The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum


Visit The *EVEN NEWER* Barrow-Downs Photo Page

Go Back   The Barrow-Downs Discussion Forum > Roleplaying > Elvenhome
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-19-2007, 10:56 PM   #401
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Lindir looked Azhar squarely in the eye and chose his words with care, "I'd be lying if I told you that I had all the answers. I am not sure what we're going to do, but I do know this. I could not live with myself if I had run those wretches through in their sleep. Elessar would have done no differently. All of us, myself included, are ultimately under his rule."

The elf sighed and continued, "You know, Azhar, sometimes what seems like the easiest course is not always the wisest. We'll have to go forward one step at a time and slowly try to figure things out. We haven't come this far to end up with swords at each other's throats. Otherwise the sacrifices made on the battlefield will have been for naught, and none of us want that. Plus, there's something else. There are dangers on the plain we have yet to face....perils which may be far more deadly than a pack of drunken orcs. Last night Aiwendil returned with some grim news, and it is this that I will share with the others when we consider what to do with the orcs."

"Go now," he added. "Run and tell the rest of the camp to gather near the entry to the pit that we may begin our discussions."

Azhar ran off and did as she was told. Within the space of an hour, a large group had gathered near the pit to talk about the fate of the orcs and to hear the news that Aiwendil had brought.

******************

Aiwendil had spent most of the morning sleeping, trying to regain strength after his hard trek over the plain with little food or rest. Now, he stood up to face the crowd. He hated speaking before large assemblies, but Lindir had asked him to tell the others what he had overheard about the threat of the olog-hai. Although the worst of the storm had passed, the rain continued to fall. The quiet stream that flowed beside the prisoner's pit had risen so high that the water was nearly out of its banks.

When the istar gazed out at the throng, he saw a number of sullen faces. Folk seemed to be in ill humor. The old man did his best, trying to explain the threat awaiting the group on its journey north. He spoke of the great size and strength of Sauron's trolls and how these giant creatures could withstand the rays of the sun even in the middle of the day. A few of the onlookers seemed openly skeptical, since none of them had seen trolls of this type. However, when the old man said how the trolls mentioned the need for more troops, several of the ex-slaves exploded, demanding to know if these trolls could already have sent for an army of orcs to help them.

Aiwendil shook his head, "We also wondered about this. Lindir and I asked if there could be an alliance between orcs and trolls, but neither of us believe this has happened. I heard nothing about orcs during my hours in the camp....only that more olog-hai would be gathering soon. Remember that there is no love lost between the different groups who fought us in the War of the Ring. Sauron could force orcs and trolls to cooperate, but that is not how they normally act. They naturally hate each other. If there had been an army of orcs coming into camp, I would surely have heard something. Most likely these orcs were telling the truth, or at least we can say this one thing they told us is not a lie.....there is no army of orcs. For some reason, this small group has set out on its own. Perhaps they are making their way back to the plantations in Nurn after finishing some errand in the north. That seems like the most likely thing. As such, they pose little threat to us."

At this juncture, Lindir stepped forward and spoke in support of Aiwendil, urging the group to come to some agreement. "You see how important it is for us to deal with these orcs quickly and go on to prepare for this larger threat of the olog-hai. I have thought about this problem at length. I recommend that we blindfold these orcs so they cannot see where they are going and then take them out a ways south of here. We leave them, bereft of weapons and horses so they can not do any harm even if they should stumble upon us by accident. At the same time the main camp heads out and continues the trip north, saving our energy for the larger threat that awaits us in the foothills of the mountains. I see no other way. My party was sent out under the command of King Elessar, and I am sure he would not slay even these despicable creatures, since they have done us no direct harm......"

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 07-03-2007 at 02:34 PM.
Child of the 7th Age is offline  
Old 06-30-2007, 05:13 PM   #402
Durelin
Estelo dagnir, Melo ring
 
Durelin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 3,121
Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Khamir

It seemed a miracle to Khamir that they arrived at the slaver camp in one piece, but it hardly felt like a triumph. There was too much fear and hatred looming over them all for any small victory to matter, and the rain which would typically be welcomed as respite from the heat and the dry did nothing to help their spirits.

At least both Adnan and Vrór were doing well for what they had endured. Khamir, with Adnan’s help, had kept the Dwarf from walking as much as possible, though that was not always an easy task. The way the shorter fellow went on about how hardy Dwarves were, the Southron man was surprised that he had yet to try and get in on all the planning that seemed to be going on, mostly led by Lindir and Aiwendil.

Apparently Beloan had even made way for the two, which Khamir had to admit he did not find that surprising. He was too soft sometimes, too...accepting of whatever was. I suppose that was the only reason he ever listened to my command, the one-armed man thought.

So maybe this was the purpose of the elf and the old man: to lead and rule these poor lost slaves who have no order to them otherwise. With their wisdom they of course knew what was best for these people of Mordor. But they had already proven they knew nothing about this land, as there were nine orcs alive in this very camp.

Finally, though, it seemed they were going to do something about it. Leaving Adnan with a now sleeping Vrór at the back of the crowd, Khamir went to stand along the edge of the throng nearer to the front. Lindir would undoubtedly grant them his wisdom on the matter once again, but Khamir hoped now that with all the surviving slaves here sense would prevail, and he was prepared to make sure it did.

Expecting to hear only more about naïve and soft-hearted ideals, when Aiwendil spoke of yet another terror, Khamir felt all those lovely ideas of hope, freedom, and unity destroyed. Trolls? No…olog-hai. First monsters, now demons… At least orcs were of a size with men, but those… So those that were left, broken and bloodied after the Easterlings were defeated, who had already watched the lifeless bodies of their companions burned, were to have their bones crushed to dust.

And with less than a heartbeat’s pause in between, Lindir moved on to talk about just another of Sauron’s creatures as if they had rights, as if they deserved to live and breathe the same air as any of the good Men who sat here, most of whom had suffered much at the hands of the same animals.

Khamir almost laughed. It was suddenly all so absurd. Free slaves; Free Peoples sparing orcs’ lives; an Elf, a Dwarf, a Hobbit, and some strange old man from who knew were in Mordor; little underlings of ‘Elessar’ playing sovereignty in the land of Sauron; Sauron destroyed, and all over the Wester lands they had rejoiced and were thriving, but here…

“King Elessar’s laws do not apply in this land, much less his wishes,” Khamir spat angrily, not caring if he cut anyone off in their own attempt to speak up. “How can you think so carelessly, so selfishly? Is your ‘honor’ more important than an innocent person’s life? Can you really, with pure and noble conscience – far purer than my own, it must be – simply put those creatures somewhere else, to hunt and kill someone else, so you can sleep at night? Few other than who deserve whatever comes to them at the hands of orcs have weapons or horses.”

In a moment’s pause, though, Khamir’s raging diminished to a bitter laugh as a thought came to him. “If you are so concerned about keeping your or my or everyone else’s hands clean, then we do not have to kill them…but we can at least make use of them.”

The man smiled slightly, fond of his idea. “If we do run into those olog-hai, then surely it would be better for us if the monsters were interested in orc meat rather than our own?”

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 07-03-2007 at 02:10 PM.
Durelin is offline  
Old 06-30-2007, 10:17 PM   #403
Folwren
Messenger of Hope
 
Folwren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In a tiny, insignificant little town in one of the many States.
Posts: 5,228
Folwren is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Folwren is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Athwen busied her hands immediately when they reached the camp. She found the most sheltered place that she could and used it to the best of her ability while organizing the wounded. They were all tired after the journey between the two camps and they all moved quietly to obey her when she directed anyone anywhere. Soon, they lay in bleary heaps, trying to sleep in spite of the rain.

Athwen passed through them one more time, checking each one to make sure she could do nothing further for them, and then she turned and walked back towards the gathering of people grouped around one of the fires.

She drew near to the edge of them in time to hear Khamir’s upraised voice. He sounded angry. . .too angry, considering the circumstances. Why would he want to argue now?

“King Elessar’s laws do not apply in this land, much less his wishes. How can you think so carelessly, so selfishly? Is your ‘honor’ more important than an innocent person’s life?"

Athwen gently began to push her way through the crowd, saying nothing as she squirmed like a child between people's elbows. Khamir went on with his lecture. "Can you really, with pure and noble conscience – far purer than my own, it must be – simply put those creatures somewhere else, to hunt and kill someone else, so you can sleep at night? Few other than who deserve whatever comes to them at the hands of orcs have weapons or horses.”

Was the man actually making fun of Lindir and Aiwendil? Athwen reached the front now and she could see the elf and wizard standing close together, looking at Khamir as he spoke to them. Her brows drew closer together in confusion. How could anyone mock them? What had they said? But the sarcasm in the words ‘pure’ and ‘noble’ and a couple others had struck her ears rather violently.

Yet then his tune seemed to change suddenly. “If you are so concerned about keeping your or my or everyone else’s hands clean, then we do not have to kill them…but we can at least make use of them.”

Athwen stiffened instinctively. She disliked it when people discussed getting ‘use’ out someone. Especially when a person like Khamir was the one speaking. She waited, just like everyone else, in silence, feeling certain she would disagree with his idea.

“If we do run into those olog-hai, then surely it would be better for us if the monsters were interested in orc meat rather than our own?”

Athwen’s impatience with such hatred burst forth in an aggravated but quiet “Oh!” Her blue eyes flashed and her hands balled up into small fists and she was preparing to say more, when Aiwendil took it from her, speaking sternly, and looking as none of them had ever seen him look before.

Last edited by Folwren; 07-03-2007 at 01:56 PM.
Folwren is offline  
Old 07-02-2007, 10:48 AM   #404
Hilde Bracegirdle
Relic of Wandering Days
 
Hilde Bracegirdle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: You'll See Perpetual Change.
Posts: 1,488
Hilde Bracegirdle has just left Hobbiton.
Carl

Despite the sheets of rain, which had covered him through out the night, and despite too, his own conviction that he simply could not rest while the orcs remained in the camp, Carl had slept as soundly as one of the many stones that lay strewn on the dirt of Mordor. So deep was that slumber, after the tumult of the last several days, that the hobbit slept far into the morning, curled up on the modest heap of items he had scavenged in the night, as if he were some utilitarian dragon that lay guarding its hoard. Azhar had done her best to wake him, so that he might be present when the group discussed the hard decisions that faced them, but he had waved her away with drowsy irritation, not realizing fully who she was, or indeed where he was. Folding his arms about himself, it was only when he rolled painfully onto his side that he again remembered the orcs that had stealthily crept into camp at night. That, he recalled, hadn't been a dream. The hobbit's eyes snapped open, and he heard the growing rumble of voices, with the familiar tone of Aiwendil's rising above the them. The old fellow had found them again!

Carl tried to spring to his feet, but found that every inch of his body ached as he rose stiffly, listening to the istar's discourse from a distance. Hearing the old man's tale of the olog-hai, he soon forgot his discomfort. Olog-hai? It was a word he had never heard, though it was not long before he substituted the word troll for them in his mind. Sun hardy, great lumbering trolls, and a bumper crop of them! Well now, if it isn't one thing, it's another! he muttered as Lindir stepped forward to add his thoughts on the matter.

Listening with interest, the hobbit was heartened to hear the elf propose that they carry the orcs away, to leave them unarmed on the plain south of here. Glad not only because he did not trust the orcs, but because it restored his confidence in Lindir. Last night in his weary agitation, the hobbit had been none to sure that the elf was in his right senses when he kept the men from dispatching the orcs while the creatures were in their stupor. But now that Carl himself had slept, he saw how shameful it would have been to kill the orcs when they had been given no cause to attack them. It weren't as if they were a war on, now was it? Still, he didn't care to share camp with them. No good would come of it. War or no war orcs weren't to be trusted, not in the least, and the sooner that they were sentoff, the better. Lindir was right.

Just as the hobbit began feeling contented with the plan, one of the men at the edge of the crowd stood up, and Carl saw that it was that grim fellow Khamir. He had been sitting with Adnan and Vŕor, the latter of whom seemed presently to be dozing. Overjoyed to see his friend the dwarf with the others, not in some sickbed, Carl worked his way over to him, even as Khamir strode forward to address the group. But he had no time to ask Adnan how the dwarf was doing, for Khamir's words stung him soundly. “Strider's wishes don't apply in this land?” the hobbit muttered, scornfully. “That's fool's talk, ...and Strider ain't no fool!” Carl glanced quickly over to Adnan wondering if the lad felt the same way as Khamir, and then forced himself to concentrate on the man's words again. He certainly didn't mince them, but he did have a point. If they let the orcs loose, yes they might cause mischief to someone else. Carl felt as if there had to be a balance here somewhere, but he was quite confounded. And his confusion was replaced by repugnance once Khamir suggested keeping the orcs to appease the Olog-hai. As much as he disliked the creatures, the sheer cruelty of the idea was alien to him, and he felt fleetingly thankful for the King's insight in barring men from the Shire. But reading Athwen's face, he was reassured that not all of mankind stored up their bitterness in a heart of stone. And so the hobbit hung his head, worried what sort of decision might be reached by such a group as this one, and if he'd be bound to follow it.

Last edited by Hilde Bracegirdle; 07-04-2007 at 07:47 PM.
Hilde Bracegirdle is offline  
Old 07-03-2007, 12:59 PM   #405
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Quote:
“If we do run into those olog-hai, then surely it would be better for us if the monsters were interested in orc meat rather than our own?”
Aiwendil's eyes flashed with fire as he heard the words from Khamir's mouth. Despite his mounting anger, he checked his temper before slowly turning to confront the slave leader. The meek old man, the confused but good hearted tender of animals who had been with them for most of the journey, had totally disappeared. In his place was a tall, stern father, who admonished his children with a long wooden staff that seemed to glow and pulse as jagged brown shadows fell over the assemblage.

