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Bonfire night

Tags: Shavyak,  Ssamori,  Rukhet,  Brev,  Neleth

Short Summary: An orcish bonfire draws the eyes of Bardings and dwarves. While Ssamori evacuates the walking wounded, Shavyak and Ruhket provide suitable distraction.
Date (real-life): 2013-02-27
Scene Location: Rolling Dales
Date (in-game): April 3058
Time of Day: Night

Rolling Dales

  Vegetation grows lush and wild, fed by the River Celduin which flows through the valley. Here, the river flows from northwest to southeast. A small but still well-defined road appears to follow its entire course while a larger, more heavily traveled road heads north, cutting past the great curve of the river. Many tracks, made by wagons, horses, and humans, suggest that this road probably serves as a major trading route through Rhovanion. Though sparsely populated, this valley is punctuated here and there by the odd farm or homestead, and in the distance can be seen the dark eaves of Mirkwood to the northwest, and the tiny town of Finney which stands to the southeast.

Obvious exits:
 North leads to Rolling Dales.
 SouthEast leads to In the Dale-lands, passing by Finney.
 NorthWest leads to Iach Celduin.


Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service

Real Time: Wed Feb 27 21:45:56 2013 MST

Dale-Lands Time:
Mersday, nighttime on a cloudy spring's night, April 20 of 3058


Depth of night. Arrogance raging. Zonk the Foul, in wisdom or folly, stands before the bonfire he has ordered, addressing the gathered survivors: one hundred strong on foot they stand. Mounted riders lay in wait yet beyond the river, far west under the eaves of Mirkwood.

"So it shall be that before leaving these lands, I call for volunteers for the most dangerous of missions - to curse the center of these northmen's lands, to desecrate this city upon a lake they so foolishly maintain," he waxes in the joys of his own voice. Fingering at his whip, the infamous Warg of Six Tails, he adds, "So shall be our mark. The bulk of our forces here have completed their mission in honor, in glory! And may begin working back across the river to meet our Warg riders where they have protected our base camp. Who shall be my leader for out signature?"

"Don't be knowin what ya mean by the big word there, yer Zonkliness," Shavyak steps forward, "But my blood's spilt on account of these folk here more'n any other. I'll go."

The ceremony in the Wardrummer's mind for this bravery is preempted: whistles through the dark beyond their daring fire. Enemies are near.

[+LIGHT:#22008] Shavyak lights Bonfire.

The Hag watches the unfolding arrogance of Zonk the Foul from the shadows near the edge of camp with the few who might not be able to walk out of this place. Golden eyes flick towards the sound of whistling, and the female snarls softly under her breath for the likelihood of any of her less than mobile patients walking out of this place is unlikely with enemies so near now.

A snap of a clawed hand comment enough to set the snaga's under her control to work with packing things up for a hasty shift back towards Mirkwood. One she draws aside, her voice pitched low and quiet as she mumurs, "See which ones are well enough to stand - and start getting them on their feet, give them weapons. If they cannot flee, they may as well fight. Those who can walk..." Her eyes flick towards the forest, intruction enough to get her point across even to the dim witted snaga who scampers off to carry out her orders.


Rukhet, as usual, isn't in the crowd: she's out on the perimeter, her red eyes peering through the darkness as she lies motionless to a tree branch, her head propped on her crossed arms. The patchwork greys of her clothing are such that most would miss her in daylight.

The whistles come from another direction: nothing's stirring where she is.

She sits up, then lightly leaps to her feet. The old trees are grown close here, and they're all hardwoods: no pines with their thin radials interrupt the thick branches. So she decides to move from branch to branch, from tree to tree, hoping to surprise the enemy.

The flickering fire, seen from afar, draws the eye. Thus it is that the Bardings have come: a double patrol of them, in fact, two dozen odd. Figures on horseback, they ride with sword and bow towards the source of the light, marking the column of smoke that stains the star-specked sky above. The faint thud of hooves on turf shakes the sod beneath.

Amongst their number is one perhaps less familiar with mounted combat than others, for he hunches awkwardly forward over his steed's neck, teeth gritted in a grimace at the jarring motion. A tall fellow, though that is perhaps not apparent as yet, and a long spear held at the ready in his right hand. Brev's nose wrinkles at the acrid smoke-stink and his horse snorts softly, shying to the side and out of line. Perhaps 'odd' is the right word, here.

"You'll have to build your team later, my friend," Zonk speaks directly to Shavyak, "The report says riders on the north. As I hoped." His grin is wicked and toothy, but paused for his return to orders, "Hammer Company, pack it up and quick - you move out south and west now. Wolf Company - two squads assist Ssamori, in protection or in departure - whichever shall come first. Raven Company..." He pauses.

