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(Archive) Yet more Eriador road trip logs ...

Tags: Brev,  Gidon,  Colby,  Eilian,  Gildor

Short Summary: Various scenes with Brev, Gidon, Eilian, Gildor: Gidon's new spear and the arrival of elves
Date (real-life): 2009-07-29
Scene Location: High Moors

A new spear

Road on the High Moors

This vast plateau slants up towards the Misty Mountains in the east. Long grasses, heather, and short shrubs grow all around in the thin soil, and the wind coming down off the mountains whistles through them. The cold wind is quite enough to bite through the thickest clothing.

The road is hardly worth the name here. It is barely visible, a trail of crumbling stones nearly sunk into the soil or overgrown with grasses.

Obvious exits:
South, West, and East

[Nob(#16122)] The camp has stopped and the dwarves are in the first stages of setting up for the night. Gidon watches them for a few minutes, then wanders away a little, climbing to the top of a slight rise beside the road and looking around. He clenches and unclenches his left fist absently, doing some of the exercises that Colby has told him.

Brev is standing beside one of the wagons, currently engaged in conversation with one of the Dwarves. They appear to be engaged in conversation, and at its end the Dunlending - reluctantly - hands over what appears to be a few coins. Only then does he receive something in return, a long straight shaft with its end carefully wrapped. He goes to retrieve his own spear, which was leaning against a tree, then sets off wordlessly toward Gidon.

[Nob(#16122)] The boy isn't watching; he is looking out across the moors, towards the mountains that seem just as far away as they were a week ago, 2 weeks ago... The long grass reaches almost to his thighs. But he must hear Brev's footsteps, for he turns around when the man is a few feet away, his eyes going straight to the spears and lighting up. "Goin' t'teach me t'use it now?" he asks.

Brev grins at that. "Aye, if you fancy it." He winks, then asks more soberly, "How's the arm doing today? Not too tired?" He holds out the new spear, its shaft slightly shorter and lighter than Brev's own.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon shrugs. "S'alright," he says. "I can lift it a bit more." Hand-clenching is abandoned in favor of bending his elbow and lifting it up partway. But bored with this, he drops his arm again and reaches for the spear with his good hand.

Brev watches the excercises without comment, but once the spear is accepted, he asks, "Want to head off a bit and give it a try?" He gestures eastward across the moors, to the place where a lone bush makes the only suitable target in sight. "That one's light enough to throw, and I'll show you how - but you should also learn to use it for thrusting. Deer likely won't be the only thing we meet on our travels." At that he scowls, then sets off with the wind whistling at his back.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon says nothing, but he is smiling as he follows Brev towards the bush. He is a little slower, for examining the new spear as he walks, tucking the butt end under his arm and holding it stiffly with his left hand so that he can run his right along the shaft and test the balance.

Nearing his destination, Brev turns, a smile playing about his mouth as he sees Gidon lagging behind. "Now..." He waits until Gidon is level. "Take it in your right hand, and grip it so, with fingers uppermost - see? You'll feel when you're at the balance point." He demonstrates, and it's only afterwards that he thinks to ask, "Did your- ah, did you try a spear before?"

[Nob(#16122)] The boy copies what Brev is doing, holding the spear loosely in his right hand. "No," he says. "I never. Sling mostly. Da was teaching me t'use a bow b'fore - he left."

Brev nods at that. "My Da didn't teach me. Mostly I picked things up from watching the men. Spears are handy, there's usually a few left lying about - in Dunland, that is." He surveys Gidon's stance critically, then sets his own spear back down. "You need to grip it tight enough, though." Carefully he adjusts Gidon's fingers on the spear-shaft, then raises the boy's arm a little. "As to the throwing, it's not so different from casting with a sling. Bring your leg back to give you balance ..."

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon clenches his hand more tightly, holding his arm at the height that Brev has raised it to. He steps back, as if readying himself to throw a stone, bringing his arm back a little. His left arm comes up for balance, but not quite to where it should - so that as he throws, he will be off-balance a little. Young and flexible, he should be able to compensate. A glance at Brev to see what he is to do next.

Brev grins at the lad. "Looks good. Then it's just a case of up and over - you'll need to aim high, the shaft is heavy." Grunting, he picks up his own spear and demonstrates in a simple, fluid motion, stepping onto his left leg as he pulls back and throws. The spear slides neatly through the upper branches of the bush, which slow its progress enough that it comes to rest a few yards beyond.

"Try it. You'll need a fair few tries to get the feel of the weapon, mind," he warns. "Once you're comfortable, you can take a few running steps for extra power - not usually much opportunity for that in battle, though." The words end in a snort.

[Nob(#16122)] "Can I get deer this way?" Gidon asks. He watches Brev intently, then mimics him again, heaving the spear into the air. It flies in a flat arc, nose-diving into the ground quite a bit short of the shrub. The boy watches it go, then runs forward to pull it out, and bring it back.

Brev's head dips in the affirmative. "Yes, if your aim is true and the stroke cuts deep. Even if the animal doesn't drop straight away, its strength will soon wane. Just a matter of tracki- that's the idea." He grins his approval as the youngster goes to fetch the spear. "Try releasing just a little sooner?" comes the quiet suggestion.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon nods, his forehead wrinkling a little with concentration, and tries again. It goes a little better this time, though the shaft wobbles some in its flight. Gidon's aim is good, and though the spear doesn't make it to the bush this time either, it is in the right line. He runs after it again, asking as he comes back, "Where at d'you aim? This strong enough t'go through ribs?"

Brev nods his approval, letting the lad take his time about trying the weapon. "Depends what your enemy's wearing," comes back the swift response to his question. It'll go straight through leather, but if he's got mail don't waste your time. Best aim for his face, or-" The words cut off abruptly, and the right side of Brev's mouth twitches. "You meant with a deer? Neck's good, 'sides the arteries there's the windpipe. Or there's the heart, but that's chancy."

[Nob(#16122)] Enemies... Gidon's face goes blank. "Oh," he says, adjusting his thoughts. And with a rather rueful smile, he says, "Guess I better know that too." Though it is probably fairly obvious that he'd rather not aim his spear at any human.

[Nob(#16122)] Or at least has never before had to worry about the necessity.

"Aye." For a moment Brev's features are grim. "Face, upper body. Goes for thrusting, too. If it's a goblin chances are you'll have a height advantage, use it. If it's a taller man, then .. do the best you can. Can always use the shaft - swing it like a scythe at the back of the legs," he mimes, empty-handed. Belatedly he seems to notice the youngster's blank face, and temporizes, "Ach, enough for now. I'll let you practise a little."

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon shakes his head. "No," he says, "I got ... got t'know. I never, there weren't no reason never t'think on it b'fore. We - folk don' get killed in Bree. Not like that." Carefully, he pulls his arm back, steps, throws... the spear arcs through the air. "If," Gidon asks, "You was fight a body, y'wouldn't want t'throw it, would you?"

