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Council of the Heren Istarion

Anamatar IV

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The Temple of Heren Istarion

In a large temple in Annuminas, in the province of Arthedain, in the kingdom of Arnor, in the empire of Atannore glints a roof of gold from the fading sun. Inside a small but noble host is gathered. Once past the heavy wooden doors you see a great sight. Torches flicker with a golden light and a fire burns in the fire place. Foot steps on the stone floors echo down the corridors. Curving stairs of marble lead to many levels. At the head of the folk a man stands with a sheathedd rapier at his side and covered in gleaming mail. A mantle with a blue gem in the center rests on his brow.
"Fair folk are gathered here in the temple of Heren Istarion. We are the council of all. In war and in peace others shall come to us for aid." The man now revealed as Ingolemo bowed and waited for another to continue.
 

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A tall monk walked into the corridor, and the cold stone under his feet softly emitted the beat of his stride.

Alkorrian took his seat near the the kingly man. His eyes, deep with the knowledge of many years passed although his appearance seemed as one much younger, scanned the massive hall.

His raiment was simple: a mere brown robe, tattered from his journey there, and sandals, made from the hide of a great beast.

His long hair hung out of his robe, and his bushy brow was wrinkled in thought. His presence was strong, yet silent.
 
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Nenya Evenstar

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A slender woman stepped out from the group. Her hair was of a light-golden brown, her eyes of a deep brown, and her skin white and pale. She was wearing a dark green gown, richly hemmed with a rose pattern of green silk, and upon her forehead was a single crystal clear gem. In a clear voice she spoke, and the sound filled the chamber. "Thank you, Ingolemo," she said, "I am proud and pleased to be a part of this organization under your leadership. I am sure that we will all go far if together we swear to defend justice and uphold peace for the good of all races." She curtseyed. "I am Nenya Evenstar, Elf of the far lands." The light from a nearby torch glanced off the gem in the Elf's hair and broke into a shining manege of color.
 

Galdor

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A tall young man entered shortly after Nenya. His clothes and cloak were black, his eyes like a starless void and his hair like the night.

He walked in front Ingolemo, bowed to one knee and said

"I am Canalëo, and I am honored that you chose me to serve on this great Counsel. I hereby swear to always defend justice and to always fight against evil of every kind, no matter how great or small it may seem."

With that he stood and took his place next to the three that were already seated.
 

Elu Thingol

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A large figure emerges from the group, a man of great stature comes out and walks towards Ingolemo. His sandy colored hair is unkempt and his skin shows the wear of many years in the wilderness. Across his back lay two great battle axes, each polished into a mirror-like state of perfection. His face is relaxed and calm, no emotion is betrayed.

His dark blue eyes stare directly at Ingolemo. "I am Súlimë Pelleco." His voice thunders through the ancient halls. "I have come from the North to this Council. It is a great privelege to be among such valiant men and women. I promise to serve beyond the best of my abilities."

With that he stands and joins the others.
 

Azog

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Alkorr remained seated at the entry of the three. His soft, strong eyes looked solemnly at them, as if measuring them. It was a habit that would never leave him.

He turned to Ingolemo and spoke, "Thank you for your invitation to this meeting*. I hope to be of assistance, but I has been three years since I left here for the Great Hall, and news is infrequent there. Tell me, what has happened to the world while I was away?"
 
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Anamatar IV

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Ingolemo gazed into Alkorr's eyes.
"I have not troubled myself grreatly with the deeds of this earth. I have hidden myself among books. Hundreds of books line the walls of my chamber. I have gleaned more information than any person living or dead. In my life long quest for knowledge deeds of the earth has slipped from my grasp. But there is one among us who is learned in these matters..." Ingolemo gestured his hand towards Nenya.
 

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The elf turned to Alkorr. "My Lord," she began, "perhaps it was not simply that news is infrequent in the Great Hall, but simply that the world has been extremely quiet. Indeed, there has been a recent war, which I believe is almost complete, but other than that Middle-earth seems to be waiting on the brink of and iceberg for something to happen. It has not seen this much peace for an age, methinks, and I can assure you that I hope things to stay the way they are. However, as I said before - something seems to be awaiting its time to ripen. I fear that Middle-earth will not be at peace for much longer." Nenya sighed.
 

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"The lands of Middle Earth are full vile ones, but as of now many pose no harm, according to studies that I have partaken in at the Great Hall." Alkorr replied softly. "I believe that with proper care, this land will be kept safe. I also believe that this is our reason for being here."

