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Descending Feathers (Three Horses and an Ass TP)

Tags: Findon,  Menelglir,  Aurfaen,  Gwendion,  Sulgirion

Short Summary: An Eagle promises to watch over the Gondorian camp as Menelglir, Findon, and company make their way Eastward.
Date (real-life): 2009-12-09
Scene Location: East Road, east of Weathertop

============== Lord of the Rings Calendar <in English> ==============
IC time is:    Morning
IC day is:     Tuesday
IC date is:    August 22
Moon phase:    Waning Crescent <VISIBLE>
Earendil:      Gil-Estel is not visible.
IC year is:    Third Age 3048
RL time:        Wed Dec 09 12:27:25 2009

ooc note: The beginning of the scene was not logged. Quick recap: Gondorians preparing to move camp; Menelglir gets in an argument with Ranger Aurfaen, while Findon stops them.

East Road - East of Weathertop
A tall hill stands to the west, ragidly surrounded by hedges and lone scrub pine. North of it low hills peak out of the light growth. To the south, barren hills lie naked beneath the sky, with only thicket and brush to keep them company. The road itself looks less than oft traveled, as it rolls east, and from here slightly north east, towards more mountainous areas.
Gondorian Wagon
Obvious exits:
West and East

"Peace!" A voice mutters over yonder behind the bulky outlines of the wagon, quiet but of a stark intrusion in the stillness otherwise broken only by the converse of the other two -- and too in the would-be privacy they share -- gentle and yet not in its temper; like a sword swaddled in cloth. 'Tis Findon, seeing to the girth of saddle and harness. How much as he heard?

Mounting, he urges the gray ahead, passing the pair without a glance, nor indeed another word; face stone-hewn, grey gaze forward.

And with that intrustion from his fellow squire, Menelglir jumps backward and out of the reach of the girl's arms, face reddening even so. Then he turns, renewing his work on harnessing horse to wagon on this early morning as the small group of men from Gondor and a Ranger of the north start to break camp.

"You heard Findon," he tells Aurfaen quietly. "Peace." The words are not said angrily.

[Aurfaen(#16622)] Aurfaen looks about to say something rude to Findon as he passes, but thinks the better of it, and only opens and closes her mouth quickly. "Hmph," she says to Menelglir only, turning her face away. Then the young Ranger has got to climb onto the wagon seat, as her leg still hurts her too much for her to go bounding off the way she wants to. That, in itself, is a struggle.

Horse harnessed to wagon, Menelglir now heads to the back of the wagon to load the last of the gear. This he does, anger fueling his motions so that the gear clatters into the wagon with enough noise to wake the dead. He mutters under his breath, peering into the wagon now to see if anything has broken.


"Menelglir, a moment to speak with you," comes Gwendion's voice from inside the wagon.

Gwendion has left.
[Gondorian Wagon(#2030)] Gwendion climbs aboard the Gondorian wagon.

Menelglir has left.
[Gondorian Wagon(#2030)] Menelglir climbs aboard the Gondorian wagon.

Color seeps back into the world and thin fog creeps amid the hedges and solitary pines, unveiling the lands eastward of Amun Sul; its broken crown gilded in the dawn.

Some hundred yards ahead of his comrades past a bend of the road -- a laden wagon with two occupants, a youth and one woman, and a third on horseback besides -- a rider trots; straight of back and broad of shoulder, unkempt black hair and grey eyes who stare distantly forward, heeding none the sides of the high road. Unwise, perhaps, in these parts.

Yet, all the same, it gives Findon's face, that rider, a thoughtful cast.

Without warning, the climbing sun is dimmed as a passing shadow blots off its warm stare from reaching the earth below. The edges of the dark shape seem to flutter or flicker vaguely as great wings beat the thick air, though they are extremely difficult to make out at such a distance, framed in Anor's piercing light. A call, harsh and shrill, rings down over the barren land of the Weather Hills...

At first it seems the shadowy shape will pass swiftly overhead; but then, keen raptor eyes having spotted a small trotting shape upon the Road, the dark figure turns suddenly. The beat of mighty wings bears the creature hurtling toward the ground with a startling speed, and as it nears, the silhouette is revealed, much larger then it would have looked from on high. It is one of the Eagles of the North, and down he comes with the light of the sun glinting off golden brown feathers and glittering talons.

"Findon!" Menelglir's cry of alarm at seeing this beast or bird swoop from the sky echoes along the barren road. Alone on the wagon seat--the Ranger having gone to rest inside the wagon--he urges horse and vehicle into a quicker pace in an effort to catch up to the lone Squire ahead--a rescue of sorts.

And with the shadow, and the beat of wings, too a longsword hisses as it is drawn from its sheath, and the frightened neigh of a horse in accompanyment.

But the gray is ushered to a halt, rather than bolting in terror or somesuch; it seems it is held firm in check by Findon's knees alone, one arm lifted to shield his eyes whereas the other holds the weapon out to the side in readiness; his posture grown at once more stiff. Or tense, is perhaps a better word.

He is stricken with awe; the swordarm pauses, and lowers with the widening of his glance and the dropping of his jaw as his gaze fixes on this creature of the wind. He does not speak, staring openly.

