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Old 01-01-2003, 02:54 PM   #161
Gorothlammothiel
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Pipe

Soronūmė along with the group had gone to rest, but sleep was not something that came easy to him. He lay staring into the star-lit sky, thinking back to the day he lost his brother. Stirring, he turned onto his shoulder and noticed that Lorin was still awake also, and that she was bent over a stranger. Sitting up Soronūmė caught her attention, "I'm sorry" she whispered, "I did not mean to wake you".

Getting himself up, he made his way over to Lorin, "It is no bother, I was not asleep for I am not yet tired" his words seemed full of sorrow, "but you Lorin, you have had a busy day, are you not yet weary?" he questionned. "To be honest I am exhausted, but I must attend to Zohariel here." she relpied turning her attention back to the stranger on the ground.

Soronūmė looked upon the unconcious figure's face, the stranger was female. She looked of the race of man but some characteristics were not as defined as a humans may have been. Looking down from the face she wore dark, worn clothes. Trousers and a tunic with a dark cloak. He knelt beside her, "What happened?" he asked Lorin. "I am not sure. She left us some time ago and Hreeza found her tonight in this state" she replied with a yawn, "I have tried to wake her but it is no good. There is nothing I can do until morning."

Soronūmė could see that Lorin needed to sleep but was keeping herself awake for this Zohariel, whoever she may be. "Staying awake all night when you cannot do anything until the morning will not serve either of you good Lorin" he told her. She drew back replying "I know, but someone must watch over her." "Well then let me watch her. I am not tired and could not sleep if I were. Let me be the one to stay with her while you take some much earned rest". Lorin seemed uneasy about letting Soronūmė watch over her friend and had she not been so weary she may have protested but her tiredness took the better of her and she reluctantly agreed.

Soronūmė took the blanket he had been using and lay it over Lorin, who was already asleep aside from the fire. Resting his back against the trunk of a nearby tree he pulled his own cloak around his shoulders as he watched the group, and the unconcious Zoariel rest. The flames of the fire reflected then became lost in his deep and troubled eyes. He lay his bow and quiver at his side, taking his sword into his hands and looking up to the stars he began to quietly sing a song, his words floating on the breeze...

"Walking paths seldom trodden
Wandering forests unknown by man,
Telling tales of myths forgotten
Strength in both mind and hand.

Living a life of solitude
Travelling by the day and dark,
A bright light shone from within
But lonely forever in his heart.

Cursed not with weary feet
Only with a lasting hope,
Navigating by the stars
His intuition led him home."


[ January 02, 2003: Message edited by: Gorothlammothiel ]
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Old 01-05-2003, 07:56 AM   #162
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Zohariel woke up suddenly. She could see stars above, a fire blazing. Someone was sitting beside her, watching her. She did not know who it was though...
Zohariel struggled up. Her middle seemed to be on fire, her head pounding. The stranger spoke.
"They said you must lie down. They found you unconcious."

Zohariel growled. "I need to speak to Elentari. And who the heck are you?"

The stranger seemed not bothered by her rudeness.

[ January 05, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 01-05-2003, 03:36 PM   #163
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Soronūmė sat silently watching the group, catching his attention Zohariel began to stir. She struggled to sit up putting her wait onto her arms.

"They said you must lie down. They found you unconcious." Soronūmė said to her quietly. This seemed to anger her as she quickly stated "I need to speak to Elentari, and who the heck are you?" Soronūmė had forgotten the two had not yet been aquainted and went to help her sit up properly.

"I am Soronūmė" he said, "I was travelling with my friend Eruwen when Lorin asked us to join her and her company to Cirith Ungol. I believe Elentari is part of that company, she is over there" he pointed to the group asleep on the other side of the smoking remains of the fire. "She is sleeping, I do not think we should wake her."

Zohariel was holding her chest in pain, "I must talk to Elentari" her voice was now a whisper, "she will understand if I wake her."
"That she may" replied Soronūmė "but you too need your rest if you are to recover, that would will take some healing." He looked upon Zohariel who seemed to be having trouble trusting him. It was not her fault of course, she wakes up and sees all her friends sleeping and a stranger watching her.

"If you wait here Zohariel and rest, promising not to wake Elentari until I return I will go and see if I can find something to help that wound. Take some rest whilst I am gone and when I return we will see about waking Elentari." Soronūmė smiled at Zohariel who did not seem impressed with the statement, he hadn't meant to be patronising, but she nodded and agreed. Zohariel was not really in the state to move very far.

~~~~~~~~~~

Soronūmė returned some time later with several kinds of flower and plant in his arms. Bending over Zohariel he went to lift her cloak from the wound but she quickly pulled it further over herself. "You don't trust me Zohariel, I can see that, and I am not asking you to believe everything that I say but please, let me help you." She stared at him for a moment then over to her friends. Reluctantly she pulled the cloak away and allowed Soronūmė to 'treat' her.

Soronūmė bound the wound with a strip from his cloak he had cut off pressing hard, Zohariel winced in pain. He tied a comfortable but secure knot in the fabric. Zohariel sat up with more ease than she had previously but was still feeling the effects of her injury. "Do you still want to wake Elentari?" he questionned...
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Old 01-05-2003, 05:07 PM   #164
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"Yes," replied Zohariel. "I must speak with her. Wake her for me."

"Ok, but don't blame me if she gets annoyed."

"He can't have known Elentari long then," thought Zohariel. "From what I've seen she never gets annoyed!"

Soronūmė walked over to Elentari. He had not known her long and was therefore nervous about how she would react.

"You need not worry," spoke a voice from nearby. "I am awake."

"Oh," said Soronūmė as he realised the speaker was Elentari. "I'm sorry. Zohariel wanted me to wake you. She seems so desperate to speak with you, though I do not know why."

"You have nothing to be sorry for," spoke Elentari kindly, "for you did not wake me. I have not yet slept this night for a worry about Zohariel. It is my fault she is injured."

"How is it your fault? From what I've been told the fight, a dark elf attacked her."

"That injury would not be so bad if I had not told Zohariel to weild all three bells once more. It is hard for me to feel welcome here because of that."

"You could not have known it would make her injury so bad. It could not have been your fault."

Elentari looked to the floor. "But I should have known. I am an elf-witch." Elentari noticed a slight hint of discust in Soronūmė's face. "I have the ability to see the consiquences of my actions. Anyone could have guessed that outcome, but I did not see it. I should have been more careful. I cannot stay here."

Elentari stood up and walked over to Moon. She mounted her horse and galloped away.
~~~
After only twenty minutes of riding Elentari felt a soft breeze beside her.

