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Stop and smell the flowers

Tags: Wunnyak,  Budork,  Mia,  Aramarth

Short Summary: A band of Isengard orcs foraging for herbs near the northern marges of Lorien are reminded of why they mislike the place.
Date (real-life): 2013-06-05
Scene Location: Northern Fences of Lorien
Date (in-game): February 3059
Time of Day: Night
Northern Fences of Lorien
The rolling foothills of the northwest come to and end here in this river valley, nestled up against the wide Anduin river to your east, and the sprawling forest to your south. This region is called the Northern Fences of Lorien, for it forms the border to the legendary Golden Wood, whose boughs you could soon be travelling beneath, should you venture any further southward. As you look into the dense forest growth which begins only a few dozen yards into the woods, you recall the legends which bespoke of the fateful one-way journeys creatures of evil intent undertook when they chose to desecrate that realm...
Obvious exits:
 South leads to Path through the Forest.
 North leads to Foothills of the Misties - Near Caradhras.
 West leads to Plains aside the Silverlode.

Isengard Time
Real time is: Wed Jun 05 12:08:55 2013
Elendor time is: night in Winter on Trewsday, February 8, 3059
The Moon's Phase is: waxing crescent

Somewhere among the rising land north, a foray of Uruk-Hai has made themselves quite comfortable. Deep enough into the belly of one hill they have delved to connect with natural caves - and thusly they eat quite well upon game stolen by their expert scouts, roasted over fires unseen. Twice have they dared to wander to the very edge of the Elf-Witch's forest - but none have dared step inside by more than three paces.
None have come close at all to the mighty Mallyrn deeper into the border. Without any evidence of the fabled Elves or their wicked Queen, these mighty Warriors still feel a cool hatred - and are fearful. Wunnyak, a leader humbled since the Grand Seer poisoned him with vision potion, spurs the grunts and slaves forward to the trees once more. "You've all seen what the Hag needs us to collect - now lets do it and be gone from this place! Hurry, lads - the night won't stay deep much longer!" he orders. Winter's stars twinkle crystalline overhead. The whipping wind has become strangely stalled.
A flat, rather bulbous nose wrinkles up and then its owner spits, hard, onto the frosted ground. "This place stinks!" The complaint is a low rumble. "Not never going ter get the smell off." And indeed, the speaker - a lanky specimen with a rather apeish look to him - scrubs one hand violently against his hairy leather breeches (which smell ... well, nothing like herbs or mallorn leaves). Over one shoulder is a sack; in the other hand is a rusted-looking sword which he uses to poke at the ground as though it were a digging stick. Budork glances back over his shoulder at Wunnyak and then a look of cunning comes into his brutish eyes. "You show us which ones ter take, Boss? I ... forgot." Well, noone claimed Budork was bright.
[Mia(#25510)] Just because they cannot be seen does not mean that the elves are not nearby. Not a move has been made by the yrch that hasn't been tracked, and their presence so close to the border is both a nuisance and a thrill to some. Those that find it bothersome feel thus most likely because the constant vigil pulls them from their homes and loved ones, their serene and tranquil existence marred by the sight and stench of unwelcome visitors. But, for some, it elicites a different feeling: one of excitement and satisfaction in the practice of silent observation and protection of their home.
Among those for whom the second option is most likely, is Mia. She crouches upon a limb no bigger around than her wrist, toes balancing easily upon her perch. Beside her is an antsy ellon, one for whom the bloom of youth still lingers in his wide and eager eyes. His lips do not seem to move, and so soft are his words that the gentle breeze that rustles the leaves makes more noise, "When are they going to DO something?"
She holds up her hand to silence him, just as the orcs begin their advance upon the woods. Her eyes grow dark, but a smile pulls at the corners of her mouth, "One day soon, Mallen, I hope that you will learn patience and silence. But not today... today, I think you may finally learn to fight."
With frustrated resignation becoming the Slander-Tongue's new model, he sighs, shaking his head as the bulbous mass of black hair bounces where his helmet cannot keep it contained. "Take anything you can get your claws on," he whispers crudely, with ineffective quiet. "Fill that bag - Ssamori has said she can make use of almost everything, but do it quietly!" he adds, promptly snapping a small branch beneath next step of iron boot. The sound bounces into the distance. He peers out, and above - seeing nothing, sensing much.
[Aramarth(#27969)] And another ellon crouches on the branch below the others, watching intently with anger in his eyes. Mallen's comment does not stir any audible response from Aramarth. Rather, his somber eyes wander from the enemies to the other ellon and then back to the orcs, while he gives his head a curt shake. The frown on his features speaks sufficiently to his feelings.
