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Dagor Dagorath

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BennyQ

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Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Location
Canada
Thromi Shortbeard
Brandywine Bridge Inn


“Thromi, son of Fromli, at your service!” He exclaimed when the human female, Gilraen Bereniel, greeted him directly. He could not forgo her politeness without being rude and Moira was already setting an example with a warm welcome and offer of drink and food for their guests. The taller elf had stated their purpose to cross but the dwarf wondered what for and why in the company of a human. There was some conspiracy at play here, some plot or plan that was far beyond the supposed comprehension of dwarves and hobbits. He wondered what and who it was against. Was there a new enemy abroad? His curiosity was piqued.

The three visitors were invited to sit with them, with the taller elf accepting Moira’s offer of drink and refreshment. His name they already knew from his pronouncement a moment ago in typical dwarf fashion. “Our lovely hostess here is Lady Moira Brandywine.” He felt the need to introduce her, gesturing with his hand and a faint smile. “Please, have a seat and tell us of your purpose. You have news from beyond these borders, I trust?”

~~~​

Elvëon
Brandywine Bridge Inn



The elf took his seat, though he was far too tall to truly get comfortable. This was a place built for little folk like dwarves and hobbits, not tall folk like himself and his companions. But he made no complaint, asking simply for water, flavoured if they had it, and giving a nod to the dwarf’s question. “From only westward yonder, of which there is nothing new beyond what occurs in this country. No, our journey lies forward with the same question as you. We seek news ourselves of distant deeds.” Elvëon explained, glancing to each face in turn. He waited until Moira had joined them before he continued.

“This darkness is no common or natural weather of the world. Some evil trickery is behind it, as you may have guessed in your hearts. The Sun, I must say, will not be returning. She has been broken and shattered, scattered to the winds. But it is the belief of my Mistress,” Elvëon did not say who that was, “that all hope should not be lost. Scattered and broken to the winds I said and I mean, like pieces of puzzle, it can be recovered and repaired.”

The dwarf’s eyes went wide. No such hope or notion had appeared to any of the folk he had met along the way. They all either thought it was indeed temporary or the end of the world was upon them. The elf seemed to imply it. Perhaps he was mad though, on some fool’s quest. But looking at the elf’s face, the dwarf did not see any lie or inkling of insanity. He was serious. The dwarf rubbed his beard and Elvëon glanced at him sharply, perceiving the dwarf to know something.

“I have heard,” Thromi said slowly, “from a traveling party of men out of Dunlend that they perceived a shooting star. It flew northwards.” He found himself regaling. It seemed little of note. Throughout the long years people had often seen such sights, with the added superstition that if one made a wish upon seeing such a sight, it would come true. He rubbed his beard thoughtfully.

“And when was such a sight beheld?” Elvëon inquired.

“Three, maybe four weeks ago? Right when this damnable darkness began.” Thromi reported. That was about the time he set out from Khazad-Dum, to seek news from his brethren in the Blue Mountains.

Elvëon folded his hands gravely. “Then what they beheld was a piece of the Sun, falling to Middle-Earth.” He looked towards his companions, Gilraen and Nairë. “You said there was lands northward of here? Then that is where we must go next. Rest well tonight. Our journey begins with due haste on the morrow.” He declared to them, finishing his water and rising to stand. He would not waste any more time. Rest, and then departure.

“Wait.” Thromi said, utterly amazed at this relevation. “You actually intend to check out if this falling star was a piece of the Sun. How will you…?” He drifted off, glancing at Moira with amazement.

“We shall see when, if, we find it.” Elvëon simply answered.

“Then I will come with you.” Thromi declared. “To sit and wait for the end is not to my liking. If you have a plan to save us from this darkness, then I wish to help.”

Elvëon nodded, glad of the help. “It would be most appreciated, master dwarf. I’m sure the others will not object to your presence…?” He glanced at the others again, seeking their opinions or suggestions. But with that being said, he would again rise and depart to rest. Tomorrow they would be going north, them and whoever else would join them, if they had the heart for it.
 

LeaT

Supernova
Joined
May 3, 2014
Moira Brandybuck
The Shire - Brandywine Bridge Inn



Moira blushed slightly as she realized her etiquette was somewhat lacking but she just wasn't used to strangers. In the Shire it seemed everyone knew everyone so there was hardly any real need for introductions. Though many of her brethren truly distrusted outsiders, Moira felt as if they represented a chance to hope against all hope that there might be a sun again. Raised on her family's tales of the fellowship between hobbits, men, dwarves, and elves she felt as if history was maybe making a turn here at the small tavern on the edge of the Shire. She gave a small but sincere curtsy as Thromi introduced her.

She listened raptly, bright eyes flickering to each speaker in turn as she listened to their tales and their plans. She barely recognized her own voice when she suddenly blurted out after Thromi. "I shall join you as well." She sounded more confident than she really felt, her stomach seemed full of butterflies. Her anxiety was much less the dangers of the journey, which she scarcely understood, as much as the thought that they might turn her down. She was after all no warrior or healer and had never left the confines of the Shire. Still she felt she had some part of play, and certainly a hobbit should accompany them if for no other reason than it seemed fitting.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Location
Xanadu
Durwood Edricsson
East Emnet, Rohan


Orcs. Wargs. Orcs and Wargs.

When he closed his eyes, Durwood could still see them lurking. The foul creatures had plagued him for the last two weeks during his journey from Eryn Lasgalen to Rohan. Before that, his homeland had been assaulted by them. Orcs in the Misty Mountains had first closed the passes and then begun brazenly raiding villages by the Anduin River. Soon after, packs of Wargs ranged out of the great forest to attack settlements close to the trees. His folk, the Beornings and Woodsmen, were effectively trapped and Eryn Lasgalen was returning day by day to the reputation that had earned it the name Mirkwood. A dark, dangerous and evil forest.