"Why do you do this, Hreeza?" asked Elentari. "Why do you follow me?"

"It is I," spoke Hreeza, "who should be asking you why you do this? You are welcome in our group, so why do you still run?"

"It is not the group. It is I. I cannot face Zohariel after what I made her do."

"Do you think," said Hreeza softly, "Do you think Zohariel would have done what you asked of her if she did not trust you? No one knew what would happen, not even I. Please. Stop this child like behaviour. Come back to the group."

Elentari looked at the Sprite and smiled. "You're right Hreeza, I am being childish. It's time I grew up. But not just yet.... race you!" And with that Elentari galloped back to the camp, her white horse shining in the moonlight.

[ January 06, 2003: Message edited by: ElentariGreenleaf ]
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Old 01-06-2003, 03:17 PM   #165
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Hreeza smiled at the elf. She was so young it seemed, had lived for only a fraction of the time the sprite had...yet she seemed to have seen so much, and suspected so much.

Getting back to the camp, Hreeza saw people starting to pack their stuff and put out the fire- after all, the morning was creeping in- and her heart rose. She laughed, making those in the camp look up, the sound like warm, soft sunlight on their faces.

"Come friends!" The sprite cried joyfully. "Tis time we were off- we have a spider too fight!"
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Old 01-07-2003, 05:48 PM   #166
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Eruwen's heart raced. Finally, some real adventure was coming back. It had been long before she had gotten a chance to use her bow in real combat.

As the group all mounted their horses and made ready for the journey ahead, Eruwen looked at the trees in Mirkwood once more. She loved this forest, yes, but it was time to move on. She knew in her heart she would have to let go of the past and finish out her long life as it should be done.

The company set off later that morning.

[ January 08, 2003: Message edited by: Eruwen ]
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Old 01-08-2003, 11:51 AM   #167
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Finding it hard to wait while the stranger woke her friend, Zohariel sat fiddling with the grass. The stranger...Soronume? Something like that.

He knew the plants to heal me. He used them correctly. He, like me is well taught in the art of herbs.

***
Later, trying to keep up with the pace of the ride, Zohariel fell behind a little way. She tried to call after the swift horses, but her parched throat emmited only a small sound. In despair, she sat down to feel a soft nose nudging her in the back. Turning round, she saw it was a horse- a chesnut mare with white feet and mane. It seemed to want her on it's back. Zohariel climbed up, wincing, and they set off after the ride.
"I shall call you...Mesdos." she whispered.

[ January 08, 2003: Message edited by: Zohariel ]
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Old 01-08-2003, 03:16 PM   #168
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The company had been on the road some time now but Soronūmė had noticed that Zohariel was not riding in front of him. Turning Salixrana, he could not see the one he had healed in the early hours of that morning. He called ahead to Lorin and Hreeza to continue whilst he went back to look for her.

It wasn't long before Soronūmė could see Zohariel upon the back of a horse that looked strangely familiar to him. He waited until she approached. "My lady, we thought we had lost you. I count twice now you have almost parted our company today" he said with a smile, obviously refering to her wound. "Almost" she replied "almost."

The two then rode hard to catch up with the company who were not far ahead now. Once in sight they slowed the horses. "Where did you find that steed?" Soronūmė questionned. "The horse found me" Zohariel said quietly as if avoiding something, "She seems quite tame for one wandering in the wild." "Indeed" agreed Soronūmė, "but perhaps the reason why is that she is not wild at all" Zohariel looked puzzled at this but they had now caught up with the group.

Dismounting their horses Soronūmė and Zohariel approached the company who were now at a standstill alongside the road. "So you found her then?" joked Hreeza brushing past Soronūmė's cheek. It did not make him jump but simply turn his head. "It would seem so Hreeza" was the reply as he patted Salixrana's head, "but why have we stopped?" he questionned. Elentari stepped forward with the shieldmaiden at her side. "We are now at the borders of Mirkwood and it seems we are unsure of our route ahead. It seems we have no memory of Cirith Ungol, or at least one of the directions to get us there" she spoke with a bright disappointment.

"That suprises me" spoke a strange voice some distance behind them. The company turned. "Cirith Ungol is not a place that is to be forgotten easily, and why would you all be so keen to reach that land?" It was a man who spoke, a dark figure with piercing eyes approached the company. He was a mortal man it seemed, mid 30's and had a ranger quality about him. A sword hung at his side and a bow on his back. It was several moments before he recieved an answer...

[ January 08, 2003: Message edited by: Gorothlammothiel ]
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Old 01-08-2003, 03:52 PM   #169
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Hreeza was impressed when Soronūmė's didnt jump when she brushed past him suddenly. The elf had got used to her quickly. She wondered about the horse though...

Hreeza stopped dead however as the group halted. She looked out on a landscape that seemed so empty; there were no trees, few for miles...but there was so much chance of oppurtunity. Other sprites even...for the first time in several hundred years, Hreeza breath was taken away. She had, of course, been to the borders before, but had never left her forest before.

She wasnt really paying much attention to the group until she heard the voice behind them and whirled around; she hadnt detected the stranger but now inspected him with interest...
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Old 01-12-2003, 05:20 PM   #170
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Khōrbar approached the inexperienced-seeming group. They did not appear to be equipped for such a quest. He continued to keep his hand on his sword.

"People who do not know what awaits them in Cirith Ungol should not travel unaccompanied," he said, his voice very level, "You should turn back."

"But our business is in Cirith Ungol," one of the braver members of the company responded.

"What business could women have in such an area?" Khōrbar asked, suspicious of these new people. He looked the group over, "And you do not appear to be shieldmaidens, for the most part," he commented, "You are facing your doom, young ones."

"Some of us are older than you," said one, obviously an Elf.

"In the number of winters you have beheld," Khōrbar responded, "That may be true, but I assure you that most of you are still children at heart."

