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The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend... for now

Seregon

To wherever it may lead..
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Orion groaned. "What’s happening?… my head… … hurts…"

"Sure, why not?" He smiled, and his face lit up. It was almost beautiful. But Evia knew better than to think that of him. She knew what he was destined for, and knowing that changes how you see a person. She never quite liked his status. Never quite liked his future, or his ways. But she had to accept it, so she did.

Light hit his eyes, and his head throbbed. He tried to move his arm, and felt a rope against it. The sound of wheels, moving over untrodden ground, horses, and men moving, groaning, coughing. He opened his eyes, and saw it. Wood, bars, straw, men. He smelled fear, blood. And the wagon stopped. He rolled slightly, shifting his weight. The doors opened, and he felt hands grab him, pull him out of it, stand him up. He looked the men over. Black hair, black eyes, that smile. He didn’t even have to tell them that he knew them.

"Well, well, Orion. We meet again." The man swallowed, his black cloak shifting slightly. "That scar you gave me burns me every night. We’re bringing you back, but before we do, I’m going to show you what it feels like to have that searing pain in the back of your head every time you close your eyes." He reached into his cloak, smiling. "And I’ll bet you won’t even fight back." Orion twitched slightly, his lips curling upward into a smile.

Suddenly, there was a sense of uncertainty in the air, and the Easterling hesitated. Orion curled his wrists, grabbed the chain, and pulled them easily apart, and broke the necks of two guards. There were shouts, but he barely heard them as he grabbed his medallion. The sun glinted off of the golden sun design.

"Lets give you a matching one on your chest." He snarled, smiling widely, his eyes alight with pure and utter joy, and blood spatter across his face.

*****

His eyes snapped open. It was dark, but he could see very well. It was a river of blood and gore, body parts and various organs spread everywhere. He felt the breath catch in his throat, but only for a moment. Standing, he walked over to the cart, and found the personal possessions of the captives. He took his own stuff, and some that wasn’t, before running into the forest.

***** ***** ***** *****

Rhea felt a hand cover her mouth, and she struggled, but felt a mallet against her head, and fell limp. When she awoke, she was in a covered wagon, crowded in with about forty other people. Suddenly, the doors opened, and one of them was drawn out. She looked around. The guards went with the elf they pulled out, leaving only two for the wagon. She reached back and grabbed her stuff, before sawing through her binds, cutting the guards’ throats, and sneaking into the woods.

*****

She heard noises below her, and looked down from her perch in the dense forest, to see a brown-haired, dark-eyed elf trying to get through the forest. He was covered in blood, so thick that his black robes were red. He spied her, and drew his swords, and she jumped down, drawing her own sword, lunging at him. He countered, very nicely, gave a snort of derision, and the very ends of his lips curled upward ever so slightly. She felt the rage welling up in her, blinding her. She tried to fight it, but everything suddenly seemed brighter, and her senses heightened. Everything was brighter, sharper, deeper; she could smell the blood all over him - and gold, steel, food, flesh; she could hear people walking miles away. She jumped toward him, moving faster than he could. Her vision blurred for an instant, focusing only on him as he barely blocked, and she landed deftly behind him, turning, only to see his face suddenly go white. Her sword pommel was glowing, and his eyes were fixed on the pattern... a golden sun.

"Where did you get that sword?" She laughed, and lunged toward him. This time, he wasn’t fast enough, and the pommel of her sword connected with the back of his head. He screamed like he was being ripped apart, tried to breathe like a fish out of water, and fell to the ground. All of a sudden, she felt her wrist burn, she was brought out of her state, and she threw the sword down, grabbed her wrist, tears streaming down her face. Then… darkness…
 

Majimaune

No face, no name
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Straag came to in a cart full of people. His head hurt...a lot. He had bound hands and feet. He lifted up his hands and touched the back of his skull and decided not to do it again because it sent pain all over his body. Straag felt around in his boot with his foot. Yes it was still there, the small dagger that he kept in case of emergency. This was an emergency. Quickly Straag got his hands down his boot and grabbed the knife. With it he cut the bonds around his feet and then worked at the wrists. It was quite hard to do so but in the end they came off. Slowly he massaged his feet to get the blood flow back again. He then slid slowly to the back of the cart and saw a pile of weapons. Slowly he looked through them, making as little noise as possible, until he found his sword. Then he jumped from the back of the cart and blended in with the shadows before the guards could see him. Straag decided that he would wait a while before continuing on. He heard a bit of a commotion up ahead and didn't run to it because of his current condition. When he did walked down the roadside concealed in the bushes he found two bodies, unconscious. Both looked like elves. Maybe I should stay and look over them until they awake. So with that thought Straag sat down semi-concealed in in the bushes nearby.
 
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AraCelebEarwen

Part of the Shadows
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Curled up as tight as she could get in the corner where they’d tossed her, Clover’s puffy eyes had been kept tightly shut. Uneven breaths still shook her long after the tears had stopped. Her tummy ached and her arms hurt from struggling against the ropes. Bruises and cuts stung with every bump and sway as the wagon moved on endlessly. Exhausted and weak from lack of rest and food and frightened by the dark men and sickening smells, she had begun to dread it was going to be like this forever.

A sudden jarring blow snapped her back to a confused wakefulness. Someone was shouting somewhere. Dark shadows in strange moonlight were all she could see through the bars of the crowded wagon. Something seemed different as her eyes adjusted to the shadows. The door was open? She tried to lift her head up to see better and got a little way before sinking back down. There were still bundles crowding the floor, but something had changed... they’d stopped moving! She struggled once again and managed to roll nearer to the door. Whimpering from the effort, she was within a few feet of escape from the stuffy cell when she found her way blocked by something tied up even tighter then she was. She wanted to kick at it, push it out of the way, do something to move it; but one try and she found it was like kicking a wall. She was so close! She just wanted to get out! Her eyes stung from stirred up dust and tears that wouldn’t come. Arms pinned to her sides, she could hardly even move her hands, let alone wipe the grit from her face.

