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Old 04-23-2003, 02:04 AM   #1
piosenniel
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Sting In the Footsteps of the Grey Company RPG

Meoshi’s post:

The shadow of the Haunted Mountain lay thick and heavy over the black pines in the ravine.
Below them, the dampness and gloom was disturbed by a cluster of tents, some small and some large.

Falin checked the contents of the packs again. Food, digging equipment, lanterns...no weapons. Everyone has their weapons in hand, he thought grimly, looking toward the rest of the camp.

The rest of the party was silent, taking down their tents. Breakfast had been quick and devoid of conversation. All were thinking of the task ahead, with fear and foreboding. Some of his friends from the Glittering Caves, and a few Men of various types. It was a pity that so few had come; He had thought that Men would jump at such an oppurtunity. But then, given the tales that had been told of the Paths of the Dead, and of the terrible fate of those who had traveled there.

Falin broke the silence. "Finish up! We march on within the hour!"
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Old 04-23-2003, 09:11 PM   #2
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Sting

Buldro's heart fluttered within his uneasy stomach as he pulled out the last stakes of his tent. He knew what would begin in less than an hours time. His mind would not stray from the thought of the Paths of the Dead. His deceased father, Buldron, had told him many stories before he perished.

He heard the voice of Falin, calling from afar "Finish up! We march on within the hour!" The area near the door of the Paths of the Dead where the dwarves and men had slept the previous night was eerily silent. He couldn't bare to look up at the faces of his companions.

Buldro finished packing up his tent and gathered his paraphernalia. As he picked up his two-sided battle axe the feeling in his stomach grew stronger and stronger. He uneasily walked up near Falin, his white beard dangling near the dirty ground. The feeling in the pit of his stomach became so great that his mind could only find one thing to think. "I've got nothing to lose and so much to gain." Buldro said inaudibly to himself. He stood almost heroically near Falin and waited for Falin's words to leave.
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Old 04-24-2003, 01:47 AM   #3
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Sting

Touriner had quickly packed up his tent. "Finish up! We march on within the hour!" Falin said in his booming dwarf voice. Touriner grinned, all his things were already together and he was ready to go.

He looked around, the camp seemed so quiet. [I]What is wrong with these people?[/I} Touriner was excited, he could hardly wait for the journey to start and yet everyone else seemed so...scared.
For the most part he couldn't blame some of them, there had been horrific tales of that place but still Touriner had never been afraid. He would wait and see if the tales were true before he would be frightened.

He remembered when he was young, The Paths had seemed so fascinating but he had never been closer to it than where he was now. Finally he would get to go beyond the door and find treasure! A feeling of anticipation surged through Touriner as he picked up his pack and slung it on his back.

He walked over to Falin and watched the others impatiently while his eyes would often flicker to the path ahead of them.

[ April 24, 2003: Message edited by: Beruthiel ]
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Old 04-24-2003, 03:52 AM   #4
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Boots

Nori, Falin and Buldro had travelled to Dimholt together, exchanging storys from their past and speculating at what riches lay behind the door that Gimili had described to Falin.

When they reached Dimholt, they set up camp and waited for the others to arrive. Being this close to the paths unnerved Nori more than a little, he excused himself and went to his tent. he removed his axe and began sharpening it, he often did this to take his mind of things that troubled him. "Fear is something a dwarf never shows" he scolded himself. He put down his axe and lay on his bedroll, his thoughts turned to the riches and adventures they would soon have, suddenly all fear left him and was replaced with excitement. Outside he could hear others arriving, but he was now too weary to join them, soon after that sleep took him.

Nori woke early the next morning, he grabbed some breakfast and finished packing up his tent, in the eerie silence that seemed to engulf the group. Suddenly the silence was broken by Falin's boomimg voice "Finish up! We march on within the hour!". A large grin spread across Nori's face, "At last" he said to no one in particular. He pushed his iron helm back on his head, grabbed his battle axe (giving it a loving pat) and strode confidently to where Falin was waiting.

He gave Falin a curt nod, grabbed his pack and slung it onto his broad shoulders. Buldro was already there, Nori gave him a friendly slap on the back, " just think the next time we look out here we shall be rich!" he Heartily laughed. Nori Then noticed a Tall man with light brown hair and green eyes Shifting Impatiently, Grinning he thrust his hand out to the man "Nori Gravehand at your service".

[ April 25, 2003: Message edited by: Nerindel ]
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Old 04-24-2003, 06:40 AM   #5
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Sting

Aldor heard the curt call to be ready in the hour. To him, the time could not pass sooner. He had become impatient with waiting when the journey lay ahead of him. His things packed on his packhorse, he fiddled with the sword he carried as he leant against a tree and watched the grop of Men.

Quite a few were barely Men, almost shaking with the potent mix of fear and excitement. He wondered to himself how these would fare, and if any would make it out. Aldor was no fool. He had studied the histories, and knew the journey would take many lives. But the truth to his acceptance was that he cared little for his own life, and would not mind a reward to fling at his family for their temperance, before setting off again.

Standing up he saw one approach the head of the group and he decided to do the same. 'I am Aldor of Rohan, I will serve ye with all my honour' The dwarf nodded in appreciation, his chain mail clinking against his axe as he did so. He noticed more Men following suit and felt many gazes at him as he moved away. No doubt to some his garb was strange, and they wondered what a Rohirrim would be doing their, insteasd of serving the Horse Lords. But to him, he reasons were his own, and any stare to daring was met with a scowl from his brown eyes.

[ April 24, 2003: Message edited by: Taralphiel ]

[ April 25, 2003: Message edited by: Taralphiel ]
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Old 04-24-2003, 05:12 PM   #6
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Pipe

It was early dawn when the great ship pulled into the harbor at Umbar. Manned by twenty-four strong bodied and clever sailors, The Raven’s Nest was a grand ship. Its huge billowing canvas sails were being let down slowly as members of the crew leapt off the sides of the vessel onto the docks, securing the ropes. The ship was about one hundred and twenty yards in length, and twenty-five yards across. The morning watch was busily tightening grommets, and lacing ropes. The ship’s waist and forecastle deck had been mopped clean and the passenger cabins (though empty) were spotless.

