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  1. Pele Alarion's Avatar
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    #1

    Lucky Meeting: Inter-regional Army RPG


    (Banner by Pele Alarion)


    "A bright morning dawns on the Firien Wood, the sun reflecting on a layer of snow that covers the frozen ground. There is a feeling of unease within the Wood itself, a whisper of evil in the shadows, but none are near enough to feel it yet.

    To the southeast, a Gondorian patrol has been sent to inspect the state of the beacon hills. They had camped around the beacon on Halifirien, having made sure that the beacon is in working order and the guards there had all necessary supplies. As the morning came, the patrol was about to descend and work their way along the Mering Stream towards the road, just to ensure that the borders were safe before they travelled back towards the City.

    To the west, a small group of Rohirrim are about to leave their camp. They have ridden for three days to reach the Firien Wood, a rumor having reached Edoras of enemies in the area. Villagers nearby have informed them that a Gondorian patrol is also in the area, so the Cavalry is planning to meet with this patrol and combine forces in searching for the enemy.

    Clouds on the horizon bring the possibility of snow later in the day, and no one is yet certain of where the enemy is, or if the rumors are even true. Regardless of what should happen, this is a good opportunity for the Cavalry of Rohan and the Army of Minas Tirith to combine forces and work together. Already, the day looks promising at the two forces should be meeting around noon."

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    This is an inter-regional RPG between the Cavalry of Rohan and the Army of Minas Tirith. Those who would like to take on the role of dark creatures may do so provided that they remain hidden in the Firien Wood until a prompt is given at a later date. This should be a good opportunity for several groups of individuals on the Plaza to roleplay together and perhaps both sides can learn from each other.

    As dawn approaches, the Cavalry patrol prepares to leave their campsite and the Gondorian patrol begins to make its way towards the border of Rohan to ensure it is secure. The two patrols will meet soon, but for now, each side must ensure everything is ready before they continue on their individual journeys and eventually cross paths.


    Rules
    1. All Plaza rules apply.
    2. This thread is for members of the Cavalry and the Army of Minas Tirith. If you wish to take part but are not a member of either of these organizations, you may NPC a dark creature, preferably an orc. Unless you are a member of the Cavalry or the Army of Minas Tirith, you may NOT roleplay as a soldier in either of these forces. You may, however, join their ranks at their respective headquarters whenever you desire to do so.
    3. Signatures should remain ON.
    4. To make things easier to keep track of, please place your character's name and rank in the top left-hand corner of your post.
    5. Posts shouldn't be less than 300 words.
    6. To members of the Cavalry: Meduseld should post in GREEN, Westmark in RED, and Eastmark in BLUE. Sperewigends will be assigned Eoreds to ride with and will post in their corresponding colors. To those playing dark creatuires: your posting color is BLACK. Army of Minas Tirith, you should post in BROWN #990000
    7. Have fun!
    I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings,
    and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace...
    ~~~~~
    Cavalry Trainee

  2. Equitatus's Avatar
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    #2
    ~ Update ~

    Army of Gondor - The night has been cold and the soldiers around the last beacon of Gondor, Halifirien, found themselves shivering in the cold morning breeze. Yet a small shielded fire provides some warmth and a kettle of tea is set upon it, so the patrol would have something hot to go with their breakfast rations. It is time to eat and get ready to head down, where at the bottom of the slope the horses are waiting, along with the guards who were there to watch over the trusty beasts. Even though there is no reason for haste, it is planned to set out early and travel a good distance back to the City.


    Cavalry - The sun is about to rise, and despite the winter chill and early hour, it is time to be off. After nearly three days in the saddle, you are almost at the Firien Wood, prepared for battle though hoping you don't need to be. Another six or so hours and the Cavalry patrol will be meeting the Gondorian patrol. Prepare yourself and your horse; you will leave camp at first sunlight.



    Orcs - Your forces found a small farmstead to raid during the night, chasing away the family that lived there and feasting on the flesh of one of their horses. The sun is about to rise, so you will need to find a place to hide beneath the forest canopy of the Firien Wood and plan what to do at nightfall. Your scouts have gathered that a group of soldiers will be arriving to investigate soon, but you don't know how soon or where the soldiers are coming from.

    ~Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored~
    "Remember who the real enemy is."

  3. Merl Moriestiel's Avatar
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    #3
    Cassandra Hawthorne
    Sperewigend (not yet assigned)

    A hand roughly shook her awake, and she opened her eyes in shock, looking straight into those of a soldier she knew not the name of. "Up you get Sperewigend, the day is dawning," the man said gruffly before continuing to wake her neighbours. Cassandra blinked a few times to become truly awake, slowly starting to feel the chill that was already trying to creep into her body under the warm blanket. She did not like the idea of having to get out from under it, but duty called. She took a deep breath and threw the blanket off her, wrapping herself in her riding cloak. By Bma it was cold! She adjusted the warm but thin green woollen scarf she had wrapped around her head to protect it from the chill, covering her ears, checked if her long braid was still well enough, then knelt to roll up her bedroll and blanket in a neat package.

    These she carried to where the horses stood picketed, placing them against a tree near Serra. She stretched; sleeping in her leather armour was far from comfortable, but better than having to take it of in this chill. Moving her neck and shoulders in a decisive pattern to prevent stiffness, she patted her mare on the nose, then stepped out of the way of the soldiers who had drawn breakfast duty for the horses that morning.

    "Enjoy yours, pretty, and I will go get mine." She said with a grin, before returning to the campfire she had slept next to. Their she was handed a sack of trail rations and told to start handing it out to the soldiers. "I guess I'll eat later," she whispered to herself before taking out equal portions for her hungry fellow Riders.

    She breathed in the cold air and as she did her job, thought about what they were going to do. Three days ago, the King had sent word to his Marshals of a disturbance on the border, with possible enemy contact. The Marshals had ordered an Eored to ride out to investigate and, inexplicably, had ordered several Sperewigends to go with them. This had resulted in her and the other trainees scrambling to get their gear together in order to ride out within the hour. Now, after three days hard riding, they had almost reached their destination and were about to meet up with a Gondorian border patrol.

    Cassandra herself was keeping up surprisingly well for someone not born in the Mark, but then she had ridden horses all her life. The only thing bothering her was a cramped arm for riding with a spear in hand for days. And the fact that she already dispised her helmet, which was a little ill-fitted and sometimes blocked her vision if a sudden movement shifted its position. It was a good thing she and Serra had such a close bond, or she might have ridden into a tree at some point.

    As she handed out the rations, she wondered what would happen today. Somewhere in the back of her mind was the nagging feeling that today was the day that things would go terribly wrong.


  4. Tavari Mordagnir's Avatar
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    #4

    Sergeant Kamion
    Company of Minas Tirith



    Standing at the bottom of the slope, Kamion moved among the gathered picketed horses, patting a rump or a neck here and there, speaking to a guard as he passed, with an eye out for his own mount. “Faran!” he called out, over the shifting backs. “Ho, Faran!” A surly snort answered this second call, and Kamion turned to see the ill-tempered dark bay gelding that bore him hither and thither and into battle, standing not four yards away, looking at him dourly. “You rascal, you’ve been hiding from me, haven’t you?” The Dnadan said severely to the horse as he strode over to him. Faran, for his part, snorted again and turned his head away. Kamion seized him by the forelock and gave it a gentle tug, before slipping his hand under it to scratch the gelding’s forehead. The pleasure of this could not be denied even by Faran, and the horse grunted softly, leaning his head against his master. Kamion chuckled. Faran didn’t look like anything particularly special- serviceable enough, but with none of the fine-boned grace of a palfrey, nor the sleek lines of a courser. If he were to be classified, he would probably have been closest to a destrier, but being a gelding, his neck was neither as thick nor as arched as many of that type. He was taller than many of that kind as well, with powerfully muscled quarters and thick legs; his face was straight, with a broad jaw, heavy ears, and glinting black eyes. All in all, the casual passer-by would no doubt deem him quite ugly and ill-tempered looking. But a big man –Kamion being some five inches above six feet and very broad of shoulder and long of leg- needed a big horse, and though apparently unalike in temperament, the pair suited each other well. The horses were of course well guarded, but it was Kamion’s wont to always give Faran a last checking-in on before retiring, and first thing in the morning. With a final pat to the gelding’s shoulder, which was met by a halfhearted attempt to kick him in the knee, Kamion turned and made his way back up the hill.

    Halifirien was of course not lit, but its bulk was visible against the pale morning gloom, outlined in the dull blue of chill. The chill’s accompanying wind kicked up as Kamion strode up the hill, hissing and squealing and tossing about his shock of night-black hair, and causing him to squint against its edge, lest water cloud his vision. The Dnadan shifted his shoulders, more comfortably settling the baldric which carried the great broadsword across his back, the weapon which was his pride and joy, sheathed such that it could be quickly drawn without hyperextension. It was long, but so were Kamion’s arms, and at its ricasso the sword was the width of three fingers, rather than the palm’s breadth which some carried. Weight of the weapon thus decreased, he had the strength to wield the double-handed hilt with a single arm for a greater period of time. Kamion was not bulky like some of his fellows- his well-developed musculature was given to a quiet grace, more akin to a hunting wolf than a charging bull. He did not look his four and fifty years, nor the close to forty spent in martial service, but his skin was weathered from long hours spent in the open, a few faint scars marring a face otherwise remarkably free of lines. As with many of his Dnedain kindred, it was only in the depths of Kamion’s unnerving cobalt eyes that he carried the weight of his years and the wisdom thereafter gained. But it seemed that today, neither his wisdom nor his weapon would be in much demand. It was a perfectly ordinary- if unwelcomely cold- morning, with nothing much amiss, apart from the fact that he had not yet had the chance to drink a warm cup of soup or chew some salted venison. A situation, he thought, as he crested the hill and made for the fire he shared with several others, that could do with remedying right away!




    Kazul – Orc

    Blood dripped down the scrawny orc’s black chin, staining it red, and bubbling around the corners of his mouth as he chortled with glee. Kazul’s teeth ripped and tore at the raw horseflesh, a fat slice from the belly of the animal, which now lay, savaged into pieces, in the farmyard that the company of orcs had raided during the night. The people had escaped, but that was ok as far as Kazul was concerned, because horse was tastier than Man. He chewed with relish, and swallowed. Some of the others didn’t bother to chew, only swallowing and bolting down the meat, but Kazul like to taste the meat and bone and blood and sinew and fat and gristle before it went sliding down his gullet. Also, he had seen many a greedy orc (not that he wasn’t greedy, just cautious) die from choking on his own food, and if there was a worse way to go, Kazul didn’t know what it was. He was still busily eating when the scouts arrived back, and told everybody that an extremely irritating group of soldiers was going to be showing up, but not when or from where. Stupid scouts, what was the good of knowing someone was coming if you didn’t know when or where?! Sulkily, Kazul ripped one of the few remaining chunks of flesh off the horse’s flank- then, as an afterthough, reached into the abdomen and guttled about for a moment, before coming away with his prize: and overlooked piece of liver! Cramming it into his mouth before anyone could notice and fight him for it, Kazul chewed away lustily at the liver, and stuffed the other meat into his waist pouch for later, sloping off after the rest, who had begun to scuttle towards the woods. Apparently hiding was the order of the day. Hopefully it would lead to more meat.
    Last edited by Moriel; 23/Feb/2013 at 01:24 AM.

    Moriel
    Once a minion, always a minion.


  5. Arnyn Dealedwen's Avatar
    Master of Minas Tirith
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    #5

    Soldier Kaylin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor

    All of the pieces of the uniform sure come in handy in cold weather such as this, she pondered whilst rubbing her gloves hands together to create friction and - by extension - to rub some extra warmth into her fingers. Some more pieces might not even be such a bad idea, she added in thought with in internal grumble. Not that she was cold exactly... or perhaps it would be more accurate to say she refused to admit that she was. Picturing the flames of the small fire nearby as if they were inside of her body helped to combat the chill that was trying to take hold, but that mental battle required focus and once someone spoke to her or her attention was required elsewhere, the supposed effect wore off quickly.


    Halifirien... Her grey eyes flicked around her once more, from the fire to her fellows in arms, to the surrounding country. She wasn't sure whether she had expected more or whether she had expected less of the last beacon of Gondor. The patrol which she was a part of had checked on the stationed guards, had resupplied them and taken a look around the area. Everything seemed in order - at the moment at least. Kaylin understood the need for an additional patrol now and again, but she also wondered whether such patrols shouldn't be more frequent. The soldiers at the beacon could get into trouble anytime, and trouble wouldn't wait to show up until a scheduled Gondorian patrol. She sighed mentally. Gondor probably didn't have the soldiers to spare to reinforce the beacons continuously. Not at a time like this. Aware that such thoughts would vex her, she let them go and once again focused on trying to get warm.

    Breakfast was being passed around, and Kaylin gratefully set about eating her rations. She was always ready for a meal, especially when out and about on army duties. The scent of the tea that was brewing on the small fire didn't travelthat far in the cold, but she thought she was catching a whiff of it anyways, which was pleasant. However, after a brief moment it only served to remind her of how unpleasant the cold was, and the cold wouldn't go away soon, whereas the tea's fragrance would. The wind was the worst part of it. If it got any worse, she might even have to put on her helmet despite her strong dislike for headgear. When she finally got her hands on a cup of the tea, she folded her gloved hands around it and managed to smile faintly at the warmth it was giving off. Given that it was so early in the morning still, the redhead wasn't too talkative yet. Not that she was particularly moody in the mornings.. She just needed some time to process that she was going from the stillness of sleep to the activity of a new day. On the days she had off, there was a world of difference between the first half an hour of her day and the rest of it. She was aware, though, that when she was on official army business she tended to be a bit more serious as opposed to during her spare time; but that didn't mean that a joke or two wouldn't be in order as the day progressed. She was convinced that laughter kept the heart warm... And she could use all the warmth she could get on cold days such as these.
    Last edited by Arnyn Dealedwen; 24/Feb/2013 at 10:25 AM.
    Arnyn Axinecelume ~ Always Hyandaner


  6. Isolde Alarion's Avatar
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    #6
    Tying the last strap to hold her bedroll she gave it a good tug. There, that would hold she reasoned. She patted her mount on the rump and walked to the head of him. Ashon was calmly chewing the last of his grain. She ran her hand along his sorrel neck and gently patted his cheek. Finish your breakfast, I think we'll be leaving as soon as the sun rises. She told him but he seemed uninterested and lowered his head to claim the last of his meal. She'd already had her rationed breakfast while many still slept.

    She turned from her horse to look over the camp. Those still sleeping were being roused and slowly the camp was coming to life. She'd seen this scene repeated for three days now and it was always interesting to watch the Sperewigends as they experienced camp life and travel for the first time. Some moaned and groaned while others withstood it fairly well. She couldn't remember what she'd done but then she had her sister to prod her on. So long ago it felt but in actuality only a few years had passed. Enough woolgathering..back to work she told herself and turned back to Ashon.

    His grain gone he stood patiently while she worked his bridle and headgear, she occasionally warmed her fingers with her breath to keep them working. Riding in the winter was not her favorite time but she did her best to work around it. She absently sniffed and now satisfied with him she went to tighten her saddle. Don't hold your breath Ashon..I'm warning you. She grit through her teeth as she pulled the leather strap to find it just short of what she wanted. Ashonnn! She growled at him and pushed him with her shoulder to make him take a few steps thus releasing his breath. She quickly set the strap in place then stood back and looked at him as he looked back at her. You did that on purpose. He snorted and turned back around.

    She turned back to the small pile of weapons and picked up her quiver of arrows and slung them over her back, adjusted it then took her horsebow and slung that over her back as well. She adjusted her cloak and her armour and with all in order she turned back to Ashon. She grabbed her helm which had been sitting the seat of her saddle and pulled it on, adjusted slightly then she grabbed her last item, her spear. With spear in her right hand she took a hand full of reins and held Ashons mane as she slipped her booted left foot into the stirrup and drew herself up and into the seat. With practiced ease she adjusted her seat and settled herself for another days ride. She rest the butt of her spear on the toe of her boot and held it lightly. She was ready.

    Ashon may have been a lazy grain eating cow when it came to time off but as soon as she slipped into the saddle he was all business. Eyes wide and ears swiveling he moved under her as she adjusted. He chimed at his bit as his warm breath hung in the air. With a quick snap of the riens he seemed to settle and wait for instruction. It came in the form of a light heel to the side. She walked him away from the line of horses, giving others getting ready more room. She would head toward a more open area where others were gathering and getting ready for another long day of travel.
    Isolde Alarion Drythguma Meduseld Eored
    Mourgan Alarion Soldier Army of Gondor

  7. Hallas C. Pehwarin's Avatar
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    #7
    Sergeant Hallas C. Pehwarin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor


    The NCO had joined the small party of Soldiers that were to inspect the Beacon Hills. Thus did Hallas remember the history of the South Kingdom being the Beacon Hills running from east to west it started at Amon Dn, Eilenach, Nardol, Erelas, Mon Rimmon, Calenhad which he participated in saving that beacon hill not too long ago, then finally Halifirien which where they currently resided at waiting for their allies the famed rohirrim perhaps maybe even his kindred Tauro!
    He gave a nod to soldier Kaylin who was enjoying her daily ration.
    Last edited by Hallas C. Pehwarin; 24/Feb/2013 at 05:42 AM.

    Dryhtguma / Nmenrean

  8. Symolyn's Avatar
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    #8
    Dryhtguma Symolyn of Meduseld

    Sym woke with a groan when someone kicked her head by accident as the woman stumbled out of the tent in which a few warriors were sleeping. Time to wake up, apparently. She stretched her limbs. Despite her trained body, three full days on a horse made her feel stiff and sore. They had not had many hours of rests and during the ride Sym had worried herself with the looks of the warriors surrounding her, which tired her greatly. It was unlikely they would think of her past wrongs in particular, but she couldn't let go of minding their opinions. These were her comrades, after all, and before long she would go into battle with them. If they didn't trust her, it could be troublesome in battle. She had tried her best to be as able as possible, helping with the rations and trying to talk now and then. Maybe that helped a bit.

    Today someone seemed to have beaten her to it though. As she rolled out of the tent and headed towards the camp fire, a sperewigend (Cassandra) handed her the ration for breakfast. She accepted the food wordlessly, tore off a chunk of old bread and chewed it mindlessly.

    They were close. So close to the woods that today they had a good chance of encountering whichever enemy was lurking in it. Word was that they were meeting a Gondorian patrol to fight their enemy together. Sym never much cared for Gondorians. They were all foreigners in her eyes, and odd folk at that. She couldn't remember the last time king Thoden felt so friendly disposed towards the Gondorian allies that he ordered them to fight together. But perhaps this decision had been the Marshals' rather than the king's. That was the likelier option.

    Still chewing the bread in a rather unattractive way, she looked around, part of her hoping to catch sight of Ceorl, another part wishing the opposite, because he confused her. The latter was favoured today and giving up the search for the man she instead started searching for her horse. He, at least, was less difficult to find, because, being a horse and tied up, he hadn't moved from where she had left him the night before. He was already fed, so she started to brush his back, removing everything that might hurt him once the saddle lay on his back. Charge allowed everything and stood, still half-asleep himself, staring in the distance.

    When the horse was ready, Sym mounted, shifting in the saddle until she had found the most comfortable way to sit. Whatever today would bring, she was prepared. No one was going to die today.


    Psgeluk, Orc of Mordor

    The scrawny, ugly orc waited impatiently at the back of the crowd around the dead horse. Psgeluk had never been lucky. Long ago, when he was younger and fiercer, he had tried to lead a band of orcs into Rohan, and it had worked for a while, but though he was good at leading and would have led the orc army to a glorious victory (or so he thought) his 'comrades' had soon abandoned him. Fair enough; he wasn't the best looking orc. Some creatures said he was rather a failed specimen of their kind, but he had never thought so himself. He believed he had above average (or orcish average) intelligence. He did not deserve to wait at the back until it was his time to devour the scraps.

    Impatiently, he poked the orc in front of him with the point of his sword. A loud growl followed, followed by another which made the spit fly in Ps' face. He backed away. Maybe not a good idea. His day would come though. In battle, people simply followed the voice which seemed to know what was going on. He was sure that voice was going to be him. Before long, he would make others fight for him again (and escape death himself once more). But now... he was only hungry.

    And the sun was rising. The other orcs were already leaving, before the sharp rays of the sun could hurt their eyes. Ps growled, his stomach still rumbling. The dead horse now came in sight, but there was hardly any meat left on its bones. He tried to gnaw the last scraps of the legs, but it was not enough to still his hunger. Sulking, he followed the others deep into the forest, where the sunlight could not reach, thinking to himself rather irritatedly that perhaps it was time for him to man up.

    Dryhtguma
    - Former Hlend of Meduseld
    The legacy of Rohan's heroes will not be forgotten

  9. Windowcel Alarion's Avatar
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    #9
    Windhladen Alarion
    Sperewigend (unassigned)

    Her comrades were just beginning to stir, but Windy had been up for some time and was sitting with her back to the tents and sleeping forms of the camp. She had been alone for a long while, and despite the hard riding of the past few days she still found it difficult to sleep in company; last night she had managed a few hours of sleep before she put her things away and sat a voluntary watch, staring into the darkness and listening to the even breathing of her fellow warriors while dawn approached. This morning it felt like the daylight was intentionally holding back, resisting the inevitable sunrise, but she expected that feeling was her own emotions. They had heard from some village folk yesterday that there was a Gondorian patrol in the area, and she was impatient to meet them and see if her sister, Pele, was among them. Dawn would come soon, but not soon enough; she had another sister to locate, far closer.

    She flung her cloak open to the cold air and stood, stretching slowly before she walked toward the picket line where the colt was tied. Isolde was likely to be there already, caring for her own horse. Windy had just ridden into Edoras from a two-day training trip with her new horse when she saw the summons. The colt was on his way to being a fine warhorse, but he sometimes shied from company and she liked to work with him in solitude from time to time to give them both a break from the stress of interacting with other horses. She had stayed well behind the rest of the riders and slept apart until last night to give him plenty of time on his own before he would be running with a group. He seemed to be doing well enough, now, though she had been careful to tie near the end of the line.

    There were already a few horses missing from the line when she arrived, and she gave the colt a quick brush in the dark, her fingers running over his coat carefully to make sure there was nothing that would irritate under the saddle. He was finishing his morning meal, provided by some unfortunate sperewigend, she assumed, and was quite distracted as she settled his saddle in place and drew the girth tight, then approached his head with a bridle. “Now, lad, this is what we’ve practiced for,” she murmured as she drew it over his head and settled the bit in his mouth. “This is the day you actually wear your armor.”

    He was remarkably good about the armour, which was made of hardened leather and included a partial shaffron and peytral. They were not very heavy, but they would protect his head and chest during a charge. Satisfied that he was taken care of, Windy took her own breakfast rations and ate quickly. She had slept in her clothes, but now had to put on her own armor, and her weapons on top of that; she carried her sword and a Cavalry-issued spear, and she had supplemented these with a few knives. She was intensely grateful when she could put her cloak on once again over all of these things.

    The colt had been still too long, and she chose to lead him around the camp before mounting. Those who had slept in tents were breaking them down, and the rest were packing up their blankets and cloaks. It was a strange scene to be part of, yet stranger to still be on the outside – she was not yet officially a member of the Cavalry, and therefore fell in category with the new trainees. There was the one who had given her breakfast (Cassandra), and the man she had seen on the training grounds (Ceorl), as well as a few returners like herself. They would all be acquainted soon enough, and she was optimistic in her hopes that some of them would become friends as well.

    Catching sight of Isolde, already mounted and settled with her spear, riding toward the riders who were ready to depart, Windy swung into the saddle. The colt was much taller than Sundance had been, but it was becoming more natural each day for her to mount the big red horse. She settled in and held her spear by her left hand today, then gently prodded her horse toward the others. Isolde,” she said as she approached in the pre-dawn grey. “I cannot tell you how good it is to see you!"
    ~ Dryhtguma of the Westmark ~
    si vales, valeo


  10. Shivased's Avatar
    High Counsellor of the Mark
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    #10
    Marshal Shivased
    First Marshal of the Mark

    Shivased
    pulled her cloak tighter about her shoulders as she stepped out of her tent, her breath frosting in the cool winter morning air. She couldn't wait for spring, she decided. Winter had never been her favourite season. It was too cold, with too much snow that made life difficult; travelling was harder, working the horses was harder, everything was simply harder....and colder. She shook her head to clear her ornery thoughts and headed over to the nearest campfire where she could see a pot of something hot ready. Pulling a slightly mashed packet of tea leaves out of her pocket she was happy to find it was a pot of hot water sitting on the ring of rocks around the fire and quickly claimed a cup of it to make some tea to go with her strip of dried meat. She wasn't sure she could go the day in the cold without tea to warm her up.

    While she ate she watched the camp come alive, those who had been brought on this patrol moving about eating breakfast, grooming horses and mounting up. Around them the few ceorls who had come were taking down the rough tents and beginning to put out fires. It was the third morning of the patrol. They had been alerted to a band of enemies in the area of the Firien Wood. Rather than taking the whole Cavalry the marshals had opted to bring a smaller group instead, in the hope that they could sneak up and catch the enemy unawares. It had been a surprise when the people in a nearby village had told them of a patrol from Gondor in the area, but she was eager to meet up with them. It would add to the Cavalry's numbers if they worked together.

    Soon enough she was done her breakfast and moved to the picket line where Curon was tethered. The stallion had already been fed and watered, and was stealing the last of the grain belonging to the horse beside him. Taking a brush and pick out of her saddle bags she gave him a quick but thorough brushing and picked his hooves before tossing his saddle and pad on his back. He was so tall she had at first had trouble saddling him, but had long since gotten used to how high she had to throw the saddle. Buckling the girth she quickly removed his halter and slipped on his bridle. It only took a few more minutes to affix his chamfron and crinet, and she was mounted.

    She rode to the head of the assembled riders, looking around to see if Dragon-helm and Equi were ready to depart. Judging by what the villagers had said they would meet up with the Gondorians sometime around midday, and she was eager to get going.

    First Marshal of the Mark
    Taste the Rainbow - Eat Crayons!

  11. Equitatus's Avatar
    Knight of the Mark
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    #11
    Marshal Equitatus
    Third Marshal of the Mark, Meduseld Eored


    The sun was not yet up when the camp came to life, both man and beast stirring. Equitatus awoke to the clanking of armor as a few Dryhts and Sperewigends began to rise, starting the process of packing up. Stretching, she stood and seized hold of her metal armor, somewhat reluctantly strapping it on. She had become accustomed to Paethfindian armor, which consisted of leather, but Marshal armor was much heavier and more tiresome to wear. Ignoring how sore and tired she was after three days in the saddle, Equitatus belted on her sword, slipped a dagger into each boot, put on her gloves, and tucked her helmet under her arm before leaving the relative warmth of her tent and entering the cold outside.

    A few were already up and seeing to their duties. Cassandra was handing out rations, and Equitatus thanked her as she received her own. She eyed the bread and strip of dried meat, wondering how much longer her teeth could withstand such rations, and then consumed them, knowing that she would later regret the loss of energy if she were to skip breakfast. Her meal finished, Equitatus headed over to her stallion only to find his head buried in a bag of grain, his eyes barely open as he blearily ate. "Come on, sleepyhead." she said with a chuckle, getting out her brushes and grooming him in the semi-darkness before dawn. She set a saddle blanket on his back, followed by the saddle itself, removed the empty bag of grain from around his nose, and put a bridle on in place of his halter. Lastly, she placed the peytral and chamfron in their proper locations.

    All of that done, she led the stallion away from the line, stroking his nose as she enjoyed one last minute on her feet. Equitatus had practically been born in the saddle, being one of the Rohirrim, and in truth, she was often more comfortable in the saddle than on foot. But after three days of riding, her whole body was beginning to feel it, especially her legs. Validus tossed his head impatiently, so Equitatus tightened the girth on the saddle and then mounted, pulling herself over the stallion's sixteen hands of height and into the saddle.

    Once situated, she directed Validus further from the bustle of the camp and towards the other Riders who were ready. She waved to Windy and Isolde, who were talking, and also to Symolyn, a longtime friend. Equitatus wondered where her squire, Raedan, had gotten to as he was nowhere in sight, but she figured he would appear soon. She hoped he was helping around the camp and making himself useful, but he probably wasn't.

    Nudging Validus forward, Equitatus joined Shiva, keeping a distance between her horse and the First Marshal's stallion as she remembered that her palomino didn't get along very well with him. "Good morning!" she said cheerfully, her breath vaporizing as it made contact with the frigid morning air. "I hope you survived the night reasonably well?" she chuckled, backing Validus a few more steps, just to be safe. "Reports show that we should meet up with the Gondorian patrol in about six hours, assuming we don't encounter any trouble on the road. If all goes well, we should be at the meeting point, which is near the Firien Wood, by noon. We're only waiting on a few people, so we should be able to depart soon."

    ~Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored~
    "Remember who the real enemy is."

  12. Fiery Mommy Row's Avatar
    Thain of the Mark
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    #12
    Rowena (Westmark Eored, Cavalry Bealdorhaelend…)
    Raedan (Equi's runt -- er squire, Meduseld Eored)

    Rowena had been up earlier than even the sun the third day of patrol. Having twins had been a rough past few weeks, and they still weren’t sleeping through the night fully. Chiefly because when one woke crying, he’d wake the other up, no matter how sleepy he felt. Rowena swore up and down each time they woke, Shivan and Daegan were as impossible as their namesakes! Audley had stayed home with the children this time around, as really it seemed the Cavalry really felt only the need for the Bealdorhaelend on this patrol. (Thank heavens, she was not about to burden her twin brother with another set of twins to care for. He had a set of his own!) Even though Rowena kept her hair long, about waist length, she only took a matter of seconds to undo the braid she slept in, brush it out, and rebraid it.
    Having become accustomed to waking before the sun, Rowena also had quickly learned to put everything in the exact same place, and leave nothing in her way to the items she’d need in the morning. Thus was the state of her tent in the morning. (Which she thought rather unfortunately she had to share with her troublemaking son this journey. Couldn’t she have pawned him off on some unfortunate Meduselder? By Bema the kid snored! Granted, she was fairly certain that he did on purpose. He was a teenage boy stuck with his mother after all.) So she quickly put on her armor, new and fresh. It was really the first time she had worn this armor since Equi had made it. By the time Equi had finished making it, Rowena had been big as a pregnant mare! And that said a lot given mares had a lot more horse inside them than she did baby.
    ‘Mmm, it feels so good to back in armor…’ She muttered to herself.
    She quickly threw on her cloak which bore her red Bealdorhaelend badge, the very one that had not so many months ago been the object that silenced her for a better part of a couple hours. She smiled as she remembered the scene. The day had been a bittersweet one, where they said farewell to Marshal Widfara of Meduseld, but three promotions had been made that day.
    As she continued to think of that day, feel with both laughter and tears, she picked up her saddlebags and headed outside the tent. A very soft call,
    Synne’ brought her beautiful and perfect black mare to her. Like many Eorlingas, she did not believe in tying up her horse. And frankly, she didn’t think it made a difference to thieves to tie her horse or not. It was nearly as easy to cut a rope as it was to not cut it… Not that she should know that…
    ‘Dear Bema… I forgot your tack,’ she whispered to Synne, not daring to speak above that as most would still be sleeping. She gently patted Synne’s mane, and then ducked back into the tent. When she came back out she was carrying far more than her arms probably ought to carry. She gently placed the tack on the ground and decided to spend the extra time grooming Synne. (Due to the fact my post is naturally going to be really long, I’ll spare details.) Upon finishing grooming Synne, the sun had finally risen and she heard people finally start to stir. She smiled as she tacked up Synne and then climbed up in the saddle. ‘Bema, it feels good to be back in the saddle, and free from Bema knows how much extra weight I had on my belly.’ She said to herself. She looked around for a few moments, and then urged Synne forward in a walk towards Shivased and Equitatus
    ‘Mornin’ Marshals… Everything seems quiet up until this point… But how long do you think it will be before someone in our company breaks and I have to put them back together?’ She joked lightly. ‘And I bet you,’ she pauses a moment and then continues, ‘THREE of Sceo’s finest Hwitsceo’s that my first charge will be either Egeslic or Tauro. It is Westmark’s trademark unfortunately.’ Her face then grew serious as she looked at both Marshals and sighed, ‘I do hope this patrol proves uneventful. Our last mission proved to be rather…destructive.’
    At the very moment that Rowena had ridden over to the First and Third Marshals, another head popped out of the tent. He was a young lad, somewhere around fourteen, and his black hair that hung just barely past his shoulders, hung in his face. Unlike his mother, he didn’t care to maintain a neat and tidy appearance. He came out of the tent armor looking like he had slept in it, and thus very unkempt, and carrying a lot of items. He then yelled, (As if it wasn’t hard enough to get up at sunrise for the Cavalry) ‘BEADWOF!!!!!!!!!!!!!’ He was grumpy that he had to wake up so early, and refused to hide his grumpiness. Not that he ever showed any restraint anyway, that’s what got him kitchen duty in the first place back home in Edoras.
    Beadwof, Uncle Kendrick’s old ill-tempered stallion, came roaring through the camp, likely as not knocking over some people’s morning breakfasts with his tail. He abruptly stopped before Raedan and then reared before him with a very loud whinny.
    Raedan smirked, not seeming to care about the other soldiers who were now whining about having a meal less than they needed and not having more rations to spare. Rae tacked up his horse and then started replacing things back on Beadwof’s back. When finished he hopped on and quite literally galloped over to where his mother was trying to converse with Shivased and Marshal Equitatus. ‘
    Mornin’ Mama.’ He said as he brought Beadwof to an abrupt stop next to her. He then leaned over and yanked on her braid to get her attention when she didn’t give it to him. Oh how he loved annoying his mother.
    Rowena looked at her son, and yanked her braid free from his hand. She then hissed at him, ‘
    Don’t you have a Marshal to see, boy?!’ She refrained from slapping him silly, as for one, here, he was not her charge, and for a second thing, it’d likely cause him to lose his balance. And as bad as he behaved, she’d rather not have to treat her own son, and she’d rather not have to lose anyone before having any type of skirmish they might face in the wood.
    Raedan, being the horrible teenage son he was, HAD to retort to his mother’s abrupt dismissal and failure to recognize him as her own son at the moment. ‘Sh
    e ain’t ‘round yet, Mama… N’ I ain’t jus’ any boy, I’se yer son, so treat me like it.’ He folded his arms and glared at his mother defiantly.
    Rowena was having a hard time treating her son as a soldier these days, not that he actually was a full fledged dryhtguma, but he was a part of the Cavalry nonetheless. But she’d not let him win. ‘Oi
    … runt. You blind?’ She jerked her thumb in Equitatus’ direction. ‘I’d think you must be if you come here to bother me, and not see your Marshal. Now move it… I’d rather avoid being disciplined for disciplining the Third Marshal’s runt. Besides, last I heard, you didn’t want anything to do with either Westmark or Eastmark. Now did I hear wrong?’
    Raedan snorted. ‘
    Ye heard right… Ma’am’ he drawled, emphasizing the ma’am. He then turned his horse around saying, ‘I’ll just go see what Jace is up to…
    Rowena looked at Shivased and Equitatus and sighed. ‘
    Are we SURE this is a good idea, Marshals?’ She said nodding her head in the direction of the retreating Raedan. She then looked at Equi apologetically, ‘I swear, I was not like that when I was his age… He gets it from his good for nothing, quite literally, deadbeat father.’ She put a certain emphasis on the word dead.
    Last edited by Rowena Annis; 27/Feb/2013 at 09:16 PM. Reason: Will add in better formatting later... Had to rush out to doc office

    ~Beadorhaelend (Westmark)~
    ~Please forgive typos... Casted wrist makes typing difficult~

  13. Isolde Alarion's Avatar
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    #13
    She really didn't like waiting in the chill air and wished others could rise faster but it was just her cold fingers and nose speaking. She sat atop her sorrel gelding, Ashon, and watched from under her helm as others gathered in the area. Moving under her he started pawing the chill ground in impatience and altho she felt like doing the same she stopped him with a light pull of the riens. It was then that she heard her name being called and from a very welcomed voice. She turned her head and smiled at the person approaching her.