A furry of sharp kicks attacked the obstacle. On the edge of screaming, Clover gave all she had left in a last explosion of fight. She didn’t know what she would do once she was out the door, only thinking one step at a time, but she knew she had to get out. An angered sob broke through the darkness as she gave one last, useless jab and collapsed in a drained heap.
 

elfgirl

Elfyevai Avari
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Alana stirred, opened her eyes. She heard shouting, moving, chaos, a light glinting off metal. She felt people squirm. She looked down – her wrists and ankles were bound, tightly. But she noticed something – a nail above her head. She reached up, and let the nail catch the rope. She pulled hard, and heard popping from her wrists. There was a searing pain, but she kept pulling as the rope moved up her hands… and off. She sighed, reached down, loosened the ties as best she could, and managed to free her ankles. She glanced around, found her belongings, grabbed them, and ran around the wagon and into the woods.

What now? Where am I? Why was I there? She groaned, rubbed the back of her head. She couldn’t remember anything. She was in an inn, playing with some friends, and then… black… green… Another groan. It was always disturbing to her when she couldn’t remember what had happened to her. But there was nothing she could do about it, she knew. Nothing but run… run from captors she didn’t know… unable to get a good strategy, unable to find an old hiding spot. This was the ultimate tactical challenge. She looked around. Of course! Azureberries! She grabbed a handful. The old books that she’d read said that they were good for memory, but she wasn’t quite sure if she should believe them. After all, the old books said a lot of things.

She walked as far as she could, and when she saw night coming on, she decided that maybe it was time to stop, and make camp. Just over that ridge would be nice. Yet as she was cresting it, she felt something slip under her feet, and she fell into a pit.

“Hello.” She started, turned. “I’m Luinwe. Looks like you got caught in the same trap I did.” Alana looked back up, as the stars were starting to come out. “I tried putting my daggers in there and climbing up, but the soil’s too thin to support my weight. Any ideas?” Alana thought for a moment, bit her lip, looked around.

“Yeah… I do.” And she grabbed a vine, and an arrow out of her quiver, and set to work. It only took a few moments, with a little bit of ingenuity, and she showed it to Luinwe with a smile. “This might do it.” Luinwe just shook her head.

“You’re quite good at this.” Alana smiled.

“Well, I’ve had to escape quite a bit before.” And she shot the arrow out of her bow, then pulled on the rope, and the arrow swung back, and around the branch, three barbs sticking in the wood of the branch. She tugged, and the line went taught, but the barb didn’t slip. “I’ll go up first. It’s not sturdy enough for two.” Luinwe nodded, and Alana began to climb. When she reached the top, she watched Luinwe ascend, grabbing her hand and helping her up when she was near enough.

“That really was ingenious.” Alana thanked her politely.

“Do you know where we are?” Luinwe shook her head, and Alana sighed. “We should make camp. Get the high ground. …But not this one.” She thought for a moment. “Maybe a tree? I could rig us up a couple of hammocks.”

“That would be nice.”

And as Alana worked, Luinwe sat and thought, finally asking, “So how did you come to be so good at making something useful out of thin air?” She noticed the hammocks were almost done, rigged up using two cloaks, some vine, and four branches, with space for all their items.

“I was an orphan. It was kind of necessary.” She checked the hammocks for strength. “Alright, they’re good. Let’s get some sleep. I’ll watch first, you can take the second shift. In the morning, I’ll mask the signs that they were rigged up.” Luinwe thanked her, climbed into her hammock, and went to sleep.

Luinwe stirred, opened her eyes suddenly. The back of her head throbbed, her heart pounded, her mind raced. There were people moving, and… not moving. She looked around, and saw the wagon, the dead guards, the missing people. She knew… this was her chance. She looked wildly around for something to cut her ties with, yet found nothing. Despairing, she tugged on the knots… and they came free. She couldn’t believe it, until she noticed… The person next to her had escaped, the rope had been cut. A few short tugs at her ankle bindings, and they, too, came free. She grabbed her possessions and ran as fast as she could. She ran across the plains, into the forest, and kept running, jumping over branches, dodging twigs, sure in her footing. Suddenly, something moved under her foot, and all she knew was falling. She landed with a thud and a groan, her heart seeming to leap into her throat with fear an-

“Hey,” Alana whispered, “it’s your turn to guard.”
 

Daranavo

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The first glimmering of sunlight trickled through the dense canopy of trees that covered him. The breeze had been slight but it was enough for him to smell the different fragrances of the forest. There was really nothing like it except for the short time he spent in Rivendell where all things of nature were at its best. In the back of his mind there was something else but his head had not even cleared yet and he sat up and looked around as he rubbed his chin. It had grown course over the last few days to his lack of willingness to shave it down. Gaiden bobbed his head up and down in acknowledgement and anticipation to a meal that had not yet been prepared. Daranavo shrugged off the pushy beast as it would still be a few minutes before he was ready to feed him. “Your always hungry aren’t ya?” He quipped to his brown, four-legged companion. Gaiden snorted and bobbed his head a few more times, almost as if he was agitated. Unfortunately for Daranavo, he misread the signs and continued to stammer to his feet slowly.

With a long and wide yawn he outstretched his arms and attempted to work the cricks out of his back. Oh how he missed the simple comfort of a nice, soft bed…oh yes, and a down filled pillow. Now that was really something! The memory of The Green Hill, or even the Fat Balrog…now that was an Inn to be sure he thought. As he walked toward the fallen log in which he had straddled his saddle bag across, Gaiden fussed once again. “All right all right…I’m getting it.” Daranavo snapped. Just as he was about to unbuckle the bag, he turned and faced Gaiden who’s ears had changed direction toward the clump of trees to the southeast. Daranavo straightened mildly alarmed and moved toward the big, brown Gelding. Daranavo held a cross expression upon his face and asked; “what’s a matter boy…you smell sompthin?”

