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Old 07-03-2006, 11:47 AM   #161
Kath
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Sighing resignedly Igor stepped toward Skittles, ducking under the jet of flame that had just been directed at Maika. The doctors in this place were about as much use as a bicycle is to a fish, and almost as slow-moving. Bending down next to the girl, avoiding the pool of blood as far as possible, he whipped out a needle and thread and proceeded to close the wound.

His job was hampered by Dracomir's little tricks, as Skittles became very agitated when he removed the knife she was holding and started to writhe around on the floor, almost causing Igor to re-slit her wrist. However, she was still losing blood fast, and soon fell unconscious, allowing him to finish up.

Stowing his repair kit away again Igor lifted Skittles off the ground and started towards the door.

"Where are you going!?" Came a roar from behind. Roggie was not pleased, and was making no secret of it.

Turning Igor hoped that the fact that he was holding Skittles in his arms would prevent Roggie flaming him, and spoke his mind.

"This whole day has been a complete shambles. First we meet the Gondorians who don't even want to be here, then the negotiations get called off and we go to war, then everyone runs off in different directions and when we finally get here we end up injured."

He paused, glad to see that at least some of his companions had the decency to look a little ashamed of themselves.

"So, I am going to take Skittles to her rooms and I am going to get some blood into her."

Again he paused, shifting Skittle slightly so he could pull out a bag of blood from a pocket and show it to everyone, ignoring the sound of someone thudding to the floor behind him.

"Once I've got this into her and she is awake and able to continue these 'negotiations' then maybe we can start this again and actually get a result."

Not waiting for the outburst he was sure would come from Roggie and the other diplomats, he put the bag away again and stalked out of the room, taking no notice of the medics that rushed in after him, or the giant worm that he met further down the corridor chasing a couple of technicians.

In fact, he didn't even pause until he reached Skittles' current home, where he laid the poor girl down on the bed and got to work. As he sat there waiting for life to return to her he vaguely wondered if he should get a psychiatrist in to sort out her brain at the same time, but dismissed the idea, remembering that they were more likely to cause delusions than to help with them.

Sitting quietly, he wondered how the others had fared after his parting shot.
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Old 07-03-2006, 04:34 PM   #162
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Roggie watched the scene before him with confused concern and not a little bit of calm anger. Medical professionals and Igor-with-an-accent and a bleeding Skittles... Absolutely not, it would not do.

"We are done here." he growled. "Nothing will resume, be they negotiations or anything else, until my Chief Warmistress is well."

"But--" some very brave person began.

"I said nothing!" Roggie boomed. "And that is final."

He glared at his subjects as though they were naughty children and they looked around, careful not to meet his eyes. Somehow, though Roggie was always a bit frightening looking, he seemed more in need of attention when he spoke calmly than when he breathed fire. Nobody argued again. He was swiftly told to shut up and tossed out a window and then not a single person in the world said another thing.

"I want reports on Ambassador Skittles's well-being every half hour or so. We will discuss this further two days hence. You are dismissed."

So it was that the guests in Roggie's court scattered, finding adventures to occupy them throughout the next two days. Smilog encountered an exceptionally large sea turtle in a hidden dungeon; Maika encountered a hair comb with particularly sharp teeth. Igor-with-an-accent carefully presided over Skittles, and the extra guests that had been present in the audience chamber enjoyed the beach, the wine cellars, and many other things that would assuredly be written in retrospectively by their respective writers. Dracomir Malfoidacil simply disappeared from the view of the public with no warning, and returned with even less. Nobody seemed to notice, and the king's official spymaster was still officially off premises.

Last edited by Roggie of Morgoth; 07-06-2006 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:35 PM   #163
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Bearugard sat and mostly listened to Hyarmenwe's and the Gondmordorians conversation. Something wasn't sitting right with him, in his stomach that was. He felt as if someone had been punching him in the gut for 3 hours straight. He couldn't keep focus, the only thing on his mind was the aching of his stomach.

Bearugard, would you round up Angawen, that we might leave?" Bearugard did not answer. "Bearugard...Bearugard!"

"What was that?"

"Are you feeling ok?" Hyarmenwe asked, "You look a little strange." But the truth was Hyarmenwe thought Bearugard was being unusually...untalkative.

"Yeah I'm fine. You want me to get you a smoothie did you say?"

"No, I said go find Angaewen so we can get out of here."

"Oh, ok." Bearugard slowly got up and looked around, with a lost look on his face, the look you get when you forgot where you parked your vehicle in a packed Super Walmart parking lot. Everything seemed to start spinning; he felt weak and woozy. Then, it came, and it came up faster than the running rapids of Sarn Gebir. Bearugard's discorge had gotten itself all over Alekzander's corduroys.

"Isn't that just lovely." fumed Alekzander, as he and Firiel went running to the restrooms. Firiel shot an evil glare back at Hyarmenwe.

Hyarmenwe turned, red-faced, back to Bearugard, "Now why did you have to go do that?"

"Not like...I...could...hel-" before he could finish, he fell back onto his chair.

Angaewen had seen part of the event and came back to the Gondorians. "What happened here?"

"Bearugard just spewed all over one of the local Gondmordorians." Hyarmenwe said.

"Oh that's just great." said Angaewen. She turned and looked at him. "Well, he does look a little pale. No doubt that he's sick, he's probably got anakronitis."

"Anakronitis?" laughed Alli. "Don't be foolish Angaewen, there is no such thing as anakronitis. While you are not used to the things here in Mordor, anakronisms do not cause people to fall ill. Why your friend here has a case of food poisoning it looks like."

"I did notice he was shoving his face full of bread." replied Angaewen. "But why would anyone want to poison him?"

"No, no, no, his food wasn't poisoned." said Alli. "He has food poisoning, an illness caused by undercooked food. Afterall, I knew that hamburger, he chowed down, looked pink in the middle."

"What do we do?" asked Hyarmenwe, who now sounded a little concerned.

"Well, he's definitely going to need a lot of rest, so place in an order at the Pharmacy for some benadryl, which should knock him out. Then also you might want to get an antibiotic to help get rid of his symptoms. I would recommend the Pepto-Pink liquid medicine, it's got a yummy bubble-gum flavor. Anway within a few days to a week tops, he should be feeling all ship-shape."

Bearugard groaned and shook his head in disgust. Why did this happen to him? And why now, when he was going to be needed the most?
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Old 07-08-2006, 07:36 PM   #164
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Alli grimaced, telling herself calmly that she had seen the contents of a stomach multiple times, that she would again, and that she would, under no circumstances, be queasy just now. It didn't work. She turned white, though nobody noticed due to the lack of contrast between that and her usual pale cheeks.

"We'll be staying here until he's better."

Angawen and Hyarmenwë expressed concern over this. Though they had left the palace, they had not planned to be gone for as long as it would take for Bearugard to convalesce.

"Listen," Alli said briskly, "We shall be travelling back to the palace in highly unconventional ways. Do either of you wish, while moving at a high rate of speed, to be anywhere near Bearugard just now? Nor do I."

They blanched and Alli knew that they would not argue the matter further.

Alli spoke quietly to the deaf innkeeper and then repeated her words quite a lot louder when he made no signs of having heard.

"Old man," she finally yelled, waving her arms about. He looked at her, confused.

"Who are you? Nancy? Is that you?"

"No. My name is Alli Umfuil and I need two rooms."

"Two?" Angawen hissed from behind. Alli turned around and glared.

"When I was forced to leave the palace to find escaped political prisoners, I was also forced, due to time constraints, to leave my money purse behind. I have little money on me just now, and I know well that none you carry will work here. I would go into detail, but surely it would be slightly less than worth the effort given the unlikelihood of your subsequent understanding. As it is, I have only the money for two rooms and cannot charge it to a palace that has disappeared. You will share a room with me, and Hyarmenwë will, much though I regret it, quarter with your ill companion. Is that clear?"

Her voice was icy and Angawen, very much against character, did not respond. Her lips moved and Alli heard only a soft baa in one ear. She smiled and turned back to the innkeeper.

"Two rooms. Your payment, sir."

The next two days passed in a flurry of Gondorian cuisine followed by the occasional regurgitation of the same from their ill companion. Each member of the heavy hearted group politely pretended not to notice, though all patience was wearing thin by the time that Bearugard seemed well enough to travel.

It was with much relief that the four finally pulled up beside the mislocated palace, still miraculously parked in Lost Angles, after having stopped at every gas station (Hyarmenwë and Bearugard seemed dubious about this) along the way to ask for news and directions. Alli had hired a U-Haul and had driven carefully enough that Bearugard would not be sick again and just speedily enough that Angawen, without a seatbelt, was jostled unnecessarily. Hyarmenwë had expressed concern over this anakronism only to be assured by Alli that all would be as well as could be expected.

Still, as I already wrote, they were all relieved to get back. Alli sent the ambassadors to their rooms without consideration for the fact that they were all older than her by a rather large number of years. She slipped through hidden passageways that ran parallel to the main ones, coming into her office from a door built into the stonework of her fireplace.

"Ms. Martinet!!!" There was no answer. Alli sighed and went to her desk, finding six or seven towering stacks of paper. She wondered what her secretary had been doing since she left and glanced at each stack before conveniently losing her grip on every single pile just as she equally conveniently carried them past her roaring fire. Paperwork completed, she looked at the hand-written note that had been duct taped to her desk beneath each pile. She'd never been happier that she'd encouraged Ms. Martinet to let Lola do the occasional bit of information compilation. It was so much simpler this way...

Pile One:
Nothing of immediate importance.
Shelob and family on the move.
Igor spying. Permission granted?

Pile Two:
Vaguely interesting.
Ambassador Skittles nearly died. Igor fixed her.
Roggie seems in a better mood.
Malfoidacil disappears at night. Set higher watch?

Pile Three:
Critical.
You are out of tea.
And Sheridan's.
There appears to be a rat in your office. Did you put it there, dahling?

Alli jumped at reading that and pulled her feet up off of the floor before staring wistfully at her liquor cabinet. How could she be out of Sheridan's? That was depressing. She'd have to remedy that and then perhaps go speak with Roggie.

She glanced at the other messages, noting nothing but that she'd received no messages from Aime. Was he still interested? Had he forgotten the passion of the moment when he had saved her from the clutches of Mariowolf? Did he not like her kisses? She blushed. Why did he not write? Why did he not call?

She pushed the thoughts from her mind. Of course he was still interested in her. She refused to allow the word 'love' to flit through her mind and forced her attention onto more pressing matters. Tea. Where could she get good tea in Mordor? She'd had to smuggle the last in from Gondor, but that would be a bit tough right now...

She sighed, finally getting up with a grimace. She'd have loved a nap, but such was life.

"Roggie, let me in." She pounded on his door and heard him growl to enter. "The Gondorian ambassadors escaped, as I'm sure you know. I brought them back. Where is everybody else and what do you have planned?"

He sighed and turned around; he'd been staring into his barren fireplace.

"Warlady Skittles is healed by Igor. His only request for repayment is that negotiations should reopen."

"And?"

"And they will recommence tomorrow."

Alli jumped for joy inside of her perfectly still body and tried to remember just what the ambassadors had been discussing before everything turned confusing.

Had they even discussed anything? Icebreakers... that's what it was. She would fix matters.

And so, when the next day dawned, she met six of the eight delagates in the same room in which they had originally been. Bearugard was feeling a bit better, but not yet well enough to appear formally. Smilog was nowhere to be seen.

"You've all been introduced. You've gotten to know each other a bit better. If you feel the need, you may spend a bit more time on such matters. Your task for today is to discuss trade. Roggie would like to export. Mardil refuses to accept anakronistic trade items. I don't care how, but fix it so that both sides are vaguely content, or at least not war-happy. I'll be back later."

Last edited by Feanor of the Peredhil; 07-10-2006 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 07-09-2006, 11:32 AM   #165
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"Is that catapult ready?" demanded Smilog as he stood on top of a great and high tower near the coast of LA. Tollin and The Barrow Wight were hastily putting the finishing touches to a massive catapult while a young doctor sat on the floor rocking back and forth. The building shook violently and Smilog looked through the binoculars he had picked up in the tower and peered towards Mount Zoom. "Here it comes!" he cried.

