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Logs

Fiery Crossing

Tags: Bagurat,  Bulburz,  Diesa,  Erynloth,  Formin,  Galadriel,  Gildin,  Grimbeorn,  Gunk,  Haldir,  Mar'shuk,  Rhuarc,  Sachem,  Sudanir,  Witch-king

Short Summary: The Morian and Mordain horde must cross a bridge in Mirkwood, but elves, dwarves, and one large bear don't wish to grant them their passage. Down, down goes the bridge, in fiery ruins. The orcs are halted, but at what cost?
Date (real-life): 2010-09-29
Scene Location: North Mirkwood

Mirkwood

The view is blocked in most directions by towering dark trunks, holding heavy and crooked boughs hight above the ground. The gloomy ancient forest seems to draw more and more strenght from you as you travel deeper. Beneath you feets the forestbottom is snow-covered and around you the mid morning winter air is icy.
The dim light hurt your eyes a little, but you think you can make out a gap between the trees west of you.

It is snowing.The snow looks to be to thick too travel any further.

Contents:
Wooden Bridge(#27822nvwB)
Gildin
Mar'shuk
Diesa
Formin
Sachem
Gunk
Mara
Witch-king
Pishgob
Uruk Camp(#25568en)
Morian Orc Camp
Orc Raiding Party(#18007n)


[+TIME] Middle-earth time is:
Night on Sunday, Day 22 of January.
Execute the +TIMEFRAME command for year information.

Real time is: 18:00:50 MDT on Wed Sep 29 2010.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Night comes once again to the fabled forest of Mirkwood, but while many an evening has passed with the pleasant glitter of starlight high above, this night comes with a darker, more menacing tale than the tapestry of Varda.

For through the darkling eaves comes a fearsome sight -- the march of Mordor and Moria now fully revealed to the eyes of any sentry that yet holds vigil for the benefit of Thranduil. Iron-shod boots pound and churn the gnarled earth beneath them, blades hacking a swathe through the forest that owes nothing to animal trails, and snarls fill the woodland air as the uruk-hai march on.

Drums too roll at whiles, a steady beat for the foul brutes to step to, and step they do with fierce abandon; not a flicker of torchlight among them to betray their numbers. But scarce to keen ears and Eldarin eyes need such a boon to discern the force that has come to challenge them; there are surely no fewer than two thousand of the warriors of the Eye and the Flame here in attendance.

At length they come to a rushing stream that cuts through the woods, winding and twisting along the forest floor, and seeming to have cut a deep groove in the earth over long centuries. Thirty feet span the two banks it rushes between, and both are sheer; dropping at least twenty feet down from where the orcs march. Across this small chasm squats a wooden bridge, wide enough for half a dozen figured at once, and railed by finely-wrought beams. The van of the uruk army arrives before this lonely ford, and raises a fist.

The might of Mordor and their allies from Moria draw to a halt, and cruel, eager eyes narrow as they peer across the thin river into the gloom beyond.


[Formin(#26827)] From the south plods an unexpected group. That is, the makeup of the group is not unusual, but for it to be this far from the Old Forest Road most certainly is. The small company is made up entirely of dwarves, half a dozen in total. All are bundled thickly in scarves and cloaks and hoods and gloves, but even so seem quite wet and red-cheeked from the snow and the icy winter air. The darkness that cloaks them may disguise it, but in fact this small party of dwarves have not struck haphazardly from the road, for they seem to follow the far edge of the wide swath of forest that has but recently been burned to the ground, and also to follow the sound of the ceaseless drumming. The evidence of an army's passing is hardly difficult to discern. A few shuttered lanterns give the dwarves enough light to navigate by, but it is sparse and dim at best.

At the head of this small party of Formin, of all dwarves. The daredevil silversmith's curiosity seems yet again to have gotten the better of him, and this time he has convinced a number of his brethren to accompany him. For reason do they come into Mirkwood? To scout out the activities that have here taken place of late. Yet little does this small company of dwarves realize that they come but a few breaths before this mighty assault upon the elven defences.

At the fore of the dwarves, Formin pauses his dogged slogging through the snow suddenly and lifts his head. "The drumming? It's stopped," he says abruptly.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
"Let the drums beat louder, to say Moria is here.
That the armies of the Mines stand ready without fear.
Let the Earth tremble, with the stirring of our kin.
Let the halls be emptied, let the War begin!
Picture the foul vermin, that stand against our might.
See the worms assembled, shivering with fright.
Bring your hatred to the surface lads, let it fan the fire within.
Let it burn hot as you charge them, give your mind to sin."

So sings the glamhoth of Moria, keeping time with scimitars beating on shields. At the host's head, leading the chant, is Sachem, Mountain King, Great Goblin, servant of the Flame. Beside him is a shorter orc, Gunk, Voice of the Flame, shaman and seer of Moria.


[Gildin(#11420)] Even those with less keen eyes would easily detect the large host of orcs as their chants and drums of war tear the nightly silence. But as the orcish army comes to a healt at the stream, unseen watchers are already waiting for them at the opposite bank. The trees have grown eyes and ears that spy in the darkness but not a soul, be it man or elf or beast, can be seen there. The forest is all dark.

And still there are the hunters of king Thranduil, masters of the bow and experts in hiding.


[Diesa(#11440)]
The soldier dwarf Diesa son of Diesin is not a daredevil by anyone's reckoning. Known best for his quiet and serious ways (too serious, according to some!) it comes as something of a surprise to his peers when word spreads that he's donning his field harness and going with the silversmith on a scouting mission.

He is silent during the march toward the wood, expression as a sorrowful as the snow is deep, the hinted-at grief as old and unrelenting as the air is cold. The memory of dwarves is long and on this night standing in the shrouded darkness of Mirkwood Diesa's memory makes decades seem like they were only yesterday.


[Mar'shuk(#17128)] Hardly one to stand should to shoulder with some of the other orcs, somewhat-little-ish Mar'shuk nevertheless looks relieved as the march comes to a halt. "Bloody trees with their bloody twigs that give me bloody splinters..." he mutters, leaning down to pull a nasty barb from his heel. The Snaga-orc looks rather clumsy in his over-sized helmet and leather armor.. and the axe he wields looks to be about three sizes too big for him.. but what does he care? They may as well stencil Minion #12419 on the front of his tunic, what with the thousand or so orcs standing around him.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Individual cries of bloodlust rise up as the next lines are reached in the chant of Magog.

"Now boys, quick! Have your blades in hand!
Sever and slice! Skewer and stab!
Bite and gouge! Tooth and claw!
Tear open bellies, spill hot gizzards upon the floor!
Rip heads from shoulders, hew limb after limb.
Cut out their hearts, and peel off their skin.
Dash brains out with maces, paint blood on your swords.
Pierce lungs with your daggers and revel in the gore."

Sachem and his band of devil-dog bodyguards have painted more than their blades with blood; indeed, their faces and skin are covered in dried, caked blood. Howls of hunger echo through the trees as wargs of Wilderland join in as the beasts and their riders thread through the trees, guarding the flanks of the Morians.


[Formin(#26827)] Formin possesses little of Diesa's seriousness, yet on this journey into the dark embrace of Mirkwood, his jesting has been somewhat more subdued. Indeed, since leaving the road, his tongue has almost ceased to wag, save for a few choice mutters now and again. Yet now he looks back at those who follow behind him, a half-grin turning up one corner of his mouth, though the darkness may conceal it.

