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Inside the Golden Hall

yhwh1st

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Well, here is another serious rp.

Please read the rules before posting.
  • You must have a serious character profile to post here. This rp is for serious players, and not beginner RPers.
  • If you choose to post here, please make sure that any details agree with those of the prior posts. We are trying to make this as accurate as possible.
  • If a post does not make sense to the story, it will be disregarded
  • We also ask that you refrain from spamming.
  • If someone chooses to begin a new section, or part, of the story in a different part of the world, welcome, but please apply the same rules to your section of the story.
Thank you for reading this and welcome 'Inside the Golden Hall.'

And if you have any questions, please pm me.
 
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yhwh1st

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Origionally written by Daranavo

The evening sun glowed upon the winding road that ascended into Edoras. In the distance ten blurred forms rode on nine horses. Eight were clad in the heraldry and armor of Rohan. Their horses adorned as is the custom of the skilled riders of the West. Two sat upon Gaidon, a dark brown gelding that easily was the better of the lot. Astride him sat his master Daranavo, dressed in the fashion of a Long Rider. A highly skilled horseman of the Mark and former soldier of Rohan. To his front sat Tiriviel, grand-daughter to Elrond. She had been ambushed by orcs along her journey and all who traveled with her were slain. It was Daranavo that arrived just in time and saved her life. He decided that her mission was important, and that he would see her safely to Edoras. Which for him would mean capture and death. Tiriviel carried a message for the High King that spoke of a plot against the throne. A plot of which Daranavo was already aware.



Not three weeks prior, Daranavo had learned that Lord Farran was plotting to take the throne. This knowledge almost cost him his life. In his flight, he had killed Jurrick, Lord Farran’s son, in self-defense. For his actions, Daranavo had been branded a traitor by his King. The very man he had been trying to protect. Now, escorted by soldiers of Rohan, he has safely guided Tiriviel to Edoras. However for him, it could mean his death.



Lies and deceit enshroud Edoras and the throne.
 

yhwh1st

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Tiriviel felt a stronger sense of nearing sadness as the patrol approached. They were clad in the common armour of the Rohirum. A man dismounted who seemed to be the leader, and Tiriviel saw a flicker of recognition as he looked at Daranavo. She then looked at Daranavo. There seemed to be a slight resignation on his face, and yet...he stood tall, and there was also a look of defiance and determination in his stance and expression. When the leader asked what her name was, and her business in Edores, she had a feeling that it would not be wise to give her name to these men. "My name is Elerrina. I bring an urgent message to the king." The man's brow raised slightly as he heard this. "What is this urgent message?", the man asked. He seemed to dwell on the word 'urgent' "That," she replied "I cannot tell you. I was ordered to give the message to no one, save the king himself." She felt very uncomfortable under this man's gaze. Presently, an odd expression came into his eyes. "Then we must escort you to ensure that you arrive in good time." There seemed to be a gleam of pleasure in his eye as he turned and give Daranavo a hard look. He then looked again at Tiriviel with an almost evil, self satisfied smile.Catching a movement from Daranavo, the man turned to look. What he saw surprised him greatly. Tiriviel looked and saw that Daranavo's stature had seemed to grow much larger, and there was a threatening air about him. The man seemed to shrink under Daranavo's glare, then an angry expression came over his face. "The two of you will follow." he said, his voice barely audible.


It seemed as though they had no choice in the matter. There was little shance of them fighting their way out, they were out numbered, eight to two. Daranavo helped Tiriviel into the saddle then settled himself behind her. She tried to read the expression on his face, but could not. I don't understand what is happening. Tiriviel thought. She could've seen his thoughts, but didn't want to pry. He had seemed distant the last few days and almost sad. She leaned up against him as they moved out, as if she felt it would protect him from what was to come, though she knew not what that would be. The man who spoke rode ahead, and his companions rode on either side and behind them.
 

Daranavo

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Daranavo knew it was too late for him. He had done what he said he would. He had gotten her to Edoras, but, was she truely safe? His thoughts echoed within his own head. Her hair was blowing into his face as they rode. He felt her body against his and for the first time he caught her scent but now he knew was not the time to dwell upon such things, she was heading into a vipers nest and there was nothing he could do about it. Or, could he.

With this right arm, he brought it around her and rested his hand upon her stomach. He leaned forward and with an urgent tone in his voice, he spoke into her left ear. “You must stay out in the open as much as possible. If he can not get you alone, you may yet succeed unharmed. It is too late for me now, you must deliver your letter and leave Edoras as soon as you are able. You may have my horse he will serve you well. I did not tell you a great many things but know that what I did, I did for my King no matter what it has cost me. I do not think we shall speak again so now I shall say goodbye to you.” He leaned his forehead against the back of her head. He closed his eyes and shighed heavily. “It was a pleasure to of met you Tiriviel."


As they climbed the hill, the leader sped away and disappeared behind a building to their left. Finally, they came to a halt in the center courtyard, buildings of different shapes, colors, and sizes and people all going about their business were all around them. Just above lay the great hall and her destination. The horsemen dismounted together and called for the stable hands. Daranavo swung his leg over and dismounted then helped her down. Several young men ran up to them and began to collect the horses. Two of the soldiers came up to Tiriviel. The older of the two spoke. “Follow me to the hall miss.” As she turned to go she saw the other six move around Daranavo threateningly. The sun had just dipped below the horizon, and the wind whistled through the courtyard.
 
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yhwh1st

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Tiriviel looked over her shoulder as she reached the topmost step to the hall. The sun was swimming on the horizon and there was a slight breeze from the west. The men had been speaking but Tiriviel could not hear what was said. As she looked she saw a soldier lay a forceful hand on Daranavo's shoulder. He immediately swung at the man and knocked him down with great force. Daranavo was able to take down several other soldiers, but it seemed that, no matter how many he struck down, there always seemed to be more than before. After several minutes the soldiers were able to disarm him and they forced him away, beating him as they went.