Brev is watching the arc of the spear and not Gidon. "Good," he comments absently, before answering the question. "No. You'd lose a weapon and give your enemy an extra one. If you've got to throw something, dagger's better. Which is why I generally have a spare or two." For a moment his features lift in his trademark smirk.

[Nob(#16122)] "Stones," Gidon suggest, managing something of a smile. He goes again to fetch the spear, tries another cast, but the long weapon is heavy and it is using muscles entirely unaccustomed to such a thing. This time the spear lands in the dirt just a little ways in front of them.

The corners of Brev's mouth curl up at Gidon's remark. "Aye, you've got the idea." He waits for the next cast, and on seeing the result queries, "Tired? Why not give it a rest for now, try again in the morning when you're rested. Light'll be fading soon, anyway." His gaze slips eastward, to where the distant peaks are darkening from blue to purple.

[Nob(#16122)] "Yeah," Gidon says reluctant to admit to weariness. He picks up the spear, then flashes a sudden grin. "Never learnt t'use a sling in a day, neither. You seen any deer about? I ain't seen nothing only rabbits."

Brev matches the grin with one of his own. "Trust me, you're doing good."

At the final query he shakes his head. "Nothing yet. Probably are some though. There's deer on the moors back where I come from." He glances back toward camp, where not only is something sizzling on the fire, but the sound of raised voices can be heard. "Reckon the beasties heard that herd of Dorves twenty miles off and had the good sense to be elsewhere," he adds with a snort, then shrugs. "Lets get back to camp, eh?" He picks up his own spear and starts walking.

[Nob(#16122)] And, as if reminded of its existence, Gidon's stomach growls loudly. "M'hungry," the boy says, entirely unnecessarily. He tucks the spear under his arm again, heading back towards the camp, hurrying to catch up to Brev.


Deer deer

Road on the High Moors

This vast plateau slants up towards the Misty Mountains in the east. Long grasses, heather, and short shrubs grow all around in the thin soil, and the wind coming down off the mountains whistles through them. The cold wind is quite enough to bite through the thickest clothing.

The road is hardly worth the name here. It is barely visible, a trail of crumbling stones nearly sunk into the soil or overgrown with grasses.

Obvious exits:
South, West, and East

===============================================================================
                      Dunland Time and Weather Forecast
===============================================================================

Real Time is:       Tue Jul 28 14:05:15 2009
IC weather is:      Wind:  - Clouds: moderate
IC Moon is:         First quarter
IC time is:         Nighttime <about 10 PM>
IC date is:         Monday, Day 16 of July in the year 3047.

===============================================================================

[Nob(#16122)] It's early in the morning, and the sun is coming up, though it is obscured by a high thin layer of clouds. The dwarves are busily getting things ready, but Gidon is gone. He is out on the moors, where he has been practicing with his spear every evening and early morning.

Today, he has gone hunting - and to his surprise has managed to actually cast his spear at one of the elusive dear... and hit it.

He kneels in the early light beside the warm carcass, holding a knife in his right hand, and trying with little success to pull the hide back with his left. After several long and fruitless minutes struggling with this, he stops, rocking back on his haunches and scowls at the animal. Going back for help is such a spineless thing to have to do - and who knows what beast may come along and steal his catch while he is gone - but he can't carry it alone, nor can he seem to cut it into manageable pieces.

A lone figure comes into view on the trackless moors, making its way slowly and carefully through the heather. At the sight of Gidon's bent back it tenses, and approaches with caution until the lad is close enough to be recognizable. "Gidon?" calls Brev softly. "You all right?" It is at that point that he catches sight of the lad's kill. "Kiern!" The corners of his mouth curl up in a grin. "Told you you'd be better than I am."

[Nob(#16122)] Relief etches itself across the boy's face and he swivels without standing up. "It were n'accident," he confesses, grinning with pride none-the-less. "Were practicing, like you showed me, an' she run out in front." The spear bears this out, having stuck only weakly in the animal's neck - if it had not luckily hit the vein, the deer would have kept right on going, shaking the weapon off.

That first statement brings a chuckle. "You're not /supposed/ to say such things. You could tell me some tale about how you planned it all out ... You did well, lad." Brev has his own spear - out here in the Wilds, he's never away from camp without it - but he lays it down now as he approaches. "What d'you want to do with it? Skin it here or try to get nearer to camp?" He glances about the empty terrain and frowns.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon grins anyways and shrugs. Then he glances down at his prize. "Was tryin' t'skin it out," he says. "I don' know how t'tan th'hide traveling, an' no point in dragging it along t'rot." He sounds regretful; the loss of a nice deerskin is no small thing.

Brev, still gazing round the moors, grey in the early-morning light (for the sun is veiled in cloud), looks back to Gidon with a jerk of the head. "Fair enough. Not like there's anything we could use to keep the hide off the ground while dragging. Makes you appreciate all those trees back there, eh?" He nods in the direction of the river and the Trollshaws beyond. "Pity to waste it though."

Even as he speaks, he kneels beside the dead animal, reaching for a skinning-knife.

[Nob(#16122)] "Aye," Gidon says, eyeing the deer. "Make a shirt of it..." His words trail off and he shrugs again, taking his own knife up again and setting it to the skin. Laboriously, he peels it back with fingers that don't quite grip as they should, an arm that won't lift or bend properly - then makes a neat, delicate slice just under the skin, and moves to do it over again a little further down.

Brev, ready to lend a hand, hesitates at Gidon's obvious determination to do it alone. "Might be easier if I helped," he suggests, surreptitiously steadying the carcass as Gidon's knife makes contact. "Faster. Don't want our travelling companions giving up and heading on without us."

[Nob(#16122)] The boy continues cutting grimly at the hide. Then he sighs, and sits back, rubbing his arm absently. "Aye," he says, quietly, without looking at Brev.

Brev, with a snort, moves to take his place, working on extending Gidon's cuts until the animal is ready for gutting. His knife-hand moves swiftly, if with rather less delicacy than the boy's. Between grunts, he speaks. "Told you, you should take advantage of others. That includes me. Course, there's a price - I expect a share of the spoils." His mouth curls in a grin.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon says nothing: watching the man do what he cannot, his face is bleak and hard. Brev's grin brings an answering smile, though there is little of mirth in it. "D'rather do it m'self," he says. "I could gut it..?"

Brev shrugs and leans back on his heels. "Aye, if you fancy it. /I'm/ hardly going to refuse any offers of hard work from others." He shifts along to give Gidon room, watching in silence for a moment, then states bluntly, "You shouldn't let it bother you. We've all got things we can't do. I prefer to see strengths, not weaknesses."

[Nob(#16122)] Startled, Gidon's eyes fly to Brev's face, and his knife pauses. "But..." he says uncertainly, "Seems like there ain't nothin' I can do no more. I ain't no good t'no one if'n I can' fight or hunt or nothing. Even skin out m'own catch."

