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Old 07-13-2008, 05:11 PM   #121
Durelin
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Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
“Will you let me help you?”

Parkun’s initial reaction to Ash’s offer and question was surprise and anger bordering on disgust. No, he did not want the boy to help him. They all thought he was so weak…

Kun did his best to look thankful, and hoped any other emotion might be passed off for pain. He was in pain, after all. He still took Ash’s arm hesitantly, and at first he let hardly any of his weight fall on the younger man. After picking up the pace a bit, though, he found himself actually using Ash for support. His skin tingled with his disgust at having himself practically held up by the boy.

Suddenly everyone froze as they heard howling from somewhere deeper in the forest to their right. Kun doubted himself for a couple moments, and went back to walking slowly when the group began moving again. He was all but forced to move more quickly, and they drew near the clearing in which he had first encountered the wargs sooner than he liked.

From the clearing came a loud, growling battle cry that sounded as if it were in another language, as well as yelps and growls less human…or dwarf.

Much too soon.

Kun felt like he was being tackled suddenly, as the new dwarf actually embraced him. The man felt truly disgusted this time, but that was not what kept him rooted to where he stood. Icy panic enveloped him. He felt cold, faint, numb, and like he needed desperately to empty his stomach all at once. He felt he was being choked. He was going to die…

What had the Dwarf said? “Let us hasten to him before the battle is won.”

Could Kuric really take on five wargs? But no, there were not necessarily all five. They had heard howling from somewhere else on their way here. He had brought them too early, and they were all supposed to be brought together. This was no longer a trap. At least not for the “defenders of Bree.”

He was going to die.

~*~*~*~

Dûrkoth stared at the short two-leg’s body. No, he would not be getting up again. But neither would Snagath, or Carchel. As Agarcarag and Morfin sniffed the dying two-leg and licked at his blood, Dûrkoth stood over Carchel’s twitching form. He was trying to get up, but he would receive no help from his comrades. His eyes were wide with pain and fear, though they had already begun to cloud over. It did not seem Carchel’s eyes could widen any further, but they did as they gazed up at Dûrkoth.

“It’s called ‘death,’ Carchel,” the large, silver-backed Warg grunted. “It comes quickly to the weak…and the foolish.”

Dûrkoth would have watched his minion die with interest, but he caught a scent…several scents…close.

“More two-legs!” Dûrkoth growled. It was too late to hide and lay in wait. And he would play no more games with these two-legs. He would save the skinny, bright-furred one to devour last, so he could pick at him slowly with an already full stomach.
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:42 AM   #122
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Erling could not remember much of the rest of the march. There was little talk from anyone. They all seemed to know that they were close to the end of their adventure-whatever that was going to be... None of them looked to hopeful.

Suddenly, they all halted, stricken. At first, Erling did not know what had filled their heart with so much horror and made them stop. But then, he realised. Howls! Nearer and stronger than they had heard them before! And then....then...Kuric's battle cry-it had to be him, it sounded like his voice. Released from the frozen state they had been rendered by the howls, the defenders hastened forward.

As they ran, Erling tried to take his long knife from his seath. He had to do it quickly, he thought. He had to, lest the wargs caught him unprepared and helpless. Finally, he managed to take it out. He glanced at it, and its appearance did not encourage him at all. It was slightly rusty and the blade did not seem to be too sharp. Erling's heart sank. How was he going to take on the Wargs with that? Why hadn't he the sense to at least sharpen his knife before setting off?

They were close now, he knew that. The holws were louder than ever. Clutching his knife, Erling ran with the others, trying not to think or to remember how terrified he was. Soon, they would reach the Wargs. Soon, it would end-one way or the other.
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Old 07-16-2008, 03:44 PM   #123
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The howls died away. It was all silent but for the rustling wind in the treetops. The defenders' breath and footsteps rang loud in the night. No birds could be heard and then even the wind stilled.

There was a low snarl and howling, so much closer than ever before.

The defenders of Bree froze. In no time at all there were deadly claws and teeth everywhere. There were cries and sounds of weapons and moving bodies. The night that had been so silent only a twinkling of an eye before was bursting with the noises of life and death.

It was difficult to see who was fighting and where. Amidst all the hassle, there were two bodies laying on the grass some hundred feet from them. Lea could recognise Toby and Kuric. She turned to Orin. The wargs had not attacked either of them in their first dash. "Listen. We go to Toby and Kuric. We try to save them. It might be too late later." She grasped Orin's arm and they ran.

