running, snarling beast was approaching the Elves.

    Though the altercation was becoming less violent now, Sillandhas still needed to remain calm and in control of his breathing as he pulled back back, arrow already knocked on the bowstring. He loosed his shot, impaling the wolf through its hind leg. The creature whelped and howled as he thrashed against the leaf-strewn ground. Sillandhas plucked another arrow from out of his quiver ; because he was right-handed, the Silvan-Sinda warrior used the opposite hand to grasp the shaft. Sillandhas rotated the shaft of the arrow so that the fletchings were perpendicular to the bow, pointing towards the archer, and knocked the weapon on the bowstring so that the body of the missile was parallel to the ground.

    He took aim now, extending his bow hand towards the target, aimed for the wolf's throat ; it was moving, bucking in agony, but Sillandhas' form was still perfectly alligned and he was at peace..... Sillandhas fired. The arrow sped through the air and pierced the fell animal's throat, dropping it dead. Sillandhas waited for orders, choosing to remain in the tree until Dincairwen or Bain said to shimmy down the trunk. Good thing I took this bow, he thought with an inward laugh ; he was used to fighting with swords but because of his training with Mirima, Sillandhas had begun practicing archery. He equipped himself with bow before leaving with his companions today.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 06:59 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  47. Baingíl Randír's Avatar
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    #47
    Baingíl Randír
    Chief Guard of Thranduil
    Mirkwood Forest

    Baingil had little time to pay attention to her guards, as the wolf she had been watching in the bushes in front of her sprang suddenly, enraged by the Chief Guard's taunting. Baingil praised Eru for her quick reflexes as she raised her dagger to meet the wolf's spring, embedding it in the soft, grey fur of its shoulder, leaning a bit to one side to avoid the sharp, angry teeth. She raised a foot to kick the heavy body away from her, leaving it to whimper in pain for a moment as she whirled to meet the attack of another wolf that lunged at her.

    The area around Baingil suddenly turned into a bedlam of snarling, angry wolves, most of which were heading for Baingil attempting to get a bite. The elleth frowned as she took a second to draw one of the concealed knives to hold in her other hand, having to jump aside suddenly as a wolf's mouth snapped shut on the air where her hip had been a moment earlier. She slashed the hilt of the newly-drawn knife downward against the spot where the wolf's spine connected to its skull, having no time to orient it correctly; there was a crack and the wolf toppled. She had little time to contemplate this, however, as she had to turn back to slash at another that dodged the blow. It was almost as if she were dancing as she dodged back and forth, her dagger and knife flashing in the air, turning around and around.

    She turned to check, to make sure that all her guards had reached safety, when she spotted Feowen and Bodgolas coming to the assistance of an injured elf. Her heart leaped to her throat as she turned back to swipe her dagger at a springing wolf, then whirled again to look at check on the situation. The injured elf seemed to be Aranadhel, the Lorien guard who apparently served under Dincairwen. A little pride rose in her throat at the fact that these new members of her guard were taking the initiative to help the fellow, and were apparently doing well - and then another lunging wolf blocked her view, and Baingil had to go back to fighting.

    Things were beginning to go badly. Wolves surrounded her; some were being picked off by the archers in the trees, but there were still far too many for one elleth with two short blades. She had not expected any elves to remain on the ground for so long; she was used to her orders being followed, and no one should have been attacked after such taunting of the wolves.

    She heard a calling from the trees - the voice of the injured elf. She turned to look just as a wolf sprang for her; distracted, she managed to dodge, but its teeth grazed her shoulder as it did so. She bit her lip against the pain and whirled with a flash of her blades to dispatch it.

    The wolf dodged to one side as the dagger flashed down toward it, and Baingil's hand swiped through empty air; she stepped forward to go after it when she heard a cry to watch out. She turned just in time to put her knife through the eye of a wolf that sprang for her with an uneven gait. She glanced upward and prepared to grasp the branch above her and swing herself into the tree - when she spotted Feowen. The elleth still had not climbed upward.

    "FEOWEN! Climb a tree NOW!" Baingil almost roared, moving her foot just in time to avoid having her ankle bitten. She was out of time. She threw the knife at the wolf nearest Feowen, hopefully giving the elleth time to run for the nearest tree, then used her good hand to grasp the tree branch - half supporting herself with the injured arm, her teeth digging into her lip even more - and swung herself onto it, hanging there for only a moment before she was standing with the ease of long experience and leaping for a branch a little higher up.

    Not too much higher, though. She wanted to keep the wolves in the open, where her elves could shoot at them; and teasing them was much more likely to do this. Much as she ached to bring her own bow down from her shoulder, she left it; that would just make them flee. Besides, despite her pride in her aim, her shoulder ached; she would need to bandage it before she would entirely trust her shooting. She made her way a bit farther out onto the branch then sat on it, dangling a leg down, just an inch or so out of reach of the wolves.

    "Awww, look at all the little puppies all playing at being big and scary," she called down to them. "Aren't you guys so cute. Can't even take care of one elf. Gonna run home to your mommies and cry about it, are you?" She swung her leg up as a wolf leaped at it, then dangled it again. Hopefully her elves would take care of things now...
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 07:03 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  48. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #48
    Bodgolas
    Mirkwood Forest

    It seemed that chaos reigned for a while after the first attack of the wolves - but gradually the elves in the trees began to fire arrows keeping the enemy occupied and distracted and then Feowen also appeared beside him and finished off the injured wolf. Bodgolas found himself strangely dissapointed that he had not had the opportunity to despatch the animal himself (considering that he wasn't really sure how one went about disembowling a wolf) - but then remembered that the was part of a team, and all that mattered was the elimination of the immediate threat. It didn't matter who slew what as long as the group achieved it's objective. Aranadhel seemed able to climb the tree despite his injury so when the leaders, Dincairwen and Baingil, repeated their orders to climb Bodgolas grabbed his pack off the ground and quickly sheathed his sword. Hoisting his bow and pack over his shoulder so he could climb back up the tree Bodgolas swung himself up onto a branch. It was quite difficult to hold, as the branch was slippery with the blood of Aranadhel. Bodgolas almost tore an arm muscle trying to adjust his grip and then he scrabbled upwards as best he could to the leafy place of safety where Sillandhas and Manwathiel were now firing arrows at the wolves. Once up in the branches he braced himself, located his bow and then found an arrow from his quiver - feeling all fingers and thumbs. There were plenty of wolf targets prowling below, so he took his time before firing, trying to relax his quivering muscles, his heart still pumping adrenalin from his recent moments of action. Exhaling slowly he released the arrow and had the satisfaction of seeing it hit it's mark, killing the beast . There would be time for reflection later - but strangely after the last few minutes of action and danger Bodgolas felt like a warrior at last - not his usual shy and clumsy self at all. He found another arrow, nocked it and looked for a second target.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 07:05 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  49. Aranadhel's Avatar
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    #49
    Mirkwood forest

    Aran looked over at Baingil as she was concentrating with cooing the wolves on the ground and saw that Bogdolas, who had saved his life hoist himself up a tree. Aran was glad that in the end everyone was safe and sound barring him. He however did not expect an answer to come up from a different voice from a different tree and as he was in a bit of daze he eyed Cair on one the trees nearby. But of course! he said to himself, having forgotten that his fellow kin was also in this group and that she was a healer as well.
    Aran gave a bird call to her, hoping she'd get the message that he'd understood her command and waited on his tree for her to treat his wound. The branch he was on is now filled with dark blood as was his bow. Aran tried to take out an arrow albeit with a bit of difficulty with the state of his right arm but he managed somehow to nock it on the bow and released it, killing a wolf down below him as it gave a yelp and rolled over on its side and die. He tried to take out another arrow but because it felt so painful using his right arm it slipped between his fingers and fell down harmlessly on the ground.

    The other elves were doing a fine job killing as many wolves as can be found in this dreaded forest and he mused that of all evil beings he had encountered in the past 7000 years of his life this was his first time having had to face these fierce canines. He vowed to be more careful next time and noted that having a spear or sword would have been a better bet in killing them at short range.

    As he looked down again the elleth Feowen still has not gone up a tree branch as Baingil ordered her fiercely. He'd made a mental note to thank both Bogdolas and Feowen for helping in killing the one eyed wolf later when this skirmish is over. He gripped the dagger sheath in his right boot, suddenly aware that it is his only weapon at close quarter combat as he was not in a good state to shoot arrows. This angered him deeply, not because of his carelessness regarding being bitten by the wolf but by the fact that he had travelled the long journey from Lorien to Mirkwood unprepared, bringing with him only a light chain mail underneath his tunic and his dagger, bow and arrows as weapon. He wished for a moment that he was somewhere else but here. Something seemed not right in this forest and he wondered how the Silvan elves managed to find themselves a suitable place to live amongst whatever wretched beings that lay hidden around here.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 07:06 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  50. Haflin's Avatar
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    #50



    Beltayn
    East Lorien

    He stared off into the distance in the direction the Captain had pointed. Though Aduchil had not spoken directly where they were going, Beltayn knew he had a good reason for it. Amon Lanc it had been called at one time, Dol Guldur his people now knew it as. In the tongue of men it was the Hill of Dark Sorcery; the throne of the shadow for as far back as there was memory. Earlier he had contented himself to think that going there was just a dreadful possibility but to actually think that the group he was with was now headed towards there willingly? Beltayn felt a shadow pass over all of their hearts, he could sense the tension in the air as each warrior now realized the gravity of their errand. There was an evil in Dol Guldur that never slept, its very name was held in infamy with baited breath by men, elves, and dwarves alike. No being just simply went there on a whim!

    Beltayn
    shivered as he felt as though icy hands gripped his limbs and made them leaden with sudden fear; not fear of the evil that all knew slept there, fear of the unknown, of what lurked in the shadows. He had faced the darkness before, but never had he gone into its den, none had that he knew of and lived to tell the tale...All of these doubts swirled in his mind like angry hornets and for a few moments it took all the strength that Beltayn had to keep walking forwards with the rest of the group. He was snapped from his stupor by Naur's sudden interjection to the captain. As the two talked quietly, Beltayn could tell by the tone in Naur's voice that she was as taken aback as he.His left hand found the hilt of his sword and grabbed it tightly at his waist. With a push of will, he pushed the despair from his mind and the cold feeling of fear left him as suddenly as it had come. Instead he thought of what was at stake, he thought of his home, the realm they now walked through, what would happen to it if they gave into fear? He looked around him at the now unsure faces of his comrades, what would happen to them if he was not strong? Then and there he resolved to best the sudden dread that had nearly taken hold of him, he was familiar with the feeling but he had not felt it in a long time and never to such degree. The sudden proclamation by Aduchil reinforced his feeling of determination and as the captain met all of their eyes, Beltayn was sure to give as straight an expression as he could with a curt nod that signaled he was willing to follow the captain, no matter what end they came to; that was his duty now and he would follow it in good stead and in bad.The group moved on and soon they found the clearing that signaled the end of the golden realm. Aduchil called them to a halt for a small rest while he went to go talk with Naur a bit more, no doubt about the nature of their mission. the two seemed to have some sort of past together, but what it could entail was beyond Beltayn.

    All that he could think at the moment was that if Naur had doubts, what were the rest of them supposed to think of what they were doing? Trying to put this from his mind, Beltayn found a slender, silver tree trunk to sit against and cool himself in the shade of the canopy. He looked out to the open fields that lay between them and the great river, glaring at it as a fighter might size up an opponent. Only then did he recall his silent passenger who he moved to perch on his arm instead of his shoulder and moved the bird down so the two were eye level with each other. Beltayn smiled as he looked into the hawk's unblinking eyes. "Look at me, fretting over what has not come yet." He chuckled a bit. "You have no such fears do you my friend? No, your kind are more valiant than that, for you can see through the blackest shadow." He stood up, and, drawing the hawk close to him, whispered to it and then let her fly off into the empty sky above them where she cast her long shadow over the bare land before becoming but a dark speck in the sky. Beltayn watched her go for a few moments and then turned back to the others which he noticed were near as the captain and Naur returned. He stood there confidently, now heartened for a reason he could not be sure of, perhaps it was because this moment reminded him of the stories told to him by his father so long ago? Beltayn did not usually think about family, for it brought many sorrowful memories to him. But now, standing here, he felt his sire, who had stood beside Thingol in the Elder days, would have been proud of the nobility that he now felt with his bow and blade at his side. He smiled at the others, "Take heart warriors of Lorien, the enemy may use trickery most foul but they would need to find much stealthier servants than the yrch to fool the eyes of a hawk!" He said in a light tone, feeling the mood of hours ago needed to be lifted.As the five left their rest site and trod into the plains east of Lorien, Beltayn found his dark bow in his left hand. He felt much more ready for the unexpected now that he had a potential weapon in his hand, and now that they had left the safety of their home in favor of the dangerous path of duty, he knew he would need it soon. Looking back to the West and the line of golden boughs and silver trunks that he found so inviting and yet so sad, he felt a goodbye was appropriate, "Namárië, vanimelda Lorien! Ná Elbereth veria le..."* He whispered behind then and then never again looked back, only ahead. (*Farewell, fair Lorien, may Elbereth protect you...)
    Last edited by Haflin; 22/Dec/2012 at 05:04 AM.

  51. Morgan la Fée's Avatar
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    #51
    Feowen
    Mirkwood forest


    It took Feowen much longer than she would have liked to finish off the wolf, and she the only thing she could reasonably be grateful for was that Elves did not get dizzy - at least, not from dancing their way around a wolf. She heard repeated shouts from different directions to go up the trees, and couldn't help the beginnings of self-reproach in her heart. She would have to admit her hot head made her the bad guy in the outcome of a few too many situations. She ignored the shouts for the moment, however, in favour of diving down out of the way just as the wolf lunged at her, much slower than it had five minutes ago, and thrusting her sword upwards, finally killing the beast. Straightening up
    and to the side quickly, to avoid being crushed by the wolf's body, Feowen was acutely aware of the arrows whooshing through the air all around her. That would be the perfect time to get out of her comrades sight lines.

    Feowen glanced at Baingil, and not a second too early, because another shout rang out from the trees, and Baingil whirled on the spot, between one attacking wolf and another, to send a dagger into the eye of the one that was going to dig his teeth into her back a moment ago. She is fast, flashed through Feowen's mind, and she grinned despite the situation, Not letting herself be distracted, however, she charged the wolf that escaped Baingil's blade when she had to take of his charming furry brother, stopping it with one cut to his gut, swiping her sword down through the flesh two-handed, opening up the beast's belly.

    She was now the last one on the ground, of which fact Feowen was none too gently reminded by a harsh order from Baingil. "Climb a tree NOW!" Meeting the eyes of her captain for a split second, Feowen really hoped this would be the first and only time she would provoke anger from her.

    She dashed to the nearest tree, seeing out of the corner of her eye that something hit the wolf directly behind her. She made a mental note to retrieve the weapon for Baingil
    when this was over, pushed her sword back into the scabbard, and clambered up in a hurry, looking less like an elf and more like a hedgehog climbing a tree, she suspected. The tree had plenty of low branches but was not ideal for all that -- loo leafy, with scratchy bark -- she had to squeeze herself in among the branches at its center, and there wasn't enough room to shoot her bow. She heard Baingil's voice, baiting the wolves again, and ground her teeth in frustration. "I"m up!" Feowen cried out for good measure.

    At least she was out of the way now, and others could shoot without constraint; and it'd teach her to not tarry choosing her perch next time. She twisted on the spot, trying to get a good look at the scene. It seemed like everything was at last under control, but the branches were too tangled in places to see properly. She got out the dagger from her boot to keep company to the dirk, and got a good grip on the tree with her legs, preparing to throw both if any wolves appeared directly beneath her.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 07:08 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  52. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #52
    Miruiel - In eastern Lórien

    It seemed that the same leaden fear that burdened Miruiel’s heart was also causing some of her companions consternation. Beltayn attempted to get some information as to their objective out of Aduchil early on during their journey through the wood – and then later Naur voiced her concerns more forcefully. Although she could not hear all that was said between the captain and Naur it seemed that Aduchil was trying to re-assure her. He then signalled for them to stop and take a rest in a clearing at the borders of the Golden Wood, telling them they would be soon be crossing the river and the plains, heading for Mirkwood. So she had been right in her suspicions she thought, tensed with worry. She would much rather have been proved wrong!. Faced with the prospect of an encounter with the evil shadow of Amon Lanc she was beginning to doubt her own abilities – she had never yet fought an orc or even travelled far outside her land before. How would she cope if they were attacked? Would her recent weapons training be enough to save her life?

    Taking a deep breath she forced these negative feelings from her mind. Thinking like this was going to undermine her courage, and she needed to be strong. She reminded herself of her commitment to revenge her father’s death and her desire to protect her people and homeland. She would not give in to fear and doubt- but instead choose to fulfil her duty.

    She enviously watched Beltayn as he sat against a tree speaking softly to his hawk. Miruiel wished that she too could have an animal companion to share her thoughts with - although she had no idea which creature would suit her best. She had so far only really known bees and the minutiae of their peaceful co-operative world– rather like the peaceful society of the Galadhrim, before the threat of war had turned their paradise into an armed watchfulness.

    After Beltayn’s hawk took to the skies soaring far above them the silver haired warrior spoke aloud, encouraging them all to take heart. Miruiel decided she would stick close to him if things became truly desperate – as he seemed to be not only brave and unafraid but also experienced in battle. She wished she had his experience. Perhaps she was about to gain some on this expedition. Aduchil returned to the group and after informing them a little more of his plans, led them forward out of the land of Lorien. She heard Beltayn’s words of farewell, and in her heart she echoed his sentiments. Danger lay ahead.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 07:11 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  53. Dincairwen's Avatar
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    #53
    Dincairwen
    Mirkwood

    Cair was horrified to see Bain get bitten by a wolf when she was distracted. With renewed vigor she shot at the wolf, putting two arrows into it. Eventually their entire company was up in the trees, Feowen making it last. She allowed herself a quick feeling of relief before looking back to Bain, who was enticing the wolves to keep coming at them. Apparently the creatures were not clever, or they were just easily antagonized, because they ignored the arrows flying toward them and went for the captain.

    As she was pulling the string of her bow back to fire again, she felt herself start slipping from the branch she was on. The arrow flew wildly off-target as she quickly grasped the tree with both hands to steady herself. Served her right for being distracted and not making sure her own position was secure. She resettled, making sure her back was firmly pressed against the trunk, her legs steadying her on a lower branch. The trees here were not like the smooth mellyrn she was used to, and rather different to figure out.Once steadied, she narrowed her eyes and leaned forward, counting the wolves that were left. Only 3 now. The arrows of her fellow elves quickly took them down. Seeing all of the wolves either dead or dying, Cair climbed down the tree and leapt to the ground, landing in a crouch. She straightened and pulled her dagger out, using it to slit the throat of a downed wolf near her. Cair turned away as dark blood poured from the wound, still not entirely comfortable with the sight of it. One would think she would be after so long, but she never enjoyed it. These poor creatures had been twisted beyond all recognition by the darkness, and did deserve some pity.

    She approached the tree Bain was in and looked upward to her. "We're clear. Are you alright?" Cair looked around to the other trees, not sure exactly which ones contained elves. She knew at least Bain and Aranadhel had taken injuries. While waiting for the others to descend, she slipped her pack from her shoulders and opened it up to find her small healing kit. Not nearly as exhaustive as she would like, but she had the essentials.

    Finding a spot farther away from the corpses of the wolves, she set several vials and tools out, using one of them to sterilize her instruments. "Aranadhel, I would suggest coming down if you would like your wound treated." She called out to the elf, having not seen him yet. Bain would come over to be treated if she felt she needed it. Green eyes moved around the clearing, waiting for her errant Galadhrim to approach. She had several choice words to deliver to him, as well, which hopefully could be done relatively discreetly.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 07:12 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  54. Gh0st!'s Avatar
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    #54
    Nethalion
    Mirkwood Forest


    Nethalion was in an awkward position now to be able to pick off the rest of the wolves. They were gathering around the spot where Baingil was taunting them from the lower parts of the trees, where his view towards was blocked by thick foliage. But it did not matter that he wasn't able to fire any more arrows because the three elves who had been on the ground were now in the trees and able to finish the wolves off themselves. The young guard swept his fair hair off his face and breathed a sigh of relief when he knew that Aranadhel, Bodgolas, and Feowen had escaped any tragedy.

    He watched the surrounding forest carefully to make sure there were no wolves loitering away from sight. It all seemed clear as far as he could tell, and if Cair considered it safe enough to return to the ground, that was enough for him. Unscathed, Nethalion nimbly made his way to the ground where he then saw Cair laying out healing tools to begin the treatment of Aranadhel's wound. From the amount of blood that was coming out of the Galadhrim's arm, there was no doubt it would take a fair bit of work.

