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 03-15-2008, 11:24 AM   #241
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Thorn

Hands were laid on him and he was unceremoniously pushed into the hall.

"You heard Brodda, this is Lord Uldor's prisoner, so I'm taking personal responsibility for him, and if any of you others have any complaints on that score-" the dark-haired man cast a baleful eye around at other guards who did not look pleased "-you can take them to Lord Uldor when he gets here."

"Fancy words, Anydor," said one of the taller guards, "but it was Uldor's man who brought him and so of course he says wait for Uldor, but more likely the order came from Ulfast."

"So that's how it's going to be, is it, Clegga?" said Anydor. "Uldor's men, to me! Let's put this upstart in his place, where his upstart favorite will no doubt be before too long!"

Clegga's eyes smoldered. "Ulfast's men, to me! We all know Uldor's a treacherous rogue who forfeited his claim but won it back through foul play! To me Ulfastings!"

Quickly, the men in the room formed two companies facing each other, with hands on hilts, eyeing each other angrily, waiting for the least provocation. A handful of men had stood aside and watched the two groups of guards nervously.

"What of them?" Thorn asked of Anydor, who still held his upper arm in a vice-grip.

"Never mind, traitor!" He faced Clegga. "You see we have the greater number, so stand down, fool."

Clegga glanced at those who had not taken sides. "We of Ulfast have no quarrel with those who love Ulwarth best, but know that if Uldor becomes lord of the Ulfings, it will go ill with all those who do not favor him now. To me, Ulwarthings!"

A three way civil war right in the great hall, thought Thorn. This could undermine the Bauglir's plans if it could be used so. He wondered what would happen next.

Lachrandir

Lachrandir remembered the woman Jord, from the banquet, how Uldor had seemed ready to eat out of her hand. This young woman's words did fit the pattern. Lachrandir had not been impressed with much from the Ulfing lords until this day when their prowess of arms came clear in the hunt, and he had been ready on that basis to report to Lord Caranthir that the Ulfings would make good allies. But base treachery, like that which the woman spoke of, threatened to turn the tide away from the Fëanorians and their allies, in favor of Morgoth.

"Woman, I am convinced that you believe what you are saying. Further, it is clear to me that you are speaking to me to no advantage for yourself, at least that I can yet see. Therefore, I am given to believe you. Therefore-"

His words were interrupted by the screech of a large bird that suddenly flew into the clearing. It came hurtling at him.
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 03-22-2008, 04:14 PM   #242
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
It was not a bird. It was a bat. Or it seemed at least, though it was larger than any bat they had ever seen and it was indistinct, as if it was not wholly bat, but unsure of its own being, a creature caught between natures and cloaked by shadow. The great shadow-bat soared over the trees, beating its great translucent wings of trailing gossamer, then swept down towards them with terrifying speed. Its claws were long, and made of cold iron.

As Jord (for Jord it was) had stood triumphantly over the body of Khandr in the dusty street wiping the last trickle of blood from her lips, she felt a spasm of power ripple through her body. She waited, breathing heavily. It hit her again, driving cramps through her arms and neck. She looked down towards Khandr, and then at the blood still on her fingertips. Was it possible? she thought. As the power-spasm hit her a third time, her head was thrown back instinctively and her arms flew straight out, fingers splayed wide. This time, the power did not leave her. It rose in her throat, taking possession of her being. A darkness from the blood pooling about her feet began to swirl close about her, until it had obscured her from sight completely. Then, it dissipated in the blink of an eye. Jord had changed.

She was now winged and mantled by shadow. Her fingers had grown long and cruel. Her face remained Jord's, but there was no longer any color in it, save a the blood-red of her lips, between which a row of sharp, white teeth could be seen. Her dark hair had become dull and black as soot, and it blew about her face in an unnatural, chill wind which emanated from her own person. The only light in that dark figure was the glittering of the iron claws which protruded from her hands, the glittering of her sharp white teeth, and the glittering of her eyes.

She spoke not a word as she examined her claws and her wings. Everything was just as she remembered it, if not quite as vivid. She laughed quietly to herself. The change triggered by the drinking of Khandr's blood had been painful, but now that it was made, she wondered how she had ever been content in a mortal shape. She knew that it would not last long without the taste of new blood. But she smiled, for her sudden need for blood lent itself well to her task.

"And now the elf lord," she said, and then was gone, thrown skyward by a single great sweep of her wings.

In the clearing she found him and two others. Into their midst she hurtled like the Hammer of Morgoth, landing in a crouch. A great slash of her deceptively delicate wings threw both Fastarr and Embla to the ground with tremendous force, ten feet behind her, even as she was rising to face Lachrandir. Then, quick as a wink, her cruel, clawed fingers flashed out and seized the elf lord by the neck. She lifted him from the ground with utter ease and looked into his eyes.

"Do you know me, Feanorian? I am Thuringwethil, and I have come to destroy your people."

Last edited by Gwathagor; 03-22-2008 at 04:19 PM.
Gwathagor is offline  
Old 03-24-2008, 02:18 AM   #243
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Lachrandir

So it was true. What more could be said, or done? The Ulfings would betray Lord Caranthir, and it was beyond Lachrandir's power to stop them; unless - -

Lachrandir reached for his sword and began to draw it, but before he could, he felt the monster's claws tear into his throat. He knew his life was at an end. Where was Tathren? Maybe there was a moment yet in which he could send him a thought.
Tathren! Treason!
It was all he could manage; his life was spent.

Thorn

Clegga of the Ulfastings glanced at those who had not taken sides. "We of Ulfast have no quarrel with those who love Ulwarth best, but know that if Uldor becomes lord of the Ulfings, it will go ill with all those who do not favor him now. To me, Ulwarthings!"

A three way civil war right in the great hall, thought Thorn. This could undermine the Bauglir's plans if it could be used so. He wondered what would happen next.

Anydor, the leader of the Uldoring guards spoke next. "You play a dangerous game, Clegga. Be not a fool! You will not cow us! If we have pitched battle over this lone prisoner, it will be for nought, for you know as well as I that lord Ulfang has chosen Uldor as next lord, and once he comes upon this hall and sees bodies littering the floor, he will restore his place with an iron hand, and let any who stand in his way beware for their life and limb." He turned to the Ulwarthings. "Consider well, Ulwarthings, before you commit treason. Stand down, if you are not fools."

The Ulwarthings looked one to the other and one by one sheathed their blades.

Anydor cracked a grim smile. "Now then, Clegga, choose carefully your next deed."

Clegga looked at his fellows and with a scowl said, "Now is not the time to bring to Ulfast what is rightly his." He sheathed his sword, and his fellows did likewise.

"You are not so foolish," Anydor said. "Make way to the dungeon!"
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 03-31-2008, 05:20 PM   #244
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Thorn sat in the dungeon, waiting and thinking. It was not a thoroughly disgusting and inhospitable place, for it was not marred with filth from past prisoners. In fact, it could hardly be called a dungeon. More like a cellar in which had been placed a bench. But it was dark.

One could only sleep so much. Thorn listened for the Song but could hear little of it. They had taken his staff from him, believing it to be a means of power; it was not. Rather, it was a means of focusing his thought. So without it, listening for the Song was harder.

Still, he was not troubled overmuch. He knew that he would be brought before the Ulfing lords and questioned before he died. He would use it to greatest advantage. Till then, he waited.
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 04-02-2008, 02:25 PM   #245
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
Embla and Fastarr in trouble

It was Embla who saw first the beast coming towards them.

"The vampire! The vampire from my vision!" she shrieked an tried to grasp Fastarr from the sleeve.

Fastarr felt his blood freezing with the sight of the oncoming creature. And it approached unimaginably fast. There was no time to think. Only time to act.

Fastarr had time to take one step and to swing his staff. He hit the creature just as it passed them. It was a blow that would have stopped a racing bull. But it had no effect on Thuringwethil. On the contrary Fastarr realised he was flying through the air and hitting the ground many feet away. Embla came stumbling down on him.

What is that monster-vampire? Fastarr managed to turn his head back towards the scene only to see the beast holding the elf-lord in it's talons and blood bursting all around. Instinctively he grasped Embla to his arms letting her not to turn towards the butchering.

"What... what is it... doing?" Embla mumbled in shakingly to Fastarr's ear while holding him tight. Her whole body was trembling... like Fastarr's.

Fastarr rolled himself to his knees and started dragging Embla away from the terrible sight. "Hurry now, he's dead and we can't do anything... Hurry now, let me help you..." Fastarr rose to his feet panting and pulled Embla up from the ground. He glanced quickly back to the ugly scene. Thuringwetil was stil holding the now lifeless elf in her talons.

"Run Embla, run!" he shouted and pushed her away from the beast just to see the Ulfing lords following the carnage on the slow hill just opposite of them. They looked like there was a spell on them as they stood there steady and expressionless, like time had stopped their bodies and faces... and even their souls into that posture.

"Noo!" Fastarr managed to grasp Embla back from the shoulder as she was starting to make a run towards the Ulfings. "Not there, not there!" He pulled her towards him to shelter her. Where are our horses? Where's that other elf? Where's my staff?

There was no going back or forward and the spell of the moment in the middle would be soon broken.

Last edited by Nogrod; 04-02-2008 at 02:30 PM.
Nogrod is offline  
Old 04-19-2008, 04:18 PM   #246
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.
Uldor did not see what took place in the clearing. None of the Ulfings did. The servants were yet busy about the boar, others were holding the horses. The three brothers sat mounted on their horses, forming a triangle with their backs to each other.

