River of blood

Middle-earth time is:
Mid Afternoon on Trewsday, Day 2 of May.
Your location is in a timewarp! (See HELP +TIMEWARP). In your location it is always NIGHTTIME.

Ford at the Carrock -- Anduin River
On the northern side of the Carrock, great stones rise above the water, allowing easy passage between the massive outcropping and the east bank. On the western side, though, the flow is deep and fast, and only the giant bears can cross it in safety. A massive cliff rises up on the west bank, nearly as tall as the Carrock itself; this close, it masks even the mighty Misty Mountains from view.
Night lays about the land though it doesn't inhibit your seeing the land and its shapes. A clear cut stone stairway leads up the side of the Carrock.
The sky is clear. The mid afternoon spring air is warm and dry around you. The moon is full.


A clear spring evening wanes into night, and the lights from the Beorning village cast little more than shadows this far from the buildings. Few are now at the river's edge -- the fishermen have packed up their nets and their catches, the children have been hustled home to dinner.
A light bobs at the edge of the river as a woman stalks among the rocks. She carries a torch in one hand and stoops once in a while, cutting a selection of riverside plants and placing them into the bag at her side. In the firelight her face can be seen; it is Elisabet, healer of the village.

Gregge crosses the wide stones, arriving before the Carrock.
Gregge has arrived.

From behind Elisabet there is a sudden crack, the sound of a twig or something similar snapping. A dark figure is approaching her from behind, cloaked with his hood up. A foot is placed on a rock and then the figure steps forwards, reaching out to clamp two gloved hands over her eyes.
"Boo!" Blane calls with a grin, his hood tumbling down and his cloak fluttering behind him.

The great Anduin carries its waters over the massive stones, between the tall rocks, and away into the plains. Its never-ending voice, the sound of water rushing through the narrows, drowns out all other voices. Fine spray raises from the waves. This evening, its touch feels cold, chilly. With the fog, from the Norht creeps up an uneasy feeling, like a cold hand probing out, sending shivers through everyone it touches.

Elisabet's arms flail as the Guide's hands cover her eyes. She laughs, though the sound is half-angry, and she reaches to her face to pry his fingers away. "You mad thing; I'm jumpy enough coming from Mirkwood. And it half feels like I've brought the cold from that place with me, and the dark as well."

Gregge still limping from his encounter with the warg a few days back, walks a few yards behind Blane. The young guide chuckles as his captain tries to scare Elisabet, and succedes. "Aye Elisabet it is quite cold out here..." Gregge calls from behind the two shivering slightly, as he limps towards the guardhouse for his watch.

The hooded figure of Jora comes walking over fromt he direction of the village. She looks over to Elisabet and then to Blane. She calls out towards the dishonored ex-captain. "Blane! I wish to speak with you!" She hurries over as her staff taps against the soft ground.

"Well, being that it is a cold and dark night. It would seem that way wouldn't it?" Blane teases, offering Elisabet a wink and stepping up by her side and smiling. "What are you doing out here, Lis? at this hour?" he asks, idly kicking a stone from side to side.
Turning, Blane offers a smile to Gregge before glancing to Jora. Wincing as he turns his neck, placing a hand over the teteh marks on his neck. "What is it, Jora?"

"Picking up a few things for poultices," Elisabet replies, shaking her head and giving Blane a not-overly-vicious glare. "You wouldn't believe, but with the scrapes and bounces that the folk at the mill get, not to mention the wargs and goblins, I've run low on supplies."
She stoops again, sticking the torch point-down in the mud of the riverbank before scooping up a few fallen bits of plant.
Elisabet lights Lis's Torch.
Elisabet puts down Lis's Torch.

With the noise of the rushing waters you don't hear the sound of the horse hooves until it's almost upon you. Then it appears. On a great black stallion, a rider cloaked in shadows and black robes, darker than night itself. The iron-shod hooves strike sparks from the stones piled up along the riverbank, but this is the only spark of light about him. The black outline is like a void cut out of the dark night sky, no light, not from the stars, not from the torches, can penetrate it.

Gregge limps along up next to Jora. He too also winces when he hears Jora coming though not out of pain. Quickening his pace he moves up next to Elisabet. "Hmmm wargs you say... Haven't seen to many of those lately." The guide says with a half smile, to the healer as he limps along on his ruined leg.

Jora walks towards Blane and smiles. "I wanted to speak to you of..." her voice trails off as the ominous figure ont he black steed comes into view. Fear...fear rushes over Jora as she peers towards Gothmog. Her hand grips her staff tightly as her knuckles turn white.

"Oh aye, wargs are so rare nowadays, we need not even give them a second thought..."
But Elisabet's words trail off as the sound of hoofbeats runs over the clamor of the Anduin. She looks up sharply and takes a half-step back, the flickering light of her torch casting an eerie glow over the surrounding land.
"Jora," she murmurs, hand slowly moving to the metal rod at her hip, "have you ever seen aught like that?"

"Of?.." Blane asks, squinting at Jora, before turning, following her gaze. As his gaze rests upon Gothmog he pales, the blood rushing from his face and his mouth hanging ajar. His hands drops to his axe's hilt, but he is unable to draw it for the moment, he shakes visibly.
"Black rider!" he manages to yell, as if to warn anyone nearby. Although he himself is unable to move, frozen in place as he stares upon the dark figure.

