Haldir fights Bzzargh and Gundmat

Middle-earth time is:
Early Evening on Highday, Day 23 of March.
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Real time is: 16:31:00 MST on Thu May 04 2000.

Foothills of the Misties - Near Caradhras
Caradhras sparkles high in the Misty Mountains to your west, the rest of the mountains continuing endlessly from the south to the north, their rugged peaks gleaming. To the east the valley levels out slowly, while directly around you the undulating landscape gently regrows from the winter, the sprouting of new growth to be seen all around. There is a path which runs to the north and south, while the ground underneath you is wind-dried and frigid
The clouds are buffeted overhead in the restless wind that settles down across the landscape. The early evening spring air is bitter and freezing.

Contents:
Gundmat
Bzzargh
Small Elven patrol
Boundary Stone
<OOC> Note: Bzjokze and Ghlurshrekh temp-alt as Bzzargh and Gundmat. Horgruk has arrived.

The valley is green with the first growth of the spring, and the young trees cast long shadows in the low rays of the setting sun. To the West, Caradhras is barely visible in its shroud of heavy clouds. To the East the forest grows denser and taller, until, at a distance, the great mellyrn of Lorien raise. There, toward the welcome sight of those trees, marches a small Elven patrol, several fleeting figures cloaked in grey. Their light steps are silent, not a twig breaks under their dainty feet.

The leader of the patrol looks around warily as he finds a way through the bramble. The home is so close, but the danger could be even closer. He idly fingers the tapered end of the bow behind his back.

The fresh grown, and the beauty of the Misties is of little to no importance to the Uruk guard, and scouts of Moria. Dressed entirely in black, they contrast the light of day - unless of course, they are within the shadows. In one of the crevices that lie between the undulating landscape are a few black tents, placed in sunken holes and covered entirely with bramble. Red eyes peer out into the light of day, watching for whatever may be seen.
Complete silence, something which is difficult to imagine for a band of Orcs. Nothing more than a soft grunt every now and then, and the sound of the gentle breeze flowing through the folds in the land.

Twin crimson eyes peer out from under a rocky overhang, the ugly, wild face of their owner twisting, as he sniffs softly, smells the breeze, searches for any new whiff or scent riding the lightly blowing winds. In one hand he clutches lightly a short bow, his grey cloak is pulled tight around his gaunt, yet rangy form, and a short scimitar dangles from a belt by his side. Shading his malevolent magma-red eyes with one hand, he peers out of his crevice again.

The cry of a hawk shatters the relative silence of the valley. The cry of this bird of prey echoes throughout the valley, perhaps an ominous foreshadow of events to come. The bird can be seen receding into the sky, high above. A small animal lies dead within the grasp of the bird's claw. An ominous sign, indeed.

Haldir glances at the sky, and shakes his head slightly. A quick gesture of his hand, the patrol picks up the pace, almost running down the craggy hillside. Suddenly, the Elf stops, and turns back to look at the circling bird again. He mutters something under his breath as the fresh green leaves in the boughs of young trees hide the hawk from his eyes, then looks around... Finding a gap in the green canopy above him, he waves to the party to continue on their way, and raises on his toes to watch the bird.

Catching the faint miasma of some strange intrusion into the fields of scent, the tracker-orc blinks, red eyes narrowing as he hunkers down within his nook, to peer around him more carefully; while the red glint of his eyes may not be all that noticeable with the accursed, despised Sun standing masterfully over the heavens, all other light fading, when night falls the dark, cold glitter of orc-sight is clearly separate and distinguished from all surrounding it. The uruk draws the hem of his cloak upwards, covers his fetid mouth and running nostrils with it, trusting in its grey folds the disguise of his scent.

A newfound hush comes over the orcs in their tents as they strain to catch sight of the elves. A flick of the Commander's wrist, and they move towards the entrance to the structure - lining up and preparing to charge out at the right moment. All their muscles tense, and their weapons held tightly in hand as the air becomes thick and filled with anticipation.
Still they wait, wait for the elves to get a tad bit closer. The Commander strains his eyes, his fingers twitching and waiting to give the final signal for the charge. Shallow breathing, very shallow - he must keep quiet to listen for any signs.