    Windy! She answered as she watched her. Oh I think I have a good idea. She jokingly replied and rest her riens on his neck while reaching out to grasp her sisters forearm in greeting. It wasn't the full hug she wished to give her but then she'd have to throw her weapons down. I'm sorry I haven't been able to see you sooner..it seems whoever I asked had just seen you. I was starting to think I was seeking out a spirit or figment of my imagination. She grinned. She noted the Sperewigend insignia on her cloak. I assume that won't be there for long? She motioned towards it. Ahh! She then remembered something important. When we return you must come meet your nephew, Orlin, my son. She smiled like any proud parent.

    Just then she spotted Equitatus waving at the pair of them. She gave her a nod and a smile as she left. Dispite the reason for being here it was turning into a good day. She looked back at Windy. What do you think the chances are we come across Pele in the group of Gondorians we're to meet with?
    Isolde Alarion Drythguma Meduseld Eored
    Mourgan Alarion Soldier Army of Gondor

  14. Pele Alarion's Avatar
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    #14
    Drill Sergeant Pele Alarion
    Minas Tirith Company

    There had been no need for Pele to join the patrol, especially since there were already enough Sergeants in the team and this was just a routine patrol. However, she had wanted to get out of the confines of the city and training grounds, breathe in some fresh mountain air and do something different for a change. The trip had been rather uneventful this far, lots of riding, cold nights, simple meals, yet Pele considered it all as a gift of sorts. At the moment though she began to long for her own bed, for a hearty hot meal and a hot bath; luckily they had checked up on the last beacon and found it in working order, and the guards doing quite well. Today a road home would begin.

    Irresistibly drawn towards the fire, she approached it as soon as she had woken and gathered her belongings. It was she who had thought of putting on a pot of tea, since it would provide a little bit of warmth for the beginning of the day, no matter if it was only for a short while. Once the tea was ready, she poured herself a cup to go with some breakfast. She was not the only one up, so she observed the goings-on quietly for a while, simply enjoying the early hour, and the warmth of the cup in her hands.

    "It is quite a winter, is it not?" Pele said to Kaylin who had also come to fetch a cup of tea. "But at least we have a fire - for now. And... You know what? I think it's enough of roaming around, time to get back to the comforts of home." Usually she did not attack the people with small talk that early in the morning, but somehow she felt like some chit-chat could do to bring some warmth to the people's hearts. However, it might as well earn her some angry glares from those who had not woken up yet properly.

    Spotting Hallas and Kamion, she called over to them, "My fellow Sergeants, should we set out soon? I know it's very early, but the sooner we leave the further we will get today.It seems like most of us are awake anyway." With these words she popped the last bit of cheese in her mouth and washed it down with the remaining tea. Standing up, she stretched and yawned, and then shouldered her pack to show that she meant to get herself and everyone else moving.
    I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings,
    and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace...
    ~~~~~
    Cavalry Trainee

  15. Globmd's Avatar
    Archer of Mordor
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    #15
    Drhytguma Eafurth Hgweard
    Drhytguma of the Eastmark Eored


    He moaned as he rolled over and pulled his cloak tighter about himself. Her was feeling terribly sluggish this old and frosty morning. He knew he ought to get up and saddle up or something, but he didn't feel like it. He was just too tired! But the sounds of noise throughout the camp made him realize that the chances of him getting a scolding increased considerably with each passing moment. So Eafurth simply got up off the ground and wandered off to find Aetius. He had been so tired the night before he couldn't remember where he had tethered him. "Oh, there you are"he muttered to the Friesian as he found him standing only a few feet away. Eafurth saddled him up, placed on him his chamfron and crinet, and led him over to where the others were assembling.

    He reached into his saddlebag and pulled out some bread and dried meat, just enough to keep him going for a while. By this time the wintry air had fully woken him and he was prepared and eager for the day ahead. He saw a few members of the patrol standing about and he approached them to see if they had any news. He saw the Sperewigend he had seen in the Dragon Room a while back; her name was Cassandra. He remember that day! It had been the day of Marshal Equi's promotion and Rowena's promotion to Bealdorhaelend as well. He walked over to her and smiled as he stretched his sore body. "Good morning, Sperewigend, I trust you've had a btter night's sleep than I?" he stated rather than asked. With a dry laugh he looked at Sperewigned Symolyn and saw that she seemed to be scanning the camp for someone. "Hmph" he thought to himself. "Probably that, that, that Ceorl or whatever his name was. The fellow who was rude to her and Equi. And me. Well, I hope this trip will teach him some manners as well as some skills." Immediately Eafurth rebuked himself. Who was he to criticize Ceorl, when he had only been in the Cavalry just a tiny bit longer? Perhaps it was just his mannerisms that rubbed him the wrong way. It didnt matter, thse owuld all have to be put aside with their mission before them.

    Their mission.....ah yes, where were the marshals? Eafurth saw Marshal Shivased conversing with Equi and Rowena and another figure he recognized from the Dragon Room as being Rowena's very polite (ahem) son. Hopefully they'd find Dragon-helm soon enough; Eafurth wondered whether the Westmarkers had done something to him overnight which was not only plausible but highly likely. He also spotted Isolde speaking to another Sperewigend - it seemed like almost everyone was up and about now! It was too bad Blade had not been able to make it, she had said something about leaving the Cavalry for a while....but as far as things were going now, Eafurth thought their mission would go down pretty well.
    I will destine you for the sword, and all of you will bow down to the slaughter.
    Because I called, but you did not answer...

  16. Lkh Agn's Avatar
    Pickpocket of the Lone Lands
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    #16
    NPC Ceorl
    Sperewigend (Unassigned)

    The noise of the stirring camp and the bright morning sun woke him. Ceorl eased out of his blankets, rubbed his gritty eyes and sniffed the clear, cold air. The smell of fire and food with the sweet underlying scent of horses had him bouncing up, dressed in just his thin underclothes. He stretched hugely, wincing as his shoulder joint cracked painfully. In bare feet, he padded over to the fire where another sperewigend was handing out breakfast. Ceorl took his portion with a smile and bit in enthusiastically. “Thank you, Sperewigend Cassandra!” he got out around a particularly large bite. Though still new to the Cavalry, he’d overheard plenty of names on the ride down. Three days was long enough to at least know the basics about everyone he rode with.

    Ceorl gulped down the rest of his meal and a cup of tea standing by the fire. By the time he got back to his bag, others were up and tending the horses. What a wonderful idea! Scrambling into his pants and boots, he stuffed his blanket back to the bottom of his bag and shook out his last clean shirt. Hopefully, they’d get a chance to bathe and tidy up soon he thought absently, running his fingers over his stubbled face and through his hair. After all, marshal Equitatus would probably yell if he didn’t shave soon…

    With that thought running through his head, he dug out his comb, straightened his gleaming curls before queuing it all back with a leather band. He’d learned it fit better under his helm tied back. Finally dressed, he looked at his leather jerkin with a wrinkling of his nose, and decided he’d arm up after tending to Caerlŷr. The horse lines were busy, but he found his little gelding quickly. The shaggy red roan stood calmly for the thorough grooming, Ceorl wasn’t about to put a saddle on him until he knew for an absolute fact nothing would hurt his friend. Once Caerlŷr was ready, Ceorl glanced up and around. Intent on his chores, he hadn’t noticed the bustle around him.

    He scanned the riders near him, piled the last of his gear on Caerlŷr and grabbed up his armor. He’d noticed dryhtguma Symolyn ready nearby and he led Caerlŷr in her direction. Others he’d spotted as well, the new dryhtguma he had trained with who he’d heard called Windy, and the man from the Dragon Room who had taken a dislike to him, dryhtguma Eafurth. Ceorl grinned and waved cheerfully at the marshals as he led Caerlŷr past until he reached Symolyn’s side.

    “Good morning, la- dryhtguma Symolyn!” His voice rang with good cheer and pleasure. “I can’t believe how well I slept. Did you sleep well too?” He grabbed his leather jerkin, pulled it over his head as he stood by Symolyn’s stirrup, then tugged his armor over the protective shirt. His bright blue eyes flashed eagerly as he glanced around the readying company. “And breakfast was the best. I didn’t see you over there, did you get something to eat? I can go get you some if you want.”

    He paused a moment to mount and Caerlŷr huffed slightly. The little steed had kept up remarkably well, though he made it very clear he was not pleased with all the clinking that went with a group of armed warriors in armor. “Do you think we’ll get there today? I heard we might. It’s been fun riding along, is this how most patrols go? I didn’t know there was this much country to ride over. Edoras is pretty far from my village, you know, but we’ve gone even further.” He grinned, settled comfortably in the saddle. His hands, darkened now by days in the sun, were lax over the reins and he was relaxed, as only three days riding could make a person.

    “I heard we might meet the men of Stoningland today. I’ve heard also that they don’t ride horses and have black hair and eyes like Dunlendings. Is that true? Do you think they brought stone tents and things too? I’ve heard that even their beds are made of stone…” He trailed off with a grin. “And they all read!”
    Eastmark
    Paethfindian Trainee

  17. Symolyn's Avatar
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    #17
    Dryhtguma Symolyn of Meduseld

    Sym was waiting in the saddle for everyone to finish, proudly establishing that she was one of the first people to be armed and ready and hoping the Marshals had seen that as well; she was determined to be a proud and reliable warrior so that maybe she would be allowed to start Hlend training again and someday regain the rank. But all that was in the future. For now all she had to do was be punctual.

    In fact, she was so punctual that she had to wait for longer than she thought. As a result, she began to doze off. Mornings had never been her best moment of the day, and she regretted to admit that the occasional nightmare still haunted her sleep; she could have done with two hours extra last night. Therefore, it was no surprise at all that her eyes slowly closed, while Charge peacefully chewed on some grass.

    His voice woke her with a start. As Ceorl chatted away about how well everything was going for him in what seemed to be one long breath, Sym tried to recollect herself, her heart bumping from waking so suddenly and by the very person she'd been looking for as well. The pause in the flow of words made her realise an answer was expected. She looked down on the man from Charge's back. "Uhm... No. Yes. I mean no, that won't be necessary. I ate." She wondered for a moment what food the man could be used to that travel rations were the best to him, but did not linger long on the thought. Instead, she began to scan his body for anything that might be out of place. An untied strap, a missing sword. She could find none, so her eyes shifted to his face, trying to find a trace of fear. When she met his eyes, she quickly looked away, only half-listening to what he was saying at the same time.

    "All the Gondorians I've met were... almost like us," she replied. "Except that they live too close to the Fire Mountain. Messes with their minds." She sighed. "If I were you I wouldn't worry too much about them and focus on the enemy." She hesitated for a moment, then added, "stay close to me and I'll try to keep you from being killed."

    Dryhtguma
    - Former Hlend of Meduseld
    The legacy of Rohan's heroes will not be forgotten

  18. Gecko's Avatar
    Counsellor of Isengard
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    #18
    Sperewidgend Gecko

    For the moment, the night was silent. At least, it was a silent as could be expected when a person was traveling with a company of soldiers and their mounts. In the darkness, there was the occasional jangle of armour as a scout moved on their rounds through the camp. Sometimes that sound was accented by a snoring soldier, the stamping of a hoof, or the gentle creaking of ropes as a horse on the lines shifted position but there was a pervasive silence that covered the entire camp in the predawn morning.

    Though she should be snatching a few minutes more of sleep, Gecko found herself laying awake staring up at the stars overhead. She had drawn first watch so she'd gone to sleep later than many of her companions but at least she hadn't been required to divide her sleep by having the middle watch. It was exhausting to lay down to sleep and be awaken only a few hours later and then when you were allowed to sleep once more you were only given a couple hours at best before you needed to be up and preparing for the day's march. She was no stranger to long army marches, so Gecko knew that she needed to get as much rest as possible, especially after three days constantly on the move but she found herself restless.

    Her saddle made a passable pillow and her blanket kept her adequately warm despite the chilly night. While a few rocks were poking into her back or side, it wasn't physical discomfort that kept her from sleeping. Since she'd returned to Rohan, Gecko was keenly aware of the fact that many of the cavalry still didn't trust her. They kept themselves separate from her and anytime she thought of interjecting herself among them there was immediate discomfort on both sides. She didn't think that it would continue forever but for now it was uncomfortable and made her uneasy. Even when she slept, she felt that she was only a breath from having her throat opened. Gecko didn't really think that she would have to fear that someone would kill her in her sleep, it was hard to put away old habits and fears.

    The darkness allowed her time to collect her thoughts and relax before having to rise once more and prepare for the day's march. As the sky slowly began to lighten, she realized that others were beginning to move around. For the moment, she remained where she was drawing deep breathes of the cool morning air into herself and forcing her body to completely relax. The lack of sleep would probably make itself felt later but for now, the deep breathing and relaxation would help make up some of the difference. Once she felt more centered and had removed all the clutter and annoyance from her mind, Gecko rose. Her blanket was quickly folded away and strapped onto the top of the pack and her cloak thrown around her. With that, she was ready to go. Soldiers needed to be ready to move at the spur of the moment so they didn't have the luxury of completely undressing for sleep.

    With her pack thrown over her shoulders as well, she made her way to the horse lines. Most of the mounts had their muzzles buried in the feedbags that someone had placed earlier in the morning so they didn't pay much attention to her as she walked down the lines. Near the distant end, she found Losgar standing patiently and he nickered softly in greeting as she came up. The stallion was considerably older than last time they had been on campaign together but she couldn't ask for a better mount. The tall, black stallion had been with her in Rohan and during the dark days that she'd spent in Mordor. He was a fighter that had seen her through some tough times and difficult days. His inky body was covered with scars that marred its perfect surface but each was a reminder of something they'd been through together.

    Tossing her pack on the ground near his hooves, Gecko dug around inside until she found a brush that she always carried with her. It took a long time to go over every inch of his but she wanted to be careful not to miss anything that would bother him as they continued on their journey today. Once his coat was clean, she used a small pick to clean out his hooves and checked that none of his legs felt warm. Content that he was ready for the day's ride, she threw the saddle blanket over his withers and back and pulled it back to make sure all of his hair was laying in the correct direction. Next came the saddle which she cinched tightly but not so tight to be uncomfortable. Quickly, she finished tacking him up and checked over everything one last time before leading him away from the lines.

    Before mounting up, she drew out a tough piece of dried meat for breakfast that she could munch on as she rode. During the time that it had taken to get her mount ready, more soldiers had risen and were in various state of being prepared to move. Several of them were already mounted so Gecko followed suit and began to move her mount through a few warm-up moves that helped both of them be prepared for whatever came ahead. Content that they were as ready as they'd ever be, she moved over to where the other riders were gathering to find out what their first orders would be today.


    NPC Sarglak

    The night was already beginning to wane and the hated sun would be up before too long which made Sarglak cringe inwardly. The band of Orcs had been lucky enough to stumble upon this house the night before but they had scared away the inhabitants before they could taste the flesh of men again. It made him angry that some of the Orcs had let the humans escape into the night and hadn't been able to find them. The last thing they needed was being found out by one of the armies on either side of this forest. They already knew soldiers were in the area from the slight reports that their scouts had brought back. Those pathetic little imps hadn't even really brought them back any report worthwhile. It didn't do much good to know that there were armies of men in the area if they didn't know their exact location or when they'd be moving. In fact, it might lead to move problems than it actually helped.

    As he chewed a stringy piece of horse meat, Sarglak thought about where they could hide from the armies until the night gained dominion once more. He wasn't the commander of this group but he had a good head on his shoulders, one that he wanted to keep there as long a possible. Getting their fill here would help them have energy if it came to fighting but none of it would matter if they were still out when the sun rose.

    "Oi, you lazy lot. Can't you see that morning is coming! We might not be trolls but I don't fancy being caught out here. I think I saw a cave off in that direction. That's where I'm heading, the rest of you can do as you like." Without waiting to see if any of them took him up on the offer, Sarglak tore off another handful of meat from the bay horse beneath him then loped off in the direction of the cave.
    "A leader leads by example, whether or not he intends to."
    ~ Sperewigend ~

  19. Egeslic's Avatar
    Juvenile of the Mark
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    #19
    Dryhtguma Egeslic
    Westmark Eored


    Egeslic
    groaned as a fellow rider kicked him awake. He rolled over, his eyes still closed, swatting his hands as if to ward off a stinging gnat. “Go away!” he mumbled still keeping his eyes shut tight. “Orders are orders, you’ve got to get up.” was the rider’s reply as he kicked Egeslic again. “Can’t I sleep a little but longer, please?” whined the mighty Egeslic. “Orcs aren’t sleeping, if there are any, and the Gondorians are probably already on the march. Up!” With that he hefted the glorious Egeslic to his feet. Still mumbling, albeit inaudibly, Egeslic fumbled with his equipment, he had the long-sword that he had taken from the Edoras armory. It was a most wondrous blade, of an unusual make and exceptionally high quality. Egeslic placed his pack on his horse Faegan and prepared to join his fellows. Rowena and Eafurth were in his unit, and for this Egeslic was glad. It would be good to have familiar company with him. Of course, his sister Equi had become a marshal of the Mark so military service was nothing new to his family. As he proceeded to where the cavalry was gathering in preparation to start, Egeslic drew his long-sword. He intended to become familiar with its weight and shape since it was so very different from the short-swords and round-shields he was accustomed to. The blade was most heavy, yet this was no deterrent to the powerful, fleet-footed Egeslic, proud warrior of the Mark. He flourished the blade before sliding it back into its sheath. Egeslic knew that the unit would be departing soon; he greatly hoped that the Gondorians would be punctual. Wishing for some company on the road ahead Egeslic mounted Faegan and came next to his friend Eafurth. “Hail Eafurth!” acclaimed Egeslic as he saluted his comrade, “What would you say to us riding together?”
    <center> <img src="http://www.lotrplaza.com/images/Cav%20Badges/red/SRedS1.jpg" border="0" />
    <br />~Dryhtguma of the Westmark �ored~

  20. Arnyn Dealedwen's Avatar
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    #20

    Soldier Kaylin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor

    She returned Hallas nod quietly as she huddled her hands around the warmth of the tea cup, not yet having crossed her morning silence barrier at the time. As she looked around, she noted she did not know all the people that had come on the patrol. Perhaps that was something she should work to remedy today, given that they had been out and about for a while now. Sipping from the tea, Kaylin thought of what lay ahead today. Journey back? The whole outing if you could call it that had been pretty uneventful so far. She had to admit it was nice, for a change. Then again, she was also getting a bit antsy and was ready to get back as quickly as possible or for something to shake things up. Not that she longed for a fight, because she wouldnt think it worth the possible resulting wounds or maybe even casualties but just something to break with the pretty standard days the patrol had been having. Pondering on that, she couldnt manage to come up with something suitable right away. So she shrugged mentally, and let go of the thoughts.

    The first person to address her that day turned out to be Pele. Kaylin decided not to just grunt or nod, and finally open her mouth in reply to the Sergeants question. Hmm, you can say that again. When her friend spoke of going back to the city, Kaylins eyes lit up slightly, and for just a moment, it didnt seem that cold. Just for a moment.
    That is music to my ears! she exclaimed, flashing Pele a grin. Then she thought to best add a bit of an explanation, because she didnt want the other woman to think she was unwilling to fulfill her army duties. Its too cold to keep wondering about, being outside day and night Is all. Her voice still lacked some of the life it usually had, but she was getting there.


    Kaylin drank up the rest of the tea, careful not to burn the roof of her mouth or her tongue as she did so. With an imaginary sigh, she got to her feet and then rolled her head one time to the left and one time to the right. Alright then, she said quietly, and lightly went to her toes a few times. Im as ready as Ill ever be. Picking up her pack, which shed put behind her back before sitting down earlier, she glanced at Pele first and then at Hallas and another Sergeant shed called out to who, as Kaylin had learned on the first day of the patrol, was called Kamion.
    Arnyn Axinecelume ~ Always Hyandaner


  21. Tavari Mordagnir's Avatar
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    #21

    Sergeant Kamion
    Company of Minas Tirith


    Standing over his fire, Kamion rubbed his hands together briskly, before lifting the tin cup he had stood at its edge to heat. Raising it to his lips, he felt the steam hit them before sipping the fragrant liquid within, and shut his eyes in pleasure as the meaty, herby broth washed into his mouth. He had created the concoction with bits of shredded up roast venison, some crumbled stock, and a dash of dried herbs from a little pouch, and it was both warming and delicious. The Dnadan had downed half the cup and it was just cool enough to where he could begin to gulp rather than sipping, when a familiar voice called his attention. "My fellow Sergeants, should we set out soon? I know it's very early, but the sooner we leave the further we will get today. It seems like most of us are awake anyway.” Pele’s suggestion was sensible, as she was wont to be, and Kamion nodded- her fire was only a short distance away, easy enough for conversation of slightly raised voices. “Aye, agreed! Might as well go while the going’s good. It’ll do us good to get the blood moving in this cold weather anyway.” With a quick flick of the wrist, he downed the rest of his soup and shook out the cup, before wiping it with a stray bit of rag and stuffing it back into his pouch. Rather than a pack upon his back, Kamion carried his essential supplies in a large bag at his left hip, where it would not interfere with the sword across his back, nor the heavy dagger at his right hip. As he lifted the wide belt that held pouch and dagger and began to buckle it on, Kamion caught the glance of a soldier whom he did not know well –Kaylin- and gave her a brief smile. “Ready to be heading home?”
    Last edited by Moriel; 04/Mar/2013 at 01:24 AM.

    Moriel
    Once a minion, always a minion.


  22. Shivased's Avatar
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    #22
    Marshal Shivased
    First Marshal of the Mark, Eastmark Eored

    The way Curon pinned his ears and shifted his weight told Shivased that Equi was coming. Curon had always hated the third marshal's stallion, though she didn't know why. Normally he was much more social than the average stallion and seemed to like other stallions, never fighting with them or trying to show he was more dominant. Yet with Equi's stallion Curon was always cranky and borderline aggressive. Sighing and tightening her reins, she turned to her fellow marshal with a grin. Something tells me you'll never be able to sneak up on me so long as these two are around, she said with a laugh. She gave Curon a jab with her heel when his neck snaked out to bite Validus and snapped her reins on his rump.

    Aye, I survived the night, she chuckled. I wish these reports had come a month from now when it will be warmer, but such is the life of a rider. At the mention of the Gondorian army she nodded. We'll move out as soon as everyone is ready; let's cross our fingers and toes that nothing happens on the way there. She frowned, thinking. I don't like these reports of orcs. I can't think of any reason orcs should be in, or even near, the Firien Wood, it just doesn't make sense.

    Her thoughts were interrupted when Rowena arrived and offered a bet on who would be the first to be injured. I won't take that bet, I'm smarter than that, she laughed, thinking of the two trouble magnets; she was absolutely sure her friend would win the bet. But I do hope none find themselves being treated by you, she said in seriousness. When Rae sulkily joined them she glared at the lad, but said nothing. Equi had taken over the control of the boy from Wid, and she wouldn't interfere. He needed to learn some manners and she was pretty sure the third marshal would teach them to him, and in a very unpleasant way.

    Thankfully Rae didn't stick around and she shook her head as he left. Give him time, Runi, and he'll come out of it. Life hasn't been easy for him of late. Watching the boy go her eyes wandered to the cavalry finishing up breaking camp and assembling behind them. It made her realize that they hadn't actually assigned any of the sperewigends to an eored yet.

    Standing in her stirrups, she held up a hand for silence. Before we leave, I'd like the Sperewigends to join eoreds.

    Gecko
    and Ceorl, you will ride with the Eastmark.
    Jacen and Cassandra with Meduseld,
    Windy
    , the Westmark.

    Turning back to Equi she grinned. There, that should make things fairly even, and give you my little brother to corral. She couldn't help the giggle; she knew Jacen would be good, he wasn't as wild as Raedan, but still she knew the two would give the third marshal quite the handful to deal with.


    NPC Jacen
    Meduseld Eored

    Jacen
    crawled out of the tent he'd shared with two others and shivered in the morning air, his cloak wrapped tightly around himself. The camp was barely awake, only the last shift of guards and a few other early risers were moving about. At home he wouldn't bother to be awake at this hour, but he was so excited for his first patrol with the Cavalry that he simply couldn't sleep any longer. He was weary from the long ride from Edoras the previous day, but the few hours of sleep he'd gotten, minus the two hours he'd spent on watch overnight, had chased away the weariness and he was ready to go.

    Letting go of his cloak he reached back into the tent and gathered his saddle bag and bedroll without waking the others and strode eagerly over the line of horses. Taking a bucket he began morning duties, heading to the nearby stream where he filled the bucket and watered not only his own horse, but his sister's as well. Once both horses were fed he took a handful of oats out of the small bag in his saddle bags and fed them to Charger, his new mount. He'd thought a lot on what Widfara had said during his training about his stallion and had decided the palomino stallion wasn't the horse for him. Instead he had a piebald paint gelding that his sister had helped him choose, and though the horse was quite loudly coloured he was perfect in every other way.

    When Charger had finished lipping every last oat from his hands Jacen groomed and saddled him, taking the extra time he had from getting up early to make sure the gelding was spotless and his hooves nicely cleaned. He secured his saddle bag and bedroll to his saddle and vaulted into the saddle without using his stirrups, a flashy mount he was proud of. It was even one he'd been practicing doing while Charger cantered. Then, turning the horse to head to the now formed-up Cavalry he spotted Raedan riding in the opposite direction at one heck of a pace, so pointed his gelding to follow.

    Rae! he called, catching up. Wait up! You wanna ride together? he asked. He'd heard Shiv call out what eoreds he and the others would be in, and was happy he could ride with his friend.

    Last edited by Shivased; 04/Mar/2013 at 06:31 PM.

    First Marshal of the Mark
    Taste the Rainbow - Eat Crayons!

  23. Gecko's Avatar
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    #23
    Sperewigend Gecko
    Riding with Eastmark Eored

    Banners of white steam rose in front of the horse and rider as they began to move through a series of slow turns at a jog. Gecko wasn't pushing Losgar too hard but she wanted him to be warm and ready when they set out. He wasn't as young as he had once been and his recent injury on their escape from Mordor had made her well aware of that fact. The black stallion was eager to move, straining at the reins and prancing through the warm-up but that only reassured her that he was one hundred percent healed from that injury. Slowly she pressed her left leg against his side and tightened that rein slightly to get him to bend around her. Then, just when the horse was at the point he would turn in a circle, she would apply pressure to the opposite side to make him bend that way in a s-like formation. Waking up his muscles would physically prepare him for what lay ahead and forcing him to wait on her for his commands would emotionally prepare both of them to work as a team which was essential for battle.

    There wasn't any word of if there would be a battle today or in the future but it was important that all of the soldiers were ready regardless. Gecko wasn't too sure about what was supposed to happen on this mission but she was glad that she was getting an opportunity to take part. She knew that they were going to be meeting up with a Gondorian force in the forest and there had been whispers among the troops that there were Orcs somewhere in the woods but she didn't know any certain details. It seemed odd to her that Orcs would be so far away from either Mordor or the Misty Mountains but she didn't know everything about the situation. If the report was true, she imagined that the Marshals would know the reasoning behind what brought the creatures.

    Vaguely she wondered where the Orcs hailed from and what had brought them into the forest. They had to know that they would be crushed on both sides if they were foolish enough to be seen. What could be so important to bring them here? Had the Dark Lord found some information that a treasure of great importance lay somewhere in these woods? Had a rebel band of Orcs from somewhere else decided to break away from their overlords and find a new place to go? Was it a raiding band that had been attacked and had to flee rather than turn back to their stronghold?

    Shaking her head as she checked Losgar back to a walk, she sighed at herself. It was no longer hers to question the reasoning behind missions. Now, it was her duty to follow orders and obey, nothing more. There was a part of her that rankled at her demotion to the lowest rank despite her advanced skills but she couldn't say that she blamed the Cavalry or the First Marshal for it. She would have done the same thing if she'd even allowed a known traitor back into the midst of soldiers. Gecko was thankful that Shivased had been willing to give her a second chance and the former minioness was determined not to squander it.

    Feeling that both she and her mount were properly warmed up, she headed back to where everyone else was standing around waiting for the march to begin. Apparently, it was good that she had as the assignment were being given out even as she returned. When her name was called out for riding with the Eastmark, she felt a smile split her cold, wind-reddened face. Had she been given a choice, she would have likely chosen the Eastmark or the Meduseld Eored. The former because the Eastmark was where she had been born and raised. The latter because she thought perhaps she had built something of a kinship with Third Marshal Equitatus during the recent mission to examine a feud. So she was relatively pleased with her placement though part of her wondered if Shivased had placed her in a position where she could watch Gecko. She had agreed to be personally responsible for Gecko, after all, and they were facing Orcs that could turn out to be some of her old subordinates. Or maybe it was pure chance. To Gecko, it didn't matter all that much. She was just pleased to be a part of the cavalry once again and eager to get on with the mission.
    Last edited by Gecko; 12/Mar/2013 at 08:02 PM.
    "A leader leads by example, whether or not he intends to."
    ~ Sperewigend ~

  24. Symolyn's Avatar
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    #24
    Dryhtguma Symolyn of Meduseld

    Sym had only just finished speaking when the voice of First Marshal Shivased rang above the murmuring of the warriors. Silence ensued because it was important to hear what she said. Unfortunately, there was no explicit order given, other than the assignment of the sperewigends to ored. Sym listened carefully for Ceorl's name, and was deeply disappointed to hear him being assigned to the Eastmark. She didn't know the sperewigends which were assigned to Meduseld very well, only their names and faces. But more than that, if Ceorl was in the Eastmark ored she wouldn't be able to keep an eye on him all the time.

