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  #31  
Old 05-10-2020, 03:16 AM
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Solveig
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As the three raft-elves emerged from the mists, Solveig noticeably relaxed. She chuckled at the fuss they made over Belgo. "You should come to Dale or Lake-town. We have children there by the barrel-load. My sister is expecting her firstborn in autumn."

As they made their way up the river, Solveig approached the elf that had calmed the ponies. "That was a good trick, earlier, with the ponies. If it is a skill that can be taught, I would be interested in learning it."



"Baldor is welcome here, but I do not like the idea of such a large party of armed men, and a dwarf, within our halls. I think it might be best if you all remained in the cellar nearby where my guards will accompany you until the caravan is ready to depart in two days time."

"I will not stay in the cellar," Solveig responded bluntly, but without obvious animosity. She unbuckled her weapon belt and held it out to Lindar. "If it is our weapons that bother you, then you may keep mine for the duration of our stay. You may not trust us, but I will trust you with their safekeeping, and ours. I have no fear for our safety within these walls."

She gestured at Vidar. "But if it is other things that bother you, then I'm just as comfortable outside your walls as within. I must admit, I had hoped for a warmer welcome."

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Old 05-10-2020, 10:56 AM
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Nolmendil
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The journey through the long marshes might have proved much slower than Baldor had expected but Nolmendil enjoyed every moment of it. The myriads of lifeforms inhabiting the marshland, the wind’s song as it stirred the branches of tree and bush and the carefree chirping of the birds eased his sorrow at the betrayal of the merchant‘s guards and the unnecessary death of one of them. The easy laughter of the Men in their group, the barking of Shadowmaw and even the dwarf’s sometimes tasteless jokes were familiar and before long even welcome sounds that made the journey more interesting and enjoyable. The Noldo even welcomed the physical exertion as he helped the others remove branches blocking the road or push away half-rotten trunks of fallen trees. Lord Elrond had been right, there was more to an Eldar’s life that studying faded scrolls and ancient books in the library or reciting poetry in the halls of Imladris. Furthermore Nolmendil had started feeling like a true member of the group, despite his Eldar heritage and the fact that he surpassed the eldest member of their group by about five centuries, which gave him hope that the day would come when all those who longed for freedom would stand up and face the Shadow, banishing it forever.

Solveig’s discovery of the paw-print of what she claimed was a gigantic wolf excited the scholar and fired his imagination. The Noldo asked the experienced guide if the beast could be tracked, but Solveig was quick to answer, not without some relief, that the print in the mud was old and the animal surely long gone. Nolmendil, who preferred to imagine that one of the white wolves of the north and not some warg was responsible for the mark, took advantage of the situation to tell the group the story of Huan, the wolfhound of Celegorm, one of Fëanor’s sons. The story was well-received by most of his companions, though the Eldar was unable to interpret the snorting sounds produced occasionally by Vidar – they could equally express the dwarf’s excitement at the tale, derision or boredom. The Noldo wisely decided not to inquire further. Young Belgo was so moved by the tale that his imagination saw Braegar as the elven Prince of Nolmendil’s story and Shadowmaw as his gigantic hound. The boy was, as could only be expected, quick to ask them to join him in a legendary hunt to bring down the dragon Smaug once more and offered the Woodman a magical sword or rather a branch the boy had picked up from the ground. The Eldar smiled discretely and hoped that Baldor wouldn’t chastise him for putting foolish ideas in the boy’s head.