"Right, lads, well," he says confidently. "Tis my professional opinion that, eh, we may be in for a bit more than scouting about. Might even find ourselves a bit of action!" And at that moment, a chorus of howls breaks out from the darkness to the north. Formin grins, perhaps slightly apprehensive of his comrade's reactions to this news, and clears his throat. "Eh, so long as we're, eh, on the same page."


[Witch-king(#28583)]
While the chant comes from the Goblin King's minions rather than their own, the uruk-hai of Mordor join in the revelry with a mighty bellow of their own in response to the song. Loud and terrible it rises up through the boughs of the Mirkwood, and blades are smashed against shields to increase the ruckus.

The van of the Mordain horde steps forward, sneering at the bridge before him, and with a dozen or so warriors in tow he steps onto the timber to begin to cross.


[Gunk(#29384)] 
Though other Morian stomachs may grumble, Gunk's does not. The shaman-orc has spent of his time lately sacrificing small animals to the Flame and then consuming them! And more will be slaughtered tonight as a train of a snagas follow close behind, each carrying a sack containing a live furry!

Sudanir emerges through the forest from the south west.
Sudanir has arrived.


[Bagurat(#24847)]
One among the advancing group of orcs stepping forth onto the start of the bridge is robed and masked. "Smell it? There is fear upon the air," croons the Mordain shaman Bagurat from behind the metal beak over her mouth, and she raises her head to sniff again. In her right claw, a black cruel scimitar is clenched.


[Diesa(#11440)]
In response to Formin's comment about possibly seeing some action Diesa narrows his eyes as if to suggest <<There'd better be action or I'll hold you personally accountable!>> Chants and drum beats in the distance only sharpen his memory and bring it into clearer focus. <<First kill is for Diesor, second, for Diesik.>> His unspoken thoughts skip a beat. <<Third...for myself.>>


[Mar'shuk(#17128)] Mar'shuk finds himself pushed, prodded and nudged towards the front of the line... it makes perfect sense really, send the wee little Snaga's out to see if the bridge can hold their weight... oh yeah, and don't forget they need to see if there are pointy ears on the other side! Mar'shuk is a brave little orcsie though, gripping his axe with both hands, stepping onto the bridge. His huge helmet wobbles, rolling back and forth as if he were some kind of orcish bobble-head... amusing yes.. not so amusing though when you consider he might be turned into a pincushion within the next few steps. "And.. 'ere goes nuthin..."

Galadriel has arrived.


[Gildin(#11420)] Another smell may be noticed around and on the bridge. While the orcish invaders may seem to smell the fear of the land, something reeks faintly of lanterns and light. But only trained noses would detect the smeel of elven lamp oil that lingers around the wooden bridge.


[Gunk(#29384)] 
Gunk had a hard time finding something flat last time. But he has solved the riddle for tonight. In a clear space some ways away from the coming battle (for safety's sake), a couple of snagas are forced down on all fours and then a crude board of wood is lashed to their backs, making an unsteady table! The shaman lays out his kit and summons the first critter to be sacrificed to Her! "Rawr!"


[Formin(#26827)] "Aha! Ah, excellent," Formin says in response to the very serious glare that Diesa returns to him. "Well, so long as nobody minds then." The other dwarves seem somewhat split between amusement at Formin's antics and Diesa's same impatience to find this so-called action. Formin turns again and begins to force his way through the waist-high snow again, using his shield as an impromptu shovel.

Onwards the dwarves push until finally they begin to find ground where the snow has been pummeled by so many iron-shod feet that it is hard packed and easy to traverse. Their pace increases and slowly the chanting, snarling, and guffawing of thousands of uruks grows louder. The dwarves seem to be approaching the horde from the southwest.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
And while the orcs have marched with a purpose, they are not remiss in keeping an eye on their flanks. As the Dwarves tramp through the snow, they can hardly hope to move with the grace of the Firstborn or the mangled cousins that have come to assail them, and a few ears prick at the sound of their passage.

Wretched shapes slink off into the darkling forest, stealing their way closer to the sound.

Haldir emerges through the forest from the south west.
Haldir has arrived.


[Diesa(#11440)]
Being on the short side for a dwarf, Diesa is not above allowing the much taller Formin to clear the way through the snow. He glares at his kinsmen as they trudge along behind, wordless daring any one of them to question his blatant hunger for battle.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
"Let Magog's spirit guide you, as you slaughter and kill.
Gorge yourself on carnage, as you see the blood spilled.
Sate your thirst for combat with murder and pain.
Spit curses on their worthless hides, desecrate their slain.
Carve markers in their corpses, let the warnings be clear.
Let the drums beat louder, to say Moria was here!
Victory shall be yours! Triumph shall you gain!
Crush the foes of Moria, and BRING GLORY TO THE FLAME!!"

The air is rent as the orcs of Moria let loose their pent-up urges. Sachem raises high his battle axe then cries out, "Hai, hai, hai, hai, hai!" The chant grows louder and faster as others join in.

Finally the mountain king raises his other hand to call for silence. He asks, "What is best in life, my dogs of war?" The mass of bodyguards around him cry out in unison: "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!"

Sachem smiles, clearly pleased. He lowers his axe and then points it at the bridge for the front ranks to see. "They shall all drown in lakes of blood! ATTACK, KILL THEM ALL! FOR THE FLAME!!"


[Gildin(#11420)] High above in the trees, Gildin is watching the great hoarde trample the wood. As the black flood is stopped at the bridge he smiles grimly. Bow and arrow are the ready. And the orcs would do well to pay attention to their surroundings instead of crying for slaughter and war. Because the light smell of oil mingles with the foul stench of pitch along the southern bank of the stream.


[Galadriel(#19278)] There is no shortage of shadows in the Mirkwood, so the presence of another is perhaps likely to go unnoticed. But there it is, in the trees, weaving a delicate line of grey through the boughs, following the dwarves who are much more likely to draw attention. It pauses, momentarily at the warcries of the yrch and then is lost among the leaves. Many moments pass as the black language fills the canopy and then away, over the bridge, comes a curious sound. Like a bird, or a flute, or just a trick of the wind. But to those who follow the light, it is heartening.

Grimbeorn emerges through the forest from the south west.
Grimbeorn has arrived.


[Bagurat(#24847)]
Excitement and bloodlust does not make up for a lack of courage, and from back behind one of the smaller orcish shapes from the Mordain side emits a concerned squeak. "No, no! I's wants a blessing before I's goes out there!" This earns a pause and an almost irritated hiss from Bagurat, and she turns back round from the entrance to the bridge.

Lazily she steals in reverse for the snaga in question, and glares down at him from behind her mask. "Here, this blade is 'holy'," she supplies, sending a chop from her scimitar for the slave's arm. Heedless of the cry he gives, the shaman pushes him forward toward the wooden bridge, while she herself now lingers behind.

Rhuarc has arrived.


[Sudanir(#31361)]
Sudanir is up in the trees, where any self-respecting Tauredhrim would be. He winces as the orcs begin to sing, running to another branch to get a better perspective, suddenly seeming not to care too much for stealth, with the din of voices and feet below. Along with him is Lithorlas, his bow already in hand. He hisses softly and says in Sindarin, "The bridge needs to go!" Sudanir replies with narrowed eyes, "No...let it stay. They all have to cross it in twos...we can just shoot each one in the bottleneck. Eventually, the bodies will be too high to climb over."