Alkorr rested in his seat, and turned to Ingolemo. "If what the elf says is true, Middle Earth shall remain in peace for a little longer, but evil will still rise up against those who stand for what is right."
 

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Aerin rode up to the temple and pushed open the great doors. Striding into the hall where the other members of the Heren Istarion were gathered, she inclined her head slightly and said, "Forgive me for coming so late; I had business in the North."

She looked briefly at Nenya, "The war you spoke of came to nothing; the East must not have thought it profitable enough to continue after the first few skirmishes. Indeed, I think no war shall come, so long as the Dark Legion remains idle and under poor leadership."

"I do hope you all will excuse my absence; I believe my presence is required in the capital. You will still be able to contact me if any matters arise." The Blue Wizard exited the Temple, mounted her horse, and rode off toward the West, toward Annuminas.
 

Elu Thingol

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Súlimë glances up at Alkorr. "Yes Alkorr, evil will arise." He draws a hatchet from his belt, the keen edge reflecting the dim light of the temple. "And when they do...", he presses his thumb against the peak of the blade. "I will be here for them", blood flows forth from his thumb and a small stream flows down the edge of the hatchet, where it forms in to drops, which splatter as they hit the floor.

A silence forms throughout the hall. All seem imbolized by the puddle of blood. Súlimë chuckles, "Our enemies have much to fear, no? If they come we shall be here to fight them."

He reattaches the hatchet to his belt; no cleaning is needed the blade has no stain.
 

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"Sulime, do not speak of such matters!" Ingolemo said fiercely. "I for one am looking forward to an age where I can live and learn without the battle raging in my backyard! I am dressed for combat before you today but my rapier hast not seen battle but once." Ingolemo seemed to go into a thoughful trance of that moment long, long ago. "so until battle reaches us we counsel against it!" Alkorr spoke.

"But what if battle is the only sollution? 'Tis a horrible thing but there are times when there will be no choice but to fight. You cannot tell me that you would counsel parly when the Dark Legion has an army five thousand strong outside of our Tempe."

"Ignorance and stubborness starts every battle," Ingolemo replied. "If we come upon a foe that will not parly then let that ignorant and stubborn foe feel the wrath of war."
 

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Canalëo had remained silent since he entered, but finally he looked up and said, “Súlimë is right Ingolemo, would you have us parley with orcs? Forbid it! We are here to combat evil by whatever means we here posses. What would a treaty with those whom are evil do for us? For if those we make treaties with are evil, then why should we think they will honor the treaty? You can not parley with evil, the only way we can deal with the evil that is once again growing, is to destroy it. And the only way to have peace is to destroy those who break the peace. Whether you like it or not, war is imminent."
 
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Anamatar IV

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"For this Council I selected the noblest, wisest, most valiant, and fairest of all. A valiant warrior is not ranked by the numbers he kills nor the battles he wins but the people he saves. All throughout history the most valiant man went not to the front of war to counter but rather let war come to their borders and then they excelled in battle. I would rather do parly with a dragon then watch forces of good and evil die in battle." Ingolemo stepped down to where the rest of the council was gathered. "war, you say, is imminent. May is be true. But it is not on our borders. Heren Istarion is a council. But with council there must be protection. That is why we have warriors about us. We would council against war but it is entirely up to the Senate of Atannore to wage war. If they request us we will fight. but until then we rest our swords until an army knocks on our doors." Ingolemo took a seat next to whom he was talking to. He took a long gulp of ale and paused. "I note that all of you who advise war take pleasure in battle. But it is most unnatural coming from a MONK, Alkorr. Ask a diplomat of countries to advise war and she would say nay."
 

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Nenya had been listening silently to the discourse. "Nay, Ingomemo!" she finally spoke. "There are certain instances in which I would recommend war, and not try to talk my way out. The forces of Evil exist. They always will. You say that you would rather converse with a Dragon than risk the lives of men in an attempt to destroy him? That, my Lord, I deem to be unwise. A Dragon's mind does not think rationally as our minds do. He is uncapable of rational thinking, for he was created for evil, by evil, and from evil. As this is the case I would counsel war against any fell worm of Morgoth!" Nenya glanced at the warriors before her, proud and strong. "And, my warriors," she continued, "though what Aerin has said sounds full of hope, I do not sense hope in it. She says that the Dark Legion is leaderless and unorganized, but as of late that council has been stirring! Do not underestimate its powers! They may strike yet, and I would counsel you all - even you, Ingolemo - to be ready when they strike. Evil is still there, and before we know it will blow. We must be ready. I, for one, will never parley with the forces of evil! I am here to defend what is good and righteous, not to make an agreement so that Evil can grow!"
 