Brev snorts. "Can't hunt? Aye, of course. I see the proof right there." He nods to the stiff deer-body, his tone dry. The mockery fades, though, as he continues. "Gidon, lad, you're the best tracker I've ever seen. You can move without making a sound. You've a keen eye, and a keen hand; you're good with the sling, the spear ... Figure if I hadn't come along you'd have managed somehow, though not easily. Only thing you seem to be bad at is asking other people. Luckily for you, that's curable." One side of his mouth pulls back in a smirk.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon blinks, looks at the deer, and turns red. "Um," he says. Apparently reality hadn't quite seeped through the conviction that he couldn't do anything one-armed.... As Brev continues, the flush deepens, but a smile comes with it.

[Nob(#16122)] With the man's last words and smirk, Gidon's smile turns into a grin. "Right," he says, squatting back onto his heels. "You gut it."

Brev blinks - then smirk becomes full-blown grin. "Kiern!" he remarks, chuckling. "Guess I was asking for that. Ah, you're learning, lad." With a heavy sigh that surely cannot be entirely serious, he returns to his former position and begins the messy process of removing the entrails.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon watches for a little while, but he's not very good at doing nothing while others work. And after a few minutes, he gets up, wiping his hands on grass to clean them, dragging the hide a little ways off, fetching his spear and cleaning the tip of that as well.

Brev rises to his feet and moves to dispose of the entrails a little way away. When he returns, hands wiped more-or-less clean on the heather, he enquires, "So? Thought up a story to impress the Dorves yet? Hope you remind them they're in your debt at every possible opportunity.

[Nob(#16122)] "Impress the dorves?" Gidon repeats blankly, looking up from his self-appointed tasks. "They ain't in my debt for nothin'," he objects. "I don' even got t'carry my pack!" He waits for Brev to pick up the carcass and starts back towards the camp, balancing his spear on his shoulder.

Brev chuckles at that. "That," he answers, "is the point of having them around. That and the fact they know the way through the mountains." He eyes his own spear, lying fresh and unused on the grass, and queries, "Think you could manage a second spear? Else sling it on my back, will you?" Fortunately for him, the doe is not overlarge, but he will still need to drag it. He picks up the legs and starts off.

The clouds are thinning now, and the early morning sun is starting to break through, painting the grey, dreary moors in hues of purple and yellow and dappled fawn.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon turns and frowns down at the spear, then squats to pick it up. By dint of some careful maneuvering, he manages to get them both under his good arm, with his left hand folded across his waist and resting underneath. The butt-end of one sags until it too is dragging behind him, but he makes it back to camp with both safely intact.

The morning sun has just broken over the eastern mountains when they come back; the dwarves are nearly ready to leave, but not quite. One last pony is being fastened into his harness, while the others toss their heads and jingle. But one of the dwarves spies the two and comes bustling out with two others to relieve Brev of the deer. "Ah," he says, rubbing his hands. "We'll feast tonight!"

"Thanks to Gidon," Brev is swift to answer, cocking his head at the lad to check that the youngster is happy enough to have his 'prize' handed over. "Never known anyone so quick with a spear." The words are delivered solemnly, with just the slightest glint in his amber eyes as he looks back.

Colby is just preparing to leave as well. He's pushing back a few curls that escaped the band holding the rest out of his face, and slaps a wide-brimmed hat onto his head to keep off the midsummer sun. The healer has a pony tied to one of the dwarven carts, the animal laden with his menagerie of supplies for healing both people and animals. When he hears the hunters returning, he looks over with interest.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon flushes again, but his face is happy. The two spears have both slid down under his arm, so the ends rest on the ground, the tips pointing skywards.

The dwarf darts him a swift glance under bushy eyebrows, grunts, and helps his comrade take the deer - somewhere. To do something with it until suppertime.

Relieved of his burden, Brev moves toward Gidon to reclaim his spear. "Odd folk, Dorves," he murmurs in the lad's ear. "/Think/ that means they're grateful. So," his eye moves along the line of wagons, "Think you can manage on, or do you need to catch up on rest? Looks to be space in that cart, down by yon fellow by the pony." He gestures with his chin in Colby's general direction.

Colby slaps the animal on the neck once, then approaches Gidon and Brev at a casual pace. "How are you feeling, lad?" He asks of the youth first, then gives Brev a nod in greeting. "Good day, sir."

There's an open, easy nature to the Breelander. He seems the type to take things in stride and deal with whatever life throws at him without complaint. "Is this that Brev fellow you mentioned, Gidon?"

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon grins. "Think so," he agrees. He looks where Brev points and hesitates. "Am a bit tired," he admits. "M'arm.." As Colby comes up, he raises his voice to include the Bree healer in his answer. "M'arm aches a bit," he says. And, "Aye, Brev."

Sir? One of Brev's eyebrows tilts up, and he is quick to respond, "No need for the fancy titles, I'm not a Dorve." Gidon's pronunciation of that word has by now been adopted as fact. "You're the healer who volunteered your services? Handy - figure there'll be plenty of blood for you sooner or later." He surveys Colby casually, without hostility but without much actual interest.

Looking to Gidon, he advises, "Take a break while you can then. Not that jolting up and down on those boards counts as restful ... I was mentioned, eh?" The corners of his mouth twitch.

[Colby(#23332)] "Colby Wintertree." The healer offers in introduction, then turns his gaze back to Gidon. "A bit or a lot, lad? If you push it too much, too quickly, you may hurt the healing muscles." He advises in a soft voice, then looks back to Brev, "He said something about you teaching him the spear. That's all. And as for blood," The man frowns, "I would rather not see any at all."

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon looks guilty. "Bit," he admits. "More n'yesterday." Then proudly, "Got that deer with a spear." He grins at the healer. "Was n'accident though."

"Oh?" Brev's lifted brow returns as he looks back to Colby at the man's final remark. "But then you'd be out of a job, wouldn't you?" Soft townsman, his mocking glance seems to say. "And young Gidon didn't need much teaching. Witness his catch." He nods in the direction in which the deer-bearers were headed.

As Gidon speaks he snorts. "Lad, you need to learn to be more economical with the facts. Why disillusion folk? Sides, 'accident' or no, it was a fine throw."

[Colby(#23332)] "The funny thing about my work is that I never get a break from it." Colby responds with a soft chuckle for Brev. "People seem to have a natural tendency towards getting hurt." He looks back to Gidon, his brows lifting. "Your throw that caught the deer? Nice job, lad. Very nice." He says in compliment.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon's smile widens. "Aye," he says, and doesn't repeat how it was accidental. His eyes flick towards Brev.

"Or if they don't, injuries can always be arranged." Brev's tone is deceptively casual. Could it be that some small part of him resents the competition for Gidon's attention or, worse, fears that the lad 'rescued' from Bree will choose to return to his own kind?

Whatever the case, he offers to Gidon, "I should go and offer a hand with the butchering, Kiern alone knows how those Dorves will mangle your kill. Just take it gently, eh?" He rests a hand on the youngster's good shoulder for a moment, then with a polite nod to Colby he is away.


The company grows


Road on the High Moors

You are standing at a point where the remnant of the Great East Road turns to follow a cliff. The crumbling stones lead off toward the west, and downhill, and also to the north along the cliff. Nothing but grasslands surround you, not even a shrub to break up the horizon line... well maybe one or two. You see the Misty Mountains rising in to the east. It looks like you could reach the nearest in a few hours if you go go that way. But more importantly, you feel the cold wind that comes blasting down from them.