The next part of their journey proved even more unique than the first, since Nolmendil had never traveled by raft before. Seeing that his Mirkwood cousins were obviously very skilled in guiding such vessels, Nolmendil relaxed and enjoyed the landscape passing by them, making sure to occasionally sing in Sindarin about Eryn Galen or Greenwood the Great, the name Mirkwood was initially called. He hoped to please his cousins and hopefully excite the curiosity of his companions for this great forest. The Noldo was of course more than eager to translate any songs in Westron every time his companions showed even the slightest interest in them. Finding himself on the same raft with Solveig, and having overheard her request to learn the soothing words the Sindar had used on the ponies, the Eldar approached the woman and sat next next to her. "The Sindar of Eryn Lasgalen, or rather the wood-elves of northern Mirkwood as you probably know them, have always had a way with nature and the creatures of their great forest. The wisest of them know the secret language of every living being and can use it to touch their minds and influence their hearts. It is claimed some have even power over bricks and rocks or the flowing water of the river, though I have never seen such skills practiced before me. This is an art that only few can master and even that is usually only accomplished after study and experimentation over centuries. When I was younger I longed to learn the speech of beast and bird, though I never had much success in it. You see, I was more at home in the great library of Imladris than in the wilderness. Some things can only be felt and experienced, not learnt by study." Pausing for a moment to offer Solveig a shy smile, Nolmendil continued. "Though it is nothing like the famed skills of the Sindar I could teach you a phrase in the blessed tongue that could aid you in calming down the more intelligent of animals. Pay attention to the pronunciation, Solveig, for it is quite unlike Westron. Peace, my friend, peaceSérë, málonya, sérë. A calming gesture will also go a long way to calm a spooked animal, but I think your knowledge and experience in this subject is far greater than my own."

Reaching the caves of the Elvenking the group was welcomed by Lindar, one of King Thranduil’s Sindar, who greeted the Noldo with great politeness, though he was obviously skeptical about the rest of the group. Having heard the story of Thorin and his companions visiting the Elvenking’s realm and then escaping inside barrels, Nolmendil couldn’t exactly blame him. Still, he found the thought of himself visiting the famous halls of Thranduil while the rest of the group had to remain inside a dark cave, guarded by their hosts, troubling. "Mae govannen, Lindar!", said the Noldo as he bowed his head in respect and placed his right hand over his heart. He continued in Westron so that those who did not speak Sindarin would know the proper way to speak to their Eldar hosts. "It is a great honor to find myself in the halls of King Tranduil surrounded by my noble cousins. I have long desired to visit these lands and see the wonders of Eryn Lasgalen with my own eyes. I thank you humbly for welcoming me so graciously." Bowing once more to Lindar and gently shaking his head to show Solveig that this was not the way to make a request, Nolmendil took a few steps towards their host and started speaking to him in a soft voice in Sindarin.

 
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  #33  
Old 05-13-2020, 10:45 AM
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It was hard going, most of the trail had been washed out in the snowmelt and overtaken by undergrowth.

When Solveig had found signs of an unusually large wolf that had crossed the path, Braegar grew worried. "The tracks may be old, but wolves claim large territories;" Braegar said, "the beast may return, and wolves rarely hunt alone. We should be extra cautious." Shadowmaw sniffed the track once then padded away, looking unperturbed.

Nolmendil began a telling of Huan. Braegar, grinning, took out a black yew flute, and would play music to fit the tenor of the story as it would unfold. Of course Braegar had heard something of the great wolfhound who had saved Beren and Luthien. All the woodmen had some variant on the story of that hound, though he had never heard a version that didn't cast Celegorm as a villain. It was interesting to hear tales of that Eldar outside those concerning the elder days of men, and Nolmendil knew much more of the stories than what had been passed down to the woodmen.

Belgo it seemed had been quite taken with Nolmendil's storytelling and Braegar was more than happy to humor him. He spent much time playing games with the boy, never straying too far out of sight of his father, while also trying to teach him useful skills for hunting and living off the land.
Later, Braegar carved a toy wooden sword and gifted it to Belgo.

"I would like to teach the boy to use a bow," Braegar said to Baldor one night, "He is well old enough and it's a skill everyone could use in this part of the world."

As the elf raftsmen met the company upon the shore of the river, Braegar recognized one of them and greeted him, asking for tiding from the road. They spent much of the journey speaking and all seemed in good cheer as they came to the moorings in the caves of the Elvenking.