Tiriviel moved to help Daranavo the minute that the struggle broke out, but was restrained by two sets of strong hands. "No! Let...me... go!" she shouted, as the two soldiers grabbed hold of her. She was struggling with all her might to escape the strong grasp that held her back. She struggled for several minutes but could not break free, and could only watch as they cruelly forced him away. The man on her right was speaking to her. What was he saying? "Milady, you will come with us. The king awaits you." The soldiers kept hold of her arms as they strictly guided her into the throne room. She was stunned and did not see what was before her until she heard a new voice. "What? Would you dare to treat a lady in such a manner? What do you mean by this? Release her this moment!" Tiriviel looked up and saw a man standing before her dressed in rich clothing. He was slightly greater in stature than the two that stood at her side. He stood glaring at the two men as he spoke and they immediately let her go. He then looked to Tiriviel.

She took a step forward and said: "My lord. Are you King Eomer?" "Yes I am." he replied. "Lord king, I was sent to deliver a letter to you and saw my friend brutally forced away. As I moved to lend aid to the man who saved my life these men took hold of me and would restrain me. What crime has this man committed to deserve this?" A look of deep sorrow came into his eyes as he answered. "The man committed traitorous deeds." He was then silent for some time but seemed to shake himself. "You said that you were sent to deliver a letter to me. Do you have it?" Yes milord, but I was told to give it to you in privacy." He signaled for the men to leave and she pulled the letter out from the blue sash that was tied around her waist. Eomer studied the seal for a moment before breaking it. He stood and read the letter three times before looking again at her. "Do you know the contents of this letter?" "Yes sire. I was given the message so that, if by some great misfortune the letter should be lost, you would still be informed about this matter." He looked hard at her, then began to pace. After a few minutes he turned to her again. "You must have passed through many dangers to deliver this message to me. What can I do for you in return?" "Sire, it has been an honor to serve your majesty." She replied. "But certainly there must be something that would be of value to you?" Tiriviel was silent for a moment, then said: "If it is not too much, I would ask that the man who was taken be released." "That, I cannot do. He is a traitor, and as such, he will be punished as one." Again, a look of keen sorrow came across his features. Tears came to Tiriviel's eyes as she asked: "Then I ask, milord, may I speak with him alone one last time?" He could not refuse and called for a man to show her to the prison. She followed the man and her eyes met Daranavo's as she walked in. The soldiers left and stood guard outside the door.
 
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Daranavo

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The large metal door creaked as it was closed behind her. A loud metallic echo reverberated within the chamber when it connected with its latch. The large room was very dark and the dampness smelled of old urine and sweat. However, her elven eyes allowed her to see unfettered. From behind the door, a guard that watched her through a small door near his face spoke to her, “The traitor is in the 3rd cell on your left.”

The room was very long. To its sides stood black iron bars that formed the prison cells. As she walked forward she saw a bearded man clothed in rags laying upon the floor in the first cell to her right. He was asleep yet as she passed him he coughed but did not wake. She continued down the rows of cells on either side of her and came to the third one on the left. Daranavo was against the far wall. His gaze followed her as she came in front of his cell door. She let out a slight gasp and covered her mouth when she saw him. He was leaned back motionless, against the wall. He could only see out of his right eye. His brow of his other had swollen shades of purple and was completely shut. He held his right side with his left arm and he winced with every raspy breath he took.

*Tiriviel gathered her composure and approached the bars. “Why could you not go pea..”*,he cut her off angrily, his voice strained and weak. “Why did you come down here!? Why did you not heed my warnings!?” He coughed and when he did it sent a shock of pain through his chest and he convulsed. He clenched his teeth until the pain subsided. “If you have delivered your message, leave this place and take Gaidon…please!” He pleaded with her desperately and coughed again. “My days in the sun are over.” He looked down and away from her and softened his voice. “Please go.”
 
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yhwh1st

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Tears coursed down her face as she gazed at him. In a split second, she made a decision. There was a bowl of water in a corner of the cell and some moldy bread. "Can you move closer to me and bring that water?", she asked, ignoring what he had said before. He moved with difficulty and a slight groan emmited from his throat as he got to his feet, then slowly made his way toward her and again sat against the wall, this time within her reach. After some rather harsh words from Tiriviel, Daranavo allowed her to examine his chest. She was certain that he had some broken ribbs and, after a minute of feeling around the bruised area, confirmed it. She removed the stone from around her neck and dropped it in the water, then she removed her sash, it had served it's purpose conceling the letter. She submerged the sash in the water, wrung it out, and proceded to gently wash his wounds. It took her several minutes for they were many, then she removed the stone from the water and placed her hands over it on his broken ribbs. She saw him clench his teeth in pain and felt a pang of pity. Closing her eyes she spoke several words in elvish then looked to see that the stone was beginning to glow blue through her hands. Tiriviel knew that the brighter the stone glowed the stronger it was working to heal, and that the deeper the wound was the longer it took to heal. She removed her hands after a few minutes and saw that Daranavo breathed with greater ease and a look relief and wonder came to his face. "What... How...?" he started to say, but she interrupted him. "You saved my life. How could I do less? Here, drink this." she said as she removed her stone and handed him the bowl of water. He obeyed then sat up refreshed. "Will you tell me why this has happened? Why were you treated so harshly and placed here?" He sat silent for a time then began to speak.
 

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Daranavo sighed a long sigh and settled himself before he spoke. His words came calmly as he delved back into his memories. He smiled and closed his eyes at first.


4 years ago…At the beginning of fall.

The sun was high and the day grew hot. It was the beginning of autumn and the plains were alive with color., Two men raced across the landscape. Two dark forms in front of a backdrop of yellows, oranges, reds, and browns. Their horses ran swiftly, each gallop between them was timed perfectly with one another. Men, women, children, and soldiers of the Mark lined an area marked with large poles adorned with the colors of Rohan. All except for a thoroughfare left for the horses to run through them. A literal split sea of people that cheered loudly in the hot sun. This race marked the beginning of the fall harvest and to these people, horses and horse races were everything.