There was an almighty 'squelch' and the enormous worm creature squeezed out of the top of the mountain, panting and wheezing. The giant sea turtle was upside-down in the water, struggling to get back up and return to the fight. Tollin loaded a large boulder into the catapult and said, "It's ready to fire!" Smilog leaped towards it and set the correct angle and velocity.

"You had better be right about this!" cried the Dwarf, looking at The Barrow Wight, "if you're not, we'll all be in trouble!" The worm slid down the side of the mountain and began making its way towards the tower. "FIRE!" cried Smilog and Tollin cut the rope holding the end of the catapult with the boulder in. The rock flew through the air right towards the worm as it raised itself up, massive and horrible. The boulder flew right at it, but the worm whipped it with it's tail and the rock was knocked into the side of Mount Zoom.

The impact of the rock awoke the shadowy figure at the helm, it had been lying in a pile of empty snack rappers. It quickly, and with bury eyes, grabbed the steering wheel and pressed down on the accelerator. Yet, the driver seemed to have failed to realise that it was still set in reverse. The great mountain, thousands of mega tons of rock and ash, thundered backwards, squishing the worm and smashed into the building on which Smilog and the others were stood.

"AAAAAAAAGGGGHHH!" began Smilog as they were thrown off the top towards the crater of the Mountain. Tollin swiftly drew out a large blanket from his pack and used it as a parachute, grabbing Smilog and the Barrow Wight with one hand. The doctor, on the other hand, flew off into the horizon and was not heard of for a while. Slowly, the three weirdoes drifted to the side of Mount Zoom and landed safely on Sauron's road, near to the crack of DOOM.

"Well," said Tollin, "that would seem to be that." he sighed and sat on the floor, "it sure was in interesting adventure, the worm taking over the mountain, the turtle battling it, the intergalactic space battle in 3D that happened just before we got to that building..."

"I know what happened," said Smilog, rubbing his head, "I really wish that I didn't." he looked around and saw the crack of DOOM. "We had better get inside before the Mountain moves again."

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Old 07-09-2006, 03:23 PM   #166
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The Lord Malfoidacil stood between his two active fellow ambassadors of the Court of the Fountain, Hyarmenwe and Angawen, on whom he had not clapped eyes for days now. Their meeting prior to the session had been courteous, but typically formal; perhaps even rather more than typically. It was the natural effect, Dracomir supposed, at their envy at he alone being taken into the negotiations with Roggie previously. If they had known what they were missing, he thought wryly, they would be neither so jealous nor so suspicious.

But in any case the hiatus in diplomacy caused by Skittles' critical state had been a welcome one, full of relaxation, Dark Arts and a hectic nightlife. Dracomir felt quite refreshed and quite filling to delve into a bit of minor commercial politicking.

"Let's be quite clear about this," he said, with a bow in the general direction of the Mordorian company, speaking in the Westron that both sides understood, "our King does not wish to discourage trade with Mordor. Oh, no. He's willing to accept all of your exports that comply with the laws of Gondor. To that end I have compiled a list," he paused, producing a tightly rolled up scroll which he unfurled.

"Export No. 1: Ash.
Export No. 2: Stone.
Export No. 3: Iron Ore.
Export No. 4: Lead."

He coughed. "Er, that's it. But believe me, it is possible to forge a vibrant, outgoing powerhouse of an economy on these commodities. Ash is in great demand in Gondor as a cosmetic among the noblewomen. Stone quarried in Mordor, while its use in building is limited, is used as catapult ammunition. Your metals strengthen our military capacity. So, you see, there is, ah, demand..."

Malfoidacil switched suddenly to English. "This is King Mardil's official position. Of course, certain concessions could be made...on the sly...you understand..."
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Old 07-09-2006, 08:33 PM   #167
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Anakron had stayed in his rooms when the call had come from Alli for the ambassadors to meet again before Roggie. Trade? What difference to him? So the Mordorians wanted to trade anakronisms to Gondor, and Mardil did not want them. Personally, Anakron thought Mardil was right to keep them trapped in Mordor. He could imagine that the Blue Istari wanted them spread throughout the Empire, and perhaps throughout Arda. It mattered little to him though. Let them fight it out; the Blue Istari would get their way in the end in any case.

As for him, all Anakron wanted was to be free of the staff, hat, and cloak. Officially, only the staff held any anakronistic power at all; but the hat and cloak had come to symbolize the role every bit as much as had the staff; so, it all must go.

"Lûgnût!"

Dishes crashed to the floor in the kitchen.

"Oooooh! Jee Ay, must you do that! You scared meeee!"

Anakron rolled his eyes. He hated anakronized orcs; almost as much as he pitied them.

"Get in here, Lûgnût."

"You are soooooo mean!" The orc moved swiftly into the sitting room, tangling his clawed hands nervously in his watermelon apron.

"Take that apron off. You're coming with me. Now."

Lûgnût began fiddling with the bow in back, swinging his unprodigious hips back and forth in the effort. "Ow! Now look what you made me doooo! I chipped a nail!"

"You're wearing on my limited patience," Anakron warned, his head lowering so that he looked at the orc through raised and threateningly narrowed eyes beneath his suddenly stormy brow.

"Coming! Coming! Keep your knickers on! Sir!"

"Do what I say promptly and I'll forget you said that."

"Yes, oh Big Jee Ay!" Lûgnût led the way out the door.

~ : ~

Soon they were again standing at the edge of the Sammath Naur.

"Ooooh, I hate it here!" the orc cried.

"Do what I say and the sooner we'll be gone from here."

"What do you want me to do?" There was a mixture of fear and suspicion in his voice.

"Nothing that will harm you. Simply take the staff from my hands, along with this hat and cloak, and cast them into the fire."

The orc's eyes widened. "You can't be serious!"

"I am deadly serious."

"But that's the Anakronist Staff! Sylvester himself!"

"Take them from me."

"Why?"

"So that I can be free of the burden of the office. I don't want to be the Grand Anakronist anymore."

"Can I be?" A green light of pure lust suddenly appeared in the orc's eyes.

"If you could be, I'd give them to you, but if they aren't destroyed, they'll just return to me no matter what you do."

"Oh. Well, in that case, fine. I'll do it."

"One more thing. Ignore any pleas or cries from me to give them back or stop from destroying them."

"Got it."

With that, Lûgnût took the staff, hat, and cloak from Anakron's hands and strode toward the edge of the cliff.

"Nooooo! I didn't mean it!" cried Anakron. "Give them back! I neeeeed them!"

"Sorry, Anakron, too late."

"Good. Just testing."

The orc held the items over the fire for just a moment, during which Anakron felt his heart suddenly lurch and his tongue suddenly clove to the roof of his mouth in an impotent "n" to be followed by a hollow "o"; but the orc was too quick, and suddenly the staff, cloak, and hat were falling. Anakron ran to the edge to look, and saw them disappear into the flames and magma below.

"Well, that's a relief," he grinned to the orc.
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:44 PM   #168
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Two days passed uneventfully under the dazzling sunlight of Lost Angles. Panakeia drifted hither and thither, traversing the city from end to end, side to side, top to bottom, and any number of other ways meant to imply that she had seen it all. Too much, perhaps. One visit brought her to the Leaning Tower of Flapjacks, vast headquarters to Cap It All Records and House of Pancakes. She was terribly disappointed in the pancakes, served up as rounded black discs furrowed deeply by grooves. They were crispy, it was true, but a bit too crispy. Crispy enough, in fact, to make Panakeia suspect that they were recycled old 45s, despite their sweet topping of butter and syrup. Not nice at all. She told the cook her thoughts in a note, and was ejected from the building midway through her tour as reward. That was merciful enough - as it turned out, the recording session she would have seen if she remained featured her old friend the Captain. Panakeia would have died of embarrassment had she seen him so soon after her recent Dweomer inspired delusions.

She found no clarity at night either. Panakeia had hoped for a return to her dreams of Anakron, thinking that they might give her some direction. But her dreams had been strangely, almost perversely, irrelevant. On the first evening, her nocturnal visions were of penguins racing on bicycles along the edge of a deep gorge over the Pathetic Ocean. The penguins missed a turn and fell over the side, only to have their two-wheeled contraptions borne aloft on a raincloud as the lead penguin sang a tune about raindrops falling on his head. Panakeia awoke from that dream in a cold sweat and made a mental note to avoid meals from the food court in the future. Her next dream was no better. Panakeia found herself running through a park, pursued by a giant pink chicken who squawked about a sale at Woolworth's. But there was no sign of Anakron.

In need of guidance, Panakeia had even consulted a professional dream interpreter. She wondered if her subconscious had channelled thoughts of Anakron into less anxiety provoking images. But she had her doubts about the analyst's veracity when he assured her that the birds appearing in both her dreams spoke to a hidden combination of phobia and admiration for feathered species. When he asked her if she had recently eaten any questionable poultry while recommending that she visit him twice weekly for psychotherapy, Panakeia slowly backed out the door, reminding herself that she hadn't had particularly good experiences with psychologists in the past. Once outside safely, she broke into a run and put as much distance between her and the analyst as she could.

In the long and short of it, Panakeia found herself exactly where she started. Well, not quite exactly where she started. She had a new sunburn. And not quite enough cash remaining to make the trip back to Mâl-in-Bû by taxi. She was left stranded halfway between the vast regions of the valley and the ocean. The rest of the trip would have to be on foot.

That was exhausting. Out of energy, Panakeia dropped over a fence and climbed into the shade of the flood control system. At least she was able to find a bit of respite from the relentlessly pounding rays of the sun there, along with a bit of cool water to rest her feet in. But a second look at the water dissuaded her from taking a dip. Her feet remained on shore. With a sigh of weariness, Panakeia rested against the concrete and closed her eyes. Sleep took her.

~*~

Anakron stood at the edge of the Sammath Naur with Lûgnût. Anakron shouted to the Orc. Lûgnût shouted back.

"Braidfnrtnasd."

"Zzzzzerueyr."

And so forth. Even in her dream, Panakeia couldn't understand a word of their conversation. But it didn't matter. For in a moment, a beautiful moment, Lûgnût cast the staff, hat, and cloak into the pit. A soft puff of smoke wafting from below announced their destruction. Anakron smiled and danced out of the scene, laughing all the way.

~*~

A shout of pure joy brought Panakeia back to consciousness. At last! The sign she had been waiting for. Anakron had to be free now. This dream, while parts of it were certainly unreal, had to have some truth. Elempi had sent it to her, even as he had done before with his message about the werewolves. It had to be so.

Mount Doom! She had to return. Anakron would still be there, or at least nearby. With the Dweomer abandoned, things would surely be made right between them, perhaps better than they had ever been. Lighthearted and hopeful, Panakeia clambered up the concrete embankment and fairly ran towards Mount Doom's silhouette where it loomed against the smoggy sky.

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Old 07-12-2006, 02:41 AM   #169
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All this time, the evil creature had been waiting the moment when he would begin his conquest of the Earth. All it needed was a host better than the slug he now infested, and there it was, a huge Minotaur wielding a mighty Morning star. Once possessed, he would rain down mighty DOOM upon all the peoples of Middle Earth, beginning with the-

Smilog felt his foot squish something, he looked to see the remains of a slug, and he groaned and wiped his boot on a rock. "Lets get on with it," he said, knocking on the door to the Crack of DOOM. "Excuse me," he called, "We have your snacks!" The door flew open dramatically, and there stood the strange and mysterious shadowy figure that had taken control of the Mountain. The fire of Orodruin made it seem like a silhouette on an orange background with the eyes glowing like a mad inferno.

"I demand snakes of a thousand kinds!" said the figure, looking down to see Smilog merely holding up a small piece of cram bread. The creature's hands clenched into a fist and it shook violently, his voice building in a great roar of anger. "Those are not snacks!" it cried, striking a dramatic pose and shaking its fist towards the skies, "Why would you lie to me? Now, prepare to meet your horrible DOOM!" The creature pulled a hidden leaver and a trapdoor opened beneath the three weirdoes and they plunged into the darkness.