Obvious exits:
South, West, and North

===============================================================================
                      Dunland Time and Weather Forecast
===============================================================================

Real Time is:       Thu Jul 30 14:47:06 2009
IC weather is:      Wind:  - Clouds: dense
IC Moon is:         Full
IC time is:         Daytime
IC date is:         Sunday, Day 22 of July in the year 3047.

===============================================================================

[Nob(#16122)] Despite the urgent push of time to get across the mountains, the dwarves have decided that this will be a day to rest. And so the wagons have not moved this morning; the ponies are hobbled nearby, with a young dwarf to watch them; others are scattered about mending this, repairing that, repacking the other. A few have gone hunting, a few more fill water barrels.

Gidon is taking advantage of this unexpected respite from walking to Not Walk - and is laying flat on his back in the grass in the dubious shelter of a low hill that cuts the wind. His shirt is off and he is basking in the warmth of the sun away from the chill breeze. His left arm bears a terribly knotted and raised scar in the shape of a great upside-down U above his elbow. (re)

Colby spent the morning helping the dwarves in looking over their ponies, checking to make sure all the animals are in decent health. Now he's wandering away from the camp, pausing occassionally to stoop and pick some plant or another. He doesn't seem to have noticed Gidon yet, though he moves down the hill not far from the boy.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon's eyes are half-shut and unfocused. The vast blue sky stretches overhead wide enough to swallow him whole. The cold wind hisses through the grass at the top of the low rise, a bird calls somewhere far away, another rises on a thermal into the endless sky. Soft footsteps and the brush of cloth against plant, a little nearer. Lazily, the boy opens his eyes and rolls his head to look sideways, where part of Colby's back and head come into view.

Colby leans down to look at a plant, then shakes his head as he dismisses it. Not the variety he sought. He notices Gidon then and lifts his chin in greeting. "Good day, lad." His words are warm and friendly. "How's the arm feeling?"

Brev, having been up early enough and lucky enough with his sling to bring down a hare in the still hour of dawn, has spent the morning occupied with other things. He sits now off to one side of the main camp, a broad piece of leather spread across his knees, working with chisel and knife and simple rough stone to form a smooth chunk of birchwood into something resembling the shape of a bowl. At the sound of voices from across the camp he looks up, and then down again.

[Nob(#16122)] "Mmm. S'all righ'," Gidon says. From his prone position, he watches Colby's actions. "What're you lookin' for?"

[Colby(#23332)] "There's a plant that grows around here, it's useful for easing aches in bone joints if you make it into a tea. Some of the ponies are older, and pulling carts up the steep inclines of the pass will be rough on them." Colby explains, brushing dirt from his fingers. "How's the spear training going with Brev?"

Brev, despite giving an appearance of disinterest, looks up again even before his name is mentioned. His brows furrow for a moment, then he ducks his head and begins assiduously working on his bowl again. this time with the smoothing-stone, and quietly enough that he can listen without it being too obvious.

[Nob(#16122)] The boy's eyes glint a little with some interest. "D'folk pay for that?" he asks. And his face brightens, as he pushes himself up to rest on his elbow. "Good," he says enthusiastically. "I been practicing, but careful, like you said, an' m'arm don' hurt none too bad, just aches occasional, or if I bump it; an' I can mostly hit what I throw at." Mostly might be a bit of an overstatement, but his aim is already good; and he is learning to balance the weight of the spear against the wind and gravity.

[Colby(#23332)] "I've purchased herbs in the past when I didn't have time to search for them myself, so I suppose so. Usually I just work in trade. I help people out, they give me a meal or two in return." Colby replies with a shrug. He leads a rather simplistic life, if you take out the complexity of what healing work might entail. At the explanation from Gidon he nods. "That's good, it sounds like he's a good teacher."

This time Brev does not look up, but at Gidon's question the corners of his mouth twitch. Just a little. The lad's learning more than how to use a spear.

[Nob(#16122)] "Aye, he is," Gidon agrees. The sun is warm, hot even, without the wind, and he lays back again. "What's it look like, that you're looking for?"

[Eilian(#17713)]
A tall, slim figure in grey passes by the outskirts of the camp, a yoke of water slung over one shoulder. She makes for the water barrels sitting upon one of the wagons, which are currently being filled. Obviously, not a dwarf (or a dwarf-lady).

[Colby(#23332)] "Dark green, with a tapered.. huh." The man trails off as the lithe figure glides through the camp. Colby scratches his chin and says with a bit of a smile, "I think one of your friends just strolled in." He says with a jerk of his head towards Eilian.

Brev spares the camp a passing glance. He stiffens and then returns to his work, shoulders slightly hunched.

[Nob(#16122)] "Huh?" Gidon sits up and looks around. "Ain't got no friends... 'cept Brev." A pause while he looks around the camp, confused. "Who you talkin' about?"

Colby gestures towards Eilian. "You said you spoke with an elf a few nights ago. Was it her?" He asks, offering a hand to help the boy to his feet. "We should probably say hello, at the very least, don't you think?"

[Gildor(#30044)] The light of day brings many people out upon the road, so it's not an odd thing that another traveled approaches the camp on journey's of his own he hums a tune to himself as Gildor moves cloaked and hooded. The tall figure stops some bit away for the span of a few moments before continuing on towards the camp

[Eilian(#17713)]
Placing the yoke onto the cart, Eilian speaks with one of the dwarves, who answers gruffly. Her job done, the Elf (for this is one) looks about, and noting the boy and the healer with a smile, proceeds to approach quietly.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon takes Colby's hand and gets lightly to his feet. His shirt lies crumpled in a heap, forgotten by his feet. "Oh," he says as he sees Eilian approaching. Then, slightly uncertainly, "Don' think so... thought t'was a man." Gildor, he doesn't see at all, yet; but the dwarves do, glancing up as the elf comes, then away as he is decided not to be a threat.

[Colby(#23332)] "Ah.. " Colby responds with half of a nod in understanding. His brown eyes turn to Eilian then. "Good day, ma'am." The healer says with a friendly smile, reaching up to pull his hat from his head.

Gildor moves closer to the group now within range to speak without having to do so loudly. "Greetings, travelers what brings you upon the moors today if I can ask." his voice is in the common tongue but accented a good fair bit. His gaze travels spotting an elf among them the corners of his mouth twitches and he moves a bit closer.

Now, at the sound of Colby's greeting, Brev /does/ look up. The part-finished bowl is set aside, wrapped hastily in the leather along with the tools, and he begins making his way warily across the camp to where the unknown visitors are approaching Gidon. Not that he doesn't trust anyone ...

[Eilian(#17713)]
"Good day, sir," Eilian replies with a smile, coming to a halt beside a small grey tent. "I hope you are well-rested?"