Standing at the bow, her black curls blowing in the wind, was Ravenwyn. In her sharp blue captain’s coat, and expensive suede boots, she looked every part he treasure hunter. Jeweled rings sparkled on her delicate fingers, and golden hoop earrings hung above her shoulders. Dark eyes surveyed the port. She had always hated the end of a trip, but somehow, this end was welcoming. The voyage had been successful. Four chests of findings were in the dark hold, chained shut. Ravenwyn guessed that it would pull a good price, which was much needed. The Raven’s Nest had hit a nasty storm and was in dire need of repairs: another reason the docking was wanted.

“Guildhall!” she called to the one of the sailors who had just emerged from the forecastle. Make sure the men know we’re here. I’m sure they’ll welcome greatly our arrival. We’ve been short of ale for about three days now.” She winked at one of her most trusted crewmembers and dismissed him with a simple salute. “And mind that they roll up their hammocks and stow their belongings. I’m going to have this ship cleaned top to bottom while we’re here.” Nodding, the weather hardened man ducked into the sailor’s bunks.

An hour later, The Raven’s Nest was cleared out, and the cleaning crews were at work.

“I want to ship out early, approximately three weeks,” announced the Raven to her men as each stepped off the ramp onto the deck, legs wobbling slightly. “You may get your rooms and your ale for the week at whichever inn you choose, but the third Monday evening, meet me back at the Crown Dagger and we ship out Tuesday. Understood?” ‘Aye-ayes’ echoed among the men and Ravenwyn turned to one of her newer members, “Hannlos? Go easy on the ale, I’d rather not pay for anymore inn brawls, understood?” The man smiled sheepishly and nodded. “Good. And Faruilos,” she called for her first mate. A tall, attractive man with shoulder length blonde hair stepped forward. “keep an eye on as many of them as you can. I’d rather not hire new sailors for our next outing, eh?” Faruilos nodded and the men dispersed down the road, carrying their belongings with them.

“A good bunch those men, eh Raven?” Jem-Tyroan jumped off the ramp and came to stand by the captain. Standing at 5’5”, he was by far the shortest member of her crew, and also the youngest. His job aboard The Raven’s Nest was cabin boy, and was like a son to the Raven.

“Sure Jem.” She snapped her fingers and pointed to her trunk and then to Jem’s. Immediately, two dock workers came and hauled them onto their backs, following the sailors to the Crown Dagger Inn.

“’Morning Raous!” called Ravenwyn to the innkeeper as she opened the door to the musty old pub. A few early customers crowded the tables by the entrance, and some sat at the bar cradling tankards.

“Ah! Morning!” he retrieved two mugs from under the counter and filled one with ale, and the other with a honeyed tea. He pushed them towards the Raven as she took a seat at the bar counter. “For you and Jem there. Welcome back.” She nodded and took a slow sip of her ale, letting the bitter foam ease her rather parched throat. “It’s our best,” added Raous before moving on to another part of the bar, putting down chairs and getting ready for the day.

Suddenly, a cool gust of air blew into the room and a stranger cloaked in black emerged from the shadow of the overhang into the room. The figure strode up to the innkeeper and whispered something to him, gesturing about like he was describing someone. Raous’ eyes flickered over to the Raven for a second and then focused back on the cowl covered face. The innkeeper shook his head. Straightening, the stranger backed away and made for the door again. As he made to open it, he turned again and locked eyes with the captain. Stopping he let the door swing shut and walked up to her, letting down his hood to reveal a clean cut face, and deep green eyes. He had wavy brown hair that was held back in a ponytail. Though his clothing labeled him a wanderer, his accent, and salty smell showed him to be a sailor—of some sort. Reaching the Raven, he dipped into a bow and extended his hand in greeting.

“Good morning Ravenwyn, my name is Tr Dalon.” The Raven nodded, but kept her hand withdrawn. The man took no offense by it and continued, “I was wondering,” he said, pulling up a chair beside her’s, “may I?” Ravenwyn narrowed her eyes as he sat, folding his cloak over his legs. “Ah yes. I have heard of you Ravenwyn, of your success in the…sea business if you will. You are good with treasure hunts? Would you perhaps, be interested in seeking a treasure not of the sea but of the land? Perhaps of the land of the dead?” His eyes gleamed with mooch, and his tongue clicked excitedly behind his teeth. The Raven sighed.

“What are you playing at stranger? I don’t deal with enigmatic fools, thank you.” The captain made to stand, but Tr Dalon’s hand touched her arm, a movement asking her to stay and hear him out.

“I am playing at nothing my lady. I know of a treasure, that lies behind a door unknown but to one man-or should I say-dwarf?” Rolling her eyes in exasperation, Ravenwyn placed two coins on the counter for her’s and Jem’s drinks and stood, practically toppling her chair, and the man beside her. Angry with being ignored, the man rose and firmly grasped her arms, pinning her against the counter. “Listen!” he hissed. “His name is Falin! The treasure is greater than any you can imagine. It is guarded by evil beyond anything you’ve ever read about!” The Raven pushed him away and smoothed out the place where he had grabbed her.

“Perhaps, Tr Dalon, you would prefer to tell me more about this, in private?” Grabbing her coat that she had draped over her chair, she beckoned for Jem to follow her, and she moved to a table in the far corner of the inn. “Now, you were saying?” Tr Dalon went on to explain of the company formed by the dwarf Falin of the Glittering Caves, and the treasure they sought in the Paths of the Dead. He slid a map across the table marking the meeting place and approximate path.

“Why do you tell me?” asked the Raven, thoroughly suspicious of the man before her.

“Because I am too cowardly to go after it myself, yet, I would like to know if the stories are true.” His rejoinder was coated in silky tones. “You are a true treasure huntress, and would have a better chance at it than I. When you return, all I ask is that you tell me of your adventure—”

“And pay you in kind for the information you’ve given me. Is that about right?” Tr Dalon’s eyes flashed with a sudden anger but cleared promptly.

“It would seem, only fair,” said the man, tracing the lines in the table with his finger. “Although it is not the money I am truly concerned about.” The Raven laughed.