[Witch-king(#28583)]
As Diesa stands forth boldy, he may well rue his strange mood, for as several shapes slip through the shadows to discover the cause of the snow-packed sounds, a savage cackle rings out nearby. Out shoots an arrow, followed by three bounding figures, all speeding toward the soldier-khazad murderously.


Mar'shuk bites his lip a little as Baguart bags a Snaga. Given a choice between running across the bridge or being cut down where he stands.. he'll take his chances with the bridge! Heck, if things go bad he can always go for a swim! And with that, the Snaga raises his axe, leading the charge as it were, always in front... he is either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid.

 

[Gildin(#11420)] In the treetop right above Sudanir, Gildin voices his concern about such musings. "No," he whispers to his fellow Tauredhrim. "Let a number of them pass and attack them in the woods. Then we can remove the bridge and create confusion!" Nevertheless he holds his bow ready for things to come.


[Formin(#26827)] Formin narrows his eyes as he peers into the darkness ahead, still slogging through the snow. He is thus preoccupied for a moment, but then his eyes seem to widen in surprize, for all the darkness before the dwarves seems to team with shadows and movement. The oddities of sound in a dark, snow-laden forest seem to have brought the dwarves closer to their foes that they had anticipated and now the nearness of the horde's bloodthirsty cries is oh so obvious.

"Shutter the lanterns!" Formin whispers urgently suddenly, slamming shut the shutters of his own small lantern with a rattle of iron. It is not subtle. And as the other dwarves scramble to disguise their own lights, the flight of a silent, deadly arrow is all but invisible as it archs down upon the dwarves.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
At Sachem and Bagurat's urging, the uruk-hai of Mordor are quick to follow the van onto the bridge, hungry snarls and cruel gazes thrown about over the small river. It seems none have knowledge of the aromas of pitch and oil, for none among their number seems daunted or wary of the scent if they detect it. Onward they go, seeking the gloom on the far bank, and whatever else awaits them.


[Galadriel(#19278)] What once was a shadow is now an elf in Galadhrim garb, the hood of a grey cloak pulled down low over the face. The figure is announced first by a quiet bird call before appearing on a branch above Sudanir and Gildin. "Brothers," comes a feminine voice is the lilting Sindarin tongue, "We have come to give what aid we can." In her hand is a longbow and beneath the cloak is the hilt of a fine sword, "I attack at your word."


[Mar'shuk(#17128)] Get across the bridge, check.... now what? Mar'shuk pauses on the other side, taking a few more steps until he is well away from the bridge itself as he looks around, "Errrr.. that was easy? We jus sposed ta keep goin or whut?" he inquires, the other snagas with him looking equally confused!

Bulburz has arrived.


[Sudanir(#31361)]
"Allright then, let them cross..." Sudanir says, somewhat crossly himself. "Now where are some of those containers of burning oil they used on the flet?" he asks rhetorically, drawing his bow and sighting down his arrow, examining each container strapped to a belt or hanging from a bag, as if he needs the point tip to better choose targets. "Lithorlas...prepare a burning tip for me..." he glances up suddenly, looking at the Galadhrim scout. "All help is welcome, mellon. Gildur suggests we let a few pass, then destroy it to divide the host. But I don't think we should wait. The bridge is sturdy."


[Bagurat(#24847)]
The tramping of dwarven feet and the hasty shuttering of lanterns carries on over the night air to some of the uruk army who have stayed at the rear, having not yet boarded the wooden ford. Bagurat's head shoots up anew at the nearby disturbance, and she shoves another orc out of the way so she can get a better look at the force that has approached from the southwest. The witch-orc's yellowed gaze flickers briefly with a laugh, and she points, "Look at them, plowing through the snow! The gazat fools have come."


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Sachem and the first of his bodyguards start across the bridge behind the scout-snagas. "Onward!"


[Gildin(#11420)] "Indeed, all help is welcome!" Gildin welcomes the stranger from the south. A quick look at Sudanir, then he nods. "Then let us do it now, and may the Great Ones help us." With that he sparks fire with flint and tinder and soon a flaring arrow slams into the bridge. Flames lick across the wooden planks and quickly the whole construction is ablaze! "Attack the vanguard!" Gildin instructs his fellow archers.


[Galadriel(#19278)] The Galadhrim nods to Sudanir, then bounds off to another tree. When she lands, her bow is strung and an arrow is in her hand. "Well, well," she murmurs to herself in her own tongue. "A volunteer," she nocks the arrow and sets her sights upon Mar'shuk, waiting for the order to fire. Even before the words have wholy left Gildin's mouth, the dart is on its way towards his neck.


[Bulburz(#15635)]
Blowing snow muffles most sounds. However from the South-East to the rear of the uruk troops an unmistakeable sound bellows on the crisp night air:

The wolves howl their twisted baleful chorus in the darkness.

The Wargs are coming. Atop some ride orcs. Their helmets mask their faces. Among them one slaps the shoulder of the Fell Wolf beneath him and hisses to the others, "The scent is near, ride forth!"

[Combat(#13388)] Bulburz wields 'Goblin Blade`.

Bulburz is the one that rides at the front of the pack.


[Sudanir(#31361)]


Lithorlas runs around in a seemingly circuitous path, which amazingly takes him to a low-hanging branch above the first orc to cross the bridge. As he turns to his companions to speak, the elf on the branch above lays down, hooking his ankle around another offshoot to give him stability, and then reaches WAAAY down over the side of the limb, extending his arm and the arrow it holds, till the tip waves and lingers in the fire of the yrchish torch. He has only a moment to wait before it lights, and then he withdraws the burning arrow, climbing carefully to his feet to bring the arrow back.

Sudanir nods to Gildin, and finding an object dangling off an orc's belt that he thinks might be what he hopes it is, he looses his arrow.

[Combat(#13388)] Sudanir reaches for the longbow at their back and wields it

Sudanir launches an arrow...

Sudanir's arrow flies wide, doing no harm.


[Diesa(#11440)]
It was an arrow that changed Diesa's life forever on that fateful day. An arrow to the belly, that time. A single arrow that took away a youthful dwarf's dreams for their life and left them weeping in private where no one could see or hear. This arrow finds a home in the back of his left shoulder, but tonight Diesa son of Diesin does not weep. Time slows to almost a standstill in his awareness as he turns to face the arrow's owner and shift into battle-ready stance. He's waited a long time for this moment; for the waiting to end affords a certain amount of joy all on its own.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Sachem and his fellow are now across the bridge. More pairs are following. The king calls, "Protect the bridge! Make way for those behind!"


[Formin(#26827)] The dwarves' lanterns are shuttered, but too late, for they are revealed. As Diesa rocks from the force of a barb that plunges into his shoulders, the dwarves become instantly aware of their discovery. The darkness may seem to make their very small number deceptively greater than it is, but the dwarves themselves are well aware of the overwhelming odds they face and stay close by to one another, peering hard at the seething darkness before them.

"Excellent, shall we just announce ourselves then?" Formin mutters to his brethren, sarcasm now heavy upon his words. "No point in keeping this old thing around, now that they're sending the welcoming party out." And with that, the silversmith suddenly hurls his lantern over his head. The shutters fly open and the small light reveals for a second the black masses over which it flies. "Say now, that's not too many, I'll warrant," Formin says, almost matter of factly, as if the futility of their situation is hardly worth worrying about. And then his voice lifts. "Come on then! Here we are indeed! Baruk Khazad!"


