The Tolkien Forum

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

RP35 - Hope and Despair

Snaga

The Usual Suspect
Joined
Feb 11, 2002
Messages
2,261
Reaction score
5
SYNOPSIS OF THE STORY SO FAR

As the Fourth Age grew old, there arose a new foe in Mordor. At first he wore face that was benign, and he carpeted the plains of Gorgoroth with green, and he promised peace to the Men of the West. And Men were lulled. And Men grew to pride and folly, and fought amongst themselves, and were weakened. The line of Elessar failed, and all thought that the line of Elendil, that was the sprung from Luthien the Fair and through Beren came from the Fathers of Men died with it. And so Gondor was ruled by lesser men, and the ties with Rohan waned, and Arnor was ruled by the Emperor Ciryaher, proud, sometimes cruel and merciless, but still recalling the splendour of the ancient days. His bitterest foe was Elessar who ruled a realm in Enedwaith, for he was called a usurper who had claimed the throne of Gondor for himself, and he and his followers were exiled. Rohan only was his ally, and thus were the realms of Men divided one against another.

The elves were lessened, and had rustic silvan queens, and lingered like shadows deep in the Forests caring little for the affairs of Men. Those some few loremasters could still be found among them, and the High Elves were no more. Of dwarves, the tale was darker yet, for though they retook Moria, and made new delvings in Caradhras, there hearts grew dark and suspicious in roots of the Mountains. For from the east came newcomers, long sundered kin who had the touch of Sauron on them. And these had come to dominate the nobler folk of Durin. It was said that when the Seven were taken from them, these eastern dwarves had never been broken by the Dark Lord, but shaped bit by bit by greed and by wrath and by the lust for knowledge, as a craftman will shape the living rock. Until at last they were tool, apt to his hand, no matter how stubborn pride would tell it. And when the Lord Telchar of Halls of Caradhras declared he would serve the east, the alliance of the dwarves was ended, and their dominion of the mountains failed, and the orcs grew strong again.

For they were tended by Lord Dengen-Goroth, who now openly proclaimed himself as dark lord of Mordor, and under his weal all Rhun and Harad marched, and his empire he called Mornclaur. Of the orcs, one grew to prominence. From what dark hole he came none could tell, and none knew any name for him except the contemptuous snaga but soon that name was forbidden. In the north, in the mountains, he was named Urukgush, and that is Great Orc, and in Mordor and all its dominions he was Gonnilclaur. So mighty was he that all the armies of the East would march at his summons. Erebor he routed, and the Grey and Misty Mountains he peopled as far south as Moria, and his throne he established at Mount Gundabad.

It was in these days, that Elbereth Elentari, Queen of Stars, bethought herself that the new might of the Shadow should not go uncontested. And as none of the Maiar would be sent, she resolved to go herself to Middle-Earth, and none could gainsay her. Not even Manwe. And she went forth clad as a simple elven queen, and came to Gondor as the darkness lengthened. And it is said that as one of the Children of Iluvatar will love, so did Elbereth, and she married the King of Gondor. But in Valinor Manwe wept for his loss, and his eyes were dimmed and he would not raise his eyes to Middle Earth. And it is said that clouds wreath Mount Taniquetil, and the Blessed Lands were blessed no more. So were the Valar blinded to all that moved. Mandos would not speak its doom, and there was no song. Beyond the Doors of Night, the Will of Morgoth perceived his time had come. And he put forth his strength, and even the stars strayed from their course, with none left to guide them.
But if the Valar forgot Middle Earth, Iluvatar did not. Now in these days, one Lark of Rhudaur, became consumed by a Song that was a warning, and in its words were great power. But it pursued her and drove her, and knowing not what to do, she sought the mage Radagast, last of the Istari. So she crossed the Misty Mountain in a perilous journey, and there orcs slew her husband, a simple herdsman who she loved. At the Inn at the Old Ford, she was befriended by the ranger Mormegil, the Beorning Truor, and the elf Evereve. And they lead her to the home of Radagast, but the Vale of Anduin seemed now a place of evil, peopled with unnatural creatures. And Radagast had told them little they could understand, only saying that at Isengard they would learn the truth.