    However, she did not want him to feel coddled too much, or at least make it seem that way. It would surely give him a bad reputation among the other warriors, if he hadn't ruined his chances yet by paying so much attention to her. She hesitated, reluctant because she did not know whether Ceorl even wanted to ride with her and because the thought of speaking to a Marshal so openly and with such an unusual request frightened her like it had frightened her when she was so much younger. Then she tried to imagine what it would feel like if the man would fall in this battle and she wasn't there to try and save him; the guilt, the anger at the Marshal for separating them, the loneliness if she was to return home with no one to talk to any more other than Bld who, quite frankly, was talking too much about having children to feel comfortable around.

    Decidedly, she turned to Ceorl. "One moment," she said firmly. Then she pressed her heels slightly against Charge's flanks. Living up to his name, the horse spurted forward, but Sym had been excepting as much as quickly reeled him in. Then she made her way to where the First Marshal was standing.

    The trick was, she thought, to make it seem like a good idea to transfer Ceorl to the Meduseld coror. Maybe she would even be able to give the Marshal the idea by hinting at it, or make it seem like she was doing the Marshal a favour by taking Ceorl off her hands. It would be difficult though. She had never been good at making speeches and Marshals in particular tended to make her nervous. On top of that, she did not feel like she had earned any favours of the Marshal. But, if you wanted something, you had to fight for it, and Sym had enough anger inside her to feel up for it.

    She kept her horse at a safe distance from the Marshal's, straightened her back, tried to look confident, and saluted sharply. "Marshal, sir," she addressed Shivased. "Permission to speak, sir. I have something to... a request that I think will... benefit the mission." She breathed in, still in salute, trying to find any reason this might be a plausible decision. "I'd like to request that sperewigend Ceorl be moved to the Meduseld coror, sir. He is very inexperienced and would only be an inconvenience in your coror, sir. As First Marshal your decisions are vital to save warrior lives and sperewigend Ceorl can be a... a distraction, sir." She closed her mouth, fearing to say too much and make her case seem exaggerated. "I am willing to take full responsibility for him, Marshal." That was a risk, she knew, but it might convince Shivased.

    Dryhtguma
    - Former Hlend of Meduseld
    The legacy of Rohan's heroes will not be forgotten

  25. Globmd's Avatar
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    #25
    Drhytguma Eafurth Hgweard
    Drhytguma of the Eastmark Eored


    Eafurth saw that many of the others were mounting up, so he turned about to find his helm. He placed it over his head and fixed his pack to Aetius. With a quick movement naive to every Drhyt he was in the saddle atop the back and hairy horse. He had not seen hide nor hair of Egeslic, however. Perhaps he is still sleeping.....but a familiar voice caught his attention. "Wes hael, Ege! Sure! Let's go show them how it's done." he grinned.

    Shiva began announcing which Sperewigends were to ride with which Eoreds. The woman, the one with the mysterious past named Gecko, had been assigned to his Eored. Secretly Eafurth did trust her, but he had not had the chance to meet her yet. Also assigned to them was Ceorl.....Eafurth repressed a sigh. Remember, he's here to learn just like you. Eafurth put all other thoughts aside concerning the new recruit.....until Dryhtguma Symolyn spoke up. Then all his work was undone. He actually started laughing - not so loud as to attract attention, just softly and to himself. The entire situation between Ceorl and Symolyn was indeed hilarious from his perspective, considering only what Eafurth himself had seen. Whatever Symolyn saw in him was lost on Eafurth's thick skull. At least if this happens he won't be around here blabbing...Attempting to catch Ceorl's eye he smiled playfully and winked.

    He turned to Ege and said "I have not yet met Gecko, do you want to come with me?" Without further ado he rode over to where she was. Somewhat sheepishly - she had after all once been a queen over the orcs rumors whispered- he smiled and saluted her. "Westu Gecko hal! I haven't properly met you yet, but I know who you are." Suddenly he realized how heartless his last words might be interpreted as. He turned red and stammered. "I mean, I uh, I was there when you cam back from, uh, from....I'm Drhytguma Eafurth Hgweard and I'm happy to be serving alongside you!" he diplomatically finished. To himself he thought "Well, way to just put your foot in your mouth! She'll never want to ride with you after that!" He waited awkwardly for someone to break the silence or for the call to set out to be made.
    I will destine you for the sword, and all of you will bow down to the slaughter.
    Because I called, but you did not answer...

  26. Pele Alarion's Avatar
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    #26
    Drill Sergeant Pele Alarion
    Company of Minas Tirith

    Seeing that everyone was up and ready to go, Pele still spoke briefly with the beacon guards just to make sure they had everything they needed until they were relieved by the next group of guards. They were to arrive in three days, approximately. Walking towards the path that led down from the hill, she said to the patrol, "All right. Let's get moving or else I'll turn into ice and you'll have to carry me around like that on your shoulders." With that she turned and led the way down, careful to avoid any icy patches that could send her tumbling down head over heels.

    Once they got down, they found their horses already impatiently moving about. No matter how well they had been taken care of, the cold was getting to them as well. Pele greeted her grey mare with a pat and a rub on the neck, and then prepared her for a journey. Pulling herself up in the saddle, she turned to the patrol.

    "So... I think we should ride along the White Mountains to the Mering Stream and then turn towards the forest. Thus we would have a little stretch of the road which will offer us a good visibility, before we disappear among the trees,"
    she spoke. "Once there, who of you will take on the point to scout for us, and who'll bring up the rear? As for me, I'd gladly go ahead and do some scouting."
    Last edited by Pele Alarion; 07/Mar/2013 at 10:19 PM.
    I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings,
    and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace...
    ~~~~~
    Cavalry Trainee

  27. Equitatus's Avatar
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    #27
    Marshal Equitatus
    Third Marshal of the Mark, Meduseld Eored

    As if in response to Shiva's comment about not being able to sneak up on anyone with the two stallions around, Validus stomped a hoof rather loudly, obviously annoyed that Equitatus would not allow him to get any closer to the First Marshal's large stallion. "I wish it was warmer too," said Equitatus, adding with a chuckle and a nod towards some clouds in the distance, "But I think we could end up cold and wet instead of just cold, so we should count our blessings while they last."

    She watched as the camp began to pack up. Tents were taken down, fires smothered, and both horse and Rider prepared for the road ahead. Equitatus listened as Shiva said that she didn't like the reports of orcs, agreeing with the First Marshal. "It does seem strange." she said. "I just hope that if there is a group of orcs, it is relatively small so that we can take it out without losing anyone. Bema knows we don't need enemies on this border too." The Westfold was experiencing attacks from wolves and dark creatures from Isengard, and if their border with Gondor were to become insecure, they would really be in trouble.

    Rowena soon joined them and began betting who would break and have to be put back together first. "I feel like I shouldn't partake in that bet." said Equitatus with a laugh. "But I'll partake anyway. I bet you four Hwitsceos it will be Egeslic and not Tauro. Though I must say I am in agreement with Shiva in hoping that none have to be treated by you." She especially meant her last words, both because she did hope that none were injured, and also because she pitied any soldier that had to be treated by a Haelend. Equitatus knew she would do almost anything to avoid Rowena should she be wounded.

    Her lighthearted manner soon dissipated when a very loud Raedan began preparing himself to leave. He rode over to where they were with his usual defiant manner, though it was directed at his mother this time. After saying that his Marshal wasn't around yet, being corrected by his mother, and then departing in search of Jacen, Equitatus listened to what Shiva told Rowena and couldn't restrain herself any longer. "I don't care who he gets his disobedient nature from." she said, keeping her annoyance in check. "Life hasn't been easy for him of late, yes, but our actions often make our lives better or worse. Raedan is choosing how life treats him at the moment, and at the rate he is going, times are not going to be good for him."

    Shiva announced which Eored each Sperewigend would be riding in, and Equitatus realized that she would have a handful to deal with between Raedan and Jacen. She could only hope that Jacen's more obedient nature would rub off on her squire. As Sym approached Shiva to discuss the possibility of getting Ceorl in the Meduseld Eored instead of the Eastmark Eored for the patrol, Equitatus gave Shiva a "don't you relent" look before departing for the disappearing forms of Raedan and Jacen. It wasn't that she didn't want Ceorl in her Eored, but rather that she didn't want Ceorl and Sym in the same Eored. Keeping up with Raedan and Jacen would be enough; she didn't need two lovebirds to monitor as well, and she didn't want something to happen to Ceorl through no fault of Sym and for the Dryhtguma to be torn apart by it.

    "Hey, wait up you two!" Equitatus shouted to her two young charges, allowing Validus to expend some of his energy as he galloped towards them. "Now, I want you both to pay attention." she said, pulling Validus to a stop. "You are both to behave yourselves. If you are given an order, you are to follow it without question, and I expect you both to perform honorably." She knew this was probably review, at least for Jacen, and she knew that words often had no effect on Raedan. Deciding to cut to the point, Equitatus said in all seriousness. "Raedan, this is your last chance to prove yourself. I expect you to act in a manner befitting of a squire who hopes to become a Dryht. You have acted disgracefully the past few weeks, and I will be honest with you here and now; this is your last opportunity. If my squire refuses to obey me and those around me, constantly stepping out of line and determinedly being disruptive, then it is a waste for me to keep him. If you willingly step out of line on this patrol, you can consider yourself no longer a squire, and I will ensure that you do not become a Dryht until you are thirty."

    She meant every word of what she said, and would stick to it too. Equitatus let her words sink in for a moment and then said, "Now, I want you to tell me right now what your choice is. If you can be obedient and polite to me and everyone else, including your mother, you can stay. If not, you can make the day's ride back to Aldburg and await our return. And if you refuse to choose, I will assume you prefer the latter. Make up your mind quickly as we need to leave as soon as possible."

    ~Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored~
    "Remember who the real enemy is."

  28. Shivased's Avatar
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    #28
    Shivased
    First Marshal of the Mark, Eastmark Eored

    Shivased
    grinned widely when Equi agreed to Rowena's bet. You're braver than I am, she said and laughed. Runi, enjoy your Hwitsceo! When Equi commented again on Raedan she nodded in agreement but didn't say anything. The boy's attitude and disobedience had no place in the Cavalry; if he was going to keep acting that way then he would be shown the door, it was as simple as that.

    Aye, let's hope the band of orcs is small, she agreed, her eyes scanning the horizon. We're a small group, and even when we meet up with the force from Gondor we aren't going to be big enough to take on a huge group. She shrugged. If we have to we'll start sending regular patrols out here. Where we'll find the riders to send I'm not sure, but we can't leave this area alone if there are indeed Orcs here.

    A minute later Sym rode up and requested that Ceorl be put in the Meduseld Eored. I'm sorry, Sym, but he's been placed in the Eastmark for a reason. she told the woman. Equi rode away after giving her a look she returned with a small wry smile. She knew what was behind this request; Sym and Ceorl were developing some sort of relationship, and that was one reason they had been separated. Not the main reason, but one of them. Turning back to Sym she continued. The Sperewigends have been distributed to give each eored the same number of people, and based on their strengths and weaknesses. Given that this is a small patrol you'll be able to see and speak to each other should you wish. But he'll remain with the Eastmark.

    Looking around the camp she saw that everyone seemed ready. A few still lingered on the ground but all the horses were saddled and the campsite was cleaned up. Alright, finish mounting up! she called. When the last stragglers were in the saddle and grouped into their eoreds she raised her hand and nudged Curon forward into an easy trot. If they were going to reach the Firien Wood by noon they'd have to leave now.

    NPC Jacen
    Meduseld Eored

    Jacen
    was still waiting for Rae to answer him when Marshal Equi rode up. When she started talking to them he lowered his head, fixating on Charger's mane. He knew a lot of what she said was aimed at Rae, because the other boy was angry about a lot of things, but he knew he hadn't behaved all the greatest lately either. He wanted to though; he wanted to be a good Cavalryman like his brother and his sister, so he nodded, still not looking at the marshal, and mumbled a quiet Yes ma'am.

    When she spoke straight to Rae he looked up, watching his friend. You'd better, he cautioned. You don't wanna get thrown out of the Cavalry. We're supposed 'ta ride together and we can't do that if you ain't here! He didn't know if what he said would work but he hoped it woul
    d. Shiv gave the order to ride out then but he continued watching Rae, hoping the boy would say yes.
    Last edited by Shivased; 08/Mar/2013 at 02:33 AM.

    First Marshal of the Mark
    Taste the Rainbow - Eat Crayons!

  29. Fiery Mommy Row's Avatar
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    #29
    Rowena
    Westmark Eored, Cavalry Bealdorhaelend
    Rowena
    smiled a bit when Shiv refused her bet, to which she retorted,
    Never said you were dumb Just making my not-so-astute observations, only lacking astuteness because its common knowledge that Im saddled with the troublesome ones She chuckled at Equi and nodded. Hey, Ill take that bet but my my Marshal Equitatus, you dare to bet against your own brother?! She pretended to be appalled, but then couldnt resist laughing. She then nodded lightly as the tone again returned to being more serious. Aye Im glad for my responsibilities, but I personally prefer not to see anyone in my hands She looked sadly for a bit at some of the Westmarkers, knowing that with them around, it was a frail hope. She then shook her head, reverting back to the conversation at hand.
    As they watched Raedan leave, Shiv told her to give it time, it was hard for him. She simply sighed with a quiet, almost whispered reply.
    I know hes a teenager but hes not the only one in the family whos been having it rough. It would do for him to remember that, and that every action of his affects those around him, especially his mother. She raised an eyebrow when Equi then spoke putting her two coppers in. And frankly, at that moment, Rowena could have hugged her. She couldnt have said it any better herself. She looked at Equi and simply said, Thank you. It probably wasnt the most appropriate response to Equis words, but they were the response that Rowena felt.
    However a break in their conversation was forced upon them when it seemed Shiv remembered she had to give the Sperewigends an Eored. It occurred to Rowena that she was extremely grateful she was not a Marshal. And frankly, she was even MORE grateful she wasnt in Dragon-helms shoes. She did NOT want to have to deal with the errr maintenance of the Westmark Eored. Not that she really enjoyed being the one to put everyone back together, but it was still better than being the one to have to lecture Dryhts such as Egeslic about things like waving a sword around without paying attention and chopping an ear off Granted she DID have to convince certain members of her Eored *cough* Twid *cough* that pink oliphaunts didnt exist. She rolled her eyes at the thought, and was about to continue along a this thought process when a Meduseldian Dryht approached them.
    Rowena was aghast when she heard Symolyns request. Really? She looked at both Equi and Shiv for their reactions to the girl. She then looked at Sym, trying to maintain a passive face But oh how she wanted to say something. She behind her closed lips, quite literally bit her tongue, and sighed as she waited for a response to her from one of the Marshals. Now she was EXCEPTIONALLY glad she wasnt a Marshal She waited for Shivs response and then when Shiv gave Sym a no, Rowena breathed a sigh of relief.
    In a heartbeat, Rowenas hands left her reigns, and instantly started making rapid gestures at Shiv.
    Does she not know her place as a Dryhtguma that she DARES to challenge an order? And yours of all people? For Bemas sake you lead the whole Cavalry! And not to mention, her insolence makes it seem like she knows better than you!And people wonder why I am always donating lessons in manners to the younger Dryhts! Rowena accompanied her irritated hand gestures with a loud snort. Oh how she HATED defiant, insolent, know-it-all, disrespectful soldiers. More so than the annoyingly young dryhtgumas who seemed to whine incessantly about everything! And that said a lot. She looked over at Eafurth who seemed to be a little amused at the situation himself, and chuckled. Perhaps, my lessons have taught that one well, she said with a laugh.
    She gave Shivased a nod after finishing her rant and then patted Curons neck.
    Love you Shiv, but I think its time for me to wake up Mr. Sleepy Second Marshal. She said with a teasing smile. However before she trotted off to see to where Dragon-helm got to, she marched Synne over to where Eafurth sat, and gave him a teasing smile, I do hope youve remembered your manners, young Dryht She said teasing, with a look at who he was talking to. She smiled at Gecko, despite a still hesitancy in her being toward the woman. Mornin Dryhtguma Gecko. She then laughed as Eafurth seemed to stumble upon his words to say to her. She patted Eafurth on his shoulder as she said to Gecko, Dont mind this one Hes yet to learn how to form sentences properly, she joked. She then said seriously, No, he means well, dont take his awkward stammering to heart. Hes a good lad She then looked at Eafurth, and gave him a salute, indicating that she was actually giving him a compliment in her odd sort of way. She then nodded at Gecko, saluting her as well. Good luck to the both of you Ride hard, and for Bemas sake try to stay out of my hands And take care of each other. With that, she rode off to find Dragon-helm.
    She stopped outside his tent and slid off Synne. She prayed to Bema as she looked around the area that not only would she find him dressed, but awake and scrambling to get things together.
    Oi Lazy bonesMarshal Shivased gave the order to mount upI assume youll be joining us? Bema knows the Westmark is completely lost without you maintaining order. I give it five minutes before Egeslic has some sort of riot going on if you don't saddle up this instant.' She then continued with, 'And ye better have a darned good reason for not making an appearance to the other Marshals, and leaving me to entertain them in your stead.' Okay so that wasn't why she had gone over to visit with Equi and Shiv, and Dragon-helm probably would catch on to that, but what did a little white lie hurt when it came to giving her brother a 'kick in the side' so to speak. 'And anyway, I need a sane Westmarker to talk to on the ride, so hurry up, darlin brother dear...' She then grew serious and looked around, 'Do you need me to help you with anything?'


    NPC Raedan
    Meduseld Eored, Marshal Equitatuss insolent squire

    Raedan had almost ridden right by Jacen in his urge to flee. But when he heard his friends voice, he brought Beadwof to a screeching halt. (Bema knew that poor horse would be lucky if it made it another week with how Rae rode him)
    Oi Westu Jace hal. He looked over his shoulder behind him toward where his mother, and the first and third Marshals were. Sure. Sounds like fun, he said in reply to Jacens request to ride together. Could use the company. Marshals a little on the annoying side. A complete bear to ride with.
    And then, at that moment, he heard, as if his words had summoned her, the Third Marshals voice. A few choice words escaped his lips before he slowly turned Beadwof around so he was facing his Marshal. He looked up at Equi, his hazel eyes filled with absolute mortification, but his face otherwise trying to remain stoic. He nodded as Equi told them both, in short, to be good. But then, Equi let Rae have a VERY long earful, to which Rae, being who he was only half listened. He stuck a finger in his ear, and turned it, as if trying to clean out his ear, and then looked back at Equi. He did hear that Equi was giving him a choice, and his was his last chance. For a moment, he remained quiet, and did the math. If Equi made it so he didnt become a dryhtguma until he was 30, his mother would be 46, and Audley would be 47, and well.. that put his REAL dad at 51 well if the man hadnt died.
    Finally, he spoke, in a tone far quieter than he ever had been known to use, and quiet reserved.
    Yes Marshal Equitatus. He then looked at Beadwofs mane, and then back up at Marshal Equitatus, and saluted her. Im gonna take this chanceMake my little brothers proud. He then looked at Jacen and smirked a little. Dont worry, Well always ride together. Thats what were meant to do. He gave his friend a pat on the shoulder and then gave him a mocking salute.
    Last edited by Rowena Annis; 09/Mar/2013 at 06:30 PM. Reason: added in a little more Rowena style chat at DH

    ~Beadorhaelend (Westmark)~
    ~Please forgive typos... Casted wrist makes typing difficult~

  30. Lkh Agn's Avatar
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    #30
    NPC Ceorl
    Sperewigend, Eastmark

    Before he could respond to Symolyn, Ceorl heard the voice of the First Marshal raised over the gathered riders. His ears perked up when he heard his named called and he grinned. Turning to his companion, he opened his mouth. However, Symolyn beat him to words and he stared after her in a bit of confusion as she suddenly rode off. Curiously, he pressed closer, then almost wished he hadn’t as he heard Symolyn speak. He knew he didn’t have a lot of experience, but he also knew he’d learned a lot lately and that he needed a chance to prove himself. Ceorl didn’t speak though, as another thought drifted through his mind.

    Maybe it was because she cared what happened to him. Pouting out his lips in thought, he rubbed his fingers over his stubbled cheeks. She didn’t want him hurt, he decided, probably because she liked spending time with him. When he looked at it that way, it was not even a little insult. In fact, it was quite flattering. He wouldn’t mind riding alongside her, and yet –

    The Marshal’s answer came quickly enough. Ceorl wormed Caerlŷr up beside Symolyn, nudged her with his toe. Putting on his best smile, he bowed his head respectfully. “Marshal sir, I’ll be quite pleased to ride with the Eastmark. I’m sure you have placed me under you for a reason, and I look forward to learning even more from your experience. Dryhtguma Symolyn-“ He glanced over at the other Marshal, already wary of her quick lectures before continuing. “Is only speaking for the best interests of the cavalry, and myself. But we know that you have much more information regarding what’s going on than we do, and that you’ll have made the right decisions. And you’re right, Marshal sir, there are just a few of us. She can probably still keep an eye on me.”

    He smiled again, backed Caerlŷr away from the front of the group. The little horse daintily moved, putting each hoof down precisely. Ceorl, pleased, patted him and spoke to Symolyn. “Come on, Dryhtguma Symolyn, I wanna meet the other sperewigend we’ll be rid-“

    He paused, his eyes catching a strange movement from the haelend (Rowena) riding with the Westmark. Perplexed, he studied the odd movements, his fair brows creasing together until he whispered urgently to Symolyn. “Is she – my uncle had the falling sickness. She looks like she’s gonna have an episode. He’d do the same thing, Dryhtguma Symolyn! He’d start twitching his hands and then he’d foam at the mouth and start flopping around like a fish on a hook. Do you think we oughta do something?”

    Before he could decide, the woman seemed to come out of it, without doing the croppy flop but he still stared after her. Uncertainly, he pointed Caerlŷr in the direction of the group he’d been assigned to, wondering if Symolyn would ride alongside as well. The haelend seemed to know his group, and he stopped beside them. Made a point not to stare at the woman in case she started twitching again. Instead, he plastered his usual, confident smile on his face and eased closer to the other sperewigend.

    “Westu hal! I’m Ceorl. I heard you’re called Gecko, right? Uhm, I mean, Sperewigend Gecko. We’re gonna be riding together it seems. Westu Dryhtguma Eafurth hal!” He smiled again, glanced around for Symolyn. Spoke again to Gecko. “Do you know my friend, Dryhtguma Symolyn? She’s keeping an eye on me, since this is my first patrol. I like your horse, he’s pretty, though I don’t often get along well with stallions. Would he bite me if I petted him? Do you think we’re gonna see a battle today? Have you ever been on patrols before?” He bit off the stream of questions, grinned. “Sorry, you just look like you know what you’re doing.”
    Last edited by Lkh Agn; 08/Mar/2013 at 06:00 AM.
    Eastmark
    Paethfindian Trainee

  31. Vali's Avatar
    Pilgrim of Isengard
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    #31
    Grimjaw - Orc

    After clearing up a mess in Minas Morgul, Grimjaw was being sent to Isengard with instructions for Saruman. It had been rough going, avoiding the humans who he'd rather have slaughtered and feasted on as his errand was supposed to go unnoticed. What was especially tricky was avoiding the sharp smell of the horses of the people in the region. As he made his way towards Isengard he had spotted a farmstead that showed all the signs of an orc raid, realising that this would make the road a dangerous place for him, Grimjaw moved deeper into the wood to avoid any hostile patrol that might be seeking for the orcs who conducted the raid. Grimjaw cursed his luck knowing that things would be more difficult now.
    As he made his way deeper into the woods a ruckus could be heard deeper into the woods. Following the commotion he made his way towards the source unsure of what he would find.

    What he managed to find was a bunch of rowdy orcs, most probably the same orcs who raided the farmstead feasting on horseflesh (because they let the humans escape) hiding out against the sun, who find out from a bunch of incompetent scouts that a troop of enemies might be approaching them (from a direction they could not fathom). Grimjaw was exasperated, how could orcs stoop to such incompetent levels. In a hushed tone filled with urgency he began "What is this, you all are worse than the snagas of Mordor. Your ruckus can be heard for miles. At this rate its only a matter of time before you are found out. Tell me whom do you work for and who is your leader." So saying, he began looked towards the three most vicious looking orcs in the group (Kazul, Pisegeluk and Sarglak)

  32. Symolyn's Avatar
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    #32
    Dryhtguma Symolyn of Meduseld

    It seemed she had drawn far more attention than she had planned by going up to the Marshal with her request. She could feel the eyes of many comrades stinging her back, not least of all Ceorl's, whom she had left without an explanation. It occurred to her, and not for the first time, that he might not have wanted what she wanted any way. He might feel embarrassed, possibly hate her for it. She had become her old, selfish self again.

    "Yessir. Sorry, sir. Was only trying to aid the mission, sir,"
    she replied sharply, raising the hand which had fallen during Marshal Shivased's speech into salute again. She glanced around for as far as her eyes would allow; heads were turned back, people were losing interest. But the sigh coming from the Marshal's side did not go unnoticed. She fixed her eyes to see it had come from Rowena, the Bealdorhlend, who had always been kind to her both in and out of the infirmary. Not wishing to be caught staring, she quickly looked down, focusing on the tuft of mane on Charge's neck that never wanted to hang to the same side as the rest of his beautiful dark hair. But she hesitated to move away. A sigh could mean so many things. She had received a lot of sighs in the past, and grumbles too, so that she should have been an expert in reading them, but what she thought this sigh meant was in conflict with how Rowena had behaved to her thus far, and she dared not accept her own explanation.

    Ceorl, bless his soul, came to her rescue, explaining the excuse she had tried to make for herself in better words than she could ever have composed herself. She shot him a grateful look, nodded respectfully at Marshal Shivased, involuntarily gave one to Rowena as well (she was Bealdorhlend, after all), and had begun to move Charge away from the group of officers, when Ceorl's sentence was cut short by his own confusion. As he whispered at her, Sym glanced over her shoulder to see Rowena use the odd hand motions she had seen in the Dragon Room on the day she came back to Edoras. "Oh, that?" she mumbled absent-mindedly, her thoughts still at what had happened before. "Nothing to worry about. It's how she speaks, apparently. I heard she lost her voice a while back and used that to communicate, but now she's found her voice and she still uses it now and then. I'm not quite sure how it works, how she and the first Marshal remember it all." She paused, glancing once more at the odd motions. "I've always thought it looks like she's summoning the evil spirits. Better not get too close."

    She followed Ceorl as he rode away from the Marshals, but before he could reach Gecko, she tried to get his attention. "Ceorl," she said. It was perhaps the first time she had called him by his name so directly. Fumbling with Charge's obstinate tuft of mane and avoiding eye contact, she continued. "I hope you won't think ill of me after... that. I did not mean to embarrass you. I... Marshal Shivased is always so considerate, I felt confident I could ask her. I mean, the idea would never even have occurred to me if it were Marshal forI'd have to ask, but... I just hope you're not angry with me."

    Upon joining Eafurth and Gecko, the latter quite unfamiliar to her, she gave an acknowledging nod to both, before sinking in thoughts again and letting Ceorl do the talking. It was what he was good at, anyway.

    Dryhtguma
    - Former Hlend of Meduseld
    The legacy of Rohan's heroes will not be forgotten

  33. Hallas C. Pehwarin's Avatar
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    #33
    Sergeant Hallas C. Pehwarin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor


    The NCO was soon hailed by his fellow Sergeant Pele Alarion She inquired to him and other non-coms namely Sergeant Kamion if their force of soldiers could head out. Hallas inhaled a breath of cool air then spoke his baritone voice even yet respectful, "If my memory serves me right you're senior Pele." "Besides heading out now would get us to the rendezvous with time to spare." Hallas had already digested his morning rations being some bread and cheese along with swig of cool tepid water from his grey waterskin.

    Dryhtguma / Nmenrean

  34. Arnyn Dealedwen's Avatar
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    #34

    Soldier Kaylin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor

    A slight smile touched her lips as Sergeant Kamion asked her if she was ready to head home. “Most definitely,” she admitted, rubbing her hands along her arms a bit to get warmer. The illusion of it working at all did more for her than the actual rubbing, but whatever helped was a plus, she reckoned. “This city girl has seen enough of the countryside for now. Not that I didn’t appreciate certain aspects of the patrol,” she added, stifling a yawn as best as she could in the process. “It’s just the bloody weather that’s bothering me, mostly.” She straightened a bit more as she realized the Sergeant might frown upon one of her vocabulary choices, but it was too late to take it back anyway, so the redhead just continued with a question, hoping that if Kamion were to indeed frown at her wording, her question might distract him. “What about you, Sergeant?” Since her inquiry could be interpreted both as asking about his desire to return to Minas Tirith and about how he felt about the cold, she felt she had succeeded nicely at making morning conversation, something that didn’t come as easily to her as it might to most others.

    Pele’s words reached her soon afterwards, and they conjured up a grin on Kaylin’s face. Her power of imagination was quite lively, to say the least, and she could perfectly imagine Pele cubed in ice on the shoulders of a number of soldiers. She could also see one of the carriers slipping, resulting in ice-cube-Pele’s tumble down some hill or other. Shaking her head to banish such childish visions, the grin yet remained as she looked back from Pele to Kamion. It seemed like this was a decent opportunity to talk to him a bit more, and considering he still had to answer her question, it was natural for them to follow Pele’s lead within easy hearing distance of one another. As the Gondorians on the patrol greeted their horses, Kaylin asked Kamion about his mount. “Can I assume that is your own horse?” She thought it wasn’t too much of a stretch to think the officers might have their own horses, that each had a certain horse they always trained with and worked with so they were in tune with each other. Kaylin had been granted a horse temporarily, just for the purpose of the patrol. A stubborn stallion, but a bit older and not as fickle as he probably used to be. The two of them had gotten along just fine for now. She wasn’t the most frequent rider, but she had learned that a confident and strong attitude was important when wanting to control a horse; and she had no lack of confidence.

    When Pele asked who wanted to take point and who wanted to cover the rear of the patrol, Kaylin shrugged. It didn’t really matter to her. “Wherever I’m useful, Sarge,” she replied to the officer’s question.
    Last edited by Arnyn Dealedwen; 10/Mar/2013 at 11:39 PM.
    Arnyn Axinecelume ~ Always Hyandaner


  35. Dragon-helm's Avatar
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    #35
    Marshal Dragon-helm
    Second Marshal of the Mark


    For three days they had travelled from Edoras towards the Firien Wood, setting up camp each night and resting in their tents in the chill winter air. Dragon-helm woke up at first light, mist from his breath hanging in the air as he wiped the sleep from his eyes and sat up. The air was chill but not so cold as to make him shiver or to indicate there would be snow today. Once he had dressed himself, he left the tent to get washed and have some food from the cooks that were busy preparing a breakfast for the patrol that had been sent to investigate rumours of enemies lurking there. He nodded in recognition to various Drythguma's as they busied themselves preparing the camp for departure.
    Once he had eaten his breakfast, Dragon-helm searched for his horse Lochsong who had been his trusted companion for many years and had accompanied him on many missions. Upon his approach, she neighed in recognition and he gently stroked her face, checking she was ready for another day's travel. Satisfied all was well, he returned to his tent to collect his backpack before his tent was stowed away. Eventually all was ready and he headed off to join the two other marshals Shivased and Equitatus at the head of the patrol, riding on Lochsong.
    As he approached he could see the pair of marshals were talking to Rowena, who had her brat of a child Raedan with her, who then left. Marshal Equitatus soon left following the annoying child. He could also see Symolyn had met with them but she soon left after speaking with her. Dragon-helm rode up slowly being careful not to slow down the process of breaking camp. He then noticed Rowena left, heading directly away from him. No doubt she would find him soon. He just reached Shivased as she gave the order to leave. 'Morning First Marshal. Sorry for my tardiness but it made a welcome change to have a good sleep and I reckon I will need it if these rumours about enemies are true. All seems to be well in the camp and there is a buzz about the place. Hopefully we can sort this problem out soon enough when we meet up with the Gondorians and head back home with no losses or accidents.'

    Second Marshal of the Mark and rest Paethfindian

  36. Tavari Mordagnir's Avatar
    Bard of Imladris
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    #36

    Sergeant Kamion
    Company of Minas Tirith


    Kamion
    chuckled at Kaylin's vehement objection to the weather, and allowed a grin to creep across his features. She wasn't alone in her opposition to the cold, to be sure, and as there was nothing any of them could do about it but see who could build the hottest fire, he didn't see the harm in taking out a bit of frustration on it. Better than on each other, anyway! He nodded when she questioned him, and began to make a check of his equipment as he replied. "Aye, I'm ready to be getting back as well! I enjoy a good excursion as much as the next, but in the chill with little excitement and the prospect of none? Let's just say I've had my fill of fresh air, and would rather be back on the training grounds, or by the fire in the commons." They made their way to the horses (eyes on Pele to make sure she didn't splatter herself all over the hill!), and Faran greeted Kamion with his characteristic attempt to bite his master's arm off. The Dnadan evaded his gelding's gaping teeth, and gave his muzzle a light smack in return, before stepping in to rub Faran's neck in a comradely fashion, procuring a grudging nicker from the horse.