"Not again!" cried the Dwarf as the plummeted down and down; yet this was not a long fall, for they were all cast out soon into a small and dark chamber. There was an unpleasant smell, and it wasn't the Barrow Wight's rotting, or Smilog's beard. They all got up off the floor, with the Wight picking up a selection of his bones and putting himself back together. The room was utterly black, save for the small amount of light coming from the tunnel they had just come out of.

"I see I have visitors," said a strange voice from the corner of the room, the Barrow Wight emitted some light from his eyes and they saw an old man wrapped in blankets, wearing a large pointed hat and bearing an immense grey beard. "Come closer," he said, "I've not had friends for a long, long time."

Smilog slowly moved towards the strange man, fearing the very worst, and then knelt down beside him. "Who are you?" he asked, "What are you doing here?" the old man coughed and spluttered, throwing mucous everywhere.

"My name," he said, "is Robert, Robert the Moose."

"Moose?" said Tollin, "you don't look like a moose."

"Neither do you," remarked Robert, "and anyway, my name is not important. Ye need to know what I have to say." Smilog stood up, for the stench was getting to him; it smelled like whiskey and a vast number of unpleasant things. Robert the Moose sat up and laughed, taking a swig from a small glass bottle he had been holding, "Ye've heard of the blue wizards, I bet."

"Who hasn't," groaned Smilog, remembering the negotiations he was supposed to be involved in, and wondering if he could get away from this odd fellow. "What about them?"

"They're up to no good!" cried Robert the Moose, "And no good means bad, bad things are in store for us all! Ye mark my words, it wont be long before... before they all send us to our doom!"

"Of course," said The Barrow Wight, "well, sorry to have to say this, old bean, but we must all be on our jolly way soon. We've a mountain to stop and a whole host of other things to get done."

"Ye wont get far," cried the Moose, "Not far! Not with those Wizards abroad! They're up to something big! Bigger than just Mordor!" Smilog slowly began to listen, "Bigger than Mordor and Gondor put together. I've been following them for years, they're deep in conspiracy! And I've got a theory! Yes, I know what they are up to! Ye see, it only happens once every thousand years, all the wizards and old fold gather together in one place for-" he paused for effect, "the great uncloaking!"

Smilog raised an eyebrow, then cleared his throat, smirked and then laughed, louder and louder. He fell on the floor and began rolling around, "The great uncloaking!" he said, “you’re one of those conspiracy nuts I should have known! Come, Tollin, lets get out of here."

"Ye unbelievers!" cried Robert the Moose, "But remember this! Look for the tower of Small Jim!"

"Oh that," sniggered Tollin, "isn't that the 'alien spaceship' that landed in Mordor?" they all laughed, except Robert the Moose who grew wrathful.

"So, ye know of Small Jim," he grumbled, "the aliens tried to take over last time the uncloaking came about! But they weren't useful! Ever since Sauron, there have been those who- Hay! Get back here!" the three weirdoes had opened a door to the left and gone out, closing it behind them and locking it hastily. Looking around, they saw that they were near to one of the Casino floors.

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Old 07-14-2006, 08:16 PM   #170
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As Anakron shuffle-stepped out of the Crack of Doom, the entire Mountain began to rumble.

Oh no.

Anakron feared that his staff, hat, and cloak had caused the Mountain to come out of dormancy and start to build into a live volcano. Had it been because of the staff?

Anakron and Lûgnût hit the floor as the rumbling grew louder and louder, and suddenly the entire Mountain felt like it had lurched from stillness, and was moving again.

Oh. No. The Mountain was leaving Lost Angles! Just when Anakron was ready to dash out of the Mountain and go find Panakeia! Oh well, nothing for it. The former Grand Anakronist and the orc of debatable gender made their way to the upper decks where they could watch the miles go by.
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:36 AM   #171
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Maika absently raised her right hand to her head, her fingers lightly brushing the jagged edges sticking out of the tight bun of hair. She frowned. It was the souvenir of a recent adventure with a particularly violent, sharp-teethed hair comb someone left on her bedside table. At least all the vicious comb did was bite the tips off her hair, and that was more of a favor done since she was starting to have split ends. No, the uneven edges, which were somehow concealed by her usual hairstyle anyway, was not what was bothering her.

Who could have done it?

She could not help feeling paranoid. Sure, her moderately abrasive personality had not earned her any fans, but no one hated her quite enough to actually try to harm her. She wondered if it was the expression of someone's dismay - what strong dismay! - that the peace talks between Mordor and Gondor had resumed. No, that didn't make sense...

Maika barely listened to Dracomir, and did not notice right away that the room had fallen silent. She looked around. None of them seemed to be able to respond in any way - not, in any case, any of the Mordorians. Igör's eyes were rolling all over their sockets. Skittles was playing with a flick-knife, obviously enjoying her newly restored, fully functional wrist. Maika waited for someone to speak up, but from the look on the others' faces it seemed that they all had that same plan in mind.

Suddenly, the room jerked sideways, throwing Angawen face-first onto the table with a scream. Some of the ambassadors were equally horrified, and Hyarmenwë had even begun to stand, apparently hoping to flee to safety.

"Sit down," Maika said sternly. The Gondorian turned to her, his face marked with incredulity.

"No one will be leaving this room, after everything we've gone through to make this happen. We will get this over with even till Mount Doom reaches Helcaraxë and freezes."

Hyarmenwë looked carefully at her, and slowly, a bit hesitantly, resumed his seat.

All eyes now on her, Maika took a deep breath of decision. She will not be beating around the bush. She will say what she had in mind, what she had been thinking of all those days of waiting for Skittles to be healed.

"If Mordor is to export anything, it should be the Gondorians whose fault it isn't that they are here in the first place."

Her voice was point-blank, matter-of-fact, but she could not help wondering if anyone could trace the bitterness she felt inside.

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Old 07-22-2006, 01:48 AM   #172
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Still shaking rather more than was healthy for him, Hyarmenwë managed to absorb the young (to him, they were all young) lady's words.

"Export Gondorians- to Gondor?"

His shrewd mind started to think things through.

"I can see many obvious benefits to Gondor- on the face of it. We lose a great many honest subjects of the Crown yearly. And neither they, nor Gondor, is any better for it. And, assuming rehabilitation is possible, then Gondor would certainly be the better for an influx of true Gondorians. But where is the hidden catch? Of what benefit to Roggie and Mordor is the export of his citizens? These are productive and peaceful people. Surely Roggie desires to keep as many as he may. Until I know why Roggie, who has been so determined to STOP illegal immigration would want to promote it legally, then I am suspicious of any supposed boon to Gondor."

Maikalwen rose, about to speak, but Hyarmenwë raised his left hand quickly, if weakly, palm forwards.

"I am not finished."

Maika fumed, but allowed the aged Gondorian his say. Angawen muttered something under her breath to Hyarmenwë's right, but he ignored her.

"Furthermore, all those Assigned to Mordor were done so due to a connection, sometimes overwhelming, sometimes more minor, with an anakronism. Even if only those who are Gondorian in manner and culture as well as birth are to be returned thither, how are we to test that they are indeed purged of the anakronism? If the testors are to be of Gondor, then who has the skill, and who may we trust not to be corrupted should an anakronism attempt to subvert them and so escape Mordor? Or, if the testors be of Mordor, what surety does Gondor have that its rehabilitated subjects are, indeed, fit to return to life in Gondor? It does Gondor no good to have its subjects return only to see them reassigned.

"But I return to my first, and primary question: why would this be of benefit to Roggie? Unless you can demonstrate why HE would want that, I cannot but fear what hidden dangers lie in such a proposal."

"Okay, that's enough, old guy, my head hurts," Skittles broke in. "That's too many questions. Let Maika start answering them before she forgets them all, or let someone else voice an objection."

With a stiff, but acquiscient bow, Hyarmenwë lapsed silent.

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Old 07-23-2006, 09:05 AM   #173
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"Curse you!" cried Smilog as he lost once again at a card game he didn't fully understand, "mark my words, card slave, my vengeance shall be soon! You will rue the day you ever-" the mountain shook as it began moving once again. The Dwarf was cast across the room and smashed his face into a wall, Tollin and the Barrow Wight held onto a table that was bolted to the ground.

A large wooden table was thrown up into the air and glided towards Smilog who was now clinging on to a pillar of marble. He gave a shill cry as he swung around to the other side of the pillar and the table was smashed to splinters. Slowly, the shaking became smoother and more bearable. Apprehensively, the Barrow Wight got to his foot and looked for his other amongst the wreckage. Tollin helped Smilog up and then slapped him across the head; "I blame you for this." he scowled.

The three of them walked out of the casino room and made their way to the nearest window and peered out at the speeding scenery. "I think I'm going to be sick!" cried Smilog, "we'd better get somewhere different and not so high up." So they all moved towards the near by stairs and climbed downwards, even though they were filthy and covered in goo. Several things appeared to be moving in the slime, and Smilog was sure he could see a pair of eyes looking out of one step.

Suddenly, The Barrow Wight peered out of a small window and cried allowed, "It's Minas Mor-go!" they all looked and sure enough the flying city was on the tail of the moving mountain. Mount Zoom made a sharp turn as the flying thing whooshed right past, almost hitting it, then it turned around and almost went completely onto its back wheels. Minas Mor-go flew up and then straight down, but thanks to some fancy driving, the Mountain narrowly missed the oncoming attack of the city. A huge rock was catapulted out of the city and bounced along the side of Mount Zoom, taking a lot of ash with it.

The Mountain swayed and turned many times, throwing Tollin, Smilog and the Barrow Wight all the way down the stairs. The City flew past once again the faced right in front of the zooming mountain, firing a barrage of boulders. Mount Zoom drove as fast as ever towards the oncoming attack, yet the ground was such that a large upturned area of rock acted as a ramp sent the mountain high above the projectiles and almost over the offending City. The bottom of the Mountain smashed through the tower on top of Minas Mor-go, bringing it to a sudden halt. Mount Zoom itself dashed off into the distance while the crowd of Barrow Wights inside the city shook their fists at it and cried, "You won't get far!"

Surprisingly, no one was killed in this little chase, and very few were injured. This was due to the very large blob like creatures guarding the doorways to the casinos acting as shock absorbers as people fell into their stomachs.

Smilog rose up and picked up the Barrow Wight's ribcage and handed it to his hand, this rather made him feel sick. Once the well-spoken Wight had put himself back together again, they went on through the door and found that they were near Roggie's audience chamber. "Lets hope he's not there," said Smilog.

"Why?" asked Tollin, "mightn't he be useful or something?"

"No," replied Smilog, "plus, we've run out of his wine." he pushed open the door and peered in...
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Old 07-23-2006, 11:42 PM   #174
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Skittles was beginning to enjoy the proceedings, especially the part where she got to boss Hyarmenwë around in Alli's absence. Igör's handiwork was such that she had a wicked cool jagged scar on her wrist but felt it not the least, and had not lost any mobility. There were fresh scones on the table and hot chocolate to drink. She wasn't paying all that much attention to the matter at hand, but kept an ear open in case anyone else needed a reprimand.

It seemed all her bossy dreams came true when Smilog & Co. slipped into the room, trying to seat themselves inconspicuously in the back of the room. Latecomers! Joy! Plus, Smilog's companions weren't even diplomats and therefore had no business being in this room during negotiations! She opened her mouth to say something remonstrative, but it died on her lips when she spied a fourth body entering the room.

A Siamese cat slunk into the chamber. Well, not perhaps "slunk" but rather "sashayed." She wore a necklace of pearls around her neck (naturally) and a golden watch fob dangled from one ear.

"Hissyfit!" Skittles declared, identifying the new character for all and sundry. She leapt up and joyously took the cat in her arms. "Oh how I have missed you! If you will remember, you were supposed to go everywhere with me! Where have you been?"

"Off creating confusion and mass hysteria on my own, as I am wont to do," yawned Hissyfit, squirming in her mistress' tight embrace. "But, I got bored. I killed all the cute little mice and the rats with colorful personalities and broke up with Bob, so I came to see what you were up to."