The sun falls over the mountains, and the valley is immediately swallowed in darkness. The Elf which stayed behind now quickly follows after his patrol, diving under the low branches and jumping over small shrubs as he finds his way down the hill slope. Such is the Elven agility and grace that he makes barely a sound even when his steps are hurried. A full quiver of arrows fits snugly on his back, next to the tall bow, but even the arrows do not knock against each other. The backs of his companions are already within his sight, several gray shadows under the trees.

Dust rubs off the rocks as the tracker turns gingerly around, tiny bits of sand dislodged by his motion; he creeps almost soundlessly towards the Commander, his dark grey cloak rustling faintly upon the rock as he slides nearer the scout leader's position, holds up several fingers, and several more, as he indicates the numbers that he observed. Gesturing with fingers alone, body still to avoid any sudden motion attracting the attention of their elvish quarry, the scout-uruk indicates as best he can the proportions and locations of the elves.

Waiting just a few more moments, until the elves are close enough for an advance. Without hesitation, the Commander flicks his fingers forward, apparently satisfied with the number that were observes. Moving out the exit in single file, the elite scout guard moves directly towards the elven patrol at amazingly quick speeds. Most of them Uruk-hai, and most of them quite agitated at having the elves so near.
Spinning around, the Commander follows out right behind his troops. Keeping close, and right behind the others. Directly towards their foes they move, and still in single file - only the point-orc has to die from being shot.

Gundmat lingers behind on the rocks with several of the smaller uruks, creeping back towards their ledges, bows at the ready, and short, red-feathered, black-tipped uruk arrows in their hands.
He looks down at the advancing scouts, more like Dush in their charge than silent trackers, and quietly draws his bow-string, setting arrow to the pug-gut cord, the effort of pulling the shaft back as far as his ear being no object, as his biceps contract, forearms trembling slightly, his grip on his arrow vise-like.

The elves are in a close group again, as the last one have reached his companions, but it is not to remain long this way - the sound of iron-shod boots running toward them is unmistakable, and the Elf at the rear of the group spins about in time to see the orch scout running straight toward him, with hands and heads of few more swaying and waving behind him. The rest of the patrol stops as well, but the quick shout of their leader sends them running again. Grudgingly it seams, for they grip their bows and look back from time to time. The bow on the back of the lone Elf now facing the attackers draws an arc in the air and for a moment seems to be in both places at once, so fast is the movement of the Elven hand as he raises the weapon before him, and only the eyes of another Elf would see him pulling the arrow from the quiver as anything other than a quick blur.

The straight Uruk column runs onwards, directly towards the elves. At times they snake, and portions are exposed other than the point man - yet still, they seem to have no concern over their own personal lives. Their weapons clatter gently against their armor, and the element of stealth is already lost as the elves begin to draw their weapons. Low grumbles, and grunts begin to ring out - yet no battle cries. Not quite yet.
Towards the rear, the Commander holds his battle axe tightly. His head occasional moves towards the side to catch a brief glance of the charge, and the status of the men, but quickly moves back into place behind his orcen shield.

Gundmat tightens his bow-cord, draws it to his ear; then the arrow whistles towards Haldir, followed by five or six such orcish arrows; the trackers with their tight-drawn bows, let fly again, and grimly draw third arrows, pausing to take cautious aim; the uruk fighters have moved too close to the elves by now not to be careful.

The sinew string of the longbow sings as it's released, and the first orc in the file falls backwards with the grey-feathered arrow raising from his chest. The next one is now revealed to the archer, and stopped in much the same way. But the enemies get closer...

Haldir slings the bow behind his back again with one hand, just as the other one dives into the folds of his cloak. The metal hisses hungrily as the longsword is unsheathed, the fell blade glitters in the light of the stars.

Straight on the Orcs run, a few arrows being released from the others. Suddenly as they draw near enough, the column shifts towards the side and charges towards the elves. A few bang their weapons against their shields, and cry out foul words in the Uruk language before they rush in towards their foes.
The Commander rests behind a shield of three of the force, and charges inwards. His battle axe held before him in a defensive posture as they rush towards Haldir with intent to kill.

