Death of Dhar'mon

Middle-earth time is:
Nighttime on Mersday, Day 16 of June.
Execute the +TIMEFRAME command for year information.
Real time is: 00:17:28 MDT on Wed Feb 05 2003.

Falls of the Gulduin: Outside Sarn Goriwing
You stand before the crashing black cascades of the source of the Gulduin. Strange water, cool and thin but opaque even as it splashes and sprays in the air, flows in a misty black fall from obsidian rocks which hang overhead, then swirls and eddies in a swift, wide rocky stream before tumbling over more falls below, dropping to the long Enchanted River which winds north into Mirkwood. The air is dark and cold, overcast by thick clouds even in the brightest summer noon, and brisk with the spray of the river, but your senses reel somewhat from the merest hint of the potent liquid.
But more dramatic than even the black cascades, perhaps, is the blacker spire of glassy rock which rises from and among them: for between the falls rises a Tower. Hewn, it seems, of the rock itself, it rises nearly two hundred feet above the stream which runs about its base. The uppermost reach of the spire juts above the highest waterfall, rising above a surrounding narrow precipice of stone. Narrow, seemingly empty windows can be seen here and there in the Tower. A long open bridge of fallen trees leads across the stream, to a gate within the Tower wall. It seems the only way in.


Without a word, Dhar'mon leaps from his position, and slides down the tree, tossing the war hammer to the forest floor. Pieces of bark are shed as the orc's steel-clawed gauntlets save him from a fall. He stands at the foot of the tree, now, looking up at the gargantuan that is Gundlug. His features contorting as he beholds the sheer magnitude of the Olog's size. He seems unsure of what to do next. His arms hang limply by his side. His eyes rising to look into the face of the great beast.

A rythmic ringing sound shatters the night. It bounces from rock to rock and seem to come from everywhere at once, but it's definitely getting closer. At first it sounds like rocks hitting against each other, perhaps a rockslide, but as it gets closer, it becomes clear that a horse is galloping along the rocky path, quickly approaching.

The mammoth troll swings his hand and it strikes nothing but air, the beast shrugging and continuing to walk. Bringing up a heavy arm he smashes the branch away and causes the trunk of the tree to splinter, although he pays it no heed - continuing to walk and look around, the tall fires of the orcs catching his eye. Peering around he sniffs the air for a moment before he falls into a crouch on the ground, his sudden descent causing the ground to shake somewhat and a loud boom to fill the air about the camp. He looks at the small orc who leapt down from the tree moments before, but does not recognize him as such.
"Hoi, little orc. Go get me something to eat ... I'm hungry!" Allowing only a split second he thumps his fist upon the ground irritably, obviously a very impatient troll, "Now, you little bug!"
However, the sudden sound of an approaching horse catching his attention. He sniffs the air and falls back into a sitting position, his legs outstretched and his hands resting limply upon his thighs.
"I hear something coming..."

"Yes.. I shall run." Dhar'mon says, sprinting through the foliage. He leaps across little streams, ducking beneath felled trees across his path. His small figure disappears into the grass and thick foliage before coming upon the camp. Several great shouts can be heard as he enters. Then a dull clang of metal against metal is alive in the air, lingering like the strike of a drum.
Moments pass, and several figures can be seen returning now. Burdened with great amounts of food. Two snaga carry a large roasted animal carcass upon a spit. Two more yet, are carrying large legs of carcass of a bipedal creature.
As he returns with his entourage, Dhar'mon stops holding his hand high in the air. His features contort with fear, his eyes staring around.
"Can you feel that?"

The horse hooves rattle alogn the rocky path, closer and closer. It must be just around the turn by now, any second now it should show up in the maw of the path between tall rocks.
In rides a dark roiling shadow, hemmed with splashes of fire. It sprints along the path toward you, and, as it comes closer, in the moonlight, it gains the shape of a black rider on a dark horse. The iron horseshoes strike sparks from the rocks, creating that eerie appearance of flames. But any light perishes that falls on the rider himself.