Gregge's face turns ashen white, when he spies the dark figgure on the black steed. He stumbles back a step in fear, as it walks along towards them. A gloved hand begins to strays towards his axe, but doesn't draw it, as he continues to stumble backwards. "Elisabet..." Gregge calls urgently to her terrified of the Black rider.

"N-now, it could just be a...man in black on a black horse," Elisabet says, her normally steady voice beginning to shake. But even she does not seem to be convinced by her own words, and her pale hand does not clench the baton at her side. Her face becomes waxy white as she watches...much like a rabbit in the shadow of an eagle, she seems transfixed, unable to move for fear that she will draw attention to herself.

Jora's hod stays fixed on this rider. "This thing is no ordinary man." Her voice calls out to Elisabet in a fearful tone. "It...it eminates something....something evil." Her other hand slips to her axe as well, but her strength fails her to pull it.

Moving down from the stairs that lead up to the bridge that crosses the Anduin. This figure, a guide of the village named Jormun, is on his way down the steps when he sees a flame, just a bit of light, from what he imagines to be a torch, much like the one he carries. His feet bring him to a halt at the bottom of the stairs, a terrible dread filling his insides to where he cannot move anymore.

The black horse speeds up into gallop, splashing small pools of water along the bank. As it approaches the place where the trail leading down meets the bottom of the stairs, the rider brings it to a halt with a merciless jerk of the reins. From the saddle, he considers the people gathered at the edge of the river. On his head is a great horned helm, and it leans forward slightly, as if the rider looks down, but there is no face under the metal visor, no eyes, only the void of absolute darkness.

"Someone get the laird!" Calls the voice of Blane urgently, still unable to move, he shivers where he stands. Watching the figure in front of him. "Bear save us.." he mumbles under his breath, sweat beading from his brow.
His hand tugs at the shaft of his axe, but weakly, he cannot seem to pull it from his belt.

Gregge grits his teeth and tries to stand his ground against an obvious foe, but stumbles back a couple more feet before he stops. His eye's flick to Elisabet a few feet away, and then back to the Dark Rider. The guide almost cowers in fear when he looks into the helms blackness. "Elisabet..." Gregge calls again trying to get her to move away. Closing his eye's he forces himself a few steps forward towards Elisabet.

Jora nods her hood slightly. "Elisabet! Get out of here! get the Laird!" The senior guide then manages to draw her axe as she calls upon her courage. "You there! Begone from the Land of Beor!' She waves her axe towards him. "Leave our land!" Her voice draws on some courage as her voice seeths some anger.
Jora wields Axe.

Slowly, as though moving through deep, cold water, Elisabet stoops down once more. Her eyes cannot leave the Black Rider, drawn as they are to the utter vacuum of light that makes his face...or where his face would be. Her jaw drops and she is speechless, but her hand reaches down to clasp the torch still sticking out of the mud. Clasping it in both hands as she reaches it, she holds before her as though trying to ward off the darkness.

Unfortunately this figure that is before Jormun causes more fear than he could have dreamed possible. In his right hand, where normally his right hand would hold a weapon, a torch is all he carries. Despite the light the flame, his eyes only see darkness before him. He hears the shouts of the others about, but he is near paralyzed. Not moving as much as an inch he stands there. Entering his nostrils is a stench so horrible, he has the urge to vomit.

The horse trots forward, guided by the hand in a black glove, until the rider towers above a young man in woodman's armor. He leans to one side, and the bottomless void stares directly into Jormun. Dark shadow stretches from the mounted figure and falls onto the man. No mouth can be seen, but the rider speaks, his hoarse hissing voice rasps the ears and echoes in the mind, "Where is the bridge, mortal? Answer now, and I will spare you the agony"

Blane manages to break his gaze from the dark rider as it adresses Jormun, and he follows it's gaze to look at the unfortunate man. He draws his axe slowly, his other hand grasping for his shield, both are held at his sides and he breaths slowly, turning he looks towards the staircase and slowly, moves towards them. His eyes wide as he watches the rider.

Gregge keeps his eye's closed as he stumbles forward untill he is next to Elisabet. "Lis...This is.. isnt a good place to be," he stutters. The guide puts an arm on Elisabet's and begins to try and pull her away. He hears Jora's voice, and for a moment begins to take heart, but then when the Dark figgure speaks, he loses it again. Looking around he see's fellow Beornings drawing weapons, and reluctantly pulls his axe from his belt.
Gregge draws his hand axe and grips it firmly in his left hand.

Jora shakes her hood as she pulls her hand back and lets loose her axe towards the black rider. "I said begone! Threaten not those whom reside in our valley! Begone before death comes upon you!" Not waiting to see if her axe hits, she grips her staff and separates it into her buckler and batan.
Jora throws an axe...
Jora's axe flies wide, doing no harm.

It is evident that Jormun is terrified, his lips tremble and slowly he utters one word, forcing a bit of restraint even in the deadliest fears. "N...No..." he stutters, though the sound is faint and barely heard. As he speaks the fear is so great, his hand releases the torch, allowing it to fall to the ground, sending flames about his feet.

But Elisabet seems to hear none of this; whether she is too afraid to move or has summoned up some courage within herself, it is difficult for any watching her to tell. Her jaw sets, though, and she seems to gain a touch more control...softly she whispers, in words that their target cannot hear:
"Run, Jormun. Run. He is beyond any of us."