Now south they went, and all about they saw war preparing. King Eomer II, long descended from the sister-son of Theoden, met the company on his northern border, and in fear he closed Rohan against them, and hard words were spoken between Lark, and Elessar the proud. And so they sought an ancient path about its western eves in the foothills of the Mountains. Now Elessar, repenting of his harsh words to Lark, took his leave of the King of Rohan, and remembering his friendship of old with Mormegil went on errantry to guide their quest. An ill-choice, for in his pursuit, he was waylaid by a force that overwhelmed him. For it was lead by a wraith, a being of darkness that had not been seen since the destruction of the One Ring. Now finding whom was in their power, he imprisoned him in his secret fortress, and put him to torture. The company too were assailed, but then Lark discovered the power that was in the Song, and all their foes were stricken and could not stand against her. Now Lark, learning that Elessar was taken, was full of wrath and would not turn on her quest to save him, and pressed on to Isengard against the will of all the Company save Truor. There it was that they learned of an ancient dark art, and that Radagast had been to seek among the knowledge of Saruman.

Darker still, they found that Saruman had found that the power of the ancient black swords of Eol was given by black stones in their pommel, in which fell spirits were trapped. And that there was one more black stone, more powerful still, but where that might be there was no word. But they found too, that evil dogged them still, and there they were assailed by the dragon Magnus, and the woods around them were set to flame.

Taking flight as the fires spread, and saved only by the Ents coming from Fangorn, the Company now would not leave Elessar imprisoned any longer. They returned to the fortress, and there entered in secret. Rescuing Elessar, and barely escaping with their lives, they were only saved from the pursuing horde, by a companies of elves from Lorien, that emerged from their secret wood.

Magnus himself, though delighting in the destruction of old Fangorn, turned aside, hearing a summons in his heart. Within Mount Gundabad, in the great capital of the realm of the orcs of the North, a black spirit arose. Many of the blackest hearts were drawn thither and took counsel. The fell dragon Magnus, Serewing of Umbar, the Haradrim Jahrdur, the Necromancer Lorien, Lord Drygo, servant of Mordor, the Urukgush himself, and one that none had foreseen: Radagast. All quailed before him, as he tested the blackness of the hearts before him. In secret Radagast the Brown had turned to him, though the path was crooked. Seeking lore that might undo the corruption in Mirkwood, he had sought the ancient lore of Isengard, long abandoned, that concerned the twisting of creatures and the foul interbreeding of unnatural beasts. There he found what he sought, but such knowledge leads only to evil. The twisting and torturing of nature cannot be undone, save by Iluvatar alone. And Radagast wrought only more blackness in the heart of the Mirkwood, and in his own heart too. And then, lured by a voice that whispered to him the promise of power to bend all nature to his will, he found his way to the Black Spirit in Gundabad. Here, in the first test of this promised power, a servant of the Urukgush, Artos, the wolf-breeder of Angmar, and servant of Lorien was cursed, and himself took the shape of a werewolf, and was filled with anguish. But there was by evil will, a spark lit in the most unlikely place. For in that place too was the corsair captain Serewing, in the dungeons of the orc-lord.

On what was almost the eve of war, with the forces of evil mustering, doubt gnawed both the Urukgush and the dark Lord of Mordor. For the assault on Arnor was to commence through the ancient realm of Angmar, where still lived a people of evil heart. The Lord of Carn Dum was a necromancer, and a fitting heir to the legacy of the Witch King. Indeed, more ancient was he, who had been sired in Valinor and had served Sauron in depths of time after his fall from grace. As ruler of Angmar he had feared the might of Emporer Ciryaher and had appeased him. Therefore Dengen-Goroth mistrusted him, and had the Urukgush lead him to a great test. So then the Urukgush compelling Lorien to meet the Dark Lord on the shores of Long Lake, and had him test his powers. Lorien was bidden to raise the very spirit of Smaug, and call him forth to do the bidding of the shadow. Some say Lorien had done so only in fear, and that he truly had come, through his admiration of Emperor Ciryaher to rue his long years in the service of evil, others that this evil dead was tried full-hearted. Surely, had he refused the deed, his life would have been forfeit. So he put forth his power, and yea he brought forth the fell spirit of the dragon. But that was a test too great, and only Morgoth himself perhaps could have achieved it. As Smaug’s shadow drew near, his own spirit fled, and he was slain. And the Dark Spirit, seeing what befallen, bid those other servants to march to Angmar, and take the Castle of Carn-Dum, lest the Arnor prepare a stroke against the lords of darkness. This was done by Drygo, leading a host of orcs, and many fell men and creatures rallied to his banner.
 