    Nethalion took that time as the chance to regather his arrows from the carcasses of the two wolves he had killed. He frowned slightly as he removed the arrows from their resting places deep inside the rank smelling beasts. He wiped them off as best he could and returned them to his quiver, before turning back to the rest of the group. He did not yet know that the chief guard, Baingil, had been grazed by a wolf's attack, and so when he saw that she was injured a look of shock took over his face. But he guessed that he knew her well enough by now to know that she wouldn't like a fuss being made over her, and so he said nothing and got over the brief moment of shock he felt. Though he knew that the look on his face wouldn't have been missed by his captain. He nodded to her with a small smile, letting her know that he appreciated the way she had danced with danger for the benefit of the rest of them.

    He then turned back to watch Cair begin treating Aranadhel. He was developing a keen interest in the art of healing and, although he had no skill or experience in it, he was eager to watch. So he kneeled down on the ground at not too far a distance and observed.





  55. Baingíl Randír's Avatar
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    #55
    Baingíl Randír
    Chief Guard of Thranduil
    Mirkwood Forest

    Baingil stared down at the wolves beneath her, smiling cat-like in satisfaction as they were picked off. She swung her leg back and forth, teasingly lowering her foot just far enough for wolves to snap a few inches from it. They growled in frustration, before falling under the arrows that came from the trees, her guards finally coming through properly. She grinned in triumph. "You must really like elfies for dinner, don't you? I'm sorry," she said, leaning down toward it and whispering. It growled and snapped, leaping toward Baingil's face,before tumbling over from an arrow that hit it from a nearby tree. "Not really sorry, though," she said.

    She straightened, her eyes narrowing a bit, cat-like, as she eyed the surrounding area for a moment to make sure there were no further wolves, then slid down from the branch, landing lightly on the balls of her feet. Her eyes darted about, and she turned around, listening, before nodding silently in acknowledgement that the area was once again safe. A few wolves were still breathing their last gasps; she turned to a nearby one, stooped, and ran her dagger along its throat with a quick slicing motion, hurrying along its demise.

    Of more importance than finishing off the wolves, though, was tending to her wound. It wasn't particularly deep, thankfully; if she stitched it and bound it up with a few good herbs it should heal quite quickly. Her bloodied, torn uniform actually troubled her slightly more than the wound; she'd see if she could mend and wash it when they next stopped for the evening.

    She glanced around one more time, noticing a look of shock cross Nethalion's face when he noticed that Baingil had been wounded. It quickly disappeared, however, and he nodded and smiled at her. She nodded back levelly, a slight smile twisting her lips, though mixed with a hint of pain as she rolled her shoulder to check the damage by feel. She turned away, a silent signal to leave her for now. She needed to hurry; they could not forget their ultimate goal of moving on. A few slight mistakes during a battle could not detract from that.

    She paused to unclasp her cloak, and pull her pack, quiver and bow from her shoulders, wincing as straps slid over the wound, then seated herself next to a tree. She opened it and rummaged through it, searching for materials to take care of the wound. She pulled out her water bottle and put it to the side, then took a small bag from the pack and opened it. She drew from a roll of white linen, a cloth, an ominous-looking needle with a black thread already attached, a small pair of shears, and a jar that held an herbal ointment. She turned her head to give the wound another examination, then grasped the torn material and firmly but carefully ripped the stitching where the sleeve met the top of her tunic, exposing a lean, sinewy arm. Baingil disliked sewing, but it was something she was capable of when necessary; she would be able to sew the arm of the tunic back on later, in case the extra uniform she'd brought was damaged. For now she had another kind of sewing to do...

    She dampened the cloth with water from the bottle and gently began washing the blood away. It wasn't the cleanest wound she had ever seen; the wolf had managed to clip her shoulder with the side of its jaws, leaving a few jagged tears in the skin. She gritted a teeth a little as she touched the sensitive skin, pulling it together gently as best as she could. She picked up the needle, eyeing it with trepidation.

    The stitching was something she had learned on her travels; she'd had to tend to both her wounds and other's wounds quite frequently. She disliked it, though. She raised her eyebrows a little as she remembered something, reaching into the small bag again. She drew from it a small, thick section of twig, which she bit down on. Willow. Not the best painkiller - she usually carried these in case of a headache - but it helped, and it would also keep her from gritting her teeth hard enough to hurt something.

    As the bitter taste of willow filled her mouth she paused for a moment, then drew the needle up to her shoulder and gently began to close the wound. It was more painful at first as the needle dug into her skin; she paused to cut and tie each stitch individually. Her face screwed a bit with pain and concentration. She occasionally paused to clean it with the damp cloth. The pain began to grow duller about halfway through; the willow worked quickly. Baingil was quick as well; it wasn't long before the wound was closed, and the Chief Guard surveyed her work critically.

    She twisted the jar open then, and began to rub strong-smelling ointment into the wound, gently but firmly. She paused every so often, letting the pain die a little - an ache was still left, despite the willow - and checking and double-checking to make sure she had done everything correctly. Finally, nothing more was left but to bind it. Now she paused again; she'd leave this for a moment, look around, make sure everything was all right. She let herself fall back a little against the tree, slightly weary, and looked around for her guards.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 07:16 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  56. Aranadhel's Avatar
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    #56
    AranadhelMirkwood forest

    The Noldo cocked his head from side to side to see the wolves being taken down one by one by all the elves and when the carnage had finished the elves dropped from the trees one by one. Aran saw Cair come into view as she called him down to treat his wound. He mused slightly that she had not seen him up on this branch which was just a few steps from where she now stood. Amazing. This Galadhrim cloak is definitely a very good camouflage he chuckled.

    On cue he then dropped to the ground effortlessly and landed near her. I am here, he said to her as he clutched his right arm suddenly for he felt some pain coursing through his veins. He hated being treated for injuries for it takes time for a healer to patch up the wounds and he knew they were pressing for time and worst of all, it is excruciatingly painful. Well, evidently all the elves came out unscathed except for Baingil and himself. How long will it take for you to patch me up? he asked haughtily, I think a wolf's tooth is stuck there somewhere in my arm. I can feel it. he added. The older Noldo then had a quick look at Cair's quiver and found it almost half empty. He relaxed somewhat and continued Take my arrows. I am no good now with a bow and I bring not my sword from Lorien. He espied a fallen long tree branch a few metres from where they both stood I will fashion myself a wooden spear as my new primary weapon and without waiting for her to answer replaced all of his arrows into her quiver and now it is full again as his is empty and he placed the bow gently to his back.

    He gave a quick look at the Mirkwood elves and when he noticed all were pre-occupied he crouched and beckoned her to do so as well then dropped his voice and whispered to her in Quenya so the others would not be able to understand them. What is it that bothers you? I sense you have something you wanted to say to me. You and your brother were never good at hiding things. Speak now. he said firmly before adding, though I am now in a foul mood as he made reference to his wound as brown eyes gazed steadily at the healer's green eyes and he extended his bloodied right arm with the extended bite marks for her to operate on. He bit his lip anticipating the more pain that will ensue when she goes about her work and smiled weakly at Nethalion who he'd just realise had been observing them both this whole time. His mind then wandered if Aduchil were to come but he know not the numbers of Galadhrim warriors that were to follow. Too few of us left in Middle Earth. Not alone the Noldor he sighed heavily and winced in pain as Cair applied the medication and tried to extract the wolf's sharp tooth from his arm. Careful! he hissed to her sharply, the excruciating pain unbearable which would have rendered the Edain to faint in this moment but elves could endure pain better but it did not lessen the blood of his to boil on the inside.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 07:16 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  57. Dincairwen's Avatar
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    #57
    Dincairwen
    Mirkwood

    Seeing Nethalion kneeling near her, Cair glanced at him sidelong and could not help but smile. She had taught countless others the art of healing in Lothlorien, and found herself falling into that habit again, naming the items as she set them down. She did not go into great detail now, as they did not have time. Perhaps when they next rested she could give him a short lesson. Baingil, off in the distance some ways, was tending to her own wound. Cair watched for a brief moment, and when she saw that the elf was doing a good job went back to her own task. It was not that she mistrusted her ability, just that the healer in her wanted to make sure the wound would be properly cared for.

    Her goodwill evaporated quickly when Aranadhel began speaking to her. He gave her his arrows, which was well enough, but she did not like the implication that she could not find weapons on her own. Especially as her arrows were all nearby, sticking out of wolves' corpses. Though centuries, possibly millenia, younger than him, she could easily take care of herself. If she could not, she would not have been made an officer in Lothlorien's guard. Celeborn and Galadriel trusted her with larger things than procuring arrows every day. When he mentioned fashioning himself a spear, she raised an eyebrow sardonically, wondering how he was going to manage that while they were on the move.

    Cair worked on treating his wound, but when he paused to whisper to her in Quenya, she stopped her work and met his eyes, her own hard with suppressed anger. Biting down her immediate retort, she finished patching his wound in complete silence, working a little less gently than her wont. When the wolf's tooth had been removed and the wound wrapped, she stood and grabbed his good arm, pulling him a slight distance off. She was sure to speak in Sindarin to be polite to their Silvan cousins.

    "First of all, Aranadhel, I am your superior officer. Do not presume to be so familiar with me, or to order me to do anything. I do not care about your vast millenia of experience. I am in charge here and now." Her eyes flashed as she glared at him. Cair did not anger easily, nor did she often show it, contrary to what Aranadhel had so arrogantly asserted. "Second, do not bring my brother into this. He is dead, and I am not him." Nethalion was still not far off, but she could not say she cared overly much if anyone overheard at this point. She had been pushed beyond her limit by the elf in front of her. "Furthermore, your lack of consideration for your fellow elves, Noldorin or otherwise," she added pointedly, "has put more than just yourself in danger. If you hesitate to obey an order again, I will not be responsible for the consequences. Your injury and lack of a weapon has now put our entire party at a disadvantage. Where we are going we cannot afford to have someone with limited abilities accompanying us. If you cannot perform to your full ability, turn back now, or find a safe place to wait. You are responsible for your own readiness for battle. No one else. It is not my responsibility to make sure you have a sword, or that you can use your bow." She paused, taking a deep breath in an attempt to calm herself, looking upward and counting slowly to 10. A few seconds later she looked back at him, her face stony. "Are we clear? If not, I will not hesitate to inform captain Aduchil of our little adventure here and suggest that you be given something to do within Lothlorien, where you will not be a hazard."

    Cair watched him for a moment, but her patience had run out. She turned sharply and walked away, her braid whipping around behind her. Her mind was a jumble, and she worked quickly to calm herself and get her thoughts back in order. Sometimes her Noldorin ancestry came out in her temper, yet ironically in this case it was partially because another Noldo had been inconsiderate of their other elven kindred. Some made their kindred look bad. No wonder there were often hard feelings between them. Cair was already occasionally nervous that the Silvan and Sindarin populations of Lorien would take it badly that both officers of their guard were Noldorin.

    As much as she wanted to plop unceremoniously onto the ground and throw her healing accoutrements back into her bag, she knelt calmly and gently packed them back in. Seeing Nethalion, she forced herself to smile. "Perhaps we can talk about healing when we next rest. I believe Captain Baingil will want to get moving now, however. Shall we collect arrows?" She gestured at the arrows both on the ground and in the wolves. They would need every one of them to travel through Mirkwood and once they reached their destination.

    Mirkwood Group: We'll do one post of clean-up and recovery, and then get moving again. We still have a lot of ground to cover to meet Aduchil!

    Aranadhel: (Assigning a character trait, such as not being able to hide their feelings, to another person's character is considered god-moding. Let other people describe their own characters. Please do not do that again.)
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 07:18 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  58. Morwen Daegomir's Avatar
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    #58
    Faerdhinen
    Receiving message from NPC Maethor

    Faerdhinen
    had not expected it all to happen so quickly. She had joined the Guard prepared for such things, but it had only been yesterday when she had formally made her intention known and been accepted. And now here stood this ellon in front of her, urgently pushing a sealed message into her hands. His name was Maethor, that was all she knew, although she had seen him around near the training grounds, and she was surprised he had even offered that much information, considering his rather curt mannerisms. The silver haired elleth did not mind. She was not given to speaking many words herself, not since- a flash of memory cut through her, and she briefly pressed a cool hand to her forehead, momentarily closing her vibrant turquoise eyes. Then it was gone, and she opened them again, to find the ellon staring at her, appearing slightly irritated. She said nothing in explanation; it not change anything, nor did she think he would care overmuch to know of the cold flashes of fear and horror that made even much of her waking life a nightmare.

    She gracefully accepted the message, nodded her head in acquiescence. It was to be delivered to Captain Aduchil. He was currently travelling toward Dol Guldur with the Swan Guard. A shadow passed over her mind as she thought of entering a place of such utter evil. It would be like returning to that which had tortured her so. But she was no longer
    the same elleth who had been caught by those creatures. No, they had changed her. And they would regret it one day. The same love of the golden wood and its flora and fauna still entranced her, but she was also taken by bouts of pain, fear, and anger from a combination of old wounds and old memories. They served to harden her and gave a deathly glint to her eyes, once full of only warmth and goodness.

    “Well, hurry along then! The Captain mustn’t be kept waiting; this message must reach his hands as soon as possible. You remember the directions I gave you?” Maethor was speaking again, and Faerdhinen was jolted from her thoughts abruptly.

    “Yes Sir.” She replied simply, nearly wincing as her voice came out with its customary haggard rasp. Despite the years that had passed, she could not grow used to it. It made sense, however. The scar on her neck and the destruction of her voice had not occurred that many years ago; and before it she had spent century upon century singing serenely amongst the trees of Lothlórien. Something that never should have been taken from her.



    Travelling through Lórien

    Faerdhinen stopped only to fill her water skins in a small clear stream, and then, adjusting her pack, and running a visual check over her weaponry, she set off according to the directions Maethor had given her.

    The walk through Lórien felt almost as though it were another time once more. As though the years had been reversed and she was merely taking a leisurely stroll through the golden wood. But the sword belt weighing on her hip, along with her dagger, and the bow and quiver slung across her back reminded her otherwise. Their weight felt dooming; a
    reminder of the weight she now carried, of duty and of memory. Her cares were far greater than they had been then, in time not long gone. She never would have carried a weapon then. She had always felt safe. The fair faced elleth had never known otherwise. However, that had all changed. She was not that elleth any longer; Faerdhinen knew she no longer existed.

    The hours passed, and she kept up her brisk pace; a pace that was fast and steady, one she knew she could continue at for a long time. They were travelling as a group, and so she could move more quickly than they anyway, but she wished to catch up as soon as possible. She had no idea the importance of the message she carried, but Maethor’s urgency had instilled a sense of urgency in her as well.



    Meeting up with the Guard

    Faerdhinen
    had found the time to pass rather quickly as she travelled; she enjoyed being amongst the trees. The elleth was thus surprised to suddenly find she could hear movements in the wood ahead of her, a little ways off in the distance. They were certainly not loud, but her sharp elven ears picked up the subtle sounds of their movements, and for her to have heard them, she knew they must be close. She continued at her pace, and then as she drew even closer, realized she should probably identify herself before coming suddenly upon them, as some scout of the group was sure to have heard her.

    “Hail! I am Faerdhinen; I come bearing a message for Captain Aduchil. I have been sent by Maethor.” She called out in the tongue of her people. The elvish words sounded wrong as voiced by her; the words were harsh and terrible, lending a quality not found in the fair speech of the Eldar. The raw quality of her voice twisted and marred the words until they grated harshly on the ears; she hated it. For so long had her voice lent wings to speech; every word from her had been lilted with song, and now this. She distorted and destroyed the words she spoke now; and thus rarely spoke if she could avoid it, and especially spoke as little of the languages of Elves as possible. Their words were to fair to be so mutilated. But for her identification, Faerdhinen knew it wise to utilize the Sindarin tongue. Although considering her voice, no one would expect an elf to be the owner of such an atrocity.

    Continuing forward and suddenly coming into view of the group, her eyes landed on Captain Aduchil. She strode forward toward him, aware of eyes landing on her. Perhaps just curious about a newcomer, and likely soon to be further intrigued or shocked by the horrid scar jaggedly slashing its way across her neck. Continuing forward, the otherwise graceful and unmarred elleth reaching the Captain and bowed her head slightly as she handed him the message she had been sent with.

    “I was sent by Maethor,” she stated simply, her coarse voice grating.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 07:27 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  59. Sillandhas
    Mirkwood

    Sillandhas peered through the leaves of his tree to catch sight of Dincairwen again and noticed that she was glancing at the forest canopy, knowing most likely that the warriors were hidden. Believing it was all right to come down now, Sillandhas replaced his bow and grappled the trunk of the tree to begin his descent to the earth. He was half Sindarin - his father had been a Sinda Elf of Hithlum in Beleriand and so he had known the language ; Sillandhas' sire thought it beautiful and taught his son to understand some of it - and so he was able to hear the wayward Elf speak to Dincairwen in Quenya.

    He frowned, wishing Aranadhel wouldn't be so firm when speaking to superiors but he smiled as the Noldorin woman of Lothlórien respectfully conversed for the benefit of those present in the tongue of the Grey-Elves which the Silvans had long ago adopted. His attention was diverted however by the necessity of recovering his arrows ; afterwards, when each had been returned to his quiver, Sillandhas walked towards the weary but steadfast Captain Baingil, ready to be directed further.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 07:28 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  60. Aduchil's Avatar
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    #60


    The Edge of Lórien

    Aduchil had not taken many steps away from the trees before a watchful Sailacel caught his attention by speaking his title, making the captain turn around and follow her gaze to notice what she had as well. An Elf made rapid approach and her direction made it obvious that the small group was her destination. The thick foliage of the forest obscured her still as her voice rang out in greeting, before she came into their view. Even if he did not remember her face, Aduchil recognised her voice as one of the latest arrivals to the Guard. As she came close, he knew that he remembered correctly, connecting her voice to her face. A frown appeared on the captain's face as he heard her words, wondering what had prompted Maethor to this. It was rather unusual, not to mention a few hours more and they would have been beyond the Anduin and close to Mirkwood, which was a place that was far too dangerous for a single warrior.

    Extending his hand to accept the message, Aduchil nodded to Faerdhinen in silent thanks before he unfurled the small note. His frown deepened as he read the message, before looking up at the expectant faces of his band. Realising that they would be curious to know the content, and that it might help their morale to be included, Aduchil spoke up.
    "A scout arrived at the telain shortly after we left. Several parties of orcs have been spotted moving on the eastern bank of the Anduin, patrolling near Mirkwood. While we are in the open, we remain vulnerable, and we must exercise extreme caution," Aduchil said, curling the note together and placing it inside a pouch on his belt. "Our plans do not change, however; on the contrary, we will continue at once and not linger here any further." Turning his gaze towards Faerdhinen, Aduchil looked at the scars that slithered across her skin and considered that she was either too frightened of Dol Guldur to approach, or so inured to such dread that it would not hinder her. Speaking more softly, he addressed her: "If you feel prepared for it, our task lies in Dol Guldur; I would welcome one more on this task." In this manner he extended an invitation for her to accompany them, and then beckoned for Naur, Miruiel, Beltayn and Sailacel to once more move out, forcing a quick decision from Faerdhinen. Perhaps not fair, but given the message, they needed to cross the open land now, before they might be spotted.

    Western Bank of the Anduin

    Keeping a strong pace, it took perhaps an hour for the group to reach the mighty river that still swelled with the heavy rain of late. Swimming across was no mean feat for even a trained swimmer in strong condition, and it would be troublesome if bowstrings became too wet for use. The Elves of Lórien had an answer to this, given that rivers flowed through their own lands and often had to be crossed quickly by many. Pulling up his surcoat, Aduchil revealed several rings of the strong hithlain rope, bound around his waist. Without difficulty the knot untied and he could pull the rope off his body easily. The particular place they had arrived at was where the Guard usually made its crossings, for two purposes. One was that the river made a slight bend, which lessened the intensity of the current. Secondly, a large oak tree stood on either bank of the river. Aduchil gave one end of his rope to Sailacel, instructing her to tie it around the trunk of the tree on their side of the river. Then he turned towards Beltayn with the other end of the rope. "If you would demonstrate your peerless swimming skills," Aduchil said to Beltayn as he placed the rope in his hand. The improvised rope bridge would allow the other Elves to cross quickly, with dry boots even. But one did have to get wet first, since it was far too dangerous to let the rope remain hanging when not in use, alerting enemies to where the Guard crossed the Anduin.



  61. Morgan la Fée's Avatar
    Wine-taster of Mirkwood
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    #61


    Feowen
    Mirkwood forest

    Crouched in her tree, Feowen gave all her attention to the audial input, her field of vision being severely limited. There were a few more sounds of the wolves’ paws on the hard ground, scratching – Hopefully dying, thought Feowen – a few low whines, and then all was still. Her breath came quiet now, too, the strain of the battle all but forgotten, but she was parched. Shifting her position to one of the lower branches, she peeked out from under the dense foliage, and her assumption was confirmed. The rest of the wolves were down, and so was Dincairwen – down from her perch in the tree, already laying out her medicinal supplies. Bits and pieces of the shouting during the fight came back to her, as if in a dream, because she certainly didn’t process what was said at the time. Dincairwen was a healer. Feowen was momentarily relieved that they had an expert in their midst, and her really very mediocre talents wouldn’t be needed. A wry smile threatened to break her composure as she was reminded of her dismal attempts to learn properly, a long time ago, at Adab Nestad. At most she bullied it into herself to always have some supplies, and act on inspiration, which she was sure would sound appalling to anyone half-competent. Perhaps she should at least let Dincairwen know she had some supplies in case she ran short.