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"You say a dragon does not think rationally? A dragons tongue is its poison. Only the wisest on Middle-earth can speak to a dragon who is aware of your presence. But there are no dragons left to parley with. I do not question the might of Arnor. Our host's armies can flatten the worms of darkness. But that dost not mean they should. Power is judged not how you use it but rather how you choose NOT to use it. I am ready for war, indeed. As I see many of us are. Our training will soon produce a battalion of new warriors. But...on to new matters. We have talked long about the possibility of war and it grows dark on my mind even when the sun shines outside."
 

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Alkorr remained in his chair, listening to the words of the council. Finally, without standing, he spoke.

"War is of little worry to me, for no seige great enough to destroy us will rise overnight. Evil never sleeps, but it also waits. It will attack the minds of the people rather than by using force immediately. I have traveled across the plains and mountains, but that was long ago. The armies of The Dark Legion, if they plan to attack, have only just begun to prepare. Their goal, as I said before, is to attack our minds. We cannot let petty disagreements come between us, for in turmoil we find ourselves weakest."

Alkorr turned to Ingolemo.

"I am a monk, yes, but long ago I was not. If any war shall come upon our lands, I will take up a weapon, be it bow or axe, and fight. My mind leans away from war, but as spoken by the elf, there are times when it is needed."
 

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A tall, slender elf emerges from the doorway. She has jet black hair that reaches just past her shoulders and ice blue eyes that have a peircing gaze. Her complextion is alabaster and she carries a staff that is a simple white with a dark blue gem on the top. She is clothed in a very long satin dark blue dress and a forest green cloak hangs from her shoulders. Her staff makes an echo in the ominous hall as she touches it to the floor. "My deepest apologies for such a late arrival and my greatest thanks for the invitation to this meeting. For those who do not know me, my name is Valanthe Liadon. Your voices carried to me as I approached this hall. You speak of the fear of war. I do not beleive it is a subject we should worry ourselves with much yet. Have we no other buisness to be concerned with now?" Valanthe takes a seat with the others and turns her attention to Ingolemo.
 

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Once more the great doors of the Temple's great hall opened and closed as a very stern-looking man strode into the room. In his hand, he bore a scroll, and upon his garb was emblazoned the Crest of Atannore. His blazing, red hair swept back from his face in a shock, and his beard stabbed forward in a fork. His voice was strange, booming and yet not warm. "Wise and venerable lords and ladies, I come from the Emperor bearing a message of importance."

Without waiting, he opened the scroll, but did not quite read from it (for he knew what was inscribed upon it). The armies of Mornclaur are still encamped north of the North Downs. Their raiding parties have been seen in the Emyn Uial, but all attempts to enter the hills have been beaten back by the glorious Arnorian infantry. Less than 75 leagues north of Fornost Erain, the enemy is suspected to have a large force, numbering at least one hundred thousands strong. They have, some time ago, taken the castle at Carn Dum which was the abode of Governor Lorien of the Angmar Province. In Rohan, there is a formidable force of Mornclaur, estimated at no more than five hundred thousands. This army may or may not be in multiple groups, one or more of which may be moving into Gondor, which has sent no hard information. We estimate that there are between five and seven hundred thousand enemy troops there. The mockery that is the Navy of Mornclaur has a sizable flotilla in the River Anduin, but a majority of this is in the havens of Umbar still.

The man stood up straighter after finishing. "I am Ërvûrkeá, and will serve as your liason to the Empire until Minister Burrowes returns from his...holiday. If you have any questions or comments on the policy of the Imperium, or you have a suggestion or request of us, then I am the one to come to." With a slight bow, he sat down near the back of the hall.
 

Nenya Evenstar

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"Thank-you, Ërvûrkeá," Nenya said quietly, breaking the stillness that pervaded the room. "So, the Enemy is still a threat, as I have said." A shuffling of feet was her only answer. "Tell me, Ërvûrkeá, what do Arnor's forces look like? Are they in good shape? And how long do you think this temporary lull in the War will last?" Nenya was full of questions that needed answering. Was this too soon for the Heren Istarion to commit themselves to a War? Whatever the case, they would support Arnor! Nenya, at least, would see to that!
 

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