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Old 08-06-2003, 01:48 PM   #81
Ealasaid
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Just to refresh everyone's memory & to make sure we are all in the same starting place, here is where things stood when we moved from the Green Dragon to the Planning Thread:

Quote:
Vanwe is an employee in the stables at the Forsaken Inn. She has been there some weeks.

Naiore has just arrived near the inn. She is concealed in the trees just off the inn grounds.

Lespheria & Amandur are guests at the inn. Amandur suspects Naiore's presence in the region but is not aware of her proximity. They are preparing to depart on business of their own.

Kaldir stables his horse at the inn, but does not have a room there. He is close on Vanwe's back, intending to capture her & return her to her captors in the south. He senses the presence of Naiore, but is not sure of her identity. He would like to either catch or kill Naiore (he's not particular) for both personal and mercenary reasons.

Hanasian has not yet returned from Bree, where he went on the request of Benia. He is interested in capturing Naiore, but is not yet aware of her presence in the vicinity of the inn.

Benia has been captured by Kaldir and lies bound in the basement of an abandoned blacksmith shop nearby. For the purposes of the game, I will change her broken ankle to a sprain so that she will be more mobile more quickly. She is unaware of the presence of Naiore.

Gilly has taken up Benia's father's sword and gone in search of Benia. She is currently following Kaldir. Like Benia, she is unaware of the presence of Naiore.

Menecin is being held in the protection of Celeborn & the elves, currently off the stage of the inn.
I see I have started a fresh page here. I also have the last post at the bottom of page 2. I just wanted to mention it so that it doesn't get overlooked. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

[ August 06, 2003: Message edited by: Ealasaid ]
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Old 08-06-2003, 03:24 PM   #82
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You get the idea Ealasaid. I will probably do some sort of 1st person narrative in my first post, but whatever you're comfortable with writing. When I posted earlier, I was just thinking about the story amid the desolation of the myraid phone calls I was getting here at work. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 08-07-2003, 10:29 AM   #83
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Barring any objections, this will be our "working" outline. It is a hybrid of my and Snowdog's submissions, based on Elora's original. I hope everyone is happy with it. (We can always revise it later.)

ACT 1: At the Forsaken Inn
Lespheria departs, leaving Amandur at the inn, where he remains in the hopes of finding out where Naiore is.
Naiore & Vanwe meet somewhere near the inn.
Kaldir captures Gilly, who is trying to rescue Benia.
Hanasian returns to the inn from Bree.
2 Shady Underworld Types arrive at the inn. (Or they may already be there -- writer‘s choice.)
2 New Rangers arrive at the inn, meeting Amandur and Hanasian.

ACT 2: Meetings & Departures
Kaldir returns to the woods, where he had earlier sensed an ominous presence, and discovers that it is indeed Naiore. He picks up her trail.
Naiore & Vanwe fall in together.
Hanasian & Amandur also learn of Naiore's presence by chance, intuition, or whispered rumor.
Having been intercepted and turned back by a messenger from her twin brother, Lespheria returns to the inn, where she rejoins Amandur.
Hanasian joins forces with the other two (as yet unnamed) Rangers.
Hearing somehow of Naiore’s presence, the Underworld Types decide to seek her out, leaving the inn before the others.
The rest of them depart (in separate groups) in pursuit of Naiore.
Gilly and Benia accompany Kaldir as his prisoners (sort of).

Act 3: Intrigue
Naiore & Vanwe take up with the two Shady Underworld Types
The Hunters & the Hunted all stalk each other a bit. There are run-ins & confrontations as Naiore attempts to take out her pursuers by whatever means she has at her disposal.
Gilly & Benia try to decide whether to assist Kaldir, escape from him, or attempt to redeem him.
Hanasian catches up with Kaldir.

Act 4: The Noose Tightens
With Rangers and bounty hunters closing in, Naiore changes her focus from killing the Rangers to pursuing Menecin, using any and all means to conceal her path.
The Rangers (all of them) and Lespheria ride together.
Shady characters start to realize Naiore may be setting them up for a fall and so plot against her.
Gilly & Benia manage to free themselves or Kaldir loosens his grip as he becomes increasingly focused on the hunt for Naiore.

Act 5: End Game
Naiore makes her attempt to kill Menecin. She fails & flees to the south, deserting Vanwe to her fate.
Naiore tries to take down anyone she can as she attempts to escape the closing trap.
The shady characters make their move against Naiore, either on their own or together.
Naiore is trapped somewhere near the Gladden Fields, where she is either captured or slain.

[ August 07, 2003: Message edited by: Ealasaid ]
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Old 08-07-2003, 10:38 AM   #84
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Again, barring any objections, here is our nearly complete Game Submission Form. All we need now are our first posts. Again, I hope everyone is happy with it.

Title: The Lingering Darkness

Historical Background:
With the destruction of the One Ring and the downfall of Sauron, the evil of the lands fled disorganized and broken before the might of the West. Men and lands that were long under the grasp of the Shadow were now freed by the grace of King Elessar, and peace was known to all. But there were still some who, having been corrupted and having grown used to positions of power, still lingered, either unable or unwilling to admit defeat and accept the rule of the King. They were few, and they had scattered about the lands to hide and cause such troubles as they could. The King, being wise and with much foresight, knew that these remnants of evil would never submit and would spread fear in the newly-freed lands, and would have to be brought to justice. Despite the best efforts of the king's men and with a sizeable bounty on her head, one individual remains at large. This is the story of her final pursuit and capture.

Basic Storyline: Servants of the King pursue Naiore Dannan, the Ravener of Mordor, who has continued to wreak havoc in the aftermath of the war and has remained elusive of her pursuers. Along her trail of evasion, others have become entangled in her wiles, both with her and against her. This story moves through the varied twists and turns that lead to a final showdown between Naiore and the peoples of the west.

The purpose of the story is to: Bring Naiore to justice.

This means we will know the story is over when: Naiore is captured or killed.

Starting Location: The Forsaken Inn, a day's ride east of Bree.

Likely destination: Gladden Fields

Timeframes:
This game takes place in the Fourth Age at around year 12, starting in midsummer.
The storyline itself or plot covers 2 months.

This game requires a time commitment of 13 weeks from me, the game owner and from the major players.

Characters needed:
2 Rangers - Male, Race of Men.
These two must be veterans of the War of the Ring. They are loyal to the king and fought against evil, although they do not necessarily have to be of the thirty Rangers who rode south during the war. They have a deep friendship with Hanasian, as well as Elrond's sons, Elrohir and Elladan. They will know Kaldir if they were riding with the Rangers 15 years before when Kaldir was captured, or have heard of him and the terrible battle from some of the older Rangers who were there. Or, they may have encountered him more recently while plying his trade as a bounty hunter. They will probably know of Amandur, as well, as he is a rather prominent Ranger, with close association to Aragorn and the court. Outside of these specifications, the writers are free to develop the Ranger characters as they see fit.

2 "Shady Underworld Types" -- Male, Race of Men.
Be as creative as you like with these guys. The only restrictions are that they be male, Men, and up to no good. They can either be working together or separately. They fall in with Naiore, probably somewhere in the vicinity of the inn. While seeming to work for her, they are also trying to figure out a way to betray her for their own profit. There is no loyalty among thieves!

Character types which would not belong: Any not listed above.

Dedicated Characters:
Ealasaid (Game Owner) will play 2 characters: Kaldir and Benia Nightshade (both Race of Men)
Nerindel (Game Owner) will play 2 characters: Lespheria (Elf) and Amandur (Man)
Elora (Game Owner) will play 3 characters: Naiore, Vanwe, and Menecin (all elves)
Snowdog (Game Owner) will play 1 character: Hanasian (Man)
Hilde Bracegirdle will play 1 character: Gilly Banks (Hobbit)

(We will insert the Bios with First Posts into the final version of the form after each name.)

NCE’s who will figure into the storyline:
Elladan
Elrohir
Celeborn
These are actual Tolkein figures and, when writing about them, writers need to exercise extreme care that they are presented with accuracy, according to Tolkein's original characterizations of them.

Additional NCE's who will figure into the storyline are the personnel from the Green Dragon Inn, which for the purposes of this RPG, are removed to the Forsaken Inn and renamed as follows:
Vinca Bunce (cook) - Aldarida Boffin
Ruby Brown (server & maid) - Rowana Brandybuck
Buttercup Brownlock (kitchen assistant & maid) - Amarantha Willow
Derufin (stablemaster/handyman) - Dervorin
Aman (innkeeper) - Fimbriel

FIRST POSTS MUST ACCOMPANY ALL CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS. NO character descriptions will be accepted without First Posts accompanying them. All character descriptions posted without the required First Post will be sent back to their writers. Writers will be chosen based on the quality of their submission, not on a first come, first in, basis.

Proposer/Owner: Ealasaid
RPGs at the Barrow Downs I have participated in are the following: Sailing Away (a cameo role); Dark Seduction; Corsairs & Corsets

Proposer/Owner: Nerindel
RPGs at the Barrow Downs I have participated in are the following: In the Footsteps of the Grey Company, The Summons, Dark Seduction and The fall of Greenwood the Great

[ August 07, 2003: Message edited by: Ealasaid ]

[ August 07, 2003: Message edited by: Ealasaid ]
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:02 AM   #85
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Sting

All looks good to me.

I also would prefer not to use 1st person if possible, for fear of the pyschological repercusions. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Does anyone plan to bring up the infamous red stone, or should we ignore it's existance? I'm trying to weed out irrelevant stuff in my mind here...letters...rocks...Myrtle...hmmm....
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:51 AM   #86
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Sting

I am going to suggest you also list Snowdog and Elora as owners. This will give the all those listed as game owners the ability to be considered for game playing in Rohan once this game is finished. If there is an incarnation of this game, then perhaps Hilde can be listed as a game owner, allowing her access to Rohan games.

Also – lets leave the final game form on this thread – don’t PM it to me as is the norm.

Please note, I have gone back and edited your Character Description posts – to set them up to be moved easily to the Discussion Thread for the Game. Beneath each character description, is an open section where you can place a First Post for your character. Please do place your posts there with your character bios.

Once you have finalized the form, and the First Posts are in place – just PM me with the date all of you have agreed on for the Discussion Thread to open.
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Old 08-07-2003, 01:53 PM   #87
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Thanks, Pio! Will do all of the above. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

[ August 07, 2003: Message edited by: Ealasaid ]
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Old 08-07-2003, 02:20 PM   #88
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It looks good Ealasaid. I still think that the Forsaken Inn is only [i]"a days journey east of Bree" as stated by Aragorn, and according to the Atlas of Middle Earth ( I know, not Tolkien canon, but a very good resource), it appears to be about 20 miles. At an enduring foot pace down the road by Longshanks, it would be a long days journey. A horse will be faster.

Thanks for the G.O. status! I will hone out my First Post probably by this weekend.

I believe Elora will be back sometime this weekend as well.
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Old 08-07-2003, 02:33 PM   #89
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My dog-eared copy of Fonstad's Atlas of Middle-earth leads the line of Tolkien's books that sit by my computer.

It is my 'canon' cartography resource. She delved deeply into the canon sources and produced this mapped approach to Middle-earth.

No quibbles from me, if you use her maps.

In fact:

HERE is a map from the Atlas of the area from the Forsaken Inn (about 25 miles east of the southern end of the Midgewater Marshes on the Great East Road, and then east to the Gladden Fields.

[ August 07, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 08-07-2003, 04:01 PM   #90
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Excellent work, my good cartographers! But, speaking as a geographical dunderhead, what does that mean to us? i.e. what do I need to change in the Game Submission Form? And what do I need to change it to? I changed the description under The Starting Location from "two days' ride" to "one day's ride". Is that okay? Or should I drop the driving directions entirely.

I only aims to please! [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

AHA! I've actually got Fonstad's book. Now...to open it!

[ August 07, 2003: Message edited by: Ealasaid ]
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Old 08-07-2003, 11:55 PM   #91
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You only needed to change exactly what you did change - 2 days to 1 day from Bree.

I am simply enamored of maps and tend to blather on about them.
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:07 AM   #92
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For some reason, this thread is still acting odd. It put Hilde's reply into my previous post box for some reason, and it did lose Page 4 before I could get it closed when the Forum was having its technical problems.

So, I'm going to close this one and start another one to finish the discussion.

I do have all your Bios and First Posts on floppy in case it decides to disappear all together.

Let me just move them and the last incarnation of the Game Proposal to a new topic.

Note I'll put the proposed name on it also.

New Discussion Thread here:

THE LINGERING DARKNESS

~~ Pio

[ August 12, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:20 AM   #93
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Tolkien *The Lingering Darkness Planning Thread (Part 2)*

This is a continuation of the first Planning Thread.

Old Discussion Thread HERE
_____________________________________________

This thread is being opened for the purposes of planning an RPG, which has grown out of a storyline developed in the Green Dragon Inn.

Its use is restricted to these writers for now:
  • Ealasaid
  • Elora
  • Hilde Bracegirdle
  • Nerindel
  • Snowdog

No other writers may use this thread with the exception of the Shire Moderators.

All posts by those other than those listed above will be deleted


[ October 10, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:20 AM   #94
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Ealasaid's post

Again, barring any objections, here is our nearly complete Game Submission Form. All we need now are our first posts. Again, I hope everyone is happy with it.

Title: The Lingering Darkness

Owners: Ealasaid, Elora, Nerindel, Snowdog

Historical Background:
With the destruction of the One Ring and the downfall of Sauron, the evil of the lands fled disorganized and broken before the might of the West. Men and lands that were long under the grasp of the Shadow were now freed by the grace of King Elessar, and peace was known to all. But there were still some who, having been corrupted and having grown used to positions of power, still lingered, either unable or unwilling to admit defeat and accept the rule of the King. They were few, and they had scattered about the lands to hide and cause such troubles as they could. The King, being wise and with much foresight, knew that these remnants of evil would never submit and would spread fear in the newly-freed lands, and would have to be brought to justice. Despite the best efforts of the king's men and with a sizeable bounty on her head, one individual remains at large. This is the story of her final pursuit and capture.

Basic Storyline: Servants of the King pursue Naiore Dannan, the Ravener of Mordor, who has continued to wreak havoc in the aftermath of the war and has remained elusive of her pursuers. Along her trail of evasion, others have become entangled in her wiles, both with her and against her. This story moves through the varied twists and turns that lead to a final showdown between Naiore and the peoples of the west.

The purpose of the story is to: Bring Naiore to justice.

This means we will know the story is over when: Naiore is captured or killed.

Starting Location: The Forsaken Inn, a day's ride east of Bree.

Likely destination: Gladden Fields

Timeframes:
This game takes place in the Fourth Age at around year 12, starting in midsummer.
The storyline itself or plot covers 2 months.

This game requires a time commitment of 13 weeks from me, the game owner and from the major players.

Characters needed:
2 Rangers - Male, Race of Men.
These two must be veterans of the War of the Ring. They are loyal to the king and fought against evil, although they do not necessarily have to be of the thirty Rangers who rode south during the war. They have a deep friendship with Hanasian, as well as Elrond's sons, Elrohir and Elladan. They will know Kaldir if they were riding with the Rangers 15 years before when Kaldir was captured, or have heard of him and the terrible battle from some of the older Rangers who were there. Or, they may have encountered him more recently while plying his trade as a bounty hunter. They will probably know of Amandur, as well, as he is a rather prominent Ranger, with close association to Aragorn and the court. Outside of these specifications, the writers are free to develop the Ranger characters as they see fit.

2 "Shady Underworld Types" -- Male, Race of Men.
Be as creative as you like with these guys. The only restrictions are that they be male, Men, and up to no good. They can either be working together or separately. They fall in with Naiore, probably somewhere in the vicinity of the inn. While seeming to work for her, they are also trying to figure out a way to betray her for their own profit. There is no loyalty among thieves!

Character types which would not belong: Any not listed above.

Dedicated Characters:

Ealasaid (Game Owner) will play 2 characters: Kaldir and Benia Nightshade (both Race of Men)
Nerindel (Game Owner) will play 2 characters: Lespheria (Elf) and Amandur (Man)
Elora (Game Owner) will play 3 characters: Naiore, Vanwe, and Menecin (all elves)
Snowdog (Game Owner) will play 1 character: Hanasian (Man)
Hilde Bracegirdle will play 1 character: Gilly Banks (Hobbit)

(We will insert the Bios with First Posts into the final version of the form after each name.)

NCE’s who will figure into the storyline:

Elladan
Elrohir
Celeborn

These are actual Tolkein figures and, when writing about them, writers need to exercise extreme care that they are presented with accuracy, according to Tolkein's original characterizations of them.

Additional NCE's who will figure into the storyline are the personnel from the Green Dragon Inn, which for the purposes of this RPG, are removed to the Forsaken Inn and renamed as follows:

Vinca Bunce (cook) - Aldarida Boffin
Ruby Brown (server & maid) - Rowana Brandybuck
Buttercup Brownlock (kitchen assistant & maid) - Amarantha Willow
Derufin (stablemaster/handyman) - Dervorin
Aman (innkeeper) - Fimbriel

FIRST POSTS MUST ACCOMPANY ALL CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS. NO character descriptions will be accepted without First Posts accompanying them. All character descriptions posted without the required First Post will be sent back to their writers. Writers will be chosen based on the quality of their submission, not on a first come, first in, basis.

[ August 12, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:20 AM   #95
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Ealasaid's post

Barring any objections, this will be our "working" outline. It is a hybrid of my and Snowdog's submissions, based on Elora's original. I hope everyone is happy with it. (We can always revise it later.)

_____________________________________________

WORKING OUTLINE

ACT 1: At the Forsaken Inn

Lespheria departs, leaving Amandur at the inn, where he remains in the hopes of finding out where Naiore is.
Naiore & Vanwe meet somewhere near the inn.
Kaldir captures Gilly, who is trying to rescue Benia.
Hanasian returns to the inn from Bree.
2 Shady Underworld Types arrive at the inn. (Or they may already be there -- writer‘s choice.)
2 New Rangers arrive at the inn, meeting Amandur and Hanasian.

ACT 2: Meetings & Departures

Kaldir returns to the woods, where he had earlier sensed an ominous presence, and discovers that it is indeed Naiore. He picks up her trail.
Naiore & Vanwe fall in together.
Hanasian & Amandur also learn of Naiore's presence by chance, intuition, or whispered rumor.
Having been intercepted and turned back by a messenger from her twin brother, Lespheria returns to the inn, where she rejoins Amandur.
Hanasian joins forces with the other two (as yet unnamed) Rangers.
Hearing somehow of Naiore’s presence, the Underworld Types decide to seek her out, leaving the inn before the others.
The rest of them depart (in separate groups) in pursuit of Naiore.
Gilly and Benia accompany Kaldir as his prisoners (sort of).