[Witch-king(#28583)]
As the darts begin to whistle out of the darkness on the far bank, the orcs on the bridge suddenly pause in confusion, ere a savage light kindles in their eyes, and as one they roar out a challenge in their crude, foul tongue. Onward they surge all of a sudden, spanning the bridge in a charge to the other side. Bursting onto the far shore their blades slice and hew the night air in search of a foe.


[Grimbeorn(#22365)]
Somewhere from the west comes a steady thudding. A rumbling pounding growing ever nearer.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Meanwhile, Diesa's wait is not drawn out further, for with a snarl of triumph as the arrow hits the Dwarf, the orc before him brings forth a heavy hammer with relish. Closing the distance between them this brute swings out with his weapon, hoping it seems to leave a hefty dent in the khazad's noble brow.


[Mar'shuk(#17128)] Ok, on the other side of the bridge, check... arrows comin! Aiee! Mar'shuk wobbles a little as arrows begin to fly, "Bagh! Get dem!" he shouts, goading the others to follow him as he moves towards the trees, moving between them... the elves can't be this far if they can fire through trees!


[<#1478>] As arrows begin to fly, a muffled chuckle eminates from another of the wood-elves, idly drumming on his spear's shaft, "<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>" the elven chieftain shrugs, "<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>"


[<#31361>] Sudanir curses, as his arrow misses. "<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>" he mutters, and takes another, lighting his arrow to Lithorlas' as the elf returns, and together the wood elves launch arrows at the burning bridge. "<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>"

Sudanir launches an arrow...
Sudanir's bowshot hits Wooden Bridge, mildly wounding it.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
More orcs are following in Sachem's wake. The orc-king smells smoke. "Pull your canteens! Your skins! Smell the smoke?! Put out the flames and then come across so more can add their water! Hell, take a piss! Just protect the bridge!!"


[Diesa(#11440)]
"Diesor!" He was the first brother to die that day, he is the first for Diesa to avenge. The dwarf's shout as he launches his stout frame into a parry of the descending hammer is one of fury, but controlled fury. He hasn't waited all these decades to sate his raw hunger in a single moment's burst of wild anger that would leave him empty and hollow immediately afterwards. Parry, then, and let his mass centered close to the ground lend him forward momentum as the arm bearing the short sword maneuvers for the riposte.


[<#1478>] At the orc-king's roar, an elven voice answers, "<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>"


[Galadriel(#19278)] The time for secrecy has most obviously passed and Galadhrim arrows begin to fly from several locations. The elleth that fired the first arrow stands and lowers her hood. She is wearing a metal helm but beneath, long dark hair flows all about her shoulders. The new and growing fire provides enough illumination that, from her perch, she can see the force of yrch that wait still beyond the bridge. Her delicate countenance is filled with dismay, for the full size of the force cannot even be told. Such a dreadful vision, coupled with the sound of the arriving wargs and the cries of the dwarves, causes her lips to part and from there comes the beginnings of a song. But even as she sings - as yet, wordless notes - she is preparing another arrow, and firing into the vanguard.


[Sudanir(#31361)]
As the arrows thunk into the bridge, lighting it in a new spot, Sudanir smiles at last. The bridge just sits there, defensless, and burning. "Lithorlas, those orcs over there." Sudanir instructs, pointing with his chin, and finds an orc in his sights once more, aiming for just two beats, then he releases.

Sudanir launches an arrow...
Sudanir's bowshot hits Mar'shuk, moderately wounding him.


[Bagurat(#24847)]
More of the creatures on the western bank turn their malice and hate upon the party of Aule's folk, and encouraged perhaps by the arrival of their mounted kin upon wargs, they charge forth against the dwarven host. "Cut them down!" calls the small masked shaman as she lifts high her blade, and the edge of it glints red from the flames upon the bridge. "Gut them, and skin them. Toss them into the river, and the leftovers we shall cook over the embers." And Bagurat's glare flickers from one incoming dwarf to the next.


Mar'shuk opens his mouth to say something, but then he takes a nasty elf arrow to the thigh! "YEOW!" he screams, buckling somewhat. "I saw that!" he shouts, pointing at Sudanir and company, "I'll have yer heart on a plate!" he bellows, raising his axe, "C'mon! Let's git'em!" he cries, charging forward.. leading the squiggly snaga-scouts... this won't end well.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Meanwhile as yet more of the foul horde surge across the bridge, the dancing flames shine in their cruel eyes and there can be found a touch of panic. Doing as Sachem bids, many of them open up their flasks, splashing whatever vile liquor is found within over the blazing timbers. A few more take one of his other suggestions also to heart, and with apparent lack of shame there is the hiss of passed water dousing the fires as best it may.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
The orc facing Diesa snarls in anger as his hammer is turned aside by the Dwarf's blade, but little time does he have to muse upon his failure as that blade then strikes forth toward his breast. Twisting aside, escaping death by a hair's breadth the uruk spits toward Diesa's face and punches out the head of his hammer to follow in his spittle's wake.


[Formin(#26827)] "Oi!" Formin cries out, as his short broadsword rings out, pulled from its scabbard. "I am not for eating!" And with that indignant shout of defiance towards the charging orcs, the silversmith lunges forward. And it is lunge, for he is held up by the thick snow that surrounds him. His fellows likewise plunge forward in an effort at least to meet the oncoming orcs. A small snaga is the first to meet Formin and he is dispensed with a single thrust of the silversmith's short blade, but those who come after are not so easily dealt with.

Formin's sword dives in and out as he keeps his shield high to protect his blind left side, yet it is not long before a cruel scimitar has licked under the dwarf's shield and dealt him a small gash just below his knee. Another orc hammers a mace hard against Formin's shield, driving him back a step. And the does he looks up. "Aha!" he cries out, as if laughing. And he points at Bagurat with the end of his sword. "Our literary orc! Come here now, there's a good lass!"


[Witch-king(#28583)]
And while the dark-haired Galadhrim fires her arrows into the throng of uruk-hai, from their midst comes a volley in reply; short, barbed darts speeding across the firey bridge toward the fair elleth's figure.


[Grimbeorn(#22365)]
And soon enough, the sound of the thundering approach of something is made clear: a bear, huge, brown, its eyes blazing with hatred for the orcs, arrives in a cloud of dust amidst the dwarven host. It pauses there, seeking prey.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
The Morian orcs surge across the bridge, more of them arriving at the far bank all the time. They seem used to their circumstances as crossing narrow spans and dealing with the /Flame/ is old hat for a Morian born orc. Sachem starts posting sentries and ordering his troops as there are now fifty to a hundred across the bridge.


[Sudanir(#31361)]
Sudanir quickly nocks another arrow to his bow, firing off an arrow at the charging orc. "I'll have /your/ heart spitted upon my arrow!" he retorts, then jumps down to a lower branch.

Sudanir launches an arrow...

Sudanir's arrow flies wide, doing no harm.


[Bulburz(#15635)] %RThe thundering sound of Grimbeorn may have stoped, but it is met with the lightning speed of the lead warg and its rider Bulburz on a collision course. The orc flops around like a rag doll except for the blade that swings wildly overhead. From atop the fell-wolf of the Misty Mountains Bulburz slices towards the now stopped thunder bear. The wolf dips its shoulder to ram.

Bulburz attacks Grimbeorn with his Scimitar, but he misses by an arm's length.


[Bagurat(#24847)]
One of Bagurat's ears twitches at Formin's laughter, and her mask turns to offer a fresh scowling stare his way. "I will come," she hisses, snorting a little as she slips closer. "But so will death, for I bring it with me." And the shaman stops before the dwarven challenger, holding out her blade in front of her, and waiting. "I will enjoy taking your soul for the Eye."