The troll looks down as the food arrives but his attentions seem to be elsewhere, his massive hand reaching for the animal on the spit but as he holds it near his mouth he suddenly decides against it and drops it back on a snaga - causing it to fall over beneath it. Turning his attention to the sound of the approaching horse he scratches his head, the brittle pieces of wasted chain mail that dangle from his arms - decorations of sorts - jangle and crumble as he scratches his head.
"What is that? What is that ca-lomp ca-lomping-"
He fails to finish however, as the Dark Rider appears and his attentions are quickly drawn away from the orcs. His lower lip juts out and he folds his arms protectively across his chest, his thick brow furrowing.
"Its one of them... one of them..."

The Rakarg dares not to move, neither does his second who accompanies him, Logaz Nargakh. However, the Snaga drop the array of flesh and bone before the great Olog, and dash through the trees. They flee before the Warmaster of Minas Morgul, who at this very moment is the complete and utter embodiment of torture and death, incarnate of the scourge of the Free Peoples.
Before the Nazgul, three figures remain. The Olog, Gundlug.. The Rakarg Dhar'mon and the Logaz Nargakh. The two uruks some how manage to maintain their position, any sign of physical terror with held from view of the Shrieker, save their eyes. Portals to the inner workings of these beings, their eyes glimmer with fear and hatred. Fear is a weapon their overlords use to control these vagabonds of twisted malice, and the uruks can not hide it from one who dispatches it too them, though they might try.

Without slowing down, Gothmog raises the black-gloved hand, sending a wave of shadowy mist into the bunch of orcs swarming around. Most scamper, or fall or dive into gaps and cracks between rocks. Few freeze as they were, one of them, small crouched snaga, directly in Warmaster's path. The trained battle horse does not miss a step, a sharp steel-rimmed hoof stabs forward and lands on the rock, the small black body flies aside, slams into the rock wall and slides to the ground, with its head split.
Gothmog tugs on the reigns, and the horse comes to a sudden halt, hooves kick out a shower of sparks. The hood of the cloaker rider slowly turns, its black opening scanning the few orcs, and the troll, who remailed before the Warmaster.

The troll simply bows his head and waits, obviously for one of the orcs to engage the Dark Rider in conversation. He does not touch his food, his hands on his thighs and his lower lip still jutted forward in what probably means to be a mix between bravery and fear

Shuddering suddenly as he moves, Dhar'mon seems to think that he must engage the lord in conversation, lest the Nazgul smite him with his cruel blade. He bows, seeming to beseech the lords patience for a moment.

"Great lord.. Is there something you order? What is your wish? It shall be as you say immediately." The Rakarg pauses, "The Teguk Gakhmog received your message.. I delivered it. He was most pleased with your orders, and has begun seeing to them. As soon as we crush our foes here, our entire force is to move to flank our foes in the great fallen stone city, that entailed in your request.."

"Stone city?" The rasping sound of the Wraith's voice raises to a hiss at the end of the last word, the only hint of the questioning intonation. "Fool!" Gothmog leans forward in his saddle, and a long shadow falls on Dhar'mon. "I care not for the city. Lost shadows walk its streets." The shadow deepens, blotting out all light around Dhar'mon. "I ordered SCOUTS ... SEARCH ... RANGERS ... SUPPLIES" Each word stabs like a dagger. Suddenly, the Nazgul raises his finger, "But if you want to send someone to the city... so be it". The opening of his hood turns toward Nargakh, who stends besides his "friend".
The shadow withdraws from Dhar'mon, following the gesture of Gothmog's hand.

Wincing, as if the words of the Shrieker had pierced his mail. Dhar'shan stumbles back slightly, "Yes.. Yess!" Dhar'mon manages, "He has done that already.. I wished only to report to you that things had been set in motion." He seems unable to peel his eyes from the Nazgul. When he does, he looks to Nargakh, as if search for aid in his subordinate.
"Nargakh.. Remind me to inform the Teguk.. of the.. insistence.. of the Warmaster.." Dhar'mon says, searching for breath as if a cold grip had latched onto his lungs and was forcing the air from them. His stark white orbs of eyes peer back at the Nazgul, whose attention seemed fixed upon Nargakh.