Uldor was consumed with impatience. Discontent, treason, and fear of treason in return never let him sit still for long without doubts creeping into his mind. Now he sat in restrained silence thinking about what the two, frantic Borrim might possibly have to say to Lachrandir in private.

“I should not have let them go,” he muttered. “Whatever they have to say to him should be for my ears as well.” His hand shifted and then clenched on his knee. His horse moved uneasily beneath him, and then suddenly lifted his head and gave a shrill neigh.

“Quiet, you beast!” Uldor exclaimed angrily. The horse’s noise subsided into an uneasy rumble in his throat, but his ears and head were still up.

At that moment, the shouts of a man reached the Ulfings’ ears. All the heads of both man and horse turned and looked in the direction the elves had gone. Tathren, who had remained behind, suddenly leaped back upon his horse and urged it into the trees, disappearing from sight almost at once.

“Ulfast!” Uldor called out behind him and spurred his horse forward without waiting to see if his brother would follow. He trotted through the trees and came to the clearing. He stopped his horse abruptly and his mouth opened at the sight before him.

Tathren knelt above the still and bloody figure of Lachrandir. The Borrim were nowhere in sight, and the killer, whoever it had been, was gone also

Udlor dismounted and hurried over. “What has happened? How was he killed?”

Tathren did not reply immediately. His throat worked momentarily as he tried to swallow. “I don’t know,” he finally got out. “But Lachrandir knew there was treason. He told me.”

Last edited by Folwren; 04-19-2008 at 09:29 PM.
Folwren is offline  
Old 04-23-2008, 10:24 PM   #247
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
At the sound of the hoofbeats, Jord had fled the bloody meadow on pale shadow-wings, leaving no trace of her presence save the slaughtered corpse of Lachrandir. High she flew now, high above the clouds and human sight, as silent as death, back to the village. It was well begun now, well set in motion. As far as she knew, Lachrandir's had been the sole remaining voice which could turn Uldor's ear from her own counsel. With he and Khandr dead, the path to Uldor seemed clear. With a few deft twists and squeezes, she would soon have him doing her will - it did not matter whether he knew it or not.

The murders would serve a double purpose. Not only had they eliminated the chief obstacles to her goal, but they could now be used to foster further contention, distrust, and infighting among these dirty humans.

Jord dropped straight down out of the sky with the speed of a thunderbolt, and landed with perfect grace on the high roof of the Great Hall - all without making a sound. It was the work of a moment for her to slip over the edge of the roof and through the window into her chamber. Almost immediately, sharp pains began to wrack her body as her god-like bat-form diminished and dwindled, losing its claws and wings and fear-inspiring presence. She cringed, and not just from the pain; she had remembered how much she enjoyed being a vampire.

As soon as she had crossed back over into that wretched human-form, she would put on a new dress.

The one she was wearing was dirty.
Gwathagor is offline  
Old 04-24-2008, 02:20 PM   #248
Lalaith
Blithe Spirit
 
Lalaith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,744
Lalaith is a guest at the Prancing Pony.Lalaith is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Embla’s natural impulse was to succumb to hysterical panic – to sink to her knees and bury her face in the ground to get away from all the horror. But as she fell, there was something that forced her to stay in focus. It came – a vision, a fissure of clarity - trying to fight its way to the surface of her consciousness. “Fastarr...” at first she was whispering his name, then it turned into a hoarse, desperate scream, and she clutched feverishly at his tunic. “Khandr is dead. I can see him. They have killed him too. Oh Fastarr, please, let us run....” She kept talking, babbling insanely, hoping that somehow, the words would build a wall between them and the deadly threat hovering over them.
Fastarr looked at her blindly, as if he did not understand. He simply pulled her to her feet, stared at her, and because of the growing bond between them she instantly understood that it was time for action not words. Together, hand in hand, they ran frantically deeper into the forest. The horses they so desperately sought were gone - driven by their natural beast-like instincts to flee from the terror of Morgoth. Now the couple were alone amid the darkness of the trees, and danger was close behind them.
Lalaith is offline  
Old 05-01-2008, 02:31 PM   #249
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,696
Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
It seemed to Tathren that his heart rose in his chest stopping his throat from uttering more even if he could: he could hear its pounding as the beat of mighty wings. His dark hair fell about his face as he knelt over his lord's body but it could not conceal that he was weeping; the sobs that broke from him convulsed his slight frame. Though his voice had been quenched by tears, words coursed through his mind, words that every Noldo knew even if they had not been alive to hear them, even if they defied them:

Tears unnumbered ye shall shed;.. not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Feanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them it shall be laid also. Their Oath shall drive them, and yet betray them, To evil end shall all things turn that they begin well; and by treason of kin unto kin, and the fear of treason, shall this come to pass.

Betrayal, Treason. He thought of Lachrandir's desperate last message as his tears mingled with the blood that had stained the star of Feanor on the elf-lord's breast.

Ye have spilled .. blood .., unrighteously ... For blood ye shall render blood,

He gazed at the vicious wounds on Lachrandir's neck .... what instrument could have done this? The man and woman who had led him away seemed unarmed but perhaps they had concealed some dreadful weapon. Lachrandir's own blade was half drawn but unstained, and so keen-edged were the knives of the Noldor that one stroke would have sufficed. His master's neck had been pierced in many places, yet he with his elven swiftness had been unable to make even a single strike in defence.

He touched the wounds horrified yet fascinated, so much blood ... how could he have relished the prospect of the hunt? Now he knew what death really looked like. Though his father and blood-uncle had been slain at the Dagor Bragollach, their was a remoteness about their deaths that his child's mind had filled with glorious notions of heroism and valour. Never had he imagined that the death of a great warrior, a Companion of Caranthir no less, could be as mundane as slaughtering a beast.

.. ye shall dwell in Death's shadow... slain ye may be, and slain ye shall be: by weapon and by torment and by grief; and your houseless spirits shall come then to Mandos. There long shall ye abide and yearn for your bodies, and find little pity

He wept not only for the lord he had called Uncle and loved more than the one who had held more right to the title - whose conviction that his brother's lad was a milksop would not have been dimmed had he been able to observe him now - but the father he had lost before he really had the chance to know him. A craftsman by choice and a warrior by force he had become an exile through a loyalty to his own brother that the kinslaying had strained but not quite broken, and though guiltless shared his doom. He had passed to his son a greater reverence for the Valar than was held by most of his kindred in Middle Earth. So though he had no expectation that he might be heard on the edges of the world by the one who might offer pity, in his heart he invoked the vala Nienna and made her an offering of his grief, in the hope she would show her compassion to those he loved who were now in Mandos' keeping.

Whether by the intercession of the Lady of Mourning or no, his own tears subsided and he looked up to see the other hunters regarding him with ..... what? He had not yet learnt to read these mortals; but he guessed that they wished to be away from this place of death.

"I'm not leaving him, I did not stay with him and he died" he said at last. "I will not leave him now." . Then, on this occasion able to comprehend the bafflement in their faces he repeated it in a language they understood.

Last edited by Mithalwen; 05-30-2008 at 02:32 PM.
Mithalwen is offline  
Old 05-10-2008, 09:21 PM   #250
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.
The boy-elf wept bitterly. Uldor had carried no conception of the relative youth of Tathren until this moment, as he knelt above his fallen master. He understood his strange emotions even less than he understood the language in which Tathren addressed him by eventually.

“I am not leaving him,” he finally told the men standing around. “I did not stay with him and he died. I will not leave him now.”

Uldor stepped forward, and opened his mouth, about to ask ‘Will your remaining with him change anything now?’, but respect for the dead and the obvious grief for him kept him quiet. Instead, he changed his words to, “Very well. Two of the servants will stay with you. We will return and send a wain to bear him back in.”

Without waiting for any sign or answer, Uldor strode away.

What did this mean? Who killed him? Why was he killed? This could ruin all of his plans. What could he do now? What word could he send back to Lord Caranthir? What to the Great Lord Morgoth?

His fist clenched viciously at his side. This was a nasty turn of events for him and he knew it very well indeed.

“Ulfast, lord Lachrandir has been killed,” Uldor snapped when he reached his horse. He jerked the reins out of his squire’s hands and mounted impatiently. “We must return home at once.”

“How was he killed?” Ulfast questioned.

“How the blazes am I to know?” Uldor snarled. He glared at his brother, before turning his horse about to face his attendants. Two of them he told to go and stay with Tathren and the fallen elf. The rest he informed abruptly that the hunt was over and they were returning to the settlement.
Folwren is offline  
Old 05-15-2008, 10:58 AM   #251
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,696
Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Tathren watched Ulfast for a moment as he went back the way they had come. For a while he would be alone with his master. He surveyed the Lachrandir's body, a distorted tangle of limbs, head cast back at an unnatural angle giving full view of the wounds on his neck. It was unbearable to see him thus. The image would ever after be vivid in his mind but he did not immediately register that the posture was one of someone who had fallen to the ground from a height rather than his own feet. Not yet capable of rational thought, Tathren followed some instinct to restore some of the the elf lord's dignity.

He gently manoeuvred the corpse so it lay straight, folded Lachrandir's long. slender hands on his breast so they rested on the Star of Feanor. He folded his cloak and placed it under Lachrandir's head.

Feeling the warmth fade from the emissary's body caused tears to rise again in the boy's eyes. He wiped his face with his sleeve and then remembered he had a clean kerchief in his pocket, an ignored token of his mother's solicitude. He refolded the dark blue cloth on the diagonal and tucked into the neck of Lachrandir's tunic it served to conceal his wounds.

