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RPG#35 - Despair!

Snaga

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Prologue
At the end of the Third Age, it is told that a halfling and his esquire journeyed even into the land of Mordor, and cast down the realm of Sauron. The ring of power, forged by the Dark Lord, was the foundation of his reign, and it was cast into the fires of Oroduin. And this great victory was much the work of Olorin the Maia. And in the Red Book of the Thain, that may yet be read in halls of learning of Minas Tirith, are recorded the tale of those years.

By this deed, was the realm of the Kings of Numenor restored, and great was the power of the King Elessar. Long did he reign in blessedness, with the Queen Arwen Undomiel. Yet all things must fade, and depart, and that evil that fades seemingly to nothing, may be reborn and return into the world.

A new lord of the East arose, and many felt a shadow of dread at his coming. But though orc-hordes he had, for the most part peace there was in the world. Men marvelled at the flowering of the Brown Lands, and even the dreadful vale of Gorgoth was less foul than of old. The more so that Lord Dengen-Goroth made peace with the western lands. So it was as the years of the Fourth Age stretched on endlessly.

Yet foul creatures remained in the deep places and far lands of the world, where the light of the new age came not. Slowly, the bliss that seemed upon the world became tarnished, though at first none could say how so. But then, bitter deeds were done, and cruelty unleashed upon the lands of Middle Earth, and here that tale shall be told.
 

Snaga

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Foreword

ooc:
This is a new RPG, and I hope you will join it.

This is RPG for the bad guys primarily – if you have an evil character, or one who is happy in such company, please sign up here.

A few points:
(1) Please post a profile in the Profile Thread, if you haven’t done so. Then we all know a little bit about you, and don’t get confused about gender/race etc. Your character doesn't have to be 'the usual you' if you get what I'm saying
(2) Please refrain from claiming every ridiculous power under the sun. No magicking dragons out of thin air and such like
(3) Please try and write posts that people will want to read! I mean this to be a fantastic story, and your contributions can really help!
(4) Keep this thread to contributions to the story that are in character. The odd out of character (ooc) bits and pieces are OK, but if you want more general discussion about the RPG, you can post it on the discussion thread.
(5) If you are good guy, and you’d like to be involved PM me and I’ll try and find away of getting you in!

Please join. Its gonna to be great!:D:D:D
 
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Snaga

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So it begins!

August 15

Snaga had left the Tower of Khand, in the command of a great uruk Chieftain Lugzog and ridden west and then north. He took just a small band with him: a dozen wolf riders fast and cruel. He rode in their midst, on Iron Tooth, the greatest wolf steed of all. On they ran tirelessly, only in the brightest heat of the southlands did they pause and rest. Here and there littering the route upon the way would be a fallen rider hewn with cruel strokes, or horse that had got lame and been slain. Here, they stopped and rending strips of flesh from the stale carcasses, gorged their appetite and fed their steeds.

At last, after a great time, as even the great wargs tongues lolled as they panted, they came in sight of the place they sought. The Harad Road now marched north-eastward, then at a corner turned more northerly. Snaga and his troop came out of the wild at this corner. Brooding to the east were the Mountains of Shadow, and far to the west lay the sea, a faint glimmer in the gathering gloom of dusk, where the Great River finally ended its journey in the Bay of Belfalas. But Snaga looked northwards. For in a great cleft in the mountains came another river, angry and swift, tumbling into the flatlands to meet Anduin. This was the River Poros, and it was not to be crossed save at this one point: the Fords of Poros.

And on the nearest side was a great camp of horsemen. ‘Ha! Look there my lads – there’s Drygo’s boys. So he didn’t slaughter all of them along the way!’ he laughed. Gashdug leered ‘Perhaps we can feast on some more of them tonight!’ But Snaga spat at him. ‘You fool. These men are our friends. If they care to leave fresh meat on the road, that is one thing. But some of them may be coming our way! Hold your tongue when we get near, if you don’t want to hold your innards in your hands.’