Daranavo: “The fringe is mine this time my friend!”

Jurrick: “Hah, Gaidon will fade like before!”

Daranavo leaned forward in his saddle and spoke to his dark brown gelding.

Daranavo: “Gaidon, like the wind.”

With a new found strength, Gaidon hastened his pace and pulled away from Jurrick and his grey mare. The two approached the fringe of their Kings lands as they have done each year. However, this year, Daranavo was in the lead. The wind whipped his hair behind him and the wooden marker lay a few hundred yards in front of him. He sat up and gripped the sides of Gaidon with his legs. He slowly let go of his reins, and held his arms outward. He floated upon Gaidon with pure gracefulness for at that moment they were one and the same.

Cheers rose up from the sides as he passed the markers. Petals of colorful flowers were thrown in the air by all. Daranavo crossed the line first, his arms outward, the sky rained with petals.

The cheers of the crowds faded, and the scene changed.



6 months ago…Near the end of Winter.

The sky was clouded and dreary. Wet snow fell upon barren trees. The grass was brown and wilted by the long winter. A young man ran between the trees, his breath came in gasps and he felt as if his heart would soon burst. His face was reddened by the wind and his exertion. From a distance, a crossbow was fired. It struck the man in the back of the leg. He slipped and rolled into a snow-bank. Blood leaked from his new wound and stained the snow a deep red. Horse hooves could be heard and their beat along the ground had grown louder. The man scrambled to his feet and tried to run but soon fell back to the ground. His leather jerkin was soaked from the wet snow and his sweat. Dark grey legs of a horse came into view and halted just near the fallen man. The man turned his body and went onto his back. The bolt stuck out from his thigh, blood had soaked into his pants all around it. He was short of breath as he pleaded.

Ardel: “Please…no! I won’t say anything.!”

Black boots from the dismounting rider hit the ground aside the grey horse. He stepped slowly around and stopped in front of Ardel.

Ardel: “I’ll not chirp a word…I swear it!”

Voice: “Now Ardel, if you had not intended to say anything, you would not have ran from me.”

Ardel shook his head frantically, his leg throbbed terribly.

Ardel: “I was afraid ok! He began to sob. “I knew you had found out what I said to Daranavo. But he didn’t believe me. See, I had to tell someone and I knew he wouldn’t believe.”

The boots shifted.

Voice: “So it was Daranavo who you told was it?

Ardel’s expression changed to sheer disbelief.

Ardel: “You didn’t know? You didn’t know who I told?” He fell back into the snow and weeped.

The boot shifted again and a crossbow was loaded once more.

Voice: “Well that was not nearly as difficult as I thought Ardel, for that I must thank you. I thought I might actually have to get my hands dirty to ring out the name.”

Ardel’s face turned to pure rage and he sat up. He spat at the man across from him.

Ardel: “The King will find out before you take his throne! You will be hanged a traitor just like your father will!”

A black boot kicked him in the face and he fell over. The boot quickly came down upon Ardel’s back and held him down, the left side of his face against the wet snow. He struggled at first, then settled and closed his eyes.

The voice chuckled.

Voice: “Ardel, you always did give up too easily even when we were children. I thought your induction into the Long Riders would have changed you. Apparently it did not.”

The front of a loaded crossbow came into view pointed downward. Without a sound, the bolt leapt forward.

The scene faded into a blanket of white.



2 months ago….summer begins.

The night sky was overcast and filled with rain. The moon and the stars were veiled. In the rain, three men stood around a small fire and discussed dark deeds yet to be done.

Voice1: “Ha ha ha, it still amazes me that the King still has no idea.”

Jurrick: “Well that was the idea Kailen.. If he knew he was about to lose his throne, we would never get close enough to him.”

Voice2: “When will Farran make his move?”

Jurrick: “When the two of you carryout your side of our agreement.”

Kailen: “Pretty soon then if you brought our payment.”

Jurrick reached into his jerkin and tossed out onto the ground a small bag, filled with coins. *chink* went the bag as it hit the ground.

Jurrick: “You can count it if you wish, however, I assure you it is all there.”

Kailen bent over and picked up the bag, happily.

Kailen: “No I trust you heh heh, we will be there just like we said we would.”

Voice2: “Hey, you guys hear that?”

The three men stopped talking immediately.

Jurrick: “It sounds like…a horse.”

Just then, a spear pierced Kailen through the middle, he dropped to his knees, and fell forward, dead.

Jurrick: “Its Daranavo!”He yelled as he scrambled over to his grey mare.

A dark brown horse jumped over the two men, its front left hoof struck the unnamed man in the head and knocked him out cold. Jurrick, jumped upon his horse and gave chase.

Lightning crashed and the thunder rolled as Jurrick bore down upon Daranavo. With a steady hand, he loaded his crossbow, pointed it forward at Daranavo, and shot it. The bolt struck him in the shoulder but he did not unhorse him immediately. Daranavo knew that Jurrick would reload and that he was deadly with a crossbow. He knew he had one chance. He had to unhorse him. Daranavo leaned to his left and back, and let his reins fall. He removed his right leg from the stirrup, and fell to his left. He rolled several times, and came to a stop on his back. He did not move after his fall. Jurrick came up short and halted. He pointed his crossbow at Daranavo and rested his finger on the trigger. With a grin he removed his finger, slung the crossbow behind him and dismounted. He drew his long knife and slowly approached Daranavo.

Jurrick: “I will miss our races Daranavo. You were always a better rider than I.”

He stepped closer, the knife blade poised to strike him in the throat. Without warning, Daranavo kicked up with his right foot and struck his crossbow. The bolt disappeared into the rain.. With his left foot, he kicked him in the hip, and sent him staggering backward. When Jurrick righted himself, he was now face to face with Daranavo, his rapier in his hand. Jurrick drew his and flipped his long knife around along his arm.