Act 3: Intrigue

Naiore & Vanwe take up with the two Shady Underworld Types
The Hunters & the Hunted all stalk each other a bit. There are run-ins & confrontations as Naiore attempts to take out her pursuers by whatever means she has at her disposal.
Gilly & Benia try to decide whether to assist Kaldir, escape from him, or attempt to redeem him.
Hanasian catches up with Kaldir.

Act 4: The Noose Tightens

With Rangers and bounty hunters closing in, Naiore changes her focus from killing the Rangers to pursuing Menecin, using any and all means to conceal her path.
The Rangers (all of them) and Lespheria ride together.
Shady characters start to realize Naiore may be setting them up for a fall and so plot against her.
Gilly & Benia manage to free themselves or Kaldir loosens his grip as he becomes increasingly focused on the hunt for Naiore.

Act 5: End Game

Naiore makes her attempt to kill Menecin. She fails & flees to the south, deserting Vanwe to her fate.
Naiore tries to take down anyone she can as she attempts to escape the closing trap.
The shady characters make their move against Naiore, either on their own or together.
Naiore is trapped somewhere near the Gladden Fields, where she is either captured or slain.

[ August 12, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:21 AM   #96
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Ealasaid's character - Kaldir

NAME: Kaldir

AGE: 42

RACE: Men. Both his father and mother were Dunedain

GENDER: Male

WEAPONS: Long sword, long knife worn at the belt, and a variety of smaller knives concealed about his person. He also carries a rope and sometimes a whip...tools of his trade.

APPEARANCE: Kaldir is about 6 feet tall with a lean and muscular build. He has dark brown hair that falls just past his shoulders, which he wears tied back most of the time. He is darkly tanned, and wears a short beard. His eyes are of such a pale blue that the irises nearly vanish into the whites. Ice blue is a good description, as his eyes are usually cold, reflecting very little emotion. While the right side of his face is quite handsome, with a high cheekbone and strong brow, the left side of his face has been badly disfigured: the cheekbone smashed, and the skin a twisted mass of scar tissue from his hairline to his beard. This also affects the musculature of his face -- for instance, he can only smile with the good side of his face. Scars also disfigure a good bit of the rest of his person.
He dresses like a Ranger, in the browns and greens of the forest.

PERSONALITY: Because of his experiences in Mordor, Kaldir has a severe case of Post-Traumatic Stress (if you will pardon my foray into modern psycho-babble.) Consequently, there are a few pages missing out of his Personality Handbook. He feels very few emotions, but the ones he does feel are powerful and extreme. Also, he feels very little connection with or empathy for others. He exists in a kind of survivalist vacuum. Under the right circumstances, he could be healed, but, so far, those circumstances have not existed in his life.
He sleeps very little. He is also prone to debilitating flashbacks. Usually few and far between, these are caused by specific triggers. Unfortunately for him, Naiore (as his chief tormentor in Mordor) is one of those triggers. The flashbacks, when they come, cause him to flinch & lose concentration for a few seconds as his mind returns to certain horrific moments in his past that he has suppressed, unable to deal with them.
Finally, due to head injuires sustained during his imprisonment, large portions of his long-term memory of pre-war events have been either damaged or wiped out.
Overall, despite all the damage, he is a hard, tough man. Even so, he has his good points. He is polite and well-spoken, with a dry sense of humor. While he has difficulty forming connections with others, he does form likings for other people, based on respect for them or their actions. He will treat them well and look out for their well-being... as long as they don't get in his way. (Gilly & Lespheria, so far, fall into this category.) Once they get in his way, however, all bets are off.

STRENGTHS: Kaldir is a very intelligent individual, but his main strengths are that he is relentless and infinitely patient. When he is on someone's trail, he can bide his time until exactly the right moment. When he does choose to strike, he is generally fast, strong, and ruthless.
He can track almost anything, anywhere. He is a highly skilled horseman and an expert with a sword. While his archery skills are passable, he generally prefers other types of weapons.

WEAKNESSES: See the Personality description above. Also, his growing love for Benia leaves him vulnerable. In his emotionally stunted state, he behaves (toward others, where she is involved) more like a wolf over a fresh kill than a man with a potential love interest, but his feelings for her are deep. He would go to great lengths to protect her from harm.

HISTORY: Kaldir was born in the north. He never knew his mother as she died giving birth to him. Growing up, he was close with his father who taught him all the fighting and tracking skills of a Ranger. He grew into a brave and intelligent young man, loyal to Aragorn and completely at his disposal. He began riding with the Rangers at a very young age. He was not quite thirty when he fell at the Battle of Raven Falls, where he was taken prisoner by the orcs and transported south to Mordor, where he spent the next three years, and pretty much the duration of the War, as a prisoner and slave of Sauron. While in Mordor, he endured unspeakable horrors at the hands of Sauron's underlings, one of whom was none other than Naiore. Fascinated by pain and death, she tortured and tormented him nearly to the point of death throughout his imprisonment. He only survived through sheer strength of will, his experiences hardening him into the predator he is today.

After the war, he tried to return to the Ranger lifestyle, but found that he could no longer fit in. He gradually drifted away from the society of the other Rangers, keeping to himself and hiring his tracking skills out to whomever was willing to pay for them. Eventually, this led to bounty hunting, oftentimes in the employ of the same types (evil southerners) who had earlier enslaved him, only now they treat him with fear and respect. He travels easily between the north and the south, on no one's side but his own. The other Rangers view him with some suspicion, but generally leave him to his own business as, out of principle, he never goes after any of them. He arrives at the Forsaken Inn with the intent of capturing Benia for the bounty placed on her by Haradrim holdouts in the South. While there, he discovers the presence of Vanwe, who would be worth considerably more than Benia in terms of a bounty, and Naiore, against whom he wants nothing more than revenge. If he can collect a bounty for Naiore after she is dead, so much the better. (He's pragmatic, if nothing else.) His hatred of Naiore is very personal.

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Ealasaid's post for Kaldir

As Kaldir slid the bolt into place that sealed his captive, Benia Nightshade, into her cellar prison, he frowned to himself. Why couldn’t he kill her? There was a hefty price on her head in the south, as there was for any of the remnants of the Painted Sand tribe. He didn’t even need to deliver her alive. Since the Painted Sand people had the peculiar custom of tattooing their women’s hands with clan markings and tribal symbols, all he needed in order to collect the bounty was her hands, salted, mummified, or however he cared to deliver them. When he had abducted her from her bed at the inn the night before, his intention had been to make short work of her. He had even pre-stocked the cellar with an axe, a pound of salt to preserve the hands, and a heavy chopping block. All remained unused and Kaldir found himself facing a fresh set of problems, not the smallest of which was what to do with the southern woman now that he had her.

Stooping to pick up the bundle that contained her used supper dishes, he made a noise deep in his throat that sounded something between a grumble and a growl. If he intended to take her with him, he would have to find a horse for her and some shoes. Having taken her from her bed, she was barefoot with nothing heavier than a cotton dress to protect her from the elements. He would have to find a way to obtain her belongings from the inn. The sprained ankle made the horse a necessity. Of course, she could ride double with him, but he was afraid he would find that a touch too distracting, especially for the journey he had a feeling he was soon to undertake. As it was, he had difficulty pushing the image of her dark amber eyes and shining black hair out of his mind. Having her on the same horse with him would be a disaster. He would get a second horse.

Or he could let her go, just leave her in the cellar to her fate. Kaldir thought about it as he walked back through the darkness toward the inn. That would be the simplest solution, the obvious thing to do, that is if he did not go ahead with his original plan and kill her already. Her hobbit friend would no doubt find her well before she managed to starve to death. Mrs. Banks seemed like the determined type. Nonetheless, he found himself continuing to waver over what to do with Miss Nightshade.

Approaching the inn, he slowed his steps. He was growing annoyed with himself for his own indecision. The problem was that he felt a connection to Benia, as thought she had something to do with him on a fundamental level. He wasn’t sure what that something might be, but, if he were to destroy her, he would never know.

He would get a second horse. He would return Cook’s dishes to the inn, settle his accounts, and then seek out Cobhan Tupper, the local gypsy horse-trader, and negotiate or threaten him into a decent price on a passable mount for the girl. Stopping just outside the inn grounds, Kaldir gave his head a quick shake, as though trying to clear the cobwebs from his mind. The whole situation was crazy. He should just go back to the cellar and do the deed. When she was gone, that would be the end of it. No more haunting images of smooth brown skin and long-lashed eyes. She would be nothing more than a commodity in a bag, to be turned in for a price. Finally, he nodded to himself but the expression in his pale eyes was bitter and hard.

Pushing the thought of Benia out of his mind, Kaldir stepped forward into the inn’s yard. The grove of trees that lay on the far side of the inn from where he stood reminded him of his more pressing concerns. First of all, there was Vanwe, the young elf lady upon whose head lay a substantial price, placed on her by the Haradwraith village that had been foolish enough to lose her, the daughter of Naiore Dannan. He had almost managed to capture her several times earlier in the day, but each time found himself waiting, instead, for a more opportune moment. She was impulsive and quick, but clearly frightened of her own shadow. He could use that fear against her, but really didn’t think he would need to. She had a tendency to bolt suddenly out of rooms where there was the relative safety of other people to go off by herself, where she became - for him - a sitting duck. He was confident that it was just a matter of time before Vanwe joined Miss Nightshade in her cellar prison. Or, rather, took her place. Then, soon after, he could begin the long journey south to return Miss Vanwe to her village.

But he was troubled by the presence of the other, the one he had taken to thinking of as The Watcher in the Woods. It was a familiar malevolence that he had sensed there that afternoon, one he knew well from long experience. But could it really be she? He had no desire to go creeping about in the darkness to find out, but, come dawn, that was exactly where he intended to go. It would make sense for Naiore to be there. After all, the daughter was there, why not the mother? He felt the hair stand up on the back of his neck as he cast one more glance across the yard toward the gloom and mist between the trees. He had the distinct feeling that she waited for him out there between the black tree trunks, a dark presence with unfinished business. The long-smashed bones of his face began to throb. He had some unfinished business with her as well. Daylight would be there soon enough. He would find out then if Naiore had indeed come to the north.

Stepping across the threshold into the cheery warmth of the inn’s common room, Kaldir made first for the kitchen where he dropped off the crockery from Benia’s dinner. Then, he returned to the common room, where by chance or fate, the first face to catch his eye was that of the horse-trader himself. Always one to follow his instincts, Kaldir took it as a sign. He joined Tupper at his table.

"Greetings, you old horse thief," he said pleasantly, taking the empty chair at the horse-trader’s elbow. "Have you any horses to sell?"

Cobhan Tupper looked up in surprise, then a grin spread across his swarthy, whiskered face. "To an old scoundrel like you? Of course.’ He took a long drink from his tankard. "What happened to that big gray stallion of yours? Did he finally die of ill humor? I believe I still have a hoof print in my backside courtesy of that evil-tempered beast."

Kaldir smiled wryly. "You shouldn’t have tried to steal him." Raising his hand, he signaled to Rowana Brandybuck for an ale. "He’s stabled outside."

"A fine animal! Would you be interested in selling him?"

"No. I’m only interested in buying."


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Ealasaid's character - Benia

NAME: Benia Nightshade

AGE: 30

RACE: Men. Her father is from Bree; her mother, from Harad.

GENDER: Female

WEAPONS: A dagger and her father's sword.

APPEARANCE: Benia is about 5'7" with a slim, athletic build. She has an olive complexion. Her raven black hair is thick and straight, falling almost to her knees. She usually wears it in a single plait down her back. She is very beautiful in an exotic kind of way, with an oval face and large, long-lashed eyes of a dark amber color. She lines her eyes in kohl. The only jewelry she wears are silver dangling earrings, and a wide silver band on the middle finger of her left hand. A fine silver chain runs from her left earring across her cheekbone to a small stud in her left nostril. Tiny silver medallions hang, sparkling, from the chain.
Her palms and inner wrists (up to about 3" above her hand) are intricately tattooed with floral patterns and clan markings that identify her as a member of the Rain Clan of the Painted Sand tribe from the Haradrim desert. Usually, when she travels, she wears soft leather gauntlets to conceal the tattoos.
Basically a nomad, she doesn't own a wide assortment of clothes, only a cloak and hood, a couple of dresses (with requisite underclothes, of course), and a couple of veils, which she wears oftentimes when she travels, or when she wishes to hide from the world. Her clothes are all of the soft browns and greens of the forest. (She likes bright vibrant colors, but finds the earthtones more practical for all the travel she does.)

PERSONALITY: Benia is a courageous, yet gentle and caring woman. She is calm, confident, and practical, yet would willingly sacrifice her life if she thought it would save the life of another. She is fiercely loyal to her few friends and the remains of her mother's clan. When it concerns her own safety, she is more apt to flee from her enemies than to confront them, but if another's safety is in question, she will do whatever needs to be done in order to save or protect him/her.
She is shy around strangers, but, once her guard is down, likes a laugh and a good tale almost as much as the average hobbit. She has a beautiful singing voice and likes to sing, but rarely gets the opportunity. She is a skilled dancer after the fashion of Haradrim women, but does not know any of the dances done by the other peoples of Middle Earth.

STRENGTHS: Benia's greatest strengths are her courage and her generosity of spirit. She knows how to handle her father's sword, but only uses it in self-defense. (She is not a warrior or shield maiden by any stretch of the imagination.)

WEAKNESSES: She has a tendency to let her guard down sometimes at the wrong moments. Operating largely on instinct, she has also been known to be a little too quick to place her trust in strangers. Usually this is not a problem as she is usually right about people, but on occasion she has been wrong and ended up putting herself in grave danger.

HISTORY: Benia's mother came from the Rain clan of the Painted Sand tribe, a nomadic tribe of the Haradrim desert. They were warriors and horsemen, like the Rohirrim, but their horses were small and fast, better built to withstand the heat of the desert. Painted Sand was once a large and powerful tribe, but when they refused to fight on the side of Sauron in the War of the Ring, the entire clan was pretty much wiped out. To Benia's knowledge, only a handful of aunts and distant cousins remain. There may be others & she is always on the lookout for them. Because their lives are still in danger from those who followed Sauron, the tattered remnants of her tribe remain on the run, scattered throughout Middle Earth. Some of them remain in contact with one another by leaving obscure messages in predecided locations, but others are simply lost.

Benia's mother, Benia the Fair, left the desert with her parents and four of her brothers many years prior to the start of the War, but there was already a gathering of forces moving toward Mordor. They tried to escape north into Gondor and Rohan, but were pursued by orcs and hostile tribesmen. Her parents and one of her brothers were killed before reaching Harad's border. She and her other three brothers made it as far as Rohan, where they we captured by a Rohirrim horse patrol. Jack Nightshade, originally a Bree-man who had migrated to Rohan in search of adventure, was one of her captors. He and two others were given the chore of escorting the prisoners back to the city. By the time they arrived at Edoras, he and the desert lady had fallen in love. She remained a prisoner of the Mark for a brief time until her story was heard and verified, then she and her brothers were released. Her brothers swore their allegiance to Rohan and eventually found service as riders and scouts. Benia the Fair married Jack Nightshade and tried to make a home for the two of them in Rohan.

Jack became a close friend of Benia the Fair's brothers, often riding with them on patrols. Eventually, the brothers won permission to travel back to the desert to seek word on their kinsmen. Jack was granted permission to accompany them and, against his better judgment, was swayed by his wife's pleas and allowed her to accompany them as well. It was only after they had travelled a goodly distance toward Harad that it was discovered that Benia the Fair was pregnant. They had gone too far to send her back, so they continued on and Benia's daughter, Benia Nightshade, was born in the desert of her kinsmen. When the company finally reached the far savannahs, the ancestral base of the Painted Sand clan, there was no one left, just slaughtered horses and skeletons bleaching in the sun. They stayed there in hiding until the Benias were strong enough, then began the journey back to Rohan.

On the way back, they were attacked by orcs. The company was split in the fighting. Jack and his wife and daughter fled back into the desert. No one knew what became of the brothers. The Nightshades stayed in the desert, getting by as best they could until little Benia turned seven. Then Jack decided it was time to return to Rohan. This time they made it back, but things had changed. Jack was seen as a deserter and imprisoned. He managed to escape and, taking his little family with him, fled again. This time, they went North to Bree and his ancestral home. There, the Nightshade family took them in. They managed to stay there in peace and contentment for a while, but by the time little Benia reached her teens, rumors of trouble began to haunt them again. Mysterious strangers had been coming up the Greenway to Bree, asking about desert people and describing little Benia and her mother. It was clear that they meant them ill. Jack decided it was time to run again.

He bundled up his wife and now teenaged daughter, taking the unlikely road west toward The Shire. The strangers were in hot pursuit and nearly overtook them but for the brave interference of a hobbit called Gilly Burrows (now Banks), who at great peril to herself and her family, took it upon herself first to conceal the three of them and later to help them escape.

The three Nightshades did manage to escape, but were not so lucky the next time. They were overtaken by bounty hunters a short while later in some wild and lonely spot. Benia the Fair was killed and Jack was badly wounded. Little Benia remained unharmed only because she had been dawdling away from the camp when the tragedy struck. Carefully, she sheltered and tended to her father until he was well enough to travel. As soon as he had regained enough strength, they returned to his family in Bree, where he completed his convalescence. As soon as he was able, he took his daughter and the two of them vanished into the wilderness, never again attempting to call anyplace home for long.

Jack was heartbroken at the loss of Benia the Fair and never quite recovered from it. Eventually, he took to drink and was killed in a tavern brawl. Benia Nightshade was left on her own. She continued to travel, eventually working her way south again to the desert where she was able to locate a few surviving members of her clan, who tattooed her hands and finished teaching her the ways of the desert. Now she spends the majority of her time traveling from place to place, looking for her scattered kinsmen, helping them where she can and trying to assist in the rescues of those who are still imprisoned. She has never married, and, though she keeps in contact with her father's family in Bree, the connection is rather tenuous. Even though she is Jack's daughter, they still view her as a foreigner and help her on occasion only out of loyalty to her father's memory. They blame her and her mother for Jack's death.