Tathren stood and was satisfied with the result. He might almost be asleep he thought, save that there is no life in his eyes. It had not occured to the elf to close them.

He heard movement behind him and turned expecting to see the servants Uldor had promised. They were approaching but were preceded by Lachrandir's great grey stallion. Tathren did not know whether he had sought his master or just the company of the colt but neither beast had recoiled or fled and flanked the boy as he stood at the elf lord's feet. The young elf acknowledged the servant's arrival with a nod but did not speak and whether through respect or fear they dared not disturb his silent vigil with question or condolence.

Last edited by Mithalwen; 05-24-2008 at 09:29 AM.
Mithalwen is offline  
Old 05-15-2008, 07:15 PM   #252
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
“Ulfast, lord Lachrandir has been killed,” Uldor snapped as he mounted. “We must return home at once.”

That familiar hardening twinged in his gut in response to Uldor acting as if he had the right to command him. But Ulfast had a question.

"How was he killed?"

"How in blazes am I to know?" Uldor had asnwered hotly, and gave orders here and there as if Ulfast did not exist.

"Uldor, dear brother, you have no right to order my men about in my presence. Tell me what you want to do and I'll order my men."

Uldor favored him with a disgusted look and rode ahead.

Ulfast cursed. This was not going well. With each day it seemed that Uldor took a firmer grip of command, threatening to leave him as an afterthought. Ulfast cursed some more. He would regret it! He thought that he had the right to rule from father Ulfang, but Ulfast knew better. He and Jord had had words, close words, and he had been assured that Lord Morgoth looked upon him as the more favorable next lord of the Ulfings. The Great One had suggested that there would be rich reward in lands much greater and finer than these rough woods where they now lived. And he had hinted that this Jord would be his queen to own and give greater legitimacy to his claim as overlord of all Men in Beleriand. All he had to do was bide his time, and give command to his men in battle to turn against the arrogant Elves, and Morgoth and Jord would see to it that Uldor was taken out of the way and all the reward would go to him.

Where was Jord? Ulfast wanted to see her again. His mouth went dry and he licked his lips. He kicked his mount harder, urging it back to the hall.

Last edited by littlemanpoet; 05-26-2008 at 08:15 AM.
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 06-11-2008, 09:10 PM   #253
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
Jord stepped out of her room and shut the door behind her quietly. Then, with surprising quickness and lightness of foot, she glided down the flight of stairs leading to the main floor of the hall, and paused briefly at the bottom. She listened for a moment to reassure herself that her return had indeed been unnoticed, and then stalked out into the main hall. There, among the many-shadowed pillars near the great front doors she waited still and silent, unnoticed by the soldiers and villagers who intermittently passed through, going about their daily tasks.

Uldor and Ulfast would soon be back from their little hunt. Boyish games, she thought. Childish shows of power. Power! To kill a dumb animal! Ha! Jord laughed long and low. All their days were spent grappling for power, (like jackdaws after bits of broken glass, she thought) and yet they knew nothing of the thing they sought. Not as she knew it.

She would wait for them there, to speak with them when they returned from their hunt-game. There were new developments; the time was nearing. With her power restored to her, Jord felt that she could hasten the end of her labor in that petty, wretched little sty.

The great doors swung open suddenly with a long drawn out moan of rusty hinges, and Uldor strode in, followed closely by Ulfast and the hunting party. Ulfing guards held the heavy doors until all had entered, then shut them with a boom. Jord noticed that even once they were inside, the guards remained unusually close by the two princes, and whispered among themselves, casting furtive glances into the shadows. Extra torches were lit and placed in wall sockets, and guards were posted near all the doors. Something had them worried, and Jord knew full well that she was responsible. Let them worry! she thought. She had no desire to kill either Uldor or Ulfast. Not yet, anyway.

Jord stepped forward into the torch-light. Ulfast saw her first, and stopped where he stood, staring at her dumbly. She tilted her head and smiled slightly, then beckoned him over.
Gwathagor is offline  
Old 06-13-2008, 07:27 PM   #254
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Ulfast glanced surreptitiously at his older brother, who had just noticed Jord also. Had he seen that little tilt of the head, that single finger beckoning? He gave no sign. But it would be untoward to talk to Jord in front of all these guards and his own brother. He gave one nod of his head and glanced meaningfully toward his private room, hoping she would understand.

Anydor, Uldor's chief guard, and Clegga, his own, vied with each other to give news of the captive who had been imprisoned for treason. The man called himself Thorn. Did Uldor and Ulfast want him brought out for questioning now?

Uldor was ready to question the prisoner right away.

Ulfast said, "First, brother, I would get out of this bloodstained tunic and eat and drink, for I am famished. I see blood on you as well. What say you? The prisoner can moulder another hour."
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 06-15-2008, 08:40 AM   #255
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
Embla and Fastarr

The two paused after they reached the peak of the hill. It was only then they realised they had been climbing slowly all the time as they ran. They were both panting heavily.

Embla looked at Fastarr questioningly and still frightened. Fastarr set his arm on her shoulder and nodded trying to look as comforting he could. "No... we're safe now... for a while." He glanced backwards and then continued his breath still heavy. "It's gone, it flew away...somewhere... And they're gone as well... They rode to the town. I heard them."

"Look! It's the elves!" Embla hissed suddenly pointing downwards.

In the distance below them they saw a wain pulled by two horses carrying Lacharandir's body and the other elf was riding slow behind him. Two men at arms were escorting them.

They followed them with their eyes until they disappeared behind a ridge.

"Do you think we should have tried to get the message to him?" Fastarr asked a bit confused nodding to the direction where they had gone.

Embla was silent for a moment still staring to where they had disappeared but then turned her head and met Fastarr's gaze. "No... he wouldn't have believed us... I'm afraid he wouldn't have even listened to us..." She frowned but still tried to brave a smile. "What a twisted world we live in..." she sighed and sat down.

Fastarr sat down beside her. They eyed each other feeling uncertain. They both knew they would have to make decisions but neither dared to open on the subject.

Finally Fastarr broke the silence.

"There's a war brewing and Borrim villages should be warned... and your village…and I should join the fight..." he almost whispered.

Embla looked at the man.

"Didn't Khandr already sent one of you to warn people? And how would you join the fight without a horse to get you there in time?"

Fastarr didn't answer. A light smile spread over Embla's face as he looked at the man trying to avoid the obvious discussion. And she decided to pre-empt it for good.

"And Thorn is not anymore within our reach either..." she added softly. "He's alone in that town of treachery and if he will be saved it's not his or our doing but that of the Song. And all the others we know are away already."

She laid her hand on Fastarr's and pressed it gently. "It's about what we will do now Fastarr. It's about us now. We can't do anything here or anywhere... don't you see it? There's nothing for either of us anywhere, but..."

Fastarr lifted his face and looked at the woman she had fallen in love with holding his hand and begging for him to say what he needed to say. There were tears forming in his eyes when he finally managed to open his mouth.

He put his other hand over Embla's hand holding his and pressed it firmly looking at her eyes through the tears already running.

"I love you Embla." he said silently. "I'm a failed retainer and bodyguard... and I have killed a man... but if you..."

"Of course I will you dolt!" Embla laughed and threw herself on him wrapping her arms around him. She moved her face close to his ear and whispered softly "I know that the men of your village are quite slow and simple but you must be a special one in that regard..."

Fastarr wasn't sure whether he should have taken that as a pun or as flattery. But he didn't care now. He took hold of her pulling her tight to his body. Their faces met just a few inches away from each other and their eyes were fixed. He felt her breath on his lips and opened his mouth slightly leaning an inch forwards. Their noses touched each other softly. His hand was shaking lightly as he gently stroked her hair.

"Would you love me forever?" Embla whispered her lips touching Fastarr's slightly. "Would you?"

*~*

Embla awoke to the sound of someone approaching. She turned quickly around grasping for Fastarr but he was not there beside her.

"I'm here and we're ready to go!" Fastarr said dropping the sack to the ground and kneeling down to kiss her.

"You shouldn't scare me like that... And what is that sack anyway?" Embla protested leaning away from the man.

Fastarr glanced back at the sack and smiled. "Oh, that?" He stole a kiss from her before continuing. "There's a smoked leg of a lamb, some dried meat, a few loafs of bread, a small cask of wine... hmm... were there something else? Some dried fruit, a few cabbages..."

"Now where did you get that... and where have you been? Leaving me in the first night just like that..." Embla tried to look irritated but failed as her smile shone through her eyes.

"Let's say I visited a farmer and... well I didn't dare to wake him up for such a minor bussiness" Fastarr flashed a smile and tried to steal another kiss.

Embla withdrew from him her eyes slightly startled. "You mean you stole it?"

Fastarr laughed now openly. "No. Good heavens no! I left some coins to his storeroom... I was quite generous as I had my payday just a few days ago."

"You men..." Embla sighed but then the laughter took her as well.

*~*

They walked away from the vicinity of the Ulfing town that morning after a generous breakfast and disappeared into the woods never to be seen or heard again around that part of the Middle-Earth.

Whatever happened to them is not told in this story.

Last edited by Nogrod; 06-16-2008 at 04:08 PM.
Nogrod is offline  
Old 06-16-2008, 10:01 AM   #256
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Uldor glanced at Ulfast with almost hidden disdain and gruffly said that the prisoner could wait. The brothers, including Ulwarth, went off to their private chambers; Ulfast could tell that his way was being shadowed by Jord's gleaming eyes.

He got to his room and left the door open, and began working at the cords that tied his tunic tight upon him. It was not long before he heard the whisper of a presence just beyond the door, a hint of a breeze that told him she was there. He kept his back to the door.