"Keep an eye on the wargs!" Lea hissed to Orin, who looked very pale. Meanwhile, she cast a quick glance at the men laying on the ground. They were both very pale but breathing. "Orin, tear strips of your tunic and bind their wounds. Just like you bound the foot of farmer Kettle's dog last winter. Tightly. Be careful but try to be quick too. I'll protect you."

The boy had the sense to obey. Leanora took her bow. It was a slight bow, designed for hunting rabbits, not killing wargs. Nevertheless, it would have to do. She took an arrow too, and put it on the bowstring and drew the bow. She aimed at the nearest warg and released the arrow, and missed her target. Refusing to despair, she took another arrow. This time she shot more quickly and hit. The warg howled in pain, but did not turn. The lonely bowman was not much of a threat, not yet.

~*~

Only the childhood summers spent with his Aunt Rhea's dogs saved Ash's life. When the giant wolf landed on the top of him, he used its momentum to roll a little sideways so that the beast's groping jaws could not reach his neck. Its paws were tearing through his clothes and through his skin. Ash blocked the pain and stuck his knife to the creature's side. It howled in rage and attempted at his throat again. This time its teeth sunk to his shoulder and it was his turn to cry out. He pulled his knife off the beast and stabbed it again. They rolled in the ground, wrestling, the warg groping at the man's head and the man trying to stab the warg with his knife.

Ash felt himself weaken. The warg was too much for him, too strong. His shoulder was bleeding and his left arm was an alarming mixture of piercing pain and cold numbness. He put all his strength to the effort and managed to sink his knife hilt-deep to the warg's belly. It howled again, more agonised than ever before, but it retaliated with a deadly speed. Ash did not have the time or the strength to push its gaping jaws away.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:16 PM   #124
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Groin Redbeard is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Groin Redbeard is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
A chorus of howls broke out all around the defenders and Gorin turned just in time to see a gaping mouth, filled with teeth, rushing straight at him. He still had the sense to jump out of the way; the long years spent in the wild had taught him the importance of agility. Gorin landed on his chest with a thud and immediately turned himself around to get back up. The swiping blow of a paw against his shield sent him stumbling back, but not knocking him down. A mountain of fur loomed in front of him growling ferociously, and was in turn answered by Gorin’s defiant yell. They rushed at each other, the warg lunging with his open mouth and Gorin side stepping to deliver a painfully hard blow with his axe at the animal’s side. The strike had phased the warg but not beaten it, Gorin soon found this out as it spun around and knocked him down with its flanks. Gorin made got up as quickly as he could, but was surprised that he had not felt the warg’s death blow. As he got up he saw Sam not too far from him with and arrow in his string and two more in the dead warg. He wanted to thank him, but this was not the time.

The scent of death was all around him. He glanced frantically around to catch a glimpse of his friends and could see that the battle proved ill. Erling had his hands full but was fighting well as Sam joined his side. It was then that Gorin saw him: Kuric! Leanora and Orin were rushing to his side, but he remained stiff and still as if he were frozen. Despair took him for a second and then a rage consumed him. His hands clenched around his shield and axe, his body felt light as if he could fly; he did not feel tired, weary, or fear just anger.

Ash was fighting for his life with a large warg. Gorin rushed at it with all the focus and speed that he had ever known. Out of the corner of his eye he could see another warg attempting to intercept him, but it was stopped short by an arrow from Lea found its mark in the warg’s back. Ash was on the ground and bleeding as the warg began to grip his teeth around the man’s waist. Gorin braced his right foot against a rock and leapt into the air, and landed with his full weight on the warg’s neck. Both of them tumbled to the ground, but Gorin was the first to get on his feet.

“Come on,” Gorin yelled at the warg, “Soon I will teach you the meaning of death, and you will taste the fury of this dwarf!”

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Old 07-21-2008, 02:20 AM   #125
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It had begun. It had begun quicker than Erling had expected. Before he could tell his senses what was about to happen, before he could decide upon a plan that might keep him alive, the Wargs were upon them. He had little time to realise what had happen and even less time to decide how to act.