No sooner did he say that when Easterlings poured from the tree-line straight at Daranavo.The quick movement caught him completely by surprise and before he could react he was tackled to the moss covered ground. One tried to bash him in the face with a club but he was able to just barely evade the blow with a jar to his left. With one free hand he struck another and managed to get his face uncovered. “Et Tallius Mar Kal,” he shouted. Two more Easterlings grabbed hold of Gaiden however, Daranavo’s words set the horse into motion. With all of its strength the brown horse bucked and jutted its head from side to side. The Easterlings feared its hooves as he kicked and turned abruptly. As they let go and moved back Gaiden broke into a run and quickly he disappeared into the trees. Before Daranavo could utter another word he was hit hard in the back of the head. For a moment he saw the light in the trees…then...darkness.
 

YayGollum

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Khungil sat at the front of a wagon and scanned the trail ahead. Besides noting how fruitful and easy life seemed to be in the Vale of Anduin, he had little appreciation for the place. He longed for a return to the simple life of a farmer, much like the simple lives of many humans he had captured on his way through the vale, a similarity that would never have occurred to him.

The isolated homes were easy pickings for his well-disciplined soldiers. He was nodding to himself with satisfaction when a rider trotted up beside him to report what appeared to be an already very unfortunate traveller and his cow attempting to evade the party by hiding in a copse of trees. Of course, he gave the order to gather another for the sacrifice. "More glory for the priests," he grunted to himself once the scout had gone.

He kept one eye on the riders sent off to subdue the traveller and another on the trail, but both narrowed and sped to the trees when he heard an unearthly howl that he proudly noted to merely have the effect of cheering his men. It was several minutes before anyone came back into view. When they did, he uncomfortably blinked his eyes in surprise when he saw that they had not only captured a small being that he mistook to be a poor old man in rags but also his cow, for some reason. He glared as the scout returned, which prompted the winded man to give a bob of the head before reporting that they had captured a disguised Orc and his Warg. Khungil cleared his face to reassure the man that all was well, then directed them to chain the two in a wagon towards the end of the caravan, where they wouldn't panic their other captives.

______________________________________________________________

Some unspecified amount of time later and a few longitudes to the right, the same wagon shook slightly. "Huh?" uttered the Warg groggily. "Ugh. My head is throbbing! What did you do, Bugburz? Eh? Oh, where are we? Easterlings? Why'd you let us get caught?" After shaking his head a few times and flopping back down from the effort, he focused his eyes and found that he had chains to test. His Orcish companion grumbled in what must have been drugged sleep, to keep him from snapping quickly awake, so the Warg, who couldn't reach over to nudge him and probably wouldn't have wanted to, anyways, spat at him.

"Ar! What? Ugh! Ow! Hey! Humans! They gang up on me, knock me out, then stick me in a crate with some spitting animal? Garn! Why'd you let them catch me, Raoul?"

"Ha! You know that my mouth is much cleaner than yours, Bugburz! You should be thanking me for the wash! But, yes, ever so sorry about the capture. I'm sure that you just haven't gotten around to instructing me on your desperately won tactics on fending off several unexpected, mounted, and obviously well-trained humans."

"Nar! We've done it before, haven't we? So no excuse! Now, let me see..." Bugburz shakily stood, wiped his face, then tested his chains. "It's no good. Just gnaw through the wood or something! Ar! Air tastes different. Where are we?"

"I wouldn't know. Nowhere safe. As for gnawing, I would, Orc, if I could. How's about I just..." Raoul made an experimental leap, as well as he could in the chains. The wagon shook. "Oh, well, they should have given us some sturdier accomodations!" With a terrifying grin, he flexed his claws a bit and broke through the wood. Once he was free except for the chains and bits of wood still attached, he made for the exit. Confusion, hopelessness, fear, then anger played quickly across Bugburz's face, but Raoul had turned halfway through the last part with a laugh. "You are so easy, Bugburz! Why would I leave my loyal Orc?"

After several snarls and bickering over what to do next, which were kept low mostly because they didn't know how close human ears were, and partly because neither really felt anger at the other, the escapees hopped out of the wagon. It was dark, and the sky showed a few stars that Bugburz was unfamiliar with, but he snickered to himself when he saw a bonfire and heard singing. "Ha! Stupid humans! Celebrate my capture? I hope your punishment is half as bad as mine would be! Raoul, get out of here. I'll go look for our stuff. I'll find you."

The Warg sniffed at being ordered, but it was only a reaction, and he slunk off into the trees to watch. Bugburz, sniffing around non-stop, loped past a few wagons, directly to the one with his shield and weapons. There were several other armaments inside, and he thought very briefly about grabbing a knife or two but was too worried about picking and choosing and consoled himself with the idea that by only taking his own stuff, he'd be showing them who not to mess with again!

He couldn't help swiping a few bottles that were packed there, though, and nervously sniffed his way back to Raoul. Once out of sight, he uncorked a bottle but quickly fixed it back in with a look of disappointment. "Just sleeping droughts, I guess. Could be useful, but I was looking for spirits. Let's get out of here, Warg!"
 

yhwh1st

Call me Meg :)
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Figwitt took a brief glance over the ledge on his right. Stomach churning, he quickly turned away and tightened his grip on the pony’s lead. Glancing back at his companion, he saw that Fredegar was even more frightened by the height than he was himself. “Only one more league, cousin! Merry told me there is a landing just before the decent to the lowlands.” “Heights are meant to be looked at, not climbed.” Fredegar called back, then muttered something about ‘unnatural’ and ‘foolhardy’.

The wind was blowing hard against their backs as they continued the journey. It roared and filled their ears, making it near impossible to talk. As they neared the landing, more than an hour later, the wind picked up and seemed to push them forward. Figwitt reached the landing first. Turning the corner, he tugged lightly on his pony’s lead, and stepped out of the wind right into the waiting arms of a scouting party. Figwitt let out a yell to warn his cousin, who stared for a brief moment at the approaching warriors. He swiftly turned to flee; jerking his pony’s lead in the process it reared up and knocked Fredegar off balance, sending him tumbling over the mountain’s edge. Lurching forward, Figwitt broke free of his captor’s grasp, knocking him off balance, and started to run back down the mountain pass. The guard threw himself forward and grabbed the Hobbit by the ankle. Figwitt felt himself falling forward, the ground slowly rising up to meet him. His vision went white as he struck the ground, nose first, but before he could move again, strong hands grasped him and hauled him to his feet. “Try that again,” one said in a thick accent, “and you will wish you were never been born.”

