Middle-earth time is:
Daytime on Monday, Day 3 of July, 3011
Real time is: 18:16:49 MST on Wed May 14 1997
Yog slinks in quietly just below the snowline.
A cloaked figure, only just barely visible against the snow, is looking intently at an oddly-shaped snowbank.
Glendor quietly observes Petra carving a snow-elf out of the large shapeless pile. As her work near completion, he approaches it, and looks around, "And who might this..." His words are cut short as he hears creaking of snow trampled by heavy steps.
Jonuk coms down from the high pass.
Jonuk has arrived.
Petra freezes as Glendor stops talking, and very slowly lowers her right hand into a bag, her hooded face scanning the area like a hawk.
Slowly the slopes begin to fill with dark shapes, that crawl and seeth downward toward the elven party.
Slowly the goblins close in from the east and from down the mountainsides, leaving only the westward passage open. Their foul speech can be heard on the wind as the approch with the clanging of armor, making no attempt to remain hidden.
Quickly evaluating the situation, Glendor jumps toward the pile of bags - the makeshift camp the Elves set for the short mid-day break. A large shoulder bag lies at the edge of the pile. He shouts, "<Sindarin> Run! Run along the snow, we're faster than them!" He stops for a moment and waves madly, directing other elves to run along the snow-covered slope, pointing them to the place wherne the snow lies deeper and their light steps would give them an advantage. He then reaches for his bag. He seems to be determined to save this one piece of their luggage.
Jonuk crouches high above the elves in plain sight but quite a distance away watching them pick their way through the terrain. Rising he shouts at the elves in some foul language before running in a nearby ravine.
Petra shoulders her bag and runs westward, her long legs carrying her across the snow with superhuman speed and her light frame barely denting the snow.
The odd-looking snowbank is now revealed to be carved in the likeness of an elf on one face. The detailing is astonishing, but the elf's face is incomplete.
An advange group splits off from the main force of goblins to persue the fleeing elf maid. Their spears glint in the sunlight as they strugggle to keep their path in the glare of dat.
Petra, still covered in her elven cloak, is little more than the shadow of a bird flying over the blinding snow.
Yog lags behind the advancing goblin horde as he stops to study the odd snowbank with its partial face.
Glendor reaches for his bag, and jolts down the slope, westwards, even before he has shoulders the bag. It hits the fresh snow and a swirl of snowflakes raises in the air behind the running Elf.
The advance scouts begin to fall back, blinded by the glare of snow and daylight. As the main horde sweeps dowward, the scouts are caught up with the group, and press onward toward the fleeing elves, shouting furiously.
Petra runs as fast as she can, looking only forward, shutting out the noise around her. Her flickering shadow streaks across the show, and the only evidence of her passage are small depressions in the snow spaced so far apart that an Uruk could lie down comfortably between them.
Glendor runs after the fleeting group. Two of the guards seem to be falling back, waiting for him. No attempt is made to recover anything from the camp. Glendor's steps are heavier than usual, he leaves slight tracks on the snow.
Kalaw-Arg coms down from the high pass.
Kalaw-Arg has arrived.
Arakai has arrived.
Yog stops with a couple of hand picked guards to investigate the abandoned camp. The remaining goblins continue to surge westward, beating a path through the snow as the follow.
Kalaw-Arg is with the main group of goblins, at the front of them.
Arakai walks a short way behind Kalaw-arg. His massive black hammer swings in his right hand and his red lynx eyes cut through the mountain gloom to observe anything. His head is tilted back slightly and he sniffs at the air quickly and repeatedly
Jonuk runs along a ridge high above the elves avoiding any obstacles in his way and trying to get ahead of them. Smirking as he runs he watches a few disengage from the main group noting the blonde one with the burden from earlier.
Kalaw-Arg charges westward in pursuit of the elven party, his head darts back and forth as he looks for prey. Raising his mace high as he runs, he shouts out a cry in the vile black speech of the orcs, and an answering cry resounds throught the goblins behind him. As one the goblins shout and roar as they move west in pursuit like a terrible wave flodding a quiet plain.