The arrows whistle through the air around the Elf... At other times challenging an Elf for a sniper contest could easily prove futile, but now he must deal with the blade-wielding attackers as well. The gray silhouette blurs once again as the Elf jumps, almost flies, aside, hiding behind a tall birch, its white trunk shines even under the dim starlight. Just in time too - an arrow splits a branch just behind the place he stood a moment ago.

The black-skinned tracker-orc pauses a moment to tighten his bowstring, mutters angry curses at whatever worthless fletcher strung his bow; he sights another arrow into the light copse the elf, releases the arrow, sends it screaming among the trees... His eyes glow, red, two pools of magma among the ash-charred darkness of his uruk face.

Safely hidden behind the glowing white birch for a few seconds at least, Haldir has a moment to consider his predicament. With the orc commander running straight for him, the moment is all he gets. The folds of his cloak billow in the air as he slides the sword back into the scabbard, and, leaving the light leather shield leaning against his leg for now, draws his bow again. Quick are the movements of the elf, but the time he has is running out just as quickly...

You fire off an arrow at Bzzargh...
Your arrow hits Bzzargh, mildly wounding him!

Almost as fast as the arrow speeding from Haldir's bow are his hands, once again changing the weapons.

Bzzargh turns to the side as the arrow grazes across his armor, and causes minimal damage. Nothing more than a slight smirk, barely noticeable above his bared teeth. Fangs snap into the air, as he hefts his weapon upwards and continues the charge.
The Uruk-hai running in front of him, already moved out of the way and engaged in combat with other elves provide no further resistance, and neither does the birch tree.

The Commander's red eyes lock upon the elven blade, and the thirst for revenge from the arrow shot burns in his throat. Screaming to be quenched with the only thing possible of satiating this, what would seem to be insatiable desire - elven blood. Tossing his head back, and revealing all of his teeth before he cries out in Morbeth, and hefts his blade slightly higher. Suddenly the blade moves to the left, as he turns at his waist and then moves it back towards the right in a swinging downwards cut fashion towards Haldir.

Bzzargh attacks you with his Battle Axe!...
...and he hits! Ouch!
<OOC> Bzzargh mildly wounds Haldir.

Gundmat readies another arrow, pulling the string taut, stretching it until ... in a burst of splinters, the bow shatters! And the orc's arms quickly draw about his head, managing but barely to save his lava-crimson eyes from the onset of tiny piercing wooden shards. He remains so curled up for several long moments, before cautiously lowering his arms, spitting curses from his lips.

The heavy blade cuts the air with a whistling sound as Haldir reaches to pick up his shield then steps backwards... not quite fast enough, and the blade touches his shield hand, just barely, before he brings the shield up for defense. The elf suddenly stops his retreating motion, springing his body slightly forward, then stabs with his sword toward the orc's chest.

You attack Bzzargh with your Longsword...
Bzzargh dodges your attack.

Speed is something that the Commander has in abundance, and with a quick step to the right after Bzzargh nicks the elf with his blade, does he watch the long sword dart past him. Taking this moment, he rolls the blade around in his hands, and freezes the movement just to the left side of Haldir. With a loud grunt, he once more moves his blade back into action and allows it to swing back towards the elves other side, and takes a step backward to keep a bit of distance between them, and allow his blade to operate with maximum efficiency. His desire for revenge far from quenched, but each moment as the blade cuts through the air and descends towards it's target of the elves side does he draw closer to his ecstasy.

Bzzargh attacks you with his Battle Axe!...
...and he hits! Ouch!
<OOC> Bzzargh mildly wounds Haldir.

No regard now is given to caution; the scout-uruk tosses aside the bits of crushed and shattered bow, slides out from his cranny; with sure-footed step, he climbs from the rocks, moving upon his leather-shod feet towards the action; his short, bent scimitar snaps from its sheath, and he casts a flaming, scarlet glare at the only visible elf (visible from his new vantage point that is), leering widely as he runs, slowly closes the hundred or so yards between him and the melee.