The two moved and circled about. Blades tested the air and each other. A quick slash, and a tight thrust. Both skillfully blocked. The men circled one another and furiously tried to break through the others defenses. Jurrick blocked a slash with his upturned long knife and moved in for a killing thrust. Daranavo turned aside his blade, and caught his arm. Their blades mingled briefly and Daranavo ducked almost to a knee. As expected Jurricks blade slashed too high, and Daranavo thrusted his rapier into Jurricks chest.

Jurrick gurgled blood from his mouth and let his blades fall. Daranavo pushed his rapier to its hilt into Jurricks chest, the end pierced through his back. Jurrick blinked in disbelief and felt his legs begin to go. Daranavo grabbed hold of him and together he layed him down upon his side. Daranavo went to a knee over him. With tears in his eyes he spoke his lasts words to him.

Daranavo: “You fool, you killed us both!”

The scene faded into darkness and to the sound of the rain.


The Present

Daranavo had tears in his eyes and became silent. He tilted his head down, his eyes still closed. His wounds had all but faded except for the pain of the betrayal that he relived before her very eyes. The pain of a good friend that took everything away from him in one fell stroke, and silently he began to dispair. He did not feel that Tiriviel had taken his hand in hers.
 
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yhwh1st

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I'm BAAAaaack!!!!!

Daranavo had seemed to not be aware of her presence as he told his tale. Silent tears coursed down her cheeks as he recalled the betrayal, and ere he finished she had taken his hand in hers. There was silence for some time when Tiriviel heard herself saying:"Uich gwennen na wanath ah na dhin. An uich gwennen na ringgyrn embor han. Boe naid bain gwannathar, Boe cuil ban firitha. Boe naer gwannathach..."

She shook herself, then looked at him. His weapons were hanging on the wall across from the cell. Now is not the time. she thought. "You should not be here." The words were spoken quietly so as to not be heard. He looked at her and said: "And yet, I am here. And you. You, Tiriviel, should leave here while you still have the chance." he urgently whispered. "Take Gaidon, find a place that is safe, and get away from here!" In his urgency he grasped her hand tighter. She stood up, shaking her head, and pulled her hand free of his. "I cannot simply stand aside and watch you pay for the treachery of another man." She looked behind to ensure that no one was listening. Then whispered so only he could hear: "I will come for you tonight, when all is quiet, and we will go to a place where we can rest and gather strength for what lies before us." She turned and walked out before he could reply. He had tried to interrupt a few times, but she would not let him. She would not argue about this, her mind was set.

She walked to the stables to look in on Gaidon. He was standing in the corner wide eyed. He knew something was not well with his master. Tiriviel slipped inside the stall and made her way over to Gaidon. "All will be well. We will get him out tonight, and then be away from this place." She spoke to him in elvish and he nodded his head as if he understood. "Good. You must be quiet when I come for you. I will return shortly." She made her way back to the hall and a servant offered her a bed, which was not refused. As she followed the woman she observed her surroundings without appearing to. Too many guards here. Ah! A balcony. But I wonder, can I... "Thank you. I need nothing more." she said to the woman. Tiriviel looked over when the woman left. Yes, I can just make that jump. She moved away, extinguished the candle, and waited. If someone had been watching a little while later, they might have seen a a slight form drop from a balcony. Tiriviel crept to the stable. An uneasy thought settled into the back of her mind. This is too simple. But she brushed the thought away. Gathering Gaidon's tack and saddle bags she silently prepared for their escape, them moved over and spoke quietly to the horse. "You must keep quiet and step lightly, my lad." He nodded his assent and she led him to the back of the jail house then moved around the front. Using the hilt of her blade she knocked one of the two guards unconscious then placed the blade at the throat of the other. "You will open the cell of my friend." They made their way into the building and the guard opened the cell door.
 

Daranavo

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"Elves", he murmured with an angry tone as she moved to the prison door and knocked. The door was unlatched from the other side and swung open by an armored guard. He stepped to the right and allowed her to pass before he slammed it shut and re-latched it. The slam echoed about the stone walls around Daranavo. He shook his head and shook the bars like a caged animal in anger. Now he thought that it would be likely he will have to save her life a second time and from his own people. He sat back down upon the cell floor brooding and awaited nightfall.


Daranavo awoke when he heard the latch to the cell door. He was covered in sweat and silently prepared himself. The door swung open but he could not see who was there. He strained his eyes to see but he heard only footsteps approach. He stood up and grasped the bars of his cell door. He said glumly, "So this is how a Rider of Rohan is to be repaid for his loyalty? Murdered in the dark?" He finally saw the guard as he stood before his cell door and began to unlock it with his key ring. The guard looked at him angrily as he popped the lock and removed his key. Daranavo looked down at the latch as it slid out of place. He looked back to the guards face when he heard a strange sound. The guard leaned his forehead against the bars, slid down to the floor, and fell flat unconscious. Behind him was a female's form and he knew her smell. The guard had fallen in front of the cell door and so he slid him as he opened the door and stepped out.


"Foolish woman", he spouted almost too loud for the present situation. She protested. *"Well, I couldn't..."* He cut her off and looked at her angrily. "Couldn't what? Do as I asked?" He moved toward her and seethed. "It was my decision to return here. Mine. I could of left you after the orcs were slain and went about my way. If I knew that you would take a risk such as this I would have as sure as not. Do you realize what you have done? She tried to speak and when she did he grabbed her shirt with his hands and pressed her against the wall. He was scaring her now and his grip upon her hurt. "More lives now may be spent to this treachery. I may have to kill more of my people now." His anger subsided when he saw tears roll down her face. *"I'm...I'm sorry." She said softly.* He looked at her and now felt almost ashamed of himself. *She continued, "I...couldn't...let...them..."* He released her and drew her to his chest. In a softer tone he said, "I know...I know." He began to admire this elf. Her determination had no equal. He loosed his arm and looked down at her. "Now, this time, I do need your help. Where is Gaidon?"