He looked over all the women. There were only a few men. What could they possibly be doing here? They had no business coming into this territory, especially if they had no recollection of it. He worried quietly to himself about their fate. They did not seem to be bad people. Whether they deserved his trust, he did not yet know, but they seemed to merely be naive in their quests.

"None should travel into Cirith Ungol unless they know nearly all there is to know about the land," he said to the company, who now, for the most part, had drawn their weapons and pointed them at him. He silently took his hand off of his sword hilt, but was ready to grab it, in case any of the party was overenthusiastic. If that was the case, then they would all probably die anyway, so it would not matter if he was killed before he could defeat any of them...

[ January 12, 2003: Message edited by: VanimaEdhel ]
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Old 01-13-2003, 12:28 PM   #171
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Airerūthiel looked long and hard at the stranger, blinking as if trying to recall a long-forgotten memory. She could surely remember seeing this person somewhere in her past, but the memories were hazy...he could have been someone whose face she had seen when travelling through Middle-earth after her parents' murder, or he could just look like a figure she might have momentarily glimpsed in an inn or walking the streets.

"Do not judge on appearances, my friend," she replied in a voice as bitterly cold as the morn of midwinter after a layer of frost has smothered all it can reach like a spider's web. "I may look as what I am - trapped between the end of my childhood and the beginning of my adult life - but these young eyes have seen sights that would no doubt strike terror into the hearts of the most valiant Men of Gondor and Rohan."

Her hand tightened its grip on the hilt of Minyacirith, and a strange fire none of her companions had ever seen before blazed in her eyes. Elentari and Hreeza glanced at each other, both recognising the look at the same time - it was that of one with a quick temper and a vicious loyalty who seeks revenge on those who have wronged her or her house.

Elentari reached out and took Airerūthiel's hand from her sword hilt once again. "I admire your bravery and courage to defend our party, young one," Hreeza whispered in the Gondorian's ear, "but do not act too rashly for your own sakes. I suspect that this kin to you when you walked the wilds may be helpful to us."

After a brief period of silence in which the only communication was a brief stare from Airerūthiel that could have burnt a hole straight through the walls of Moria, Soronūmė spoke. "If you think we are not capable of getting to Cirith Ungol and completing what business we have there, then maybe you should come along as our guide. Of course, if you do not wish to..." He turned to the rest of the party. "Come, let us ride east to the tower we seek!"

"Wait..." Khōrbar had made his decision. Although he still refused to fully commit his trust into the hands of this motley crew of beings, he knew that if he did not help them in their quest, then they would all be slain before they had reached the Golden Wood.

"I shall aid you in your mission for as long as you may need my help," he said. "But I make no promises."

[ January 14, 2003: Message edited by: Airerūthiel ]
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Old 01-13-2003, 12:38 PM   #172
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"Maybe in the number of winters you have witnessed. But you are all children at heart."

Hreeza intook her breath sharply. The children of men...was it just her or were their weaknesses, always a point the elves made much of, or so she had thought, getting stronger? Was it so much of a coincidence that the two, Dykoria and now...this...were so full of themselves.

His hand was still on his belt. If he tries anything...Men lived such short lives though. Brief and fleeting as a dragonfly it sometimes seemed to the immortal sprite. Yet they still had such an uncanny way of apparently wanting to make those lives shorter; never had she met another such intelligent species that had such an aptitude to picking fights!

He couldnt see her, she knew this, would have no idea of her being there, less even than the elves. And that left her free to examine Khōrbar's mind...if she so wished. She withdrew. The temptation was strong, but she could beat it.

She watched with interest as Aireruthiel held her own against him, and with surprise as Elentari acted as a peacemaker. Now perhaps she would add her own part...

No. She restrained Hreeza, whispering in her ear as quietly as so that he wouldnt hear, but she didnt say anything to the ranger. It would be interesting to see what he would act like.

The human was still a ranger though, and the blood of adventurers flowed in his veins. Although she could see he expected to regret it, Khorbar agreed to come, after a fashion. Hreeza smiled quietly to herself. Yes, this certainly ought to be interesting...
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Old 01-13-2003, 02:18 PM   #173
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"Wait," said Elentari. "What of the childrens' fates? Our road is dangerour, far too dangerous for such little ones. We saved them for their mothers. The women who asked me was distraught and I'm sure she wants to see her child. I'm sure you want to see your parents don't you?"

The children looked up at her with longing eyes. They wanted to see open land so much, see adventure. But as they thought of their mothers they nodded.

"Good," said Lorin, "but who shall take them? Which of us will leave the quest?"

All of the group were silent. They had all decided to go together, none would break their promise.

"I will go." said a quiet voice. "I will take the children. I know the way and I'm sure I should return."

"But Min..." said Lorin.

"I wont here it. They need someone to take them. I would be no help to you on your quest."

[ January 14, 2003: Message edited by: ElentariGreenleaf ]
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Old 01-13-2003, 05:04 PM   #174
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Nobody said anything, Lorin wanted to protest but she also saw the truth in Min's words. Even those newest to the group, except perhaps Khōrbar, were sad at the prospect of Min leaving, he had made many friends in just a short amount of time.

Min said his goodbyes to everyone, shaking some hands, pattng others on their shoulders. The children also went around saying farewell in their own fashion. All were trying to be optomistic that they would see each other again, yet no one voiced the fear that they would not. Hreeza flowed around Min and the children, whispering goodbyes in their ears.

Everyone helped the children up onto Min's horse, packed what they would need and took some supplies for their own. Once they were ready, Min finally came to Lorin. They said nothing, then they came together in an embrace. Lorin held back the tears as best she could, she felt like she had known him forever and parting with him was hard.

They broke apart and smiled a little at each other. Everything seemed to be silent as Min led his horse into the forest, soon dissapearing behind the trunks of the trees.

The group broke out from the cover of the forest, onto the open plains. Conversation slowly grew, though Lorin hung at the back, not partaking in any of it.
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Old 01-14-2003, 06:14 PM   #175
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Khōrbar felt as an outsider in this new group. People came and went from the group as was needed, it seemed, but they travelled on, relentlessly and tirelessly, or so it seemed to him.