Lower and lower the titanic avian drops, still plummeting toward Arda at that fearsome rate. Tail feathers are titled, and wings shifted as Sulgirion dives; then at the last possible moment, the large wing muscles perform a last mighty blast against the air, and the Eagle glides smoothly just above the grass and short scattered foliage alongside the East Road. His course brings him nigh to the rider's left flank now, and with a soft landing--surely much to light for his enormous size--the raptor alights upon the grass beside the roadway.

There Sulgirion stands, golden head cocked slightly, and hazel eyes fixing the form of Findon with a piercing gaze. The shout of the other human only draws his attention for a moment, ere the bird returns it to the rider near himself. The keen eyes take in the spike of the sword, and the wariness of the man. Then, the sky-creature speaks--a voice wild and harsh, though not unkind. A hint of ancient nobility rests within.

"Hail, Man of Gondor," he cries, and the gold-crowned head is dipped in greeting. "For thus I perceive you to be, from the look of your raiment."

A silence pervades a while, then.

And then, again, the sheath's voice stirrs, and the grey horse is turned about, facing Sulgirion. As for the man atop, his face but turns with the horse's movement, never once his eyes straying from the great eagle. But his muteness passes. "Then your gaze is keen, and likewise you are learned! Indeed, here, north and west of the spine of the world, tales and legends walk the earth and sprout wings."

He bows head at that, swordhand now uplifted in token of peace, "Forgive me. Hail, Windrider!"

The clatter of hooves and a wagon approaching at a quick pace slows and then comes to a stop as Menelglir reins in horse and wagon near to Findon. The young man is standing on the wagon's platform, reins in his left hand, but he has not drawn his sword with his right. His grey eyes flash to his brother squire and then to the winged creature before him, and he frowns.

"What is it?" he asks, sheer amazement on his face lending naivete and impoliteness both to his words.

If beaks were capable of expression, then the Gondorian would catch view of a light smile upon Sulgirion's hooked mouth. The hazel eyes brighten, and the bird mirrors Findon's gesture, dipping his own head in recognition of the other. "Indeed, though not all which walk upon this side of the Hithaeglir are as kind-hearted as I, nor would they yield you a well intentioned greeting."

Then the great head turns to regard the arrival of the wagon. The stunned words of the other squire do not appear to offend the bird, for Sulgirion's gaze retains its golden flicker and does not darken. "Greetings to you, young one, and to those who travel with you. I am one of the Sky Messengers, and Guardian of the High Pass to the East. I apologize if I have startled any of you; I assure you that was not my intention." The head cocks again, thoughtful. There a brief instance of silence before the beast continues.

"Whither are you headed, if you do not mind my asking?" the hazel gaze stays unblinking. "The path ahead is not without danger, and there my kin have seen many dark creatures in movement."

"We have learned that to our displeasure," Findon answers, a sidelong glance turned to the other of Gondor.

But his regard is shared only for a moment: "I am named Findon, Gwethilmir's son; esquire of Hir Arathis Isilrim, whose lead we follow," He says, "And our path follows the great east road, for the nonce." A pause, and creased brow, his tone carrying a faint bitterness, "I am unfit to treat with you, I fear, being but a squire of blue."

"But we have had word of foul beasts blocking our way, indeed. What news would you share?"

"Greetings...." Menelglir's lips press briefly together as he searches for the right word, "...sir..." he settles on. "And well met. I will let my brother squire tell of these things, as I am even less fit then he."

"But of foul beasts, not only word, but sight as well. Fearsome and vast and foul."

"Unfit?" the wild-edged voice soars forth, and the raptor blinks as he watches the older squire. "Do you refer to an absence of permission from your lord? If it is thus, I will not pressure you to reveal the purposes you would otherwise leave in secret. If this is not the reason, then do not diminish yourself for rank or color. My kind are of a high and noble race, and yet we do not look down upon those who are bounded to the land."

Sulgirion then casts his eyes over the other human. "You have come upon some of these fell beings yourselves, then? I hope it was not to great harm. I am afraid my news will not aid you much; the doings of the goblins of the Shaws are well concealed, and they have cleverly eluded many keen eyes in recent days. This, however, I can tell you: a terrible monster has been drawing nigh to the path through that dread country. The strength of the troll is not to be taken lightly, as I am sure you know."

"So too mine own, though we must walk."

Despite the faint mirth about the corners of his mouth his tone is leveled; not gentle, nor unkind neither. Findon shakes his head lightly, "No, 'tis not vain humility, but neither am I forbidden to speak of it; for I do not know it, save for what I have said." His glance finds Menelglir again, then. "Though, I fear that is old news."

"Speak, sweet brother. In this matter you know more than I."

A glance given to Findon, ere Menelglir nods to the other's request. "A single orc we encountered and slew, but we are warned he is but the vanguard of many of his foul kind," he directs to the eagle.

"As for terrible monsters, we have seen a troll. It has seen us. It claims the bridge as its own, yet we must cross and therefore must devise a way safely across. Sunlight--we try to wait for that."