Her sapphire eyes are drawn to the entering figure, though no trace of wariness accompanies the straightforward gaze. "Heru!" calls the elleth, continuing in Westron. "I did not know you came with us."

[Colby(#23332)] "I know I'm feeling well, but I can't speak for others." Colby responds with a glance towards Gidon first, and then the approaching Brev. His brown gaze rests on Gildor, then. "Good day to you as well, sir." The Breelander greets, reaching to plunk his hat back onto his head.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon eyes Eilian uncertainly - is she talking to him? Surely not.. and as Colby addresses her, he decides it is quite obvious she means to speak with the healer. And then another comes, tall and cloaked; and slightly uncomfortably, the boy moves half a step back, keeping his eyes on Gildor. Who knows what he may have underneath that cloak. Unconsciously, his right hand goes to rub the scar on his left arm - and as if the touch reminds him, he stoops to pick his shirt up and pull it on.

Brev, who has quickened his step, regards the Elven pair with the same wariness as young Gidon. At least, he regards the male; he carefully does not look toward that other, slighter, figure. He comes to rest beside the boy, and half a step in front, his own right hand staying close to his side. He says nothing at all - if Gildor is expecting answers, he may have to look to Colby.

Gildor reaches up removing his hood a strong fair face with golden hair revealed to those gathered. He turns first to the other elf of his home. "Well met, indeed a happy chance I heard of your group though not of it's final destination." the Heru looks to the others gathered offering nods in silence not wishing to disturb to much all that's going on.

[Eilian(#17713)]
"That I do not know, either," replies the elleth to Gildor, "though we will pass over the Misties."

Eilian's gaze remains on Gidon's arm for a moment, then is drawn away politely to the ground.

Colby glances back at his two silent companions, a brow lifted curiously as he regards them both, then looks back at the elves. "I don't know the reasoning of everyone. Gidon here is in search of his father, I think the dwarves mentioned trade. I joined on to offer healing services and keep an eye on a patient. My name is Colby Wintertree."

[Nob(#16122)] The exposure of Gildor's face - not dark, not un-nerving, not that of an axe-wielding maniac - makes Gidon easier, and he speaks up a breath after Colby. "Me'n Brev are going to B'orning. Lookin' for m'da." He catches Eilian looking at his arm, and ducks his head, embarrassed.

Brev stiffens at Gildor's query. "Our destinations are our own," he says a little curtly, and too late - for Gidon has already spoken. He glances round, one brow arcing - at the sight of the lad's head-ducking, he tries to catch his eye and nods to his belt, sending the tacit message: there are weapons, if need be.

Clearing his throat, he tries gruffly, "What is it you want with us?"

Gildor listens to the many different answers an amusement coming to the face of the elf. "Quite the different groups indeed gathered." the noldo's glance is given to the the last to speak to him. "Peace my friend I am only a traveler like yourself. I mean no harm in my questions but dark are the times and information does need to be guarded at times. I may be of use if you seek to cross the pass."

[Eilian(#17713)]
It is Eilian who answers also for the Elves, clear voice gentle and low. "A shared fire and combined safety in crossing the pass is our only request. We wished to cross the mountains as well."

Colby frowns at Brev's rougher reply, but soon he smiles again. "Different is true, and more varied the further it travels. I can't speak for the entire caravan, but I know that having noble elves travel with us through the pass would be a great boon to our safety." He glances at Gidon to make sure the boy is paying attention to that last part, then adds, "Some the medicines I used to help save your arm were taught to my mentor by elves. There are none better with healing."

[Nob(#16122)] The boy looks up at Colby's explanation, and catches Brev's eye, and smiles a little. "Elves never hurt me none, nor nobody I heard of," he says softly, his words partly for the man, partly for the others there.

Incautiously, Brev's gaze flicks toward Eilian, and his cheeks flush a little, for all that little of her can be seen. He swallows, and hastily pulls his gaze away. When Colby speaks, he stares at the man and opens his mouth as though to contradict but in the end shuts it, shrugging, any words of denial unsaid.

Gidon's smile is matched by a tense one of his own, one that does not meet his eyes. "It is the way of my folk to be cautious with those they do not know," he says at last, directing the words to Gildor though they are loud enough for all to hear. "And we have not had dealings with your kind. There I will have to trust others." He glances to Colby. "But one thing I will say - there's not always safety in numbers. A larger group may draw the goblins." A prospect that troubles him, going by the frown-lines appearing above his dark brows.

Gildor seems to consider whats being said. "This is true, a large group might draw the foul from there holes, but so might a small group and in such case the size of the orc forces might not change to be better suited." the tall elf lord shrugs slightly "My offer stands either way, until than it is good to find such a group."

[Eilian(#17713)]
"And those few who have joined are more than ready to defend what may issue from the mountains," replies Eilian, a small smile directed towards the blushing Brev. "Excuse me. I will tend to the ponies." And a discreet sweep of her cloak sends her away between the lines of wagons.

[Colby(#23332)] "I know I would welcome the extra aid. I've never been over the pass but I've heard it's dangerous enough." Colby responds. He nods his head to Eilian as she slips away.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon's eyes flick towards Eilian as she takes her leave, but mostly his attention is on the other elf who is yet cloaked. For all his brave words, there may yet be a weapon beneath the cloth, and the boy glances at Brev to reassure himself. Then he nods in agreement with Colby. "Wouldn't be better t'have more?" he asks tentatively. "T'fight?"

Brev's gaze starts to stray toward the ponies; he yanks it swiftly back. "/If/ we have to fight, aye," he answers Gidon. "Though a larger group lessens our chances of getting through without. Kiern knows I'm not overeager to paint our way in blood, I'd rather keep mine in my veins." He manages a lopsided grin for the boy. "But what will be, will be."

Looking to Gildor, he states simply, "I don't want harm to fall on myself or the boy. If you bring none, then I have no quarrel with you." Not exactly kin to Colby's welcome, but then Dunlendings are seldom known for their rapport with strangers.

[Gildor(#30044)] The tall figure offers a smile to the dunlending with a nod. "I understand, and I offer no danger to either of you quite the opposite." Gildor moves closer to the group an unstrung longbow upon his back. "I of course would be foolish to travel unarmed." he stretches taking a quick glance around. "You spoke of the Beornings, they are a proud people i've had dealings with them quite a few times. Most recently due to that fort the foul built upon the pass which we tossed down."

[Colby(#23332)] "I have no worries, master elf." Colby says in reassurance, perhaps to smooth over some of the suspicion from the others. "But I should be getting back to what I was doing. I doubt many plants grow up on the pass, and fresh herbs will proove best." With that, the healer nods to the others and moves on.

[Nob(#16122)] At this, Gidon's attention sharpens. "You come from there?" he asks the elf. "D'you see a man, like me only taller an' with lighter colored hair? Hunter?"

Brev snorts at one of Gildor's remarks; unwillingly his lips twitch. "No-one with any wits in their head travels unarmed." Only then does he think to sneak a glance toward Colby to see if the Breeman has any weapons overtly visible. "Which reminds me - want to try another session with the spears this afternoon?" His questioning gaze turns to Gidon. "You should learn how to use one in a fight ... I'll get them ready." He hesitates just long enough to hear Gildor's answer before moving toward the place where the hunting spears are kept.