The black robes billow around the raider, shadows tear from their fraying edges and fly into the night, small patches of darkness. A terrible scream comes from the void which is where the face should be, a shriek which you feel more than hear, and with it, a waves of darkness crashes down onto the young villager like a cascade of boiling tar. In the swirling shadows, the terrible voice echoes, coming from everywhere at once, "When your flesh is flayed from your bones and your mind is held naked before me I will have my answer".

As Jora's axe flies towards the rider, and he doesn't even notice. Blane looks at Jora and frowns, not wanting to raise his voice. "Come here." he says, quietly, more mouthing to her than calling. He stands up on one of the steps and hilds his axe in front of him, wincing at the riders words to Jormun.

The guide Gregge moves to stand next to his captain. "Alright Blane what do we do..." He asks still afraid and gripping his axe tightly. He looks to Joramun standing alone on the bridge, and looks back to Blane not wanting to see what will happen to the fellow guide.

Even the darkness about the figure seem to cause Jormun pain, the dark shadows seem to lash out at him. Though nothing of substance hits him, the fear and the darkness hits him as if he had been hit by a boulder. The noise is a pain in his head, a shrieking engulfs his thoughts, and down to the ground he falls, crying in fear and pain.

Jora moves to step close to this black rider, when she hears his screach. She trembles and falls to one knee as tears comes to her eyes as fear overwelms her. "May the great bear be with us.." She tries to stand but her body does not responde.

As the creature's voice rings out across the riverbank, Elisabet seems to be launched into either panic or fury. She waves the torch in the air before her, screaming loudly back at it even as its wail chills her beyond the bone.
"Leave our valley, wraith of the Spider! Leave, and bring darkness no more!"
The expression of terror in her face does not diminish, but somehow she finds the strength of will to take a step forward, shaking though her hands are.

The scream of this creature pierces into the very heart of the village, its sound a pain like a knife stabbing through flesh over and over. The sound brings a jolt of fear to all who hear it--even the most stout-hearted warriors of this land are suddenly terror-stricken. Still, there seems to be movement in the village--babies and children are screaming; dogs are barking madly. From this point on the river bank, the village sounds to be in a panic.

Still, something moves through the night, a pounding noise afar, growing steadily louder and nearer.

Blane looks gravely at Gregge, "... not to ... ... ...." he says quietly, looking back towards the rider in time to hear the screech. Tears stream from his eyes as he closes his eyes, covering his ears with his hands and shivering. "Bear be with ..., ... be ... ....." he repeats under his breath, trying to stop himself from shaking.

Gregge looks at Blane and nods slightly closing his eye's. "Great Bear bless me and keep me... May his great face shine upon me and give me strength." The guide prays to himself almost whimpering as it screeches. He looks back to the dark figgure, but holds his ground next to his captain.

The black horse, urged on by its rider, moves forward, not caring about the man sprawled on the ground across its path, not bothered to step over his fallen body. The sparks flying into the night from the torch swaying in the hand of the slender woman catch his attention, and the horse steps closer to Elisabet. The swirling shadows distort his black shape and at once reach out to the woman and recoil from the flame she is holding, "Tell me where the bridge is, and I will leave, and spare your village".

An answering cry now can be heard in the night--still distant, but growing: The roar of bear breaking through the night like the sound of thunder in the hills.

The steed the rider is upon walks on the body of the man whimpering in fear, and as it does a wicked crunch can be heard, as the hoove crunches through his ribs, causing Jormun to cry out one last time in pain, befire he can no longer cry out. From his mouth and nose come a gush of blood, as long as the last bit of his life.

Jora looks up as she sees Elisabet threatened. She rises up and rushes towards her friend and tries to intervien herself between gothmog and Elisabet. "Nooo! Leave this place!" Her voice calls out with terros, but she has managed to try to save her friend.

Elisabet clenches the torch all the tighter, her face ashen-pale. "There are...stairs...and the bridge...it will be difficult for you to cross." What charming concern she has for the dark creature.
She walks slowly forward, gesturing with the only thing in her hand -- again, the torch -- toward the stairs that lead to the bridge. "Go, if that is your task, and darken our banks no more."
As though she has only now heard the crunch of Jormun's ribs, her eyes sharpen and she dashes suddenly toward him, crying out in anger as she falls to one knee by his side. "Jormun! Don't move!" Her hands go to him and try to stop the blood flowing from the wound.

Gregge looks to Blane for guidance as the rider threatens Elisabet, who then gives it the answers it seeks. He looks away as the dark rider walks over the guide killing him. "Blane... Orders..." He hisses as it is right infront of them.

Taking a step forwards, Blane listens to Elisabet talking with the ringwraith, his knuckles white as he grips his axe in his hand. He turns to look at Gregge, still pale. "The laird is coming .." he says, unsure what to say. "We shouldn't let him go.." Blane says, morale battling with his gut instinct. "We shouldn't.." he says, although he obviously wants to.

The shadows withdraw under the black robes, and the terrible figure regains the outline of a tall man in the saddle. It glances toward the village, toward the sound of the bear crashing though the night. The black-gloved hand dashes into the darkness of his robes. Split second later the feeling of bone-piercing cold washes over you as a pale white blade is drawn. It glimmers in the starlight, not like a band of steel but like a shard of ice. Reflections break from it like icicles and stab into your eyes, "Is there a ford here?" The invisible eyes, if he has any, are still focused on the young woman with the torch.