"Have you advice in this matter? Or..." and here he hesitates,"aid?"

"Very well, I thank you for what you have shared with me," replies the Eagle then to Findon, and the gold-brown brow rises to peer at the distant mountain tops that glimmer in the sun's rays. "Though I hope you have some inkling of a destination in mind, and not only being content to wander this Road East. Should you wish to pass the Hithaeglir, then I shall see that your crossing is protected from above, for it is nigh to my home in the craggy peaks."

The Windrider focuses the next words on Menelglir, "Then it sounds you are well aware of the dangerous beast, as it seems likewise he is of you. Unfortunate that your current path brings you toward his hole; I doubt he will welcome you with pleasantries alone if you should meet again."

There is a new pause, and Sulgirion appears to be considering the squire's last statement. "The advice I would give, you seem to possess already: that it is

best to travel in daylight and avoid straying from the road. However, if it is aid you would request, I am willing to watch your progression from above--I am also heading in the same direction. Evil shall not hinder you from your goal, if I can prevent it."

The faint mirth flashes in a quick fleeting smile for Menelglir, scarce seen in its swiftness.

"A kindness and indeed hope unlooked for, Windrider," Findon says, turning to face him. "In turn, my sword and what aid one such as I can give is yours, unless it be in hindrance of the service and order to which I am already bound by oath."

"What name shall we know you by?"

Though he stands yet upon the wagon's platform, Menelglir now bows to the eagle. "I think that though we are but blue squires, we can safely say we would gratefully accept whatever aid you could offer. And I add my word to my brother squire's as well."

"I am, your pardon," he adds, "Menelglir, Nalstrarim's son and Squire to the Knight Gwendion Bragollach, who travels the road behind us, our rear guard this day."

A brow quirks atop the sidelong look leveled at Menelglir at his words; but Findon does not comment, and the glance is indeed shortlived, whatever his concern it is far outweighed by expentance of what answer the eagle will give.

The piercing eyes gleam anew: a silent smile as it were, and bearing the hint of his appreciation. "I shall gladly receive any help which you can give, good Squires of the Guarded City." Then the avian's head inclines in a bow toward the Men. "Forgive me, you have introduced your names to me, while I have yet to do the same; I am known as Sulgirion, Wind-Sailor, and I shall do what I can to ensure you safety on the journey ahead."

With a shift of his massive neck, the Eagle takes a second to tend to an itch on his side with the giant hooked beak. Then, the stormy gaze is uplifted for a final time. "I will return to the skies for the time being, where I can feel the welcoming fingers of the breeze and the warm touch of Anor's rays. Do not fear; I will not be far, and will stay overhead during the next days, or weeks of your traveling. Months I cannot spend away from my own tasks, and at that point I shall have to take my leave. But for now, look to the skies and be gladdened! Sometimes I shall be hidden by the veil of the clouds, but be assured of my presence."

"We thank you Sulgirion, Wind-Sailor," Menelglir answers simply, though he casts Findon a curious look at that squire's glance to him. "We will look for you in the skies."

"May wind favor your feathers, Sulgirion," Says Findon, bowing in the saddle. "Go with our good wishes! Call on us at will or need."

And he quite blatantly avoids looking at his fellow man; regarding the aviator only in their farewell.

"I shall. Farewell for now, son of Gwethilmir, and son of Nalstrarim," says Sulgirion, nodding to each in turn. "And may your eyries receive you with joy when at last you reach your journey's end!"

Then, there is a tremendous flap of powerful wings, their blast directed carefully away so as to avoid knocking either of the Gondorians over. With the same startling speed with which he arrived, the Eagle is ascending through the humid air; a last shrill shriek given in parting to the figures of the humans he leaves behind on the earth. Soon he is but a speck of brownish gold shining in the dawn overhead.

All the while following the eagle's flight, Findon muses: "I might have known."

"Known?" Distracted, Menelglir answers, staring in wonder as the huge bird takes flight. He sits back down.

Face touched yet with some awe, Findon answers without looking: "That there was a reason for your lack of vocal displeasure of late." After some moments, his gaze lowers. Awarding Menelglir then with a smile, he ammends: "Though I do not understand the secrecy. Bear it well, brother."

And then the gray is turned eastward, along the winding of the road, its tread slow but sure.


"I -am- sorry," Menelglir answers. "I had meant to tell you. I had tried to think of a way to tell you, but Sir Arathis warned me against bragging or boasting...and..." he colors, "my mouth. And so each time I thought to tell you it seemed like boasting and I did not. And now...well, it seemed rude to not give the same form of address to the WindRider as you had. I am sorry for it. Though later, if you can, I need to speak to you..."

Findon has turned his mount up the road, though, and Menelglir flicks the reins, setting his horse and wagon in motion behind.

And as the small camp becomes mobile down below, likewise does the shape of the Great Eagle shift in its direction to follow from the heavens. Shining eyes cast on the far horizon, the creature lets forth its voice in a resounding call: a sign of warning and deterence to all things fell and evil which roam this land near the World's mist-shrouded Spine.

Date added: 2009-12-09 18:59:37    Hits: 118
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