She arrives at the Forsaken Inn as the result of a desire to see Gilly. Banned from the Shire (along with all the other Big People) by order of King Elessar, she sent a message to Bywater asking Gilly to meet her at the inn. She didn't go as far as Bree because of the tense nature of her relations with her father's family. The Nightshades are a big family, & she knew she could not be there unbeknownst to them.
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Ealasaid's post for Benia

Bound wrist and ankle, Benia Nightshade lay in the darkness of the abandoned cellar. Despite the skilled healing efforts of the two elves back at the inn, her sprained ankle throbbed under the tightness of the rope. Kaldir, the bounty hunter who had seized her out of her bed at the inn, had been gone for hours. She had already begun to wonder if he was ever going to return. Half of her mind hoped that he would. She would hate to starve to death, alone and forgotten, in the empty cellar. The other half of her mind hoped never to lay eyes on him again. She knew he meant to kill her. Why he had not done so already was a mystery to her.

Thinking back, she remembered how he had brought her to the cellar and dumped her rather unceremoniously on to the dirt floor. From there he had dragged her over to a wooden chopping block, where an axe already waited, but, instead of chopping off her head or hands as she had expected him to do, he had simply given the tribal tattoos on her hands a long stare in the flickering candlelight. Then, inexplicably, he had kissed each of her palms and left, taking the axe with him. She had not seen him since. The candle he had lit when they arrived in the cellar had burned out hours ago. Now, whether he came back or not, Benia had the feeling that she had come to the end of her life. Either way, she was waiting to die. Whether the end came quickly or slowly seemed to be all there was left to determine. The ropes that bound her were strong and the knots, like iron. She knew there would be no wriggling loose.

Shifting her legs to a slightly more comfortable position, Benia pondered the last several days of her life, thinking about the mistakes she had made. The trip to the Forsaken Inn had been a foolish and sentimental thing to do in the first place, and, since arriving there, she had done nothing right or sensible. Actually, in retrospect, she realized she had thrown caution to the wind nearly from the moment she had first crossed the inn's threshold. With that in mind, she had to admit that it was no surprise to find herself in her current predicament.

The worst part of the whole scenario was that she had not only endangered herself, but involved her friend Gilly, as well, which was - to her mind - unforgivable. Benia sighed. She hoped desperately that Gilly was well on her way back toward Bywater and safety by now, not hanging about inviting more trouble. She blamed herself for Gilly's involvement. If she had just not written that letter inviting Gilly to meet her there at the inn, none of this would have happened. Gilly would be safe at home with her family in Bywater, and Benia, herself, would be going about her own business miles away from the inn. There would have been no ill-fated songs, no sprained ankle, and, most of all, no bounty hunter.

She was sure the song was what had summoned the bounty hunter out of the wilds, like a genie from a bottle. She had made the mistake of letting herself get too comfortable in the warmth of the inn's common room and, not only bursting into song, but bursting into song in the most conspicuous way imaginable... in the language of her own nearly extinct Haradrim tribe, complete with finger cymbals. In the darkness, Benia blushed from her own foolishness. She might as well have just burst into flame. It had been no coincidence that the bounty hunter had appeared the very next day. She was sure of it.

The sprained ankle, too, was as much her own fault as anything else. If she had just watched where she was going instead of worrying so much about where the bounty hunter was, she would have seen the pewter tankard left on the stairs. As if that wasn’t enough, she had pretty much sealed her own fate by sending the kind Ranger, Hanasian, who had helped her after her fall on the stairs, on that ridiculous errand to Bree. In all reality, he had been her only protection. As soon as he had gone, the bounty hunter had made his move and the next thing Benia knew, she lay tied in an empty cellar, waiting to die.

She sighed again and was just closing her eyes to try to sleep when the sound of a firm step on the floor over her head jolted her awake. She struggled into a sitting position and edged away as best she could from the narrow staircase that led upward to the abandoned blacksmith’s shop. There was a click and a slide of a bolt, followed by the creak of stiff hinges as the trap door opened over her head. Straining to see through the darkness, she could barely make out the tall shape of the bounty hunter descending the stairs. He carried a small bundle which he set down beside her. A few seconds later, a fresh candle flickered to life. Benia’s amber eyes struggled to adjust to the light as the bounty hunter knelt beside her and untied her wrists. When he had finished, he moved away to take a seat on the stairs.

He nodded toward the bundle he had left on the floor beside her. “I suggest you eat,” he said quietly.

Startled, Benia did as she was told and reached for the bundle. She had not eaten in over twenty-four hours, but it was not until she smelled the rich aroma of Aldarida Boffin’s cooking that she realized she was famished. Even so, she hesitated before taking even the first bite. She turned a curious gaze toward the bounty hunter, who only smiled his peculiar one-sided smile, the candlelight casting his scarred features into sharp planes of dark and light.

“It’s not poisoned if that’s what you’re thinking,” he told her, guessing her unspoken question. “I suggest you eat it.”

Benia did as she was told. Even though it was just a cold supper of whole grain bread and cold chicken, she couldn’t remember when any food had ever tasted so good. Watching Kaldir from the corner of her eyes as she ate, she saw that he was simply waiting for her to finish. His sword remained sheathed at his side and there was no sign of an axe. Even the chopping block lay where he had left it. Finally, she gathered her courage to speak.

“If you mean to kill me,” she asked. “Why do you bring me a meal?”

“Perhaps I don’t mean to kill you just yet.” Seeing that she was finished, he rose from his perch on the stairs and gathered the empty crockery back into the bundle. “You’ll need your strength. Can you ride?”

Benia nodded.

Kaldir did not answer immediately, but picked up the rope and retied her wrists, even tighter it seemed than before. “Then we leave on the morrow,” he said at last, casting barely a glance at her bare feet that lay partly visible under the hem of her dress. Without any further explanation, he took up the bundle of now-empty crockery and departed back up the stairs.

Alone in the candlelight, Benia listened as the trap door creaked shut and the outside bolt fell into place with a decisive click.

[ August 20, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:21 AM   #97
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Nerindel's character - Léspheria

NAME: Léspheria Denfëa

AGE: 2901 (As of the Fourth Age 12)

RACE: Noldor (Fathers line Fingolfin, Mothers line Finarfin)

GENDER: Female

WEAPONS : Léspheria carries a Silvery grey bow made from the wood of a Mallorn tree, it has the gold leaf and flower design, of these great trees. It is longer and stouter than most. Her brown leather quiver hangs on her back and is always filled with arrows she Fletches herself.

Her short sword is of Noldorin design and hangs on her left side, it bears the crest of the house of Finarfin on the pommel. This sword is dear to Léspheria as it was once her mothers, given to her by her father on his departure from Middle Earth.

Léspheria also carries a small belt knife given to her by Amandur on their first battle together, it has a black handle and a grey blade.

Léspheria has a light shirt of silver chain mail, made for her by the Gwaith-I-Mírdain that resided in Imladris before the war. She wears it concealed under her clothes.

APPEARANCE: Léspheria is tall and slender, her long, straight, dark hair falls halfway down her back and in sunlight the golden colouring of her mothers kin can be seen flecked through it. Her complexion is pale and unblemished, some of her fathers kin liken her to Aredhel, the only daughter of Fingolfin, but when next to her mother it is obvious that Léspheria's looks come from her, they share the same Almond shaped grey eyes, not a dull but bright and piercing, almost as though they could see right into your heart.

Léspheria is no stranger to wearing the fine apparel of court, but prefers to wear clothes of her own design. She favours blues and silvers, but when travelling she wears the forest colours favoured by her kin. It is not often that she is seen in trousers preferring long skirts/dresses designed by herself to be practical for fighting and wandering the wilds. She wears calf high brown leather boots and a hooded cloak of a light but warm woven silken material, that seems to reflect the colour of its surroundings, grey in the hue of twilight under the trees; green as shadowed leaves, or brown as fallow fields by night, dusk silver as water under the stars. It is clasped at the neck by a silver brooch shaped in the likeness of Galathilion and bears a crescent moon. (the Emblem of the Eldar)

PERSONALITY/STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES: Léspheria is Altruistic in nature, which on more than one occasion has got her into trouble, but she is also self-sufficient and capable of making the best of a bad situation.

Léspheria is warm and friendly to those she meet's that she senses are of good heart, to those who are not she is closed and guarded. She also has a tendency to follow her instincts, but never at the risk to others.

She possesses the innate ability to sense the emotions of those around her, this is what allows her to be more trusting than most of her kin, but this ability has its down sides, not only can she sense the emotions of others, but of her mother and twin brother she can actually feel when they are in pain or torment and in turn their pain is laid upon her. Only a few of her family and Amandur know of this weakness in her ability (As they see it). She also possesses the healing ability of her kin, using her senses to locate the site of injury and manipulate it into a state of mending/healing.

Léspheria is a keen Archer and woods woman, both skills taught her by her father and brother, she also carries the wisdom of her kin and is learned in the histories of her people, she harbours the fear that one day she will fall pray to the pride of her ancestors.

HISTORY: Léspheria was born in the TA 132 to Valaindon, her mother who was a High elf of Lothlorien and a descendant of the noble house of Finarfin, and Finderon, her father who was a High elf of Imladris and a descendent of the house of Fingolfin. Both Lespheria and her twin brother Lóthaniel were brought up in Imladris, but when Léspheria started to show signs that she possessed her mothers gifts she was taken to Lothlorien to study under those of her mothers house who remained after the SA.

In Lothlorien she learnt how to discipline her ability and use it to help others. On the eventual realisation that her gift could be use in a darker more sinister way she was physically sick to her core and began to fear her gift, but the words of the lady of the woods healed her of this fear and she carries them in her heart always 'The choices we make are what make us who we are.' and from that day to this she choose to only use her gifts to help others.

In Lothlorien Léspheria also learnt the finer arts, Dressmaking, embroidery, music and poetry she was also taught Archery and Herblore, she learned quickly and became skilful , she learnt also the histories of her kin and the family trees of each line fascinated her most, she soon discovered the there was a space missing in the family tree of her mothers kin, but when she ask about this, she was told that she was mistaken or that it was a mistake made by the writer. But always she sensed that they hid the truth and where ashamed to admit it, so she pursued it no further.

About the year 1974 TA. Léspheria returned with her family to Rivendell, in this year the North kingdom ended and the witch king over ran Arthedain and took Fornost. In this time many messengers passed between Rivendell and the Grey havens and the following year it was decided that Rivendell would send a force to aid in removing the witch king, from the northern lands. On the day that her father and brother were due to leave Léspheria had a premonition of their death in the form of a dream. She begged for them not to go, but they thought her dream no more than anxiety. Léspheria was not so convinced and against their wishes she followed the host north.

It was here that she found out her acute link to her brother, as a blow struck him she fell from her horse experiencing his pain, it was here too that her friendship with the Dunedain began. An Arnorian soldier seeing an elven woman in the battle came to her aid, she persuaded him to help her search for her brother, together they found Her father and brother both injured and with her expert healing skills she healed both, The man from who Amandur is descended faught off the enemy so that she could work unhindered. After the victourious battle Léspheria helped tend others that were injured in the battle.

After the battle of Fornost, under the instruction of Lord Elrond the Elves of Rivendell, taught the survivors of Arnor, the skills required to become rangers, in this time Léspheria too decided that she wished to learn these skills, so both her father and Brother taught her, they were surprised at how quickly she learned and how adaptable she could be. By the time rumours reach Rivendell of a power returned to Dol Guldur, Léspheria is now aiding the elves in the training of the Dunedain.

At about this time Lésperia's mother left Rivendell, and her Father finally tells both of them about Naiore, but not everything. He tells them only of her crimes but not of their relationship to this woman or of the friendship that their mother once shared with Naiore.

Lóthaniel later finds out that Naiore and their mother are cousins and that after Naiore disappeared from Belfalas, their mother helped to look for her fearing that some ill had befallen her. In this time she met their father and he agreed to help her search, but to no avail. Valaindon returned to Rivendell with Finderon. When Finderon returned from the Battle of Dagorlad he did not have the heart to tell Valaindon of what they saw and of the terror Naiore struck in their hearts, for he knew she would not believe it, he too wouldn't if he had not seen it with his own eyes. But after the disaster of the Gladden Fields all the elves learned of Naiores crimes, Valaindon refused to believe what she was told and rode often in search of her cousin, but all she found was a trail of heinous crimes. so she returned to Finderon and chose to live in denial. but of this Lothaniel says nothing to Léspheria.

In the time that Valaindon is away from her family she finds Naiore, not far from Lothlorien. Naiore reading her cousins thoughts pretends to have been tortured and used by Sauron and forced to do the treacherous things that she has done, knowing that her old friend would show pity on her. Valaindon thinking she was right all along about her friend, makes the mistake of not reading her cousins emotions. Valaindon meets secretly with Naiore (As her cousin feigns to be to afraid and ashamed to face her kin) and brings her news of Lothlorien, it is through Valaindon that she learns that Menecin still loves her and longs for her return, Naiore then slowly begins to draw secrets from her cousin regarding the defence of both Lothlorien and Rivendell. With the coming of Menecin to Rivendell, Valaindon realises she has been deceived and the pride of her kin engulfs her and in rage she relentlessly peruses Naiore who she finally sees as her enemy. the following year she losses the trail, but does not give up searching. She is eventually captured at the end of the year 3017 and is taken to Barad-dûr, where she again meets Naiore who takes great pains to torture her and break her elven spirit, but with the fall of Sauron she is forced to flee leaving Valaindon for dead in the pits of Barad-dûr. She is eventually found by Amandur and other Rangers that dared to enter the great fortress after the war.Of these events Léspheria knows only bits and pieces.

During this time she helps the Dunedain and later she protects the borders of Rivendell, In the year that her mother was captured to the day she died (the best part of a year) Léspheria fell into a fever from which none could cure. Léspheria experienced her mothers torture at the hands of Naiore, though she tells none of this, and only learns of her mothers torturer some years later.

After the war Lésperia's mothers body is brought back to Rivendell, in his grief their father goes with the ring bearers to Valinor, but Both Léspheria and her brother choose to remain. In the 2nd year of the fourth age Léspheria is asked by Lords Elladan and Elrohir, if she would consider becoming one of their emissaries between men and elves, to which she humbly excepted.

It was in this role that she found out the full extent of Naiores crimes, and that the council of King Elassar wished to bring her to justice. Their were a few elves who also wanted to see Naiore brought to justice, but Léspheria not wishing any kinslaying convinced the council of elves to allow King Elessar to bring Naiore to stand trial in Gondor.

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Nerindel's Post for Léspheria


The midday sun shone through the open stable doors as Léspheria finished packing her white elven mare. Turning towards the doors and shielding her sharp elven grey eyes, she watched the tall figure of her friend, as he scanned the road beyond the courtyard. She recalled their first meeting. The young ranger had been sent to the halls of learning in Rivendell to meet with his tutor, but on entering the halls and seeing only her, he had winked mischeviously and asked if she knew were he could find the master of the halls. She managed a weak smile as she remembered Amandur's apparent embarrassment, as she informed him that she was to be his tutor.

He must have sensed her watching for at that moment he turn to face her, a warm smile playing on his lips. His years now began to show on his handsome, but rugged features. Léspheria kept her smile as she walked towards him, glad that the great war had not adversely effected him as much as it had so many others. "I am almost ready to leave, all that is left for me to do is to inform the good lady innkeeper of my departure," she told him,looking in the direction of the inn that had been her home for the past two weeks. She slowly drew her gaze from the inn and returned to Losseserme's stall, the mare snorted impatiently, as she let Léspheria lead her from the stall to the hitching post outside. Amandur joined her and together they made their way back to the inn.

(1)"Amin dele ten'Vanwe!" The elven words slipped off her tongue before she realised that she had said them aloud. "Don't let it worry you, I promise you that I will look out for the young woman's well being as long as my task keeps me here!" Amandur reassured her. She nodded her thanks, glad that he had chosen to keep his watch for Naiore in the inn and not abandon it for her sake.

Amandur pushed open the dark wooden door and held it open for her, "I will wait for you out here!" she nodded and went inside alone. The common room of the forsaken inn was already busy and alive with conversations and the occasional burst of laughter, the dark corners held hastened whisperings and those wishing no other company than their own. Léspheria determinedly made her way to the bar were Fimbriel the auburn haired Rohirrim innkeeper was rushing backwards and forwards filling tankards for the many thirsty patrons, who had chosen to stop in and quench their thirst on this hot midsummer afternoon.

Léspheria raised her hand to catch the innkeepers attention, Fimbriel looked her way and signalled that she would be with her just as soon as she could, while she waited her eyes roamed around the room, The kitchen door swung on squeaky hinges as Rowana Brandybuck hurried back and forth bring lunch to the inn's hungry guests and Amarantha Willow weaved expertly around the tables mopping up spills and refilling empty jars. Léspheria suddenly felt a pang of guilt that she would be leaving when the inn was so obviously busy, But just then she felt the pain in her left shoulder, reminding her that her brother needed her help more.

As she struggled to focus her mind so she could block out the pain, she noticed something else. "Amarantha, has not Mrs banks or her exotic friend come down for lunch today" she asked gently grasping the young hobbit woman's arm as she passed. Amarantha quickly scanned the room, then shook her head "No! Miz Léspheria I have not seen either one all day, but it has been a might busy today" she shrugged apologetically. "Thank you Amarantha, Miss Nightshade did mention that she was planning to leave, maybe they left early." Amarantha nodded reassured and went back to her work. Léspheria was not so sure, but before she could think any more on this puzzle she heard someone speaking to her "And what can I do for you this fine afternoon" Fimbriel beamed as she brushed a few stray auburn hairs from her face.

"I am afraid that I must take my leave of your fine establishment, my brother is injured and I must go to him at once" Léspheria sadly told her. Fimbriel's smile faded and was replaced with a look of genuine concern "I'm sorry to hear that, of course you must go to your brother, is there anything I can do?" she asked sympathetically. "No, No, I have everything I need, I gave my room key to Vanwe and ask her to hold the room till my return, my journey requires haste, so many things had to be left behind." Fimbriel nodded, then the pair said their goodbyes.

As she left the inn she saw Amandur waiting next to her mount, he helped her up then taking her hand in his he whispered softly, " Ride swiftly and be careful!" "As always!" she assured him. She then turned Losseserme and set off at a slow trot until she came to the rear of the inn, she had decided that she would go south-west through the downs. She gently bent over and whispered into the mares ear, (2)"Vanne linte!" Losseserme then broke in to a fast gallop, they speed across the downs and did not stop till nightfall.