The ponies were tethered off in a corner of the landing, munching some weeds that grew between the rocks. Figwitt sat facing the fire, hands bound behind his back. “What are you going to do to me?” he finally had the boldness to ask, but was ignored.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They were four days moving east before they joined with the rest of their group. Figwitt was tossed into a cart with a few other captives, he looked at the creatures surrounding him. Two men and some other creature. He knew not what name to put to it. The man next to him threw a dangerous look Figwitt’s way, for staring too long, so he turned his attention to his bonds. His hands and feet were both tied together, his hands behind his back he pulled under himself and out in front. There, that’s better! Now let me take a look at these knots. He thought as he casually looked at the rope. Why how foolish! They’ve done little more than wrap the cord around my wrists! These humans must think I’m too small to run away.

The day passed too slowly. Nearing sunset, the others in the wagon fell asleep. Figwitt started working on his ropes with his teeth, occasionally checking his progress in the dim light. Good, good! But now what? Those guards are still too close. I cannot chance being seen. He then had an idea. Shifting his position ever so slightly, he started working at the ropes binding the man next to him. The man woke, but seemed to realize what was being done to him and sat still. ”Done.” He whispered, and discretely pulled the rope away.

A sudden ear piercing noise split his ears. The cart jolted and overturned, spilling it’s contents on the ground. The Hobbit was light on his feet and quickly jumped up, but had barely taken two steps before he found himself once again restrained by something larger than himself. A large hand covered his mouth and he was carried deep into a nearby forest.
 

Daranavo

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How long had it been? How many days he could not be sure. It was getting dark and he lifted his head once more and looked around. The horses moved slowly now and he could feel their gait through the floor boards of the cage. He smelled the air and it nearly made him choke. Orcs were near he could tell but he could not see. Great, easterlings and now orcs as well. What a fix he was in now. He tilted his head up and tried to see the ridgeline that loomed up to their right. He did not recognize it at all but he knew they were being taken east by the lay of the sun as it set. Another pang of hunger hit him and he knew his lips were very chapped and dry. He felt very weak and exhausted and he lowered his head back down and fell fast asleep.

Was it a dream that woke him? No…something…someone is touching him. He tried not to flinch as small, nimble fingers expertly worked on the ropes that bound his hands behind his back. A child perhaps? How terrible it must be for them. He had not considered such a thing until now and quickly a thought came to him. “Done.” He heard in his ear in barely a whisper. Without hesitation he slowly brought a hand toward his face. Oh how he ached as he moved. He gulped air into his lungs and winced at the awful smell that lingered around him. He filled his lungs again and then again. The blood began to pump through his body and on the last he brought his fingers to his mouth. With a long, strong expunge of air he blew out onto his fingers that were crooked just enough to change the pitch of the air into an ear piercing wail. The horses that pulled the wagon neighed and almost immediately went into a terror-filled frenzy. Again he blew and the sound was very loud. The horses bucked and galloped forward uncontrolled. A large bump on the road was all it took and the wagon tipped to its right. The cage crashed down onto the road and the metal hinges bent and broke to the strain. He landed ready to run and he tried to ignore the agony of the stiffness in his limbs.

The sun had drooped just behind the horizon and the shadows made by the nearby trees were many. He focused his vision and began to make a run for the tree-line. As he did he saw a child running across his chosen path. Without hesitation he enveloped them in his arms and placed his hand over their mouth to ensure their silence. He ran for several minutes before he found a decline of earth shrouded in ferns and other small shrubs. He hopped up its fringe and came back down to its center before he landed himself on his side.

Though he wanted to push the thoughts from his mind, he began to worry about Gaiden. He was the only real friend he could count on and now who knew how far apart they were. He wished for his safety and hoped he found solace…somewhere. There was the loss of his blade as well that saddened him greatly. It had meant so much to him. Silently he cursed himself to linger on what was lost instead of what he would do now.
 

YayGollum

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Bugburz had no idea where he was. Normally a very paranoid and cautious Orc anyway, he kept cursing himself and Raoul for getting caught. "It was bound to happen! How long have we been on our own, now? I should've stayed in Mordor! The Easterlings there knew who was boss! Garn! Raoul? Keep up!"

The Warg had been watching his feet in an attempt to preserve stealth as the Orc rushed away from the caravan as fast as he could, but he kept looking back and was confused and interested at what he thought he saw. "Wait, you foolish Orc! I think I see some fellow escapees."

Bugburz chanced a glance backwards, but only for the sake of appearances. "What? Nar! We're spotted! It's your fault, giant hairball! Just run!"

Raoul growled warningly when Bugburz got close enough to push him onwards and almost did. "Your useless eyes! All you smell is humans. But some of them were captives, too. They could be useful, eh?"

"Ha! They're just not in uniform, then! You heard them partying up there! I'm going!"

The Warg sat. "Fine with me. I hate the stench of Orc, anyway. Humans couldn't be worse."

Bugburz bounced from foot to foot with agitation. "Garn, Warg! Let's go! Don't let them trick you! I know! Humans may not look it, but they're clever. Maybe not like Orcs or Wargs, but - "

Raoul interrupted before the Orc could make the same point several more times. "Just look at them, Bugburz. Don't they look lost and scared, just like us? I say we introduce ourselves."

The Orc quickly adapted to what, on actual observance, did look like the movements of fellow escapees. "Ugh! Fine! But how do you think they'll react? Orcs have worked with Easterlings before, and these humans will be enemies of Easterlings. Too bad they tossed our disguises. Okay, you just keep going. Find someplace to hide out. I'll hide in this tree and drop down and catch one. If he knows where we are, we kill him quick, have a snack, and get out."