Braegar kept silent as the elf Lindar spoke, addressing Nolmendil and Baldor.

His spirits began to fall, as it was starting to sound as though they wouldn't get to see the Elf King's Hall. But they rose once more when he heard they would be housed in a cellar. 'A cellar. As in a Wine cellar!' Braegar dared to hope.

The others didn't seem to share that hope. Solveig spoke first and coarsely to the elf, though there was no ire in her voice.

Braegar touched Solveig's shoulder and indicated that she should draw away and let Nolmendil speak to his kinsmen. He walked to where the others stood. From their scowling looks, it was plain many felt insulted for the kind of hospitality they were receiving and the merry mood had dampened some. "Don't be too angry with them," Whispered Braegar, "Long ago, these elves lost their home to the Enemy and a host of evil men from the east. I can't recall what it had been called in that time, but you would know it now as Dol Guldur. Since then, they have grown wary when it comes to protecting their hall and kin" Braegar turned to Vidar, his smile turning wry again, "Can you say the dwarves are very different? With their hidden doors and secret words? Besides, I'd be nervous too were I to have one of Durin's folk inspecting the craftwork of my stone halls."

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Last edited by Helvorix; 05-25-2020 at 06:59 AM.
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  #34  
Old 05-13-2020, 08:39 PM
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The journey
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The long journey was quite welcome to Grimfara, he had not had this much fun in years. Slashing through debrie with his axe was a good workout and kept him alert less he should falter from boredom. On the second day they had found a rather large print in the ground. Joyfuly the Beorning wandered forward to see it with glee. He relished the chance to fight and was only sadened at the acknowledgment that it was old and most likely far gone. He resigned himself to another dull day.

Upon arriving at the spot marked by Baldor, Grimfara simply sat and relaxed. He knew the elves' would come eventually, they always did, just on their own time. By nighttime they had come and began to ferry them into the woodland realm. Grimfara watched as the merchant and an elf spoke to each others. He was used to feeling left out when it came to elves. He had a few encounters to the east of Mirkwood, but they never spoke to him, only their mutual acquaintances. So when the elf spoke of staying in a cellar he was not surprised. He was ready to even start walking when Solveig spoke up. about giving weapons to them. Without hesitiating he shrugged and began to take all of his weapons off and drop them into a pile. What seemed to take a few minutes and lots of clamoring, an impressive weapons pile was not on the floor in front of the imposing man. For good measure he did some stretching to show he was not worried about being disarmed.
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  #35  
Old 05-15-2020, 10:09 AM
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Vormund
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Vormund was glad for the opportunity to visit the elves of Mirkwood, though as he found a place upon one of the rafts, his stomach sank a little. The Dúnedain has never much cared for water travel. He enjoyed swimming, but something about the uneven flow of water beneath a floor of wood made him uneasy.

To distract himself, the ranger turned his attention to the others. Having found himself sharing a raft with Vidar, he took to asking questions about the dwarf and his homeland, as well as sharing some of his experiences with the dwarves of Erebor, seeing if the two had any mutual acquaintances.



Vormund took in the scenery on their approach with no small amount of awe. He’d been looking forward to the end of this journey for some time, and hoped he would have the opportunity to engage with the elves of Mirkwood more personally once business dealings had concluded.

The exchange between Baldor and the elf who had received them was friendly, as appeared to be his words to Nolmendil as he spoke in their shared tongue. However, his reception of the rest of the group was notably less warm, and it became clear they would not be extended the same level of trust as their employer.

Perhaps not yet anyway.

Wishing to comply with the wishes of their hosts, Vormund began to remove his weapons, stacking them neatly in front of him and waiting in patient silence for Nolmendil to do the talking. Normally Vormund might have tried to open communication himself, but that seemed ill advised at the moment. Unlike with their western cousins in Rivendell, Vormund was not aware of the Dúnedain being held in any particularly high regard by the elves of Mirkwood, and he doubted his word would count for much here.
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Old 05-15-2020, 03:50 PM
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Guests of the ElvesLindar seemed as though he was about to respond to Solveig, and judging by the furrows in his brow, not kindly, but Nolmendil spoke first. Lindar raised his hand to stop him at one point, clearly not liking where the conversation was going.