Under the eaves of a small wooded area not far from the Greenway Léspheria made her camp, after eating a meagre supper she lay down on her bed roll and looked up at the stars, The watcher as always twinkled brighter than the others and as she watched it she could not help thinking on the puzzles that the past three days had revealed to her. The first being the appearance of Vanwe who seemed to be a puzzle in herself, her face was that of a criminal who was much sought after by men and elf alike, but her deep blue sapphire eyes, revealed that she was the daughter of one who remained under the protection of her people. Vanwe had unknowingly revealed that they shared the same bloodline, confirming her suspicions that Niaore was the missing name in Finarfin's family tree, something that her brother and her kin had chosen to keep from her, although she could not yet figure out why?

Her thoughts then drifted back to the southern woman, Benia and her hobbit friend, Gilly and their lack of presence that morning, she only hoped that they had taken her advice and left the inn in secret, Both herself ,Vanwe and a ranger named Hanasian had tended Benia after a rather nasty fall, Vanwe had treated the womans sprained ankle, revealing to her that they also shared the gift of healing. She only had to reduce the swelling and bind it,Vanwe's raw talent was impressive. But on leaving the southern woman to her rest she had seen another ranger who had introduced himself to her earlier as Kaldir, watching the room with great intent. The southern woman was not the only person that she felt the ranger was interested in, later that same day she had caught him spying on Vanwe, which he denied when she confronted him, she had guessed that Vanwe would have often been mistaken for her mother and she had been determined that it would not happen again, not while she could help it!

Kaldir's lack of emotions had made her suspicious of his intent, but his words had revealed that she had been right to be concerned, "she resembles an acquaintance of mine from the South. I was curious to learn her name to determine if it was she. I was hesitant to approach her directly as the last time we met was under, how shall I say it? Less than optimal circumstances." Sudden pity had lead her to lower her sword and let his reasons pass, she realised that he was yet another victim of Naiore's malice. Strong emotions had surfaced unbidden as he spoke, ones revealing much pain and hatred, emotions that Léspheria feared to explore having felt them strongly through others. The first in her own mother and then in Vanwe's father and now this ranger!

Léspheria slowly closed her eyes and fell into a fitful sleep, the memories of the emotions she felt from all those who had encountered Naiore Dannon, plaguing even her dreams.


---------------------------------------------
1"Amin dele ten'Vanwe!" : "I am worried about Vanwe!"
2"Vanne linte!" : "Go swift!"


_____________________________________________


Nerindel's character - Amandur

NAME: Amandur II

AGE: 62 (as of midsummer of year 12 of the fourth age.)

RACE: Men (Dunedan)

GENDER: Male

WEAPONS : Amandur carries a numanorean long sword, an heirloom of his family. He also carries an elvish dagger, a small black handled belt knife (one of a pair, Léspheria has the other) and a crude bow, which he uses mainly for hunting.

APPEARANCE: Amandur is 6 ft 2 " in height and has a handsome but rugged look about him. His dark, almost black hair sits just below his jaw line. His Hazel eyes hold the wisdom of his age, he looks only to be in his early forties. His complexion is tanned due to weathering, he is sometimes clean shaven and sometimes not depending on circumstances, (ie in the wilds he sees no need to shave) Amandur has several battle scars, one across his left bicep another across his right leg and a small scar across the clef of his chin are all reminders of the battles of the Pelennor fields and the Morannon. The scar on his right leg sometimes bothers him in colder weather.

Amandur wears black leather pants, white/light grey shirts and dark grey /green tunics that bear the emblem of King Elessar. His high black boots are of supple leather and have seen much wear. He also has a cloak of a heavy dark-green cloth.

PERSONALITY: Although Hardened by war, Amandur managed to remain good hearted and kind. Among his friends and kin he is loyal, trustworthy and well liked, But to his enemies he is fierce, relentless and unforgiving. He tends to speak his mind and is not quick to trust. He has the qualities of being a great leader but prefers not to lead when possible, but like most great leaders this sometimes happens weather he will it or not.

STRENGTHS: Although proficient with a bow, he favours his sword and is very skilful in its use, both on foot or mounted, he has always had an natural ability with horses, his own in particular, the black charger comes when he whistles, and the horse always seems to anticipate his movements, before they are made. Amandur learnt much from the elves during his stay in Rivendell and has become wise in the way of the wilds. He also follows his instincts, but not at the cost of others.

WEAKNESSES: Amandur's weaknesses are his love for Léspheria and his growing over protectiveness of her. Also the scar on his leg is know to give him bother in colder weather or if hit or knocked in some way.

HISTORY: Amandur was born in the Grey Havens on the 31st day of Naríë in the year 2969 TA (1369 Shire reckoning). Amandur was the eldest son of Amandur I and Norvanna both Dunedain of the north and both Rangers, which in itself is unusual as usually only the men became rangers, but Amandur's mother was strong both in stature and will. Cirdan granted her protection in the grey havens when with child. Amundur and his younger brother Aldred spent their child hood in the Grey havens with their mother, their father visited as often as he could.

There was only two years between Amandur and his brother, so the pair grew up together in relative peace under the protection of Cirdan, they both shared a love of boats and a respect for the sea. Their mother and father (when present) took great pains to teach both their children the use of weapons, both brothers favoured the long sword. At the age of 20 Amandur's father took him to Rivendell to train under the tutelage of the Elves.

It is here that he first meets the elven twins Lóthaniel and Léspheria Denfëa. Lóthaniel teaches him the skills required to become a Ranger like his father and Léspheria teaches him of his ancestry and the history of his people. His brother joins him two years later and the four become firm friends. During one battle they shared (a wayward band of orcs making the mistake of leaving the safety of the misty mountains and entering Eriador) his Female elven companion was pressed by Four orcs and as he ran to her aid he thought her done for, but by the time he reached her, battling orcs of his own on the way the four orcs lay dead at her feet, It was then that he saw Léspheria in a new light, as she stood there breathing heavily, with her sword in one hand and a broken dagger in the other, he saw a strong, determined, beautiful but gentle elven woman that he knew from that moment he had lost his heart too. It was also at this battle that Amandur gave Léspheria one of his long twin belt knives, to replace her broken dagger.

About the year 3000 the Rangers guarded the Shire more closely at the request of the White Council and their chief Aragorn. Amandur, his brother and a few others were charged with Guarding Sarn ford, but on the evening of the 22nd day of Yavannie the Black riders drove them from the ford and four of the black riders pursued them eastward. They returned to Rivendell to tell Lord Elrond that the Riders are in the Shire.

Word soon came from Lothlorien that Aragorn required the aid of his kin, Halbarad, Elladan and Elrohir quickly gathered those who could be found and they headed south with all haste, it was here that the two Brothers were reunited with their father. After the hard journey south they were reunited with their chief and rode with the grey company through the paths of the dead and fought the Cosairs of Umbar at Pelargir, taking their ships. Amandur and his brother with their knowledge of sailing were charged with one of the great black masted ships and they sailed up the River to Harlond, to assail their enemy from the flank and rear, on the Pelennor Fields.

It was here that Amandur's Brother and father fell, he did not grieve his loss for he knew that they had both fought fiercely for something that they all believed in, instead he worried for his mother and how this news would affect her, Amandur received his arm and leg injury in this battle, while battling the fierce men of Harad. He tended and bound his own injuries and rode with his kin to the Black gates were he proved himself once more in battle.

After the fall of Sauron and the defeat of his dark army, Amandur remained in Minas Tirith, He was one of the few that dared to enter the great fortress to look for prisoners and any hidden enemies. It was here that he and a few other rangers found Valaindon (Léspheria's mother). She was close to death and they could do nothing for her, but before dying she bade him tell Léspheria that she was sorry, and to tell both her children to protect the gift, but before she could explain she passed away.

After the wedding of their chieftain and now King to the Lady Arwen of Rivendell, he rode with the elven host back to Rivendell bearing Valaindon's body and her final words, there he learnt that Léspheria had spent the whole year in a state of Fitful fever that no one could explain, but on the date that Amandur had watched Valaindon pass away she had miraculously recovered to full health, as though nothing had ailed her, but upon seeing her Amandur knew that what had ailed her would not ever completely leave her.

He Returned to the havens and brought his mother back to Gondor, but the following year she died from the grief of her loss. Amandur remained in the service of the king and was glad when he found out that Léspheria was to be an Emissary for Rivendell. On her visits they always found time to talk and take long walks. In his heart he greatly desired to return north, so when King Elessar asked for people to go north and re-establish the northern city of Annúminas, he was one of the first to Volunteer.

His Knowledge of Naiore was gained from Lóthaniel and the courts of Gondor were she was listed as one of Saurons minions that had not fallen at her masters defeat and was still at large. There were many who sought this woman and from what Lothaniel had told him of this Elf he was in no hurry to meet her, but if called upon to find her he would.

[ August 18, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:21 AM   #98
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Elora's character - Naiore

NAME: Naiore

AGE: 6,450 (at the commencement of the 4th Age)

RACE: Noldor

GENDER: Female

WEAPONS:
Naiore possess a range of weapons. She carries a curved long sword of Noldorin make and numerous daggers. She is at all times in possession of a long silken cord she uses as her garrote. She owns a range of torture devices, some made for her and some she invented herself over the years. Most dangerous of all is her ability to sense and manipulate the emotional states of others. She is expert in breaking apart the spirit and souls of others, inflicting pain to an infinite degree.

Naiore has adapted the typical amour of her people to suit her needs. She blends a light, finely wrought chain mail with leather. Her amour is as black as the unlit night.

APPEARANCE: Naiore is fair by Noldorin standards. She is said to be reminiscent of Galadriel in he beauty. Her hair is golden and hangs to her waist. Her eyes are a starlit silvery grey, wide, clear and large. She is slender and deceptively strong for all of her fragile beauty. Her voice is velvety and her skin is without flaw. Naiore usually wears a serene expression that belies the intensity of what passes through her mind.

Naiore favors opulent clothing, silks, velvets and brocades. She often wears jewelry, and was an incongruous figure as she passed through the halls of Barad Dur in her finery. She has exquisite taste and prefers luxuriant indulgences. Even her amour and leather are impeccable. Despite her work, Naiore is fastidious and has not great like of blood and gore. When not in amour, Naiore resembles the highly born Elven noble woman she is.

However, her inky amour is known throughout the southern lands and is etched on the minds of survivors. It is that, combined with her serene expression and emerald eyes that most remember no matter how much they crave to forget.

PERSONALITY/STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES:
Naiore is a complex blend of some of the strongest abilities and worst flaws in her kindred. She is a self-possessed and highly disciplined character. Ambitious and driven, she has contempt for weakness such as she sees it. She is manipulative and exploits her appearance whenever possible. Naiore has a formidable intellect, and is calculating. Her curiosity and need for knowledge are what rules her. She has a fascination for the baser darker and wilder aspect of life.

Naiore has no time for crudeness or other indecency. Indeed, she can be the soul of decorum and sophisticated grace until such time as she is murdering you. Naiore is a loner, rarely forming any lasting relationships. She avoids openly lying where ever possible, but uses deception readily. Naiore is tenacious. She refuses to admit defeat.

She has considerable contempt for rulers and nobles, and an implacable hatred of Numenorian and Eldar alike. A sensualist, Naiore’s weakness is for finer things in life and beauty. She believes herself superior to most around her. Any compassion or capacity to love is hidden deeply. Naiore is an Elf who believes all is lost and henceforth she has nothing to loose. The only limits she observes are those she sets herself.

HISTORY:
Naiore was born 12 S.A in Belfalas during the time where her people started to rise to dominance. Elven cities were being founded across the land and it was a time of great hope. She was born into a noble family, her father and mother both holding a place at Gil-Galad’s court. Naiore was also born with the ability to sense the emotions of those around her. This ability grew as she did. A serious child, often lost in her own world, she was doted upon by both parents. Naiore was both fascinated and slightly repulsed by other people. She sought few friends and had little regard for the opinions of others.

As she grew older, her mother began to wonder about her daughter. They tried to induce Naiore to participate in the society in which she had been born. Whilst she was not openly rebellious, she found ingenious ways to avoid or discourage such ventures. As her gift grew, Naiore noticed a discrepancy between the façade of civilization and the inner emotions of those within it. She became fascinated with impulses that many refused to acknowledge existed within themselves. The forbidden nature of her inquiry seduced her further. When her forays became too confronting, Naiore was prohibited from further investigation.

It was then that Naiore realized that she was somehow wayward and different. She became more isolated, and developed contempt for the apparent foolishness of her parents and kin. Meanwhile, she continued to explore the more fundamental aspects of personality such as fear, anger, pain, greed and lust. Her pride grew, and she discovered she had a certain power from this knowledge. In particular, pain attracted her. It was so prevalent in those who had survived the First Age.

During this time of secret forbidden knowledge, Naiore met and became betrothed to Menecin, another who was different. War was brewing over the sea, and Naiore could sense a power growing. It tempted her. Proud and contemptuous of her own kindred, Naiore sensed that many of her forbidden questions could be asked and mayhap answered by this new power. Then she would have new knowledge and with that so much more. The alternative was a stultifying life as wife to a wandering, itinerant bard whose insights into the emotional jungle were limited to songs and poems. Or perhaps she could beg leave to serve as Galadriel’s hand maiden. It was not enough.

She waited as war loomed larger and larger. She became distant, for she had already left. Her ambitions always traveled far ahead of her. On a stormy night, Naiore abandoned Belfalas in the year 3429. When Sauron returns to Middle-earth, Naiore is waiting for him. As Menecin and her people sought her, Naiore found herself in a new place. She was both welcomed and mistrusted. It amused Sauron greatly to have an Elf in service with orcs. She was tested, time and again, and grew in stature within Mordor.

Her special talents were encouraged and grown. She became adept at interrogation and torture. She was able to plan and execute terror campaigns that could not be left to orcs nor even entrusted to Wraiths. Naiore sought one answer in particular. She would often ask victims in the throes of their last moments, “From where does fear spawn?” The answer never came, but her hunger for it did not abate. Sauron used her throughout Khand and Harad, to inspire obedience and terror in the lands under his yoke. She worked alone, and proved gifted. Her discipline, ability and determination made her a horrific weapon and she ranged widely.

Naiore entered Rohan for the first time in the year 3430 S.A and there began to bring Mordor’s insidious terror to the north. She preyed for long years upon the Men of that land. Rumor of her spread, but it was not until the Battle of Dagorlad that Naiore openly emerged. She fought with Sauron’s hosts against the Last Alliance, Elven fair with foul shadow at her back. She slew Elf and Man alike, in the grip of terrible desperation. Her kindred saw her and recoiled in horror at what she had become.

At the defeat of Sauron, Naiore fled south with those that survived. Barad-dur was under siege. She plunged into Khand and Harad, where her terror still kept the Men there compliant, and waited. She could sense Sauron still and she had nowhere else to go. Naiore slipped into Dol Guldur over the long years, and once again aided Sauron in her addictive search for power and knowledge. She made one detour that was not at Sauron’s bidding, and it is rumored that she did this more than once.

Naiore encountered Menecin. She all but destroyed him through deception, cruelty, manipulation and suffering. She thought him dead when she left him again in the year 2091 T.A. When she discovered she was pregnant, she believed it was Menecin’s revenge from beyond the grave. She kept all knowledge of her pregnancy to herself. Her competitors in Mordor would use it against her. Elven fundamental beliefs prevented her from ridding herself of the child. Naiore went back to Harad, much to the wrath and chagrin of Sauron, and bore Vanwe. She sensed her child’s gifts could perhaps rival her own. Naiore made an arrangement with the remote village. They were to keep Vanwe there, in perpetuity, or suffer her full ferocity. That arranged, Naiore returned to Mordor and Sauron. Vanwe’s existence was secret.

The fall of Sauron brought Naiore’s career to a sudden end. Gone was her stature and position. Gone was the protection Mordor offered her. Gone also was the reason she lived. She had no answers still, and the prospects of ever finding them seemed remote. Naiore again went to ground, this time utterly alone. Her people were leaving, yet she had no place with them. Her foes were hunting for her, and her usual safe haunts were no longer safe. Bereft of ambition, and having sacrificed everything for knowledge she did not have, Naiore is faced with a crisis. She had been waiting for the day when Sauron would have dominion over the lands. Revenge on those who had taken her future from her galvanized her into action. As she set about, Naiore learnt of a land called the Shire, citizens of which had engineered this ignominious defeat. Once again, she sets herself a northward course, choosing that over accepting defeat. The Shire would be made to suffer more than Khand, Harad and Rohan ever had.

_____________________________________________

Elora's post for Naiore

The morning shadows proved stubborn despite the rising of the sun in her summer glory. Naiore made the most of what little providence seemed availabled in their existance. She remained still and at relative ease in the embrace of a shadow cast by the ancient bole of a fig tree. It loomed massive over her, surrounded by the adjoining woods that carpeted the land around the inn she was watching.

Some may account it a pleasant place. For Naiore, it was a land of failure and frustration, a wretched place and she had little love for the tree or anything else that lived within it's bounds. She was difficult to see, folded as she was in morning darkness. Her inky leathers bore the stains of hard travel. Mud daubed her boots, all but obscuring the delicate silver tracing a vine up her boots. Her state and presence gave rise to a great many questions, the answers to which Naiore did not greatly care to entertain as she cast a simmering glance towards the Forsaken Inn.

Rangers, cursed scions of Numenor, had pushed her hard through the wilderness. She had managed to elude them, her skills tested as they had not been in the past 12 years. Still, although she was for the moment safe, she was far from pleased. It grated to be sitting beneath a shedding tree encrusted with mud. She should, right at this moment, be running in free abandon further to the north. She should, as she sat in darkness gathering her wits and thoughts, be bringing a new tide and era to a land that had escaped the harsher ravanges of war.

Naiore flicked a braid back over her shoulder, it's golden weight added to the other seven that hung down her back. Instead, she had been cheated of even the small prize of the Shire. Rangers and her own people conspired to hem her in and bring her down like an animal. They would take, bound hand and foot, to face justice as the ignorant liked to call it. There was no justice. Those who sought it were fools, nothing more. If anything, two ages spent in the turmoil of Middle-earth had taught her that.

She who had held such power in countless lands, mastered terror and was mistress of the hounds of war and hell, sat in a cold wood. Even had she tried for the Havens, she could not penetrate the bristling ring set in place by Elessar around the Shire. His name curdled in her mouth. Twelve years spent running for this!