Villages and dying farms had been abandoned as the Northmen sheltered together in a handful of the largest strongholds. As much as Durwood knew his people needed warriors such as him to protect them, he believed even more that they needed help to defeat this assault. There was a greater evil at work as evidenced by the perpetual night that had blanketed Arda. They needed more soldiers to drive the Orcs back, that was obvious, but more than anything they needed the Sun and Moon returned to the sky. The Clan leaders hadn't approved of his plans and he'd slipped out during what used to be night against their orders, stealing a raft and leaving a simple note stating he would return with help.

Rohan was his destination, the mighty nation that lay just down the Great River. He'd heard many songs about their legendary musters and fearsome horsemen. The Woodsmen and Beornings traded with Rohan and Durwood hoped the Rohirrim would rally to help his people. As he had traveled, Durwood had begun to realize that the Orcs were ranging far and wide and that his land might not be the only one under assault. What if Rohan itself was under attack, his rescuer also in need of rescue? The thought that his mission could be in vain had gnawed at him, making him regret leaving his family in this dark time to go on what might be a fool's errand. Did they think him a coward that was fleeing? Would they even be alive when he returned?

At the least, Durwood had vowed, he would learn what evil plagued the world and had caused this crisis. No Men could survive long if the Sun and Moon did not return. And perhaps, just perhaps, there might be a way he could help defeat this new darkness and his name find its way into one of the Minstrel songs that he adored.

After abandoning his raft at Nen Hithoel, Durwood had traveled on foot through the rugged hills bordering East Emnet. It had been a bloody journey and he'd fought many small Orc bands and Warg packs. For each creature he killed, it felt like two more appeared to take its place. A brace of Orc tribal badges hung from his shield, grim trophies of his travel.

Fire and timbers, this is the end.

And now, Durwood was at death's door. He was battered, bleeding, exhausted, and surrounded by dozens of Orcs and Wargs that had been tracking him for a day. They approached him carefully, like a pack of wolves approaching a tired, but fierce Elk they had chased down. They knew a kill was inevitable, but were cautious that he might mount one last defense that could kill one of them.

A distant rumbling caught his ears, growing steadily louder. At first he thought it was thunder, then maybe an earthquake as he felt the ground shake. The nearest Wargs, within an easy bowshot if he had arrows, suddenly froze and dropped their tails. Only when the first of the horses swept around him to scatter his pursuers did Durwood finally realize what was happening and allow himself to collapse on the ground.

He was in Rohan at last. The Riders of Rohan had saved him!


Durwood Edricsson
The Lone Rider Inn, Aldburg



The building seemed busy, with folks entering and exiting as Durwood studied the sign. The paint was weathered and the artwork hard to see in the dim light of this perpetual twilight, but it appeared to bear a sigil of a single rider in profile astride a horse. This had to be the place the troops had told him to seek.

Their answer came after many pleas. There would be no rescue muster for the Northmen. Rohan was fighting Orc raids on all its borders. Its crops were also withering and dying from lack of sunlight. Some great evil was coming and the Rohirrim were preparing for a final battle. The best they could offer Durwood was dropping him off in Aldburg where he might be able to heal and restock his provisions. No help would be provided in getting him an audience with a Marshal, let alone the King. Sympathy was given, but Rohan had its own problems to deal with.

What a fool he was for thinking the response would be anything else.

And so the tall warrior limped into the Lone Rider Inn, dejected and demoralized in a way he had never felt before in his young life. His face was still bloody, clothes torn, and shield battered. The Warg skin cape draped over his shoulders was ripped and matted with dark Orc blood and the string of Orc badges on his shield clacked with every step. The head of a black Orc arrow, broken off and stuck in his shield, decided to fall out just as he reached the middle of the room.

The arrowhead hit the floor with a loud, metallic clank that turned the remaining heads of the few people not already looking at him.

Did all Rohirrim stare at newcomers like this? It was a strange reception and made Durwood rub his beard uncomfortably, only to find it matted with blood and dirt. After several awkward seconds, one woman wiped the shock off her face and hurried forward to ask how she could be of service. Durwood had never been in an Inn before, but he knew he was supposed to pay someone for a bed. Was this woman the innkeeper?

He just hoped he had enough coin.

"Milady, my honor to be in your fine... house. I need a bed... a bath. Some food," answered Durwood, stumbling with what to say and what etiquette might require. A woman in the corner caught his eye as he spoke. She seemed... different. It was her eyes, maybe. Wait, no it was her EARS! All gloom suddenly vanished from the warrior's body and his eyes widened in delight. A huge smile spread across his face and he limped towards the woman excitedly. He roared the next words, "Fire and timbers... are you an ELF?!"
 

LeaT

Supernova
Joined
May 3, 2014
Lôminzil
Mouth of the River Lefnui



The red sail of the ship looked nearly black in the perpetual darkness, only the truly black eye adorning it showing any contrast at all. The gentle breeze off the Bay of Belfalas billowed the great cloth and propelled the ship silently up the narrow firth. Lôminzil was sheltered in a cabin below until a knock on her door summoned her to the deck. She held a thick fur around her slender body, warding off the chill of the long night. The sun had kept her homeland of Umbar warm and sultry and she longed to feel it's heat again despite her mission to fulfill the prophecy. It seemed self-destructive to destroy the sun and while that was not her doing, her destiny was to keep the shards from falling into the hands of her Master's enemies.