[Diesa(#11440)]
When the orc manages to dodge Diesa's sword the dwarf lets the momentum created by the arm swing continue forward, aiming his short compact body at the creature's legs like a living cannonball and at the same time ducking the oncoming hammer.

<<It should be Diesor in this fight, not me.>> Even in the heat of battle the young dwarf's private grief is inescapable. He was not meant to be a soldier; he walks an alternate path from the one he'd choose if only such choices were allowed to him in the world.


[Galadriel(#19278)] Even as the fire aids the elves in finding targets, so does it throw their own shadows up against the forest backdrop, and, in Erynloth's case, betraying her position. Upon realizing she is spotted, the Galadhrim dives to another tree, halting her song. No matter, it has already been taken up by others: spotty still, just patches of Light here and there, but rising.

Reaching a new branch, Erynloth winces and takes stock. A short, foul barb has pierced the leather of her boot and punctured her calf. She breaks the shaft and leaves the head, then nocks two arrows at once, whispering a prayer as she sends them both into the crowd.


Mar'shuk lets out a grin as the arrow zings past his ear. The orc sure is a nimble one, not having been burdened with heavy iron or mail armor. Skipping up, Mar'shuk is quick to get to the base of the tree, grinning as he digs his claws into the base of the tree, beginning to climb, "I'm gunna git you, little elf..." he says as he ascends, pulling himself from branch to branch.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Woe betide Diesa's opponent, for while he seems versed in blades and their usage, the sudden lunge of the Dwarf catches his unawares. With a great sigh of pain his legs are swept from under him, tumbling his wretched frame into the snow and squeezing the breath from his lungs with the fall. A savage, frenzied kick is sent up toward the khazad's chest ere the orc scrambles and scrabbles to find his feet once more.


[Formin(#26827)] "Hoi!" Formin shouts out, clearly surprized by Grimbeorn's sudden appearance. Yet the silversmith gives an almighty whoop after his has recovered from his shock. "Excellent timing, sah!" And then then Formin is returning his attention to more pressing matters. As Bagurat sweeps down before him, Formin actually grins. Yes, GRINS.

"Well, I can hardly blame you for wanting to try," he says very seriously, as he sinks slowly into a defensive stance. "It is a very -nice- soul, after all. But I'm rather fond of it, you see." And as if that settles the matter, Formin's blade is suddenly moving. The short, heavy blade swings out, aiming to catch the shaman at the left side of her ribcage.

Formin attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...
...and he misses!


[Sudanir(#31361)]
Sudanir follows Mar'shuk's progress, grasping at another arrow and laying it against his string, pulling it back till the wood squeaks with tension. "You're out of your element, foul beast." he mutters. Then he lets go, as the orc climbs up the tree he is in. Not time to change branches yet...

Sudanir launches an arrow...

Sudanir's arrow flies wide, doing no harm.

[+LIGHT:#26827] Formin lights burning bridge.


[Rhuarc(#1478)] Slipping to a lower branch near Sudanir, Rhuarc cautions, "Take care with your aim, but not so much that you leave no one left passing beneath the trees for me to--" he pauses, seeing Mar'shuk begin scaling upwards, he corrects himself, "Hah. Keep up the good work."

He crouches low, then, and waits for the orc to come to him.

[Combat(#13388)] Rhuarc wields Spear.


[Grimbeorn(#22365)]
There's something of a laugh from the bear as, despite its enormous side, it easily sidesteps the blow from the orc. Twisting about, the bear slams a mighty claw toward Bulburz's head.

Grimbeorn attacks Bulburz with his Beijabar Fists, but he misses by a mile.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
The shafts of the Galadhrim are famed and feared, not without cause, and as Erynloth fires off her desprate shots two of the seething horde go down at once. But many more are there to take their place, and with gnashing teeth they urge those on the bridge onward; a great press of uruk-hai now attempting to cross.

And the blaze on the bridge has been battled well, most of the flames now dying down, but the damage has already been done; many a creak and lurch of the timbers betraying how unstable it has become after its trial of fire.


Mar'shuk comes to rest on the branch below Sudanir's, snickering, "Such a nice tongue, bet it tastes good." he sneers, hefting his axe in both hands, swinging it up towards the nimble elf.. sort of like chopping a tree down.. but from a little higher than the base!

Mar'shuk attacks Sudanir with his Battle Axe and moderately wounds him!

[Combat Function Library(#15)] Sudanir's bow is knocked out of his hand!

Witch-king furiously attacks Wooden Bridge with his Longsword and moderately wounds it!


[Bagurat(#24847)]
Quick as a snake, the witch-orc darts to the side of the silversmith's attack. Though her eyes glance warily toward the massive form of the great bear not too far ahead, Bagurat manages an unpleasant crooning laugh. "A short sword for a short fool." And she takes a pace forward, bringing up her scimitar for Formin's arm.

You attack Formin with your Scimitar...
[Combat(#13388)->Bagurat]
Your attack against Formin moderately wounds him!


[Rhuarc(#1478)] "Too close!" says Rhuarc to the orc attacking Sudanir, as he deftly leaps to join Mar'shuk on his branch, thrusting his spear at the orc's knees.

Rhuarc attacks Mar'shuk with his Spear and severely wounds him!


[Bulburz(#15635)] The twisting and turning is enough to cause Bulburz to fall from Maalduf's back and land in the snow on his spur tipped boots. The goblin is dwarfed by the massive Bear, but no fear is visible through the lowered face guard on the goblin's helmet.

The time for talk - if there ever was one - is over. The Morian Warg Rider raises his wicked curved goblin blade high over head as he lunges at the big brown bear...

Bulburz attacks Grimbeorn with his Scimitar, but Grimbeorn parries the attack with his Beijabar Fists!


[Diesa(#11440)]
Diesa has a fleeting thought of his long-dead brother and wonders if he'd be proud to see his youngest sibling facing off against an orc in the frozen night in the wood. Such things matter to this dwarf. Even with his life on the line and the lives of his kinsmen all around, it matters. Is Diesor watching, can he sense his single living sibling's heart breaking even as he descends with his sword and tries to take advantage while the orc is down, channeling that heartbreak into the slice of dwarven-forged steel?


[Formin(#26827)] The shaman's scimitar bites deep into Formin's flesh, dragging a ragged gash into the underside of his upper sword arm. The silversmith grunts, clearly pained. "Aye, never denied the fool part," he growls, teeth clenched as blood runs down his arm. Yet he wastes little time with words now, for the short blade which Bagurat seems so disdainful of sweeps back around, aiming this time to take the orc's head off at the neck.

Formin attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...
...and you parry his attack with your Scimitar!


[Sudanir(#31361)]
As Mar'shuk attacks from below, Sudanir tries to jump out of the way. But one does not have a wide range of stance choices, standing on a limb. Where Sudanir lands is still within reach of the arc of the axe, and the blade nicks his ankle, knocking sudanir off balance. He slips backwards, falling to the ground, where his bow is knocked out of his hand. Sudanir groans at the new injury, and scurries to get to his feet, favoring one leg. He pulls out his spear.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Is Diesor watching? Perhaps so, for as Diesa drives down his sword it skewers the foul brute's side fiercely; a cry of anguish erupting from the orc's throat. Hobbling and writhing in the snow, unable to escape the bite of the steel of Erebor, the uruk looks up to Diesa with fear in his eyes.