The open-mouthed disappointment on Budork's features would be almost comical, were he not so brutish. His first attempt at getting someone else to go in front having failed, he tries a different tack. "Everything? They got some nice rocks round here." He bends to inspect one, then suddenly straightens up and kicks a smaller stone towards a tree - not the one in which the Elves lie concealed, this one is in a completely different direction. "Don't like the way it was watching me!" he blusters. "Any road, I'll just ... look ... round here." Yes, to all intents and purposes he appears to be trying to hide behind that 'nice rock'. Which is fine, if the enemy happens to be on the other side of it ...
[Mia(#25510)] "What, now, Mia?" Mallen whispers, his weight shifting forward as he reaches for an arrow to fit the string of his bow. She shakes her head subtly, her hand now reaching out to halt his actions. "No, now we wait some more. The closer they come, the easier our job will be. When we attack, we will leave not a single one to run back to their caves." She considers this for an instant before adding, "Well, perhaps one. One to spread the word to the others of the death and destruction that awaits them should they tresspass on our home again."
[Aramarth(#27969)] "They search for something," comments Aramarth in low fury, as his eyes particularly come to rest on Budork. "What yrch could seek in this forest, we should know. I would capture one, if possible." Standing slowly, the healer appears unlikely to contribute further words.
"Not EVERYTHING," scowls Wunnyak, his volume rising as his restraint fails. "You ARE as worthless as that blathering meddlesome Prokofuruk," he seethes, turning around to look at Budork - and seeing only a stone. "Slithered off already eh. May the Elf-Witch find good use of you," he curses, becoming more wary that she may indeed be watching. He releases his bow from his shoulder, readying his grip and setting an arrow to the string.
On either side of him the slave class and their scant handful of guards fan out - each quickly grabbing anything that looks like the examples that the High Hag had shown them. Most of their haul will inevitably be useless - but none in their caves can rival her skill at rendering concoctions from what she will keep. "This is deep enough lads, fill the rest of your sacks on the way back out," he instructs, beginning to backpedal himself - eyes scanning every limb, every shadow taking fearsome shape real or imagined.
Budork's shoulders are hunched as he watches his fellow scavengers fan out while he stays hid. Suddenly a thought comes to him: isn't it worse to be left alone in this haunted place of uncanny growths and magic trees? Pushing up to his feet, he takes off towards the nearest of his kind in a scurrying sprint. A moment later he's crashed to the ground with a crackling of twigs interspersed with muttered curses. That snaking tree-root that just happened to cross his path - surely it wasn't there before?
[Mia(#25510)] The yrch have little time to make their way out again, for the hiss of arrows being loosened after the sharp twang of strings being plucked is a symphony of elvish weaponry that will hopefully end with a chorus of the screams and shrieks of the dying. The bowmen draw again, Mallen now joining them, and another volley streaks through the night air.
Mia is not among them. No, her hand finds the spear that has been nestled at her back, now brought to the fore and used to aid her balance as she stands upon her limb. With a deft and agile step she makes her way closer to the enemy,and, more importantly, their leader... the height of the trees and thickness of their leaves hopefully shielding her from view. "Let the arrows find their marks," she mutters, "And then let me find mine."
[Aramarth(#27969)] Aramarth joins with the other elves in the trees in the task of making holes in orcs. Unslinging his bow and drawing an arrow from the quiver on his back, he takes aim and looses several arrows in trained progression. There is no pleasure in his eyes, only the concentration of one who would doggedly accomplish his task.
The orcish response is callous, raw, and pained greatly as the unarmored lesser beasts grow enough feathers to fly - and fall in pulsing blasts of black blood that quickly turn to trickles. "Let the apes die, get out soldiers, get out!" Wunnyak cries, unvaliant as he struggles to hide his head and torso behind mighty shield - his bow forsaken in panic as the first arrow had bit deep into his shoulder. A second grows roots in his thigh. With a limp he continues backwards, slowly. Two of the armored warriors break past the edge of the forest running wildly towards the north.
[Mia(#25510)] Fly, fall, and flee, fly, fall ,and flee: the process continues as the elves press the advantage against their foes. But as some yrch break off towards the rear and plan their escape, those with with the means to do so grasp at swords and spears and staves, advancing as far as possible from above. None shall pass beyond their lands this day if it can be helped.
