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03/30/2005 11:23 AM

In the cold milky light of the full moon in early spring, an elf just exited Galadhriel's Hall of the ancients, where he had been in a discussion for the last several days. For weeks he had mulled through this meeting within his mind, while slowly the compagnions for this group were selected. This would become his first great task, entrusted to him by the council that had held their discussion here over the last few weeks. With the elves, no decision was ever taken lightly and this had been no exception.

Haldir and his fellow adventurers had been given the task to retrieve an old artefact of the elves, which had last been seen before the fall of the witch king of angmar. An honourable task, that would lead them into the depths of the wraith's fortress. The wraith himself had been exspelled from his self proclaimed realm, but there still lurked an unaccounted danger within the old walls. One member of the group was still to arrive, a hobbit that carried the name 'Took', a race that had thus far been a mystery to the elves. Yet the wizard Mithrandir had spoken in their favor and his words taken into account. He had stated these hobbits to be slightly smaller then a dwarf, sturdy and better equipped to move silently through narrow spaces, almost as silent as an elf could be. There were those that had mocked his words, but one of the Dunedain had confirmed the words of the Grey Istari.

The elf sighed lightly, as he contemplated the members of this group. A few elves, two dwarves, an equal number of the Dunedain and this hobbit creature. "An odd mix of people," the elf though almost out loud, "I hope this diversity will not pose a problem in the times to come. The road they would have to take was a harsh one, from Lorien into the Dimrill dale and north along the misty mountains, across the high pass to get to Rivendell,there they would rest for a few days, then depart north once more towards the ettenmoors, then turn northwest along the mountains of angmar, until they would reach Carn Dum. The road would take them close past Mount Gundabad and it was no secret that the orcs had little love left for the elven race, nor that of the other races in the group, for that matter." Slowly, Haldir walked to the pavillion where the group was preparing for their travel, then entered it with his head held high and once again in full control of himself.

04/06/2005 1:58 PM

Isumbras Took looked to the high tree tops with his mout hwide open. Never before had a hobbit looked upon the woods of Loth Lorien in such as a way as Isumbras. He would have fallen many times if his pony wasn't as surefooted as he was. Finally he was brought to a hault by his elven guide.

"It is time for you dismount and meet the other members of your group little one," Althrond said.

"Righto, thanks for the help my friend," Isumbras said climbing down Hobbs the Surefooted. Althrond took the reigns of Hobbs and walked away to place him in the care of the elven stable masters.

Isumbras started to walk up the steps and was met by another elf who guided him the rest of the way to the council. A suken circle with chairs formed into a circle. Isumbras could already see Althrong sitting and he wondered how the elf was able to beat him here but quickly lost the thought as he scanned the rest of the group, "Hullo there! I'm Isumbras Took! Pleasure to meet ya'."

04/06/2005 11:19 PM

Mabin, having accompanied Isumbras from the Shire across the Misty Mountains by way of the Redhorn, pass feels something of a respect for the hardiness shown by the young hobbit.
‘Quite an eye-opener, master Took,’ he says looking around at the tall trees with a suspicious squint in one eye. ‘ Mind you, I would prefer a nice coal fire and a pint of your father’s best beer any day. But while we are here, we might as well enjoy the view and maybe they will have a bottle of Rhovanion red, I suppose I could choke down a bottle or two of that.’
As they entered the circle and seeing the arrayed seats, he quietly muttered under his breath, ‘Great, an elvish council, just what we need instead of dinner.’

[Edited by Mica on Wednesday, April 6, 2005 11:31 PM]

04/07/2005 12:07 AM

Isumbras patted Mabin on the back, "Don't worry my friend I'm sure these elves have dinner planned..." food had never left his head and if worst came worst he had some food packed in his bag. He walked down and waited for the first elf bold enough to greet them.

04/07/2005 2:14 PM

"Master Took, I presume," Araglas said to the newly arrived hobbit. "It has been a long while since I have encountered one of your kind, it is indeed a pleasure," the Dunedain went on as he extended his hand towards the hobbit.

"And who is your friend?" He asked as he noticed Mabin for the first time. "I do not remember the dwarves and elves being on such good terms," he said to the dwarf with a sly smile and wink.

04/07/2005 2:24 PM

Haldir approaced the both of them, taking in their features and equipment, while tilting his head slightly towards the ground, to get a better view. "Quel re i mae govannen. I am called Haldir." The elf looked Isumbras over and spoke gently. "This one does not carry and axe, wears nothing on his feet and has no beard, I assume you are the Holbythla they spoke of. You're the one they name Took?" The pronounciation of the word Took was a bit odd, as the word Holbythla had been. It was however clear enough that this apparantly was the elven name for hobbit. A number of people had snickered at the words of the elf, who seemed to have made a small pun on the difference between dwarf and hobbit.

The gaze of the elf shifted towards Mabin and the elf grinned slightly. "That leaves the bearded one to be Mabin, son of Hadin, as he is not barefooted. May your beard grow long and never fall out." Haldir had used a common greeting amongst dwarves in his last sentence and spoke them with a serious glance in his eyes, to indicate that he meant what he had said. To him it was obvious that whatever had happened between elf and dwarf in the past, they would have to be put aside in order for this quest to be completed.

"Food will be served in due time, master hobbit, but please have a seat and rest your weary bones in the meantime."

04/07/2005 4:45 PM

"It has been a long while since I have encountered one of your kind, it is indeed a pleasure," the Dunedain went on as he extended his hand towards the hobbit.

Isumbras took the hand and shook it with a smile on his face, "Hello there, what's your name?"

"And who is your friend?"

"This here is Mabin from the Blue Mountains," Isumbras introduced his dwarf friend.

"Quel re i mae govannen. I am called Haldir." The elf looked Isumbras over and spoke gently. "This one does not carry and axe, wears nothing on his feet and has no beard, I assume you are the Holbythla they spoke of. You're the one they name Took?"

Isumbras first had a puzzled look on his face. He had looked over all the hobbits had on elvish which was hardly anything before he left. He memorized a few phrases but hearing it spoken was far different, " Mae govannen," Isumbras stuttered out the elven phrase of 'well met', "Yes, I'm Took, Isumbras Took at your service." Isumbras bowed. He felt very honored here, everyone having heard of him was something he didn't expect to find outside of the shire.

"Food will be served in due time, master hobbit, but please have a seat and rest your weary bones in the meantime."

"Ah thank you, just what I wanted to here," Isumbras walked over to the oversized elf chair and climbed into it, his feet dangling over the edge. He continued to look around taking in all the sights of the Lorien forest waiting for the food.

04/07/2005 7:01 PM

"It would seem your appetite precedes you, Master Hobbit," Araglas said as he pulled out a chair opposite Took. The ranger turned his gaze to fall upon the hobbit, a warm smile on his face. Already, the elvish food could be smelt and Araglas was indeed hungry.

"I am Araglas," the dunedain replied to Took's previous question, tilting his head to the hobbit.

04/11/2005 12:21 AM

Having discovered that all the party is not assembled and that the elves are having problems finding people willing to venture on the potentially perilous journey, Mabin finds himself talking quietly with Kedmar, long-time dwarven guest of Lorien.
“Elves, humpf.” Said Mabin to Kedmar. “Here we have travelled from far across the land at their request, yet none here appear enthusiastic to join us on their quest. It’s quite a journey; I would not like to be caught in the north during the winter months. We should set off soon.
“As I remember, the sons of Elrond seemed pretty excited at the prospect, maybe we should set off and word could be sent to them back in Rivendel for them to meet us at the eastern end of High Pass? If we are to pass Mount Gundabad, I don’t mind admitting I would feel better for their twin blades.
“They have dubbed you Elf-Friend, Kedmar, maybe you should have a word? As despite fifty years of them warming their rumps on my lovely coal, I have never achieved such an honour; but that’s elves for you.”

04/13/2005 12:16 PM

Haldir smirked as he looked at Mabin and moved a little closer to the sturdy dwarf. "You have a point Magin, were it not that we are awaiting one of the Dunedain to arrive at this location. She will be travelling with us." The elf put the emphasis on the word 'she' and smiled widely, as he awaited the reaction of the rest of the group.

04/13/2005 4:21 PM

“She?” Mabin gasped, “What sort of quest is this?
“A place where elves fear to tread, yet they would send a lady? Indeed these are dark times.
“Will you not be travelling with us too master elf?” The last was implied with the mildest sense of disbelief, to Haldir.
“Whatever the delay, I feel that we have tarried too long in these woods and that the days roll by uncounted in the lands outside.”

04/13/2005 5:08 PM

Kolath stood in the shadows watching the group before him, he had not wanted to come to Loth Lorien it was to alive there was no place to go and be by yourself, to many elves, but the open spaces had their appeal, he just hoped that he could find a place that was quite.
Kolath walked over to the group he had already met those who had been in Lorien, not having heard the conversation so far, he walked up to the two new comers and introduced himself “Kolath of the house of red haven a pleasure to meet you both”

04/13/2005 8:49 PM

Standing perfectly still at a distance, Ethrana had indeed been present as the others gathered in the Pavillion. She had been somewhat surprised at the diversity of their group, and wanted a moment to observe their interactions with each other. If she was going to depend on these individuals for her life at some point, she wanted to know at the outset where the group's strengths and weaknesses lied.

She tilted her head slightly as she took in the motley crew of an Elf, two Dwarves, a Hobbit, and a fellow Ranger. From her vantage point, she was unable to see the face of the Ranger, so she was uncertain as to who he was or if she would know him. She was about to step out of the shadows and walk toward the Pavillion when she overheard the hairy Dwarf's comment about a lady coming along being a sign of dark times. Her deep green eyes sparkled with mirth briefly, but quickly returned to their calm and collected appearance. It seemed it was time for her to join her traveling companions.

Walking assuredly from her place of hiding toward the Pavillion, Ethrana made her way quickly and easy to the center of the group. She walked directly up to Haldir and greeted him with a nod to acknolwedge his leadership. "Ethrana, Dunedain of the North, here in service of the task appointed us." As she spoke the word 'us' she looked around at her companions, taking in their reactions to her words as well as attempting to communicate that she would be a trustworthy and dependable member of their group.

04/14/2005 5:33 AM

“My lady,” says Mabin, bowing deeply. “A timely arrival as we were, I believe preparing to hear more details of this journey and why after all these years it is imperative that we reach the ruins of Angmar soon.
"Maybe this is all old news to many of you but there is one dwarf amongst us who is very much in the dark and although we are fond of such places, we prefer that we encounter them underground, not during an elven council.”

[Edited by Mica on Thursday, April 14, 2005 5:37 AM]

04/14/2005 9:18 AM

Ethrana turned slightly toward the Dwarf and tilted her head in greeting as he spoke. The sarcastic humor of a Dwarf, how could I have forgotten? she thought to herself. It had been a while since she'd interacted with one of his kind, so she knew she'd need some time to adjust to his company.

"I believe we are all eager to begin, Master Dwarf. Do you have a name you go by?"

04/14/2005 10:25 AM

Haldir grinned and spoke softly, but audible enough for the group to hear his words. "Yes Mabin, I shall indeed be traveling with you all, as I have been instructed about what we need to find in there." The elf glanced at the approaching Ethrana and smiled, while he extended his hand to her.

"Ethrana, it is good to see you again. You have stayed away from us for far too long."
With these words spoken, he turned to Kolath and welcomed the dwarf to the group, just as he had done with all of them.

Now he spoke in his full voice, melodious and crystal clear, as the water running through the mountains after the snow thawed. "Welcome everyone, what we are about to set out on is not an easy task. We are traveling to Angmar, where the witch king once housed himself. There is an object there which is valuable to us all, that needs to be taken from there before it falls in the wrong hands. It is this item that has ensured that the witch king was able to stay there for so long, until he was routed in battle and fled to Mordor, to hide in the shadow of it's master. The rest of what we may find in there is to be divided amongst those partaking in this." Haldir paused and glanced around him, to see the reactions.

04/14/2005 5:05 PM

Koalth raised an eyebrow “so it is some elf trinket that we are after then.” He smiled as long as we come out of this alive, and with a few orc heads.” He laughed, not quite the subject to laugh about going into the fortress of one’s enemy, but he had always believed that given the choice between laughing and crying it was best to laugh, especially with a lady present.

04/15/2005 12:30 AM

“My deepest apologies,” this being no small concession, coming from a dwarf, “the evasiveness of elves appears to be rubbing off on me.” Once again the dwarf bowed.
“Mabin, son of Hadin of the Blue Mountains at your service and my travelling companion is Master Isumbras Took. Don’t let his height fool you for he is as tough as a hammer forged in the best coal.
“Mention was made of ‘the wrong hands’, presumably an enemy wishing to obtain this item,” this last statement being directed towards Haldir. “Can you tell us more on this subject, specifically to the danger he, she,” a slight nod of recognition for the benefit of Ethrana, “or it may pose.”
Before he could be drawn from the subject Mabin voiced what was obviously at the forefront of all the dwarves’ minds.
“Obviously we will need to draw up contracts for the sharing of the treasure.”

04/15/2005 10:25 AM

Ethrana smiled briefly at Mabin as he apologized and introduced himself. Her gaze shifted to the Hobbit at Mabin's introduction, and she felt her eyes soften as she looked upon him. Something in her heart had always been stirred by the race of Hobbits - as if they somehow represented the last bit of childlike innocence of their time. She felt instinctively protective of their race and land, and found those feelings stirring within her as she looked upon Master Took.

Nodding slightly to the Hobbit, she said "Tis no small thing to receive such a compliment from a Dwarf. I am glad that you have chosen to join this journey."

Hearing Haldir beginning to speak, Ethrana shifted her attention toward him. As he spoke of their quest, the truth of his message resonated within her. She knew the Elves had come to their decision to retrieve this object after much thought and deliberation, and also knew they were not ones to make hasty decisions. She was still a bit baffled by the mixed company of races, but knew as well that the Elves had a reason for each of them being there.

Ethrana smirked internally at both of the Dwarf's reactions. She knew this object was far more valuable than a trinket - and as one who lived off the land with ease, she had no need for treasure. Dwarves will be Dwarves she thought to herself with some amusement.

04/15/2005 12:14 PM

"Leave it to a dwarf to speak of contracts, when it comes to dealing with matters of value." Haldir muttered and shook his head lightly, which caused his long hair to wave across his shoulders. "Splitting what we find, master dwarf, shall be done here and amongst those that return here, aside from the trinket you speak of. Fair enough for everyone?"

The elf glanced at Ethrana and cast her a look of understanding, knowing that probably neither of them was in this for the spoils, but for the greater good of the people. This trinket in the wrong hands would be a danger to them all. So far he was the only one that knew exactly what they were about to look for. The Dunedain would probably have a faint idea by what he had said, that this was an item that holds power. A power capable of doing good, but in the wrong hands could bring a lot of harm.

04/15/2005 2:02 PM

Araglas had chosen to remain silent through most of the greetings and was a bit intrigued by the appearance of another ranger. Slowly, he rose from his chair and excused himself from Took before stepping towards the gathering of elf, dwarf, and Dunedain. The wind blew his hair teasingly to the side, sending the brown locks dancing fitfully on the breeze.

He arrived at the company, his companions, and greeted them for the first time with a warm, joyful smile on his face. His crystal blue eyes regarded each figure before lingering on Ethrana. He tilted his head in respect to the lady.

"I am Araglas," he stated, his voice deep and firm, if a bit hollow.

04/15/2005 2:09 PM

Arothir trotted lightly along the well-hidden paths of Lorien, his adopted home. Barely a sound was made by his soft boots as he turned a corner and came within sight of the pavillion. His keen eyes took in the visage of representatives from all the Free Peoples of Middle-earth.
"Dwarves..." he muttered softly with a light shake of his head.
Unlike some of his people, he harboured no ill-will toward the Stout Folk. He could still remember the days when, if nothing else, Elves and Dwarves were somewhat friendlier. His own father had even borne a shield made by Dwarven smiths in Nogrod.