Clutching his knife, he began hitting this way and that, without pausing to look whether his blows struck home or not. At one point, he was sure he had hit something, but he did not dare to stop and look. He was barely thinking about what he was doing. Everything was happening much too fast, and anyway he was growing tired. Only one thing was urging him on-the will to survive, the knowledge that, if he stopped, he would surely be killed. At one point, he dimly registered that Sam had joined him. He smiled slightlly, glad in some part of his head that he was no longer alone.

Suddenly, there was a brief pause in the attack and Erling caught a glimpse of Kuric lying motionless on the ground and of Lea and Orin rushing to his aid. For some time he stood still watching them, although his weariness made it dificult for him to register what he was seeing. Nor did he have too much time for it. Once again he was attacked, and once more he began fighting, moved only by his desperate will to live yet another minute longer.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:50 AM   #126
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Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Dûrkoth knew before the two-legs arrived that his pack was now considerably out-numbered. And there was another dwarf, who also looked like he would put up a fight. What were two dwarves doing in Bree-land? The weaker two-legs had the advantage in numbers and in luck, it seemed.

Morfin went for one of the tall two-legs who did not hesitate in using a knife. The man had little skill, but the will and desperation to survive was enough power to deal Morfin a wound. Agarcarag went straight for the dwarf, and Dûrkoth cursed him as a fool. The tall two-leg Morfin battled was soon joined by another small one, but only after the small one’s bow had defeated Agarcarag.

Morfin howled in rage and lashed out more fiercely than ever at the man and hobbit. Dûrkoth had no need to redouble his efforts against his first prey. He soon had his jaws around the waist of one of the tall two-legs. This one looked young…unfortunately it was not the bright-haired one. Dûrkoth had all but finished the boy off when the dwarf charged him.

Morfin had broken away from his fight with the other man and hobbit – as if he thought he needed to save his chief, Dûrkoth thought bitterly as he caught his minion’s movement out of the corner of his eye – but he received an arrow in his haunches, and he yelped before turning and racing in blind anger back towards the hobbit.

The dwarf leapt onto Dûrkoth, and the large warg went down, his neck nearly crushed. He rolled himself away from the short two-leg, and pulled himself to his feet, though not quite as quickly as the dwarf. Dûrkoth snarled a laugh as the short two-leg made his short speech. He would show him the meaning of death? Dûrkoth knew all there was to know about death. There was nothing left but for him to experience it, and there would be no knowledge to be gained in that moment.

Dûrkoth allowed himself a quick side-glance to where the fallen dwarf lay. No, these two-legs would be the ones learning a great deal about death.

“You should not waste what precious breath you have left with such words, dwarf,” he growled. “You know the bright-haired two-leg traded your lives for his own. Too bad that one messed things up a bit,” he snarled as he gestured with his muzzle in the direction Kuric lay. Dûrkoth let out a howling laugh.

~*~*~*~

Parkun was soon left alone just paces outside the clearing. All the others had charged in with little hesitation behind the dwarf. He was fascinated for several moments by the sounds that emerged from the clearing and seemed to surround him. How many had he brought to their death, after all?

Hopefully five wargs at least, Kun thought as he broke into a run, crashing through the trees in a direction opposite the clearing. He would run until he could hear no more sounds.

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Old 07-27-2008, 01:50 PM   #127
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Gorin was shocked at this new revelation. He did not want to believe what the warg had said, but Parkun's absence in the battle confirmed it: they had been betrayed. His battle furry was soon renewed as the great warg howled with delight over the slain body of Kuric.

"Laugh while you can, fowl beast of the shadow, I will finish my kinsman's work!"

With those final words Gorin leapt at the warg. It bit at him with it's large chomping furiously at him. The dwarf dodged every attempt beating the warg's face with his shield, and as he slammed it again the warg stood on his hind legs towering above him. It swiped at him with his paw, Gorin blocked the blow, but it proved futile, as his shield splintered into a hundred pieces at the force of the warg's paw.

There was a searing pain in his arm as backed away, it was broken. He retaliated fast, in order to catch his foe off gaurd, jabbing his axe into the warg's face. The warg reared and howled in pain, as Gorin raised his axe for another blow.

"Yeeaarrgh!" Gorin struck hard at the neck, the blow sent the warg spiraling to the ground, his axe still deep in the wargs throat. It lay still and Gorin wondered if it was really dead. He withdrew one of his throwing axes from his belt and approached the warg, not knowing that it was still alive!