    "Aye, this beggar is mine!" Kamion replied to Kaylin's question, as he began to go over the tack that some extremely brave -or foolish- or both- horse guard had affixed to the gelding. "Faran is his name, and a more ill-tempered beast you never met in your life. But he's smart and brave, and willing if you know how to ask." Giving Faran a mock disapproving look, Kamion dug him in the ribs with an elbow, causing him to exhale the breath he had been holding, and permitting the Dnadan with a quick tug to tighten the girth up properly. Otherwise, whoever had taken it upon themselves to tack up Faran had either been confident enough to convince the horse not to toy with them, or so oblivious to the potential dangers involved in such an activity, that Faran hadn't quite known what to do with himself. Either way, it was a job well done. "We make a good team, and that's what counts." Kamion set his toe into the stirrup and swung up onto the big horse's broad back, in time to hear Pele's request, and he spoke up. "I'll take the rear, Sergeant. Anyone else?" He glanced about, and sideways at Kaylin, questioningly.
    Last edited by Moriel; 10/Mar/2013 at 10:22 PM.

    Moriel
    Once a minion, always a minion.


  37. Dragon-helm's Avatar
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    #37
    Grudnak the orc.

    He had been sent from Morgul with a group of other orcs to a wood on the edge of two kingdoms of Men. Grudnak was a small, wiry orc that was fleet of foot and as sneaky as any orc could be. He had lied, murdered and fought his way to be recognised by the Lord of Morgul, resulting in him being chosen for this mission. He was an an exceptional scout, selfish to the last with excellent senses of smell and hearing. Like other orcs he struggled in the knowing gaze of the sun but excelled when the moon cast its silvery light on the land.
    The journey to the wood was fraught with danger but as they had travelled at night and with Grudnak's scouting abilities, the group made it to their goal. Rumours were rife in Morgul that it was a one-way mission, a testing of the strength and vigilance of the Men of the West. Grudnak cared little as he was certain he would escape any life-ending dangers, not averse to slipping away unnoticed, leaving his comrades to fend for themselves.
    He had found the farmstead but was disappointed those living there had escaped; manflesh was much juicier than horse meat, especially just after it had been killed. He was certain it tasted better when recently murdered. However, he took his fair share of horse with the rest of the group while the night lasted. Grudnak knew there were soldiers approaching; he could feel it in his bones and already he had planned an escape route through the forest, behind a series of boulders that would conceal him nicely, should the occasion arise. Meanwhile, with the threat of sunlight rapidly approaching one of the group, Sarglak, spotted a cave nearby to hide out in. Thinking it was better than staying in the forest, he followed him towards it, not bothering to argue or come up with another idea. The more inconspicuous he was, the less chance he would be missed when, and if, he scarpered away.

    Second Marshal of the Mark and rest Paethfindian

  38. Gecko's Avatar
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    #38
    Sperewigend Gecko
    Riding with Eastmark Eored

    Sunlight was beginning to filter through the trees in golden beams, indicating that the army would be on the move again soon. Most marches were from the time the sun rose until it disappeared in the west and often marching before it rose or long after it had set. Gecko was no stranger to the hard life of a soldier on a campaign and she had done it several times with both Rohan and Mordor but it had been a while since she'd done it as a common soldier. During her time in Mordor, she had been the Maugan, the commander and that gave her a certain level of privileges and comforts while on the march. Now she was back to just an average grunt in the army, not important enough to be noticed much less given any special comforts to make the march easier. Not that she disagreed with the treatment, of course, only that it was an adjustment to the last march that she'd been on.

    The former minioness found that she hadn't slept as well as she could have from being around so many people who had questions about her loyalty. It may have also had something to do with the chill in the winter air and the hard ground littered with rocks and branches but the end result was the same. The ground wasn't as comfortable as it had been when she'd been a young, green recruit for the cavalry, that was for certain. Shaking her head at the thoughts of age when she was not even thirty yet, Gecko nudged Losgar into a walk and moved toward where the Eastmark riders seemed to be gathering. She supposed it wasn't urgent that they ride together while traveling but you never knew when a march could become a battle and she preferred to be where she was supposed to be in that case.

    She turned when she heard her name being called which utterly surprised her. For the first couple of days of this march, few people had spoken to her and none just to speak with her. Most of them had to interact with her when she was going about her duties or they were. There was certainly no love lost between many of the soldiers and the former traitor but she was fairly accustomed to that now. She had dealt with similar concerns and questions when she'd been on Mordor as well. She looked curiously at the man (Eafurth) who was approaching her and was fairly certain that she didn't know him or why he'd want to talk to her. The greeting seemed friendly enough but his next words put her on edge. Of course he knew who she was, everyone seemed to. But when his face turned red and he stammered through an introduction, she felt herself relax and even chuckle softly.

    "Westu Eafurth hal," she said with a bit of laughter still in her voice. "I doubt there is anyone around here who doesn't know of me or the rumours of my past." From his red face, she was sure that he'd embarrassed himself in what was intended to be a kind gesture. "I appreciate that a few are willing to get to know who I am now instead of judging me for who I was. Would you ride with me today? I promise not to bite." No sooner were the words out of her mouth than the call to mount up rang out over the camp. Gecko had been expecting it and since she was already mounted and where she was supposed to be so until the started moving she was as prepared as she could be.

    A few minutes later a somewhat familiar face (Rowena) approached and spoke to Eafurth teasingly. She couldn't help but laugh at her comment, even though it was at the young man's expense. "Well he has to learn sometime, I suppose," she replied with a grin to take any of the sting from her words. "Thank you, we'll ride hard and honorably." It was nice of her to stop by and wish them luck and encouragement. It was made even nicer by the reception she had received thus far. Having two members of the cavalry come and speak to her was refreshing and made the work she'd been doing seem worth it. Perhaps she could start building some friendships among the other soldiers.

    Apparently she'd done something right lately as another soldier (Ceorl) approached her as well. He had a woman (Symolyn) following behind that seemed somewhat familiar to her though Gecko was fairly certain she'd only seen her since returning to Rohan, not from knowing her before. "That's right," she responded to man's question that she was Gecko. "It's a pleasure to meet you and it does indeed look like we'll be riding together. Since we're the only two Sperewigends in the Eastmark, we'll have to look out for each other." The words were hardly free of her tongue when several questions issued from the young soldier. Clearly he was excited.

    "I don't believe I've had the pleasure of meeting her. Symolyn, was it? It's nice to meet you. Losgar can be touchy but he might let you pet him. It depends on his mood I guess," she chuckled at the memory of when Shiak had first tried to lead the stallion away without getting permission first. He might still have the scar from that experience. "Aye, I do have a fair idea of what I'm doing out here," she said with a smile meant to put him at ease, "but it wasn't always that way. On my first march, I fell asleep on watch and woke up half the camp shouting that there wolves but I had only dreamed them up. Try living that one down with the other recruits!"
    "A leader leads by example, whether or not he intends to."
    ~ Sperewigend ~

  39. Arnyn Dealedwen's Avatar
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    #39

    Soldier Kaylin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor


    Kamion's grin at her weather talk partly made her want to roll her eyes in understanding, but also partly made her want to grumble. She knew that discussing the weather was something many considered to be inane talk, something that was in fact true most of the time... Except on some occasions, one of those being this one. It was just too cold to be comfortable in, at least according to Kaylin. She didn't easily complain about heat or rain, but cold could just get to her. However, any negativity flew away quick as sand to the wind when he mentioned the part about 'little excitement and the prospect of none'. That was EXACTLY what she had been thinking just moments before, and so she gave him a convinced nod. "Ugh, so true, you hit the nail on the head there, Sergeant. Patrols get boring quick without some kind of event to shake things up..." She grinned broadly at her words. "Well, not that I would want anything bad to happen. Just maybe something to talk about when we get home. It's sort of disappointing to have to tell people you went to patrol the beacons, and when they ask how in went in that interested tone of voice, you just have to say: "Oh you know, the usual." Just a little something to spice up the story might be nice, no?"

    When Kamion spoke of his horse, Kaylin smiled, shook her head and then frowned in thought. "You know," she started pensively, "I think I've encountered a horse with the same name before. He belonged to one of my father's soldier friends, I believe; the fellow's name keeps slipping my mind... Spar... something. And I think the second part of his name is some kind of animal, perhaps a bird of some sort. Like I said, I keep forgetting despite the interesting name." She paused and took in Kamion's Faran. "It looks like the horses share more than just their name too; I remember this horse liked to try and bite the fellow's arm off as a costumary way of greeting him... But as long as you get along," she added with a grin, "Some temperament reminds you you are alive!"

    Kaylin finally finished with the horse's tack, put one feet in a stirrup and then both pulled and pushed herself up at the same time. They had told her the animal's name was Chestnut. Hardly inspiring, since the color of its coat. Kaylin would appreciate the irony of such a name for a horse of a different color, but that was not the case for this Chestnut. The good part was she could call him Nut, though, and that gave her some amusement. When Kamion told Pele he would take the rear, and then looked around with a questioning expression, including a sideways glance at Kaylin, the redhead made an agreeable gesture with one hand, holding the reins with the other. "Like I said, I'm game for anything. I'll join you then."
    Arnyn Axinecelume ~ Always Hyandaner


  40. Gecko's Avatar
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    #40
    NPC Sarglak

    The sky was already beginning to lighten faintly, the utter darkness turning to dark grey. In only a matter of time, perhaps half an hour or so, it would lighten to an even paler grey and then light as the sun rose in the east. The Orc clutched his bit of horse meat to his chest as he jogged off through the trees. He didn't like the forest with its fresh, clean scents, they hurt his nose. Give him the smell of rotting meat gone almost putrid and decay of old bodies and bones from previous conquests any day over the smell of fresh air. The farm had smelt nicer than this though they hadn't managed to kill the humans during their attack. At least the animals had given off the rank scent of fear and death before being ripped to pieces from the claws and teeth of the Orcs. As he turned around yet another stand of annoyingly green trees, Sarglak saw the place that he'd been trying to find. The forest was rocky in some places and this section was particularly so. Slipping through the trees as quietly as death, he began to explore the terrain.

    It took a few minutes of searching but finally he found a place that looked like it would be able to house most of the band of Orcs that still survived. The opening was smallish, especially in terms of men, but it was just about the right size for the small, compact, hunched forms of Orc. Sarglak didn't really care if the others had followed him so they wouldn't be caught out in the sunlight, but he did care that they followed him because there was safety in numbers. If the scouts were accurate about armies of men moving in these woods, it would be better to keep as much of the band together as possible; if they separated, they would easily be picked off and nobody would make it out of this cursed forest. Sarglak wasn't sure what had happened to their leader, had he been killed in one of the earlier attacks? Had he deserted them? He didn't care, the lout was gone and that was all for the better as he was the one that got them in this mess. Someone was going to have to get them out.

    Sarglak wasn't a leader nor did he aspire to be one. He was just a common snaga going about his duties to the best of his abilities but someone was going to have to get him out of this mess and it might have to be him. Several other Orcs had followed him and were moving to the back of the cave to get as far away from the sun as they could. The useless scouts, who didn't think it was important to report how far away their enemy was, scrabbled to the back of the cave as well. For a moment, he thought about killing them for their stupidity but what could would that do him? They needed to find a way out of this damned forest and the scouts would be essential to that. Not that he wouldn't kill the humans given the opportunity and chance but his main goal at this point was about survival. Maybe once it got dark again, the scouts could be sent back out to get better reports. A few minutes later, another Orc (Grimjaw) came in complaining about the noise they were making and demanded to know who their leader was.

    "It sure ain't you," Sarglak spat back at the Orc. "You're making more noise than all the rest of us combined you sorry excuse for Orc hide." A low growl came from his throat as he looked at the stranger. As far as Sarglak could remember he hadn't been with the band at the raid on the farmstead so just who did he think he was? "You've got the stink of Minas Morgul on you, you do. What are you doing out here then? Lost, are we?" He grinned, showing his pointed teeth to the newcomer. "Why should we tell you anything?"
    "A leader leads by example, whether or not he intends to."
    ~ Sperewigend ~

  41. Hallas C. Pehwarin's Avatar
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    #41
    Sergeant Hallas C. Pehwarin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor


    Taking another breath of morning air did Hallas make up his own mind regarding the arrangement of their company. Since Pele choose to take the lead and be their scout did younger NCO speak his baritone voice even and respectful, "I'll bring up the rear of the column unless you Kamion wish that honor?" The 21-year old Sergeant had picked up his travel pack that contained his gear shrugging it on while his keen and bright blue eyes flicked back and forth between his fellow non-coms wondering who'd possibly join him for the trek up the mountain to see Elendil's hidden tomb Amon Anwar, though the remains had long ago been returned to Minas Tirith by the Steward Cirion upon granting Calenardhon later renamed as Rohan by his namesake Cirion's son to the Eorlingas. Though he decided he see that fabled spot later maybe his love Likus if she ever returned to Gondor.

    Dryhtguma / Nmenrean

  42. Tavari Mordagnir's Avatar
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    #42
    Kazul - Orc


    "Oooh!" Kazul squealed after Mr. High-and-Mighty Orc (Grimjaw) had finished making his speech, "You're the important one now, aren't you!" The scrawny orc spat nastily in the direction of the newcomer's feet. They'd all gathered up in the entrance of this cave that Sarglak had found and it was pretty good digs, really, even if the few fights still breaking out over bits of meat were now a little closer than Kazul might've liked. His chunk of horseflesh still sat heavy in his pouch though, so that was alright. And of course there was a bit of noise! They were a rowdy band of orcs who'd just had a wonderful raid and a nice kill of meat! Who'd this jumped up maggot think he was? Kazul wasn't any leader, but he wasn't about to start taking orders from this prat. Normally he would've just been quiet, but since Sarglak was speaking up too, Kazul felt emboldened to add his bit. "Yeah! Where'd you come from, stinker? Suppose you tell us who you are, and who you work for?!"



    ((OOC Hallas: Kamion already volunteered to take the rear in my last post ))

  43. Equitatus's Avatar
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    #43
    Marshal Equitatus
    Third Marshal of the Mark, Meduseld Eored


    She almost felt bad for giving Jacen the run down since she knew he meant well. There was something about the way he acted that reminded Equitatus of an eager puppy who didn't realize why his owner gave him a suspicious look as he trotted down the hall with a shoe in his mouth. If only Raedan could be as eager. She could tell by the boy's nonverbals that he couldn't care less what she was saying to him, that is, until she said she wouldn't let him be a Dryhtguma until he was thirty. "Finally." Equitatus thought to herself. "Something has penetrated him. Thank Bema!" Raedan said that he wanted to make his little brothers proud, which was a noble desire and one that she hoped he would stick to.

    "You are capable of making your little brothers extremely proud of you." she said. "Start here, and you will be a Dryhtguma before you know it." She glanced back at where the Cavalry was gathering and motioned to Raedan and Jacen. "Come on, you two." she said. "You can ride together, but not separate from the rest of the patrol. I want to keep an eye on both of you." Equitatus turned Validus back towards the rest of the patrol, joining Shiva and DH. "Are we about ready to leave?" she asked, glancing back to see if Jacen and Raedan were following yet as she added, "Those two will be the death of me someday, just wait and see." she chuckled.

    The sky was looking more and more threatening, and there was definite tension in the air. Validus kept tugging his reins and anxiously stepping forward, eager to be on the road again. Equitatus wondered if the rumors of orcs were true, and if they were, what would be the solution. More than likely, a brief skirmish would ensue. She thought back to Raedan and Jacen. They were both young and had their whole lives ahead of them, yet one bad command from her could send them to their deaths. Equitatus sighed inwardly, knowing that this was a responsibility she had accepted and hoping that if she did have to make decisions for her Eored today that would mean life or death for the Riders involved, she would make the right ones.

    ~Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored~
    "Remember who the real enemy is."

  44. Hallas C. Pehwarin's Avatar
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    #44
    Dryhtguma Tauro of Westmark Eored

    The now 32 year old rohir had donned his cavalry uniform sharpened his rohirric longsword Heruwin (Fierce Friend) and saddled up his fiery female horse Vorond or Lafa. The patrol so far had been uneventful yet now the lean dryth decided to ready himself for another long ride that would end reaching the famed Firien Wood! But first he intended to present to those who made up this patrol with the bundled sheathed daggers for the three Eoreds. Some were packed carefully into one of the two saddlebags that now again were with Vorond. The rest were hidden within his shop within the Riddermarket.

    But first Tauro approached Marshal Dragon-Helm saluted him then spoke his deep baritone voice respectful as always, "Marshal I did have something to give to the patrol indeed the entire cavalry in time. And that is new daggers each bears the respective color stone to each Eored." The seasoned dryth and weapon's smith now waited to hear what his superior would say about this endeavor that he'd undertaken while in the interim....



    Sergeant Hallas C. Pehwarin
    Minas Tirith Company,Army of Gondor


    The young NCO then caught on that his fellow northern dnedain Kamion would take up the rear guard with Woman at Arms Kaylin. So he took the middle of the formation and since every member of the patrol was horsed they looked like the famed knights of Dol Amroth! That brought a small smile to Hallas's tanned face as his keen and bright blue eyes took in sight of the familiar woodland that he'd passed through when he'd fought at the beacon hill of Calenhad .
    Last edited by Hallas C. Pehwarin; 16/Mar/2013 at 04:40 AM.

    Dryhtguma / Nmenrean

  45. Equitatus's Avatar
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    #45

    Update

    ~Update~

    Army of Gondor - Having left the guards at the beacon well supplied, the Gondorian patrol rode off along the foot of the mountains. The beginning of this day's trip was rather uneventful as well and they travelled along with Pele riding somewhat ahead to make sure everything was safe, Kamion and Kaylin bringing up the rear, and Hallas making sure the group in between the two ends was faring well. Soon, they rode along the Mering Stream, which was partly covered by ice, yet still made for a good marker to follow. Upon entering the woods, more caution was exercised by the patrol, since they could not oversee their surroundings well. Eventually after hours of riding Pele spotted the approaching Rohirrim and alerted the rest of the company about her findings, eager to meet the neighbourly patrol and learn the news.

    Cavalry of Rohan - Though it seems to be taking a long time to leave camp, you leave on schedule, at first light, at the command of First Marshal Shivased. All fourteen Riders set out, each mostly riding with whoever they please. Because there is a small number of Riders and not three Eoreds, the members of each Eored are not necessarily sticking together but rather mingling with those from different Eoreds. It is a frigid ride to the Firien Wood, a harsh wind making it all the colder, and the clouds above are looking more and more threatening. There will definitely be snow later in the day, but hopefully it will hold off until you have made camp. Around noon, the Gondorian patrol can be seen by those with good eyes. Excitement is in the air as you near the soldiers from Mundberg. The Marshals ride ahead to meet with the Gondorians, hear their news, and decide where they will go from here.

    Orcs - Daylight has finally found its way back into the forest but most of the Orcs have managed to find shelter in a secluded cave near the farmstead they raided. Everyone is constantly on alert to the rumour of armies of men in the area but there is little that they can do until the sun sets. Most of them have settled down to finish their meat and rest so they can be ready to move and others are sharpening weapons and preparing themselves in case they have to fight their way out of the forest. There is some jostling for position among the soldiers as their leader was killed in the earlier attack that created the small band of Orcs hiding in the cave. With no clear leader, little food to last, and danger in the area possibly getting closer by the second, it's no wonder tempers are starting to rise.
    Last edited by Equitatus; 18/Mar/2013 at 01:44 PM.

    ~Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored~
    "Remember who the real enemy is."

  46. Fiery Mommy Row's Avatar
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    #46
    Rowena
    Cavalry Bealdorhaelend
    Westmark Eored

    Rowena looked around the camp again, and grimaced when she saw Dragon-helm had somehow managed to sneak past her… He didn’t even manage to stop her long enough to say good morning, and now she looked like a sheer idiot having been talking to no one in particular. Oh how she’d maim that man. Okay maybe not, but ‘Good Morning’ indeed! With the quickness and ease of any raised in the horse-lands, she remounted Synne and rode back over to where Shivased and now Marshal Dragon-helm was.
    Her morning greeting was a light smack upside the head and a pretend look of scolding him. ‘You are a bad man, Marshal… Thanks for making me play the part of the fool. As if we don’t have enough Westmarkers doing that already.’ She then couldn’t resist a chuckle before leaning over and kissing his cheek. ‘Also a bad brother… you could at least come find me and say Good Morning, when you’ve woken up.’ She laughed and then looked around as she saw everyone mount up. ‘Good to see some people following orders for once in their lives…’
    The camp seemed to be cleaning up nicely as well, with barely a trace of their presence there, though perhaps a few scorch marks may have been left, with how she was fairly certain some Westmarkers forgot how to set up a fire. She shook her head and then looked at the Marshals. ‘I’d say as well from what I saw when I went looking for that one,’ she jerked a thumb toward DH and continued, ‘Morale for the most part is up. Hopefully that is a good omen for us in this venture… And hopefully that means less work for the only haelend that seems to have manifested herself…’ She grumbled at this realization, realizing if anything DID happen, she’d be the world’s busiest woman.
    Finally they started to move, with of course the Marshals in the lead. She hung back a bit, looking around as they started to move. As each step away from camp they took, Rowena grew more wary and ill at ease. Despite the fact they were to meet up with the Gondorian army, the rumors of ill in Firien wood caused her great anxiety. And each step they took was one step closer.
    She did not say a word to anyone any more, just remained quiet, as she was far enough behind the Marshals that she'd have to raise her voice to talk to them. And she knew for a fact, she'd never have her voice well enough to be able to keep up a conversation at the levels it required. She probably was close enough to have idle chatter with one of the other Riders, but that at the moment required too much thinking. At least to start a conversation. What did one talk about anyway, when they were on a march destined for peril of some sort?
    Instead she looked at her son who rode haphazardly nearish her (Though he was with Equi, so she wasn't within speaking distance really. Or speaking distance for her at any rate), having no idea what in Bema's name patrols meant or the risks he faced. He was only fourteen... Caught in the crossfire of being somewhere between childhood and adulthood. And yet, here he was, riding with the Cavalry patrol as if he was one of them. In her heart, she still didn't want him a part of the Cavalry, she was not ready to risk losing him. He was to be the one to carry on the family line, inherit the responsibilities she had inherited from her father.
    She looked away from her son, and focused on the journey ahead. She didn't want to think about how her son was growing up and that it was time to let him choose his life. She had to focus, or it would be her on her deathbed... (Again)

    NPC Raedan
    Squire/Runt to the Third Marshal
    Meduseld Eored


    For some reason, the notion of becoming a dryhtguma before he knew it brought another change in him. It brought an eagerness to his heart, as he spurred Beadwof forward. He remembered the legacy, that every generation of Ellenweorcs had had at least one member in the Cavalry. He was going to be the one in his. 'Yes Ma'am!' He near on shouted as he saluted her, following her.
    He looked at Jacen and said, 'Coming?!' He then slowed as he took his spot where Equi could keep an eye on him.
    Like his mother, he too kept a wary eye out, a side effect of all that had happened in recent times. It was on a journey to visit Rowena that his Aunt Rheda had been attacked by her former fiance, under Cuthbert's orders. Countless times on journeys from the Westfold to Edoras, Mama and Uncle Rice had been attacked. It was in Tauro's shop that Banan had died by his mother's fist. Thankfully his mother had recovered from the surprise of seeing him again. And then there was Uncle Kendrick... Instinctively, he tightened his grip on Beadwof's reins, as his thoughts turned to Kendrick. No. He didn't want to think about it.
    He looked over at his Marshal and gave her another salute, but for once in his life remained quiet. His thoughts turned back to Kendrick. The man had been his hero, his role model, his mentor. Some might say he wasn't exactly the best one for that, but Rae had always disagreed. He had learned so much from Kendrick, and not just the woodworking trade. He learned about duty, love, and honor. He learned what strength took.
    Every day, Uncle Kendrick bore through pain in his legs, and yet, still he fought, and rode with the Cavalry. He stood at Rowena's side through every aching moment she suffered, the ever protective brother. Though he was younger than Mama, the man truly knew the value of protecting those he loved. If there was anyone who's memory he wanted to honor and in whose footsteps he wanted to follow, it was Uncle Kendrick's.
    It occured to him that the first thing he wanted to do when he got home (If was NOT a word in his vocabulary, it was that kind of thinking that led people to fail in whatever they attempted. Something he learned from his 'deadbeat' father as Mama called him.) was pick his sister Zara up in her arms, and never let go. Sure, she had some lousy Gondorian suitor, but Rae knew for a fact that he would ALWAYS be Zara's protector. That was his job as the big brother. Finally, he spoke up to his Marshal. 'Marshal Equitatus. Permission to fallback and talk to the Bealdorhaelend for a brief moment? I promise I'll return momentarily, and not pester her.'

    ~Beadorhaelend (Westmark)~
    ~Please forgive typos... Casted wrist makes typing difficult~

  47. Karis Ziranphel's Avatar
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    #47
    Karis Ziranphel (Ziran)
    Captain of Gondor/Escaped prisoner
    Somewhere in Firien Wood

    The thud of hooves woke her slowly from her cramped position under some low brush cover. The cold air helped blow some of the fog from her mind as she listened intently for voices. She had been four days traveling across Rohan from the previous stream, having taken a day to harvest cattails for food and set snares to catch a hare for meat. Hunger still edged at her belly, but she had been able to string along the food enough to keep her moving through the long nights. She had kept the practice of walking or running during the afternoons and as late into the night as she had moonlight to see and strength in her legs to move, and then finding a depression or bush to hole up in during the morning hours. Last night she had stopped earlier than normal despite being so close to the Mering Stream and the Gondorian land that she longed for, as she had heard fell noises crying not far off and smelled smoke and blood on the wind. Taking particular care to be well-hidden since she was alone and somewhat weakened from insufficient food, she had tucked herself under the brush at the base of one of the tall trees and fallen asleep with dagger in hand.

    What was this? The voices she heard calling were not the fell voices on the wind from last night, but those of men and women! The rolling tones of different languages caught at her ears. Snippets of Rohirric, Westron, and Sindarin drifted on the wind and sparked hope in Ziran's breast. Patrols? Of both Rohan and Gondor? Her thoughts flew to the sounds she had heard last night, and she realized they must have come in response if they hadn't already been traveling this path. Perhaps it would be safe to reveal herself. Even if they were heading into battle she would have a better chance with them than if she encountered whatever was out there on her own...

    Being careful to not make much noise, Ziran shifted slightly to try and peer out through the obstructing leaves without revealing her position. She caught the flash of color from a saddle-skirt and the light off a Rohirric helm through the trees as the pound of hooves grew nearer. Well, even if there were enemy of some sort around it might be safe enough to show herself now...although they would likely take her for an enemy as well in her bedraggled state. Stiffly, Ziran sheathed her blade, ducked and crawled out from under the brush, slowly standing up to face in the direction of the sound of horses. She was covered in leaves and dirt, and her now-long hair was once again dirty and somewhat tangled. Her sword was sheathed, but the hilt peeked above the edge of her dusty cloak, and her hands were red, chapped, and empty.

    Ziran opened her mouth to speak, but initially no sound came forth. It had been too long since she had spoken, and too long since her water ran out again. Working her lips to summon some moisture, she tried again, this time producing a rather hoarse sound as she called out. "Ho Rohirrim!"
    Karis Ziranphel, Captain of Gondor Thllir Bregedŷr of Ithilien
    Tirlyn Ithilphel of the Evendim hills

  48. Windowcel Alarion's Avatar
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    #48
    Windhladen Alarion
    Dryhtguma of the Westmark

    Windy clasped Issy’s forearm strongly and leaned in slightly, remembering and accepting that this was the way her warrior’s life would be, riding into uncertainty daily and clinging to what was good whenever she could. She glanced at the insignia and gave a shrug, Shiva kept me busy in the training yard and the colt kept me busy at home… I should be with the Westmark for this ride, however, because I’ve officially finished my training,” she answered. “I wish I would have had the time for a drink, at least, before this mission… but there will be plenty of time for drinking when we all go riding home.” She paused and shook her head, “A nephew! I remember hearing, but… I can’t believe that I haven’t met… what will he think of me?” Unused to being at a loss for words, she paused and caught up her thoughts. “How old is he, exactly?”

    Taking note of the growing group of Riders who had mounted and were waiting to depart, Windy returned Equitatus’ wave and looked thoughtfully at the horizon, where the first hint of dawn was showing. “From what I hear of our sister,” she answered in a low voice. “The chances are good. She was always a steady, loyal friend, and the Army rewards that kind of leadership with things like winter scouting parties. After some of the things I have heard from the younger recruits in Edoras I wonder whether I should look forward to a meeting with Gondor, though... most of what I hear is superstition mixed with ignorance, but it is unsettling that our people are so suspicious.” She shook her head, knowing that she must sound a mite suspicious herself, but she had become aware of the whispers as she rode down from the Grey Mountains, and they had become worse with each league toward the southern kingdom. “I do hope that we see her… no doubt of that. When Pele is around I can have fun instead of looking after you all the time.”

    Windy was saved from Isolde’s immediate response when Shivased announced the eored each of the sperewigends would be joining. “Saved by the Marshal,” she said, winking at her sister and gathering her reins to find the rest of her eored. “Don’t swallow too much of the Westmark’s dust!”

    After some searching it became apparent to her that the Westmark was more difficult to identify than she had thought. Indeed, there was no segregation at all, except that the Marshals set the pace and direction of their ride. The colt had been anxious to begin moving, but he was having some difficulty settling into the steady gait she asked of him. “All energy and no faith, lad?” she asked him quietly as he took jolting strides. She settled deeper into the saddle and relaxed to encourage him to let some of his nerves go; she wondered if the nerves came from the unsettled atmosphere that surrounded them, or if it had to do with riding in company. “It’s going to be a long day at this rate.” And a sore night for her. That’s what she got for bringing a practically green horse on this sort of a trip… she had survived it before, and she could do so again.

    It was, indeed, a long trip. It was nearly noon, and no warmer, when the Gondorian patrol came into sight. Windy stopped the colt along with the rest of them and dearly wished that they had stopped close enough for her to make out the faces of the Gondorians under their helmets. Was Pele among them? Shifting in her saddle helped not at all, so she moved over beside Isolde to see if they could piece together an identity between the two of them.
    "Issy, that one... there..." she said vaguely. "The way they're standing makes me think... but maybe not..." She was about to continue her conference when a harsh voice called out from quite near,
    "Ho Rohirrim!"

    Immediately on the defensive, since this voice did not come from the Gondorian patrol, Windy pivoted the colt to face the direction of the call and raised her spear smoothly. Before her stood a woman - at least she thought so - who looked like she had been dragged through the densest part of Fangorn and then dropped in a swamp for good measure (Ziran). There was no apparent threat, since she had no weapon in her hand, but Windy did not relax her guard.
    "Identify yourself," she ordered, wishing she could look around and make sure she was not the only one who had seen the stranger.

    @Isolde
    - sooo sorry for leaving you hanging! I'll be here more frequently now, I promise
    Last edited by Windowcel Alarion; 20/Mar/2013 at 05:50 AM.
    ~ Dryhtguma of the Westmark ~
    si vales, valeo


  49. Pele Alarion's Avatar
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    #49
    Drill Sergeant Pele Alarion
    Company of Minas Tirith

    As the day went on, the cold did not relent much, though perhaps it was not as biting as it had been at night and early morning. Nonetheless, it was cold enough with the breeze to make Pele rub her nose and cheeks occasionally to get the feeling back into them. The helmet didn't help much either, and she wished she could have a proper warm hat instead of it. But except for these minor complaints, Pele enjoyed the ride. She liked the forest, though it could not exactly be deemed very welcoming. The snow-covered trees, the softened hoof-falls of the horses, a few birds here and there searching for some available food, and a random animal scurrying away from their presence: all these things she found likeable and relished in them. Even the clouds above looked nice, though if they began to pour forth lots of snow it might no longer be so.

    No matter how much she enjoyed the ride, Pele still had to remember her duties. After all this was not a simple outing and with the rumours of the enemy in the vicinity care was needed. Also she had appointed herself to take the point and if she missed a sign of danger and they came under surprise attack it would be her fault. Thus she scanned the surroundings for anything out of ordinary, while still trying to enjoy the beauty of the landscape.

    After hours of travelling, she finally espied the forms of horses and riders in the distance and identified them as the patrol from Rohan. She observed them for some time just to be sure and then called over her shoulder, "Friendly patrol ahead!" With that she nudged her mare forward a bit faster to meet up with the soldiers of the neighbouring party. While on her approach, Pele looked from one rider to the next, searching for familiar faces. And there they were - two, not one! But she laid off the joys of seeing her sisters for the other matters at hand.