"Bob?" Skittles asked.

"You remember Bob, my bobcat boyfriend. I saw him with a cheetah and that was that."

"Oh, that Bob," said Skittles with a nod, not curious in the least where in Mount Doom all the bobcats and cheetahs were hanging out. "I'm sorry to hear it. I hope you scratched him?"

"On the nose."

"That's my girl."

"So what's up with the freaks and geeks you're with?" Hissyfit asked, giving the room a bored once over.

Skittles puffed up proudly. "These are ambassadors from Gondor and Mordor, here to suss out the problems between Roggie and Mardil. Roggie has made me his Warlordess."

"Really?" Hissyfit's ears perked up. "What war?"

"The war that will inevitably take place should the negotiations fail."

"So you're here to sabotage the negotiations?"

"Well, no, I'm one of the Mordorian ambassadors trying to suss out the problems."

"And you're the Warlordess." Hissyfit preened her whiskers, remarking, "Seems like a conflict of interests."

Skittles shrugged. "I'm not very interested in the negotiations, so not really."

Hissyfit yawned. "In that case, let's get out of here and go do something fun."

"Like what?"

The cat flicked her tail. "Well, you're the top army brass, right?"

"Righto."

"Right. So, we could go abuse your power. Intimidate lower ranking officials and make the soldiers do a hundred push ups. Go dancing. Eat chipmunks. There's lots more fun things to do around here than chewing the fat with these chumps."

"Okay," Skittles agreed. "I want to go steal things from the armory, I've got a key now!"

They left Roggie's chamber and sashayed together down the hall. An orc forgot to salute Skittles and she karate chopped him in the throat, while Hissyfit perched on her shoulder giggling delightedly.
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Old 07-28-2006, 06:03 PM   #175
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Igor had been intruiged at Maika's suggestion. What with all the madness over the past few days and the Gondorians having been out of the mountain for most of them, he had no way of knowing whether the idea of exporting Gondorians back to Gondor was genuine or some kind of plot. It seemed that Hyarmenwe was more inclined to believe that it was the latter.

"But I return to my first, and primary question: why would this be of benefit to Roggie? Unless you can demonstrate why HE would want that, I cannot but fear what hidden dangers lie in such a proposal."

Igor privately thought that Roggie would be pleased to see the back of some of the Gondorian citizens, those who simply got on with life in Mordor rather than making things interesting, but he knew that the Balrog would never admit to it, not wanting Mardil to have anything to use against him.

He was about to speak up and ask what hidden dangers there were, when he became distracted by Skittles, who had just finished her conversation with a cat that was either real or a figment of the imagination that only the two of them could see, and had wandered out of the room. He had previously found her escapades to be most amusing, but since she had almost got herself killed he found himself worrying about her when she disappeared off on her own.

Deciding that the negotiations wouldn't be hindered by his lack of attendance, Igor hurried after Skittles, lightly hopping over the orc that fell dead in his path on the way.

"Thkittleth!" He called, then realised no one else was around to hear and tried again.

"Skittles!"

This time she turned around, eyeing him in a way that made him wonder if she was considering how best to kill him, inwardly conversing with some imaginary friend, or just trying to decide whether she wanted to talk to him at all. Hoping it was one of the latter he continued.

"Mind some company?"
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:01 PM   #176
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An hour passed on winged feet as Panakeia raced toward Mount Doom. The metaphor collapsed into blistered feet at the end of that hour. High heels were no substitute for running shoes she thought ruefully as she pulled off the uncomfortable footwear. Gazing at the horizon, Panakeia winced. Mount Doom still loomed in the distance, not visibly closer than it had been an hour ago. She looked from her feet to the mountain's shadow, to her feet, and back again. The mountain was so far away, at least for a pedestrian. So very far away.

But what else could she do? In her haste to leave, Panakeia's credit and debit cards had been left in her Lûndûn flat. And she'd spent the cash she had brought in the mall and on lodging. There was no other choice but to walk and run to the mountain and Anakron for as long as her legs could carry her. No task was too great for love. All you need is love.

With that inspirational thought, Panakeia took up her journey again. And somehow it seemed to her that the mountain grew larger against the clouds, that she at last drew close to her destination. It was odd that the distance was covered so much faster with the same effort as before. Perhaps, she thought, the song in her head gave her new strength.

Then, of a sudden, the answer to the mystery came in the form of trembling earth and a cloud of dust. Mount Doom zoomed past her with a rumble and a roar, and she fell in the mountain's wake. The mobile mountain vanished, and Panakeia stared after it.

This was a new complication. Now Panakeia was not only penniless and without transportation, but also without any clear idea of where she was headed. There had to be some way to follow. Several newsvans sped after the mountain, kamuras rolling, as she ran over the problem.

One of the vans screeched to a halt nearby. A bevy of reporters and kamura crews poured out and ran to Panakeia, shoving my crow phones in her face and shining bright lights in her eyes. She glared.

"And now, live from the scene of Mount Doom's destructive passage, we bring you an exclusive eyewitness report of the destruction. Tell us how it feels to come within an inch of disaster." The reporter pushed the my crow phone closer.

Panakeia glared again and answered mockingly.

"Oh, it's lovely. Simply lovely. You really ought to try it sometime. Quite entertaining on a dull day. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be on my way to try to have another close call with Mount Doom."

The reporter and kamura crew put their heads together and whispered. "Wait. Are you following the mountain? What a scoop! If you'll give us the story, we'll help you follow. Looks like you could use a ride."

Panakeia hesitated. She didn't like the intruders. But at the same time, she did need their help. So long as they didn't find out who she was - if they did, there would never be an end to questions about Anakron, politics being a way to increase ratings - this could be a useful association.

"Deal."

The reporter beamed, visions of a promotion to the evening news dancing in his head. "Great! And your name is?"

Panakeia's mind went blank. She didn't want to reveal her identity, but she couldn't think of a suitable alias either. "Let's let that go by for now. It'll make for better viewing if I'm a mystery, won't it?"

"You're right. I see we're going to make a good team. Let's go!"

Panakeia joined the crew on the van, and they hurried after Mount Doom.

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Old 07-28-2006, 10:11 PM   #177
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Even as Hyarmenwë launched into the first part of his tirade, Maika had to gape inwardly. What were you thinking! a know-it-all LGM in her mind scolded her, giving her a particularly sharp slap on the mental forehead. In her rashness she had forgotten about Roggie. He wanted his subjects kept in Mordor, and deporting the banished Gondorians was not a means to that end. What would he think of Maika and her loyalty if he ever got wind of what she suggested, considering there are other Mordorian ambassadors present to let him know?

No, she thought decisively, this would hurt him, but it must be done. Although not in this way.

"I've always liked that cat," she finally said, as Skittles, Hissyfit, and later Igör exited the room. Maika had taken no notice of Smilog, who entered just previously. His presence did not really matter, in her opinion; she could probably take on all four Gondorian ambassadors at once if the need arose.

"Anyways," she continued, "I thought that weird suggestion of mine would get some of you talking. I wondered if I had to propose an all-out war between our lands to break your silence..."

She saw Angawen and Hyarmenwë cringe at those words.

"What I was really thinking is, perhaps we could have some Mordorian goods reformed, repackaged, and exported to Gondor - anakronism-free. For example," she whipped out her cellphone and showed it to the others, who looked worried yet altogether curious at the sight of it, "this thing. We use it for communication. We could melt it and produce something else from it, like, say, a mini-palantír! With a lower range, of course," she added hastily as the Gondorians frowned. Maika placed her cellphone down on the table.

"We could probably do it with cars, terror profs, even mathematics; turn them into something you'll find more agreeable and equally useful. Of course the production would be done here, and the exiled Gondorians - of your choice, if you desire - could be hired to oversee it. Then the goods could be delivered to an agreed-upon place in the Mordor-Gondor border, to be picked up and distributed by your people. You can even have them checked by a quality control team if you're still worried."

Maika looked around; the Gondorians' faces revealed nothing.

"Or something," she ended lamely.

She stared at her hands, clasped together on her lap, vividly white against her black slacks. After a few moments of silence she risked a glance at Hyarmenwë. He was frowning. But then, to Maika's surprise, he suddenly turned to her. We'll talk about it some other time, his eyes seemed to say, but for all she knew he could have been saying You look like Daffy Duck.
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Old 07-30-2006, 10:37 AM   #178
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The buffet table had been cast across the room several times during Mount Doom's various travels recently. Smilog sat on his chair only to find half an egg sandwich already occupying it, he scowled and looked around. Several of the other delegates were looking confused even before Skittles left. The whole situation was getting weirder all the time. Tollin scooped up a large slice of chicken that only had one footprint on; he sniffed it and then ate it with a sigh.

"What is supposed to be going on now?" asked Smilog, peering out of the door only to see Skittles far off down the corridor and turning down a side passage, "do we continue negotiations or do we-" he was cut short as someone threw a chair at him. He lay on the floor dazed and unconscious. The Barrow Wight blew some smoke from his pipe and sat down, looking at the dwarf.

"Bad luck old bean," he said, "we'd better find something to do. We can't sit around on our backsides all day accomplishing nothing. That’s what politicians do. I say-" he paused as some of the delegates eyed him with evil eyes. "Well, jolly good show. What, what?" he moved to the door and dragged Smilog to his chair and sat him down. "Well, get on with your meeting... I'll be... somewhere else." the Wight dashed to the door, only to forget to open it and knock half his bones off as he hit the floor.
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:50 AM   #179
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Angawen snapped back to reality at the word "war." Normally, she wouldn't let her mind wander during any such meeting; she had time to be retrospective afterwards. But the meeting with Tugwubs in the little inn had annoyed her. He had seemed so normal, yet it turned out that he himself was an anakronism. She had shuddered that one seeming so normal could be so, and cursed the land where this was possible.

She turned to Maikaelwen, or Maika as she liked to be called. Angawen could not see why. The schwa at the end of her name was repulsive to one learned in high Elven speech.

"We have no need of mini-Palantíri in Gondor. Think of the evil our citizens could contrive with such devices... And I do not believe that these small metallic items of yours could ever rival the great Palantíri of old. May I see one?"

Maika handed her phone over, to a squeal of excitement from Smilog and a warning from Hyarmenwë.

"Do not worry, Hyarmenwë. I wish only to inspect this." She fingered it before handing it back to Maika. "I doubt such a device could survive a fall from the heights of Orthanc. We may, however, accept these if they were to be melted down and sold in bars."

"Oh, you can't drink them!" Smilog interjected, jumping up from his chair. All eyes turned to him. "Trust me, metal doesn't make for good eating or drinking - a Dwarf should know. Stick to ale."

All eyes turned away from him. A faint "oh" of comprehension floated over from behind, which they duly ignored.

Maika shifted to her other leg, and something almost resembling a frown flitted across her face. "It would be pointless to melt them down, but I do not see why we should not export metal, as Hyarmenwë-" she stopped short as she turned to him, for he was staring away into the middle distance.

"Hyarmenwë!" Angawen snapped firmly, "pay attention!"

"Sorry... but the Dwarf speaks wisely, albeit by mischance! Ale! Surely Mordor produces ale? This would be an acceptable export, a more than welcome one, providing production procedures are orthodox," the old man ejaculated.

Angawen and Dracomir nodded their assent, and turned expectantly to Maika.
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:57 AM   #180
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With a casual wipe of her cellphone with her cardigan, Maika succeeded in diverging the Gondorians' attention from her eyes and her silence--particularly Angawen's, who scowled as though she found the gesture insulting. Maika needed time to think; she knew nothing that could satisfy their expectant looks. For one, never before had she drunk any alcoholic beverage, or indeed ever found the desire to; she was way too obsessed with keeping herself under total control to engage in such a frivolity. And surely, this counted as reason number two, there was a law! Minors under the age of twenty-one were not to be sold alcohol, she seemed to remember seeing somewhere...in Lost Angles, perhaps? It did not matter this time, Maika thought impatiently, all that mattered was that she was in danger of being revealed for the mere child that she actually was!