    More elves were climbing down. As Dincairwen called to Aranadhel, Nethalion, obviously more inclined towards the art of healing than herself, settled down close to watch, all attention. Baingil was taking care of her own wound already. Feowen stepped down from the lowest branch to the ground – barely a jump – landing lightly on the balls of her feet, as if she was going to start dancing any moment. Not that the mood warranted it, but fighting, and winning, in whichever form, always gave her a light-headed feeling, and she was, again this time, incredibly lucky to not have a scratch on her. She did tend to think this was because it was all saving up for something big, to lay her up in bed for weeks on end, but she figured she would deal with that when it came, and continued to happily dance around danger, so far unscathed.

    While her comrades were busy treating their wounds, Feowen walked the short distance to the last wolf that attacked her, stopped by Baingil’s thrown knife. She could see a bit of the handle sticking out from its chest near the shoulder, and she bent down to retrieve it. The blade was firmly wedged in by the wolf’s other leg, but with a strong pull, it came free. Blood gushed out after it, staining Feowen’s hand, and the end of her sleeve. With a scandalized-sounding sniff, Feowen looked around for a patch of grass that would serve to clean the blade. Spotting one unmarked by the fight, she squatted by it, and carefully wiped the knife clean, getting most of the wolf’s blood of her hands in the process.

    As she worked, she could hear Dincairwen’s voice rise in tone behind her, and the few words that were carried to her ears distinctly were enough to get the gist of the situation, and more. Captain Aduchil, Dincairwen had said. Feowen was sure she heard it right, but it was a bit hard to immediately accept it. Her mind whirred for a moment, confused, but it was not too big a leap to assume that the warrior she once knew could be at the top of any military structure, had he moved -- and she was out of reach of any proper news for so long.

    However surprised she was, her hands kept moving. Getting an oiled cloth out of her pouch, Feowen finished polishing the blade, but stayed where she was for another minute, unwilling to add to anyone’s discomfort or betray her own astonishment. Feowen straightened up, relieving her tired legs, and finally got a mouthful of water from her flask. As she replaced it into her bag, an apple caught her eye among her supplies. She missed Imaha, her horse, a bit – the apples in her baggage were as much for him as for herself, and she loved the loud satisfied crunch as he chewed on them. She took one out, and tossed it up, catching it on its downward move on Baingil’s knife that sheared the apple in half. Feowen moved to intercept the halves with her left hand, and turned back to the others, having successfully distracted herself into a more composed facial expression.

    Approaching Baingil, who now sat leaning against a tree, apparently resting for a moment before giving the inevitable order to move on. They still had such a lot of ground to cover, and Feowen’s thoughts were now drawn to the conclusion of their journey, when she preferred to let it rest before. Between scouting around the source of all evil in the Wilderland and meeting an old friend again was birthing place of very mixed feelings.

    "Baingil," she addressed the Chief Ranger, drawing her attention and extending the knife to her, handle-first, with a respectful nod, “I am grateful your hand is steady and your aim is true, or I’d be missing some bodyparts.” She tried for a light smile, still hesitant. “I trust your wound is not too painful. Perhaps later if we will be stopping for rest a pinch of athelas wouldn't go amiss, for everyone. Clear the heads." Feowen made a vague gesture that could be interpreted to indicate the whole situation, aware that she could be the first to be pointed at. A tad uneasy, and only half-expecting an answer, she looked around idly.



  62. Sailacel's Avatar
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    #62
    Sailacel
    Edge of Lorien

    Sailacel was surprised to see Faerdhinen. If only the message Maethor had sent brought good news, but when Aduchil told them what it said she felt the fear she had brushed off return. With this news she was worried that she would not have the reslove to go on if she had too much time to think about the message. She was very thankful that Aduchil beckoned them to move out. "What is courage, but the ability to do a task even though you are afraid?" she whispered to herself as they moved out.

    Western Bank of the Anduin

    Sailacel smiled when she saw the Anduin. Aduchil had sent her here to look for anyone crossing the river for her first task as a member of the Swan Guard. Now she was going to Dol Guldur with the guard. Just then Aduchil instructed her to try the rope to the oak tree. She nodded and securely tied the rope to the oak. When Aduchil asked Beltayn to swim across the river she smiled, it was good that the Captain still had his sense of humor. She just hoped orcs would not attack them.
    Last edited by Baingíl Randír; 21/Jun/2014 at 07:30 AM. Reason: The changeover formatting. It burnsss usss.

  63. Morwen Daegomir's Avatar
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    #63

    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" topmargin="1" leftmargin="1">
    <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Manwathiel Raenmin
    Mirkwood<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><O:P></O:P>[/B]
    <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><O:P></O:P>[/B]
    <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Manwathiel [/B]winced in irritation as she heard <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Aranadhel [/B]call out to the <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Captain [/B]in the midst of the battle, asking who the healer was. <I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">“Ci ben-ind?” ( are you insane? ), [/I]she muttered harshly to herself. First he disobeyed orders and put the lives of his comrades at risk, and now he dared to distract the elleth risking her life to allow them all to find safety? Who did the fool think he was? But it was of no use to her to waste more time on him. <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Dincairwen [/B]had replied with an angry shout that she was the healer, a fact that the peredhel tucked away for future reference, and he had gone silent again, at least for the moment.

    She returned her attention to the battle to find that things were slowing down. Most of her comrades had made it to the trees and were picking off the last of the wolves engaged below them. The red-golden haired warrior drew back her bow one last time, and was satisfied to see it meet its target solidly, producing a final snarl of pain from a single wolf before he breathed his last. The killing of evil creatures gave her nothing but satisfaction. Whatever good they may have had in them once was long gone; she did not believe for one moment that they were the same creatures they might once have been before being corrupted by the shadow. She had no time for such sentiments.

    The odd silence that followed the battle was familiar to her; after the shouting of elves and snarling of wolves, this quiet was most welcome. It was serene and satisfying; this knowledge that one would live to fight another day. Dropping down from the tree, she landed lightly on the balls of her feet; staying tense for a moment, aware of any sign of an enemy that had hidden itself until they all had relaxed. Nothing was forthcoming, but she tread carefully across the forest floor, stopping briefly at a few carcasses to retrieve arrows that had not sustained too much damage. Cleaning them briefly, she replaced them in her quiver; but there was something bothering her. It had been growing slowly at the back of her mind ever since the battle finished, and she eyed the group around her, wondering what it was.<BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><O:P></O:P>
    Everything seemed to be in order; <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Captain Baingíl [/B]had been injured, but she was treating her wound ably, and though it looked painful, it did not appear to be debilitating. <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Aranadhel[/B] she did not bother to search for; he would live, and if he did not, it was a result of his own foolishness. For a moment she paused to think the thought was rather harsh, and then wondered why she had thought so. She did not think it too harsh; who would? Only that silly energetic young- <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Manwathiel [/B]stopped the thought in its tracks. That was what had been bugging her. Where was he? As soon as she thought it, she pushed the thought away. <I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Why do I care? [/I]She thought to herself, then immediately disliked how callous the thought had sounded. And they had been callous; she- Again, the warrior stopped her thoughts dead<I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">. Now I think I am being too callous? [/I]The thought was utterly ridiculous. <I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Have I gone soft? [/I]She quickly tamped down all such thoughts and ignored her curiosity and concern for the young ellon’s fate. Or, at least she thought she was ignoring it.

    She did not realize that while she suppressed all such thoughts, she had been unconsciously scanning the surrounding area for a sign of him. A sudden breath of relief escaped her, which she had not realized she had been holding, and her sharp green eyes landed on a young ellon, (<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Nethalion[/B]), standing near the healer <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Dincairwen [/B]and the injured ellon <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Aranadhel[/B]. That explained why she had not seen him before, she had not been paying particular mind to the ellon who had nearly gotten them killed.

    Rhaich!” ( curses ), she exclaimed suddenly, realizing that she had been looking for him the whole time. She glanced around, hoping no one had caught her sudden outburst. Fortunately, she had a feeling they were far too busy reclaiming arrows and checking for injury to have done so. That irritating little meddler had gotten under her skin somehow, and she did not understand it at all. No one had ever exasperated her more than he, and here she was wasting her time trying to look out for him.

    Distracted as she had been by her inner aggravation with the entire situation, she did not miss the sudden tension emanating from <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Dincairwen[/B], who was busy tending to <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Aranadhel’s [/B]wounds. She did not doubt the source of the tension had been his conduct on the battlefield, and hoped he was at least not further aggravating the situation now. But it was of no concern of hers, and her attention was still distracted by the amount of relief she felt at seeing the ellon (<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Nethalion[/B]) unharmed, as well as the irritation that it also spiked within her. She wondered at the source of this inner conflict, and how to have done with it. I could kill him. A shadow of amusement passed over her features, though they remained stone cold. Of course, I would probably regret it later. And it may not recommend me to my comrades overly much. The thought had not been serious, of course, but it was really one of the very few ways she knew of that she used to deal with problems. Unfortunately, it did not seem to be helpful in this case.

    <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Manwathiel [/B]was jolted from her thought process as she watched <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Dincairwen[/B] stand abruptly, her braid whipping around her head as she turned sharply away from <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Aranadhel[/B]. She walked away from him rather stiffly, and then knelt a little ways away near the young ellon, (<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Nethalion[/B]), to collect her healing items. An elleth after my own temper, the warrior thought to herself, vaguely intrigued. The healer was speaking with the ellon again, and <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Manwathiel [/B]felt another spike of irritation go through her as she realized that she still did not know his name. Well, perhaps it is time I find out. Perhaps she could somewhat salvage the situation her earlier rudeness and unpreparedness to speak had caused.

    Crossing the distance between them with a few firm strides, she stopped before them. Despite her determination to finally say something properly, she found herself drawing a blank once more. It was utterly ridiculous. She faced any enemy before her with a blood thirsty vengeance; every horror she had seen and every pain she had experienced she would have gladly taken now, instead of the awkward feeling of standing before them with nothing to say. It was not nearly as difficult as she thought; this she knew. Or at least, this she deduced from watching others converse. For most it seemed so simple; something they did for enjoyment, small talk and introductions sliding easily from their tongues. Harsh words she could give; cold commands and analysis… but not this. Fortunately for her, the prospect of standing silent before them for another painful moment was worse to contemplate than the thought of speaking, and so she finally opened her mouth and spoke.

    “Suilad. I am called <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Manwathiel[/B], and I am afraid I have not… That is, the…I-“ She cut herself off abruptly, clearing her throat, and trying not to wince at the horrible mash-up her words had fallen into. It was not as though she were a poor speaker; but this type of casual conversation escaped her quite completely. Realizing she simply had to allow herself to be logical about it; she spoke as concisely as she could to force the words out. Turning to the young ellon (<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Nethalion[/B]) she had snapped at earlier, she stated simply, “I was rude. I would ask your forgiveness for my harsh words.” Then she fell silent, her expression as blank and cold as ever, though she was feeling more and more awkward by the moment.<O:P></O:P>
    <O:P></O:P>Edited by: Morwen Daegomir

  64. Haflin's Avatar
    Guardian of the Arkenstone
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    #64

    Beltayn
    The banks of the Anduin

    The group had not traveled very long outside the borders of Lorien when a follower suddenly came up on their tail. Beltayn watched and listened as the messenger delivered a note to the captain. He recognized the elleth from the Telain of the guard when he had joined guard just a short while ago. Her voice was certainly distinctive as well as the scar and once again he found himself wondering how she had gotten such a terrible wound. No doubt it had taken a great evil to rob one so otherwise fair of her voice. Beltayn felt the same pity he had felt the day of their meeting, though he did not let it show on his face as he doubted Faerdhinen would appreciate his sentiment. He had known a few such scarred of his kind, not all with physical scars either, and often times there were no words any could say to placate their internal storms, such was the evil of the world and the grief of the Eldar.With these darkening thoughts, Beltayn listened as the captain read the message aloud and felt the coldness of loathing grip his heart when he mentioned the yrch. There were no elves in Middle Earth who were not familiar with the foul broods of the great shadow and he was no exception. Orcs were a dim witted and weak willed race but their fierceness was their weapon and Beltayn had plenty of harsh memories of their snarling, gibbering, laughing voices and their cold, black iron. He felt no fear at this revelation, only an eagerness to see the black blood of their eternal enemy in pools upon the brown earth. A part of Beltayn cheered at the prospect of battle as it would finally put aside his gnawing doubts he knew. When the group moved again eastwards, he moved with renewed vigor towards their destination over the horizon.The land peeled away in all directions as they moved on, now having nothing to cover their advance. Beltayn felt, like he was sure they all felt, a bit exposed moving like this out in the open without the company of the trees to protect their flanks. He was not used to traveling over land without a horse and so seeing the grasslands from this angle was another change for him. It was not long after they had moved on than he began to smell the slight scent and hear the soft murmur of running water and that could only mean they were nearing the river Anduin.

    As the group came to the banks of the wide river, Beltayn momentarily wondered how they were going cross until he saw that the captain was in the process of uncoiling a long rope and giving it to one of the other guards to secure to the western bank's tree which they now stood under. He nodded approvingly as he looked over the river again, this seemed like a better place than most to cross. And then it occurred to him, how were they going to secure the rope on the other end? Someone was going to have to...It was about this time in his thoughts that Aduchil approached him with a proffered coil of rope and indicated that he show the rest of the group his swimming prowess. Despite his initial feelings of doubt (as though he had crossed it many times, he had never tried his hand at swimming across the river) he could not help but laugh at the captain's jest, though in his mind he considered it one of his first official orders. Beltayn nodded and took the rope from the captain, "It will be done my lord." He said in an amused tone. As the others milled about, Beltayn prepared himself to cross the grey-brown waters. Knowing that his gear, light as it was, would weigh him down in the current, he shed it all except for the pouches and knife in his belt, leaving only his practical hunting garments and leather coverings exposed to the water. His sword, bow, quiver, and gear he wrapped in his cloak and presented the package to the captain, this time the mirth had gone from his face and he regarded his captain with a more serious expression.

    "I would be grateful, captain, if you would bear my belongings until they can be returned to me on the other side, there are heirlooms here of my family that are quite precious to me." He said, knowing fully well that his things were in good hands but wanting to impart a measure of urgency to the errand nevertheless. He was loathe to part with his sword in particular, it being the only tie he had left of his father who he remembered so fondly in his memories.With this done, he took the rope to his side and stepped careful his way down the bank, past the reeds and tall grass that grew in the mud and finally placed his bare feet into the murky water. Seeing again his goal on the other side, he swallowed in partial dread, the river seemed wider every time he looked across it, but he could feel the eyes of the others watching him. It was a time now for heroes, not sheep as his father used to tell him when he had had to face a few of his childhood fears in the days of his youth. The water rose as he went further, first to his ankles, then to his knees, then to his hips and waist. He could feel the current pull against his legs as he waded in until the water reached his chest. He did not dare look back for fear of losing heart, instead, with one last pause he took a deep breath and pushed off to swim the gap. At first, Beltayn struggled against the current and cringed inwardly at the way his limbs flailed in the water noisily and uncoordinated. He felt very self conscious, but despite this, after a few seconds, was able to calm his movements enough to begin pulling his way through the water with long, lithe strokes of his arms and legs. The current was rough but not so harsh that he could not keep his head above the water. As he went along there were a few moments when he nearly dropped the rope into the river but his grip remained true and so did his path.

    Minutes passed and his arms, though strained from the fight against the current, were heartened as he saw that the eastern shore was now quite close. He nearly cheered when his feet found purchase on the rocky bottom of the other side of the river and he edged his way up the bank until he had drawn his full body out, dripping and soaked on the eastern shore. Looking back to the west, Beltayn felt a surge of pride in himself to have crossed the river Anduin by his own strength, in all his years he had known not even his father to have done something so brave and so foolish! He was so overcome with the pleasure of his accomplishment as he sat there chuckling to himself that he almost forgot his reason for coming over and found that the rope was still firmly in hand. Marching over to the trunk of the eastern tree in his sopping wet garments, he went about wrapping the end around it a couple of times and then tying its end into a tight knot. He pulled on the rope to make sure that it was secure and waved to the others across the river to signal that the path had been made. As he stood there by the trunk, a slim shadow suddenly passed over his head. It was such a negligible thing that he almost ignored it as a cloud passing over the sun's light for a moment, but instinct bid him instead to look up, and there in the sky he saw the slight form of his hawk companion soaring above his head. His strong eyes could just make her out and just after his strong ears picked up a distant and shrill cry from the bird above as it flew over.

    Beltayn
    was suddenly moved to alarm, Sehra only ever made such a sharp cry in moments of danger. All thoughts of his accomplishment now gone, he scanned the land about him and gazed off into the bare distance between them and the far Mirkwood. There in the East he saw something that chilled him to his very bones with a cold that could not just be from the water. Hunched and misshaped forms stomped hatefully across the land in their black iron shod boots. He could see them now loping towards the river with wickedly barbed blades at the ready and snarling, jagged toothed maws snapping about in anticipation for prey. A band of orcs they were and no mistaking and they were coming closer...Beltayn reacted suddenly and quickly, ducking down back towards the shore and the tall grass on the bank. Pausing for a moment to sweep the wet tendrils of his silver hair aside so he could see the others on the shore across from him. He was about to shout to them when he stopped himself. Such an action would no doubt bring the orcs down upon them as they moved with purpose and malice. Suddenly unsure of what to do as he could not shout a warning but needed to get the message to the others, Beltayn stood to his full height and waved frantically with both arms to the captain, when he saw that he had their attention, he moved his right arm, palm down in a swift up and down motion to indicate that they should get low and out of sight now. With a worried look over his shoulder and the sounds of snarling and barking and clanking getting closer, he made one last signal by pulling a clenched thumb across his throat to indicate the deadly implications of what was coming this way. Without another pause, he crouched down into the tall reeds and grass of the muddy bank. Fear came over him in waves as a trembling hand pulled the long knife from his belt. What a fool he was! Alone on this shore with orcs coming down upon him and he without a proper weapon! He was going to die in front of his comrades while they watched from across the river, what kind of end was this for him?! With a deep breath, he cleared his mind. Gripping the hilt of his long knife with an iron hold, he vowed silently to himself that if they found him, he would make a good account of himself before the guard. Perhaps if this was the end, he tried to console himself, he would finally be returned to his Father and Mother in Valinor across the sea...
    Last edited by Haflin; 22/Dec/2012 at 05:09 AM.

  65. Aduchil's Avatar
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    Western Bank of the Anduin

    Although it was not intended as a jest in particular, it seemed his words at least provoked a few smiles. Certainly more than he could have expected under the circumstances, and Aduchil hoped it was a sign that tensions were not running as high as he feared. Or better yet, that their leader felt confident enough to feel mirth still. Looking at the river, Aduchil did not envy Beltayn either. It was a chore for Aduchil to swim, forcing himself to practice and keep his skill intact. It had happened on more than one occasion that he had been forced into water, however, so the chore proved necessary. Even so, it was not the Anduin that Aduchil would have chosen for his sessions. Even here, where it was at its gentlest, the waters flowed swiftly by and the quiet surface belied the strong powers beneath. Once, Aduchil remembered, Ulmo's power had flown along with the current through all such stream; now, the Elves were on their own, it seemed. Watching Sailacel tie one end of the rope to the tree on this side, Aduchil turned back towards Beltayn.

    He accepted the burden placed into his hands almost solemnly from the Sinda. Aduchil knew the value any warrior placed on his weapons and gear, and such increased manyfold when heirlooms were in question, being irreplacable. Aduchil gave Beltayn a nod, his silent promise that he would keep his items safe, before stepping back to give the warrior room to enter the river. Along with the others, Aduchil watched as the water quickly rose up his legs, until he had to begin swimming. The fierce currents made themselves known as his movements were swayed in one direction, but with powerful strokes the Elf steadied his course until he found solid ground under his feet again. Aduchil exhaled slightly, hoping to have this done soon. The crossing was always dangerous, a point of vulnerability in any journey east, especially since the land around the river was mostly naked and offered no protection. The sooner they were across, the better.

    Aduchil waited and watched while Beltayn secured the rope on the other bank. Testing that the rope was taut, Aduchil took hold of the bundle in his hands and prepared to cross as the first. This was when he saw Beltayn suddenly gesturing frantically. Understanding that something was wrong and that danger lurked, Aduchil narrowed his eyes and saw the distant movement on the horizon. Although he could not spot details, he did not doubt from Beltayn's warnings that it was a band of orcs, probably a dozen at least since they rarely seemed to venture forth in lesser numbers than that. And judging by the dust being kicked up, they were moving north, north-east; following the river but slightly turning towards Mirkwood. Aduchil realised that they would not be able to cross the Anduin all of them in time; but with Beltayn's weapons in his own hands, the Elf would not stand much chance fighting alone.
    "Hide!" Aduchil hissed, dropping to his feet, pulling his cloak around him. Then he dropped Beltayn's equipment on the ground, taking out his bow instead as well as an arrow. If a fight ensued, archery was the only thing that would avail them. "Keep bows ready, but none release unless ordered," Aduchil whispered, out of breath due to the sudden onset of danger. Shifting around so that he could gaze south towards where the orc band came from, he waited with irregular breathing as they approached.