    As she turned towards the Marshals that rode forward, her eye caught sight of a figure appearing almost out of nowhere, but she did not concern herself overly much with it, since it was only one person and closer to the Rohirrim patrol. Instead she pulled her horse to a stop and offered the salute to the leaders of the other patrol. "Well met, neighbours," she said in greeting, unsure if she should address any one of them in particular."What news do you bring?"
    I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings,
    and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace...
    ~~~~~
    Cavalry Trainee

  50. Arnyn Dealedwen's Avatar
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    #50

    Soldier Kaylin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor


    The decisions were made fairly swiftly, something Kaylin was rather pleased with since she couldn’t wait to get going and hopefully get warm during the ride. She didn’t know why she had to be affected by the cold so much. It seemed worse than usual even, today, and it would tick her off if it would take much longer. She had the self-knowledge to predict that much, and an annoyed her would make a bad companion for Sergeant Kamion.

    Luckily, the riding warmed her up enough in order not to ruin her mood and even improve on it somewhat. In the end, she had opted not to put on the helmet, as she was wont to do anyways. Except maybe protecting her ears somewhat from the breeze, it wouldn’t give that much warmth, she judged. The female soldier watched Kamion and Faran from time to time, grinning now and again at how they behaved towards one another, but she didn’t find it hard to believe what the Sergeant had said earlier, about them making a good team. It was obvious even to rather untrained eyes when it came to relationships with horses.

    Once they entered the woods, the atmosphere changed somewhat as every member of the patrol grew that tad more watchful. The thought and realization brought a smile to Kaylin’s eyes as she scanned the treeline beside her. She shared some small talk with Kamion, talkin gabout this and that, a way to pass the time, though they did not talk loudly or continuously. They still had to be watchful during the whole ride, checking whether no one was sneaking up on them or following them through the trees. Kaylin was also careful in how she guided Chestnut, since a wrong move in the snow could spell disaster for him. And her, by extension.

    Hours of this passed when something was being shouted back through the patrol. As the words finally reached Kamion and herself at the rear, Kaylin shot the Sergeant a look. “Friendly patrol,” she repeated softly, some curiosity shining through. Of course it didn’t matter all that much who the patrol was made up of – the most important part was that they were friendly, and she had that information already. It was just that with the predictability and uneventfulness of the outing so far, this little unexpected event sparked her attention and inquisitiveness.
    Last edited by Arnyn Dealedwen; 20/Mar/2013 at 11:17 PM.
    Arnyn Axinecelume ~ Always Hyandaner


  51. Isolde Alarion's Avatar
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    #51
    Isolde Alarion
    Dryhtguma of Meduseld


    She grinned at shaking her hand as she listened to her speak of wishing she'd had time to drink before leaving. Aye, plenty of time. She agreed. Chuckling at her sisters reaction to hearing of her nephew she answered her. He will love you..and he's a year and a half now. Walking and learning to talk. Repeats alot so I've had to catch myself a few times. She laughed. He was like a little bird..repeating things and she knew it was time to change when he fell and got back up saying "Bemas arse." Altho humorous, she had to give in for his sake.

    Taking back her hand and adjusting her reins again she listened to the answer to her question about seeing Pele. She chuckled at the idea of being rewarded with a winter scouting party..she wouldn't call it a reward but Gondorians were odd at times. She nodded at hearing Windys suspitions. She agreed with her on seeing Pele tho..always fun but her next words caused her face to drop in suprise. Wha?! I... She swollowed her next words as Shivas voice rolled over the group giving instruction to the new ones..or those returning to the ranks. She looked at Windy when she said she was saved by the Marshal. I'm not finished with that comment yet. She jokingly chided her. Oh don't you worry...they only put the Westmark in the front to keep from loosing them. She returned the light hearted bantering before she gave a light nod of the head to bid her good luck.

    They soon moved out and she rode mostly by herself on the edge of the group, watching as the miles passed. Searching for potential trouble, an old habit from her scouting days as trees and bushes past them. The fridged air was making her fingers around her spear want to cramp up and become ridged but she made sure to move them...didn't need useless frozen fingers if trouble showed it'self. Her blue gaze took to the sky, not pleased with what she seen there either she sniffed with irritation. Her nose was taking the brunt of this chill weather with the wind beating at her.

    Miles along she was trying to stretch her back and bundle abit tighter against the wind when word came of seeing the Gondorian patrol. Halting she took the chance to adjust slightly as Windy joined her. She looked to where her sister was looking. It was hard to tell them apart at this distance but she still searched the other group.

    Just then she hear a voice call "Ho Rohirrim!" Without question she mirrored Windys movement and pivoted her mount to face whoever called to them. Her spear lowered on a woman (Ziran) who looked the worse for wear but she stayed silent as Windy ordered her to identify herself. How the woman was even alive out in these conditions was the next thought that came to mind.
    Isolde Alarion Drythguma Meduseld Eored
    Mourgan Alarion Soldier Army of Gondor

  52. Equitatus's Avatar
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    #52
    Marshal Equitatus
    Third Marshal of the Mark, Meduseld Eored


    Perhaps a change had come about in Raedan, Equitatus thought to herself as she watched her squire actually riding within her line of sight. In fact, he was behaving himself so well that Equitatus couldn't find it within herself to deny his request to speak to the Bealdorhaelend. "Permission granted." she said. "Don't be too long though!" Turning her attention back to the road, the Marshal nudged her stallion into a trot as the patrol began to move out.

    They soon picked up speed and were moving at a decent pace through the eastern most edge of the Mark, towards the Firien Wood. The ride was frigid, a harsh wind only making the damp, cool air worse. The clouds above were darkening, already beginning to grow heavy with snow, and Equitatus could only hope that the weather would hold off until they had made camp. The incessant gusts of winding cut through her clothes from dawn until they finally sighted the Gondorian patrol around noon.

    Before she could ride forward to greet the patrol from Mundberg, however, Equitatus heard a shout of "Ho Rohirrim!" Seeing that a bedraggled person (Ziran) hiding in the bushes was the source of the shout, Equitatus briefly wondered why things could never go as planned. The person looked highly suspicious, but it was only one person and the whole Gondorian patrol was already calling out to them. Seeing that Windy and Isolde were already investigating, Equitatus said to them both, "Stay on guard." Looking at the bedraggled person who she now realized was a woman (Ziran), the Marshal said sternly, though not unkindly, "And you would be wise to answer their questions, stranger. We have little tolerance for foreigners, especially foreigners who appear when there is trouble about."

    Leaving the stranger with Isolde and Windy, Equitatus nudged Validus forward, towards the Gondorian patrol. "Greetings!" she said to the person who had first greeted them (Pele). "I am Equitatus, Third Marshal of the Mark. We have very little news to bring as of this moment. We have not yet sighted the enemy, but the rumors are very consistent in the surrounding villages. Apparently, there is a force of orcs somewhere out here. The main question is how large it is." She paused, Validus shifting uneasily beneath her; both horse and Rider could feel the evil lurking in the shadows of the Firien Wood. "Are you familiar with that woman over there?" asked Equitatus, nodding towards the stranger (Ziran).

    ~Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored~
    "Remember who the real enemy is."

  53. Karis Ziranphel's Avatar
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    #53
    Karis Ziranphel (Ziran)
    Captain of Gondor/Escaped prisoner
    Somewhere in Firien Wood

    The response to her hoarse call was swift, as somehow they had chosen to halt nearby anyway just as she was getting to her feet, and two riders whirled their mounts toward her and dropped the tips of their spears toward her chest. Ziran spread her hands in the universal sign that she meant no harm, but did not back up. She didn't like having spears pointed at her, but she understood the sentiment, and the back of her mind noted that she approved of their swift action just as she noted the lack of overall concern. After a quick visual assessment, one of the riders wasted no time in demanding that she identify herself. Ziran had, in turn, been looking at these two that faced her, and a slight frown wrinkled her brow. They looked a little different, but could it be Sgt. Pele's sisters? They obviously did not recognize her. Opening her mouth to summon words, Ziran was cut off by the arrival of one of the Marshals.

    Ziran slowly lowered her hands at the woman's brusque words, and pride stiffened her spine. A foreigner? Step over the Mering stream and they would be the foreigners! This...this is why I didn't stop at Edoras for help. I travel this far...and this is the response I get. Her inner dialogue made her lips compress briefly, but she managed not to clench her fists in response as she watched the woman whirl and ride away. The tabard and helm of the riders who appeared down the trail caught Ziran's eye and banished her momentary anger. Sudden tears pricked at the corners of her eyes, but she blinked swiftly, refusing to let them fall. No tears. I'm not home yet. Her attention returned to the still-vigilant riders in front of her, and her head lifted high in defiance of her tumultuous feelings as she gazed back at them with a level look in her brown eyes.

    Her voice was still raspy but growing in strength as she replied to the challenge. "I am Ziran..." Her voice caught momentarily on the name, and she corrected herself. "I am Karis Ziranphel, Captain of Gondor...although I have been gone many years." Ziran swallowed convulsively, as her dry throat wouldn't let further words pass her parched and cracking lips. "Might..." She tried again. They might not believe her, but she could explain soon enough, and if there were any in the patrol from Gondor who had served with her they should be able to vouch for her once she washed her face. "Might I trouble you for a sip of water? Windy? Isolde?"
    Karis Ziranphel, Captain of Gondor Thllir Bregedŷr of Ithilien
    Tirlyn Ithilphel of the Evendim hills

  54. Shivased's Avatar
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    #54
    Shivased
    First Marshal of the Mark, Eastmark Eored

    Shivased
    shook her head ruefully as she urged Curon forward. Sometimes she was glad Rowena communicated in signs, because she often said things that, really, she was sure would cause trouble if said out loud. But most couldn't understand the odd hand gestures, which was a relief in many cases. She turned in her saddle and picked out each member of the Eastmark, in the throng following behind the marshals, to make sure each person was mounted and following. Loki, Gecko, Eafurth, all were present.

    Aye, with any luck there will be no orcs to be found, and we can chalk this up to a nice relaxing patrol, she said to Dragon-helm when she was facing forward again. Though something tells me that won't be the case. Perhaps she was jinxing it, but she had a bad feeling that they had a battle on their hands when they reached the Firien. So far it had been too easy, nothing had happened. The paeths had reported nothing but the Gondorian patrol, yet reports said there were orcs in the area. Surely there should be some sign of them, and the fact that there wasn't worried her.

    When Equi rode up and said Jacen and Raedan would be the death of her she laughed. And now you know how Rowena and myself feel on a regular basis, she teased her friend. We have to deal with their antics every waking minute. It's your turn. Just take comfort in the fact that you don't have to take them home with you. She chuckled again and glanced back to find the two boys riding together and smiled. She was glad her brother had a friend in the Cavalry his own age, even if the two were troublemakers when together.

    Facing forward again she tightened her legs on Curon's sides, tapping her heel just behind his girth and sending him into a comfortable, ground-eating canter. Relaxing into the rocking motion she watched the terrain around them, noting where they were and how close they were to the Firien. The wind had picked up, and she pulled her cloak closer about her to ward off the frigid chill. It was with relief that the green mass of the Firien Wood became visible in the distance just before noon, as well as the patrol from Gondor.

    They reached the Gondorian patrol about the same time a voice called out to them. Turning, she spotted a woman standing near a tree, hands bare of any blade. It was odd to have found a single person out here alone, and made her quite curious. Still, there was the matter of the Gondorian patrol, which demanded attention before this bedraggled looking woman. Windy had already ordered the woman to identify herself, and Equi had spoken to the woman. Give her some water and hold her until we return, but nothing else until we find out why she is here.she added to the instructions already given to Windy and Isolde.

    Riding up to the Gondorian commander, who she knew was Pele, though she didn't know the woman well, she nodded. Westu Hal. I am Shivased, First Marshal of the Mark. she introduced herself. Curon shifted beneath her, his ears flicking nervously in the direction of the Firien. The place was evil, and she hated it here.


    NPC: Jacen
    Meduseld Eored

    Jacen
    was contented to watch the scenery and enjoy riding his new gelding, Charger. They hadn't been together long yet, but he already loved the piebald horse. But eventually the scenery got boring, the same old plains he'd seen his entire life. So when Rae asked if he was coming he nodded eagerly and followed his friend up to a spot where Marshal Equitatus could see them. Well, that was no fun, he thought when the fell into the position. He was eager for something, anything to happen, and while moving up a bit in the line was ok, it wasn't quite what he'd hoped.

    He sighed inwardly when Rae asked to go back and talk to his mother. There went his riding buddy, he'd have nobody to talk to now. But he didn't really begrudge his friend that, he knew Rae was learning some lessons and doing some thinking. Still, he was bored and his butt was getting sore. Charger might be a great horse, but his canter wasn't the best.

    He perked up a few hours later when the trees of the Firien Wood came in sight. He studied them, remembering all the stories Shiv had told him about things that had happened to her here - battles, hunts, Alla's funeral. It was a pretty amazing place, at least in his mind. As they approached the wood the call of Ho Rohirrim! came and a figure came out of the trees. A few minutes later another group arrived, who he recognized as the party from Gondor by their armour. Nudging Charger forward he worked his way closer to the front of the Cavalry, hoping to overhear what was said and find out what was going to happen.

    First Marshal of the Mark
    Taste the Rainbow - Eat Crayons!

  55. Isolde Alarion's Avatar
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    #55
    Isolde Alarion
    Dryhtguma Meduseld Eored


    Keeping her spear aimed at the woman she watched her cautiously as her hands raised above her head. They were about to get their answer when Marshal Equitatus joined them. As she listened to could see the change in the womans stance as her hands slowly fell, there was a subtle defiance in her straightened spine and she caught the brief compression of her lips as if she'd wanted to say something but thought better. Equitatus soon dismissed the stranger as she ordered them to stay on guard before she left to meet with the Gondorian force.

    Her attention back on the stranger Isolde listened as the woman who called herself...Ziran...before she corrected herself then claimed the name Karis Ziranphel..her eyes narrowed upon hearing the name. She knew the name and had briefly met the woman upon a visit to the Gondorian Headquarters to see Pele but that had been years ago. This bedraggled creature was the capt. of Gondor? Her mind and her ears were trying to agree with the womans claims but they were at odds till she'd asked for water and called them by name!

    Without moving her head she briefly glanced at Windy as Shiva joined them briefly..Approving the request. Without hesitation she lowered her spear as she dismounted, taking the waterskin she slipped it off her saddle as First Marshal then left them also. Briefly glancing at Windy she knew her sister had her back if anything should happen so she approached the woman (Karis) as she offered her the waterskin. She took a moment to really look at her as she took the skin. Under the tangled dirty hair and the chapped skin along with the thinned appearance there was a spark of recognition teasing at the back of her mind...trying to tie the Karis of her memory with the women before her.

    There were so many questions forming on the tip of her tongue but they were not hers to ask, she was ordered to give her water and hold her but the more she looked at her the more she was starting to agree with her. Without a word she turned from her and stepped back to her mount and muttering irritatingly under her breath. Bemas arse! She grabbed her bedroll and yanked it free before turning back to the woman. She approached her as she let it unroll but her movements were cautious as she moved close enough to her to help wrap it across her thin shoulders. She watched her warily and glanced to the dagger and the sword she carried. If you really are Karis Ziranphel..she looked her in the eye...Pele would kick my arse to make you stand out here in the cold. A tinge of a smile crossed her lips briefly before she stepped back and straightened her stance.
    Isolde Alarion Drythguma Meduseld Eored
    Mourgan Alarion Soldier Army of Gondor

  56. Pele Alarion's Avatar
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    #56
    Drill Sergeant Pele Alarion
    Company of Minas Tirith

    While waiting for the Riders to approach, Pele loosened her hold on the reins and let her mare lower her head to nibble at a random stalk of frozen grass. When the two Marshals had returned her greeting, Pele realized that she had forgotten to introduce herself properly. A shadow of a grin flitted across her face, as she removed her helmet and held it on her thigh instead, as she said, "Well met, Marshals of the Mark. Forgive my manners. I am Pele Alarion, Drill Sergeant of the Gondor's army."

    "We have not spotted any enemies this far either, and the border seems to be safe from here towards the mountains," she continued. "Orcs in Firien? That is unusual to have them here. I suppose they must have made their way from the Dark Lands somehow." Pele frowned at such a thought. It meant that they had managed to avoid the vigilant watch of the Rangers and had gotten across the river somewhere out of the view of Cair Andros. There must be cracks in Gondor's defences, unless the enemies had found a roundabout way. She did not mention any of these thoughts out loud and instead said, "It is likely that the Orcs are hiding somewhere in the woods since they are not too fond of daylight. What reports have come in on their doings? Have they done a lot of damage?"

    When Equitatus asked about the stranger that had been found, Pele looked at the woman more carefully. From this distance she looked like some kind of a forest creature, and it was hard to see her face clearly, especially with it more or less camouflaged with dirt. Yet the stance and the movements seemed familiar, of which she wondered to herself: how could she know some person appearing in the middle of nowhere?

    "From here I cannot really tell if I know her or not,"
    she answered thoughtfully. "I would have to inspect her from a closer distance to give a proper answer. But I also cannot deny that something about her seems familiar."
    I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings,
    and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace...
    ~~~~~
    Cavalry Trainee

  57. Windowcel Alarion's Avatar
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    #57
    Windhladen Alarion
    Westmark Eored

    Windy felt Issy at her side but her sister did not speak as they waited for the woman’s response. Equitatus warned them to stay on guard and then rode out to greet the Gondorian patrol; she supposed that it made more sense to deal with a seemingly small issue after they had begun to address the real reason for their trip, but this woman’s sudden appearance made her uneasy. Something the Marshal had said put the stranger on guard as well – Windy hadn’t taken her eyes off of the woman’s face and saw some of the emotions crossing it, although they were obscured by exhaustion.

    "I am Karis Ziranphel, Captain of Gondor...although I have been gone many years.” Windy raised an eyebrow in surprise and then tensed when the woman used their names. How did she know her and her sister? The name was unfamiliar to her, and although her claim to be a captain of Gondor should have been more shocking Windy was hung up on the fact that ZiranKaris… had used her familiar name. Although if the one was true then the other would make sense.

    She acknowledged Shiva’s command with a nod and kept a hand on her spear and an eye on the stranger while her sister dismounted and retrieved a waterskin. She dismounted as well, then, and stood a few feet behind and to the right of her sister, near enough to help if there was trouble, but not truly expecting any. Karis was clearly somewhat the worse for the wear - shivering, unkempt and tired - but for all that she had a calmness about her that Windy couldn’t help but respect. She smirked at Isolde’s language but could not disapprove of her decision to give Karis a blanket. “That’s the truth,” she supplemented, under her breath. “Not that I wouldn’t like to see it.”

    Standing next to her sister and watching the woman before them, she wished that she could see what was going on between the Marshals and the Gondorian patrol.
    ~ Dryhtguma of the Westmark ~
    si vales, valeo


  58. Tavari Mordagnir's Avatar
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    #58

    Sergeant Kamion
    Company of Minas Tirith


    The cold was well, cold, but the company was good, and the ride easy. Conversing with Kaylin passed the time, and even Faran seemed more interested in getting home than causing any mischief. Once inside the wood, the clip-clip of hooves on ice and frozen ground deadened, and the bite of the wind fell away, as the natural insulation and protection of the trees took over. It was almost surreal, the enclosed, quiet feeling that Kamion always encountered when in thick woods. He supposed that it came from growing up in the City, where everything was made of stone, and there was always some sort of hard noise. Peaceful as it was, it also afforded the opportunity for any ill-doers to creep up on the unwary, and though they were not expecting any such, along with Kaylin the Dnadan kept a watchful eye on their rear. Friendly patrol, Kaylin commented, when at length the company halted, having encountered a group of riders ahead. Yes, he replied, straightening slightly in the saddle- even the best-postured could collapse a little after so long ahorse- and peering ahead across the helmet-tops before them. Rohirrim, if Im not mistaken! They were too far away to hear what was being said between Pele and the Marshals, but it seemed there was something amiss. Faran pawed at the ground as Kamions impatience for word to travel back to them communicated itself to the horse. Ssh, fellow. The Sergeant patted Farans neck and consciously released the minute tension from his toes, dropping its weight back into his heels. Well know soon enough. Eh, Kaylin? I wonder what could have brought the Riders this way



  59. Hallas C. Pehwarin's Avatar
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    #59
    Sergeant Hallas C. Pehwarin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor


    The seasoned Sergeant continued to keep pace with the rest of his fellow southern dnedain. The clatter of hooves against dirt was persistently constantly yet as Hallas turned his helmed head to his left, right, and rear to allow his keen and bright blue eyes to survey the scenery. Everyone was certainly enjoying the ride and soon enough his fellow NCO Pele called a halt! Brushing a hand to sooth his steed did the 22-year old northern dnedain note the approach of the Rohirrim! Every eorlingas was distinct their armor bearing the colors of the three main ored's of Rohan. West-Mark, East-Mark, and lastly Meduseld; the King's own guard. Hallas chose then to remove his conical steel helm tucking under his left hand as he guided his steed up through the ranks to be near Pele in case she choose to introduce her fellow officers. The light breeze felt good as it ruffled his brown hair as Hallas listened to Pele introduce herself his keen and bright blue eyes scanning the rohirrim for his brother-in-law Tauro , that is if he rode with this patrol...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~


    Dryhtguma Tauro of Westmark Eored

    The seasoned 32-year old rohir still being astride Vorond decided that the issue of his forged daggers for the patrol could wait until later. Thus did he and his fellow rohirrim ride on to meet their allies from the kingdom of Gondor. They numbering only 14 everyone seemed to ride with another staying in pairs thus did Tauro choose to ride near his Marshal Dragon-Helm. Sure enough soon Marshal Shivased hailed riders approaching from the opposite direction! They were instantly identified as Gondorians due to their silver and black uniforms and steel armor the spokeswomen gave her name as Drill Sergeant Pele Alarion. But another rider soon approached removed his helm revealing his fair noble face, aquiline nose, brown hair, and keen bright blue eyes! Instinctively Tauro removed his own helm as quickly to reveal his own face. Skin being deeply tanned from duty to the Mark yet his large nose, and bright blue eyes. Tucking it under his right arm did the rohir edge Vorond to be directly opposite of his own kinsfolk! He wondered how long it would take Hallas to recognize him!
    Last edited by Hallas C. Pehwarin; 28/Mar/2013 at 05:21 PM.

    Dryhtguma / Nmenrean

  60. Dragon-helm's Avatar
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    #60
    He almost managed it but not quite; he heard Rowena's voice call him a bad man meaning he had not slipped past her quite as well as he thought he did but it wasn't a bad effort. 'Playing the fool? You mean sometimes you are acting it and it is not your usual mental state?'
    He grinned at her, kissing her cheek as she kissed his.
    'I did not realise I had to search the camp to find you and wish you a good morning. I just assumed I would see you before we left as there aren't that many of us here!'
    The marshal turned to First Marshal Shivased as she spoke. 'Aye let us hope it is a quiet one today. These days though, it probably wont be. We will be prepared no matter what happens.'
    Tauro then approached them and Dragon-helm nodded a welcome to the ever-reliable drythguma. He took one of the daggers the swordsmith offered, looking at it closely, admiring the workmanship and attention to detail on the blade. A red jewel was embedded in the end of the pommel marking it is a Westmark one.
    'Thank you Tauro, a fine blade indeed. Let us hope we dont need to use it today but I will keep it handy just in case.' The marshal placed the dagger on his brown leather belt which had seen better days yet was still in good working order. It did not look like it was ready to break just yet.
    The patrol set off towards its destination of the Firien Wood with a cold wind blowing at them from what seemed like all directions. No matter how tightly he tied his cloak around the cold still found a way through his many layers. The clouds above looked ominous, rolling in from the mountains and looking desperate to dump some snow on them all even though none of them wanted it. They would be lucky to last the day with the snow falling.
    By noon, the scouts ahead reported the Gondorian patrol had been seen and was fast approaching them and a murmur spread through the patrol, keen to meet up with their closest allies. Before that could happen a voice by the side of the road caused his, and many others, attention to focus on the source of the call. Third Marshal Equitatus was already onto the problem, sending out two of the patrol, Isolde and Windy, to investigate after having a quick word with them. Dragon-helm left them to it as the Gondorians needed to be greeted and he being a marshal would have to focus on that. He rode with Shivased towards their allies.
    'West hal, I am Dragon-helm, Second Marshal of the Mark. How fare you?' He listened as the soldier, Pele, introduced herself and talked about the possibility of orcs in the wood.
    'We have not seen any orcs either but unless they are a sizeable force, I doubt they would have showed themselves in our presence. They may have come from the mountains to the north if they have not come from the Dark Lands. If we find them, we may answer that question. They will probably be hiding from the sun as we speak so perhaps we had better set up a camp a begin a search for them.'

    Second Marshal of the Mark and rest Paethfindian

  61. Arnyn Dealedwen's Avatar
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    #61

    Soldier Kaylin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor

    The patrol definitely brought about some distraction, Kaylin mused as she stretched her neck somewhat herself, following Kamion's example. Rohirrim, the Sergeant had said. His following words made her "Mhmm" in agreement; they would know soon enough indeed. However, after a few seconds, his words really registered. "What could have brought the Riders this way?" she repeated, mumbling, but still loud enough for Kamion to hear. If they had come this far... it could only mean one thing. "We already know what brought them. These woods are only inhabited by our beacon wardens. That is why we were here." Her voice had grown a bit colder. "The Rohirrim have no people here to protect.. Not in the Firien Wood. They must have gotten word that something is amiss in the area for them to venture into it." Her blue-grey eyes cautiously turned away from the patrol ahead, returning to what they had been doing before they had halted: scanning the rear. "Thieves," she suggested, quietly. "Criminals of a worse sort," she added thoughtfully. "Enemies to both Gondor and Rohan," she finally offered before fixing her gaze on Kamion for a moment to emphasize her last suggestion.

    Something in the back of her mind told her she might as well be paranoid. That being in the army made her see trouble everywhere now. Perhaps the Rohirrim were simply patrolling their borders so they would not reduce their watchfulness, so they would stay sharp and well informed of possible movements along the boundaries of their land. "Perhaps I'm wrong," she continued, admitting to the possibility as she slowly turned Chestnut around in a full circle to scan the trees. "But odds are I'm not." Most of us, both of our patrol and that of the Rohirrim, are distracted right now, she thought. This could very well be a dangerous moment. If an enemy group wanted to catch us unawares... Kaylin frowned at that. However, now their patrols had joined up, their numbers were greater. Perhaps that would dissuade any attackers enough not to use the moment. It all depended on how many of them there would be. Then, she sighed. "Tell me I'm being overly cautious," she muttered, glancing at Sergeant Kamion.
    Arnyn Axinecelume ~ Always Hyandaner


  62. Karis Ziranphel's Avatar
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    #62
    Karis Ziranphel (Ziran)
    Captain of Gondor/Escaped prisoner

    Ziran saw the wary looks in their eyes and the disbelief at her words even when she used their names. She relaxed a little internally despite the exchange of glances, and only looked over with resignation when another marshal stopped by with further orders concerning her. The woman must have overheard her request, if not her introduction, for her words were brusque before her swift departure. "Give her some water and hold her until we return, but nothing else until we find out why she is here." Ziran's eyes followed her with some disappointment as the marshal rode over to the Gondorian patrol, but then she glanced back as the one she had labeled Isolde dismounted and unhooked a waterskin that she brought over and handed to her. Accepting it with a nod and a faint smile of thanks, Ziran met Isolde's assessing gaze calmly as the woman examined her features carefully. Her fingers tightened around the neck of the skin as she saw the questions form along with a look that might be recognition. Yet no questions were asked immediately, as Isolde turned without a word and headed back to her mount.

    Gripping the waterskin carefully so as not to spill anything, Ziran tilted her head back slightly and let a short stream of water into her parched mouth. Her eyes fell closed at the sensation as she gave it a swirl and then felt it trickle down her throat. As she had been reminded of many times during this escape, water was life, and she felt some of her tension and internal shakiness ease away at the taste of the water. She was strong, but there was only so long strength could last without water. Taking another mouthful, she let that one soak in a little as well and tried not to gulp it down as her thirst awoke. Too much after nothing would just give her stomach cramps. Her eyes opened again as she sensed Isolde's return after some muttering over by her saddle, and noticed that Windy had also dismounted with a much more wary look about her. Ziran's eyes widened in surprise to see the bedroll, and was left speechless at the gesture as Isolde cautiously stepped close and then settled it around her shoulders. Bemused, she wordlessly helped adjust it to better capture any warmth, and then her lips twisted in amusement at the wry comment about Pele. The extra layer of wool over her stolen cloak made its presence known quickly as it warmed her, and she took another swig of water before letting go of the now secure wrap.

    Pouring a small amount of water into the palm of her hand, she bent over and rinsed her face once and then twice, wiping away most of the dirt that had accumulated over the last few days, although her face remained deeply tanned and with more lines and scars then had been present prior to her ordeal. Drying her face and hand with a relatively clean spot on her cloak so as to ward off the chill of damp skin in the cool weather, Ziran capped the waterskin and held it back out to Isolde. "I am Karis, and I thank you for your graciousness. Your sentiment about Pele is likely correct, although a few more hours or days in this cold are not likely to harm me any more than before now that I am so close to home." She paused and glanced longingly toward the other patrol for a brief moment before wrenching her attention back to the two women before her whom she gave an assessing look. "I called myself Ziran to remind myself of home, and will need to get used to calling myself Karis again. But that is of little import." She paused again in thought before continuing. "In brief, I was captured two years ago while on a mission for Lord Denethor, as you would well be able to confirm, although the mission itself was one of some secrecy. There were those who were opposed to the success of Gondor that found out my identity and that of my aide and captured us. We were separated early on, and I had been kept enslaved and a prisoner until just over a week ago when I escaped and fled my captors just on the other side of the Gap...as to what I am doing here, as your Marshal asked, I am going home." Her gaze sharpened as she looked about at the two patrols of warriors, and her voice lowered slightly as she continued. "I hid myself during the night instead of continuing on because I heard fell voices in the woods that I did not want to encounter alone. I suspect this is why you are here? I know you were told to hold me, but perhaps you could bring me to the Marshals and the Gondorian sergeants? They are the ones who could tell you that I speak the truth, and it might interest them to know that I heard noise in the woods before dawn over in that direction." Her arm swept up to point off into a deeper portion of the woods even as she gave the women a level gaze. "They were not the voices of men or their tongues that were spoken, although I did not understand their speech, nor could I give you an exact direction." Her uncharacteristic flow of words halted as she waited their response.
    Karis Ziranphel, Captain of Gondor Thllir Bregedŷr of Ithilien
    Tirlyn Ithilphel of the Evendim hills

  63. Fiery Mommy Row's Avatar
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    #63
    Rowena
    Cavalry Bealdorhaelend
    Westmark Eored

    Raedan
    Equi's Runt... Squire
    Meduseld Eored


    Raedan grinned as his Marshal gave him permission to pester er visit with his mother err the Bealdorhaelend. He quickly retreated to the object of his desires. Mama He said softly, when he noticed she was deep in thought.
    Rowena looked at Raedan and was about to scold him, but then noticed a change in his manner. She hadnt seen that look since they last were at home It was the look reserved for Zara and the boys What in Bemas name Did Rae now have the idea he had to protect her too? She shook her head and nodded.
    Squire Raedan, to what do I owe the honor of your company?
    Raedan said quietly, Please, look at me as your son for ONE moment.
    Rowena raised an eyebrow at his statement, somewhat confused.
    I always see you as my son, but do you not want to be a Rider of Meduseld some day?
    Raedan looked at his mother.
    Yes, but First and foremost, I have to know my place as your son, dont I? That's what Granpapa always said at least.
    Rowena raised her other eyebrow this time.
    Dont confuse your mother.
    Raedan sighed.
    Im sorry Mama.
    Rowena halted at his words. Say that again?
    Raedan looked at her with a lopsided grin.
    You heard me.
    Rowena grumbled as she shifted uncomfortably in the saddle. She knew that one day, she'd have to accept it, but right now, she couldn't help but see that expression on Rae's face, and those kind of words, and think of times past, times that still made her sad.
    Dont do that please
    Raedan frowned quickly realizing what she meant.
    Oh, right. Anyway, just had to say that but I must go back now.
    Rowena nodded and quickly relaxed. It was far easier to be a superior to Raedan than his mother at least. As much as it killed her to admit it.
    As you were Squire. She gave him a salute and then rode to where Windy and Isolde were. It seemed the earlier call of Ho Rohirrim came from a bedraggled woman from the woods. She looked at the woman for a long while keeping her thoughts to herself. Being the distrustful woman she was, her gaze was not a warm one. Despite the fact Gondorians were supposed to be their allies, she still had her own hesitations.
    She turned away after a while and then rode up toward the Marshals. She gave each a salute, and one to thewhatever the womans rank was that they were talking to. After a moment she realized that she vaguely remembered this woman from some time in her life. Despite the lack of trust she still held, she knew she could trust this one She had been so nice that one time back in Minas Tirith, when those teenage boys were mocking her and Audley.
    Sir She addressed Pele before turning back to her Marshals.
    Begging your pardon, but I do believe there is a case of lost and found Though, I must ask my position on the matter? Do you want me to look at the woman, that maybe she might be questioned easier? Or do we hand her over to them to look at?
    Rowena then looked at Pele and frowned. Forgive my interrupting, she said carefully in Westron at the woman, still not perfect.