"No, Khamir, no. You do not know what you say. To turn the orcs loose, even to kill them for crimes they have undoubtedly committed in other times and places......that is one thing. But to keep them with us and hold them as bait to snare our enemies to their death? If we do that, we become no better than they. We stoop to their level and play their games and, by so doing, become part of what they are. Do not speak of such things. It is not a matter of Ellessar's laws or some false notion of honor. There are laws that govern Arda whose roots lie far deeper than that. We are here, all of us, because of those dictates.

"Khamir, of all those who stand in this circle you know how easy it is for those in Mordor to lose heart and soul. What you suggest would set us on a perilous road from which there is no return. Persuade me that these ruffians deserve to die because of past acts. That I can believe. But do not suggest a plan that would have us become like the vermin of the Shadow Lord."

"I will tell you the truth. If we are going to defeat the olog-hai, we must have allies at our side. Alone, we will be powerless. Where we will get these allies, I do not know. Would that we had run into a troop of soldiers from the west rather than this pack of orcs! But such is our doom. Decide then the fate of these orcs: life or death. But do not speak of bringing them along to use as bait....."

"Aiwendil is right." There was a stirring in the crowd as Lindir stepped forward to address the group. "I can accept a judgment of life or death, but I will not have these orcs dragged along as live bait. Remember, one time in the distant past, before Morgoth twisted their lives, each of these poor creatures was actually a man.....or an elf. Whatever they have done, nothing can erase that fact. Let all who wish to be heard speak their mind as to whether these orcs should live or die. You already know my feelings on this. But this decision must not belong to only one. If most in this company vote for death on the grounds of the foul acts these orcs have committed in the past, I will not stand in the way. Speak then, one by one, and we will make a tally.

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 07-03-2007 at 02:35 PM.
Child of the 7th Age is offline  
Old 07-04-2007, 10:07 AM   #406
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,051
Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
Gwerr and the orcs

Gwerr’s mood was darker than the cave they had been imprisoned into. He scorned himself for being an idiot but the thoughts he had of the others weren’t much nicer. Seeing Ishkur fall asleep finally made him burst out.

“Okay, let’s all just sleep on this, right? They will but kill us a little after we awake! Or maybe they will give us some of their ratios – and a lot of ale – after granting us this shelter from the rain, uh? Now let’s...”

Gwerr’s voice died suddenly as he had just caught a glimpse of something.

“Colagar, you old fool! What is it there next beside you on the left? In between the two rocks.”

Makdush was immediately aware of Gwerr’s finding.

“How could I forget that? It’s my blade which Ishkur dropped here for the others to cut themselves loose with...” Makdush looked at Gwerr and then at Colagar who was only slowly coming back to his senses after being dozing his hangover off. Then Makdush addressed the waking orc quite harshly: “Pick it up Colagar. Now! Start doing something useful.”

Gwerr couldn’t believe his ears. They had a blade here and everyone who knew it – which was everyone except Gwerr - had just forgotten it. Cursed be the day I joined with these scroundels with a memory matching that of the fishes!

“Speed up Colagar, they may be back any minute now! Cut yourself free and then give us a hand. And don’t cut the ropes into pieces if you can, we may need the ropes yet.” With that he turned to Ishkur and kicked him to the side a few times. “Allright you hero of the ladies, time to wake up and do something! We need to do some planning now.”

While Ishkur was struggling to awake and to get grips with the overall situation Gwerr turned to Makdush. Now he seems to be the only sensible person here... how can I think it this way? He’s an Uruk anyway...

“Now what do you say big-guy? If we just wait here we may be able to kill the first few who come down to get us but after that they will rip us to pieces with their arrows and slings securely from high-up there. So we must act first... If two or three of you Uruks would stand firmly together two of us could get on to your shoulders and then a third might climb on theirs to reach the top with a few ropes. With all of us up there we might break the door and make a charge... At least we would die fighting instead of being plain assassinated. Better to try than to rot here, or what do you say?”

At the moment he heard Ishkur rising up behind him.

“And what say you Ishkur?”

Last edited by Nogrod; 07-04-2007 at 03:21 PM.
Nogrod is offline  
Old 07-04-2007, 10:19 AM   #407
Regin Hardhammer
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Regin Hardhammer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Tumunzahar/Nogrod
Posts: 364
Regin Hardhammer has just left Hobbiton.
Ishkur

"What do I say?" Ishkur squatted on the ground and retrieved his sack, which had fallen into the mud at the same time that he had been thrown into the pit. He gripped the cloth bag in two hands and began wringing it out. His vigorous wringing produced a considerable stream of water that spilled over his hands and splashed onto the ground.

Looking sideways at Gwerr with an expression halfway between a grin and a grimace, Ishkur ruefully intoned, "I say go for it. It's better to die trying than to lie down and take whatever they dish out. If we don't attack, we're goners......just like my poor sack." He stared at the bedraggled canvas bag and frowned, "Either we get our necks wrung like dead chickens, or we drown here in this pit. I don't know if any of you idiots happened to notice but things are getting a little damp."

Ishkur pointed towards the pile of rocks at the back of the cave. Water was beginning to seep in from the outside; at least five inches had accumulated on the cave floor, and the level was slowly rising. I hate swimming," Ishkur snorted in explanation. "I'd rather take my chances on the outside."

"Well, Makdush, what'll it be? Care to give one of us a hands up on your back?"

Last edited by Regin Hardhammer; 07-04-2007 at 10:33 PM.
Regin Hardhammer is offline  
Old 07-04-2007, 12:21 PM   #408
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,051
Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
Hadith

Due to Athwen’s medicines Hadith’s left arm was totally numb. Even if it did make him feel himself the most vulnerable in this envirovenment that seemed to offer violent surprises by the day it was still better than the pain of the last night. Athwen had insisted that he should stay with the other wounded under the makeshift shelter to keep the wound as dry as possible. But Hadith would have none of it. As he was now back to his senses he would also want to know what was going on and so he slipped out from the hastily assembled tent for the wounded as soon as Athwen turned to other patients.

He soon got to the crowd gathering near the pit and after spotting Beloan went to stand beside him.

“Well my lad, you’re feeling better already? I’d like to hear your story of the battle but I think the meeting is starting in any minute now... Are you allright Hadith?” Beloan had looked at Hadith delightedly at first but while he spoke a cloud had started to form over his expressions. The boy looked so pale and weak...

“Yes I am, Beloan”, Hadith answered but avoided meeting Beloan’s eyes.

The older man looked at Hadith quizzically but then decided to not press the question any further for the time being as Aiwendil was coming forwards to start the meeting. Instead he took his cape and folded it a few times and set it then on Hadith’s shoulders.

“Keeps you warmer and drier...” he half-whispered as Aiwendil had just started his speech. He smiled to Hadith caringly and then turned straight to hear what Aiwendil and Lindir had to say.

Hadith was most confused. This man who had showed concern about him and who had trusted him from their first hunting lessons onwards - which it now seemed were ages ago – felt like a father Hadith actually never had had but as flashes of memories from his very early childhood. Suddenly Hadith felt an urge to hide himself in Beloan’s lap and be secured of all the evil the world was throwing at him, all those a father would wash away from a child. But Aiwendil’s words froze him.

The Olog-hai? Those from the tales of the War of the Ring?They really exist? And they’re here waiting for us in the north? Hadith was all fear now. He sure had heard of those monsters. There had been two gamlings in their barracks when he was very young and they used to tell stories of valour and evil of the past great wars. The stories about the battles in front of the Dark Gate and those of the Pelennor Fields had been some of the favourites of Hadith when he was a child, stories he would insist the gamlings to tell over and over again. But that monsters of that quality would be actually alive and real and near them... Hadith’s knees were trembling as he listened to the old man and the elf.

He remebered the stories now vividly. The Olog-hai’s skin could not be penetrated but by an elven blade he remembered the other one of the gamlings, Trucwadh, telling him. They could sweep ten armoured man at arms down with one blow the other, Golondor, had said. They were tall like three men standing on above each other, they had teeth like lions but only three times larger and sharper. No arrow, no sling-projectile would bother them more like a mosquito bite does a man. Ten of them had went through a legion of Gondorian footmen like a party of adults might be shooing little children away from them... How could we, a bunch of rugged slaves with a few aids ever match a horde of them? This is folly!

After Aiwendil had answered Khamir’s passionate words with presence that sent chills all around Hadith’s bruised body he gathered his courage to answer to Lindir’s plea for everyone to speak their minds.

“My mother and father were gruesomely killed by plantation-orcs. They even made me watch my mother dying when I was a lot younger than I am now. I have no pity for these foul creatures and will be one to volunteer in killing them... if my strength just allows it. But what you say about these Olog-hai bothers me even more.”

Hadith made a pause to recollect what he was about to say.

“I mean... even if these orcs would not be baits but would actually fight besides us, what chances would we have against that mighty an enemy even in that case? Wouldn’t it take an army of hundreds or more likely thousands of fully-clad and battle-hardened men at arms – or elves - to fight them? So shouldn’t we just kill the orcs that they may do no more harm to anyone and head west instead out of the way of these mosters? If king Elessar was ready to send a fellowship to help us, maybe he would then grant us a refugee in the west somewhere? And there are people here who could claim a place or another his or her home down south... Maybe he would listen to our pleas?”

Last edited by Nogrod; 07-04-2007 at 12:33 PM.
Nogrod is offline  
Old 07-04-2007, 11:00 PM   #409
Tevildo
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Tevildo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Curled up on Melko's lap
Posts: 425
Tevildo has just left Hobbiton.
Dorran listened carefully to what Hadith was saying. His fingers tightened on the hilt of his sword as he heard the ex-slave describe how his parents had been killed by orcs. That was something the Rider could understand. Yet, despite loss of family, Hadith had not lost his head. He was setting out a scale to weigh the danger of orcs and olog-hai and trying to figure out some way that the two could balance out.

Dorran caught Lindir's eye. The Elf nodded to indicate that the Rider should respond to the questions that Hadith was raising. From the very beginning of the journey, he and Lindir had known this was always a possibility.....that the forces against them would seem insurmountable and that they would feel the need to call upon Ellessar for help of a different kind.

"The questions you raise, Hadith, are not easy to answer. Before leaving on this journey, Lindir and I stood in court with the King and asked him these very things. Ellessar made it very clear. He would not turn away people with no place to go; nor would he turn a deaf ear if a call came in for more help. There are lands in the west that have the ability to support more folk than they are doing now. My adopted homeland of Rohan is like that. The number of people grow, but slowly. There is good pastureland for raising herd animals. That is all possible."

Hadith's eyes lit up with hope, but Dorran raised his hand as if to indicate there was more to the situation than that. With a sigh, he continued on, "Unfortunately, the other side is not so easy. There are many problems. It would take weeks to get a message through to the court, and weeks more before an army could get here. Meanwhile, we have many people to feed and care for. We can not stay here in the middle of a half empty plain, especially in the rainy season. Game and foodstuffs are not plentiful enough. We can not travel east, since too many Easterlings lie in that direction. I hardly think they would welcome us. That leaves just three possibilities: west, south, or north."

Dorran stared Hadith directly in the eye, "None of us wants to go back so I think we can eliminate south. West is possible. that way you could end up settling in Rohan or another land. Still, it isn't easy. First, we must get over the mountains that circle the west of Mordor. There are only two ways of doing that.... One would have us turn back to the south and cross the hills where the River Poros comes in. Once we get to the river our going will be smooth, but there is a sharp ascent and descent to cut through to the water. We came that way, but it was not easy. And I can tell you this for sure.....the youngsters will likely not make it over. Plus, they will still have slaving parties out looking for us, since that area is close to the plantations. Our other course is to cross near the Tower of Cirith Ungol and Minas Morgul. But that land lies far north. In fact it lies even further north than the land you were going to settle. Surely we would run into the olog-hai. In my mind it would be better to attack them from the security of a sure camp than somewhere off on the road when we do not know when and how they are coming at us."

"I will tell you what I think. Do not despair at the mention of the olog-hai. As I understand it, they are only a small group yet. If we could hurry north and get there before the reinforcements arrive, I truly believe we would have a chance to defeat them. There are things other than brute force. There are tricks and strategems we could consider. I have seen men bring down one of these creatures. It is possible. Meanwhile, we could send a messenger through to the court at Minas Tirith and ask for help. Perhaps, if we are lucky, the extra troopers will arrive in enough time to help us, or at least to beat back the reinforcements if they should arrive at the last minute. The key to this plan is speed. We would need to travel as fast as possible. Fortunately, the way is flat and the injured can be brought on the cart or carried on horseback."

"As to the orcs," Dorran shrugged his shoulders. "I too lost my parents and a brother to orcs. I vote for death. They are not worth the time we would lose in taking them out someplace on the plain. There is only one thing that bothers me. From what Aiwendil has said, it does not appear that there is an orc army on the loose, nor are they allied with the olog-hai. Orcs hate the olog even more than they hate men. I would dearly love to know why a small party of orcs is crossing the plain of Mordor in the rainy season. Only a fool would do that, or someone who had a very compelling reason. But what that reason would be I have no idea. The orcs aren't talking, so I guess we'll never know. But it's possible---just possble, though most unlikely---that if someone could explain to me why they are out here, I might consider letting them live. Otherwise, I say death....."