A series of loud clanging sounds broke the tension as Grimfara began unceremoniously depositing every weapon he carried on the cavern floor at his feet. Vormund also began removing his arms, though far more delicately.

Lindar only shook his head and seemed at a loss for words. " Lle gwaith Lotesse sinome, amin sen a' lle malia," he finally said to Nolmendil. Turning to the others, he said, "In two days, we will bring your company to the edge of Thranduil’s realm. In the meantime, you may remain here in the caves. I shall have bread and wine brought down to you shortly." Nodding once to Nolmendil, and with a glance at Baldor, Lindar and the other elves returned back up into the halls above the cavern.


The Long Road
Journey through MirkwoodDestination: The Forest Gate
Approximate Travel Length: 160 miles (9 days travel)
Peril Rating: 3
  • Guide: Solveig
  • Scout: Vormund + Braegar (help action gives advantage)
  • Hunter: Solveig
  • Look-out: Nolmendil + Grimfara or Vidar (help action gives advantage)
Traveled Thus Far: 2 Days - 36 Miles

After two days, Lindar and some other Elves escort the company out of the caves by a secret route, and bring them some miles down the Elf-path. This part of the wood is not so oppressive; the path is lined with beeches, and sunlight filters through the trees to dapple everything with greengold light.

This region still preserves the beauty and peace of Greenwood the Great. Lindar warns that the company will soon enter more perilous regions, and he gives them one key piece of advice – don’t leave the path! The path is mostly clear of trouble, but the same cannot be said of the woods to either side.

Lindar and the elves have led the company to the point where the Enchanted Stream crosses the Elf-path. They bring the company across by boat – the ponies are temporarily relieved of their load – and the elves warn the characters not to drink from the stream. Once their feet are firmly set on the path, Lindar bids them good luck, and vanishes into the shadows of the trees. The company is now on their own, and faces a long journey.

Vormund and Braegar found an excellent place to rest for the night, where the path opens into a pleasant, grassy forest clearing.




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Old 05-17-2020, 09:21 AM
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"You're thinking too much." Braegar stated sternly.
"How can you think too much?" Insisted Belgo, "It's too dark, and my arms are tired."
"It's not too dark, and your arms are tired because you are holding the bow drawn for too long. Keep both your eyes open. Aim lower... lower... Now loose." The arrow hit high of the mark, though at least it didn't go sailing over the target into the trees this time. Belgo grinned up at Braegar. "...Better." Said Braegar, trying to maintain his stern expression, though he could feel it starting to slip. He shrugged his shoulders. "Alright, take a rest," he said, taking his bow back from Belgo. "Go play."
Belgo grabbed his wooden sword and ran over to where Shadowmaw was shamelessly begging for tummy rubs from Grimfara.

"I thought this would be easier," he said to Vormund as he passed him with an armful of firewood, "Perhaps I'm not cut out for teaching." Braegar picked up a few of the pieces that Vormund dropped and followed him to where the fire was to be built.

Braegar considered his other companions there.
Nolmendil seemed very open and liked to trade stories, in which Braegar was happy to participate.
Vidar played the surly, practical dwarf and Braegar made a point of trying to make him laugh now and again. The dwarf claimed he was only here for the coin, but that didn't make sense to Braegar. There was much more coin to be made in Erebor, yet he chose not to dwell there.
Their guide, Solveig remained aloof. Braegar had hoped after they had been on the road for a time she would become less closed off. Perhaps it was just her way, but he got the sense she didn't trust him.
Grimfara, like Solveig, spoke little. He seemed a bit awkward around others, but he was good with Shadowmaw and that made him alright in Braegar's book. He just wished he would stop feeding Shadowmaw cheese.
Vormund was the one he spent the most time with and had come to know best. His tales of the Dunedain and of the lands of Eriador sounded like the stuff of legends to Braegar; though Vormund did not seem to view them as such, which just made them all the more intriguing to Braegar.