Mia keeps her eyes upon the limping leader, her attention focused so sharply that she seems almost unaware of all else... including the arrows from the yrch that strike the trees around her with dead thuds and thunks of the living woods absorbing the brunt of the attack. Her companions begin to drop from on high, steel flashing in the darkness as they strike at their victims. And so it is that she takes her cue, the space before Wunnyak clear. She leaps and begins a slow descent; a mere leaf upon the wind, or a deadly raptor seeking out its prey?
[Aramarth(#27969)] The elfs in the trees slow their firing as their compatriots charge the enemy. Still, Aramarth and the others pick off stragglers and those who otherwise fall into range. The skill of the elfs, as always, is not called into question.
Enemies more fell than giant spiders these elves seem - their fangs much longer and sharper in the form of longswords and spears, their poison biting truer from their bows. More nimble, and fearsome in the glow of fury and vengeance they fall all about the wedge of Uruk-Hai soldiers - what four of them remain standing, the Slander-Tongue centered. 'Let no one call me coward again,' thinks Wunnyak, snarling over fangs - the stench of his breath unleashed towards oncoming opponent. He unleashes the jagged black blade, famous sword of the Hammer Company's champion of wit - but he needs more bite than words this night.
Distance from the forest beginning to taste of safety, one of the fleeing pair of grunts raises a horn - signaling a call for aid. The rumbling sound is quickly silenced; he falls dead and full of bright arrows glittering in the starlight.
[Mia(#25510)] Light is her landing, gentle is her grip upon the shaft of her weapon, and graceful is the arc her spear makes as Mia sqaures off with Wunnyak. No words escape her lips as she allows Glammolf to speak, the pointy part aimed at the orc. It sighs, a soft sound of wooshing air around it. It screams, a keening as it splits the night. It booms, thunder crashing as she uses the blunt end to try and bend one of Wunnyak's would-be body guards. It does more than speak this night: it bellows and rails against the attack! And she allows it to speak freely, her feet dancing along to the rhythm it sets.
Budork has not retreated, but neither does he remain standing. Indeed, he has not moved since that first deluge of Elven arrows. His sprawled black-clad form has sprouted no fewer than three arrow-shafts: the first driven deep between the shoulder blades, the second protruding painfully from one buttock and the third - the third barb, wedged in his left side, is not pale-fletched but black, and of orcish make. Treachery! ... or else woefully poor aim.
The sounds of battle wash over the prone figure, lapping gentle and insistent as waves on a shore ... suddenly Budork groans, coughs, wheezes and with groping fingers strives to reach that arrow in his rear - no easy task!
[Aramarth(#27969)] Perhaps Aramarth may add to Budork's struggle. Taking aim, the ellon looks down the length of an the arrow nocked in his bow and holds his breath. Letting the bowstring free with a sharp twang, the projectile flits through the air towards the orc...
The explosive fury of firstborn upon him, Wunnyak sets his feet and raises his shield. The force of spinning spear tip upon his shield shakes up his arm - the buzzing pain searing throughout his muscles, aching through his already pierced shoulder. His grip is unsteady to be sure, so he sets his feet before this fate - and it is grim.
He swings wild clashes of steel to spear - seeking to disarm opponent by breaking the weapon itself or severing the wielder's grip. Such a nimble thing behind that point - how shall it dance without the weapon, he wonders.
[Mia(#25510)] His strike is true, and try as she might, Mia cannot deflect the blow and hold onto her weapon. But she does not worry! As her spear falls from her stinging hand, Mia turns and turns again and waltzes back from her partner in a slow dip of posture and two quick steps. Reaching out with her other limb, she tries to pluck the smooth wooden shaft from the air before it can hit the ground.
Oh, but for her lack of experience of late! Too long have her hands been idle in their pursuit of blood, and too often have they been laden with the task of mending instead of rending. Glammolf falls, and a gasp escapes the elf maids lips. She blushes, a demure look upon her face as she looks to Wunnyak, eyelashes fluttering as the sharp rise of color stains her cheeks. She is defenseless for the time being, but apart from embarassment at her predicament, she seems to be calm in the face of foul-breathed evil before her.
Tug ... wheeze ... tug ... whimper. That impudent shaft just will not budge. Desperate now, Budork resorts to flopping about like a fish out of water. There! The shaft is free, having torn a sizeable portion of those hairy breeks and a less sizeable, but far more valued, chunk of orcish flesh with it.
Alas, victory is short-lived. Aramarth's shaft flies straight and true, embedding itself in Budork's spine. The fishlike flopping ceases, blood bubbles up to water the hallowed ground beneath and with a rattle Budork's last breath escapes as he will not. One arrow the more, one orc the fewer.