That destiny had been her sole reason for existence, at least that was what was drilled into her young mind for as long as she could remember. All her life she had studied and practiced, perfecting her craft to the farthest extent possible considering the rather theoretical nature of it all. Through countless generations the sun had risen and set with mathematical precision. Lôminzil had learned to calculate the exact time and location as it shifted in its course from season to season. She was considered a witch, though in reality it was much closer to science and mathematics than actual magic. She did little to dispel the aura of magic that surrounded her and her family however, as it was useful and profitable. Besides her art and craft might as well be magic to most of the people of Middle Earth, and that might raise her influence among the other servants of Melkor they were likely to meet.

It had been an easy and privileged life back in Umbar, if perhaps a little tedious. The mathematical precision of the sun, the moon, and the stars held a certain amount of wonder, but charting it every day of her life had made that wonder begin to feel like a curse. Her diligence was rewarded however as the sun was splintered she was able to observe the fall. Based on her observations she was able to cipher a reasonable idea of where the Shards might have landed. She had rather precise bearings, the problem of course was distance. She didn't know just how far from Umbar each of them fell. Their brightness gave her a relative idea of how far each was compared to the others, but without comparing her observations with that of another location, the distance was more of a guess. Which is part of the reason she would search Andrast first. Based upon the bearing, the first shard either fell onto the narrow tip of Andrast or it fell into the Great Sea, Belegaer. If it fell into the sea, it was unlikely the enemy would ever find it, if it fell onto Andrast, she would have a much better idea of where to find the others.

The ship continued up the firth until the river narrowed further. There a signal fire on the west bank showed them where to land. Her legs felt slightly odd as the ship nudged onto the sandy bank and became still for the first time since she left Umbar. She made her way carefully to the gangplank laid out to allow her to walk to the grassy ledge above the sand. Gathered about were about a dozen dark figures, members of her own crew headed out to meet them. It was an uneasy moment, many weapons at the ready, neither sure of the other. She waited near the rail until it was safe for her to disembark and meet her new 'allies' face to face.
 

Artemis

Planetoid
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Location
Southern Indiana
Raen had not intended to overlook the Hobbit, but she had had a long journey, and when she was tired, she was sometimes less perceptive than normal. She felt a sinking pit in her stomach form, but she didn't let her cheerful smile slip one iota. From Raen's limited experience, Hobbits were always a cheerful sort of folk who enjoyed the comforts of home and hearth, and Raen found herself much in agreement with the thought that there was no place better to be than home. But Raen also enjoyed adventures, so despite her love of home, she was away from it often...to the point where she'd decided that home was just wherever she happened to be at the moment.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Thromi." Raen greeted, and turned her gaze to Moira. "And you as well, Lady Brandybuck. I apologize for my earlier rudeness - after a long travel, I sometimes get a bit of tunnel vision." Raen smiled sheepishly. "I look forward to travelling with you and your friend here on our quest."


elven_divider_zpsjs8lqrhz.png


Elerondiel had been listening to Altariel's story and laughing when she saw a large man enter the tavern from the corner of her eye. She paid him no mind at first, feeling safe with Randir so close at hand, but when his voice suddenly boomed loudly in her direction...she fumbled, almost dropping her mug, and grabbed onto Randir's arm to steady herself. She took a moment to regain her composure, and looked at the newcomer, her eyes peering up at him curiously.
"Yes, ser, I am an elf." She replied, allowing a polite smile to form on her face. "My name is Elerondiel Miriel Half-Elven, daughter of Elrohir, who is one of the sons of Elrond." She bowed slightly, as she was sitting, but she felt as if formality was important right now...she wasn't sure why. So she gave the man her full name and lineage. "But you may just call me Elerondiel. It is a pleasure to meet you, ser." She did not let go of Randir's arm, nor did her grip loosen...but from the serene expression on her face, one wouldn't know that she was still slightly shook up.

 
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Location
Xanadu
Jukha Dretkag
Mouth of the River Lefnui


"Let's hope it's the wrong ship... 'en we get to eat 'em," snarled one of the orcs on the riverbank.

"Let's eat 'em anyway. Am sick of rabbits and deer in the cook pot," growled a response from another. "The dark lord will send a new witch and forgive us."

A chorus of evil laughs and snorts greeted the response, with clawed hands gripping axes and swords a bit tighter as the idea took hold.

A misunderstanding, that is what we would claim. And after these humans were all dead, well the tender meat shouldn't be wasted, right?


Jukha Dretkag smiled at the thought, half-indulging the little fantasy in his mind. A year earlier and it just might have happened without any repercussions falling on the orc chieftain and his band. Things were different now, and they all knew it. The true Dark Lord was back, showing his might by crashing the Sun and the Moon to the ground. Now, orcs were gathering in mass and they had a purpose again. After lurking in the shadows for generations, the whole land was now in shadow. It was their time.

"Shut yer traps," grunted Jukha, giving the group an annoyed wave of his hand. He scowled at them for extra emphasis, knowing that their orc night vision would let them see his anger in this beautiful eternal evening. "We have work to do for the Dark Lord... these are our allies not dinner. No harm to any of them on my watch or I'll have you in the cookpot instead."

The humans were carefully picking their way off the boat now, eying the dark figures of Jukha's men who all stood well away from the signal fire on purpose. Jukha smiled, knowing how blind these people must feel compared to the ease with which he and his brethren could see. He studied the group, picking out the handful of warriors with their swords out, the barefoot sailors pulling the boat further onto the sand, and there, coming off the boat last must be the witch he had been ordered to escort.

She didn't look dangerous, just another tasty human woman. Jukha liked her dark skin, though, it made her look more like a young orcess. And beneath the furs she wore, he caught glimpses of ample enough curves to tempt an orc. Skinny, bony human women were barely worth cooking, let alone fucking. This one, well she looked good enough for both.