Gregge looks to Blane and nods. "It was pleasure Blane..." He whispers in fear, as he turns to face the dark foe. As the dark figgure draws his sword, Gregge takes a step forward along with Blane towards the Dark Rider. "Great Bear have mercy on us..." The guide mutters as he inches forward next to Blane.

Crying out again in frustration as she reaches Jormun, seeing that nothing can be done, Elisabet whirls around to face the rider again...and again, when she sees him, her face goes grey with fear, etched as it is with anger. She shivers deeply once more, tears streaming unheeded down her face, but she manages to nod.
"Low place...there, across the carrock. A ford; go, leave this place." She waves the torch again toward it, trying to look away...but all she can see is the creature's sucking lack-of-face and the blade in its hand.

Jora presses forward as she tries to get in the way between gothmog and Elisabet. her baton gripped tightly in one hand as snaps her weaposn towards the forearm of the one that is drawing the blade. "Leave this place nad go back where you came from!" Her voice shrill with fear as she tries to protect her friend.

Jora attacks you with her Club!...
...and she misses!

Ceorn arrives from the top of the Carrock, descending the long stairs.
Ceorn has arrived.

The club whacks at the uncertain shadowy shape, and fails to meet anything of substance. The rider turns its head, at least the movement of the black helm suggests he does. "Brave", hisses the disembodied voice. "You will make a fine thrall for the armies of darkness. When your time comes". As he speaks the voice raises to a shriek, shrill sound which sears the ear and numbs the mind.
Jora loses her grip on her weapon and it slips to the ground.
Jora removes Studded Matal Baton.
Jora drops a studded metal baton.

The sound of distant thunder has continued to grow, until there, barreling down toward the riverbank is the form of a great bear. "<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>" it roars in some unknown tongue, though the message it conveys with this roar is certainly not one of welcome. The bear rushes forward, stopping near the rider, rearing on its hind legs and repeating its warning, the sound like thunder cracking through the valley. As tall as an aged tree, as massive as the Carrock itself, the bear blends into this evil-blackened night, the only light being that of the stars, which are on fire in its eyes. Behind the bear, pairs of other eyes gleam, hidden in the dark by the river.

"Jora!" Blane yells, more as a warning than anything else. His face grimacing as the rider draws his blade, "Gregge, go to the bridge!" he yells as the Bear bursts into the scene, a worried look is given to the laird before Blane himself turns and jogs up the stairs, towards the bridge.

The guide Gregge glad to have orders in the opposite direction of death, sprints towards the bridge ignoring the pain in his leg. His boots echo loudly on the steps as he sprints up them. Behind him he can hear the great bear yelling, and maybe his prayers have been answered.

As the shieking message is delivered to Jora, her whole body trembles as her hand loosens her grip on her batons as it falls to her feet. She groans with pain and terrors as her hand covers her ear. She then sinks to her knees as she leans over with anguish and hopelessness fromt he voice.

Terrified and infuriated, Elisabet screams in a high voice even as the creature's voice pierces her to the heart. She swings her torch at the wraith, her face etched in utter fury as her friend loses her grip upon her baton.

The black horse makes a hurried step back from the flame which the woman waves in its face, and the rider, who had just turned to look at the approaching great bear has to steady it with a quick command, and with a sharp kick of the black boot he sends the steed forward, toward the trail leading down. The woman with the torch appears to be of no interest to him anymore, and he swats her away in passing like an insignificant annoyance.
You attack Elisabet with your Longsword...
Your attack against Elisabet mildly wounds her!

Circan has arrived.

Though only slapped with the flat of the creature's blade, Elisabet is knocked aside and away from him, falling only inches from Jora's crumpled form. Her torch is still clutched tightly in one hand; her knuckles are white from the effort of holding it, though, and her entire body shakes with cold.

The bear presses forward, keeping up a steady growl as it does so. Behind him, in the dark, 4 pairs of eyes emerge, smaller bears, their hate of this thing almost palpable. "<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>" the great bear barks out--the word sounding suspiciously like an order to these panicked villagers. "<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>" it roars again, then lunges forwarded in a sudden move--perhaps attempting to rip the guts out of the creature; perhaps attempting to push it into the raging river.

Great_Bear attacks you with his Beijabar Fists!... ...and he misses!

Seeing her friend knocked tot he ground next to her and the roars of the Laird, Jora manages to muster some strength. She fumbles around for her baton, and her fingers find the end of it. She pulls it towards her a hnd grips it, but that is all she can manage to do right now. Soft prayers tot he great bear might be heard by Elisabet as she tries ot muster her inner strength.
Jora picks up a studded metal baton.
Jora unsnaps her staff apart and wield both ends in each hand.

Leaping from stone to stone, Ceorn comes down from the lofty Carrock. "Gregge ! Blane !" he calls stopping dead, arrow and bow trembling in his hand so slightly. "What was this wail ? And the laird voice ?"

"There is a black rider!" Blane calls up to Ceorn, having stopped on the staircase. His eyes watching the scene down below keenly, "Do you have your bow?" he asks, "do you have a means to light your arrows?" he asks.

Gregge stops hearing Blane behind him, but no longer following. The guide turns to see what he is doing. "Arrows fire why?" He calls to Blane, as he watches the Great Bear attack the dark foe. "The Bear is fighting it!!!" Gregge yells out excitedly.

Putting one shaking hand on Jora's shoulder, Elisabet speaks softly: "Let him go...let him go, and we will not need to deal with it further. Let it carry its darkness elsewhere, away from the village..."