Glendor adjust his run to the weight he has to carry, and his pace picks up at once. He nearly reaches the main group, the two guards are now with him. The Elven ability to run on the snow without disturbing it or fallign through serves as a great advantage, but the snow line is not far below, and to gain more time to increase their lead over orcs, Elves run more to the northwest, where the snow seems to reach furhter down the slope.
Petra continues to streak down the slope in great strides, only barely visible against the sun-brightened snow. If she is at all aware of the horde behind her, she gives no sign. She is the silhouette of an eagle, flying swift and silent across the snow.
Arakai bellows a clear and horrible cry of challange and rage as he swings the hammer in the air. He charges with the rest of the goblin horde leaping over any rock of bush in his way
Yog begins to plunder his way through the remains of the camp, sifting for any clues he may find. He brushes aside snow, turning over rocks, and any discarded items left lying aouut.
The massive Uruk-Hai at the lead of the charging band shouts out a second cry now, and raises his mace high into the air. The goblins behind him begin to slow slightly as they fumble with pulling bows to the ready, while others surge ahead in pursuit.
His mace raised high in both hands, Kalaw-Arg lets go with his left hand to point toward the fleeing elves, then swings his mace forward and into the ground with a THUD with his right. A second after the mace strikes the snow, A ragged rain of arrows flies forth from the band. They stop in their tracks and string more arrows to fire rapidly, if innaccurately in order to wound the fleeing elves.
Jonuk slowly makes his way down the slope while trying to keep up with the elves but is slowly starting to lag behind.
As the larger goblins in heavy armor race in pursuit, they begin to sink in the deepening snow, and soon theyre pace is slowed to a ravaging crawl, the larger trample the smaller, and a shout from Kalaw calls off the ragged pursuit as more arrows fly from the archers.
Petra leaps upon a rock in her way, landing with one foot and springing back off without even breaking stride. As soon as she lands on the other side, a swarm of black arrows whistle into the snow around her, and she responds by turning her course northward, than southward, than northward again.
The Elves which trail the group run in zigzags, making it harder for the archers to get an accurate shot. Those ahead make few maneuvres but then just keep on running. The three Elves start to fall behind the main group, but still run much faster than orcs who have to plow through the snow.
Arakai lowers his hammer with a snarl and begins to quickly walk backward several steps up the path and watches the arrows fly. With a snarl he begins to move through the orcs toward the large uruk-hai leader
Jonuk finally he makes it down the slope and starts running after the elves. As he runs his each foot seems to sink deeper and deeper and deeper into the snow because of his weight and the weight of his armor. Howling in rage and anger he shouts a curse at the elves as they slowly increase the distance between him and them.
Yog continues looting the camp, stopping to deface the ice carved elf face with a stream of warm yellow that melts the carvings features, leaving a mushy stained puddle. Debris from the camp now forms a small pile of useless discards, leaving the shaman disgruntled at the falure to gain new information.
Glendor and the two guards which accompany him turn their flight almost straight to the North... this does not get them anywhere closer to safety, but they are running for what seems to be a snow-covered ridge which stands like a barrier across the slope there. If tehy reach it, they would be covered from the arrows. The archers in the rest of the party stop their descent and turn around. Their 6' longbows have greater range than the bows of their enemies, and volley after volley, grey-feathered arrows while and whistle through the air toward the pursuers
Yog grimaces as he holds up a dress, clearly suited only for the fair form of an elf. He balls the light fabric into a wad and slams it to the ground, stomping his feet in the snow as he continues to rummage about.
Jonuk curses as a flock of arrows flies his way and dives behind a nearby tree trunk as the arrows thump into the wood and land in the snow around him.
Petra, along with the rest of the party, seeks the shelter of the ridge to the North.
The goblins raise their shields, easily protecting themselves from the long flights of the volleys as they lay half-covered in snow..... A small group of quick goblin runners sprint out from behind the archers, racing to capture the elves, or at the least drive them away.