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Last edited by Helvorix; 05-17-2020 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:46 AM
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Vidar
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Elves... Vidar thought as he walked with the others. Only elves would throw their guests in a cave with nothing but food and wine. he thought. The dwarf however had been as respectful as he could muster and that meant keeping his mouth shut instead of engaging with the pointy ear dwarf haters. Solveig for what it was worth had stood to his defense, but not the others. It was a shame really that he had not yet gained their trust, but in truth they hadn't gained his either.

Over the next day or so he was gruff, even for a dwarf. He had not enjoyed the travels so far and his anger at the disrespect from the elves had him brewing for a good tussle. Braegar had almost provoked him to one when he assumed that the dwarves were as inhospitable as elves. They would welcome them all into their halls warmly and with mead flowing to spare. If they dare try to take on the mountain folk while in a dwarven hall... well it wouldn't be a problem for the dwarves. Sure they knew all about being chased from their homes from everything from dragons to orcs, but they did not use it as an excuse to take it out on weary travelers, only elves would do that.

The boat ride had soiled his demeanor more and it wasn't until they had finally made camp and the elves were gone that Vidar started to come back to himself again. "Perhaps we will find a good hunt tonight... I grow weary of elven bread. If we had visited the halls of my people they would have given us a feast not a damp cave and a flask of wine!" he said bitterly as he sat polishing his weapon and continuing his nightly routine.

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Old 05-20-2020, 10:01 PM
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The Long Road
Journey through MirkwoodDestination: The Forest Gate
Approximate Travel Length: 160 miles (9 days travel)
Peril Rating: 3
  • Guide: Solveig
  • Scout: Vormund + Braegar (help action gives advantage)
  • Hunter: Solveig
  • Look-out: Nolmendil + Grimfara or Vidar (help action gives advantage)
Traveled Thus Far: 2 Days - 36 Miles

The company makes good use of the open space and finds it to be an excellent place to make camp, with Solveig managing to catch a brace of coneys shortly after arriving. It was not as impressive as the boar from a few nights ago, but it still beat rations.

Baldor smiled as he watched Braegar attempt to teach Belgo to use a bow. In truth, he knew his boy would probably prefer rolling in the dirt with the hound, but it was good for him to interact with others all the same.

Later that night, Baldor woke with a start. Rising from his bedroll, he made his way toward the edge of the camp. He didn't know if Nolmendil was standing watch or just happened to notice him, but the elf looked up as the merchant approached.

"Sorry, don't mind me. Had a bad dream is all. Just going to stretch my legs for a bit before I lay back down."

Several minutes pass then Baldor stumbles back into camp, a strange look on his face. His eyes dart over those in the camp.

"What trickery is this," he asks out loud. "Who are you? Where am I? Where... there is fire under the Mountain! Those fools have woken the dragon! I must find Halla! I... you’ve kidnapped me! You rogues! Where is Belgo," he yelled as he glanced at a young boy in the camp, looking at him with wide eyes.

With another panicked look around the camp, Baldor turns and runs headlong into the forest.

"Please, you must help him," a grief stricken Belgo yells at the others, his voice breaks as his emotions begin getting the better of him. "I will stay with the ponies...just make him better."

 





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  #40  
Old 05-21-2020, 04:27 AM
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Solveig
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Solveig quickly came awake at the ruckus in the camp. Initially, it was hard to make any sense of Baldor's ravings, but then she realised he was yelling about Smaug. She was about to tell him that Smaug was dead, and he was just having a nightmare, when he turned and ran into the forest.