    GM notice for Lórien: Orcs approach our position; time to utilise your stealth, since a fight now would not be in our favour!

  66. Sailacel's Avatar
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    SailacelWestern Bank of the AnduinSailacel hoped Beltayn had the peerless swimming skills Aduchil had said because he would need them to cross the mighty Anduin. Shefelt sorry for Beltayn as she watched him swim across the river, but at the same time she admired his courage.It would have taken her a lot of courage to swim across the Anduin.WhenBeltayn reached the other side and tied the rope she prepared to follow Aduchil across, but suddenly Beltayn motioned them to get out of sight. Immediately she backed into the wood and hid. By the time Aduchil told them to keep their bows ready she had an arrow on her bowstring. Then she saw Beltayn's equipment on the ground, and realizedhe was without weapons.She wasquite certain that the reason Beltayn had told them to get out of site was because he had seen orcs. He had no weapons and no way to defend himself iforcs attacked him. From her hiding spot she had a clear view of where Beltayn was and decided she must watch very carefully for orcs coming towards him. He had no weapons so they would have to protect him from their side of the river. She watched and waited, her heart ponding inside of her chest.


  67. Baingíl Randír's Avatar
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    #67
    Baingíl Randír


    Chief Guard of ThranduilMirkwood Forest
    Baingilquickly spotted the majority of her guards moving about; apparently none but herself and the Lorien guard had been injured. She closed her eyes for a long moment then opened them, then realized that one of them was coming toward her. Feowen. She smiled slightly, lifting her hand to take the willow twig from between her teeth and toss it away - the worst of the pain was over, anyway - and looked up in silence into the eyes of the recently-joined guard.
    Feowenheld outBaingil'sknife - having apparently not only found it but polished it - with a few words of thanks, and suggested some athelas when they had rested. "Perhaps,"Baingilresponded in a murmured tone, then reached out her good hand and took the knife back, sliding it into the empty sheath of her now-exposed injured arm with aquiet click. She looked back up into Feowen'seyes for a moment. "Thank you."
    She took the roll of linen and began to wind it around the wound carefully, speaking quietly as she worked. "I thank you as well for helping save the Lorien guard. It is a commendable deed, though I wish none had been put in danger -" She paused for a moment, silently debating whether to ask what had happened to keep the guard on the ground when there was opportunity to run, but decided against bothering with it. If she needed to know of something, she was sure that Dincairwenwould let her know; Aranadhelwas not her business.
    She glanced up at Feowenoccasionally as she worked, gently laying layers of linen over the wound, trying to disturb the stitching as little as possible. She bit her lip in concentration, frowning when the material, though soft, met the wound. It would heal; she was thankful. "I should offer you a word of caution, though. If another life is at stake, I care more for that than for obeyed orders - but once that is done or otherwise, it could be a matter of life or death that you follow an order with promptness." She looked up, her face softening. "I could not leave you on the ground alone with the wolves, when there were yet so many. But I could not stay on the ground long, either." She hoped Feowenwould understand what she meant; this wasn't a matter of following orders as much as it was a matter of Baingilwishing to keep her guards alive.
    She patted the end of the linen strip into place, pulling a pin from the bag of medical supplies and securing the bandage, then began to gather her belongings into her pack again. She picked up the bloodied cloth she had used to clean the wound, folded it and placed it in a pocket inside her pack, away from the other supplies to avoid contaminating them; the rest was packed away neatly the way it had been before, with the addition of torn sleeve, which she neatly folded and placed on top of everything. She stood, bending to lift her cloak, pack and weapons once more to her shoulders, and turned to Feowenwith a smile again. "That said, I am proud of you."
    Baingil stepped past the elleth then, to look around. She hesitated for a moment, peering over to where Dincairwenhad apparently finished doctoring Aranadhel, making sure that those two were ready; none of her guards had been wounded and should be done collecting arrows by now. "Prepare to move out,"she said in a commanding tone, eyeing the trees with a calculating look to be sure of her direction and turning southwest once more.

  68. Aranaur's Avatar
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    #68


    Edge of Lorien

    Naur shifted her gaze almost scornfully to the ground. She did not know what the matter was with her, but as she listened to Aduchil's words, no calm was found in them, something very unusual in their dialogues. Aduchil usually always had a tranquil effect on her. She held her tongue, however, especially as the rest of the group could hear the both of them. At this point, no matter her opinion on how or when the information was made available to them, it was a very simple fact: she was now part of a team that would be attempting to penetrate one of the darkest places in all of the land. There was no turning back, and Aduchil was very correct when he said it must be done. Naur let out a loud sigh as the Captain addressed her fellows.

    As he gave them permission to rest and eat, Naur began to draw forth a bit of her own lembas when Aduchil motioned for her. She could feel him draw his height against her, and considered it an unfair advantage, yet one that was effective. Naur bit the inside of her cheek as she looked him square in the eyes, listening to his commanding voice. She could see- no, he hide it too well- she could feel the burden on his shoulders, and felt sorry for her initial reaction. But, being the stubborn- and slightly wild-- creature she is, her apology was not in the form of words, instead it was when she covered his hand on her shoulder with her own. She reluctantly nodded assent, and rejoined the group, having not said a further word to him.

    Naur knew most of her frustration was not from anything anyone had done, but rather it was from something a bit unfamiliar to her: fear. A cold fear ran through her usually abnormally warm veins, and she could sense it in each of her companions. Their pace hastened as they moved from Lorien, and Beltayn's farewell was a meaningful reminder for as to what they were all fighting for. She flashed him a quick smile, nodding in respect. It was a much needed reminder for her in particular. As Miruiel walked before her, Naur realized how young the elleth was. She decided, upon the right timing, to show her a few tips for scouting, especially since they were both of similar stature- she would make an excellent scout.

    As Naur was reviewing her own strategies for the upcoming ordeal, her thoughts were interrupted by the distinct sound of a snapping branch. This was no natural sound- rather, a footfall had made it- and yet, it was too light and careful to be anything but one of her kindred. It was thus that Faerdhinen introduced herself, though the sound of her voice caught the group all but by surprise. Naur had yet seen the elleth, for she had a gift for remembering faces, and such a scar would have made a rather strong impression on her. Despite it, or perhaps all the more for it, the new elf was quite graceful, and her demure was perhaps more befitting of the Eldar than Naur's wild habits. She listened carefully to the news, tilting her head toward Faerdhinen, and following the rest as they made their way to the banks of the great river.

    Ye ol' Great Anduin

    Naur continued her pout all the way to the river: she may be understanding, but she did not have to like what they were doing. As the Captain gave orders to Sailacel and Beltayn, Naur watched the latter easily navigate the currents of the Anduin. She had to give it to him, it was a feat to cross such a river, and she would have surely been swept away for her size. As the group was about to cross, Naur heard the...unnatural sound coming from Beltayn's side and swore under her breath.

    She knew now her attitude had been a mistake, and perhaps a costly one, as she dropped to the ground and found her bow. An arrow from Lorien was drawn, and ready to leave its temporary home at any minute to find a more permanent one, Yet she waited for command. She would have to lose her sulking mood if she were to survive this journey, she realized. With baited breath she waited as the yrch approached, hoping against hope that Beltayn would remain safe. She winced as she realized that she could hear her blood pumping, anticipation building.



  69. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #69
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1" marginwidth="1">Miruiel - Western bank of the Anduin


    Miruiel followed the lead of the others as they made their way towards the great river. Finding herself near the back of the group, she allowed her mind to rest in in elvish dreams for some time, and therefore was taken by surprise when they were joined unexpectedly by Faerdhinen, who carried a message from Maethor. It was somehow heartening to know that there were still open channels of communication back to the Swan Guard headquarters. However, Miruiel also realised that she should have been more observant of her surroundings, and determined not to let even a mouse slip past her attention in future!

    Faerdhinen’s
    voice was unusually harsh and raw – and Miruiel was shocked to see that she bore a noticeable scar across her neck. One of Miruiel’s cousins also bore a battle scar down one side of their face, so she was not too unsettled by the look of the scar – but she did wonder what terrible misfortune had befallen the elleth that seemed to also affect her speech.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
    Aduchil read the message aloudwarning them that orcs had been spotted moving on the eastern bank of the Anduin, patrolling near Mirkwood. <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Miruiel [/B]strangely did not feel afraid at the news – rather she was consumed with a sudden fierce desire to kill them and avenge her father’s death.
    Theymoved on through bare grasslands for another hour, relying on the protective qualities of their cloaks to hide them from unfriendly eyes. Miruiel kept her hearing extended, and her eyes searching for signs of danger – but apart from the approaching gleam of the river and the new smells on the air they reached thegreat riverwithout incident.
    Miruiel had never crossed the Anduin before and was acutely aware of her inexperience in such a setting. It looked far wider and stronger than the Celebrant which she had visited before with her father and brothers.The crossing place bore signs ofpast use, and the oak tree by the river had marks around its trunk where other ropes had been tied.<BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">
    Aduchil uncoilied a length of rope which Sailacel attached to the oak tree. It appeared that Beltayn was toswim the ropeacross, a task that she did not envy! Heproved to be astrong swimmer, and soon had the rope tied fast to the opposite shore.As they were making ready to cross the rope bridge which now spanned the river, Miruiel noticed Beltayn’s hawk which was soaring high in the sky send out a warning cry, and Beltayn suddenly gestured for them to take cover. When Aduchil hissed<I style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Hide[/I]!" everyone was ducking for cover using their cloaks if ther was no other shelter. Miruiel followed the Captians' lead and like Naur had done, once she was hidden from sight by a bramble, fitted an arrow to her bow, awaiting to see what would happen next. She wondered how Beltayn would fare, alone and weaponless on the other side of the river.<BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">

  70. Aduchil's Avatar
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    #70


    Western bank of the Anduin

    The seconds passed by with Aduchil acutely aware of each moment, with the constant beating of his heart sending his blood racing through him. It only made it harder to remain still as his body was already preparing for a fight, while his mind was doing what it could to avoid one. His bowstring was not pulled back since that would be too taxing to maintain while remaining stealthed, but the arrow was notched and his fingers in position. Inching his head upwards, Aduchil raised his eyes towards where he could see the dust being kicked up by movement. Ever so slowly he adjusted his cloak to better cover him in this new position, keeping his gaze on the band of orcs that moved swiftly northwards. He was not even conscious of how rapid his breath had become as he observed them pass not far from where the tree rose. Intently he watched their every move, if they might discover the rope or notice more than mere nature by the tree on each side of the river. However, they simply continued at the same pace. None halted, none turned west - apparently they felt the open land gave sufficient vision that simply by passing by they would see all worth seeing. They had no experience with the cloaks of the Galadhrim, Aduchil wagered, exhaling and then taking deep breaths to still himself. With relief he saw the scouting party continue north, until they began to fade from his sight, and finally his body was able to relax.

    Standing up and placing the arrow back in its quiver, Aduchil glanced around at the Elves by his side.
    "Fortune favours us," he said smiling, considering this a good omen. If the mission continued thusly, all would be well; it depended on stealth rather than force, after all. Bending down quickly, Aduchil snatched up Beltayn's gear from the ground, while slinging his bow across his back. "I will cross first," Aduchil said, wanting to get Beltayn's equipment to him as soon as possible. And since he had promised to take care of it himself, he did not wish to leave the bundle in anybody else's hands. "Naur follow me as soon as I am on the other side," Aduchil instructed, preferring to have her close though he was reluctant to delve into his reasons why. "Sailacel afterwards, then Miruiel; Faerdhinen bring up the rear," he continued. It was not strictly necessary to make a list, but Aduchil liked the sense of order and knowing that even a minor detail as this would be performed quickly and efficiently. Wasting no further time, Aduchil walked around the tree and jumped onto the rope.

    Eastern bank of Anduin

    With the natural dexterity of his race, Aduchil rarely found any difficulty in this crossing. This time, the gear in his hands did add a little extra unnatural weight, and staring down into the roaring waters was close to giving Aduchil pause. But he steeled himself and kept moving, knowing that hesitation would disturb his balance more. Slightly relieved as he reached the other side, Aduchil jumped down and presented his belongings to Beltayn. Looking at the Elf, Aduchil nodded to him and spoke briefly. "Well done keeping your calm, soldier," the captain said, feeling it unnecessary to add more. It had been a most unfortunate situation, but also one that could not have been foreseen. The volatile nature of war sometimes left warriors in dire circumstances none could predict; what was important was not to lament this fact, but to react to it in the proper way. Glancing back, Aduchil looked as the other Elves prepared to follow after him and he felt satisfied that this first trial had gone well, with everybody reacting the way that warriors of the Galadhrim should.

    GM notice for Lórien: Time to cross the Anduin. In this particular instance, rather than force people to post when it is their turn to cross, you can just GM that it is your turn and those before you have already crossed (so everybody can post at their leisure, rather than have to wait).



  71. Aranaur's Avatar
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    #71


    Western Bank of the Anduin

    Naur's glance shifted from where Aduchil was hidden, to where Beltayn would be. She'd smile at the thought that the Eldar were so adept at hiding if it were a better situation, but it was not and the only thing to cross her lips was the quiver of nerves. Again she bit the inside of her cheek- an anxious habit, and one she knew would happen often on this journey. She made a mental note that she would have to stop- once all of the soldiers returned safely to Lorien. Naur's thought returned to the scene before her as the yrch made their way through- they were in no manner quiet or elegant, as many of the other beings of the forest.

    A fox would never make such a racket, and a deer would perhaps only if wounded. It was not even worth comparing the Eldar to the yrch- though, Naur thought sadly, they were of the same origin. Still, although they moved swiftly there was no grace in their movement, only brute force. It was thus with less trepidation that Naur watched the band leave the area, her nose crinkling as the stench of the group made it even across the river. When they were out of sight- out of earshot, and, thankfully, out of smelling range, Aduchil stood up to address the group.

    A collective sigh was heard among the small party, Naur's among them. She quite liked Beltayn, and that fight would in no way have been in the scouts' favor. As Aduchil smiled, Naur cracked the closest thing she could manage to one, trying to improve her mood and allowing this temporary reprieve to wash over her. Her eyes followed Aduchil as he grabbed Beltayn's equipment, and Naur waved to Beltayn just to make sure he was over there and okay. Naur herself would have been very shaken by such an incident, she hoped that he was alright however.

    As Aduchil listed the order they were to go in, Naur caught his eye in a moment of slight confusion. As one of the more experienced scouts in the group, she would have expected to bring up the rear. A warm feeling formed inside her, and she felt a slight blush- though luckily all eyes were turned to the Captain, and his attention was on the rope he was about to cross. With poise he crossed the water- despite the extra weight and his dislike of the element.

    'Well, I suppose it's only a hop and a skip over a little puddle,' she said to Sailacel, Miruiel, and Faerdhinen, her humor finally returning to her.

    Eastern bank of Anduin


    Naur had never minded water, and she was by nature built for balance, not strength- in fact, her lack of strength was a very viable weakness, and one she preferred not to dwell on. The rope was taut and well adjusted. She stepped on it, the weight of her body barely dipping the rope. Naur was nearly to the end when she unexpectedly bent down, attempted to reach the cool waters and only felt a single drop on her hand. She scowled at the water then, knowing her height was not adequate. Her nose crinkled as she stood up and made the last few steps, hoping off lightly. 'It was worth a try,' she muttered, then smiled at Beltayn. 'Well done, friend! I can honestly say I am not sure what I would have done in such a state.' She nodded to the Captain, then watched as the others proceeded with equal grace across the slim bridge.

  72. Morgan la Fée's Avatar
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    #72


    Feowen
    Mirkwood forest

    Feowen
    was privately comforted to see Baingíl so serene. Being herself of a more pronouncedly sanguine temperament, she often looked for a steady sort of presence, especially in her superiors. Feowen would have been hard-pressed to follow anyone who was not that way, though she believed herself to be quite fortunate in that regard. As Baingíl sheathed her knife and returned her the thanks for deeds of the day, Feowen couldn't help but feel pleased to be so justified. She could not have acted differently in view of the circumstances, and as Feowen thought it, she realized it bore saying. "It had to be done, if not by me, then by another. I merely got there first," she interjected quietly in one of the pauses, automatically copying Baingíl's tone. Her gaze settled on following the captain's hands as she bandaged her arm for nothing better to do, frowning slightly in sympathy with the elleth's discomfort.

    At Baingíl's next words Feowen shifted her attention to the captain's face, frown deepening as she gauged what sort of reply she should make. She didn't feel like apologising, exactly, and she couldn't really claim that she was without fault. But then Baingíl followed the singularly tolerable reprimand with a - a plea, almost, if the gentle look in the captain's eyes was anything to go by. Surely she doesn't mean to apologise for not covering me when.. the astonishment rather showed on Feowen's face for a second, before she composed herself with a tiny shake of her head. It's true, I have been away for too long, if this is a surprise to me. An Elven captain feeling responsible for her soldiers -- when Feowen could not remember the last time she took responsibility for anything, or anyone for her, for that matter. Even as she felt a surge of admiration for the elleth before her, a feeling of vague apprehension settled in her chest and made her stomach muscles tense, as if preparing to receive a punch. She kept her face carefully blank, thankful that Baingíl had to look away now and again as she secured the bandage on her arm and began to gather up her supplies.

    When Baingíl stood up, Feowen could answer the captain's smile with one of her own. She didn't really trust herself to speak, however, but Baingíl did that for her. Feowen's smile brightened considerably despite her, and she inclined her head in acknowledgement of the praise, her eyes sparkling. "I am honoured," she replied simply, even though honoured was but a tenth part of what she was feeling.

    Feowen turned on the spot as Baingíl stepped around her to assess the condition of the rest of the group. Her own things didn't need collecting - she never put them down, however laden with weapons she felt, compared to the others. In retrospect, climbing anything with a sword in tow was never a good idea, but Feowen did have a tendency to err on the side of plenty, and that suited her well enough. The warrior in her, born in the desert sand long to the South, amid more intrigues than open hostility, half in jest, had somewhere along the road become a part of her identity she was not likely to part with soon. Evil paths waited ahead. As Baingíl gave the command, Feowen broke out of her meditative stillness abruptly, as if racing in a sprint. Checking herself, she set off at a more reasonable pace in the direction indicated by Baingíl, pushing all idle musings from her mind and focusing once more on the forest around her.


  73. Dincairwen's Avatar
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    #73
    Dincairwen


    Mirkwood
    Most of the salvageable arrows had been collected and redistributed, and Cair counted how many were in her quiver. She decided she had a sufficient amount, and settled her quiver over her shoulder again. Caution prompted her to leave her bow strung. If the wolves had come upon them so suddenly, any other kind of nasty creature could do the same. Hopefully there was not another wolf pack nearby. The animals were generally territorial and did not suffer rival packs to infringe on their land. Her hope was that there were no others for a very long time. Hearing a bird chirp in a tree above her, she glanced up quickly, her nerves taut. She realized a second later that normal animals sound were a good sign, as they meant there was no immediate danger.
    As she turned to find Baingil, the rude elleth (Manwathiel) approached Cair and Nethalion and stood before them silently. It looked as though she wanted to say something. Cair's green eyes flitted over the elf's face, taking in the tension and inner struggle. She had some sympathy. When she had been young she had been quite shy. Her shyness had never strayed into rudeness, however, and there her sympathy ended. It was not -that- hard to be civil. The elf managed to greet them and introduce herself as Manwathiel, and then abruptly stopped. Cair remained silent, her eyes impassive. Her eyebrows lifted upward questioningly. It seemed Manwathiel's interest was not with her, though, but with Nethalion. At least she apologized for her earlier rudeness.
    "Hmm." Cair murmured, and then shrugged and walked over to confer with Baingil as she gave the order to move out again. Their route had been decided on, and they continued their southward trek. When silence was not necessary, Cair tried to teach Nethalion some of the basics of herblore, pointing out useful plants as they passed them. She made a mental note to invite him to Lorien to learn more after their mission was completed. He would likely need the knowledge in the near future, so it was good that he learned now. Mirkwood was not likely to be spared from their enemy's wrath when the time came, nor was Lorien.
    Several days laterSouthwestern border of Mirkwood, nearing Rhosgobel
    They were making remarkably good time. It was almost to the point where Cair hoped they would not have to wait overly long for the Lorien group to reach the outskirts of Dol Guldur, despite the difference in their journeys. Realistically, Aduchil and his group would still probably get there before them or at the same time, however, unless they encountered trouble. She let herself wonder how many guards the captain had been able to recruit. Knowing him, he had kept their destination secret until the last possible moment to avoid alarm, and to keep the word from spreading. The less people that knew, the less likely Dol Guldur was to know they were coming.
    Galadriel had told her before she left that one of their allies, the brown wizard, Radagast, was likely to still be at his home in southern Mirkwood. He had helped with the earlier attack that had driven Sauron back to Mordor, and gathered a good deal of information. Cair vaguely knew of the existence of a council of some kind of the wisest of their kind left in Middle-Earth, including the wizards. The details were sketchy, but she imagined Radagast would still be working on their behalf. If they needed aid, perhaps he would be able to provide it. He was notoriously reclusive, but hopefully he would not turn away a group of the elder kindred.
    The woods did seem somewhat less oppressive where they were. It was a pleasant respite, although their journey was still far from pleasant. The tension abated just enough to make <b style="font-style: italic; ">Cair[/b] feel a little lighter. She picked up her pace so she was walking alongside <b style="font-style: italic; ">Baingil[/b]. "What do you know of Radagast and Rhosgobel? My lady mentioned that he may still be here and possibly be able to provide information."
    GM Note: We're approaching Rhosgobel now, so feel free to RP as such.