Naiore raised starlit grey eyes to consider the Inn once more. Her face was impassive, as often it was, carved elven beauty remarkable even amongst her own kin. Her face had beheld horror untold, she had wrought it with her own hands, for reasons few could understand. Now she sat waiting for an incipient snare to spring, dirty and desperate but not without her pride. She wore that like armour. It had gotten her through before this day.

The Inn was quiet in the early morning. Her gaze shifted to the stables, where it was said her daughter was. Naiore could see no sign of Vanwe just yet, but her sources were adamant. They well knew the price their lies would earn them. It was a difficult death at the hands of a Ravenner, merciless at the pinnicle of Sauron's Order of terror and suffering.

Somewhere was a Ranger too, one she knew. She had expected to find Kaldir skulking in the forest. Such acts were not beneath him as they were her. The presence of both Kaldir and Vanwe was not a coincidence that could be ignored. She should have killed the whelp when she was born, unwanted by-blow that Vanwe was. The idea that some long buried maternal instinct prevented her was laughable should the consequences of her restraint not be so perilous.

Vanwe should be well south, in the desolate Haradwaithe, kept with the goats and the barbarians she had left her with. The fact that she was not, had left and survived the journey north and eluded capture told Naiore much. The fact that Vanwe was known to be tracing her told her more. She would be a woman now, mature and no longer a helpless babe. Perhaps she could use Kaldir to put an end to her and her threat. She could see to Kaldir after that.

But the fallen Ranger would need to be pushed, if only to see past his immediate mercenary loss in Vanwe's death. It remained to be seen if she could achieve that. He had proved difficult to break, those years ago. Kaldir was a rare challenge, one she had enjoyed then as she hoped to soon now.

Naiore waited out the morning. Soon they would rise and begin their days. Vanwe would appear. She worked in the stables, assisting a man who was no real threat for the likes of Naiore. Kill Vanwe and Kaldir, attempt again to push north without a tail, and see if bloodshed could not find the Shire afterall. She was without any other purpose, and she would pursue this with a breathtakingly singular will that proved stronger than steel.

The Free Peoples could not hope to contend with her. Sauron himself had never truly conquered all of her heart and soul. Menecin neither. In the face of all she had endured and perpetrated throughout the wars of the Second and Third Age, rising time and again, ceaselessly vigilant in her quest for knowledge that had consumed her life, achieving the death of her daughter and Kaldir was nothing but a light aside.

Perhaps, Naiore mollified herself, one of them held what she looked for. Perhaps they could tell her from where fear spawned. It was unlikely, but possible. She held to that, for it made the ignomy of her failure in recent months to reach the Shire, her fugitive life since Sauron's fall lesser. How they would have laughed to see her reduced to such a state, provided they escaped her with the facility to laugh intact within their bodies and souls. She could endure a rough night and hard travel if it meant the achievement of all she had endured and suffered for.

Whilst her riddle of fear circled in her head, Naiore watched from the trees still garbed in morning shadow. She needed but the slightest opportunity to begin, and she had tired of idle waiting and ceasless flight.

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Elora's character - Menecin

NAME: Menecin

AGE: 6,729 (at the commencement of the 4th Age)

RACE: Noldor

GENDER: Male

WEAPONS:
Menecin possess the weaponry expected of an Elf who lived through three tumultuous ages. He has a sword and bow and daggers, all of Noldorin make. His amour is typical Noldo, a combination of light steel and leather worn by all who fought in battle. At the opening of the 4th Age, he has all but forgotten weapons and amour.

APPEARANCE:
Menecin is a tall Noldo by their standards. He has the dark hair of his people and their fairness also. His eyes are a piercing blue sapphire and they see far indeed. He is not powerfully built, but is by no means thin or weedy. His hands are long fingered and deft, a mark of his profession and ability. His voice is deep and musical and his smile, when it is seen, is as bright as the lamps of his people.

Menecin’s clothing reflects his Elven heritage, although in latter days he pays it little attention. He wears the natural fabrics favored by his people in deep shades of jewel color. Menecin favors royal blue, and has done since he was a boy. He is no stranger to elaborate court garb, however he prefers more functional clothing by habit. In the times he roamed the land, he went clad as a hunter and warrior, for he was a little of both at that time.

His trademark possessions are his richly carved leather pack, in which he carries his papers and music, his flute made of mithril silver and his lap harp which he carries over his shoulder in a beaten and scuffed hard leather case.

PERSONALITY/STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES:
Menecin was born at a time when Elves were discovering Men in Beleriand. He is well acquainted with the Edain, wandered amongst them. He showed his gift for music at an early age, something his parents thought held extraordinary promise. He was a quiet child, peaceful and patient. He learnt quickly. He had little to say, and most of that he said through his craft as a bard. Those around him realized that when he did speak, Menecin was an individual that bore listening to. He had an artist’s insight and perspective. Fostered by Maglor, Menecin attained a first hand understanding of the depth of grief and woe that beset the Noldor, the Sons of Feanor in particular. He is no stranger to sorrow and strife.

Menecin’s solemn nature sometimes seemed fey. He formed few close relationships and was not a man given to whim. What he did, he did with all of his being, possessed as he was of great passion and the strength to feed those passions.

He is a capable fighter, terrifying when battle merges with a passion. He fought in the First Age where necessary and acquitted himself well at such times. He has little interest in such reputations though. He acquired an air about him that resulted in few people wishing to trifle with him. He was quiet, possibly dangerous, and liable to see things exactly as they are no matter how bleak that may be.

He is sometimes seen as taciturn, and is stubborn. He resists being led. In recent years, Menecin is a shell of his former self. He has lost his passion for life, but cannot bring himself to let go of mortal lands. He is dangerously melancholy, given at times to bouts of black rage that consume all around him. Those few whom truly know him see a stranger. Many think him insane, until they see the entirely sane streak of agony in his eyes. There are few who can withstand his glance now, and what little music he puts his mind too is achingly painful.

HISTORY:
Menecin was born in 305 F.A during the time of the “Long Peace” in Beleriand. His birth coincided with the emergence of Men, and so Menecin grew up at a time when the Noldo were discovering the Edain and times were relatively good for the Exiles. His parents were of good standing, although not high born. They discovered his musical promise and he went to be fostered by Maglor to study the craft of the bard. There, Menecin developed a reputation for his musical ability and his love of language.

Menecin also discovered the tragedy of the Noldor. His mentor was bound by the terrible oath that caught all Feanor’s Sons. The Long Peace ended, war fell on Beleriand and the oath claimed Maglor. Menecin fought battle and acquitted himself well in that time. He was habitually quiet and somewhat grim, and had little time for merriment during the First Age. The tragedy of his people touched him deeply, particularly when he turned away from Maglor towards the end of the First Age. In this time, Menecin started to emerge as a gifted composer and musician.

Menecin decided to remain in Middle-earth, restless and unready to go to Valinor with the bulk of his people and his parents. He drifted with the remnant of the Noldor to what is now known as the Bay of Belfalas. For a time, Menecin again knew peace. His reputation grew and he rose in status in the court of Gil-Galad. Menecin largely kept to himself, the merriment of the feasts interesting him little. From time to time he would wander the wild places of the world.

It was as he returned from one such a journey that Menecin first encountered Naiore. She was at that time a maiden. Like him, she had little taste for feasts and had strayed from one on that fateful day to wander in a stand of fir trees by the shore of the ocean. As she danced over the sand to the wind singing in the fir trees, Menecin watched. Beautiful even amongst her own kin, he knew himself lost as he watched her move. He added his voice to the song of the wind, and a courtship was begun.

Menecin found cause to remain in Belfalas and not wander. He found in Naiore a muse of sorts. She fascinated and captivated him, most unlike the other maidens of their people. She was of noble blood, descended from Finarfin, and he harbored little hope of marrying her. Yet, Menecin sought her hand and to his enduring surprise was granted Naiore. They became betrothed in 3262 S.A, the year that Sauron was taken as prisoner to Numenor. Unrest after a long peace was stirring again, and Menecin decided to wait until that unrest had calmed before he wedded Naiore. It proved to be a fateful decision.

Menecin, an experienced warrior from the First Age and now betrothed to a noblewoman, found his responsibilities in this time increased. He was drawn into Gil-Galad’s court and there he felt the winds of war blowing around him. He noticed a change in Naiore too, something he attributed to the growing strife. He knew his love was sensitive to such things. Menecin did not discover that Naiore had vanished until her distraught father came to him seeking his daughter.

Thinking that she had fallen prey to the growing shadow that Numenor was falling rapidly under, Menecin abandoned court in search of her. His search failed, as did that of his kinsmen. Haunted by guilt and grief, for Menecin loves deeply or not at all, he refused to abandon hope. War returned to Middle-earth with Sauron, and he became embroiled in the Last Alliance as did many of his kin for he followed Gil-Galad.

Menecin was not at the battle of Gladden Fields. Word came to him after that terrible battle of Naiore. She was alive, it was said, and she fought with Sauron. Scandal and shame gripped her family. He could not believe it, and did not. Her family renounced her as a traitor, and her parents fled to Valinor in horror. Menecin was outspoken in his denial and it earnt him disfavor. He forsook court and embarked on a series of searches for Naiore.

At the time that Ithilen was abandoned in the year 2901 T. A due to orc incursions from Mordor, it is known that Menecin encountered Naiore. He barely survived. The refuge of Henneth Annun found him all but dead on their doorstep. The Men aided Menecin as best they could. Menecin went north, seeking death, and found instead Lothlorien. Recognized, he was taken in and there held under protections should Naiore return. He was also protected from himself. Menecin sank into hopelessness, depression and rage.

He refused to go West at the end of the 3rd Age without Naiore. Unable to take him out of his madness, he was left at Imladris with those few who remained behind. Menecin barely spoke by that time, and his music lay dormant and silent within him.

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Elora's post for Menecin

The stars were perhaps their most beautiful in early morning. Menecin had remained sleepless through enough nights to make such assessment with certainty. Imladris was peaceful. He was not. It was an irony that never failed to shred what little grip he had on lucidity. The rage and grief twisted upon itself a little tighter. It never got tight enough to stop.

If he stilled, he could hear the breathing of those that watched. As he studied the clear morning sky, he wondered not for the first time what they watched for. They were waiting for the storm to break loose. He knew it for he saw it in their eyes when they thought he was not watching. He never stopped watching though. To stop would be to surrender to the dark fog that sinuously seeped into every thought and dream.

Beside him lay a lap harp. He had left it out all night, instead of covering it from the cool air. A harp such as this deserved better. This harp had played with Maglor. Maglor himself had overseen its construction, had plucked it's strings. Menecin plucked at a string himself. Maglor had gone mad. He had watched it unfold before him. Another irony that did not escape him. He was following in Maglor's steps, but he had taken no terrible oath other than to love her.

Her face was carved upon his memory, as was her voice and her scent. He could feel her upon his skin still. Menecin's eyes closed, the ache rising. She was there, just beyond his touch. No evil was in her that could be seen. Yet her actions were filled with such malice of intent. The rage sharpened and the grief. She was there but was lost, as was he. Adrift in pain, the world shattered by love, vast gaping wounds in his spirit that did not heal. Neither did he die. Even in her pain there was no mercy.

"Perhaps a song to welcome the day will grant what succor sleep did not this night, Menecin."

He could not keep the bitter smile from his lips as he struggled to keep what raged within him in abeyance. The savagery must have shown in his spahhire eyes. It was a brutal light that was revealed to one of the many who watched over him.

"There is no more music," he snarled in reply. The expression of shock was to be expected. Menecin saw it too often to expect anything less. He drew himself back, sealing off his senses. A few short hours, when night was done and the day not yet begun, he allowed himself. He would awaken within him, undead, unalive, in the transitory hours of each day. He would float. He had been brought to anchor by the Elf who had watched him through the night.

Menecin unfolded his tall frame, clad in the customary finery of a skilled bard who had performed remarkable feats of bravery and courage. Wisdom gleaned from three Ages in Middle-earth blended with his distress, making him dangerous to any and all, including himself. He turned, and walked unhurridley back towards the chambers they alloted him at Imladris. Their comfort was barely noticed by Menecin. All was hell.

Behind him, in the eastern sky, day's blush had begun. The stars winked out, one by one, and he withdrew into himself. The startled Elf trailed him, wary and concerned with the bard's beloved harp cradled carefully in his arms. Menecin closed the door to his bedroom firmly. The Elf found the harp's aged and battered case and gently placed it into it's wardship. He straightened, looking at the wooden door that sealed Menecin away from the world.

As many had done before, he shook his head in sorrow. A hint of the bard's formidible passion and greatness had emerged, only wracked with anger. All of it was brought about by one woman, her name no longer spoken. Her bounty price was the highest ever set. No trace of her though, apart from the trail of ruin she left scattered through the lands. For her, he suffered. The Elf seated himself at a nearby table and inked the quill that waited.

Next to the date, he recorded his observations.

"No change, no glimpse of relief, only rage."

His quill hovered a moment and was then set aside. He did not add the other comments that filled his head. Instead, what he did record was the latest on a page filled with similar comments. Books spanning decades, hundreds and thousands of years, contained the same dreary pattern. How anyone endured such torment, refusing to believe that she was indeed what she was known to be, defied imagination. It would have been better that he did not survive. Sometimes, it is best if the healers fail.

The Elf rose once more and stoked the small fire in the grate to warm the room for the next who would watch Menecin. Within his room, Menecin sat disconsolately with his thoughts and attempted to free himself from madness that always loomed and never swooped to relieve him of self-awareness. He longed for it with a need that shamed him.

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Elora's character - Vanwe

NAME: Vanwe

AGE: 120 (at the commencement of the 4th Age)

RACE: Noldor

GENDER: Female

WEAPONS:

Vanwe possess a belt knife only, but will make do with whatever is to hand as she needs to. That includes anything or sometimes nothing, all depending on where she finds herself. Her limited wealth and propensity to leave in haste wherever she may be makes it difficult to accrue and keep any possessions, weapons included. Uneasy with weaponry, she prefers to avoid it if possible.

She has no armour apart from her wit and survival instinct.

APPEARANCE:
Vanwe is in many ways her mother’s daughter. She possesses the delicate beauty that is the hallmark of Finarfin’s descendants. Her hair is spun gold that falls long to her waist. Her face is evocative of her mother also. She has ivory skin, delicate facial bone structure, high cheekbones and high brow. Her eyes are a deep blue, sapphire, courtesy of her father. She is tall and lithe.

Vanwe’s clothing reflects her childhood in the Haradwaith. It is simple, worn and somewhat sparse by Elven sensibilities and custom. Her stature in the Haradwaith was low, and so she wears no gold or any jewelry. Vanwe wears a simple periwinkle blue cotton dress, acquired on the road when her southern clothing was in imminent danger of unraveling and brought much suspicion upon her whilst traveling. Gondor was still skirmishing and fighting with the Harondor in the opening years of the 4th Age. She also has heavy cloak, cotton, the colour of which is now indistinguishable. This is also acquired, at the time of her flight from the Haradwaith, and is her only protection from the weather. It shows signs of hard use and wear, much like her dress, and once was a deep indigo blue in kinder times. It has a deep hood in which Vanwe shelters from the elements and unwanted inspection and dwarfs her slender frame.

Vanwe wears worn boots on small feet of brown leather. They are light, for the heat of the Haradwaith and not well equipped for the cooler north. She has a belt of brown leather with a sturdy and distinctly mannish design. From it hangs a pouch and her belt knife, whatever else she has stowed there.

PERSONALITY/STRENGTHS/WEAKNESSES:
Vanwe is an unusual character for an Elf, attributable to both her parentage and how she was raised.

She is decidedly wary of strangers, a product of her upbringing. She has a keen intellect and a thoughtful demeanour. She can be withdrawn and shy, but once she warms to a person she is generally of good cheer. Vanwe is a little unsure of herself and has learnt that meekness can work to her advantage.

She is slow to trust, tends to underestimate herself and expects cruelty from other which she blames upon herself.

However, if nothing else Vanwe has the remarkable ability to survive most things. She is tenacious and when she believes she is cornered she is fierce. She has a natural affinity for music, inherited from her father. Like her mother, Vanwe is able to sense what cannot be seen. In her, this emerges as an ability to heal. She can sense injury and illness as “wrongness” and can manipulate it back to the way it seems it should be. This sensitivity is something she has inherited from her mother and her distant relative, Galadriel.

Vanwe often carves wood as an outlet for her anxiety and distress, finding the shapes she senses within them and setting them free, another example of her abilities. She has a love of beauty and peace. Vanwe is a skilled observer, quiet and fleet footed. Nimble and flexible, Vanwe can earn a living in a number of ways as she is quick to learn.

She is not criminally inclined in a general, but survival sometimes necessitates petty theft that plagues her with guilt even if it does fill her stomach. She can make a good living on the docks and streets with thievery, but this is a risky lifestyle for a lone young Elven woman and so she will exhaust other options first before resorting to theft. She has an aversion to authority that is hard to shake and very much prefers to slip into and out of places unnoticed as a general rule.

HISTORY:

Vanwe is the daughter of the infamous Naiore Dannan. Her mother was of extraordinary beauty and ability, related by birth to the mighty Elvenwise Queen Galadriel. Yet, Naiore chose instead a path of darkness that shamed and horrified her people and terrorized those she came to prey upon. Vanwe is the result of a nefarious union between her mother and the bard she had been betrothed to prior to her betrayal of her people. Menecin had never accepted Naiore’s choice in his heart and had pursued her through the years both in an effort to curtail Naiore’s activities and prove to himself that the woman he loved was not malevolent and twisted.
What came of that is not known to Vanwe, only that Naiore fell pregnant with Menecin’s child.

The Terror of Mordor for reasons known only to herself decided to bear the child and so Vanwe was born. Wanted in Gondor, Rohan, Mirkwood, Lothlorien, Rivendell, Hollin and the Shire, Naiore fled south into the heartlands of her chosen Master. In Harad where she had preyed unstoppable upon the people, Naiore delivered Vanwe in a small and isolated village, remote from the North and also Mordor. She remained long enough to instill such terror in the villagers so as not to dispose of her daughter and then vanished. Vanwe was abandoned without explanation once her mother was certain Vanwe would not arise in the future to trouble her. Her mother saw her as a potential threat and she never considered her daughter as a possible ally.

Vanwe was not welcomed by the villagers. Elven and the daughter of such a feared creature, she was treated with suspicion and resentment. The villagers saw he as some kind of demon spawn. She represented everything they feared and loathed of the north, of murdering Elves and of Mordor. Vanwe's differences from the children of the village were marked.