They came down the slope. ‘Wait here! I’ll deal with Drygo.’ Climbing down from Iron Tooth, he threw a dark hood over his face and sauntered down to the Fords. Here he saw a few travellers heading south, paying tariffs to cross the horsemen. He wondered if any were looking for him.

A huge campfire blazed, roaring. Snaga went towards it, and was challenged by a sentryman. ‘Where is Drygo, worm of the desert?’ Snaga hissed. ‘Do you not know me?’ Quailing the man departed to get Lord Drygo.

Snaga waited. ‘So, it begins.’
 
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Khamul

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Lord Drygo, sitting in his inner chamber of his newly built fortess, is swiftly interrupted by a young boy, only 20 or so years old. He quickly notches an arrow to his bow, and fires an arrow over the boys shoulder. The boy falls to his knees, and reveals to Drygo of Snagas presence, and wish to see him. Drygo immediately grasps his cloak and prepares his meeting chamber, for his superior. Drygo grimly says to himself, "He shall be pleased." He hurriedly tells the child to run and report to Snaga of our meeting place. Do not be a fool, or Snaga and I shall both punish you. You shall wish for death, if you dont succeed.
 

Snaga

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The boy leads Snaga to Drygo's halls. The fortress is new but well built and strong, a tower of strength overlooking the Fords, such that an army might break itself upon, like waves on a cliff. Snaga shows no sign, but is pleased.

Outside the door of Drygo's inner chamber the boy halts. 'Tis here, sir!' he stammers.

'Well done my lad' Snaga sneered. 'Do you know how I reward those who help me...?' He tossed a cruel blade from one hand to another. The boy shrank back.

Snaga laughed, his jagged teeth a twisted and sadistic snarl. 'With another task' he said as he sheathed his knife. 'Others will arrive soon who ask for us. Send them to me. Here's something for you.' A small coin clattered to the floor as he turned and entered the room.
 
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Khamul

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Drygo, pacing in his hall, wondering why the young boy is taking so long, suddenly hears a noise and stiffens. His nerves are relieved when snaga walks in. "We have much to discuss" Drygo immediately states. Let us not wane with weariness, bring us ale,he shouts to a nearby man, let us discuss what is to come.
 

Snaga

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Snaga prowled to and fro for a minute.

'Drygo, we are going north.' he stated flatly. 'I hope you are ready. You'd better be! Do you have someone amongst your band of gallopers you can leave in command here? Lord Dengen has given us leave for this little task, but with little pleasure one might guess. And he will toast us slowly over the fires of Mt Doom, if something slips while we're away!' Snaga sniggered to himself, yet had little pleasure in the thought.

Then from beneath his cloak he produced a map, of the lands of Middle Earth. Spreading it out over the table, and weighting the northern edge down with a skull that lay at hand he held the southern edge in his claw-like hand and pored over it for a moment. 'We are going north. I've had Messages to go and find my kindred in the far northlands. How far do you reckon Mount Gundabad to be? Anyway, the first part of the journey we should manage without problem. We have leave from the Lady of Ithilien to pass through. We don't her little arrow-shooters after us!'

'If it were just us and our boys, then we would leave soon. But I had hoped more help would be here by now. I'm sure it will arrive soon...'

ooc - Come evil fiends of the world... join this RPG!!! You know you want to!!!:D
 
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Khamul

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Drygo sends word to his captains to pick one of the men who they deem worthy. "If this person is not able to command, you shall be immediately executed by myself. And this death will not be as painless as a quick arrow, but many times over will you wish that this were true."

Drygo turns to Snaga, and replies,"When do we ride My Lord? This quest already leaves me restless for action, and my men think likewise."

Drygo sends messangers to all of the surrounding regions, and to those of the Dark Legion requesting assistance on this urgent quest.

Time must not wain, Drygo says to snaga, and our efforts to do this task will be in vain if we dont act fast. Lord Dengen needs no reason to give us a tour of Mount Doom. Of Mount Gundabad I know not the distance of time or miles that we would need to undertake to arrive.