An unwelcome protector

By the old pine

This is what is called a "dead end" in the vernacular. Directly across the hill to the east the rocky ground becomes very steep and impossible to pass. Looking north up the hill you can see that erosion has made the slope soft and crumbly. A cliff cuts off descent to the south. West is the only safe direction to travel.

A very large pine, hundreds of years old, stands here. Its uppermost branches reach up toward the warm sunlight and the lower ones shade the ground. A soft pile of old pine needles lies underneath, more dense than the rest of the ground. If it weren't for the sharp angle of the ground, it would be a comfortable place for a rest.

===============================================================================
                      Dunland Time and Weather Forecast
===============================================================================

Real Time is:       Sun Aug 02 15:35:23 2009
IC weather is:      Wind: fresh - Clouds: dense
IC Moon is:         Last quarter
IC time is:         Late Night <about 2 AM>
IC date is:         Trewsday, Day 1 of August in the year 3047.

===============================================================================

It is evening, and the sun has gone to its rest, slipping down into the purple haze to the west, where wave upon wave of rolling moors stretch out as far as the eye can see. It is hard to believe, sometimes, that civilization and the tiny town of Bree lie somewhere beyond them. The light is fading fast, and already the Dwarven camp is bedding down for the night; ponies have been watered and tethered and sentries set.

Brev, however, is not in the camp - not quite. He has scrambled down a steep bank to the south, and crouches now near the tangled roots of an old pine, busy fixing a noose of cord in place at the entrance to one of the rabbit-burrows that honeycomb its roots. He moves cautiously, and his head is tilted as he listens intently to the dusk sounds.

[Nob(#16122)] Where Brev goes, Gidon follows after. He is slower coming down the slope, for not being able to depend on one arm, and for trying to be quiet - and for looking in awe at the grand view before him. At last he reaches the pine tree, and stands against it, his right arm hugging the trunk, and stares. "We come over all that?" he marvels.

Gildor moves from the camp perhaps noticing a few of the number moving away during the evening hours. The tall figure moves silently after simply watching for the moment though. He glances sideways from either side no matter what the scenery of trees the road isn't safe here.

Brev, after identifying the voice, returns his bent head to his work; it is not until the snare is securely in place that he looks up again. "Suppose so. Least, my legs tell me we journeyed from /somewhere/. Hope you're not going to announce you've forgotten something and want to go back for it?" He gives the youngster a grin.

His mouth tightens at the sight of that tall figure outlined against the slope to the north, for all that if it has come from camp it can be no enemy - can it?

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon is mesmerized by the land. "Din't know we was so high," he says and shakes his head in wonder. He laughs, gaze leaving the view for a minute to look at Brev, before being drawn back. "If'n I did," he says, still smiling, "I ain't goin' back for it!" In the silence, the wind houghs through the pine branches. "How much further is it, d'you think?" He misses Brev's expression; misses the nearing elf - he is back gawking at the scenery again.

Gildor moves along towards the others. He smirks slightly but speaks in his accented common speech after a moment. "I am no enemy no, but had I been you two would be in much trouble away from the camp at evening. Why the adventure to the trees?"

Brev flicks a glance eastward, considering Gidon's question. "Less distance than we've come - from Bree, that is," he amends. "Maybe you should get that healer fellow - what is it, Winterbush? - to ask his new friends." Despite himself he grimaces at the indirect mention of elves. "The Dorves aren't exactly talkative."

It is at that point that Gildor chooses to speak, and the grimace stays fixed on his features. "Figure a tumble down that slope might have changed their perspective - an enemy's that is. There's a trip-cord set, as well as the snares - watch your step." He pauses, only to snort. "No adventure, simply food. Our kind eat to live." Suspicion and fear mingle in his gaze.

[Nob(#16122)] "Colby?" Gidon asks. Then he grins. "They talk alot," he corrects Brev. "They just never say nothing y'want t'know. Only how much c'n they drink, and stuff." The voice brings his head around to find Gildor, a mix of comfort at the elf's presence and wariness because Brev doesn't trust him on his face. He just shrugs at the question. He is here because the Dunlending man is here.

[Gildor(#30044)] "I am not your enemy, I just wish all to remain as safe as can be and stealing away from the camp how ever safe the path may look isn't safe. The fouls eyesight isn't as dimmed by night as many's are." it's not meaning to be scared but Gildor still glances around as he moves forward a bit more towards them his feet falls are sure.

Brev shrugs. "Unfortunately, to walk must eat. To eat, one must hunt - as we have been throughout our journey. It was only in a safe, civilized place," his lip briefly curls, "that trouble came. Funny, that." He is already turning away to Gidon when he spots the look on the lad's face, and relents, glancing back to Gildor to offer grudgingly, "Your concern is noted, but it's not needed."

To Gidon he adds, with a twitch of the lips, "How much can a Dorve drink, then? /Could/ be useful to know, if you ever wanted one to take a nap."

[Nob(#16122)] "We's careful," Gidon speaks up. "An.." He darts a look at Brev, a little abashed, but keeps talking. "Only c'n share them dorves' food if'n we hunt. An' you're here, b'sides," he tells the elf.

The smile flickers, returning a little. "Dunno," the boy says. "They ain't never said /that/. They just keeps braggin' on it."

[Gildor(#30044)] The elf-lord stops his approach listening intently still and glancing to each with bright eyes. Gildor sees that his warning largely goes unheeded but decides not to press the issue for the moment. "So what is it you hunt for than roots and berry's or animal and the like, or both?" He takes a few steps forwards more close enough to keep them in view as they move about.

Brev chuckles at Gidon's response. "You could try to find out. Look young and innocent enough and they'll bore you with tales of their prowess. Me, they'd probably challenge to a drinking match." He pulls a sour face.

At Gildor's query he responds readily enough. "In this light? Animals, of course. Rabbits use this place, seemed too good an opportunity to waste. Though," he pauses to survey his handiwork, "If we linger here, it /will/ be wasted. The man-smell will fright them." He glances round, tilts his head as though listening, then motions to the easier terrain to the west. "Figure we'd best work our way back round, don't want to test that Colby fellow with a broken ankle."

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon's smile widens and relaxes. "Can' drink enough?" he says, a glint of laughter in his eyes. As Brev begins to move, he tests his footing cautiously, then lets go of the tree and follows, moving soft and quiet - though not nearly so stealthily as a ranger or an elf - or even a hobbit. Still, he does well for a boy. "Don' want no more broked bones," he agrees.

Gildor sighs at the pair. "I will come along for safety sake." he moves forward catching them up fairly quickly he is light of foot as are most of his kind. The tall proud figure still looks warry side to side now and than. He watches the one whom seems not to trust him as well as if he can read more than is said.

Brev shrugs nonchalantly at Gidon's question. "Could be," he agrees. "Or could just be that I prefer to keep my wits about me." He's grinning.