Last edited by Tevildo; 07-08-2007 at 01:42 PM.
Tevildo is offline  
Old 07-06-2007, 12:18 PM   #410
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Makdush:

"All right! All right! Hold yer horses," snapped Makdush. "Let's not be stupid. Those addled fools are taking their time. If it was orcs and uruks with a man in tow, how long would it take us to agree on a sentence of death? No more than it would take us to down a draft! I smell something fishy. Maybe they can't make up their minds."

At this point, the uruk grinned slyly. A new thought had occurred to him. "Hey, maybe we have some admirers out there. Men are unpredictable....elves are even worse. One minute they'll run you through, and the next they'll be cooing like a bunch of babies. If we're lucky, the fools might even come to blows with each other. If it looks like a fight, we might want to hold back for a minute. We'd have a better chance of bolting if they were busy knocking each other up. Anyways, let's think before we bolt. Right now I'd like to hear what's going on up there."

He stared up at the top of the pit and then gestured to Gwerr, "Go on. You or Ishkur get on my back and crawl up to the grating. You want to be careful. It has to look as though the leather straps are still in place. See what's going on. Then we can decide if this is a good time to make a break or not."

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 07-06-2007 at 06:42 PM.
Child of the 7th Age is offline  
Old 07-07-2007, 02:50 PM   #411
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,051
Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
Gwerr

“I agree with the point… It’s taking too long.” Gwerr glanced at Ishkur and then turned to Makdush again. “So how about you wonderboys get together and we’ll do some climbing?”

Gwerr turned around to see that Colagar was still releasing the last orcs so he addressed two of those already freed. “Zuhut and Griwzan! Come here climb on the backs of these wizard-children. I will then climb on you. Gimme a hand Ishkur.” With that he went to search for the ropes he deemed the most intact and winded them into a coil.

The three Uruks formed a circle beside the wall and took firm grips from each others shoulders. Zuhut and Griwzan got on top of their shoulders and grasped each other tightly. Finally Gwerr climbed up aided by Ishkur and Colagar who had now untied the last orcs.

Gwerr crawled carefully towards the grating and took a look. There was indeed quite a heated debate going on. Someone was talking about using them as baits to the Olog-hai. Olog-hai? Weren’t those brainless brutes out of this world already? But I can see their point now… They might kill an Olog or possibly two if they can trap them and using us as a bait then is not so bad idea… So, we must get out of here! The sooner the better.

Just as Gwerr was turning back to crawl to the brink he froze. Chills were going through him as he looked back outside. It was an old man whose voice and presence radiated something Gwerr hadn’t encountered for a long time. It was a power, It was something that did not come from the flesh of the gamling. That’s no mortal man… whatever it is. First an elf, then Olog-hai and now this… You’ve been in tight spots before my lad but this is not looking nice either.

Gwerr’s brain worked now quickly as he started planning how they could escape and fast. Fear paralyses most people and orcs but some get an extra boost from it. Gwerr clearly belonged to the latter group. Without that quality he probably wouldn’t have lived through the centuries he had. Although his full concentration on the task at hand totally numbed his ears and so he had no idea how the discussion developed outside.

Soon Gwerr noticed some good news. Our weapons are there just beside the gaging. Too far to reach from here but after we break the grating they are just a leap away. They really seem to be confident we’d stay down there… Gwerr smiled and went back to work. Slowly and quietly he tied the three ropes he had with him to the very bottom of the bars of the grating and carefully scraped some mud to cover the knots so that if someone glanced towards the grating he would not notice anything out of the usual. Surely if someone was to come and take a closer look their plot would be revealed immediately but they had no choice now. The humans were going to use them as baits to the Ologs and they’d have to escape now.

After finishing with the ropes Gwerr crawled back to the brink and threw the other ends of the ropes down. He himself glided down one of them to the pit.

“Okay mates. Good news and bad news. The good ones are that our weapons are just beside the gacing outside. We’ll pull ourselves up and charge the grating, leap to our weapons and run for it. We should split in pairs or something and meet somewhere farther away.” With that Gwerr glanced quickly at Ishkur who nodded inconspicuously to show him that he had gotten Gwerr’s idea. They still had their horse and the treasure it carried to pick up.

“The bad news are that the human trash seem to be in their right minds even if some here suspected otherwise…” Gwerr looked at Makdush and grinned. “The problem is that there seems to be an Olog or two somewhere around… at least that’s what they speak. And they’re going to use us as baits. And to top it…” Gwerr made a pause to hammer down the point.

“There is not just the elf but there is also an old man I could bet my life is no man. I’ve seen enough these timeless creatures to identify one when I see one. The problem is I haven’t a faintest about what he might be… But whatever he or it is I’d rather take my chances escaping him and the slaves than face the Ologs as a bait.”
Nogrod is offline  
Old 07-07-2007, 06:40 PM   #412
Firefoot
Illusionary Holbytla
 
Firefoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 7,646
Firefoot has been trapped in the Barrow!
Johari

Johari could not help herself: after the rest of the ex-slave contingency had rolled into their new camp, she had made her way past the new tent for the wounded, her pace a too-casual stroll. She told herself that it was only idle curiosity, but in truth, she wanted to make sure that Hadith was still doing alright. But she was disturbed to find that Hadith was not among the wounded. Inexplicable worry, and, yes, perhaps some panic, rose up from her gut. Sure, he had been unconscious last time she had seen him, but he had been getting better! His wound had not been so bad!

However, she was still mindful of being caught lingering around the wounded when the rest were all gathering for the meeting on the Orcs. She made her way over to the group, but the greater part of her mind was still focused on Hadith. He hadn't somehow been left behind, had he?

He means nothing to you, remember?

She placed that thought firmly at the forefront of her mind and tried to focus on what was being said about the Orcs, crossing her arms across her chest stubbornly at all the words about letting the Orcs live - even trusting them to fight with them. After being so roughly told off earlier, she was not about to open her mouth again unless she felt something absolutely had to be said, but she did nod in agreement with Khamir's bold statements. And after all, he had been the chosen leader of the ex-slaves - who was this "Fellowship" to come in and tell them what to do and how to manage their affairs? And this wasn't the first time they had done so, either. Usupers. How were they supposed to understand?

But her head jerked to the left when a new voice spoke up - a familiar voice. Hadith! But what was he doing out here? Oughtn't he still be in with the wounded?

But to her surprise, she found herself agreeing with some of his statements - at least when they weren't mixed with his hesitant idealism about how much the western king Elessar cared about them and the aid he might send. As he talked, she edged her way along the borders of the crowd until she was standing right behind him. She leaned close and said quietly into his ear, "Perhaps you are able to learn."
Firefoot is offline  
Old 07-10-2007, 04:57 PM   #413
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,051
Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
Johari and Hadith

”Perhaps you are able to learn.”

Hadith was startled by the sudden whisper as he hadn’t noticed Johari slipping to his side. But he was also happy to hear that familiar voice. He still didn’t know what he should think about her but she was one of those few he had gotten to any contact with and thence her presence felt good to him. Although what she said about learning felt really confusing and distracted his mind. Able to learn… what? What does she mean?

"Sorry about the last time... I was a bit... well, confused and in pain. I'm not sure I remember what was it I said but it clearly annoyed you, didn't it? I'm sorry about that." Hadith managed to utter after a short silence. He was still ashamed of his conduct when they last met.

Johari nodded slightly, a strange expression on her face. If he didn't remember it well... that was good. She half wanted to forget the exchange herself.

"Forget it", she said sharply.

An awkward silence fell over them for a short while. In the end Hadith braved himself to address Johari a new.

"You're alright then?"

"Clearly." Johari answered bluntly but her voice had lost some of its bite.

"Did you kill anyone?..." Hadith asked troubled by his own thoughts on the matter. "I mean like a day or two ago - I tend to meddle with the days - I had never killed anyone, only seen people killed. But now I've done it myself, twice. It feels awful and strange, like it's not me I'm looking at when the images come to my dreams... and still I wish the orcs should be killed before we go on."

With those words, Johari found herself marvelling at Hadith's basic humanity. When had she lost her own? She had felt no guilt at the slaver she had killed, nor in her desire to kill the Orcs.

"Yes, Hadith, I killed a man in the battle." She paused, then felt as if the next words were ripped from her throat. "I felt... feel... no guilt."

"You don't? You don't feel anything? How? Those images do not come to your dreams?" Hadith's voice was raising as he was honestly perplexed and started wondering whether he was an odd one among these people.

All-but-forgotten memories seemed to niggle at Johari's mind.

"No!" she replied sharply.

Their conversation, and in particular that vehement outburst, was beginning to draw glances from those nearby, and she lowered her voice again. "No." And what did that make her?

Hadith was confused once again but realised from Johari’s behaviour that they were watched now by people near them in the crowd. As he turned to look at Beloan he felt like a little boy who had gotten caught of something that is embarrassing. He then falled to himself, partly because of the glances but partly because Dorran was speaking and Hadith was also eager to hear what he had to say.

But he couldn't concetrate on Dorran's speech. So he turned back to Johari once more.

"I was worried about you during the fight... Were you..."

Afraid of where this question was going and the answers it might invite, she cut him off. "I was fine, Hadith, and so are you, now. It's over."

Johari had been becoming increasingly uncomfortable with this conversation, whether Hadith realised it at the moment or not. Hadith did sense an aura of reservation in Johari as well and didn’t try to press the question either.

Hadith frowned almost imperceptibly and turned back to listen to Dorran. His head was just too busy to really understand what Dorran was saying. Either she cares about me or then she plays me a fool… which I am… But why does she play this game on me? And what is over? The fight and the death is over? Anything between us is over? And what is it – was it – between us anyway? And what should it be or not be?

Dorran was saying that he would vote for the killing of the orcs. That was where Hadith came back to his senses. He approved Dorran’s judgement and was ready to applaud when he glanced to his right. Johari had slipped away to the crowd… Hadith turned left to see Beloan. His face looked grave and concerned. Something in Dorran’s speech had clearly made that. Hadith thought whether he could brave asking Beloan about what was it.
Nogrod is offline  
Old 07-16-2007, 04:18 AM   #414
Brinniel
Reflection of Darkness
 
Brinniel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Polishing the stars. Well, somebody has to do it; they're looking a little bit dull.
Posts: 2,897
Brinniel is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Brinniel is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Brinniel is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Shae folded her arms, irritated. After all this time, her head still throbbed, and this endless debate was not helping. The decision was obvious...why couldn't the others see?

She flashed her eyes towards Aiwendil, feeling particularly angry with him. He had completely disregarded Khamir's words, treating him no better than an animal. What did he or any of the Fellowship, save Dorran who indeed spoke wisely, know of how they suffered...often in the hands of orcs. For fifteen years, Shae had been deprived of half her eyesight, so ashamed of her disability she had kept it a secret from nearly everyone. And it was all because an orc, so cruel, so heartless, didn't hesitate to beat an exhausted ten-year-old unconscious. For years, Shae wanted all her pain and suffering to be put to justice. She wouldn't dare let herself pass up another opportunity for revenge.

"This is ridiculous," she spoke up, breaking the silence, "to even consider sparing the lives of these monsters. Orcs have no hearts...they do not know love the way we do. Instead, they take pleasure in torturing and slaughtering innocent victims. Would an orc ever consider to spare one of our lives? Of course not. They are selfish...they only care about themselves.

"How dare you think lowly of Khamir or any of us for wanting justice for our pain and suffering...do you not think we deserve it? Many of us still wear scars...gifts given to us by orcs. These things..." she pointed to the pit, "are no better than beasts, beasts who should be hunted down and killed. Before they become a danger to those around them. Really, I would rather not see anymore innocent lives lost if we can avoid it. So let us kill them now before they have time to find that chance."

Shae was then silent once again. But she kept her head high, for once ever confident of her own words. Scanning the still silent crowd, her eye met Khamir's...and for a second, she thought she saw a smile.

Last edited by Brinniel; 07-27-2007 at 03:51 AM.
Brinniel is offline  
Old 07-22-2007, 01:26 PM   #415
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,051
Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
Beloan listened closely to the discussion. There were many points with which he felt he should break in but he held his temper and listened. At some moment he was distracted for a while when Hadith’s and Johari’s discussion became louder. Looking at them he managed to caught a glimpse of Hadith’s eyes looking at him ashamed like a ten-year old’s… Oh, Hadith… Sometimes you feel like a good man with a good heart… and sometimes like a little boy lost in this world we live in… Maybe these are no contradictory statements… after looking at the world we live in… Beloan shrugged and turned his attention back to Dorran. A sudden melancholy had taken over him.

After Dorran had stopped a weird silence fell over the people gathered around the elf and the old man. It seemed to Beloan that everyone was pondering the different possibilities Dorran had opened to them. As no one spoke in a while Beloan took the few steps needed to break out from the ring surrounding the two and walked towards them. He nodded to them both and as they indicated their will of wishing to hear what he would have to say he turned around and faced the ex-slaves and the rest of the fellowship.

“Friends, my fellows! Knight Dorran here speaks wisely. We have no other way but to go forwards. And we can not stay here even if it feels now that through a fight that took it’s toll and made us all suffer things most of has ever met we have earned our peace… It sadly seems we haven’t earned it yet…There will be no peace here.” He looked around the crowd with compassion. He was as sad of the situation as anyone else but he felt it possibly a bit deeper than many around him because he already understood there was no hope for them if they just stayed and rested which clearly was what most of them wanted.

“I know this sounds harsh to you… it sounds harsh to me as well. I’d like to sit back and enjoy the things we have found from this camp of the slavers and just to forget everything else… But that would be with the cost of our peril!” Beloan’s voice was raised as he pronounced the last words.

