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Not the Elf You're Looking For

Tags: Haldir,  Witch-King,  Warg Captain

Short Summary: Haldir is set upon by a pack of wargs.
Date (real-life): 2010-08-12
Scene Location: Mirkwood
Mirkwood Ruins - Inside the North Gate
The great wooden gates lie here, smashed open and burned beyond repair. On all sides now is the great forest, though to the south the ruins of the village are not yet completely reclaimed by the great treetops of the forest. Old burnt timbers lie on the ground, as if cast about from above. Scorched branches and the remains of a flet - a few burnt planks, are in the canopy above. There has been another fire in this area, recently, and the smell of charcoal, and burnt rotten wood fills the air. A patch of the canopy above has been opened by the fire, and a column of light shines into the center of road. The light casts through the black fingers of the leafless branches and casts bent shadows on a Great troll lying across the road. Underbrush is already beginning to cover the packed dirt road, weeds and vines masking rubble and ash from the fires.
 The patterns of light coming through the trees' canopy is clear enough for you to make out the distinct ruts in the ground which hide beneath the underbrush, as well as see the wreckage of village buildings which lie close to the south.
OOC: There are +inspectable objects in this room: troll
Warg Captain
Obvious exits:
Up, Ruined Stables, South, and North

---------------------------------------------------------------- +ELF TIME ----
================== Eldarin Calendar <in Sindarin> ===================
IC time is:    Early Morning < About  8:49 AM >
IC day is:     Orgilion <Stars-day>
IC date is:    18 Iavas <Autumn>
Moon phase:    Waning Crescent <VISIBLE> 
Earendil:      Gil-Estel is not visible.
IC year is:    Loa 26 o Yen 22, Nelandran o Endor <TA 3050>
RL time: Thu Aug 12 16:36:39 2010
Calendar help: +ELF TIME HELP    Quenya version: +ELF TIME QUENYA

Morning dares to creep upon Mirkwood, peering through the canopy at the spectacle of a troll-corpse, lying in the middle of a wrecked village. But here no birds sing to herald its shy light -- only the whisper of leaves as a bitterly cold wind is pulled across the trees.

One who walks here dares not do so in the open, lurking with light steps among shattered walls and buildings. It is Haldir, cloaked in grey, his eyes bright with the caution of a deer in flight.

His caution is wise indeed, for even as the Elf creeps through the ruined town, close by and at his back comes a deep, feral howl from the trees. It is picked up and echoed by a dozen or more others, matching the pitch until the woods themselves are filled with a hungry din.

It seems the Marchwarden of Caras Galadhon is being pursued.

The Elf's jaw stiffens as he peers into the surrounding wood; indeed, the next gust of wind brings more howls, and the stink of sweaty, furred, large-mouthed beasts.

"Araw confound you all," Haldir says bitterly, laying out a handful of white-fletched arrows upon the wall where he now perches.

The howls die at this, either in response or merely by coincidence, and behind the shadows of the treeline a sniffing is taken up. Whines and snarls slip forth upon the air to perhaps confound Haldir even as he wishes the same upon them, and the Elf's pursuers would seem to be searching for him.

Ere long a grizzled, stalking shadow can be seen cast upon a pile of rubble nearby, and a growl draws closer.

Haldir's gaze hardens as the shadows near; he glances about once, barely turning his head. Then the longbow is in his hand, sending away arrows two at a time, arcing high over the rocks which form his shelter.

The marchwarden does not turn to see if he has hit his targets before darting across one house's walls to another.

One arrow flies astray, the muffled thud of steel sinking into bark signalling where it has ended up, but the other would seem to do well; a whine of pain and a gurgle of anguish rending the forest air.

The woods erupt into violence, and from the treeline burst two wolf-like creatures, bolting towards the ruins with frenzy in their eyes. Wargs they are called, beasts twisted for sport and war by orc masters, and they tear through the rubbled alleys in search of their prey.

And all the while the large shadow upon the walls stalks on, seemingly less apt to panic than the others.

