Foothills of the Misties - Near Caradhras
The landscape about you resolves into only shades of grey and black, as the night envelops the area in it's black claws. The path runs north/south as far as you can make out. Pitch black outlines of mountains to your west indicate the presence of the Misty Mountains, though they are almost indiscernable from this distance. The ground is sprouting and warm around you, and the air feels foggy and unclear. The rejuvenating land makes itself known by the small clump of flowers and weed that clump around the ground.
The stars peek through small gaps in the swollen cloud cover. The sky is grayish black, threatening a spring rain. The midnight spring air is cold and nippy.
The gray landscape is dull and featureless, the beauty and variely of trees and flowers smeared into dubs of grey by the moonless night. The stars shine coldly on the hills and valleys. In their pale light, in a small grove, a battle is raging, shattering the silence of the night with warrior cries and moans of the wounded. All the voices belong to one side, however: the orcs.
A single elf, shrouded in a gray cloak, stands behind an old birch. Its trunk is split in half, and opens a gap about two fists wide. A heavy branch broke off and lies entangled in low shrubs. The elf has chosen his position well: the birch bark on the other side of the trunk is pierced with several arrows, but none were aimed well enough to fly through the narrow gap. A black orc body is thrown over the branch, with an arrow piercing his neck - the barrier served the elf warrior well. Few more crawl about the blood-stained clearing further away, but even more run toward him, or hide behind trees, waiting for their time.
And to the south, a faint streak of grey, is a barely visible path. That way lies Lorien, and the great mellyrn stand like a dark wall just a bit more than a bowshot away.
Walking along the path toward the north, Trathis notices a figure shrouded in a grey cloak standing behind the birch. Trathis seems to notice that he is hiding or planning to ambush something. Seeing this Trathis seems to step away from the path off to the side so that he is unseen, even by his friend. Trathis takes this time to use some of the calls that the guards of the forest have made. He puts his hands to his mouth and ducks behind a large boulder. Waiting a few moments, while taking a deep breathe. Trathis makes a semi-loud sound of a nightengale, a beautiful warbling wistle. He repeats this sound a few more times before he stops and awaits a response from his friend,
A troll job in life is simple. Eat. That is a rather easy job for a paticular strong and dumb troll like Grunk. Traveling with this group of orcs, the orcs from experience draw back in fear for their very lives from this foul creature. Trolls by their very nature are not known to be finicky eaters: orcs, deer, humans, cattle, and elves are all on their menu. But today a biggy orc - which are very good roasted slowly over an open fire, basted with lemon and a hint of garlic - promised several trolls some healthy elves to dine upon. It is Grunk who took up the offer and headed out with the orcish patrol to dine well. His other trollish companions, instead, ate the biggy orc.
Grunk happily looks about at the scene of carnage that has befallen the earlier orcish patrol. His stomach begins to growl as he wades through the field attacking everything in sight, whether orc or elf...either dead or alive...it makes no difference. Grunk grabs a nearby orc, squeezing the creature in anticipation of finding the elf that kingy orc has ordered them to find. The orc gives one forlorn squeal of pain and then expires. The troll moves closer to the forest, along with a sea or orcs...
The winds howl, as if to warn of someone's approach. The sky seems to grow darker suddenly, as many clouds cover the moon.
They do not lie, as a dark figure approaches. His movements are as silent as death, making him almost wraith-like. The few rays of moonlight piercing through the clouds shows little of his features, but they are enough to show his body; his lean figure makes him look to be not too strong, though his stealth makes up for it.
His dark outfit blends in with the nearly total black night, making it harder to see his discreet advances foward; with each passing step, however, he becomes harder to notice. Then suddenly he disappears from view, totally consumed by the shadows.
The winds stop their eerie howls, and the full-moon escapes the clouds, shining once again deep into the night...
Raging is one word - a caldron of violence is probably another description. Dismembered Uruk fill the battle field. The re-enforcements of Moria have arrived, and two large Olog tear through the field causing damage against whatever they can. At their feet the warriors of Khazad Dum scatter in order to avoid the crushing blows of the stone warriors - those who have no concern for anything smaller than them.
The blackness of night is of no regard to the orcs, their red eyes glowing ever so slightly as they are covered in the darkness. Ah, but a few orcs and some flint handy light their torches on fire. With some rigorous work, they approach the base of some of the rotting trees and shove them into the kindling.
Flames leap up, and begin to attack the bark. Hotter and hotter, as they begin to illuminate the area. The flames only forcing the warriors to fight harder - a reminder of their dark master below. The clashing of metal, and the shouting of curses towards the elves provides an anti- orchestra of sound. So terrible that it could destroy the ears of all but the strong at heart - or the black.