Thinking of the Elder Days caused Arothir's hand to rest across the cross of his longsword - a beautiful weapon with delicate engravings along the cross and pommel. The weapon was housed in a scabbard of pale grey leather with bronze and silver scrollwork. With a sigh, Arothir quickened his pace and stepped up to the pavilion.

"My lord Haldir," Arothir stated coolly with his hand over his chest and a tip of his head, "I hear word that the Warden of the Wood has called for the aid of what precious few of us may be spared to undertake a journey of some import. I come to represent the guardians of the Southern reaches at the banks of the Celebrant and Nimrodel."

Arothir's eyes darted to the Ranger - or at least what appeared to be a Ranger, perhaps a Dunedain, briefly. Soon enough his gaze fell back to his Captain, awaiting further information or orders.

[Edited by Dark_Elf_Damien on Friday, April 15, 2005 2:10 PM]

04/15/2005 2:24 PM

Ethrana noticed the smooth movements of the Ranger as he made his way around the group and ultimately to her. As their gazes locked briefly, much was spoken between them - and she suspected he felt as called to this task as she had. "Greetings, Araglas" she spoke in common tongue so as not to exclude those around them. "As always, it is a pleasure to meet another of our kind. When time permits, we must share our knowledge of our past adventures and encounters, so we might know all that is stirring in the land."

She was just finishing her words to Araglas when she heared a quickened pace of another approaching the Pavillion. Turning over her shoulder to observe the newcomer, she took in the appearance of the Elf. A representative of the guardians of the Southern reaches? she thought to herself. That was an addition she had not anticipated. As his gaze fell briefly upon her, she met him with a look that communicated the respect she felt for all Elves, but nothing more. As his gaze turned back to Haldir, she too focused upon their leader, waiting to see what his response would be.

04/15/2005 2:39 PM

Calmly Haldir approached his lieutenant and placed a hand on his shoulder, while a light smile came to his face he spoke softly to him in elven. "Arothir, I would be pleased to have you by my side. Your sword and experience will be an asset to this group. I assume you have your gear packed already?" He removed his hand from Arothir's shoulder and motioned to the group that stood before him.

"Allow me to present you the rest of the group, Arothir. The Man is Araglas and the woman is called Ethrana, both of the Dunedain, then we have Mabin, son of Hadin and Kolath to represent the dwarves and last but not least, on the advise of Mithrandir, we have Isumbras Took, a hobbit. There may be one or two others to join us once we reach Rivendell, although they may find us sooner."

Haldir turned to the group and pointed at his lieutenant and presented him to them, switching to the common tongue as he raised his voice. "This is my lieutenant Arothir, who will be traveling with us. His skills with the sword and bow will be needed on this journey."

He stepped back a bit and thus allowed the others to approach his 'brother in arms'. Before he stepped away he whispered just one thing to the elf beside him. "At ease, get to know these folks."

04/15/2005 3:05 PM

Arothir smiled faintly at Haldir and with a tilt of his head gestured to the light roll across his back - a typical piece of equipment found among the Galadhrim containing extra bowstrings, lembas, weapon-oil, and other small necessities all rolled in a spare cloak. He moved with Haldir and looked in wonder at the Hobbit. [i]Surely he will be a great aid to us if his inclusion was ordained by Mithrandir[/i], he thought.

At his introduction, Arothir nodded gravely at his new companions. At the comment from Haldir, Arothir returned an easy smile.

To the Dwarves he looked first. "May we be to one another as our peoples were in the Dark Years, as friends and allies," he stated with genuine sincerity.
Next he looked to the Dunedain with a look of both sorrow and pride. "I fought the Great Battle beside your much honoured ancestors. It gladdens my heart to see two of so high a lineage of Men within the Golden Wood."

Lastly, Arothir turned to the halfling with a smile. "Such little folk never before have I seen. But if you are as true and good as the tales may say, then glad I am to have such company on this dark journey. But harden your heart - for we do not go lightly into green pastures and bright fields!"

04/15/2005 7:22 PM

"Such little folk never before have I seen. But if you are as true and good as the tales may say, then glad I am to have such company on this dark journey. But harden your heart - for we do not go lightly into green pastures and bright fields!"

"So I have been told, master elf," Isumbras said standing and bowing to Arothir. "But a good adventure is bound to have some dark paths. But...beggin your pardon Sir," he said speaking to Haldir, "Who is Mithrandir, you keep speaking of him as if he knows me?"

Althrond came from behind the trees, "Haldir, all the supplies are in order." He then looked around the group, everyone seemed to be assembled, "It seems in my absence everyone has arrived, for those of you who don't know me I am Althrond son of Falrond."

04/16/2005 12:56 AM

"Splitting what we find, master dwarf, shall be done here and amongst those that return here, aside from the trinket you speak of. Fair enough for everyone?"

Mabin stared at Haldir with a suspicious look as though he has been the butt of a joke.
“Humpf, maybe it is difference in our statures, master elf, but I often find that elvish mirth passes over my head.
"To agree to such a contract would make me a laughing stock amongst my kindred from the Iron Hills to the Blue Mountains.
"Let me suggest the following. That each member setting forth on the quest and staying true to the quest until either its completion or the other members feel that he or she has fulfilled their purpose or fallen; is entitled to a full share. In the case of the unspeakable happening this should be delivered to their kin.
"Efforts to return any that fall should be earnestly made or where impossible or impractical, burial should be conducted.
"Unless there are any in disagreement, I trust we can consider this matter settled.”

"May we be to one another as our peoples were in the Dark Years, as friends and allies," he stated with genuine sincerity.

"Aye, that would indeed be a grand thing, a grand thing indeed.
"So, is all now set? I must admit my feet are eager to set forth."

[Edited by Mica on Saturday, April 16, 2005 12:57 AM]

04/16/2005 3:04 AM

Haldir laughed for a moment at the question of the hobbit, then shook his head and spoke clearly. "Forgive me, Isumbras, that is something you cannot possibly know of course. Mithrandir is the elven name of the grey wizard, you would know him by the name of Gandalf." A little bit of mirth remained in his eyes. "We often forget that not everyone is versed in our tongue, which creates awkward situations at times, as the elven names do not resemble those in the common language."

The elf turned his head towards the kinsman emerging from behind the trees and nodded to him. "Thank you, Althrond. That means we are set to follow the path that is before us."

For a moment Haldir pondered, then smirked at the dwarf and his proposal for a contract. "That seems to coincide with what I had just given you as a reply, Son of Hadin. It is a good thing that I was told of this dwarven habit they call commerce." For a flicker he had winked at the dwarf and smiled widely at him the next instant. The joke however was harmless enough not to offend him.

04/16/2005 7:48 AM

Next he looked to the Dunedain with a look of both sorrow and pride. "I fought the Great Battle beside your much honoured ancestors. It gladdens my heart to see two of so high a lineage of Men within the Golden Wood."

Ethrana caught the meaning of Arothir's look, and returned one of deep understanding with a touch of compassion. Those who lived as long as the Elves had many seasons of sorrow and pride, and she found herself wondering about the seaons Arothir himself had endured. "Your company is an unexpected gift, Arothir. May our journey be as fruitful as the ones of your past with our kind."

Turning her gaze back to Mabin as he spoke of the details of their 'contract', Ethrana looked at him thoughtfully. So he understands the graveness of what we may face. And he wishes to honor those who may fall, and thinks of their families as well. She found herself feeling an additional measure of respect for this Dwarf. She knew those who were honorable were also trustworthy.

Feeling the sense of urgency beginning to flow within her veins again, Ethrana knew they should not delay their departure much longer. She looked back expectantly to Haldir, eager to begin the journey as well.

04/16/2005 7:54 PM

Arothir chuckled slightly at the Dwarf's eagerness to be off. [i]Perhaps he's uncomfortable in Elven lands, knowing he's veritably surrounded by Elven warriors[/i], he thought.

"Master Mabin makes an acute point," Arothir stated respectfully, "We should be off soon lest we lose the light. And while it troubles not our keen eyes, my lord Haldir, the other folk here may not be so at ease traveling by night."

Arothir stepped toward Althrond, his hand resting easily across the hilt of his sword. He turned to regard Haldir, causing his surcoat to tossle around his calves, though his long hauberk made no sound. A tilt of his head set Arothir at an easy posture, awaiting further instruction.

04/17/2005 3:03 AM

Haldir nodded towards Arothir and made a swift check of his traveling gear, which was as little as the other elves and that of the dunedain. He fastened the greyish elven cloak with the customary leafdesigned pin across his shoulders and slung his pack on his back.

After his brief preparation was done he spoke towards the others. "Of we go then, through dimrill dale and across the high pass to Rivendell. By the time we get to the high pass, the snow should be gone, so our dwarves and hobbit will have less trouble passing it. Everyone ready to go?"

With a short glance the elf mustered the two Dunedain and smiled faintly. Those two were almost as effective as an elf would be, their packs light and without unnecessary items to carry with them.

04/17/2005 4:11 PM

Araglas noticed the faint smile that Haldir threw his way and realized just how quiet he had become. Perhaps due to the fact that he felt a bit out of place. He quickly pushed those thoughts aside as he realized there would be no room for such them on the road ahead. Slowly, he nodded back towards Haldir.

"May our road to Rivendall be swift and safe," he added as he picked his pack up from the ground and slipped his arms through the straps.

04/17/2005 10:15 PM

"Leavin' already?!? But what about the food you promised?" Isumbras said frantically, "I havn't eatin since the sun has risen. And that was several hours ago."

04/18/2005 1:12 PM

Ethrana smiled as she laid her hand upon the Hobbit's shoulder, "While your need to eat is urgent, Isumbras, so too is our need to begin our journey. Perhaps the promised food has been wrapped for travel?" Looking to Haldir for confirmation, she hoped the Elves had done so, since they too had probably sensed the need for their party to be on their way.

She glanced around the group again, sensing the uneasiness in the air, but trusting that would ease as they developed their own rhythm of travel and interacting.

04/18/2005 1:37 PM

Haldir grinned to the hobbit and nodded to a nearby elf, who ran off and returned a little while later with a small pack, which he handed to Isumbras. The elf muttered something in rapid elvish, that resembled most to "Enjoy your meal, while it lasts" and then scuttered off again. Haldir smirked slightly and commented to the hobbit. "Your appetite preceeds your reputation, master Took, therefor we had already bundled your meal for you.

The elf however did not stay away for long and handed equal packs to the two dwarves, who upon opening the pack found some cold meat, lembas and a number of slices of bread, with butter and honey.

04/18/2005 5:22 PM

"Leavin' already?!? But what about the food you promised?" Isumbras said frantically, "I havn't eatin since the sun has risen. And that was several hours ago."

"Aye! the little one is right, we..." at this the elf returned with the packs for the three of them kolath never finished what he was saying, a little chagrined not wanting to admit that he would rather have stayed here for the next several hours jsut to get his courage up but they were off and he had no choice but to go with them in to the unknown.

04/18/2005 5:43 PM

And so the group set out through the woods of Loth Lorien to the Dimril Dale. Althrond went to Haldir's side, "I assume we are traveling to the Highpass on foot," he glanced back at the dwarves and hobbit, "Horses would hinder them more than help."

Isumbras walked along munching on some bread and cheese he had found in his pack. Not a bad start to things, he thought to himself.

04/19/2005 4:33 AM

"Far over misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold." All eyes turn to Mabin, "Ahem, sorry, couldn't resist." He then slinks to the back of the group and fixes his attention on a lembas wafer.

04/19/2005 12:35 PM

Haldir listened to what Althrond had to say and began discussing this with him as they walked to get out of the green forests of Lorien and into the grassy plain of Dimrill Dale. "That depends if there is still snow in the pass, my friend. Kneedeep snow is but a little trouble to the dunedain and none to us, but to the little folk it would reach to their waist. Should there be no snow, then we carry on on foot, but with the snow we can lead the horses with the small folks upon them, instead of having to carry them."

04/19/2005 2:35 PM

Arothir tropped up next to Haldir and Althrond as the party set out from Lorien and into the Dimrill Dale. He listened patiently to the short conversation as he walked, breaking in when Haldir had finished speaking, "Maybe that we should send, while we are still here, a small group of Galadhrim as scouts to see what may be seen. If there is still heavy snow then they will see it - and perhaps we could plan an easier, if longer, route?"

04/20/2005 11:44 AM

Haldir regarded Arothir as he popped up next to him, his lips curling in a faint smile, knowing that his lieutenant would probably have somethng on his mind, that he no doubt would bring forth. This was the way he always had been and often his suggestions were sound, albeit he could at times be impatient, if that can even be said about an elf.

When his comrade in arms had spoken, he thought for a brief time and then nodded to him. "Good idea, Arothir. Send four of them ahead and have them take the customary precautions. Sometimes the orcs move further south during winter Mount Gundabad is the connecting point of the Hithaeglir and the Ered Mithrin after all and moving south from there...."

Haldir did not finish his sentence as he looked at his two fellow elves, he knew he did not have to. Both of them would be well aware that the orcs would sometimes be found as far south as Carrock, if the winter had been harsh.

04/20/2005 2:42 PM

With a stiff nod to Haldir, Arothir jogged away from the company as they crossed over the Dale, quickly reaching the trees. "Na nin*," he called up into the silence of the trees. Suddenly, appearing with great stealth a group of seven Elves, clad in greys and greens, gathered to Arothir. There was a short, clipped discussion that could vaguely be heard across the Dale. Arothir was pointing, and another Elf seemed to be waving his hands lightly and gesturing behind himself.

When the conversation closed, three Elves climbed back to their flets while another four ran off through the cover of the trees. Arothir did not seem to see them, though, as he was already jogging back to catch up with the company. He slowed and covered the rest of the distance at a quick walk, catching up to Haldir.

"The scouts will travel a path parallel to our own, but moving quicker without the burden of short-legged companions. They'll come to the pass many hours before us, and will have time to double-back to us and report before we come within sight of it. They'll also take a bit of time to scout the area for any signs of Enemy passage."

A faint sigh escaped Arothir. He knew how much more dangerous this endevour would become if even a small portion of the Orcs of Gundabad were coming from their holes and encampments. This company was more than a match for twice or even four times its number in the filthy abominations. [i]But what if those numbers are closer to six or ten times our number...[/i] Arothir thought to himself with a slight shake of his head.

04/20/2005 3:56 PM

Ethrana was a few steps behind Haldir, Arothir, and Althrond as they spoke - far enough back to not intrude, but close enough to overhear their conversation. She nodded to herself at the wisdom of sending out a few scouts to scope out what might await them. Looking over her shoulder, she took in the rest of the group, sizing up their fighting skills and weaponry. She felt confident that their motley crew could fight well together if needed when needed , she corrected herself, but she'd prefer that their first run not be with a large party of Orcs.

She slowed her pace to fall in step with Araglas as she was eager for the opportunity to share news of the lands with one another. As he neared her, she changed her mind about it - since the Elves were already gathered together she didn't want to send the message that each should travel with their own kind. She eyed Araglas as he came closer and spoke with her eyes that she would like to talk with him later.

She then slowed her pace a bit more, and matched strides with Mabin, who was still intently studying his lembas wafer. "So, Master Mabin," she began in a conversational tone. "What was it that drew you into this quest?" She knew, of course, he'd be interested in the treasure, but she also had reason to believe that there was more to this dwarf's character than simple greed.

04/20/2005 5:11 PM

Kolath walk several paces to the left of the main party preferring his own company to that of strangers he was watching the clouds roll by as he walked allowing his mind to dwell on nothing inparticulaer, he knew that soon enough he would need to keep his mind focused and so now he needed to let it wonder and rest for the times to come.