"Don't... kill?" he pleads in broken Westron. "Spare.. me?"


[Combat(#13388)] Sudanir takes her stance and the spear seems to be almost an extension of her arm. She watches you carefully and her eyes burn darkly.


[Grimbeorn(#22365)]
Blow of the warg-mounted Morian is struck away with the bear's front right paw, but the other one swipes toward Bulburz once more, trying to knock off his head if not knock the orc off the warg.

Grimbeorn attacks Bulburz with his Beijabar Fists and severely wounds him!


[Sachem(#32030)] 
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Sachem starts pointing with his battle axe this way and that to his growing bridgehead garrison. "Light some torches, burn down the trees! Burn 'em out!"

Spotting the Elf that has fallen into their midst, Sachem starts toward Sudanir with an evil grin. "Ah, our first catch of the day!"


[Bagurat(#24847)]
But alas, there is no neck cleaving for Formin; for as his sword flashes out, the orcish one raises to intercept it, and bats it to the side almost lazily. "A pity you're very fond of that soul," says Bagurat, "but I'll do the hard part for you. Just stand there for me, and don't move." The shaman's longsleeved arm flies outward, sending the scimitar to seek the dwarf's side.

You attack Formin with your Scimitar...
[Combat(#13388)->Bagurat]
Formin dodges your attack.


[Mar'shuk(#17128)] It's rather like poking a quivering rat out of a tree. Sure it can stand on a branch, but you start shaking the branch or poking it with a stick and it will fall! Mar'shuks moment of glory comes to a bloody end as the feature spear of Rhuarc plunges into his gut, sending the wee little baby-snaga out of the tree and tumbling down the embankment, disappearing amidst the morass of scuttling orcs and splashing stream.


[Bulburz(#15635)]
The Scimitar of the goblin does nothing. And the huge fist of the bear knocks Bulburz through the air with a *CLAP* like true thunder. The small orc tumbles head over heals through the air before disappearing into a pile of snow. The crushing force of the blow either knocked the orc out, or he is smart enough to play dead in front of the gigantic bear beast.


[Formin(#26827)] "Ooh! Like that?" Formin says as he skips backwards and away from the shaman's lethal blade. He still manages to chuckle roughly through clenched teeth. "Ah now, I must not understand. Show me how you mean." The silversmith steps forward again, but not too close to Bagurat. Instead, his sword whips out, the very tip of it aiming for the shaman's mid section.


Formin attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...
...and he misses!


[<#31361>] Sudanir takes a limping step backwards. "<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>" he says, his usual cool tone becoming uncharacteristicly nervous and tight. He crouches slightly, waiting for the orc's charge with speartip pointed menacingly, but at the last second he rolls to the side.

Sudanir attacks Sachem with his Spear, but he misses by an arm's length.


[Galadriel(#19278)] Like the coming of dawn, the song of the Galadhrim has grown till it nearly fills the Eastern side of the bridge with a faint, but noticeable hum. It is impossible to tell whether there a half dozen voices or a hundred. A drone, perhaps, but a drone of silver and gold that is at once martial and beautiful. The pace of the song quickens, beating like hundreds of swords upon shields, then it suddenly stops. And it is then that a veritable storm of arrows falls from the trees, not all at once, but in rapid fire succession, sailing toward targets both on the near side of the bridge and on the bridge itself. Then, the voices rejoin the song.


[Diesa(#11440)]
"You killed unborn children; there is no forgiveness for that." Surely the orc on the ground begging for his life is familiar with the concept of sacrifice? Does he not have a shaman nearby spilling the blood of small animals on a crudely-constructed altar? So Diesa seeks to claim him as a sacrifice. It was not his hand that slew Diesor or Diesin, or fired the arrow that landed into the dwarf's belly. It matters not. The sacrifice stands in for the sins committed by another. With no consideration whatsoever given to the plea Diesa calmly and coldly aims to deliver a killing blow.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Sachem doesn't even move as the wounded Elf attacks and misses. Snarling with satisfaction, he lashes out with a chop to the side where Sudanir has rolled. "You again!?"


Sachem attacks Sudanir with his Battle Axe and severely wounds him!


[Bagurat(#24847)]
"Fine, like this," begins the witch-orc, but then she instinctively dodges backward from the silversmith's reach. "No, not like that," Bagurat growls in annoyance. "I'll do that hard part for you as well, and glue your feet to the ground. Gazat blood is sticky enough to do that, yes?" Laughing nastily to herself, the shaman steals forward again, aiming her weapon indeed for Formin's lower legs and feet.

You attack Formin with your Scimitar...
[Combat(#13388)->Bagurat]
Formin dodges your attack.


[Grimbeorn(#22365)]
With the orc dead or seemingly so, the bear lashes out at the warg, but then moves on with a roar. Twisting its head, the bear stares off toward the bridge and then toward the sound of arrows flying through the air.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
And with the hail of Elven arrows fired in wrath, a dozen or more of the orcs massed upon the bridge go down at once. Many more send up howls of anger and pain as they sport finely-wrought shafts in their flesh, but are not yet felled. These are sent into a panic, kicking and scrambling for all they are worth to escape the fury of the darts; more then a few foul bodies tumble into the river below to sully its waters.

But behind them is the press of their fellows, and wroth at the sight of their slain they shove all the more, driving their brethren across the bridge to the far shore. More and more of their iron-shod feet trample the far bank as they pour across, and from the north bank come the buzz of a hundred bowstrings in answer.

If the rain of arrows from the south was deft, this reply is thunderous; hissing into the gloom in search of Eldarin prey.


[Sudanir(#31361)]
"Not me...you know we all look alike," Sudanir retorts to the orc, speaking perhaps a bit overlong, and rolling perhaps a bit overlate. The axe swings into his back, dealing a terrible blow that causes him to cry out. Twice wounded, the elf tries to get away, reaching for the choking vines that reach to the tops of the trees, and pulling himself up.

[Combat(#13388)]
Sudanir tries to flee from Sachem, but he fails!


[<#1478>] Rhuarc takes a brief moment to watch the snaga bounce and roll downhill, and then looks up for Sudanir, notices he's missing... and then traces the path that he took down into the oncoming orcs. He motions for one of the other elves up in the trees to lower the requested rope, and drops down from the tree, though not in time to save the other elf from harm.

"<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>" he calls, and starts toward the axe-wielding orc.


[Formin(#26827)] And back for a second time does Formin skip, oddly joining Bagurat with a laugh of his own. Though in an instant his face takes on that same mock seriousness as before. "By Durin, you just aren't a very good teacher, are you? So much for literary orcs! Ooh now that's nice." This last seems to be a reply to the sudden lift of the Galadhrim song over the heads of the horde that assaults the bridge. It seems to give Formin heart.

Instead of lunging in again, Formin instead seems to charge forward with his shield held before him, as if to use it as a batering ram. Yet at the last the shield is wretched aside and the silversmith's short blade lashes out for Bagurat's wrist.

Formin attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...
...and you parry his attack with your Scimitar!


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Diesa's progeny is avenged as his (her?) blade hews away the head of the orc at his feet, and loathe are the two others who bounded forth willing to close with the khazad. Fierce and wary their eyes trace over the wounded Dwarf, and they circle him as wolves might circle a dangerous prey.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Sachem watches the pitiful display as Sudanir tries to get away. "We all look the same, huh?" He pokes at the Elf with the end of his axe-blade. "You look all look alike too. But I can /smell/ your blood. I can /taste/ it!"