Tiriviel quickly explained what she had done and that she had very little difficulty. This worried Daranavo greatly. He knew that it could not be coincidence that the guard would be so lax. He removed his gear from the wall and with a wink he asked her to strip the guard. She smiled and nodded understanding his intent. As she began he packed up most of his equipment into the shoulder bag save for his rapier. A short time later and out of breath, Tiriviel dropped the guard’s armors at his feet. To her surprise, he had already undressed. In his shift he bent down and sized up the guards armors with haste. When he did, she saw many scars about his body. She focused on one that was quite large. She reached out her hand to touch it but halted as he motioned her to help him balance as he slipped on the chain armor in the dark. When he was dressed he handed her his rapier and his shoulder bag. His mind seemed to drift ahead. "If I fall, you may need that if you have some skill", he said as he removed a large round shield from the wall and handed it to her. Its weight surprised her and almost let it fall from her grasp. She felt weighted down but thought she could manage. "They will use bows and crossbows. We will have to work together.” He told her as he too took a shield off the wall and strapped it to his back. He took down 4 crossbows and a handful of bolts. He loaded them and gave 2 to her. “We will need your eyes tonight Tiriviel. I am a decent shot but I may have trouble seeing where we are going. Luckily for us, you are the only elf here. I hope I can make Gaidon understand that he must wait until we reach the gate.” He looked around the room in thought. “That should be everything.” Now with the added crossbows Tiriviel was not having an easy time of it. She was getting tired just standing there.
 

yhwh1st

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How's this?

Tiriviel was shocked when Daranavo grabbed her and shoved her against the wall. What had she done? Was this man really who he said he was? He was very strong and she felt the painful pressure of his hands on her. He spoke harshly to her which caused tears to fall from her eyes. She tearfully tried to explain herself but could hardly speak for fear of his anger. His look softened and he folded her into his arms. Held to his chest she felt completely safe, as though nothing could touch her. She had not felt such comfort since before her mother's death. He loosened his hold and she told him of her preparations for escape. "They may be expecting something, it was far too easy." Daranavo took the armor of the guard and put it on. She saw his scars and silently wondered what kind of life this man led. He then proceeded to load her down with weapons then instructed her in what they needed to do.


"If I have some skill?" she said. Does this man think I cannot care for myself? I can barely move with all of this. I would be far safer without it. Tiriviel angrily dropped the gear that Daranavo had loaded on her. "What do you mean by this? These will not help, only hinder me." A strange expression came to his face when he realized what he had done, Tiriviel would almost call it humor. But they could not be idle for long. They quickly sorted out what was to be kept. In the end Tiriviel carried her own weapons, a shield, and two crossbows. Their shoulder packs were secured to Gaidon's saddle and Daranavo prepared Gaidon for their flight. Tiriviel spoke to the horse in her own tongue. "You must wait here. We will make our way out of the city, then I will call for you and you must be swift and quiet. Danger is ahead. You must be ready for my call." Again, the horse nodded in compliance with her instructions and they were ready to go. Tiriviel and Daranavo quietly made their way around the building and began to move away, keeping to the shadows.
 

Daranavo

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The escape

He did not know what she had said to Gaidon, but the horse looked as if it understood. “You will have to teach me that when we are away from here,” he said. She looked back at him with a smile and nodded.


The night sky was very dark and ominous. Daranavo thought it appropriate for what is to come. He knew Farran’s men were out there. Farran could not allow them to escape now. Mentally he prepared himself for the killing that lay ahead of him. He could try to wound but if he was pressed he would do what he had to and he knew it.



Tiriviel led them through alleys and around buildings. Several times she turned back to him and reminded him to be quiet. Once in-fact she shook her head and mumbled something about a herd of Oliphants. She stopped him and pointed out across the courtyard to where she told Gaidon to meet them when it was time. Daranavo saw the distance and shook his head in protest. “Its too far. Too far without cover.” He thought a moment. “Unless I was to chase you toward the guard post.” If it is just you they may try to take you unharmed. If they think I am chasing you they might just try to help me catch you.” He rubbed his chin in deliberation. “What do you think?” She looked at him for quite a long time. “I could just shoot them. At that he violently shook his head. “No, not acceptable. No killing unless it is absolutely necessary.” She raised her eyebrow. “I do not think we shall have the same.” He raised his hand up. “Shoot to wound only,” He said in a scolding tone. She gave out a heavy sigh and nodded. “Then try to keep up.”


With the shield strapped to her left arm she bound out into the open. Daranavo reached back with his left hand and took hold of the shield strapped to his back. He held two crossbows in his right. He whispered. “Father, forgive me,” before he too took to open ground after her. He had not worn chain for some time and had forgotten how heavy it really was. He wanted to ask her to slow down but she was too far away. So he quickened his pace. She had passed the well guard already. A tall man that held a long spear. He heard him say aloud. “Whats this now?” At that moment, he saw faces in windows and men turn about in the square. Behind her she heard Daranavo say in a deep voice, “Someone grab her!” She knew she did not have much time and called out to Gaidon in elvish. She neared the front guard post. Two armed guards moved into her path, their long spears held in a defensive posture. She was not sure if they could even see her yet. She whispered to herself, “Hurry Daranavo hurry”. Indeed he was running as fast as his feet would carry him. He saw a guard drop his spear and grab Tiriviel while the other looked on. He heard footsteps and talk behind him but his focus was upon what lay ahead.