Drygo asks for some more ale for him and snaga and while the slave was leaving, they discuss in hushed tones the nature of the quest (OOC: PM)

Drygo sensing the urgency of this mission, immediately tells his men to gather their belongings, and for the smiths to let the men choose their other weapons needed for war. What we dont have in number, we can make up in skill and valour, until more of our kindred a arrive. I shall send messages to the Wild Men of the region, they are strong and ruthless in battle. A good example they would have been for the many that I have slain along the way. (OOC: My own troops- to those who dont know)

Let us prepare, he throws the wine to the ground, and states, "No more time for merry-making, we have much work to do."
 

Snaga

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'You see, Drygo, I have been asked to govern the orcs of Mount Gundabad far in the north. But... there have been messages. Foolish talk you'd think. I know these mountain maggots. Always babbling about dark things in their tunnels, things that grab the goblin-children, fire in the deep pits of the earth, that sort of brainless babble. So I expect it is nothing. But I know something is happening. Do you know why? Because the orcs of the mountains asked me to come and lead them! Nar! something aint right. The Great Orc is dead they say. So what? Why doesn't one of their own want to rule? The little worms don't have anyone fit to rule - I've been there before, so I know that! But there's always been plenty of those little ratfolk who'd stick a knife in a friend's guts to get his job if meant more meat at the end of the day. So what's changed now?'

He paused for a moment thinking.

'Anyway, we just want enough with us, so we don't have to do our own fighting. But not so many as will draw attention to us. I brought twelve of my lads, you need no more than that. And its cold up that way remember. Don't take any of your boys that will freeze to death at the first sign of a snowflake!'

He looked at the map again. 'It must be 70 leagues to the Battle Plain, then 70 more across the Brown Lands. If they're still brown that is. Then almost twice that to the Mountain.' He shook his head.
'Even amongst all the great orc-runs this is going to be a hard slog. I hope you haven't been getting too comfortable in your nice new castle!'

He rolled up the map again. 'We go tomorrow night. Where's that boy? Hasn't anyone else arrived yet to join us?' (ooc: Hint hint!! C'mon guys!:D)

Turning away he muttered to himself 'Whispers of wind? What could that mean?'
 

Khamul

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OOC: we have a new member of the bad guys, Ulairi, he has volunteered to join us. I told him to pm you with the news.

Snaga, my friend, apparently my letters have done some good. We have a new comrade in our quest. He shall be arriving shortly. He is of the pyromancer order, and shall be a great help to us. Him and I are the only mortals blessed to be taught of the magic of fire by the Barlrogs. Together the mountain shall be engulfed with fire if the need comes.

I have chosen 11 of my men and myself to assist you on this quest. They are of similiar blood as myself, and will be a great assistance to us.
 

Snaga

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August 16

Outside Lord Drygo's fortress shadows lengthened, to cover all the land as the sun sank in the western skies. The gates opened, and a small company issued forth, dark and swift. At its head were a dozen wolf-riders, behind them a dozen horsemen. In their midst came Snaga and Drygo.

'Three days it will take to reach Emyn Armen, the hill that overlooks Minas Tirith. A further day will take us to the crossroads. Our road lies north, but we will turn aside to see the Morgul Vale. We're going to look for some flowers there. I don't suppose you know too many of my kind who like flowers?' he laughed. 'These ones aren't a pretty sight!'
 

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Drygo chuckles, "Maybe Orcs can have some humor in their souls." He sees a look from snaga and thinks aloud, "Or maybe not."

Let us go in our quest, we shall not need much weapons, we need stealth and quickness. Let us ride now before we are stopped by some petty need. I have left someone in charge, I am prepared for work. And in my group, none shall die on my hands." Drygo looks around, "I have only 11 men with me, all shall come back safe."
 

Snaga

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August 19

Snaga and Drygo reach Emyn Arnen at night. Leaving the others to make camp in a deep cleft in the northside of the hill, overhung with trees, they climb to the top. They go warily, for this is the land of the rangers of Ithilien. They have leave to travel here, but friend may be mistaken for foe in the dark, and not all have the nightsight of orcs.