Solveig came to her feet instantly. Baldor knew better than to leave the path. Or at least he should do. But Insight check 18clearly something was wrong with him, perhaps some Elvish enchantment. But why would the Elves do this to Baldor? Their reception at the Halls of the Elven King hadn't been warm, but Solveig didn't think they'd stoop to this. And despite their coldness towards the rest of the group, they'd called Baldor a friend.

She shook her head. This was no time for speculation. Whatever the reason for his behaviour, she clearly couldn't leave Baldor to his fate. "Someone look after the kid," she said, brusquely. "The rest of you, follow me. Keep your eyes open and your weapons drawn. Even this close to the Woodland Realm, Mirkwood is a perilous place. And there's some trickery at work here."

Grabbing her own weapons, Solveig set off in pursuit of their employer.

OOCSolveig follows Baldor. If this requires a tracking roll...
Dice Survival check to track Baldor:
2d20+7kh1 (14, 3 (keeping 14) )+7 Total = 21

She gets advantage due to Ways of the Wild, and 'expertise' due to Known Lands.

 
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:06 PM
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Vidar
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The dwarf was not put off by Baldor and his bad dream at first. It was just part of the bleak dark world that they lived in. The shadow could own dreams and on occasion they became dark in its presence. Continuing about his business the dwarf was dressed in his armor by the time Baldor came back. The man did not have a good look to him but it was his words that got Vidar's attention.

"Who are you? Where am I? Where... there is fire under the Mountain! Those fools have woken the dragon! I must find Halla! I... you’ve kidnapped me! You rogues! Where is Belgo,"

He certainly didn't sound like himself. The fire under the mountain... he only could have been talking about Smaug, Vidar knew that story all to well. As the merchant went running off Vidar quickly grabbed his axe and went chasing after.

"Oh no you don't! That damn dragon has taken enough already!" he yelled.

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Old 05-23-2020, 02:45 AM
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Nolmendil
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The short stay in the realm of King Thranduil proved very different than what Nolmendil had expected and certainly much worse than what he had hoped for. No matter how much he tried to rationalize the situation and distance himself from the decisions of his Sindar cousins, he couldn’t help himself feeling responsible for the less than kingly treatment of the group. It was as if merely being an elf made him guilty of the lack of hospitality shown to Baldor’s companions, though he in fact had tried to persuade Lindor to show a little more generosity and open-mindedness. The only thing he could do -for disregarding the wishes of their hosts, unreasonable though they were, was out of the question- was to share the same fate with the rest of the group. Nolmendil had greatly desired to mingle with his cousins, exchange stories, listen to their wisdom and learn from them and despite receiving permission from Lindar, he decided not to leave the cave they had been asked to stay in. He doubted the others would realize that he had chosen to remain with them willingly, but one acted because one wanted to do good, not because one sought the praise of others.

Nolmendil took it upon himself to write a poem about their journey so far but he had some difficulty with it because of two things. Firstly, he usually composed either in Sindarin or Quenya and Westron could prove a challenge for him, and secondly the bleakness of the underground cave and his companions’ justified murmurs of displeasure -Vidar was especially loud in his complaining- seemed to somewhat restrict his imagination. On the other hand the Noldo had nothing better to do, so the early form of a poem did eventually take shape.

Leaving the glorious realms of Men
The throne of the King and the Lake’s wealth
A group of ten made their way west
Along the great river and its murmuring song
Their first goal the fabled Elvenking’s hall.

Treachery struck and blood was shed
Three turned against the one they served
But only two lived to see the dawn
Greed and mischief in their hearts
Guiding them false and twisting their paths.

Chance and fate tried to right the wrong
Two more heeding adventure’s call
A Man and his great and noble hound
Seeking to help, they turned around
And to the trader their fates they bound.

Wood-elves they met, Thranduil’s folk
Guided they were upon raft and boat
Defying the stream’s might and flow
In the caves of the King they bowed their head
Drunk his wine and ate his bread.