“Now that I definitely do not believe.” She folded the map and put it in the inside pocket of her jacket, Tr Dalon’s eyes watching with regret. She leaned forward and took the pale man’s cloak by the clasp and brought him forward so that he could hear every word clearly. “And I am done speaking with you. When you go through that door I recommend forgetting you every chose to speak with me, and find someone else to buy your false proposition minus your map,” she added patting her coat. The man yanked himself out of her grasp and fled the inn angrily.

That night, Jem and Ravenwyn sat around a table playing a game of chance with a few other swarthy travelers.

“This she-captain has uncanny luck with a pair of dice eh?” said one player called Rhag quietly to another. His friend, Barthrol nodded,

“Unfortunate for us.”

“And for her if she beats me again,” added a third. He shook the pair of game cubes quickly in his before throwing them on the table.

“Five?!” he said, glaring at the Raven and her apprentice. Ravenwyn smiled,

“Looks like you’re about two short there Uilan. Care to play again?” Jem snickered and pushed her winnings towards her. Uilan stood and raised his hand to protest when Raous stepped in.

“Sorry Uilan, but I won’t have any of that, and I’d hate to have Rhag and Barthrol here remove you like they did Simk last week. Uilan looked threateningly at Raous before grabbing his cloak and grumbling as he left the inn.

“Phew, good game there Raven,” said Rhag, collecting the dice and chips into a sack and handing it back to Raous. The captain shrugged,

“All in a day’s work.” Barthrol sighed and leaned back in his chair, taking a swig from his tankard.

“You have good business then, eh Raven?” Jem looked sideways at his mother, knowing that she was not one to discuss business maters to publicly.

“Always,” was her short reply, before waving away the topic. “Let’s not talk of money now though, Barthrol. Come now, you were always one for stories. Let’s have one before I decide that my Jem should get beauty sleep.” The two men laughed and Rhag thumped the cabin boy on the back. Barthrol’s eyes lit up suddenly and he jabbed at the table with his beefy finger.

“Yes, Rhag. Tell her about the treasure.” About to take a drink of her ale, the Raven froze and looked towards Jem. Setting down her mug she leaned forward.

“Yes, Rhag, tell us.”

“Well, rumor these days,” began the man, looking around the inn, “in the hushed parts of pubs and such, is of a dwarf that is gathering together a group of specialized treasure hunters that are in search of a treasure of unknown quantity. The trick is, it lies behind a door in the Paths of the Dead. No one’s been able to open it, and not even the haunters of the Paths know it’s there.” His eyes darkened and he lowered his voice. “I wouldn’t recommend taking up on this job Ravenwyn.” The Raven narrowed her eyes when he addressed her by her real name. “The Paths are a dangerous place. Even dwarves are much afraid of it.”

“This treasure you speak of, must be pretty bountiful if a dwarf is the one leading it.”

“Ah,” interrupted Barthrol. “It’s not just any dwarf. His name is Falin. From the Glittering Caves he is, and a tough built fellow.”

“You know him?” asked Jem. The men started at his question, he had been rather quiet all evening.

“Not personally,” said Rhag dubiously, “but we’ve heard tales. He’s got it where it counts,” he added, tapping his head. “He’s quick, and strong. Not one to make enemies with I’d reckon.” The Raven nodded.

“Is there anything else you know about this expedition? When do they set out?” The Raven was slowly growing interested. Not so much in the benefits she would acquire, but the conundrum of this particular mission.

“I’d guess they’ll set out when they have enough people. All I really know is who it’s led by and where it’s going.”

And that it’s dangerous. Ravenwyn, I wouldn’t suggest it!”

“Stop calling me Ravenwyn. I’m either Raven or Captain to you, understand?” Her tone of voice was serious, and the two men hushed rightly. “I know enough. Thank you.” She changed the subject again to past adventures, and the old friends talked long into the night. It was a bit past midnight when Rhag and Barthrol retired. Jem and Ravenwyn sat a while before the captain spoke.

“What do you think? Interested?” Jem studied her for a while, weighing the events, and both conversations in his hands.

“Yes,” he said slowly. “It sounds…adventurous.” The Raven leaned forward, talking in hushed, excited tones.

“Good, because we’re going. I’ll go find Faruilos tonight and tell him. He can take care of things while I’m gone, and if this little outing takes more than three weeks he can take off Tuesday and the crew will listen fine to him. They all have my trust, and Faruilos’ good-faith.” Jem sat there, arms folded, waiting patiently for her to tell him what to do. “Aren’t you going to say something?” The boy shook his head,

“If you’re going, we’re going. What should I say?” The Raven smiled,

“Good. Get your things, we find Faruilos now.”

*** Three days later***

The sea-captain from Umbar, and her cabin boy sat inside their tent. Jem was sharpening his knives, and Ravenwyn was contentedly smoking her slender pipe. It was custom for all sea-captains to carry them, and just because she was a woman, her father had said, doesn’t make her any different. Shrugging the matter away at the time, Ravenwyn had accepted the gift, and carried it with a pouch of leaf with her. Jem looked up suddenly and whispered,

“Why’d you tell them I was your ‘squire’. You walked in here like you were some queen and made like this was a foolish hunting party.” The Raven let down her pipe, leaned forward and hissed,

“Could you imagine what they’d think if I’d told them you were my son? They’d send you back! The only good you seem fit for is to carry my sword. An odd pair we are Jem, a woman sea-captain and her adopted son. Huh! You better start putting your noggin to better use boy.” She patted out her pipe and emerged from the tent, stretching. The night before, she had conversed with Falin and told them that she was a treasure hunter by sea, and her ship was docked in Umbar. Deciding that it didn’t matter if he knew, she told him also of Jem’s history and his employment aboard The Raven’s Nest. He didn’t think much of it, and nodded politely. She hadn’t met a dwarf before, but had heard that she shared much the same interests as the dwarven folk: good ale, good food, storytelling, and of course, rich treasure.

“Mornin’ captain,” said Falin as he walked by her tent. “Better get that thing packed away. We’re leaving with in the hour.” The Raven nodded.

In a little less than an hour, their company of nine, three dwarves, and six from the race of men were ready to leave.