"Praise the Dark Lord," said Jukha as he stepped forward from the group with his hands in the air. Behind him, he heard his warriors shift and ready weapons just in case. Striding forward slowly so the near-blind humans could see him, he lowered his hands and walked towards the witch, ignoring the human warriors as if they were insignificant gnats. "I am Jukha Dretkag, Broken Skull Clan. You must be Lôminzil?"

Jukha's black eyes appraised the woman up close now, running up and down her body shamelessly. His first impression was confirmed, she was quite a delicious morsel for a human. And she didn't look that dangerous, though most humans didn't. He met her eyes at last, challenging them with a stare that tried to intimidate her.

"Are you ready? Or must we wait for all of Gondor to see this fire and hunt us down?" asked Jukha, tusks curving up into an evil smile that bared his sharp teeth.
 

LeaT

Supernova
Joined
May 3, 2014
Lôminzil
Mouth of the River Lefnui


It was not until she set foot on soil again at the end of the gangplank that she was close enough to the orcs to know for certain that is what they were. She had only seen a handful of orcs before, probably more properly half orcs than full, and only one or two at a time. She wasn't fully prepared for just how terrifying their very essence was and she had to remind herself to not show fear. Her guard, who had seemed so formidable when she embarked back in Umbar, now appeared wholly inadequate for protecting her from the band of orcs that half encircled them. They clung to the shadows as if fearing the light of the fire and in a way it made them seem all the more dangerous.

She nodded slightly as their apparent leader stepped forward, praising the dark lord in his guttural voice. She swallowed hard, not yet trusting her voice to speak yet knowing she would have to impress upon them the need to serve her as they did their master. She stood with the fire to her back, her eyes trying to pierce into the shadow to see them more clearly. She also hoped it would make her seem more powerful to have the light behind her, forcing them to look towards it. "I am Lôminzil Witch of Umbar and Herald of the Dark Lord. Are you ready to do your lord's bidding Jukha?" She asked, wanting to wrap her own will with that of the dark lord, knowing her very survival might depend upon the orcs seeing it as one and the same. She was grateful her voice held despite her fear, she had been told orcs could smell fear but she had hoped that was just a story to scare children.

"Do you fear the men of Gondor, Jukha Dretkag of the Broken Skull Clan?" She asked, her voice soft and steady as she challenged his pride. Hoping she could maintain her courage long enough to secure her authority over them. She let the thick fur slip from one shoulder, showing more of her dark flesh which seemed to glow in the star and firelight despite or perhaps because of its dark hue. While she hoped they would serve her out of fear of their master, she was neither opposed or unfamiliar with how to manipulate a male into doing her bidding. She watched as his eyes boldly explored her body, resisting the temptation to pull the fur tighter about her as he did little to hide his lust. She took a deep breath, her bosom rising even as the fur slipped a little farther. It was cool but she felt flushed as he looked at her, she admired the primitive emotions etched upon his face. In some way, it was welcoming in contrast to the endless politics and intrigue of Umbar. Her eyes drifted downward as well and she smiled, her straight white teeth showing, as her eyes admired the well honed muscles of her escort.

"We travel West, away from the heart of Gondor. I require three bearers from your clan, strong enough to carry 5 stones each without falling behind." She gestured as three packs were brought down from the ship. She turned to the Captain of the ship "Your task is done, hide all signs of the ship landing here." She told him then walked into the shadow towards Jukha.

Moira Brandybuck
The Shire - Brandywine Bridge Inn



Moira looked admiringly at the human hunter, blushing at being called 'lady' but Thromi seemed to insist on calling her that and she decided the idea was growing on her. "I take no offense and I will call you Raen if you will call me Brandy" Her smile seemed to expand beyond her small size as her new friend said she looked forward to traveling with her, she hoped that meant they would allow her to join them.
 

Garrison

Withdrawn
Withdrawn
Joined
Apr 28, 2017
Randir/Aldwyn
The Lone Rider Inn, Aldburg

"Those are quite the tales Altariel, you've more than earned back those pennies for the drink, but tell me did they ever get the beast out?" he asked a smile still of his face and a hearty laugh escaping him as she went on with the tale, when he saw a man who looked more like a corpse step through the door, coated with orc blood and smelling like a battlefield he didnt like the look of the man and even as Randir began to counter with a tale of his own, he never let the newcomer out of the corner of his vision. Especially not when he decided to bellow out in a voice that was more like a war cry than an exclamation "Fire and timbers... are you an ELF?!". He felt his hand reflexively go to the dagger on his waist behind him. as Elerondiel's hand found its way onto his other arm.

While startled, Elerondiel seemed to have things under control for now. Randir himself turned so he could more clearly make out this wild man who had made his way over. as he did he slid the other hand that wasnt resting on his dagger onto his elven companions side, as if to tell her he had her back. "You know it is polite to ask a ladies name before you go roaring about her race inside a crowded tavern" Randir interjected,

'...great now everyone was going to stare, while people going WOW SHES AN ELF, every once in awhile was funny and a little endearing she wasnt an attraction at some damn carnival, god help those poor people.' the thoughts ran through his head as indeed everyones eyes were indeed pinned on their little "group". he had heard rumor of some elves who have dared to take to the road being attacked and driven south, his only guess would be slavers who are hoping to cash in on the growing scarcity of their race, and the evil men of the south were more than willing to pay any price for such... luxuries. damnable disreputables. he would die before he let anyone do something like that to one of his companion, especially not to her, he wouldnt let anything happen to her... he shook himself from his thoughts.