Raoul rolled his eyes, sighed with exasperation, but nodded. Certain that the Orc would be too indecisive to come after him for a few minutes if he noticed him doubling back, he slunk back towards the caravan, on the lookout for scared humans, ready to pounce and quickly attempt to calm someone.
 
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Amberpants

Ill go ninja on you! Hiya
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"Wake up wretch" broke through my dream as I was drenched with cold water. I reluctantly opened my eyes to see an extremely strong and completely hideous man advancing towards me. He smelled of rotted flesh and hadn't showered and what seemed like years. I can't really talk that much because my situation was the same. He was dressed in the cheap leather uniform of a guard of Lord Kerian. I scuttled to the corner of my cell to escape his awful presence, but without use 'fore I was pulled from my fetal position by an almost arm-dislocating jerking motion. "Master wants you" stuttered out of that stupid minion's mouth.

"Oh what did I do this time? Breathe wrong? He is so demanding. I don't see him treating his other slaves this way.”

“Pay attention and stop talking to yourself! Kerian likes his girls sane.” he said with a maniacal grin.
“I’ll show you sane.”
“What was that wretch?”
“Oh nothing…nothing” I snapped as I came to my senses just in time to notice that Oh Mighty Master One put newcomers on guard duty near the door.

“Here’s my chance; I can soo take them!”

“Hey Idiot! Look, a bear!” Surprisingly it worked considering he looked in the direction I pointed. “You’re so stupid” I sneered as I pulled his sword out of its holder and swiftly stabbed him in the heart, killing him practically easily; he couldn’t even scream.

“Wow, I’m good…better than I thought I was”

“What th-“
I turned to the new voice, a stunned guard standing between me and my freedom. “Well you’ll have to go, I see.” I advanced and wasn’t so merciful with his death…I sort of had a grudge with him to say the least.

“Ha… Freedom” slipped out of my mouth as I victoriously walked out of the door.

“Too bad the Master had to put newcomers on guard duty…really too bad, now he’s down a slave.”


“Look, she’s getting away! Bring her to me…ALIVE!” from the Master himself.

“Ugh, I’ve always hated running.”

I sprinted into the nearby forest. Swiftly avoiding trees, I quickly advanced deep into the overgrown woods. Next thing I knew I was sprawled face first on the earthy forest soil.
“What?! Stupid Roots!”

Branches cracked in the distance hinting Kerian was on my tail.

“I’ll hide in the bush until nightfall.”
 

Seregon

To wherever it may lead..
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There was a blaze of white light, something immensely, blindingly bright.

And then there was darkness.

They were not so much a rabble of Easterlings as an army. A vast sea of faces and armor, weapons everywhere. The sun should've been out. It was on close to noon right now. Yet it was as if it refused to shine on one so dark. They would've been shadows, if there was any light, yet there was just darkness. Immense, utter, beautiful darkness. No! No! I won't! I won't!

He inhaled suddenly, and it too that fresh breath of air to realize that he hadn't been breathing. He lay still for a moment, just breathing, his face buried in the forest floor. Raising his head, he looked around, and saw the elf, unconscious, just a few feet from him. He looked at her for a moment, noticing the only slightly pointed ears, the deep brown hair... and then, his eyes fell on her wrist, secured in her other hand... and glowing. He gently pulled her hand off, and saw the tattooed sun on her wrist, lit up and firey. Something told him to leave, and only then did he realize - he couldn't run. Not from this. He couldn't run to anywhere, because he didn't know where he was. Terrific. I'm stuck in this godforsaken land full of these treacherous bastards, and no way out. No way out. The thought stung worse than anything else. Suddenly, the elf drew breath, and started, jumped back, glaring at him, ready to fight, yet hesitant.

"Who are you? What do you want?" She shouted at him, and he just stood, retrieved his weapons, which had fallen to the forest floor. A cold, pointed edge touched his throat, and he couldn't help but give a short laugh.

"I'm not going to fight you. Put it away." She looked hesitantly at him for a few seconds, and then put her sword away.

"Who are you?" She shouted again, though they were much closer.

"I'm not deaf. I'm Orion. Now does that help you? You've never even heard of me, so what difference does a name make? You're not a whore or an innkeeper, why do you care?" His voice was cold, acidic, full of malice and rage. It cut her to her very core. And it was worse because she realized that he had a point. Why did she care?

"I'm Rhea." She offered, yet he was already walking away, out of the clearing, with a bunch of bushes beside him. "You know, we could-" But he took a step to the side suddenly, reached in, and pulled out a quirming human holding him by the back of its shirt, looking at him as if inspecting a piece of jewelry, before tossing him to the ground, as if deciding a fake. Then, he just turned, and started walking again. "Hey, wait! Do you even know where we are?" She ran to catch up with him.

"No." It was quick, quiet, and angry.

"Well then where are you going if you don't know where we are." He practically growled, turned on her.

"I don't know where we are, but I know we're in Easterling territory, and I know those bastards would just love to get their hands on me, and if I just keep going west, eventually, I'll be out of Easterling territory, and out of their grasp, so unless you have a better plan or some wonderful, ingenious way of overpowering tens of thousands of evil, backstabbing, traitorous bastards hidden in that tiny little brain of yours, I think I'm going to just keep walking." She stood, stunned for a moment. He made sense. Yet he turned, and started walking again.

"Well..." she paused, "well then... I'm coming with you!" He turned on her another time, opened his mouth, ready for another rant. "No! No, you will not just scream at me! They overpowered you before, knocked you out, dragged you all the way out here. What's to stop them from doing it again? If they want you so badly, they're bound to be out there looking for you. If we team up we won't be as vulnerable. So... so before you start screaming at me, just shut up and listen!" She felt so childish saying it, and she probably did sound much like a child, yet he didn't laugh, or smile. He stared at her for a moment, and nodded.