This only reinforced the chasm between her the people around her. Yet the possibility of Naiore returning to wreak her vengeance upon them was more terrifying than the quiet and sweet natured Elven child. In her early years, before she understood just how cruel people could be to that which they did not understand, Vanwe was given to laughter. This soon faded as she grew older.

Vanwe was cared for, in a fashion, collectively by the village. It was far from a happy childhood. At best she was isolated, alienated and feared. At worst, she was hated as the scion of evil and was the village’s scape goat for any and every disaster that beset them. Lest she exploit their weakness, Vanwe was treated with harsh discipline.

Being strong and clever, Vanwe soon proved of some use to the village. She readily took to the work given her, eager to earn some regard or reprieve. She was trusted so far as to tend to the animals. Life in Harad under the yoke of Mordor is harsh. Outsiders, especially possibly malevolent ones, were a threat no village wished no matter how beautiful the child. When visitors came, she was hidden away. Vanwe was excluded from celebrations and all meals. She ate alone, worked alone, with the exception of those instances where she had somehow come to the attention of the villagers through misfortune or misadventure.

She was seen as a possible bad luck omen by the superstitious villagers. Illness or untimely death in the village was also her doing. Her emerging abilities only further alienated her and inspired further mistrust. Mordor had been instilling in the people of Harad myth and lies about the people of the North, particularly Elves, for generations. Naiore had been the principle agent of that fear campaign, and her daughter paid a costly price. Yet it was the only home she knew, and so Vanwe remained.

As the years rolled past, Vanwe found the fragmented yet vivid memories from early childhood that were empty and devoid of a mother or father did not fade. Like all Elves, she lived them when she slept. An innate curiosity about her own roots grew within her. For a long while, Vanwe spoke to no one of her desire to know more about her origins. When at last she ventured a question, she was hurried into an emergency Village Council and stood before the Village Elders. It was then that she learnt of the terrible woman that was her mother. To the villagers, Naiore was akin to a demon and they saw her reaching for her terrible doom.

Vanwe emerged from that grueling night with their stories, fantastic and seemingly improbable, spinning in her mind, torn and bruised. The Villagers, concerned that Vanwe’s approach to maturity over 100 years would bring her mother back, prompted the fearful re-telling of tales about her mother, some were accurate and some had accrued embroidering of details.

For Vanwe, the shame was an intense pain that haunted her every step. No one could tell of her father, and her questions only grew in number. She grew steadily more determined to get to the bottom of it all, and come to know the truth of both her mother and her father.

When the spring celebration of a good season came to the Village, Vanwe slipped free amidst the bustle as the Villager’s got on with their annual celebrations. It was the year 3021 T.A. Young by elven standards and poorly experienced, Vanwe’s first months of freedom were both terrifying and dangerous. She emerged from the perils of innocence and a hard road in one piece mainly by the grace of providence and her sharp wits. She always learnt her lesson quickly.

By chance or design, Vanwe gravitated towards to coast. By sheer good fortune and determination, she survived the waste of Harad and came to Umbar, where she picked up the trail of her mother. She found employment, shelter and food by whatever means necessary. It was a precarious existence, but it was free of the village. She resolved never to return that hell again.

Vanwe was becoming adept at mastering her environment to varying levels of control. On the coast and particularly in the docks of Harondor, Vanwe excelled in survival. She slowly made her way north, earning passage on a ship to Dol Amroth. Quite unaware she was in the original homeland of both her parents, whom hailed from the Bay of Belfalas, Vanwe set about searching out any little thing she could of them. It was not long before she realized that it was not only the villagers that loathed and feared her mother’s name. Vanwe spent some time in custody, suspected of being Naiore. It left an indelible impression upon her, her new freedom replaced by dank cells and bars.

Across Gondor she drifted and then through Rohan, a land that had particularly cruel experiences with Naiore Dannan. Vanwe learnt to be more circumspect and cautious with her inquiries. However, she asked a wrong question of the wrong person and it brought her to the attention of the Riddermark. The experience taught Vanwe that she may as well be her mother by the time she wiggled free of the mess. Her appearance only worked against her. With a now strong aversion to soldiers, warriors, lords, bailiffs and any other possible authority figure including the Village Elder, Vanwe continued to drift north on the scant trail left by her mother.

She slowly gathered information on Naiore and Menecin. Rumors conflict, suggesting that one or both are dead and simultaneously alive and in hiding. Where and from what depended on who she spoke to. It is a frustrating puzzle, and Vanwe is not helped by the fact that she feels it necessary to mostly avoid the lands her mother is still wanted and hunted in. In those lands, particularly those of Lothlorien and Rivendell, a young Elven maiden cast adrift in the wide world could learn much. It is precisely those places that Vanwe assiduously avoids.

The recognises the latent threat in Rangers as she moves further north, another peril to navigate. She also fears that the village are hunting her. Out of place in the world of Men, strangely odd to her own kindred and treated as most Elves are by most Dwarves, she moves on the ebb and flow of the current of the mortal lands.

She strives ever to learn but it is the haphazard and unpredictable manner of her circumstances, tossed hither and thither, that is perhaps her undoing. She is terrified of the very people that could aid her and show her the place that is hers in the world.

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Elora's post for Vanwe

… The water dripped in a regular ceaseless rhythm throughout the day, the night and the day. It was broken up by the scratching of rats in the straw, perhaps a wet and hacking cough nearby or a croaked song that had taken possession of a man’s voice and raised it like a tattered flag of insanity against the reality of the bars. Torchlight flickered fittfully against slick and dark stones as through the flames resented their presence, free as they were from the bars but locked in damp darkness. They would come by regularly, sometimes relighting torches that had rebelled and gone out. Some brought a hard bread that was passed through the bars. That marked the beginning of another day. Sometimes it was water. That marked the night. It was race to claim bread or water before the rats did.

In that bleakness, a spider spun a silken web in the far corner of her cell. The strands caught the intermittent torch light, tiny gems caught in the web to dazzle unwary observers. It would float in the icy blast of wind that raced down the passage every time the outer main door would open. Then the sound of boots would start, counter tempo to the dripping water. There had been a lot of boots on the stone one morning after the bred had been pushed through the bars. The tiny jewels in the spider’s web became fiery with torch light that they had brought with them. She remembered that. It was beautiful, even if everything else was not and she had smiled faintly in that grimness to behold it.

The men had golden hair, like hers in many respects and yet not. It fell thickly around their shoulders, sometimes braided. Her own was a more delicate shade, lighter in weight and smoother in texture. Some clutched helms under their arms. Their torches glinted off mail. It was not as fair as the spider’s web. She remembered a saying as she took in their grim presence. Silk was stronger than steel. She looked into their faces and wondered about that.

One of them had produced a large iron circle. Many keys jangled discordantly from it. He fitted one to the lock at her bars. The others stepped back, hands tightening around sword hilts that jutted from their belt encircled hips. She looked back up at the spider’s web as the door creaked in protest at its opening. Two men stepped through.

“On your feet,” one roughly ordered in Westron. He glowered at her. She did as she was told.
“We need more light,” the other one spat over his shoulder. Men slowly stepped closer to the bars. They held their torches out, relucant to cast light on those within. She was struck by the realisation that they did not really want to see what they thought they were going to.

“Move but a muscle and you die,” intoned the man who had first spoke. She believed him. The other renewed his grip on his hilt, swallowed hard and stepped forward. He tipped her chin up, his fingers hard and rough against her skin. She stared blankly ahead, not daring to breathe. She heard movement, the sound of paper being folded.

“She is reported as claiming her name to be Vanwe,” he said. Doubt was in his voice, tempered also by suspicion and a dangerous anger that could flare brighter than any torch at any moment. Vanwe could smell it. She knew its scent well.
“Perhaps it is so, Farald. Look at her,” urged the man who held her chin so tightly.

“I’ve seen that face often enough,” the other replied heavily. She heard the paper bunch in his fist.
“Then by what sorcery did she achieve this?”

She saw two faces crowd her vision. They peered at her in silence. One shook his head as the other released her chin. She sagged back at the sudden change in balance, recovering quickly. A curse hissed in the silence, and somewhere else someone laughed blindly to fill the hole that insanity left in his mind.

“Silence,” roared one of the men in her cell. He cast her another glance. She lowered her eyes and mentally withdrew. If the anger came now, it was best she was not here. She knew what that glance meant. It was best if she was far away when it started. It was easier.

“It is not her Farald,” the other said.
“You had best hope that it is not,” Farald spat. He turned on his boot heel and stalked from her cell.

“What about her,” a man called after him.
“She can go. If I find her again, she’ll not fare so well. Rohan has had more than it’s share of the wider world and it’s Elves.” His voice floated back down behind him. There was a blast of air as the main door was opened. The men followed him, boot steps filling the prison's sagging emptiness once more. One remained by the open door to her cell.

“I would be swift, were I you. This is no place to dawdle with the doom of Rohan on your head,” he said. He walked away, a slow and measured tread. She watched him open the main door and pull his helm on. he had reports to make. Naiore Dannan was not in custody as they had thought. Those who already readied the gallows would have to wait a little longer. After 12 years and centuries of suffering, a little longer was both an instant and an eternity.

Vanwe ran then, the wind at her heels. She ran running fast, past grass and trees and village. Faster and faster, away from Rohan who nearly hanged her in mistake. Away from Umbar and the slave galleys where soldiers had nearly sold her when their error in her identity was known. North, where her mother had gone it was said and perhaps where her father was buried. Mirkwood, loomed ahead of her. It would be an arduous task to avoid those within it…



“Come Vanwe, the horses are missing you and will not take their breakfast!”

She groggily pushed herself up and out of her bed and dreams. Morning light shone through the open hay doors in a warm puddle. Pulling her dress over her head, Vanwe climbed down the ladder from the stable loft as the Deruvin chuckled good naturedly outside in a giddying contrast to her recently left dreams and rememberances. She pushed open the stable doors, stretching as she did so, and turned back to see to the horses. Some whickered at her as if the innkeeper had spoken truly. Vanwe smiled quietly and soon had the stable’s guests on their way to the day pasture.

She returned to an empty stable, collected rake, shovel, buckets and broom and began the morning’s work. Soon, the spider that sat in one of the many webs in the stable’s rafters had her song to keep her company. Vanwe hummed it, a lilting southern melody as she worked. It was odd, to have fled Rohan only to finish here, tending horses of all creatures. In the sunlight the cold memory faded a little and her song picked up strength. The spider caught the early morning rays in its web to lure and bewilder wandering breakfasts, lunches and suppers as the Elf worked below.

Her thoughts wandered. What would the day bring? Would she be any closer to what she sought? That was an interesting question. What did she seek? Sometimes she thought it was peace and freedom, but then there would be neither without knowing of her parents. She had accepted that fate long ago now. As she swept and raked, her song shifted to a more merry melody.

Would the Ranger return today? He had said he would return and wished to speak with her. She was unwise to seek his company, for Rangers had proved as perilious as the soldiers of Gondor and the Riddermark of Rohan. Still he had spoken gently and did lay upon her shoulders the crimes of her mother. He did looked at her and did not see only her mother's face. He had given her the name of a star.

Vanwe's song was ended by a call from the Inn.

"Vanwe, hurry! Cook's wanting to know why you haven't had breakfast and she'll accept no explanation from anyone else!"

She quickly stowed the broom, rake, shovel and now empty wheelbarrow and raced from the stables towards the inn with a contrite expression on her face. Cook was determined to have her resembling a hobbit in girth. Her golden hair streamed behind her as she crossed the intervening distance on long legs, rubbing her hands on whatever skirt material came to hand hastily.

Vanwe pushed open the door to the inn, spied Cook waiting with stern expression in place and entered. The inn door closed on her words. "I was just seeing to the horses!"

"Those horses eat better than you do, missy! I expect an Elf to have more sense than a herd of shaggy ponies and mismatched horses."

[ August 12, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:22 AM   #99
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Snowdog's character - Hanasian

NAME: Hanasían

AGE: 39 Born the first day of Víressë, year 2990 of the Stewards Reckoning. (1390 Shire Reckoning)

RACE: Men, Father's line - Dúnedain of the North
Mother's line - Rohirrim

GENDER: Male

WEAPONS: Long sword of Westernesse, Rohirric bow, an Elven knife and a Knife of Khand.

APPEARANCE: Rugged stature, and seemingly worn for his years. Long hair that is seemingly dark but has a sandy, lighter look in sunlight. Its length is to his lower back, sometimes tied into a tail, sometimes not. Of average height as far as Dúnedain go, around 6 feet and well built about 200 Lb., and is well built from the many years of training, then battle. Wears dark-gray rough leather pants and sleeveless vest and black worn leather boots. He has an Elven cloak he uses, but at times wears one of local custom. A scar he has on the right side of his throat where he was wounded in the Battle of Pelennor Fields.

PERSONALITY: Hanasían is usually rather quiet, but says what he means when he does speak. He handles a horse well, and is an excellent bowman from a mount as well as standing. He could move with great stealth for a man and was hardened by what he had seen and done before, during, and after the war.

STRENGTHS:He handles a horse well, and is an excellent bowman from a mount as well as standing. He could move with great stealth for a man having learned much from the sons of Elrond and he could battle well with knife and sword. He had a good tactical mind, was not afraid to take chances as long as it didn't endanger any save himself.

WEAKNESSES:Hanasían liked to drink and carouse and was sometimes seen in the less desirable places as a depression overtook him since his wound in the war. There was rumor that the blade of the Variag that almost had his head was tainted with some exotic herb unknown in the west, but his strength of mind usually kept his depression at bay. His somewhat shaded activities when on his own time were never harmful to others and was his way of dealing with himself and all he had experienced.

HISTORY: Born in the wild near Lake Evendim in the year TA 2990 (1390 Shire Reckoning) He was the second of three children of Halasían, Ranger of the North, and Lady Forcwyn of Rohan. His brother was much older than he, and he would not meet him until the battle of the Corsairs in the War of the Ring. His younger sister was born a year and a half after he, and there was hope that his father and mother would heal many wounds between each other in those days. But the darkness that held Halasían did not let go of him, but was only asleep for a time. One day he came back from hunting with worry on him, and he gathered what little they had and made their way to Rivendell, where Halasían sent his wife and two children forth, and was never seen again. Hanasían was raised in Rivendell for a time, for though Forcwyn desired to return to her people in Rohan, travel was perilous, and she stayed until Hanasían was nine. He learned horsemen skill from her kin in Rohan, and returned again to Rivendell some years later to study and learn the arts of the Elves and train. After a couple of years he started to ride with the Rangers, though at a fairly young age, for the times were ever darkening. He learned much skill from the Rangers, of which many of the elder ones knew his father, and he also refined the arts of the bowmanship he first learned in Rohan, and the skills of silent movement from Helladin, an elf friend from Rivendell. These skills made him pretty good at covert ops before, during, and after the war and unlike his father, he was relatively good hearted. Having rode with the Grey Company in the war, and having assisted Rohan during the battles of the Isen before meeting up once again with Halbarad and the Rangers riding south, he proved himself time and again in battle, and was always taking the initiative to scout out ahead.

In the war, he met his older brother who worked the ships in Befalas, and together they battled and sailed the ships up the Anduin and did battle upon the Pellenor Fields. It was here his brother Hayna was slain, not far from where Halbarad fell, and Hanasíian was himself wounded and thought dead. But he was discovered after the battle trying to stand, and he was taken to the house of Healing in Minas Tirith.

He recovered from his wounds and attended the high functions and weddings of The Chieftain and now King Aragorn and Arwen, and also that of Faramir and Eowyn, whom he got to know during the days of healing. Though a seeming depression had come over him that those close to him could feel, he wished to stay in the King's service and he remained in Gondor with King Elessar. He would often visit his mother and little sister in Rohan. He could see the years gain on his mother quickly after the war, she having grieved the death of her firstborn and never quite was the same. He wished not to burden her anymore and so started to visit less and less. But he still found satisfaction tending to the King and the Steward and business of the realm, and would partake in missions long into the freed lands of Rhun, Khand, and Harad, but also north to Dale and west to his home in Eriador, for he sought always the remnants of lingering evil wherever it may be. It was during this time while investigating an incident in Rohan near his mother's did he first find knowledge of Naiore, and began to pursue her through the lands.

_____________________________________________

Snowdog's post for Hanasian:

It was a cool, cloudy night when I approached Bree, and though I had made good time from the Forsaken, something bothered me in my leaving that place. For there was Vanwe, admitting to be Naiore’s daughter right there before me, and the long night of words filled me with an intensity that said to my bones that she was near.. very near....

I decided to encamp just north of the road in the thick growth of the Chetwood, not far from the gates of Bree. For surely my arrival will be more welcome at the first light of day than at the deeps of the starless night. I unlimbered Blackveil and let her wander as she does, always staying close it seemed when we were out in the wilds. Though it were not so here near the city, for the King’s men had long since made travel from Bree to Rivendell safe, there still was the old cautions among many of the order of Gatekeepers of Bree. And yet, as always, Blackveil was my eyes and ears as I rested. But tonights sleep was not that restful... for I drifted into dream...

It was Year 5 of the return of the King, and two shabby Rangers, me and Farasan of Ithilien, were on the move in Dorwinion, silently acting upon a tip. The lands were still barren but new signs of life was blooming in the spring as fresh vineyards were planted in the year after the War. The rain was hard and on the third straight day, and we approached the small house silently in the sounds of the storm. Farasan had become a good friend of mine since the war, having slain that ratty little orc that had keyed me with a poisoned arrow and was about to shoot. But Farasan’s movement was not quick enough to kick the raging Variag who charged in upon me, and I turned his blade with my own. But I did not see his other blade, the short black one that bit into my side. It glanced off a rib after penetrating the leather vest and fell to the ground as I slashed at him, but the wound weakened me and I fell. Farasan had turned to face more raging men of Khand and did not see me fall, but later he found me in the aftermath as I tried to stand. Farasan had served long in Ithilien under Captain Faramir, and was not too pleased to be caught in the White City running a message when the war closed in on him. He was newly married then, and Surely Faramir had this in mind when he gave him the order. A good man Farasan was and a great fighter, and our friendship began that day of meeting on the battlefield, brothers-in-arms. Yes, a good man he was, though his mind did wander to his wife and young child now, living anew in the fair woods of Ithilien.... He should not have been on this mission....