    Well, that was interesting. Raedan watched as his mother rode off and then shook his head, and then returned to his original position near Marshal Equitatus. However he kept silent, and just watched. Besides She was with Marshal Dragon-helm now too. And Bema knew that man was insane? He HAD to be quiet around him, or the Marshal would cut a hole in his stomach, and Mama wouldnt stop him! And with caraway too! Thats horrid torture! No a horrid way to die!
    He looked over at Dragon-helm, and shook in his saddle. He was scarier than any orc And merciless! He was SO glad he didnt have to live at the Deep with him! Marshal Equitatus was a like a rabbit compared to him. He shifted awkwardly, while trying to look brave and like a good soldier. But it was hard.
    And then if that wasnt bad enough, who else was but to show up but his mother! And she had taken a position next to Dragon-helm. Mama had a temper too and she was crazy too And put her with Dragon-helm, it was the worst combination possible. Worse than death. He wiggled more in his saddle, really itching to leave the presence of the Marshals again, but not having his Marshals permission, he had to remain. And he didnt DARE interrupt to ask Marshal Equitatus. That would make the whole situation worse!
    Bema forbid Marshal Dragon-helm AND Mama er the Bealdorhaelend, know of his discomfort at the present moment. Hed never hear the end of it. Tonight, hed ask Jace if they could share a tent because Bema knew Mama would be happy to be rid of him, but furthermore, if he stayed, hed never hear the end of it. And then the next morning, who knows, Marshal Dragon-helm might come brandishing his shiny dagger coated in caraway that he had acquired from the Bealdorhaelend
    He was in for it now, and put his hand on his forehead and shook it. All thought of orcs nearby posing a danger was gone from his head now, and all he could think about was the danger of Marshal Dragon-helm and Bealdorhaelend Ma Rowena.


    Rowena looked over at her son who had returned to his spot, and a devilish smirk appeared on her face. She said nothing yet, as before torture came duty as much fun as it was to torment Raedan with Dragon-helms help. Though she did give Dragon-helm a discreet nudge in his leg with her foot. Otherwise she looked at Shivased, knowing it really was Shivas decision on what to do with the for lack of a better word, prisoner.
    Last edited by Rowena Annis; 03/Apr/2013 at 06:53 PM.

    ~Beadorhaelend (Westmark)~
    ~Please forgive typos... Casted wrist makes typing difficult~

  64. Pele Alarion's Avatar
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    #64
    Drill Sergeant Pele Alarion
    Company of Minas Tirith

    No enemies had been spotted by the Riders as well, though it was clear that Orcs must be somewhere in the woods. Pele looked thoughtfully at the Marshals and then glanced at Hallas who had joined her, before turning to give a short look at the rest of the patrol. It seemed rather useless to stand here without doing anything, and she nodded her head in agreement with Dragon-helm's words.

    "I suppose it would be sensible to choose a camp site and then set out in search of those Orcs. They must have left a pretty obvious trail behind them, as they are wont to do, so it shouldn't be a problem finding them if they indeed are somewhere in the vicinity,"
    she said. "We should discuss some sort of a strategy so we can be effective in our action. But perhaps that can be done once we have notified our soldiers about the soon to come search?"

    Then another woman joined the Marshals, but Pele did not fully understand what she was saying. She only gave her a polite nod and a smile, and used this moment of lull in the conversation to turn to Hallas."Sergeant Pehwarin, be so kind and tell the rest of the patrol that they may have a little moment of rest, but that we might soon be setting out in search of a group of Orcs. The size of the group unknown."
    I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings,
    and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace...
    ~~~~~
    Cavalry Trainee

  65. Equitatus's Avatar
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    #65
    Marshal Equitatus
    Third Marshal of the Mark, Meduseld Eored


    "Yes, orcs in the Firien does sound rather unusual, doesn't it?" said Equitatus to the Gondorian who introduced herself as Pele. "Unfortunately, we are rather uncertain about their whereabouts. They apparently torched a small household or two near here during the night. The families survived, but their horses were apparently not as lucky." She paused, glancing back at the stranger (Ziran) and noting that Windy and Isolde had given the woman a blanket and some water. "Perhaps she is one of your city?" said Equitatus to Pele. "I can't recall having seen her before, and she does not sound as if she is from the Mark."

    Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Raedan return from speaking with his mother, true to his word. Equitatus could sense his discomfort, however, though she was uncertain of what was making him uncomfortable. Just then, she caught a smirk on Rowena's face and guessed that there was something to it. Shrugging of her suspicions and determining that they weren't a problem (at least not yet), Equitatus listened as both Shiva and Dragon-helm conversed with Pele for a few minutes, noting that they were planning to rest for a few moments and then set out in search of the orcs.

    "Perhaps we could make camp now too," suggested Equitatus. "And then leave two or three behind to make sure everything stays in order? That way, we can continue our search a little longer and return to find camp already prepared." She smiled inwardly, feeling that she finally had a good use for Raedan that would keep him from pestering her, keep him out of danger, and be rewarding for both Gondorians and Rohirrim....all in one! She contemplated the idea of leaving Jacen too, but decided that it would probably be a bad idea to leave the terrible twosome alone like that. Perhaps one of the Gondorians could stay with him, or one of the Sperewigends.

    ~Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored~
    "Remember who the real enemy is."

  66. Shivased's Avatar
    High Counsellor of the Mark
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    #66
    Shivased
    First Marshal of the Mark, Eastmark Eored

    Shivased
    nodded in return to Pele introducing herself, as well as in agreement to her comment that it was unusual for orcs to be in the Firien. Aye, it is, she agreed. Yet people who live around here are sure of it. She was glad to hear there was no activity on the borders from where they were to Gondor; the Cavalry was often stretched rather thin of late, and she didn't want to have to worry about their border with Gondor.

    I agree that we should make camp, though cautiously. If there are orcs hiding in the Firien, it is likely we are being watched.
    She glanced towards the woods in distaste. If we leave a watch to protect camp we can send parties into the forest to investigate. With any luck we can rout these orcs if indeed there are any, with little difficulty. She was being optimistic; for all they knew the force hiding in the Firien was substantial - the woods were large enough to hold a good sized force of orcs. But she was also confident in those under her command. The patrol they had brought was made up of their most seasoned, experienced warriors. I suggest we first send our paethfindians in to scout the edges of the woods; perhaps they can find some clues to what is going on.

    Looking to where everyone else was she studied the woman with Windy and Isolde. She looked like some sort of forest nymph, darkly tanned under the dirt and thin. The two women guarding her had given her a blanket and water and were talking to her, though she couldn't hear what they were saying. Why don't we head over and talk to her? she said to Pele. She certainly doesn't look like a Rohir, so perhaps she is Gondorian, as Equi suggests. If not, we need to find out who she is and what she's doing here. It is somewhat suspicious, given the trouble going on in this area. Rowena approached then and asked what her position was regarding the stranger. Considering her question for a minute she shook her head at the bealdorhaelend. No, we need to find out who she is first. If this does prove to be a case of lost and found, you may tend to her as needed, but I want to know who she is first and why she has come to be out here.

    There was no time like the present to question the stranger so she turned Curon and rode back to where the woman was. She disliked being idle, especially in an area with reports of orc activity; the sooner they found out who this woman (Karis) was and what she was doing here, the sooner they could start investigating the orc reports. Westu hal, stranger. she said when the other marshals and Pele had joined her. It's strange to find someone so far away from any settlements. Her tone was light, but held an undercurrent of something that made it clear she was asking for an explanation.


    NPC: Jacen
    Meduseld Eored

    Jacen
    wished he could get closer to the marshals and the Gondorian commander so he could hear what was being said. Unfortunately he was as close to the front of the patrol as he could get without causing trouble, and he didn't want to push it. Marshal Equitatus had clearly said she didn't want trouble from him and Rae, and he wasn't going to cross her. She scared him more than Shiv did, which was quite a feat. His sister wasn't scary when she was being his sister, he was used to her, but he'd quickly learned that Shiv was far different than Marshal Shivased. When she was in what he termed her "marshal mood" she was a completely different person. He hadn't seen her smile when she was being a marshal, which was the worst because his sister was always smiling. But Marshal Equitatus, now that was a whole other story! She was just downright terrifying!

    When Rae came back from talking to his mother Jacen watched him. Whatever the marshal had said to him had really made an impact, he could tell. But he couldn't help notice how scared of the marshals his friend was. Rae was shaking in his saddle! Smothering a giggle he leaned over and poked his friend in the side. He had to poke hard enough to be felt through the layers of fabric in the armour they wore. You ain't scared are ya, Rae? he asked, a giggle escaping. It was mean of him, but he meant it all in good fun. It's just Marshal Dragon-helm, he ain't so scary! He's a big softie, ya know. He talks big, but Shiv wouldn't let him do anything real mean to you.

    Glancing back to the marshals his eyes fell on Marshal Equitatus and he gulped, but turned back to his friend. Right at that moment he realized he had something so much worse to be scared of than whether or not the marshals were mad at him. And suddenly this patrol wasn't so boring after all. It's the orcs we gotta be scared of. You're just a squire, you'll probably just hold the horses or help make camp, but I'm a Dryht now, I gotta go into battle! His hands were suddenly sweaty and he wiped them on his tunic. You think it'll be bad? I mean, you think there really are orcs in there and we'll have to fight them? All the stories Shiv had told him about battles she'd been in came rushing back. His da had been killed by orcs, so they'd always been one of his big fears, and now he was coming to the realization he'd have to face them. It wasn't a happy prospect for him.
    Last edited by Shivased; 08/Apr/2013 at 02:22 AM.

    First Marshal of the Mark
    Taste the Rainbow - Eat Crayons!

  67. Tavari Mordagnir's Avatar
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    #67

    Sergeant Kamion
    Company of Minas Tirith


    Kaylin's speculation was wandering, but not unwarranted. Kamion's eyes drifted as he listened to her, scanning the woods to either side of them. There was no disturbance of the trees, no unusual sounds, no foreboding sense crushing down but his comrade was right, the Rohirrim had no real reason to be this far out, in the Firien Wood. They could be on extended patrol, or some diplomatic mission, or just out for a jaunt, but on the whole Kamion rather thought not. Not with the posture and attitude of those at the head of the company- bodies sometimes spoke louder than words. Enemies to both Gondor and Rohan, Kaylin said, and he felt her gaze resting upon him. He did not respond right away, but waited until she had turned her chestnut around, watching their rear, continuing her musings. But at her request, Kamion shook his head slowly, uttering a low, mirthless laugh. "No," he murmured, "I should like to, but no. Perhaps things may not be a serious as you think, but I believe caution would be wise in this instance. Look- here comes Pehwarin down the line, no doubt he'll tell us what's going on." Kamion rested his rein-hand on Faran's withers as they waited for Hallas to reach them. The big ugly gelding w as becoming restless, standing about, and he pawed at the ground. I know, Kamion thought, I'd rather be doing something about it too.

    Moriel
    Once a minion, always a minion.


  68. Hallas C. Pehwarin's Avatar
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    #68
    Sergeant Hallas C. Pehwarin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor


    The young NCO did take notice of one of the Rohirrim who'd removed his helm to reveal his deeply tanned face large nose and peircely bright blue eyes. Recognition finally came into Hallas's mind as he faced his brother-in-law Tauro! A slow broad grin came upon the young northern dnedain noble and tanned face. He gave his kinsman a nod then focused on what the Marshals and Sergeant Pele were conversing about the recent Enemy movements that had been heard to occur here in the Firien Wood. Pele then informed him that he could tell their own patrol that they'd be setting up camp soon and to search for their quarry.

    The younger NCO took in a breath filling his lungs with crisp air of the ancient wood. His baritone voice was even, respectful, toward his superior while addressing those situated near, "Westu Hal Eorlingas!""May our respective hunt be one of legend." " I shall indeed inform our force Pele." Thus did Hallas tug on his reins to bring his own horse around and headed toward Sgt. Kamion and soldier Kaylin to deliver the decision of Drill Sgt. Pele and that our their fellow allied officers. "Well Kamion , Kaylin our force and that of the Rohirrim will be making camp soon so that we can rest a bit then we'll off to search for our foe and make them rue the day they set foot inside the bounds of Rohan and those of Gondor."
    Last edited by Hallas C. Pehwarin; 10/Apr/2013 at 02:52 AM.

    Dryhtguma / Nmenrean

  69. Vali's Avatar
    Pilgrim of Isengard
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    #69
    Grimjaw - orc


    Sarglak and Kazul met his questions with harsh scathing replies which were growing louder by the moment. Not wanting things to escalate much further for fear of alerting any scouts in his quietest possible voice, Grimjaw replied to them "Well you've got one thing going for you and that is your sense of smell. Indeed I came from Minas Morgul though I'm not one of their scum, I work in Lugburz under Sauron. It was he who sent me to Minas Morgul, it seems there's not one able orc in that cess pool. My mission is secret and I can't go about sharing it with scum like you. So you'd better not ask me too much or the Rohirrim after us might not have any orcs left to fight. Do not worry I do not want to lead your group, indeed all I want to do is stay low till these nasty strawheads are far away and I can continue on my mission. I asked who the leader was so that I could reprimand him for not getting everyone to keep quiet. I keeping quiet is beyond you maggots then tell me now and I'll find another place to keep out of the way of the strawheads."

    Grimjaw cursed his luck as he awaited the reply of the low lifes, if they decided to remain this loud, he would have to find another place to lay low (which would be difficult considering how alert the Rohirrim would be after the mess they had made). He only hoped that he would be allowed to finish his mission in one piece, for he truly feared the tortures his dark master Sauron would subject him to if he failed.

  70. Karis Ziranphel's Avatar
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    #70
    Karis Ziranphel (Ziran)
    Captain of Gondor/Escaped prisoner


    The waving of her arm must have somehow caught the marshals' attention, or they had finally decided to further investigate for themselves before continuing on, for they and the Gondorian leader rode over before either Windy or Isolde could properly answer Ziran's words. Her attention arrested by their movement, Ziran watched the approach of their horses and studied each carefully. There were a few familiar visages, but none that....her gaze caught and held on the one in Gondorian heraldry, and her shoulders relaxed slightly as her face let slip a hint of relief through her otherwise calm facade. Pele! Tracking her gaze swiftly to the Drill Sergeant's sign of rank with approval even as her eyes hooded slightly at the Marshal's (Shivased) address, Ziran took a moment of silence to then look the horse mistress over before answering. Even though she had just given a long explanation to the two Rohir it did not sit very well to be repeating it again readily to those who would so quickly treat her a prisoner again. At least this time she was more cordial. The mental reminder finally loosened her tongue.

    Voice still low and somewhat hoarse, she replied. "Westu hal Marshal of the Mark. It may well be strange to see lone travelers in these lands, but no more strange than patrols of both Gondor and Rohan in the same place at the same time. I would not be in your way now except that I heard fell noises in the woods last night and took shelter since I am alone, as you pointed out. It was not the voices or tongues of men that I heard, nor could I understand the speech, although it sounded foul as if from across the Anduin." She paused a moment before continuing with a gesture towards the woods. "They were not far off at the time, hence my hiding, but that was hours ago before the sun rose. As to who I am...I am Karis Ziranphel of Gondor, Captain of Minas Tirith, and I was heading home." Her gaze tracked back to Pele and held a moment before returning, and her voice held an undercurrent of emotion briefly despite remaining level. "Drill Sgt. Pele Alarion here may vouch for my identity although I may appear slightly different. However, the possibility of enemies within the woods is more important than why I am here...wouldn't you say Marshal?"
    Last edited by Karis Ziranphel; 13/Apr/2013 at 01:06 AM.
    Karis Ziranphel, Captain of Gondor Thllir Bregedŷr of Ithilien
    Tirlyn Ithilphel of the Evendim hills

  71. Windowcel Alarion's Avatar
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    #71
    Windhladen Alarion
    Dryhtguma of the Westmark

    To be completely honest, Windy had paid little mind to the chatter about why they were out here in the first place; she had been pleased with the chance to ride with her Eored so soon and beyond the vague understanding that there were some concerned villagers in these parts, she wasn’t sure what they were looking for. It seemed that despite the suspicious undertones she had heard at Edoras and during the ride, there was no visible animosity from the Rohirrim toward the Gondorians they encountered. Except for this one poor woman… on her own Windy might have chosen to trust the woman, but under orders and with the safety of her whole patrol at stake… She shook her head. “All I have heard since returning to the Cavalry is rumors,” she said, “but I saw enough in the north in the last few months to be more concerned the further south we travel. If what you say is true – I suppose we’ll see soon enough.” The sound of approaching hooves and the colt’s uneasy shuffling told her that the marshals were returning.

    Shivased arrived first and took charge of the situation, and Windy relaxed her guard slightly and turned around to see whom they had met in the army patrol. She reached over and punched Isolde’s arm, grinning rather foolishly, when she saw that Pele was with them, but it was Karis who called out a greeting first. She wondered briefly whether Pele might be very upset with the two of them, as Issy had said; joking aside, she wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of her sister’s ire. Karis, on the other hand, was clearly losing patience with her new Rohirrim acquaintances, and Windy was grateful that she was chose to cooperate with Shiva by telling her story again.

    Windy, on the other hand, seemed to be doing an uncharacteristic amount of keeping her mouth shut. Waiting for the marshals and Pele to decide what they would do she remained alert, her steady gaze watchful of the woman before them but also of the woods. Orcs were not known for stealth, but it did seem that Gondorian and Rohirrim alike had been distracted for quite some time now...
    ~ Dryhtguma of the Westmark ~
    si vales, valeo


  72. Dragon-helm's Avatar
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    #72
    Second Marshal Dragon-helm
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    The leader of the squad from Minas Tirith, Pele, agreed with him when he suggested that they should make camp before trying to search for the orcs that were rumoured to be close by. He knew those who had travelled from Rohan would be pleased for a quick rest before the possibility of an encounter with orcs. Equitatus also spoke with the Gondorian leader, mentioning the attack on some people who had fortunately managed to escape with their lives. She then motioned towards the stranger they had spotted earlier on, who was now with Isolde and Windy who were looking after her. He glanced towards them but did not recognise her. Perhaps the matter would clear up soon.
    First Marshal Shivased also agreed to set up camp, wanting some paethies to scout the area around them. Dragon-helm nodded, ready to give the order as soon as it was possible to. The thoughts of the small group turned towards the stranger once again with Shivased wanting to find out more. As they were talking, a rider approached from group and he turned to face her as she spoke, listening to her ask about the person they had found at the side of road. Rowena wanted to know if she should tend to the woman but the marshal decided to speak with her first, before administering any help. He turned to Rowena and gave her some instructions.
    'Rowena, I need you to head back to the rest of company and tell the few paethies we have with us to scout the area around, looking for any sign of orcs. Inform everyone else to make camp and set a watch just in case the orcs outnumber us. We do not want to be caught unawares. I will call for you if this stranger needs any treatment so stay close by.'
    Dragon-helm turned his horse around and headed towards the stranger, Ziran, with Shivased, Pele and Equi. The First Marshal addressed the woman, waiting for an explanation as to why she was here. She spoke quietly but her words were clear enough as she explained she was returning home and was in actual fact a member of the Gondorian army, know to Pele as well. She gave them some information regarding the orcs although she had not seen any, she had definitely heard some voices in a language she did not understand. Dragon-helm waited to see if Pele would verify her story.

    Second Marshal of the Mark and rest Paethfindian

  73. Equitatus's Avatar
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    #73
    Equitatus
    Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored


    Her gaze drifted involuntarily toward the darkening Firien Wood when Shiva remarked that if there were orcs in the forest, their patrol was most likely being watched. The mere idea of being watched by orcs sent chills down her spine, but Equitatatus quickly brought her attention back to the present when she, the other Marshals, and Pele rode over to where the suspicious stranger (Ziran) was still being held in custody. Equitatus listened as the woman answered Shiva's questions, bringing unwelcome, though not wholly unexpected, news, along with the information that she herself was a Captain of Gondor.

    "Where did you hear these creatures?" she asked. "Where in the wood were you when you heard them? And in what direction were they moving?" She asked these questions without her expression changing at all, though Equitatus inwardly felt apologetic for having treated the woman harshly earlier. Still, one could never be sure, and it was far better to assume a friend was an enemy than to assume an enemy was a friend, at least in her mind. One could never be too watchful of potential enemies, especially on the borders.

    "Raedan,"
    she called to her squire in a quieter tone. Once he was there, Equitatus said, "I want you to assist the others in making camp. Obey the commands given to you and behave yourself, please. Once that is done, I will have another task for you." Dismissing him and hoping he would obey, Equitatus turned back to the woman who had identified herself as Karis and said, "Around what time did you last hear the voices? We must determine the general location of this group of orcs before nightfall." She didn't elaborate, but was certain that those around her knew what she meant. Orcs were weakened during the day under the ever watchful light of the sun, but at night, they pillaged and plundered. They were a much more dangerous force to be reckoned with under the cover of darkness.

    ~Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored~
    "Remember who the real enemy is."

  74. Pele Alarion's Avatar
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    #74
    Drill Sergeant Pele Alarion
    Company of Minas Tirith

    It did not make Pele too comfortable to have the patrols just milling around while the introductions and decisions were made. Even though the forest as such did not worry her, yet the prospect of having the orcs in near vicinity did. She figured it would be better if the patrols could find the enemy and attack first rather than vice versa; thus she welcomed the idea of finding out who the stranger was and then moving on to deal with the trespassing Orcs. Nudging her horse onwards she joined the Marshals.

    Upon approach Pele found that in fact her sisters had been left guarding the strange woods-woman, and she offered them a smile. She'd gladly go and give each of them a proper hug, but there were things to tend to first, so she turned her attention to the woman as she spoke. Quite unprepared for the surprise, she stared at Karis for a few moments, before she hastened to confirm that it was indeed so.

    "She is indeed one of our own," she said to the Marshals. "Karis Ziranphel, our Captain. That voice I would know even if it was but a mere whisper, and she is very well recognizable even if she looks... like some wild forest dweller."

    Dismounting quickly, she approached Karis and looked her over with her trained healer's eye. "Captain! This is the most unlikely place to meet you, though I am ever so glad for it." It had truly been very long since any news had reached Pele about the whereabouts of the Captain, and she now wondered about the story behind it all, though she feared it might be rather horrid. She did not speak of these things though, but only continued, "Are you injured and in need of any medical treatment in addition to proper nutrition, sleep, warmth and care?"

    Only then she realized that Karis was now bombarded by questions from both her and Equitatus. A rather apologetic look drifted across her face for a moment, though it didn't linger there long. After all everything would be taken care of in due time. She already considered who could be left in the camp to make sure Karis had everything (as much as they could afford out here), though she expected to find some opposition to such plans of hers. And then they would go out after those Orcs.
    Last edited by Pele Alarion; 16/Apr/2013 at 07:19 PM.
    I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings,
    and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace...
    ~~~~~
    Cavalry Trainee

  75. Fiery Mommy Row's Avatar
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    #75
    NPC Raedan Ellenweorc
    Third marshal's Runt--squire
    Meduseld Eored

    Raedan
    grimaced as Jacen poked him in the side and started mocking him. Not out of pain of course , but out of annoyance.
    ‘Of course I’m not scared!’ He said, with injured pride. ‘Just… uncomfortable.’ He looked around as if trying to find a way out of the conversation but it was not to be had. ‘Oh believe you me, Jace… You don’t know Uncle Dr--- The Second Marshal like I do… The only person he’s a softy for frankly, is my Ma—the Bealdorhaelend. He loves her like a sister. And your sister wouldn’t stop him either, she’d enjoy him tormenting me as much as Ma—the Bealdorhaelend would.’ He then groaned. ‘Dammit, remembering everyone’s titles is so annoying! I just want to call them what I always do! Mama, Uncle, Auntie… so much easier to remember…’
    And then Jacen reminded him of why they were there, and reminded him that he still held a lesser rank… Raedan groaned,
    ‘Bloody hell I’m staying behind and watching camp! I ain’t leavin’ my Mama to be slaughtered by orcs!’ He said defiantly. ‘Besides, Marshal Equitatus wouldn’t DARE leave me behind to cause trouble… at least, that’s what she would presume I’d do, I imagine.’ If Raedan was to be left behind, he’d be flaming at the mouth… Maybe destroy camp with a flaming Malt Whiskey that he had heard about… Or tear apart Marshal Equitatus’ tent, provided he could find it… yes, that would be far more satisfying. He then looked at Jacen and continued, ‘I ain’t afraid of no orc… I’d spear them through over and over again until they looked like mincemeat… Besides, they’ve not met the Ellenweorcs… we get mean…’
    He then returned to thinking about what he would do if he were left behind, and then realized, destroying the camp probably was not in his best interest… And then when he pictured a flaming Malt Whiskey being taken to it, he nearly shouted… But he caught himself, and put his head down against Beadwof’s. No. Burning… He remembered looking back as he was sent away with Zara and Gramma and Grampa to Helm’s Deep when their village was destroyed… He should never have done such a thing… Looking back that is. Everything he knew had been taken from him. And watching his village go up in flame… It was the worst experience he had witnessed in his life.
    No. If he were left behind, he had to be good. It was simple as that. After all, the reason he came to the Cavalry was to protect his family. How would destroying camp in any manner show his true intentions? He sat back up and looked at Jacen.
    ‘Well… I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens…’ He said quietly and with resignation to his fate. He then added, ‘And don’t be too scared, that’s what gets you into trouble. Mama always says never to show fear. Courage isn’t about being fearless, its about not showing it, and overcoming it… When you do, things always have a better outcome. Or so she says.’
    Raedan
    then heard his name barked out by his Marshal, and turned to face her.
    ‘Yessir?’ He said simply. She then gave him his marching orders, and he couldn’t help but groan. Sure, she had only said help set up camp and then return to her, but he quite well was certain the other task was be a part of the camp watch. What else could it be? He then simply replied to the Marshal with another, ‘Yessir’ and turned toward the rest of the patrol.

    Rowena Ellenweorc
    Cavalry Bealdorhaelend
    Westmark Eored

    Rowena
    couldn’t help but smile a bit as Shivased thought about her question and then gave her orders.
    ‘As you wish, Marshal Shivased,’ she said with a salute. For the moment, she could hold on to her distrust of the woman they had come across. True, her first priority was to help the sick and afflicted, but when they weren’t of the Eorlingas… it was rather hard to work up the desire to want to help them, and not just leave them there. Okay, so it was more that bedraggled looking Gondorians still mortified the horse manure out of her. Not that she’d admit that. ‘Let me know if I am needed.’ She then gestured at the woman,
    ‘Though I still hope not… And for Bema's sake, if she is their's don't make me tread on their toes to heal her. I'm sure the Gondorians were smart enough to bring haelends on their patrol too.’ She admitted.
    She then looked at Dragon-helm when she heard him say her name. Now who in Bema’s name did he think she was? She was a haelend, not his second officer. At least as far as she knew! Why would anyone listen to her? Not to mention, giving the paethies their orders? How in Bema’s name was she supposed to do that? She however kept her thoughts quiet, and nodded at Dragon-helm, giving him a salute.
    ‘Aye sir. Send out Paethies, set up camp, and set up a watch for said camp… Consider it done.’ It then occurred to her that he said set up a watch… Did that mean she decided who would stay behind? She shook her head and then abruptly turned Synne around, and placed herself in front of the rest of the patrol.
    She cleared her throat and looked around. Thankfully their patrol was small, so hopefully it meant everyone could hear her. But nonetheless, she raised her hand and beckoned everyone to gather closer around her. She had her voice, but yelling was not an option for her still. As loud as she could, without straining her voice, she said,
    ‘I have orders from the Marshals. Paethfindians, Marshal Dragon-helm has given the directive that you are to scout ahead, and be on the lookout for orcs.’ She then gave the Paethfindians a nod of dismissal, and then addressed the rest of the patrol. ‘The rest of us are to set up camp. Do it swiftly that we might be ready to advance when given the order. We’ll also be setting up a watch for the camp in the event that orcs decide to overrun us. You are dismissed.’
    With that, she then shifted in her saddle, feeling rather awkward. But who was she to refute orders? She looked around, surveying the landscape, more with a haelend’s eye than anything, to predict if there was anything that would make some of the newer dryhts do something stupid for their health or their horses, while trying to figure out in her head the ‘camp watch’ and what she was supposed to do with it. She then had a thought occur to her. Quickly she returned her gaze to the rest of the patrol. She looked around and then trotted her mare over to wherever her target was.
    'Dryhtguma Symolyn... If you have a moment, I'd like a word with you while we have a moment of time before we set out again.' She said this as if it were an order not a request, though her demeanor was soft. 'I am hoping my expertise is not necessary, but if it is, I'm short on haelends. Unless the Marshals say otherwise, I'd like to give you an assignment, provided you are still interested in becoming a haelend again?'



    @ Marshals: Since I am due to have a little runt IRL any day now, (very possibly induced on Friday) I may just disappear for a while. I’ll pop in with a PM or IM for when that happens, but I don’t expect to be posting for some time… With that said, if you need the Bealdorhaelend, Shiv and DH you have permission to NPC Rowena. You’ve both RPed with her well enough to know what she’d do. Equi you can NPC Rae. I think I’ve given enough of a premise for what he’d do on this trip.
    Last edited by Rowena Annis; 24/Apr/2013 at 07:01 PM.

    ~Beadorhaelend (Westmark)~
    ~Please forgive typos... Casted wrist makes typing difficult~

  76. Karis Ziranphel's Avatar
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    #76
    Karis Ziranphel (Ziran)
    Captain of Gondor/Escaped prisoner

    The questions came quickly in response to Ziran's words, as the marshal who had first approached her (Equi) now spoke up to ascertain the location of the foe. Ziran looked back at the woman silently a moment as she tried to remember the exact details, but Pele interrupted before she could get any words out. Her face relaxing into a small smile, she turned back at Pele's words to see her dismount and approach to look her over. Spreading her arms to show that there were no open wounds, and that although she was thin and somewhat weakened by the ordeal she was still whole and mostly sound of body, she let Pele examine her visually a moment before dropping her arms back down. Reaching out her right hand, she laid it on Pele's shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze. "Sgt. Pele it is good to see you here. Unexpected as you said." Looking her in the eye, she continued. "I am fine...well perhaps not entirely fine, but not in need of any immediate medical attention. A little food and water or wine would be sufficient to restore my strength. There will be time enough for me to rest once I return to the City. For now I would rather be as much help as I may, although I see the wisdom of me staying in the rear as I do not have my full strength or my bow to wield. Beyond that I am still quieter in the woods than these horses you all ride."

    Turning her head back so that she was addressing all the marshals as well this time, Ziran kept her voice low but loud enough to be heard. "I would not bother to make a formal camp if I were you, although I understand the appeal. It leaves a less-defended reserve. This is not a time for tents and fires, but for speed and sleeping under the stars if it comes to that." She nodded to the Third Marshal to indicate she was finally going to answer the previously posed questions as best she could. "I was taking the same route that your patrol was Marshal. The path from Rohan to Gondor, although I was skirting the path a ways. I was only a few yards back when I noticed the noises and decided to take cover here where you see I was concealed. The sound came from slightly North by Northeast towards the edge of the wood and the plains." She gestured once more toward the dense woods. "If my memory serves there are farms past there on the plains. They were moving in this direction when I heard them, so I hid, as they must have been within a quarter mile for me to hear any words. They must have veered off, as they did not come any closer, but the sounds ended shortly before dawn. They may have gone to ground or may have continued on. I know not. I remained hidden both because I needed rest after traveling through the night myself, and because it sounded like a large enough party that I did not want to risk tangling with them on my own." Ziran's face and voice were serious as she finished speaking. "I agree that it is important to track them down while the advantage of the day is ours, but I am afraid I have no further information for you."
    Karis Ziranphel, Captain of Gondor Thllir Bregedŷr of Ithilien
    Tirlyn Ithilphel of the Evendim hills

  77. Isolde Alarion's Avatar
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    #77
    Watching Karis wash the dirt from her face she slowly recognized her with every wipe of the hand. Yes, that was the Karis she's met before altho the worst for wear but her features were still evident. She spoke as she took back her waterskin. I'm sure you'll be back amoung your troops soon. She offered a small smile before Karis proceeded to tell them her story. Her browns raised hearing she'd been a captive for two years but hearing of the voices and their direction had her cast a concerned glance to Windy before she looked back to Karis.