04/20/2005 9:19 PM

"The scouts will travel a path parallel to our own, but moving quicker without the burden of short-legged companions. They'll come to the pass many hours before us, and will have time to double-back to us and report before we come within sight of it. They'll also take a bit of time to scout the area for any signs of Enemy passage."

"Very good, with the possiblity of orcs coming from the south it will be good to have warning," Althrond looked to the sky as the group passed through the edges of the Lorien forest.

He turned and took one quick glance of the group, "So it begins," he whispered. Althrond quickened his pace slightly and moved a short distance ahead of the group, taking point.

Isumbras finished off his meal and patted his stomach, "Fine food," he smiled. As the group moved he started to whistle one of his favorite traveling tunes. He then moved into a song:

Upon the hearth the fire is red,
Beneath the roof there is a bed;
But not yet weary are our feet,
Still round the corner we may meet
A sudden tree or standing stone
That none have seen but we alone
Tree and flower and leaf and grass,
Let them pass! Let them pass!
Hill and water under sky,
Pass them by! Pass them by!..........

04/21/2005 12:20 AM

She then slowed her pace a bit more, and matched strides with Mabin, who was still intently studying his lembas wafer. "So, Master Mabin," she began in a conversational tone. "What was it that drew you into this quest?"
“Well, mistress Ethrana, I would not be a dwarf if the allure of treasure held no motive for me. If you suspected that this was not the only force that moved me, you are very perceptive.
“Two other motives are at play, a promise and a desire.
“The first is to Old Man Took. He and I have shared many a pint and he is a good friend of mine and has been for some years. I promised him I would watch over the lad, though I must admit over the last few weeks I have developed something of a fondness for the boy.” With that said, they turned to look at Isumbras, who having finished his lembas, five days worth of rations, if Haldir was to be believed, had moved onto singing a merry little tune, oblivious to one and all. “Ha, he even has me bursting into song.
“Do not tell the lad of this promise, it would hurt his feelings. I suspect he hopes to grow into a famous elven warrior like Arothir yonder,” continued Mabin, pointing with a thrust of his chin to the elves some distance away deep in conversation.
“As to the other reason, this is something you and I share. As I have travelled the length and breadth of Eriador, on many occasion I have camped along the roadside, often taken shelter in one of the many ruins; ruins left by your forefathers of old. Aye, it seems both of our races are destined to build great cities, works of wonder and awe only to have the lesser races and dark minions tear them down.
“The opportunity to gaze upon the mountain before us, Silvertine, in the common tongue was too great to miss. Below, now a warren for foul things, was once the mightiest dwarf city of them all. Few, if any will now enter it and for good reason.
“Even Carn-Dûm, the ruins of the Witch-King’s main fortress in Angmar was once a dwarf hold. I intend to discover if anything remains our works and whether the evil still lingers. As I said, I suspect our desires to rebuild our works is mutual.”
A silence followed as they both looked on the mountain, for a while keeping their own counsel. Eventually Mabin continued, “If opportunity allows though, I would show you something of the Elder Days; Durin’s Crown was the name given to it and it lies in the lake ahead, though it is no ordinary lake.” Realising that maybe he had bared a little too much too soon he turned the conversation, “I prattle on, too much time with the hobbit. So what brings you to this quest, if you don’t mind me asking?”

[Edited by Mica on Thursday, April 21, 2005 7:14 AM]

04/21/2005 1:21 PM

Haldir gave a short nod to Arothir's report and then gave a pat on his shoulder, when the elf started to ponder. "I know what you're thinking, Arothir. If we can believe what Elrond has said during the council, then even the high pass may not be a safe place. More then once his scouts have seen traces of orcs and goblins within those mountains, spreading ever southwards. They are however still small in numbers, but a few of them have enough pull amongst their race to group smaller tribes. There are rumors of an orc chieftain that makes his men fight with ferocity, even against elves and dwarves. This we know of through our scouts and sightings by dwarves, albeit that the most recent news came to us through one of the dunedain. Let's save our worries for when we get the news from our scouts."

04/21/2005 2:39 PM

Ethrana smiled as Mabin conceded the fact that the treasure was indeed alluring to him. She then nodded at his implied question of her perceiving more than that as a draw for him. She was intrigued at the thought of his motives revolving around a promise and a desire, though.

As Mabin spoke of Old Man Took, she glanced over at Isumbras. It seemed he was singing a song of sorts, and as she caught some of the words he sang, she wondered about the Hobbit who had penned the words - and what his or her thoughts had been at the time. She wondered also why Isumbras had chosen that particular song to sing. She made a mental note to catch up later with the Hobbit that seemed different from most. Ethrana laughed out loud at Mabin's admission that the little Hobbit had somehow encouraged him to sing as well. At his request that she not tell Isumbras of the promise he'd made to Old Man Took, Ethrana made a sign which pledged secrecy and responded, "he'll not hear of it from me, Master Mabin."

Ethrana sighed with a bit of sadness as the hairy Dwarf talked of great cities being torn down by lesser races and dark minions. While she knew the threat of evil would always loom somewhere, she had committed to herself long ago that she would stand against whatever evil powers she could with the talents and time given to her. She understood Mabin's desire to see the once-great Dwarven city, and see if any remberances of his people could be found there.

At the mention of Durin's Crown , Ethrana turned to look directly at the Dwarf. The name tickled something in her memory, but she couldn't immediately place it. Something to do with constellations? she thought to herself. She didn't want to offend the Dwarf by guessing incorrectly, nor lessen his eagerness by actually being right, so she simply responded, "Twould be a wonder to see something of the Elder Days, Master Mabin. Although I am comfortable living in the land, there is still much to this great world I have not seen. I do hope we are able to look upon it."

When he asked her what brought her to the quest, Ethrana looked off in the distance, as if remembering something from her past. She paused for a moment, then responded, "You are correct, Master Mabin, in saying that we do share similiar motivations. While I'm not drawn to the treasure for the sake of riches, I am drawn to the treasure for what it represents. Our world is not what it once was, but neither is it yet what it could be. Places that once held virtue have been ravaged by forces of evil. And while I mourn that loss, I do not see it as a death, for a simple spark of light can cause the darkness to flee. But if no one steps forward to make that spark, then the darkness will continue to dwell freely."

Ethrana paused again and looked at the group ahead of them. Returning to gaze to Mabin, she said quietly, "Tis folly to believe we can rid the world of all evil. But tis more folly to not try to rid the world of some of it."

04/22/2005 10:19 PM

Arothir nodded slightly, though he was not fully convinced. His voice slipped back into Elvish, and became clipped and slightly more rapid as he spoke, "It may seem too soon to worry, but these are troubled times. There are only few here, and if the Orcs should fall upon us, we may find ourselves trapped. I worry not for my sake or yours - we are fleet and could disappear from sight at need. But the little one may find his arm too short and courage too wane if we should be set upon. Durin's Folk are hardy enough at need, as are we. But if we should find ourselves trapped, surely the little one will perish."

Arothir sighed heavily and continued more quietly and softly, "I do not despair. I only counsel caution and keen eyes. We may find ourselves taking another road, if this one we find blocked by enemies." Hearing the conversation behind them, Arothir nodded to Haldir and placed a firm hand on his shoulder, his eyes showing that he still had hope. He then stopped, allowing Mabin and the Dunedain to catch up to him.

[i]But if no one steps forward to make that spark, then the darkness will continue to dwell freely.[/i] Ethrana stated as she came near to Arothir.

"And so it has dwelt freely, by the folly of your ancestors. But perhaps it was not all in vein, and those Dunedain of today shall redeem the actions of Yesterday. Aside from the folly of one, your ancestors were great. O! You should have seen their splendour in the days of old - the Men of the West were a great people before the darkness consumed them." Arothir's voice was sobering at that last statement, perhaps part remembrance, part warning. He looked to Elthrana and Mabin as if seeing them for the first time, then simply nodded.

[Edited by Dark_Elf_Damien on Friday, April 22, 2005 10:23 PM]

04/23/2005 6:43 AM

Ethrana noticed that Arothir had dropped behind Haldir and Althrond, and that he appeared to be waiting for them to catch up. She continued speaking with Mabin as they came closer, as she felt no need to hide the truth of her heart from anyone in their group. At least, not on this particular matter she thought to herself.

As Arothir spoke, Ethrana looked to the ground, feeling the sting of his words. She bore him no ill will for speaking truth, but long had her people carried the shame of Isildur's actions. She had often wondered if it was that shame that motivated the Dunedain to forge their individual paths of fighting evil - as if each of them was somehow called to redeem the choice Isildur made that fateful day.

Bringing her thoughts back to the present, Ethrana looked back to Arothir as he spoke of the splendor of her people's past. Nodding at his final statement, she admitted "I have often wished to see that beauty restored, or at the very least, redeemed." She chose not to speak of the threat of darkness consuming them in front of Mabin, but she sensed Arothir's unspoken words to her.

In an effort to redirect the conversation from her own past, Ethrana continued, "I was discussing with Mabin why I had chosen to answer the call to join this quest. While I knew Haldir would be leading this journey, I did not expect to encounter a guardian of the Southern reaches. Why is it that you have chosen to be here, Arothir?"

04/24/2005 7:31 PM

Arothir looked ahead as he walked, his surcoat swaying with his steps. Over the cross of Narumil, Arothir had draped his left hand. The intricately designed scabbard clapped faintly against his leg as he walked.

"Chosen is perhaps a strong word. I was asked by my Lord Celeborn and the Lady Galadriel to join with this company. They believed my talents may be of some use in the trials to come. There was no choice to make. It is my doom to remain until all that was made by Morgoth is unmade."

He sighed lightly, his eyes seeming to roam far from the present, "I have lived to see three Ages of this world, born to those who had forsaken far green fields out of rage and confusion. My father was of the House of Fingolfin, and so am I bound to the fate Fingolfin chose for his people - to combat Morgoth and all his works. As I said, there is no choice. I must continue this fight, for if any dark power comes to be near as great as Morgoth was, the world will suffer greatly. I was there at the War of Wrath when it took the Powers and the hosts of Valinor combined to throw down the Great Enemy. I watched as Beleriand was thrown to ruin by this devestation. So I will fight, if by my toil future generations are spared this destruction and ruin."

Arothir seemed to shake his head a bit, returning to the present out of distant memory. But there was a light in his eyes, a light as only can be seen among those who have witnessed the Valar in their splendour. Upon his face was a look of stern determination, and great sorrow.

"So it is. We are all bound to the works of the Great Enemy, for our own reasons perhaps, but no different in resolve or resoluteness. I imagine you know that well, Dunedain. You know the splendour of your people will never be restored fully, yet you are bound to fight their war, as I am bound to fight the war of Fingolfin and his brother Feanor."

04/25/2005 12:20 PM

Haldir, who lead the group by a number of paces, turned around and looked straight at Arothir. "Lieutenant, I am not sure you are aware of it, but I suggest you speak a little less of the folly of one Man from Numenor. I think it will be rather uncurteous to the dunedain that walks behind you, who is a direct decendant of that man." With a slight nod of his head, the elf motioned towards Araglas, while he avoided the use of Isildur's name, as was customary among elves not to speak the name of the dead. I assume he can do without the constant reminder, don't you agree?"

With that said, Haldir turned in his steps and marched onwards, his cape settling around his shoulders again from the turn he made. For a few seconds a glimpse of his sword was seen, the two handed elven blade that his men wore as well, and the quiver of his magnificent bow, carved in equal patterns to match eachother. The slight sound of mail was heard as the elf moved, which thus far none had noticed.

04/27/2005 12:30 AM

“He’s a dour sort, ain’t he; reminds me of my uncle. He once found a huge boulder of gold but still complained about having to drag it along the narrow mine shaft to the cart.” Commented Mabin to nobody in particular in reference to Arothir.

In time, the group ambled their way across the dale, taking their time as they awaited the return of the scouts, making camp and moving on the next day.
Mabin took the opportunity to show them the deep lake of Mirrormere, that the dwarves called Kheled-zâram and the reflected sickle shaped constellation known as both Valacirca and Durin’s Crown, which appeared on the water’s surface despite the blue sky of day above. Even the normally taciturn Kolath was moved to words.


Conversations continued on and off over the next couple of days as adventurers slowly got to know each other and their reasons for being here.

“What did he mean by the folly of your ancestors, lady?" asked Mabin of Ethrana, "Did they not destroy the Witchking a thousand years ago to the sacrifice of their own lands and rid the world of the Dark Lord at the end of the last Age? You sell enough coal and you learn a thing or two.” Like most, Mabin believed that Sauron and his minions had been defeated for all time in the Last Alliance and that the One Ring had indeed been destroyed and passed out of history.

04/27/2005 1:10 AM

Arothir looked to Haldir as he spoke, understanding the rightness of his words, but chose not to respond, as he was sure Haldir knew he had taken the words to heart. He turned to te Dunedain and nodded slightly, as if in apology.

[i]Dour?[/i], he thought. He then laughed, a light, but hearty laugh, and said no more.


As Mabin spoke to Ethrana, Arothir shook his head lightly. "The Naugrim always were a curious people. So full of wonder, though they are not prone to admit it." Arothir smiled slightly, looking off into the horizon, hoping the scouts would return soon with reports on the condition of the area.

04/27/2005 8:28 PM

Isumbras had taken this opportunity to learn more of the ancient legends of the other races. He quickly realized that the shire was an extremely sheltered place, more so than he had thought. He learned of the Dunedain of the north who protected all good souls, of the elves, now more than just legends, and of the dwarves, beyond the drinking songs he was used to hearing. When time permited them Althrond would continue to teach him in the use of the sword. He was already glad that he chose to join this group on an adventure of sorts. He had already filled many pages of a blank note-taking book and yet he wondered if the whole adventure would be such as this.


Althrond had taken to a small hill about 1/3 of a mile from the others. He scanned out looking for any signs of movement. Nothing, he was growing slightly worried that the scouts had not returned. He pushed the thought of orcs away from his mind and looked back at the group. He sighed and jogged back to them.

"Still no sign of them," he said.

[Edited by Flandrake on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 8:31 PM]

04/28/2005 2:40 AM

The day wore on and clouds, almost always so be seen brooding over the mountains took on an ominously dark colour. Before nightfall a light but cold rain started to fall and the easy conversation of the morning turned to silence as they watched the skies for a break and the horizon for signs of the scouts.
By nightfall most were drenched despite having found the best shelter possible, which in the open vale consisted of a few trees.
As the night dragged on, those that needed it slept fitfully seeking what little comfort they could. As such only the elves, ever vigillent were aware of the first of the returning scouts.
“The spirit of the Caradhras is in a malevolence mood," he said, "the snow lies deep and the rains turn to ice. The way is blocked. Not only this, on the way down we discovered Yrch tracks. What ill will has guided them from the door of Moria, I know not. My companion has pursued them to find out, but I hurried here with all haste to tell you, tonight your companions’ sleep may be broken.”
Haldir then took council with Arothir and Althrond. With the Redhorn pass closed, they faced the longer journey north to the High Pass. The question was whether to skirt the mountains or return to Lorien and seek river passage along the Anduin.
Also the question of the orcs venturing from Moria was a disturbing point. Should the group be roused or left to sleep out the night?

05/01/2005 5:04 AM

Arothir turned, walking back to the group as Haldir trotted out of sight with the scout. His face was grave, and his voice a bit tense as he spoke. "It appears we'll be waiting here for another few hours. There will be no fires, though. But sit, everyone, and have something to eat, and rest."

After a few long minutes of silence, Arothir turned to Mabin with a hint of a smile, "Master Dwarf, since it seems we have time to speak - do tell me; How fares your people and what news from the Mountains?"

Sitting across from Mabin, Arothir crossed his legs and relaxed, sitting with perfect stillness and attentive eyes.

05/01/2005 3:44 PM

Althrond moved away from the group and took up watch. His elven sight was hampered by the rain but he would be able to see the other scout coming...or a party of orcs. Haldir was wise and Althrond knew he would make a good decision as to what to do next and where to go.