To the South the sky is a little brighter and the misty silhoette of the looming forest seems untouched by the angry atmosphere in this vale. It is just serene enough to make one uncomfortable. A breeze makes it way up from the forest and laps at the exposed skin of all present, just cool enough to be noticed. It brings with it an air of unrest like the first foreboding roll of thunder before the torrent of rain. It is with this wind and this unrest that a shadowy band moves towards the dark army. They flit in and out between the tall grasses and only an occasional glint of silver or gold betrays that their presence is not just a trick of the imagination.
The flames leap into the sky, and the shadow of the elf behind the split birch sways wildly from side to side as the torched trees catch fire one after the other. Yet for now, the flames hurt the attackers more than they help them: their black figures are silhouetted against the bright fires, making them into perfect targets. Only the nock of the bow shows through the gap in the tree trunk, and the arrows whistle over the hedge of brambles, finding their victims.
With the roar of the flames, Haldir apparently cannot hear the bird cries, or does not have the time to react. He draws one arrow after another from the quiver, and the tall bow of Lorien tirelessly sings its song of death.
Arem gets closer to the ranks of Morians. The forces consisted of orcs, with a lone outstanding troll, standing out among thet legion, out to find the elf commander; now they play with fire, what foolish acts, thought he, as he viewed their attempts to reveal the commander had actually caused damage to him. However, he knew the commander could not hold for long, and is in deep need of assistance... He breaks into a light dash, running towards the fray, though still keeping a good amount of his stealth...
With each shot of the bow, an Uruk falls down towards the ground. Still, they move in a coherent unit, and charge forward. Watching the direction their companions fall in, and deducing the direction the arrows are coming from.
The trolls look around with their hungry expressions, and charge out towards a gathering of the other elves. A few small snaga scream as the massive stone warriors crush them beneath their feet.
The Commander from the previous encounter makes no hesitation to turn towards where the arrows are coming from - and with his squad begins to run towards the shooters in an attempt to stop them.
Pulling his head out to see a circle of urks surrounding his friend, Trathis grits his teeth with anger but knows there is little that he do about it. Trathis ducks his head back down and flips his bow from his torso and wields it into his hands. After so, Trathis jumps from behind the rock and slowly approaches the action from the south end of it. He tries to advoid any conflict attempts to stealth his way toward the ranks.
Trathis pulls lightly on the string of his bow to test its durablility.
Now in position to fire, Arem first analizes the field for the elf commander. Then, he catches sight of him near a split birchwood tree, launching volleys of arrows at the advancing orcs. It was quite impressive how he was holding off of them, though he was slowly fatiging, and the legion was slowly approaching. He readies his bow and starts targetting.
Arem readies his "Dreamweaver", and reality almost seems to bend...
Any concentration of orcs makes an unresistable target for an elf. Even though the band of smoke colored warriors from the South are still too far away to be seen in detail, the salvos comes quickly from their far reaching bows - and accurate - bows. With them is the Champion of Galadriel; Talia has thrown back her hood and drawn her bow as well. She stands somehwat apart from the others so that her orders can be seen by the entire troupe. There is little need for stealth now that the volley has begun.
The gray-cloaked elf is protected by the split birch for now, and the thorny hedge of shrubs before him may gain him several more seconds, but the attackers rush through the clearing faster than even he can fire off the arrows. Soon they will be upon him, but for now, the long gray arrows still exact the toll on the attacking company. Still, more and more often the elf glances over his shoulder as he draws an arrow. No path behind him offers protection comparable to that old tree, and the fires leap from bough to bough, cutting off some of the escape routes.
The Commander Bzzargh breaks off his approach to Haldir. His eyes lock upon the figure of Arem. The red spheres narrow, and his yellow fangs burst out from behind black lips. Drooling ever so slightly, he spins about on his heels. The squad running shield before him continues the charge, and arrows continue to slam into them. One of the larger ones is hit right in the middle of the chest, and his arms shoot out in both directions as he drops his shield and scimitar onto the ground, and shaking a little bit as his heart finally comes to a stop.
Still, the Uruk-hai charges towards his target with his battle axe handy. No regard for life, or anything in his path. Knocking one of his own troops out of his way with his shoulders, the powerful figure continues to charge towards Arem - the ground nearly shaking in his wake.
The sun gathers it's strength to shed a magnificent sunrise, but it is soon swamped by clouds which loom over the horizon.