... Ready to make a move, for there was little movement in the house, and in hopes we had Khazûl, Naiore, and Varicar, three of what we called the Remaining, inside. A cadre of ten archers of Ithilien were about the house ready to shoot, and were in waiting in the darkness. Surely none would get away alive. The kid from the winery was sure they would be here, and through the day as the house was watched, it appeared he was right.... but still there was that shadow of doubt inside....

...The door burst into splinters at the kick of my foot, and likewise the back door from Farasan’s foot, and in we rushed. Varicar lay dead in seconds as Farasan’ sword fell upon his neck, and Khazûl jumped up before me in suprise. I stepped toward him, but he charged hard... harder than I expected. Little did I know that Naiore was behind the huge former Easterling army commander, and as he stumbled into my sword, skewering himself and pushing me back into the doorframe, Naiore turned and let fly a knife toward the charging Farasan. Deflecting it with his sword, he saw not the second knife Naiore pulled from Khazûl’s belt, and she buried it deep into his throat. I stood in pain and anger after pushing the dying Khazûl from me, and letting fly the Variag knife at the fleeing Naiore, it took hair from her and embedding into the doorpost as she fled over the top of the dying Farasan. It was almost instantly that I heard arrows slamming into the house as the archers tried to take down the fleeing Naiore, and I would have pursued her if I thought I wouldn’t be mistaken in the driving rain. But I paused and knelt by Farasan, pinching the knife in his neck in hopes of stopping the bleeding. But it was to no avail as he gasped his last words to me...

... I rode slowly, another horse in tow, and the spring gardens of Ithilien were in bloom. I came to the stately home of Farasan, and I stopped and dismounted as Hannah emerged in smiles... smiles for the return of her husband... her husband had returned to her, but not as she wished him to...and I thought of Naiore, his slayer as she eluded the arrows in that dark, rainy night. Maybe I blamed myself for his death? but the thought was inturrupted by the sound of that laugh.. the same one I heard seconds before I blew in that door...


I jumped awake in a sweat! Standing and shaking, seeing the face of Hannah change from pure joy to pure sorrow... my side ached where I was wounded in the war, probably some from laying upon that wily pinecone, probably some from the memory of the war... I quickly looked about in watch as was custom of Rangers to see if danger was near, and seeing I was outside the gates of bree as the sun colored the straggling clouds over the Misty Mountains pink I turned to Blackveil who wandered up nearby.

‘Ready to go girl? They will want to stable you in the city. Maybe I will walk from here and meet you tonight when I return?’

Her nudge of my shoulder was partly in check for my sanity after my troubled sleep, and partly in thankfulness of my not taking her into a city. That stable by Laketown suffered much from her temporary confinement. With a swish of her tail she was off into the trees, and I cached my belongings I would not need in town.

The town of Bree was a nice place, though tales and rumors were rampant there. A tip from Bree was not worth its cost in ale to get it, for it would be a yarn spilled from a local or a visitor from the Shire, but if one looked at those who came and went from other parts, there could be some information gleaned. I knocked upon the South Gate ust as the sun peeked its way over the distant horizon and below the clouds. The seemingly eerie golden light spread about Bree Hill as the keeper opened the gate. Yes, friendlier times it was in these years of the LKing, for it was only at the whim of the gatekeeper if he wanted to open the facedoor to ask of business. It was not uncommon these days for them to open the gate right off.

"Good morning sir" He said with a tired smile. He was the morning gateman, and was still waking up. A voice behind him asked me,

"What is your business so early?"

‘I am here for the day, to re-supply and rest.’

I didn’t like his demeanor asn he was a bit grumpy. But then he was just off his night watch at the gate.

"Hanasian I know you better than that. You come to smoke and drink and gamble, and maybe..."

‘No, I am here as I said, for I will be on my way ere you work again. But maybe you could tell me something.’

He looked at me with a half smile and said, "what?"

I looked around and then said,

‘Maybe you could tell me where the Nightshades could be found?’

He was silent, but as we walked the road together he said,

"Sure, one of the boys does smithing. Has a place just a thousand feet south of the Pony but the draw in the hill."

I thanked him as he turned for his house, a yawn slid out as he waved goodbye, for he would go to find sleep, the nocturnal type he was.

I walked the road toward the Pony, and people tall and small were beginning to stir this fine summers day. I nodded to a few though most ignored me, and it was soon I was before a smiths shop.

‘Hail sir Nightshade?" I said to the young man who was stoking the fire of his forge. He looked up at me and straightened.

"That be me." he said, though he looked suspicious at me for knowing his family name.

‘I bring word from one who claims kinship. She stays at the Forsaken and goes by the name of Benia...’

And elder man had come out of the house when he heard his son talking, and he said gruffly,

"Spawn of Jacks I reckon. Word was a comin’ for I felt it. What is she to you? One who caught your fancy for a night?"

I was taken aback somewhat by his words, but replied respectfully,

‘She is one who sings beautifully, as a nightingale upon the quiet waters Mirromere. She wanted word to be brought to her kin that she was delayed in arriving. I assume you were expecting her?’

He crinkled his face and turned away from me. "Maybe, but why did you not escort her then?"

‘It was not her wish.’ I replied, sensing all was not well between the lines of the family. I went on, ‘She has word of one of her mothers kin, and said you, of her father’s kin could get word to them.'

He turned and said,

"You delivered word, and I thank you for my part. Will there be anything my son can help you with??"

He was eyeing the exotic black knife on my belt, the one which wounded me in the fields of Pellenor. I could see this getting colder, so I turned and said,

‘No, just delivering the message as requested.’

I needed something to drink! it was too early for ale, but the tea from the Pony smelled good. i stopped in for a hearty breakfast and tea, and then to the mercentile to trade and barter for some good parchment paper and inks and quills, and other goods. Surely I would relax a bit, then I would be back on my way to the Forsaken. Yes, leaving was not the thing to do, but for this instant when I saw a dark, wild lookng fellow who I had intentions to meet. He came to trade away some vegtables he had grown, and I could tell he was nervous. he was from Dunland, for I had met him before, and by the passed word of the wanderers toward the Forsaken, he had let me know he had knowledge.

I slipped him some of the pipeweed I had aquired and he looked at it, and after taking it he looked about and then to me, whispering,

"I have seen her! The one you seek!"

I looked at him with a doubtful gaze, for many have told me this, and many times they were close, but never on the mark like that night in Dorwinion. He leaned toward me and said,

"Near Tharbad where they are re-building the great bridge, the river is a hard cross, and one so sought by the Kings men such as she could not ford by the city. She crossed Dunland by my fields! I was near the River Greyflood when she swam it! About ten miles west of the city! It is low since the warm spring melted the snows, and the rain has beem little but for the one summer storm."

I looked at the wall. Yes, she stirred it up in Rohan quite a bit, always seem to get clues of her there. I decided his information was worthy for the most part, and gave him the rest of the pipeweed. it was the wild stuff from Rhun, and I would keep the Farthing smoke I just got. He was happy and I went outside to sit and smokeIt had to be Naiore, from what he said, and her movements were usually concealed well. but sometimes poor farmers are not seen, or not thought of as being woprthy of having to be concealed from. Fo even one as wily as Naiore must weary of hiding her every move. But where would she go? Could she be here in Bree? Try to infiltrate the Shire? No, would stick out sorely among the Halflings...

I lay against a tree trunk and smoked and thought, writing again parts of what I called the Annals of the Dúnedain Rangers, when thoughts again drifted to my dream of the morning and then to that day... my hand dug out of my pocket a leather pouch, one not much different from the one he had of Vanwe’s. I opened it and let slip out of it the lock of hair. The hair my knife took that fateful night... I was not thinking the other night or I would have given some of this hair to Vanwe, since she sought her mother.... That was it! Maybe Naiore sought her daughter? Hanasían, you old mossbrain! Surely she was making for the Forsaken, for she must of had word of her daughter! Besides, why linger here when I could see again lady Benia Nightshade and hear her sing once again? But Vanwe was the key.. and I am here...

I stood and stashed away my pipe, parchment, quill, ink, and the pouch with Naiore's hair and made way for the south gate. Blackveil will be grazing, but would know to come at my call when I retrieve my cached gear. I had to make time back to the Forsaken, and it was still morning, I could make it back by nightfall.

I was silent as I rode, Blackveil could sense my urgency. I rode through the day as the sun westered, and a stiff westerly wind drove the air about me cooler, pushing the warm southern summer air back. A squall line of clouds built high in the sun, and their dark undersides belched streaks of rain and an occasional lightning bolt as the differing airs danced up their storm. My thoughts turned to Vanwe and the talk we had of Naiore. How could I tell her that her mother slew such a good friend, leaving a child fatherless and a mother widowed? Did she already know? She will learn of Naiore’s ways, soon enough. I approached the Inn as the sun dropped below the horizon, turning the lands an eerie dark, with the tall clouds sunlit still in the east....

[ August 21, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:22 AM   #100
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Hilde's character - Gilly

NAME: Gilly Burrows Banks

AGE: 45

RACE: Hobbit

GENDER: Female

WEAPONS: Gilly has a knife, which she views as a tool rather than a weapon. At need she is more likely to impress the mundane objects around her to serve as weapons than to remember it’s existence.

APPEARANCE: Gilly is a middle aged and middle class hobbit as is reflected by her appearance. She is of average height and sturdy mature figure, though by no means overweight. The long braid of her wavy light brown hair is shot through with gray and tied in a knot at the back of her neck, curling wisps framing her broad face and dark brown eyes. She wears a simple homespun white blouse under a long dress of coarse dark green stuff that is edged with her own tatting work. At her waist is a wide belt of brown leather and around her shoulders a loosely woven shawl of varying shades of brown and tan knobby wool.

PERSONALITY: Gilly is a peaceful, practical sort. Her joy in life is maintaining a pleasant well-managed household and so she is typically trying to smooth out rough patches and looking for a better way of doing things. She has a narrow set of friends mostly in her own neighborhood, and while it takes time to win her confidence once you have it she is a devoted and loyal friend. Gilly is governed by a strong set of principles and is known to cast reason aside to do what she feels is honorable and right. She is quick to smile and has a sense of humor.

STRENGTHS: Her strengths lie in her perseverance and kind heart.

WEAKNESSES: It is her weakness to be overly suspicious, and to act before thinking things through to their logical end.

HISTORY: Gilly comes from the Burrows family of Bywater and spent a happily uneventful childhood on the family’s farmstead outside the town proper.


When she was in her tweens she had stumbled upon the plight of Jack Nightshade and his small family. Convincing her parents of their need, the Nightshades had been the Burrows’ guests for sometime before moving secretly onward. During this time a strong friendship had formed between Jack Nightshade’s daughter Benia and the hobbit, Gilly; and Gilly had in turn became aware of the troubled world outside of the Shire.


Immediately preceding the war, Gilly was married to Carl Banks, an oil merchant from Bywater and moved into his small living quarters just over the room housing his oil press. They lead a peaceful life until the war brought grief to the Shire and the young Banks’ business was burned down as a result of an “accident” involving Sharkey’s men. Gilly and Carl then had moved in with Carl’s parents.


Carl took part in the Battle of Bywater as a guard at the barrier on the road to Hobbiton, a point of pride for Gilly.


After the war the young Banks’ slowly rebuilt the business and were blest with 3 children. Life had settled into the comfortable pattern of domestic turmoil when a letter from Benia arrived asking Gilly if she would be willing to travel beyond Bree for a time to visit her old friend. A bit taken back at the mention of The Forsaken Inn, Carl and Gilly responded in a positive matter on the condition that Miss Nightshade would watch over her friend in Carl’s absence. It was then planned that Carl would accompany his wife to the inn and leave her there for a week while he visited some distant cousins in Archet. The children would in turn be visiting their Grandmother Banks. At the very most, they planned to return to Bywater within three weeks.

_____________________________________________

Hilde Bracegirdle's post for Gilly

(note: to follow Benia's immediately)

Eyes narrowed, trying to pierce the evening gloom, Gilly came to a stop behind the thick trunk of an ancient and sickly tree, it’s dark leafless branches uplifted, casting a claw like silhouette against the sky. The hobbit shuddered involuntarily in the cool dew-laden air. At the edge of the village sparse trees, disfigured by a seemingly desperate search for firewood grew among the derelict buildings, reminding Gilly of the refuse left on the shore after a great
storm. Disagreeable confusion. It reflected her own weary state of mind.


Before Gilly the object of her attention, Kaldir, an ominous presence in the rising mist, walked purposefully through the darkness, disappearing into the shadow. A flood of panic swept the hobbit along as she swiftly ran to follow this quarry. She could not afford to lose sight of Kaldir. He was her best chance at finding Miss Nightshade. Her only chance quite likely. And she must find her. Quite foolishly she had not told anyone as of Miss Benia disappearance last evening. It had been her wish to have gained Miss Léspheria’s council, but seeing her in such distress in the morning she was fearful that Miss Benia’s assailant might have attacked her as well, and did not wish to bring her further suffering. So she alone tried to piece together what exactly had transpired. It was obvious to her that it had not been the lady’s own volition that had taken her out of the window at the inn, but rather a man or less likely an elf that had forced her to take this undignified exit.


Who this person could be was a matter Gilly had pondered tirelessly, coming up with two suspects and one possible accomplice. The chief suspect was the man she followed, a ranger with a rather menacing disposition, who had lately arrived at the inn disrupting the calm of Miss Benia and Gilly’s visit rather much like a horse stepping in a still puddle. Nothing was clear. Their ease was taken from them completely when he had unceremoniously posted himself by the stair leading to the quarters Benia and Gilly shared. And he had been possessed of a stealthy sort of aggression and a confidence that the hobbit found most convincing. But this morning, when she found that Miss Benia had disappeared in the night, Gilly was dumbfounded to find Kaldir still about the inn aiding the elf Léspheria. It just didn’t fit. If not Kaldir then who would have done such a thing?


The other figure who featured in Gilly’s internal debate was Hanasian, another ranger who had come to Benia’s assistance when she was injured while seeking the sanctuary of her room, away from Kaldir. Though initially wary of any ranger, Gilly found herself weakening in her resolve regarding Mr. Hanasian’s case. But then, had she not seen him speaking late last evening with the strange southerner Vanwe, and quite close to Benia’s open window? She perhaps, would have heard of the price for bringing down a member of the Painted Sand tribe. Then again, all these three might be in league with one another. After all Hanasian apparently was on familiar terms with Kaldir. Or then again it could be someone Gilly had not spotted. She began to feel dizzy again, faint with hunger and weary of the circle her mind was describing.


Gilly’s thoughts turned outward once more as Kaldir passed through the door of one of the abandoned structures. She heard a low metallic scrape as a bolt was drawn and wondered if Benia might indeed be found alive in this very building. But perhaps it was the nest of thieves. She must be cautious.


After a pausing a few moments Gilly followed Kaldir over the threshold, desperately hoping that the ranger wasn’t poised just inside the door, waiting for her. A deep voice faintly could be heard beyond a heavy wooden door. And there, A female voice!


Planting herself in the deepest of shadows in the empty room, Gilly began her vigil, knowing herself no match for a ranger, she must needs wait until he departed again before she could effect Benia’s release.


Thinking back over the last few weeks, it seemed ages since Gilly received the letters that initially disrupted her otherwise peaceful existence. The first being from her sister-in-law the contents of which in effect was politely discerning if her family could move in with Gilly’s while relocating back to Bywater. Sylvia had been of the growing opinion that Brandy Hall was no place to bring up children and if hers were to be taken as examples of that region’s youth Gilly was inclined to agree. And the vague reference in regard to the purposed end of their stay she had found quite trying.


And again, the very next day the postman had delivered a second letter addressed in a rather flowing decorative script. This from Miss Benia Nightshade. Gilly had fondly recalled the slight, kindhearted lass with large amber eyes. She had had no word from her since the days before the war and slowly had come to fear the worst had happened to the dear girl and her family. They had been like green leaves blowing about before the wind in those pre war days, just one step ahead of the storm brewing in Harad. Indeed that is how they had become acquainted, Gilly pleading their case to her father until he agreed to shelter them on his small farm until the danger of their southern pursuers had past. But that chapter had long since been closed. Miss Benia had grown to be a fine woman albeit to Gilly’s mind a bit outlandish to set eyes upon. Still she had her father’s wit and fortitude alongside her mother’s appearance, and it proved a pleasant combination.


In her letter Miss Nightshade had relayed that she would be in the area near Bree and would like to see Gilly again if Gilly could manage to find her way there. She would be staying at the Forsaken Inn. The hobbit in hindsight regretted ignoring the misgivings she had upon reading the name of the inn, but at the time she had feared bed bugs and stale toast rather than the exploits of bounty hunters such as the one she now found herself trailing. (That had changed quickly upon her arrival). And at the time she was overjoyed at the prospect of seeing Miss Benia again, so much so as to press her husband Carl to agree to the journey.


Carl had accompanied Gilly as far as the inn before turning toward Archet to stay with distant cousins. He had arranged to meet Gilly in a few days time for the return trip home. Meanwhile, Miss Nightshade had promised to keep a watchful eye on her friend, keeping her out of mischief. Never before had she seen the Brandywine let alone crossed over the Greenway, and the hobbit felt herself ill at ease as well as excited. Accordingly, she had had a sense of apprehension even amidst her marveling at the sights and curious ways of her fellow guests, some few of which brought to mind once again the ill treatment she and Carl had received at the hands of Sharkey’s men, and was rather sad to learn that Benia’s troubles had not ceased after the war….


Gilly woke suddenly to the sound of footsteps ascending the stair. She couldn’t have been asleep over long for it was still mercifully dark in the room. Of this Gilly was grateful, for at the door there soon appeared Kaldir’s dark form hurriedly shooting the bolt home before stepping outside and across the road. The hobbit sat silently counting to what she thought was a large number before allowing herself to race to the cellar door. Heart racing as she unlocked the door, Gilly found it an awkward task descending the steep stairs with Jack Nightshade’s sword strapped to her back, and stumbling down the last few she called, “Miss Benia! Miss Benia, are you here?”


“Yes Gilly, I am. Just over here my friend, see here in the corner,” came a soft reply. “But you should not have come to visit me today. Carl would not be pleased to hear that I had taken you to such a place as this!” Benia gave a dispirited smile. “You must go directly, for I assure you the ranger will not be long gone!”


“Oh no Miss Nightshade, I will not go. I mean to get you out of here. Ach, now who would go and tie you up like this? As if you would be causing harm to anyone!” Gilly came forward to free Benia using a small knife, but her friend stopped her and looked her in the eye.