As she gently rubbed the hem of the cardigan on the cellphone screen, she mentally cursed Skittles and Igör for running off and leaving her alone. But she held no power over them, she admitted, and she would not give the Gondorians the pleasure of witnessing an argument among them three--or rather, between her and the two of them. Maika was simply relieved that the Gondorians did not tell her off for letting Skittles and Igör go when she just previously told Hyarmenwë to sit down.

Flipping the cellphone over to its back, which she rubbed a bit more vigorously, she looked around the table, almost hoping that by glancing at the vacated seats Skittles and Igör would reappear to her rescue. The Gondorians, Maika was amused to see, were still staring at her cellphone curiously...then her eyes fell on the Dwarf.

Never before--or ever again, one could safely suspect--did she feel grateful for Smilog's presence.

"Ale..." Maika repeated softly, merely moments later as she put her cellphone back in her pocket. With the slightest hint of a smile playing on her lips, she turned back to Angawen.

"Smilog was making a subtle suggestion that none of us but Hyarmenwë was perceptive enough to pick up, and for that we apologise," she added, nodding to Smilog, whose eyes popped on the verge of falling off. "Now, Smilog dear, you were saying? What about ale?"

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Old 08-03-2006, 04:39 AM   #181
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"Well," said Smilog suddenly feeling more important that he usually did, but this was cur short as a knife flew past his head and stuck into the side of his chair. One of the delegates had thrown it and was now looking at the Dwarf in a strange manner.

"Sorry," said the delegate, "his voice is making me sick."

"As I was saying," continued the dwarf, "... I" he paused and thought for a moment, "I can't remember what I was saying." there was a groan from the other delegates, "Oh, ale!" he cried, "something about ale. Well, its good for the stomach! But alas, there is no good ale in Mordor. Well, with the exception of Roggie's good store. That stuff knocks your socks off!" he licked his lips and remembered the taste.

The Barrow Wight had now pulled himself together and then produced the remaining bottle of Roggie's ale that he had not drunk yet. They passed it around and some had a taste. It defiantly was good stuff. No wonder Roggie locked himself in his chamber for days on end! "Jolly fine stuff I say, what - what?" the Wight announced as he stood on a chair, "problem is, there was only a small amount of the stuff in the old blighter's cabinet."

"Wait a moment," said Smilog, thinking aloud, "before the Mountain started moving, I... erm... investigated Roggie's ale cupboard and there were only three bottles there. Yet, later on when everyone was there, the cupboard was full... not for long, but it was. He must have a larger store somewhere."

The now empty bottle smashed on the wall just behind Smilog's head and an almost inebriated delegate stumbled up to him and said, "you'd better find it, or I'll do something horrible about that face and then play some cards with my buddies and then we'll all go to-" he fell asleep.

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Old 08-04-2006, 03:26 PM   #182
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Mount Zoom was heading south down some highway called Eye Nighty Five. Anakron didn't get it. But that didn't matter. The orc behind the wheel of Mount Zoom (for all drivers in Mordor are orcs) seemed to know what he was doing, and had only had road rage three times in the last hour. Anakron felt sorry for the other orc drivers whose vehicles lay to each side of the highway, victims of the Mount Zoom orc's need to go fast. It didn't help that Mount Zoom took up all three lanes of the highway, as well as much of the land either side. Anakron felt sorrier for the road construction crews who would now have to repair all the bridges Mount Zoom had crashed through in its southern hurtlement.

"Oh no," Anakron murmured, looking down the road. "We're about to enter Nurnia. I hope he knows what's coming."

The orc didn't. North of Nurnia, which they were leaving, road laws apparently followed American patterns, while in the south, they followed British rules. The highway's two sides undulated like a pair of snakes, the southbound lanes bridging over the northbound; which was fortunate because there was no way Mount Zoom was going to fit under the resulting bridge. But that wasn't the worst of it.

Sure enough, Anakron heard a gurgling "Gyaaaahh!" from the Mount Zoom cockpit as the steering wheel anakronistically and most magically disappeared from the driver's grasp and switched to the right side of the cockpit; pedals and gear shifts following suit. Problem was, nobody was sitting there. In fact, there hadn't even been a passenger seat there, but that hadn't mattered. The Dweomer was the dweomer, and there suddenly was a passenger seat that had just as suddenly turned into a driver's seat on the right side.

Mount Zoom began to veer off the highway. Which meant big trouble for northbound traffic, already distracted by the oncoming need to switch from American to British road rules and that confounded steering wheel switch that most drivers had become aware of in the last year.

In their efforts to avoid the mountain, northbound Clios (all green) and Minivans (all yellow) careened out of the way of the approaching mountain, risking the questionable comforts of the rough grass and rubble off the road, and also risking the jarring of the extra tires that all cars carried to deal with the inevitable flat tires of Mordor.

Luckily, Mount Zoom righted itself before it competely dominated the northbound lanes, going in the wrong direction, and listed back across the median to the southbound lanes, resuming its normal road-hog status.

A few hours later Mount Zoom arrived on the outskirts of Lûndûn, casting a brand new shadow over Heave-ho Airport. Anakron disembarked from the mountain, caught a fare on the Bliddy Unnergrind ('minding the gap' of course), and was in short order back at Caer Pairadocks, where he ordered up a limo to be readied, and immediately started back up north to Lost Angles, to go find Panakeia. On the way he dreamed up a proper way to celebrate his new found freedom from the Anakronism staff. It occurrred to him once that the anakronisms were still hanging on even though the staff had been destroyed, and a momentary disquiet settled over him: shouldn't the destruction of the staff have resulted in the end of the anakronisms? But then the Blue Istari were the real power behind the dweomer, and they were still somewhere in Middle Earth; so he gave it no more thought, happy to be free of the staff himself.

Half way to Lost Angles, he saw a television crew-mobilecareening at a ridiculous speed southbound, and wondered what in Middle Earth could be the rush, and who was so important to warrant such speeding? He sneered derisively and thought no more of it.

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Old 08-06-2006, 05:08 PM   #183
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Skittles and Hissyfit stood in the hallway (or rather, Skittles stood in the hallway and Hissyfit perched on her shoulder) and played Dueling Diabolical Laughter.

"Mwa ha ha ha ha!" said Skittles.

"Bwuah hua hua hua hua hua hua!" guffawed Hissyfit.

"Mwu ha, mwu ha, mwu ha ha ha!" chortled Skittles.

And so on.

"Thkittleth!" came a strangely strangulated voice. Skittles heard, but was right in the middle of a particularly good effusion of ebullience, and so she paid no heed.

"Skittles!" came the voice again, and as Hissyfit lit into a fit of tittering, Skittles turned. She saw Igör ambling down the hallway. "Mind some company?" he asked, one eye rolling to the side inexplicably.

"Heh heh heh heh heh," she snickered disquietingly in response. "Sure."

"So, where are you headed?" Igör asked, then gave Hissyfit a concerned look. "Does you cat have hairballs?"

"What? Oh, no, she's just trying to one up me with an evil snicker of doom," Skittles said.

"A hairball, indeed," Hissyfit sniffed. She sat back on her haunches and preened her whiskers. "Well, I never."

"You must admit, it wasn't a very good snicker," said Skittles. "Sounded a bit flaky."

"Well, I didn't mean that," Igör backpeddled, eyes swimming between cat and catwoman. "It was a very nice evil snicker. Of doom."

"Don't patronize me," sniffed Hissyfit with a flick of her tail.

"So, Skittles, where are you headed?" Igör said, changing the subject, and Hissyfit uttered an affronted huff at being thus ignored.

"I dunno," replied Skittles evasively, forgetting her plans to ransack the armory. "Whatcha wanna do?"

"I dunno. Whatchoo wanna do?"

"I dunno. Whatchoo wanna do?"

"I dun... look here," Igör shook his head as if to dislodge cobwebs, "I thought you rushed off to go do something interesting. You don't mean to tell me you have no plans?"

Skittles shrugged. "We were bored."

"The meeting was insipid," Hissyfit offered.

"So, you were going to go do something not-boring, then?"

"That's the plan."

"Good. So, where are we going?"

"I don't know. We just went out, that's all," Skittles said with a sniff (nasty hayfever going around, apparently). "Thought we'd have a bit of fun. Thought you wanted to have a bit of fun, too. I didn't expect some sort of Spanish Inquisition."

Suddenly, three men clad in vermilion robes burst around the corner. "Aha!" their leader cried. "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!!!"

"Beg pardon?" asked Igör.

A lengthy and somewhat tedious yet inexplicably amusing sequence of events ensued, involving a discourse on the chief weaponry of the Spanish Inquisition. At the end, Igör found himself tied to a rack and seated in a comfy chair with a pair of triangular soft pillows about him. Skittles decided this was all just a little too tedious to take, so proceeded to throw the trio of robe clad men out the window.

"This is slightly disturbing," said Igör as he observed the defenenstration from his comfy chair. "But not as disturbing as it could be. You obviously watch too much television."

"I like to sleep on the television set," commented Hissyfit, kneading one of the soft pillows in preparation for a nap. Sadly, this comment went unheard by Igör, who merely patted her on the head and wondered, "Is there any point to any of this?"

"No," declared Skittles. "That's the fun of it! Now, who wants ice cream?"
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:53 PM   #184
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"And now, we're back with our exclusive interview series 'Unmasking the Chaser of Doom.' As you know by now, Mount Doom has mysteriously become more mobile than a mobile phone, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Umm...strike that last part from the tape, will you Smitty?"

The technician addressed by the reporter scowled and pulled his kamura open, crumpled the film in his hands and, ripping a portion free, threw it to the ground with a scowl.

The reporter cleared his throat and continued. "Ahem. As you know by know, Mount Doom has mysteriously torn free of the shackles of geology to become a free-wheeling vehicle of Doom on Mordorian highways. And, defying death and danger, the mountain is now pursued by an equally mysterious lady of adventure. What drives her? Why does she follow Mount Doom? And, above all, who is she? Smitty! Cut to the guest spot!"

"Wait." Panakeia was suddenly alarmed. "You're not actually going to show my face on kamura, are you, Mr. Blather?" Panakeia was suddenly afraid that a channel-surfing Anakron would spot her on the air and be put out by her new public image as a swashbuckler.

"Of course not. Look at the monitor." Panakeia looked, and was somewhat reassured to see a bright, sunshine colored, smiling face replacing her own visage on the screen. "We've even disguised your voice. Listen." Mr. Blather nodded, and Smitty wound the tape back to Panakeia's question. Her words echoed in the van, her voice somehow deepened and smokier than she knew it to be. Suddenly, uncomfortably, Panakeia was reminded of Lola. She shifted in her seat. The voice, the news story, the eternally cheerful grinning mask on the screen all felt wrong. But there had been no other way to follow Mount Doom but to join the news program.

The reporter was still speaking. Panakeia caught only the last phrase. "And please, call me Samê."

Panakeia managed a half-hearted smile. "Alright. Where were we? Can you play it again, Samê?"

"Certainly." The introduction played again on the monitor, and Panakeia watched intently, determined to compose herself, determined to invent the wildest work of fiction for the interview seen since the last edition of the evening news.

Then the van swerved, sending Panakeia flying out of her chair. She recovered just in time to see the reason for the jolt, a long black limousine speeding in the other direction on the highway, almost directly in the path of the news van, which had crossed into the northbound lanes.

Shaken and stirred by the close call, Panakeia called to the driver to mind the road and asked to be excused for a moment to recover her nerves. She was shown to a soundproofed booth in the van, and soon fell into a deep sleep.

~*~

"Smitty! Got her picture?"

"Yeah."

"Good. Send it to the main office. Our mystery woman looks familiar, though I can't place her. See if we can get an ID, then we'll splash it all over the 10 o'clock show."

"She won't like it."

"It's a scoop, and it's ours. All ours. Besides, it's my duty to the viewing public to break the story. She's hiding something, and the audience needs to know."

Samê Blather grinned, as eager as a cat with a mouse.
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Old 08-09-2006, 01:38 PM   #185
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Hyarmenwë had had enough of negotiations for the moment. He stood up, teetering for a moment from the motion of the Mountain.