"you can call me Randir by the way. I have to say I didn't expect to see a northman so far south, what brings you to the realm of the horse lords, it looks like you got into quite the bit of trouble on the way was it orcs?" the entire tavern stood silent for a moment waiting for his reply, a roving orc band that close would be trouble for everyone here, even if they couldnt directly attack the city, getting in and out would be treacherous, suicidal some would say. if there were orcs they would deny them the last of the harvest and without the harvests the city would slowly starve.... it was a grim prospect, the reason why everyone was focused on the warrior, and now.. an elf.. a ranger.. and the strange woman who had been holed up in the tavern for so long.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Location
Xanadu
Jukha Dretkag
Mouth of the River Lefnui


This Black Númenórean bitch was going to cause problems for Jukha, the Orc Chieftan knew from the moment they met. Every action and word she spoke showed calculated cunning and her demeanor signaled an early tussle for leadership of this mission. Forced to squint at her backlit against the signal fire and robbed of his night vision advantage, Jukha's grin had faded to a lopsided scowl.

"Our lord's bidding," corrected Jukha after her opening greeting. Most importantly, he made it clear he was not going to do her bidding. "We are both the Dark Lord's servants."

Orcs were a savage race, respect came only through fear. Jukha's leadership was always one challenge away from being taken from him by one of his warriors. Like a lion tamer with a whip and chair keeping a much more powerful beast at heel, his control was based on an illusion that he had to constantly work to maintain. His men had to believe he was more powerful, more cunning, and more dangerous than any of them. They knew their clan had been ordered to escort this witch to her goal, but following her orders would be a blow to his image.

And he could tell, she was going to have a lot of orders.

"Fear Gondorians?! Broken Skull orcs fear NO humans, we are Uruk-Hai!” snarled back Jukha, his hand resting on the hilt of his battle axe and anger filling his voice. Let her see that he was not some yapping lapdog like the human guardsmen appeared to be, but a fearless wolf. "But I have my mission, and your death by Gondorians would only delay it until the Dark Lord sends us another Witch."

A not so subtle reminder that perhaps she was the expendable one. His men chuckled in the darkness, deep jackal laughs followed by a shout that at least they'd have a full cookpot. The guardsmen started at that, clearly unnerved.

Yet, despite her imperious attitude, Lôminzil seemed receptive to and almost encouraged Jukha's amorous gaze. The furs slipped a bit more as they talked and she made no effort to hide the extra skin now bared to his hungry eyes. The orc licked his lips as he took another glance at her shining dark skin, imagining the bits of her body still unseen. Yes, she was teasing him on purpose and that was a good sign. Perhaps with this attitude the two of them might find an accommodation that would serve both sides well on this dangerous mission. His men would respect his sampling of her charms, a leader's spoils. And, just as useful, Jukha would likely be able to follow some of her upcoming requests with less loss of honor if it looked like he was rewarding her for sharing his bed.

"No one is eating her, she's under my protection," growled Jukha at his men, more as a further show of intimidation to the Witch than any real need to discipline them. Let her also think he is the only thing keeping these hungry orcs at bay. Make her need him. "Xugag, since you seem so hungry, you will be a pack bearer."

Two more orcs, the jokers from earlier, were selected and begrudgingly moved forward to shoulder the heavy packs with Xugag.

"And for you.. my Witch, I will make sure you are unharmed. You are far too precious for that," said Jukha as Lôminzil moved closer to him. A clawed hand reaching up to rub her bare shoulder, unable to resist touching that seductive dark flesh. "We have stolen a mount suitable for your high status, but these guards you have will have to stay behind. The horse is tied up with the other half of my men. That beast has already bitten and kicked enough Orc flesh to deserve to be in our next stew. If you can't ride the ill-tempered nag, we will gladly eat it. And in that case, I'll carry you myself."

Jukha gave her a toothy grin and added in a low voice, pitched only for her ears, "Although, you will find me a rougher ride than any horse, but far more pleasurable."

"Get the bitch her horse! We go Westward!" shouted Jukha, switching to Orcish from the Common tongue as he turned to goad his troop to motion.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Location
Xanadu

Durwood Edricsson
The Lone Rider Inn, Aldburg



An elf! A real, living and in person elf!

Durwood could hardly believe his good fortune. His mission may have failed and his homeland might be doomed, but he brushed those thoughts aside for the moment to dwell on the miracle that he had finally meet an elf! Since he was a boy and had heard his first Minstrel songs, elves had captured his imagination. Although some small number still lived in Northern Eryn Lasgalen, the wood elves rarely visited the Beornings these days. And the elves of Lorien seemed long gone, though some lingering enchantment had made their beautiful forest eerily quiet and free of orcs when Durwood had drifted by on his raft.

"Elerondiel?" Durwood repeated carefully. The rest of her name flew past him, a melodic rush of syllables in an accent that made him swoon. Literally swoon. Suddenly weak, he stumbled and almost collapsed before grabbing a chair to catch himself. It may have been blood loss from his wounds, or the hard ride on horseback to Aldburg with little sleep, but the big Northman found his head spinning as he collapsed onto the chair. Even dazed, his mind was still stuck on Elerondiel. Did she say she was half-elven? Were full elves even more beautiful and exotic? How could that even be possible? Lord, look at those ears!

Raising his hand weakly, Durwood shook his head and apologized, "I'm sorry... I think I'm just tired now, from the journey and my wounds. I'm ok... I just need to sit."