Conversation began, but Khōrbar still felt left out. There was something...that girl...the one who had wanted to attack him. She was strangely familiar to him. And there was more there...something he felt, he did not know what. It was as if the group was protected by more than what he could see. This had been one of the main interests that had prompted him to join the group. There was something there...something tangible, but he knew not what. Khōrbar knew he would have time to get to the bottom of this.

Khōrbar wandered into his own thoughts, leaving part of himself open, however, subconsciously. He had become good at that, for he always had to be partially on alert in these lands. There was an unsettling feeling eating in the back of his mind. Maybe he should not have come with these people. It was not his way. Why did he trust them? They might lead him directly to the enemy and to his own demise, and he was not interested in travelling to the Halls of Mandos to be with his family any time soon.

"Khōrbar!" Khōrbar jerked up, as one of the company had called his name. He put his hand on his hilt, in case they were about to alert him of any danger he missed in his daze, and quietly scolded himself for wandering in his thoughts...
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Old 01-16-2003, 07:15 AM   #176
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Zohariel hung about at the sides of the group, hidden in shadow. She observed the stranger wonderingly.
Khorbar.
She knew that name. It sounded like an old friend. But she had no friends. They were all dead.
Later, refusing to get down from Mesdos, she called Khorbar to her and flung back her hood.
"Do you know me?" she asked.

[ January 16, 2003: Message edited by: piosenniel ]
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Old 01-16-2003, 04:18 PM   #177
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Elentari rode up to Lorin. She looked at her friend and saw much sorrow in her eyes.

"You miss him, don't you?" Said Elentari. "Since he and the children left I have not seen you smile. Those children had grown so attached to you." Elentari looked at Lorin for a while. "It was because of Min I came back to the group." Elentari saw Airerūthiel look towards her. "And Airerūthiel aswell of corse!" She added with a smile.

Lorin said nothing. Elentari hated to see others so unhappy. Lorin patted her mount and rode ahead. Elentari could see that it wouldn't be easy to cheer the half-elf up.

"Elentari." shouted Airerūthiel, motioning with her hand. "Come over here will you." Elentari rode over to her friend.

[ January 17, 2003: Message edited by: ElentariGreenleaf ]
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Old 01-16-2003, 05:23 PM   #178
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Soronūmė was riding along the road with the company though he felt somewhat alone. Eruwen was behind him and Zohariel had questionned Khorbar just before Soronūmė was able to ask Zohariel if her wound was healing. Elentari and the others were riding infront but slowly so that they were able to talk. At that moment Lorin picked up her pace and rode ahead. Soronūmė followed at speed.

Catching Lorin up Soronūmė called to her to slow down a little. When she did he could see the emotion in her face, she missed Min and the children. "We all miss them" he said trying to comfort Lorin, "even I who did not know them as long as you did had become quite attatched." Soronūmė looked upon the horses. "I think even these two miss the children riding upon their backs" he said, putting a smile back on Lorin's face.

"Yes" she replied, "I have no doubt that they will be safe with Min" Soronūmė nodded. "But I suppose we must concentrate on matters in hand. Cirith Ungol." This comment surprised Soronūmė though he suspected it was a distraction from the loss of a very good friend. "Indeed" he replied after several moments, "I believe you and your company were travelling in the direction of Mordor though I have not yet heard anyone mention the route we are all to take. I would guess we are heading..."

A sound behind the pair distracted Soronūmė before he had the chance to finish his sentance. The two stopped and looked back...
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Old 01-16-2003, 06:42 PM   #179
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Khōrbar looked at Hreeza, his eyes wide.

"It cannot be," he said, "You are one of the elementals. I have heard tales of thee and thy kin. There are many breeds. You...you are Hreeza. I have heard of you, I believe. Your tales are famous in many places."

Khōrbar realized how immense his response had been, so he quietly shook himself out of his stupor and quickly caught up to those that had fallen ahead...
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Old 01-16-2003, 06:44 PM   #180
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Eruwen looked around at the company she was traveling with. This was her home land, and she was with her own kind for the most part. Something just didn't seem right though. Something felt...uneasy with this whole journey.

As she continued riding, Eruwen sank deep into her thoughts so that everything surrounding her just seemed to disappear. "Why am I doing this?" she said quietly to herself. "Why am I here? It feels like I am alone on this journey heading for a destination which will only bring an end to all of my dreams. It might even bring an end to me."

Many thoughts and emotions flashed through Eruwen's mind. She seemed to have even lost track of her horse. Before she knew what had happened, Eruwen looked up to find Soronūmė and Lorin staring at her.

"Oh, uh, I'm sorry to interrupt." Eruwen said. "I guess I just let my mind wander away for a second. Please continue whatever you may have been doing."

Eruwen turned her horse a bit and started to float back to the rest of the company where many more conversations were also going on.

The quest continued on for many days without any sudden dangers or changes in the company. Although Eruwen was technically a member of this quest now, she felt as if she was afraid to let anyone know she existed. She had neiter talked to anyone, nor barely made any type of guesture toward any member of the group for quite some time now. Eruwen constantly kept her distance from everyone, including the kind stranger she journeyed with from The Green Dragon Inn in the Shire.

[ January 18, 2003: Message edited by: Eruwen ]
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Old 01-19-2003, 04:11 AM   #181
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Elentari dismounted from her horse and knelt down beside the stone slab Airerūthiel had indicated. "This is a fool talking, but can you read the Ancient Tongue?" asked the Gondorian, her brows knitting together as she puzzled over the elaborate and mysterious-looking text. "My mother tried to teach it to my siblings and I when we were small, but alas! the knowledge has all but left me as I grew older, and the precious little I have is useless in this matter."

Elentari smiled to herself as she ran her fingers delicately over the lettering, hidden by a mass of sprawling weeds and choking brambles. Some of it had all but faded, but if she squinted hard enough it was just possible to make it out. "I think you have stumbled upon a clue, young one," she replied, "and 'tis twice so fortunate for you, as it is a message from your mother. She must have possessed the gift of foresight, and she knew what would happen to her family when she walked no more in this Middle-earth."

The Elf-witch's voice suddenly changed, ringing out through the woodland realm as clear as the peal of wedding bells, as she read the words of the riddle inside her head.