  74. Gh0st!'s Avatar
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    #74
    Nethalion
    Nearing Rhosgobel


    Nethalion smiled and nodded when Dincairwen suggested that she talk to him about healing at their next resting place. That sounded good to him. But there was no time for such things now. They were preparing to continue the journey south. Cair mentioned that they should regather their arrows. He himself had already done that earlier when he had come down from the tree. He adjusted his things in preparation for setting off again, and when he looked up he noticed that the elf who had spoken to him before the battle (Manwathiel) was approaching him. She stood for a moment, and took another moment to properly complete what she wanted to say. Nethalion smiled in response to her words. 'There is nothing to forgive,' he said, waving his hand at the same time to help deliver that message. He would not say any more on the matter of their earlier words. He was happy to move past that, as she seemed to want to do as well. 'It is a pleasure to meet you properly, Manwathiel,' he said. 'My name is Nethalion. I see it is time to set off again.' The others had gathered and were ready to go.

    The next stage of the journey seemed to him to go very swiftly. This more southern part of the forest was foreign to him. It was dark, but they were near the edge and so it was not as dark as it could have been. It granted him the opportunity to observe new kinds of trees and foliage that he had not seen before. The noises of some of the animals were strange. He had heard his fair share of strange animal noises during his lifetime in Mirkwood, but some of these ones he had not heard before. He was also granted the opportunity to learn some things from Dincairwen as they moved. She was happy to point out plants to him that were useful when it came to healing wounds and ailments. He was always awed by nature, even in the darkest places such as this, and so he was very interested in what she had to say about each plant. He was grateful that she was so eager to teach. He would have to thank her for that when the time was right.

    As they went even further they south, his keen ears heard the mentioning of 'Rhosgobel'. He knew nothing much of that place, though when he was a child his father had told him that a wizard lived in that strange place. A wizard who loved the trees, birds, and other animals. Nethalion wondered if their leaders meant to find the wizard's home, and found himself wondering what Radagast the wizard was actually like, or if he even still lived there.





  75. Haflin's Avatar
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    #75
    Beltayn
    Eastern bank of the Anduin

    Long seconds passed but for Beltayn it might as well have been an age. He heard the stomping and the snarling come closer and the disgusting tongue that the yrch snapped at each other in as they filed past his hiding spot with the clanking of metal. He heard all of these things but did not see the terrible images that went with them as he was face down on the bankside, trying desperately to make his body as small as possible amongst the reeds ad grass. He barely breathed through the entire ordeal, not wanting to alarm the enemy with any sudden movements...The moment passed as quickly as it had come though, and soon the wicked noises were retreating out of range of his hearing until all was silent again. Still, he dared not move until he began to perceive moment on the opposite shore and saw that the Captain was preparing to come over along the fastened rope that now stretched above the river. Beltayn breathed an audible sigh of relief and thanked the powers that be that the worst had been avoided.Fastening the knife back into his belt, he stood up to receive Aduchil as he quite swiftly crossed with the light steps their kind were known for.

    Beltayn
    was glad to see that the captain had brought his things and graciously received them when they were given back to him. He took first his sword and placed that back on his belt, realizing how naked he felt without it there, especially in the face of such danger. When the captain complimented his calm, Beltayn gave the merest hint of a smile at the praise, although the situation had nearly been disastrous, there was no way the captain could have known what was waiting for them on the other side. The situation had turned out for the better in the end and so he just put it down to the dangers of their current mission, it was that simple, they were sure to face many more like it where they were going...

    "I am pleased to have had the chance to do my part."
    He said truthfully, finally feeling a little vindication in his decision to offer his services to the guard. He was soon fully equipped again and was especially thankful for being reunited with his cloak which would help him get dried off and protect his wetness from the wind. As the two stood there, Naur now came across just as swiftly as the captain had along the rope. Beltayn recalled a few experiences with men who considered such feats to be strange and wonderous as their kind tended to be less balanced and light physically, but the fact was that such things as this were something like regular practice for the warriors of the golden realm who trained to fight from and move through the trees. As the elleth moved to join them, she called out to him, remarking on the events that had transpired, he gave her the same small smile that he had given the captain.

    "I hope for all our sakes such situations will be rare things on this trip. I am sure though that you would have been fine in my position, the aim of the Galadhrim is true and their feet swift to aid their friends in need."
    He said with a nod, they would all have to be watching each others' backs and this occurrence served only to emphasize this fact. As they waited for the others, he looked to the sky but did not see any sign of his companion who had warned him earlier. This did not alarm him as the hawk was wily and shrewd, she would be fine until she returned to him whenever they stopped next. Looking back out across the Anduin, he found himself filled with a bit of mirth, never would he look at the river the same way again now that he had swam across it. "If elves are not swimmers then you may want to call me a fish from now on." He said to nobody in particular as he watched the river flow, with a slight chuckle at his own expense, his voice inflected to imply the comedy of the statement

    Last edited by Haflin; 22/Dec/2012 at 05:11 AM.

  76. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #76


    Miruiel - banks of the Anduin
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    Once the threat of the orcs had passed the scouting party quickly made
    ready to follow <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Beltayn[/b] over the
    Anduin using a rope bridge as was the custom of the Galadhrim. Everyone seemed
    to be making an effort to show that they were unafraid – "Fortune
    favours us," was <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Aduchil’s[/b]
    smiling assessment of their escape from detection,
    then <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Naur
    [/b]lightheartedly made a comment that it was “only a hop and a skip over a
    little puddle
    “ -so <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Miruiel[/b] took
    their cue to be strong and did not let her private fears show outwardly as she prepared to take
    her turn to cross the Anduin. She did not feel up to speaking however – the
    knowledge that she was about to leave familiar lands behind altogether was
    weighing on her mind as much as the dangers that they would soon be facing.



    Being familiar enough with balancing on the slender rope, which was now stretched above the swiftly flowing water, she had no difficulty
    in crossing the river but the lack of cover and feeling of being exposed to all
    eyes made her feel uncomfortable– especially as she had lived most of her life
    surrounded by the protecting eaves of the forest. There was little enough cover
    on the far side where the others were waiting and her keen elf eyes could detect
    them all clearly as they waited. <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Miruiel [/b]looked
    down at the strong current and wondered how many other lands these waters would
    be passing through before reaching the sea.


    <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Beltayn [/b]also seemed to be making an
    effort to appear unconcerned as he chuckled something about being called a fish
    as she passed.Although she didn't really understand his meaning <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Miruiel [/b]was comforted that she was among such stout hearted warriors,
    and although she never let her senses drop their guard (having learned her lesson when Faerdhinen had appeared so suddenly,she managed a tight
    smile to show she too was ready to proceed.





  77. Baingíl Randír's Avatar
    Thranduil
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    #77
    Baingíl RandírChief Guard of ThranduilMirkwood Forest
    Baingílglanced once more at Feowenthen turned away, smiling slightly, and started off, noting the locations of the others and confident that they would follow her. She could have handled the situation many different ways; but she usually preferred explaining her reasoning for things. It didn't cross her mind that her concern for her guards could be unusual; she expected an Elven captain to always to be the first to lead the attack and the last to retreat, unless it wouldjeopardizea mission to do so. She wanted the trust and respect of her soldiers, both of which were to be earned. And she intended to earn both, both in Feowen'scase and generally.
    She quickly turned her thoughts from these, however, to focus on the forest around her. They couldn't afford to have too many battles, and as they neared Dol Guldur it would pay to be ever more watchful. Her eyes shifted about, constantly moving; she listened intently, ranging the forest with her hearing. However, all she heard at the moment was a chittering of a squirrel in the distance, and the cautious chirp of a bird as the forest began to relax again after the battle with the wolves. Baingílsmiled a little, though she did not relax her guard in the slightest. The smile faded to a grim look as a stab went through her shoulder; hopefully it would heal quickly. She disliked being unable to use her bow with ease...
    She let one hand find her shoulder, pulling her cloak a little tighter about her, as she moved silently through the forest, leading her guards toward the edge of the forest and south.

    Several Days LaterNearing Rhosgobel
    Baingílstraightened a bit, slipping from the smooth, inconspicuous walk that she usually used into a more normal one - still silent, but less stealthy in movement. Her eyes and ears still ranged the forest, but this seemed to be one of the safer spots - she had not seen or heard sight or sound of danger for several hours. It should be safe to talk, she thought to herself - and her change of gait was a signal to her guards that acknowledged this. Hopefully she would not be wrong again...
    Her thoughts were quickly broken as Dincairwenapproached her and spoke. Baingílpaused, and responded slowly. "I have never spoken with Radagast the Brown, sadly; I have always been busy with the affairs of the Guard at any point where I could have met him here in Mirkwood, and have not run across him elsewhere. I have seen Rhosgobel only from the outside. However, I do believe he would help us, or at the very least he would not harm us." She paused for a moment, listening to the forest again - all quiet. "I think a visit could be in order. The more allies and information we have, the better; and it is not particularly out of our way."
    She did not look at Cairas she spoke, instead glancing about at the forest, as she had continually done ever since the wolf attack. Baingíldid not like to be caught off guard twice... though thankfully her shoulder improved at a remarkable speed. Baingílwas silent for a moment, then spoke again. "Shall I set a course for Rhosgobel?"




  78. Aduchil's Avatar
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    #78


    Reaching the edge of Mirkwood

    Aduchil stood mostly crouching by the tree on the eastern bank, trying to make himself less visible. There were no more orcs nearby, but it was almost a habit nowadays when he was outside of Lórien, since he had not left the forest for nigh on two years except when on missions such as this. He watched Naur nimbly make the crossing, his eyes following her lithe movements as were she a dancer. As she reached firm ground again, she gave him a nod which he returned before realising his focus was better spent in vigilance. He turned to keep his eyes eastwards, scouting for any further signs of orc bands. After a minute or two, he looked back to watch Faerdhinen cross as the last. As soon as she was over, Aduchil moved to where the rope had been bound around the tree. He pulled on the edge and the knot came undone, as well as on the other side. It took him a little while to coil the rope together before he placed it in a small hollow under the tree, covered by its roots. Aduchil did not want to enter a potential combat situation with his movements hindered by the rope, hence why he left it in its hiding place.

    Glancing around at his warriors, Aduchil signalled for them to make the final crossing of open land. As fell a reputation as Mirkwood had, at least in its southern parts, Aduchil preferred it to the naked territory between the forest and the river. Even aided by their cloaks and natural stealth, it was impossible to remain entirely concealed while moving. It was fortunate that the orcs did not yet keep such sharp vigil on the Anduin; Aduchil realised that if the Guard wanted to continue being able to cross the Anduin, they would need to be aggressive in doing so. But not yet, not until they had gathered what knowledge could be won on this journey. Leading the small band of Elves north-east, they approached the green edge of trees that promised an almost illusionary sense of security.

    Aduchil's breath increased slightly in pace as they closed the distance. Only when they were some scores of steps inside the treeline and covered by thick foliage did he relax a bit, even if he knew dangers were lurking everywhere. Hopefully though the forest would shield them, Aduchil thought as he turned to face the Elves with him, picking up his own flask of water as a signal for a short break to eat and drink. Letting the liquid wash down his throat, Aduchil capped the flakon again and put it away.
    "We go directly north from here, keeping close to the edge of the forest; no need to go further in until we must," he said, knowing it was unnecessary to mention how danger seemed to radiate from the centre of Dol Guldur. "Some hours north is our meeting point, where the lieutenant will meet us with a contigent of Elves from Thranduil's halls. Directly east of that place lies Dol Guldur; we will wait for nightfall before beginning our infiltration. I will explain in detail once we are assembled," Aduchil spoke, laying out the rough plan for his soldiers. He imagined that they preferred to know at least in rough detail what happened next.

    "Rest is over, get ready to move; remember, we must consider this enemy territory; whisper if you must speak," Aduchil said, perhaps a bit needlessly. "Miruiel," the captain then said, calling her to the front. "Move out ahead of us and take to the trees. As I said, our direction is straight north. Continue until you reach the lieutenant's group; only return to us if you spot an enemy," Aduchil directed, sending her ahead to act as a scout for the small group. They waited a moment as Miruiel departed with speed ahead of them, and then the group of now five Elves began their walk north in a slower pace.



  79. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #79
    Miruiel - Scouting North at the edge of Mirkwood

    Miruiel felt a weight of
    responsibility descend on her as Aduchil
    chose her to be the next forward scout. Up until now she had just been a rank and file member of the scouting party, following orders and keeping her head down. Now
    she would have to begin to make crucial decisions for her self – decisions that
    might be of life or death significance to her companions. She wanted to prove herself worthy of his trust.

    Apart from the fact that she was in
    unfamiliar territory – and heading for a place of known danger and evil - she
    felt confident enough taking the lead however. Miruiel as a Silvan elf had been moving through woods silently for
    as long as she could remember. It was second nature to be invisible and silent
    in such a setting, and she had recently gained the skills and weapons to defend herself
    against wargs and orcs. She had heard dark rumours about other fell beasts that
    inhabited the Necromancer’s realm – but at least for now as she kept to the
    edge of the forest where the sunlight still filtered through the trees, such
    terrifying rumours seemed less
    believable.

    She quietly told Aduchil that if she
    couldn’t return in time to warn them, she would whistle a cuckoo call as a
    warning signal (a bird unlikely to reside in these hostile woods and a call which
    she hoped would carry a reasonable distance). She tried not to think of what dire
    predicament she might be in if she was forced to send such a warning. It was
    better to keep her mind firmly on the task ahead. Miruiel slipped quietly
    ahead of the others, moving silently and swiftly from tree to tree, watching
    her step so that she didn’t tread on any branches which would make a noise
    underfoot, just as she had done when hunting wild animals or tracking down a
    swarm of bees back home.She remembered to keep a track of the direction of
    the long shadows and shafts of sunlight coming through the trees in order to keep her direction northerly, and
    skirted just inside the edge of Mirkwood as instructed, trusting that Aduchil had told her everything she
    might need to know. She kept a sharp lookout for signs of tracks on the ground or
    recently broken branches that might indicate that someone or something had
    passed recently, and her ears were attuned to every crackle and rustle however
    faint coming from the dark forest. She was relieved to find that the scouting
    party behind her was almost silent, as they moved at a slightly slower pace
    behind her in the forest. She could smell unfamiliar scents – some of them rank
    and unpleasant coming from the deeper mass of the wood. Miruiel did not want to get so far ahead of the others that she
    could not get back to them with a warning, should she encounter anything
    untoward but was aware that she needed to scout ahead enough to gather what
    information she might and to prevent her company from walking into a trap. She
    wondered how long it would take to meet up with the lieutenant’s contingent. Aduchil had only said “some hours north”
    so she kept moving swiftly and kept her senses on high alert.



  80. Sailacel's Avatar
    Garment-crafter of Lothlorien
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    #80


    SailacelBanks of theAnduinSailacel gracefully walked across the grey rope spanning the Anduin. A smile was on her face, she had always enjoyed crossing riversthe way theGaladhrim did.It brought back a flood offond memories of her youth, but touching the eastern bank of the Anduin she came back to the present and her smile faded. Part of her wished she could stay on the rope and remain filled with the good memories it brought, and yet another part of her wanted to go further, to leave Lothlorien's safety behind and have an adventure. The latterfeeling had more strength than it had ever had before, which unnerved her.She had known others who had given into that same feeling, rushed into danger and died, for nothing. The emotions within her must be kept controlled. She could not allow herself to die for nothing. If one must die, they should die for something. Something noble, something just, something right, something... Just then she realized they were moving out, and began to follow Aduchil.The Edge of MirkwoodSailacel sat down and swallowed the cool water from her flask, it was so refreshing. A breeze went though, andshe closed her eyes lifting herface to the sky, the hood of her cloak fell back, andher ears listened to all the sounds of Mirkwood. She had left Mirkwood only a little while ago to go back home to Lorien, and now she was back in Mirkwood. She wanted to laugh, but she held it in. Then she opened her eyes and looked at Aduchil as he explained what they were to do next.Aduchil told them it was time to move out.She stood up, took one more sip of water and put her flask away. Taking a quicklook over her equipment and pulling her hood back over her head, she watched Miruiel disappearsilently into the woods. Sailacelsilently followed Aduchil through the woods toward the Elves of Thranduil's halls.


  81. Morgan la Fée's Avatar
    Wine-taster of Mirkwood
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    #81


    Feowen
    Nearing Rhosgob
    el

    It seemed that their group moved more purposefully now, after the wolf attack, not spreading out quite so much. Feowen had felt quite invigorated directly in the aftermath, but the forest soon calmed her down. The steady sequence of days filled with nothing but walking, mile by mile edging through the better portion of Mirkwood. By now she was so attuned to the sounds of her surroundings that she could feel the forest breathing, the trees letting out muted groans, small creatures whispering though the underbrush, the faint rustle of leaves above their head, occasionally.

    Bringing up a map of the wood to her mind's eye, and calculating the likely pace they have been making, she concluded they must be nearing the Bight, except they were keeping to the western border of the forest. The location had a friendly vibe to it, only Feowen couldn't immediately put a finger on why. That this was the last favourable part of the forest they were likely to encounter was obvious, and that meant some benevolent spirit must have its dwelling here. There. Rhosgobel. Radagast, one of the Istari. Feowen smiled as she finally remembered the tales, including one from another wizard, whom she had briefly encontered once in Imladris. She looked ahead to Baingil, and saw Dincairwen beside her again, the two of them talking together. Are they planning to seek advice from the wizard? Feowen wondered. She didn't think it was a bad idea, per se, but they journey had taken long enough already, and if they were to coordinate with the Lothlorien group still.. Either way, it was not her decision to make, so she pushed the matter from her mind.

    She had now found herself walking next to Nethalion again. She had remarked before that his whole countenance spoke of youth and an amiable disposition. She could well remember herself and her peers just barely into maturity, and though she did not have more than a century on Nethalion, she supposed, it felt more of a gap than it should. Encouraging herself to take the sociable road for once, she said conversationally: "Peculiar to make introductions in the middle of an expedition, don't you find?" She flashed him a smile. "We can skip all that, I trust. It seems as though we'll make camp soon, or as close as, so none of the dark stuff. Tell me, what fun is there to be had back home" - she indicated the way they'd come - "in this day and age?"


  82. Aduchil's Avatar
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    #82


    Edge of Mirkwood

    They all watched as Miruiel disappeared ahead of them into the foliage, the darkness soon covering where she had entered it. Although there were still some hours of sunlight left by Aduchil's count, the sun seemed to have as little success reaching through the trees of Mirkwood as it did in Lórien. However, there, it merely gave a serene if slightly eerie mood. Here, the quietness was unnerving, and the lowered visibility promised only danger. Perhaps northern Mirkwood was dangerous, but Aduchil knew that no shadows could be trusted in this part of the woods. Gesturing to his band, they moved out silently, each attempting to avoid noise as much as possible. Aduchil had unslung his bow from his back; despite its length which did hinder his movements slightly when he walked with it in his hands, he knew that in possible combat the few seconds spared from having it already drawn might determine the outcome. As a consequence, the group moved slower as they were both attempting stealth as well as keeping their reflexes honed for a fight that might suddenly appear. Maethor's message sent via Faerdhinen was still fresh in Aduchil's memory.

    Moving along, Aduchil checked the various surroundings occasionally to ensure they were on course. He was not that accustomed to finding his bearings in a forest; usually he wandered in open lands, where the sun showed him his direction by day and the stars by night. With the thick forest surrounding them, it was rare that he could establish the sun's position, so now and then he would halt the group to give a brief rest, while he darted up a tree. Although no climber such as many of the Galadhrim, necessity had taught the Noldo how to get up a tree fast. Once he reached the top of the crown, he would enjoy the feeling of the wind against his face momentarily before establishing the direction of north by checking how far the sun had moved towards the west. This also told him that the final precious hours of daylight were dwindling. Hurrying down the tree and jumping to the ground from the lower branches, Aduchil signalled to move out again. He was slightly worried that if darkness fell, they might have trouble locating the lieutenant and her group; however, they had agreed on some markers so hopefully it would not come to that.