Isumbras moved closer to the tree. He never minded the rain back home but back there he always had a warm fire and nice mug of ale to welcome him outside of it. He ate some lembas and looked to the others for conversation, a way of forgetting the rain.

"I bet you're used to being in such conditions, being a ranger and all," Isumbras said to Ethrana.

05/01/2005 8:55 PM

At the sounds of the elves conferring among themselves, Ethrana had awakened from her brief time of resting. Seeing Haldir head off with the scout, she knew they could be in for a long night. She nodded her head at Arothir's suggestion for those who were awake to take a moment for nourishment, even though it was unlikely they would find rest. She was certain they all felt the tension in the air - the kind that comes before action. But if their only meal was the anticipation of what was to come, they would be in poor shape indeed. She pulled out some rations, and nibbled on them absently as she leaned up against the tree that was next to her.

Ethrana was pulled from her thoughts as she heard the hobbit moving closer to her. At his comment, she smiled slightly. "Aye, I have traveled for many days in weather worse than this." She motioned to the sky as she spoke, "But given a choice, I would rather be dry than wet." She looked at the hobbit thoughtfully, and commented "I do think it would take more than a little rain to completely dampen your spirits, though. You seem to have a song for every occassion - have you one for weather such as this?"

05/02/2005 2:55 PM

Araglas made his way towards a nearby tree and sat beneath its outstretched branches, hoping that his food would not be dampened by the light drizzle. He pulled out a loaf of lembas bread and tore off a small chunk before placing it into his mouth.

His eyes roamed the make due camp that lay before him. He saw Ethrana and the small one sitting together, chatting innocently. His focus lingered on the pair before leaving to regard the elves, who seemed to have become solemn since the scouts had returned. Araglas silently wondered to himself of what news they had brought back and if it had anything to do with their journey.

For some reason, Araglas' nerves had been on end since they set out on their quest. Perhaps it was only a misplaced anxiety, but somehow he doubted that; very rarely had his senses failed him. A ranger learned to rely on his feelings and more than once Araglas could remember them bailing him out of a dangerous situation.

05/02/2005 5:52 PM

Kolath laid on his bed roll letting himself take in all that happened around him, the splatter of rain on the ground, the breath of the wind, the murmur of the voices of the others as they discussed what was to come. He had seen the scouts come back and Haldir leave with him, he knew that there would soon be trouble, so he had spent some time honing his axes and then had laid them out under oil skins to keep then from the rain, but close hand to allow him to quickly be ready should anything happen this night. He rolled to his side drawing the blanket up to his shoulder; laughing to himself “With my luck we won’t meet a single orc on this entire mission” he closed his eyes and added to himself “From my mouth to God’s ear”

05/03/2005 5:21 AM

Arothir turned to Mabin with a hint of a smile, "Master Dwarf, since it seems we have time to speak - do tell me; How fares your people and what news from the Mountains?"

“No fires? I can only assume that there is trouble and that Haldir has gone to find out the nature of it. Fair enough.
A cold wet night; isn’t my first and no doubt won’t be my last. That’s the thing with delivering coal across Eriador; you are out in all weathers. After a time you are more aware of it and what to expect, but it bothers you less, if you catch my meaning. Still, I would not want to be caught on yonder mountainside while a storm rages.

News from the mountains, aye? Let’s see, there is very little copper left, the best seams were mined out a long time ago. There is still a bit of silver in the north, especially if you pursue the most extreme shafts dug during the days of Nogrod, but few will as they are unstable.
Coal, that’s the best of it. Still a lot there, if you know where to dig, which I do.
I suspect though that this is not what you wanted to know. Rather you would hear that our exile from Erebor and that it sits heavy on the shoulders of Thorin, more so now that Thrain has been gone this last fifty years. If any know his fate, they have not shared it with me.
You would have me tell you that there are grumblings to march to war though our numbers are few. And Thorin will not seek the aid of others, as in times past many have sought compensation much in excess of the labour they have performed in our service. As always our wealth and labours are craved…” Mabin’s words grind to a halt, maybe out of suspicion for the elf’s interest, maybe lost in memories of cities plundered, both thoughts equally possible while camped in the shadow of Moria. “Aye, a cold wet night and not much to look forward to.
“Come master Isumbras, sing us a merry tune if you will and warm our spirits and I will poor some of this liqueur to warm our throats. Do you drink dwarf spirits Master Arothir?”

05/03/2005 1:08 PM

In the far distance, the sounds of drums tore up the silence, which was only broken by the noises of the falling rain. Soon three figures came running towards the group, not bothering to hide from the eyesight of Althrond. Not much later, Haldir ran past the latter and straight into the 'encampment', while motioning the two scouts with him to take up position in the trees.

As he came to a halt the elf spoke up loud enough for all of them to hear. "Everyone into the trees and stay as still as you can possibly be! There's an orcpatrol closing in and outrunning them would be foolish. The pass is not accessible to us, as it is crawling with orcs. Arothir, help the two dunedain to get the short folk up the trees. Althrond, you and I will keep an eye out for them. The two scouts will try and draw them away from us, as soon as they are within visible range. Erase all tracks from the ground and hurry, everyone!"

Swiftly the elf began clearing away the tracks that were made by the group and left but a few elven tracks, then ran to Althrond and climbed a tree on the left side of the trail they were taking. With a brief nod he checked his plan with the two scouts, who had slid out of the trees again and started to clear the tracks made by the group, as they headed towards the trees.

05/03/2005 5:18 PM

Kolath was on his feet the instant that he heard the scouts returning; he quickly warped up his bed roll and returned his axes to their holders. Still strapping on his battle axe he hurried to the tree line with the others and with the help of those taller then himself he found a perch in one of them. “I may be a proud Dwarf” he thought to himself but only a fool does not know his own limitations.” He silenced his mail and weapons when the scouts left the trees again “we shall see many an orc before the night is out” he said under his breath “but weather at the end of our axes or passing us in the night is yet to be seen”

05/03/2005 8:36 PM

With some request for song coming from two members of the group Isumbras nodded, "I think I can find a tune for this..." he thought for several moments and then began to sing:

When the rain... he was cut short by Haldir running to the group and giving orders to seek shelter. He quickly gathered his things and fled to the trees. He looked up the tree and wondered if he really needed to climb it, the branches were bound to be slippery. Then he heard the drums grow louder No time to worry about wet trees. he thought as he looked to Arothir and the Dunedain for help up the tree.

Althrond had drawn his bow and readied an arrow but seeing the two figures were the scouts he returned the arrow to his quiver and when they came he ran along side them back to the camp.

Althrond quickly followed the orders of Haldir, erasing the tracks of the group. The thick mud would show deep marks, especially from the heavy booted dwarves. When even Haldir fled to the trees for cover Althrond turned back and saw through the rain the orc patrol off in the distance. He turned and ran for the trees, nodding to the scouts as they went by. He came to the trees and lept up taking hold of a branch. Althrond pulled himself up and turned back around withdrawing his bow once again.

05/04/2005 4:48 AM

“A couple of days in the company of elves and I find myself shinnying up trees,” muttered Mabin, his mood matching the weather, “I can’t see a blasted thing and who’s is that foot? That’s my head, not a branch you oaf. Pah, at this rate I’m more likely to get killed in a fall than fall foul of orcs.” A chorus of shushes silenced him to grumbling under his breath.

The first lightning flash erupted, a few seconds delay then the thunder rumbled indicating that it was still some distance away over the mountains.
A second flash, this time though a hunched solitary figure was highlighted. The thing was stood on a few boulders situated at the top of a small rise, evidently scanning the surrounding area. Despite their position in the tree they could not tell if this goblin was a lone scout or the vanguard.

Whether it had seen them or not, the creature had left the boulders and was nowhere to be seen by the time the next lightning flash streaked the sky….

05/04/2005 8:48 AM

Before Arothir could even respond to Mabin's question Haldir was shouting. Arothir obeyed with dedicated precision, loping to the treeline to aid his smaller companions in climbing. With a gesture, Arothir motioned for the Dunedain to also climb.

He waited until they were all settled before climbing up an adjacent tree himself. While sitting astride a high, thick branch Arothir strung his bow easily and swiftly. He pulled forth no arrow, but held the bow readied, his right hand back and hanging less than an inch from the fletching of one of his arrows.

There he waited. Arothir's mail did not shine, his entire form seemed duller and harder to note, as is the way of Elves when they do not wish to be noticed.

05/04/2005 4:21 PM

Ethrana settled back against the tree, preparing to hear the melodious voice of the Hobbit. Well, not really melodious she thought to herself, but certainly heartfelt and enjoyable to hear! As he sang the first few words, something within her senses began to stir - and overwheling sense of urgent danger began to enter her mind and flow through her body. Looking over her shoulder, she saw Haldir running quickly toward them. "An elf does not rush so, unless there is a great need" she muttered to herself, though she suspected Isumbras probably heard her as well.

At the announcement of an oncoming orc patrol, Ethrana lept to her feet in one smooth movement. Not one to waste time in needful circumstances, Ethrana placed her hands under Isumbras' armpits and lifted him easily to the first branch of the tree. Waiting until it appeared he had a firm grip on the branch and would be able to hoist himself up, Ethrana released her hold on him and removed the evidence of their presence in the immediate area. Seeing Arothir's gesture for her to climb as well, Ethrana scaled the tree without effort, pulling herself up to the higher branches and leaving the lower ones for the smaller folk. As if by instinct, Ethrana remained perfectly still. Her breathing slowed, her movements ceased, and she seemed to melt into the presence of the tree itself. She knew her weapons were accessible, so there was no need to check them. Instead she peered off in the distance, hoping to receive some advance warning if the orcs were indeed going to come upon them.

05/04/2005 7:06 PM

Araglas' suspicions were confirmed as soon as he saw the elven scout running towards the company, followed by a steady beating from off in the distance. [i]Orc war drums[/i]. Quickly, he got to his feet and helped any smaller folk into the tree before he himself climbed and settled into the outstretched branches of a nearby evergreen. It seemed that time stood still as they held there breath, waiting for any sign.

05/06/2005 2:57 PM

Haldir made himself blend into the tree, through the use of his elven cloak, his bow readied in case they were discovered.

As the orcpatrol neared the position of the group, the elven captain did not flinch a single muscle, as their footsteps broke the staccato of the falling rain and their gruff voices broke the silence.

"Look for tracks, these pointed eared rats cannot have gotten very far, now move, Snaga!" The last word was spoken with a terrible sound and hurled at several of the orcs as a curse, which in fact it was. Snaga is the word these creatures used for a slave, which to the higher ranked of them, the lower ranked orcs were. Those indicated began to search for tracks, but found no clear indications, due to the heavy rain and the work the group had done to hide them.

The patrol was large, even larger then usual, counting to at least 30 of them. Most of these were simple orcs, but 8 of these were larger then the rest. These were the ones to fear, veterans from mount gundabad and leaders amongst their own kind, hardened in battle.

Above them, Haldir signalled the rest to stay hidden and quiet.

05/07/2005 2:17 PM

Arothir narrowed his eyes as the Orcs' harsh voices broke the silence. His fingers flexed and tensed, still held just inches away from the fletching of one of his arrows. He had to keep his instincts in check, as he was fighting the urge to simply open fire. [i]Between myself and my brethren here, we could lay low almost half of their number, perhaps, before they are upon us[/i].. he thought.

Still, Arothir remained silent, blending with his surroundings, yet ready to spring into action should the need arise, or command be given.

05/07/2005 5:27 PM

Hindered by the falling rain, the orcs began to look around the former campsite. With the absence of a fireplace, nothing indicated that they had camped here. Yet still the orcs came ever closer, until one stood below the tree that Haldir was in. At the moment that he made a move to look up, the scouts opened fire on the orcs, who in their anger sped towards them, commanded by what seemed to be their leader.

The two elves made a run for it, drawing the orcs towards them and away from the group. After a few minutes Haldir motined they could come out of the trees and slid down himself. In a soft voice he stated: "The scouts will lure them away, but the pass is crawling with them. We wil not be able to stay here long however. Any suggestions for an alternate route?"

05/07/2005 7:34 PM

Althrond breathed out a sigh of relief as the orcs ran after the scouts and left the group. He quickly jumped down the tree and turned to help the smaller folk. After all had made it safely to the ground he approached Haldir.

"The scouts will lure them away, but the pass is crawling with them. We wil not be able to stay here long however. Any suggestions for an alternate route?"

"If the mountains cannot be crossed the only road we can take is back to Lorien and on to the Gap of Rohan. Then we head North through Eriador and on to the ruins of Angmar," Althrond paused thinking of going the long way around. His face grew thoughtful, "Are we certain that the mountains are blocked?" he finally ended.

05/07/2005 10:30 PM

Dropping from his perch, Arothir walked quickly to Haldir and waited for everyone to come from their own places of hiding. He sighed softly as Althrond spoke and shook his head, speaking softly but sternly.

"If we turn to the Gap of Rohan we make for a far longer trip than was originally intended. It is long stretches of fairly barren land from that place to Rivendell. We have not the time, nor the resources, for such a journey. And do not forget, the Horselords are a suspicious folk - and we cannot be delayed by questions and curiosities."

Arothir looked around at the company before turning directly to Haldir. "There must be a way through the mountains, or a faster way to move around them if need be," he stated in an almost defeated tone.

05/08/2005 11:29 AM

Haldir examined the face of his two compagnions and nodded slowly, as he pondered slightly on the words he was about to say. "There are other routes then Rohan, two to be exact. We can go over the mountains, going across the caradhras, or through Moria." He didn't elaborate on this further, as everyone knew what the risk was if they took the latter route, especially the dwarves among them. "Both alternatives are shorter, but also more risky."

05/08/2005 2:28 PM

"If we turn to the Gap of Rohan we make for a far longer trip than was originally intended. It is long stretches of fairly barren land from that place to Rivendell. We have not the time, nor the resources, for such a journey. And do not forget, the Horselords are a suspicious folk - and we cannot be delayed by questions and curiosities."

"I agree but if the mountains cannot be crossed that may be our only route," Althrond turned to Haldir hopping he would know a pass through the mountains.

"There are other routes then Rohan, two to be exact. We can go over the mountains, going across the caradhras, or through Moria." He didn't elaborate on this further, as everyone knew what the risk was if they took the latter route, especially the dwarves among them. "Both alternatives are shorter, but also more risky."

"Caradhras," Althrond nodded. He looked to the others to see what road they would choose.


When Isumbras dropped to the ground he sneezed. He had been holding it in when the orcs ran by and was glad he had not failed the group. He solemly watched the elves talk about a new road to be taken.

Moria, the old dwarven city. It had been infested with goblins and Balin had entered it. Although the dwarves had never recieved word from him. That way seems dangerous. he thought to himself. Although, I'm sure whichever path we take will be filled with danger. Isumbras looked to the big folk, they would know what to do. A hobbit of the Shire had little knowledge of mountain passes and the like.

05/11/2005 12:48 AM

Having fallen the last few feet out of the tree, Mabin regained his footing and attempted to regain his dignity by brushing twigs from his beard and mud from his knees before venturing over to the improvised council now being held.
“Orcs from Gundabad you say? Well, I must admit that they all look alike to me; you are indeed keen-sighted. Gundabad aye, well, well, now that is a fine thing, a fine thing indeed.
If Gundabad can send orcs all the way to the eaves of Lorien, I doubt very much that the High-Pass is open to travel. I also do not favour slogging over the Caradhras Pass in this weather.
Rohan, as has been pointed out is far out of the way.” Mabin stared across the valley towards Silvertine, “I don’t suppose that the orcs of Gundabad are on speaking terms with Moria goblins, are they Master Haldir? I’m not advocating the path, though to look upon the halls of my ancestors would not be the worst thing in the world, especially if we were careful not to disturb Durin’s Bane. It would also throw of pursuit as well.”