Snaga

The Usual Suspect
Joined
Feb 11, 2002
Messages
2,261
Reaction score
5
Now in this time the spirit of Lorien was brought before Mandos, and tested. And Lorien now was filled with remorse at his evil works, and then was set to do penance. Returned to the elven wood, he was rehoused and bidden to redeem himself in the service of Iluvatar. There, he met with Lark and her companions. But the loremaster Thinorn studied the lore recovered from Orthanc and told them of the tale there told: that wraith was Azranika the Numenorean, an ancestor of Mormegil’s enslaved by a lesser ring, made by Sauron in the days when Ringlore was young. This ring was not bound to the Fate of the One Ring, and its power endured. The company then resolved to go to the haunted tower of Lond Daer, where once Azranika’s elven bride had lived, to seek perhaps for the some way to undo his power and to look for the great black stone. But Elessar would not go with them, for tidings of the coming war had reached him, and he rode to prepare for battle, whilst Lark, Truor and Mormegil took the road to the Redhorn pass.

In this hour the Dark Lord, Dengen-Goroth unleashed his might, striking both at Arnor and at Gondor. Gondor was shattered, as the hammer blow fell. For it was assailed both from within and without. Without, for the dark lord had mustered many armies, and few could stand before them on the field. From within, for the King was poisoned and lay at the threshold of death, and could not lead his soldiery on the field. The queen of Gondor, the lady Elbereth herself took the field, but it availed them not. Even as she withdrew, bearing away all that could be saved from the rout, the traitor was revealed as the Steward of Gondon, and that black-heart slew the king and handed the keys of the city to Mordor. On into Rohan and the southern fiefs poured the hosts of Mordor, so that those that stood were as tiny islands in a raging sea. In Gondor a great sorcerer came forth to rule, Ugruntir he was called, a black Numenorean, who poisoned words of power could beguile the mind, and many were bent to his will.

Now Serewing was mighty among the men of Umbar, wayward and wild-hearted, and set at most times on plunder. He was sent to the North to take counsel for the timing of an assault on Arnor through the Grey Havens, but seeing the ancient riches of Gundabad had turned to some secret plunder. Not secret enough, and only the arrival of the Urukgush, new to the realm of the orders of Dengen-Goroth, had saved him from imprisonment and surely death in slavery. Now Serewing had feigned to serve the Dark Lord, and some say he did so truly. Others that only promise of the bounty had drawn him thither. Being now tested by the Dark Spirit, and seeing too the horror inflicted on Artos something in his heart began to change. Fearing to openly defy Dengen-Goroth, he did return by long ways to his fleet moored in secret in dangerous northern seas. But no part would he have in the march on Angmar, and the horrors that there lay. And his assault on the Grey Havens was indeed a fierce battle, that ruined much of the fleet of Emperor Ciryaher, whilst Arnor was aflame. But it is said too that his heart was already turned against evil, and at last when the day might have been his, his fleet was withdrawn from the Firth, and he set his sails for home.

In the north, the Dark Lord’s plans foundered. Firstly, it was found that Jahrdur of the Havens was spy for Ciryaher and brought word of the coming assault in the nick of time. Great battles were fought in the North Downs, and at Bree, and Rivendell was destroyed by a host of trolls that descended from the mountains. But though Arnor was ravaged, the resistance was marshalled by the fellowship known as Heren Istarion, and these went hither and thither where the fighting was fiercest, until the orcs withdrew. Then the Emperor Ciryaher withdrew south many of his men, and rallied the last of the Rohirrim, drawing them south to Dol Amroth where briefly, were held at bay the soldiery of Mordor. But all of Eriador now became a doubtful land, where though good people banded together, they were plagued by bandits and worse.