“We need to go forwards… not today but possibly tomorrow depending on how well our wounded are to travel and how can we carry them… There are orcs around as we all know. If there were these ten so would they be here alone? There probably are more somewhere very near… And as there was this slaver-party there will the next one soon enough… We need to continue! Let’s show we have not struggled in vain this far! Or that those who have given their lives or gotten themselves wounded fighting for our common dream have not suffered for nothing if we fail their sacrifice!”

Beloan’s eyes were on fire now. He quickly glanced at Lindir who nodded to him politely. Searching at the crowd for Dorran he finally caught him nodding approvingly as well.

“So there are some Olog-hai in between us and our dream? I know many of you have heard stories about those monsters. Now just remember, stories are stories and reality is reality.” Suddenly he got an idea and turned himself towards Dorran.

“Now think about your image of a knight of Gondor! What a magnificient fighter that is in the stories…” He pointed at Dorran while looking at him apologetically under his brows wishing he would understand why he was doing this… he would explain this afterwards if it needed to be done.

“Now look at Dorran here! A king’s chosen Rider of Rohan! A great soldier he is indeed! But many of you saw him in battle as well as us “worthless ex-slaves”… Now do you say he was riding over the battlefield with a flying horse leaving all of us others and the enemy in shade? Was he the invulnerable all-defining key to victory? Was he the one who alone lead us to victory? No and no and no! He fought bravely… and possibly worth two of us… or even more…” He glanced at Dorran once more hoping he was not upset with what he was saying. “It’s just that he’s no creature from the lore that beats everyone whenever he wishes… and neither are the Ologs! They’re flesh and blood just like Dorran… or just like you and me!”

Beloan had to take a breath. He felt so bad now having spoken against the special honour of a rider of Rohan and against his own fears about the Olog being really insurmountable enemies to them. And anyway he thought he had clearly overdone it. He just hoped it was foor the good. These people needed encouragement in the face of the inevitable… and with their only chance. That much Beloan had understood from Dorran’s speech.

“A final word, if you may?” He glanced at Lindir and Aiwendil and as they didn’t seem to protest too much he continued. “But what comes to the orcs… After seeing their brutality… indeed the evil and sick malice of them for too many years, I remember that from my first experience on I knew I was different from them. I would never fall to their level… But this situation is a bit different…” With this he turned to face Lindir and Aiwendil straight on. “I think I understand what you speak of being just or following an order larger than this world – at least a bit of it. My mother told me stories about that kind of things when I was young and I kind of believe in her still. At least I wish I could believe in them in this world.”

The ashamed face of Hadith came to his mind and he frowned. “So I hope you forgive the feelings of my friend Khamir, the many of us – myself included – who have suffered under the most cruel and savage rule of these ruthless creatures… Many a rightful vengeange would take place if we’d make them our baits and if that would help us overcome the Olog-hai. But I’m hesitant with this scheme… Anyhow, we just can’t leave them alive or free, they’d backstab us with their friends lurking around the next night… So I say we kill them and leave in the morning.”

With that Beloan bowed to Lindir and Aiwendil and walked back into the group standing around them.

Last edited by Nogrod; 07-24-2007 at 05:11 PM.
Nogrod is offline  
Old 08-13-2007, 01:02 PM   #416
Folwren
Messenger of Hope
 
Folwren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In a tiny, insignificant little town in one of the many States.
Posts: 5,228
Folwren is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Folwren is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
“Oh!” This time the explosion of vexation was loud enough for most of them to hear. Athwen pushed her way forward to the very forefront of the crowd, her face red and her eyes flashing blue sparks. “You speak of justice!” she cried, motioning towards Khamir, “and you throw it in the face of our honor! You talk of rightful vengeance,” she fumed, looking at Beloan, “as though vengeance and revenge were all that mattered here! You - my very husband - talk about killing them simply because long ago some other orcs killed your family. And you! You, a woman,” turning savagely on Shae, “a girl - you speak like a hardened warrior - or murderer - yourself! Ridiculous? To consider sparing their lives? Why? Do they not breath the same air as we? Do they not drink the same water? Do they not bear children and bring them up, in their own time and way? Beasts? Even a wild beast has a right to live when it has done nothing wrong!

“Oh, you all make perfect sense. ‘Let’s kill these because sometime ago some others of their race hurt and killed us.’ Perfect reasoning!” Athwen threw her arms up in the air. “Morons! Brutes! You’re as bad as they are! I’m not quite so oblivious as you may think,” she went on, her voice shrill with emotion. She stared hard at a couple who wanted to interrupt her as she continued to speak, and they shut up and withdrew. “I’m not quite so as untouched and unharded as you imagine. I, too, once lost everything I ever held dear to me. Every single thing and every single person. And not to orcs, but to men. Do you suppose we should despise and kill all men then? According to what your saying - yes, that’s exactly what we should do.

“And you may hate me if you like, after this. I’ve said what I have to say, but I wasn’t about to keep it all shut in. Their blood won’t be on my head, do you understand me? I won’t be-” but her voice suddenly broke and her mouth clamped shut. Sudden tears bleared her eyes - tears of fury, loathing, and fear. She saw someone approaching her slowly and the next moment, Dorran took her gently by the hand and drew her away from before all those people. They stood on the fringe of the crowd, and she huddled close to his chest, protected by his gentle arms. Perhaps he thought she was going mad, perhaps he imagined it was exhaustion taking over. He’d be wrong if he thought such things.

“Dorran,” she sobbed quietly, “Dorran, it’ll be just as bad as what they claim the orcs did to them. Can’t you see that? They can’t be pure if they kill the orcs now - not without a fair trial, at least.”
Folwren is offline  
Old 08-14-2007, 04:50 PM   #417
Durelin
Estelo dagnir, Melo ring
 
Durelin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 3,121
Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
The Verdict

Khamir felt the unbridled hatred he had allowed to fester for years - a deep-rooted hatred not only of Orcs, but of the day he was born and the family he was born into, the life he was forced to lead in captivity and then as a killer and a thief, the people of the West who sat in their ivory towers and thought of him as scum like the rest of his people - he felt it rise in him, wanting to explode. He hated so much of what defined him, he was only glad it left no room for him to hate himself. It filled him up, it kept him going.

It was obvious that simple words were not going to get through to this old man who Khamir was, who these creatures were, and what the laws of Mordor were. The only sort of person who could be so concerned with hierarchies of morality was one that saw the world through eyes distorted by wealth and intellectualism: exactly the sort of condescending do-gooders Khamir had expected to come from Elessar.

If he had to endure this much longer, he would kill every one of those Orcs himself, with his bare hand, with his teeth…he would make sure they felt pain.

But before he could say more or act on his anger, Shae spoke up, and Khamir felt his eyes glue themselves to her, watching and listening to her strength. Seeing her own anger was soothing, and the man found himself smiling. She…she defended him, stood up for him. He met her eyes for a moment, and found it difficult to turn away. His focus was still on Shae even when Beloan began what would surely prove a speech.

The man had some charisma, that was sure. He put value in inspiration as a leader, something Khamir never really did. He was practical and perhaps reckless, and was accustomed to having natural purpose driving him that did not need to be justified, explained, or encouraged. He supposed Beloan was more the sort of person many of these former slaves needed.

But was he ever kissing up to those Westerners, as if they determined who may speak, who may think. And at the word ‘forgive’ and at the way his name was used, Khamir’s rage was fully renewed, and he felt like a cornered beast in a mad world, not knowing who his friends or his enemies were. The one armed man’s breaths were quick and deep, and his hand was itching to tear something apart.

And then the woman started…the brainless, spineless woman who thought she could speak to them that way, who could not stand the weight of killing even someone or something out to kill you.

They didn’t know when to stop. They would persist with their nonsense until he broke. They were provoking him.

Morons! Brutes! Their blood won’t be on my head…

Her voice was loud for one so weak. Khamir would have almost pitied her, had she not also turned her lofty, insulting tone specifically on Shae.

“You can show me as much disdain as you please in your self-righteousness,” he exploded at Athwen, “and you can call me all the names a child would, but you do not insult my…my people! Shae speaks like a hardened warrior because she is one, and an excellent one at that. You watch your own tongue, girl!”

Suddenly Khamir felt a hand grasp his arm not roughly but tightly, and he turned to see Adnan staring up at him. The one armed man froze in surprise, and in that moment the younger man spoke softly.

“And how does vengeance feel?”

~/*\~

“Enough!” Aiwendil shouted with even more power in his voice than when he had spoken to Khamir. “We will decide this as people and not as animals. It is left up to us all, no one can avoid the responsibility of this decision…and so I call for a vote.”

As the old man called first for those who wished to spare the Orcs’ lives and then for those who thought they should be killed, Khamir watched those around him with a troubled mind. Holding up his hand as part of the second group, he did not need to count to know the verdict. But he could not feel smug. No, this was not the sort of battle that had a winning side.

Sense prevails,” he muttered to Adnan.

“Then it is death,” Lindir announced, for Aiwendil stood in silence.

Last edited by Durelin; 08-24-2007 at 09:59 PM.
Durelin is offline  
Old 08-17-2007, 04:18 PM   #418
Tevildo
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Tevildo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Curled up on Melko's lap
Posts: 425
Tevildo has just left Hobbiton.
For the past ten minutes, Dorran had been struggling to find the right words to bring some small comfort to his distraught wife. As upset as he was about the orcs and the even more difficult prospect of confronting the olog-hai, these problems seemed to dwindle in his mind as he saw the depth of feeling that underlay Athewen's hard words and bitter tears.

"There is no easy answer here," he whispered softly under his breath. "These creatures have done bad things......terrible things. I have no doubt. I have seen this too many times. I am willing to bet my life on that. And I am truly not sure that they could ever change their behavior. Still, even I would like to know what they are doing here in the middle of a barren plain with no orc army anywhere in sight. But what else can we do, my sweet? How would we feel if, two nights from now, a child was struck down in sleep by one of these orcs who returned to our camp? Could we look each other in the eye, all the while knowing that we had the monstor in our hands and yet did nothing to stop them from such an evil deed."

Dorran looked hopelessly down at his wife. None of his pleading words or soft gestures seemed to be doing any good. She continued to stare at him with a hard look. At that moment, there was a slight pull on his sleeve. He turned around to see Azhar, whose frozen face held the same message.

"I feel no different," the young girl spat out her words in an even sharper tone. "But I will not stand here and watch the punishment given when I cannot even agree with it."

Azhar turned towards Athwen and spoke, "I do not think the children should see this. I plan to take them down by the stream to play. Will you come with me to keep an eye on them?"

Last edited by Tevildo; 08-22-2007 at 01:08 AM.
Tevildo is offline  
Old 08-18-2007, 05:14 PM   #419
Hilde Bracegirdle
Relic of Wandering Days
 
Hilde Bracegirdle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: You'll See Perpetual Change.
Posts: 1,488
Hilde Bracegirdle has just left Hobbiton.
Carl

Carl was sitting next to Vror, no more than a yard or two from Khamir, when the vote was cast. And the hobbit shook his head in disappointment as he heard the disfigured man's aside, followed quickly by Lindir's pronouncement. He had had the chance to do some of his own thinking, as he listened to the others. And the conclusion that had been reached by the group, the hobbit envisioned as their own death sentence. Moved to speak, he stood up pulling himself as straight and immovable as a rather stubby fence post, and shouted over the commotion.

"So we move from the King's justice to the justice of Mordor. Death it is then, and I'm the last to begrudge you for it, as I haven't a share in your grief. But before you go burnin' that particular bridge, I feel I should remind you all that if you choose to live by such justice you will be judged by the same measure. And I hope you all plan to grow in number and strength right soon, as you're fixing to place a brimful of hot coals under any orc that hears tell of it. Unless of course you see fit to route them out of every corner of Mordor like so many spiders, before you get down to the business of living. I personally don't think that it can be done, or that the orcs will take well to our ragtag group, who go around executing them every chance they get."

Carl relaxed his stance a bit, bending under the weight of frowns and sharp glances directed at him, and he thrust his hands in his pockets. "You certainly must think me mad or deaf, but think on it. When you're walking, your bound to fall if your eye is always fixed on what's behind you and you are not looking ahead. Like Beloan said, look ahead... past these orcs and past the Olog-hai too, if you can see past them! What your doing now with this decision might be sowing the salt that blights your very future."

Greatly discouraged, Carl turned to go, wondering if this whole journey would turn out to be of no use at all.

Last edited by Hilde Bracegirdle; 08-19-2007 at 08:49 AM.
Hilde Bracegirdle is offline  
Old 08-30-2007, 01:13 PM   #420
Durelin
Estelo dagnir, Melo ring
 
Durelin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 3,121
Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Execution

Hardly to Khamir’s surprise, various members of Elessar’s envoy voiced complaints regarding the decision, but it was done and even they knew it. He, Shae, and other familiar faces marched dutifully to the pit, some seeming more eager than others. Khamir avoided looking at Shae perhaps so she would not see the confusion in his eyes and take it as a sign of weakness.

The silent consensus among the volunteer executioners seemed to be that the deed would not be done in the pit, but rather a little ways outside their camp. If they moved the living bodies away from where they would sleep, there would be no need to drag the corpses very far. It would all be very logical, very practical from here on out. The sensibility of the plan was obvious to Khamir, but he could not completely ignore a feeling that he was going through the motions of some ritual. His knife felt particularly heavy in his hand.

But the Orcs were not prepared to have their throats slit as simple prisoners. Something did not feel right about the apparent resigned nature of the orcs to their fate, and then Khamir noticed...ropes? “Look down there, at the low end of the bars!” he shouted with great urgency, and Shae, Qat, and Beloan were quick to follow his discovery to the same conclusion.