All that remains is a corpse: filthy, stinking and ugly. The sack the creature had been carrying has rolled a little way away, under a bush. However, should any choose to investigate they'll find the following inside: a bird's nest (squashed), a gnarled tree root, a handful of mushrooms of dubious provenance and some mashed pieces of greenery that look as if they'd been hacked up with a rusty sword.
[Aramarth(#27969)] But now that his target has been vanquished, Aramarth and the other elves in the trees are at a loss -- for Mia and the others on the ground are too entangled with the few remaining orcs. Lowering his bow slightly, the archers remain in their perches...waiting, watching...ready.
Four armored Uruk-Hai battling for their lives quickly become two more hideous corpses, one more panicked fool fleeing across the expanse northward and the appointed captain Wunnyak standing before fearsome she-elf - with his sword yet unbloodied. He could attempt to flee now - as some of the elves make certain that his fallen companions are beyond rescue, and his opponent at disadvantage. They will mock his failure as cowardice in the stolen cave without some token of bravery.
He will have no token regardless - the bowmen in the trees must be numerous. His choice is made; he tears a winding path through the trees here at the forest's edge, hoping that he shall not see the Great Raven tonight.
[Mia(#25510)] The others have all fallen, and Wunnyak is the only one to make good his escape. Mallen drops from the trees to land next to Mia, his hand finding the spear when hers could not. It is held out to her, and she takes it as she swallows the lump that rises in her throat. "Well done, mellon!" He says, his tone not in the least bit pandering, "You said that we should leave one to warn the others, and so it is done! I think it may be awhile before they darken our borders!"
The elleth purses her lips as she watches the orc until he can be seen no more. "It was not done on purpose, Mallen. I failed in my attempt and allowed the beast a chance to escape. I feel no pride in what has transpired here." She looks to him and sighs, "And they will return, of that you can be sure. We will need to prepare. /I/ will need to prepare, for I am woefully lacking in the skill to defend myself, let alone our forest."

Wunnyak's DESC
Were there such a thing, this Uruk-hai would appear average in size. In his iron-shod boots he reaches roughly six-feet in height. His human-like limbs are dangerously strong in the bicep, and wide in the metal-plated thigh. His chest is broad and chiseled, protected by a darkly stained studded jerkin. Scars across his face double the ghastliness already present in yellow eyes and fang ripped lips.
His appearance, however, borders on extraordinary in equipment and garb. An ebon hilted broadsword hangs from his belt at the left hip, the pommel a hammer of fiendish detail - as if it has earned its rough edges with extensive and masterful use. A colorless longbow crosses his shoulders, matched in parallel with a fell quiver brimming with fat black-fletched arrows. Falling down his back a cape of white strikes his otherwise darkened appearance, adorned by a massive black tongue that snakes about a red anvil. A shield matches the cape in color and markings. His hair, a full and lengthy defiant mass, is covered only in part by his metal helmet, and certainly not contained within.
Budork's DESC
You look on a tall, mansized creature with grimy skin of pallid grey, darkened to black in places (whether from grime or bruising, one cannot easily tell). Slanted eyes of yellow-green gaze out from under sloping brows that, together with an outthrust chin, give this specimen a rather apelike cast of feature. Arms and legs, however, are straight and unbowed and well-corded with muscle.
Scuffed leather armour protects the lanky body; it has been smeared with soot to give it a uniform dulled blackish hue. The only mark it bears is three diagonal slashes across the left breast - some symbol of faction? Evidence of a battle with some wild beast ... or a three-fingered comrade? Who knows!
Mia's DESC
She moves like Spring drifting into Summer, a slow meandering of breeze and warmth that hints of the sweet scent of flowers blooming as she passes. Golden red are the curls that cascade from the crown of her head, a crown of evening sunlight that illuminates the air around her and gently tickles the smooth alabaster finish to her skin. Eyes of topaz, clear and deep but lit with dewdrops that shine with dawn's first light, and lips that part like the delicate bud of a fresh rose, her voice the joyful laughter of a brook as it dances over rocks and under roots.
Aramarth's DESC
A tall ellon with a pale complexion and grace in his poise. His chestnut hair hangs down to the top of his shoulders and is complemented by a bold, albeit somewhat small, nose. His deep grey eyes are clear as the evening sky when the moon is full and his cheeks are slight but noble. The same nobility rests in his chin, which is finely wrought.
He wears a cerulean tunic adorned with golden trim at the collar and end of the sleeves and a pair of breeches of a lighter blue; a pale silver robe hangs over his tunic and breeches, reaching from his shoulders down to his ankles. Completing his attire are a pair of brown slippers that cover his feet.

Date added: 2013-06-05 13:45:59    Hits: 135
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