05/11/2005 2:48 PM

Haldir started to smile widely upon the question of the dwarf and shook his head. "Well Master Mabin, the only way to find out if the two are on speaking terms, would be to go ask them or just stay around this place to try and spot the two of them together. I'd rather not, if you don't mind." With a wink he continued what he began to say.

"Moria may shake off pursuing orcs, but Durin's Bane is rather easily disturbed when you have to carve your way through a horde of goblins. I do not want to meet what we call a Balrog, as these have proven to be rather deadly in the past."

The elf looked around the group, for others to state their minds.

05/11/2005 3:35 PM

"Hadhadrond," Arothir began softly, "is a dark place. I will not go that way lest there is no choice besides. I remember the demons of Morgoth well, and they are terrible!"

With a deep sigh, Arothir seemed to grow distant. Shaking his head, he looked to the rest of the company. "If we go that way, it may come to pass that we shall not all leave that place. Flames and shadow do not fall easily, and I know not if it is within me to counter such Evil. Is there no other way, my lord Haldir?"

Arothir's knuckles were white as he gripped tightly his bow.

05/11/2005 4:49 PM

"is a dark place. I will not go that way lest there is no choice besides. I remember the demons of Morgoth well, and they are terrible!"

"Arothir is right, the Balrog would surely be our downfall. We must take our chances crossing through orc patrolled lands," Althrond knew this was a hard choice to make. Every path was dangerous, they had to choose wisely.

05/11/2005 6:44 PM

Ethrana waited until most of their party had dropped out of the tree. Scanning the horizon, she wanted to be sure the Orcs had indeed followed the decoy of the scouts. Nodding to herself in satisfaction, she dropped gracefully to the ground, bending her knees as she landed to lessen the impact.

Straightening back up, she moved closer to the conversation at hand. At the mention of a Balrog, Ethrana felt her stomach tighten within her. Shadow and flame she thought to herself, I do not wish to encounter that.

After Althrond's final comment, Ethrana looked to Haldir and spoke with conviction. "It would seem, Haldir, that there is no path before us that is ideal - so we must take the one which is the least threatening." She paused as she looked around the group and then continued, "I do not relish the idea of hiding in trees to avoid Orc patrols, but I think our group would be safer in a tree than in the mines of Moria."

05/12/2005 12:47 PM

Haldir nodded to Ethrana and smiled. "You speak wisely, dunedain. We will thus stay out of Moria and make our way to the High Pass. Most orcpatrols aren't as large as the one we just saw, which we can try to avoid or fight if we ave no other choice. I'm sorry Mabin, but just as my kin and the dunedain, I do not want to go into Moria. Not even with a dwarven guide. I'd rather try and fight my way through a horde of orcs."

The sound of an owl broke the silence that followed the decision of the elf, who promptly spoke as the sound died out. "The scouts just lost the orcs, which means they might be heading back. We'd best leave right now."

05/12/2005 6:46 PM

"Orcs and mountains...no hobbit has endured things such as these," Isumbras said to himself. This adventure was turning out to be more than he planned.

"The scouts just lost the orcs, which means they might be heading back. We'd best leave right now."

Althrond nodded, "I shall scout ahead and warn you of any incoming orc patrols." Althrond ran off his keen eyes and ears open to all.

05/14/2005 2:47 AM

Arothir looked up at the sound of the call. Nodding and looking from Haldir to the rest of the company, he gestured to the Hobbit and Dwarves. "Come, we shall skirt the treeline for as long as we may. We'll certainly be safer there than upon open-ground. Tighten your belts, we'll be moving quick and long today, better to be as far from this ground as we are able."

With that, Arothir trotted up beside Haldir as the others made their way toward the treeline. "Should we expect trouble this far out? If so, I shall take a sideguard to the company as Althrond has taken ahead of us. In either case, we must be far from here, though I know not how long the little one can go before we will need to stop for rest and rations."

05/19/2005 1:46 PM

Haldir nodded to Arothir and listened to him as they walked onwards, covered by the treeline for as far as they could be. "The problem is when the little folks will get tired, Arothir. I don't have much concern for the dwarves, as they are a hardy folk, but the hobbit worries me and may even have to be carried along. Can you run to Althrond and advise him to look for a small cave, which needs to be large enough for the entire group?"

05/20/2005 12:22 AM

Through the rest of the night and as sunlight first hit the highest peaks, lost beyond the clouds and slowly slid down the eastern side to illuminate the valleys the troupe plodded on.
The briefest of stops was called for breakfast, a cold and heartless affair that both the hobbit and the dwarves commented on through much of the morning.
Towards lunch this comparison of culinary breakfast delights between Isumbras and Mabin had turned into a game of mutual self-torture that had their stomachs rolling with hunger.
“Fried strips of beef with the largest field mushrooms, served on thick slabs of soda bread straight from the oven to soak up the juice. Your turn. Oh, now I think about it, whatever happened to the pony, Hobbs was its name?”

[Edited by Mica on Friday, May 20, 2005 12:25 AM]

05/20/2005 4:43 PM

Oh, now I think about it, whatever happened to the pony, Hobbs was its name?

"I asked Althrond about him a bit ago. He said that ol' Hobbs was being taken care of by the elves along with their mounts. I bet he's having a good time there in that forest. Not having to deal with orcs, rain and the like," Isumbras sighed, "Now then...how about fresh baked sweet breads! With plenty of butter and jam, I could go for some of that now."

05/20/2005 5:20 PM

Ethrana couldn't help but roll her eyes and smile every so often as the dwarf and hobbit talked of their various dreams of food. Tis certainly a better topic to speak of than what lies ahead she thought to herself.

Quickening her pace a bit, she caught up to Haldir. She caught the tail-end of his request to Arothir to catch up with Althrond and find shelter for the night. Looking between them, she commented, "at what point do we plan to inform the group of the dangers of that which we seek?" She knew her question was bold, but also necessary. "I feel the urgency and danger within my blood, though I cannot put a name or reason to it. I understand our need to protect the little ones from unnecessary fear - but I also think it is only fair that everyone here be aware of the risks that await us all. I know it is much more than an Orc patrol that presents a danger to our party." She looked intently between Haldir and Arothir, awaiting one of them to answer her earnestly.

05/21/2005 4:07 PM

Haldir took a long glance at Ethrana, smiled faintly and then formulated his answer with an amount of thought. "A straight to the point question, dunedain, which I will answer as frankly as I can. Since the witch king was driven from his realm, only a few have tried to set foot inside his former fortress, that we know of. There's no way of accurately predicting what we might face inside, but whatever it is, it is not going to be a friendly encounter. We have had first hand tales of wraiths and wargs inside the walls, but they also told us that this was just a part of what we might find. I think you know that much, Ethrana. From the information we have gathered throughout the years, including that which was told to us by those that entered it and lived to tell about it. No living soul has set foot in the inner sanctum of the witch king, which is where we need to go. The sole means of accessing it is for one person to go through a small crawlspace, too narrow for an elf, man or even a dwarf, to open the door from within. Before we get that far however, we may need to face a few perils first. Is this elaborate enough for you?"

The faint smile had disappeared from the elf's face during his answer, but the blue eyes seemed to pierce straight into those of the dunedain. The only thing she saw inside them was a determination to face whatever would cross their path. With an unexpected calm, after what he just had told her, he stringed his bow as they walked.

05/21/2005 8:34 PM

"Now then...how about fresh baked sweet breads! With plenty of butter and jam, I could go for some of that now."

"I couldn't agree with you more, Master Hobbit," Araglas replied with a hearty laugh. His eyes regarded Took the same way a larger brother would regard a younger sibling. In no way was this suggesting the hobbit's frailty, but more was it Araglas' nature when dealing with the carefree race. Araglas trotted up to stand beside Took, a beaming smile on his face. He clasped the hobbit on the shoulder.

"How has life been in the shire? I fear it has been at least a decade since my feet carried me into the wonderful land, and as I recall your people were always the best of tale tellers. Would you care to recite one to pass the time, I feel it would do wonders for my mood," Araglas said, his face lightening up at the prospect of hearing a tale to pass the time.

05/22/2005 9:42 AM

Nodding as Haldir spoke of the hobbit, Arothir sighed lightly. "If the little one must be carried, then he is in luck. The Dwarves make light of such burdens, and the Dunedain are certainly not the least hardy of this company. We shall all do our parts to assure that the little one is not over-burdened on this journey."

As Arothir was about to step away, he turned to regard Ethrana, waiting for Haldir to finish speaking before interjecting. "If you wish to worry the little one with dread tales and chance of danger, Dunedain, then at your will. For my part, I do not think it would be any great boon to us to terrify the poor soul. As for the rest of the company, the Dwarves will not be swayed by danger, and I have no doubt Araglas is aware of the danger we face."

With that he nodded slightly and turned to Haldir briefly, "I will go to Althrond at speed and inform him of your wishes." Spinning on his heels, Arothir loped off among the trees, quickly disappearing from sight.

05/22/2005 11:34 AM

"How has life been in the shire? I fear it has been at least a decade since my feet carried me into the wonderful land, and as I recall your people were always the best of tale tellers. Would you care to recite one to pass the time, I feel it would do wonders for my mood," Araglas said, his face lightening up at the prospect of hearing a tale to pass the time.

"Life has been much the same. The Shire says the same, it's a nice place to go home to, knowing that there will always be a nice fire and a good mug of ale waiting for you," Isumbras seemed to look far away and smiled at the thought of returning home from the adventure. He snapped back to reality remembering where he was, "Oh, I suppose I could tell a story. Any requests?"

05/22/2005 12:26 PM

Ethrana frowned slightly at Haldir's response. As his gaze fell upon her, she stood fast and returned his piercing stare. She was aware that he was determined to see this task completed, but bothered by the thought that others in the party may begin to be viewed as tools to that end rather than lives to be valued.

She was about to speak her thoughts when suddenly Arothir offered his comments. Turning to look upon him, she felt the tension in her body increase as he spoke. He trotted off before she could offer an answer, leaving her to walk alone with Haldir.

She continued in silence for a moment as he strung his bow. Placing her hand gently upon his shoulder she whispered quietly, "Haldir, you bear a heavy burden with this task before you - just as we all do. This burden may cost some - perhaps all - of us our lives. You and Arothir have lived many seaons, and can see the value of the greater good. Those of our party who have not had long lives cannot share your perspective - which perhaps makes this adventure more costly to them. I ask only that you think upon that before we go much further." She gently squeezed his shoulder, and then dropped back further in the group, matching strides with Araglas. For some reason, she had the need to be in the company of her own kind.

05/23/2005 12:52 AM

"Oh, I suppose I could tell a story. Any requests?"

"Tell us the one about the hobbit that thought he was a dwarf," said Mabin, "you know, the one your father often told, where he tried all manner of ways of growing a beard. Now that is a funny tale." Mabin chuckled, already anticipating the story. "Wasn't there a song or something as well?"

05/24/2005 12:16 PM

Arothir came up quietly to a small wooded area. He had a feeling that Althrond was here, but seeing an Elf who did not wish to be seen was difficult, even for another Elf. Picking a large twig from the ground, Arothir snapped it loudly, following that noise with a light, melodious whistle.

When Althrond revealed himself, Arothir gave a light wave and spoke softly. "Lord Haldir requests that you find a cave in the vacinity that will serve the entire company. The Hobbit will need a rest soon, we cannot afford to risk half-dragging the poor little one so far without rest."

05/24/2005 6:27 PM

"Lord Haldir requests that you find a cave in the vacinity that will serve the entire company. The Hobbit will need a rest soon, we cannot afford to risk half-dragging the poor little one so far without rest."

"Very well. I'm sure the rest would benefit us all, even if we are not in need of it," Althrond left Arothir and ventured closer to the mountains looking for a cave where the group might rest.


"Tell us the one about the hobbit that thought he was a dwarf," said Mabin, "you know, the one your father often told, where he tried all manner of ways of growing a beard. Now that is a funny tale." Mabin chuckled, already anticipating the story. "Wasn't there a song or something as well?"

"Aye, I remember that one well," Isumbras began, "There once was a hobbit who was named Grant, although he later changed it to Granite II. When he was a young'n, just into his tweens, he had a rather nasty fall from a tree he had been climbing. Luckily for him, a dwarven crafstman was passing by.

The dwarf stopped when he saw the young hobbit and quickly went to his aid. Grant was unconscious and had a bad wound on his head. The dwarf, Rillmac, bandaged his head and, since it was approaching night fall, gave him a bedroll and sat him near the fire. Grant drifted slightly awake but could the tell the dwarf nothing for he could not remember anything! So to ease his spirits, Rillmac told him stories, dwarven stories. Grant fell into a deep slumber with Rillmac's voice echoing in his mind of the great dwarven heros of old, and other such things as that.

The dwarf took Grant with him through the shire, telling him more dwarven tales. One day, a shirrif who had been informed of Grant's disappearance came across the two of them. Rillmac was glad the hobbit would be going back home but Grant was rather confused by the whole thing. We he got back to his village he would only talk about dwarves and their culture. He even thought he was a dwarf and was confused by everyone saying he was a hobbit. Even after the other hobbits pointed out the lack of a beard.

So for a good time he took up trying to grow a beard. He tried all sorts of strange mixtures to promote hair growth. One of these was goat's milk, apple juice, and basil. He even soaked his face in mud. This went on for a bit but slowly he came to the realization that he was in fact a hobbit and soon after his memory returned," Isumbrad paused thinking about the tune of the song before he started in.

"Now the song that goes with Grant goes like this:

Hobbits of the shire
Dwarves of the mountain halls
Two different peoples they be
But a bump on the head
Is sure to have one forget all this
And think he is one or the other

The dwarf without a beard
Was once at home in the shire
But know longs for the mountains
Fell from a tree so far it seemed
One of the earth'n gnomes, he be

Come look at the mirror they say
There is no beard on your face
Oh! Fell from a tree so far it seemed
One of the earth'n gnomes, he be

Oh! remember the shire, remember it well!
Fell from a tree so far it seemed
One of the earth'n gnomes, he be

OOC: Wow, that was interesting coming up with all that...

[Edited by Flandrake on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 6:28 PM]

05/25/2005 4:27 AM

“Heh, heh, heh, that was it, fell from a tree… gnomes he be. And a face full of mud. Better than I remember it, your father would be proud. Next time we get some beer remind me to drink his health, aye and yours. Earth’n gnomes, he be, indeed.” Mabin continued to chuckle and quote snippets of the song for some time.

By the time Isumbras was flagging, Althrond had returned and told Haldir of a suitable cave not too distant away. The rangers, having also scouted the region and being sure that nothing dangerous stirred in the vicinity took the opportunity to leave the main group and head up to the cave ahead of the rest.

As it was, when the dwarves and hobbit following Haldir eventually arrived, a pleasant fire was in place out of sight from outside, illuminating the cave. A pan stew was bubbling merrily above it.
With the distribution of Mabin's spirits, previously hastily stoppered on account of the orc patrol, they relaxed and Isumbras gave another rendition of his earlier song.

05/25/2005 4:44 PM

OOC: Mica, you're getting to the point to where you're taking control of other people's characters. You can't say the rangers went ahead of the group or that Isumbras went into another rendition of his song. I understand these are small things but it's good to get used to only controlling your character even if this ends up making your post short. As for this post I don't really have a problem with what you did and if no one else does we can continue from there but for future posting try not to dictate the actions of other characters.

05/27/2005 4:50 PM

Althrond approached to Arothir, "Should we stay here till night passes? It may be best with orc patrols still roaming around," Althrond glanced outside then returned his gaze to Arothir.

Isumbras watched the stew intently after he had finished singing his song yet again. His stomach growled and he smirked looking around at the others. He then looked back to the pan stew and waited for it to finish cooking.