"'The sun has set on the days I saw
Yet barely risen in your spring
And as we take our steps to war
I gave you peace for wings
The way to the spider's tower you seek
Is perilious and long
The paths you walk are dark and bleak
But keep the gift of song
Follow the southeast trail and cross
The river going west
Along the way there may be loss
Do not forsake your quest
Go into the Brown Lands east of the Great
Past Emyn and Fangorn She awaits.
'"
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Old 01-19-2003, 07:27 AM   #182
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Sting

Getting no answer to her question, Zohariel scowled, pulling up her hood and dug her heels into Mesdos.
"Yah!" she yelled, and before the others could blink she galloped off.
A couple of minutes sitting by a stream was suffice to soothe her temperamental nature, and Zohariel decided to wait until the others rode past. Hearing muttering on the other side of the stream, she glanced idly across and saw-
"Orcs!"
Zohariel rode straight into the path of Arawel's group, causing some of the horses to rear up.
"Orcs! On the other side of the stream!" she yelled.
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Old 01-19-2003, 10:13 AM   #183
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Sting

Zohariel came riding back to the company at speed, her pace causing distress amongst some of the more tame horses. She cried "Orcs! On the other side of the stream!" Her tone caused suprise within inself before many had realised what she had said. Soronūmė jumped down from his horse and immediatly drew his bow and an arrow from the quiver on his back. Aiming it forward downstream he closed his eyes and focused.

'Yes, there were orcs further along the bank, quite a number of them' he thought.

Soronūmė paced forward and Khōrbar did the same with his sword drawn. "What are orcs doing roaming in these parts?" asked Soronūmė with little hope of an answer. Khōrbar however did reply to him, "bands of orcs can be found throughout Middle-Earth but shy away from forests and their borders. Even in this age, orcs are unwilling to venture into the lands of creatures unknown to them." He spoke with a subtle superiority and was obviously well learnt in the geography and races of Middle-Earth. Soronūmė felt some kind of peace between himself and Khōrbar. At the moment, the rest of the company approached from behind. "Orcs?" Lorin questioned, "Are they likely to attack?"
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Old 01-19-2003, 03:02 PM   #184
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Sting

Elentari dismonted from Moon and drew Star. "They are travelling fast! Wait... they are on Wargs! Lorin, drive the horses away. If they are injured we will never reach Cirith Ungol. We must do that in Arawil's name." Elentari held Star infront of her. She may have to resort to magic. But that was only a backup. Would she have to reveal her true power to the Fellowship, as she liked to call them.

This reminded her so much of Aragorn and Frodo's tales of the War of the Ring. Many times had they recounted the tale to her. She was only 14 during the war of the ring. Ah, so much time had passed. But know she had her own friends to protect. There were many Orcs and Wargs. Some Wargs did not even have riders, and some Orcs did not ride Wargs. This seemed strange to Elentari. Why did they not ride them?

"Wild Wargs!" she shouted. "They are driving wild Wargs this way! This is bad. Everyone draw your weapons. And please," she looked at each of them in turn. Not long had she known some of them, but already she cared deeply for each of them. "Please, do not get hurt. I could not bare to see another of my friends hurt."

As the Wargs and Orcs approached everyone braced themselves. This was merely the begining of a long journey, and already their lives were at risk. Elentari could only hope she would not yet have to reveal her power. That would be needed later on, she had seen it...
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Old 01-19-2003, 04:36 PM   #185
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Silmaril

Khōrbar drew his sword as the group approached. He drew in a breath. He should have told the others not to come this way. This area was always heavily guarded. Oh well, it was too late now. Khōrbar and the others would just have to fight these Wargs and Orcs. He hoped that they could take them. If naught else worked, he could disappear into the woods. That was what he usually did. He was good at disappearing at this point, actually.

"Nakhź, Źru, kitabdahźya zir-mā Źruvō," Khōrbar muttered as the Wargs grew near.

With that, the Orcs attacked. Khōrbar gave a yell and slashed back, hewing the Orc that approached atop a Warg. The Warg ran wildly until an arrow shot through the air from one of Khōrbar's companions, killing the large, ugly creature. The fight had begun...
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Old 01-19-2003, 05:02 PM   #186
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Soronūmė ran forward to Khōrbar's side, his arrow had hit the warg bringing him down in front of the ranger. Other's followed and the company fought well and hard. Soronūmė continued to shoot arrows at the wargs whilst Khōrbar would kill the Orcs that came off their backs with one swift movement of his sword.
The rest of the company were also fighting together, Lorin who had led the horses to shelter returned and helped also. After a few moments Elentari began to chant something in a voice other than her own. Soronūmė turned to her and shouted,

"Tampa! Dina, Lye nuquernuva sen e dagor!"

Realising he had spoken in an elven tongue he quickly repeated himself so that they would understand, "Stop! Be silent, we will defeat them in battle!" Elentari continued to speak, "No magic" insisted Soronūmė, "Please, it will not help here." He shouted to her and an Orc mounted on a warg made way towards him from behind...

[ January 19, 2003: Message edited by: Gorothlammothiel ]
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Old 01-19-2003, 05:18 PM   #187
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Sting

Lorin saw the warg pounding along the ground towards Soronūmė and also saw that he hadn't noticed his peril yet. She quickly shot an arrow at the warg, bringing it down, it stopped dead at Soronūmė's feet. Neither of them had any time to acknoledge one another as the orcs kept striving against them.

How glad she was that the children weren't there! She had been standing further back than most of the group, the arrow geing a long distance weapon, therefore working better when at a distance, when she reached back to her quiver and found no arrows left. This meant she would have to enter the fray, how she hated using her dagger, if Brilthonien had had armour she could've ridden her in, no point thinking about that now though. Lorin ran into the battle, not as fierce as when it started now though.

[ January 19, 2003: Message edited by: dragoneyes ]
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Old 01-20-2003, 12:52 PM   #188
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Airerūthiel knew that the memories of Orcs were long and bitter; they did not like to leave a job unfinished, and she knew what she was to them. No doubt the 'defeat' at the house of the White Horse - when looked at in the fact that one was left alive when the order was to slay all within - had been branded onto the minds of these creatures, in the manner of something a child unwittingly does and is threatened with punishment should it happen again. She would not escape them a second time, unless...unless she stood beside the older members of the company and fought along with them.