“Gilly, please listen! You must go now. Kaldir will be back and we will both be trussed up like this before we have gone a mile if we leave now. If you truly wish to help me, go back to the inn and gather my things bringing them here. I will need my boots to travel any distance quickly, and a think we shall gain a good lead if we wait until the ranger goes to fetch his horse as he plans tomorrow.”


“Then I will do as you ask, but please take my knife while I am away. I would feel better for your having it.” She paused thinking the plan through. “Am I to go with you then?”


“I won’t have you stay here, for Kaldir to toy with!”


“Then I suggest we head for Archet, Carl is there and will be able to help us.”


“Very well, just hurry and be careful.”


Gilly made her way up the stairs again, bolting the door behind her before slipping out into the night. She fairly ran to the inn, climbing the vines to enter Benia’s room though the open window. Collecting the few things her friend had left, she put her meager handful of pocket money on the table hoping that it might cover the cost of their stay, before throwing the rucksack out the window and climbing down after it.


Soon Miss Benia would be safe again, and she and Carl would be on her way back to Bywater. Very soon this would be only an unpleasant memory, but it could not be soon enough for the tired hobbit.

[ August 21, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:23 AM   #101
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Need these First Posts:
  • Ealasaid: Kaldir, Benia
  • Snowdog: Hanasian
  • Nerindel: Léspheria, Amandur
  • Hilde: Gilly

Please just place them on this discussion thread and I will paste them to my floppy copy of the Game Proposal.

_________________________________________________

Also, in the posts that were lost to the previous discussion thread, there was a discussion of whether you wanted to put a general First Post (at the Inn?) which would more or less set the stage for all of the characters to start from.

Elora had volunteered to do something along those lines, I think . . .

[ August 12, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 08-12-2003, 03:54 PM   #102
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Yes indeedy, I did volunteer.

I hope I was not premptory in that.

I will be basing the opening at the inn, and covering the history so that anyone new to the RP and not aware of the Green Dragon pre-history can have events and references framed for them.

I hope to have something done in the next few days.

As ever, suggestions, hints, comments are always welcome. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 08-13-2003, 07:22 AM   #103
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Elora -- that's great! Go ahead with a general first post that sets the stage, making it non-character-specific, but detailed enough where someone new to the story will know what is happening. Thanks!

You are already one jump ahead of the rest of us, so I really appreciate your volunteering to write it!! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:48 AM   #104
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FIRST POST - BENIA NIGHTSHADE
(This takes place in the evening prior to Elora's AM posts.)

Bound wrist and ankle, Benia Nightshade lay in the darkness of the abandoned cellar. Despite the skilled healing efforts of the two elves back at the inn, her sprained ankle throbbed under the tightness of the rope. Kaldir, the bounty hunter who had seized her out of her bed at the inn, had been gone for hours. She had already begun to wonder if he was ever going to return. Half of her mind hoped that he would. She would hate to starve to death, alone and forgotten, in the empty cellar. The other half of her mind hoped never to lay eyes on him again. She knew he meant to kill her. Why he had not done so already was a mystery to her.

Thinking back, she remembered how he had brought her to the cellar and dumped her rather unceremoniously on to the dirt floor. From there he had dragged her over to a wooden chopping block, where an axe already waited, but, instead of chopping off her head or hands as she had expected him to do, he had simply given the tribal tattoos on her hands a long stare in the flickering candlelight. Then, inexplicably, he had kissed each of her palms and left, taking the axe with him. She had not seen him since. The candle he had lit when they arrived in the cellar had burned out hours ago. Now, whether he came back or not, Benia had the feeling that she had come to the end of her life. Either way, she was waiting to die. Whether the end came quickly or slowly seemed to be all there was left to determine. The ropes that bound her were strong and the knots, like iron. She knew there would be no wriggling loose.

Shifting her legs to a slightly more comfortable position, Benia pondered the last several days of her life, thinking about the mistakes she had made. The trip to the Forsaken Inn had been a foolish and sentimental thing to do in the first place, and, since arriving there, she had done nothing right or sensible. Actually, in retrospect, she realized she had thrown caution to the wind nearly from the moment she had first crossed the inn's threshold. With that in mind, she had to admit that it was no surprise to find herself in her current predicament.

The worst part of the whole scenario was that she had not only endangered herself, but involved her friend Gilly, as well, which was - to her mind - unforgivable. Benia sighed. She hoped desperately that Gilly was well on her way back toward Bywater and safety by now, not hanging about inviting more trouble. She blamed herself for Gilly's involvement. If she had just not written that letter inviting Gilly to meet her there at the inn, none of this would have happened. Gilly would be safe at home with her family in Bywater, and Benia, herself, would be going about her own business miles away from the inn. There would have been no ill-fated songs, no sprained ankle, and, most of all, no bounty hunter.

She was sure the song was what had summoned the bounty hunter out of the wilds, like a genie from a bottle. She had made the mistake of letting herself get too comfortable in the warmth of the inn's common room and, not only bursting into song, but bursting into song in the most conspicuous way imaginable... in the language of her own nearly extinct Haradrim tribe, complete with finger cymbals. In the darkness, Benia blushed from her own foolishness. She might as well have just burst into flame. It had been no coincidence that the bounty hunter had appeared the very next day. She was sure of it.

The sprained ankle, too, was as much her own fault as anything else. If she had just watched where she was going instead of worrying so much about where the bounty hunter was, she would have seen the pewter tankard left on the stairs. As if that wasn’t enough, she had pretty much sealed her own fate by sending the kind Ranger, Hanasian, who had helped her after her fall on the stairs, on that ridiculous errand to Bree. In all reality, he had been her only protection. As soon as he had gone, the bounty hunter had made his move and the next thing Benia knew, she lay tied in an empty cellar, waiting to die.

She sighed again and was just closing her eyes to try to sleep when the sound of a firm step on the floor over her head jolted her awake. She struggled into a sitting position and edged away as best she could from the narrow staircase that led upward to the abandoned blacksmith’s shop. There was a click and a slide of a bolt, followed by the creak of stiff hinges as the trap door opened over her head. Straining to see through the darkness, she could barely make out the tall shape of the bounty hunter descending the stairs. He carried a small bundle which he set down beside her. A few seconds later, a fresh candle flickered to life. Benia’s amber eyes struggled to adjust to the light as the bounty hunter knelt beside her and untied her wrists. When he had finished, he moved away to take a seat on the stairs.

He nodded toward the bundle he had left on the floor beside her. “I suggest you eat,” he said quietly.

Startled, Benia did as she was told and reached for the bundle. She had not eaten in over twenty-four hours, but it was not until she smelled the rich aroma of Aldarida Boffin’s cooking that she realized she was famished. Even so, she hesitated before taking even the first bite. She turned a curious gaze toward the bounty hunter, who only smiled his peculiar one-sided smile, the candlelight casting his scarred features into sharp planes of dark and light.

“It’s not poisoned if that’s what you’re thinking,” he told her, guessing her unspoken question. “I suggest you eat it.”

Benia did as she was told. Even though it was just a cold supper of whole grain bread and cold chicken, she couldn’t remember when any food had ever tasted so good. Watching Kaldir from the corner of her eyes as she ate, she saw that he was simply waiting for her to finish. His sword remained sheathed at his side and there was no sign of an axe. Even the chopping block lay where he had left it. Finally, she gathered her courage to speak.

“If you mean to kill me,” she asked. “Why do you bring me a meal?”

“Perhaps I don’t mean to kill you just yet.” Seeing that she was finished, he rose from his perch on the stairs and gathered the empty crockery back into the bundle. “You’ll need your strength. Can you ride?”

Benia nodded.

Kaldir did not answer immediately, but picked up the rope and retied her wrists, even tighter it seemed than before. “Then we leave on the morrow,” he said at last, casting barely a glance at her bare feet that lay partly visible under the hem of her dress. Without any further explanation, he took up the bundle of now-empty crockery and departed back up the stairs.

Alone in the candlelight, Benia listened as the trap door creaked shut and the outside bolt fell into place with a decisive click.

[ August 14, 2003: Message edited by: Ealasaid ]
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:24 AM   #105
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Ok, Everyone, going over my posts in the Dragon I have noticed a major flaw in my posting [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] Léspheria has only been at the inn for four days,long as they were!

therefore it seems unlikely to me that Lothaniel could have got to the blue mountains, been injuried and sent a messenger back in such a short time.

So, I was wondering if it would be plausible if we put that Léspheria came to the inn a week earlier than she actually did? Nothing intresting would have happened in this week, it is likely that this time would have been spent familiarising herself with the staff and the workings of the inn? {shrugs}

Sorry about this [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:20 AM   #106
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That's fine with me. If you would like Lespheria to have been at the inn longer than a week or so, that is fine, too. Most of us are changing at least a little something between the Green Dragon and here, e.g. Benia's broken ankle to a sprain and Snowdog's name change.

Just make it clear in your new post! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 08-14-2003, 10:21 AM   #107
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Benia's post is now placed just following her character bio. I'll do the same for all the characters when the First Posts are placed here.
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Old 08-14-2003, 03:27 PM   #108
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Work load has limited my internet time this week, let alone trying to think clear enough to put together an intelligable first post. Fortunatly I have bits and pieces of a post that I previously wrote saved so I just need to take the time to make it all work. Hopefully tomorrow!
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:18 PM   #109
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Nerindel, that sounds fine by me too.

The Green Dragon is more posting impromptu (at least for me it is). We'll all have the chance to reconsider some oversights we've made at the Inn in this RP. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Snowdog, I'm sure that when you do get the chance, what you show us will be wonderful.

Easlaid - great post!

I'll have a First Post Outline up later on today (my time) for you all to look at and comment on. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 08-14-2003, 10:58 PM   #110
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OK, this is a first draft. I've taken a broad scope in a hope to capture the mood at the opening of the 4th Age as I sense it from Tolkien's notes.

I believe that it would be hope tempered with sadness for the War of the Ring would be too great to easily forget. As we are only 12 years into the 4th Age, I figure it would feature heavily in people's minds.

Neither would things be all roses. The departure of the Wise is a huge shift in how Middle-earth was run. It would leave a vacuum to be filled by leaders new to such authority. I've resisted saying more about specific characters, as I think that falls to those of us writing the characters to do.

Also, as some characters have yet to be added, I decided to remain brief. Hopefully, the brave new world sense comes through.

Please don't be shy about suggestions. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

____________________________________________

Elora - Opening post for Game

The Fouth Age was filled with both promise and uncertainty when it first began. Much of the familiar past had left Middle-earth’s shores, never to return. Some lamented the past at its departure. Much beauty, wisdom, strength and courage passed with the Wise whom set out for the undying lands from the Grey Havens. Some filled their spirits in the space the Wise left behind, looking forward to a new future that they would help shape. Some were eager to forget the past. Great evil had fallen at great cost. The shadow would be shaken, but it would take time.

And there were some who sought to cling to that past, the dark as well as the bright.

Middle-earth was gripped by renewal as the Age of Men came. Towns were rebuilt, lands settled after long abandonment enforced by Sauron. Change is never easy. Realms were forged anew. Gondor had a King and Queen after so long without. New grass sprouted green on the scorched fields of Pelennor with the Spring. Order spread out from the seats of mortal power. Osgiliath was slowly cleansed. Minas Ithil, forever tainted by Mordor’s occupation, was sadly and reverently taken down and laid to rest.

Orthanc regained it’s splendor, as did Minas Tirith and Meduseld. The Shire, shaken to the core, slowly settled back into peace. Yet nothing was as it once had been. The past remained as it was – past. The changes and marks of the cataclysmic war could not be entirely blurred by new growth and optimism. Lothlorien lay still and empty, now as immersed in the stream of time as the lands around it. Mirkwood turned inward. Dol Guldur was dismantled. Imladris, where those who had not departed mortal shores lingered, became more remote than ever before. The King’s protection of the Shire ensured no Big Folk found their way into at least that corner. Discontent bubbled in Umbar, Harad and Rhun still.

The future was not entirely certain, nor becalmed. The people across the lands wished for peace and forgetfulness. Celeborn, along with the new kings Elessar and Eomer, put their full backing behind cementing the new peace and order within the land. Orcs that teemed in the Misty Mountains and infested Mordor still had to be seen to. They were not the only darkness that lingered behind in Sauron’s wake. His net had been cast wide and those in his service were many. Saurman was not the strangest bedfellow afterall.

With the Rangers, the Elves, the Riddermark and Gondor now largely unopposed, optimism was high that that which remained could soon be put to final rest. Dwarves slowly spread their influence through the Misty Mountains. Orc, goblin and troll numbers dwindled. They had no benefactor now. Mordor was a land where the full force and weight of Gondor rested over. Pit after pit of horror and evil was thrown open and cracked like an overripe melon. It split beneath the force, and slowly melted away.

The discontent further south proved more difficult to overcome. There was another thing that proved stubborn. Not all had been done when the Wise left. Behind them, entrusted to those that remained, was another task. Justice had not come to all. Of all allies of Mordor that somehow escaped destruction, one of the chiefest remained at large. Enigma, riddle, aberration, her name was Naiore Dannan and she could not be permitted to continue.

The Wise reluctantly disclosed what little they knew of Naiore Dannan. Elf, she was, and in the service of Sauron she had been since the Second Age. Kin to Galadriel, little else was to hand apart from one inescapable fact. Naiore Dannan remained at large and continued to elude capture. Alive with her was a malevolence of intent too strong to allow to continue. The hunt for Naiore Dannan continued to little avail. It crossed borders into lands known and otherwise. It reached after her, finding shred of trace every now and anon. After 12 years of the Fourth Age, the search came as did she to an inn.

Here is set down the final telling of this sad tale. At the Forsaken Inn, a day’s ride from Bree on the edge of the Wild, it took the unlikeliest gathering of all to begin what could not be done in a hunt that had stretched through two ages. There is found Lespheria and Amandur, Elf and Ranger in turn and both tied to Naiore in vastly different ways. Benia, a woman from the troubled south, lies in the keeping of another troubled soul named Kaldir, a Ranger too but fallen in the darkness. He watches, intent on quarry who has on her head a handsome price. His quarry is Vanwe, unclaimed and heretonow forgotten daughter of Naiore Dannan, a secret she closely guards for fear of her mother's evil falling upon her and those around her.

Yet the hunter and the hunted can be one and the same. Kaldir himself is watched, by Gilly whom suspects Kaldir in Benia’s disappearance. The hobbit is not easily triffled with. Neither is Hanasian, a Ranger like Kaldir, let not fallen. He nears the inn as another watcher of Kaldir waits nearby. On her head is the highest price ever set, by Dwarf, Man or Elf. On her head rests also such attrocities that would give even the Wraiths pause for regret deep in their undead souls. In Imladris, one who has felt and survived her shadow lingers also in the watchful keeping of his Elven kindred.

The Forsaken Inn, where the beginning of another ending unfolds, is peaceful in the summer morning light. The innkeeper was busy looking over the common room’s empty tables and chairs before breakfast. Fimbriel nodded in satisfaction and sought the kitchens. It would be a thirsty day, if she guessed the morning’s mist aright. The arrival of travellers looking for something to slake their thirst and a place to rest from the midsummer heat would not be too far away.

[ August 20, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 08-15-2003, 08:01 PM   #111
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Looks good, Elora! There is only one thing I can see that really needs correction:
Quote:
There is found Lespheria and Amandur, Elves who remain.
Amandur is a Ranger rather than an elf.

Otherwise, aside from a few typos, it looks really good! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Oh! and, um, who is Aerwyn?

Quote:
Aerwyn nodded in satisfaction and sought the kitchens.
[ August 15, 2003: Message edited by: Ealasaid ]
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Old 08-15-2003, 11:58 PM   #112
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Thanks for that! Bill Gates continues to refuse to spell check for me, perhaps on account of my flagrant and sustained misuse of the language.

I'll edit accordingly.

As for Aerwyn, that's a random name for the innkeeper character. Right now, she's a NCE.
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Old 08-16-2003, 04:14 AM   #113
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Hey Elora, looks great [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

I thought we agreed on the following for the names of the inn characters:

Quote:
Additional NCE's who will figure into the storyline are the personnel from the Green Dragon Inn, which for the purposes of this RPG, are removed to the Forsaken Inn and renamed as follows:

Vinca Bunce (cook) - Aldarida Boffin
Ruby Brown (server & maid) - Rowana Brandybuck
Buttercup Brownlock (kitchen assistant & maid) - Amarantha Willow
Derufin (stablemaster/handyman) - Dervorin
Aman (innkeeper) - Fimbriel
Thanks for pointing out that Amandur is a ranger and not an elf Ealasaid [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 08-16-2003, 06:57 AM   #114
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That's great, Elora!

We do need to stick with the names in the list for the inn personnel, so if you could change Aerwyn to Fimbriel, we would be all set.

I will try to have my first post for Kaldir up this weekend.

Nerindel, Hilde, & Snowdog: how are your first posts progressing? If at all possible, let's try to have them in by Wednesday at the latest. We need to get the Discussion Thread open for our other writers!
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Old 08-16-2003, 04:45 PM   #115
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Oops!

I musta missed that NCE character name list. [img]smilies/redface.gif[/img]


Names are fixed.

Thanks for your patience and my apologies for the blindingly obvious errors.
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Old 08-17-2003, 07:05 AM   #116
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Sorry, that I have not gotten the first post up yet. Power outages and the real world have been intruding on my story writing time. I will to have it ready soon though. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Now if I can just read my own writing!
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Old 08-17-2003, 09:20 PM   #117
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No problem, Hilde! I know you have been working on it. I'm behind schedule again myself. I will try to have Kaldir in by Wednesday.
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Old 08-17-2003, 09:43 PM   #118
Snowdog
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
 
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Quote:
Snowdog: how are your first posts progressing?
Well, its progressing....

I've been having internet connectivity trouble today and so haven't been on too much. I will have it together by Wednesday, though I planned on having it up tonight.

Actually, it took me several attempts at signing on again just to get this to post [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img]
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Old 08-17-2003, 10:38 PM   #119
Elora
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I'll send your IP company Naiore. She'll sort them out decisively for you, Snowdog. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Hilde, power outages in my part of the world are a feature of life here. I share your frustration with you. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 08-18-2003, 03:42 AM   #120
Hilde Bracegirdle
Relic of Wandering Days
 
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Yes, I feel fortunate to electricity at all. I have lived in a place where you are lucky to have a couple of hours a day, (even if you are on the same line as a factory!) [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

But all the better to draw on when writing about Middle Earth, eh what?
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