The grin fades at Gildor's remark, acknowledged by a dip of the head as he, too, falls silent to concentrate on moving through the dusk. As the darkness of pines and firs closes in about them, he tenses, and more than once his hand strays toward his dagger-hilt. At the hollow cry of a hunting owl he relaxes a little - the creature would hardly seek for quarry if there were danger on the air. It is then that he turns to query Gildor: "The Wilds are not a safe place - on that I'll agree with you. Why were you walking them alone? And if you've so little opinion of our skills, why try to travel in our company?" His eyes are watching the path ahead, but his features are intent.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon looks up, his eyes going from the man to the elf, as he listens to question and answer. He takes no chances on the trail, moving from bush to limb to branch.

[Gildor(#30044)] Walks and listens closely but his focus goes back as questions are asked of him. Gildor isn't smiling or chuckling but his voice is calm as ever. "Some as myself have no choice as to travel as such but I have walked these paths and many others for a very long time we shall say and I do have a sense to protect those upon the road."

Brev is silent for a long while after that. Perhaps he is sifting what the elf has said; perhaps he is merely concentrating on returning to the camp before full darkness is upon them. Eventually, though, he murmurs, "You can't. Raise a chicken at the hearth instead of in the yard, and it'll never learn how to evade the fox. Danger is how men learn. You can only aid - and whether you do, only time will tell." And then the fire-glow of the dwarven camp can be seen ahead, and there is no need to say more. Without another word, Brev turns to seek his pack and the ever-elusive sleep.


Campfire chat

Wooded Hillside

The woods here are open, and the undergrowth is sparse. But that just allows the cold winds in, and let's you see the empty moors in the distance. A short distance to the south, the slope of the hill can be seen to become very steep. Directly to the east the hill looks more manageable. The other directions are level, if barren.

===============================================================================
                      Dunland Time and Weather Forecast
===============================================================================

Real Time is:       Wed Aug 05 14:20:12 2009
IC weather is:      Wind:  - Clouds: sparse - Rain: drizzle
IC Moon is:         Not visible
IC time is:         Nighttime <about 11 PM>
IC date is:         Mersday, Day 10 of August in the year 3047.

===============================================================================

It is evening, and the summer sun would be setting if there were any sun to be seen. As it is, the grey of drizzle has long since given way to the grey of twilight. The caravan of Dwarves and others has by now ground to a halt, and most of those not occupied with sentry duty or caring for the ponies have gathered round a small, reluctant fire that hisses as the raindrops fall on it.

Brev, for once, has not gone out hunting, but lingers by one of the wagons, not too far from the fire and its warmth. Every now and then he casts wary glances into the gloom; betweentimes he appears to be checking through the contents of his pack, a fold of his (wet) cloak pulled over it to keep the worst of the damp out.

[Eilian(#17713)]
Stepping from the shadows with a shudder of bells, Eilian passes with a pair of rabbits in hand, which she hands to the dwarf at the cooking fires. Her eyes fall upon Brev, and she smiles, though hesitantly.

Brev, perhaps feeling the eyes upon him, looks up - and freezes, just as those rabbits the elf-woman is carrying might have. He twitches his damp cloak hastily across his pack, as though to conceal what lies within, and does not return the smile. His gaze lingers on those rabbits, though ... At last he ventures tensely, "Looks like you had good hunting."

[Eilian(#17713)]
"It was better than I expected," says the elleth, keeping her distance. Perhaps noting Brev's discomfort, she offers, "Eat, if you are hungry. From here the game will be scarce."

Brev shrugs to that. "Then we'll manage with what we've got. One good thing about these bloody wagons," he jerks his head to the one nearest, "they've space for provisions. Figure Gidon and I have provided enough of those in the past to be due our fair share."

Throughout the speech, he does not look at the elf-woman directly, keeping his gaze focused on a point a little past her, but at length he queries, "How d'you win them? Snares? Or ..."

[Eilian(#17713)]
"With a bow," finishes Eilian softly, glancing over her shoulder at the point where Brev may be staring. "It is not so simple as snares," she confesses, "but we have not the time for them. Gidon uses a sling, I know. Do you?"

Eilian's glance causes Brev to duck his head, the nearest the man will get to a show of embarrassment. "I find your kind .. disconcerting," he murmurs, and whether he refers to use of the bow or something else, who can say? "Aye, I use a sling," sometimes. Or snares .. or sometimes I'll hunt with the spear. Gidon's the better hunter, truth be told. I'm a fair shot, but he has a knack for knowing where the wild things are. I do a little of everything." His lips twist in a half-smile.

[Eilian(#17713)]
Eilian smiles gently, spreading her cloak to sit. "Is that so? Do you travel with him for his reasons? He has told me about his search."

Brev's half-smile is replaced by a sudden set to the jaw. "The lad deserves a chance. Been where he is, and it's not pleasant." There is silence then, as he glances down to his pack, and giving up on whatever he had been looking for for now, pulls the strap down so that he can fasten it tight against the rain's explorations. "What is it brings your kind to cross the Mountains?" he asks when he is done.

[Eilian(#17713)]
"Some wander," answers Eilian. "I am searching for one of my kin. It is not an uncommon story," she says, shrugging slight shoulders, "but I have an idea where he may be."

Incautiously Brev looks up, and his gaze lingers on the Elven features, beautiful despite those uncomfortably blue eyes. Pulling it away again, he lets out a short, dry bark of laughter. "Kiern! Don't tell me you've mislaid a father too. Anyone here who hasn't?"

[Eilian(#17713)]
"They are hard to come by," agrees the elleth, drawing her hood over her hair to shield from the rain. "However, I am looking for a brother. A particularly stubborn one by the name of Naerchil -- though I doubt you've seen him."

A brother. All expression erases from Brev's rain-wet face for an instant, and a muscle starts jumping in his cheek. Irritably he rubs at it. "No," he says at last, his voice a little hoarse. "Can't claim I have, unless he goes by more than one name. Before I took up with foreign company," here his lip curls, the dryness of earlier returning, "I'd only met three of your kind. The woman was Collwen," a hint of longing creeps into the rough human voice at the mere mention of that name, "and the man Gillath." He gives the elleth a sidelong glance to see if the name is recognized.

[Eilian(#17713)]
"I have never met them," murmurs Eilian after a moment's thought, resting her chin in her hand. "But the man's name is familiar."

"You spoke of two. What of the third?" she queries, sapphire eyes wandering to the man.

Brev's head ducks slightly at the scrutiny. "A child," he supplies. "A boy ..." His speech trails off and his gaze grows distant as though he were trying to recall. "Abangel?" he tries at last, uncertainty. "Would that be a name?"

The elf-woman is barely given time to respond, for he shakes his head as though to clear it and then pursues a point from earlier. "Where do you seek this brother? I was told the Beornans are men ..." A note of unease creeps into his voice.

[Eilian(#17713)]
"A child?" Firelight scatters an odd expression on the elleth's face, ere she answers the next question with a chuckle. "Yes, the Beornings are men. But they are not the only ones, perhaps, who live in that area."