"Well, Jord? Aren't you going to come in?"
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 06-18-2008, 03:09 PM   #257
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,696
Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
The griefstricken experience time in two ways and so it was for Tathren. His world had changed so utterly with his masters death though time had not quite
halted but each moment seemed to expand to accommodate his bewilderment and sorrow. Yet he knew that externally things were as they always had been. The part of him that recognised this was suprised when the wain arrived and realised that the hunt had brought them back close to the Ulfing settlement.

He was loathe to let Ulfast's servants handle his master's body but the wain driver was clearly anxious not to linger in a place where the elf lord had come by a violent and mysterious death and it was a matter of moments before the short cortege left the scene, leaving no trace save blood and that would disappear with the next rain. Were he not for the presence of Lachrandir's body borne before him on the wain, it would seem quite unreal. That and the fact that his master's horse walked riderless beside his own, limiting its stride to match the solemn pace of the draught horses. Tathren remembered how he had struggled to keep up on their journey here and felt the tears rise again. He fought to master them.

This is real, he thought and his heart quailed knowing that he must surely answer for that the decisions he made now before Caranthir himself. Fear speeded the passage of time and all too soon were they passing under the gateway to the settlement. Tathren steeled his courage and gave orders, feigning the manner of his late lord and letting seeming arrogance mask his insecurity.

Lachrandir's body was borne into the great hall and was covered with the standard of Caranthir, that his page had commanded be taken down. Where were the Ulfing lords? Did they not honour the dead? Unable to anticipate what might follow Tathren took refuge in indignation.

Last edited by Mithalwen; 06-19-2008 at 11:23 AM.
Mithalwen is offline  
Old 06-19-2008, 08:58 AM   #258
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
Behind Ulfast, Jord emerged from a shadowy corner of the room and walked forward until she stood between him and the door. His back was still turned to her when she spoke. Her voice was soft and persuasive, but penetrating nonetheless, as if she was speaking straight to Ulfast’s soul.

“Time is precious, Ulfast. The day appointed nears. Why did you delay?”

“My brother--,” began Ulfast.

“Are you a serf or a bondservant that you take orders from your brother, Ulfast?”

“I am a prince of the Ulfings!” Uldor turned to face Jord. “Do not mock me. Do take my favor for granted.”

Jord laughed lightly, but drove her next words, edged with ice, straight through Ulfast’s heart. As he listened, he hung his head.

“There can be only one Prince of the Ulfings, Ulfast. One of you must lead and the other must follow. Who would you serve: Uldor or Morgoth?”

Ulfast looked up at Jord slowly. “You know, Lady.”

“Do I? Only the strong may serve near Lord Morgoth, because only the strong can fulfill his wishes. In serving Uldor, you would serve Morgoth at a safe distance, but the price of that distance is glory. You would ever live in the shadow of your brother.”

Jord paused, letting her words sink in, then changed the subject. She took a few slow steps to the left, letting her long grey gown swirl a bit about her feet. It amused her.

“What do you know of these murders, Ulfast?” She grimaced inwardly, realizing that Ulfast may not yet have known that both Khandr AND Lachrandir were dead. “There have been rumors circling through the hall all day. Or perhaps I should ask Uldor?”

She could not resist the jab, and glanced sideways at Ulfast in anticipation of his reaction, which, she knew, would be priceless.
Gwathagor is offline  
Old 06-27-2008, 06:16 PM   #259
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
“What do you know of these murders, Ulfast?” asked Jord. Murders? thought Ulfast. More than one? Ulfast had only known of the murder of Lachrandir. Was there another he should know about? Had he missed something? Jord continued. “There have been rumors circling through the hall all day." [/i]All day? How could that be? Lachrandir had been murdered perhaps two hours ago. Is she playing cat and mouse with me?[/i] "Or perhaps I should ask Uldor?” She glanced sideways at Ulfast in that way she had, the gleam in the eye, the playful smile on her lips; the play of a predator with its prey. She was trying to provoke him!

"He knows no more than I! We have been hunting side by side all day." His own voice sounded harsh in his ears compared with her purring words. "As to the murder of Lachrandir, it must have been the filty Borrim pair, maybe trying to ruin the pledge between Lord Caranthir and the Ulfings." He still know nothing of a second murder and did not care to admit it. "So tell me what you know of these murders, and what folk are saying."

She spoke of the Borrim lord's death, reported by guards in the hall. He knew that the Borrim would have word back to their folk, and there would be no alliance between Borrim and Ulfing.

"Just as well," Ulfast said, "it means more glory for the Ulfings.

"And as for my brother, you say that I stand in his shadow. It is the way of the Ulfings. He is the elder, and so has right of birth. The only way for me to take his place is for him to die. Am I to murder him? Those who love him would want vengeance on me. Nay, if Morgoth wants me to lead, then Morgoth must see to it that Uldor is removed. Unless you know of another way?"

It was not the most subtle speech, but it would have to do, to give him some kind of advantage. And perhaps Jord knew of a way. This was his chance to learn of it. He watched her carefully to see what he could read in her expression. What would she say?

Last edited by littlemanpoet; 06-29-2008 at 07:11 AM.
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 06-30-2008, 07:20 PM   #260
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.
Uldor had scarcely gotten his cloak and gloves off, before Brodda came to his chambers. Uldor bid him enter and allowed him to speak while he changed and washed.

“I guess you know that the old man is here, locked up,” Brodda began.

“Yes.” He splashed the water over his blood stained hands. “Is that all?”

“No, my lord. I have just learned that Khandr, the Borrim leader, has been murdered.”

“By whom?” Brodda shrugged, but Uldor’s back was to him. “Well?” Udlor snapped.

“I don’t know. No one does.”

Of all the most annoying things to happen, besides Lachrandir being killed, this had to be the worst. Why couldn’t someone murder Ulfast or Ulwarth? Get rid of some competition, instead of killing off his potential allies.

“I am dressed and ready. Go and tell my tardy brother that I am waiting for him. We have work to do, and he can’t tarry all day with that beautiful woman. Oh, yes. Let him know that I know. Traitor,” he muttered. “Both of them.”
Folwren is offline  
Old 07-02-2008, 09:59 PM   #261
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
Jord grew weary of this stupid man. His weak attempt to parry and riposte could not conceal the ambition which gnawed at his soul, held back only by his numbing cowardice.

"I cannot show you your way, Ulfast," she snapped. "If you are worthy, you must make it yourself. You must prove to Lord Morgoth that you are worthy, worthy to be..." She paused.

Ulfast could not help fixing his gaze on Jord, awaiting her next words. In all other aspect he appeared cavalier, but his glance and his tone betrayed the anticipation and interest that he felt.

"Yes? To be what?"

Jord smiled. The harshness of a moment before vanished.

"Whatever you choose, Prince of the Ulfings. To his faithful servants Lord Morgoth will give thrones of victory, over elves and men alike. They are there for the taking, if you will only stretch out your hand of might, of courage...and take them. Such men are not deterred by circumstances, or by other men."

From seemingly nowhere, Jord produced a long, narrow dagger, cold and deadly, and set it silently on a small wooden table which stood just within the door.

"I will return for this tomorrow at sunset. If it is not here - then so be it. There have been so many murders recently." And with that, she looked straight and deep into Ulfast's eyes, goading him on to a decision.

He spoke not a word.

Perhaps she had overdone it. She was not even sure if Ulfast could comprehend all that she said, but she had said it as plain as she could without revealing her entire hand. Morgoth could care less who ruled the Ulfings - Ulfast would do, and so would Uldor - as long as they could obey orders. His one requirement was this: he needed all of the Ulfings, he needed them united. This gave Ulfast three choices: kill Uldor, die, or follow - and live with his cowardice. Jord personally rather hoped he would choose to kill his brother, as Uldor had yet to match his younger brother's willingness to pay homage to Lord Morgoth. Perhaps if he could be made to see the benefits...

"Very well, Ulfast. I'll go and see your older brother. He must tell me about the hunt, for I hear he killed a boar. He must be a very fine hunter. A very accomplished prince indeed."

Jord turned, and with a rustle and a swirl of long skirts disappeared through the rough wooden doorway and down the hall.
Gwathagor is offline  
Old 07-03-2008, 08:58 PM   #262
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Ulfast watched her leave. So his task was clear. She meant for him to murder Uldor, and so follow her in deeds of murder; she had killed Lachrandir and Khandr. He would be a fool who missed that.

When she had disappeared from view, he stared at the dagger on the little table. He would have preferred a sword to kill his brother, but a dagger would do.

He heard muffled voices down the hall. It was Brodda, Uldor's dog, saying that Uldor wanted both Jord and Ulfast in the main hall. Giving orders again.

Not wanting Brodda to see the dagger, he hastened out of the room, closing his door, and walked straight up to Brodda.

"Lord Uldor-" Brodda started, but Ulfast shouldered by him.

"Give me no orders, wretch."

He came to the main hall. There was Jord, steppng next to Uldor like a cat trying to leave its territorial scent; the message was clear: 'you are mine'.

Ulfast spoke before Uldor could. "There are murderers loose! They must be found and justice done! Witnesses must be questioned. 'Tis time to set aside pleasures, brother, and go question our prisoner."

Without waiting for a retort, he headed off toward the dungeon, such as it was, careless of whether he was followed. Down he went, hearing quick footsteps behind him. Torches lit the way. He came to the prisoner's door, outside of which stood a guard.

"Open the door," Ulfast commanded. "I will speak to the prisoner."