“The orcs are on the loose! We need more men here!” Beloan cried, keeping his head and realizing that they needed more than one man to each Orc to manage them now they were free and desperate to save their lives or bring down as many men with them as possible. Khamir’s own desperation drove him far more than his anger or loathing.

The fight ended with the Orcs recaptured and some of them much worse for wear. Even Khamir agreed with Beloan when he spoke of dignity when he saw what shape Makdush was in at the hands of the former slaves. Surely many of them had seen men and women brutalized in such a way at the hands of Orcs - though also likely at the hands of certain men - but…that was what Orcs did. Beginning to feel he was getting too close to agreeing with Aiwendil, Khamir fell back into focusing on the recaptured Orcs and the knife in his hand.

Weapons drawn and held close to the victims, the Orcs were led away, the men and women who were not their executioners still standing by with their own knives, bows, slings, and spears at the ready. They all understood that any animal was most ferocious when it was cornered.

The general quiet as the Orcs were marched a short distance from the camp made the situation darkly awkward. The heat in the air from the passion and anger of the debaters had dissipated, cooled to a chill. Nothing seemed to be fueling the ceremony: no hatred, anger, or fear; and no spark to light them. A number of people followed the party, but very few threw out the rare jeer or justification, and even fewer paid them any mind.

Sweating, aching, light-headed, heavy…oh yes, Khamir remembered, that’s what it was…tired. They were all so tired, weren’t they?

“Let’s get this over with,” he said, typically curt and gruff. Agreement was voiced among the spectators - or the guards, or the witnesses; whatever they might be called - as a final verdict not on the guilt but on the fitness of the punishment.

Man liked lines and order, they liked having a system to things. So the Orcs were haphazardly lined up, then forced on their knees. The scowls, the snarls, and the snapping of the cornered animals were ignored, and instead each creature was given the privilege of a personal executioner. Man watched each other, learned from each other, copied each other. Once one or two held their knives at the throats, the rest followed suit.

For a moment the Orcs were suspended just before the end as the Men waited for the word, the sign; and the first laceration of flesh; and perhaps even the last, vain effort of the captives to alter their fate.

But none of it came.

Last edited by Durelin; 02-19-2008 at 12:09 PM.
Durelin is offline  
Old 08-31-2007, 03:18 PM   #421
Firefoot
Illusionary Holbytla
 
Firefoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 7,646
Firefoot has been trapped in the Barrow!
Grask had watched the entire proceeding with increasing anxiety. The subtleties of conversation had been over his head, but he had caught the drift: there were a few who wanted to let Ishkur and the others live, but most of them had voted for murder. He did not know why he had hoped at all; the stories were true, it seemed; Men were just as vicious as they reported Orcs to be. What would he do? Where would he go? His path had been bound up in those of these Orcs that were about to die.

Their meeting broke up; the Men hauled up the Orc males from the pit none too gently. Grask strove to catch Ishkur’s eye in hopes of some guidance, but to no avail; Ishkur was not looking for him, and even if he was, Grask was too well hidden. The Orcs were marched out of the camp, and Grask, seeming to have no will of his own left, trailed behind as far as his cover extended. They were lined up; knives and swords were drawn.

Grask’s heart beat wildly and he looked around frantically. What should he do? Somebody must do something! But he was alone - where were the females? Help – he needed help! They needed help!

Suddenly Ishkur’s words to him thudded strongly in his mind: “Someday I may need you to guard my back." Without any thought of what he was doing, Grask hurled himself from the brush, a war cry of utter anguish sounding from his mouth. He fumbled one of his long knives from his belt as he ran, then held it point first in front of him. He had to stop them. Ishkur was depending on him.
Firefoot is offline  
Old 09-07-2007, 09:06 AM   #422
Folwren
Messenger of Hope
 
Folwren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In a tiny, insignificant little town in one of the many States.
Posts: 5,228
Folwren is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Folwren is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Azhar had asked for Athwen’s help with the children and Athwen had gratefully agreed. Perhaps the girl knew the way she felt and something in her told her to give the woman a way out. She quietly slipped away from Dorran, ignoring the reluctance with which he let her go.

“Azhar,” Athwen said, her voice somewhat hoarse with the recent overflow of emotion, “go and get the children, they should not watch the execution. I need to check on the wounded.” Her voice trembled towards the end, but it did not break, nor did more tears come to her eyes. She turned away and went to her charges. She made her passes and when she was satisfied that they were as comfortable as possible, she went out again to meet Azhar.

The girl had with her five children, all younger than eight. Athwen summoned up a small smile to give them before asking, “Is this all of them?”

“Three more are sleeping over there,” Azhar pointed. “And Kwell didn’t want to come. He wants to watch the executions.” Her voice was bitter and Athwen sympathized with her feelings.

“Kwell is just a boy,” she said quietly.

“That doesn’t mean he’s not just as responsible as any of the men,” Azhar said sharply. Athwen blinked and made no reply.

“Come,” she said instead. “Let’s not speak of it.” She stooped and took two of the children’s hands and led them away around the hill, out of sight of where the orcs were being hauled up from the pit and led to the edge of camp. They circled the slight rise of the land and came behind the embankment, where a few nights ago Carl and Vrór had dug Kwell and Azhar out of the pit. The girl pointed towards the embankment.

“That’s where we got out,” she said, “that night we were rescued from the slavers.”

Athwen nodded. “Let’s go and let the children play on the slope there,” she said. “I will sit and watch.” They did as she instructed and before very long the children were occupying themselves with a game. Athwen sat and for a while she did watch the kids. But slowly her awareness dropped. Her eyes lowered and she sat in silent depression, waiting for some noise from the proceedings of the execution to reach her and dreading it all the while.
Folwren is offline  
Old 12-27-2007, 05:01 PM   #423
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,051
Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
A plea for mercy

When Lindir had announced the verdict a bunch of self-chosen ex-slaves took themselves towards the pit to execute the decision. None of the fellowship took part but stood back watching with the majority. Hadith tried to make for the company of willing executioners but Beloan’s strong hand landed on his shoulder to stop him.

“You’re a good man Hadith... and young. You have your life ahead of you unlike many of us. Don’t blood your hands and conscience with this.” He looked at Hadith with stern gaze. Hadith was about to open his mouth but Beloan cut him short. “This is an order Hadith. You will stay back here!” With that he took after those making to the pit.

The crowd was following the executioners' silent but resolute walk with an uneasy feeling when the party came to a sudden halt some ten yards from the caging.

“Look down there, at the low end of the bars!” Khamir said and pointed with his finger.
“Ropes! Tied to the bars...”, the giant man Qat continued.
“So they’re free and planning for escape”, Shae concluded.

Beloan had just caught up with the group and turned quickly around. “The orcs are on the loose! We need more men here!”

Hadith didn’t hesitate. After all Beloan had kind of cancelled his own orders. A dozen of the men and a few women came forwards unsheating their weapons as they walked.

The skirmish was short. The orcs had no chances as only Ishkur, Gwerr, Colagar and Makdush had had time to climb up over to the brink. Unarmed they were no match for the now furious ex-slaves. The four were beaten badly. Colagar’s left arm was broken and Gwerr’s eyebrow was bleeding heavily after a blow from Qat’s staff. Makdush was being forced to his knees by four men who kept on kicking him to the head and sides untill Beloan managed to make them stop. His body was bruised and his face was swollen.

“Let’s have some dignity! Beating and kicking someone to death is orc bussiness. We’ll behead them somewhere away from the sight of the children!”

The rest of the orcs had been climbing up when they heard their leaders caught and getting beaten. Griwzan and Zuhut made it to help their friends and were soon overpowered by the furious men. The five orcs left dropped down to the bottom of the pit but came up when threathened with burning. They showed no resistance after they realised that six already had been caught and tied.

The silent party of the executioners walked the orcs some hundred yards away from the slavers camp away from the crowd – even if some of the crowd did follow them to see the execution more closely.

“Let’s get this over with!” Khamir said in his straightforward manner. The orcs were lined up and forced to their knees. Behind every orc there was a man ready with his blade to perform his duty on the mark.

Beloan’s eyes met Khamir’s. The two men looked at each other waiting for the other one to give the order. It’s been a long journey from our childhood Khamir... We always stood side by side, you and me... what has happened to you these last days?... what has happened to us? It’s yours to give Kahmir, do it! The two stood silently their eyes nailed to each other. The men held their blades on the orc throats steadily but many of them started looking around in confusion.

Suddenly there was a weak and childlike wail that came from the thicket. Grask ran forwards with his revealed blade and shouted from the bottom of his small lungs trying to look as furious a nine-year old orc-child could.

Everyone froze. Had the situation been different it would have been a cause of a lot of merriment and produced a roar of laughter among the men and the women wittnessing the scene. But somehow it seemed to have almost the opposite effect of disquieting them all. It was a child. An orc child but yet a child. And a brave child trying to save his elders, his father perhaps? Beloan felt disturbed with the humanity of the act the little orc was making. Hadith was even more shocked. I didn’t brave to try and help my mother as they killed her in front of my eyes... but this one runs to a certain death to try.

Qat hadn’t ever been a tender-hearted man and he had no children of his own. On top of it he was already a bit frustrated as someone had managed to take Gwerr on his blade while Qat thought Gwerr belonged to him. With no one at his hands he frowned at the silent crowd around him and walked towards the onrushing orc-child. “I’ll take the little brat then”, he muttered as he went.

“Don’t kill him!” Beloan and Hadith called in unison after Qat. They looked at each other confused about their simultaneous reaction.

Qat didn’t seem to listen but dealt Grask’s swordhand a mighty blow with his staff sending the blade flying yards away. Grask screamed and was stunned with pain. He fell forwards to the ground. Qat picked him from the neck and easily raised him off the ground with his strong arm. “To the end of the line with this little vermin it is then?” he yelled back to the crowd with a smile. But the mood had changed.

There was an uneasy silence that had caught both the men and the orcs. Grask was groaning with pain silently as he hung in the air. There was a tear in Ishkur's cheek as he watched things unfold in horror, even Gwerr felt uneasy looking at the little orc been hung by the giant man. Lindir and Aiwendil were just coming forwards when there was a second surprise.

Out from the thicket from the other side of the gentle slope Grask had come from emerged two female orcs waving their hands in the air.

“Save him... save them... save us!” they yelled as they came forwards. Many a hand reached for a weapon in the crowd but no one made a move while the female orcs walked towards the execution company.

As they reached the kneeling orcs and their executioners they fell on their knees as well facing the male orcs a few feet away from them. They hung their heads low and knelt there in silence. The fellowship and the other onlookers had crept nearer to witness what was to happen. Even Athwen had rushed to the place.

Slowly the older one named Urga raised her head and let her gaze wander around the stern and confused faces of the men holding the orcs under their blades. Finally she found Beloan's face and looked straight at his eyes addressing him.

“We’re on the run like you are... we’re alone in this cursed land and afraid like you are... we just wanted to get out from the plantations and to live in freedom, as I believe you did.”

The other orc, Ungolt, broke in here. “We are just a small bunch of renegades. We tried to escape with a larger group but the guards of the plantation found our plan and caught the rest... They are dead now, our friends.” She swallowed as if searching for the next wise thing to say and then continued. “We will give you all we have plundered from this slaver-camp if you let us go. We have meat, bread, ale... valuables... just pick what you wish or take it all... But if you kill the males you’re practically killing us too as we wouldn’t survive the wilderness the five of us... or with the kid.”

“In that case you’d do well to kill us right here yourselves and not leave us to die to the hazards of the wilderness.” Urga added.

“Please, we have done you no harm. And the males were just trying to rescue their mates.” Ungolt said quietly.

Qat dropped Grask to the ground and took a twohanded grip from his staff.

Grask ran to the females and hid himself behind them weeping silently and shaking with fear.

Last edited by Nogrod; 12-31-2007 at 10:12 AM.
Nogrod is offline  
Old 12-29-2007, 10:38 AM   #424
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Gwella:

There was an omenous growling from Gwella's stomach as the young orc crouched behind a large rock not far from the entrance to the pit and debated what to do. In all the commotion and excitement, she had become separated from the others. Her first instinct was to turn and run as far from this spot as her powerful legs would carry her. There was something terrible happening on the outskirts of camp. The entire circle of men and women had moved from their original spot and now stood some hundred yards downstream. The horrible man creatures were shouting and shrieking and brandishing weapons. Gwella could hear moans and cries coming from the male orcs and uruks who were now completely surrounded by their attackers.

No one paid the slightest attention to a solitary female who was so good at hiding in the shadows. If Gwella had been a year or two older, she would have had enough sense to disappear into the night and never return to this awful place, ignoring the others to save her own skin. But she was young and hungry and, because of that, she hesitated. When the others had been out pillaging the night before, the men had shoved her aside from the best prizes. She had not even managed to get a decent meal in her belly. She had begged a scrap or two from the other females, but it was not enough to appease the terrible gnawing inside her stomach that was becoming worse with each passing hour.

Just as Gwella was about to give up her search for food, a small group of man creatures ambled down to the stream bed not far from where she hid. These particular specimens did not look half as bad as the others who were yelling and screaming on the outskirts of camp. None were carrying weapons. A band of small ones scurried ahead while two others followed behind, looking to be slightly larger. Perhaps, thought Gwella, these were the ones in charge. The one older woman went and sat by herself, staring stonily towards the north, but had later leapt up and ran off in the direction where the larger crowd was gathered. The other woman was still trying to keep track of the children, but doing a poor job.