[Rhuarc(#1478)] "Having tasted my own, on an unfortunate occasion involving a not-quite-dodged club," says a voice from behind a thrusting spear that itself is behind, and aimed at the back of, Sachem, "I can tell you that even /your/ brewers must be able to come up with superior choices of beverage."

Rhuarc attacks Sachem with his Spear, but Sachem parries the attack with his Battle Axe!


[Bagurat(#24847)]
And while the Eldarin song heartens Formin, it only makes his orcish foe growl and snarl in hatred. But there is no time to shield her ears against its awful tunes, for Bagurat is busy backpacing as the silversmith charges with his shield. The witch-orc's blade flings upward in hopes to block the worst of the ramming, and so it is that her scimitar is there to halt the flight of dwarven steel once more.

"Ha! I'll show you literacy when I gut you and read the signs of your entrails," and with that, the shaman dares a new swipe of attack.

You attack Formin with your Scimitar...
[Combat(#13388)->Bagurat]
Formin dodges your attack.


[Grimbeorn(#22365)]
For several long moments, the bear has paused, considering the battle. Its head twists this way and that and then into the fight again the bruin thunders. With a roar that echoes up to the tops of the trees it charges into the heart of the battle--toward and into the orcs on the bridge.


Grimbeorn attacks Wooden Bridge with his Beijabar Fists and badly wounds it!


[Diesa(#11440)]
Space will be given, later, for Diesa to process the meaning of this first orc's death at his hands. For now, two things are certain: 1) the life of a single orc is not sacrifice enough, and 2) the orcs waiting in line to step up to the altar are many. The dwarf's calm fury is directed now at the seemingly bigger/heavier of the two circling orcs. "Diesik!" he cries out and launches himself at his hated foe with uplifted blade.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
There is an almighty creak as the bear's rampage carries it through the uruk throng and onto the bridge; the sudden weight of the mighty beast too much for several of the charred timbers. Three supporting beams go tumbling down to the rushing waters below, joined by more of the orcs as they are flung from Grimbeorn's path, and finally with this unlooked-for threat in their midst, the advance of the uruk-hai is halted.

Those already on the bridge scamper as best they can to the far shore, while those waiting on the north bank back away from the great guardian of the Carrock. The son of Beorn is known to these brutes, and though theire numbers swell as they mass upon the bank, none seem willing to be the first to test his might.


[Sudanir(#31361)]
"And now you can taste me leaving." Sudanir says, gritting his teeth from the pain. But while Rhuarc takes his place, squaring off against the horrible goblin, Sudanir uses the opportunity to make his way to the awaiting ropes, lowered by the elves under Rhuarc's command. He grasps tightly, and hangs on as they raise him up into the trees.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Sachem turns quickly at the sound of an Elven voice and is able to parry just in time. Grinning at his new foe and licking his disgusting teeth, he calls, "That's the spirit!" Pushing off to get his axe free from the spear, the orc hacks at Rhuarc's leading spear-arm.


Sachem attacks Rhuarc with his Battle Axe, but Rhuarc parries the attack with his Spear!


[Formin(#26827)] "Ah, how very elvish of you!" Formin taunts, this time stepping quickly to his right in order to avoid Bagurat's newest swing. "To threaten me with fortune-telling - terribly original!" As the silversmith skips away to avoid the shaman's swing, however, he presses his arm against his side, clearly still pained by the deep gash there. And to save himself the added measure of pain that accompanied a swing, this time he instead stabs out with the short broadsword, aiming to drive the broad tip into Bagurat's hip.

Formin attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...
...and he misses!


[Witch-king(#28583)]
As Diesa launches forward, his target is caught momentarily frozen in the face of his wrath, and deep into its black flesh does her sword drive. Dark blood spits forth from behind his teeth as his eyes roll, and slumping forward his weight is now added to the noble khazad's weapon; difficult no doubt to remove.

Perhaps seeking to take advantage, the remaining orc lunges into the fray, a long knife flashing as it stabs for Diesa's side.


[<#19278>] At least one cry from the treetops will tell the yrch that their arrows were not for naught. But whether the wound is mortal may never be told for the song of the Galadhrim is only renewed by the volley of the Enemy. Light. The song is about light. Starlight, sunlight, it matters not. Only that it is light that eats away at the dark. Erynloth appears again on a low branch, heedless of the swarm that is busying itself at the base of the trees. A stain of blood is creeping up the leg of her breeches, but a flaming brand is in upon her bowstring. It is is no use fighting a flood drop by drop. It is time to bring down the bridge. She fires at it then, "<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>"


[Rhuarc(#1478)] Huffing out a short laugh at the compliment as he takes a step back and bats the axe to the side, the oddly tall and absurdly ginger-haired elf queries, "Establishing common ground to begin a dialog?"

Springing forward again in a rather plain and not terribly cleverly aimed thrust for the chest, he adds, "Do you really think that could work?"

Rhuarc attacks Sachem with his Spear, but Sachem parries the attack with his Battle Axe!


[Bagurat(#24847)]
The 'elvish' labeled shaman slips elvishly out of harm's way again, though the taunt earns an angry growling sound from behind the crow-mask, and the yellow eyes narrow. But Bagurat does not reply with words this time, instead letting steel do the talking -- and the rewarding: a heavy chop for Formin's shoulder. This motion is accompanied by a new disdainful hissing, as the Firstborn's song rises.

You attack Formin with your Scimitar...
[Combat(#13388)->Bagurat]
Your attack against Formin mildly wounds him!


[Haldir(#25231)] 
A new thread of harmony slips into the chorus of light, the shadowed light so uneasily found in the dark Wood: a fire-light. There is an arrow drawn up to Haldir's hooded jaw, its tip blazing merrily away -- and there it is off, bursting from the branches and arcing high over the spilt blood towards the wood of the bridge.

Haldir launches an arrow...
Haldir's bowshot hits Wooden Bridge, badly wounding it.


[Formin(#26827)] The shaman's cruel blade does reach Formin's shoulder, but only barely. It takes with it a sliver of of blood but no more and Formin seems barely to notice beyond a slight wince. "Sing out! Sing out!" Formin cries above the din of battle in response to the song of light. "Khazad ai-menu!" Forward charges the silversmith, this time his blade - crafted for hacking - serving its true purpose, for it flies towards Bagurat's neck once more.

Formin attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...
...and he hits! Ouch!

ARB: You've been injured for 3 hp's by Formin's attack...
...you have 87 left. Please RP this injury accordingly.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
The spear is once again parried and Sachem waggles his tongue at the Elf. "Nice try! Nice try!" The big words of the Elf seem to have slipped by the ignorant orc as he does a little spin and horizontally swings at Rhuarc's opposite side. "Have some steel, tall one!"


Sachem attacks Rhuarc with his Battle Axe, but he misses by an arm's length.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Once again do the arrows of the Galadhrim do their archers credit, and while no orcs are felled by this latest volley from Erynloth and her kin, the fire-laden tips sink into the already groaning wood, and ere long flames run along the timbers once more.

The last of the orcs squat now upon the southern side of the river, and cut off from their comrades by the fury of Grimbeorn, the malice in their eyes slowly fades; replaced now by no small measure of anxiety.