With more yrch running toward the combatants, and the archers moving to get a better shot, the elf's position becomes even more dangerous. A quick glance is all it takes to persuade Haldir to change his battle plan. He does not follow through with his sword attack, but instead holds the shield to cover himself as well as possible from the orc's axe, and sheathes the sword. The hit of the blade on his shield must be stronger than he expected, and he grunts as the impact sends jolts of pain through his arm, but also uses it to his advantage: his own legs and the force of the impact combine to help him roll backwards and gain a moment of delay, just long enough to draw the bow again. When he stands straight, the arrow is already nocked, all is left is to pull the string.

You fire off an arrow at Bzzargh...
Your arrow hits Bzzargh, mildly wounding him!

The impact of the blade was indeed powerful, and Bzzargh can feel it reverberating throughout the haft of his battle axe. Taking a moment to adjust himself, before lifting it away for another strike - ah, but not in time. His eyes squint, and watch the elf roll back, and then rise.. Suddenly, he sees the bow and twists his body to the left and away from Haldir - but not in time. The arrow grazes against his stomach, and nearly snaps one of the links of the armour. A bruise is instantly caused, and a split second of pain runs through his body - enough to drive him onwards. Turning back to face his foe, he squares his shoulders off and charges forward with the axe out in front of him like a bull towards the matador - his axe is hefted up directly over his head, and then with as much strength as he can muster the weapon is driven down towards Haldir's head.

Bzzargh attacks you with his Battle Axe!...
...and he misses!

The scout charges downhill, rushes now, as the ground evens out; he tramples through the grass, movies closer, scimitar held before him; he slows to a stop some fifteen feet from the elf, cautiously circling.

The sun gathers it's strength to shed a magnificent sunrise, but it is soon swamped by clouds which loom over the horizon.

Without inertia of the blade to slow down his movement, the agility of the Elf is truly wondrous. The blade cuts only the empty air where he stood just a fraction of a second ago. A hissing sound of an arrow being pulled from the quiver comes from behind a low crooked holly, whose hard thorny leaves almost shield the gray figure from view almost completely. The horn-carved nock of his bow, a white spot on otherwise gray pre-dawn surroundings, peeks from the other side of the small tree, followed almost immediately by another twang.

You fire off an arrow at Bzzargh...
Your arrow hits Bzzargh, mildly wounding him!

Gundmat leaps in even as the arrow is launched at the scout-leader, aiming a savage hack at the holly with his short scimitar, as if thinking to snuff this elf's candle in a single hard-handed blow; his muscles strain with the bulging strength that sends this sword shrieking at the elf behind the holly.

Gundmat attacks you with his Scimitar!...
...and he misses!

Bzzargh's eyes widen as his blade moves right past the elf, and continues down towards the ground. Using his strength, he diverts the course of the axe, and turns it just in time to prevent it from striking the ground. His left foot moves around behind his right, and the blade continues to move as he spins about and allows the motion to continue around. Without being able to see the arrow being put into place in that split second - he is suddenly hit by it, and stumbles a tad bit. Taking a gasp of air, and continuing his turn towards Haldir. His blade falters for a moment, but quickly regains it's course towards Haldir's side. On the verge of whistling from the speed that is being applied to it in this spin motion, and flies towards the elf's shoulder.

Bzzargh attacks you with his Battle Axe!...
...and he hits! Ouch!
<OOC> Bzzargh mildly wounds Haldir.
Whew! Bzzargh's attack almost knocks the bow from your hand...

Haldir is showered by the sharp-spiked leaves as the scimitar slices through the thorny tree just as he nocks another arrow, rushing to stop the second attacker before he can cut off the path of escape for the elf, prevent him from retreating into denser woods. The leaves get entangled in the hood of his cloak, and tauntingly hover right before his eyes. Instead of drawing the string, Haldir angrily yanks at this annoyance, the thorns break off and rip from the fur lining the hood. It's at this moment that the other orc manages to swing the axe and send the blade around the holly. H jerks aside at the last moment, barely soon enough to avoid an injury far worse than the bruise he gets... and comes face to face with his attacker, with just a few steps separating them. The sinew string whines as the elf finally gets to draw the bow. The scimitar-wielding foe will have to wait his turn...