Gwella was fascinated by the mischief of the little ones who seemed to enjoy more freedom and less discipline from their elders than any orc child she had known. The boys had found a rope near the pit entrance and had retied it to the grating for a makeshift swing. One by one, they climbed onto it and dangled resolutely over the mouth of the cave. Another girl quickly joined their game and, daring the others to follow her, let go of the rope and dropped down inside the actual pit. It was only a short drop from the end of the rope to the muddy floor so that it would not be difficult to crawl up to the top again.

Gwella, however, was even more encouraged by the actions of the young woman who carried a bag over her shoulder. The woman opened the satchel and set out several portions of meat and bread on top of another nearby rock. Then she stalked over to the pit entrance, stared down at the children, and said they should shinny up the rope immediately and have something to eat. Gwella's eyes widened with delight as she considered the small feast spread before her. It was more food than she had seen all night. Her stomach growled appreciatively. The woman's back was turned. Even if the whole party came back, Gwella reasoned that she could easily fend them off. She was half uruk, half orc, and considerably heavier and stronger than any of the children or even the woman. On an impulse, she sprang up and hurried over to the boulder where the bread and meat had been set out, greedily snatching up the food with one hand and using the other to stuff about half of it inside her mouth.....

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 12-30-2007 at 03:41 AM.
Child of the 7th Age is offline  
Old 12-29-2007, 03:30 PM   #425
Undómë
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Undómë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 400
Undómë has just left Hobbiton.
Zagra peeked out from behind her sister’s shoulder. Her dark eyes went wide as the little drama unfolded. In a voice ragged with fear she whispered in Mazhg’s ear. ‘Bad men! Bad men! Cut their throats!’ she pointed a trembling finger at the kneeling line of Orcs, the last of their lives balanced lightly now against the men’s blades. ‘Kill them! Find us - kill us, too!!’ Zagra’s eyes rolled wildly as she clung tightly to her sister’s arm.

‘Quiet, little beetle!’ Mazhg drew her sister in close cradling her head against her shoulder, Zagra’s eyes shielded from the soon to be bloody scene. She pulled her down into a crouch, their small forms shielded by the leafy tangle of undergrowth at the base of the rocky outcropping. Sha! she spat out, contempt for Orc males infusing her features. ‘Stupid, drunken globs!’ she muttered. Mazhg’s eyes narrowed as she considered the possibilities.

Her first urge was to sneak quietly away with Zagra as quickly as they could. Light out on their own. Her head nodded at this answer. ‘Get away from these males,’ she reasoned to herself. ‘Man and Orc. Always trouble.’ She looked at Zagra, wondering how long the two of them would last on their own. Mazhg’s hand tightened on the haft of the sharp spade, her weapon a comforting feel in her small fist. Aside from that was just the little knife tucked in the waistband of her breeches. With a sigh she turned her mind away from thoughts of flight. Much as she disliked it, she and her sister would be safer traveling with a group.

But what could she do? Rush at the men with her spade? Foolish! Who would care for Zagra if . . . no, when she was killed. A distraction, maybe. And one leaving her and her sister enough time to run. That might work. If the dung-brained males would take advantage of it and run themselves.

‘Zagra!’ she hissed, giving her sister a little shake to focus her attention away from the fear. ‘See those biggish rocks there . . . on the ground by the bigger rock.’ She tipped her head, drawing Zagra’s gaze toward the stones. ‘Pick up a bunch.’ Mazhg gathered up the front of her tunic, indicating Zagra should do the same – use it like a little basket for the rocks. ‘Remember how we used to keep the crows from the fields? Remember how good your arm was. You always beat me . . . remember?’ Zagra’s mouth curved up in a smile, her simple thoughts relishing that recalled game. ‘We’ll throw them toward the men. Make ‘em drop their blades away from the males. Throw ‘em fast, and hard. Hurt the men just enough to make them squawk. Maybe that Ishkur isn’t so stupid and can figure out he needs to run. And then we run, too, Zagra . . . fast, fast!’

The two sisters crept as close as they could to the execution site, keeping a fair distance still for their own escape. With a nod to Zagra, Mazhg stood up, indicating her sister should do so, too. Her hands occupied, Mazhg’s spade lay on the ground behind her. Her arm drew back, making ready to let the first rock fly.

Crack . . . A twig snapped somewhere close behind them. A strong hand clasped her tunic tight about her neck. Wriggling wildly, she could see her sister pinned in a similar manner. Mazhg tried to reach down toward her spade, but the man’s boot was planted firmly on it. Eyes blazing, she glared at their captor, half wondering why he hadn’t simply killed them. For her part, Zagra was kicking furiously at the man’s nearer leg, a few hearty blows finding their target.

‘Nice plan! But I don’t think it would work. You’d all be dead at their hands, I think.’ He hauled them down, his grip still firm on them. ‘Now listen . . .’

Last edited by Undómë; 12-30-2007 at 03:11 PM.
Undómë is offline  
Old 12-30-2007, 04:27 AM   #426
Tevildo
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Tevildo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Curled up on Melko's lap
Posts: 425
Tevildo has just left Hobbiton.
Azhar stared down into the pit and waited until the one of the boys walked over to the rope and began to climb up. She could see his feet and legs were wet. Azhar sighed but couldn't bring herself to scold the first girl who had encouraged them to drop down into the water. The children had been so excited in those early days when they'd left the plantation, but since then had found little time to play. Azhar stepped away from the mouth of the cave and started back to the rock where she had set out the food. But she got no further than two steps. Immediately, she stopped, her mouth and eyes wide open in shock as she took in the young orc who stood stuffing food into his mouth. Fighting to keep her panic down, she glanced back towards the pit and in a stern voice ordered the children to stay exactly where they were.

Azhar's immediate thought was to look for a weapon to defend herself. Before she could actually do that, the young thief stuffed another handful of bread and meat into his mouth and began to dart off. With a shock Azhar realized the boy was no older than herself. She had seen the look in his eye many times before.....a child so hungry that he or she would do anything to swipe or beg a little food. Instantly she felt ashamed. The orc gave no sign that he was going to attack. She was no better than the ones down the river who had voted to execute the intruders even though they had done them no harm. "It's alright, boy" she called out. "I have more in my bag. Plenty more. There's enough for us all." I must be crazy, Azhar thought. If only Athwen was here, she'd know exactly what to do.

Gwella stared at the young woman who was approaching, not sure whether she should leave or stay. The girl did not look like much of a threat, and she was still very hungry. She stood unmoving on the plain. Not more than ten feet separated the two figures. Finally, the orc snapped back, "I'm no boy! I'm a girl. My name is Gwella. Throw that stuff over here if you mean it." Gwella imperiously jerked her thumb towards the canvas bag.

Azhar stood in absolute shock. A girl? She never would have guessed it from her looks. But what shocked her more was that this creature had a name. Somehow she had never imagined orcs having real names. Azhar wondered who had given her a name. Then she took three steps over to the pouch and drew out a small loaf of bread and tossed it towards Gwella. The orc did not step forward but neither did she run away. Gwella bent down, snatched the loaf, and began to gnaw at the end, still glaring suspiciously at the other woman.

Azhar was wondering what she should do next when something happened that put the orc out of her mind. A sharp childish voice filled with panic sounded from the bottom of the pit: "Help! Help! The rock moved. Ina's trapped. There's water....lots of water..." A tangle of childish voices and cries was followed by a deadly silence. Meanwhile, up the river some hundred feet, the meeting continued, with no one even aware of what was happening at the entrance to the cave.

Last edited by Tevildo; 12-30-2007 at 12:59 PM.
Tevildo is offline  
Old 12-30-2007, 02:56 PM   #427
Folwren
Messenger of Hope
 
Folwren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In a tiny, insignificant little town in one of the many States.
Posts: 5,228
Folwren is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Folwren is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Athwen, sitting on the opposite side of the hill, heard the disturbance in the executions. She had not meant to listen. She didn’t want to hear, but she couldn’t help it and her ears latched onto every sound. Finally, with a quiet word to Azhar to keep an eye on the children, she stood up and hurried in the direction of the execution.

A strange sight met her eyes as she came around the rise of ground. There were the orcs, lined up and ready to die, but not yet killed, and behind each of them stood the one who thought it a privilege to kill them. But before this neatly formed line knelt two new figures, unbound, unrestrained. Athwen’s feet slowed as she stared in wonder, and then, seeing that something odd was truly afoot, she sped up and hurried down the slope in time to hear the first orc’s plea.

“We’re on the run like you are… we’re alone in this cursed land and afraid like you are… we just want to get out from the plantations and to live in freedom, as I believe you did.”

Athwen drew in a sharp breath between her teeth. She had been right after all. Against all odds, her guess, her plea in defense of the captives had been the nearest to accuracy. She stood back away from the other group of ex-slaves and listened as the two female orcs unfolded their story.

As the second one finished speaking, Athwen saw first the child that she referred to. He still hung by the cloth of his collar from Qat’s hand. Her eyes grew a little wider as she looked at him. He was just a child! It was obvious that he was just a child – and yet he was being treated abhorrently. Not even a young wild animal would be handled so. She felt disgusted, and the loathing that had risen in her earlier came back.

At that moment, while Ungolt made her last plea, there came a faint cry from the direction of the children. Athwen stood farthest back of all the people there, and she may have been the only one to hear. She turned about abruptly and looking back the way she had come. What was going on?

Then she heard it more clearly, the cry for help. Her heart gave a small leap and her breath caught momentarily and she instantly began to run back.
Folwren is offline  
Old 12-30-2007, 03:15 PM   #428
piosenniel
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
 
piosenniel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pickin' flowers with Bill the Cat.....
Posts: 7,791
piosenniel is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
The verdict the others had reached sickened him. He’d followed the group out of camp, hoping that there would be a change of heart somehow. Change of heart! Wishful thinking. Pride drove men's hearts more than compassion.

Guilt drove a greater portion of his thoughts. He never was much of a speaker and he hadn’t spoken up when the judgment had been made....as he should have, he knew. And the fact that he still hadn’t felt well, that his mind was still a little muddled, did nothing to assuage his feelings of complicity. I could step in..... he supposed. But what would that accomplish? I’d be cold-shouldered at best for the rest of this expedition, or thrown out of this traveling fellowship altogether, at worst. Perhaps he should return home, he thought, as he’d turned away from the execution site.

So, you're as full of self-pride as those you would accuse, eh? he chided himself sharply.

Rôg’s wanderings had taken him a space away from the camp and the killing grounds. His thoughts his main company as he struggled with what he could, he should, he might do. The buzz of husky voices drew his attention outwards, as he walked along the periphery of the site where the men prepared to kill the captives. He stepped nearer, focusing hard on what was being said.

Foolish boys! he growled to himself as he heard the one’s plan unfold. Two disheveled looking youngsters were preparing to escalate the events with rocks..... Rocks!!! Good intention.....brave, even, but in the end they would be killed, too. Rôg shook his head. He’d done nothing before, perhaps he could do something now. Think, man!!!

Intent on reaching the two before the first stone was hurled, he trod unawares on a dried twig. The two young males startled, dropping their rocks. Rôg moved in quickly, grabbing them by the necks of their tunics. They twisted madly in his grip like little wildcats, one of them landing a few hard blows against his shins with her frenzied kicks. He hauled them down, in a crouch, hissing himself at them to be quiet and listen.

‘Nice plan!’ he began, offering as friendly a look as he could toward the two. ‘But I don’t think it would work. You’d all be dead at their hands, I think.’ He hauled them down, his grip still firm on them. ‘Now listen . . .’

With a few quick whisperings he laid out his scarcely thought out idea. It was a slim chance it might work, and he could see the one boy, the one who’d done most of the talking, thought so as well. But, too, there came a calculating gleam to the fellow’s eye as Rôg rambled on with his reasonings. In the end there was forged an agreement, if a grudging one at best. Rôg released his grip on the two, hoping not to be soundly whacked in the head by the perilous looking spade now held firmly in the grasp of the one young lad.

‘Right then,’ Rôg said, preparing to stand up. He unfastened his belt, indicating the fellow should secure his hands, so that Rôg would appear to have been captured and bound. The trio stood up and advanced a little ways toward the men and Orcs.

Mazhg held one of Rôg’s arms and threatened him with her knife held against his side. Zagra held his other arm, brandishing the spade as they drew nearer to the site. For his part, Rôg stumbled along as if beaten, and indeed his breeches’ leg was torn and the leg bled where he’d been so soundly kicked at first. They stopped short of entering the execution place itself. Mazhg shook Rôg hard, pushing him to his knees. She glared at the men holding the male Orcs, and nudged Rôg hard on his shoulder, pricking him a little with her knife.

With what he hoped might pass for a grimace of pain, Rôg looked beseechingly toward the men and in as beleaguered a voice as he could manage he spoke.

‘They’ll trade me for those Orcs you’ve got,’ he began. ‘They only want us to leave them be to find their own place to settle. That’s all they’re asking.’ His plea hung in the air between the two groups.

Great Winged One! he appealed in silence. Don’t let them think I’m just another expendable soul like the Orcs.....

Last edited by piosenniel; 12-30-2007 at 04:40 PM.
piosenniel is offline  
Old 12-31-2007, 12:14 AM   #429
Undómë
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Undómë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 400
Undómë has just left Hobbiton.
Zagra’s grip on the strange man faltered as her attention wandered. She was nervous and getting more so, standing out here so exposed. And there was too much to remember . . . keep her face grim, mean-looking, Mazhg had told her. Hold up the spade as if she would wallop him should he move too much. Keep your eyes on those men. And remember to sneak looks at Mazhg. ‘If you see me rub my cheek,’ Mazhg had said, ‘then get ready to run. And when I yell “run”, you light on out of here. Quick as if the Dark Lord himself is at your heels. Run and run and hide where we did beyond the bend in the stream . . . like we did that once. You remember, right?’ Mazhg had made her repeat the instructions and the landmarks for the hiding place. ‘I’ll come for you . . . soon’s I can. You stay hid.’