[ April 25, 2003: Message edited by: maikafanawen ]
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Old 04-25-2003, 08:10 AM   #7
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Sting

The night just had left the morning sky, Faruom stretched his back and looked at the mysterious doors with distrust. He knew the tales that were told about them, the fear their name awoke in the hearts of even the bravest Men, and he was worried. The wise are those that know to be afraid when the moment of great danger has come. He felt no need to seem braver than he was by his acting here and now. Fame was to be earned in battle, where his real bravery would be tested, not by words! But he had to admit that the strange, tiny voice of fear was easily overshouted by his excitement.

Gold. Fear. Adventure. Battle. Darkness. Faruom had seen most of them in the Great Battle, where he fought in the army of Prince Imrahil. Treasure was the only thing he missed. Now he had the opportunity to gain fame and riches. No longer hesitating he swung the rucksack over his shoulder, gave a small tap on his sword Ingawen, and went to the place where Falin just gave the sign to hurry. The mighty-looking dwarf frowned at him but spoke no word. A si minnatham dhśath, Faruom thought, using the little Sindarin he knew. “And now we shall enter darkness”.

He wondered how much he would he able to trust those Men and Dwarves, for they all came for one and the same reason: becoming richer than ever imagined. Soon enough they would become rivals, little less than enemies unless they would find something to defend them from the greatest evil in the minds of Men: greed. And the love of Dwarves of all that was hand-crafted would not make it any easier. A huge smile ran over his face when he thought of this. The treasure hunting would not be easy, but without a doubt exciting. And more than even gold or fame excitement was what he desired.

And fear? He had already forgotten all about it…
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Old 04-26-2003, 04:43 PM   #8
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Sting

Rysha crouched in the underbrush on a hill behind where the small party of dwarves and men were gathering. Straining her ears she caught the words of one dwarf, "Finish up! We march on within the hour!"

March on? Rysha's ears perked up. She'd been scouting the area, just keeping track of everything that moved. All had been quiet, up until this point, but Dwarves and men together? Her master, Gorthroth would surely want to know about this.

Moving quietly, Rysha backed away from the party, until she was out of sight of the dwarves over the crest of the hill. Pulling her dark cloak tighter around her body she moved into the shadow of the trees and made her way quickly into the edge of the mountains, eyes narrowed.

Passing the forbidden door Rysha skirted the area where Erchaz, a large spider frequently hunted, and hurried through the nearly deserted tunnels looking for her master. A few small orcs congregating in one passage were roughly pushed aside as Rysha came into the tunnel where Gorthroth was known to haunt.

A shiver went down her spine, despite her familiarity with the wight. She inclined her head, her blunt cut hair falling forward over her face as she pushed back her hood. At one time Rysha had thought to overpower the wights, Gorthroth and Cersed, but she had since realized the power of the undead, and now she served.

She raised her head and looked up at Gorthroth. "Master, a party of dwarves and men is coming this way."

"Dwarves..." came the voice of the wight.

"From the Caves, by their accent." Rysha added. "I think they are coming here."

[ April 27, 2003: Message edited by: Sophia the Thunder Mistress ]

[ May 02, 2003: Message edited by: Sophia the Thunder Mistress ]
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Old 04-26-2003, 05:00 PM   #9
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Sting

Gorthroth pondered the news from his servant.

"Follow," he commanded and, turning, moved off down the passage. Rysha followed at a distance.

As he glided through the passageways he thought things through. Dwarves and Men...coming into these tunnels meant only one thing. They came seeking treasure, as others had done. They now lay dead, but they had been in ones or twos.

Gorthroth came into his cave and glided across to a large stone throne. He sat and pondered further.

"How many are there?" he asked Rysha, who was knelt at a fair distance.

"Eigth or so," came the reply.

"Hmmm. Come closer."

Rysha shuddered, Gorthroth could see and sense her fear. But she followed his command and knelt before him. He stretched out his hand as if to touch her face and he saw her instinct to recoil being quashed by her mind. He smiled beneath his hooded robes and withdrew his hand.

"Go to Cersed! Tell her of this group. We may be of some mutual use."

Rysha rose and quickly shuffled out of the cavern.

"So, dwarves and men come to raid my domain. We shall see!"
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Old 04-26-2003, 05:20 PM   #10
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Sting

Erchas sat just inside the entrance to the cave. Her long legs rested on the webs she had covered the cave with. She felt some vibrations coming from one of the webs that was just outside the cave, it felt like prey, small prey, but prey. She scuttled along the ground, all that could be heard of her was the faint tapping of her seven legs, her eighth having been lost in a confrontation with some Elves, along with two of her eyes.

She found he web, in it a flock of bats wer caught, most of them were still struggling to free themselves, though it was in vain. Erchas crawled quickly up the web and plucked them off one by one, eating them as she went for they weren't big enough to save for a later day. She then sat and surveyed her territory with her three remaining eyes but there was no more food around, the animals stayed as far away from the entrance as they could get, only the foolish came near and they soon became another morsel of food for one of the dark things which now dwelt in the Paths of the Dead.

Erchas retreated back to her small recess, not wanting to be caught out in the open. She pulled further in when the human that frequented the cave sneaked past, apparantly thinking she was out of sight. Erchas longed to taste human flesh as she once had but now she was longing for anything bigger than a rabbit. If she'd had her own way, that human would be in her store, or her belly. She knew, however, that if she killed the human, there would be a very angry spirit after her. The very thought of that made her quake with fear where she sat. No, she'd have to leave the human and wait for something else.

[ April 26, 2003: Message edited by: dragoneyes ]
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Old 04-27-2003, 11:02 AM   #11
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Sting

Gaeriel felt the presence of the other wights in the tunnels. She hated to associate with them, the stronger ones, but now it seemed there was something happening. The human girl, the servant of the one of the other two wights that haunted these halls. Gaeriel knew best than to try to kill Gorthroth's play things. She did, however wonder what was going on. She would find out soon enough might as well just sit here and wait for whatever was coming, or going....

She moved over to her last plaything, now long dead, and gloated. She had killed this unfortunate orc. It had invaded her territory, yes orcs were not the best game, they are not so much afraid of her but they do learn. They were not so fun she waited and savored the day when wither man or other such race were to fall into her twisted webs of fear and death. She wanted the exhilaration it gave her every time she killed or in the least drove someone stark raving mad. This was her food and the despair that poured forth from some was her drink. She was her in this deep and dark place damned for all eternity, or until her demise, in this darkness, devoid of life. Gaeriel believed she should keep these hall in this form, and so she would have killed that human girl but for Gorthroth and Cersed. Though she was a wight she was wary of them.