    She would have spoken more with her but she turned to listen to her sister. Shortly she heard horses approach and turned to see the Marshals and Pele arrive. She stepped back to allow them room, receiving a punch in the arm from Windy as she did. She turned to Windy, her brow crooked in question but it was soon answered as she noticed the foolish grin directed at the arrival of Pele. She grinned and nodded back to Windy. Altho she would have loved to greet their sister they where on duty and a proper greeting would have to wait altho the look on Peles face spoke she wished to do the same.

    She was pleased as Pele dismounted and went to Karis. Shortly after acertaining if Karis needed anything Pele vouched for her Capt. Sirs. She spoke up to her Marshals. I can also vouch for this woman. She is their Capt. and I met her a few years back while visiting the Drill Srgt here. She motioned to Pele then resumed her stance.

    She stood silently as she listened to their interaction and the Marshals questions and once more as Karis had to explain herself. She understood the womans irritation at repeating herself but it was needed. She cast a glance to Windy...she was being very quiet...not like her at all but she'd find out about that later.
    Isolde Alarion Drythguma Meduseld Eored
    Mourgan Alarion Soldier Army of Gondor

  78. Globmd's Avatar
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    #78
    Drhytguma Eafurth Hgweard
    Eastmark Eored


    Eafurth had fallen towards the back of the column. He was, surprisingly, tired and weary from the journey and found it difficult to stay awake. Several times he hit his face on Aetius' neck quite forcefully, though never hard enough for his nose to bleed - yet he came dangerously close on occasion. After one too many bumps and bruises to his face he shifted in the saddle. Something needed to change before he got lost as he was already severely lagging behind the rest of the patrol. The gaiety of the past hours seemed forgotten to him and the monotonous patter of hooves lulling him to sleep were a far cry from his excitement of the morning.

    To him quite suddenly it seemed that the Marshals were gone and there was a strange bedraggled woman in their midst. He really had been sleeping! He thanked his lucky stars that he was still with the column and not lost somewhere; the thought of a sleeping Drhyt roaming the Firien on a Friesian was ridiculous.

    From what he could gather in his semi-conscious state the woman knew Drhytgumas Isolde and Windowcel. He looked over to see the Marshals returning, with them another woman whom he did not know form the Gondorian patrol. They began discussing orcs watching them and Eafurth remembered how grave the situation actually was. The first woman, whom they addressed as Captain Karis Ziranphel of Gondor, was being questioned by his cousin Equi and the new woman. Everyone appeared to know everybody - why, Isolde and Windy were the second woman's - Drill Sgt. Pele here name was - sisters! It certainly was a small world.

    Following the orders from Bealdorhealend Rowena he actually felt like he was finally doing something useful! Eafurth dismounted and quickly picketed Aetius, and placing a few other few light stakes he had hanging on the horse in the ground. Placing some cross-braces inside the notches of the stakes he soon had a crude hitching post for any who cared to use it. Then he took off his saddlebag and bedroll, but left his horse saddled in case there was a need for him. He put his spear in a convenient place and half started to gather wood - indeed, he gathered an armful - but did not know whether "make a camp" meant "build a fire and cook some dinner" or "prepare to be attacked by hordes of orcs" so he merely stacked it for later use. And if anybody thought he should be doing something more worthwhile then they had better speak up, he thought.
    I will destine you for the sword, and all of you will bow down to the slaughter.
    Because I called, but you did not answer...

  79. Pele Alarion's Avatar
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    #79
    Drill Sergeant Pele Alarion
    Company of Minas Tirith

    Satisfied to see that there were no obvious injuries anywhere to be seen on Karis, or so it seemed, Pele smiled more broadly. "That is good," she said somewhat contentedly. "We don't have any luxurious food with us, but I'm sure the daily rations will give you enough strength to get to the city. As for the weapons, I could give you my recurve - you might have more use of it than I, though it is not a customary longbow." With that she pointed her thumb to the bow secured across her back.

    As Karis then went on to respond to Equi's questions, Pele made use of being on the ground and took the few necessary steps to cross over to her sisters, giving each of them a quick hug, though mindful of their weapons, so that she didn't impale herself on those accidentally. Hoping that there would be more time to exchange proper greetings and stories later on, Pele turned her attention back to the issue at hand.

    She figured that the Orcs should not be gone too far into the forest, and perhaps it would be possible to find them quite soon. Of course, their numbers were unknown, but she thought that there shouldn't be so many that the combined forces of Rohirrim and Gondorian patrols wouldn't be able to overpower them. After all, if the enemy had come in great numbers, they would have caused more trouble and no one would have escaped from the farms they had been attacking.

    "I don't think the Orcs should be too far,"
    Pele then spoke again. "I suppose it would be good for us to prepare for action, so we can attack as soon as the scouts have found were those foul creatures are hiding. As for the camp... I'm not sure about pitching tents and such, but I'd gladly leave my horse behind... She is a fine beast, but not the best warhorse. Besides, I'd rather fight standing on my own two feet rather than on horseback. It may as well be that most of my patrol share the sentiments."
    I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings,
    and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace...
    ~~~~~
    Cavalry Trainee

  80. Shivased's Avatar
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    #80
    Shivased
    First Marshal of the Mark, Eastmark Eored

    Shivased
    pursed her lips and kept silent when the woman, who called herself Karis, suggested that the presence of orcs in the woods was more important than why she was there. For all she knew this woman was a distraction to draw their attention away from the orcs, or was one of the enemy said to be lurking about. Either way, a stranger lurking about where there were said to be orcs was suspicious enough to warrant their attention, and she disliked being talked to in such a way. The woman was a stranger on Rohirric land, and it was her duty as marshal to ensure she wasn’t a threat.

    But, she kept silent for Pele had indeed confirmed her identity. It wouldn’t do to anger one of their allies, especially allies as close as Gondor. Instead she listened to what was being said, turning to the woods to study the area in the direction of where Karis was saying she had heard the orcs.
    Equi, perhaps you should go with the Paeths, you’re the most experienced tracker here besides Dragon-helm, and it’s best if one of us knows firsthand what the situation is rather than relying on a report. She had always hated relying on second-hand Paethfindian reports, no matter how skilled the paeths and how detailed the reports. In her mind someone in charge seeing the situation firsthand was always a better option.

    Turning to Pele she nodded in agreement. I agree we shouldn’t set up tents or light fires or anything like that, at least until we knew what’s up. But a picket line for the horses and the preparations for fires will give everyone something to do and ensure we are prepared if needed. She wished they could make plans past a defensible camp but without a paeth report they couldn’t do much. If you have any scouts they are welcome to join our paethfindians.

    She watched as Rowena directed everyone and, once the baeldorhaelend turned around, motioned her over. Tell everyone to set up two or three fires, but don’t light them. No tents, just a picket line and the preparations for fires, as well as the watch.

    OOC: Sorry for taking so long to post everyone. My work opens for the season on Saturday so it's been a stupidly crazy time trying to train all the new employees in my department!

    Last edited by Shivased; 03/May/2013 at 02:27 AM.

    First Marshal of the Mark
    Taste the Rainbow - Eat Crayons!

  81. Arnyn Dealedwen's Avatar
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    #81

    Soldier Kaylin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor


    The Sergeant couldn’t tell her she was overreacting. To be honest, that was both fortunate and unfortunate, for various reasons. First off, she didn’t want to appear all paranoid – because generally, she really wasn’t. There was just something about this; about how long it was taking before any commands were given or a hint of what was happening seeped through to the rear… They had to be discussing something serious at the front there. And the atmosphere had changed. Kamion spotted Sergeant Pehwarin approaching, and said as much. Kaylin glanced over to look, eager to know what he would have to say.

    Camp, then. Camp? Even though they had been on the move for several hours, Kaylin felt as if they were making camp only shortly after breaking up their last one. Yet, there was nothing to be done about it, and besides it was probably the best move. There was a reason why they had leaders; leaders with experience and knowledge about these things. At least the advantage of making camp would be that i fit came to fighting, at least the Gondorians would have the opportunity to have both of their fee ton the ground instead of in stirrups.

    There also seemed something else to be going on where the front of both patrols had met, but they were too far away to really get a decent idea of what was happening. Kaylin shrugged mentally and decided she would find out soon enough. News traveled strangely fast through an army force, she had found. Sort of like fishwives. That thought made a grin appear on her face, though she quickly fought to subdue it. Kaylin swung her right leg over to the left and slipped off Chestnut's saddle. Once her feet were on the ground, she smiled brightly. Not that she didn't like the horse, but it felt good to feel the soil under her boots with the knowledge that enemies were nearby. Patting the horse gently on the side of his neck with her left hand, she still had the reins in her right. "Let's get to it then," she offered, perhaps strangely chipper compared to her more broody mood from before.
    Last edited by Arnyn Dealedwen; 04/May/2013 at 11:14 AM.
    Arnyn Axinecelume ~ Always Hyandaner


  82. Fiery Mommy Row's Avatar
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    #82
    Rowena
    Cavalry Bealdorhaelend
    Westmark Eored


    She sat in thought as she waited for Symolyn to approach and respond. A quick glance around again while she thought revealed that now Shivased wished to speak with her. She quickly turned Synne and approached the First Marshal.
    ‘You needed me, First Marshal Shivased?’ She whispered as she approached the woman. Without so much as a hesitation, Shiv issued another order to her.
    Rowena pursed her lips as she received the order, not in defiance however. It was more because she was starting to question the sanity of the Marshals. Dragon-helm she could give a little slack to, after all, he did have to lead the Westmark Eored. That was enough to make ANYONE lose every ounce of sanity they had. But Shiv? Maybe it was the fact she was raising twins on her own. That had to be the root of it.
    Dutifully however, despite her questioning the sanity of the Marshals, she replied softly,
    ‘Yes ma’am.’ She then turned away and returned to the patrol members. ‘There has been a slight modification to the plans… If you please only prepare three fires, but DO NOT light them. Also, we need a picket line set up. No tents are to be set up.’
    She then rubbed her throat and shook her head. She reached down in one of her saddlebags and procured a flask of honey water, and took a large swig. At this rate, she’d have no voice by the end of the hour. Oh how she wished for her old voice back, not this hoarse scratchy one that she could not raise above a normal volume. Finally, when she was satisfied that people were starting to do as they were asked, she returned to Shivased. ‘
    In the way of the watch, I was thinking perhaps Egeslic as one, Ceorl as another, and I’d volunteer myself to watch over them both. Unless you think there is a better arrangement?’ (
    I put Egeslic on the watch simply because Equi mentioned somewhere he’s on a similar schedule as she is… And I didn’t say B though Equi hinted at it in a post, because Rowena wouldn’t know Equi’s plan for the squire.)
    She then turned to gesturing,
    ‘Also, what’s with this having me ordering people about? You and Dragon-helm do realize I’m just a haelend, right? I’d hardly say I’ve a rank qualifying me to order anyone around, well other than haelends on matters of medical attention. She then rubbed her throat again and took another swig of the honey water. As much as her voice was starting to wear, she was not going to complain that she needed a break from talking. Her devotion to duty meant she’d go until she could no longer speak. At least when she spoke with Shivased, she could use her hands, so that cut down on things.

    (Rae to be inserted at a later point in time.)

    ~Beadorhaelend (Westmark)~
    ~Please forgive typos... Casted wrist makes typing difficult~

  83. Pele Alarion's Avatar
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    #83
    Drill Sergeant Pele Alarion
    Company of Minas Tirith

    Running her hand over Misty's neck in stroking motions, Pele listened to what Shivased was saying. Obviously there was not much for them to do until some kind of report was brought about the orcs. For a moment she considered the possible actions, and then responded, "I would like to join your paethfindians myself, for I have a good knowledge of tracking and am familiar enough with the forest - not that I have investigated all nooks and crannies, but I've been on many a patrol, so it is not a foreign area to me. I will also make sure some of our soldiers join the watch and help with preparations. As soon as your scouts are ready to set out, I will join them, but now I think it best to inform my patrol and claim the Captain." A smile touched Pele's lips for a moment, before she set about doing the mentioned things.

    "Captain, come and join us, and we'll see what edible items we can find to give you some strength, and some weapons,"
    she said to Karis and then proceeded to lead her mare back to where the patrol was. Finally securing the horse to have her hands free, Pele addressed the group, "So. Things are like this. I will join a few of the Riders to go and investigate the surroundings, but there are a few assignments for the rest of you anyway." She looked at Kamion and Hallas and scratched her chin thoughtfully. "I will tell the two of you all that needs doing, and then you can decide, who and what, and in which order."

    "First of all, accidentally or not, but we have found our Captain here in the midst of nowhere, so you have to make sure to provide her with food and drink, and anything else she needs,"
    she began listing the tasks. "Then a couple of people should be assigned to join the Rohirrim for a watch, gathering firewood and such. Also the horses need to be taken care of, and the soldiers must be battle ready at all times - no one is to be so relaxed as to be caught off guard, should something happen. But don't light any fires and no setting up tents." Pele looked back to the allies to see if the paethfindians were ready to set out, while she still thought of what else needed doing.
    I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings,
    and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace...
    ~~~~~
    Cavalry Trainee

  84. Equitatus's Avatar
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    #84
    Equitatus
    Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored


    Thankfully, Raedan decided to obey her commands, so Equitatus was free to listen to Karis'reply without having to worry too much about her squire. It was just as well as she needed to listen closely for the information would give them a place to start. "You are correct." she said when the captain mentioned thinking there were farms on the plains north or northeast. "In fact, we have recently received reports that the orcs torched a few homesteads in that direction." The news that Karis brought increased the sense of urgency already present within her, and Equitatus nodded when the captain concluded that she had no further information. "Thank you very much, captain." said the Marshal. "We will refrain from fully establishing camp and will get a group out to scout around as soon as possible. If our patrol can offer you anything, you need only ask. You will find that though we are suspicious of strangers, we are very welcoming with friends."

    She listened to Shiva's word of suggestion that she take a group of Paethfindians out and nodded in agreement. "Yes, I think that would be a good idea too." said Equitatus. "Unfortunately, we don't have any official Paethies in the group, but I know of some past and prospective ones, so I will get hold of a couple of them. I do hope you won't mind me taking one of your Dryhts." Much as she disliked doing so, Equitatus dismounted, feeling the muscles in her legs ache with every movement from days in the saddle. She knew well enough that viewing tracks on the ground from the saddle would be nearly impossible. Validus was very tall and her own eyesight was becoming somewhat shortsighted, so Equitatus knew it would be best to scout on foot. Still, she hated leaving the saddle as it was often the safest position possible. Her fighting skills were best in the saddle.

    "Raedan!" she called to her squire. "I have another task for you. See to it that Validus is well taken care of. Give him some feed, be sure he has some water, and groom him well. Make sure you check for cuts, lumps, or anything else that could have happened while on the road. After you are finished, tie him to the picket line, but be sure he isn't near Marshal Shivased's stallion, should she dismount, or you will have a disaster on your hands. Don't take his tack too far away." Trusting the lad to hopefully do his job well, Equitatus reluctantly removed her cloak and strapped it to one of her bags. She knew well enough that tracking in the forest would be a hassle if she had a cloak constantly getting stuck in the underbrush.

    "Dryhtgumas Eafurth and Isolde, please come over here!"
    she called out. Once both were near, Equitatus said, "As we do not have any official Paethies in this group, I would like you both to accompany Pele and I as we scout around. Eafurth, I believe you once expressed a desire to be a Paethie. Isolde, I seem to remember you have no small amount of skill in tracking as you were once a Paethie yourself. I think you both would be of assistance to us. Prepare to depart: we will go on foot. I would advise removing your cloaks as they can easily get tangled in the underbrush and make relative silence an impossible task." She motioned Jacen over and said, "Please see to it that Dryhtguma Isolde and Dryhtguma Eafurth's horses are taken care of. Be of whatever assistance you can be around the camp, and keep an eye on Raedan. Bema knows the last thing I need is for him to start acting up."

    As she waited for Isolde and Eafurth to finish getting ready, Equitatus walked over to where Pele was. "This should be interesting." she said with a smile. "We need to be back by nightfall regardless though or we will be in a great deal of danger. With both of our patrols combined, we should be a formidable force to these orcs, but when there are only four of us, we will be at their mercy." She paused, looking to the southwest. "It's strange, being this close to Gondor." she commented. "Forgive me. I have long wished to travel to Gondor and visit the city of Mundberg, yet I have not done so yet. Perhaps one day. I have heard the country is beautiful and the city is a magnificent sight to behold." Looking back to where Isolde and Eafurth were, Equitatus asked, "Are we ready then?"

    ~Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored~
    "Remember who the real enemy is."

  85. Globmd's Avatar
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    #85
    Drhytguma Eafurth Hgweard
    Eastmark Eored


    He continued to gather firewood as the Bealdorhaelend had instructed. It had never occurred to him that he was actually taking orders from a haelend - Rowena just seemed to carry that authority - but all the excitement of the adventure was distracting to say the least. He began stacking the wood to form a fire pit but he DID NOT LIGHT IT - more from a fear of Rowena biting his head off than of any military discipline. He heard his name called out unexpectedly and glanced over to where Equi stood with the woman from Mundberg. He slowly got to his feet and strode over there, concerned. He hoped the Third Marshal approved of how he was building the fire. There were several ways to do it he knew but he didn't think Equi was particular about it.

    When Eafurth was close he heard Equi address himself and Isolde. What was she saying? Did she really ask him to accompany them on the scouting trip? Eafurth's eyes lit up as he looked at Equi with gratitude. He did indeed desire to become a Paethie, and he was glad to have the chance to gain some hands on experience! "Yes sir! Thank you!" he cried as he ran back to where he had tethered Aetius.

    "Hey old boy, I get to go with the Paethies!" he whispered as he patted him on the head. "You can't come with me now, but Jacen will take good care of you - or he had better." Eafurth unfastened his cloak and laid it down. He checked to make sure he had everything he need. His sword was sheathed and belted securely, one of his daggers was at his back and the other was sheathed in his boot. There was nothing else he could think that he might need so he hurried back to where the Third Marshal was waiting. "Here I am, sir." he said on reaching her and the other woman. He looked at her nervously for a moment before speaking shyly in Westron to the stranger. "Hello. I'm Eafurth." He managed a timid smile and looked to see where Isolde was.
    I will destine you for the sword, and all of you will bow down to the slaughter.
    Because I called, but you did not answer...

  86. Isolde Alarion's Avatar
    Doorwarden of Minas Tirith
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    #86
    Letting the others sort it all out she waited in silence but she did return her sisters hug altho careful with her own weapons. She grinned at her, pleased to see her but took a step back and held her riens as they went to speak to one another about the new information that Karis offered. She looked at Windy and grinned and was about to recommend they go find something to do when she heard her name.

    Looking over, it the the Marshal calling her and Eafurth over. Glancing back to Windy she gave her a half grin and nudged her with her arm before she walked over to listen to the Marshal. Hearing she would be accompaning the scouting party she nodded her understanding. Aye Sir. She acknowledged before turning to return to her mount. She unclasp her cloak and removed it, draping it over her saddle as she took her horsebow and slipped it over her shoulder along with the quiver. She knew this was just a scouting trip but it was better to be prepared then to need it and not have it. She took a moment and secured her things. Making sure nothing would rattle, jingle or clank. Her helm she left with her cloak..she needed a clear unhindered view of things and the helm inhibited that to an extent. Not wearing the lighter armour of a Paethie she opted to remove the heavier armour. It worked well on horseback but when on foot she needed to be able to move and be as free and silent as possible. She tightened the strap securing the dagger to her left theigh. The last thing was her long braid. It went down to her waist but when scouting she didn't need it snagging or falling in her way so she took the braid and wrapped it into a tight bun and secured it with a strap of leather.

    There, she was ready now. She handed off her mount to the young man and went to join the others. She seen Eafurth, the picture of eager enthusiasm. She was sure she looked the same when she'd went on her first scouting trip. She felt calm and ready. It had been awhile since she'd last scouted but the skills were still there, they always would be. She joined them and looked at Eafurth. She offered him guidance. Secure anything that might make noise. She offered him a reassuring smile. Watch and listen and you will do fine. She pat his shoulder as she heard Marshal Equitatus ask if they were ready.


    She looked back at Eafurth. If he wasn't ready now would be the time to speak up but looking at him she didn't see any apprehension in him. We're ready Sir. She called to the Marshal as she gave Eafurth one last pat before joining the others.
    Isolde Alarion Drythguma Meduseld Eored
    Mourgan Alarion Soldier Army of Gondor

  87. Shivased's Avatar
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    #87
    Shivased
    First Marshal of the Mark, Eastmark Eored

    Shivased
    hid a grin when Rowena clearly was mentally questioning her orders. Not her orders, she told herself, but rather who they were being given to. She just nodded to the "yes ma'am" and turned back to the other leaders to finish with them. The sooner things were settled the sooner the paeths could head out and the sooner they could deal with this threat. By all means, feel free to go, she said to Pele with a nod. Between you and Equi and the combined scouting party we should be well prepared to deal with this threat.

    She watched the woman head to the Gondorian patrol with Karis before turning to Equi. You and Dragon-helm are our only paeths, I believe, she replied with a shake of her head. Take whoever you think is capable, regardless of eored. She was pretty sure she knew which of her dryhts was going to be going, given that she only had two on the patrol. She followed Equi in dismounting, grimacing when she hit the ground and doing a couple deep knee bends to get her legs working again. She overheard the third marshal's comment to Raedan about not picketing their stallions near each other and laughed. Make sure you listen to that, Raedan, you wouldn't believe these two when they are together. As if to illustrate her point Curon tugged on his reins, baring his teeth and flattening his ears in the direction of Validus.

    After Equi left to get the scouting party going she studied the camp, noting the riders getting the fires prepared and the picket line set up. As she headed towards the picket line Rowena returned to her and reported that she'd set everything up and suggesting a watch. The three of you sound fine, though I also want Jacen to help. She didn't want to get involved in her brother's training, she had asked Equi to take him for a reason but she also knew her brother and knew the boy would be nervous and scared. It will give him something to do to keep him occupied. Rowena signed a complaint about being put in charge . Yes, you're only a haelend, but you are bealdorhaelend. That gives you rank above the dryhtgumas, and therefore you get put in charge, she replied with a smile, her eyes twinkling. She knew Rowena didn't like being put in charge of things, but someone had to do it while the marshals were busy, and she was the most logical choice.

    She kept walking as she talked, knowing Rowena would follow if she wanted to. Reaching the picket line she chose a spot under a tree for Curon and began unsaddling him and brushing him down. She carried a stiff brush and a soft bristled in her pack, which she used to clean the days of dust off the sleek black coat. Grinning when a thought came to her, she set the brushes on Curon's broad back and lifted her hands to sign to Rowena rather than talk. Would you rather I put Egeslic in charge?


    NPC: Jacen
    Meduseld Eored

    Jacen
    sat quietly atop his horse, trying not to think about going into battle, if that indeed happened. He listened to what Rae said and tried not to be scared, because that was what got you in trouble. He wasn't overly sure what was going on up front but he could hear snippets of the conversation and figured they were going to face the orcs soon, but the paethfindians were going to check things out first. Good. That gave him time to figure out how he wasn't going to be scared, because right about then he was almost shaking. Daran had told him once that every man was scared their first battle, but he didn't want to be. He wanted to be brave and help the small patrol deal with the orc threat. If he was scared they might leave him in camp!

    His thoughts were interrupted by the yelling of his name. Looking up and jumping slightly, he caught sight of Marshal Equitatus looking his way. He nudged Charger and made his way to the front of the column where he sat as straight as he could to receive his orders. It was disappointing to find he was just supposed to take care of a few horses but didn't let his disappointment show. Instead he saluted and gave a sharp Yes Ma'am!.

    Dismounting he quickly took care of Charger, tying the gelding to the picket line and giving him water, then picking his hooves, grooming him and setting his tack just out of reach of the gelding's hooves. The saddle would be nearby if he needed it, but would be out of the way as well. When his own horse was done he gathered Aetius, Eafurth's horse, and led it to the picket line where he gave it the same care as he had Charger, watering and feeding it, unsaddling and grooming it, and settling Eafurth's belongings just out of range of hooves.

    That left one horse. Finding Isolde's mount was a little harder since he belatedly realized he didn't know who she was, really, or which horse was hers. But there was someone taking off all their armour and things, so he figured that was Isolde. He took the horse she handed him and again cared for it. It was a very easy task for him; he had grown up around horses like most Rohir and could do all of this in his sleep. Thankfully it was something he also enjoyed.

    Fishing around in his saddle bags he pulled out a couple carrots and, glancing around to make sure nobody saw him, fed one to Aetius, one to Isolde's horse, and one to Charger. Each carrot he accompanied with a scratch and pat. He wasn't sure if he was allowed to give treats to the horses but figured it couldn't hurt.

    When he was done he searched until he found Raedan taking care of Validus and grinned at his friend. This ain't so bad, is it? Not much different than the chores I do at home, 'cept we're out in the middle of Rohan with orcs about to attack.
    Last edited by Shivased; 17/May/2013 at 08:40 PM.

    First Marshal of the Mark
    Taste the Rainbow - Eat Crayons!

  88. Fiery Mommy Row's Avatar
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    #88
    NPC Raedan
    Marshal Equitatus' ru--squire
    Meduseld Eored

    Raedan turned his head sharply as he heard his name. Seeing it was his Marshal summoning him, he quickly had set down the last of the wood he gathered for one of the fires, and marched his way over... slow as a snail. When he arrived, he begrudgingly took Validus' reins in one hand while held Beadwof's in the other, attempting to lead both horses to the picket line.
    However, Beadwof being the ever pleasant horse, had other plans in mind. He took one look at the horse on the other side of Raedan and flared his nostrils and barred his teeth, trying to look as menacing as he could. When this action got no response from Rae, who he had hoped would see this and forget the other horse, he then maneuvered himself to try and bite Validus. The maneuvering lacked all semblance of the gracefulness of most horses, of which Beadwof never had any, which meant in the process, Raedan got knocked over.
    Even more unfortunate for the lad was he landed face first into a pile of horse manure. Whose horse it came from didnt matter, but he was fairly certain it was Bead's as the idiotic horse seemed to never care where he did his business, in fact Rae was certain the gelding did it simply to cause trouble for anyone who happened to be nearby. The chestnut gelding was THAT spiteful and ill-tempered.

    'Why in Bema's holy name did Kendrick insist I get you should he ever die?!'
    The boy shouted as he tried to push himself out of the manure. This of course proved to be unsucessful as Bead went to nudge and kick Validus away. Bead's forehoof that wasnt being used for the kicking now found itself on Raedan's left leg as he continued his anger against Validus.
    It was at this point Raedan vaguely heard Jacen's voice.
    'Maybe fer ye...' He barely managed to gasp out. Bema, someone needed to help get the horse off him before Beadwof killed him, or inspired Validus to kill him. 'I could use a lil help Jace...'

    Rowena
    Westmark Eored
    Cavalry Bealdorhaelend

    Rowena nodded when the First Marshal approved her ideas for the watch. But then Shivased requested for her to take on Jacen too... Rowena understood her reluctance to let him do anything but the watch, so she nodded.
    'Of course, Marshal Shivased. It would mean hopefully one less person to tend to...' She looked over at Jacen for a moment and sighed. She couldn't believe he was finally old enough to be in the Cavalry, and Raedan able to be a squire here. They had both grown up so fast. She shrugged her thoughts aside however when Shivased responded to her ranting.
    Rowena grumbled and gestured. '
    Yes, but really, I don't think people are much the type to listen to a haelend, much less one who's more a simpleton than most of the Cavalry!' She shook her head at the Marshal's logic... It made sense, she guessed, but it didn't mean she thought it was wise. So when Shivased offered up an alternative, she was quick to respond. Too Quick. 'Yes!' But then she processed who Shivased said and gestured, 'Wait, NO! Bema knows the Cavalry would be ruined if he was put in charge!'
    She then dismounted Synne, and placed her next to Curon. She removed the tack and then started brushing her. Meanwhile, Synne gave Curon a loving nudge. The mare seemed to always have loved the horse. Rowena paused to sign once more, 'Fine. You win. I still think you lot are insane though.' After a while of grooming her own horse, (She didn't trust Synne with anyone else. She could have a temper too, though she was nowhere near as insane as Kendrick's old horse), she left Shivased round up the agreed upon watch. She walked first to Ceorl, and said, rather tersely and somewhat coldly, 'Dryhtguma Ceorl, you're on watch with me... So stick by my side. Got it?' She then looked for Egeslic but stayed by Ceorl, 'EGESLIC! over here please! And I want no trouble, or I'll personally tie you down to a cot and feed you the most foul concoctions until you behave. Am I understood?' She had absolutely zero patience with the lad after the last incident where SHE was the one, yet again to clean up his mess, equally as bloody as the one previous. Though at least last time she didn't have broken limbs to tend to. Just some poor innocent villager's ear.... Shewas not sure how he evade being booted from the Cavalry after that. But who was she to judge.
    Finally she looked back toward Jacen, and her jaw dropped when she saw he was with Rae who had a horse on his leg trying to torment Equi's horse. Trying not to be agitated, she looked at Ceorl,
    'Get that horse off Marshal Equitatus' squire and put him a mile away from the other horses. Careful, he bites.' She didn't make it clear whether she meant the squire (Raedan) or the horse who bit.
    Last edited by Rowena Annis; 20/May/2013 at 06:33 PM.

    ~Beadorhaelend (Westmark)~
    ~Please forgive typos... Casted wrist makes typing difficult~

  89. Gecko's Avatar
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    #89
    Sperewigend Gecko
    Riding with Eastmark Eored

    Before the others that she'd been talking to had time to respond to her story about her first mission with the cavalry, the call was given for the march to begin. With a smile toward the other members of the cavalry, she gently squeezed her knees against Losgar's sides and urged him into a slow walk that soon became a prance. Though he wasn't as young as some of the horses around him, Losgar still seemed to think that he could match any of them stride for stride. Their long years together first in Rohan and later in Mordor had created a deep abiding bond between the pair. He often responded to cues the same instant she gave them if not before because he had become so tuned to her commands, and sometimes she could tell exactly what he was thinking or feeling by the way he looked or moved beneath her. Since she'd given him ample time in warming up before the column began to move, she didn't mind letting him prance forward. Before long he would grow tired and settle into a normal walk or they would move forward at a trot. There was no harm in letting him burn off some of his energy and excitement after having been rested for an injury for so long. This was his first real outing since they'd returned to Rohan and she could tell that he was looking forward to it and eager to prove himself.

    Me too, boy. Me too, she thought wistfully as she ran a hand down his glossy black neck. A few of the riders seemed to be open to accepting her but she could feel the glares from some of the others as they rode along. Pretending not to, Gecko held her head high and kept a constant eye on the area around her. There were rumours about the danger that was lurking ahead of them and if they were true, the entire force could be in trouble in the blink of an eye. Briefly she wondered what might have drawn Orcs so far away from the Misty Mountains or the Dark Land but there was no way to know for certain. At least not until they ran into them which was not a prospect she relished. Had any of these soldiers seen the ultimate devastation that a group of Orcs could cause when they were let loose on the free lands? Undoubtedly some of them had as they had ridden against her in the Shadows and Flames campaign but there were so many green soldiers around her. She wondered if they were battle ready and if she could trust her life to their hands if the time came.

    When they rode into the forest, she kept an extra careful watch on the trees and deep, dark places. Everyone knew that Orcs cowered from the sunlight but in some places the trees were clumped tightly enough together to make a canopy of shadows where anything might be hiding. And with the heavy clouds overhead that looked like they might be threatening snow, the sun wasn't showing its face often if at all. The gloom of the forest darkened her mood slightly with a heavy sense of foreboding about what might be laying wait for them but she shrugged off the feeling and schooled herself to stay focused on reality. She had seen no signs of the ravaging of Orcs in the area that they'd ridden through nor seen any sign of them so for the moment she had no need to imagine dangers lurking in every shadow. Instead she kept herself focused and intent on the mission at hand, her years of training and leading armies giving her an edge above some of the other soldiers around her.

    By the time they had come to a stop, she had allowed herself to drift toward the back of the column where an attack might be more likely to come. Most of the marshals were riding more to the front of the army so she was careful to watch her surroundings. Their group was relatively small for such a mission so she was able to see that they had met up with a Gondorian force within a few moments of stopping. Briefly she rose in her stirrups to look over the group of soldiers in the distance but chided herself quickly and settled back into the saddle, sinking her weight into her heels. He had been gone for far too many years for his face to show up in the soldiers of Gondor and even if he were there, she wasn't sure that she'd want to see him. Shaking her head at herself for being so childish, she drew Losgar to a halt and watched the proceedings with interest but didn't press forward to hear what was being said. If the First Marshal wanted to use Gecko's commanding experience or her knowledge of the enemy, she would call for her. It was time for the former minioness to learn to assimilate herself into the common soldiers around her.