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Old 08-03-2008, 03:04 PM   #128
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Groin Redbeard is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Groin Redbeard is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
All the sounds of battle had faded from his ears, a pain he never experienced before was searing through his left arm. For a moment he forgot where he was and what was happening around him, all that mattered was his vengeance which he would unleash upon the beast that he had slain. Gorin could hear his own breaths exiting from his open mouth in heavy gasps, like a relentless bellows that could not stop as he walked toward the limp Warg. His heart beat fast from his adrenaline of battle, which had not yet subsided, as he approached the Warg. Hot tears streamed down his face and rolled on his beard when he stopped stood over the carcass of his foe.

Without any warning or sign, the dormant Warg sprang back to life, to the complete amazement and bewilderment of Gorin. It was weaker and less tenacious than it had been in their previous struggle, but it still had the strength to fight to the death with the dwarf's axe still embedded in it's throat. Gorin's short axe was of little use to him as he hacked, kicked, punched, and lunged at the monstrous animal with as much energy as he could muster. Gorin ducked under the Warg's swiping paw and dealt a blow to it's hind leg with his small axe; the Warg howled in pain. It retaliated chomping his hand that held the axe, but the dwarf pulled it out of the way and the Warg tore his sleeve off. It growled and came back at him, but this time Gorin wasn't fast enough and a mouth of sharp teeth clamped down on his other hand. The pain was excruciating and with a yell of pain and anger he drove his elbow of his good arm into the Warg's eye causing it to back off but not before it took the dwarf's hand with him.

Gorin prepared to die as they both backed off for a final charge at each other. He stumbled to the ground on on one knee, finally overtaken by the grievous situation of his wounds. No, I will die proudly today! With the last effort of will he stood straight and proud, laughing at the Warg's futile fighting. Soon he would be killed and the beast succumb to it's wounds, which were many. It was then that the Warg yelped in pain and thrashed about. It was Leanora, brave Lea, who had rushed to her brothers side and was shooting as fast as she could at the her brothers attacker. The arrows flew fast and wildly at the Warg, not piercing deep but stinging like a swarm of bees at an oppressor that had just riled them. The Warg limped as fast as he could away from the clearing for the cover of the forest, but just before he disappeared into the brush Gorin axe struck him in the shoulder, a mighty hit that would have felled lesser things.

They battle was won! Two dead wargs lay dead by Erling and Sam, and with their leader soon to be dead the threat of a returning terror was over. Gorin doubled over in pain when he saw his left hand missing. He tore of some of his garment and wrapped it tightly around the wound, which was bleeding profusely. Erling and Sam gave three loud cheers as Ash stood up with the help of Lea, his wound to his shoulder would need to be bound up and his arm was broken, but he would live to recant his tale to the town council. It was then that Gorin saw Kuric's body again, laying there so cold and still. He stumbled over to his side and fell on his knees.

"Brave, foolish Kuric," he said through his watery eyes, "Your valor shall not be forgotten, nor what you have done here. Alas that I should see the death of one of my own! Our people our few and the loss of one so noble is one that we can ill afford, for he fought like a hero of old where they would sing of your deed. But who will sing of you now, who will remember the brave deeds of Kuric." Sobs shook his body and his tears poured down like rain. "Goodbye, Kuric Spearhead. A good friend you were to me, for that short while!" Then Gorin clasped his friends hand in his own and wept bitterly over his body.

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Old 08-07-2008, 10:07 AM   #129
Durelin
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Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Durelin is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Dûrkoth heard the yelp of his dying minion and then the whistling of arrows. They struck him with sharp stings that made his body shake. But each time his heart beat, the pain seemed to grow less and less. His body was growing numb…but he still thought very clearly, if only of one thing.

As quickly as his weak limbs could carry him, Dûrkoth disappeared into the woods surrounding the clearing, in the direction the two-legs had come from. It was not long before he picked up the scent of fear. The air was thick with the smell where he found the bright-haired two-leg. The warg did not bother with stealth as he approached the two-leg. The boy would see his death as it came to him, but he would not be able to escape it. No one could. Not even the mighty Dûrkoth.

Parkun sat at the foot of a tree, trying frantically to decide what story he would tell when he returned to town, when he heard the soft crunching of vegetation somewhere to his left. He jumped up and whirled toward the sound. The first thing his eyes caught was two yellow orbs that sent shivers throughout his being. Every nerve in his body seemed to be quivering, urging him to move, but he could not.