She continued to gloat over the now badly decomposed body.
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Old 04-27-2003, 11:22 AM   #12
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Boots

Falin suddenly found himself shaking hands, bowing, and listening to long introductions. The humans were almost all packed. Nori and Buldro were standing at attention like a tiny infantry unit. Falin couldn't help but chuckle. They were all treating him like he was some sort of high noble.

He pondered the question: Why was he sent to lead this? He had never been exceptional at anything, unless it was stonecutting. But what good would that be here? And why had Gimli not come himself?

[ June 19, 2003: Message edited by: Meoshi ]
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Old 04-27-2003, 06:46 PM   #13
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Sting

A dwarf came up to Touriner and introduced himself as Nori Gravehand. "Greetings! I am Touriner of Rohan" He was happy to see that Nori was grinning as widely as he was. "Thank you for your services, I give mine in return." He smiled.

Others were coming now, they were almost all packed up. A man clad in rather strange clothes had approached Falin. By the sound of his voice he seemed to be from Rohan but Touriner looked again at his garments. He seemed like one of the Lords of Rohan, the man reminded Touriner of his father. Proud and strong.

Touriner nodded to Nori and turned towards the man. "Greetings, I am Touriner of Rohan."

[ April 27, 2003: Message edited by: Beruthiel ]
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Old 04-27-2003, 08:15 PM   #14
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Sting

Hermesin woke from a long, pointless sleep. Or, rather a pointless dream. He dreamed that an army of dwarves and men was about to burst in on the Paths and take over them. They would take over, and once he was dead they would burn him. His spirit would watch them in the Paths, looking for something... looking... digging, drilling, breaking, searching. For what?

"Pah!" He spat out, as if some terrible taste were to reside in his mouth.
"Unimaginable. What a stupid, worthless-"
He couldn't finish that sentence, because he heard footsteps outside his deep, secret cavern.

"Hm. What's that? Who are you? Come out, I'm armed!"
He drew up his sword, holding it in front of his nose, pointing it towards the wall as if something were to pass through it, suddenly.

[ April 28, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 04-28-2003, 04:00 AM   #15
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Sting

The man took Nori's hand and introduced himself as Touriner of Rohan, Touriner then spotted another man and nodded to Nori. The other man had the same look about him, Nori assumed that he must be from Rohan too. Nori watched the two make introductions, then he notice that everyone was packed and just milling about.

Nori looked to Falin he seemed to be in deep thought, but he still looked a little worried about the position given him by Gimli. Nori took a quick look around no-one else seemed to notice Falin's hesitation.

So with that Nori let out a hearty laugh, nudged his friend in the ribs,and said in a boomimg voice "What are we all waiting about here for, we won't get rich just looking at it" he nudged his head in the direction of the Forbidden gate. when he turned around everyone was watching him, a few were even laughing, he grinned broadly and turned to Falin waiting for him to give the word to move out.
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Old 04-28-2003, 11:47 AM   #16
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Sting

The noise of the far away orcs drifted its way down the halls to Gaeriel and her gloating. She lifted up her head and listened to the calmer made by these drunken creatures. Looking back to her decomposing trophy she smiled and wanted to find these living and noisy things and stifle them. But she still knew better than to leave her own territory.

Again she wondered why the living girl had passed by. And again she thought she might follow. But then again, she reasoned, "Better not meddle in the affairs of the other wights here. Keep to yourself, and let them be." The curiosity won out(a trait that had landed her here) and she followed the living woman. Drifting and hovering just out side of her perception. But still behind all the same.

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Old 04-28-2003, 12:13 PM   #17
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Sting

Deep beneath Dwimorberg Rysha knelt before the wight, Cersed. The black hood she wore fell forward and covered her face, but from under the rim, Rysha still saw the green glow of the wight, and felt the piercing cold.

"The Lord Gorthroth sends a message." She said softly, though she served Gorthroth more directly, Cersed was her master as well. She bent closer to the ground. "A group of dwarves and men comes this way." The temperature in the room changed as Cersed reacted to this news with anger. Rysha shivered. "The Lord Gorthroth..." Rysha knew how to play this, Cersed would be angry if she said Gorthroth commanded, Rysha knew better than to make Cersed angry. "Lord Gorthroth requests your assistance, together to remove this threat to your treasures."

Rysha cast back her hood and looked up at the insubstantial being, waiting for an answer to take back to her master.

[ April 28, 2003: Message edited by: Sophia the Thunder Mistress ]
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Old 04-28-2003, 12:42 PM   #18
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The Eye

Cersed floated eerily through his cavern, a pulsing green light, more powerful and evil than would seem. He was bored, lurking in wait for any orc to scare- or any creature, for that matter. He strained his hearing, or what once, a very long time ago, would have been his ears. Of course, his ears had gone with the rest of him. Nasty, rotting.... Cersed sighed with pleasure. Suddenly, a sound penetrated his thought.

Before him stood that living girl who served them, them being the two wights of account in the caverns, himself and Gorthroth. Of course, she was Gorthroth's really, as he couldn't stand to be near living flesh for long, but she was a message-girl for both of them. He floated inquisitively. She bowed low, and spoke. The Lord Gorthroth sends a message. A group of dwarves and men comes this way. The Lord Gorthroth... Lord Gorthroth requests your assistance, together to remove this threat to your treasures. Cersed writhed with hate and anger and annoyance. This, of all things! He would do anythng to terrify men and dwarves, but Gorthroth... they had a rather unwilling alliance, and helped each other at need, and to keep the weaker wights in check, but still... Cersed could not say that the thought of fighting with Gorthroth truly appealed to him. The girl cleared her throat. He thought for a last moment, and a terrifying voice came out of the light that he was. Tell Gorthroth... I will come. The girl bowed to him and ran off.

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Old 04-28-2003, 04:08 PM   #19
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Sting

"What are we waiting for around here? We won't get rich just by looking at it!" Falin felt foolish. The party was all ready, but he had been just standing there, waiting for someone else to give the command, not realizing that that was his job.