    All the same, Aduchil decided to risk a slight increase in speed. Dol Guldur was still leagues away and it was doubtful that there were would be enemy activity exactly where they moved through the forest. If they could meet with Dincairwen and the other Elves before nightfall, there would be time to set up groups, explain the plan of action and set it in motion while the night was young. The lack of a moon meant there should be every chance of success. Thinking of this inevitably led Aduchil to begin going through the plans in his head, and the mysterious wonders of Mirkwood were soon lost on him. He paid little heed to the tall trees that grew in this the mightiest forest in Middle-earth, nor did he much notice the few animals and birds who did make their home here. At times he looked back quickly to gauge the mood of the handful of Elves behind him. He had arranged it so that Beltayn brought up the rear for now, with Sailacel in front, Faerdhinen in the middle and Naur right behind him. Their faces seemed about as grim as he imagined his own to be. As what little sunlight reached them began to wane, Aduchil knew that they had at most two hours. And then Dol Guldur would await them.




  83. Morwen Daegomir's Avatar
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    #83
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    <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Faerdhinen

    Crossing the Anduin[/b]



    As <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Aduchil [/b]opened the message she had
    brought and revealed its contents, <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Faerdhinen
    [/b]felt a small and subtle shudder run through her. It was of both horror and delight; an odd
    combination, to be sure. But it stemmed
    from a slew of memories and emotions that boiled sickly in her gut, and she
    suddenly felt bile rise in her throat at the thought of the creatures. A cloying memory threatened to take shape
    fully in her mind; a memory of such creatures and what they had done to her,
    but she forcefully shoved it down. It
    would do no good to have herself go into one of her retching episodes; she had
    done much to get them under control in the past years, and now she had a chance
    to pay back the creatures who caused them.
    And so, at <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Aduchil’s [/b]invitation
    to join them, the turquoise eyed elleth had to contain her fervent response;
    though unbeknownst to her, a fanatical gleam still lit her eyes. She nodded her acquiescence only, afraid that
    her voice would give her away; or the bile that had risen in her throat would
    find its way out.



    She
    noted another elleth, <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Naur[/b],
    listening as the news was read, her head tilted toward <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Faerdhinen[/b]. Glancing over,
    her turquoise eyes met the elleth’s for a moment. She recognized the elleth’s face; she must
    have been there that evening in the Talan of Warriors when <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Faerdhinen [/b]had first joined the guard. And no doubt <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Naur [/b]recognized her; her horrendous neck scar and grating voice
    tended to leave an impression.



    &lt;&gt;
    &lt;&gt; &lt;&gt; &lt;&gt;<br style="mso-special-character:line-break">


    When
    they arrived at the Anduin, she watched as <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Aduchil[/b]
    handed a rope to another ellon, <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Beltayn[/b];
    who she had also met in the Talan not long gone. He was instructed to swim across the Anduin
    so that they might construct a rope bridge to cross upon. At first he seemed to be having trouble, but
    she watched, impressed, as he found his rhythm and made it across. His moment of accomplishment was short-lived,
    however; for she saw him suddenly begin gesturing frantically with his
    arms. <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Aduchil [/b]suddenly hissed for them all to hide; and her heart skipped
    a beat as her sharp eyes picked out movement on the far shores that signified
    orcs. She froze momentarily, and then
    cursed herself silently and dropped to the ground in some undergrowth. <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">What
    foolishness is this? I have waited too long
    and worked too hard toward this to freeze up at the first scent of my old
    enemies. [/i]



    The time
    passed as they lay hidden; until it became clear the party of orcs was moving
    off into the distance. A sick feeling of
    relief washed over her, and she tried to ignore it. She should not feel so relieved. She <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">wanted
    [/i]this. But the idea of killing
    sickened her. Though she had trained
    with weapons for years since- a brief shudder passed through her, and she didn’t
    finish the thought. Despite her training
    in weaponry, she had still never killed anything. Her greatest love had been singing, and
    dwelling amongst the fauna of Lórien.
    And even though these evil creatures were only bent on destruction and
    sickened her as much to think of alive as the thought of actually killing… her
    mind still could not wrap its way around the matter. Her thoughts were brought to a sudden halt as
    <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Aduchil [/b]stood and gave orders on
    their order of crossing, and crossed himself.



    She
    stood, waiting for her turn, as she had been instructed to bring up the
    rear. As she stood next to the others, <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Naur [/b]made a glib comment about the
    crossing, and a beautiful smile lit up <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Faerdhinen’s
    [/b]features; some of her usual kind and calm returning with it. <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">“Indeed,”
    [/i]she replied, <i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">“a little puddle.” [/i]She glanced at the Anduin, which seemed
    to flow more ferociously in light of their comments; as though determined to
    prove them wrong. But she did not
    mind. Water she had no fear of. Water was pure and good. The rivers, seas, and oceans; they would
    remain consistent. Turbulent, perhaps;
    but they were wild and free things, beautiful in their wrath and calm. They had no ill and cruel intentions. With these thoughts in mind, she followed
    behind the others, bringing up the rear of the Guard. She skipped gracefully across the rope,
    unconcerned by the water frothing below her.
    This was something natural. She
    was good at such things. Killing was not
    natural. Would she survive it? Brushing the thought away, she landed lightly
    on the other side of the river with the others.




    <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Reaching the edge of Mirkwood[/b]



    After a
    brief respite, the group continued through the wood at a steady pace. They were warned to keep silent; though she
    wondered who would wish to speak loudly at a time like this. <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Aduchil
    [/b]sent another ahead to scout the area ahead of them; it seemed they were
    close to Mirkwood and meeting up with the other group. As they continued to walk, she glanced at <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Aduchil[/b]. His countenance was grim, and he pushed their
    pace slightly faster as they continued their trek. She pondered his earlier actions with<b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal"> Naur[/b].
    At the time, she had been too preoccupied with the threat of the orcs
    (her stomach clenched again, merely at the thought), but when he had gone
    across the river, he had made sure the elleth was directly following him;
    leaving the less experienced <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Faerdhinen [/b]to
    bring up the rear. Now, she did not know
    much about military campaigning, but even to her this seemed odd. She would have dismissed it, but for the odd
    expression on <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Naur’s [/b]face following <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Aduchil’s [/b]orders.



    Normally
    <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Faerdhinen [/b]would not have really
    cared much to decipher the puzzle. She
    had never been one for logical reasoning and solving; preferring to spend her
    time in more artistic pursuits as well as simply in solitude or amongst the animals
    of Lórien. They were not so complicated,
    and did not need to be analyzed to understand.
    She understood them as easily as she understood the song that had once
    lifted from her so delightfully; something that had been a part of her. But this conundrum was now the only thing
    keeping her from her thoughts of what lay ahead of them. She was half in utter terror, and half
    anticipating it so much that it took all her strength to keep from running
    ahead and searching down the scouting party of orcs that dared tread their
    disgusting feet in her forest. The two
    emotions tearing at her seemed to be trying to rip her in two; and so the
    scarred elleth did her best to ignore them, turning her gaze on <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Aduchil [/b]briefly as they continued on
    their journey.

    Edited by: Morwen Daegomir

  84. Dincairwen's Avatar
    Mentor of Lothlorien
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    #84
    Dincairwen


    Rhosgobel
    <b style="font-style: italic; ">Cair[/b] wrinkled her nose when <b style="font-style: italic; ">Baingil[/b] said she had never been inside Rhosgobel. Not in irritation at the Mirkwood elf, but rather that no one seemed to have any solid information on the wizard. At least <b style="font-style: italic; ">Bain[/b] knew where it was, though. "Yes, let's do that." She replied when asked if they should set their course for Radagast's home. Her eyes narrowed slightly in concern as she noticed Bain looking around as if nervous. There did not seem to be any immediate danger, and she did not imagine anything sinister would dwell so near to a wizard. As far as she knew Radagast was no servant of the dark. Shrugging it off, she followed Baingil's lead into the woods again, remaining some distance behind by herself.
    Approximately another half day's journeying brought them to a clearing in the trees. A wooden fence guarded several low brown buildings with thatch roofs. Animals wandered freely inside, different species that should not get along with each other coexisting happily. Dozens of birds perched on the roofs and in trees nearby, making a good deal of noise with their chirping and squawking. Cair stepped ahead of the others, realizing that as Galadriel's messenger she might need to take the lead with the wizard. She approached the fence, resting her hand on the gate, green eyes moving quickly around the enclosure to locate Radagast. He was not immediately visible, so she cautiously pushed the gate open and stepped inside.
    A large brown bear lumbered over to her, extending its snout to sniff her. <b style="font-style: italic; ">Cair's[/b] eyes widened, and she held perfectly still as the creature investigated her. A moment later she slowly held a hand out for him to smell. He seemed satisfied and meandered away again. <b style="font-style: italic; ">Cair[/b] turned to look at the others, surprised that she was still in one piece. From behind one of the buildings a low voice called out to her. "If he has not eaten you I trust that you mean us no harm. Bears are excellent judges of character." She turned slowly around to see a tall, lanky man wearing a brown robe approaching them. He had a long brown beard, and unkempt brown hair. There was no doubt that this was Radagast the Brown.
    <b style="font-style: italic; ">Cair[/b] bowed respectfully to him. "Aiya, sailanassë. Omentielm' alassë ná."* It seemed fitting to her to greet one of the Istari in the language of Valinor. Almost immediately she switched back to Sindarin for the benefit of her companions. "I am Dincairwen of Lothlórien. I am here with some of my woodland kin from Thranduil's realm to investigate the menace from Dol Guldur. Lady Galadriel said that you might have information for us." The wizard studied her silently for a moment, his brown eyes moving between her and the other group of elves, as though he were considering whether or not to assist them. He was not known to be sociable like Mithrandir was.
    "Very well." He said at last, and gestured to the rest of the group. "Come, we will go inside and speak more there." The wizard turned and went into the largest of the buildings, not waiting for the elves to join him. Cair breathed a sigh of relief and glanced back to make sure the others were joining her. She was not anxious to be alone with Radagast. While he did not seem evil, he was still somewhat disconcerting and not entirely human. There was something about him that spoke of the years he had spent among the animals and growing things of Arda, speaking more to them than to Eru's children.
    *Hail, wise one. Our meeting is a pleasure.*
    GM Note: We'll talk to Radagast for a post or two, and then go meet the Lorien group.

  85. Baingíl Randír's Avatar
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    #85
    Baingíl RandírChief Guard of ThranduilNearing Rhosgobel
    Dincairwenseemed a bit disappointed at the lack of information, but agreed with the plan of setting a course for Rhosgobel. Baingílstopped for a moment to calculate her movements, and then her step swung a bit farther westward, toward where she knew the wizard's home awaited, waving as a silent signal for her guards to follow. She moved a bit quicker now, keeping less to the shadows; even if they ran into trouble now, the mere fact that they headed for the wizard's home would likely deter any evil creatures who attempted to follow them. She still kept a lookout, though. It never hurt to be cautious; and who knew what one would find in a wizard's home.
    She noticed Dincairwendropping back, apparently wishing to be by herself. She supposed the burden was mostly on the Lorien elleth - Baingíland her guards were working with Lorien, but nevertheless, this was Lorien's mission, and not Thranduil's. Baingílintended to fight just as heartily either way, but in matters of diplomacy, the Lorien messenger was the leader here.
    Not far from here, she judged, surveying the trees critically. The forest was a little lighter...

    Rhosgobel
    Rhosgobel was much as Baingílremembered it - nothing fancy or imposing, as Orthanc was; the chief oddity was the creatures that wandered about, and the birds that fluttered. Was that an eagle she saw behind that... Well, whatever it was, she lost sight of it quickly. She stepped aside as Dincairwentook the lead, falling silently to stand an arm's length behind the Lorien elleth's right shoulder, one hand resting lightly on the hilt of her dagger - a position she might have taken if the leader was Thranduil. A warning presence, friendly enough, but obviously prepared in case there was trouble. She glanced back. Nethalionwas the highest-ranking guard of the group, she thought; she motioned for him to stand on Dincairwen'sother side. The rest of the guards could arrange themselves as they wished.
    As they stepped inside, a bear came over to greet them. Baingílrelaxed a little and smiled in a friendly manner; after meeting Beorn, she was appreciative of the merits of bears - though it always paid to be cautious, and not anger them much. (Except on a dare, but that is a story for another time...) This one was on all fours, so not angry yet. Dincairwenseemed a little... tense, and held her hand out to the bear, which sniffed her and then lumbered away, apparently satisfied with its assessment. Baingílgave her a reassuring smile when she turned around, her face mostly expressing surprise and relief.
    However, Baingíl'srelaxed cheer quickly faded to an unreadable, polite expression as she heard the voice - the voice of Radagast. It was somewhat calculating and cautious, though full of courtesy - a look she mostly reserved for court occasions. The wizard approached, and Baingílgraciously bowed as Dincairwengreeted the wizard in Quenya. She did not motion for her guards to do the same - they could decide as they pleased; but Baingíl, in her travels, had learned to be particularly respectful of wizards. They usually appreciated it; and a friendly wizard could be exceedingly useful.
    Dincairwenswitched back to Sindarin to explain their purpose, while Baingílsilently watched the exchange, hoping that her presence so close to Dincairwenoffered some level of comfort. Radagastseemed ambivalent, but finally invited them inside; Baingílrelaxed slightly, but still glanced about at the yard as she followed Dincairwentoward the door, motioning for the others to follow. They were putting their trust fully in the wizard, anyway; they were already inside his home, and she doubted that they would be able to do much should he prove to be unfriendly. Not that she expected him to be anything but friendly; however, her eyes still darted about the yard, gauging the distances and the sort of animals visible, an ingrained habit at this point. If we ran that way...
    She shook her head and made herself focus. She could find out much of use here; she couldn't let herself be distracted.

  86. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #86
    Miruiel - Edge of Mirkwood


    As the afternoon wore on, and the light faded Miruiel found herself making good speed as she threaded her way through the shadowy undergrowth growing at the edge of the forest. Her father had always said she was the fastest climber and bush walker in the family! Thinking of his kindly praise, and the well loved face that was now lost to her forever, she vowed again to herself that she would revenge his death when the opportunity came.
    She knew that as a forward scout she needed to cover quite a wide range of ground so as to check out possible sources of danger that might impact on the group following behind. Miruiel crossed from the edge of the woods and then back as far into the gloomy interior of the forest as she could still see looking for signs of recent trampling or other use. As the trees became thicker, the sunlight failed almost entirely, and she sensed that the gloom of the interior of the impenetrable forest heldgreat danger along with thegrowing sense of looming threat. Somewhere deep in its heart something evil festered.
    After she had been travelling for an hour or so, she came upon a rough track running across her path which had certainly been used fairly recently, as the small plants on the ground were trampled, and some of the trees on either side showed marks where their branches had been broken off. Miruiel found herself considering the implications of the message that <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Faerdhinen [/B]hadbrought from Maethor – and thinking about the sudden appearance of the band of orcs that had seemingly come from nowhere as they had been about to cross the Anduin. The message from Maethor had mentioned “several parties of orcs”. If they were patrolling Mirkwood, then they might certainly use such a path as this. She quietly followed the track to the western edge of the wood, and seeing nothing from there, she quickly scaled one of the outer trees. Looking out at the surrounding wilderlands from the higher branches she got a much better view than from the ground.
    To her horror as she looked out to the north-west she spied a large group of orcs not far away indeed, dressed in leather and steel armour and heading for the eaves of the forest. They were moving south-east on a direct collision course with her group! The orcs were moving quickly, and she estimated that they would reach this path in a few minutes. She had to get back to warn the others. She shinned down the tree faster than she had ever descended one in her whole life, hardly noticing as she scraped her hands and ankles on its rough bark. She darted back the way she had come trying to see better through the deepening gloom under the trees, somewhat less heedful of the noise the undergrowth made as she passed, as now her priority had to be to find the others before they met up with the orcs.Miruiel almost cursed the camouflage afforded by the elven cloaks, and the natural stealthiness of her race, as now Aduchil and the others were difficult to find quickly. A rustle sounded from the bushes in the distance, and then another crackle slightly closer. It could have been an animal – but then she caught a glimmer of movement– and whistling her cuckoo call to warn them she closed in. Miruiel saw Aduchil, followed by Naur emerging from the dark shadows under the trees. “Yrch” she hissed, “Heading this way, just up ahead, about fifteen to twenty of them and heavily armed”<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

  87. Gh0st!'s Avatar
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    #87


    Nethalion
    Rhosgobel


    Nethalion walked alongside Feowen for a moment before she spoke to him and expressed the desire to skip belated introductions and asking about things back at home in the forest surrounding Thranduil's halls. They had travelled long and far enough by now to know each other's names and to have learned little bits of information about each other. There was indeed no need for introductions. "Hi there Feowen," he responded, smiling and briefly turning his head towards her as they walked. "A bit peculiar, yes. We can skip it, certainly." He continued smiling as she mentioned home and asked about what fun there was to be had there in this day and age. He thought about it for a moment, looking forwards again as he did so. Ever since the great fire and his promotion to the position of Guard of Thranduil he had not had a great amount of time for fun. Not anywhere near to the same extent he'd had up until just a few years ago. But he had a few things in mind that he considered fun.

    "Well," he said to Feowen. "Living in the halls of the Elvenking as I do now, there is never a shortage of fun to be had at evening time. As I'm very sure you know, he does put on the most sublime feasts and always seems to be able to find something for his folk to celebrate. Night times in his halls can be quite jolly." He paused for a moment as he thought about what else he thought was fun, then remembered his upbringing. "Growing up, I have always lived and spent my days by the river. My best friend and I, who I consider as a brother, never found it difficult to get caught up in mischief while boating up and down the river. Life by the water produces many possibilities in the way of fun!" Nethalion suddenly realised that his voice had been steadily rising in volume as he spoke.

    He meant to ask Feowen if she had been away from home for some time because her question seemed to be hinting at that. But he would have to save it for later, for he was not given the chance to ask it. It appeared as if they had now come to Rhosgobel, the home of the Wizard, and he noticed an air of uncertainty now surrounding their two leaders. The place was not like anything Nethalion had seen before, but he remarked to himself that it looked somewhat like how his father had described it to him in tales when he was a child. The adundance of animals, quite an eclectic mix of species, was both strange and pleasing to the guard's eyes, and he found himself filled with strong curiosity as to how the group would be welcomed. As he stepped forward towards the gate, Baingil caught his attention by motioning for him to stand immediately behind and to the left of Dincairwen. He quickly obeyed and stepped into position, then followed the lieutenant through the gate.

    It was rather intimidating to be greeted by the large form of a bear, and Nethalion was not as at ease as his two superiors were when it approached. But it soon became clear to him that all was okay, and a voice from inside was soon calling out to them peacefully. He was intrigued by the sight of Radagast when he stepped out of his dwelling to meet them. He definitely seemed strange, though did not seem harmful. The young guard noticed both Cair and Baingil bow respectfully to the wizard, and he decided it was probably best for himself to do the same. Firstly because the wizard had let them into his abode, and secondly because Nethalion was in the same proximity to Cair as Baingil was, and she had bowed too. He observed the brief greeting, then followed Radagast, Dincairwen, and Baingil into the eccentric home, curious to see what they would find.






    Edited by: Dwimmerlaik

  88. Morgan la Fée's Avatar
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    #88


    Feowen
    Rhosgobel


    Feowen listened to Nethalion’s reply, smiling, and glancing sideways at him every once in a while, still not relaxing her attention to the surrounding forest. Being on guard and carrying on a conversation did not have to be mutually exclusive, if only her heard was clear. Besides, it was pleasant to be reminded of what awaited her after this mission was over. A life as full of duty and of merriment as one could wish, and exactly as she remembered it from when she was a child. Nethalion proved to be an eager talker, as she expected, and Feowen had to chuckle at the mention of riverside pranks. She remembered some of the kind, as well. “My own company was somewhat more drily inclined,” she said, by way of sharing some of her history in exchange, “our biggest ambition to go on a quest to the wastelands to the north-east, to Lonely Mountain and beyond.”

    As the group neared Rhosgobel, conversation dwindled. Even if Feowen hand’t known where they were headed, after Baingil shifted their course, the cacophony of sounds, unnatural to Mirkwood in general, would have been warning enough. Even before the wizard’s dwelling came in sight, she could hear the unrestrained caws, peeps and twitters of its inhabitants, the flapping of wings, and many other kinds of animal speech mingling together into a discordant music. After traversing the gloomy silence of the forest for days on end, Feowen’s ears as well as her spirit welcomed it.

    Although she could be glad for the uncomplicated comfort of animal company, she couldn’t feel anything but apprehension at the prospect of seeing Radagast himself. She feared the judgement that she was certain to encounter in his ancient eyes if he should chance to look straight at her. Her feet slowed their pace, as if unwilling to put her forward.

    She wasn’t wanted in the front, either way, for which she was grateful just now. Dincairwen took the lead, as was her due, and Baingil moved to stand on her flank, signaling for Nethalion to do the same. Feowen, standing far enough away from the bear that it didn't inspire the slightest trepidation in her, even if it's wasn't plain that the beast was merely examining them much as one would examine a bird that happened to alight on the windowsill, occupied herself with studying the construction of the house as they waited for the wizard to show himself. When he did, she followed Baingil’s example and bowed her head in reverence. It was a long moment before she raised her eyes again, just in time to meet Dincairwen’s anxious glance back at the group as Radagast waved them in. With the others, Feowen went.