Only then did he become aware of the other two people seated with Elerondiel. Well two others and now himself, since he had just joined their table without an invitation! The other man was speaking now, his name was Randir, and Durwood felt his face flush in embarrassment as the magnitude of his rudeness finally sank in after Randir's pointed words. The tall man was gripping the hilt of his dagger, casually, but with an alertness that showed he was ready to use it. Durwood sized him up and was surprised to find Randir both taller than himself, better armed, and better armored. He was clearly no one to trifle with, though he spoke in an even and almost welcoming tone now. Elerondiel was gripping Randir's arm and though her face was serene, she clearly was looking to the tall warrior for protection. Durwood felt another hot rush of shame. What an oaf he had been, blundering over while screaming "Elf" at the top of his lungs, like a wild boar loose in a cabbage patch! He had scared Elerondiel, the very person he wanted to meet. The last person at the table was also a human, a beautiful woman wearing the kind of elegant dress a Woodsman girl might wear to her feast day. She was more reserved than the other two, her bright blue eyes almost shy as Durwood met them. A scar on her eyebrow was the only blemish in her appearance and in truth, her beauty rivaled the more exotic half-elf's own, forcing Durwood to do a double-take.

Why were these three together? These two beautiful women and this dangerous man? It was a mystery to Durwood and he blinked to clear his head again. Randir was definitely protective of Elerondiel, but what of this other woman? What sort of meeting had he just ruined?

"By the great bear, excuse me," Durwood said, trying to stand up with the idea of offering an apologetic bow and leaving, but he failed to even have the strength to rise. Slumping back in his chair, he groaned and shook his head defeatedly. "I'm Durwood Ericcson, of the Beornings in Eryn Lasgalen. I'm sorry to intrude and for my rudeness. I will leave as soon as I can muster the strength."

A flagon of mead and bowl of stew were suddenly placed in front of Durwood by the innkeeper. Randir had asked a set of inviting questions and the Northman found, despite his embarrassment, that it was hard to not stay and talk with the aroma of hot food calling him. Eating, drinking, and apologizing every other sentence for his rudeness, Durwood shared his tale with these strangers. Once he began, he found the words rolling easily, first his homeland coming under attack, then his desperate mission to get help from Rohan, and finally the last week spent fighting Orcs and Wargs before the Riders had rescued him in East Emnet.

"And so, here I am with no muster of gallant horseman to follow me home," said Durwood, tossing the spoon into the now empty bowl of stew with a frown. A final swig to empty the mead and he let out a loud, contented belch. "I came to save my land, and found the whole world under attack instead. The Riders told me that a part of the sun itself was seen to fall down towards the coast, near Andrast. I would think them crazy except it is no longer in the sky, so it must be somewhere. They were going to send a company of horse down to investigate, but the orc raids at the Gap have been so frequent they couldn't spare the troops."

Durwood was spent now, full and feeling sleepy from his meal, but the thrill of being near the Elf was keeping him awake. And he still was curious about what business brought this strange company together.

"And what of you three? What brings you to Aldburg to stay at this inn?"
 

LeaT

Supernova
Joined
May 3, 2014
Moira Brandybuck
Nan Angmar


Moira followed the rest of her party up the ridge line silent like a shadow, if there had been enough light to cast a shadow. As they laid low to keep from being seen by the orcs below she brushed shoulder to shoulder against Thromi. It seemed she had barely been more than a few feet away from him ever since they left the Shire. Her nose wrinkled at the smell but her eyes went bright at the warm glow beyond the danger of the orcs. She almost expected it to rise like the sun and even though it didn't it gave her heart hope. "It's beautiful." She whispered to Thromi until the tall elf that seemed to lead them brought her attention back to the more immediate problem. She admired but was intimidated by the ancient elf, she felt he could look right through her, into her very soul.

When he asked for volunteers that could move fast and were good with a shot she knew she had to go. She clung a little closer to Thromi as she thought about what she must do. They had not been long on the road before she had shown her skill with a sling and stone. She had a brace of coneys and cooked them up their first night out under the stars. It was an unanswered question whether she could bring down a full sized orc but she had killed more than a few wolves in her time tending the flock. She couldn't exactly not offer her skill to help the plan despite how afraid she was to go closer to the orcs. She had gathered fine round stones all along the way and it was time for her to do her part.

She began to take off her extra gear so she could move fast. She didn't much like the idea of being bait for an ambush but she didn't have any other idea to offer. "You'll be right here won't you?" She asked worriedly, clutching the silver horn that had been in her family since Eomer gave it to Meriadoc. She knew that Thromi would come for her if she blew the horn. She looked at what others would be joining them, making sure she still had her dagger though she hated to think she might need that. It was more like a shortsword for her but if anything it made her feel more helpless.

Lôminzil
Mouth of the River Lefnui



"Another Witch?" She laughed to hide her nervousness. "The orcs heeding the dark lord's call are beyond counting, but I am the only witch." She took a more serious tone and left it to the orc chieftan to consider the ramifications of her demise. Still she could see him respond to her feminine charms even if he wasn't impressed with her importance. He seemed to suspect her wavering loyalty and she would need to be careful to guard herself in that regard. She felt a surge of confidence as he announced that she was under his protection. She smiled up at him, a soft hand touching the hardness of his muscled chest. "I value your service Jukha and will reward you as well." Her eyes and voice left little doubt as to what that reward might be. She spoke loud enough for several of the others to hear her. She needed to bolster his desire to protect her, though as her eyes worked their way down his thick, muscular body she felt she just might manage to enjoy her self with him. As his clawed hand touched her shoulder she felt a sense of his possessiveness and strength.