You fire off an arrow at Bzzargh...
Your arrow hits Bzzargh, mildly wounding him!

Gundmat hisses, dancing back; he slaps out with his scimitar at the nimble elf again, hoping this time to actually manage a hit; frustration gleams in his red eyes, his mouth tightens, wrinkles at the edges as he strains, trying still to overwhelm the elf in one shot.

Gundmat attacks you with his Scimitar!...
...and he misses!

Haldir continues to retreat even as he pulls another arrow from the quiver and draws the bow again. A grey feather flutters in the air, torn from the fletching by his hasty movements. The tall self bow bends again, and the arrow trembles in the nock as the elf chooses his target. He steps out of the way of the swinging scimitar, but its owner is now in the path of the arrow, his body like a shield for the other orc.

You fire off an arrow at Gundmat...
Your arrow hits Gundmat, badly wounding him!

Bzzargh's face is painted with the dull colours of frustration, and disgust. A loud cry breaks through his dry lips, as he curses the elf in the language of Morbeth. Alas, another arrow slams into his side and two of them stick out from portions of his armour. A small trickle of blood flows downwards, and fills the mesh of his armour ... yet still, he fights onwards. A small nick does not cause much trouble, and his blade glides right on past. Pulling it back, and moving off to circle to the side of the elf, leaving the other open for his assistant.. And then charging inward he flips the blade to his right, and makes a quick hacking chop towards Haldir's side, crying out in Westron now, "Surrender and your death will be painless!" A lie, obviously.

Bzzargh attacks you with his Battle Axe!...
...and he hits! Ouch!
<OOC> Bzzargh mildly wounds Haldir.
Whew! Bzzargh's attack almost knocks the bow from your hand...

Gundmat collapses, arrow buried deep in his side; with a gasp he falls back, blood splattering from his side, sprayed through the air. He shrieks, collapses to his knees, clutching the white-hafted arrow with a clawed hand, gives a painful gasp.. yet he still tries to stand.

Although most of his kin have no need for the language of man and few speak or understand it, this Elf is different. His words in the common tongue are heavily accented and the vowels stretch even now, when his breath comes in quick gasps, "Not while the sun is up...", he draws another arrow from the quiver, with a sound of wooden shafts grinding against each other, "... or the stars.. A-ah!", he jumps aside but the edge of the axe still grazes his shoulder. "... shine", finishes he, but the last word is barely heard as the bow twangs loudly.

You fire off an arrow at Bzzargh...
Your arrow hits Bzzargh, mildly wounding him!

The Commander understands the words quite well, and responds with nothing more than deep guttural laughter. Sounding like metal clashing against metal, it almost sounds like he has hit something metallic as his blade graze the elf's shoulder. Still, it continues past, and comes around to bare just in front of his body. Yet again, another arrow slams into Bzzargh and sends him staggering backwards this time. Quite powerful, and quite painful. Sticking out of his flesh, and causing his face to come together in a look of agony before he throws his head back and roars. The sun's attempts to break through the clouds catch the saliva on his fangs, and cause it to glisten. His head drops down, and his red eyes focus on Haldir before he responds with nothing more than, "Then I cut you down here!" Surging forward, and raising his blade up in front of his chest before slamming it down towards Haldir's own chest, a full frontal charge.. So to speak.

Bzzargh attacks you with his Battle Axe!...
...and he hits! Ouch!
<OOC> Bzzargh mildly wounds Haldir.
Whew! Bzzargh's attack almost knocks the bow from your hand...

Gundmat gasps painfully, hauling his injured body towards the fighting; he releases his grip on the arrow, catches up his sword in one clenched hand; his eyes bulge in his head, tongue hangs out. Yet somehow he crawls closer.

Once again the agile elf barely avoids the hit, although, as the axe once again scrapes along his shoulder, its path is marked by a streak of glimmering silver. It disperses, however, as soon as the elf jerks his shoulder, as if trying to shake off the pain. Still, he continues to retreat into the denser growth, until his back presses against the springing pillow of a tall bush, reaching to his shoulders with its top branches. With nowhere to go for now, and hoping to gain a split second when the force of an arrow meets the orc's armor, Haldir hastily releases another shaft. The bush, shaken by the reverberating twang of the bow, covers his hood and shoulders with a shower of tiny blue flowers.