All things considered, Nolmendil was glad when the group left the Woodland realm, hoping to breathe more freely among the ancient trees of Eryn Lasgalen. When the group reached the forest clearing and decided to rest there for the night, the Noldo immediately recognized it as one of the numerous open-air feast-halls of the Sindar king. Since however the group had witnessed little of the majesty of the Elvenking’s court and their stay in Thranduil’s underground caverns was a sore point for most, he decided not to share this fact with them, not wishing to burden their hearts.

Such places, chosen by the wisest members of the Elvenking’s court, were often enchanted by the Sindar to enhance their natural beauty, keep away the evil lurking in the darkest places of Mirkwood and thwart those who would trespass upon the king’s august company. As the sun set and his companions lay down to rest, covered by their cloaks and summer blankets, Nolmendil entered the dream-paths of his people and sent his mind to witness the past glories of the feast-hall. His dreams were interrupted by the merchant leaving his resting place next to the campfire, walking as silently as he could. His mind sharp and wake within moments, Nolmendil looked at Baldor, the silent question obvious in his eyes. A nightmare? Strange. I would have thought that the wards of this place would keep such dark dreams away, though even the skills of the Eldar cannot always bring peace to a trouble mind.

Nolmendil was ready to wake the others and go in search of his friend, when he heard Baldor return. Relief soon gave way to concern however when the merchant started speaking of things that did not make sense under the circumstances. Fire under the Mountain? Waking the dragon? Halla? What is he talking about? Baldor was under the influence of some dark power, though the Noldo could not be certain if the source was the Man’s past deeds or an external source. In any case, he had to be helped and his son’s heartfelt plea made the seriousness of the situation all the more obvious.

Nolmendil ran to Braegar and placed his hand upon his shoulder. Of all the group, he was the one with the strongest bond with Belgo and the one who had fully gained the boy’s trust. "Braegar, please, aid me in this. Something has taken hold of Baldor’s mind but I am more concerned about his heart. I know not if he is a random victim of some power or if he has invited such evil upon himself somehow. Question Belgo, try to find out if he knows something. It might be the only way to rid his father of this dark influence. Also, have Shadowmaw stay with the boy. This place is protected but my mind would rest easier if I knew him in the company of your mighty hound. Once you have spoken with Belgo, do join us. Your noble heart and able hands could make a difference, my friend. Following our path should not prove difficult, broken branches and trampled leaves are sure to point you to the right direction."

Gently squeezing the man’s shoulder as a small sign of gratitude and affection, Nolmendil followed Solveig and Vidar, at the same time trying to figure out the nature of his friend’s malady and the significance of the name Halla. He hoped the lore he had studied over the centuries he had spent in Imladris‘ libraries would prove useful in this case.

 
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:49 AM
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Braegar jumped from his sleep at the sound of the commotion, his fingers curled around his sword hilt. Baldor seemed taken by some madness, raving about 'Fire under the mountain,' and 'Waking the dragon.' "He must think he's at Old Esgaroth." Braegar exclaimed. But then Baldor, looking around him, began accusing them of kidnapping him, before darting into the wood, disappearing into the shadows.

Putting his fingers to his lips, he blew out a shrill whistle and moved to give chase, but stopped as Solveig shouted for someone to watch the kid. His heart was in his throat, his blood told him it was time to take action. He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths to calm himself. Then, Nolmandil was by his side, urging him to stay and see what he could learn from Belgo. He nodded once, "If that's where I'm of best use," he conceded, "Have a care, there are spiders that way." He turned back to look to Belgo, as the others rushed forward.

Braegar Recovered a torch from his belongings and lit it, banishing a portion of the gloom. He gave Belgo what he hoped was a reassuring smile, though the muscles in his face felt tight with worry. "They will bring him back, then we will figure out what's happening."