05/28/2005 10:52 AM

Thinking for a long moment, Arothir nodded. "That would be more prudent, yes. I do not wish to expose this company to danger if it needn't be so. Have the fire moved further toward the back of the cave, if you will, Althrond. And gather a few cloaks from the company to hang at the entranceway - that should keep any light from alerting passersby to our whereabouts."

Nodding, Arothir stepped away, staring out the entrace of the cave, waiting for Althrond to bring up some cloaks. He shook his head slightly, clearly in some deep thought.

05/28/2005 3:20 PM

Althrond went to the rangers, "We should place cloaks over the cave entrance," he said as he already moved his cloak to his hands.

05/31/2005 6:03 AM

Once the stew had been served and all were feeling sated, the conversation moved from trivialities to the serious matter of the road ahead.
“So, we are heading north along the east side of Hithaeglir until we reach the High Pass. I reckon that that will take us at least a couple of weeks on foot if the weather holds fair. While we would possibly make better time nearer the Anduin, there are a number of fens and we are more exposed to prying eyes.
We still have the problem of the Gladden River. Has anyone considered how we might tackle the crossing? I for one am not up for swimming and know of no path in the mountains, though admittedly my knowledge of this side of the mountains is lacking at best.” Mabin turned to the elves for an answer.

05/31/2005 1:01 PM

Haldir broke the silence that fell after Mabin had asked his question, rising to his feet and at the same time handing Althrond his own cloak, then spoke up to reply the dwarf. "The gladden river, or Sir ninglor as we call it, finds its source in the misty mountains and can thus either be circumvented, or we can cross it by raft. Depends on what the rest of the group thinks of it. It is far enough from Moria to be able to head into the mountains, but we have to hold the orcs in account. The other possibility we have, is to cross the anduin and trail northwards alongside the edges of Mirkwood. From that route we can cross the Anduin once again at old ford, which leads straight to the pass. I don't think the orcs will be too eager to come too near to that forest, as the elves within aren't too forgiving about trespassers."

05/31/2005 6:28 PM

Althrond finished tying the cloaks to the jutting rocks of the entrance and returned responding to Haldir, "Our kin of the north may also be able to provide us with information of the orcs. Mirkwood is the safer route but where do you suggest we gain the rafts of which you speak to cross Anduin?"

05/31/2005 11:31 PM

Arothir had turned back to the company after aiding Althrond in putting up the cloaks. Just as Althrond had finished speaking, Arothir broke in politely. "The Anduin flows quickly. Rafts too light will be carried too far. Heavier rafts will take too long to construct. We do not have the time, nor the tools necessary to cross the Anduin here, in the mouth of peril. As perilous as it may be to follow a route near to Moria, moreso it will be to attempt to stay long for the building of crafts and the dangerous, slow crossing of a fast-flowing Anduin at this time of year. Nay, we cannot go that way."

Hanging his head slightly, Arothir sighed audibly and draped his hand over the cross of his sword, his free hand rubbing across his forehead and eyes in consternation.

06/02/2005 12:04 AM

“Aye," said Mabin, "I too would not favour a crossing of the Anduin and would much prefer to remain in the shadow of the mountains. My feet work best when they can be braced by solid stone.”

06/04/2005 11:50 AM

After Ethrana had given her cloak to Althrond, she filled her bowl with a small amount of warm stew, and sat back a ways from the fire blending in with the shadows. She had remained silent during the meal, her thoughts dwelling upon many things.

Staring into the fire, she watched the flames as they danced. Each flame seemed to have a rhythm of its own, and yet they all shared a common source of energy and life. If that source was doused, the flames would come to an end as well. Ethrana shifted her gaze from the fire to those sitting around it. Each one, with a rhythm of their own she thought to herself, yet all abiding in a single source for life. She sighed deeply, feeling not for the first time that she was simply a part of a grander plan, wondering how much of a say she really had in the things she chose to do.

She looked at Haldir as he spoke of the various paths they could take to their destination. Tilting her head slightly, she wondered if he too was a pawn in a game that had been played since the beginning of time. She felt some anger stir within her at that thought - and then a pang of guilt as she realized she was playing along in that game by not telling the Hobbit or the Dwarves what she knew about the dangers that faced them.

Her decision made, Ethrana nodded to herself, and slid closer to the fire so her face would be caught in the light. After Mabin spoke of his preference to remain in the shadow of the mountains, Ethrana gave voice to her thoughts.

"While I agree that we should not intentionally place ourselves within harm's way, I wonder at the prudence of our efforts to completely avoid it. For harm is what awaits us at this journey's end." Ethrana's eyes brushed past Haldir's as she spoke, knowing she was going against his wishes, but knowing also she had to be able to live with herself. She looked mostly to the Dwarves and Hobbits as she continued.

"The witch king's realm harbors evils that would claim the bravest of souls - wraiths, wargs, and those horrors which no one has lived to tell about. As far as we know, no living soul has tred upon the inner sanctum - which is the place we are destined for. Before this journey's end - or perhaps before our end, we shall have to fight together as a single entity. We have had no time to determine our strengths or weaknesses as fighters, and I would prefer that our first experience of our abilities would NOT be within the walls of the witch king's realm." She paused for a moment to let that visual image form within the minds of those listening to her. Finally, looking back to the Elves, Ethrana said, "So it would be my suggestion that we find the most expedient way to our destination, rather than hiding in trees and shadows of the mountains, only to put off the inevitable."

06/04/2005 1:57 PM

Haldir's eyes flickered briefly, as Ethrana began to speak and throwing his caution in the wind. During her statement however, the elf pondered on her words and reflected upon an answer. A faint smile curled around his lips, as she spoke of the most expedient way to their goal. At the moment the dunedain stopped, the elf continued. "You left out trolls, orcs and possibly even a dragon, although the latter was never confirmed. The most expedient way however IS through the high pass and crawling with orcs and goblins. What do you say, dunedain? That we should take risk over caution to get where we want to, likely losing lives in the process, just to prove we can fight and die together? Should we run into a group of orcs that greatly outnumbers us, that we'd either run back here or die trying to overcome them? That is what your words will lead to."

The elf stared at Ethrana and shook his head. "Why fight if there is a chance to slip past them, even if that road is longer? Should we take the road around Sir Ninglor, then we might as well try to cross the mountain right there. You'll get your chance for a fight soon enough, when we head for Carn Dum, as it takes us close to Mount Gundabad." The elf's voice was void of emotion, but a tone of reasoning and calculation was reflected within his words.

06/05/2005 9:23 PM

Allowing Ethrana her outburst, Arothir remained quiet until both she and Haldir had finished speaking. He then stepped forward, speaking quietly but loud enough for all assembled to hear. "Does this revelation change anything? For any of you? Would any here turn back now that the danger is more clear, abandoning this quest to fail, to possibly bring about the ruin of us all?"

Looking to each member of the company in turn, Arothir continued, "The Dunedain is right, of course. This journey is perilous. And it may come to pass that we shall not all return from it. For my part, my end may come here. But I still walk this path with you, for it has been judged right for me to do so. And that is why you are all here as well. But it would be folly to walk into danger and death unnecessarily. We must remain secret as we may, soon enough the Enemy will fall upon us. I deem there be no need to seek out violence, as violence will surely come to us before long.

We must head for Carn Dum with haste. Tonight."

06/06/2005 5:52 PM

“Aye, my warrior’s heart agrees with the Dunedain, but we do not know each others strengths and weaknesses and I would much prefer to learn them in a battle with orcs that we have all fought before, save this noble hobbit. Mabin and I would work together well as would you elves, and you Dunedain for we have had all had some training but what of master Took he knows nothing of this sort of business, and we know not how we would fight together. So perhaps, it pains me to say this, but perhaps this is a time to find another way, but If we do let us use the time wisely and train with each other as we travel.” Kolath leaned back after this statement knowing that the other might no find his advise that helpful, seeing as no one at home ever did.

06/06/2005 9:21 PM

"Does this revelation change anything? For any of you? Would any here turn back now that the danger is more clear, abandoning this quest to fail, to possibly bring about the ruin of us all?"

Isumbras began to raise his hand but looking around the the unphased faces of the others he quickly put it down and glanced from side to side to make sure no one saw him.

Altrhond spoke once Arothir was finished, "Through the mountains then. The decision is made, let us hope it will be the right one. I am concerned about your choice of leaving tonight Arothir. The orcs are at their best at night. It would be wise to wait till day before leaving this cave." Althrond did not doubt the abilities of the group and knew that they could each hold their own in a fight against many foes, excluding the hobbit who he was unsure of.

but what of master Took he knows nothing of this sort of business,

"My thanks for your concern but I am no push over and don't plan on running away from danger. Especially when I travel with those such as yourself, strong and battlesavy. Although my knowledge of combat is almost none...." Isumbras shyly smiled after mentioning the last part.

06/07/2005 12:39 AM

“Through the mountain it is then, settled. When you judge the time is right, lead on.” Mabin settled back wriggling into the rocks until he was as comfortable as only a dwarf could be under the circumstances. Within a few minutes his loud snores competed with any that would seek to continue the conversation.

06/07/2005 1:01 PM

Haldir nodded and glanced at all those around him. "At daybreak we head into the mountains to find a way across. Once on the other side we will have a bit of a safer route, until we reach the ettenmoors. Question at hand now, is who will take the first watch." The elf looked at Althrond, then shifted his gaze towards his lieutenant, before he settled his eyes on the two dunedain.

"Arothir, you take the first watch with Araglas. Wake the next pair in two hours, which will be Mabin and Kolath. After another two hours the dwarves will awaken Ethrana and myself. That will get us through the night. Let the hobbit sleep. If anything stirs, wake Althrond first, then myself."

06/07/2005 6:26 PM

Ethrana felt the sting of Haldir's words, but kept her face impassive during his response to her. Afterall, this wasn't really about the path they were to take next, but rather about everyone knowing the danger they had undertaken. Although she would feel grieved at the loss of any of their party, at least she would not bear the burden of leading them into danger unaware.

She looked to Arothir as he spoke, and nodded her head slightly in acknowledgement of the wisdom of his words. As the others began to share their thoughts, Ethrana felt some relief that her words had not caused a division in the group. Though, she thought as she glanced at Haldir I fear this has brought a division between us. She knew Haldir would not be happy with actions, but she still was glad she had spoken the truth. Lies - even hidden truth - among those who must depend on one another for their survival are a deadly thing.

She felt relief at the thought of waiting until daybreak, and suddenly realized that she was in need of sleep. Feeling the exhaustion throughout her body, Ethrana began to make herself comfortable. As Haldir assigned the watch duty, she looked to him as he stated they would be on watch together. She tried to repress a sigh, but acknowledged that they would be better off getting their grievances out in the open, rather than allowing them to fester.

With a final glance at the flames in the fire, Ethrana rolled over to her side in a comfortable position, allowing her exhaustion to overtake her.

06/07/2005 6:49 PM

"Arothir, you take the first watch with Araglas. Wake the next pair in two hours, which will be Mabin and Kolath. After another two hours the dwarves will awaken Ethrana and myself. That will get us through the night. Let the hobbit sleep. If anything stirs, wake Althrond first, then myself."

"Haldir, allow me to take replace one of the others in the watch. I do not doubt their abilities but we elves are not in need of much sleep as they are," Althrond wanted the group to be at the best strength possible.

06/07/2005 9:15 PM

"I am fine," Araglas quickly cut in before Haldir could respond. So far, it seemed to him that he had done nothing for the group on its journey, if he were to decline a simple watch then he would be sore pressed to gain the confidence of his companions.

"It seems that I do not need as much sleep as I once did either," he explained before giving Althrond a nod and exiting the small cave.

Outside, the air was thick with humidity. Above, the moon shone down through the rich canopy reflecting off of small pools of water and moisture soaked leaves creating a feeling of numbness, as if one were only semiconscious. The Dunedin calmly paced the mouth of the cave, awaiting his partner. After a few short moments, he decided to rest.

Araglas quickly stretched before sitting down under a nearby tree, its branches blocking out the light drizzle that had recently begun. He shifted his sword to where its point was directly downward, facing his boots as he reclined against the base of the large tree.

06/10/2005 3:02 PM

Haldir smiled at Althrond, then pointed to the sleeping Mabin and then to Kolath. "How about you try and discuss that with the two short and bearded fellows, my friend. Perhaps Mabin will not mind, as he is already asleep, but I bet that if something happens during the night, the burly fellow will not forgive you." The grin on the elf's face had widened while he spoke. "Seriously though, I'd like you to keep watch with the both of them. Despite the fact that the dwarves are fierce in battle, they do not possess the same keen senses above ground. Below ground, that is an entirely different matter however."

06/10/2005 5:26 PM

Loosening his sword-belt and removing his thick battle-worn gloves, Arothir stepped outside with Araglas. He made no move to sit down, as he was perfectly comfortable keeping a standing vigil - resting as he did, as Elves are wont to do. After a short while of idle quiet, Arothir turned his head to glance at the Dunedain.

"Do you have children, Ranger?" The question may have seemed rather curt to another Elf, but Men, with their shorter view of life, seemed to take to abrupt conversation better than his own people, though he still felt strangely awkward beginning conversation in such a way.

06/10/2005 6:20 PM

"Seriously though, I'd like you to keep watch with the both of them. Despite the fact that the dwarves are fierce in battle, they do not possess the same keen senses above ground. Below ground, that is an entirely different matter however."

"Very well," Althrond began with a smile on his lips, "I will take watch with the dwarves and be their eyes if they cannot see." With that Althrond went and sat in front of the fire gazing at the sparks flying and slowly drifted into the elven resting state.


Isumbras took his second helping of the stew and sat down looking around for other left awake that may wish to speak with the hobbit as he finished his meal before going to sleep.

[Edited by Flandrake on Friday, June 10, 2005 6:22 PM]

06/11/2005 2:57 PM

Haldir calmly sat down by the fire and began to help himself to a bowl of stew. He looked at the eating hobbit, wondering where such a small creature would leave these amounts of food. Breaking the silence that fell, he spoke to Isumbras in a friendly tone of voice. "Now then, master Isumbras, still content on having set foot into this adventure?" The elf regarded the hobbit closely, as he waited for the man to reply.

06/11/2005 11:49 PM

"Now then, master Isumbras, still content on having set foot into this adventure?" The elf regarded the hobbit closely, as he waited for the man to reply.

"Well sir, I'm not very fond of orcs and the like. But I feel safe with warriors like yourself around. The walking isn't too bad. I get to see a lot of sights that few hobbits have ever layed eyes on, if any. Food ain't too bad," he ate another spoonful of his soup and then looked back up to Haldir, "The good out weighs the bad I would say. Although all that talk of the Witch King made me a bit nervous I'm sure we'll be fine..." he trailed off shoving another spoonful of stew into his mouth.

06/12/2005 12:49 PM

Haldir nodded to the hobbit and reached for his pack, from where he pulled out a long dagger, obviously of elven make. To the hobbit it must look as a small sword. The leaf pattern that flowed across the blade was etched into it with precision. With the hilt towards Isumbras, he presented it to him. "For what it is worth against an orc, you bear no arms and I think you should at least have a weapon. Perhaps you will be able to return it to me as the voyage is over." The elf gave the hobbit a friendly smile.

06/12/2005 3:08 PM

Araglas regarded the Elf a moment before sitting up straight. The ranger seemed to grow dark before sighing and reclining back against the tree. "Aye," he replied. "Though I have not seen them in many years, and the last I knew they were in Gondor," he stated. His voice seemed monotonous, as if he had rehearsed for a situation such as this.

In truth, Araglas had three children altogether though only two shared the same mother. The last child, he had no idea of its location. Araglas leaned forward and stared at Arothir for a moment before breaking the silence.

"And what of you? Do you have any to call your own?" He suspiciously asked, hoping that Arothir's bringing forth of the subject permitted him to be interrogated in the same manner. Araglas folded his hands behind his head and leaned back against the tree, patiently awaiting his companion’s reply.