The horse is already on its way toward the trail winding down to the foot of the rock when the bear charges and claws at the black figure. Again, if there is any substance in the dark shape the claws miss it, and only rip out few chunks from the black robes. Once torn away, they flutter in the air and fade into nothing. The horse whirls at the norrowing trailhead, and the pale blade swings across between the two dark shapes, that of the man and of the bear. It draws a gleaming arc which remains visible in the air for a moment even after the blade passes, like a glittering trail of tiny ice crystals.

You attack Great_Bear with your Longsword...
Your attack against Great_Bear moderately wounds him!

"A black rider ? Attacking us ?" Ceorn wonders and peers down, wonder overcoming nameless fear a few seconds. "The bears will tear him to pieces. Yes, Blane" Ceorn replies while not keeping the scene below them out of macabre curiosity. "I can flame them with a bit of wool set about, but I need fire." Ceorn adds and unnotches one arrow, using the tip to tear one strip of cloth from his sleeve if needed.

Jora rises to her feet as she musters strength. She looks down to Elisabet and shakes her head. "No, we can not let evil, like this, go on!" She then rushes towards the back of this creature and tries to trike it's back. "You now will find the death you seek, rider! Our laird will trike you down!"

Jora attacks you with her Club!...
...and she hits! Ouch!

The bear roars out in fury as the creature's blade slices into its shoulder, blood spurting freely and staining the sable fur. Still, this doesn't stop the bear's furious attack, lunging forward again, looking to rip the formless rider from its seat, or at the very least, tear into the flesh of the horse to unseat the rider. With a leap, the bear springs forward, a terrible roar of anger vying with the surging river to deafen all.

Great_Bear attacks you with his Beijabar Fists!...
...and he misses!

"There is fire!" Blane calls back to Ceorn as he rushes past the base of the stairs, gesturing with his axe towards the torch that lay there. Still pale and shaking, Blane draws his axe back as he approaches the rider, and swings towards it's chest. "Be gone from our land!"

Blane attacks you with his Axe!...
...and you block his attack with your shield!

Running with great pace down the east coast ofthe anduin, arrives Circan. Abruptly he stops as he sees a hooded figure and a horse attacking his friends. "Oh my lord," Cries out Circan as he pulls out his mighty club from its specaily made holster. As fear over whelms him he starts to sweat profusly. His courage is barely hanging on by a thread as he sees Jora make an attack on the evil being. "May the bear guide me with strenght!" He yells out into the night raising his club diagonaly into the air as he runs toward the evil creature. As he reaches a good foot or two from the evil nazgul Circan brings down his club with force toward the evil creatures knees.

Circan attacks you with his Club!...
...and he misses!

The healer summons up her own courage as well; shaky as she is, she manages to rise to her feet. Clutching her torch in her hands, she half-runs, half-staggers toward Ceorn.
"I've fire," she pants, "and a bow as well, if you've arrows..."

Gregge heedlessly follows his captain, charging towards the darkness. The young guide grits his teeth in fear as he nears the dark rider, and watches as Blane swings toward the Darkrider. Gregge too axe in hand follows his Captains move, and swings for the dark rider.

Gregge attacks you with his Axe!...
...and he misses!

The club hits the horse on its back, and it leaps aside... carrying the rider out of the way of the swiping claws. With the other hand, the black warrior holds a shield, which seem to have just emerge from the darkness surrounding him. It is a great tower shield almost as tall as the man himself. On the black surface, in a circle around its center, nine runes are glowing with pale light. But the most terrible sight of all is the skull of some fell creatire attached to the center of the shield. As the blows rattle on the black shield, the eyes of the skull come alight with unholly inner fire. The rider swings his sword at the men who are crowding aroung his horse, blocking his path to the bear, and the trail down, without aiming for anyone in particular.

You attack Circan with your Longsword...
Your attack against Circan terribly wounds him!

Tieing hastily a piece of torn cloth just above the tip of a second arrow, Ceorn hurries behind Blane and Gregge toward the base of the stairs, loosing ground on them as his attention is diverted by his delicate task. "Good !" Ceorn shouts as he nears Elisabet, now more aware of the ominous horsed shadow. "I have a bow too, lit this arrow !" Ceorn shouts again and plunges the tip in the torch Blane showed to him.

Jora smiles behind her hood as she feels the thump of her baton striking something. She looks as the blade of Gothmog strike at Circan. She cries out with fear and anger as she strikes her baton towards the elbow of Gothmog. "Now, you shall feel the strength of the Bear!"

Jora attacks you with her Club!...
...and she misses!

Abruptly, Circan falls backward on the ground as he feels the insision of a cold metalic blade thrust suddenly into his chest area just missing his his heart by a few inches. As his breath shortenss he slowley walks backward against the stairs. Panting and gasping for breath Circan manages to save his saliva in his mouth and spit long range at the Nazgul.

Leaping back as the nazgul's blade flashes out, Blane avoids it, but let's out a gasp as he sees it strike Circan. "Circan, stay back!" he warns the man, although it seems the man is doing it of his own steam. Standing alongside Jora, Blane swings his axe towards the black riders sword arm.

Blane attacks you with his Axe!...
...and he misses!

Gregge watches as Circan falls to the side, and closes his eye's in fear. He then gathers whats left of his strength for another swing. This time the guide swings towards the figgures shadowy leg.

Gregge attacks you with his Axe!...

...and he misses!