"Suit yourself. Although really, for you, it's better to be alone. They'll be so busy hunting me down, you can just run out of here all by yourself." Rhea shifted, uncomfortable. He was right. Why was she doing this? She'd have better chances alone. She searched her heart, and suddenly, she realized. She knew exactly why. She was curious. Who was this elf? Why did she have the same pattern tattooed on her wrist and put on her sword hilt as he had on his medallion? Why did the Easterlings want him so badly? Why wouldn't he fight her when he woke, when he wanted to rip her apart so much before? Where had she heard that name before? Why did her tattoo hurt when she burned him? Why was his hair so short, if he was elvish? She couldn't leave all of her questions. She had to know. Because whatever influenced him, influenced her. They were connected somehow. And suddenly, she realized, he'd been staring at her, waiting for a reply, for well over two minutes. She raked her mind, quickly... a response...

"With the way you fight, if I do run into anything... I think I'll really be safer with you." It was quiet, meek, and she felt so... small. So subservient and childish in his presence. Who - and what the h*** are you? Yet she knew, even if she asked, he wouldn't tell her. Yet suddenly, they heard a noise from the man he had upset just a few minutes ago.
 
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Rosalee LuAnn

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In which Rosie tells stories and tries to make a new friend

There was a red light pulsing in the darkness behind her eyelids. Rosie tried to focus her attention on that, instead of the biting pain in her ankle, or the dull ache that was her shoulder. The fact that she was being shaken and bumped around against something hard wasn’t helping at all, nor was the fact that she seemed to be bound tightly with ropes. She wondered idly if her ankle would hurt less if she were to untie it, but quickly turned her focus back to the redness behind her eyelids—thinking of her ankle made the pain reach out and claw at her consciousness far worse than before.

Once upon a time, she thought, there was a beautiful girl named Rosie. She was strong, and good, and—

She was sidetracked from her story when the wagon or cart (or whatever it was) she was in stopped. She sighed, then tried to sleep, having tried when she was being bumped around and failed. Redness pulsed behind her eyelids.

She had almost escaped into the world of red pulsing dreams when she was hit, hard, in her ribs. Instinctively, she curled up into as small a ball as she could, trying not to moan as her back was hit over, and over, and over. Once upon a time, she tried to distract herself, Once upon a time, Rosie was captured by strange men. She had tried to run, but she had not enough eyes to watch both her pursuers and her path. She fell, and was injued, and could not run further. She was taken, but she decided to wait for the right time to escape, and then, the right time for revenge…

She realized that the blows to her back had stopped. She shifted around a bit, trying to determine how badly she had been hurt. She would have a few bruises, she determined, but her greatest concern would be her ankle. If only she had her pack, she thought, she could tie it up—

She heard a shrill, whimpering sort of noise. She had ignored all other noises as unimportant distractions, but this noise was close. Rosie slowly opened her eyes and, having found that she could do that much, she tried to roll over and up into a sitting position.

Mistake. All the moans and sobs she had been holding back before broke out in one hoarse cry that she chocked on and stopped as quickly as she could. The whimpering had stopped. More slowly this time, and more prepared for what her injuries would do, she sat up and faced the source of the noise. Her sight was blurry and a red haze danced around the edges of her vision, but she could see a small figure before her, a child. A little girl who was staring at Rosie with a shocked kind of fear.

“Was it you that was trying to make a giant bruise out of my back?” said Rosie hoarsely, both angry and strangely curious. Speaking reminded her of how very thirsty she was. How long since she had eaten? She wasn’t even sure how long it had been since she had been tossed into that wagon. She might have understood if her captors had beaten her, but a little girl? What motive could this little girl possibly have?

“I… I just wanted to get out!” with a very small trace of her previous weeping in her voice. Rosie forgot her anger with the little girl completely; was it really possible to escape? Nobody seemed to have heard them talking, or was it just that nobody cared?

“What’s your name?” she asked, trying for a kind tone, but she couldn’t remember the last time she’d talked to a child any better than she could remember how long since she had been captured. How was one supposed to talk to children? She knew that they were generally treated differently, more gently than adults, but she only vaguely remembered how one would go about it.

“Clover.” Said the girl. She still looked a bit scared. Apparently Rosie hadn’t gotten the tone quite right.

“Clover. That’s a nice name.” She said, trying to say something familiar and comforting, for both herself and the wide-eyed child. “My name’s Rosaline. You can call me Rose, or Rosie, or whatever you want, really. Well, almost.” There was a pause, and Rosie shifted around a bit, though the ropes made it difficult. “Are you tied up too?” Rosie asked the girl. She held up her bound hands. The girl’s legs seemed to be free—that was why she had been able to move around the wagon, and, of course, kick Rosie over and over when she had found something blocking her way. Apparently a child wasn’t seen as much of a threat.

“I’m tied up so I can’t reach, but I’ve sewn a dagger into the sole of my left boot. You’ll have to pull out some stitches to get to it, but it we can use it to get rid of these ropes. No, no, that’s my right boot. Right there at the side… yes, right there!” The stitches came out easily, as Rosie had expected, and the little fingers reached into the crack between the layers of leather that opened. With a cry, the girl snatched her hand away from the boot, more tears emerging from her puffy red eyes.

“It cut me!” she said accusingly.

“You’re going to have worse problems than cut fingers if you don’t get that dagger out!” Rosie said in a savage whisper, forgetting to be gentle. The girl seemed to understand what Rosie meant, but reluctant to try again.

“Wait, let me try something.” Rosie shifted onto her side and, ignoring her throbbing ankle, shook her feet slightly, trying to loosen the dagger. At a particularly energetic thrust, however, her ankle gave an extremely threatening throb, and she stopped.

“See if its poking out.” Rosie told Clover through clenched teeth. The girl bent over the boot again and very carefully pulled out the handle-less blade Rosie had stowed there.