She felt Rôg’s shoulder twitch slightly, reminding her to keep contact. Her eyes flicked toward Mazhg. Her sister’s eyes were on the men and Orcs.

Mazhg called out to the captive males in a loud voice, the harsh, guttural sounds of Orkish tongue breaking the tense silence.

Sha! You big, dumb, snagas! Getting caught!’ She stopped herself, biting back the string of epithets ready to tumble off her tongue. She spit in the dirt for final emphasis. ‘Don’t mess this up, globs-bubhosh!
Undómë is offline  
Old 12-31-2007, 01:59 AM   #430
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Gwella followed behind Azhar as the girl stumbled over to the entrance of the pit and stared down into the hole. With the shifting of the largest rock, the water had broken through and was now flooding the interior of the cave. Gwella could not see very much but she could hear the sound of swirling water and desperate splashing noises made by small hands and legs as five children struggled to keep their heads afloat.

"Stupid, stupid," the orc girl growled. "Rain comes. Caves flood. Rocks move. Even chicken-brains know that. " Azhar did not reply but latched onto the rope that still hung limply from the grating and was about to lower herself into the pit. Gwella growled again and shook her head, yanking the rope from Azhar's hands. "No.... You help me. Don't like water but I do it. Then your bag is mine.' Gwella pointed toward the satchel still bulging with food. It was also evident from the orc girl's disdainful tone that the she did not think much of Azhar's slight frame or lack of real muscles. With a single leap, Gwella propelled herself onto the rope and shinnied down inside the pit. She landed with a large thud and splash as the weight of her body caused the rope to come loose from the grating and spiral downward into the water.

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 12-31-2007 at 02:07 AM.
Child of the 7th Age is offline  
Old 12-31-2007, 09:20 AM   #431
Firefoot
Illusionary Holbytla
 
Firefoot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 7,646
Firefoot has been trapped in the Barrow!
Grask

Cruel men! Horrible beasts! His right forearm throbbed and was virtually useless to him, but at that point such was the least of his distresses. He could feel himself dangling there, held by his neck. It had not only been painful, but humiliating and frightening. In the hands of that large brute, there had been nothing he could do. Never before had he felt so helpless.

And then, to be dropped to the ground like a sack of potatos - no, not even that, for one would take care that the potatos were not bruised. He had been dropped in a heap like so much expendable filth. It was a miracle he had enough wits about him to run away.

The females had come though, that was what mattered - two of them, anyway. He ran to them and crouched behind them. The tears that had been forced to his eyes from the trauma were already beginning to dry, though his body was still shaking uncontrollably. From behind Urga's shoulder he looked out warily at the crowd of men, watching with particular distrust and fear the man who had picked him up.

Two more females soon arrived, bearing a man between them, a captive. Quietly Grask watched the drama unfold, wondering if he should slip away. As a rule he had always kept himself clear of grown-up affairs, but it was a little late for that. He would stay for a while anyway - he seemed to be out of danger for now, though the men still had their blades pointed threateningly at the male orcs' throats. Whatever the verdict, it was out of his hands.

----

Johari

First a child orc, and now females. Her desire for the male orcs' blood to be shed slackened but did not wholly abate. While less strong than the males, the females were no more to be trusted, she was sure, and as for the child, he would soon grow up to be as much a beast as the Orcs they were now about to kill. Already he was savage - foolish, perhaps, but savage, swinging his little sword about like that to kill those that threatened his elders.

And when had Orcs stopped at killing women and children? Could any blame them for protecting themselves? This would be revenge, revenge for all those merciless years she had spent at Orcs' bidding. Revenge for her mother's death. Revenge for a stolen childhood. Revenge for the theft of her hope. Revenge for... revenge for Kalin.

She could almost hear Hadith's words though - how much killing is enough? What had the child done to deserve death?

The only responses she could think of sounded trite and unfounded even in her own head. Responses that would make her little better than an Orc herself.

Perhaps that's what this land does to us, though - makes Orcs out of us all. You do what you have to to survive, and live the only way you know how.
Firefoot is offline  
Old 12-31-2007, 10:01 AM   #432
Hilde Bracegirdle
Relic of Wandering Days
 
Hilde Bracegirdle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: You'll See Perpetual Change.
Posts: 1,488
Hilde Bracegirdle has just left Hobbiton.
Not wishing to be a witness to the executions, and judging himself in too sour a frame of mind to help divert the children's attention, Carl had gone off alone, to see about storing the things he had scavenged during the night. The wagon was sure to be almost as full of wounded when heading out, as it had been when bringing them into the camp, so if he was to salvage anything at all, he must find the extra space for it somewhere, or carry it himself. And the practicality of the puzzle appealed to him, serving to calm him considerably, even though he had kept up a fiery soliloquy at first, threatening to pack himself up, and leave the group in order to search for Stumps, who he was convinced had more common sense then the lot of them.

Still, making no move to carry out such a threat, he sat on his hunches searching through the bits of iron in the heap he had assembled, until he had found four good sized brackets with loops formed in them. They were just the sort of thing that a slaver might think to fix to his wagon, so that he could pull several lines of chained slaves behind it, while the slavers remained free to harry them. But the hobbit had a far better use for them. Crawling underneath the wagon he fastened one to each corner, singing so that he would not fall into the gloomy business of speculating on the nature of the sporadic noises of the camp that reached him. It was hard work, for he had to make his own bolt holes in the tightly grained wood, and that proved far from easy. But when he was done, he thought to tie a corner of strong tent maker's cloth to each of the four loops, letting it sag in the center like a sling. And into that hammock would go all that the cloth would bear without braking, the rest he would have to find another place for.

Unfortunately, his fingers weren't as nimble as they might once have been, and it was a struggle to attach the stiff cloth. After quickly dismissing his original idea of making small slits at the corners of the material, so that he could tie the two edges together around the bracket, he settled on stuffing the whole of each corner through the loops and making a knot the size of his fist on the other side of the loop, to hold it in place.

Once finished, Carl stretched and stood back for a moment to admire his handiwork, before he began the tedious business of sorting the scraps, and carrying them by the handful to the wagon. Absorbed as he was, he remained by force of will quite oblivious to unraveling of events that were unfolding all around him.

Last edited by Hilde Bracegirdle; 12-31-2007 at 04:27 PM.
Hilde Bracegirdle is offline  
Old 12-31-2007, 11:07 AM   #433
Folwren
Messenger of Hope
 
Folwren's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In a tiny, insignificant little town in one of the many States.
Posts: 5,228
Folwren is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Folwren is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Athwen came over the rise in time to see the orc child preparing to lower herself into the pit. Azhar stood quite near - Athwen could have sworn they had touched hands briefly - staring downwards with wide eyes and open mouth.

“What’s the matter? What’s going on?” Athwen called out as she continued to hurry forward.

Azhar turned about. “Athwen!” she cried. “The water’s rising!”

“Water!” Athwen reached the opening of the pit and looked down in horror. She took stock of the situation instantly, even the broken rope. At least four children were in there...more, including the other creature. Could she save them? Not alone, she instantly realized.

“Azhar, run back as quick as you can and get help!”

The girl set off immediately. Athwen looked down into the pit again. The water was dark. She heard frantic splashing, but no more cries. “What can I do?” she asked herself viciously. She needed rope, but there was none near. If she were to leap down into there without rope, there would be no purpose. She could not save all of them alone. But she might be able to save some of them...if there was anything to hold onto down there, just to keep their heads above water.

Athwen did the only thing she thought she could do. After tearing off her boots and pulling off her extra shirt she lowered herself down into the pit below and dropped into the water.

The scene below was strange, dark, and chaotic. For a moment, Athwen clung to the rock edge, getting her bearings. And then she struck out towards the nearest child in distress. The little boy, as soon as he felt her hand on him, turned towards her and clung frantically to her. His arms went around her head and her neck and they both were submerged.

Athwen twisted in his arms, turned her head and pushed him free of her, and then she approached him again, from behind. This time, she was careful that he could not face her as she swam both of them to the edge.

“Grab hold,” she gasped in his ear. “Quiet down, you’re alright, take hold of the rock, you feel it?” His panic calmed as his fingers clung to the rough rock. “Stay here,” Athwen commanded. “Wait for help.” And she turned to find the next child.
Folwren is offline  
Old 12-31-2007, 11:14 AM   #434
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,051
Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
Looking at the trembling orc-child running to find cover from behind the females after being dropped by Qat Hadith felt a tear coming from his eye. Even if they had seldomly met orc-children in the plantation it wasn't hard for Hadith to figure out that this one was around ten. A bit younger he himself was when his mother had been executed. Was one of the two females his mother? Was one of the males in the line his father? Strong emotions were tearing Hadith apart but he stood silent as all others.

Hadith had hated orcs from as long as he could remember. They had been behind everything that was wrong and foul in this world... and they had killed his parents, they had beaten him in the plantation, they had run the place and enjoyed the human misery there. But the events of the last few days had sowed a seed that was now growing articulate enough to come forwards. What about the slavers? They are human and seem no better... maybe they are even worse as these orcs are trying to fly away from them and the plantations? Hadith had never thought of that before. Did all the orcs actually like it in the plantations? What if they were slaves as well, just in a different role? He glanced at the orc-child once again.

Any justice that condemns that child to death is no justice at all. And a justice that robs him from his parents is no better. Hadith felt a sudden urge to speak out what he had just thought but someone else got vocal first.

"Helping your mates these males were... indeed. And what then? Some throat-slitting, right? And then maybe piling up more valuables as you say?" It was Qat who was walking steadily towards the females and the child while he spoke. "We know your kind too well to fall at that."

Guilledean who was holding Zuhut at his blade joined in. "How do we know you're all here now? Your friends are dead that is? Maybe some are... but how many of you are still lurking at the thicket? Why should we believe you?" He booted Zuhut to his back forcefully sending the orc to fall flat on his face to the ground.

"How many of you are still skulking around?" Khamir asked the females in a stern voice. Many faces in the crowd started looking at the surrounding thickets uneasily. The grips on the weapons were tightened yet again.

"Now stop it! Everyone stop it!" Beloan's voice was sharp and commanding. He tried to glance sideways as to what Lindir and Aiwendil were up to but couldn't spot them from the crowd at the moment. "Now listen to me! If they had a horde of them skulking around us they wouldn't have staged this! Right? I'm willing to believe them at the moment." He looked around the crowd and frowned. "Not that it changes anything in the end..."

Suddenly there came yet another noise from the thickets and three figures emerged walking steadily forwards. Finally another one of the orcs brutally pushed the man to his knees and pricked him with the knife.

"They’ll trade me for those Orcs you’ve got," Rôg began. "They only want us to leave them be to find their own place to settle. That’s all they’re asking."

The one who had thrown Rôg down yelled some harsh words in orcish. Those were clearly addressed to her fellows.

Qat was about to run at the orcs when Beloan's call made him freeze. "No one kills anyone before this is settled!"

Qat turned to face Beloan and cursed loudly. "Don't you see! This is the way the orcs "ask" for things! In a minute there will be fifty of them and same amount of us as captives!"

"Does anyone know where the wounded and the... children are?" Khamir swallowed the rest as he realised the sudden danger.

The crowd was upset about the thought of their children being caught by yet other orcs lurking around just to rob them of their children.

This doesn't make sense anymore... Hadith was confused. He didn't know what was right or wrong any more. Just a moment ago he would have been happy to free the orcs and now all he wanted was to get rid of them and get rid of them quickly.
Nogrod is offline  
Old 01-01-2008, 12:16 AM   #435
Tevildo
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Tevildo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Curled up on Melko's lap
Posts: 425
Tevildo has just left Hobbiton.
Azhar gave a tiny sigh. Relieved that Athwen had returned, she sprinted off to find help as the older woman had suggested. Her first impulse was to speak with someone from the large crowd that had gathered on the riverbank. Azhar was smart enough to realize that shrieking out the news to the entire group would only create an unorganized stampede that could do more to hurt than help. She had to pick out a specific person and enlist their aid. Still, the group was a long way down river, and the debate on what to do with the captured orcs was still going on. With so many angry people packed so close together, Azhar wasn't sure if she could make herself heard above the noise, or even who to approach. She glanced over at the crowd, attempting to catch sight of Lindir or Aiwendil or Dorran, but it was impossible to pick them out from a distance.

For a moment Azhar hesitated, uncertain what to do. Then she turned sideways and spotted the supply wagon. She saw a familiar figure leaning against the back gate.....someone who was good in a pinch and who seemed to have a knack for coming up with practical solutions. She charged over to where Carl stood, grabbed the hobbit by the shoulder and blurted out: "Please. Come. The children are in the pit. The water's come up. One of them can't move. An orc girl went down to help, but she has no ropes or anything."
Tevildo is offline  
Old 01-01-2008, 11:30 AM   #436
Hilde Bracegirdle
Relic of Wandering Days
 
Hilde Bracegirdle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: You'll See Perpetual Change.
Posts: 1,488
Hilde Bracegirdle has just left Hobbiton.
“Water's in the pit?” Carl looked at the girl, with a pained expression on his face. “Children and an orc, you say?”

Azhar nodded rapidly, and eager to return to the children's aid, she pulled on Carl's shoulder. “Quickly! One of the children is stuck and can't move,” she repeated anxiously.

“Aye, very quickly!” The hobbit said, turning this way and that, looking for anything he might have on hand that could help. His first thought was to find some sort of weapon, for the cunning orc no doubt had somehow duped the girl, perhaps to hold the children captive in order to bargain their lives for his fellows. His second thought was for stout rope. “Azhar, go search the camp for rope, blankets, cloaks anything we can lower down for the children to scamper up. ”

“What about this one under the wagon?” she began.