"Excuse me, all," he said, "but I think the negotiations for the day are done."

"And just where do you think you're going?" snapped Angawen- in Quenya, so as to keep their bickering from Maika and Smilog.

"Lady MacFarlewyn has left the room, with no explanation. Igör has left the room with no explanation. The Lady Alli has not deigned to observe the proceedings. Dracomir has fallen into a stupor"- Dracomir jerked at the mention of his name, narrowed his eyes at Hyarmenwë, but said nothing- "and the Dwarf is either drunk or ignorant." Hyarmenwë replied in the Common Speech, to make his dissatisfaction plain to all.

"If they may all ignore the proceedings, then I shall do so as well. I have more profitable ways to spend my day. Wandering aimlessly through Gorgoroth being one of them," he ended acidically.

"Well that's a fine way to demonstrate your fine Gondorian mettle!" snapped Angawen- in Sindarin. Sindarin being that much more common a tongue, it was a sign of how irritated she was that she did not use Quenya. "We ought to be taking advantage of the absence of the Mordorian diplomats to push through a Gondor-favourable settlement!"

"I have my very frank doubts that we can come to a settlement that will be acceptable to either party," said Hyarmenwë, "and I promise not to be a party to any compromise which shall weaken or endanger the realm of Gondor. In any event, I tire of this discussion."

Hyarmenwë turned from Angawen to Maika.

"Lady Maikaelwen, if I might have a private word with you."

Hyarmenwë and Maika departed the council chamber for the hallway beyond. Maika said nothing, and looked as cool as always, but a hint of curiosity about what Hyarmenwë wished to speak was faintly apparent.

When they had left, Bearugard turned to Angawen.

"Call me for a fool," he said, "but I rather think these negotiations are doomed."

"They are doomed," said Angawen, irritably. "But I'm willing to call you a fool anyway."
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Old 08-13-2006, 07:51 PM   #186
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Anakron

Anakron was back was back in Lost Angles. It was odd that Mount Doom no longer dominated the view to the east. In its place was a rising vapor and a red glow on the underside of the ubiquitous clouds above Gorgoroth, reflecting the giant pool of bubbling magma left behind by the sudden evacuation of the mountain.

Strange tales were noised about town about the magma pool. One story was that Roggie had turned into molten lava; that was a joke mostly, but there was always someone to be found who believed such nonsense. Another had it that the magma pool was a result of the Dweomer and that more and more magma would come from the doomed future and that the pool would eventually grow so large that it would swallow up Drollywood and Lost Angles and all of Mordor! Some said that wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Anakron ignored the stories. He went to Drollywood and sought out Kaptain Kirkchoo(!) and Spockû to see if they had heard from Panakeia lately. Kaptain Kirkchoo(!) was staring heatedly at an apparent nemesis who happened to look like a much older version of himself and claimed to be the real William Shatner who happened to star in a real television show called something like "Lost town Beagle". Anakron couldn't quite make it out but wondered what on earth a Beagle and William Shatner had to do with each other.

"Excuse me, gentlemen," Anakron gently interrupted.

They both glanced at him briefly before they returned to their heated argument, only to give him double take.

"Anakron!" shouted Kirkchoo(!), "What happened to your get up?"

"I tossed them. I'm done being the Grand Anakronist."

"Can you do that?"

Anakron raised both arms and shrugged in silent proof that apparently it was so. Then he asked them about Panakeia.

"No, we haven't seen her in person, but she's all over the news." Kirkchoo(!) pointed to a nearby television news cast, which featured the latest hot story about the mystery woman who was chasing the mountain, who was now revealed to be none other than Panakeia of Harad herself, the love interest of no less than the Grand Anakronist.

Shatner of Beagletown raised his eyebrows appreciatively, grinned, and said, "That's your girl? Not bad." He winked and leered in a most insulting yet flattering fashion.

"Confounded news media!" Anakron shouted and hurried back to his limo. It was obvious that she was trying to catch up to him while he had been trying to go back and find her, and that they had passed each other somewhere in between. He suddenly recalled the media van that had been careening down the road in the most orcish fashion, and couldn't help smiling, realizing that it must have been Panakeia.

In moments the limo was headed back south in hot pursuit of Panakeia of Harad and Mount Zoom, currently temporarily situated in Lûndûn. He couldn't wait to catch up to her there, because Lûndûn was a great place to go for a date, and they had not been back there since the Big Test a year ago. He was looking forward to treating Panakeia to a very, very special weekend. Or maybe an entire week. Why not a month? In fact, why not a whole year? Surely there was enough to do and see in that most fascinating of cities to take up a year. And to do it all with Panakeia was just the thing.

"Faster, Lûgnût!"

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Old 08-14-2006, 07:27 PM   #187
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In all of her 50 years, Panakeia of Harad had never imagined that the sight of Mount Doom would bring her relief and joy. But at the moment she espied the mountain belching black smoke over the Heave-ho Airport, her heart went pitter-patter. The van rolled onto the mountain's foot, and Panakeia, not even waiting for the driver to turn the ignition to off, bounded out, ignoring the kamura crew that followed hard upon her trail.

She burst through the palace gates, calling Anakron's name. No answer. Panakeia pushed on undaunted.

"Anakron. Oh, Anakron. It's me! I'm back. Where are you?"

"Not 'ere, miss."

Panakeia whirled, startled by the voice. It eminated from an Orc who stood lounging against a wall, blowing puffs of smoke from a cigarette. Choking on the fumes, Panakeia asked what was meant by that answer.

"Not 'ere. Gone clear off to Lost Angles lookin' for 'is lady-love." The Orc chuckled.

No! Not to Lost Angles! She must have passed Anakron on her frantic and unpleasant journey with the news crew. Like a flash, Panakeia thought of the limo - who else could it have been but Anakron?

He loves me. Panakeia's face positively glowed.

Back, back to Lost Angles! Panakeia, still known to the official bureaucracy of Mordor, soon succeeding in borrowing a lavender Jeep Cherokee and a driver. A Mordor moment later - meaning as quickly as the multitudinous and mushrooming paperwork required for the transaction could be completed and an official staff driver located - Panakeia was seated in the Jeep, northbound for Lost Angles.

Halfway back to the City of Smog, Panakeia spotted a black limousine headed for Lûndûn at full speed. Staring closely at the driver, she thought she recognized Lûgnût.

"Stop that limo!" she shouted. Her driver didn't comply and Panakeia, frantic over the idea of missing Anakron again, seized the wheel and swerved into the limousine’s path. Both cars veered off the road, and Panakeia screamed, both in fear of the impending crash and because she realized that she would now have her reunion with Anakron in Orcish form.

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Old 08-15-2006, 10:19 AM   #188
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A slight argument had broken out amongst the diplomats, Smilog had forgotten what it was about and had fallen asleep half way through. He awoke to see many of the Gondorians standing up; one raised up and shouted, "Well, you're so stupid that you can't even see how stupid you are!"

"Wait a moment," said Tollin, leaping to his feet, "it's stopped!" everyone turned to look at the Minotaur, some for the first time. "The mountain has stopped, I'm sure of it."

"Oh, that's nice," grunted Smilog, "but we're no closer to an agreement." he was then knocked off his chair by a flying table. The Barrow Wight blew smoke rings over the heads of the diplomats; he then took a large empty bottle of wine from his cloaks inside pocket. Disappointed at the lack of drink, The Barrow Wight walked out of the room in search of more. No one seemed to mind.

All along the corridor, the Wight saw nothing but hallucinations of snakes all over the ceiling. "I say," he drooled, "those bally, jolly, molly bollys had better... do something... sharp ish! Or they'll have to answer to the sergeant major! And you don't want that!" he laughed to himself and began recounting an absurd story of himself and another Wight being 'behind enemy lines', ‘shootign jerry out of the sky’ and ‘chasing the blosh' yet the story made little sense and had no continuity.

Eventually, the Barrow Wight came to a window looking out of the Mountain; he used it to be sick out of. "Blasted things," he muttered, "strung them all up! The whole bally lot of them!" He peered over the landscape of Lûndûn and mused on his old wartime adventures. Yet, something was staring him in the face and he couldn't work out what it was until it pecked him in the eye. "Blasted seagulls," he mumbled, "what about the piranhas? I've got a family to support! I can't be worrying about starving children!"

A towering... erm... tower seemed to dominate the skyline. A huge clock face shone forth from it, its hands almost both vertical. The Barrow Wight sung a little song to comfort himself as he watched the last hand slowly tick onto the huge "XII" at the top. There was a deafening 'DONG' and the mountain shook, as did the rest of Lûndûn. This was followed by eleven further 'DONG's. Suddenly, The Barrow Wight found himself sober and full of fear. He ran back to the conference chamber as fast as he could.
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:52 PM   #189
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"Where are we going?" Maika finally spoke after she and Hyarmenwë have been walking silently for quite some time.

"I was of the idea, lady," responded Hyarmenwë, "that you will decide on our destination."

Maika stopped and turned abruptly to her right, looking up at the towering Gondorian. "Wait a minute - you're the one who called me out of the room."

"You know this place far better than I do, or ever will."

"Oh, yeah..." Maika slowly turned away, feeling shamed by Hyarmenwë's diplomatic tone against her own slightly aggressive one. Control your nerves, silly. "Alright, then."

She stepped on ahead, Hyarmenwë quickly catching up with her, and they resumed walking in silence. Out of the corner of her eye Maika saw him throwing uneasy glances at her now and again. She smiled inwardly, but pretended not to take notice.

"Where are you leading me?" he asked after a while, in a surprisingly quiet voice that belied the apprehension Maika thought he must be feeling.

"You said you wanted a private word," she replied, jerking her head to look at him without breaking her stride. "There's only one place for such a conversation."

She stopped beside a door; a sign hanging on it said BROOM SHED. Hyarmenwë looked doubtfully at the sign, and then at Maika, who pushed the door open.

"--phecy made about you and Lord Vol--"

"Professor!" a boy's voice gasped.

The two ambassadors stared wide-eyed at the broom shed's occupants. One, who had apparently been speaking as Maika opened the door, was an old man; a spider was crawling down his tall, pointed black hat to his surprised face. The boy had instinctively pulled out a wand from his pocket and was now pointing it at Maika. His eyes, she could see, flashed dangerously, but hers were drawn upwards to a curious scar, shaped like a lightning bolt, on his forehead.

"Pardon us," said Hyarmenwë with an apologetic bow, slowly shut the door, and pulled Maika away gently by the elbow. At this she stirred, as though from a waking dream, and shook her head vigorously, as though to dislodge the dream from her memory.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, her lips barely moving. "Come on," she added a bit more loudly, and led Hyarmenwë down the hallway. They walked on with Maika muttering "Can't believe someone beat me to it..."

"Lady Maika," Hyarmenwë began tentatively, "do those - people - in the broom shed, do they, by any chance, bear any relation to Dracomir Malfoidacil?"

"They're anakronisms," Maika waved her hand dismissively. "Better not dwell on them."

She slightly upped her pace and felt Hyarmenwë beside her do likewise. At her lead they finally halted beside another door: a wardrobe, right in the hallway. Maika stretched her arm towards the handle--

"You won't get into Nurnia again by that route."

They turned around to see another old man - no pointed black hat this time - standing across them.

"Bless me," he added as he left them dumbfounded, "what do they teach them at these schools?" The old man rounded a corner, and he was gone. Maika turned back to the wardrobe and reached for the handle again, opened the door, and put her right foot in.

"Are you certain--"

"Hyarmenwë, you heard him," she gestured at the old man's wake. "It's safe. Now hurry up and get in. And whatever you do, don't shut the door behind you - that would be stupid."

"But--"

"Oh, come on! What's anakronistic about stepping into a wardrobe?"

Maika put her left foot in (and shook nothing about, nor did the hokey-pokey) before Hyarmenwë, who followed hesitantly behind, could stop her. They slowly made their way deeper into the wardrobe, guided by the sliver of light from the crack at the door.
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Old 08-19-2006, 02:35 PM   #190
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"Follow me, old bean," said the quivering Barrow Wight as he dragged Smilog out of the conference chamber. Tollin followed along to see what the fuss was about. "It's right over there!" the Wight waved out of the window and hid his eyes. "It's jolly horrible!"