As the warg approached him, Kun almost felt…relief. He suddenly could breathe again. There was a large gash in the warg’s neck, two arrows in his side, and in other areas his fur was matted with blood that was likely mostly his own. The beast would be dead in moments. It paused its approach, and seemed to waver on its large paws.

Suddenly all was clear to Kun. He had the perfect story to redeem his disappearance. The young man allowed himself a nervous smile as he drew his dagger. “Who should be begging for their life now?” Parkun asked, his smile growing. He was enjoying the warg’s ragged breaths. He felt…powerful. He was in control.

But when he dared look the beast in the eye again, Kun knew it was smiling back.

Dûrkoth left the two-leg to bleed out a slow death, his stomach ripped open. The warg disappeared again into the trees. He would give no one the satisfaction of watching him die.
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:13 AM   #130
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It was over before Erling had even had time to realise what was happening around him. He looked puzzled at the Warg that lay dead at his feet. He thought he heard himself give a shout of triumph, but he was as yet much too bewildered and tired to understand its meaning much.

He looked around him. Gradually, the realisation that they had won was making its way in his mind. They had won. There would be no more troubles from now on, the Breelanders could sleep peacefully at night once more. They could once more pick up their former, carefree life. Or, at least, those who had not seen the battle could, for Erling very much doubted he would have the strength to be carefree again. Perhaps later on, much later on.

And it had not been without sacrifices, Erling thought ruefully. He remembered Grimbeorn dead near Edin Cengal's farm, and now Kuric, and...But suddenly, he realised something was wrong. They were too few. Not all of them were there.

"What happened to Kun?" he asked. "Where is he?"
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Old 08-16-2008, 12:11 PM   #131
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Lea was supporting her twin as well as she could. He was leaning on her and his breathing sounded pained. Lea could see his clothes were bloody all over and his face was very pale. Horrible thoughts were coursing in her head. She could not lose him. They had always been together, he could not leave her now. She didn't dare to ask how bad it was, she didn't even dare to take a proper look at his wounds. She was trying so hard not to cry.

Ash tried to focus his eyes but couldn't. He was weak, so weak. He had never been like this before. He felt as if he would faint. He was glad of his sister, his brave strong sister, being there and holding him. Amidst all the pain and confusion he could sense she was not as calm as usual. Was something wrong?

He closed his eyes, took a deep breath and looked around. He could see Lea, anguish in her eyes. A wave of weakness hit him suddenly. "Lea... I need to sit. I feel... so frail. But... I'm going to be... alright."

Orin could see his sister helping his brother sit down. They were only concentrating on each other, once again. Fair enough, he did not want any company now. He stood up. He was still shaking from all the effort and tension. He knew he should have been happy for their victory, but there had been too much blood and death. It made him sick. He could see the big warg attacking Ash again and again... He spun around and disappeared to the woods while no one was looking. He hoped he could be alone for a moment.

Just a while ago, the dark forest had been the most terrifying thing imaginable. Now it was comfortingly calm and silent. The darkness was better than the moonlit images of the clearing - here there were no mutilated bodies, no blood, no death.

It was then that he saw what was left of Parkun Felderth, a twisted shape in a pool of blood. Orin let out a cry of terror and ran.
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:43 PM   #132
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The dark wood around him was more oppressive than ever. He did not have the strength to move any part of his body, if he could even feel any part. The pain had been the greatest when he had first been torn open, but in just minutes it went beyond something he could register as pain. And now…it was so cold.

Kun was dying. He was dying. He was alone, all alone, and dying. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. He had escaped. He had brought the others to where he had been told. He had done his part, it wasn’t his fault they weren’t ready, that the crazy dwarf had charged off ahead, that things hadn’t gone right. Things had gone all wrong, but it wasn’t his fault. He didn’t deserve this. No one deserved this. Alone and dying and left to be eaten by the scavengers of the forest.

Kun could see those eyes, and he thought at times they were all around them. He could not turn his head to look and see, but they would flash at him from out of the corner of his eye, and he could feel them boring into him. Just as those claws had into his gut…

He heard footsteps again, and when he couldn’t breathe for a moment he thought this was the end. But his eyes saw a figure and his ears heard a scream. And then it was gone and though he could breathe again Kun barely choked out any words. “Come back, come back…come back!”