The club swings in the air where the black-gloved hand just held the blade, but there is nothing but shadows there now. Another axe blow lands on the tall shield, and yet another axe cuts the shadows just like the club did. The black horse pushes forward, and the rider whips the air in his path with the cold blade, striking at the people swarming around him, in strong broad strokes, like a skythe mowing the grass.

You attack Blane with your Longsword...
Your attack against Blane severely wounds him!

Her hands fumble slightly, but Elisabet manages to drop her torch, lift a few arrows from Ceorn's quiver and slip them into her own. She reserves one, reaching into her bag and pulling out a...well, it appears to be a scrap of bandage. Wrapping it just behind the arrowhead, she grabs a flask from her bag as well and douses the woolen bandage in...oh, by the Bear, nobody should abuse peach brandy that way...
Re-corking the flask, she drops it into her bag and nocks the arrow, drawing it with difficulty and aiming very carefully at the utter darkness of the rider.
Elisabet wields Longbow.
Elisabet launches an arrow...
Elisabet's arrow flies wide, doing no harm.

With the crowds around him thinning out, the black rider steadilly makes his way toward the trail leading down, to the ford. There are few more men around him, and in his way... and one great bear, a foe more formidable then all of the rest.

Taking little time to aim, Ceorn blazing shaft brushes his knuckles only once before being released at the ominous threat. Not even sideglancing to watch his kinswoman waste brandy, tough the perfume of it assails his senses, the archer watches the tiny shooting star speeds through the night right at the shadowy chest. "Perhaps you can throw the brandy at him and I shoot ?" Ceorn shouts just as the bow rests numb in his hand after firing.

Ceorn launches an arrow...
Ow! You've been injured for 1 hp's by the bowshot.

A cry of pain escapes Blane's lips as the longswords crashes into his chest, tearing deeply inside him. Blood streams from the wound and Blane stumbles back, his eyes wide as he falls to one knee, gasping and blood trickling from his mouth. "Damn you.." he scowls, throwing his axe after the black rider in a futile last gesture.

Blane throws an axe...
Blane's axe flies wide, doing no harm.

Gregge watches as Blane falls to the side struck by the icy sword. His courage fails hims as his captain stumbles. The guide looks up at the dark rider, and decides he has had enough fear and terror for one night. Quickly he moves away from the Rider as a firey arrow speeds by Gregge just missing him. Gregge then goes to Blane's side wrapping an arm around his captain.

"Do you want to make friends with him, Ceorn?" Elisabet says with a grin, reaching back into her bag and beginning to prepare another arrow. "Or do you want some of the brandy for yourself? Liquid courage, you know..." She grins wanly, wrapping a bit more bandage around the shaft of the arrow and dabbing a little brandy on it again.

Still blocking the way across the waters is the bear, in all its rage. The great bear makes repeated attempts to attack the rider, but its way is consistently blocked by the villagers. Rearing on its hind legs, the bear roars, this time loud enough to crack eardrums and panic horses. "<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>" it says, the sound bouncing off Carrock. "<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>" With that, the bear leaps toward the rider in a desperate attempt to knock both rider and horse over.

Great_Bear attacks you with his Beijabar Fists!...
...and he misses!

An arrow dives from above into the darkness surrounding the rider. It vanishes in the black void, but whether it hit something or not you cannot see. An axe, thrown by a weakening hand, flies short of its mark and falls on the blood-stained ground. The terrible wraith glances at the archers, a glance full of searing, palpable hatred, a stabbing ray of bottomless chocking despair.
Ceorn loses his grip on his weapon and it slips to the ground.
Ceorn removes Ceorn's longbow.
Ceorn puts down a Longbow.

As the dark world around him fades in and out of veiw, blood starts to quickly trickle out of the wound in his chest... SIghing heavly as he looks up into the stars he muuters to him self, "Great bear... mother.... Protect me..." As the final words slip out of his mouth Circan's vision and all his sense go black and numb...

The rider brings up his massive shield, which almost completely covers him from the bear. As the claws grip at the darkness, the terrible skull on the shield seems to grin toothily at the great bear. "Out of my way, if you don't want to be a rug on the wall of my war room", hisses the rider.
You forego your chance to attack.

Jora sees Blane injured as well. She cries outloudly. "Blane, get out of here!" She then swings her batons towards the legs of Gothmog as Grimbeorn tries to dehorse him

Jora attacks you with her Club!...
...and you block her attack with your shield!

Ceorn takes some precious time counted in the blood of his kinsmen to recover from the terrible gaze he felt. Brandy odor is yet strong about the couple of archer and soon he shakes himself, as emerging from a nightmare. "Think to clear the shield, I missed him also. We shoot together Elisabet." Ceorn shouts and retrieves his weapon, mysteriously down. Ceorn picks up a Longbow.

As Gregge's arm finds it's way around him, Blane reaches out to drape a weak arm over his shoulder standing slowly. "Gregge. Get my axe." he scowls, staggering slightly, his eyes bloodshot and half closed.

And the gaze chills Elisbet as well; her hands shake but do not falter, and she reaches down to light her arrow upon the torch. "Ready when you are, Ceorn!" she calls, cold sweat pouring down her face.

The bear misses, flying uselessly through the air and landing with a mighty splash in the water. Turning again, it rushes forward, reckless now in its attack, its claws still seeking the only thing substantial about the rider--its horse.

Great_Bear attacks you with his Beijabar Fists!...
...and he hits! Ouch!