More feet could be heard trundling down the stairs. Ulfast did not look back. Let him come after. He was determined to be first, and to ask the first question. The door opened, Ulfast entered the cell. The prisoner, who had been slouched over, sat up straight. Two guards came in and stood one on each side of the prisoner, whose face could not be seen clearly for the darkness.

"Who are you?" Ulfast demanded. "Bring me a torch!" he yelled up the stairs.

"I am Thorn of the Ulfings."

"You have not been among the Ulfings for years. Why did you come back now?"

Ulfast could hear and feel the presence of Uldor come in behind him, and the swish of Jord's gown announced her presence next.

"To warn Khandr that you will betray Lord Caranthir to Morgoth."

Ulfast sucked in breath. How did this man know? "Where did you hear such lies?"

"No man, no woman told me. I listen to the Song."

"You lie. Who told you?"

"The Song told me."

"What did you say to Khandr of the Borrim before he was killed?"

"That you would betray Lord Caranthir to Morgoth. And that he would die today."

"So you threatened him."

"No, I warned him."

"Do you mean to say that you warned him that someone else was going to kill him?"

"Yes."

"And who is this supposed killer?" Ulfast's heart deadened within him, for he knew that Jord had done the deed, and he suddenly realized that this Thorn, also knew.

"The one called Jord, who stands next to Lord Uldor is his killer. And she also killed the Elf Lord, Lachrandir."

One of the guards cuffed the prisoner across the face with the heel of his sword.

Torches were brought and handed to Ulfast and his brother. Ulfast raised it. In the light he saw for the first time the prisoner's face. There was no fear, just a cut lip. He stared steadily back at Ulfast, and it was unnerving.

"How dare you level such baseless accusations!" Ulfast stated, his words ringing hollow in his ears.

"Step aside brother mine," Uldor said at last, "now that you've run yourself aground letting this old fool trip you up so easily."

"He has done no such thing," Ulfast grated, knowing immediately that his clumsy denial could only mean the opposite of his words. Suddenly his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth, and he wanted nothing so much as to end his brother's life. He glanced at Jord who met his eyes briefly. All he saw there was ravenous hunger.

Uldor spoke.

Last edited by littlemanpoet; 07-04-2008 at 09:53 AM.
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 08-09-2008, 12:16 PM   #263
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
In the Dungeon

Uldor spoke.

His voice was quiet and cold. “What good has your song done for you, old man? If it is of use to you, why did you bother to tell Khandr anything if you knew he was going to die before he could do anything with it? Why not better have spent your time telling the elven ambassador? You failed.”

Thorn looked at Uldor with steady eyes. Here was the oldest brother, the one with the greatest ambition, the greatest power and presence. Ulfast paled by comparison to the evil, hunger, and cleverness in this one. This one chose scorn and mockery. He listened to the Song even as Uldor spoke, and as he considered his reply. It gave him his words now. He was content.

"You speak and judge, lord Uldor, as if you know the whole of my purpose. But you do not. I have done all that has been required of me, save one. It is this. Rid yourself of this buzzard of Morgoth that bears the face and form of a fetching lady. Do not put your hope in Morgoth Bauglir, for he will betray and destroy you. Be true to your vow to aid Lord Caranthir. Your aid may turn the tide for the Free Peoples. Your betrayal will lay waste all the land. Choose carefully, for your doom hangs on a thread, lord Uldor."

Uldor was at first inclined to be angry and to end this miserable interview, but he suddenly pause. This could be valuable to him. If Thorn knew the future because of the Song, perhaps Uldor could find out exactly what he should do to gain his desired end.

"What doom?" the Ulfing asked.

Jord stiffened. Buzzard of Morgoth indeed! If the old lunatic seeks to save his life, he does it ill. And yet, for all her scorn, she knew that Thorn had the power of truth on his side - which, for all its weaknesses, had an unpleasant manner of being persuasive at the most surprising and disruptive times. Unbidden, Thorn began to take form in her mind as a meek, yet strangely confident and masterful nemesis, in control despite his prison bars. She fought down a sudden surge panic. He is old, mad, and weak. Play your turn carefully, and he can pose no threat. She wished to appear unconcerned with the accusations leveled against her, and protest was all too often construed as a sign of guilt; so she kept her silence, and waited.

Thorn could tell that his words had made the servant of Morgoth bridle. He sensed her fear. Well she should; not because he was a threat, for he was just a servant of the Song. No, she should fear the truth, and the One to whom the Song pointed. But Uldor had asked a simple question. Thorn knew what he sought; the Ulfing lord would have to work harder than that.

"Your doom. If you betray the Eldar to Morgoth your name will live on in infamy, and the Ulfings will be wiped from the face of the earth by flood and fire. Should you be true to Lord Caranthir, you will reap what one may expect from the fields he sows in."

"Lord Caranthir battles against the most powerful being in the world. The fields he sows in seem to be promising only of defeat. I do not see victory possible, and to stand against Morgoth would be worse doom to me than to have my name live on in infamy." He stared down at the old man, and a slow smile played over his face. "Besides, you don't know what I have been promised."

Thorn found it amusing that this ambitious lordling of men what stoop to bandying an argument with a poor prisoner such as himself; but this betrayed the latent fear in Uldor, for all his grand words. Thorn's mouth spread in a slow smile.

"What matters it to a poor prisoner likely to see his death this day, what lies Morgoth Bauglir has told you? Whether he gives you a silmaril to wear, Dorthonion to lord over, be sure that you will be in his thrall and never know freedom again. Is betrayal worth such a price? Only a fool would pay it, and such I name you."

Uldor snarled and his left hand lashed out and caught the collar of Thorn’s tunic. He shook the old man furiously. “Fool! Fool! You’ll meet death - you’ll know him intimately by tomorrow! Lies - lies and treachery!” He threw him backwards at the guard who had been standing quietly beside the prisoner. “Take him - and use what slowest means you can to kill this worm - this - this” he couldn’t find an appropriate word for one who defiled Morgoth’s name with baseless accusations.

Or were they baseless? Before even Thorn’s punishment had begun, Uldor was already being tortured. Doubt and fear and hatred tormented him. He turned around, sent one, long look of hate towards Jord and Ulfast, and then stormed from the cell.
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 08-09-2008, 04:31 PM   #264
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
Jord smiled. She smiled at Thorn, for he was a doomed man and nothing could stop her now. She smiled at herself, for she had beaten him without lifting a finger. She smiled at the departing Uldor, for it was through Uldor's fatal pride that Thorn had been beaten. She smiled at Ulfast for no reason at all. And she smiled because she saw that perhaps Uldor would do after all, if only because his arrogance blinded him to the truth when he heard it, and drove him to do wrong when instructed with the right. His hate, and his pride would be useful tools could they be corralled and directed. On the other hand, they could very well make him dangerous, a maverick thrall.

She spoke to Ulfast. "Your brother seems to be in a bad temper. Perhaps you should go and comfort him."

One way or the other, time was running out for Jord. She was working hard, but Morgoth needed the Ulfings soon - sooner, perhaps, than she could manage, she feared, given her rate of progress with Uldor. She needed him for Morgoth, or she needed him dead.
Gwathagor is offline  
Old 08-23-2008, 12:42 PM   #265
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Thorn

"Your brother seems to be in a bad temper," Jord said to Ulfast, a haughty and bating look on her face. "Perhaps you should go and comfort him."

"He needs no comfort from me," Ulfast grated, but took her cue and left the cellar.

Thorn was ready to die, but he had no intention of dying under the torturer's tools. He found it almost unbelievable that his warders had not chained him in any way. His hands were free, and so were his feet. One more thing he could do for the cause of the Free Peoples. Even though it was not likely to succeed, it might keep his death from being prolonged.

He had sat on the bench as Uldor had walked out, and as Jord had spoken her cunning words to Ulfast. Did she expect to be the one to exact his torture? There were two guards with Jord yet, and that was just how he wanted it.

Thorn leaped off the bench at Jord. With the advantage of surprise, he grabbed her neck in both hands and began to squeeze with all his might, his thumbs at her wind pipe. He did not expect to survive this, but he was determined to die fighting. They would have to kill him to get his hands off her throat.
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 08-23-2008, 11:14 PM   #266
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
Before she knew what was happening, Jord was being strangled. She felt little more than a calm sense of surprise, at first. She was not used to being strangled, so this was an entirely new human sensation for her. It intrigued her and, still under the influence of the surprise and the novelty of the thing, she considered it with a detached sense of interest. The mortal body was strange, subject to sensations and weaknesses which in her previous exalted form, she could never have imagined. Distracted by these thoughts, she grappled silently on the floor with her attacker. The guards down the hall did not notice.

Then the stranglehold began to take effect and the fight began in earnest. As the blood began to pound in Jord's head and her lungs began to burn, she found herself in the grip of an implacable terror, something wholly new and wholly human: weakness. She had never felt it like this before, she had never felt so powerless, so claustrophobic, so afraid.

Jord began to panic as she tried to push her attacker away, without success. She thrashed wildly, back and forth, trying to shake him free, trying to call upon her reserves of power. They would not answer. She was alone in her mortality, and it frightened her more than anything she had ever experienced.

Now her mind was fading. She could feel, vaguely, her senses becoming dull and distant and she knew instinctively that they would soon fail altogether. In a last furious effort, she seized one of the sinewy hands which were clamped about her neck and pried it from her neck for a fraction of a second.