Glendor and the two guards nearly reach the ridge. Few arrows fall around them, and one strikes a guard in the shoulder, but, at almost teh maximum range of the bow, is foiled by the armor hidden inder the cloak. One after the other, 3 Elves jump over the edge and disappear behind the ridge. They probably land in a soft snow there, or their cat-like grace extends to the art of jumping and landing safely, but no sound comes across the snow-covered slopes. The archers lower their bows after firing the last volley, and resume their quick descent.
Petra disappears over the ridge, and suddenly there is no sign of her. Not a flicker of grey, nor so much as a whisper of sound.
Yog watches as the line of goblins pushes toward the west driving the elves down the slopes before them. With no hope now of joining the persuit, he begins to go through the inventorty of the camp again, double checking each item, in hopes that he might have overlooked something.
From the debris pile, Yog pulls a small vial of liquid. He pulls the stopper from the vial and sniffs, wrinkling his piggish face with disgust. He tries a small tase and spits the fouls taste from his mouth, but recorks the vial and stuffs it into his bundle.
Not a sound comes from the slopes below. Pretty soon, amazingly soon in fact, a movement can be noticed far downhill, already below the snow line. Few gray spots move among the broken rocks... or could be just shadows dancing as the clouds cover the sun.
Yog gathers several assorted items of clothing and piles them together. He directs the goblins assisting him to ready their tinderboxes, and soon a small blaze warms the chilling cold of the abandoned camp. He takes a slender book, scrawled in the fair elvish script and moves to add it to the fire. Then pausing, he opens the book and begings to trace the script with his finger, a curious look in his yellow eyes.
Kalaw-Arg growls, "I want the cloaked mountain scouts to patrol the high pass! Set up a tower up on that ridge to the east and get volunteers for runners to make the patrols and carry messages, where are those damed wargs when you need them! (he points to Yog) You, shaman! Contact the wargs and tell then that we will provide them with meat if they patrol this area more heavily for us. This will be the last time those cursed lightfoot pointed ears pass this zagh again!"
Kalaw-Arg waves his mace eastwards and points to the warriors who were in pursuit before, they begin to march east and bunch up in file again. Kalaw nods to the swift goblins that were running in pursuit before and nods, they glance around and begin preperations to climb. A few reveal hatchets and axes fromunderneath their cloaks and begin to jog in the direstion of a group of trees to the east.
Yog tucks the book and another similar volume into his bundle. He examines a packet of dried fruit, but decides it is only fit for elves and tosses it onto the fire.
On the High Moors
As you stand on the open moors, it is difficult to see where the road once led to. There is a very little left of it. Only a faint trace leads away southward. A steep slope rises in all northerly directions. Some trees cling to this slope, but the top is barren. In all other directions there are no trees or any other kind of vegetation higher than shin level. There seems to be a slightly less steep way to the northwest, but it still seems rather treacherous. Staying on the level, you could go east, directly towards the mountains. With nothing to break them, the cold winds are piercing on this plateau.
An exhausted Petra stumbles over a rock and falls forward, and lies there in the mist, gasping hoarsely for breath.
Glendor leans against a tree bark, his breath comes out in loud hisses. He takes the bag off his shoulder, and lets it fall on the ground.
Petra slowly lifts herself up on her arms, trembling like an aspen. A few dry coughs shake her. She rolls into a sitting position and sits there, staring blankly for a few minutes. Suddenly she starts, and croaks, "My dress! O my dress! It is gone!"
Petra clutches her throat and coughs from the effort of speaking.
Glendor makes a choking sound, and his shoulders shake. Not at once you realise that he's laughing through his rapid breath.
Petra takes a long, eager drink from her waterskin, wincing from the pain of the cold water against her sore throat. When she lowers her head and sees Glendor laughing, she pouts. "What is so funny, Glendor! We have lost almost everything!"
Glendor tries to contain laughter, but does not succeed immediately, "Yes, ... and of all ... things ... your first remembered your dress!"