“That's the way to find them!” Carl said, impressed by her resourcefulness. “But this one here's too stiff. If the children get tangled up in it when its wet, they might drown. Now hurry off and bring what you can.”

Azhar needed little encouragement, but had already set off on her search. Carl then bent under the wagon, and reaching in the hammock, pulled out a length of iron just a little longer than his arm. Still squatting, he hit his palm with it testing it's weight. Good and heavy, it would have to do the trick.

Running then to the edge of the pit, he was surprised to hear Athwen's gentle voice emanating from the darkness, as she spoke moving among the frightened children. He had assumed that she would have gone to get Dorran or Lindir's help. But where had the orc gone, that Azhar had mentioned? Carl looked about him and seeing nothing extraordinary, kneeled cautiously to peer into the hole. He could hear splashing and an occasional echoing voice, but could see only the little circle that was illuminated by the sunlight overhead. And what he saw troubled him greatly. A bedraggled and wide-eyed child clutching a boulder looked back at him from the murky water that covered the floor of the pit. What could have happened? Carl's mind raced as he tried to assess the situation. Was the plug leaking? And if that was the case, then the pressure of the water behind it could cause it to completely collapse at any minute. If only he could swim, he might be able to make a patch somehow, but it was impossible now. The water in the other chamber must be well over Lindir's head, let alone a hobbit's.

“Carl!” he heard Athwen call out from the darkness.

“Oh, Miss Athwen I'm so sorry for getting you in this mess!” I shouldn't have been in such a hurry before. But we have to get you and and the children out of here as soon as possible! What can you tell me? Is the water raising fast? Is everyone alright?”

“We are alright for the moment, but the water is rising quickly, and one of the children is pinned by a rock near the wall.” Even though the woman's voice remained calm and even, he knew she could sense the jeopardy they where in.

Tucking the iron bar through his belt, Carl lowered himself into the hole, so that he hung down precariously holding on to the edge of it. And pausing just a moment he dropped down in to the pit, quickly finding that it deeper than he had thought. When he surfaced again, Athwen had a hold of is arm, keeping him above water with one hand and holding the fallen rope with the other. Seeing his mistake, he spluttered “Azhar's gone to find more rope, or something else we can climb out with. But we have to get that youngster free first before we can shinny up and out.”

Athwen guided him to the back of the pit, to the place in the rock wall where Ina struggled to keep her head above the water. It was woefully dark, and removing the iron bar from his belt, Carl could not see where to place it in order to pry the child free. Athwen and he tried many places, but between the dark and the difficulty caused by the water, they had no success. Just a Carl was becoming discouraged, he heard a low rumbling noise behind them that waxed into speech. “No brains, no strength, just jumping in the water like drowning toad.” Gwella said approaching them, her eyes naturally accustomed to the dark. Carl was at a loss how to respond. This was obviously the orc Azhar had mentioned, but why hadn't Athwen warned him that one was in the pit with them. And held up in the water by the kind lady, he was aware that he must be a comical site. Still he brandished the iron as menacingly as he could manage.

“Here, you squash little bug this way.” Gwella said twisting the iron from his grasp easily. And as she moved toward the child with it, Ina gave a the most terrified scream at the orc's approach. His heart rent, Carl broke loose from Athwen's grasp, trying unsuccessfully to catch Gwella. But Athwen quickly rescued him, catching him up again.

Reaching the child, the orc rammed the bar under the rock and began pushing it down with all her strength. Still the stone didn't budge. After a few moments, the lady moved to help Gwella, and before long orc, woman and hobbit where all working together, and the rock finally gave way, rolling to the bottom of the pit. Scooping up the child before they could stop her, Gwella lumbered toward the pit's opening, the frightened Ina howling in her arms all the while.

Last edited by Hilde Bracegirdle; 01-01-2008 at 11:35 AM.
Hilde Bracegirdle is offline  
Old 01-03-2008, 08:38 PM   #437
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
 
Child of the 7th Age's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,135
Child of the 7th Age is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
Lindir and Aiwendil

After the two women had spoken, Aiwendil had pulled Lindir over to his side and growled impatiently. "The free peoples of Arda do not strike down those who ask for mercy. You heard what the woman said....that they fled the plantation and are searching for a place to call their own. Can we deny them what we ourselves seek? This is how we respond to another's quest for freedom? What does that make us? I, for one, will have no part of it."

Lindir doggedly shook his head and stared over at the spot where the orc captives were pinioned on the ground. "My mind is little different than yours, although I have trouble believing this is taking place. In all my years on Arda, in all the battles and skirmishes I have seen, not once has this happened. Never has an orc made such a request. And, to be truthful, this is the first time that I have heard a female orc speak in public. Perhaps there is some shred of hope for a peace that not only binds men but at least a few of those who go by the name of orc."

"But Aiwendil, how are we to do this? For you and I to talk so lightly is one thing, but many here bear scars on their bodies from the daggers and lashes of the orcs. I can announce that a request such as this must be met with mercy. But do you think that all these men would agree? And if only one lashes out and strikes a blow, I fear it will be the beginning of a blood bath. Even if each of us in the fellowship come to an agreement, I do not see the former slaves following along so easily."

There was a long moment of silence. Lindir was about to admit defeat, but was suddenly stopped by Aiwendil who grabbed his shoulder and whispered excitedly, "Look, look over there.....our answer." There was a sly grin on the older man's face as he pointed towards a sight almost as strange as that of two female orcs begging for mercy. A scruffy looking Rôg was being prodded along, seemingly threatened by two tough looking females and the younger orc.

"Don't worry. He's alright. They won't hurt him," Aiwendil reassured the elf.

"Perhaps it would be better to say "can't hurt him". Lindir's eyes fleetingly met those of Aiwendil. It was the first time the two had acknowledged that they shared a piece of information that was not known to most of the others who were gathered on the plain. "I suppose if anyone could pull this off safely, it would be Rôg and it does give us what we need...."

Stepping to the front, Lindir spoke with authority, "Enough Qat. Beloan is right. Khamir too. Our minds have been too long on this. And which of you would act differently than these women if you found your families under attack? This whole escapade has taken our minds off what it should be on: protecting our women, our children and finding a piece of land. There has been enough killing in the last two days. This handful of orcs poses no real threat. If they come against us in an attack, we will teach them a lesson. But for now let them go."

"Swords down, step back!" Lindir commanded the men who still had the male orcs under their control. "And you!" He pointed towards the two females. "Let go of the man, or I will personally make things very unpleasant for you."

****************

Gwella

"You be Ina?" Gwella eyed the child in her arms. "Shut up nice, and Gwella will get you a big piece of horsemeat once we get loose. Just hold on now. I'll make sure you stay dry." The female orc lifted the child onto her back and urged Ina to put her hands around Gwella's neck and shoulders. Whether the child was pacified by the orc's explanation or was simply too tired to keep yelling, the crying in the cave actually stopped. Ina clung to Gwella for dear life, but kept her eyes closed so she didn't have to look at her rescuer's face or body.

"Where's Azhar? Where's the rope?" Gwella complained as she tottered on the ledge. She clung to a small indention in the cave wall that was located above the water line but far below the actual exit. "I can't climb higher without a rope. Stupid little man, " she glared at Carl, "bring rope next time!"

Last edited by Child of the 7th Age; 01-04-2008 at 12:52 AM.
Child of the 7th Age is offline  
Old 01-04-2008, 02:31 AM   #438
Undómë
Shade of Carn Dûm
 
Undómë's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 400
Undómë has just left Hobbiton.
‘Let go of the man, or I will personally make things very unpleasant for you.’

Zagra quailed at the tall man’s threatening words and demeanor. Having no knowledge of Elves, she made no difference between him and the other men. Rather she sorted him into what she knew, what was familiar. ‘Overseer,’ she whispered, dropping the shovel in the dirt. It sent wisps of dust curling up her legs as she drew in upon herself, trying to make herself small, unnoticeable. She whimpered, shivering where she stood.

‘Overseer! Sha!!’ Mazhg snorted, motioning for her sister come stand beside her. She put her free arm protectively about Zagra. ‘Great big stupid man! Big yeller, that’s all he is. Pretty face windbag. All talk he’ll be.’ She put on her fiercest face, wondering all the while if perhaps she and Zagra should just take to their heels right now.

‘You . . . man,’ she hissed under her breath at Rôg. ‘Are we done now? They going to do what that loud one tells ‘em?’ She nudged him with her knee. ‘Maybe you take the first step, huh?’
Undómë is offline  
Old 01-05-2008, 10:14 PM   #439
piosenniel
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
 
piosenniel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pickin' flowers with Bill the Cat.....
Posts: 7,791
piosenniel is a guest of Tom Bombadil.
‘Swords down, step back!’ Rôg raised up his head and looked toward the ragged line of Orcs and their would-be executioners. The men did not respond at once to the Elf’s command. Their eyes, instead, seemed to flick from one to another and linger then with a certain distaste on the Orc males. Rôg’s own eyes slid up with a quick glance to see how his two captors were taking in the threat Lindir had made to them. Taking in their appearance and attire he wondered what sort of unpleasantness anyone might think could exceed that which they had already endured.

‘You . . . man,’ the fiercer one had hissed at Rôg. ‘Are we done now? They going to do what that loud one tells ‘em?’

‘I don’t know,’ he spoke low. He dared a small, warm smile up at the more nervous of the Orcs. ‘I think you’re right, though,’ he went on quickly, to the other one. He lumbered up to his feet, making it look as if it took an effort to do so. ‘I’ll make the first move.’

He took a few stumbling steps away from his captors, waving his arms in the air to show he was no longer held. The hesitation previously seen by him seemed to fade away as he drew nearer. Some of the men stepped forward to lend him support and others of the fellowship stepped away from the Orc captives, their knives no longer threatening. Though, not all put away their blades altogether. What the Orcs were doing, he could not say. His view of them was blocked as some of his companions gathered about him.

Somewhere to his left, an anxious and insistent voice called out loudly. The attention of the group turned toward the source as they struggled to sort out the reasons for such alarm.....

Last edited by piosenniel; 01-06-2008 at 01:02 AM.
piosenniel is offline  
Old 01-07-2008, 03:57 PM   #440
Nogrod
Flame of the Ainulindalë
 
Nogrod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wearing rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves in a field behaving as the wind behaves
Posts: 9,051
Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.Nogrod has passed beneath the Argonath.
Send a message via MSN to Nogrod
Gwerr

Gwerr knew that humans could be weird. Sometimes the humans acted straightforwardly and reasonably - like these men who were to execute them and to be done away with them. That was the kind of thinking Gwerr understood. If there was a problem you dealt with it the most efficient way. Plain and simple. He had killed too many during his life to think of it as anything else than just a natural thing. When there's a conflict of interests too deep one kills or gets killed. This time the dices had rolled finally against him, Ishkur and Colagar who had managed to evade death so long. Anyway it had to happen one day and this day was no worse day for it than any other.

But then there were these other humans who complicated matters and took their considerations to absurdities.

Sure one lived and let live. Gwerr was too old and experienced to enjoy killing at whim or to be reckless with decisions concerning letting others live. The amusement of violence had faded away millenia ago and he had learned that with bad luck a haphazard kill might haunt one afterwards as real threats. But if there was an actual threat then getting rid of it was as natural as scratching an itching part of your body. A natural law of life and death.

What was the most astonishing to Gwerr was that some humans seemed to waver between being sensible and fools. Like this Beloan who seemed to be somekind of a leader here, or his kind of apprentice, the young guy. That was not the case with the one-armed man and the bearded giant. They were men he understood and which he could respect as enemies.

But then everything went crazy. First there was Grask. He could be apologised as he was both young and fool and as his act showed some spirit. But what about these two females, Urga and Ungolt, what were they thinking? Pleading for mercy? Giving themselves up to the mercy of the enemy without a fight? Had they lost their minds? Had they become these wavering humans? Did he know them anymore? Why had they been picked to their runaway bunch in the first place?

Then there was the show Zagra and Mazhg made with one of the men. That was more like it even if it was downright weird and Gwerr couldn't fathom the logic there... Why take the risk as they could've just followed these humans stealing goods every now and then to stay alive until they reached safer environments?

But it gave Gwerr the hope. It gave him the hope of a chance to avoid death one more time...

As soon as Rôg had taken his first wawering steps towards the crowd and wawed his hands the men took a step back releasing their blades from their throats. Gwerr decided to take his chances and stood up as well. As he went up he shoved Ishkur as hard as he could with his shoulder with his arms tied behind his back.

"Quickly now you maggot... they may change their minds. We should be the first ones clear of this", he hissed from between his teeth. "We should not let that female mock us that way another time..."

He stood upright and started walking towards Rôg. He heard Ishkur was following him so he didn't need to look back. There was no sound of any human coming after him.

They walked towards Rôg. Gwerr could sense that at least some of the other orcs had stood up as well. He looked at the man coming towards him. Rôg looked like a tough man who clearly was in command of himself. Too much indeed! There's something wrong here!

Gwerr went to his instincts. They called him to stay calm and to continue. There was something that was very wrong here but it was not against them.

There was a loud yell. "So we just let them go like that?" It was Qat who watched the orcs starting their silent march away from the execution. "Was there a deal we'd change them to this easterling, now was there? I never made one!"

Just a few steps... just a few steps... pass this man and then I can make a run...

Last edited by Nogrod; 01-07-2008 at 04:01 PM.
Nogrod is offline  
 

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:54 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.