"What," said Smilog, "the curtains?"

"No!" shouted the Barrow Wight, "there! That thing! I'll tell you what it is!" Smilog yawned and sat down as the ghostly skeleton said, in a deep and haunting voice, "Small Jim!" Smilog rolled his eyes. "I'm serious, old spice! Maybe that mumbling old fool was right about the blue wizards."

"Oh shut up." said the dwarf, "small Jim was built as a monument to annoy all the conspiracy theorists. I should know! I commissioned it. And there are no elaborate plans for a great uncloaking hidden under the floor boards."

The Barrow Wight sighed and lent against the wall before following the others back to the conference room. Smilog made a small diversion to visit the toilet. He passed through a door while the other two waited outside. They spoke of things past and present as well as what may yet to be. Or, rather, they speculated about how long they had left on that accursed Mountain of DOOM!

Time passed. And passed. It was nearly half an hour since Smilog vanished behind the door. Tollin arose and pushed open the door before he heard a familiar voice coming from behind him. "You are not going to believe this!" they turned around to see Smilog covered in slime and beaming.

"What happen?" asked Tollin, "did you fall into the toilet?"

"No, you imbecile!" snapped the Dwarf before a swift swing of Tollin's morning star corrected him. "Anyway," he continued, "there is a tiny door in there that leads inside of Gandalf Mithrandir!" The others looked at him puzzled. "It's true! You go in and you see through his eyes for about fifteen minuets before your spat out at a round about near Small Jim!"

"Who's Gandalf Mithrandir?" asked Tollin,

"Oh," replied Smilog, "he's this istari, but a good one."

"Perhaps he can deal with those blue blighters," suggested the Barrow Wight.

"No chance," replied the Dwarf, "he's in Valinor."

"Oh well," hummed Tollin, "we'd better get back."

"But-" began Smilog trying to bring himself to think of a convincing argument, but ultimately failing and saying, "Okay, lets go."
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Old 08-19-2006, 06:16 PM   #191
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"Careful, Lûgnût," said Anakron, "we're about to enter Nurnia again, and the roads and steering wheels change. So get ready to jump to the other side of the car."

"Can't you undo that thing?" Lûgnût whined.

"Hardly. You threw away my gear."

"Dra-aaAAAAT!!!" Suddenly the road had begun to weave over its opposite lanes, and the steering wheel had suddenly disappeared from Lûgnût's grasp, only to reappear on the right side of the limo. Lûgnût scrabbled over to the right side as the limo began to swerve off the road, righting it just in time. Just then a lavendar Jeep Cherokee veered from the northbound lanes across the median, directly in front of Anakron's black limo. It figured: an orc was driving it....madly, over the protesting grip of another orc sitting in the driver's seat. Lucky for them they were going to be spared The Switch by crashing before they got there. Lûgnût let out a stream of cuss words as he jerked the steering wheel to the right to avoid a head-on, or direct-of-some-sort collision .... which they failed to do.

The Jeep Cherokee's engine practically howled like a stereotypical Native American ready for war whilst the limo roared and screeched, but they collided and locked fenders, such that Anakron found himself looking out his left window at the frantic orc who was grasping the steering wheel over the sitting orc's protests; meanwhile the frantic .... female ... orc was staring at him, with a silly, somewhat beaming grin on its hideous features. The sheer fascination caught and held Anakron's attention, and he could not help a slight sneer form upon his lips in appreciation for the horrific contrast between pure joy and pure ugliness on this female orc's face. But somehow the face did resemble someone, he just couldn't place whom.

Or had it been during the Challenge a year ago? There was a striking resemblance, take away the orcishness to-

"Panakeia!" Anakron blurted. "Stop this car!" he shouted.

"How the bliddy Thangorodrim am I supposed to control anything about this car with that putrid Jeep locking lips with my fend .... oh. We're stopped."

The female orc who was Panakeia climbed most ungraciously all over the other orc in her effort to somehow get out of the Jeep. Meanwhile, Anakron lunged for the free door to do the same. Panakeia jumped out the opposite side of the door and hooted with glee, jumping onto the roof of the Jeep while Anakron climbed undecorously onto the limo.

Anakron stopped. She was really quite grotesque.... at first. Her over-long arms began to shrink to normal size, she became bashful and embarrassed instead of aggressive, and as her fangs and forehead diminished, a not so awful looking blush came to her humanizing cheeks, and in moments she was his beauty. He jumped from roof to roof, and with the lavender deck firmly beneath their feet, Anarkon threw his arms around Panakeia.

"My Valinor! My Silmaril!"

Panakeia positively beamed.

They locked lips.

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Old 08-19-2006, 06:38 PM   #192
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Smilog & Co.™ traversed the twisting tunnels of Mount Doom, trying to get back to the audience chamber, but being as the halls, porticos, and general walking-areas of Mount Doom are twisty turny tunnels, they became hopelessly lost. Either Mount Doom was pulling a Rose Red or their directional skills had plummeted severely for no apparent reason. At any rate, the easy hop skip and a jump one might expect from the window back to the negotiational area was really more like a trip, stumble and a wander.

Eventually, after much bickering about where they were going and several violent acts upon Smilog (who kept proclaiming that he knew the way like the hairs on his chinny-chin-chin, or maybe it was that he had the blueprints tattooed all over his body, but no one asked him to take his shirt off to prove it) the triumphant trio came to their destination.

Or so they thought.

When they opened the door they found, not the last lingering remnants of the We-Still-Think-This-Is-About-Negotiating faction, but Igör, Skittles, and Hissyfit seated in a circle on the floor in various stages of inebriation.

Or so they thought.

Skittles looked up, an odd looking smear of brown, green, and pink across her mouth and dribbling down her chin. She hiccuped. Igör grinned sheepishly and tried to hide a soup tureen filled with what appeared to be Mordor's most over-toppinged banana split. Hissyfit was covered head to tail in raspberry mint chocolate fudge vanilla ripple and continued to lick herself without taking much notice of the intruders.

"What ho," said The Barrow-Wight in the kind of British accent one would expect from a Midwestern person who watches lots of PBS. "From your happy glow and wandering eyes I'd say you'd found the really good wine. Do you have a spot to spare for an old spectre?"

"Sorry, no alca...er...alcahoooool here," Skittles said with another hiccup.

"We're having an ice cream party," supplied Igör, though it would have become self evident in a moment to Smilog & Co.™ when they took further stock of the room and noticed it was decked out like an Olde Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and Soda Shoppe with every ice cream flavor imaginable.

"Care to join us?" offered Skittles. She staggered to her feet. "I feel like a triple cherry amaretto blue moon fudge sundae."

"Why are there no chairs in here?" Smilog wondered, quite reasonably, and was awarded with a backhand from Skittles, or would have been had she not been seeing double and only managed to backhand Tollin, who was standing next to him.

"It's to save room for all the gigantic tubs of ice cream and various assorted vats of ice cream toppings," explained Igör.

"No brandy?" asked The Barrow-Wight, looking forlorn. "Or Irish cream, both of which are excellent with ice cream?"

"I'm ignoring you now," sang Skittles, sticking her head into a vat of chocolate jimmies.

Tollin, meanwhile, had recovered from the shock of the unexpected backhand and was devouring a tub of triple chocolate chip cookie dough in a truly mythical fashion.

Smilog gave up wondering about the chairs and decided against asking in what time or world it was normal for Olde Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and Soda Shoppes to consist mainly of gigantic tubs of ice cream and various assorted vats of ice cream toppings. He went with the flow and indulged in the kind of bliss only a macadamia toffee brittle peanut butter cashew blast waffle cone can induce. Soon The Barrow Wight gave up asking for potent potables, seeing that everyone else’s eyes were slightly glazed over and the only replies he was getting were mumbled incoherencies something along the barely discernible lines of, "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream."

"I think I'll have a scoop of vanilla," he said, to no one in particular because obviously no one gave a root beer float about him anyway.

A random orc walked by at that moment, as random orcs are wont to do at just the right time, and caught a glimpse of the gross display of gluttony inside this strange unmarked room which was not the negotiation chamber. He/She/It shuddered and hastened on his/her/its way, muttering about how Mordor just wasn't the same these days.

Or so he/she/it thought.

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Old 08-22-2006, 08:24 AM   #193
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The Barrow Wight investigated the 'kitchens' or whatever room the ice cream was kept in while Smilog and Tollin remained in the parlour eating some of the stuff. The Dwarf regarded the coffee flavoured ice cream with the sort of content that an orc would regard a scented bath. "I'm not eating this," he declared, throwing it upon the floor, "Let me have some of that chocolate flavour!" Skittles threw a bucket into the face of the Dwarf who then fell over.

Tollin had now finished his fourth bucket and was reaching for a fifth when suddenly there was a bang and a crash from the storage room. Out came the Barrow Wight, covered in more ice cream flavours than there are in existence. "The horror!" he said, "the bally horror of it all!" He fell on the floor and began shivering.

"What happened to you?" asked Smilog, getting up, "the shelf fell on you did it?"

"What?" cried The Wight, "Do you think me a simpleton? No, dear boy. That ice cream is alive! It bally well attacked me!"

"You're drunk." observed Tollin.

"No I'm not!" The Barrow Wight retorted, "I just have a speech impediment." he was then sick on the floor, "and a stomach virus." he fell over, "and an inner ear infection." Tollin rose and picked up the Wight, and sitting him in the corner.

"He found the rum flavour by the looks of it," scowled Skittles, "I was saving that."

"I demand the finest wine available to man kind!" cried the Wight, "I want it here, and I want it NOW!"

Smilog slowly walked over to the storeroom and peered inside. There he saw a site he thought he'd never see. Orcs were inside the giant tubs of ice cream; they had cut holes in the bottom for their legs and in the sides for their arms. They appeared to be doing some strange form of Morris dancing that involved the throwing of ice cream. "Not again." sighed the Dwarf.
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Old 08-22-2006, 09:12 AM   #194
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In the many long ages of the world that followed Anakron and Panakeia's joyous reunion in the mangled remains of their cars on the borders of Eye Ninety Five, loremasters told the tale of their understandings, misunderstandings, and reunderstandings in verse, song and prose.

They told that it seemed to Panakeia, as she rested in Anakron's arms, that time itself came to a halt and that music played to the rhythm of fireworks dancing across the sky. Long was their embrace, and filled with bliss, for they returned to each other in a happy moment after many troubles to see their love renewed. And so it came to pass that they were together once again, and they rejoiced.

The fireworks and music may have been poetic exaggeration. As was not uncommon in Mordor of those years, they were not at peace for long. Panakeia, in her haste to find Anakron, had failed to note her recent allies in the news media trailing her Jeep. They arrived in time to find Panakeia and Anakron in the midst of their osculatory moment and to capture it on Kandid Kamura. No music or fireworks were present, though there was an accompaniment of a sort from Lûgnût. Consisting as it did of hooting and pointing at the increasingly embarrassed couple while cackling and shouting advice (of an entirely Orcish nature), his actions could hardly be called music to anyone's ears. It was least musical of all to Panakeia, who, finally noting the presence of the kamura krew in no small distemper, put an end to both the Orc's irritating behavior and the unwelcome intrusion of a Mordor-wide audience to her business with Anakron by seizing the kamura and fitting it to Lûgnût's head. Kamura shaped hats were all the rage at the next season's fashion shows as a result. But that does not come into this tale. Suffice it to say that though the kamura was destroyed by its untimely encounter with Lûgnût's unsuspecting cranium, the film within was not, allowing the moment to be recorded for posterity and historical interest.

Who is to say that the poetry, though not found by a spectator, did not exist within Panakeia's mind and heart? For she did rejoice at Anakron's renewal, and at the disappearance of his uniform as Grand Anakronist, which she noted for the first time as she returned to Anakron after bashing Lûgnût with the kamura. Her heart leapt, and Panakeia's lips met Anakron's for a second time. The office would never come between them again.