"Well, come on! You heard the dwarf!" Falin chuckled. Strapping his pack to his back, he turned around and began walking toward the dark Door in the great wall of stone.
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Old 04-28-2003, 04:26 PM   #20
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Sting

Stopping just around a bend Gaeriel listened to the news of the pending intruders. She stayed where she was, green glow and all, wondering what to do now. She stayed there suspended in the air waiting.... But for what? she wondered. Gaeriel had a sudden overwhelming urge to just barge in upon the Rysha and Cersed and try and kill the woman. Gaeriel fought the temptation down knowing the folly in this if she acted on it. She decided to leave them to their fancies.

She slowly turned around and started to head back to her own territory; continuing slowly along the halls her luminescent green glowing sickly around her. "Dwarves," she thought," this can't be right. A band of dwarves and men come to our halls. This may be some sourt of sick joke. But what if it isn't?" Then she smiled evilly, the smile cracked her dry and preserved skin, as bits and pieces flaked off to the floor," just the opportunity I needed," she rasped. She continued to waft slowly towards her part of the labyrinth, savoring the upcoming sport. But she mussn't get too excited over this just in case...
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Old 04-28-2003, 08:19 PM   #21
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"Finally, we're off!" Haydn said under his breath as he heard Falin's command. The whole time when the group had been gathering together, he had just sat quietly scanning over his sword. This quest had really been the only excitement he had had for some time now. Being a ranger of the lands between the Shire and Rivendell does not often come with great wars or quests to fulfill.

Haydn followed Falin slowly along with many other Men and Dwarves. He kept his sword by his side with all his thoughts beant on the upcoming door. Just as Falin approached the entrance, many different thoughts ran through Haydn's mind.

Why am I here? he asked himself. After all these years of wandering Middle Earth alone, how did I end up in the middle of a quest with a group of Men and Dwarves?

Haydn looked around at his company. He said to himself again, Men...and Dwarves. Men...and Dwarves...going into the Paths of the Dead. He sighed as the thought suddenly crossed his mind. Wouldn't this be a sight for the Elves to see. He laughed to himself, but let the thoughts quickly leave his mind due to the upcoming journey. Teasure...yes, that is why I am here. The treasure...
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Old 04-29-2003, 04:05 AM   #22
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Sting

"What are we waiting for around here? We won't get rich just by looking at it!"

Aldor stared at the dwarf for a moment, not entirely sure if what he was saying was an order or a challenge

"Well, come on! You heard the dwarf!"

At that Aldor followed the dwarf and steadied his pack on his shoulders and looked towards the Cave. Its mouth hung open, filled with cobwebs, and an evil stench drifted to his nose. Trying to ignore he, he glanced at the other Men and Dwarves moving along beside him, and tried to watch for fear or weakness. One looked at him boldly. This was the same that had been staring at him when he had first arrived.

Aldor grunted and moved along, before footsteps caught up to him and a voice said...
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Old 04-29-2003, 06:12 PM   #23
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Sting

Gorthroth was still sat in silence, brooding when Rysha returned.

"He will come," she answered, as he gave her a questioning look.

"Good. Now gather the others, men and orcs."

Rysha at once rose but turned and asked, "what about the spiders?"

"They can stay in their webs near the entrance. With luck, the band of trespassers into my tunnels will not get past them. Now GO!"

Rysha boqwed and hurried off, leaving Gorthroth feeling slightly easier. Cersed was coming there, Gorthorth has summoned him! He liked the sound of that.

[ April 30, 2003: Message edited by: the real findorfin ]
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Old 04-29-2003, 06:51 PM   #24
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Sting

Buldro heard Falin tell the company to begin to move. The dwarf's thunderous voice startled Buldro from his daydream. Finally Buldro thought to himself. He slowly began the walk towards the open mouth of the cave, which was covered with cobwebs. The company would soon enter the dark caverns of the Paths of the Dead.
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Old 04-29-2003, 07:09 PM   #25
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Sting

Rysha grumbled to herself as she hurried through the halls. Go here, fetch that... she thought to herself, mocking the wight. She enjoyed the power she got from serving Gorthroth. The orcs and other creatures left her largely alone for fear of her undead masters, but at some times she wished she were the master.

Coming to a bend in the passage, she sumbled over a small sleeping orc on the ground. It leapt to its feet and snarled at her, baring jagged teeth, and whipped out a curved sword. Rysha stepped back calmly and sneered at it. "Lord Gorthroth summons you." she snapped, fingering her whip. "You will attend him if you know what's good for you."

The orc grumbled and hissed at her, "I'll be there if I goes there. I serve no-one." Rysha shrugged her shoulders, her message delivered, and continued on her way. Gorthroth was quite effective when dealing with those who crossed him, and if she was faithful... Rysha fingered her whip once again, she might be allowed to take part in the fun.

She continued through the halls, seeking out those who could be of use.
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Old 04-29-2003, 08:58 PM   #26
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Sting

Hermesin lowered his sword, still keeping it at ready. He quietly walked over to the secret entrance to the secret path. He shifted a huge, heavy rock with ease and climbed out. He ended up on a ledge: the ledge was made up of a row of rocks sticking out of the cave wall. The row was wide enough for him to crawl through without being noticed.

He carefully made his way down the rocky path, looking around him as to catch the source of the sound. He then stopped, hearing it again. He looked over the ledge and saw a young female human walking through the passage.

Hermesin had seen her around before, she was a servant of one of the more powerful wights. He didn't know many of the creatures living in the Paths though, as he avoided most of them because they were dangerous and not meant for dealing with.

Unfortunately, as Hermesin looked over the rocky ledge, his toe slid and hit the wall. The impact didn't hurt him much, but a bit of the wall chipped off and fell noisily to the ground.

The human instantly reacted, reaching for her whip and looking in all directions. Hermesin avoided being seen by leaning backwards against the wall. The human, making sure that no one was there, continued on her way. Hermesin also quietly continued following her down the ledge.

Soon enough, he came to a staircase-like path, ending the ledge he was crawling on. The stairs veered off-course a bit, which was good in Hermesin's case. He couldn't get down to the ground without making a huge racket unless he did it unseen.

He quietly climbed down the rocky staircase, and continued following the Human. Unfortunately, his toe hit yet another rock-but this time he didn't go unnoticed. The rock bounced away against the wall, and finally landed by the human's feet. She turned slowly, her whip at the ready. Seeing Hermesin, she calmed a bit. She told him of the counsil that was being held by Gorthroth.