He came in full speed and shouldered the guard who was just standing there. The force of his blow threw the man back a good 10 feet and left him sprawled out on the road. The other quickly released Tiriviel and turned to him wide-eyed. Tiriviel took the opportunity and bashed him in the chin with the top of her shield. He fell straight backward and landed hard. With her keen ears, she heard the sound of crossbows. And as she did she turned quickly, opposite Daranavo and held her shield in front of her. Several crossbow bolts slammed into her shield. One glanced off and struck Daranavo in the arm and he yelped. He went to a knee behind her and set down the crossbows before he picked one of them back up. While Tiriviel peered around the shield, she heard more crossbows fire. She tucked herself in and felt them hit the shield. Daranavo pointed the crossbow at the closest men he could see. He saw someone reloading and pulled the trigger. He heard a yelp and discarded the fired crossbow behind him. More bolts struck her shield. Daranavo picked up his second crossbow and quickly fired it at a soldier that bore down on them with a spear. It struck him in the leg and he fell to the side. More bolts struck her shield and pierced the grass at her feet. Again he haplessly discarded the fired crossbow and when he did Tiriviel handed him another one. He saw two more men rushing into them and quickly grabbed her second with his left hand. He lifted them both one in each hand and fired them. The left bolt struck the soldier in the shoulder and he fell back, the man on the right was hit in the foot and stumbled. Though he did not see it, Tiriviel smiled when she saw Gaidon gallop into view. She also saw several soldiers advance their positions upon them. Three soldiers that were running toward them had to jump for their lives as the dark brown gelding ran through them. Gaidon stopped right near them and Daranavo all but lifted Tiriviel forward in front of him. Several more bolts slammed into her shield and one struck her in the shin. She groaned and stumbled forward. With his left hand Daranavo grabbed the back of her cloak and shirt and barely managed to keep her upright. He brought his right arm around behind her right thigh, and hefted her up onto Gaidon. She heard more crossbows and skillfully tilted her shield just in time to feel them splinter as they hit it. Daranavo turned to mount and several bolts struck his back. The shield turned them all but one in which grazed through his hip. He stumbled and fell against Gaidon. Tiriviel heard yet more crossbows and saw several men running toward them. Again she felt her shield spring back against several impacts. Daranavo fumbled for the reigns and just barely was able to flip his leg over without unhorsing Tiriviel in the process.


With a pull on the reigns Gaidon lurched forward into a gallop and past the guard post. Down the winding road they rode. Bolts continued to fly at them from the darkness only to be deflected by Tiriviel’s shield. The two of them reached the bottom of the hill and rode out a few more hundred yards before halting. Daranavo hoped that they would not be chased. After a few moments, the sound of hooves was heard as they came down the hill. Tiriviel put a hand on his shoulder and said, “We need to go. He did not move his gaze and replied, “Not just yet, we can not outrun them.” She felt a great anxiety and conflict within him just then. The feeling was so strong she herself felt anxious. In a cracked voice he said, “Kill the lead rider.She was shocked at his words. “Are you…” He cut her off angrily. “Just do it!” He yelled. Her eyes grew wide at his tone.


Tiriviel dropped the shield she held and un-slung her bow from around her back. She quickly knocked an arrow and let it fly. Up the hill Daranavo saw the lead rider that galloped toward them fall to his left off of his horse. The other riders stopped their advance and trotted about in obvious agitation. He legged Gaidon on and together they rode away into the darkness.
 
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yhwh1st

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I didn't know what color your eyes were, so...

They rode for some time until they found a small clops of trees, in which they could make camp. Daranavo winced as he reached up and lifted Tiriviel from the saddle, then set her down. The gash on her leg was beginning to swell and it felt like it was on fire. Daranavo sat down on a nearby stone and looked as thought he was stunned. First things first. Tiriviel limped off to gather wood and kindling, then came back when she had found enough. She arranged the wood then spoke a few words in elvish and the wood began to blaze. Tiriviel then turned her attention to Daranavo. He had been hit twice. In the arm and his hip. Tiriviel retrieved her pack and removed her water skin. She knelt beside him and examined his arm. It wasn't as bad as she had thought. Deep, possibly to the bone, but it would be alright. She used her stone and the water to heal it, then bent down to examine his hip. This was worse. The bolt had torn the flesh down to the bone, which she could plainly see. There was a long gash the width of his hip and the opening was about an inch wide. This would take a little longer to heal. She washed it as gently as possible then said: "I need you to press the wound closed. Place both of your hands on either side of it and push. But do not touch the wound itself." He obeyed awkwardly, for it was in a difficult place. She placed the stone on the wound then covered it with her hands. She spoke several words in elvish and the stone began to glow an icy blue, and she felt the heat. She continued to speak in elvish for several minutes, willing the stone to work harder. When the stone had finally stopped glowing, Tiriviel turned to her own wound. The bolt had gone through, half had been broken off while the rest had stuck in her leg. Tiriviel had some difficulty pulling out the remaining half of the bolt because of the swelling. When it finally came free her leg began bleeding hard. She picked up a ready cloth and tried to stop the bleeding but could not. Blood quickly saturated the cloth and she retrieved another. "Will you please help me stop the bleeding?" Daranavo moved closer and pressed the cloth hard against the wound. Pain shot up her leg and seemed to course through her whole body. She inhaled sharply, then clenched her teeth. After several minutes the bleeding stopped, and Tiriviel was able to heal it with her stone.



Looking up from cleaning her mess, she saw Daranavo examining Gaidon. "Is he hurt?" she asked with concern. "No." His reply was barely audible. There was a look of deep sadness which had not gone out of his eyes since they had stopped. He stood with his back to her, gazing through the trees. Tiriviel moved over to him and placed her left hand on his right shoulder. "You could not have saved your king had you stayed there." she said in a quiet voice. "Now, we still have a chance to do so. I am grieved to see that I have caused the death of some of Rohan's finest. But I sense that it will not be always as it is now." He turned and spoke to her but she only saw his lips move. His eyes were a sea of green flecked with gold, she lost herself in his gaze and it seemed as though time no longer existed. It was several minutes before she could pull her gaze away, and when she did, she saw the eastern sky beginning to turn grey. They stood together and watched as the night sky began to change into a bright and glorious morning. Then Darnavo spoke, "We should eat and then be on our way. They will not be long to start a pursuit, now that it is beginning to be light." Tiriviel moved over to her pack and pulled out two lembas cakes and some water. She handed one to Daranavo and they ate in silence.
 

Daranavo

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He sat down upon a large stone that was very near the fire. Her healing ways always amazed him. Each time he felt that warm sensation course through his body it made him want to smile. Though this time, his face would not cooperate. In his mind he knew the name of the man she killed. He was an excellent tracker. One of the best he had ever seen. He had a wife and 2 children.