“I trust you know what to do with that.” Said Rosie flatly, forgetting to try to be nice. The girl began to saw at the rope that bound Rosie’s ankles, awkwardly because of her bound hands. Rosie was impatient, but prevented herself from saying anything that might scare or anger the girl and make her stop. She finished more quickly than Rosie thought she would. Rosie’s ankle seemed to hurt worse once freed, but the fact that they were free more than made up for it.

“Quick, do my hands and then I can do yours.” Rosie held her arms out; the rope gave more easily than the one around her feet. Rosie wanted to take a moment to rub life into her hands and feet, but Clover held out her hands impatiently. “Now do mine!” she insisted. Rosie took the blade with a sigh and held it awkwardly, and sawed through the rope on Clover’s hands.

Clover made as if to dash out the wagon into who-knew-what. Rosie grabbed at the girl’s tatty dress.

“Don’t you dare! What are you thinking? You don’t know what’s out there. Wait just a minute.” The pain in her ankle had increased right after the rope came of, then died down. She pulled herself up on the side of the wagon, then stood when she found that she could.

“First we make sure nobody’s out there, then we get out.” Rosie said.

“Yes, yes, I know.” The girl said impatiently. “I can do it myself.”

“Oh you can, can you?” Rosie said. She would have been amused if her mind wasn’t occupied with other things. As it was, she was rather impatient and annoyed. She shook her head at the girl before watchfully lowering herself out of the wagon, carefully favoring her right leg and shoulder.

“Alright, you come down now. It would be good if I could find my daggers and bag. Then we need to get away and hide as quickly as possible.” Clover got out of the wagon, ignoring the hand Rosie held out to help her, as if she were trying to prove that she could indeed take care of herself.

“I’m going to need as much help as you can give me, and I think that, while I can see you’re very capable, you’ll need my help. Can we agree to help each other now?” Rosie grabbed the girls shoulder and turned her so they were looking straight at each other.
 
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YayGollum

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Exactly then, a sharp eye might have noticed a couple of nearby bushes rustle, but the very next thing to happen was Orion getting thrown to the ground by a frighteningly large and apparently ferocious wolf-looking thing. One paw pressed threateningly down on his chest, but enough care was taken that the claws didn't even puncture clothing. The other paw roamed free, waving close to Rhea, then Straag, when he noticed him. In a deep and, of course, growling voice that was kept low and commanding --->

"Don't move! Keep low! Do you want them to see you? Now, my companion is hidden nearby, and he wants to kill you, I'm afraid. The death he would give you is leagues more merciful than that which we would find at the hands of our captors, I'm sure we can all agree, but why not think up an idea that would help us all out a bit more than that, eh? He knows what he's doing with a bow, so let's just relax and head for those trees. I say that we can help each other. When those men come looking for us, we won't be able to hold them all off. My companion is afraid of you. Help me to persuade him not to kill you before we can all escape, at least."

Waiting for an answer before he let Orion up, he stared at each of them with his eerily intelligent eyes but laughed harshly at himself. "I must admit that I am happy to see that there are some disagreements between humans, though. We think that you're all out to get us. And that may still be, but I mean to find my way home before I tackle diplomacy."
 

Seregon

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Orion suddenly felt something heavy knock him to the gruond, and next thing he knew he was face to face with a warg. It went on about diplomacy and not killing, and Orion smiled.

"You know, typically, when you're greeting someone, you walk up to them instead of tackling them." The warg looked confused, but let him up, and Orion reached down and stroked the fur-like coat of the beast. Confusion changed to annoyance, but Orion didn't even notice. He looked up at Rhea, who was watching with fear and disgust, wondering if Orion was actually going to let this warg and the mystery person in the bushes journey with them. "If you want, you can come West with us."

"What?!" Rhea screeched. "No persuasion, no 'aren't you sure you'd be better off', just 'come along then'?! What kind of an elf trusts a bloody warg over his own kind?!" Orion had stopped stroking the beast, at the least.

"Well... If you think you'd be better off, you can just go off on your own." And suddenly she realized... it only made her want to stay even more.
 

YayGollum

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Raoul only let the elf up because he was sure that he couldn't be harmed too badly, since they didn't even carry any weapons yet, but his words were reassuringly calm, to him. He instantly tensed, growled, and shuddered away when he was touched, though. He closed his eyes and slashed at the ground while making the effort to not bite at the guy. Figuring that the other two needed to be calmed before they could put more distance between themselves and their captors, he focused on the girl. His eyes hardened, and he spoke much more coldly.

"I asked you to come out of sympathy. If you refuse to believe that, I can only wish you well and advise that you choose a path besides mine. I can calm my companion, but only for so long. Keeping all of you together will prevent many wild speculations of dangers for him to fear. None of which will be too wild, when it comes to the men who caught us, who I insist we distance ourselves from." He oriented himself towards the trees, hoping that Bugburz hadn't already fled. He blinked with annoyance when a few raindrops fell in his eyes, then checked the skies to find a storm approaching. "I hear that the smell of a wet Warg is the surest way to ward off pursuers. Let us take this rain as a blessing, as we search for cover, then." He then flicked his paw out, indicating the direction that he wished to herd them in, hoping that they would recognize the human-like gesture, and that it was meant to reassure them.
 

Majimaune

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OOC: Sere: By disturbed I take it I was lets say knocked unconscious?
Rose: Please make the text in your next post slightly larger. I found it hard to read.

IC: Straag came back to consciousness. A bad thing he thought at first when a saw a warg on the chest of an elf. Not good. Then the elf greeted the warg as a friend. Very strange. The next thing the elf will be an orc. Straag slowly started to crawl away, finding he was temporarily unnoticed he went behind the nearest bush to watch what happened. When the little group started to move Straag followed them, like a shadow.
 
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Seregon

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"So," he said lightly as he made his way through the forest, "what exactly are you looking for?" Evia glanced at him, then turned back, and chose not to speak. Silence reigned for half an hour, before he spoke again. "How will you know when you find what you’re looking for if you don’t know what it is?" She sighed, paused, her yellowish eyes flitting across the floor. She turned to him, very quietly, and spoke.