"Interesting." Hermesin replied.
"I will be there."
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Old 04-30-2003, 03:07 AM   #27
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Sting

"What are we waiting for around here? We won't get rich just by looking at it!"

Touriner laughed, he was glad someone was getting things going. He walked briskly and breathed in the fresh air. Behind him he saw a man who he hadn't noticed before but before he could introduce himself they had almost reached the entrance.

The cave loomed ahead and Touriner walked with his head held high, filled with excitement. He looked back at the fields of his country and then forward to the darkness that was about to cover them all.

[ April 30, 2003: Message edited by: Beruthiel ]
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Old 04-30-2003, 03:30 AM   #28
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Sting

Nori looked at the cobwebs surrounding the entrance to the paths and shivered. This reminded him of the stories his father had told him of King Thorin Oakenshield and the spiders of Mirkwood.

Without realising he was doing it he removed his battle axe from his belt and gripped it tightly with both hands, he felt a little more comfortable now he had it in his hands.
He looked to the rest of the company, giant cobwebs hadn't seemed to phase any of them, maybe they don't know of giant spiders he thought. As he turned back he noticed that Falin now had his weapon in his hand and was looking around nervously.

Not wishing to panic the group prematurely, he whispered to Falin "Attercop", of course reffering to the insult the thief Bilbo Baggins had called the spiders in the afore mentioned story. Falin nodded saying "one if we're lucky", Nori gulped at the thought that there might be more than one.

He gripped his axe a little tighter and looked to Falin for instruction.

[ April 30, 2003: Message edited by: Nerindel ]
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:24 AM   #29
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Shield

The warm light of the sun was gone, and Falin's eyes were adapting to the dimmer light of his lantern. Still, he could make out the features of the tunnel.

The cavern's roof was relatively low, about twenty or so feet. Even in this light he could tell that the spider, if there was one, was not in the room. Suddenly, Falin jumped at a terrifying sight: The mud on the floor was marked by hundreds of sets of little claw-prints. Deep claw-prints. There must be hundreds of spiders, he thought in terror!

Still, he remembered his mission, and his goal; and gold has a way of calming the hearts of Dwarves.

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Old 04-30-2003, 06:44 AM   #30
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Sting

SILMARIĖN'S POST:

Nuzrog was rudely awoken by a human girl tripping over him. He jumped up, pulled out his scimitar, bared his teeth and snarled at her. All she did was sneer back, “Lord Gorthroth summons you. You will attend him if you know what’s good for you”

‘What cheek! Telling him what to do’, "I'll be there if I goes there. I serve no-one." That should teach her who did she think she was. She just shrugged and walked off.

“Gurzrog!” he yelled. “Over here” came the reply. “This looks like a passable enough spot” Nuzrog jogged over to where his twin brother was checking out a cave.

[ May 04, 2003: Message edited by: Annunfuiniel ]
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:46 AM   #31
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Sting

Small smoking fire threw light over piles of bones, dirty rags and other filth. Amid the mayhem sat a figure as rugged as the stone walls around him and as foul as his surroundings, and focused on a strange task. Kurzag's knife was again at work: with it he cut a light stroke to the blade of his sword, then paused, raised the blade to the light and eyed his accomplishment. Flickering flames distorted his already mutilated features and his one eye gleamed malevolently in the dusk. Skew grin on his lips Kurzag settled the sword back to his lap and made another cut.

Lurk! Prowl! Make no growl!
Rush! Crush! Cause great howl!


Kurzag's croaking voice rang in the passages and caverns under the mountain and scared a flock of bats to flight.

"Great night for Kurzag!" he snarled and smoothed the blade almost fondly. Then he turned around searching for something and after throwing aside some bits and pieces he found what he was looking for. He reared up a flagon and said mockingly: "Here's to all fat merchants! May ye always travel with young tasty servants and fine beer!" Kurzag kicked aside a bone to which some shreds of meat were still attached. He staggered and fell down to his knees cursing loudly in black speech.

"Hear, hear!" came a scornful double sound behind him. Kurzag swung over and saw two dark figures entering the cave. His eye narrowed and he reached for his sword. Drunk as he was that didn't mean he was in the mood for company any more than usually. The intruders stepped nearer and Kurzag recognised the two orcs that looked confusingly alike. He grunted and then continued with voice reflecting his irritation "What now? Spit it out or get lost ye cads!"
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Old 04-30-2003, 11:55 AM   #32
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Sting

But instead of her own halls Gaeriel found herself in the halls of Gorthroth. She looked up and was surprised to be here in this ones halls. She stopped and turned not able to decide what to do. Her sword hung about her skelatal waste and the skin of her hands cracked and faked as she flexed and unflexed them. This was the place that she liked to avoid. What will he do when he finds me invading his teratory just as those dwarves and men planned to invade the whole of theirs.

She decided to stop and wait. Not for anyone but to see what would happen. She retreated into a creavace in the rock and hid watching the path ahead. Waiting for the living girl and what ever else may come her way. Mabe she could quell this need to kill the living for a little while. Just a little while....
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Old 04-30-2003, 01:49 PM   #33
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Sting

Erchas watched as her wishes came true. Dwarves, and better yet, Men were willingly wandering into her domain without her doing any luring of any sort. She shook in anticipation of such a feast and it was all ahe could do not to leap on her unsuspecting victims where they stood. But she knew better than that, facing such a large number of Men and Dwarves would surely mean the end of her. Instead, she continued to watch them, silently willing them inside. She made sure she was hidden in her corner, surrounded by shadows, it wouldn't do to have them notice her too early. She decided she would trail them for a short while and pick them off from the back as they went along. The last thing she wanted was for something else to get its claws on her prize.

"Attercop." Erchas was bumped out of her thoughts, it had been very faint but she was sure she had heard it. The rage bubbled inside her and a desire to rip the heads from their puny bodies grew. She strggled to control herself but she couldn't stop a small hiss escape her. The spider froze, if they had heard her, it was possible that they would flee the cave. Erchas stayed still, as still as the stone she lived in, perhaps they would pass it off as the wind, whatever happened, Erchas was going to make sure they were caught.