While the office could not separate them, Samê Blather, irate over the destruction of the kamura could. For a moment. What mattered an annoying news anchor when Panakeia saw her future with Anakron unfolding before her? Anakron tossed a few coins in payment for the kamura, and they left for a more private spot to discuss their plans.

Sheltered from the road by a thicket of high weeds, Panakeia sighed contentedly. Alone at last. If only they could always be alone, free from Orcs, reality TV, and the news media. She knew that as long as they remained in Mordor, they would never be free for long.

"Anakron?" she said.

"Yes, my Silmaril?"

"Let's leave. Mordor. For good."

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Old 08-22-2006, 10:52 PM   #195
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Skittles entered the storeroom behind Smilog and espied the Orcs.

"This won't do, this won't do at all," she said. "Nassty, thieving orcs in my ice cream! They must suffer, for no one does really freakishly weird things with my ice cream without my consent! I am the Chief Warlordess of Roggie, hear me roar!"

With that, she promptly became sick on the floor. But afterwards, she was ready to kick some orc hiney and got to it with much enthusiasm. She stabbed madly at the ice cream tubs with her switchblades while shrieking wildly. The orcs fought back by slinging ice cream at her.

Smilog ducked out of the storeroom and shut the door, feeling that this was the wisest course of action.

Horrible noises came from within; screaming, screeching, crashing, thudding, stomping, and random bursts of polka music. Finally, Skittles emerged, bedecked in ice cream but with a triumphant glow in her crazed eyes. "I have vanquished the dancing orcs," she proclaimed, brandishing a soda straw.

"But where's the rum flavoured ice cream?" asked The Barrow Wight.

Everyone in the room groaned.
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Old 08-26-2006, 03:08 PM   #196
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"Oh, come on! What's anakronistic about stepping into a wardrobe?"

Hyarmenwë could think of all sorts of reasons why he's rather not step into the wardrobe, but none of them were pertinent to the question, and he allowed himself to be talked into it...

...and stepped out into a rather empty-looking field of grain, not a person, tree, fence, rock, or interesting thing in sight. Only a stream in the far distance meandering down from distant mountains.

"Where are we?" Hyarmenwë gazed around, a bit concerned.

"Nurnia," explained Maika, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "The Wardrobe leads to Nurnia."

Well, Hyarmenwë knew that Nurn had been the breadbasket of Sauron's empire, and it stood to reason that that was where they were. Precisely how that was supposed to relate to the wardrobe, he hadn't the foggiest idea. He also didn't want to know. It smacked of anakronism, and he had more important things to do, anyway.

"What I wished to speak to you about, Lady Maika," he began, "is a matter on which we have, I think, a certain amount of shared interest. You wish, I deem, to see certain of those Assigned to Mordor legitimate ability to return to Gondor- including yourself, I think. Well, it so happens that I have someone in Mordor I wish to find, and likewise restore to Gondor. My daughter was Assigned on birth for the unhappy name my wife gave her."

Something stirred in Maika. What, Hyarmenwë couldn't say, but clearly she was interested.

"How old would she be? And what was the unlucky name?" Maika whipped out her palm pilot.

"She'd be about ten, fifteen years younger than you," said Hyarmenwë, glaring at the palm pilot. "As to her name, I do not know. My wife refused to utter it when I returned and found our daughter gone."

"I'll need as exact an age as you can give," said Maika. "She'd be twenty-ish, then?"

"Eighteen... I think," Hyarmenwë scoured his mind. What year had that been? He'd tried so hard to put it out of his mind, that he wasn't quite sure. And age didn't help either.

Again, there was that flicker on Maika's face. She appeared ready to say something, but Hyarmenwë, irked at the look she was giving the palm pilot, a look entirely too used to it, grabbed the palm pilot, and tossed it away into the grains.

"WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?" Maika demanded to know, every bit as royally enraged as a Gondorian noble.

"If I am to reintegrate you into Gondor, you must try to live without anakronisms, Lady Maika," said Hyarmenwë. "As few as possible, preferably none."

"Just a second," snapped Maika, "We have no agreement yet!"

"Then I put it to you now," said Hyarmenwë, a good deal more composed than Maika was. "You know my offer. Do you accept?"
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:30 AM   #197
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Draco Murdoch strikes

Dracomir stretched lanquidly across three seats at the now utterly deserted negotiation table. Even less progress had evidently been made by either side than yesterday. He had not really bothered, after his initial imput, to follow the sordid descent of the day's business into yet another sublime ludicrosity. A folded, silvery bundle on one chair-formerly Maika's-caught his eye, and he pocketed the Inaudibility Cloak once again. One couldn't be too careful. And it was something to do.

In a similar spirit, Tom produced the crumpled Mordorers' Map, and wearily muttered the weird incantation about filling in saves. Then, his eyes rolling, he attempted to locate his fellow, er, ambassadors. Smilog, surrounded by the usual pack of intoxicated intoxicates. Angawen and Beauregard not far off, pacing. Hyarmenwe and Maika in a wardrobe.

Hyarmenwe and Maika in a wardrobe???

Excellent. With the gossip-columnist mentality of a second-string villain, Dracomir grinned and twirled out his wand.

"Accio Rita Skeeter's Quick-Quotes-Quill!"

It was as Dracomir had suspected. Someone had, at some point, Assigned her to Mordor, and the Quill shot through a priceless window dating from the Second Age and depicting Sauron in the form of a fruitbat, shattering it to tiny pieces.

Dracomir stroked the Quill lightly, produced some clean parchment left over from the negotiations, and said in a monotone voice, "Your Hotness King Roggie, I think you should know that one of your ambassadors, Maika, has been found in a compromising permission with one of my colleagues. I fear treachery as well as gross moral misconduct. Signed, your old pal, Tom Felton."

He glanced at the paper. It was as he had hoped; the Quill had successfully read between the lines of his statement and produced a tabloid article dripping with lurid libel, denouncing Hyarmenwe and Maika as traitors to both their causes, as well as illicit lovers.

"Acccio Orc," the ghastly young journo-in-the-making cried imperiously, and a harrassed looking guard flew through an open door. "Take this to the King-without fail. Off you go."

The Lord Malfoidacil watched the Orc scurry off with a wicked smile on his angelic features.

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Old 08-29-2006, 03:56 AM   #198
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It must have been the ice cream talking, but Smilog had some how dared to call Skitttles a useless cretin. Roggie's war adviser had not taken this criticism well it seems, as the dwarf opened his eyes to find that he was tied to the back of Mount Zoom by a long rope. He was on the floor in a heap staring up at the immense mountain with its great wheels coated in enough tyres to feed the world.

The Barrow Wight's head was sticking out of the ground near by; apparently he had been buried for tearing the ceiling down 'in search of a drink'. Tollin was nowhere to be seen. The Mountain appeared to be re-fuelling, for there was a large pipe sticking out from the side and the sound of gushing lava could be heard flowing through it. The Barrow Wight mumbled to himself a little song:

Cold be heart and lots of beer
And cold be sleep after hangover
Never more to wake again
Till headache gone and...

He was stuck and couldn't think of an appropriate word. He shook his head and looked around to see where he was. "I say" he said, "what the devil is going on?"

"I don't know," replied the Dwarf, wriggling out of the surprisingly lose ropes, "we had better get back in the mountain."

"I've got a better idea," said the Wight, pointing to a near by pub, "Lets have another drink!"

"No!" Smilog smacked the Barrow Wight in the face; "you've had enough for a year in the last four hours."

"But I have no stomach!" protested the dead man, "drink goes right through me... literally!" Smilog ignored this and began to climb up the Mountain again. After a while of mumbling, the Barrow Wight followed on. They climbed for some time before coming to a window and slipping through, they lay in the corridor getting their breath back while several Orcs passed by all dressed in shirts and ties and looking very uncomfortable.

To their sheer and lasting amazement, they were outside the ice-cream chamber... thing. "Blast." said the Barrow Wight.
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:48 AM   #199
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Maika gave Hyarmenwë a look of purest loathing, fumbled for her palm pilot on the ground, and, with a fierce battle-cry to rival the Amazonas', hurled it violently towards his face.

If she were Skittles in disguise, perhaps.

But the real Maika could only glare at the Gondorian. An unwilling silence stifled all that was threatening to burst from her mouth--none of which had anything to do with the palm pilot lying near her feet. She suddenly found the meandering stream in the distance interesting, and towards it she turned her gaze as it softened. The clouds above them, she noticed gratefully, covered the sky entirely.

"What made you think, in the first place," she asked in as casual a voice as she could manage, "that I am one of those Gondorians I spoke of? Surely I am every bit as Mordorian as my fellow ambassadors are."

"No one else would have made that suggestion, Lady Maika. What motive could drive a non-Gondorian to want it done? And I mean no offence, but I've always thought you seem a bit too...normal, if you will, for their company."

"That's fair enough, I suppose..." she said, letting her gentle amusement trail into insignificance. "Alright then, you caught me. I am Gondorian. Or I was, rather."

Maika glanced at Hyarmenwë. Despite having correctly guessed, a mild surprise had still sneaked into his face.

"But you were right in only one count," she continued, again turning away. "I have no desire to return to Gondor."

"Why not, my lady?" The surprise rendered this time in his voice was more apparent.

"My loyalty lies with this land," she answered as she lightly touched her nose, and silently sighed in relief. "Surely you, of all people, know the meaning of duty. And it is as you yourself have expressed concern; there is no certainty that I will ever be purged of the anakronisms to which I've been accustomed."

"I understand," Hyarmenwë's response softly came. Maika did an internal double-take. Was there a hint of sadness in his voice, or was that just what she desired to hear?

"But as for your daughter..." she continued, pushing the thought away, "I'm certain that the child of someone of your position will have been cared for by the more conservative assigned Gondorians. They might have adopted her the moment she stepped into Mordor, and a visit to them can possibly lead us to her."

"So it is us, then?"

"Yes." Maika faced Hyarmenwë fully. "Yes," she repeated, "I am willing to help you inasmuch as I can."

"I am grateful," said Hyarmenwë with a bow.

"That might not be anything, though. For all I know those people regard me now as a traitor," Maika said carelessly, shrugging. "And I do not need to tell you--as you've already seen enough of this land for yourself--that this mission, quest, thing...it will not be easy."

"I am aware of that."

"Good. Now, if you have nothing else to say, let us return." She pointed towards the mountain behind them. "That's the back of the wardrobe; it is nothing more than a concealed exit from Mount Doom. We have, you see, been parking here in Nurnia for quite some time now."

Without waiting for a response, without seeing Hyarmenwë relieved that no anakronism had occured, without even thinking to pick up her palm pilot, Maika started her way back.

Last edited by Lhunardawen; 08-31-2006 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 09-01-2006, 06:15 PM   #200
littlemanpoet
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Leave Mordor. Anakron looked at Panakeia's beseeching eyes, stunned. He had never allowed himself to even imagine such a chance for himself, and she was laying it before him as a virtual imperative.

"My only estel, do you think it could be done?"

Her face, already aglow, began to beam with hope. She nodded. "We must!"

"Then we shall."

"Oh Anakron!" Panakeia proceeded to plant labial tissue yet again on Anakron's labio-responsive receptors; which were, according to the most up-to-date anakronistic diagnostics very receptive indeed.

"But first, my star of the morning," Anakron said momentarily, "I want to take you on an excursion to Lûndûn, strictly to see the sites."

"A date?"

"An extended date. Shall we?"

"Let's shall!"

Anakron escorted Panakeia to the black stretch-limo which happened to resemble the black taxis of Lûndûn in all but length. Soon they were on their way down the British law roads, side by side in the back seat, Lûgnût behind the wheel, leering grinningly through the rear view mirror. What the two spoke of to each other, no records say; nor does it say whether they spoke much or not, or whether they were otherwise engaged. Be that as it may, the records do say that they were living in a state of bliss, as if Mordor hardly existed for them.

At least for the time being.

Last edited by littlemanpoet; 09-02-2006 at 10:31 AM.
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