    The novelty of the place took over much of Feowen’s attention, and her preoccupation lessened. She kept glancing about, and she noticed Baingil do the same, albeit with more dogged thoroughness so that Feowen wondered if it was at all warranted. Finally, all were inside, and the elleth relaxed visibly. She reasonably concluded that if she hadn't burned to cinders on the threshold, her trespasses were less damning than they seemed in the privacy of her own head. She had no illusions about the world’s concern for herself and her sins, but every new affirmation of it served perversely to give her hope that her wounds would go completely unnoticed for as long a time as would be necessary to heal them.


  89. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #89
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1" marginwidth="1">


    <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">NPC Bodgolas - Rhosgobel
    Bodgolas[/B] was fascinated to find himself entering the forest abode of Radagast the Brown – a wizard of whom he had actually read quite a bit. Back in Caras Galadhon he had found a number of scrolls in the library that had dealt with the wizards who dwelt in middle earth.
    Radagast was also known as the Brown Wizard and had lived at Rhosgobel, on the western eaves of Mirkwood, near the Gladden Field for quite some times. He was known as the chief friend and counsellor of the birds and beasts of middle earth– and could evidently speak many of their languages. He was wise in all things concerning herb lore. and the scrolls had alsomentioned that he was a "master of shapes and changes of hue". <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Bodgolas[/B] could hardly wait to see such a wondrous being for himself.

    The sound of bird calls was loud around the outskirts of the dwelling and then to<B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"> Bodgolas’[/B] delight a large brown bear had appeared. Cair held perfectly still as she was inspected by the bear (he thought that she was braver than he would have been under the same circumstances) Then the wizard had appeared himself and commented that”the bear was an excellent judge of character!”
    Radagast was tall, and thin dressed in a brown robe and sporting a wild mane of hair and beard. Cair and Baingil bowed respectfully to the wizard,followed by <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Nethalion[/B] and the others of their company. <?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
    While the others were inside speaking with the wizard <B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">Bodgolas[/B] would have preferred to be outside investigation the interesting animals and birds who clearly felt at home around the wizard’s abode. He also thought that he could provide a sort of lookout guard so he settled himself outside and waited to see what would happen.

  90. Aduchil's Avatar
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    #90


    Edge of Mirkwood

    Sacrificing stealth for speed a little, the band of Elves made good progress through the dense forest. Aduchil knew they were getting close to the appointed place and he would welcome the addition of the Mirkwood warriors. A group of only six Elves seemed rather frail when so close to Dol Guldur, and the captain expected their numbers would more than double once they met up. Keeping a tight grip on his bow, Aduchil continued to lead his people forward, until he heard a whistle. It took him a moment to remember that this particular sound was a warning; not the innocent noise made by an animal. Mere moments after, Miruiel darted forward into their vision, confirming Aduchil's fear. "Hide," he hissed as he had done at the Anduin. "Arrows ready," he added at once, knowing it might come to that. Moving behind a tree and crouching low, Aduchil hid in the thick foliage of a bush that covered him well, but allowed him to peer out. Even as he barely dared breathe, his right hand fumbled down to pick up an arrow and place it on the string.

    Several long, anxious moments passed where Aduchil hoped that Miruiel might have been wrong, though he knew it would not be the case. And then he heard them before they came into his sight. Orcs, as brutish as ever, but with heavy arms and armour. They passed close by, not much more than ten feet from where he had concealed himself. Looking back, Aduchil spotted a few of his warriors, but only because he knew they were there; they were all well-hidden. A moment passed further as he watched the orcs move, and he began to hope they would pass them by as before; then they stopped.


    Biting down on his lower lip, Aduchil listened intently. He did not understand their speech, but he could guess that some form of argument was taking place. He dared to move his head forward and glance at the orcs in front. They were stooping low, looking at broken branches and where leaves had been trod into the mud by Elven boots. Aduchil realised that his decision to favour speed over stealth had come with a price. The orcs would return to Dol Guldur and report that Elves were in the forest. Though... They seemed to have come from afar. Their direction suggested they came from some place beyond Mirkwood. Perhaps they would not be missed if they were a day late. Counting their numbers, Aduchil swallowed. Even with surprise on their side, the odds were not good. He had to make a decision, and pray it was wiser than his last. Blood began to trickle from his lip as his teeth broke the skin, then the captain made his decision. He turned to nod at the other Elves, to give them some form of prior warning. Then, he rose to his full height.

    As he stood up, Aduchil pulled the bowstring back all the way until his fingers touched his cheek. There was a moment where the orcs were all looking ahead, since they had all passed just beyond where the Elves were hidden, and their attention was on the tracks they had discovered. Aduchil let his first arrow fly and with a satisfying sound it embedded itself into the neck of an orc. "Kill them all!" Aduchil yelled, as he notched another arrow on his bow. "Let none escape!" he added and let loose his second arrow into a target just beyond his first one. Neither killed their victim; Aduchil was not a sufficient bowman that he might under such circumstances ensure a perfect shot. His arrows had the intention of hampering the orcs long enough to allow Aduchil's next move. He knew the orcs needed a target, or else they would scatter into the forest rather than suffer to be shot by unseen opponents. And Aduchil could far better hold his own in close combat with a sword than he could keep them at bay with his bow. Having already made himself visible, Aduchil trusted that his warriors would use their own judgement as to whether they would use bow or melee weapons, as he now made his own decision.

    Stepping forward, Aduchil drew his sword with his right hand and held his bow with the left. He leapt into the air, closing the gap between the closest orc and himself, his arrow still impaled in its neck. Even as Aduchil leapt down, he used the longer reach of his bow to jam its tip into the eye socket of the orc, followed swiftly by his blade entering its chest. The steel slid through the mail armour with delight. As soon as his feet touched ground, Aduchil raised one to push the dying orc back, allowing his sword to slide out again. Blood sprayed out from the wound, staining Aduchil's surcoat, but the Elf's attention was already on the next orc. Tossing his bow aside to a safe distance where he might retrieve it later, Aduchil raised his sword in position and arranged his stance. This was where he excelled, where he was in his true element. His empty, left hand moved up and gestured for the orc to approach. "Let us dance, you and I," he whispered as the enraged creature rushed forward and their blades locked in combat.

    GM notice for Lórien: We have at least a dozen orcs and more to kill. Engage and fight at your best ability, and pray none escape.




  91. Aranaur's Avatar
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    #91


    Edge of Mirkwood
    Naur's nerves were shot, and this lack if sunlight was not going to help. Again, Naur was surprised when Aduchil allowed for Miruiel to forage ahead- though she supposed he was letting the scout really scout for the first time, and Naur could appreciate that- as well as the excitement Miruiel must have felt.

    Naur walked quickly behind the Captain, tying her long red hair into a thick bun on top of her head. Mirkwood was full of nasty things- she could hear it in every snap of the twig, she could feel it with every pair of unseen eyes. She shrugged off the feeling, preparing for a fight should one come about, and there most certainly would be one at some point. No one at least would be pulling her hair. Looking behind her, she wiped off her sullen face and replaced it with a genuine smile, winking at Sailacel, Beltayn, and Faerdhinen. Despite the latter's defining physical feature, she was a pretty elleth, and Naur quite liked it when she smiled. The other two proved to be just and reliable as well- Naur's small smile widened, and for the first time she felt they may well have a chance.

    Her thoughts were violently interrupted as she clumsily fell into Aduchil's back- he had come to an abrupt stop and all Naur could see behind his rather broad back was Miruiel's head and her most unfortunate news. As Aduchil hissed his first command, Naur immediately grabbed for the first branch, pulling herself up and tucking herself in the lower bough of a rather slim tree. She watched as he hit the ground, and ran through the possibilities in her mind:: as the stench of the group of yrch filled the air, Naur's eyes went between Aduchil and the group.

    Naur flinched as the yrch stopped and spoke- theirs was a dialect she was not as familiar with, yet from her background in language, she knew that there would have to be a confrontation. They knew there was Elven kind in the forest. And they would report it the first chance they had. Naur again looked at the Captain, who was looking at his team with a nod that said it all. She looked back at him, confirming and preparing for an attack. Being in a tree would have a few advantages, she hoped to use them.

    As Aduchil stood up, Naur balanced herself on the tree, standing as well. She notched her bow- with an arrow that in fact had been scavenged from yrchs in the East, and let it sail. It found a home in a yrch that Aduchil had already shot, this time killing it, as it pierced through it's open mouth. Naur could smell the breath of this yrch from her tree, and gagged a bit. She stepped forward, testing the strength of the branch and again preparing for another mark. So wrapped up was she that as she sent this arrow flying she felt the thick hand of an enemy on her ankle. Noting that another yrch fell to her archery skills, the elleth barely had time for a smile as she was dragged down by a yrch, this one twice her size. She hit the ground head first, cursing herself for being so single minded.

    The yrch was unexpectedly quick for his immensity, and Naur did the only thing she could think of as his foot came baring down on her head: drawing her dagger, she began slicing at the creature's ankles, setting him off balance. He fell as she jumped up, quickly glancing around to check on her mates- though again, with a dexterity unknown to Naur, the yrch jumped up and towered over her. 'Pushdug!' roared the hideous thing, nearly knocking Naur off her feet again. She cautiously placed her back against the tree, ready for engagement. The creature threw his body toward her, in front of the mass was his sword. So small was she that she managed to dive between his legs, slicing his inner thigh through relatively plain leather armor. The yrch roared and managed to grab her foot again as she slid, and Naur cursed, bracing herself as he threw her body against the tree. Naur could feel her neck snap back and her head gash a root, but managed to swiftly crawl behind the tree as his sword came barring down on her again. The impact of the sword hitting the tree made it stuck, and Naur saw her opportunity. With grace she again climbed the tree, and it was all but too late as she aimed an arrow for the crown of her enemies' head and shot. He slumped over his sword, a sad sight indeed.

    Naur was slightly dizzy from the attack, and indeed some blood ran down her cheek from where she hit her head on the tree, but she climbed a bit higher anyway, hoping to gather information on any yrch running away or if any of her fellows needed help. As she did this, she notched her bow, hoping to pick off as many yrch as she could.

  92. Haflin's Avatar
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    #92
    Edge of Mirkwood

    Thankfully, little had happened between the crossing on the Anduin and the entrance into the great wood. The few times they had stopped between the two places on increased Beltayn's eagerness for action. At the last stop, he was happy to see his friend Sehra once again, this time contently munching on the small carcass of a field mouse she had apparently spotted in the undergrowth she flew over. He had chuckled, the bird was always resourceful and wily, a bit like him in that, he supposed that was what lay in the theme of their friendship; they were kindred spirits true enough.So Beltayn looked upon the eaves of the looming, scraggled trees in front of him. The edge of Mirkwood stretched away north and south of them with no indication of stopping. It reminded him of his days of journeying, how he had once walked under such woods in joy instead of dread. Wistfully he sighed upon the group's moving in, old memories of the place returning to his mind. The shadows fell around them all, blotting out the sun in most places under the thick and musty canopy. The entire forest smelled of age and he could feel the darkness that emanated from within. Many beings would have been filled with dread at the sights and sounds of the forbidding wood, but this was his element. The forest was Beltayn's home. The captain had stacked their advance so that he was guarding their rear. An important job he was sure as he was the group's only warning against a surprise attack. His wary gaze combed through each bush and blade of grass, even as they stopped, he was ever watchful, especially as they traveled further into the forest. Little was said between the elves as they went along, the feeling of an evil foreboding growing ever stronger that none of the group would like to alert. He caught a few of the group's gazes, despite the darkness that assailed them as the sun fell, he found them all to seem unfearful or at least not showing their fear. The voice of fear spoke in his heart but he denied its sway, knowing with each passing step that they came closer to doing something good.His dark thoughts were interrupted suddenly as the loud call of a bird not native to Mirkwood peeled the relative silence of the forest. Beltayn's head snapped to the front as the scout Miruiel tore out of the forest in front of them and stopped to warn them all of an incoming danger. The foul yrch were now on a collision course with the group and almost as soon as Aduchil commanded it, Beltayn darted into cover. he dove into a hollow under the roots of a great tree next to him and was soon lost in the shadow, his cloak rendering him near invisible. His breath quickened as he watched the others disappear likewise and soon enough the snuffling and snarling and boot stomping of earlier at the river was back again.

    Beltayn could smell their stale stench even over the muskiness of the wood around him and his nose wrinkled, though he made no noise. They came into sight, at least a dozen, maybe more, easily outnumbering their group two to one. For a few moments he thought that they might pass the hidden group up, blissfully unaware that death stood ever poised to strike them all from the shadow of the trees, but it was not so. The column of creatures stopped suddenly and he heard a few of their group begin sniffing and grunting about the path the elves had just come from. Then he knew, his instincts honed over a lifetime of wandering told him to prepare himself. It so happened that an orc of great stature stood in front of his hiding spot, not knowing of the hunter that lay poised under him. As the orcs became restless, growling in their despicable tongue, Beltayn gripped the hilt of his long hunting knife and silently unsheathed it, holding it next to him for the inevitability of what happened next.Many things occured at once, the captain, with fury unabated, leapt first to his feet and quickly slew an orc whilst the others stood by dumbly and in shock for a moment at the sudden attack. It did not take them long to react, however and soon enough, bows and blades alike were drawn by snarling, squealing devils in filthy black armor. Up Beltayn leapt through an opening in the roots, still unseen and brought his blade up through the cracks in the orc's armor and into its back, his long arms enveloping the beast's torso in a deadly embrace.He drove the knife forward, even when the stink of being so close to an orc filled his nose with rot and nearly made him hack.Its arms flailed and it squealed highly like a stuck pig but suddenly it collapsed forward onto its face and did not move. Another orc who stood in front of the larger, this one smaller and wielding a bow with a small quiver of arrows on its back watched the elf warrior dispatch his comradeand the two beheld each other for a moment. Frightening Beltayn must have seemed to the orc, standing tall and lithe as a shadow, cloaked in the darkness the forest granted him and staring a challenge with his piercing gaze into the orc's excited eyes. Suddenly, it began to gibber uncontrollably, and with hands trembling, it dropped its weapon, forgetting it and ran blindly off where its kind had come from. Beltayn could not help but be a little amused even as he drew his longbow from his back and notched an arrow from his quiver into its string with one quick and fluid motion born from years of practice with the weapon. With an intent eye, he tracked the fleeing orc and drew the arrow back to his face with a strong hand. After but half a moment, he released the bolt and in a whisper it flew through the air, burying itself into the upper back of the small orc and sent him careening into the forest floor where it ceased its movement. Beltayn's smirk was short-lived as around him the battle began to rage in earnest and as others engaged, he turned to find another target, only to have it thrust on him. A great brute he had not yet seen barreled into him bellowing loudly and their bodies collided, sending him backwards end over end with the orc atop him brandishing a broad black blade. In the scuffle, Beltayn lost the bow from his hand and the two wrestled on the ground for a few moments,both trying to unseat the other and use his weight to win the battle. Alas, the orc was more in hideous weight and was successful in pinning Beltayn to the ground on his back. He saw the hate in the creature's eyes, smelled its rank breath as it laughed and with its meaty hand tried to plunge its blade into Beltayn's face. Snarling in defiance, he gripped the hand with both of his own and struggled to keep it back, but it was a battle he was losing and with one last effort, he tried to stave off the attacker's blade, shouting an incoherent bellow of disbelief that he should come so far only to be ended by so stupid a beast...
    Last edited by Haflin; 22/Dec/2012 at 05:14 AM.

  93. Rian Eliowen's Avatar
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    #93
    Miruiel - Edge of Mirkwood

    <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Miruiel[/b] hardly
    had time to feel relieved that she had reached her comrades in time to give
    them warning. As <b style="mso-bidi-font-weight:normal">Aduchil[/b] told them
    to hide, (adding perhaps unnecessarily "<i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">arrows ready,"[/i] as they were all desperately reaching for their
    weapons anyway,) she quickly hid behind the thick trunk of a tree. As they
    waited in the tense space of silence for something to happen, she forced
    herself to slowly and quietly scale the tree, (despite the paralysing fear that threatened to freeze her to the spot) first moving her arm up, then her
    foot, then finding another toe hold ….cautiously step by step, so that she was
    actually above the ground and fairly well hidden by the lower branches by the
    time the orcs made their noisy appearance. Miruiel had never actually seen an
    orc close up before – and she was revolted by this first encounter. There were so
    many of the foul creatures that their stench was overpowering. . They were as ugly and hideous as she had
    heard them described – and their speech was an abomination to the ear. Fear
    washed over her at the sight of them - she hadn’t expected them to be so large
    and menacing.



    Miruiel was horrified when the
    creatures stopped and discovered her boot prints in the mud – clearly they were
    much more observant of intrusion into their domain than she would have
    expected. She bitterly reproached herself for such carelessness – although in
    truth it was difficult to imagine how she could have warned the others if she
    had gone any slower. Hoping that the orcs would move on eventually nevertheless,
    she was not prepared for Aduchil’s sudden command to attack when it came and
    she watched surprised and disbelieving as he rose in the air shouting[i] “Kill
    them all – leave none alive”.


    Now it was time for action which burst through the stillness of the dark
    forest – but Miruiel felt all fingers and thumbs to begin with as she tried get herself in a suitable position
    up in the tree to be able to shoot properly.
    The low branches were in the way, so she had to climb forward along a
    protruding branch which jutted out of the leafy canopy in order to be able to
    get in a shot. She watched in shock as below she saw Aduchil almost dancing as he batttled an orc, and then Naur was desperately fighting
    on the ground with one of the creatures. Naur looked as if she was losing the battle against the enormous orc
    which threw her against a tree trunk with a sickening thud. Miruiel
    quickly fired her first
    arrow at the attacking creature, but it missed because the brute had already
    moved forward. As she despairingly reached for a second arrow, fearing that she would be too late to save her companion, she scolded herself for not anticipating the speed of the orc's movements. She would have to adjust her aim to take the fierce fighting into account. Fortunately Naur had gotten
    free and had killed the orc so Miruiel
    quickly chose another of the huge goblins and finally had the satisfaction of seeing it
    fall, with her arrow sticking directly through its large piggy eye. But there
    were still so many more of the creatures left.

    Then suddenly she heard a cry from Beltayn
    who was wrestling with a hideous orc that was about to stab him as he
    lay pinned to the ground. There was no time to think – only the swift prayer to
    Elbereth that sped with her arrow as it fortunately found its mark deep in the
    back of the attacking orc’s neck as it raised its knife. She hoped that this
    was enough to save Beltayn’s life –
    although there were several more orcs lining up behind that one. She fitted
    another arrow to the bow, her hands slippery with fear, and fired again and
    again. She dared not leave her sanctuary – the orcs were so large and fierce
    that she was better off firing arrows from her branch than risking her inexperienced sword skills down there on the ground.


    ]
    Last edited by Rian Eliowen; 21/Dec/2012 at 05:34 AM.

  94. Dincairwen's Avatar
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    #94
    Dincairwen


    Rhosgobel
    The inside of the building, what must have been Radagast's house, was dimly lit. Cair had to narrow her eyes to look around, although they adjusted to the lower light a moment or two later. There was very little by way of furniture. A plain table with 2 chairs, and several benches along the walls. A makeshift kitchen was in one corner, and a doorway opened to what Cair assumed was a bedroom. Radagast gestured toward the chairs and benches for his guests to take a seat. Cair did so a bit uneasily, settling on the edge of one of the benches. From the corner of her eye she noticed Bain glancing around quickly, seemingly taking more than just a passing interest in the decor. Planning escape routes or some such, Cair guessed. Not uncalled for when meeting strangers, but she did not think Galadriel would have sent them to someone hostile.
    <b style="font-style: italic; ">Radagast[/b] cleared his throat and looked directly at <b style="font-style: italic; ">Cair[/b], obviously meaning for her to speak first. She tilted her head slightly, almost sure she had divulged their purpose already. She spoke anyway. "As you are no doubt aware, both Lothlorien and Thranduil's realm have suffered attacks recently, seemingly disasters. We have both come to the conclusion that they are tied somehow to Dol Guldur. Celeborn and Galadriel sent us to investigate. We had hoped you would know something about the layout of the fortress, the forces there... anything, really." She ended lamely. The wizard raised an eyebrow, not saying anything for some moments.
    When it seemed as though he had thought about it sufficiently, <b style="font-style: italic; ">Radagast[/b] began quietly. "Do you know how dangerous what you are attempting is?" He looked at all of the elves, and Cair studied the dirt floor to avoid his gaze. She was well aware, but it had to be done. With no response imminent, Radagast continued. "My friends have seen large numbers of orcs and other creatures in the area lately. There are strange sounds and smoke coming from behind the walls. What goes on there I cannot say for sure. Something keeps the birds from flying directly over it. I do know what is inside the walls." The wizard crouched on the floor, drawing an outline with a stick. He drew an oblong square, and then marked one end with 2 slashes. "The gate is here, on the north side. It is heavily guarded by 10-15 soldiers at all times. They seem to change shifts every 6 hours." He paused again to consider his drawing. "That is the only door in the walls. They are quite tall, but the stone is rough. It could be scaled if one were determined enough." He looked at them significantly, and Cair sighed, their mission becoming more difficult by the moment.
    "There is one more thing." Radagast said. Before he could tell them, a chirp came through one of the windows. Radagast stopped mid-word and began chirping back to the bird in its own language, apparently forgetting he had elven visitors. Cair glanced at the others, and then back at the wizard, stopping herself from raising her eyebrows. He finished his conversation with the bird and then turned back to the elves. "There is a malevolent presence at Dol Guldur. It is not Sauron himself. Him we drove out." He spoke the name aloud with no compunctions. "But it is a powerful servant of his. Possibly one of the strongest of the Nine." Radagast stood again, crossing his arms as he looked at them. He seemed to be lost in thought, as if trying to make a decision. "Since you are here at Galadriel's behest, I will assist you as I can. I can give you some supplies, and some idea as the which direction you should approach from. Wait here. I will be back shortly." He swept out of the room, leaving the elves by themselves.
    <b style="font-style: italic; ">Cair[/b] looked upward at the ceiling briefly to collect her thoughts and process what he had said. One of the Nine? A nazgul was nothing to scoff at. Finally she looked back at the Mirkwood elves with her, meeting each person's gaze. "I will not force anyone to accompany me beyond this point. I can meet with the Lothlorien group. I do not know if your king commanded you to undertake such a dangerous mission. And it is more dangerous than even I first realized. The choice is yours." She shrugged and leaned back against the wall, waiting to see what her companions would do.