They reach the top, and it commands a great view of the land. To Snaga, in the light of the moon, all is clear. He sees the Mountains of Shadow marching to the east. From north to south in a great arc bending eastwards comes Anduin. Perhaps far to the north, he sees a faint mist from the great falls of Rauros. Across the river to the west lie the snowy peaks of the White Mountains. Down, far down, almost beneath their feet lie the landing places of Harlond and the walls of Pelennor. And opposite, the gleaming towers of the white city.

Snaga fits an arrow to his bows, and slowly draws it back, aiming across the river. He waits for a long moment. 'Perhaps I'd better not!' he grins, and lowers his bow. 'I believe we call them friends now.' Bats flutter in the air.

'Bats! These are from the northern mountains!' Snaga says to Drygo. 'I wonder what brings them here.' One flutters downs, and lands on his shoulder. It squeaks for a few moments, then flies off.

'Come Drygo, let us go and rest. I have news of a great ally and servant who awaits us. Such a dread name of woe, as sends shivers through my sinews to taste upon my lips. No word of this to anyone mind, I will tell you as we descend!' (ooc PM). Snaga speaks to Drygo in hushed tones as they walk back to the camp.
 

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Ay, that is great news for us. Let us not rest long and continue with renewed hope.

Drygo's men are chatting in hushed tones over by the edge of the fire. Drygo, questioning their intentions, walked over and asked them, "What do you speak of that requires such whispers?"

They quickly dispersed, and Drygo reached for his bow, but one man stopped when the others had left and told Drygo of what they had discussed. The man said, "Lord Drygo, we need you to talk to some of the orcs, they have been stealing our food and money." Drygo chuckles and replies, "I shall take care of this." Drygo pulls out his crossbow and notches an arrow and fires the arrow directly over the man's head. "Now leave and go home you gut-less wretch. I don't need your puny service, I have other friends around who shall take care of you." As he takes of running, Drygo releases two of the Wargs that he had brought with him. "Go and kill this man, then find fifty more of your own kind and bring them here to us."

Drygo gleefully searches for his other men. He shall keep those he trusts, but those who he had suspicions before. "They shall not see the light of day."

He goes over to Snaga and tells him that he is going hunting. Snaga smiles having seen what has been going on. "I shall return, but I may be the only one."
 

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Drygo has not gone far in his pursuit when he hears sounds like bird calls in the woods. Like, but unlike.

Going more warily now, he comes to the edge of a clearing. Then he sees a sight he did not expect. The two wargs lie dead, with green-feathered arrows through their throats. He stops.

A voice calls down from above. 'Who walks like a hunter in the woods of Ithilien? Name yourself, and your business!'
 

Khamul

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I am Drygo. I have leave from your lord. And am hunting some treacherous men. They have become weak, and can not continue to hunt and work under me. I send them out, and my Wargs were meant to detain them. Did my Wargs attack you my lords? I have meant no harm to any people not under my rule. My name and killing do not go hand in hand. I am a man of peace and wish to wonder why I have been detained.
 

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A tall man drops from a tree, and lands on his feet before Drygo. He looks at him with little pleasure.

'You say you have leave to walk here by the Lord of Ithilien, but there is only Lady Talierin whom I serve. I am Ingold, and I am captain of the rangers of South Ithilien. Fell beasts such as these' he says, gesturing to the dead wolves, 'do not detain those who they pursue. They will kill them if they can.'

He thought for a moment. 'This much is clear to me. Those men ran in fear from you and your wolves. Aye, we marked their passing, and smelt their fear as they passed. I had thought that these wolves were all that they ran from, and so we slew them as all good men will. But now you say that you sent them, so this matter becomes more serious.

'I am commanded to let all walk in peace who obey the laws of this land. To slay men in judgement is permitted to none but the Lady of Ithilien. That these men live still you should give thanks for, or grim indeed would be your fate. As they do, I must take you for judgement, and you must plead your case. The crimes of these men must grave indeed to deserve such a fate.'

He shook his head. 'I must warn you these trees are alive with my men. Do not try to escape. Now, throw down you weapons!'
 