"You!" The word is shot out like a stone from the slingshot, and the black hand with extended fingers stabs toward the huge troll. "Here!" The swirling shadows are almost palpable, like ropes and whips. "Bring that snaga to me!"
Gothmog points at Nargakh. Then, slowly, filled with venom of malice, he drips the words in quiet hisses, "His shadow will wail in the stone city and guard it forever".

In a swift motion the troll pulls himself to his feet and crawls over, scooping up Nargakh in his hand and squeezing him tightly - although he seems to be avoiding crushing the orc completely. His head bowed and still on his hands and knees, he holds it out towards the Dark Rider.

The wide-eyed form of Nargakh wails as he his torn from his place, kicking futilely at the Troll's gigantic fist, "Have I displeased you Master? What are you to do with me?" Nargakh looks to Dhar'mon quickly, shooting him a glance of betrayal and indignance. Dhar'mon's face remains blank, offering nothing to console the writhing uruk. He offers but one sentiment to his failed lieutenant, "Die well.."

Suddenly, the black shape in the saddle wavers, and looses form for a moment. An eerie red glow shines from its depth. The sky itself seems pressing down onto the earth, few scrawny shrubs which survive in this desolate place bow almost to the ground under the weight of an invidible, but very clearly felt stare.
As soon as it regains its shape, the Wraith turns the horse about with a fierce tug on the reigns, and gallops away, almost leaping along the path. His plans for the orcs left in the camp remain unfulfilled for now.

The troll simply looks at the orc in his hand and drops him roughly to the ground, stumbling away and picking up some of the food that got left behind when the other orcs fled. Sniffing it he shrugs and takes a bite from the spit that could feed ten orcs, munching away noisily. He waves a hand at the remaining orcs,
"You bugs're a cowardly lot, I think."

Turning to Dhar'mon, Nargakh's eyes are alive with fire. His features contort, as in a fluid motion he withdraws his axe from his belt and throws it at Dhar'mon. With a swish-thunk, the axe head buries itself inside the skull of the Rakarg, who crumples into a heap. Sneakily, the Logaz retreives the mail, armband and shield from the fallen Rakarg.
"No.. You die well." Nargakh rolls the carcass into the gully, down into the water of the Gulduin and watches for a moment as the carcass of the once ruly Rakarg floats downstream.

Turning to Dhar'mon, Nargakh's eyes are alive with fire. His features contort, as in a fluid motion he withdraws his axe from his belt and throws it at Dhar'mon. With a swish-thunk, the axe head buries itself inside the skull of the Rakarg, who crumples into a heap. Sneakily, the Logaz retreives the mail, armband and shield from the fallen Rakarg.
"No.. You die well." Nargakh rolls the carcass into the gully, down into the water of the Gulduin and watches for a moment as the carcass of the once ruly Rakarg floats downstream.

Pauses for a moment as he hears the thunk, looking down as the Rakarg is struck and rolled off into the waters. He turns his attention to Nargakh, slowly standing up to his full height. After a moment he speaks, a foul expression upon his stony features. Finally it cracks into a smile, and he stamps a foot on the ground joyously.
"Hah! That was funny! Hee hee... you killed him good, you did. Funny bug."
With that he reaches down in an attempt to pick the orc up, although his grip is far from crushing - although perhaps a bit uncomfortable.

Taken by surprise by the booming voice of the Olog, Nargakh is lifted into the air. He looks to the troll, nodding, and wondering how to escape the iron grip of the troll.
"Yes, I killed him. He was a fool. I am Rakarg now. I should have left him for you to eat.. Yes?"

"Pfft," says the troll, waving a hand - with the orc in it, "I don't care. You bugs aren't the best tasting grub, and I got a lot of better food here. But I did like when you chopped him in the head with that axe! Hee! It made me laugh."
He pauses to bring the orc closer to his face, his foul breath wafting outwards, "You do it again." Not a question.

"To what?" Nargakh asks, looking the troll in the face, his arms pinned to his sides by the massive fist.

The troll roughly, but not violently, tosses the orc towards the edge of the forest and shrugs his shoulders. "I dunno, go find one o' the bugs who ran away." With that he goes back to eating, rather focused on the task.