It was into this land that Lark and her companions descended after a harsh journey in the snows of the Mountains. Lark herself was near death from cold, and the others not much better, save perhaps Lorien. Then, entering Enedwaith they were taken captive by the guards of that land, as strangers in suspicious times. Then Elessar, returning himself from war, found their names and released them from captivity, and taking up the quest again they went together to Lond Daer. Assailed by bandits, and pursued by Azranika, they journeyed through that empty land, coming at last to the ancient tower on the headland by Lond Daer. There, alone and withered by long years of grief, they found the elven lady Nenathlin, who had in long years passed wed Azranika, and even now she held the Ring that bound him in living death, for she could not bear to part with her beloved, though he had become only a shade of the night. But there they told her that by some dark will his power was reborn tenfold, and that he was doing great evil, and so at last she forsook both the ring and her own life in despair. Then departing the tower, they found to their horror that Azranika had found them, and he was grown so fell that out of the ground he drew a legion of the dead, the foul corpses of his long dead followers, and Lark and her companions were pursued right to the edge of the sea, where one small boat was drawn up on the beach.

But of all reasons perhaps that the Dark Lord’s designs in Arnor were not complete, the greatest was that the Urukgush had not himself lead the assault on Arnor. For it was the will of the Black Spirit that he undertake a most perilous journey, far out across the winter ice that covered the sea in the uttermost north. So going only with three companions and Irontooth the great of all wargs, they travelled the frozen wastes, coming at last to a great crevice in the ice, that led down to cone of Thangorodrim, and thence even to wreck of Angband itself. Now that place was guarded by a Maia spirit in the shape of a great snow leopard. Then took place a great fight, when the leopard guardian fought with and slew Irontooth. But the will of evil could not be so easily forestalled, and to that place came Magnus the dragon, and against him even that Maia could not stand, and that duel was more dreadful still, and at the last the way was open to the Urukgush. Then down to the very deepest furnaces and treasuries of Morgoth he descended, and there he claimed the Great Black Stone, and took it, and the triumph of the Dark Spirit was so great in that hour, that the furnaces of Angband grew hot. Thangorodrim itself thrust its great mass to the surface in violent wrath and fire, and the ice melted, and vast waves swept Belegaer, the Great Sea. And the Urukgush escaped from the inferno only clutched in the claws of Magnus, abandoning his companions, even Lord Drygo his closest aide, to his fate.

Perhaps it was the spirit of that Maia that returning to the West had told him what peril now faced Middle Earth. Or perhaps because his power runs to every shore and in every river, he had news that the Valar did not heed in the sorrow. However that may be, in that hour Ulmo, Lord of Waters came to Lark and her companions, and for a moment it seemed that like some great wave poised in foaming crest he spoke to them like a song in their hearts. And he warned them that the Valar were blinded, and that the Doors of Night were no longer shut, and that Morgoth was seeking to return. Then the great wave fell upon the shore, and consumed the deathly legion, and Lark and her friends, throwing themselves into the boat were drawn far out onto the widest sea.


PLEASE DON'T POST YET!
 
Last edited:

Snaga

The Usual Suspect
Joined
Feb 11, 2002
Messages
2,261
Reaction score
5
Now in the days that followed, when Serewing rested awhiles in Umbar, he looked upon the booty that he had brought with him from the North, and he was surprised to find its lustre less bright than he had thought. He was also filled with an unlikely pity, at the anguished cries of Artos, when unbidden his form was tortured into wolf form. It seemed to him now, that the old allegiance with Mordor, born from long tradition in Umbar, and born from the ancient legacy of the kinstrife was misplaced. For now it was clear to him that he had seen where that path led: it led to pain that now wracked Artos. And then his heart was stirred, looking up at the great statue of Ar-Pharazon, and he thought, how brighter than any gold would be the glory to rival the greatest of the Numenorean King. And he remembered the old tradition of his family, half forgotten, no more than have believed, that they were the heirs of Castamir, who had been driven from the throne of Gondor in the civil war that was called the Kin Slaying – a tradition that survived the passing of years without count.

Then, laughing in his heart at his own folly, he set his sails for Pelagir. Was the tale even true? Let me raise the flag, and see! The old Belfalas Bluff! – well this would surpass it. If fate was with him, he would make the old tale true.