06/12/2005 4:30 PM

With the hilt towards Isumbras, he presented it to him. "For what it is worth against an orc, you bear no arms and I think you should at least have a weapon. Perhaps you will be able to return it to me as the voyage is over." The elf gave the hobbit a friendly smile.

Isumbras slowly reached out and took the elven dagger. "Thank you, that's very nice of you," Isumbras put his bowl down and held the dagger with both hands examining it. He drew out the blade and moved his fings along the shining blade. Once he had gotten his fill of the blade he sheated it and placed it at his side. Isumbras took up his bowl and finished the last of his stew. He layed out his bedroll and prepared to go to sleep. When he was under his cloak and just about ready to began to fall asleep he reached out and grabbed the dagger drawing it close. It made him feel somehow safer and soon sleep found the hobbit.

06/13/2005 4:30 PM

Kolath lay watching the two while they talked he smiled as Haldir handed the dagger to Isumbras he watched the hobbit admired the blade. After he had lain down and seemed to be sleeping, Kolath sat up “So master Haldir what do you see in our near future, I tell you it would break my heart for that dear hobbit not to see his home again but then chances are that none of us will see our homes or loved one again, well such is the life of those who seek adventures.”

06/14/2005 8:20 AM

Haldir nodded silently towards Kolath, as he sat up and spoke to him. Carefully he listened to what the dwarf had on his mind and prepared himself in the meantime for a decent response. "We will have peril on our quest, of that I have little doubt. The more I can keep alive the better and that is what I aim for. However, our strength lies in surprise and the combination of our skills. Believe it or not, but the council has more wisdom then all of us put together. It just needs to be discovered, the wisdom of it."

06/14/2005 2:37 PM

Smiling slightly toward Araglas, Arothir nodded slowly. "Yes, a son. He is grown now, older, already, than you will ever live to be. He serves my Lord Celeborn in the Goldenwood." Arothir was silent for a moment, then continued cautiously...

"Dunedain, if I fall, see that my sword returns to Lorien, and to my son." Arothir turned, resuming the watch with a cool silence, seeming to sigh ever so faintly.

06/14/2005 3:34 PM

Kolath smiled “Surprise, the art of hiding when you should be fighting. It pains me to think of a dwarf skulking through shadows like an orc. But yes we need to learn to combine our talents with Elves, Dwarfs, Humans, and a Hobbit we should be able to place three blades where our enemy can only place one, or so we hope. Well master Elf I must bid you goodnight for if any of us are to survive then we all need what sleep we can get.”

06/14/2005 11:04 PM

"You have my word," Araglas replied. His voice seemed strained in the darkness as he himself thought of his three children, one of whom he had seen only once. Araglas shrugged it off, better to keep those sorts of thoughts out of his head. The Dunedain scanned the area before him. He turned his attention toward the moon and noted that their watch was almost at an end. With keen senses attuned to surviving in the wild, Araglas resumed his watch. His long sword hung by his belt, unbuckled to ensure the swiftest draw.

06/16/2005 3:54 PM

Arothir was turning to find himself a comfortable spot to sit, but turned suddenly, staring off into the distance. He stepped forward cautiously, peering forward with a look of distinct displeasure.

"Araglas," Arothir whispered, "get them out of the cave, now." At the Dunedain's puzzled look, Arothir mutted, "yrch."

As he spoke, a thick-shafted arrow whistled past, tangling up in the makeshit cloak-doorway of the cave. "Orcs!" he cried to the rest of the company, knowing the Dunedain would be readying a weapon and wouldn't have time to quietly file everyone out.

Looking around, Arothir's bow was unstrung and laying upon the ground. [i]No time[/i] he thought as he drew Narumil, holding the gleaming sword with both hands above his head. As the first Orc broke cover, it seemed to hesitate at the Elf before it. Using this hesitation, Arothir brought his keen blade down, cleaving the Orc's iron helm, and head, in two with a startling ferocity.

"Orcs!" he repeated the warning.

06/16/2005 4:28 PM

At the first warning, Haldir rose and headed out of the cave, his elven blade at hand and swiftly taking an overview of the situation. Before throwing himself into the fray to aid his brother in arms, he let out a sharp command. "Ethrana, Althrond, bring our bows. Kolath, Mabin, out of the cave, axe-time!" Then he ran towards Arothir, who was being approached by several orcs. Silently he strode across the rock and engaged the first orcs that came near, blocking the ugly weapon that swung at him, then as agile as only an elf can be he turned around his axis, while he cleaved the orc's neck just below the iron helmet. Another arrow flew past the elf, scraping acros his chainmail in the process, before it crashed into the rockface and shattered.

As the number of orcs pressing Arothir increased, the others came out of the cave. His instincts were what made him react to any threat, although his mind raced while it fed him the basics of a tactic. "Araglas, cover Arothir's side. Mabin, guard the hobbit and cut down any orc that comes close. Althrond, you and Ethrana up on that small ledge, shoot whatever comes up. Kolath, go help Arothir."

Haldir himself went towards his left, after he had been given his bow by someone and sheated his blade, then pulled his cloak from the entrance and rapidly put it across his shoulders. "I'll be right back." He grinned and moved swiftly across the ridge.

06/16/2005 7:59 PM

Araglas unsheathed his long sword and slashed out, catching an approaching orc in the throat. The beast's blood poured out of the wound as it slowly fell to the ground, clutching the gash in vain. Its mouth slowly opened and closed as it tried to cry out.

A makeshift wooden spear was thrust towards the Dunedain, who barely had time to react to it in the darkness. Deftly, he spun around the weapon, the momentum propelling his arcing sword to imbed itself in his attacker's skull. He kicked the corpse, freeing his blade just in time as two more orcs were on him. Araglas raised his sword to parry one of the blows but soon found that his would be attackers were already dead, arrow shafts protruded from their necks and chests. The Dunedain nodded his approval as he made his way towards Arothir, who seemed to be taking the brunt of the attack.

Araglas arrived in time to skewer an orc through the back. His blade tore through the beast's spinal cord before it finally burst through its chest, soaking the immediate area with warm blood. He quickly kicked the corpse as it slumped to the ground, freeing his blade before standing beside Arothir. His hair was now matted with sweat as it stuck to his forehead.

"I am with you," he said, his voice composed and calm.

[Edited by Exile on Thursday, June 16, 2005 9:50 PM]

06/16/2005 10:17 PM

Althrond quickly slung his quiver onto his back and began to string the bows, with the help of Ethrana they quickly finished and he ran outside knocking an arrow in to his bow to cover Ethrana as she passed Haldir his bow.

Soon after he went through the cloaks he raised his bow and after a moment he released the string. The arrow hit just above the collar bone of a charging orc. Althrond drew another arrow, "The ridge!" he shouted to Ethrana as he began to back up. One orc came charging sword raised. Althrond fired in the armpit causing the orc to shout in pain and drop his blade. He rasied a second arrow and shot the orc on the back of the neck, which had been exposed from the orc bending over.

Althrond continued to move back and fire off arrows. He would wait till Ethrana reached the ridge before he would turn and run there directly himself.


Isumbras shot up from his bedroll and took in hand the elven dagger. He looked out through the cloaks to see his companions fighting bravely. Haldir had not given him any orders, although he had order Mabin to protect him. This made him feel better knowing the dwarf had been given specific orders to guard him but that feeling was quickly lost when he saw the fighting before him.

Hobbits were gentle folk and rare to turn to violence. The battle was much to take in for the young Took. He drew out the elven dagger and stayed close to the cave entrance awaiting an orc to attack.

06/17/2005 10:29 AM

At Arothir's shout, Ethrana woke from her slumber and moved to a standing position, her sword at the ready. She scanned the inside of the cave quickly, searching for intruders, but saw that there were none. She began to head out the entrance when Haldir barked his command to bring their bows. She looked to Althrond, and with much being spoken by their eye contact, they moved to string the remaining bows.

The task completed, Ethrana dashed out the entrance - one glance outside told her the situation could become dire rather quickly. Without calling to Haldir, Ethrana tossed his bow to him, knowing he would sense its approach and grab it with ease. She instinctively knew that Althrond would protect her while she was briefly distracted, and then she heard him order to her the ridge.

She knew she needed to get to the higher vantage point, and it appeared that the orcs were under control at the moment - so she moved quickly there, her eyes scanning the area for any orcs that might be in hiding.

As she reached the ridge, she turned quickly and began to fire arrows successively at the orcs who were approaching the fray. She had most of her companions within her line of sight - except for Haldir, who had vanished across the ridge. She also noted that the hobbit and dwarves weren't immediately visible, but assumed they were safely stowed away or engaged in battle elsewhere. She let another arrow fly at an orc who had headed toward the entrance of the cave, smiling to herself as it landed right between its eyes.

06/17/2005 11:14 AM

Once across the ridge, Haldir made haste and circled around the orcs, ending up in their backs. He glanced around for a good cover and headed there as silently as he could, then took his bow and placed the first of his arrows on the string. Pulling it back as far as he could, the string made an awry sound as it hurled the arrow forwards, the clear 'twang' echoeing through the darkness and an orc dropping to his knees, before keeling over. The arrow was soundly lodged between his shoulderblades, pierced through the chainmail on his back.

The elf smirked and placed another arrow onto the string, then looked for a new target. Within the blink of an eye, he found it, a target the size of a small house, moving slower then the orcs, but determined to reach the cave. Again the bow sang it's deadly song and the arrow hit it's mark, but the target did not drop. It growled deeply in pain, but kept moving towards the rest of the group. Swiftly Haldir repeated the process, exiting his cover during this, then released the arrow. A second arrow lodged within the beast, followed by a growl of pain and irritation, but again it still went forwards. A mountain troll ! I have to warn the others.

With haste he tied a cloth to the third arrow, set it alight with his tinderbox, then fired it over the orcs, landing about 25 feet from Arothir's position. This move however caught the attention of two orcs, who now turned into his direction and were closing in rapidly.

06/17/2005 11:38 AM

Kolath grabbed his battle axe as he raced out of the cave hearing his order he swung his axe taking with it the head of an orc he charged over to Arothir barreling into an orc and bring his axe down to finish him. Kolath came up next to the elf swinging his axe into an orc’s chest it didn’t cut through the plate but it did send the orc flying back into the ground and it didn’t get back up, he caught the charge of another on the tips of his axe and used its momentum to bring it over his head and crashing head first into rock as he did this a orc brought his blade up from behind to cut his throat leaving his battle axe in the orc he brought his bracer up and blocked the cut grabbing the orc’s arm he curled forward bringing the orc over his head and the blade down through his neck. Pulling his axe from the corpse he spun around just in time to see a fire arrow hit the ground

06/17/2005 5:52 PM

Once Ethrana reached the ridge Althrond turned and broke into a run. He quickly reached the ranger and took up a position next to her firing arrows to support the fighters in melee.

He saw the burning cloth attached to an arrow and knew it to be a warning, but of what he wondered. He gazed out in the distance and soon it caught his eye, "They have a mountain troll..."

OOC: I loved that line in the movie from Boromir, "They have a cave troll."

06/18/2005 2:15 AM

As if the beast heard the announcement, the troll growled lowly and picked up speed, moving straight for the standing trio, followed in his wake by seven orcs. The greyish tone of it's skin contrasted greatly with the red hue of it's eyes, given an even more menacing look by the spiked club, which it held in it's right hand. Approaching the standing trio, four of the orcs behind the troll fanned out, threatening to overrun them. The remaining three raised crossbows and began aiming for the archers on the ridge.

Meanwhile the orcs that approached Haldir split up, now closing in from the left and right. The elf swiftly grabbed another arrow, pulled back the string and released the arrow. The left orc tumbled back, with the shaft of the arrow sticking out of the helmet, where it was least protected. It now had room for a third eye.

The elf dropped the bow and unsheated his sword, readying himself for a head to head with the orc.

06/18/2005 10:05 PM

Althrond moved down and left as a crossbow bolt flew by him. He quickly returned fire and saw the orc fall to the ground. Another bolt flew between Ethrana and him as he knocked another arrow. He took aim and fired, another killing shot.

He assumed Ethrana would be more than able to take out the remaining orc so he ran a bit to the the right to get a better shot at the troll. He stopped and then began to fire several arrows in succession.

06/19/2005 4:58 AM

Arothir barely took note of anyone companions moving around him - his gleaning sword he held in both hands, bringing the keen edge to bear on any Orc brave enough, or foolish enough, to come within range. The movements of these creatures were clumsy and barely resembled anything that could be called skill or training. And so they fell like wheat before a scythe -- black blood could not mar Narumil, but it certainly stained Arothir's surcoat, and dripped from his hair and face.

Through the slaughter, there was a light in Arothir's eyes, and an air of rage, almost tangible, all about him. With calculated movements, Arothir thrust the point of his sword through the stiff leather jerkin of one Orc, piercing its heart with ease. Wrenching the weapon free, he cleaved another Orc through the side of the head and thrust forward in the same motion to catch the next Orc in the throat. Suddenly, Arothir seemed to recognize the danger as he'd pushed himself too far forward into the teeming mass of his enemies. "Back!" he cried to his companions as the Troll came lumbering forward. His sword caught another Orc across the bridge of its nose as he hacked his way closer to his fellow warriors.

"Back! The Troll is upon us!" he called with a clear voice - turning to face this menace.

OOC: I know, I'm late. I actually thought I'd already posted again.

06/20/2005 1:03 AM

“We can do no good here and we don’t want to become trapped. Up there seems the best place,” said Mabin to Isumbras, pointing up the scree lined slope littered with large boulders. Before they had even moved though, a dark shape came sprinting out of the darkness only to crash to the ground at their feet, an arrow shaft protruding from its side.
“Quick lad, behind that rock, don’t worry, I’ll be right behind you.”

06/20/2005 1:35 AM

As the troll caught the onslaught caused by the elf near him, he growled deeply and charged on Arothir. Though oddly enough, the beast did not do so blindly. It used its larger reach to its advantage, attacking the elf while staying just out of reach of his sword. Again and again the club swung at Arothir, who was agile enough to dodge these shattering blows.

Haldir crossed blades with the remaining orc, a fight that was over within a few seconds, as he slid past the orc and cut the tendons in the back of the creature's knees, then turned and lopped off it's ugly head. Swiftly he recuperated his bow and slid the sword back into the sheath on his back, then started to run in the direction of the cave.

Arriving within sight, he was just in time to see Arothir in combat with the troll, as the others were cutting down the remainder of the orcs. Ethrana finished off the orcish archer with a clean shot into the slit of the helmet, while the other orcs got cut down by the blade of Araglas and the axe of Kolath. The last of them fell, as the fight between the troll and Arothir came to it's height.

Haldir signalled to both Althrond and Ethrana, then placed an arrow upon his bow and aimed at the troll. A sharp shout came from his lips. "Arothir, duck !" As the elf rolled away, all three archers released their arrows from their respective angles, firing the arrows into the troll. Ethrana's arrow hit just above the collarbone, Althrond's lodged itself into the troll's neck and Haldir's arrow cut deep into the right shoulder, causing the troll to drop the club.

"Finish him off, Arothir" The elf shouted next and his lieutenant was already on his feet as the words still echoed through the air, driving Narumil deep into it's sternum. The beast died without another sound. Slowly Haldir approached and inquired about the health of the members of the group. "Did anyone get hurt?"

06/20/2005 11:41 AM

“Quick lad, behind that rock, don’t worry, I’ll be right behind you.”

Isumbras nodded an ran for the rock. He slid behind it fumbling to keep his dagger at the ready if anything should try to attack him.

"Did anyone get hurt?"

Althrond came down from the ridge quickly to join the others, "I'm fine," he said taking off his quiver to count his arrows. He had a quiver of thirty to start with and now found himself with twenty-two. They could restock in Rivendell but Althrond was unsure of how many more fights such as this remained ahead.

Isumbras came out from the rock, "Well, I must say good job everyone..." he stopped short upon seeing the dead orcs then regained his senses, "Shall we be off then? I wouldn't like to stick around here for very long."