You fire off an arrow at Bzzargh...
Your arrow hits Bzzargh, mildly wounding him!

Gundmat gasps, staggering after the retreating elf; black blood trickles from one corner of his sour mouth, and his breath comes in short, pinched gasps. et still he approaches, gagging on his own blood ....

Dismay is about the only state that could describe Bzzargh's state. Watching his blade once more glide over the elf's shoulder is complete agony.. But the glimpse of silver somehow rallies him onwards. His eyes narrow once more, and his lips curl up into a smirk. Shaking his head back and forth, and taking a step back so that he might finish off this cornered elf - but wait. Another arrow is released with a twang, and slamming into the Uruk-hai's right arm, and causes him to throw his head back in a roar, and jerk around for a moment like a speared fish. The adrenaline is about the only think which keeps him going, and using what motion he can he raises his blade upwards once more, and attempts to slam it down on Haldir - right through the elf's head, or so he hopes.

Bzzargh attacks you with his Battle Axe!...
...and he hits! Ouch!
<OOC> Bzzargh mildly wounds Haldir.
Whew! Bzzargh's attack almost knocks the bow from your hand...

The woods themselves must be friendly to the elf, for, just as the axe is drawing its shining deadly arc through the air, the bushes behind the elf open a gap just wide enough for him to squeeze through in time... Almost. The axe dives into the bush after him, and a quick pained yelp rings in the air. Was the elf hurt by the stroke, or by thorns, or lost his footing, only he can tell, and this bush, and the cruel blade. But neither is about to speak. For a moment silence falls onto the battlefield, so sudden and seemingly out of place here that you know it cannot last. And it does not, shattered by another twang of the sinew string... The pale hand holding the yellowish yew bow peak for a second on the far side of the bush, and the elven eyes shine brightly under the shadow of the deep hood as he aims for his foe.

You fire off an arrow at Bzzargh...
Your arrow hits Bzzargh, mildly wounding him!

The close cut does minimal damage, and the Commander Bzzargh can feel it in his arms as he shakes his head in total and utter disgust. Never has he done so poorly... and as the elf dives into the brush, he only grows more outraged... the bow peeking out, and the arrow slamming into his chest sends him stumbling backwards. Luckily his armour absorbs most of the impact, and rushing forward with pure rage he begins to hack at the brush - his axe dives into it repeatedly, searching around for something to destroy...

Bzzargh attacks you with his Battle Axe!...
...and he misses!

Gundmat crawls towards Bzzargh and Haldir, blood hawked from his throat by his convulsive, dying coughs; he raises his scimitar, rises shaking to his feet, moving slowly towards the elf and uruk, his breathing broken, his eyes filled with agony...

The graceful branches, covered by tiny blue flowers, fall to the ground in a broken heap as the axe tears and slices the beautiful plant, until all that is left is a crumbled pile... But the elf is not behind it! The trees stand silent around around the two orcs, he could be hidden behind any one of them. This is a perfect chance to shoot. But the trees are still silent. Finally, there is a screeching sound... No, this is just the wind heaving a half-split old birth. The gray-cloaked elf is gone from sight, no arrow comes to betray his refuge.

With a gasp, Gundmat slumps over, the arrow pinned to him driven up through his back by the impact, a spike erupting from the orcish flesh; his black scimitar drops from limp fingers, his eyes bug out for a bare moment, then fall shut, his fingers digging into the ground, clawing deep, then stiffening as the last sparks of life leave his carcass.

As the arrows cease to come out of the brush, the Commander turns around to see the battle field fairly empty. A few orcs stand about, and the elves all gone... Shaking his head, he waves towards the brush, "We'll fall back.. They are hiding like the monkeys they are," in the Uruk language.. Turning back towards his tent, he begins to march away, a snicker escaping him before he adds, "We'll get them tomorrow with a few reinforcements.. Send word back!"