So, like a storm of clouds came the armada of Corsairs to Pelagir. And then on the wharf of the ancient port of Numenor was raised the banner of the Silver Tree, and some say the shock of the Mornclaur recalled the hordes of Mordor, on the arrival of the King Elessar at the Harlond in the War of the Ring. In disbelief, Ugruntir himself came to parley with the self-declared King of Gondor, but departed in wrath for even his beguiling words availed him not at all. But there, rallying to him, came Emporer Ciryaher with a company of the Rohirrim riding swiftly from Dol Amroth, and in secret, the Lady Elbereth, beneath a sable hood and heavy cloak.

Then came a great storm in the Bay of Belfalas, and all the coasts were lashed by the tempest. Lark, Truor, Mormegil, Elessar and Lorien clung to the sides of their tiny boats that was tossed and thrown from wave to wave, under a broken sky. And rain fell and fell, and they were soaked. But at last peering, green faced from the prow, Truor gave a muted cry. Land! “Are you sure?” called Mormegil. “I see it too,” said Elessar, futilely wiping the salt-spray from his eyes, as their tiny vessel lurched and began to pitch forward from the crest of yet another wave. But Lark slumped forward, her hair lank over her face, her narrow shoulders trembling limply. Two weeks they had been at sea, driven by the currents and the winds. They had saved their sail from tatters, by furling it from the rising storm, but now they were at its mercy. “Can we steer towards it?” cried Lorien hoarsely.
“Nay!” Mormegil replied, shouting over the scream of the gale. “The sea tears the tiller from my hand, and the timber strains in the current. We cannot steer. Trust that the Valar guide us!”
“Then this is their fault?” groaned Truor to himself, bracing himself, as the boat crashed down against the raging sea, then steeling himself as it was lifted up yet, spinning slowing now.
“She is yawing!” called Elessar. “How long can this craft live in this sea?”
“Turn her around! Turn her around!” cried Lorien, panic now in his voice. “If she falls sideways from this wave she will founder! Oars!”
He and Elessar grasped the oars, and bent their backs to turn her forward once more. Still the spray and rain cut at them like whips.
Now Lark fell to one side, her eyes open but sightless, her lips murmuring soundless amid the tumult. Sprawling forward desperately over the slippery planks, Mormegil caught her, even as she tipped towards the sea. “Stay with us Lark!” he shouted urgently. “You must stay awake!”
But she made no reply, but the mouthed words of the song that on the very edge of life filled all that was left of her conscious thought. Working frantically, Mormegil grabbed a sodden length rope from the flood that was the floor of the boat, and cast it around her waist. Then labouring to make his frozen fingers work, he knotted her to the seat. “Now I pray we do not sink – for I have doomed her if we do!”

Still the wind was unrelenting, and their little boat was hurled from wave to mountain wave. But now they perceived the dark grey line that was land was coming closer. “We will make it yet!” cried Lorien, full of hope.
“Where are we? “ yelled Elessar, still straining his oar to keep the boat straight.
“Who can say?” shouted Mormegil from the rear, straining his eyes to pierce the veils of wind-hurled surf.
“What does it matter? Just let me get to land!” Truor clutched again at the bows, as they lurch forward again.
“The cliffs of the Andrast run for fifty leagues from the Western Point!” Elessar called in reply. “If we are not far enough east, there will be no hope! We will not survive the rocks!”

Now they were filled with yet more dread, as closer the land grew, and they perceived that it grew taller above them all the time. Lorien put down his oar, and sprang to his feet. Out from under him the boat seemed jump, but he swooped after it, lightly landing on his feet, with neither concern nor effort, and rode its upward climb balanced like an acrobat, he stared forward with his hand shielding his eyes. “Rocks! I see rocks!” he cried.
“We’re lost!” shouted Truor. Soon they could all see them, seeming to grow ever closer. The dark of night abated, but the darkling sky, grey upon grey gave little sight and no comfort – for all they perceived, now far off but too close was the white of foam hurled high up the ever mounting cliffs.