He did not think he had enough energy left to do so, but he began to cry. He was dying. They’d all leave him for dead. Did they know? It didn’t matter. He would be dead before any others came upon him. It was so close now. Why did he want to see them anyway? Why did he want them to see him? But he did not want to be alone. He cried because he was still afraid – because it was cold, it was dark, and he was dying.
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:06 PM   #133
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All was black and fading, Kuric knew or remembered nothing; there was no pain, no fear, no suffering. Quietly he began to drift into the eternal sleep, suddenly deep in the recesses of his soul it came to him; there was unfinished business still at hand.

Pain overtook his frame and mind as he regained consciousness, he wasn’t sure he would be able to complete his final mission, his pride and stubbornness wouldn’t let him fade, not yet.

Groggily he began to open his eyes, all was hazy and cloudy. He couldn’t make out any images, just fuzzy outlines. “Lad,” he called out weakly, hoping to call for Gorin for, as fortune would have it, he would only trust this task to a fellow dwarf and providence had provided just such a dwarf.

All warmth was leaving his body and he knew that he didn’t have long. Mustering up his strength he managed to call out “Gorin, come here lad” with more volume than the previous plea. A figure approached acknowledging Kuric, he knew not who it was but there was precious little time left. “Gorin,” Kuric said feebly, “I need ya ta…” Kuric began coughing violently and took a moment to regain his ability to speak. “Gorin, I need ya to bring me mail back…” Kuric again coughed and felt his strength leaving him, “bring it back to me king, he’ll understand. I just hope…” Kuric began to doze, quickly shaking it off he began to talk again “I just hope I made a difference in Middle-earth”

With that, Kuric knew it was finished and let death come over him quickly, he would fight no longer.
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:46 AM   #134
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Orin's cry made Erling start. What was happening now? Was it not over, after all? Was there more to come, more batles, more blood, more death? He looked at Lea and Ash and saw that they could not possibly go and see what had happened to their brother.

"I'll go." he assured them, and sped through the darkness of the forest towards where he had heard Orin's cry. Suddenly he bumped into Orin himself who was running from the opposite direction. The boy looked terrified. "More Wargs, then." Erling thought, biting his lips. But it was not that.

"Parkun..."Orin gasped, pointing to the forest behind him. "Lying over there... Dead, I think..."

Erling nodded urgently and dashed forward. Perhaps he was not dead yet. Perhaps he could be saved somehow. He had to see. But when he finally caught sight of Parkun he realised he had been wrong. He was not dead yet, but he was surely dying. There was nothing anyone could do for him.

Erling kneeled beside Parkun and saw a flicker of recognition in the dying man's eyes. "Don't try to talk." he told him quickly. "It's..." But he could not go on. It was wrong, he thought, telling someone who was about to die that it was going to be alright when they could easily see it was not true. But he had to comfort him somehow. No man deserved to die without comfort. True, Parkun had abandoned Toby to the Wargs, and had ran off while they had been fighting, but he still did not deserve to die without comfort, without hearing one last kind word. Erling took Kun's hand in his, determined to stay with him until it was over. "Don't worry." he told him. "I'll stay with you. I...I'll see you through this."
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:31 AM   #135
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The tears had all been drained from the young dwarf’s eyes and the acceptance that Kuric was finally dead began to set in. He looked on the dwarf’s ghostly white face, it was old and bore the scars of age yet it was peaceful. He heard Orin’s screams of horror in the distance and a look of dread came over him. Gorin wanted to help the young man child, but the grief was too strong for him to leave Kuric’s body. He reached for Kuric’s mace and lifted it the best he could with his one arm, but Erling dashed off before Gorin could follow. Using the mace as a crutch he lifted himself up and tried to look as threatening as he could in hopes of scaring whatever enemy might be out there.

“Lad,” came the familiar voice of Kuric. At first Gorin was frightened, fearing that it was his friends spirit who was talking, but Kuric’s body moved and a faint hope stirred in Gorin.

“Kinsman, I’m here what is it you need.” he said, his deep voice almost cracking with emotion when Kuric did not notice him.

Kuric’s voice was weak, but firm as he spoke. Gorin stayed silent as he watched his friends mind slowly drift farther from him.

“I just hope I made a difference in Middle-earth.” Kuric’s last words where drawn out as his last breath left him.

“Kuric, brave Kuric, all that you have done here tonight will be told to your king. I swear that I shall return and build you a monument so that the story of your deeds will live on in the annals of men and dwarf long after you are gone. I shall do what you ask of me!”