In a trance-like state he accepted Tiriviel's offering, however as he snapped off a small piece and held it up to his mouth, he felt his stomach churn. The feeling cut into him to the bone and he turned back the way they had come and looked. It bubbled up from the surface like a greasy ooze that had simmered too long. He was now a man who had nothing to live for. A shamed husk of the man he used to be. Tiriviel first noticed something was wrong when pieces of the lembas that he had squeezed in his hand had begun to fall to the ground. His lower jaw jutted forward and he stood now in the direction he had faced. He took staggered steps then raised his arms above his head. He took in a deep breath, "FARRAN, I WILL KILL YOU!" He lowered his arms as he shook with rage and continued to look down the path they had come. In a whispered, shaken voice he said, "I will kill you."

Daranavo threw the remainder of the lembas in his hand to the ground and walked up to his horse. He pulled out his crossbow, readied it, then set it back into its holder. As if she had just now said it, he then calmly replied, "Then let us be off then." With that he took Gaidon's reigns and began to walk down the path. Silently he now knew what he wanted. He wanted to kill every man Farran sent after them. He want to kill until their blood covered every inch of his body.

It was some time before Tiriviel had cleaned up the camp site. She checked her arrows to make sure they could be removed quickly in turn. Satisfied with her work she ran down the path after Daranavo. She stopped next to him and matched his stride. She knew she had to get him to talk. Tiriviel thought for a moment, then turned to him.
 

AraCelebEarwen

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well... here it goes...

It had been another hard night, the memories of the last few days would not let rest be found. A shadowed form sat curled up against the base of a large tree, the slight shivers were only in part from cold of the early morning. No fire had been started for fear that it might draw too much attention. Slowly the sky had changed from star sprinkled darkness to many shades of color as the sun began to rise. Blinking slightly and breathing in deeply, Aralindo pulled the dark cape tighter and wondered if she could get away with playing her flute, if only for a moment. Gently fingering the small, smooth instrument, she soon decided against it and placed it back into the folds of her sash, letting the long chain connected to it rub gently on the back of her neck.

Most of the cuts and bruises were starting to heal but the ache in her heart could not be so easily shaken. Her cousin’s fighting was better then her own and she had not seen her fall. But what if she was wrong? What if there was nothing to do but work her way back home and try to keep hope that she might yet find her?

The sounds of the battle still rang in her mind, the sight of her people falling slain amongst the bodies of orcs clung it’s sharp claws into her dreams, if sleep found her at all.

Their small band had been traveling towards Edoras on this mission. Maanafea was leading them, his voice teasing and kind as he spoke with her about many things. They had been good friends for a long while, though he was much older and insisted on calling her little one. Aralindo was happy to be asked to go with him and her cousin, Tirievel, when she was told about their plans. It would be a good chance to learn more about the changing world around her and practice some of her growing skills.

One afternoon, as they walked the road to Edoras, they were passing through an area of grass covered hills. The sun was warm on their backs and a gentle breeze kept blowing their long hair across their faces. All had seemed well. She and Maanafea had been at the head of the dozen or so elves with Tirivel hanging towards the back, watching. It was she that caught sight of it, a force of thirty some orcs had been waiting in ambush. Letting out a cry of warning, Tirivel soon had all readying their bows or drawing weapons.

There was a blood chilling shriek as the orcs rushed towards the road. The elves only had time enough to draw back and shoot one volley into the midst of the creatures. The cries of death were from both orc and elf as arrows were exchanged. Swords flashed in the sun light, blades slicing through flesh as the two forces clashed.

Aralindo had quickly drawn her long, curved sword, her mind rushing. She looked to where her cousin should have been but the orcs had forced their way between where she now stood fighting and where Tirivel was along side the other half of their people. The fight continued, forcing the two halves farther apart. Screams of pain filled the air, the bodies of friends and enemies could be seen scattered over the ground.

She spun around as a gurgling cry was heard just behind her. One of the elves had plunged his blade deeply into the gut of an orc only to have his throat sliced by another coming up from his side. She cried out at the sight of such a death, rushing over she caught it momentarily off guard and slashed the monster’s own throat in return, bringing it to the ground.

Maanafea’s movements were swift and precise as he brought his blade down in a swift slash, spilling dark blood onto the grass before turning to see others still coming. A woman not far from him let out a moan as she fell, a jagged blade being pulled from her back. He could see Aralindo was struggling to fight off another beast. Even as he looked, its dagger ripped across her arm making the sleeve shine damply. A few swift steps took him closer to her side. It was clear to see that there was only them and one other elf left where they fought, he pulled her back and to the side as swiftly as he could. She jumped as Maanafea‘s voice spoke quickly to her.

“You must leave, little one!”
“No! I will not, Maanafea! You know I can not!”
“I order it! Go!”

His blade glittered as it flew up to act as a shield. Two orcs rushed at the other man, drawing his attention to them he never had time to dodge the arrow. With a sickening thud, the shaft pierced through his armor leaving only the two left to fight. Maanafea held back only a moment, pulling a silver chain over his head he tossed it to Aralindo. As soon as she had it in her hand he again ordered her to leave, the tone of his voice demanding as he again blocked a jagged blade.

“Now! Leave!”

She knew well that she must obey though she wanted desperately to stay with him. Hesitating slightly, she turned away from the fighting, swift strides carrying her further down and away from the road. Only after a distance did she pause. Blurred eyes had looked back across to where he could just be seen. Graceful and swift, his armor catching the warm light from the sun, sparkling as he tried to fight off a full seven orcs. One fell as she watched, his sword slicing it’s thick neck as he spun dodging and striking. The ugly shrieks and yells of the orcs reached her ears even here.

His blade almost sang as it flashed through the air. A swift dodge was all that kept a dagger from piercing his side. Bringing the sword around, it connected with the skull of an orc. His heart racing as fast as his mind now, he had pulled back for another strike when a hot pain caused him to step forward, slightly dazed.