Petra slams her fist against her thigh impetuously. "That's not funny, Glendor. It's not." Her eyes water up. "I spent a month on that dress, dreaming of wearing it to meet Elrond, and now all I have are these rags."
Glendor sighs, "We lost many other things. I am sure the maidens of Imladris will let you borrow some clothes, and very beautiful ones too. But some other things will be much harder to replace. Those books they burned..."
Petra looks up. "They burned those books?"
Petra covers her face and weeps.
Glendor nods, and points to his shoulder bag, "This is the only bag from the camp. This, and whatever was on us, is what we have now" He comes close, and gently lays his hand on your shoulder.
Petra sobs hoarsely, and her hands and her cloak moisten with tears. The mist around her stirs and swirls as she shakes.
Arehir has connected.
Without a sound, or other indication of his presence, Arehir emerges from the surroundings.
Petra is kneeling on the ground, weeping and sobbing. Glendor has his hand on her shoulder.
Arehir walks grimly up to the two, still shooting glances over his shoulder. He sighs heavily as he looks down at the maid.
Petra looks up from her hands. Her eyes are red and her face is mottled red and tear-stained, but she appears to be fighting back her sobs. She bites her lip hard and looks at Glendor. Attempting a smile, she says, "Well, we have our lives. I suppose that is no small thing to be thankful for."
Glendor looks up, "Ah, Arehir... catching up your breath? We're musing over the things we left in that last camp"
Petra's eyes widen suddenly and she springs to her feet, patting her cloak madly. Her left hand finds something and her right hand dives into the folds of her clothing and pulls out a sealed scroll. Petra looks at the thing, hugs it to her chest and laughs in relief. "And I have not lost the Lady's messages." She kisses the scroll and puts it back in her cloak.
Arehir turns wearily to Glendor and nods, "Our wits among them." He smiles then at Petra, and touches her shoulder, "Would that you had not gone through that, lady. We are here indeed, though, and with more than /just/ our lives, it seems." He grins then, nearly freely.
Glendor watches Petra with a slight smile on his lips, "Everything else can be replaced. Think about it, the next day we'll meet in Imladris, save in Elrond's haven"
Petra laughs again at Arehir's quip, and some of the clouds are chased away from her brow. She sniffles, and wipes her face with a handkerchief she produced from somewhere in her clothing. She nods to Glendor, and his words have a transformative effect on the young maid. "Aye, that we will." She looks at her surroundings. "That we will."
Arehir stops then also, and for the first time looks about. He muses, "This is my second journey to the House of Master Elrond. I must say that thoughts of the great grove of lithe birches fill my mind now that thoughts of death slip away." He laughs, "Aye, I look forward to that wood again."
Glendor smiles more openly, "Aye, there it lies." He points to the norhtwest, where the steep slope drops into the valley.
Petra throws herself at Glendor and hugs him tight. "O Glendor! I am foolish indeed to despair!"
Arehir smiles then as the two embrace. A shadow passes over his face for the briefest instant, but flies away, then. He turns to the sky, and begins humming some tune very quietly."
Petra steps back. Her face is still swollen, but the light behind her smile overwhelms the sadness on her face, and after not even a minute, the familiar, ebulliant Petra stands before you.
Glendor shoots a quick glance at Arehir, and blushes slightly. He quickly rushes to grab his bag.
Petra turns the warmth of her smile on Arehir. "It is good to see you intact and uninjured as well, mellon." She takes Arehir's hands in hers, squeezes them gently, and lets go.
Arehir walks slowly about, his pack now thrown indescriminately over his shoulder. He begins to walk up the slope a bit, though taking his time looking this way and that.
Petra looks at the valley to the west. "Well, what shall we do by way of a camp? We shall freeze to death without our tents and blankets."
Glendor licks his finger and raises it to feel the wind, "We're too tired to try to go down today, but it's much warmer here. The power of the hidden valley is felt already, perhaps"
Here I was booted during a DB save and could not reconnect. :(