  95. Aduchil's Avatar
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    #95


    Edge of Mirkwood

    Standing in the front, Aduchil had no vision of his warriors behind him, but he saw their arrows strike their marks. He even thought he felt his hair being brushed aside as the air was pierced. Being less proficient as an archer, Aduchil's self-assigned task was at the front, keeping the orcs at bay and giving them a target while the other Elves riddled them with arrows. He was in the thick of it, which meant as a commander he had no view or knowledge of how the fight went. Normally, an inexcusable position for a leader, but the skirmish was too small and too chaotic for any command to have much effect. It was a brawl, with each Elf fighting and striking wherever they could find a target. Feeling his blood rush and fuel his every movement, Aduchil had no qualms with this as the fury of the battle took control of his mind.

    An arrow whistled past him and cut a hideous battle cry short; the orc in front of him was silenced as the metal tip buried itself deep in its mouth, the wooden shaft exiting like an absurd vision of a sapling growing from his throat. Already forgetting about him, Aduchil prepared for his next enemy, who already came rushing. Gripping his sword hilt tightly, Noldorin steel met the jagged blade and sent its course away from Aduchil. The metal sang as the sword crossed again and again, neither inflicting a wound on the other. The orc was strong and poured his strength into each blow, making Aduchil grit each time he had to bear the brunt of such force. The Elf in turn played on his superior reach, constantly retreating slightly with each attack so that his opponent had to step forward to strike a new blow. The foul creature leapt forward and bashed its shield against Aduchil, with such might it would smash the Elf's head in if it made impact. Reacting purely on reflex, Aduchil leaned backwards and felt the edge of the shield graze his chin, pulling his head with it.

    Both struggled to regain their footing, but as soon as they had, the duel continued. Aduchil's mind became clear enough for him to think and consider how exactly to beat this enemy. He had made no obvious mistakes and showed no weaknesses, which called for a more advanced display of swordsmanship. Or more risky displays, at any rate. Aduchil now paced himself, merely defending while the orc continued to rain blows against him. The Elf waited until one strike came with less speed, allowing Aduchil to react. Stepping forward and while his sword blocked the orc's blade, Aduchil's left hand grabbed the edge of its shield and pushed it back until the orc's arm was completely stretched out. With a quick motion, Aduchil's elbow struck the orc's arm further back where it was stopped by a tree. Pushed back the wrong way, and caught between the force of Aduchil's elbow and the firm wood of the oak, the arm snapped and broke. A howl of pain came in response and before it ended, Aduchil extricated himself with a quick step back. The orc composed itself quickly, but its left arm hung limp by its side and the shield was now merely dead weight.

    Aduchil knew the duel was won. There might have been fencers who could turn a fight even with a paralysed left arm, but this orc was not one - Aduchil refused to believe that. Putting his assumption to the test, Aduchil now pressed the advantage. It was his turn to rain blows upon the orc, forcing it to desperately bring its blade up as it stumbled backwards. Striking quickly, Aduchil pushed the orc's sword to his far left; and before it could recover, he once more leapt forward quickly. Rather than waiting to bring his own blade around and strike again as before, he took advantage of his sword being reversed by its long arch. He pushed forward swiftly and decisively, smashing the pummel into the orc's throat. He heard bone break and the orc faltered, dropping its sword and falling to the ground as it clutched its throat. Knowing that with the windpipe crushed, the orc would suffocate, Aduchil turned away to leave his defeated foe in its death struggle. Even through the noise of battle, Aduchil could hear the desperate sounds of the creature trying in vain to breathe; taking a deep breath of his own, the Elven warrior smiled as he faced his next enemy.



    Edited by: Aduchil

  96. Sailacel's Avatar
    Garment-crafter of Lothlorien
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    #96


    SailacelEdge of MirkwoodWhen Sailacel heard Miruiel's whistle her heart began to beat rapidly and she immediately began to climb the tree next to her. She wanted the advantage the hight would give her. In just a few moments she was settled in a excellent spot in the tree with her arrow nocked, ready to shoot.It seemedthat it was anhour before theorcs came, but Sailacel knew it had been only minutes. She had seen orcs before, they were foul, evil beings, bringing destruction wherever they went; and these orcs were no different. She heard Aduchil's orders and was perpared to follow them.Slowly she drew her bow aiming at one of the orcs eyes then she release, and everything slowed around her. The orc fell, dead.Again she nockedan arrow andin one fluid motion drew, aimed, and released. Another orc fell, an arrow in his chest. She nockedanother arrow.Two more orcs came into her view. She drew again feeling her hand touch the side of her mouth and shereleased, the arrow going into the open mouth of one of two orcs, stopping him in mid snarl. "He will never make a foul noise again." she whispered to herself as she nocked, drew, aimed,and released; killing his companion. As she nocked her next arrow she saw a group of orcs out of the corner of her eye,and sheturned her attention toward them.


  97. Baingíl Randír's Avatar
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    #97
    Baingíl Randír


    Chief Guard of ThranduilRhosgobel
    Baingíldid not drop her guard as they entered the wizard's home. It was more humble than she'd anticipated, even with the plain exterior; of course, few wizards seemed to be at all the same in regards to dwellings. Gandalf was well known to be a wanderer ("Mithrandir," the Grey Wanderer, he was called, after all) and if he even had a home Baingíldid not know. She had seen Isengard from close enough to know that Saruman was the polar opposite when it came to housing, with his imposing tower and the reportedly beautiful gardens... And Rhosgobel fell somewhere in between the two. Baingílfinished her inspection of the small home and glanced over Radagasthimself as he motioned for the guests to sit. She sat near where Dincairwenwas settling onto a bench uneasily, nodding and glancing around at the rest of her guards in case they doubted the wizard's invitation.
    Baingílwatched the wizard as Dincairwenspoke, her face unreadable. Wizards were unpredictable folk. She was fairly certain that Radagastwould help them; she studied his face, trying to gauge his reaction. He looked thoughtful; perhaps a bit surprised. Perhaps the courage of the elves had laid quiet for too long...
    And then he spoke, asking if they knew how dangerous it was. She looked back levelly as he stared into her eyes, her gaze unfaltering. Of course she knew. Had not Dol Guldur been the death of her brother - and that was back when it still was gaining strength? She did not fear death. Her family was in Valinor - she had little to lose, herself. But her guards... the faces rose to her mind as she worked to keep her face from betraying her. Nethalionwas still so young; he should have a long life. Feowenwas still yet untrained an untrained guard... was she prepared to face death or worse in the Elvenking's service? Manwathiel- she had the courage... a puzzle to Baingíl; but she hardly wanted to lose the half-elf, either. Sillandhasseemed the sort to love life... Bodgolas- he had remained outside; did he even understand the danger?
    Radagastthen began to speak again, detailing what he knew of Dol Guldur. For the first time since spotting RhosgobelBaingíl'sair of caution almost disappeared, replaced with intense concentration as she impressed the information on her memory. Of course it would be well defended. She heard Dincairwensigh nearby. Difficult, yes... but Baingílhad expected that. She had heard of Galadriel'swisdom... she didn't think the Lady would send her high-ranking officers on an impossible mission. Dangerous, though... yes. She glanced at Dincairwen; the Lorien elleth seemed concerned. Baingíl'sface grew a little sober.
    Radagastwas interrupted by a bird, and Baingíltook the opportunity to glance around at her guards. She wondered whether they were prepared for what lay ahead. They would have to be sure.
    Especially after the wizard finished speaking to the bird and spoke again. She knew that Sauron was gone; but a ringwraith... she'd suspected, but had dared to hope that it was not so. And the most powerful... She frowned. An annoyance, definitely. And then he left the elves alone.
    Dincairwenspoke first, telling them that she did not expect them to come. Baingílraised her eyebrows. "Your lady commanded you to undertake the same dangerous mission; I do not think it is impossible. However,"she turned to look at the guards that ringed the walls - she would tell Bodgolasafter they left - "I will ask none of you to face a danger this great unwilling. One can hardly doubt the courage of an elf who does not wish to face a Nazgûl; one can only doubt the sanity of the elf who does wish to do so."
    She looked each of the Mirkwood elves in the eye for a long moment. "I will go, though. I have personal reasons to have ill will toward Dol Guldur." Her eyes grew hard, and her mouth twisted in a weird little smile that lacked happiness in it. She knew that Thranduil might disapprove of her going into a danger of this sort; but she could sort that out later. There was a chance it could work... and this was why she had returned to Mirkwood in the first place, after all those years of wandering - to deal as much damage to Dol Guldur as possible.

  98. Morgan la Fée's Avatar
    Wine-taster of Mirkwood
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    #98




    Feowen
    Rhosgobel


    After a handful of seconds her eyes adjusted to the dimness of the wizard's home, and Feowen glanced around the faces of her companions with unintentional curiosity as to how each one of them would arrange themselves in a new place, and indoors, too. Elves that were used to dwelling in the open weren't always best friends with indoors, in her experience, though it didn't necessarily have to apply now. Radagast's house had an earthly organic feel to it, as if it was half-grown into - or indeed, from - the surrounding forest.

    Feowen walked further into the room at Radagast's inviting gesture, but only to make room for those walking behind her. She remained standing at a spot on the other side of the table where she could see everyone and not be in anyone's way. Dincairwen was speaking, explaining to Radagast their purpose, and it being the first time Feowen actually heard the goal of the mission she was on, listened attentively, keen not to miss any details. There weren't many of those, it seemed. Feowen frowned, perplexed that the conversation got such a vague start, when Radagast broke the silence with what could only be termed as a rhetorical question. Feowen exhaled, her frown relaxing. This was more familiar ground.. which she supposed made her exactly the kind of person who did not have the full awareness of what she was walking into. Feowen felt the wizard's gaze and turned her head to meet his eyes, knee-jerk, completely oblivious of her previous misgivings. She could suffer her caution to be put into question, but not her courage.

    Seemingly satisfied for the moment, however, Radagast launched into an account of the tower, and Feowen switched her weight to one leg and tilted her head, the better to see the markings he scrawled on the dirt floor. At the undisguised suggestion of scaling the walls, Feowen was tempted to roll her eyes. Wizards. They always were more interested than they let on. Not that Feowen's experience with wizards was anything extensive enough to be relied on, but she trusted her hunches, especially those that received confirmation. Just when this particular wizard was about to deliver his punchline, he was interrupted by a bird messenger, or at least that's what Feowen assumed the bird was. She watched the exchange, bemused and curious at once, reminded of the complications involved with getting a bullfinch to do your bidding when you didn't have the advantage of animal speech (those were mostly solved by pudding). She was pulled back to reality by Radagast next words that sounded all the more ominous after the bird chirping, which always had a lighthearted cast to it. A Nazgûl at Dol Guldur..? Yes, you can start being afraid now, flashed through her mind.

    She registered Radagast abruptly leaving the room with half-a-mind away, but it was Dincairwen's offer of opting out that rang in her ears and made her stare at the elleth uncomprehedingly for a moment. She was glad to hear Baingíl speak, as it also gave her a chance to school her face into a more appropriate expression, despite the irritation that flared in her. What Baingíl was saying made sense, she supposed. Not unwilling, no; but she had been willing to risk it when her sworn sister was in danger from one, and only daring and luck and Janowyn's peredhel blood saved her. Feowen had not done it alone then, but she was not alone now, either. She met Baingíl's eyes sternly, still unable to completely quell the bewilderment she felt at having been posed this question, and then swept her gaze around the other faces, frowning. Perhaps she was a fool to underestimate the danger they were in, and her life had been short enough that she was little more than a mortal, but she did not believe for one second that any one of them would choose to turn back. She didn't think they should, and not because they were sworn to service. She would probably trust anyone going for the sake of following orders less than anyone going because they felt they must. And it's not like they have come this far a little air--

    "I am going," Feowen said curtly, fearing that another moment of that train of thought and she was going to have to voice it or explode. She managed to keep her voice low and even, but her eyes glinted as she glanced from Dincairwen to Baingíl, and she shifted her stance around after she spoke, turning half-away from the group to give herself space. She could feel her heart beat fast, and took a deep breath, knowing that whatever lay ahead, there was more at stake for her than life or death.



    Edited by: Morgan la Fée

  99. Aduchil's Avatar
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    #99






    Edge of Mirkwood

    Although with his blood boiling from being in the thick of fighting, Aduchil did notice that the orcs lessened in number. His warriors were doing what they excelled at, utilising surprise and ambush to ensure annihilation. The bows of Lórien were simply too quick and too strong to lose this match, where several of the orcs had been taken out before they could even enter the fight. The remainder had rushed to engage with the usual ferocity of their race, but they were simply not enough. Already the blood of two orcs dripped from Aduchil's blade, and he knew the next one would be his last; the arrows that poured from behind him would see to it. A little sense returned to the Elf as deep breaths brought air to his head and cleared it slightly from the rush of battle. If the fight was all but won, there was no need for excessive risk. Kill the remaining enemy, finish the skirmish, Aduchil told himself as he crouched a little, approaching his foe with his legs ready to spring into action.

    They circled back and forth a bit, but the orc was clever enough to keep Aduchil forced close to his original position; between the orc and the Elven archers. Aduchil had spotted it using the other orcs as shields to protect itself from arrows, and the Elf knew the orc was clever enough to understand the situation. If exposed to the archers, it would die; but it could not turn and run, hiding between the trees for cover as long as Aduchil was close to give pursuit. The Elf had to die to give the orc a chance to escape. Thus cautioned by his line of reasoning, and how the orc deftly positioned itself, Aduchil remained wary. The orc was the one under pressure; if too much time elapsed, the other Elves would finish fighting and approach until flight was impossible. True enough, within moments the orc jumped forward, launching its attack. Its shield came high against Aduchil's chest, to smash him back; treacherously, the orc's sword came sliding under the shield, where Aduchil's vision was blocked. But it was a move the old Noldo had anticipated upon seeing the orc prepare his sword low under his shield. Aduchil leaned back to avoid the shield and brought his sword across to push the orc's blade away, up into his own shield. It threw the creature off-balance for a moment, allowing Aduchil to regain his own footing.

    They exchanged further blows, neither penetrating the other's defences. Wielding only one weapon, Aduchil knew he was at a disadvantage; he needed to turn this into an opportunity he could exploit. Forgetting his earlier pledge to remain cautious, Aduchil decided on his strategy. He raised his beloved blade high and struck down repeatedly. He opened himself up to retaliation, but luckily the orc was not adept enough to take advantage of this. It raised its sword and attention equally upwards. Recovering from one swing, Aduchil's sword was still piercing through the air and about to be turned around for another blow, when Aduchil made his move. Just as his sword would have come crashing against the orc's parry again, Aduchil dropped to the ground, as low as he could while still on his feet. Meanwhile, his left hand grabbed his dagger, pulled it and then plunged it into the orc's foot. Aduchil was left completely exposed, but his gambit worked. The orc roared in pain, rather than focus on striking back. The Elf pulled the dagger up, a fountain of blood following it and he leapt back to assume a proper stance.

    Now the vulnerability had been made, rather than found. The orc could not move as fast or as dexterious on its left side. Aduchil aimed a low swing at its left leg; easy enough to evade, but it required the orc to step back and then place its injured foot on the ground. The jolt of agony, the moment of distraction, Aduchil required nothing more. Catching the orc's blade with his dagger to keep it at bay, the Elf stepped forward with astonishing alacrity and thrust his sword up through the orc's torso where its blade no longer protected it. Aduchil witnessed how surprise was replaced by pain and then mute realisation upon the orc's face. It slowly sank to the ground, falling backwards. Aduchil placed his boot on its neck and pulled his sword out of its body with the utmost satisfaction, breathing slowly. The fight was over, the orcs lay dead. None had escaped, and their presence was secret; for now. Many things could still go wrong, far too many things to Aduchil's liking; but he had no control over them. His attention belonged with those he could control, but first, the mandatory routines after a fight.

    He walked over to where he had first initiated the fight, close to where his bow lay and where most of the other Elves were as well. Some had fought on the ground like him, others taken to the trees. They joined their brethren down on the ground, everybody examining injuries and cleaning their weapons and such as customary. Aduchil pulled out a piece of finely woven fabric from a pouch on his belt, which was what he always used to clean his blade. It was delicate to the touch and cleansed the taint of orc blood from the steel with supreme tenderness. However, looking at the people under his command, an expression ran across Aduchil's face before it concealed itself. Thrusting his sword into the ground so that it embedded itself to stand upright, albeit still resonating back and forth from the force of the thrust, Aduchil walked over to Naur, taking the fabric in his right hand. His left hand he placed under her chin to raise her face, though he still had to look down to examine the injury that had bloodied her fair features. Cautiously, he cleaned the blood from her face where it had trickled down from a wound. Fortunately, it was not so close to her eyes that it should trouble her sight as it healed.
    "A small cut," Aduchil said with a light smile, as he finished by gently pressing the cloth against the wound itself to ensure it had stopped bleeding. "It will heal before you know it," he said, and then pressed the cloth into her hand, closing her fingers around it by clasping his own hands around hers.

    Turning around, swallowing slightly, Aduchil walked back to pick up his sword. All Elves seemed on their feet with no serious injuries, so he returned to his routines. His sword he cleaned with his cloak, before he sheathed it. He collected his bow from where he had tossed it aside, and inspected its tip for damage where he had used it to gouge an orc's eye out. It seemed still in good condition, so he trusted it would serve him still and cleaned it as well, before slinging it across his back. Finally he collcted his arrows, removed any blood from their tips and placed them in his quiver. Apart from the sporadic stains of blood, he was once more as before the fight, and ready to continue. First, however, the battlefield itself. Picking up a helmet, Aduchil threw it into the bushes, away from the trail that the orcs obviously used. Then he bent down and picked up a corpse, hauling it away.
    "We cannot conceal entirely what has happened here, but let us at least disguise the most obvious signs," he informed the other Elves. If somebody came this way, it would be clear that a battle had been fought; but to somebody who only came close but not directly this way, it might fool them. Any advantage they could gain, Aduchil thought as they worked to hide the fallen enemies as well as their weapons and gear. As soon as they would be done, they would make haste to the meeting point, Aduchil decided. The sun would not last much longer, and the night would bring its own trials.






    Edited by: Aduchil

  100. Sailacel's Avatar
    Garment-crafter of Lothlorien
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    #100


    SailacelEdge of MirkwoodAs Sailacel aimed at one of the orcs she felt a sudden stab of pain in her right arm. Involuntarily she released the arrowand clutched her upperright arm with her left hand. She looked down at her right arm and removed her hand, afraid of what she might see. Her hand was covered in blood, an orc arrow had grazed her arm, the wound was not deep, but she was bleeding badly. Reaching into her bag she pulled out a clean piece of cloth she had packed to use as a bandage. Holding one end of the bandagewith her left and and the other with her teeth she bandaged her arm. The pressure from the bandage she hoped would stop the bleeding.Looking around her Sailacel was surprised to see that the battle was over. Not a single orc was left standing. Slowly she climbed down from her perch, trying not to use her left arm. It looked like none of their group had serious injuries, for which she was glad. Then she set aboutcollecting her arrows, cleaning their tips, and putting them back in her quiver. She heard Aduchil's voice and turned towards him, listening to his orders. Picking up some orcarmor and weapons she made her way to the bushes, trying to put the majority of the load's weight on her left arm, and threw the armor and weapons in. Next she pulled an orc body into the bushes by its arm. Slowly the area was cleared, but by the time the last orc body was hidden her arm was hurting badly.She bit her lip, trying to cope with the pain,and prepared to move out.


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