"Do what you do, I cannot pretend to follow your methods - or to doubt your successes," he adds, then grabbing the Wardrummer, "But you my friend, waddle forth and buy us as much time as you may."

Sharply the Wardrummer salutes, but his face is sullen. "Aye sir," his short reply. He points to his choice of the better Wolf squad leaders, and motions forward. They follow him forward; the bonfire cracks and glows in hot metaphor.

As the two squads come to assist her, Ssamori is quick to assign the assistance she's been given to various tasks. Soon a group of them are packing up the most important of the healing supplies she brought with them, whilest the other squad has been put to work in rousing the wounded and getting them moving in another direction. Thankfully, the wolves are much more efficient than the snagas in her employ.

Yet the most important task she keeps for herself - the task of honorably sending off any Uruk-hai who either cannot walk or cannot fight. The wicked blade of her ceremonial knife glints duly in the darkness as she moves from cot to cot, watching for those who are too sick and delirious to clear out. A short, softly spoken prayer in their dark tongue, and then the blow of the knife is delivered promptly to the heart. There was no time now for ceremony or even enjoying the task at hand.

[Neleth(#11788)] All mounted troops can us ground troops to help them. Right now, there is a troop of dwarven warriors perhaps slightly less than two dozen following, as they can, behind the mounted troops. They are small in number, yes, but the sound of their armored boots and slinking chain mail makes at least as much noise as horse hoofs. Neleth is amoung their number.

Oh, dammit, not again, thinks Rukhet. She cups her hands over her mouth and hoots like a barred owl, thrice. The nearer members of Silent Night will hear and move toward the enemy with her.

Her bow is already strung: she has scarcely dared to unstring it since they entered Mirkwood.

She still has a semblance of cover, in the trees, but they're giving way to saplings ahead. She makes a face and climbs down, very quietly.

Closer the riders come towards the source of the flames. Their leader, marked by his crested helm, holds his hand up to halt his men and issues orders in a low murmur, then their column splits. Half circle to the left, half to the right; Brev is with that latter group. Slowly, cautiously, the Barding soldiers fan out, betrayed despite their skill by the odd jingle of bit or snort of a restive horse as the goblin-stink reaches them.

Brev, for his part, clings doggedly to the reins and levels his spear-tip at each bush, hummock, dim shapes in the cloaking dark - for the bonfire's light cannot reach far. At the sudden hoot of an owl his mount shies violently and he's all but thrown, keeping his seat only by dint of leaning forward so that his spear-tip grazes the ground below. A muttered oath in some guttural speech follows.

Top heavy and replete with gear, Shavyak follows his Warmaster's orders to the letter: teetering side to side as he ventures to meet the riders in the night. Orders of his own the reluctant Sergeant issues, "Spread out good and wide fellas, horsies work best if we stays close. Make 'em work them beasts - make 'em has to pick which way to spin, and for Wolf's sake dodge like ya mean it!" The distance between fleet footed Uruk-Hai and mounted men lessens quickly.

Two arcs of horses close about the broad line of two dozen heavily armored and armed fell Orcs. All blades are readied, but no light gleams upon their blackened tools of war.

"Pointy pony, sticky stoney," Shavyak sings, swinging a mild test of his steel to taunt and disrupt the nearest riders discipline.

Shavyak attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...

...and you parry his attack with your Spear!

Head tilting, Ssamori pauses in her work as she catches the sound of bird calls. Her golden eyes flash then at the sound of battle joined not far from this point. Sniffing the air, the Hag picks up her pace, finishing the last of the terribly wounded off with a certain efficiency.

Whispering in a low voice, she starts assigning any who are able bodied to carry some of the healing supplies, and some of them begin to sleep into the darkness of the night, moving silently away from the battle as they are physically capable.

[Neleth(#11788)] "Hark, we come close, cousins." The words are spoken by a leader within the party of dwarves - Neleth no longer having to take that role, with senir warriors from Erebor joining the caravan. Neleth has but to do his part - fight the Uruks and defend his brethren. Perhaps the humans, too. Okay, the humans as well. Even as the line of men spread into a half circle, the dwarven forces do much the same after a wave from their commander, though they do not spread as far apart.

"Neleth, move around the right side with Vornir and Thurvi." The words of the commander are obeyed by the elder ambassador, and he moves to the right side of the dwarven line just before the men and the Uruks clash in battle. Soon, the dwarves will be joining. Very soon.