Gorin clenched his great fist in frustration. He wanted to weep, but the tears had left him. He turned to Lea and Ash and then back to Kuric.

“Forgive me if I live you here for a while, but the night is not yet done and our foes are gathering again.” He then took Kuric’s cloak and folded it over his comrade the best he could.

The wind had picked up and the stars appeared again as Gorin walked to Ash and Lea’s side with Kuric’s mace as his new found weapon.

“You have saved my life, Lea. I will never forget you or you kin, I am indebted to you for life.” Gorin gently kissed Lea’s hand and repeated his oath in his own tongue.

“Tonight has been a strange one. By chance it was that I met your company, yet I think it was for the best so that Kuric may not die alone.” he looked back at cloak that covered his friend, “Alas, his was the most costly sacrifice that he could offer on the altar of justice.” Gorin fell silent retreating to his own thought, standing by the side of his new unlikely friends.
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:06 PM   #136
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Parkun still cried for himself, but even through failing eyes blurred by tears, he was able to recognize the new figure that knelt beside him. It was Erling. Though they had never been close, he was one of the many constant figures in Parkun’s life. They both had grown up in Bree, and Erling was a regular face in the inn for many years.

They shared their hometown, but Kun thought they shared little else. He was never the good son like Erling, he was not the good citizen. He was the coward who did not fight for anyone’s sake but his own.

“Don't try to talk.” As if he knew what to say… Did Erling know the truth? Of course he must know that he was not at the battle, but…

“Don't worry. I'll stay with you. I...I'll see you through this.”

So kind, as if he truly cared. He must not know what Kun had done. But that did not comfort Kun. Did he want him to know? But how could he tell him? Why should he? What did it matter now? He was the one dying.

“I…I’m…” it was hard to say anything, but especially this.

“Sorry…”

Parkun suddenly felt lighter. It no longer felt like he was lying, a pile of flesh, on the hard ground. The air no longer seemed so heavy, the darkness felt peaceful – there were no more hungry eyes.

But he only had a few moments more before he felt less and less, before Erling’s face was swallowed by the darkness. He felt as if a great terror, a great nothingness was approaching him. He now realized what he should have been afraid of all along.

“No, no, no, no…” Kun cried. His cries were quickly cut off, and then his ragged breaths lasted for a minute or two longer before all was still.
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Old 08-23-2008, 01:33 PM   #137
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The night was pierced by a high-pitched scream. Lea and Ash glanced at each other in terror. It was Orin!

"I'll go," Erling said instantly and rushed away. "Thank you," Lea shouted after him, but she doubted he heard it. She was staring after him, hoping to see her little brother. Suddenly Ash twisted beside her. "Are you alright?" she asked anxiously. He mumbled something that sounded like "yes" and started leaning on her more heavily. His breath was very heavy too.

Lea stroke his hair. It was dirty and there was blood on it. Ash's blood or the warg's blood, Lea didn't know. Ash had quickly bound his wounds himself - Lea wondered where he had found the strentgh to do it - and would not let her look at them. She would have wanted to, but she knew that once they were bound it would be foolish for anyone else but a professional healer to finger them. So she had to be satisfied with just sitting by his side and stroking his hair.

"Lea? Do you mind if I... sleep?"
"No, not at all."
He closed his eyes and instead of falling asleep, he let go of his consciousness. His sister wasn't scared by it. She could feel his heartbeat, he was most definitely alive. She knew he had been fighting this weakness for long just not to worry her too much. "Sleep well, my dear," she whispered and moved him so that he was laying on her lap.

When Ash wasn't there anymore to occupy her mind, she got worried about Orin again. She tried not to think of what kind of horrible things might have happened to him. He was probably just a little scared by something and Erling would find him.

"You have saved my life, Lea. I will never forget you or you kin, I am indebted to you for life." Lea looked up in surprise to see Gorin. He kissed her hand gently, said something in his own tongue and continued then in common speech:
"Tonight has been a strange one. By chance it was that I met your company, yet I think it was for the best so that Kuric may not die alone." He looked back at cloak that covered his friend. "Alas, his was the most costly sacrifice that he could offer on the altar of justice."

She could not think of a reply. She was deeply moved by the Dwarf's words, he had not known that Dwarves could be like that. She had always considered them rather brusque and unlikable, but this Gorin was a gentle man with a brave spirit.