With a roar that echoed off every surface in the vicinity and surprised even the wargs momentarily, she drew Minyacirith and dived into the fray. For someone so young, her blade skills were excellent; several Orcs fell with one single sweep straight through their necks, their heads rolling away like rather large and quite frankly ugly-looking stones. She then turned back to the company, feeling fairly pleased with herself. They were nowhere to be seen.

And now the Gondorian shieldmaiden tasted fear. She was dimly aware of something creeping up behind her, ready to strike at a moment's notice, and only turned in the last second to see a wild warg approaching her. Foaming spittle dripped from the creature's knife-like dirty yellow fangs as it stared straight at her, its eyes blazing with intent to kill. On its back was an Orc archer, his bow ready to fire an arrow directly into her heart.

Airerūthiel's blood pounded in her ears like carmine waves in a stone, seeming to drown out everything else she ever heard. She knew this face. The Orc facing her was all too familiar to her. He had killed her family, and she had sworn to make him pay for his crime. But now he would finish the job he had set out to complete five years before.

Running would be useless. She had left herself no choice. It was either stand and fight, or stand and die. Her sword raised before her face and dancing in the sparse light like a marriage of fire and ice, she prepared to face her fate...

~*~*~*~*~

Meanwhile, the rest of the battle had progressed further ahead of the half-Elf without much more of a hitch. The grass ran with rivers of red, sickening to the eye, as few were left alive. Those that escaped a fate too good for them at the hand of one of the travellers rode off back east, determined never to lay eyes on these vengeful comrades until they passed through the gates of hell.

"Are we all here?" Khōrbar asked the world in general. After running a quick head count, he mentally calculated that against the number who he had originally met. Minus Min and the three children, that left...

"One of us is missing," he said in a grave voice, scanning the group to check who had vanished. Seeing the riderless Sérė walking a little way behind the other horses, he asked no-one in particular, "Where is Airerūthiel?"

The silence could have drowned out a great battle of the Third Age as it lay heavy on the hearts of the friends. Elentari was particularly unsettled by this news. The maiden had been kind to her and did not desert her when everyone else seemed to have abandoned her. She was worried about her young friend, who had seen so much tragedy and sadness although she had not seen a score of winters in Middle-earth.

"At least she died fighting," said Lorin eventually. "I think she wanted to go that way. She can finally be with her family; I know how important they were to her." She sighed heavily. "But 'tis not right that one so young should give her life so that we might live."

"We shall take Sérė with us," said Elentari. "If we cannot bury the dead and honour them while doing so, the least we can do is care for her only legacy to us."

The company set off, their hearts saddened by the loss of a brave warrior and loyal friend. Even Khōrbar's mood was slightly dampened, as he tried to unravel the mysteries of his past and the memories of that young yet haunted face...

~*~*~*~*~

Night fell like a midnight velvet cloak buttoned down with pinpricks of starlight. Beneath her dark cloak, which she feebly pulled around her for warmth, Airerūthiel lay as still as the ice on the river in midwinter. Her face was the colour of the first blanket of unblemished snow; the warg attack and subsequent fight had caused her to lose a lot of blood, which spurted briskly from an open wound. She hoped that either death's sweet kiss would visit her before the dawn covered the world, or that someone with a true heart and an honourable nature would help her.

[ January 20, 2003: Message edited by: Airerūthiel ]
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Old 01-20-2003, 01:28 PM   #189
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With a whoop, twirling her cudgel and ignoring her wound, Zohariel leapt into battle. Three wargs were dispensed with a wallop from the cudgel, and two orcs' heads went rolling along the ground after meeting with the rusty blade of her sword.
"Whoo! Yah! Curoocuroo! Yah!" she yelled- getting many strange stares from the others, but carrying on regardless. Finally, one orc managed to stab at her arm. He created a small wound, which was avenged by a swift stab to the chest. In, out, up, down, round and down, swiftly turning and whirling, black rags flying behind her, like some complicated dance. Once she found herself back to back with Khorbar, but was too out of breath to say anything, and they soon split. Duck, whack with the cudgel, slice and through, stab, whack, duck, jump, whack. And again, frenzied and excited war.
The yelling necromancer left a trail of dismembered bodies behind her, but soon, the battle was won. Then, she ran to tend to the wounded. Not noticing one. Then, she fell fast asleep, not knowing that the others were eyeing her and muttering about her fighting.
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Old 01-20-2003, 02:35 PM   #190
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Nightime had fallen and the company settled to rest, reflecting on the afternoon's battle. Zohariel was already asleep, exhausted from her fight which had left her with no more than a small wound on her arm. Lorin was silent and still, though not asleep. Soronūmė thought she may be still thinking of her good friend Min or the children, however she may also have been thinking of the late Airerūthiel.

Airerūthiel thought Soronūmė, Surely she did not fall in battle? It seemed a hopeless thought, the half-elf was nowhere to be found after the last orc had been slain or chased away. The group did move on a little quickly however. They did not linger so long that they may have seen Airerūthiel laying badly wounded. The maiden's horse, Sérė, was still in sight and if Airerūthiel's relationship with her steed was anything like that of Soronūmė's, the horse would not be far from it's master.

~*~*~*~*~

With that last thought Soronūmė announced to the group, those that were still awake, that he would go back and look for Airerūthiel. They insisted that he should not return for there may still be danger in the area. Elentari pleaded with him to not go, disregarding his thoughts on the horse. "No" she said defiantly, "Airerūthiel died in battle, it was how she wanted to go. Leave her be Soronūmė, let her rest in peace." Soronūmė was unwilling to accept this however. He had not know Airerūthiel long, but time enough had passed that he should not let her suffer the same fate that he had his good friend all those years ago. He mounted Sérė for if anyone were to be able to find Airerūthiel it would be her.

~*~*~*~*~

Soronūmė had been riding for some time now and was close to where the battle had been. A small breeze from behind caught his attention and he slowed. "Hreeza?" he asked. The breeze passed his ear. "Yes my child" the sprite replied, "you are foolish coming out here alone, paying no heed to your company's warnings." "But I am not alone" Soronūmė was quick to reply, "not any more." "Indeed" whispered Hreeza quietly to his ear. Continuing on a more serious note she said, "Airerūthiel is not far from where she fell, she is badly wounded, if you are to save her you must reach her and bring her to the group quickly." With that Soronūmė rode fast, following the wind sprite to where he did indeed find Airerūthiel near death.
Putting the maiden upon her horse, Soronūmė also mounted the steed and made way quickly back to the company...
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Old 01-20-2003, 03:45 PM   #191
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"No. She died in battle, it was how she wanted to go. Leave her be Soronūmė, let her rest in peace."