Rukhet creeps forward behind a bush. She nocks an arrow and prepares to let fly at the humans, but Yak's charged out to attack the nearest. She turns, instead, looking for a clear shot ... She can hear something, and it isn't the milling horses.

Rukhet hates to shoot at an unidentified target. She doesn't always hear, in advance, when Hort's crew are pretending to be something other than orcs. So she aims at one of the humans farther back, instead of the sounds she hasn't placed yet.

Riders should have the advantage, no? At least, that is what the classic military textbooks would state. The books, of course, assume those riders are well-trained. In Brev's case that wretched, recalcitrant creature on which he rides becomes a hindrance as he yanks on the reins in attempt to turn it (presenting broadside to the enemy is perhaps not the wisest idea). The chestnut gelding resists and then spins, fast. It comes as quite a shock to its rider when his wildly waving spear contacts something other than a bush. There is the clack of wood and metal as Shavyak's blow is unwittingly parried: then a sudden grin of determination stretches the man's lips and he utilizes the horse's next jerking step to plunge his spear-tip forward at what he thinks to be goblin head-height on his half-seen foe.

Around him, the discipline of the Barding soldiers is tested by the ferocity of the Wolf squad and a darting, whirling dance of steel begins.

You attack Shavyak with your Spear...

Shavyak parries your attack with his shield!

A soreness that may never fully retreat ripples anew down Shavyak's shield arm - for the spear's target was at the height of a goblin's head, but Uruk-Hai keep theirs much higher.

"Beardies! They brought the beardies again," a voice calls, the final words gurgling with death and an axe buried into chest.

"Curses and dirt clods," Shavyak spits, racing back into the path of spear wielding rider. Bigger targets first. Little ones next. Or would it be wiser the other way? All about him the line of Uruk-Hai shifts in waves, forwards and back - difficult decisions and outnumbered status. He has no choice: "Buy as much time" echoes in his head. He swings again, seeking patience and testing his discipline.

Shavyak attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...

...and he misses!

As the last of her supplies and her patients dissappear into the darkness of the night, Ssamori slips into the shadows to follow behind them and 'encourage' any stragglers who might lag behind.

Finally Rukhet spots one of the creatures moving -- and it isn't, can't be, another Raven. Too short and heavy.


She steps to the side to clear the bush, draws, aims upward slightly to make the range, and shoots.

Rukhet launches an arrow...
Rukhet's arrow flies wide, doing no harm.

[Neleth(#11788)] Man, horse and uruk. That is what the dwarves must navigate. Well, really they only have to navigate through the men and horses. But note - dwarves do not like horses - it is an odd fear, perhaps, but is one indeed. Anyway, the dwarves are now doing what they can to assist in the battle, as the catch up with the riders. Well, all the dwarves save six. Those six were tasked with the jobs of checking the flanks - being sure no Uruk parties got behind the battling free peoples without warning. Oh. Look. An arrow. Neleth already low head ducks even lower as the sound of an arrow whizzing by is heard. Like it would help. The shadows case by the fire play tricks on his eyes, though, and his search with his eyes for the one who fired the shot is fruitless, "Beware arrows, cousins!" Thurvi and Vornir are warned.

"I'll give you bloody dirt!" Brev mutters in turn as he yanks his spear free of the shield. "Enough to bury-" The words are not completed, for as Shavyak swings again the chestnut gelding rears violently. Taken unprepared, its inexpert rider slides down to experience the dirt in person. Brev's just lucky that he lands on the far side of his mount; it gives him time to roll over, cursing aloud, and crouch to pick up his spear again. The 'advantage' of height has been lost, but perhaps the man is not entirely unhappy to be on his own two feet again.

The sounds of battle echo in the night: the snick of steel on steel and the solid thunk of blade on wood or leather; the trumpeting neigh of warhorse punctuated by a sudden wild cry of pain from a different spot; the stolid sound of tramping Dwarven feet as the bearded warriors join their allies ...

You forego your chance to attack.

"Dirty girty, show ya flirty!" snarls Shavyak, plodding forward to the fallen human. "Whats'a matters, big fella? Them beardies here showin ya up? Gotta gets down to they grownd? Maybe try walkin on yer kneeses!" he speaks, each word foul crescendo upon the next. Punctuated by a low sweep of his blade.

Far now south, and farther still each moment, the whistles and calls, the jingle and footfalls - the bulk of the Uruk-Hai forces are getting away.

Shavyak attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...

...and he hits! Ouch!


Rukhet doesn't hear anything to let her know she hit. She nocks another arrow, and draws the bowstring back to the corner of her mouth, then lets it slide off the three-fingered glove she's wearing on one hand.