She reached out to touch his hand lightly. "Your friend was a very courageous man. He saved us all tonight. His spirit has found its peace now."

With those words, her eyes wandered to the other unmoving figure laying on the forest clearing. Toby Mugwort looked pale and his face was possessed by unnatural calm. Lea thought he must be dead, after all. As if to confirm her assumption, Sam Tunnelly, who had been standing by Toby's side, knelt down and closed his eyes. Then the Hobbit walked slowly to the others. He did not say a word, nor did Lea or Gorin.

When he dashed from the woods, Orin did not say a word either. His face was pale and stained with tears. Lea opened her arms and the boy ran to her. She hugged her crying brother tightly.

After a moment, Orin started talking. "I saw Parkun in the woods. He is dead." The boy's tone was calm, almost devoid of feelings. Lea knew he was afraid he'd start crying again.

"You're a brave boy," Gorin said quietly.
Sam nodded gravely. "And these sad tidings must be brought to Bree as soon as Erling returns. Where is he, by the way?"
"He went to see Parkun," Orin said, still shaking a little.
"So I supposed," Sam replied. "And also, we must take your brother to the village too."
Orin's face truned paler than it had been, if it was even possible. He looked at Lea, immeasurable anguish on his face.
"Is he..."
"No," she said. "He's not. You can try and feel his heartbeat."

Slowly, relievement filled the boy's face. He did start crying again, but no one thought any less of him because of that.
"He's going to be alright," Lea said, smiling at Orin. "We're all going to be alright now."
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Old 08-25-2008, 03:30 PM   #138
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Blood Run

Mayor Hershman absent-mindedly shuffled parchment around on his desk. Perhaps he had started out looking for something, but he would pass by it numerous times before he remembered he was looking for it. His eyes burned and begged for sleep, but his mind was wide awake, filled to the brim and getting ahead of itself more and more with every thought. The world was beginning to become a bluish-grey, giving away the sun’s presence somewhere beneath the horizon, and he had not slept that night beyond nodding off for a few moments and forgetting where he was and why he was still there.

He was awaiting word from the “Defenders of Breeland”, a group he had thrown together to do…something. Anything. Because that was his job, as far as he knew it – to have something done when something needed to be. As if he knew what to do about mysterious attacks on farms! Of course sending the “Defenders” out had removed a few people from off his back, but all evening he’d had people in and out to ask if there was any news.

The last news Hershman had heard was that the Defenders were seen heading out toward the Chetwood, and so he could not sleep.

It was only long after all other curious and worried folk had retreated to their houses for the night that the knock came, and Erling was welcomed in along with a dwarf – though not the dwarf who had originally set out with the party. At the end of one of his arms was a bloody stump. It took a moment before he found himself able to say or do a thing, but then the mayor was quick to act.

Eventually a story was told, after wounds and much worse were tended to. Mayor Hershman felt surprisingly calm as long as he was busy telling people where to go and what to do, even when three bodies were brought in. But as soon as he allowed himself to sit and listen to Erling and Gorin, shock hit him hard. A young man severely wounded, a dwarf missing a hand, and three dead…dead! Toby and Parkun, a most admirable citizen and the son of the innkeeper… There had been a battle and much bloodshed…here, in Breeland! He felt hopeless and heavy in heart and mind.

Mayor Hershman never would have believed there was such evil left in Middle-earth, other than the evil men could cause themselves. Wargs were something akin to legends as far as the Mayor had been concerned. Certainly they existed at some point, somewhere, even not long ago, but…

The mayor was shut up in his office with Erling and Gorin for over an hour – though he never learned the circumstances of Parkun’s death – and when the young man and dwarf left to get much needed rest, he remained seated at his desk for some time. What could he do? What could he say? There was so much that needed to be said, particularly to the Mugworts and the Felderths, but who was he to say it? He had a title and an office, but he was just an old man who sent others out to die…

No, he thought, with sudden clarity, they did not risk their lives at your bidding. And they certainly did not die for you.

Mayor Hershman paged through a stack of parchment on his desk, as if he hoped to find answers written out for him. He did not register much of anything he read until a certain word caught his eye.

“Wolf”…“Wolf Run”, the heading to a historical record from the Third Age.

The mayor began to read of the “Heroes of Breeland” with tear-filled eyes. Heroes

Last edited by Durelin; 08-27-2008 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:00 AM   #139
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:07 AM   #140
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