[ April 30, 2003: Message edited by: dragoneyes ]
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Old 05-03-2003, 04:31 PM   #34
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Sting

Gareil sensed a faint fear like a silent echo. The scent of change was on the still air, and excitement was drifting its way down to where she hid. "The intruders have come," she thought as she waited in the crevice. The faint and thin whispers drifted down to her. Not that she knew the words but the identifiable sounds that weren’t just the spider at the door.

She imprudently in her excitement relieved herself of her cover and danced, or floated down the hall towards Gorthroth's lair. If she still had her life she would have been hopping and skipping down the hall, but since she couldn't she just floated. She could almost see the thrill of the kill already, she could taste it, and smell it on the air. To hold such living flesh in her arms and extinguish the life for it, just the very thought made her trimmer with feeling and an evil joy.

[ May 03, 2003: Message edited by: Annalaliath ]
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Old 05-04-2003, 11:46 AM   #35
Sophia the Thunder Mistress
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Sting

Rysha picked her way through the caves carefully. There was another of those spiders back here, and she wanted to avoid it. She peered into dark corners as sh passed, knowing that it could be lurking anywhere. She neared the deepest parts of the cave, cursing under her breath. There were lesser wights back here, as well, and while Rysha knew that her status with Gorthroth and Cersed gave her some protection, she didn't want to test her strength against the undead things.

She came into a large cavern and viciously kicked a form lying on the ground. It shot up from where it was sleeping in a pile of dirty blankets. "Sikilkolindo," Rysha said, "how lovely to see you."

The man fingered the hilt of his sword. "Rysha," he returned the mock pleasantries, "what brings you down here?"

"Aaaah!" she said, her voice dripping with sugar, "You'll want to hear this, you'll like this even. It's an invitation..." Her voice snapped back to its usual tone. "The Lord Gorthroth summons you to his halls." She wanted to think the man paled at the words, but she was fairly certain it was her imagination. Sikilkolindo pondered for a minute before answering.

"I'll be there." he said gravely.

"I thought you would." she replied.
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Old 05-06-2003, 09:41 PM   #36
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Sting

Buldro wandered through the dark caves unsure of what would leap out at them. He heard sounds in the distance that he wasn't sure he wanted to hear. The company had walked through many cavernous rooms but the one they stood in now somehow seemed larger than the rest. Whenever the dwarves and men walked through what seemed to be a doorway, cobwebs would attach to the faces of the first few unlucky creatures to walk through them.

The room they stood in now seemed like they were not in the room alone. They walked around trying to somehow see their surroundings but found no success. They examined most things with their hands which was not very pleasant when hands were put into a gooey substance or a rancid smelling form. Even though the journey was hard, nothing seemed able to stop the treasure seekers.
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Old 05-07-2003, 06:23 AM   #37
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Sting

As they moved along Nori had the uneasy feeling that they were being watched, as they had left the first chamber (that had been totally covered in cobwebs) he had been sure that he had heard a sharp hiss, but when he had asked Aldor (who had nearly fell over him when he had suddenly stopped) if he too had heard it he merely shugged and told him that it was just the wind, laughing at him for being so jumpy. Nori had grunted and turned back.

While moving along he was nervously looking to his left and his right and in the dim light of Falins lantern he could see large cracks and seemingly empty side passages, this made him uneasy to think that something could come at them from any number of these passages.

Suddenly they walked into a large cavern whose wet walls glistened in the light of the lanterns. They rested here for awhile, some of the company search the cavern and others had something to eat, Nori sat by the entrance of the cavern peering into the darkness, squinting to see if something is out there watching them.

[ May 07, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 05-08-2003, 12:48 AM   #38
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Aldor walked ahead, scowling at the dwarf. 'his fear will spread to them all like a plague'He thought to himself.

Still adjusting to the stench of the place, he cast his gaze out. The cavers rose to heights above his sight, all shining with the dank and cold. The path before was littered with bones and the refuse of centuries. The group began to form together closer as they made their way through. Aldor noticed a woman striding further forward, almost out of torchlight. 'Fool'he thought, and urged others on to keep up with her. The group halted suddenly,before he heard the call to camp for the time. Sitting out towards the darkness, Aldor heard a sound unlikely to be the wind. Many had lifted their weapons, and were darting their heads back and forth. Aldor too raised his weapon, fear beginning to niggle at his heart. He saw something dart from the shadows, and yell come from the back of the company...

[ May 08, 2003: Message edited by: Taralphiel ]
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Old 05-08-2003, 03:41 PM   #39
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Sting

It had been an hour's march. The company's eyes had adjusted to the darkness, and the cobwebs, once an unbearable barrier that had to be hacked through in some places(although others appeared to have been cut through recently), had thinned out and eventually disappeared as they moved further into the caves. The fear that the webs had created had not faded.

Falin halted the party in a great cavern, with glistening walls. The walls were covered with water, far damper than the rest of the caves he had seen.

Falin sat down and fetched out a map. It was a new map, condensed from information gleaned from old Numenorean and Noldorin records of expeditions. From the look of it, there was a single long, wide tunnel, albeit winding, passing from Dimholt to Erech. He was sure they were travelling it now. But around it was a crazy honeycomb of side passages and caverns. About two-thirds of the way through the caves, however, the homeycomb ended- leaving only the main passage. The door, and the treasure, must be in that end section...

Falin was disturbed in thought by a yell, and a drawing of a sword, in the back of the cavern.
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Old 05-09-2003, 12:12 PM   #40
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Sting

Sikilkolindo shuddered, running a bony finger through his clumped hair as Rysha left.

"Gorthroth," he whispered hoarsely to himself, drawing his sword out and waving it a little, for practice or no reason. What could that accursed wight want with him? He hadn't been in these caves long--he had thought that he wouldn't be troubled. He hadn't even been sure that they knew he was here. Still, he'd said he would be there, and be there he would be.

He looked around at the darkness. He didn't much care for the scenery of his new abode, but he hadn't cared much about it when he first took up here--a raging thunderstorm had drove him in. And now, he wasn't sure if he stayed because he wished to--or because he simply couldn't find a way out.

He looked after Rysha's figure, disappearing into the light.

"Rysha!" he called, running after her.
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