"What?" The wind sprite was incredulous. They werent really going to leave her...

It seemed she was not the only one to hold this opinion. Soronūmė refused to leave her. Switching for a moment to her othersight, Hreeza could see peals of distress coming off him. Eventually he left, mounting his horse and riding away. Hreeza smiled...true heart and nature that one....she followed.

"Hreeza?" His head jerked.

"Yes my child." A true heart and nature and very sensitive ears to touch too...She knew he would argue more if she told him she wasnt with him. Elves could be like that..."you are foolish coming out here alone, paying no heed to your company's warnings."

"Not any more."

Hreeza chuckled quietly. "Indeed, indeed..."Airerūthiel is not far from where she fell, she is badly wounded. Shall I show you?" She asked, already searching out exactly where the maiden was.

Afterward, watching the pair return Hreeza smiled after them. He was so tender, so kind...She looked wistfully around the forest, using the last few hours of that night. This was her home, her family, her life....and she was about to leave it all.

Returning to the camp she blew quickly around the camp, raising the sleepers with many groans.

"Come, O Men and Elves. For we need to find our way to Cirith Ungol!"

The next morning and for the next few days thr group travelled, making good speed away from the forest. The sprite travelled above them, musing on her own thoughts, at the back of all of the groups minds, and not even there for the Ranger.
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Old 01-20-2003, 03:50 PM   #192
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Elentari slept restlessly. She never stopped tossing and turning. Images appeared in her mind of an inn full of bodies. Orcs were there, and so was Airerūthiel. The images shifted to that of a battle. There, Elentari saw herself and the fellowship running. But the dream did not follow her, but stayed focused on Airerūthiel. Elentari saw the Orc ride up behind her friend, then shot are with an arrow.

"Why?" thought the elf-witch. "Why am I seeing this? What use is it now?" The images skiped forward in time to the present. Elentari now saw Soronūmė carrying Airerūthiel back to camp on his horse.

"Lorin!" shouted Elentari has she woke the half-elf. "Wake up! We will soon need your healing skills." The elf-witch kept shaking Lorin until she woke.

"Elentari?" asked Lorin, still half asleep. "What? What is it?" Lorin looked at Elentari and noticed the concern on her face. "What is it? What have you seen?"

"Airerūthiel is alive." replied Elentari. "She is very badly injured. Soronūmė is bringing Airerūthiel back now."

"I was a fool." thought the elf-witch, scolding herself. "Why did I not atleast look for her? I thought she was dead. Khōrbar! He put those words into my head. I read his thoughts before the battle. He was going to abandon us if the battle looked bad. And he abandoned her, he abandoned my friend." Elentari was angrier than she had been in a long time. Her outline glowed blue. But she had learned long ago to control her rage, and so the outline dimmed, but did not go.

OCC: This is meant for just before Amanaduial the archer's post

[ January 21, 2003: Message edited by: ElentariGreenleaf ]
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Old 01-25-2003, 11:07 AM   #193
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The group rode together, a little conversation flitted around, though it was usually very forced. Lorin could see that, for some reason, Elentari didn't like Khōrbar, though it may've been that she didn't know him, Lorin didn't know, but Elentari was definately colder towards him than the rest of them.

Lorin's mood had improved since the battle and Airerūthiel was well on the way to recovery. To Lorin this seemed like a reason to celebrate, but only Elentari and Soronūmė seemed to think the same. Eruwen was strangely silent.

Lorin could think of nothing else but to sing, an old song she'd been taught while in the Golden Wood. It spoke of Nimrodel. The elves there knew it all, the others there either knew some of the words or the tune was familiar to them. There was now silence all round, Lorin sang on, hoping for others to join her.

[ January 25, 2003: Message edited by: dragoneyes ]
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Old 01-25-2003, 03:25 PM   #194
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Khōrbar listened to the singing. He debated whether he should join in, as even he enjoyed a good song while traveling, but he decided against it. This group did not seem too warm to him at all.

As he walked, he began to quietly sing his own song:
Rīn nīn na gwann
U-anķron mel le si
U-linno, u-nallo an rīn nīn...


He hummed to himself as they continued to walk go through the woods, reminding himself of the danger they were rapidly nearing, and chastizing himself for taking up with this perilous company.
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Old 01-25-2003, 05:11 PM   #195
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Soronūmė approached Khōrbar who he found softly singing.

"Such a song" he said gaining the rangers attention, "though not one to share. Is our company so tiresome?"

Khōrbar took time over his answer. "Tiresome it is not Soronūmė, the company is well." He continued hesitantly, "but so weak, all the women..."

Soronūmė interupted him, "these women are far from weak. Each posesses a skill in battle, one that they have already proven to us all. Elentari holds a powerful magic though the control she has over it I hold currently in doubt." He seemed to be straying from his point somewhat. "And Hreeza, is it that a weak company should have an elemental with them?"

"Indeed not" replied Khōrbar with some thought. "The company are not weak, forgive me." Soronūmė nodded for he was not trying to make an enemy of the ranger. "But why" asked Khōrbar, "why would you take up upon such quest with them? You have no more purpose than to take upon some perilous journey?"

"For the same reason you have" he replied, to which Khōrbar could question no more. He knew exactly what this Soronūmė had meant.

"I am sure that you posses a power greater than you let be known to them Soronūmė" Khōrbar said turning back to the group following behind. "Your healing abilities are not those which are learnt at pace. It is some past you must have behind you, for you are not of certain birth."

"No I am not." Soronūmė spoke just above a whisper. "Indeed my birth is unknown to me. It was a great friend I had in my brother who taught me well about healing. And even in the short time I have been with this company it has been called upon twice."

With that last sentance the two came to a worthy sight. A great river stood not such a distance from them. It seemed the group had been travelling some time. The company caught up to Soronūmė and Khōrbar and stood in awe at the sight of the flowing river...