Nolmendil's words got him thinking; the Necromancer had the power to do harm to one's mind and heart, even over distance; but there were other things in the world that too might pose such a danger. Braegar turned his gaze to where Baldor left his belongings and wondered. "Shadowmaw, come. Belgo, stay close to me as well." He stuck his torch in the dirt and started searching through Baldor's bags, allowing Shadowmaw to sniff around them as well. Once, a woodman boy had found an odd statuette and kept it as a toy, it later turned out to be an idol of the Easterlings and brought no small evil to that house. Perhaps Baldor had been keeping such a relic.
"Halla, who is that?" He asked Belgo, "Your mother? Sister?"

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Last edited by Helvorix; 05-25-2020 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:18 PM
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The journey
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Grimfara had no innate distrust or hatred for the elves, but he cared little for the way they treated outsiders. He was quite glad to leave their realm and move further into Mirkwood. It was not his forest, but in the forest, he felt at home. He traveled in relative silence with the group, joining here and there as they chattered and went. When they sat down for the night, the Beorning took out his whetstone and continued to work on his weapons, sharpening them to perfection. Turning in for the night he laid on his bag and gazed at the canopy above. He knew one day he would wake up to a view like this and be home.

He woke up in a startle to the commotion at the edge of the camp. The first thing he did on waking up was to grab his axes and jumped to a fighting stance. He looked side to side waiting to see his foe but found nothing but Nolmendil standing at the edge keeping watch. It was then he noticed Baldor talking to him, yelling such nonsense as Smaug being a live and that they were the ones to bring it's wrath upon him.
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He chuckled at the thought of it but the smile quickly left his face as the short man ran headfirst into the woods with no protection.

Grimfara watched as Solveig, Nolmendil, and Vidar led to chase after him. Adrenaline was pumping through his veins as he went off after them, he goes to the edge of the camp before realizing Braeger would be alone with the caravan and so he did an about-face and headed back. But then he stopped and thought, Maybe that's what they want? The idea of battle on his mind caused him to turn around once more in the direction of Baldor. But then he looked back and saw that man alone with the boy and thought of what might happen to Shadowmaw should they be attacked! All of this greatly confused the large man and he decided against the fire in his veins and walked back to Braegar and the boy.

He looked at him as Braegar questioned him and chimed in when he could, "You said, make him better, do you know how?"
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:28 PM
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The Long Road
Journey through MirkwoodDestination: The Forest Gate
Approximate Travel Length: 160 miles (9 days travel)
Peril Rating: 3
  • Guide: Solveig
  • Scout: Vormund + Braegar (help action gives advantage)
  • Hunter: Solveig
  • Look-out: Nolmendil + Grimfara or Vidar (help action gives advantage)
Traveled Thus Far: 2 Days - 36 Miles

Solveig was quick to act, disappearing into the dark trees of Mirkwood in pursuit of Baldor. The merchant's mad dash had left a trail of broken branches that she could easily follow, even in the dark of night.

Nolmendil and Vidar were not far behind Solveig and she paused when she heard them, allowing the pair to catch up. Baldor'strail led them to the nearby stream, where he appeared to begin following its edge for as far as they could see, clearly defined footprints set into its muddy shore.

While they made their way through the forest, Nolmendil replayed what had happened in his mind, trying to find some explanation as to what had happened. As they came upon the enchanted stream, it suddenly dawned on him. Its waters were said to cause those who drank of it to fall into a deep sleep and forget much when they awoke. Perhaps it was that Baldor took but a sip and did not fall asleep, but still forgot why it was that he was here...and perhaps even more than that, judging by his reaction.

Back at the camp, Braegar attempted to console Belgo as he went through Baldor's pack and belongings, hoping to find some sign of what might have caused his condition. Despite his thorough search, he found nothing that would account for the sudden madness the merchant suffered from.

Belgo played with a stick that he held in his hand as he stood near the fire, staring off in the direction his father had gone. "What..."he asked, not having registered Braegar 's question at first. "Halla was my mother. She died when I was little. When the dragon came...," he finished, staring back off toward the trees. He looked back to Braegar and then to Grimfara who was standing nearby, "why aren't you helping my father," he asked with equal parts accusation and desperation.




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