Aralindo fought with herself as she saw what was happening. Starting to run back to help him, she stopped after only three steps, her heart screaming as she watched one beast thrust a blade into his back. As Maanafae stumbled forward, another jumped on his back, pushing him down, it’s teeth digging into his neck. His face went blank as he fell to his knees, his body landing limply on the soft grass a moment later.

It was all she could do to keep her feet under her. Running for her very life, the tears streamed down her white face, the wind stinging her eyes. Finally, as she turned around another hill, she saw the edge of a forest thick with bushes further ahead.

How long she had run and how far she had traveled, she did not know, nor did she want to think. Well into the woods now, she couldn’t see the root curving out of the shadowed ground as she ran. She landed hard, scraping the palms of her hands and hitting rocks as she rolled to a stop. Limp and in pain, she had lay still on the damp ground, shaking in fear and grief.

It had been at least three full days now. Hunger went unheeded though the slice across her arm was washed and bandaged. Her face had grown very white and her voice was silent but for crying. The last words having been spent in the scream that broke from her heart as she watched Maanafea die.

After wandering around lost in thought, Aralindo had decided to start working her way back to Imladris in the hope that she might yet find out what had happened to her cousin, Tirivel. More then once she had only just escaped the clutches of the gangs of orcs that patrolled the roads. Now the place of her home was only about a day's journey from where the shadowed form rested, watching the sunrise. One hand clung to the silver chain around her neck, fingers rubbing it gently as shadowed eyes stared blankly out from a dark hood.
 
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yhwh1st

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Tiriviel had a little difficulty matching his stride. He was taller than her and had longer legs, but she managed to keep up and not be too obvious about the difficulty. She cast a sidelong glance at him. She sensed a great deal of anger bottled up inside of him. Then the realization hit her. He wants vengeance. She decided to try to lead his thoughts away from the events of the previous night.

Gaidon nuzzled her hair as if he was trying to figure out whether or not it was edible. Tiriviel turned and laughed as she pulled her hair over her shoulder. "No, you can't eat that." She turned her eyes to Daranavo's and saw that he was observing her with a slight smile. Her eyes sparkled merrily in response. "Did you train him?" she asked. Tiriviel had a sudden desire to know this man. Had he always had a life of hardships?
 

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His seething hatred turned his face hot with anger. Thoughts of Farran's own face contorting with pain filled his mind as he marched down the path. He did not notice that Tiriviel had caught back up to him. For some time they walked together in silence. It was Gaidon who decided that the air around them grew too stale as he attempted to taste her hair.

Daranavo felt Gaidon listing slightly and so he looked up to protest. The sight of him mouthing her long hair caught him offguard and his thoughts moved to her suddenly. A smile curled upon his face at the scene. "Did you train him?" She asked. His mind blanked a moment to her question and with a shake of his head, he replied in a stutter, "Who?...Gaidon?...Yes. When I was promoted...they...I was given...I mean, I selected him to train." It was very obvious to her that he was not used to idle talking. "I listened to his heart and then I knew...he was the one." He smiled looking forward away from her, relaxed, and slowed his stride.
 

yhwh1st

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"He is a beautiful horse, and very intelligent. It would be difficult indeed to find his equal." Gaidon nudged her shoulder as though he knew that she was praising him. "Yes, you are swift as well." she told the horse. At her words his ears twitched forward and he raised his head. "Ah, you are vain too." Tiriviel again focused her attention forward. She glanced at Daranavo out of the corner of her eye and was relieved to see him more at his ease. He seemed more at ease than she had yet seen since she had met him. Her mind raced back to that eventful day.

Tiriviel had decided to travel toward the rear of the group today. They had traveled quietly for some time and Tiriviel was walking with three friends. The two carried on a conversation but Tiriviel had no desire to join in. She simply enjoyed walking in the beautiful sunshine. But the clouds began to roll in and she sensed a storm nearing. She noticed a movement out of the corner of her eye and looked into the forest on her left. She saw several more movements but could not discern what she was seeing until one of the creatures made its way to the edge of the wood. She saw several more follow and she locked eyes with what appeared to be the leader. Tiriviel called out a warning to the rest of the travelers and they had arrows on the string as the orcs emerged from the trees. They shot a volley into the mass who returned fire. The groups then clashed together in a mass of confusion.

Tears came to her eyes and spilled down her cheeks as she recalled that day. So many had died, it wasn't right. She looked up and saw that Daranavo was gazing at her with an _expression of concern in his clear green eyes. And, was there something else? She couldn't tell. Tiriviel turned her face to wipe her tears away and searched for something to say that would draw the attention away from her tears.
 

Daranavo

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He smiled at the two of them. Indeed he is very vain, he thought to himself. Daranavo had never seen an elf up close until he met Tiriviel, and right then he heard whispers of elvish names in his head. At least, he thought it was elvish. He looked at her concerned and yet did not see her mouth voice the names that he had heard. Embarrassment and great concern overcame him when he had realized that she had almost died to those orcs, and of her companions, she was the only survivor. He wanted to stop but decided to continue, yet his concern grew and had to say something. "You are missing your friends yes?" He said softly and nodded. "I must apologize...I...was so gripped with my problems I had set yours aside. You have had no time to grieve. If it does not sadden you to speak of it, who were they?" His eyes settled on the side of her face as they walked.
 

yhwh1st

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Purposefully, Tiriviel focused her gaze on what was ahead. She did not like anyone to see her cry, it made her feel weak and vulnerable. Though, she had
felt like that quite often since her father had sailed to the undying lands. "There is not much to tell." she said, in reply to his question. "One was my kin. Three of us were to separate from the group, when we reached Edoras, to deliver the message. Many of them I knew from childhood" The tears welled up in her eyes and she was silent for some time. "They were a part of what little is left of my kind, here in Middle Earth. Very few of us decided to remain here when the ships sailed to Valanor. I now have no near kin that reside in this world." As she said this, her gaze wandered west to the sea. "I do not regret my decision to stay, but" she said with a weak smile "I do miss my father sometimes."
 

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