The guide slides his axe back into his belt. Holding his captain up he goes andretrieves Blanes axe. Staggering slightly under his captains weight he begins to help him towards the infirmary. "Come on Captain..." He grunts as he limps along helping Blane.

The rider brings the shield into the path of the charging bear, but the force of the leaping attack sends the horse stumbing sideways until it, and the rider, slam into the cold wall of the towering rock. The shadows splatter on the rock face. The bear is carried forward by the force of the reckless charge as well, and, out of the shapeless darkness, the cold blade strikes forward to meet it in its path.

You attack Great_Bear with your Longsword...
Great_Bear parries your attack with his Beijabar Fists!

Blane places a hand over his chest, blood streaming over his hand. "I said give me my axe." Blane tells Gregge, frowning as he leans against the man, his free hand held out to take it.

"At my signal !" Ceorn shouts after reloading his weapon carefully to not burn himself with the flaming arrow. "Now" he adds nearly immediately after, blurring the chest of Gothmog with the fiery tip before releasing again. And so, breath blocked, half an eye closed does the archer loosen an infernal arrow on the wraith.

Ceorn launches an arrow...
Ceorn's arrow flies wide, doing no harm.

And Elisabet shoots at the same moment as Ceorn, drawing strongly and loosing the arrow swiftly, whispering a prayer to the Bear that it may fly straight to its mark.

Elisabet launches an arrow...
Ow! You've been injured for 1 hp's by the bowshot.

Jora struggls to keep up with the epic battle between Grimbeorn and Gothmog. She lashes her baton towards the hip of the black rider as she rushes with the movement of battle.

Jora attacks you with her Club!...
...and she misses!

Gregge hands his captain back his axe, and then moves his hand up to help stop the bleading. Arm wrapped tight around Blanes shoulders they limp off into the night.

Blane watches the nazgul with a frown, his eyes moving between the Beornings fighting it. Sighing he glances at the wound on his chest, "Good luck.." he murmers to the others as he limps away with Gregge, his head hung as he goes.
Blane heads eastwards, crossing on top of the ancient stones.
Blane has left.

But the bear is ready for the sword this time, and as the weight of its charge carries it forward, it reaches out with its massive paws to swipe the gleaming metal out of harms way. Hitting the ground at full speed, the bear tumbles forward, grazing the side of the rock, but narrowly missing crashing into it himself. The bear then rights itself again, turning to the rider and leaping up, claw rakign the air to try to rip the throat out of the horse.

Great_Bear attacks you with his Beijabar Fists!...
...and he hits! Ouch!

Another arrow vanishes in the darkness, striking something there with a dull sound, perhaps just the rock face behind the rider. The black stallion struggles to stand on its feet, dazed slightly by the shock of the bear's attack. A small stones wobbles and rolls under its hooves, but, urged on by the merciless hand tearing its lips with the reins, the horse regains its footing and charges after the bear even as it rolls away. The claws and the blade strike at almost the same time, the bear is quicker just by a second.

You attack Great_Bear with your Longsword...
Your attack against Great_Bear severely wounds him!

Seeing that Grimbeorn is going after the steed of the Black Rider, Jora decides to do the same. She sends her batons down hard towards the back lef of the Fell Horse as she sees the blade of the Black Rider cut into her Laird. "Noooo!'

Jora attacks you with her Club!...
...and you block her attack with your shield!

The bear staggers back as the sword slices a long cut down its side, blood now gushing out and the great beast swaying unsteadily on its feet. Still, the bear lunges forward, trying for to grab at the horse's hind legs--reaching, reaching and then wham! With a huge splash, the bear falls face down into the water, dark river turning darker with crimson blood, the bear no longer conscious.
The bear form in the water then blurs as bear becomes man once again, still face down in the river.
ARB: Great_Bear has "passed" on his turn to attack.

Wizardry ! And a couple of arrow is lost into the wraith again, their light extinguished as they reach it. "It's not very effective... I could swear I hit it twice !" Ceorn, now short of burnig arrows comment. And there is a seeming silence; ominous "The bear ! No ! Let your bow, come !" Ceorn drops his weapon and draws his axe, grabbing the torch in his free hands.

"As could I..." But Elisabet cries out in surprise as their laird collapses; dropping her bow, she dashes after Ceorn quickly, grabbing her torch as they go. She runs surprisingly quickly, forgetting her own safety in order that she might carry her fallen comrades from the river...

The horse turns again toward the path leading down, blood now trickling down its leg from a wound on its chest. The path between the rider and the ford is open now, save for the lone womad who, emboldened by the success of the bear, dared to wield her weapon against the darkness. But the success was fleeting, the bear's blood is now staining the river, and the rider raises his sword against the last foe in his path.

You attack Jora with your Longsword...
Your attack against Jora severely wounds her!

THe sword of Gothmoth slashes through the woodsman armor of Jora as she cries out in pain. Blood poring from her gash in her chest. She staggers back. She looks at the fallen figure of Grimbeorn throw dazed eyes as she somehow remains standing.
ARB: Jora has "passed" on her turn to attack.

Charging breathlessly, if not yet headlessly, Ceorn gives chases to the rider who fell them one by one. "Jora ! Get out" he shouts and waves his torch in front of him at the rider. He waves it once, twice and then throw it squarely before rising up his axe above his head.