Khamul

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Yes, I shall do as you say my Lord. Please excuse my behavior in your land. Being uninformed of my current geographic location. These men were being brought back to my camp to be punished. They have been unfaithful to me, their lord. And under the laws of my land, it is my duty to carry out the task of punishment. The wolves were told to detain them. They have been trained not to attack unless harm has come to them. If they have not followed these orders, I am prepared to take the punishment that you Lord deems necessary.
 

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'Indeed?' Ingold says. 'Some might say that right is right and wrong is wrong, in whatever land you are. But we will talk no more here. You must come with us, and we will talk when we reach our camp. I must send messages and see if you are indeed permitted in this land, and then I will decide.'

Three more men come and take Drygo's weapons. They binds his hands behind his back, and lead him away briskly into the dark of the night.

August 17

At Emyn Arnen, Snaga and the orcs sleep. Guards are posted, and the wolves stare watchfully. The sun rises, but only a little light comes into their dank, dark hollow. Snaga wakes up. 'Where is Drygo?'
'They have not returned, master' replies the orc on watch.

* * * * * * *

Many miles away the rangers reach their camp with Drygo. Morning is coming. Still bound, they give him a blanket and let him rest.

When he wakes, the sun is high in the sky and scorching, even through the leaves. The world seems to buzz with the life of birds and insects, the light sparkles on leaf and shoot and flower. Drygo is dazzled and can barely look after three days of travel under darkness with the orcs. He screws up his eyes to see the camp is on a grassy hillock that rises from a deep sea of heather and bracken. Huge red barked pine trees with huge trunks that soar like towers march as far as the eye can see, but they are thinly spread and the branches provide thin respite from the glare of the sun. Drygo watches as the rangers seem to run up and down the trunks, pulling on ropes that dangle from on high.

He is fed, and then at last Ingold returns to talk again.

'Well Drygo Wolfmaster, I have this to tell you. Messages I have sent to our Lady, and they have returned while you slept. Your name is not known to her, but another name is. Your words have spoken of no other who is with you or who you serve that may have leave to be here. So perhaps you have more to say?

'It seems you have done no wrong to our Lady's realm. Yet know that we have spoken to your men. They say they have done no wrong to you and that they were robbed and set upon. They say your wolves would have killed them, and they have begged for sanctuary.

'I am not minded to try you for these crimes. Because proof of guilt or innocence seems unlikely, either for the crimes you claim and their claims too. We have slain your wolves, which you say you can command not to slay in the chase. I have never seen such a feat, but we have robbed you of the chance to show us.

'I think ill of you Drygo. There is a dangerous light in your eyes, and you travel with wolves. In days gone by, in harder times, that would be proof enough of crimes warranting death. Thus I judge that you shall not be allowed to carry out your punishment upon your men, be they treachers or no.

'But as for you, you must prove your claim that you have leave to walk in this land. If that you can do, I will suffer you to continue this journey unhindered, although not unwatched. If you cannot, will escort you from our country, and bid you never return. So speak now, and speak wisely!'
 
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Khamul

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You speak wisely my Lord, and give me leave to only do the same.

I have traveled to protect Snaga who is traveling to his new realm. I have been informed that I have been given leave. This privilege was misused on my part, and I ask for leave to speak and answer any questions you may have of me.

There are two men who I had no intention of punishing, they are strong men, of the names of Mandel and Rohned. Have they leave to return to me. These are the only ones that I can trust. The others do not have my trust, and I wish not to deal with them again. I give them full leave to leave my service.

But, Lord they have been robbed of no sort by me my Lord. This was the reason that they were sent off. They acted as gut-less wretches and would confer with each other behind mine back. Is this not considered treachory even in this fair realm? I ask that you also realize, that where I come from, I should not show any weakness or some of my less trustworthy men will lose all sense of order, and no work shall be accomplished. My methods may seem harse, but that is how I have been raised from birth. I ask that you should consider this, I am a trustworthy ally with you. My fortress is close, and shall be of some help to you if need comes.

I shall be more of a help to you with more of a test and trial method. Let me continue on my quest and you may monitor my actions however way you see fit.
 

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