[ January 25, 2003: Message edited by: Gorothlammothiel ]
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Old 01-26-2003, 04:43 PM   #196
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Khōrbar quickly composed himself. He had not seen this river in so many years. It had been too long since he had traversed this dangerous territory. Though it was dangerous, it was undoubtedly magnificent and powerful, nonetheless.

"I do hope," Khōrbar muttered to Soronūmė, "That your companions possess talents for crossing these rapids. I know the shallowest part, but it is still perilous, for the waters move quickly."

Soronūmė stood quietly for a moment, looking at the waters. Khōrbar slipped quietly away and moved towards Elentari.

"Hiril nīn," Khōrbar said quietly, "I do know a shallower path. It is dangerous but, if you are willing to trust me, I believe you will find your way across. Unless your company has another surprise for me that I do not know of that involved sprouting wings and flying over the rapids, of course."

Khōrbar said the last part a bit more sarcastically than he probably should have, but he felt no regret, as he had never been informed of anything in regards to this company as of yet and somewhat resented his lack of information. He looked across the rapids and then to the quiet Elentari. He wondered if the stronger, such as Zohariel, would abandon them, using their own strength to cross the River.

"It would follow my luck, as of late, if we had been abandoned by an elemental of greater strength than we possess," Khōrbar muttered to himself as he began to move towards the shallow part of the rapids.

Khōrbar did not look back to see if the others were following. Even if they did not, he much desired to behold this land once more. He had once seriously thought of staying here, abandoning his wandering ways, although this land was dangerous.

Cuil nīn na le
Ai hiril nīn
A guren na gwanur al le...

Khōrbar sang again, merrily this time, at the thought of returning to his favorite place in the world. He knew that Soronūmė would have to follow, for he was of the Elves and could not fly, even if the other could.

Khōrbar breathed the familiar air of this land and, for the first time in a long while, felt at home. He was a different person in this land. He was merry and jovial, quicker to trust and more open. Khōrbar felt a swell of pride in his heart that he was aiding this company.

His hopes, however, diminished a bit when he saw the familiar crossing ground. It was still there, luckily, but he had failed to remember how quickly the water moved, even in this shallow water.

Ai, I hope this shall not be the death of any of the company, Khōrbar hoped quietly, waiting for those that followed him to catch up...

[ January 27, 2003: Message edited by: VanimaEdhel ]
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Old 01-27-2003, 12:54 PM   #197
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Airerūthiel cursed herself for being so inexplicably stupid as to let herself be taken by the wargs. She felt guilty for delaying the company. Why had she not simply chosen to step back from what she knew was too much for her to deal with? If only her desire to prove herself as worthy and battle-hardened as the others had not taken her over! She knew the reason for her actions; she had wanted to show off in front of Khōrbar, telling him loud and clear that she was not just some little girl with big ideas - she knew what she was doing.

And then there were the tortured nightmares whilst she was ill - the dreams of a guard of Gondor she knew and did not know, the guilty secrets that weighed heavy on both their consciences, the strange sense of destiny that she would soon be forced to confront. She was desperate to untangle the scrambled threads of her life and search for a clear idea of what her purpose was.
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Old 01-27-2003, 02:56 PM   #198
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Elentari had crossed the river. It had not been hard for her. Khōrbar's comment about flying over the river had got her worried. Could he know? No. She would remember his face. But that's what worried her. Elentari didn't trust Khōrbar at all. Just being near him sent a chill up her spine.

Elentari turned around to see who else needed to cross before they could set of again. She immediately cursed herself for forgetting about Airerūthiel's injury so quick. The elf-witch practically ran back through the water to help her friend. But as she approached, Elentari noticed that Airerūthiel had a confused look onto her face. In fact, she looked very troubled.

"I'm sorry," said Elentari, half-startling Airerūthiel. "I should have waited for you, my friend. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have been so careless. Would you like some help?" Elentari smiled at Airerūthiel, who smiled back. Elentari helped Airerūthiel across the river. They were all across and could continue to Cirith Ungol.

"I wonder where Hreeza is," thought Elentari, but she thought nothing more of it.
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Old 01-27-2003, 05:44 PM   #199
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Khōrbar slowly began to wade across the rapids. He did not look back, for he would most likely lose his balance.

It took him a good ten minutes to cross, but he managed to do so. When he reached the other side, he checked his pack. He had lost no supplies, thank the Good Spirits. Khōrbar quickly drew his sword out of habit. It was wise to keep one's weapon out when traveling in this area.

Khōrbar moved along the shore. Suddenly, he saw most of the rest of the company was already ashore. He stood, puzzled, for he had been the first to cross, and he did not think any people were behind him.

He saw one woman giving him a distrustful look. What was this woman hiding? Or why did he make her so distrustful?

"Tōlo! Come! Nakha! Į tulė!" Khōrbar said in the four languages he was most learned in. He set off through the woods again, still wondering how the others crossed so soon...
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Old 01-28-2003, 03:00 PM   #200
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Hreeza steadied her companions as they crossed, buoying them up slightly so they would not lose their balance, and crossed faster. They themselves led their own horses across. As they got to the other side in a quicker time than they would have before, Zohariel turned, whispering quietly a thankyou. But Hreeza didnt reply.

The ranger crossed himself and looked surprised when he saw the others standing there already. Hreeza smiled to herself. She wasnt sure she fully trusted this man yet, especially as she saw once again Zohariels hostility towards him as she looked distrustfully across at him.

"Why is it that you dislike the ranger so?" Hreeza murmered to her friend as they set off into the forest. Now it was Zohariels turn not to answer. The sprite whipped around her, tickling the back of her neck until she smiled. Then she sighed. "It is not so much dislike." She replied, and that was all the sprite could get from her.

Khōrbar seemed happier here, looking around and smiling, inhaling deeply. She came right up in front of him, looking right into his eyes, yet he looked right through her, unaware of the elemental hovering in front of him. She wondered that humans should seem to know so much, as she had heard the ranger speak four different languages previously...yet they seemed to see so little.

Lorin was once again humming, and after a while Elentari joined her, and the others. Zohariel however, remained silent, as did Khōrbar, who seemed caught up in his own thoughts...
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