She isn't close enough to the rest of Silent Night to know where they are or what they're doing. She *has* trained them not to advance too close to the enemy when others of their group are shooting from behind. Some of them should be taking up positions on the flanks, to give themselves a suitable field of danger.

Rukhet launches an arrow...

Rukhet's arrow flies wide, doing no harm.

Shav'Yak's blade finds its mark in flesh, coming away red from a stroke that has caught Brev's thigh as the man turned. A bitten-off grunt of acknowledgement, no more: the turn becomes a complete circle and then the spear-tip flashes black, glinting a dim bronze in the reflected distant fireglow, aimed this time at the orc's midriff. There's plenty of it, after all.
"Walk? I prefer to dance."

You attack Shavyak with your Spear...

Your attack against Shavyak badly wounds him!

[Neleth(#11788)] Another arrow! Okay, that is /quite/ enough for the dwarf. Neleth has had two arrow whiz past him, and now he it through with it. Never should a dwarf go into the brush at night alone when orcs are about, but Neleth turns in the direction he believes the arrows were coming from and marches. He will find that orc... or, maybe just get a little lost.

Through the patchwork of ringmail, deep into the gut, puncturing pancreas or spleen or whatever intestine he cannot name, Shavyak's response is to double forward across the impact. He knocks the penetrating attack away and out - only increasing the damage done. He stumbles back. "Solid work, now lessus see who's got this night!" he dares, regathering strength, jabbing forward.

The engineers - they'll have folded out their wood by now he thinks. The river.. will it be easier to cross in reverse? Without the ice? Spring's warmth has treated the Uruk-Hai kindly.

Shavyak attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...

...and he misses!

As the orcish blade thrusts his way Brev skips lightly back. Ungainly no longer, on foot the man's as quick as a cat. "The one who's not poked full of holes?" he suggests drily, angling the spearhead towards the upper part of that oh-so-tempting weapon arm as he dances past again.

Around him the sounds of skirmishing are growing less - one side (or both?) has clearly decided that withdrawing is the prudent action. He risks a glance to see where that wretched horse has got to ...

You attack Shavyak with your Spear...

Your attack against Shavyak moderately wounds him!

Each hole has paid its purpose, in this fight and each that spans the many weeks of Orcish disturbance. Peaceful dreams will be few, stories to put bad children to bed many: sleep or the goblins will get ya! If Shavyak had the mind to conjure such images, his pleasure would be immense.

His pain is plenty for his simple mind - and doubly awakened. "You don't look like them meat-bags round this way," he curses his crude imitation of common tongue, "but yer 'bout as pretty as the shiney what got me worse than you done. What stake you got on these lands, to get out fought by yer she-folk?"

His rhetoric hangs without need for answer as he bleeds his way backwards. The large part of his brethren have followed their orders to their deaths. Their Secret Master will be pleased. Blade before him, horses all around, he looks for his moment.

Shavyak tries to flee from Brev, but he fails!

Shav'yak's long string of questions receives but a single word in answer: "Life." Then Brev's stabbing forward again, aiming to enlarge that hole in the orc's gut ... or at least, that was the intent. As it is, something comes between them: a large four-legged shape. Brev curses and pulls abruptly back as the chestnut gelding chooses this moment to return to its new master and the horse narrowly escapes being skewered.

Another horse is already down, its rider nowhere to be seen. And as those who'd circled the enemy from the other side press forward, one steed is left lagging, a hunched shape slumped forward against the mount's neck. Clearly the Bardings have not been without their own losses - for every small victory its price.

Confounded in parley and in step, Shavyak trips over his own feet dodging the path of a crossing rider - his head saved by the stumble. His balance is recovered with awkward fortune again, caught mid-fall by Brev's beast and its odd timing. A match they make - for the knack of timing and place.

"Ain't no shame this night," a surviving Wolf captain calls in cave born words across the night and darkened expanse, fleeing in his own small victory. Those who tasted blood call their triumphs in gutteral disorder across the chaos.

"You'll be hearin' plenty of my drummins, whether by my sticks or my makins," he stalls, and again lunges towards a gap in the crossing noise of hooves.

The sudden outburst of orcish cries is a distraction, and a good one, too, as riders mill about trying to calm their beasts while pinpointing the source. The Dwarven footsoldiers, no doubt, are more stalwart - but then they lack the speed to pursue. Brev, for his part, must forgo pursuit of his ugly enemy in the struggle to keep hold of that wretched chestnut gelding for long enough to remount. Let it not be said that he can't ride! At least there's no doubt he's bloodied his blade tonight.

Date added: 2013-02-28 03:02:06    Hits: 114
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