Haldir waits, his presence masked by a sudden twirl of the wind, till one of the beasts has passed by the crumbled wall. Then he leans out from the ruin, shooting at the streaming tail as it passes in the alleyway.

Murmuring in a whisperlike tongue, the marchwarden glances up to the sun, then down to the misty ground.

This second arrow speeds true, burying itself in the hindquarters of the beast, but while painful enough to earn a yelp and a frantic cry of pain, the warg caroons about wildly, otherwise uninjured. Indeed, as a third member of the pack breaks from the treeline to join the hunt, it grips the arrow-shaft within its jaws and tugs, freeing the dart from the mottled hide with ease.

These creatures appear to be intelligent.

And all the while, as the three visible wargs continue their hunt, still the shadow skulks along through the rubble.

Now three, and something else. Haldir frowns, hefting a sizeable rock in one hand and tossing it out into the open. Then his bow is trained upon the corner, aimed to shoot at the first thing that bursts toward it.

And burst they do, for even if they are intelligent they seem ruled by instinct, and as the rock lands heavily two of the three spring forth at once. Watchign with a growl, the third of them merely twitches his tail this way and that as his eyes scour the gloom for his prey, and soon enough the others realize their mistake.

By now, two more shapes have slunk from the trees, and pad their way menacingly towards the ruins.

Yet unaware of the newcomers, Haldir perches higher upon the wall, fixed on the location of the sounds. He is unable to pinpoint their forms, but the sound is evident of their presence. The elf shoots thrice quickly, one after another, in the hope that at least one will wound or kill.

And then the Galadhrim is gone to another perch, his former hiding spot unmarked.

But this time his movements are marked indeed, for as the shaft buries itself in the throat of one of the three, the other two look up in alarm. Cruel, pitiless, hungry eyes train upon the Elf, and even as he slip from view again it seems this clue is enough for them. Two brief howls split the night air ere they give chase, winding through rubble to find Haldir anew, and in their wake trail the newcomers. More padded hunters lope from the treeline, until close to a dozen are sniffing and snarling their way over the stones.

And the howl seems to guide the shadowed form in the ruins well enough too, for even as Haldir flees, the shadow slips from view, delving into the deeper pools of shadow that ring the Marchwarden's path.

Haldir's pace quickens towards another house -- but no, the time to hide is over. Throwing the still-strung longbow over his shoulders, he draws a bright longsword from its hidden sheath, slowing to a pause at a corner and ducking into the nearby shadow.

The baying of the wargs echoes and bounces from wall to wall as they move in closer, approaching the corner from both directions. Foul drool drops onto the ruined stonework as they pad forward, and fan outward as though to surround the Elf's hiding place.

But even as the chorus of their menace grows in power, there is a fierce, commading bark from behind them. Their eyes dull, but only slightly, and cowed somewhat they shuffle aside to admit a new entrant.

Huge, ravening and heavy-set, a great warg lopes forward, his eyes lit with a hellish gire and filled with hateful purpose. Massive jaws snap and lips peel back to reveal finger-long teeth; a low rumble erupting from his throat appears to be his growl. Here, surely, is the stalking shadow from before -- a mighty warg-captain come to challenge the Marchwarden.

Coming to a poised halt before the shadows of Haldir's hiding place, the great beast barks a challenge indeed, claws striking eagerly against the stone underfoot.

Haldir is silent, his gaze flickering once to the sky. As the snarls cease, the marchwarden reaches over his shoulder for a tool scarcely used among the tree-dwelling Galadhrim -- a leather shield.

Then the Elf steps forward, his mien steely calm, raised blade cold as ice.

A deep low bay of satisfaction is the warg-chief's reply, and the eyes of the mighty beast fill now with a hungry focus. The claws scratch and mar the stonework further ere he springs forward suddenly -- jaws snapping open as they seek the Marchwarden's throat!

Warg Captain attacks Haldir with its razor-like teeth!
...and it misses!

And just as quickly does the Elf dodge, his cloak following his movements like a close shadow. Haldir moves in silence, his arm swinging in a circular motion to slice at the passing creature's belly, its hot breath still on his face.

You attack Warg Captain with your Longsword...
Your attack against Warg Captain moderately wounds it!