Seeing that his tactics had worked, Arem slowly retreats, just enough that most of the yrch could keep up with him, and drawn them further away. A few of the had got dangerously close, but fortunately Arem's "DreameWeaver" was also designed as a substitute for melee weapons, with blades on both ends of it. He quickly subdued them, and stopped shooting arrows to further let the yrch follow him.
Stopping in the middle of the path, Trathis bends down to his knee. Being far enough away, Trathis takes a lon arrow from his quiver and aims for an urk near his friend. Shooting one shot, it flies through the air and impails into the knee of an urk.
Bzzargh squints as he watches the most peculiar display with the bow, but continues his charge. As soon as he draws near enough, his battle axe is raised up into the air. The silver sharpened edge catches the light of the fires, and refracts it in all directions. The bright glow is only accented by a howl from the Uruk-hai's lips.. His fangs snap shut once more, with a loud sound as he rushes in.. The tactic working oh so well - at least, in enraging the warrior even more.
He closes to within ten meters, but unfortunately the elf is using his bow as a melee weapon! The time has been provided, and as he reaches a point in which he can strike, Bzzargh's whole body turns to the right and the blade lifts upwards as well. Spinning backwards in a swinging motion he sends his weapon of destruction directly towards Arem's body - and attempts to pass through and destroy the bow/melee weapon during the attack!
Bzzargh attacks Arem with his Battle Axe and severely wounds him!
Arem's bow is knocked out of his hand!
As the cry of one of her companions reaches her, Talia pauses with drawn bow. Bristling, she seems to stand taller and the light of the setting moon combined with the red glow cast by the flaming birch cast an eerie glow over the Protector and her company. "Aye Elbereth!" comes the cry sent up from the small army and the next volley is started.
The rain of arrows stops for a moment, as, behind the old tree, Haldir looks at where the orc commander is running. For a retreat, this is not hte best direction, his side is open to Haldir's bow, and to circle around the elf, the detour is rather long.
But between the trees he sees a gray shadow, and the keen Elves eyes recognise the fair face of the Protector, Talia. He also sees the other guard, just as the crushing blow of the axe knocks his bow away. A moment later both combatants disappear behind a tall bush, and the orc is safe from Haldir's bow for now. Which is more than can be said about his underlings he left in the clearing. The longbow twangs, the sound rings in the air, loud enough to alert Talia and her troop to his position if they have not seen him already. A death cry of another orc is a response.
The glancing blow knocked the air out of Arem. Fortunately he had just altered his body enough for the blade to miss the critical spot. However, the pain surging through his body knocked him off his feet, temporarily stunning him. However, as the orch Commander moved in for the kill, he suddenly felt a rush of energy in him, enough for him to roll over and dodge the fatal blow. Grabbing a handful of burning ash, he lets it loose at the somewhat amazed Commander. The orch holds his face in pain as his face is seared by it. Arem took the time to grab his weapon and painfully limp away...
Looking over toward the urk attack Arem, Trathis forcuses now upon that urk. Yelling to his small friend, Trathis pulls another lon arrow from his quiver and aims for the urk attacking Arem. "Get out of there!"
Arem picks up an oddly-crafted longbow.
Trathis launches an arrow...
Trathis's arrow flies wide, doing no harm.
The air, laced with smoke from the burning tree causes the image of the elf patrol to swim in the murky grasses. But fair words, terrible to the ears of the Enemy, ring out clear and cold from the Protector; it appears she is in fact aware of her Commander's position. She makes some gestures with her fist in the air and the remainder of her patrol at once splits and diverges. Several run closer to continue firing and another small band, led by the Protector, cut to the side in hopes of clearing a path for Haldir.
Shooting the arrow toward the urk, Trathis is blinded by a glare of fire that falls down from one of the trees on the path. His arm reaches some, swaying the direction of the arrows to be slightly off target.
Though arrows are being fired at the Commander, he does not seem to realize it - at least, not in any obvious movement. As his blade passes through, and hits the elf his eyes close for a split second. A sharp tug, pulls his weapon free. His muscles flex, and bringing the weapon back into a position from which he can attack once more he charges in towards Arem.
Alas, the ash flies towards him and he lowers his head. Spreading across his helm, and very little makes it into his eyes - just enough to cause them to water a little bit - and just enough to really upset him with the underhanded tactic. His head jerks upwards once more, and the most horrible glare he can muster is directed at Arem.
Taking a deep breath of air into his lungs, Bzzargh finishes his charge, and raises his axe up high into the air. Taking the target of the elves shoulder - a way to prevent him from shooting any further arrows... and dropping it down towards the appendage with nearly as much force as he can muster.