It was enough. In that split second, Jord screamed, and as quickly as it had begun, the fight was over. Startled, the guards rushed down the hall, seized Thorn, threw him against the bars of his prison cell, and began battering him with the hafts of their heavy spears. Jord staggered to her feet, holding her bruised throat with one hand, and leaning against the wall with the other. Her breath came in great, excruciating gasps. She spat out two words, hoarse and malevolent.

"Kill him!"

Caught up in the general violence of the situation, the guards did not question her orders, though they bore no true authority.
Gwathagor is offline  
Old 08-25-2008, 07:40 PM   #267
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Thorn

"Kill him!"

As if there wills were not their own, the two guards drew back with their spears and pierced him twice, one low and upward, one high and straight. Suddenly the vacuum of his lungs was gashed and he could not get enough breath. And his heart was breached. The pain thudded like a ton weight on his chest. He fell to his knees, his cell going black. He began to go numb. He felt the two points pull from his body like distant pricks that scarcely mattered.

Everything went dark. He could not feel, could not breathe, could not taste or smell; he could only hear.

He heard curses on the lips of the fiend of Morgoth. He heard the fleeing footfalls of the two guards. He heard the Song again, at first only faintly. Slowly the sound grew in beauty and in might until it filled all his world. Suddenly light returned, and there were two Trees tall and strong under a bright sunrise, and glad birds sang the Song as if this dawn outmatched all that had come before.

Briefly he looked back and down and saw a small form in a small earthen cell, alone, wounded to the quick, a wrathful fiend full of fear and doubt fleeing from it, seeking vengeance wherever it could while its misbegotten life lasted; and there were two lords with his blood on their hands, each seeking the death of the other; and there was a young Elf sorrowing, preparing to return to his liege.

Much had yet to go well and ill, but his part of the tale had come to its end. He walked toward to the two Trees, singing.
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 09-01-2008, 06:01 PM   #268
littlemanpoet
Itinerant Songster
 
littlemanpoet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,049
littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.littlemanpoet is a guest at the Prancing Pony.
Ulfast

He saw Uldor walking to his room. Ulfast went swiftly to his own and closed the door shut behind him. He did not want someone spying on him, including Jord. He looked to the table where the dagger lay. He picked it up and fingered its delicately carved handle. The fingered the edge; it was sharp. He slipped it inside his jerkin and left his room, determined to thrust the dagger in Uldor's breast.

He strode out into the main hall. How to go about it? What should be done? He paused, uncertain, to see Jord coming from the dungeon, rubbing her throat. She looked pale, as if something had happened that had put her out of her humor.

"Did that clown say something to you to make you frown so?"

She stopped and stared at him. "He tried to strangle me." Her voice sounded tight and forced.

Ulfast was immediately enraged and started toward the dungeon.

"Leave off, he is dead. The guards pulled him off me and killed him."

"Ah," he said, relaxing, "so much for torture."

She scowled and brushed by him. But her words had given him an idea. He sent a guard to Uldor to report that there had been no torture, that the prisoner was dead. It was not long before Uldor came out, scowling.

"What is this I hear? How did the prisoner die so quickly? Was there no torture?"

"I have not been told," Ulfast lied. "The guards are still below with the prisoner. Perhaps they should be questioned."

"No doubt you put them up to it," Uldor growled at him as he started for the dungeon. Ulfast followed, fingering his hidden dagger. As Uldor came to the final step, Ulfast drew the dagger and raised it. Suddenly he felt a hot streak of pain in his own chest. His weakening hand could no longer hold the dagger, and it dropped from his hand. Who? Ulfast looked behind him to see Broddha's satisfied but grim smile.

"Lord, your brother was about to murder you," said Broddha "I have taken his life instead." He pulled the blade from Ulfast's back, cutting on the way out. Ulfast gasped with the second pain, worse than the first, and his blood ebbed from him. His eyes widened in horror. He was dying! His knees buckled and he fell to the floor in a heap. He could not breathe. All went black and he knew no more.

Last edited by littlemanpoet; 09-07-2008 at 01:27 PM.
littlemanpoet is offline  
Old 09-21-2008, 11:28 PM   #269
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
Jord staggered into her room, slammed the door behind her, and collapsed just short of her bed, her outstretched hand just brushing the edge of the quilt which hung down near the floor. She was mentally and physically exhausted, lacking the energy even to crawl the rest of the way to her bed. Instead, she lay curled upon the floor, breathing heavily and trying not to let her eyes close, for fear that that horrid prophet's face would appear before them. She wondered if she would ever be able to sleep again, if she would ever be able to approach that awful dimness, so like unto death, without fear.

And so it was that, through the floorboards she heard voices in the hall below.

"The guards are still below with the prisoner. Perhaps they should be questioned." That was Ulfast's mocking voice.

"No doubt you put them up to it." Unmistakably Uldor.

And then...a silence. A faint groan, perhaps?

Then someone spoke.

"Lord, your brother was about to murder you." Jord's mind snapped to attention through the weariness that enshrouded it. Had Ulfast done it? "I have taken his life instead." Who? Was it? Who was speaking? Who had been killed?

A body fell to the floor with an resounding thump, and now Jord wondered: which brother had turned on which? Had her fool, Ulfast, failed - or succeeded? And if he had failed, would she be able to bend Uldor? Anxiety twisted her already bruised mind.

No! I am Morgoth's servant, the claw of his mighty right hand! It is not a matter of if, but how. I WILL accomplish my lord's will.

And silently, she grappled with a steadily growing sense of fear, and of weakness. She felt alone. She felt mortal.
Gwathagor is offline  
Old 11-18-2008, 12:18 PM   #270
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,696
Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Tathren had waited for what seemed to be an age in the Ulfing's hall, alone with the body of his master. His indignation was soon replaced with bewilderment. Whatever was going on here was beyond his experience and imagination but instinct told him that he should leave as soon as might be. Not tonight - he did not trust himself to find his way in the dark, though the horses might. And though Lachrandir had found his violent death in the full light of day, The night may encourage even Elvish minds to conjure horrors that even the stars of Elbereth might not dismiss. Though whatever might befall him on his journey he knew he must steel himself to face Caranthir.

He would depart at first light if possible. Somehow he must complete his Lachrandir's business if there be anyone left in this deserted place with authority to treat with him. And then there was the last service he must rend his master.

He looked at his lord's body. The spirit had long passed whether answering the call to Mandos or no, but the shell that remained must suffer no further indignity. Tathren few resources to draw on, death being an unnatural event for his people and not one he had previously experienced first hand. He had heard of the fallen being laid to rest beneath grass or stone but he had no idea if it must be so and neither seemed possible hear. He could not carry his master back to Caranthir but he was loathe to leave him alone in a strange land, uncertain if his grave would be defiled.

"Lachrandir, what should I do?", he asked silently. His master's name gave him an inkling and without knowledge of the correct rite and ritual he would follow his instinct.

A pyre seemed appropriate for the Feanorian and as a smith's son he knew how to build a fire to burn hot and strong enough that nothing but ash would remain.

Having decided, the need to act overruled his reluctance to leave his master unattended. He made a slight bow, then turned and left the hall to find what was required for his purpose.

Last edited by Mithalwen; 12-06-2008 at 03:59 PM.
Mithalwen is offline  
Old 11-18-2008, 12:40 PM   #271
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.
Uldor's decision

Ulfast was dead. His blood was still pooling beneath him. Uldor looked at Brodda, a question flickering in his dark eyes. Treachery! The word echoed in Uldor’s mind. But where was the treachery? Lying at his feet, perhaps, but not in Brodda.

Ulfast had actually tried to kill him. Why? Why had he tried? Why had he not had someone else do the job? Who had prompted him to raise his own hand and strike? He must have known that it was too dangerous.

Perhaps there was more of a web binding close around Uldor than he thought. Perhaps there was a greater power at work.

With a growl of anger stemmed from indefinable fear, Uldor shoved his way past Brodda and quickly hurried back towards his chambers.

A decision must be made soon! Tathren, now that Lachrandir was dead, would be leaving shortly, and an answer must be given for him to take to Caranthir.

But then there was lord Morgoth. His ambassador, Jord, seemed to appear with the thought. He saw her amidst the slanting shadows of the pillared hall through which he now walked.

He altered his course to draw near her. She faced him. He hardly noticed the darkening, purple bruises lining her pale throat. He looked her in the eye, a thing even he rarely dared to do.

“Tomorrow. Tomorrow you shall have my answer.”

Then without awaiting a response, he turned and walked away. He locked his chamber door and went to the window. There he sat a long vigil, watching the sky darken, the moon rise and pass over the field of stars, and even when the moon passed from his sight and sank towards the western sky, still he sat, wakeful and silent.
His thoughts took on the form of images. Picture after picture rose before his mind’s eye. War was waged. Elves, men, orcs, and creatures for which he had no name fought and died. Sometimes the elves won in the struggle, but only at bitter costs. More frequently, Morgoth, the mighty on, the dark, cruel master, won - and his vision ran with blood…blood but infinite power.

Then came the memory of Lachrandir’s body – torn and mangled. And then he saw Ulfast – gasping in shock and pain before crumpling to the ground at his feet. There was power. There was the ability to rule over life and death. The elves did not have it. Ulfast had not had it. Uldor had not died. He was vulnerable – aye, as long as she stood against the greater power, he would always be subject to execution.

Power. The word tempted him, just out of reach but so near! So easily achieved! He but had to speak to Jord and tell her that he had decided. Tathren would go home, bearing promises of aid. This way, Uldor and his people would profit Morgoth most, for in the heat of the battle, Uldor and his men could take the elves unaware and tip the scales to the Valar’s end.