Sharp cries of pain ring out as the blade slices open mottled flesh, but even as the steel of the Galadhrim cuts well, it does not cut so deep as to cripple the Elf's foe. Indeed, even with dark blood spilling onto the rubble beneath it, the great warg turns about, eyes ablaze with frenzy, and its claws rake the masonry all the more.

A pregnant pause, ere the beast leaps forth anew, front paws swiping with intent at Haldir's nimble legs.

Warg Captain attacks Haldir with its fearsome claws!
...and you block its attack with your shield!

Haldir lowers his head, bending as he braces against the shield; this the warg-captain strikes, leaving deep score-marks in the leather but not in pale elf-flesh. With a cold curse upon his lips, the Elf sweeps his blade at the beast's neck.

You attack Warg Captain with your Longsword...
Your attack against Warg Captain moderately wounds it!

A second strike does the Elf-warden score, though into the shoulder of the warg not the neck as the beast careens about. A fresh yelp of anguish erupts from foul-smelling jaws, and with the light of fury in its eyes the beast lunges forth once more, this time from close quarters, looking it seems to clamp its teeth upon the swordhand of the Marchwarden.

Warg Captain attacks Haldir with its massive paws!
...and it misses!

Haldir pulls his sword-hand back from the snapping fangs, but it soon returns in the form of a thrust, to drive deep into the tainted flesh. He backpedals towards the stone form of the Troll.

You attack Warg Captain with your Longsword...
Your attack against Warg Captain badly wounds it!

And the steel of Caras Galadhon is not to be denied this time, for the sword strikes long and deep into the breast of the great beast. Slow and agonizing is the wail of pain that seeps from the warg's throat, and the gathered pack around the duel throw their heads back in unison; howling their rage at the deed.

But injured and assailed the warg-chief may be, it is not yet conquered; who among the Wise know of the dark arts and crafts used to breed such champions of their ilk? It lurches, that same malevolent intelligence kindling in its eyes as before, and twists as though to wrench the sword from Haldir's grasp; buried as it is within the beast's body.

All the while a mad desperation takes it, snapping the ravening jaws one more time in search of elven flesh.

Warg Captain attacks Haldir with its razor-like teeth!
...and it hits! Ouch!

Haldir clings to the sword-hilt nevertheless, trying not to be shaken around like a discarded doll. The warg-fangs sink deep into his shoulder, fouling the clean grey of his cloak, and for a moment there is doubt, pain, in the marchwarden's gaze.

But it is quelled, sinking into an icy fury. With a clear shout of his own, the Elf lunges for the hilt with both hands, heaving it sideways like a lever -- with the fulcrum across the beast's barrel-like chest.

You attack Warg Captain with your Longsword...
Your attack against Warg Captain severely wounds it!

And few of the howls heard under the eaves of the Mirkwood held such anguish as that which erupts from the strangling throat of the warg captain. The blade rips apart ribcage more sturdy than a bear's, opening the innards of the beast to the ruined masonry. The light in its eyes dies, its hulk slumps, and the massive beast seems conquered at last.

All about the pair there is silence, and the panicked stares of the auidence linger on their fallen champion.

Haldir steps back, regarding the ring of spectators with a cold glare.

"Get you gone," the Elf utters in Westron, lifting his chin. "Those who wish to continue are free to die." He leans upon the heel of the troll, bracing the well-chewed shoulder before the mossy stone.

And with that, the spell of silence is broken, along with the will of the wargs it would seem, for meeting Haldir's gaze they almost shiver as one. With an Elf-lord's wrath on full display and the corpse of their mightiest at his feet, the wargs turn tail and speed eastward, likely seeking the safety and cover of the forest.

As the echoes of the scrabbling claws fades, it is replaced with a mournful howl, long and slow and fearful.

Haldir sets a boot upon the warg-captain's chest, pulling the gore-covered longsword free of the ribcage. Shoulders slumped with the effort, he chooses a swift path in the opposite direction, marked occasionally by a few spots of red.

Date added: 2010-08-13 13:20:21    Hits: 70
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