“The wind turns westerly!” cried Mormegil. “The west wind will save us yet!” Now they saw that the cliffs came closer only slowly, but fleeted by, right to left. “Turn to starboard! Turn to starboard!” Lorien leaped back down, and he and Elessar heaved to the oars once more and soon the boat seemed to race along the shore. The cliffs grew lower, bit by bit. But still they came nearer. Now Elessar could see the texture of the rock, they grew so close, and they began to feel the swell of the backwash of the waves that were rebuffed by the unyielding crags. “We are too close! We are too close! WE ARE TOO CLOSE!” he yelled. Now Mormegil, wrestled the wildly thrashing tiller, and sought to tame it, and steer the boat. But it threw his arms about, no matter that he strained every sinew in effort.

“Look out in FRONT!!” screamed Truor in sudden terror. Their attention snapped suddenly ahead, they saw the cliff appeared to suddenly have thrust out an arm right in front of them barring their way, like a last cruel trap. Transfixed they stared, knowing all was lost. Up it reared, black, blacker than black, jutting to the terrible sky. All they could do was wait…

“Untie her!”
Mormegil stared up still, aghast.
“UNTIE HER YOU FOOL!” Elessar bellowed. “We must save her at whatever cost!”

Suddenly roused, he lurched forward again and struggled with the knot in the sodden rope about Larks waist. She was cold and motionless, scarcely alive, and her weight slumoed against him as he worked. Desperately, he grabbed a knife from his boot, and began to saw at the rope. Frantically, he worked but now an upward glance told him it would be too late. The rocks were all about them, and loomed high above them, and the wind screamed against the cliff. Truor clung desperately, and bowed his head. Right against the rock the boat now scraped, and Elessar’s oar splintered in a moment.

Then Lorien looked up, and he thought he saw a lone gull swoop down over them, and lo! right through the blackness of the rock in front it seemed to fly, its flashing white disappearing into nothing. Uncomprehending, he stared, and it seemed now the boat followed, into a boiling ferment of nothing, roaring oblivion, and darkness took them, and it seemed that they surged forward, through a moment as long and black as night. Then suddenly they were flung out again, and with a bump they felt the boat's bottom hit something, and it was soft!

Bewildered, they looked about wildly. “A beach!” yelled Truor suddenly. “Out! Out while we can!” Up he sprang, and leaped full into the racing surf. Finally, Mormegil felt his knife cut the last fibre through, and the coils fell from Lark’s side. Elessar and Lorien lurched to their feet, and jumped overboard, landing waist high in the churning tide. Mormegil, swept Lark up in arms, just as their vessel, groaning, began to drag itself back out to sea. Swaying, his glance told him the truth, that they had been swept right through an arch that lay at the end of the cove that they had now found. And like an army, now he saw a broken line of sea stacks that lined the sandy shore. Into the sea he dove, straining to keep Lark’s head above the waves. Wading back out, the others hauled them both ashore, climbing out of the sea, until at last they collapsed, exhausted upon the ruby sands.
 
Last edited:

chrysophalax

Dragon of Note
Joined
Feb 12, 2002
Messages
1,948
Reaction score
4
Location
Prowling the Withered Heath
Pelargir. He could scarcely credit they had finally made it in one piece, but they had.

Artos Wolfhame scrubbed at his face blearily as he woke, blinking at the sadistically grinning face of his friend Serewing. "Shut the curtains, you maniac! My head is splitting!"

"You should drink more often and finer stuff than what you had last night. What was that you were swilling, by the way? It looked like horse pi--"
"It was what I could afford, Serewing. You're the one with the deep pockets, not I!"

Seeing as the curtains weren't about to be drawn again anytime soon, Artos dragged himself out of bed and disappeared into the garderobe to relieve himself, then walked over to the table on which sat a wash bowl and jug. Filling the bowl with a flourish, he then ducked his head, flinging back his shoulder length hair as he came up gasping for air. A muffled curse behind him made him grin. Right on target. Serewing's finery was now...less fine. Serve him right.

Serra crawled out from beneath Artos' bed, yawning as only a wolf can yawn, teeth gleaming whitely in the morning sun. "I'm glad you cleaned her up after we arrived yesterday, Wolfhame. Wolf vomit isn't the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."

"I warned you, Serewing. She does not take to the high seas well at all. Wolves were met to stay on land. Isn't that right, my girl?" Serewing rolled his eyes as the wolf and wolfmaster wrestled together on the floor. "Remind me why I brought you here?"