The red rim of an angry sun rose above the eastern horizon.

Udlor’s mind was made up.
Folwren is offline  
Old 11-19-2008, 07:15 AM   #272
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,696
Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Tathren's swift elvish feet carried him swiftly outside into the night. He had not realised that day had turned into evening as he had kept his lone vigil, waiting long and in vain for the Ulfing lords to pay their respects to his master, he would wait no longer. Perhaps it was not their way to do so....uncharitably he wondered if they were so primitive that the death of one was no more noted than if a starling were lost from a flock of thousands.

Nevertheless he managed to procure wood and oil - the glint of silver aiding communication and overcoming any reluctance to deal with the elf. The elves had inspired awe and curiousity in the settlement since their arrival and if Lachrandir's death had shown them to be vulnerable, the fell look in his page's eyes discouraged any notion of treating him with anything other than caution.

He built the pyre alone, outside the walls of the stockade, on the banks of a nearby stream. It took longer than he expected and the stars of Varda flowered as he laboured. They were fading in the first promise of dawn when he bore his master's body to the pyre in his arms - an awkward burden despite the lightness of the long frame .

Tathren wept as he made his slow progress. The guards dared not hinder him and opened the gates wide for him to pass. The boy's tears coursed down his face and onto that of Lachrandir that rested against his chest.

At last Lachrandir lay upon his pyre. Tathren had removed the banner of Caranthir - it would be needed yet if the Ulfings kept to the arrangement- but the elf lord bore still the star of Feanor on his breast. Tathren paused only to remove his master's dagger - the only personal item he had carried about him. He knew Lachrandir had crafted it himself and determined to keep it in his remembrance. He placed a kiss on his master's brow - something that he would not have countenanced in life - Tathren whispered a farewell to his uncle.

Gazing at the familiar face for the last time he took the firkin of oil and poured it over the pyre and with a moments hesitation over Lachrandir also til his hair and garments were soaked and glistened. Tathren stepped back and kneeled by a small pile of kindling. He took out his firestone and with Lachrandir's own blade created the spark that lit the pyre. Tathren stood back and averted his eyes until the flames obscured their task. The elvish body was soon consumed by the fire but the pyre burned on filling the sky with smoke and lighting it red. As he watched Tathren sang a lament for his master and the sound haunted the dreams of many Ulfing villagers though they might understand no word of it. But Tathren stayed until all was ash and the only light was that of morning.

Last edited by Mithalwen; 12-06-2008 at 05:00 PM.
Mithalwen is offline  
Old 12-02-2008, 03:05 PM   #273
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
Jord had not slept that night. She had not even been in her room. After her brief meeting with Uldor, she had spent her night stalking the empty moonlit corridors of the great building, her body in pain and her mind wracked by doubt. She had felt so sure once that either Uldor or Ulfast would join her, would join Angband, but now Ulfast was dead and Uldor was undecided. Hour after hour she retraced her steps along the timber halls and passages, just as she retraced in her mind the course of the past days. She would pause sometimes, in the throne room or on the porch. Had she gone wrong? What else could she have done? For now the complete success - or complete failure - of her mission was in another man's hands. She could do nothing now. Nearing the stairs to the dungeon, she hurried past and tried not to think of the old man who had very nearly been her undoing. Indeed, she had come within a hand's breadth of failure and had only just pulled herself back from the brink. And yet she felt she was there again. If Uldor would not turn, what else could she do?

Whence this doubt? Jord thought. I am Thuringwethil and I have feasted on kings, men and elven. I am kin to gods - nay, I AM a god, a goddess, and I will not be gainsaid! Have we not always been victorious?

And yet she did not fully believe it, for she could not shake the memory of a certain pair - woodsman and elf princess - who had once done great harm to both her and her master. It had happened before, and she was afraid it could happen again. She was afraid. Fear ate at the edges of her mind, pursuing her from all sides. Her humanity frightened her and her supernatural power frightened her - could she call on it again? Would her human form not be burnt or broken by such power? Her fate frightened her, for it was out of sight and, she felt, out of reach. All was dark now before her, and behind her as well, for that way lay death. Perhaps death lay in wait for her again, just beyond, in the coming darkness? She could not tell.

And so it continued through the blackest of nights, until all she knew was doubt, and fear, and an overpowering sense of helplessness as the dawn grew ever nearer.

The first rays of morning found Jord, hooded and cloaked, standing on the stone porch of the great hall, facing away west where the darkness lingered longest.
Gwathagor is offline  
Old 12-12-2008, 09:54 PM   #274
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.
The first thing he must do was get Tathren out of the city. Lord Caranthir had waited too long for an answer to be sent for him. He would be impatient and suspicious by the time the young, inexperienced ambassador had returned home, and that would not do for Uldor’s purpose.

He dressed himself with care and then sent word to Tathren to come to him in the great hall. He then went to Ulfang himself. Ulwarth was there with their father, when Uldor came in.

The conference was short and to the point. Uldor told his father that he intended to send Tathren back to Caranthir - with a message that they would fight for the elves. That is all he told Ulfang. There was no reason to tell a dotard old man all his plans for battle and victory. By the time that came to pass, he would likely be dead! So Uldor merely told him the surface of his intentions, and Ulfang sent him out with his blessing to so answer the elven lord.

Uldor went, and found Tathren waiting for him.

“I believe it is time that you left us,” Uldor said, smoothing his countenance to the correct form of regret and feeling for what had passed the previous day. “I am more sorry than I can express at what has happened.” Tathren said nothing, but his piercing gray eyes remained fixed on Uldor, and the inwardly crooked man had difficulty keeping his calm. “I have called you to give you our word in reply to Caranthir. We shall uphold our given oath, and will fight with lord Caranthir against the might of Morgoth. Tell him this.”

For the next several minutes, Udlor was busy telling Tathren all the details - how many men there would be, how they would communicate before marching out with the elves, and all the rest. Tathren took the messages almost in complete silence, nodding his head at certain points and occasionally giving a question.

Finally, he had gone. Uldor paced for a moment in the wide and empty hall alone, and then he knew that a more important meeting now had to happen. He went out in search of Jord.

Last edited by Folwren; 01-04-2009 at 10:48 AM.
Folwren is offline  
Old 12-15-2008, 11:06 AM   #275
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
Jord was not far. Just outside the hall she had waited, listening in awful horror to Uldor's conference with Tathren. What was he doing? Was it possible that this Easterling dog should keep his word to Caranthir? It was difficult to believe, but she could not deny the evidence of her own ears. She had failed after all; Morgoth would cast her aside, broken, if alive at all. She began to feel cold.

Suddenly, the meeting was over and Uldor was walking through the hall-doors. In a violent burst of energy born of desperation, Jord seized Uldor by the throat and pressed him against the wall where she had been leaning a moment before, nails digging into the skin.

"Remember Lachrandir, Uldor? Remember Khandr? They set themselves between Lord Morgoth and Lord Morgoth's Will to their own undoing. Would you share their fate?" She was gambling a little now, but it was the only thing she could do. She held Uldor's gaze. "I killed them both. I, Jord, who remember the first mountain and the first wave and the toppling of the Two Trees, who am more than woman-kind." She was really gambling now, for she did not know whether she would be able to summon her power should Uldor attempt to use force. She smirked a little. "Do you wish to see me as I am, Uldor? Do you wish to see the Claw of Morgoth unveiled and raised against you? Do not toy with us."

Uldor spoke steadily, but mastering his emotions only with great effort. He did not wish to provoke this thing.

"It was a lie. I lied to Tathren," he said quietly. "Now hide the knife before someone sees. My guards will not hesitate to spear you first and then ask what you were doing."

Jord dropped the knife and began to shake - and then she began to laugh. It felt extraordinarily good, and for once, she was almost happy to be stitched into this mortal frame.

"Let us talk, Uldor. Where can we be alone?"

"Follow me."

For next several hours, the two of them sat and talked in Uldor's quarters. War was brewing between Morgoth and the sons of Feanor, but neither Jord nor Uldor knew when it would erupt into flame. For the present, then, it seemed best that the Easterlings should continue to appear loyal to the elves, in order that they might gather information for Morgoth and that their eventual betrayal might be all the more potent. Uldor would take a census to determine how many men of military age he had, but, otherwise, they would discuss logistics later. Jord had a message to deliver to her Master.
Gwathagor is offline  
Old 01-04-2009, 01:58 PM   #276
Mithalwen
Pilgrim Soul
 
Mithalwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: watching the wonga-wonga birds circle...
Posts: 9,696
Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
The woods and meadows had changed little since his outward journey. The grey colt and his sire were still long limbed, swift and sure footed as they found their path but the stallion was now riderless.

Tathren had relinquished Caranthir's treasure to the Ulfings but he carried Lachrandir's haversack as well as his own so the colt's burden was scarce lessened. Nevertheless his hoofbeats marked time passing too swiftly for his rider who was at a loss how he could explain the events of the past days to his lord when he could scarce understand them himself.