Her face grim and furious, Elisabet interposes herself between Jora and the black-clad horseman. She grips her torch tightly again, defending the wounded Guide but making no move to attack the creature herself.
"Swim," she croaks, her face milky-white and streaked with sweat and tears. "Leave."

The horse walks by the woman as she stumbles backwards from the path. At the edge of the rock, where the path dips sharply toward the water, the rider halts his mount, and takes a moment to glance over the carnage he has wrought. The ground is red with blood, and littered with dropped weapons. "So much death", exhales the rider, and, if any emotion could be ascribed to the hoarse voice, he speaks with satisfaction. The black void under his helm stares for a second at the man charging after him with an axe, but the raider does not appear to be concerned, and instead turns to the river again. Two women are still in his path, one wounded, one striken with terror but still fighting for control. "You do not command death. Death commands you", he notes with menacing voice, then raises his sword, and utters a single word in the tongue you don't understand, but its very sound seems to summon the darkness. The tip of the sword blade lights up with pale icy glow in response, and the black-gloved hand brings the blade down.

You attack Elisabet with your Longsword...
Your attack against Elisabet severely wounds her!

Seeing Elisabet struck in her place, Jora cries out and leaps forward to try to gett his foul beast away. "Begone!' She calls out in a weakened voice as her baton smack down towards the bridge of the Fell Hors's nose. "Leave this place!.

Jora attacks you with her Club!...
...and she misses!

The blade strikes Elisabet from shoulder to belly; her unarmored body can do nothing to stay the Nazgul's blow, and her body is opened and bloody. Her torch falls into the water and fizzles into nothingness; she falls to her knees, blood flowering freely over her garments.
Summoning what strength she has left, she grabs at Jora's leg and stares her in the face.
"RUN!" she screams, her voice ear-piercing. But this effort seems to take the last of her strength...and she falls face-forward into the water, moving not at all.

Ceorn raised his axe high and finally let it falls aiming the mount since the rider seems impervious to arrows and claws. And, punctuating the strike is a loud shout, one similar to those lumberjack eager to cut a tree shouts in the depths of the forest.

Ceorn furiously attacks you with his Axe!...
...and he hits! Ouch!

The rider easilly bats away the club with his shield, forcing it to the side. The blood on the tip of his sword fades and vanishes, as if the icy blade drinks it up. He is about ready to deliver the death blow when an axe strike glances along the armor protecting his horse. The horse spins from the blow and the swift kick in its side delivered by the black boot, and the raider raises in his saddle in great fury, "You dare to come between the Nazgul and his prey? Then join your friend in death". With full strenght he brings the sword down onto the man who had the courage to attack him.

You attack Ceorn with your Longsword...
Your attack against Ceorn severely wounds him!

Jora looks as Ceorn is struck harshly as well. She snaps her baton towards the front leg of the Fell Horse as she tries ot dehorse this Gothmog from his badly hurt beast.

Jora attacks you with her Club!...
...and she misses!

A strike to cleave a dozen sheeps in one blow, and Ceorn is brought to his knee by the pale sword at once, words of challenge drowned in his mouth. The world is red and the water on the bank warm of the laird blood and their own, mingled. The man behind him no longer a threat, the rider starts to turn his horse back toward the river when another blow of a club glances off of his armor. The cruel blade shimmers in the night, leaving a trail of sparkling cold in its wake.

You attack Jora with your Longsword...
Your attack against Jora terribly wounds her!

Back from the village their comes the sound of many booted feet running back towards the distasterous beorning battle at the ford. Back to the east comes many of the guides still left in the village, all carrying torches and there bows. At the head of the group rides Gregge on his large black horse. The young guide frowns at the grissly scene infront of him, and shouts orders to the guides behind him. "Fire all your fire arrows at him!!" Gregge growls in to a part of the men. "And the rest of you come with me to get our kin... DO NOT ATTACK IT!" He yells and spurs his horse forward. Many of the guides tremble in fear of the dark rider, but a few manage to follow Gregge, and his skitish horse towards the fallen.

The rider glances back over his shoulder at the row of fires, which dance and jiggle as they approach, and urges his wounded mount down the rocky slope toward the water.

Jora cries out with pain as the blade strikes her chest again. She falls to her knees as she looks on through a fog of pain. She swallows hard as she struggles to stay conscious.

The healer moves. Technically. She bobs a little on the water, slowly beginning to drift downstream. Blood spirals thickly through the current, sending dark tendrils onto the rocks and down the river to the Sea. Elisabet's dark hair spreads out around her; her body is slack, the great wound on her chest draining her body of blood quickly.

Those few that stayed behind Gregge to fire their arrows at the retreating Rider. They line up straight as best they can, knock their arrows light them and draw. One archer among the rest manages to yell fire, and they let loose. The little deadly plumes of light speed of through the dark sky towards the rider, but all miss their marks as they rain down around the nazgul.
Gregge and the rest of the guides move as fast as their terror stricken bodies will allow them, but let the nazgul escape. As the small group nears the wounded Gregge slides off his frightened horse to shout orders to the men. "Quick get the wounded... Fast!! Carry them back to the infirmary go!!" He yells terror still in his voice. Then seeing elisabet face down in the water he rushes to her side.

The black horse cautiously steps on the path leading to the bottom of the cliff. The rider disappears below the edge of the rock, leaving behind oans of the wounded, cries of the grieving, and blood-stained ground. Only Anduid the great remains undisturbed by the carnage, carrying the crimson stains downstream with the same calm as it would carry a merrily chirping waterfowl.