She didn't turn back to her guard or the ship, instead continuing to where the unfortunate mount they had stolen for her was tied. If she was surprised or worried that they would not accompany her, she gave no sign of it. She knew they would only slow them down and irritate the proud orcs until there was bloodshed. She found the nervous horse looking starved and nappy. It needed a good grooming and a chance to graze properly but there was no time. Clearly the orcs did not know or care to learn about the care of horses. Lôminzil went to calm the beast, stroking it's nose and nuzzling herself to it until it settled enough for her to consider mounting it. The saddle had been left on and the horse for what looked like days since it's last rider had met his fate. The poor creature undoubtedly had contact sores or even abscesses. She had little doubt it would be in the orcs' cook pot before they reached their destination. She waited for her protector, or another orc to help her onto the creature's back. She rode side saddle, but with some skill and was able to keep up with the orcs for the first leg of their journey towards Andrast.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Location
Xanadu
Jukha Dretkag
Mouth of the River Lefnui



Jukha's tusks curved up in a smile as Lôminzil promised him a reward for helping her, knowing his keen eared men had heard the not so subtle implication in her voice. Perhaps this was going to be a very fun mission after all. He licked his lips at the thought and nodded his agreement. The guardsmen appeared more unnerved at Lôminzil's words then they had the joke about her being in a cookpot. She was lucky to have the Broken Skull Clan guarding her, those human warriors wouldn't have made it a mile in Gondor without being caught and killed.

Uruk-Hai orcs were renown for their ability to endure long marches, especially during the day when normal orcs would hide in caves. At night, their stamina was unmatched and his troop set an easy loping pace that covered ground at a slow human jog. With eternal night, their only constraint was food and water as they could go days without sleep if needed. Prepared for a long march, Jukha's band of twenty orcs all had well laden packs so they wouldn't have to stop to hunt anytime soon and there were plentiful streams in this part of Gondor. They would be in Andrast in a couple marches, assuming they ran into no human patrols.

"Our Dark Lord has planned for our mission well," said Jukha as he loped next to Lôminzil who rode the nag with elegance and skill. The horse was in better spirits with a human around, though it seemed to already be struggling to keep pace with the orcs and their mile-eating stride. "We are harrying the Rohirrim at the gap and raids from Harad and Mordor have diverted the Gondor's attention from its Western lands. Regiments and troops have been mustered and moved Eastward, leaving only troops stationed in the largest cities in this region. We've talked to Wargs that have been scouting, avoiding being seen, and our way should be clear, the Dark Lord willing. Tell me, what are we seeking exactly and where will we take it?"

And their first march was indeed quiet of incident, avoiding roads and sticking to forest trails and dense woods away from farms and towns. Without even the moon, it was difficult to keep track of the hours except by tracking stars. Jukha had no such knowledge and relied on his feel and the hunger of his troops. After the third meal eaten of smoked beef without a break, he finally called the orcs in to make camp and rest. He judged they'd covered almost thirty miles. His men were tired, but still fresh and he'd push them harder on the next march. The horse had fared worse and was dragging and lathered from trotting and walking hard. It had not been fed and the only stops allowed today had been to water it. Jukha doubted it would last much longer at this rate.

"Lôminzil, we are breaking for the night," announced the muscular orc as he reached to pluck the dark skinned witch off her staggering mount. A fresh energy filled him as he eyed the exotic human beauty. "Time for us to make bed."
 

LeaT

Supernova
Joined
May 3, 2014
Lôminzil
West of the River Lefnui, approaching Andrast



Lôminzil watched as the stars of the great bear set in the west and ticked off the hours as each familiar star fell below the horizon. She measured their distance roughly by watching the last peaks of the White Mountains and how their relationship shifted relative to their Westward direction of travel. It was a crude measure, she could do much better once they made camp and she could make some proper measurements. Still it was accurate enough for her to know they were not making particularly good time. While she was grateful for the relative comfort of the mount, she and the nag were slowing them down. That fact was reinforced by Jukha's constant conversation as they proceeded parallel to the coast, he wasn't even out of breath. They were amazing beasts these orcs, bred for murder and mayhem. She had rarely seen them but she had read much about them, enough to know they should be about 20 miles further then they were.

"Our goal is critical to his return and why you and I were chosen for this. All the other actions are merely diversion to allow us to proceed unhindered." She told him, stroking his ego in an effort to keep him focused on obeying. It was her turn to smile as he asked what they sought. Information could be most useful at times and she saw no advantage to her in enlightening this beast, even if she considered him incapable of using it. "We will know it when we find it, you just need to follow my directions. Nothing more, nothing less." As to where they were to take it, well she would certainly keep that piece of information to herself. Only their fear of failing the dark lord would keep them running across Gondor and not into mischief of their own.

They had barely stopped and the orc pulled her from the mount, eager to sample his reward. She was no camp whore however and made sure he knew it would be when she was ready. "Not quite yet." She told him slapping his face lightly, almost playfully. "Make your camp next to the river bed. I want a fire down below the bank where it cannot be seen from afar." She wanted to feel warmth on her naked flesh and if she could not have the sun she wanted a fire. Nor was she quite done giving orders. "Send my packs up to that hill, have the bearers stand guard, I don't want to become a meal for one of your wargs passing near." Almost as an after thought she turned back to him. "Put the horse out of its misery." With that she walked up onto the hill, her eyes taking in the wide expanse of stars. Without the moon the starlight was exceptionally clear. Her practiced hands took out several brass instruments and she looked at the sky and scribbled on paper. In less than a quarter of an hour she had figured almost precisely where they were. Jukha was not far off in his estimate, they still had a long way to go and would need to better once they had rested and disposed of her mount.

Once she was satisfied with her calculations she walked back to where the fire was burning. Her eyes were bright in the reflected flame. She was ready to reward her escort and as she felt the warmth of the fire on her face she let the thick fur drop off of her body. She stood there naked before Jukha and the other orcs, letting the flame warm and illuminate her body. Slowly at first and without music, she began to dance. Her eyes focused upon the orc chieftan as if he were the only one present. Arms stretched wide, breasts swaying with her motion, her hips swiveling as her feet danced about the soft sand of the river bank. She turned slowly, her head staying towards Jukha, ignoring the other orcs. She knew it was a risk, arousing such a large band of orcs, but if they did turn on their leader, she wanted them to think of a use for her besides supper.