    Before long, both armies began to break up and settle into the various responsibilities that were assigned to them. Gecko nodded in approval when several soldiers were called off to scout the woods for any sign of their enemy while the rest were left behind to make fires and get the horses picketed. Swinging down with most of the other soldiers, she ran a hand affectionately over Losgar's shoulder before loosening the girth of his saddle. She didn't want to remove it in case they needed to mount and move quickly. With it loosened, she would only have to tighten the strap back before she could be on his back. It seemed unlikely that they would need their mounts as the forest made it nearly impossible to mount a cavalry charge but she would be prepared for any eventuality. She removed the bit before securing a feed bag around his nose filled with a few oats to keep him satisfied. Once that was done, she got him attached to the horse lines and gave him firm instructions not to cause any trouble. He only looked back at her with those knowing, liquid brown eyes and swished his tail impatiently.

    Shaking her head, Gecko reached down and checked that her sword was loose in her scabbard in case it was needed suddenly and did the same with her daggers. Content that she'd be able to protect herself if she were attacked suddenly, she moved off into the forest and began to collect firewood as they had been instructed. She didn't know if the commanders of the armies thought the fire would be of any use against the Orcs that were supposed hiding out in these woods but she didn't question the commands that had trickled down to her. Orcs weren't frightened of fire but there were definitely creatures that were so perhaps that was it. Keeping her head down and staying focused on her work, she gathered a decent amount of firewood and stacked it at ready to be lit by tucking some kindling around it where it was needed.

    That complete she paused to wipe a few beads of sweat from her forehead and see what other preparations were being made. A few had been selected to take part in the watch so it seemed they were getting settled into things. Hopefully they would have some definite information to go on soon but for now she went back to gathering firewood.

    NPC Sarglak
    "I'd love to let you meet our leader," the Orc snarled at the newcomer (Grimjaw), "but he's dead, feeding the crows with his sorry hide." He growled low in his throat at the thought of how the whimpering little pup had been killed and they'd been scattered and put off their mission. With no one clearly leading them, they'd disintegrated into a band of wanderers which wasn't a bad life as such until they'd found themselves in this blasted wood and so far away from safety. And to top that off, there was at least one army of Men somewhere here as well, probably hunting them. The whole situation made him so angry that he could hardly see straight much less thing. Growling deep in his throat again, Sarglak tightened a hand on the weapon at his side, feeling the heat of anger course through his body. Deadly light flitted through his green eyes before he forced him back under control.

    "Aye, shut up you maggots," he roared, loud enough to be heard by the echo of the cave but not quite loud enough to be heard by the patrol that was somewhere near them. At least, that's what he hoped. "Join us or get lost scum, I don't have time to worry about your head too." Dismissing him, Sarglak sidled toward the front of the cave and peered out. Originally they had turned toward the cave because they were worried about the sunlight but as he looked up he could see that the horrible yellow face wasn't revealing itself today. Iron grey clouds covered the sky overhead making it look threatening but much more pleasant than the sunshine he'd feared was coming. The forest seemed quiet around him but the occasional rustle of an animal but he knew that at any moment men could be coming through those trees to separate his head from his shoulders.

    "Any of you lot got any tracking experience?" His deadly gaze silenced the pathetic creature who had scouted earlier and only brought back information that enemies were in the forest but nothing of their number or location. A few spoke up that they had so he randomly pointed at two of them (
    anyone who wants to roleplay as these scouts are welcome to do so). "You two get out there and get me some information about what's happening and how we can get out of this alive. If you see their scouts, kill them and keep them blind. If we can make them afraid enough they will leave us alone and we can get out of this cursed place. The sun is hiding and won't be making an appearance, stick to the shadows and you'll be fine. It's dark enough under these trees."

    "The rest of you, get your weapons sharpened and your wits about you. If we have to fight, we can make a stand here. The opening isn't wide so if there's a lot of them at least they can't come against us in great number." After the orders left his lips, the Orc realized that he was taking command of this rabble. It was a bit daunting but he wanted to get out of this alive and if that meant stepping on someone's toes, he was more than willing. Casting a nervous look to where the scouts were heading, he got out his weapon and began to sharpen it and check on his bow to make sure all was in order. If his fate was to die here, he would take as many Men with him as possible.
    "A leader leads by example, whether or not he intends to."
    ~ Sperewigend ~

  90. Karis Ziranphel's Avatar
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    #90
    Karis Ziranphel (Ziran)
    Captain of Gondor/Escaped prisoner

    Karis
    nodded with a slight frown in response to the Third Marshal's words. It was not good to hear about the farms being torched, but it did explain the presence of enemies in the area. It also helped to know that this was the reason for the presence of both patrols as well. She didn't generally believe in coincidence, so to have all here at the same time had seemed strange until this explanation. She didn't have anything to add, and seeing the still somewhat hostile looks she was receiving from some of the Rohir, Karis deemed it wiser to remain silent as they went about ordering their troops.

    At her Drill Sergeant's words, Karis smiled with a hint of humor. It was amusing to be "claimed" as Pele put it, although she didn't mind in the least. In a strange way it felt good to be claimed by people she knew rather than strangers for once, and for positive reasons rather than with the intent to harm. She was still wary, but her shoulders relaxed slightly as they turned towards the Gondorian patrol. With a nod of acknowledgement to the Marshals, Karis set off beside Pele. Suddenly it was rather overwhelming to see so many familiar faces, and she remained silent as they approached the group. She gave a nod of greeting and acknowledgement of Pele's words as she scanned the faces of those gathered near. She recognized the two other sergeants present, and was glad to see that both Hallas and Kamion were still with the Minas Tirith garrison. There were also many new faces however, and many who would not know of her or her past. Karis' gaze fell on one young red-head who stood near Kamion, and her eyes flickered slightly.
    Something about her eager look despite the competence evident in her stance reminded Karis of herself several years ago, and brought a slightly pained smile to her lips. Coming back to herself, she realized she should say something rather than continuing in her silence.

    Her voice was still slightly rough as she spoke quietly but loud enough for all gathered to be able to hear. "As Drill Sgt. Alarion has said, I am Captain Ziranphel. Some of you know me and to others I am likely a stranger. I have been a prisoner these past years, and so although I am now returning to Gondor I will defer command to Sgt. Alarion until we reach home or it proves necessary." Karis nodded to Pele and then to those gathered. "Sgt. Pele, I am happy to accept the offer of your bow, as I feel more comfortable with that than this sword I liberated. I will remain with those in camp until I have had opportunity to eat, and then will join in any engagement we come to."
    Karis Ziranphel, Captain of Gondor Thllir Bregedŷr of Ithilien
    Tirlyn Ithilphel of the Evendim hills

  91. Equitatus's Avatar
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    #91
    Equitatus
    Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored

    Equitatus
    watched the ongoings at the camp as she waited for Isolde and Eafurth to join she and Pele. There seemed to be some trouble with a horse or two, but she couldn't tell which horses were involved from her distance. She almost went back to make sure Raedan was able to handle Validus successfully, but she changed her mind. How could the boy trust her if she never trusted him? No, Equitatus would assume her horse was not involved in whatever squabble was occurring. She would leave Raedan be and trust that he could handle her stallion.

    "Are we ready then?" she said when Isolde and Eafurth had joined them. "Pele, Dryhtguma's Isolde and Eafurth." said Equitatus, briefly introducing the two Dryhts to the Gondorian woman. "They are both honest and obedient: I have the utmost trust in their ability to be helpful on this expedition and to serve well." She wished she could carry her cloak with her, but knew it was best to leave it behind. That fact didn't make her feel any warmer though. Straightening her sword, Equitatus walked towards the forest, hoping that they would not end up with a premature meeting with the orcs.

    As she distanced herself from the camp, little did Equitatus know that her earlier suspicions were correct. It was indeed her stallion, Validus, that was causing trouble back at camp, mostly due to Raedan's lack of wisdom in handling him. The palomino stallion watched curiously as his new handler fell into a pile of horse manure. The sight looked familiar as he had seen his owner in a similar position a number of times before (minus the horse manure). How fun it was to throw her and see where and how she landed! Even better was to bite her pants leg when she was on the ground and drag her around the pasture. In fact, that sounded like such fun that Validus decided to try it on the squire. Nipping one last time at Beadwof, the stallion trotted over to the prone form of Raedan, reached down, bit hard on the pants leg (pants leg only, no skin), and began to drag the squire around the camp, heedless of the boy's squirming and shouting. That only made it more fun.


    NPC ~ Glark

    Hiding in the back of the cave, Glark had been silent for a number of hours as the other orcs argued about what they were going to do. He really wanted to just gorge himself, wreak havoc, pillage, plunder, etc. without losing his life. Being a coward, he didn't step up at first when Sarglak asked if anyone had any tracking experience. When others began mumbling that they did, he mumbled a quiet, "A little" and was promptly chosen for the scouting trip, much to his displeasure. "I...." began Glark, but he decided against arguing. It wouldn't do any good anyway. Sarglak was a harsh orc whose path he did not desire to cross. Sighing and poking the orc who was going with him in the ribs, Glark crept out of the cave and out into the forest to see if he could learn more about what these men were up to.

    ~Third Marshal, Meduseld Eored~
    "Remember who the real enemy is."

  92. Pele Alarion's Avatar
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    #92
    Drill Sergeant Pele Alarion
    Company of Minas Tirith

    Upon returning to the patrol, Pele set about preparations needed to set out for the scouting mission. She did not wonder about the silence from Karis and did not attempt to break the silence with unnecessary chatting. She gathered her bow and a quiver which was still filled with arrows at this point and handed them to the Captain. "To each their own, I suppose," she responded with a smile to the comment of the use of swords and bows. "Also consider my rations as yours and eat as much as you need to. I have some tea as well, though by now it must be cold." Seeing that otherwise Karis had everything under control, she proceeded to finish the preparations, leaving behind her long cloak and the shiny helm - there was no need to shine as a beacon in the forest and alert the enemies to her presence.

    It seemed that the other scouting group members were also prepared, and Pele stepped forward to join them, adjusting the sword belt slightly, so that the weapon would be perfectly within reach. She already felt quite comfortable within the small group, as if they had been working together for a long time. Well, partly it was true, seeing that Isolde was here.

    "Ready indeed, Marshal,"
    she replied and looked in the direction they would have to travel in, before turning back to the group. "Hello, Eafurth, and... Issy," she said after the brief introduction. A grin appeared on her lips at the words that Isolde was obedient. Maybe... maybe not... But she suppressed both a chuckle and a wish to say something witty. "I suppose we might as well set off and hope to return before the nightfall. Also I hope that we find the orcs fist and not vice versa. Who knows how many of them are there," she said instead.

    As they began their journey in search of the enemy, Pele said to Equi, "Yes, we are near to Gondor, and might have to cross the border to investigate or maybe fight off those Orcs. You should indeed visit, and if an official invitation would motivate you, I extend it to you - you would be most welcome! Indeed, the City itself is beautiful, as is the surrounding area with the majestic mountains, the river, the fields and the forests, but obviously I am biased and you should just see it for yourself." Pele could have gone on and on, describing the beauty of Gondor, but neither would it be too nice, nor was it a good idea since they should be as quiet as possible and not draw attention when away from the patrols.


    ~~~

    UPDATES
    Soldiers at camp (both Gondor and Rohan) - Relatively unstable though the situation already is, the whole ordeal is set to get worse. Hardly fifteen minutes after the group of four leaves camp to search for signs of the orcs, freezing rain begins, leaving a slick, slippery, and dangerous surface over many rocks and other objects. This recent turn of weather dashes all hopes of eventual fires later on in the afternoon. In addition, the whole area is turning into a muddy, frigid mess. Horses who were just groomed are now coated in mud once again, but even worse is that all humans are now in danger of injury due to the cold. Everyone will have to do what they can to make the most of their current situation.

    Scouting party - Leaving the comfortable presence of a combined force of two patrols behind, the group of four finally set out in search of any signs that would tell them where the orcs were hiding. They walked along the eaves of the forest at first and finally ventured into it, though not too far from the edge. The small team had been walking for quite some time, when they spotted something dark on a fallen old oak leaf that lay on the ground. The dark spot was definitely not a part of the leaf, so it had to be investigated before the icy rain that had started would wash it away.

    The orcs -
    As the day wears on, the Orcs are growing more and more uncomfortable and testy with each other. Sarglak has more or less taken over command of this troop, but he's not above being challenged by others who feel he has no right to command them. Most of the soliders remain in the cave, sharpening and preparing their weapons as they prepare for the battle ahead. The day is heavily overcast and the sun isn't as prominent in the sky, so a couple of the soldiers have been sent to scout the area around the cave and find out what they can about army movements in the area. Though only two were sent out to start with, any who have scouting experience can approach Sarglak and request to be sent out as well. The more eyes out there the better as long as they know what they're doing. The scouts that were first sent out are soon peppered by freezing rain and icy conditions, but apparently their tracking stills weren't feigned. They soon discover tracks from the Rohirrim army and are able to roughly figure out how many soldiers they have with them, though they haven't gotten close enough to the camp to be spotted.
    Last edited by Pele Alarion; 04/Jun/2013 at 05:32 PM.
    I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings,
    and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace...
    ~~~~~
    Cavalry Trainee

  93. Hallas C. Pehwarin's Avatar
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    #93
    Sergeant Hallas C. Pehwarin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor


    The combined patrols of both Gondor and Rohan had made camp. As most camps go it was an ordered affair of canvas tents, latrines lines been situated far downwind, horses placed into a temporary corral under a thicket of tall trees. The banners of Gondor and Rohan had been placed side by side near the officer's section of tents. The weather though had taken a turn for the worst! Turning into freezing nightmare! Sergeant Hallas now pulled up the hood of his black cotton cloak though it did little except to keep the wind from turning him into frozen statue!

    Thus did he choose to make rounds through the camp seeing both his own folk, the rohirrim, and their steeds begin show signs of suffering from the drastic change in weather. So the tall lean NCO barked out orders, " Soldiers no time to be shy huddle together to preserve your own bodies heat !" The Sergeant now wondered how they could save their horses since they did not like this change of weather anymore than their human compatriots! Weather was unpredictable and their assignment was certainly now more challenging even for those who'd been within the army for a while!

    As the 22-year old northern dnedain continue his trek through the camp mud splattering the lower half of his once pristine black and silver trimmed uniform. The Sergeant involuntarily shivered from the cold privately wondering if he'd packed a warmer tunic to slip on in the privacy of his own tent that his family’s ancient sigil but visibility when he scanned his immediate surroundings was diminishing fast as this thoroughly unrelenting weather continued! Hallas hoped that those who'd gone on patrol were having success at tracking down their ancient enemy!

    Making the best of their current circumstances the young dnedain Sergeant now made certain that sentries were posted at the four corners of their camp and that they had proper equipment to survive their watches as this freezing rain continued to cause havoc! Since even walking was made difficult due to the mud and any surfaces whether man made or nature's became potently hazards to all both man and beast.
    Last edited by Hallas C. Pehwarin; 29/May/2013 at 09:18 PM.

    Dryhtguma / Nmenrean

  94. Gecko's Avatar
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    #94
    Sperewigend Gecko
    Riding with Eastmark Eored

    The woman had gathered only a few more sticks of firewood before she began to notice the gentle noise of rain splashing against the trees and onto her body. At least, she thought that it was rain for the space of a few minutes. Then, she reached out her free hand and cupped it to see what type of precipitation it was. Instead of normal rain, she realized that freezing rain had begun to fall over the forest with a steady, soaking rhythm. Groaning inwardly, Gecko made her way back toward the camp with only the few sticks that she'd gathered. There was no point to waste any more of her time trying to find sticks that could be used because within a matter of minutes they would be too sodden to catch light anyway. It wasn't a comfortable thought to spend the rest of the day without any warmth but wishing wasn't about to change the weather so she resolved herself to simply endure it.

    Once she got back to camp, there was still a decent amount of activity but one by one the other soldier seemed to realize the damper that the weather was going to put on the fires and warm food. Some of the younger soldiers took longer to realize that just what the weather would mean for them but before long everyone was casting a nervous, unhappy glance around the camp trying to decide what to do. Shrugging her shoulder slightly, Gecko placed her firewood down in a neat stack by one of the prepared fires and made her way over to her pack. She pulled out a strip of dried meat to worry at for a while and get some energy back into her while they were resting. It always paid for soldiers to take any opportunity to rest that was afforded to them.

    With a bite of the tough meat in her mouth, she stuffed the rest into her pocket and went to check on her mount. Already the horses' breath was streaming out before them like vaporous white banners in the cold and a few of them were starting to shiver. Briefly she wished that she had brought a blanket or something that she could toss over her stallion to keep him warm but there had been no room. Instead, she checked on the feed in his nose bag and ran a hand over his dampening coat. She wasn't too worried about Losgar as being used to the weather change, he had already grown a thick winter coat. While it didn't look very attractive like his sleek summer coat, it would help insulate him considerably better than the clothes she wore or anything she could do for him.

    Briefly she wished that she had been equipped with similar survival skills but then chuckled softly as she imagined people growing fluffier in the winter months. Instead, she opted to snug her hands in her gloves and pull her hood up against the cold. If it got worse, she would start working through some forms with her sword to keep her body warm but careful not to push herself to sweating as that would be detrimental and make her colder. Or, failing that, she'd get the blanket from her bag and wrap around her shoulder to hold in as much body heat as possible. Hopefully they wouldn't be standing around much longer anyway. Curiously she turned her grey eyes to dark forest around them and wondered how close the enemy was.

    NPC Sarglak

    His green narrowed as the two scouts disappeared into the gloom outside. Only two had been forthcoming thus far to step up and scout for their ragged band but he wouldn't refuse if a couple of others wanted to go. It was always better to have more information than less. In fact, if some didn't step up soon, he might have to take matters into his own hands and go do some scouting though his skills were in other areas. Grumbling irritably in the back of his through, Sarglak settled down on his haunches and drew his quiver from his side. Dozens of arrows clustered inside and he carefully drew them out in gnarled hands to run along the shafts to make certain they were in good repair. He'd lost a few in the earlier attack but he'd come more than prepared.

    Slowly he drew a small pot from the bag slung at his hip and opened it to smell the pungent, strong scent of the gummy substance inside. Grinning cruelly until his fangs shone in the poor lighting of the cave he began to apply the poison to each and every arrow tip that he carried in his quiver. It seemed likely that they were going to be in combat this night and he planned to make the most of every attack. The poison wouldn't kill instantly but it would cause extreme pain when the victims were aware of their surroundings and vivid hallucinations when they weren't. Once each arrow was coated with it he placed them back into the quiver.

    Next, naturally, came the sword. It was single sided and grungy looking, most of the humans would have accounted it little use. There was little to be seen of the metal underneath so darkened was it from lack of care. The edge wasn't razor sharp but it was a serviceable if messy way to die. The black film that coated it wasn't grime or dirt, it was the constant application of poison to the edge. He didn't need to behead a man or chop his arms or legs off to win, a nick with his blade would be enough. The poison acted relatively quickly, first the victim would begin to feel weak and have troubled vision. Before long they would be screaming their lungs bloody from the pain. A cruel grin snarled on his lips as he thought about all the humans that would taste his poison this day.
    "A leader leads by example, whether or not he intends to."
    ~ Sperewigend ~

  95. Karis Ziranphel's Avatar
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    #95
    Karis Ziranphel (Ziran)
    Captain of Gondor/Escaped prisoner


    Karis accepted Pele's bow and quiver with a nod and smile of thanks. Briefly removing her cloak, she slung and strapped the quiver over her shoulder, and then draped her cloak to cover it. She inspected the bow by running her fingers over it, and then removed the string after a glance at the threatening clouds, tucking the twisted cord in the front of her tunic. Pele left shortly after to join those taking part in the scouting party, and Karis collected Misty's reins to lead the horse back into the trees. If they weren't erecting tents there was better shelter in the woods than in the middle of a clearing. She looped the reins over a low branch to allow the rather well-trained horse movement while still securing her. Giving the warm beast a pat, she moved on to the saddlebags.Taking a small handful of dried jerky and a cram biscuit from Pele's rations, she found a spot out of the way by one of the trees and nibbled on the food while watching the Rohirrim and Gondorians make preparation to stay or go. Her eyes narrowed when she saw Sgt. Hallas pull out a fancy tent and set it up despite the Drill Sgt's parting orders. She had said she would stay out of it for now, but seeing such blatant disregard of orders galled her. Well then. If they had to move quickly he better be prepared to leave the thing behind. Standard issue tents were one thing, but personalized tents? Her face remained impassive as she took in some of the changes to the unit since her departure and tried to concentrate on methodically chewing the rations rather than gulping them down.

    Even chewing slowly she had finished and returned to her feet soon after the scouting party left, and went about collecting firewood with some of the others of the patrol, piling the sticks in her arms and tucking small bits of dry tinder into one of the pouches at her belt. Returning to the edge of the clearing just when the skies decided to open up and pelt everyone with icy raindrops, the rather bedraggled Captain sighed silently and stepped back under the trees to find a somewhat drier place to stack the wood. There wasn't much better cover here, but she found a spot slightly sheltered and stacked what she had. At least some of the internal sticks might stay a little drier.

    Lifting the hood of her cloak to block the cold drops, Karis shivered slightly, but was thankful for the wool which would trap some of her body heat even when wet. It was then that she heard the same Sgt. call out to the gathered soldiers of the patrol something about huddling together to preserve body heat. With a shake of her head, she decided it was time to take charge again after all. So much for waiting until she was home a while...

    With determination lending a crispness to her stride that it hadn't held in years, Captain Ziranphel straightened her spine and walked swiftly back to the group. "Ignore that." Her tone was slightly biting. "Without shelter it does no good to huddle. First things first! Sgt. Hallas has been so kind as to set up his tent. You will move the firewood in there to dry off. The rest of you help me string some canvas tarpaulins between the trees for shelter." She didn't figure she needed to explain that this would give them shelter from the rain while leaving their sight uninhibited by canvas walls. No patrol would go out without canvas shelters of some sort, and the tents could always do in a pinch. "Sgt. Kamion find me those tarpaulins. Now everyone move, and keep your eyes open for enemies!"
    The last of her words were curt but firm. She met each person's gaze levelly to see if they would challenge her authority before she moved to find rope. Her joints ached from the cold, but she wasn't about to show weakness. Besides, work would warm everyone up and keep them limber - her included.
    Karis Ziranphel, Captain of Gondor Thllir Bregedŷr of Ithilien
    Tirlyn Ithilphel of the Evendim hills

  96. Arnyn Dealedwen's Avatar
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    #96

    Soldier Kaylin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor

    She had just been about to lead Chestnut away, though she wasnt sure to where and how they would tie up the horses, when Pele had approached them along with a woman Kaylin had never seen before. First of all, she took note of what the Drill Sergeant did exactly to her mare, so she could do the same in a moment. Then, her eyes fell upon the female stranger, and she frowned thoughtfully. The woman seemed to have been through a lot, but there was something in the way she bore herself.. When Pele started to speak, her gaze was drawn away from the mystery woman over to the Sergeant, and soon it became all to clear who she was our Captain here. Kaylins eyes widened slightly for just a second as her mind put the pieces together. For the slightest of moments, her look crossed the Captains; then the latters moved on, seeimingly wanting to take in everyone that was in the patrol.

    She would defer command to Pele until the patrol returned or until it proved necessary. That last part spontaneously brought a grin to Kaylins lips, though she made sure to wipe it off her face as quickly as it had come. Catching the Captains words to Pele about the bow, Kaylin almost shook her head in disbelief. Cousins indeed. The ranking officers words about joining in any engagement they would set upon, made Kaylin wonder how tired the woman was, and how much her body would be able to bear. Knowing little of the Captains current condition or what had brought her here now, though, Kaylin just figured it was pointless to think about it too much.

    At least now she knew what to do. Tie up her horse and get to work. Gathering some of that firewood seemed like a good way to go, since neither Sergeant Hallas nor Sergeant Kamion gave her any direct orders after Peles words, and the young redhead wasnt about to just stand around and do nothing. Firewood yes, but no fires yet. And no tents. Orders couldnt get much easier to remember. Drill Sergeant Alarion went off to scout the area with some of the Rohirrim, and Kaylin looked at her officer and friends back for a moment, hoping in silence no harm would come to her.

    Whilst looking for firewood, a cursed rain began to fall. A shiver ran involuntarily down her spine as one of the first drops fell right on her head. Cold Her first thought was that a lot of the gathering that had already been done would be useless if they didnt find a place to shelter the wood from the rain, and let the already wet wood dry. Sergeant Hallas ordered them to huddle together to preserve body heat, which almost made Kaylin scratch her head in confusion. Wouldnt help too much if they were all getting soaked by this rain.. Or was her thinking off?

    Seeing Hallas put up a tent raised more question marks. She wanted to go over and perhaps subtly remind him of Sergeant Alarions orders, but then she realized there was no way she could ever be subtle about it, and decided that it wasnt for her to say anything. It would be better for other officers to deal with this than for a soldier who hadnt even been in the army for a year.
    The newly returned Captain, then, seemed to think this was a situation where her intervention was necessary, as she had put it earlier. The way she reacted made Kaylin bite the inside of her bottom lip for just a moment so she wouldnt display any of her inner amusement on her face. Then she moved with quick steps to comply with Karis Ziranphels orders, heading straight for the tent Sergeant Hallas had erected to stock her own stack of firewood inside.
    Arnyn Axinecelume ~ Always Hyandaner


  97. Windowcel Alarion's Avatar
    Doorwarden of the Mark
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    #97
    Windhladen Alarion
    Dryhtguma of the Westmark

    Not particularly surprised that Karis had been telling the truth, Windy returned Pele’s quick hug and hoped for a less formal reunion later. As her sister and the marshals discussed their next move, she turned her attention fully to the trees. She could feel the mood of the gathered warriors shift from curiosity to wariness like it was a change in the weather… if only the real weather would make some sort of a change. When the Bealdorhaeland began relaying Marshal Dragonhelm’s orders for a scouting party to go out and the rest to set camp, she gratefully stretched out her legs and led the colt over to where the picket line was being set up – the cold had been seeping through her cloak for some time and she was glad for the activity.

    After relieving the colt of his armor and tack, storing them at a safe but retrievable distance, Windy moved briskly out to collect wood for fires. She was rather disappointed when Rowena gave the additional order that they were not to be lit. As she worked she kept an eye on her sisters and saw that they would both be riding out with the scouting party; she tamped down a familiar ache of concern by reminding herself that they were both capable warriors and they would be watching each others’ backs. Pele looked amused at something Equi said, but Windy was too far away to hear. She raised a hand in farewell but was unsure if either of her sisters saw her before they rode away.

    There were three moderately-sized piles of wood gathered when the rain began, but as the cold intensified and the raindrops froze as they hit the ground, Windy knew that there would be no fires that afternoon. The heavy cloak she wore kept the cold out well enough despite the wet, but ice on the ground was making walking treacherous. Both groups had posted a watch, but Windy couldn’t shake the feeling that something was coming… and she wanted to be ready when it arrived. She carefully made her way over to the picket line; the colt was remarkably subdued, and his winter coat was already matting down.

    “Well, lad, this isn’t what you signed up for, is it?” she said gently, stroking his neck and attempting to dislodge the icicles building up in his mane. Her fingers were freezing – where had she put her gloves? “There’s no way I’m putting a saddle on you over this ice…” She glanced at his tack and realized that she didn’t have a spare blanket for him, there had been no space for it. She could only think of one solution – she heaved herself onto the big horse’s bare back; drawing up her hood, she raised her feet to rest against his flanks and leaned forward across his neck. Her cloak gave him some shelter, and she was instantly warmer from his body heat. “We look ridiculous, you know,” she murmured. The colt snorted and bobbed his head. “All right. As long as you’re okay with it…”
    ~ Dryhtguma of the Westmark ~
    si vales, valeo


  98. Hallas C. Pehwarin's Avatar
    Master of Minas Tirith
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    #98
    Sergeant Hallas C. Pehwarin
    Minas Tirith Company, Army of Gondor


    The campsite was now futile attempt due the constant freezing rain! Tents could barely stay up for no more than a minute before coming down into the swirling muddy terrain! Thus did Sergeant Hallas call it quits issuing orders to halt any further attempts to try and camp! While making the decision to use the remaining canvas to keep their supplies dry as possibly. Then did the young headstrong NCO finally remember Drill Sergeant Pele's orders being that camp was not to be placed and keep the troops in readiness!

    Thus did Hallas decide to run a few drills to give the forces of Gondor and Rohan something to do, rather than continue to stand around in the freezing rain! Since during the meeting with Rohirrim did their combine forces come upon finding one of their lost commanders Captain Karis! So finding some temporary shelter under some tall pine trees did Hallas clean off his fair face of splattered mud after now looked even more stern due to the weather deciding to seek the advice of Captain Karis on how to keep their steeds alive in this thoroughly nasty weather! Had anyone ever mounted a campaign in this type of weather before and achieved victory against the Orcs of Mordor?! The Sergeant now made the trek across the deteriorating terrain to find Captain Karis to pose his queries to her to keep their readiness and since their foe might even consider attacking in such weather was probably likely!

    Dryhtguma / Nmenrean

  99. Pele Alarion's Avatar
    Faramir
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    #99
    Drill Sergeant Pele Alarion (MT company)
    Scouting party

    As they set about their task of finding any possible signs of the enemy, Pele moved along with her senses alert. She watched for anything that would show that the orcs had been there - broken branches, trampled ground, even just footsteps, if these were particularly careful orcs. She listened for the sounds unusual to the forest: there was no need for harsh voices (though those would make searching easier), even the silence would say a lot. The birds were usually cautious with strangers around. Also her sense of smell was alert - these dark creatures were not especially picky about their hygiene and their stench often gave away their presence.

    The small group had been venturing through the woods for a while already, yet there was nothing extraordinary to be noticed. To make things worse, the rain began - the trees gathered most of it at first, and only a few drops fell through here and there. Pele imagined the soldiers who remained out in the open and frowned; it must be worse for them, unless they were creative enough to come up with ways to shelter themselves.

    Suddenly something caught her eyes, and she beckoned to the others with her hand and then pointed to what had aroused her interest. At first it may only look like a place where a deer might have been looking for some food - the old leaves were tossed up from the ground and formed an unsightly brown and grey mess. But as Pele crouched down to investigate the place more carefully, she spotted something like a big black spot of paint on one of the leaves. It was in a rather liquid form and the rain was slowly washing it away.

    "I think it is something like... orc blood,"
    she said to the other scouts, lowering her voice. "Recent and not dried yet. So... the creatures must be somewhere nearby." Such an option made her even more cautious, if it was possible. She really had no wish to be spotted first by the orcs - that would only mean an arrow through the back.

    ~~~
    Scouting party - please read the update again... I had copied the wrong one. I have now edited it.
    I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings,
    and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace...
    ~~~~~
    Cavalry Trainee

  100. Egeslic's Avatar
    Juvenile of the Mark
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    #100
    Egeslic was most bewildered, how had he gotten to his current location!? Egeslic's last memory had been talking to Eafurth and then..... it was all blank! Egelisc had no idea what had happened. Of course he had fallen asleep on his horse and had only woken up when his steed dumped him in the mud at a make-shift campsite. It was pouring freezing rain and the great and might Egeslic felt very cold and wet. Indeed as he looked about he noticed that many of his comrades looked just as miserable as himself. Equi and Eafurth were among those who were not present. Filled with grief over his discomfort Egeslic realized that he was most hungry, in fact he was was starving! Egeslic had a term that he used for this particular form of hunger, Egeslic would say he was, "Viciously hungry!" This meant that Egeslic was so hungry he would attempt to eat almost anything in sight; hard-tack, organ meats, even grass and tree bark. Desperately Egeslic searched through his bread bag hastily devouring the food that it contained. Much to the great Rohir's dismay, however, he was still most famished even after he consumed the contents of his bag. He began to look around for a familiar face that might be sympathetic to his food plight. Looking around Egeslic caught sight if his friend Rowena. Egeslic ran towards her and said in a very desperate voice, "Please Rowena, for friendship's sake, do you have any spare food!?" Egeslic was starving, Egeslic was famished, Egeslic had no tolerance for even the slightest feeling of hunger. To Egeslic, even moderate hunger was tantamount to living for two weeks on a desert island with nothing to eat except for palm branches. Hopefully his friend Rowena would have some small spare morsel of food. Actually, it didn't even have to be small since Egeslic had a terrible problem with the entire concept of small quantities.
    <center> <img src="http://www.lotrplaza.com/images/Cav%20Badges/red/SRedS1.jpg" border="0" />
    <br />~Dryhtguma of the Westmark �ored~

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