Artos stopped and looked over his shoulder. "If you don't know why, I'm certain I don't. To keep you from doing something rash? To keep me from turning into a homicidal monster again? Take your pick."

"Get a clean tunic on and I'll make sure you get breakfast." Serewing said, frowning. Artos was far too thin. All that had happened to him...the possession, the madness, the voyage. All had conspired to wear his friend down to almost nothing more than bone and sinew. Had he not known the man before the madness, Serewing would have sworn he had been a galley slave...or worse.

Ever the optimist, his thoughts brightened as he waited for his friend to make ready. At least we survived to reach Pelargir intact. It can only get better from here.
 

YayGollum

Conscience of TTF
Joined
Dec 3, 2001
Messages
5,538
Reaction score
6
Location
Columbia, South Carolina, the United States of Nor
Truor's claws sank deeply into the mast, his fingers looking fuzzier than usual. He tried to look seasick, but his nervous flinch was genuine. He tried to remember everything he had heard about Ulmo. Humans only knew to curse Osse and praise Uinen, Dwarves only spoke of Aule, and every elf he'd been forced to stand near seemed incapable of lasting for more than a day without mentioning Varda. The old wizard Radagast had been his main source of spiritual lore, and he always said that he hadn't been very sociable. Truor wanted some simple gesture with which to appease the water god. He wasn't sure how much trouble he was in with the guy. He watched the water suspiciously and sometimes muttered apologies and excuses to it.

His companions seemed only to sway between being lost in thought or focused on the task of staying alive. He remembered to look sick for them. If he concentrated, he thought that staying on his feet on a boat was like trying to stay mounted on a horse. Beornings, although good friends of horses, but mostly because of it, don't often ride them. They have conversations with them as they walk to their destinations. Truor learned how to ride later in life, when he found that it was a skill that most wanderers required. When the craft lurched, he couldn't help gasping, "Why does it hate me?"

At a sympathetic and, he thought with annoyance, faintly amused look from Lark, he wondered why he was stuck with these people. Two thoughts came immediately to mind, both with an, "Argh!" and a, "Well, of course!" Lark and the Vale of Anduin. The tie made him glare at the sky in confusion.

The Vale of Anduin was always the most important. His fellow Beornings couldn't be bothered about the outside world, and he cared as little as any of them about the habits of other countries, but he knew that knowledge of the outside world was getting increasingly useful. An old Crebain acquaintance of his routinely delivered reports Truor had gathered of the current dispositions from the average villager points of view. He didn't know how useful the information was proving.

On the other paw, Lark evoked a curious protectiveness from him. He didn't know her or any of the others very well, he thought, but she was certainly the most interesting. It wasn't so much her mysterious Song. He didn't mind letting the others worry about that. He knew enough about such things to know that it'd take a lot more effort to unravel its purpose. No, he fought daily against selflessness, but she had always been so nice to him, or at least neutral. And she seemed so helpless and hopeful. He wanted to knock some common sense into her, but he got the feeling that it wouldn't ultimately be to his benefit, so he watched and waited.

Regarding the others, some came, some went, they all seemed like average heroes to him, something which only evoked a sneer. He flinched again, figuring that Ulmo probably liked heroes. He rubbed some salt water deeper into his eyes and scanned the water, wanting to catch a fish, cringing whenever his overactive imagination spotted a face.
 
Last edited:

Firawyn

Verbatim et litteratim.
Joined
Mar 18, 2003
Messages
2,319
Reaction score
25
Location
Pennsylvania
Argaen stood silently at the highest point of the once great city of Rivendell. It seemed like yesterday when Lord Elrond had come to him, and told him that he was leaving Middle Earth. He closed his eyes, remembering.

“Why must you go, Lord?” Argaen had asked. He’d begged Lord Elrond to take him to the Grey Havens, but he would not hear it.

“Long have I watched over you, Argaen,” Elrond told him, “And now I am asking you to stay in Middle Earth, and watch over Rivendell. When I am gone, it is yours by right, anyway.”


Argaen opened his eyes, savoring his last memories of innocence. He’d been so young then, only twenty-one years old. He’d thought he was a man grown then, but he had yet to learn the truth.