Is that odd expression noted, or even seen? Brev's head is turned so that he does not quite gaze on the elf-woman directly, and it is the final remark that he seizes on. "Who else, then? Figure Gidon and I best know what we're getting into. For the lad's sake, of course," he adds with a lopsided smile that is little short of a smirk.

[Eilian(#17713)]
"There are dwarves, certainly," laughs the elleth, the momentarily distracted expression gone. "And wood-elves across the river in the forest. Though I hear they are at odds with each other."

"Wood elves," Brev repeats, his tone kept carefully even, though he is frowning. "Do they mingle with men? Are they," he gropes for the peculiar phrasing, "at odds with each other, also?"

[Eilian(#17713)]
"I am not sure," says Eilian, white brow furrowing. "I have never seen them meet, for they are some distance away. The Beornings being on the western side of the Anduin, and the Elves on the far side of Mirkwood."

"Well." The frown on Brev's features fades at the fortunate mention of distance. "Likely we won't run across them then."

He glances up at the twilight sky, by now darkened almost to black save where the firelight catches a raindrop or two, wakening shimmers of orange. "Doesn't look like this rain's going to let up. Think I'll look for a nice dry spot under one of the wagons. Said I'd take an early watch." That information supplied, he scrambles to his feet, hefting his pack up, and is off, offering Eilian no more farewell than a nod.


Nearing the Pass


Mountain Pass Ascent

The footing on this moist and crumbling slope continues to be treacherous. The mists that give these mountains their name are hot and very humid in the thick fog of day.

The pass splits into three directions here, one climbing higher, one leading down the western slope, and one which cuts straight through a divide in the peaks before you. The upper path leads up through the clouds, almost to the fringe of the mountains snowy caps. Heading west will take you down into the mist enshrouded lower reaches of the pass, and southwest leads around a jumble of rocks and along the foothills adjacent to the mountains.

Between the western and southwestern passes a steep mountain with sheer faces rises, split in the middle as if by a giant's ax. The rising slopes of the mountain overlook this deep bay between high cliffs, and close it off from view. Only a narrow trail penetrates the cliff face where the two halves of the mountain join, passing between two upraised crags through a crack only thirty feet wide.

A thick blanket of heavy clouds covers the sky, casting a gray pall over the landscape. The late morning summer air is hot and very humid.

Obvious exits:
 Narrow Trail leads to Sheltered Canyon.
 West leads to Mountain Pass Ascent.
 Southwest leads to Ascent to the Pass.
 East leads to High Pass, Twisting Trail.

===============================================================================
                      Dunland Time and Weather Forecast
===============================================================================

Real Time is:       Mon Aug 10 10:08:43 2009
IC weather is:      Wind:  - Clouds: sparse
IC Moon is:         Waning gibbous
IC time is:         Late Morning <about 10 AM>
IC date is:         Highday, Day 25 of August in the year 3047.

===============================================================================

[Nob(#16122)] The journey has been quiet. Ominously so, perhaps; for aside from one brief non-encounter with a group of goblins (who killed each other off or ran away), nothing has happened. But the dwarves and elves and humans in this party walk cautiously, quietly, and with their weapons in hand. Ponies likely would make a tasty snack for some of the denizons of these hills.

Gidon is just beside one wagon, using his spear as a walking stick, and gawking up at the snow-covered peaks that tower over them.

Brev, walking near to the lad, is not admiring the scenery. Instead his head turns this way and that as sharp amber eyes scan every crack in the rocks, every shadow beneath a bush: anything, in fact, that could conceal a cave or defile or other such passage for the enemy. His gaze pauses on a scree slope, and he mutters something thoughtfully under his breath. Unfortunately the 'something' is in Dunael.

[Nob(#16122)] "What's that?" Gidon asks absently, without looking down. It's a good thing he has a stick, or he'd have tripped several times for not keeping his eyes on the path. And in the next breath, "We going all the way up there?" Snow seems to cling to the sides of the peaks in direct defiance of gravity.

"Huh?" Brev brings his gaze back to earth, twisting his head so that he can view Gidon, and brushing away the tangled curls that have fallen across his face. "I said the sooner we're above that level," he gestures with his own spear-tip, "the better. Don't fancy bringing the goblins bringing it down on our heads. Now, if it was us doing the tumbling ..." He pulls back his lips in a tight smile.

The other question is answered with a shrug. "The Dorve whose wagon I mended said something about 'through the cleft'. Guess we'll pass between those two peaks there. Kiern, but I hope they have the sense to do it in daylight." Before, the Dunlending has shown little interest in their path, but mountains he knows, and now he appears distinctly uneasy. "We'll send you in first, of course, in case there's any running to be done." His lips twitch.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon isn't quite used to being teased, and he looks a little uncertain, protesting, "Couldn't stay an' fight 'em all... oh." He grins sheepishly. "If th'snow falls, you're worrying on?" He eyes the crack in the mountain then nods and his grin turns a little sly. "I go first then you can do th'shoveling!"

Brev's lips twitch once more. "Me?" he protests innocently, though quietly. "Thought that's what Dorves were for. I'd hate to steal their job, you know. And the Elves seem so keen to defend us all ... I'll stay well out of the way, then join you in the running. Had plenty of practise at that." He gives Gidon a crooked smile.

[Nob(#16122)] The boy glances sideways to interpret these words, then smiles back, though he shakes his head. "You'd not be runnin'," he says simply. "Aye, them elves. They never talk straight at you; says things like, 'Hardly any place I haven't been,' and 'Just felt like goin' over th'mountains again,' and 'Watchin' th'road.'

One of Brev's dark brows tilts up at that first statement. "No? How d'you think I've lived this long?"

Mention of the Elves and their ways brings a scowl to his face. "There's something about them bothers me. If they're so mighty and superior, what do they want with the likes of us? They claim they don't need the protection ..." The words trail off, and for a while he scans the landscape in silence. Then he mutters, "Ever get the feeling we're being used?"

[Nob(#16122)] "But," Gidon protests, "You got that spear... " A small frown echoes Brev's. "I dunno," he says. "But they always been nice t'me. Mostly. One of 'em scared m'pants off most." A sudden grin at some memory smoothes the frown away, but the concentration remains. "Used for how?"

Brev's gaze is pulled suddenly back to Gidon. "Yes," he says evenly. "I've got that spear. Used it, too. Doesn't stop me from running when thing go badly. Heroes generally end up dead. Me? I prefer living. You should, too."

He is quiet a moment, the only sound that of his steady footfalls, and then he volunteers one more thing. "Sometimes, when you're hunting, setting a net or a snare is enough. Other times, a trap needs bait. What if ..they," he does not use the word Elf, though his meaning is clear enough, "/want/ us to draw the goblins?" With that unsettling thought he is off up the line of wagons to take his turn at their head.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon listens, his young face serious. "Ain't no hero," he says quietly. He says nothing at all to Brev's theory about the elves and the goblins, but his expression is troubled as he watches the man move away.



Date added: 2009-08-10 15:32:33    Hits: 67
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