He could report Uldor's words but what could he say of Lachrandir's death? The boy shuddered at the thought and tried to dismiss it from his mind for as long as possible but too soon his elvish sight perceived the banners of Feanor and his son fluttering over the dwellings of his people and knew that there could be no delay. Caranthir's sentinels would report that he returned alone long before he reached the gates and he was sure he would be summoned into the presence of the harshest and quickest to anger of all the sons of Feanor as soon as his feet touched the ground. The boy's heart quailed.
Mithalwen is offline  
Old 01-11-2009, 11:01 PM   #277
Gwathagor
Shade with a Blade
 
Gwathagor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A Rainy Night In Soho
Posts: 2,613
Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Gwathagor is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Send a message via AIM to Gwathagor Send a message via MSN to Gwathagor Send a message via Skype™ to Gwathagor
Caranthir and Tathren

No sooner had he passed the great gates of the city which clung to the side of Lake Helevorn, but Tathren was apprehended by two soldiers, clad in the red and black livery of Caranthir's personal guard. Up the straight, broad avenues they ushered him, courteously but swiftly, and soon passed beneath the resplendent, iron-hard towers of the great fortress. It stood upon the very brink of a cliff which dropped straight down a hundred feet to the lake below. And in the midst of the palace, he met Lord Caranthir Feanorion himself.

Upon his high throne Caranthir sat, haughty and still. Clad all in black he was, save for a red cloak which was flung about his shoulders. His high crown of diamond sat upon his dark hair and across his knees was laid his sheathed sword. Behind the throne, daylight shone in through tall arched windows which overlooked the lake and created a golden aura about Caranthir's throne.

Tathren sank to his knees instinctively some distance before the throne, even as the guards swung the great doors shut behind him.

"Approach, envoy of our throne."

Tathren obeyed, for it was Caranthir who had spoken, but he kept his head bowed as he drew near to the steps which led up to the throne. Caranthir was silent for a moment, perhaps choosing his words.

"Why are you alone? Lachrandir did not return with you, his charge. Why?"

"My lord, I bring you word from the House of Ulfang. They say - "

"Answer me, Tathren. Where is Lachrandir? Where is my herald?"

"My lord - " Tathren found he could barely force the words from his mouth. His face burned and his stomach felt hollow. How can I? he thought. How can I possibly explain? The wrath of Caranthir was infamous through all the kindred of the Noldor and Tathren feared for his life if he should deliver this news. Then, as if from a very great distance, though it had only been some days, Tathren heard Lachrandir's voice echoing and remembered the words the older elf had spoken to him on the day of their arrival at the Easterling hall: Come, boy - Remember, speak precisely, if you're called on to talk, and not for long. That should serve well enough. And Tathren hardened his will. Yes, Uncle, he thought. He would do his master this last service, this final obedience. This was still a hall of state and he was still a royal envoy. He raised his head and met Caranthir's eyes. A chill went down his spine - but it was not fear.

"He was murdered by we know not whom. His body I burned with his banner and his ashes I cast upon the river, that they might come in time to the sea and thence to Valinor."

So saying, he drew forth the elvish knife he had taken from Lachrandir's body and presented the hilts to Caranthir. There was a silence. Caranthir's jaw hardened and his eyes glittered, but his brow remained unfurrowed. Tathren's gaze wavered before those terrible, penetrating eyes - and then suddenly, sharply Caranthir stood. Tathren swallowed and steeled his nerve as Caranthir descended the steps before the throne, stepping quickly and lightly as the crimson cloak rippled behind him. In a moment his hand was upon the dagger, which he took by the sheath. He held it up and turned it in the light for a moment and then he spoke - and the voice, while stern, was not wrathful.

"I believe you tell the truth, page. This is Lachrandir's knife, there is no doubt. I have seen it at his side a hundred times. If what you say is true, then I say you did what you could - and you did well. So Lachrandir is dead. What of your message? Do the Ulfings heed the summons of their liege-lord?"

"Lord Caranthir, they do. They have agreed to fight beside us, should war come."

Caranthir laughed. "Should war come! It is already coming. All of us - even you, page - will have our fill of war soon enough. Very well. That is all."

Tathren was stunned. That was all?! "What of Lachrandir?" he said in surprise. "Is - is that all?"

Caranthir had begun to ascend the throne once more, but he turned back on Tathren. "Have the Easterlings not agreed to honor their pledge? Lachrandir's mission is discharged, his purpose to me fulfilled. What more is there?"

Tathren remained kneeling and speechless.

"I would have hid my disdain from you, boy. If Lachrandir was fool enough to let himself be murdered - by a pack of Easterlings, no less - then he has received all he deserved!"

"He died serving you, lord!"

"And so he should."

"But do you not wish to see justice for your servant, your faithful servant? Can you not, as liege, see justice visited upon the Easterlings who killed? Do you not at least wish to know why he was killed?"

"No! I do not!" Caranthir paused, and then, on second thought, said: "Here. Take his knife. I dismiss you, Tathren." He thrust the knife at Tathren, who took it in trembling hands.

Without another glance or word, Caranthir resumed his high throne and motioned for the boy to be let out. The doors swung wide and Tathren left the throne room of Caranthir, head bowed, Lachrandir's knife held in both hands, wishing all the curses and imprecations his young imagination could muster upon the harsh king and wishing, last of all, a kind of vengeance upon Caranthir: that the alliance for which Lachrandir had died would come to naught.
Gwathagor is offline  
Old 03-19-2009, 09:32 AM   #278
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.
The time had come to gather his people together and to prepare them for war. He sent messengers out to the people living away from the city, ordering them to come and join the army. All the men and boys above thirteen years of age obeyed the summons. The streets and houses of the city were packed.

When they day came to march out to war, Uldor summoned the people near the great hall. They gathered about, pressing close to the building’s woodwork. Their noise filled the courtyard and the hall, a low rumbling like that of the sea. Uldor waited just long enough to build curiosity and suspense, and then he stepped out upon a balcony above them. The crowd hushed and a murmur went through the main body of men, “It is Lord Uldor!”

He was dressed simply, in black. Over his shoulders her wore a dark red cape. His head was uncovered. Behind him, in the shadow of the doorway, stood Jord.

Uldor raised his hand and a silence fell. “Friends,” he said looking down at the sea of upturned faces. “Comrades! Today we go forth to face battle! But I have called you here to tell you that we will fight for our own freedom and not merely for the good of someone else!” He paused, and a silence met him. They waited. “Until now,” he said, his voice rising to a great orator’s pitch, “Until now, we have been pawns in the lord Caranthir’s hands, waiting to fight when he summoned us, so that we could help him advance his own kingdom. We have gained nothing from our friendship with the elves. They have only used us for their own good and we have been left here in the cold, rocky region, whereas they enjoy the pleasures of the forests and green fields. No longer shall we stand for this! It will be changed!” This time when he paused, a roar of approval met him. He allowed them to carry on a moment and then he lifted his hand.

“We will go and we will throw their oppressive hand off of us!” Shouting again. He lifted his hand. “We will catch the elves unaware! I have sent word to lord Caranthir that I will fight on his behalf. It will appear that we will keep this word, for we will go and fight in his ranks. There we will be, side by side with the elves. But!” His eye swept the people. They waited in breathless silence. He deemed the time right to reveal his hand. “But when the word comes, you must turn and fight the elves. Thus we will over come Caranthir and break the bond he holds over us. Only in this fashion will we be able to free ourselves from their tyranny! To war, then, Ulfings!”

The crowd went mad. They shouted until they were hoarse. Those with spears lifted and shook them. Swords were drawn. Somewhere in the middle of the crowd, men began to chant, and soon the words flowed out through the entire body of men. “To war! To war! To war!”

Uldor’s eyes gleamed as he looked down at them. They were behind him entirely. He turned and went back in. For a moment, his eyes met Jord’s, but he did not stop to speak with her. Down to the courtyard he went and there he mounted his horse. He rode out to meet his men. A roaring cheer greeted him. Slowly he rode through them and up toward the city gate.

He reined in as he stood under the gate post. He looked forward. The wind was blowing the dry grasses back and forth with a mournful moaning sound. It caught and tugged at his cloak and stirred the hair about his face. Then he looked back at the people behind him. Their captains had formed them into long lines and he saw rank upon rank winding back into the city. His eyes swept across them, and then lifted to look towards the hall where he had come from. On the balcony where he had given his speech, he saw one single figure. It was Jord.

Uldor turned his face outward and dug his heels into his horse’s side. The tramp of feet followed him. They were off to war, and treason.
Folwren is offline  
Old 04-26-2009, 11:15 PM   #279
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.
Mithalwen's post

Loyalty is a strange thing. Some inspire it, and hold it through the bonds of admiration and affection. Others command it through ties of blood or duty. To treat it as a commodity to be purchased is a dangerous policy. Such allegiance may be transferred to the highest bidder and commerce is an activity of the rational mind which is liable to rate self interest above that of the paymaster. The ties of the heart are less easily severed.

Tathren knew that Lachrandir had been utterly loyal to Caranthir but his death had earned only his lord’s disdain. He remembered his father whose loyalty to his brother had led him to exile and slaughter. He would have followed Lachrandir even to the doors of Angband but his loyalty to the House of Feanor had died with his master So he did not protest or even murmur when Midsummer neared and Caranthir had forbidden those not yet of full years and stature from the ranks of his army. What in another leader might have seemed an act of compassion seemed a sneer on the lips of the Feanorian. If, as seemed to Tathren, Caranthir scanned his face for a sign of dissent, he found it not. The boy deemed merely by living he could in a small way spite the great lord

He remembered with foreboding the words of Mandos that had coursed through his mind as he had knelt beside his master, sensing they neared fulfilment. His kindred would reap a harvest of grief but the seeds had been sown long ago on a distant shore. He knew he might find death without going to war, that the doom of the Noldor could not be eluded forever - but this was not his time. Not yet.

Last edited by piosenniel; 06-30-2009 at 10:31 AM.
piosenniel is offline  
Old 06-30-2009, 10:36 AM   #280
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.
~ Finis ~

To Elvenhome
piosenniel 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 05:03 AM.



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