With Jukha off her left shoulder she spun quickly to face him again, barely breaking eye contact in her turn. Her pace began to quicken as she worked to one side then the other. She tried not to think too much about the meal of fresh meat the orcs were enjoying. She only hoped it had gone quickly for the poor beast. As she continued to dance she got closer and closer to Jukha until she was mere feet from him. Then as suddenly as she had started, she stopped, throwing herself down to her knees, her upper body laying in the big orc's lap. Offering herself to him as a reward for his obedience.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Location
Xanadu
Jukha Dretkag
West of the River Lefnui

No one ever tells me anything.

Jukha was grumbling to himself as they marched. The witch wouldn't even hint at what they were searching for despite his efforts to pry. He wasn't dumb, however, and had heard rumors that a fragment of the sun had been seen headed towards Andrast. Could such a thing even exist? Was not the sun a great ball of fire? Some mysteries were above his station it seemed. It wasn't a surprise, ignorance was the typical fate of an orc and despite his rank he was just another pawn in the Dark Lord's great plans.

Lôminzil had said that their mission was critical and those words had swelled Jukha's pride. He savored the idea that had been given the most important task within his clan. Let his fellow chiefs kill themselves distracting the Gondorians while he got the glory. When he succeeded in this mission, he now expected the Great Chief of his clan to promote him. Perhaps then he'd get more than a glimpse beyond the curtain as to the Dark Lord's mysterious plans. Who knows, this mission might pave the way for him to take over as Great Chief of the Broken Skulls, and maybe, just maybe, even seize the title of Orc King, the Great Chief of all Clans. An orc could still dream.

When they stopped, the witch proved to be full of demands after she used him like a dismount ladder to get off her horse. Jukha had barely gotten a grope of her curves before she'd slipped free and started shouting orders. A scowl curved his tusks downward and the flash of desire from touching her turned into a burst of anger as she clearly expected him to comply like some sort of human servant. The playful slap was a further embarrassment and he wondered how many of his men saw it. At least her words had been soft enough to not carry far. She would get a slap back in due time for the humiliation of that act. Well, the promise of a willing human, especially one as exotic as the witch was enough to make Jukha swallow his pride temporarily.

He would take his frustration out elsewhere.

Jukha pulled his axe out and lifted the broad blade above his head with two hands. Holding it aloft for a second, he studied Lôminzil's tempting rear, tightly hugged by her furs, as the woman began to climb the nearby hill. Soon. Very soon he would he have his pleasure and teach her who was truly in charge. With a smooth pivot, the orc spun and brought the big axe down on the unsuspecting horse and half-severed its neck in one mighty blow. The beast dropped almost instantly, blood gushing onto the ground as Jukha shouted in Orcish, "Horse for dinner tonight, boys!"

"XUGAG!" called Jukha, waving the burly orc over. He was one of the jokesters from earlier who had wanted to eat the witch. Despite that insolence, he was effectively Jukha's second in command. As was traditional, he was also Jukha's greatest rival for power and the only orc in this group that Jukha distrusted. He delegated Lôminzil's orders to the scowling orc as if they were his own ideas, adding in details on watches to rotate, patrols to post, and waterskins to replenish. And at the end, he gave his usual boasts to Xugag to remind the ambitious orc of his chief's superior status and power. "You and the men sleep up here, but the fire and the shelter for the witch and I are down by the river bank below. Do you understand? Not too close, I want her to have some space, though you'll no doubt hear her cries of passion. Don't look so jealous, I was chosen to lead this mission for a reason. Listen, don't tell the others because it's a secret, but the Dark Lord considers my work the most important of all the raids... critical in fact. After I succeed, I will no doubt be given a larger command. When that happens, Xugag, if you are strong enough, you will get to taste the fruits of being a favored clan leader like I will tonight. Until then, listen and learn."

After he was confident Xugag had a handle on the tasks, he settled in to sit crosslegged on the sand slightly away from the fire. Behind him was a lean-to shelter made of canvas and branches that his men had erected over two bedrolls. There were always knives and axes to sharpen and Xugag began to hone his blades with practiced skill as he waited. Out of the corner of his eye, he spied Lôminzil returning to the now roaring fire with her escort orcs bearing her packs. For a long moment, Jukha just watched as she warmed herself until, finally, impatience made him open his mouth to call her name.

Without warning, she abruptly dropped her furs and was standing naked before the fire. Words died in his mouth and he stared at her in slack-jawed and silent admiration.

By the Dark Lord she was succulent. Tonight it will truly be a pleasure to serve my dark master.


Fade to black.
 
OP
OP
Serenity

Serenity

Supernova
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
Lost in my own mind
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Nairë
Nan Angmar


Nairë was somewhat daunted by the number of the enemy that they must face, though she didn’t show it. Outwardly she was calm. Inwardly she wondered How they could beat such numbers, a small group of five against a group of perhaps thirty?

Thankfully Elvëon seemed to have a plan. One that sounded like it could work well. She was torn between joining him or holding back. As an elf she was quick on her feet and silent, her enhanced eyesight would be useful as well, though she was no good with projectile weapons, her skill as a warrior was sorely lacking. But as a healer she felt she may be needed after the battle, and she could do little to help anyone else if she herself was wounded.

“I shall stay behind with Master Thromi, if one of you is injured you’ll need a healer.” She finally said, decided.

There would be more battles to come. And once they were ready to attack the camp she may very well be needed then, as would Thromi. She busied herself with taking a quick inventory of her healing supplies while the others readied for their mission. Should someone need her she would be prepared to work quickly.​

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