06/20/2005 12:00 PM

Arothir ripped his blade free of the Troll, stepping aside smoothly as it fell to the ground with a mighty smash, crushing dead Orcs beneath its bulk. Walking to the rest of the company, Arothir sheathed Narumil, which seemed completely unmarred and unstained. Contrarily, Arothir was smeared with black blood; stains had already set in all over his person, from hair to boot.

Sighing deeply, Arothir surveyed the scene, waving off Haldir's concerns. "This force was organized... prepared. We should take the little one's advice and move along as quickly as possible. I should certainly like to find somewhere to clean this foul-smelling ichor from myself. If everyone is well, then we should be off right away."

06/20/2005 12:53 PM

Araglas surveyed the destruction before him. His face was covered in black blood and so was his clothing. He brushed his hair out of his eyes with a gloved hand before sheathing his long sword.

"A few minor cuts and scrapes, nothing to be concerned over," he replied. It appeared they had won the battle without so much as an injury.

"This force was organized... prepared. We should take the little one's advice and move along as quickly as possible.

"Arothir is right. In my many years of ranging, I have seldom come across a force this organized. We should heed these dark omens and be on our way as quickly as possible." Araglas was wringing out his hair of orc blood as he said this. His clothing was damp with the dark, gooey liquid and he could do nothing for them until he found some place to wash them.

[Edited by Exile on Monday, June 20, 2005 6:04 PM]

06/20/2005 4:44 PM

As the members of their party re-grouped, Ethrana took in the scene around them. She remained somewhat impassive in her expression, but her heart was racing and she knew her breathing was more labored than normal. She had to shake the feeling that she had somehow brought this attack upon the group by her thoughts and discussions she'd instigated earlier.

Her eyes brushed past Haldir's briefly, and she allowed a moment of her self-doubt to show through, but quickly regained her composure as she looked to Argalas as he spoke. Nodding her head, she spoke to no one in particular, "I will begin to gather our things so we may travel swiftly to a place of safety." Not making eye contact with anyone, she went into the cave, moving at a slower pace than normal for her, as if her steps were heavy and burdened.

06/21/2005 2:02 PM

"Good idea, Ethrana. I'll give you a helping hand. We'd best be ready to move as soon as possible." Haldir had spoken loud enough for all to hear, including the dunedain that just walked away. "Keep your arms at hand, people. Arothir, Araglas, if you guys want to clean that orc blood away, now is the time or you'll wear it for a while." The elf smiled and nodded towards the two. "We did well for our first encounter, let's hope it stays that way." With that said, the elf headed towards the cave himself.

06/21/2005 9:04 PM

Althrond helped the others gather up the supplies in order for a quick departure. Isumbras pulled his pack on and looked around as the others soon were ready to go. Althrond was several steps ahead of the marching group keeping his bow out in case they should meet another group of orcs.

Isumbras took up his position ahead of the rear guard the group marched into the waning night.

06/25/2005 9:53 PM

And so the group continued on, though tired from the fighting they were able to gain a few miles within the night. They stopped for a morning meal and some rest but by the urging of the elves the break did not last long. Isumbras found himself falling asleep on his feet and almost fell over a few times but Mabin, his dwarven friend, was their to catch him.

Everyone seemed on edge when night came, fearing another attack. Haldir set up another watch and made sure the supplies were ready if the group needed to leave quickly. Missing his afternoon meals made Isumbras' stomach growl loudly. He put on a small smile when the others looked at him and would joke about how much the hobbits ate.

Althrond and Arothir kept a vigilant eye moving ahead and slightly away from the group whenever they felt the situation called for it. Several days passed as such, long marches and seemingly too short of rests. Haldir wanted to reach the pass and arrive at the safe city of Rivendell as quickly as possible. Arothir had found tracks of orc movement but they avoided any other conflicts from the orcs. They had also, gone by two of the orcish camp sights, during their marches, which seemed to cause them to move faster as the group glanced all about themselves.

It was late afternoon when Althrond said the words the entire group had been waiting to hear, "The pass," Althrond pointed ahead, "Imladris is not far away."

OOC: I would have posted this yesterday but the RPGC wasn't working well for me. I hope this is an okay speed up post.

06/29/2005 5:00 AM

Ahead lay an ancient road, not paved, or even sign-posted but clearly visible, having been worn by countless feet over thousands of years. Up it wound into the mountains, circling outcrops and at times lost behind boulders the size of houses. Eventually it disappeared beyond a ridge, by this time though only the gap in the mountain spurs gave any indication of its existence.
“Before we wander thoughtlessly up yonder path, I think it wise that the rangers scout ahead and see if they can find the spoor of any goblin groups that may have passed this way before us,” suggested Mabin.

07/01/2005 12:17 AM

“Before we wander thoughtlessly up yonder path, I think it wise that the rangers scout ahead and see if they can find the spoor of any goblin groups that may have passed this way before us,” suggested Mabin.

"Of course," Araglas replied with a smirk. "I do love searching for orc spoor." And with that, the ranger walked down the road a few moments before veering off the beaten path and into the wild wood. No use in walking in plain sight if there happened to be any orcs about.

He had been walking near the wood line where it met the road for what seemed like hours. Lush, green foilage covered the ground and moss held on for dear life to the sides of great oak trees. The Dunedain glanced up at the sky and noticed that it had began to dip low on the horizon. Ahead lay a small clearing, empty save for a few ashes where once a fire had burned. Araglas stopped before entering the clearing and checked for any inhabitants. Satisfied there were none, he entered the clearing and examined the ground. There were tracks on the ground but they were too worn from wind and rain to make an accurate guess as to what had made them. The ranger stood up from the tracks and stretched before scouting the immediate area around the clearing. Araglas found nothing else save for a few wild animals. With a new hop to his step, Araglas made his way back towards the group. The need for stealth had passed by and the ranger soon found himself back with the main group in less than half the time it had taken to reach the clearing.

"There is a clearing ahead. Abandoned, save for a score of tracks too worn to distinguish what they were," Araglas reported. "They did were boots though," he added with a smile. The ranger looked at the waning sun and the long shadows that had begun to litter the landscape. Then his eyes settled on Mabin. “No spoor either,” he said with an afterthought. His face wore the same smirk he had given the dwarf earlier.

“I say we rest tonight in the clearing. It is less than an hour’s walk from here, provided I did not forget the way.” Araglas laughed to himself, smacking Mabin on the back when the dwarf did not join in his merriment.

07/01/2005 8:38 AM

Having remained silent all this time, Arothir shook his head and finally spoke up. "I do not think it wise to rest tonight. We should take a quick meal in this clearing and then be off again right away. Should the little one grow tired, there are enough stout arms and strong backs here to carry him throughout his rest."

Arothir looked to Haldir for support, knowing his captain would agree that this journey needs caution [i]and[/i] speed, and that the company has already dallied enough.

07/04/2005 1:30 PM

Haldir nodded at Arothir and spoke softly, clearly intended so his voice would not carry far. "Arothir is correct. At night is when the orcs are most active, staying in one place for a longer period of time is too dangerous. We'll stop for a meal in about an hour, then see how far we can get before the night is over. If Master Isumbras cannot stay awake that long, then i'll be the first to carry him."

He pointed at what seemed to be a narrow passage ahead, which should lead them to the high pass. "Once we are safely through that part, then we halt for a short pause, but not at this moment." He placed his hand on the ground and placed his finger against his mouth, then spoke with an even lower tone. "Yrch approaching from the east, we should continue."

[Edited by Caelin on Monday, July 4, 2005 1:33 PM]

[Edited by Shallandra on Wednesday, July 6, 2005 11:16 AM]

07/04/2005 10:39 PM

If Master Isumbras cannot stay awake that long, then i'll be the first to carry him."

"That's mighty kind of you Sir Haldir, I will try to keep up as best as I can," Isumbras tried not to think of the coming night that would surely make his whole body ache for days. He only thought of the food he would soon eat, that at least would keep his step quick for the first hour.

"Yrch approaching from the east, we should continue."

"I will take point," Althrond calmly said and walked up the narrow path. The group would soon reach the elven refuge of Imladris but there was still the High Pass to cross and the house of elven forest seemed all too far away to Althrond.

07/12/2005 4:16 AM

As the group wound their way up into the mountains the temperature dropped and the first stars of night could be seen shining down, illuminating the path in a pale silver glow.
Despite weary feet, there was no obvious place to shelter, at least not for another few miles.
A crescent moon had risen at their backs before they came close to the vantage point spied out from further down the trail as the suitable camp site.
“Do you think it is safe?” asked Mabin of the elves.

07/12/2005 2:16 PM

The Elves all smiled in answer of Mabin's question and began setting up camp. A brief rest period passed without incident. Before the sun was peaking across the horizon, the company had departed again, winding a slow but steady path through hills and rough terrain.

For a short time they were hampered in their journey by heavy rain and fog, temporarily distracting them and sending the entire company slightly off course. But within hours that lost time had been made up, with a sleeping Hobbit being carried by the gruff Mabin, grumbling all the way about the Hobbit's number of breakfasts.

As the company was at rest on the cusp of a shallow valley the Elves disappeared, returning a few hours later. Of them, Arothir stepped forward and spoke to the Rangers, Dwarves, and Hobbit; "Rivendell is but 2, maybe 3, days march from here. We can take a long rest now that we are nearly within sight of it - so I bid thee recoup from this difficult journey and we can set out in the morning, if my lord Haldir has no objection."

07/12/2005 2:37 PM

"None at all, Arothir. If we press it, we could even make it in two days, less if we had all been elves, but all of us here have their specific abilities and reasons for being here. No, it is better to rest now, before continuing." The elf spoke in a friendly tone, with no hesitation whatsoever. Calmly he held his bow and pointed at Isumbras. "Perhaps we can make a little time in Rivendell, to show master hobit how to handle that long dagger?"

07/12/2005 4:29 PM

"Perhaps we can make a little time in Rivendell, to show master hobit how to handle that long dagger?"

"Yes, yes...that would be good," Isumbras replied resting his head on a tree and glad to hear that they could rest for a long while. "Mabin my friend, once this is over I'll get you however many mugs of ale you want." His eyes closed and let his tired body rest. It had never crossed his hobbit brain that he would be too tired to eat but it had nonetheless happened.

After some rest the famed hobbit appetite returned to Isumbras and he started in on some lembas.

Althrond was glad that he woud be visiting Lord Elrond again. Imladris was truly a gem at the foot of the Misty Mountains. Althrond took a seat at the base of a tree and ate while making small talk with the other members of the company.

07/13/2005 1:25 AM

"Mabin my friend, once this is over I'll get you however many mugs of ale you want." After some rest the famed hobbit appetite returned to Isumbras and he started in on some lembas.

“Well, seems as I have carried you most of the way over the Misty Mountains, I am sure that you can start by carrying the ales from the cask to my seat in Rivendel,” replied Mabin, not totally in jest, “and exactly how many pans do you have in your pack, by way of interest? I swear that I am an inch or two shorter. Either that or you’re growing.” Mabin eyed the lembas crumbs on Isumbras’s face and shirt front suspiciously.

07/14/2005 11:57 AM

“Well, seems as I have carried you most of the way over the Misty Mountains, I am sure that you can start by carrying the ales from the cask to my seat in Rivendel,” replied Mabin, not totally in jest, “and exactly how many pans do you have in your pack, by way of interest? I swear that I am an inch or two shorter. Either that or you’re growing.” Mabin eyed the lembas crumbs on Isumbras’s face and shirt front suspiciously.

Isumbras brushed the crumbs off himself and smiled, "Lembas, you can't have just one."

08/01/2005 11:36 AM

The company had travelled long and rested quite infrequently. For the last few days Arothir and Araglas had led the company, with Haldir picking his way much more quickly and unburdened to Rivendell to announce the company's coming and send out patrols to insure their safety.

Arothir led the group to the top of a rise and gestured with his outstretched hand to the far-off value which held the fortified city of Rivendell. Smiling at the natural beauty of the area, Arothir began, "There is the land of Rivendell for those of you who would not otherwise recognize it. Do not cheer, for we still have a hard, sloping march ahead of us before we truly come within sight of the city herself. But we are close now and should be as safe as one can be in all of Middle-earth. So take heart and rest, and we shall continue in the morn, hopefully to be within the walls of Rivendell before tomorrow's nightfall."

At that, Arothir unbuckled his sword-belt and rested the weapon against a tree, allowing himself the brief respite of feeling at least marginally safe.

08/02/2005 8:33 AM

Mabin made and umming noise as he stared down into the valley, I can already taste the barley beer. I am almost prepared carry on, almost.
With that he dropped his pack, sat down and leaned back. Taking his pipe from his pocket he was soon puffing away, blowing small smoke rings into the night sky.
So Master Arothir, how do you think we have fared so far? Do you have a mind to the advice Elrond will be giving, if any? I know that many elves tend to be a little tight lipped when it comes to giving council. Can we expect to learn more of this quest and what it all entails?

08/03/2005 4:09 AM

I know that many elves tend to be a little tight lipped when it comes to giving council.

Araglas chuckled as he sat down. "There is no doubt to that, Master Dwarf," the ranger replied with a smile as he unbuckled his sword and sat it beside him. His eyes turned towards Rivendell, his gaze lingering on the beautiful elven city. It had been years since he had set foot into the sanctuary for goodly races, and was uncertain as to how he would be greeted. He could recall his bitter departure like it was yesterday; Araglas had no doubt that the elves still remembered also.

Can we expect to learn more of this quest and what it all entails?"

The Dunedain snapped back from his memories, staring at Arothir questioningly. He searched the delicate elven features, but felt as if he were searching for something that was not there. Arothir slowly turned his head towards Araglas, stopping when it seemed to Araglas that the elf could could see the ranger clearly out of the corner of his eye. Araglas quickly averted his eyes, assuming the elf had noticed his stare.

(OOC: Don't mind if I turn your head just a little, do you?)

08/05/2005 11:27 AM

Isumbras was glad for the rest but found himself to be restless. He wanted to see the elven city and wander its halls. He turned his thoughts to food, always a good fallback for a hobbit. He took out the food from his pack and slowly ate away at the elvish bread.

Althrond gazed off at Rivendell for some time then took a seat at the base of a tree. He felt better knowing that he was close to elven lands. The scout shut his eyes and listened to the sounds of the forest.

08/05/2005 1:21 PM

Arothir remained silent for a few long moments. His response came only after it seemed Mabin would jump out of his skin if he wasn't given some form of, at least, perfunctory answer. "I suspect that we will all hear exactly what we need to hear from Master Elrond," came Arothir's vague reply, "and perhaps in some cases, what we do not wish to here." The last was stated a bit more softly, with a non-too-casual glance to Araglas.

"But we shouldn't concern ourselves with these matters now. Take some rest - we are well-guarded here, and before nightfall tomorrow, we shall be within the walls of Imladris."

08/09/2005 12:43 AM

Despite being referred to as a city and at other times a fortress, Rivendell in truth was neither of these things. As the group sat under the spreading tree, they looked down on the steep sided valley largely hidden between the surrounding hills.
The secret of Rivendell was not strong walls or an army of elves in bright mail. Its power lay in wisdom and secrecy.
At the heart of the valley stood the house of Elrond, one of only a few buildings. Rivendell, it was said was founded thousands of years ago by the elves that fled Eregion to the south, escaping the army of Sauron, and here it has remained, the last homely house east of the sea.
Mabin yawned deeply. "And you tell me, Arothir, exactly what I expect to hear. Wisdom and secrecy& fine ale," muttered Mabin, his eyes already closed. Soon snores could be heard.

The next day dawned bright and fresh. After a large breakfast in which everything that could be cooked or eaten, was. While drinking some fresh tisane tea and in high spirits, the conversation turned to what to expect in Rivendel when they arrived later that day.

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