"I’m looking for a cave. With a pool of water which glows yellow, and has no source. It is not deep; not far below the earth, if it is at all, and there should be grass with blue flowers just before we get to it." They met each other’s gaze, both trying to discern the thoughts of the other. "Is that detailed enough for you?"

Leaves cracked and sent the aroma of the forest everywhere, their feet disturbing ground which had not been trod in generations.

"You know," Orion said thoughtfully, "if we’re looking for a cave, we’re going the wrong way." Evia’s brow knotted together. "The caves are west of Mirkwood. We’re going East. Past this forest, there’s just plains." A pause. "Well, unless you count the East." And he laughed, and to his surprise, Evia smiled back at him.

Orion went in the direction the warg indicated, keeping an eye on Rhea, who sulked, keeping her distance. Not far ahead, they found a cliff, going only twenty or thirty feet up, with a small, yet dry, cavernous hollow at the bottom. Orion inspected it for a minute, before deciding it was safe, and setting down his pack.

"We can camp here, I suppose." Rhea sat down near the back of the cave, glaring at the warg and glacing at Orion every once and a while. He reached in his pack and offered some dried meat to Raoul. "I know it's not as good cooked as raw, but it'll do." He chuckled. "Bet I smell pretty good, bloody as I am." The rain had taken some of it out of his clothes and off of his body, yet it was still there, and he knew the warg could smell it. He started biting into a piece of meat he had selected for himself, noticing out of the corner of his eye Rhea's enraged glare. He reached in his pack, pulled out another, and tossed it on the ground near her feet. "If you want it." Defiantly, she picked it up and threw it from the cave. Orion merely shrugged, and finished his own light meal.
 

elfgirl

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Luinwe felt something cool and wet drop onto her face. It took her a moment to realize what it was - rain. Soon, the drops were coming quicker, and quicker. She shook Alana awake, and they fumbled to take down the hammocks. Luinwe started to go about hiding the signs, but Alana stopped her, shouting through the oncoming thunder and downpour.

"The rain willk hide it, now come on!" They ran blindly through the forest, before realizing that they had no idea where they were going. Yet just as they were stopping to debate whether their rash idea to leave camp so quickly was truly wise, they saw a faint light in the distance - another camp. And it was dry. Before they knew it, they were ducking into the little cavern. Yet just as soon as they saw the creatures inside, they backed up to the wall. An orc, a warg, an elf, and... was it really... ? No, she assured herself, it couldn't be. Alana looked toward the elf. "What's going on here? Who are you all?"

"I'm Rhea - that's Orion, that's..." Her lip lifted in a half-snarl, "Raoul and... Orc." Alana stood, shocked. "So you're really Orion?" He looked up at her, and glared. She walked silently over to him, suddenly having no qualms about the orc or the warg, having seemingly forgotten them for now, and lifted her hand to reach out for his face. He flinched away and edged closer to the warg, and her eyes were full of sympathy and sadness. "What happened to you, anyway? When you disappeared?"

"Well," he said, his voice hushed, "I went somewhere for a while. And then I came back." She decided not to push the subject - he hadn't ever talked about it before, and she suddenly felt foolish to think he would confide in her.

"You know, I always knew you weren't an elf." His eyes shot to her, angry, searching. She just smiled. "Elves don't have facial hair." And his gaze went away, and suddenly it was apparent that he did, indeed, have just the first signs of needing a shave. "So what," she said kindly, "they took you as a really big prize, or something?" He gave a derisive laugh.

"Yeah, guess so." And she knew by his tone - the conversation had been over a while ago. So she let silence reign, as Luinwe, seeing the sudden trust that Alana had, cautiously went over to sit next to Rhea, watching everything else from a distance.
 

Amberpants

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It took Laia more than an hour to notice a small puddle had formed around her ankles.
“Could this day get any worse?”
The mere sprinkle turned into a downpour of cold liquid that drenched her thin outfit.
“I spoke too soon” she grumbled as she avoided deep muddy puddles on her way out of her bushy hideout.
Ok… Now where do I go?...Ugh…I’ll just go in one direction and soon I’ll be out of this **** hole.
She started off in a random direction looking for shelter. The bright green scenery developed into a morbid, dark undergrowth of slime and mold as she advanced yet further into the forest.
“Oh, isn’t the scenery lovely…”
“I don’t think I can take any more of this sinister stuff.” She grumbled to herself after slipping on yet another moldy rock.
“Gosh, things just plan on hurting me don’t they? I almost twisted my ankle!!!”
Laia finally decided to switch her walking pattern to go east. She only knew she was going in this direction because Kieran’s plot was on the south side of the forest, yet she had never ventured this deep into the overgrowth. Technically, she never even ventured out of the house.
She noticed a speck of light just ahead of her view, a way out. She quickly stumbled to the light just to get away from the morbid aspect of the landscape.
She burst into the sight of clearing, a cliff, and what do you know, a cave. She finally found shelter for her to lay low for a couple of days; just to make sure her master wasn’t following.
It didn't take her too long to figure that the cave was occupied, but being a pretty determined person she decided to follow through with her plan for shelter.
"I don't care who's in here...I'd rather be here than serving that idiot and his goons."
 
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Majimaune

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OOC: Amber you got in just before me, writing at the same time, not always a good thing. I just dont want to change my post too much. Ah well...

IC:Straag followed the little company to the cave. None of them turned around and saw him, or even turned around for that matter. As they went into the cave Straag stayed behind them and hidden. Even though he had found the two elves unconscious he wasn't sure if they were friends. Especially if they were with an orc and warg. Soon the rain started to get heavier and two others came. They ran into the cave with little thought. Straag listened to the conversation from the outside.

Eventually Straag got cold from the rain and the fire looked so tempting. In he went. There sat the group, all around the fire. The one called Orion looked up as he entered.

"So your the one that found us in the bushes?" It was a good guess but said more like a statement then a question.

"Yes." Straag then sat down near the fire so that he would dry off but as far away from the orc and warg as possible. He was then introduced to everyone there.
 

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