Arem collapses to the ground, defeated by Bzzargh!
The crackling of the dry wood above his head warns Haldir that his birth shield will protect him no longer: the hungry fires have crawled along the branches of nearby trees and the white birch bark sizzles and chars under their tongues. Another arrow leaves Haldir's bow, and the orc which has almost climbed over the broken branch is thrown backwards, into the thorny shrubs. Into the other direction dashes a quick grey shadow of the cloaked elf. An arrow buzzes over his head, fired too late by an orc who did not expect the elf to suddenly show himself. More are to follow, but the elf alredy dives behind a low shrub, then runs again, even as the black foes rush to cut him off.
Looking again as his comrand falls toward the ground, Trathis closes his eyes and pulls another arrow from his quiver but this time it is more of a slow pull. Trathis then kisses the tip of his arrow and then arms it on the bow. Trathis brings his bow up and aims it toward the Urk who hasth befallen his friend. "This shot is for you, Aren." Trathis then lets the arrow fly through the air directed toward his target.
Trathis launches an arrow...
Trathis's bowshot hits Bzzargh, mildly wounding him.
Talia shouts out some more orders, partly because her ranks are quickly loosing their cohesiveness and partly to make sure that Haldir has seen them. The Lorien guards quickly fall a loose structure and begin fireing at the nearest orcs to buy some time for the Commander. Talia averts her attention briefly to fall upon the figure of her stricken comrade. Her expression does not change, but she raises her voice above the din,"<Sindarin> Bachelor! Trathis! Get the squire to safety!"
The two trolls turn their massive figures about remarkably quickly for their size. Facing Haldir directly now, they squint their beady eyes and look into the flames - stomach's grumbling, mix with their stupid laughter as they saunter over towards him. The ground shakes beneath their feet as their long strides come in contact with the soil. Outstretched hands reach out to him, almost as if asking for hand outs - though, their intent is moreso to take out.
The Commander's clean sweep knocks the elf to the ground, and he raises his axe once more to make the finishing blow - to cut Arem's head off. But the twang of another elven bow, and a sharp pain in his side causes his attention to shift over towards the elf's comrade. Shaking his head back and forth with a growl, before he begins to rush towards Trathis. Closer and closer he gets towards the fellow, and his axe stands ready...
Smash! The trolls run right over the Commander, completely oblivious to what they've just done. His battle axe clangs against the ground, as his arms go limp and his eyes roll back into his head. Ah, they did notice. Turning back, and standing over the fallen figure. Looking down upon their leader' before looking up and giving each other stupid expressions. Then, at the same time each of them shouts, "You do it!"
The quick Elf evades most of his pursuers as he runs toward the Protector, but one of them has speed to match. This does not prove to be a survival advantage in this case, as the Knight-Commander loosens another arrow, halting his run for just a moment. The elf wastes no time making sure the foe is dead, and dashes instead away from the path of the two stone giants... and the orc commander's axe, sent flying his way by their collision. The yells and cries of the other orcs come from behind now, and the Elven sortie is converging just ahead.
Though the ground shakes from the hurried feet of the trolls, the elfin archers are unmoved. Firing as quickly as possible, the air is stirred by the constant hum of arrows flying towards their marks. Behind the line of the enemy, the engulfed birch drops a flaming branch and soon the thorn bushes and the grass alike begin to crackle. The Protector keeps careful watch on her friend and Commander while doing her part to keep the orchs back with arrows.
Noticing the arrow fly into the urk, Trathis lets out a little smile but he is not yet happy. He notices the urk rush toward him only to be trammpled by his own trolls. Trathis saw this as his chance to grab his little friend and pull him from the battlefield. Trathis quickly rushes up the path to grab Arem and flips him over his should and rushes back downt he path. "Dont worry friend, i got you." Trathis quietly says to Arem.
Haldir leaps over a trunk of a young tree, felled by a stray stroke of an orc scimitar, one of the scars left on the forest by the orc charge against the elf patrol, and comes face to face with Talia so suddenly that he freezes for a second, before glancing over his shoulder at the pursuers, who are scattered dodging the elven arrows.
The trolls realize the extremity of their mistake, and then in an attempt to lay the blame on the other break out into a fist fight! Their massive hands begin to slam into each other, as they grunt and shout, "No! I no do it!" And various other denials.
The Orcs, all rather broken about the loss of their commander rush towards the trolls in an attempt to pull him free - they must bring the body back and explain their loss. The elven warriors, and their guardians are of no concern to them now.