“I must tell you about your parents, for time is short,” Elrond had said. “Your mother was a woman of Gondor, called Lilier. As I’ve told you all along, she died giving birth to you. You are the last of her line – no sense looking for more.”

Argaen smiled slightly behind his closed eyes, thinking back on how excited he was at that very moment – so ready to know who his father was, and why he’d been brought up in Rivendell.

“I am your father,” Lord Elrond said, rather point blank. “You are one-quarter elf, and I do not know how long you will live. Arwen in three-quarter elf and I worried about her. Now she stays in Gondor with Aragorn, and my sons and I are going to the Grey Havens – except you. All I can give you, my youngest son, is Lordship of Rivendell. You will rule this sanctuary for any man, elf, or dwarf who choose to seek it.”

Argaen opened his eyes again, only to find a mess of dark hair shielding them, which he pushed away. He and Lord Elrond didn’t speak much more after that day. Most of what Argaen learned about his father’s side of his legacy was learned in the years to come, out of books. Within a week after Lord Elrond’s confession, Argaen’s father, his brothers, and nearly every other elf left in Rivendell, were gone. It marked the ending of the Third Age of Middle Earth. And that was many centuries past.

Rivendell was no longer a sanctuary. Years before it had been stormed by mountain Trolls, and all Argaen could do was watch, as his fathers – and his own legacy was trampled to dust. Even in ruins, Rivendell was still the only place he’d ever known. Prior to Lord Elrond’s confession, Argaen had never been allowed to leave Rivendell. As Rivendell’s caretaker, he could not leave, though he seldom had any travelers come that way, and when they had, never stayed long. Since the Trolls destroyed the city, even less people came this way, and though Argaen was no longer Lord of anything, he remained there. Centuries had past since then, and every now and again, a lonely traveler would come by, but now Argaen hid from sight until they left his home. He was always watching, often hearing tales of some ageless hermit who lived in these ruins (of course Argaen knew they were referring to himself), and heroic stories in which the mountain Trolls had squashed all of the elves into jelly. Most of it was nonsense, of course, but Argaen still liked to listen – listen without being seen. It had been over 300 years since Argaen had spoken to anyone but himself.
 
Last edited:

Turgon

Ghost-King of Gondolin
Joined
Mar 10, 2002
Messages
1,341
Reaction score
7
Location
Manchester, England.
Quite how or why Agarloth Serewing found himself besieged in the ancient port-city of Pelargir was a mystery - even to him. Being something of a rogue, something of a knave, and something more than a ne'er-do-well, it seemed a little unfair that the fate of the free peoples of Middle-earth had ended up in his elegant hands. Yet here he was, surrounded on all sides by host upon host of gibbering mindless fools, whilst outside the walls sat the countless armies of Mornclaur. The old Corsair couldn't help if somewhere, out there, beyond the forgotten road, the Weaver didn't crack a smile.

Things were not too bad in Pelargir at least in the beginning, the corsair fleet had kept the city well-provided, and morale was high. Weeks of fighting however had stifled the people's enthusiasm for their would be King, and with no breakthrough in sight, the two factions in the city had begun to renew old hatreds. Once more Corsairs fought Gondorians in the streets of Pelargir; trifling affairs to be sure, barfights and brawls, but that could all change.

What Serewing needed now was an event, a happening, something to give the people hope. But first he was going need a drink.
 

Firawyn

Verbatim et litteratim.
Joined
Mar 18, 2003
Messages
2,319
Reaction score
25
Location
Pennsylvania
Argean stood, as he always did, silent, as he always was, in the center of the council room, where he always waited.

Why am I here? he asked himself. Why do I wait for a nothing I'm certain will always remain here?

"You cannot remain here any longer." he heard a voice inside his head say - it was Elrond's voice. Argean did not know if it was a voice of a memory, or if perhaps his father had heard his silent pleas, wanting nothing but his father's blessing to relinquish his sovereignty in Rivendell.

But whatever if was - Argean made his choice without another second's hesitation. He went inside, packed some small provisions, and left the only place he'd ever known. Where he was bound - yet to be decided.
 

Thread suggestions

Top