[Diesa(#11440)]
One orc death is not enough. Two are not enough. A hundred would not be enough, not a thousand even. Nothing is enough. Diesa's retributive fury burns hotter now as the realization dimly sets in that killing orcs in reality does not afford exactly the same satisfaction that it does in fantasy. He yanks his sword and growls with frustration when it refuses to slide free of the heavy orc cadaver immediately. The knife aimed at his side by the third orc meets with heavy rings of mail, not turning aside the blow completely but perhaps reducing the depth of the stab.


[Grimbeorn(#22365)]
Heedless of the bridge cracking around him, the bear strikes out again at whatever orcs are around him, seeking to drive all the orcs onto the north shore. Again and again it strikes, roaring its challenge.

Grimbeorn attacks Wooden Bridge with his Beijabar Fists, but he misses by a hair.


[Bagurat(#24847)]
"Rip their tongues out, skai!" counters Bagurat to Formin's cheering for the Eldarin music. But swiftly her voice turns into a low curse as the short sword wins a small cut along her neck, just beneath the protection of the mask. Eyes alight with malice, she hacks the air with her scimitar, turning it at an angle to knock the hilt over the silversmith's head.


You attack Formin with your Scimitar...
[Combat(#13388)->Bagurat]
Your attack against Formin lightly wounds him!


[Rhuarc(#1478)] "And now you are offering to hand over your weapons peacably?" Rhuarc says, stepping back to watch the axe whistle through the space occupied by his midsection was a moment ago, "I shall gladly let you go if you are calling this whole thing off."

The elf gestures with his off hand towards the increasingly damaged bridge while making a lazy-looking one-handed thrust for the orc's face.

Rhuarc attacks Sachem with his Spear, but he misses by a mile.


[Formin(#26827)] "Tongues, entrails, you're awfully fond of ripping for a literary orc," Formin grins wickedly as his blade draws blood at the base of the shaman's neck. Yet he is still grinning when his shield is too slow to rise and the she-orc's hilt crashes against his brow. It does not appear to break bone, but flesh certainly, drawing a trickle of blood. More importantly, it forces Formin to stumble backwards, where he slips in the snow and loses his balance, tumbling sideways.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
The orc facing Diesa widens his eyes as the knife meets with the steel of Erebor, and a hiss of frustration fills the cold air between them as he darts backward nimbly. Heedless of the events on the bridge his gaze is now only for the son of Diesin, and even as the Dwarf struggles with the weight of his late crony, the goblin snatches to the left, hoping to slice open a groove on Diesa's leg as he passes.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Sachem laugh; it is loud and shrill. The words of the Elf seem to be understood this time. "Fool! Surrender here and run to be torn apart by the bear-freak? Some parlay you offer, red-hair. Better to slay you while I can!" The orc pushes forward and sends a well-aimed axe stroke at Rhuarc's neck.


Sachem attacks Rhuarc with his Battle Axe, but he misses by a mile.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Meanwhile, by the bridge, the clamour of the orcs rises as they watch the antics of the mighty Beijabar, and bolder do they grow when the target of the bear's fury seems to be the bridge rather than themselves. Sly eyes turn to their fellows across the river, but little pity can be found in their gazes; only a sneering relish at what many must see as an oppurtunity.

"Hack away the timbers, boys!" roars out one of their number, a Rakarg by his markings. "Let the mangy beast drown!"

And with that axes and swords work frantically to hack and hew at the beams that yet keep the bridge aloft, hoping no doubt to send it crashing down with the son of Beorn in tow.

Wooden Bridge collapses to the ground, defeated by Witch-king!


[Grimbeorn(#22365)]
With a mighty splash, the bear crashes into the river with the bridge, seeming to flounder in the current or perhaps it is the magic of the river. Dark brown in the dark blue, he seems to disappear.


[Rhuarc(#1478)] "Slay?" says Rhuarc, tilting his head to the side and perhaps coincidentally dodging the incoming axe, "I thought we were dancing, so I could distract you while my companion got away. But if you do not wish to dance--"

He grabs his spear with both hands, then, and shifts his off hand up while sweeping down with the main hand, aiming to slash at the orc's leg with his weapon's blade.

Rhuarc attacks Sachem with his Spear, but he misses by a hair.


[Galadriel(#19278)] There is a collective gasp from the trees as the bridge succumbs to fire and steel, taking the mighty bear with it, and for a moment both arrows and song are ceased as the Firstborn assess the situation.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Whereas the jeers and triumphant laughter from the other shore is unmistakable. Their errand here seems forgotten for a moment, as many of the orcs take the time to spit into the river at the depature of their long-hated foe.

Across the river, however, now cut off from their fellows, those orcs who have stolen across band together, fearful eyes watching the trees, perhaps expecting another rain of arrows to come at any moment.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
The bridge going down has a distinctive sound that comes to Sachem's ears and he smirks. "Too late! The only way out is through you! We dance, the dance of death, red-hair!" The orc cuts down in an arc in a tit-for-tat bid to chop off one of the Elf's feet.


Sachem attacks Rhuarc with his Battle Axe and moderately wounds him!


[Diesa(#11440)]
Sometimes, one of Diesa's mentors used to say, the unexpected is necessary. It's a good time, he decides, to heed those words. Sword free once more, the son of Diesin is unable to avoid taking a hit to the leg. But instead of pulling back or pivoting away, he throws his weight full-force -into- the goblin hoping to drive it all the way to the ground. With two down, the third kill is for himself. The most personal of all. The most heart-breaking sin to avenge on the altar.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Borne down by the weight of the khazad -- nothing to sniff at, as many will tell you! -- the orc is pinned to the ground, and squirm and writhe as he might he cannot break free. A frenzy kindles then in his eyes, and seeking escape no longer his yellow fangs snap out in a bid to tear away Diesa's gullet.


[Bagurat(#24847)]
The dwarf goes tumbling, earning a triumphant crooning from Bagurat as she takes the opportunity to steal after him. There the witch-orc looms over the fallen Formin, and her right arm shoots into the air in preparation to plunge her scimitar downward. But the motion never comes; for at that moment there is an almighty splash and creaking as the bridge gives out. And at last the shaman's gaze turns that way, distracted for a passing second.


[Rhuarc(#1478)] Well, maybe Rhuarc didn't lose a foot, but there /is/ a nice gash in his shin as he doesn't quite step away in time. He winces and shifts the leg back, twisting it through the light snow in an apparent attempt to assure that it is still attached and more or less functional, a few drops of blood stain the snow as he says, "Am I now to get a new pair of boots for the first time in generations of men because you are afraid to swim?"

Eyes feigning disappointment, the elf lunges at the orc, aiming to strike at the axe-wielding shoulder of the big fellow.

Rhuarc attacks Sachem with his Spear and lightly wounds him!


[Diesa(#11440)]
Yep. Time to get up close and personal. With a dwarf possessed by unquenchable blood-lust who's devoted his entire life's purpose to moments just such as this. There's a little hint of frenzy which lights in Diesa's eyes as well. Why, he's only JUST getting warmed up now isn't he? The party's only started in his mind. He laughs aloud and ducks the snapping fangs, then follows up with the unleashing of a gloved meaty fist aimed at the exact spot where the creature's eye meets the brow.


[Galadriel(#19278)] The remaining band of orcs on the near side of the river seems a much more manageable number and the elves grow bold. A few - cloaked from head to foot - step out from the shadows to stand solemn upon low branches, longbows aimed at the assembled enemy. Only three can be seen forming a ring around the area (or is it four? or six? or...those cloaks, they seems to fade in and out of the foliage). The confidence with which they hold their aim and their unwavering posture suggests that perhaps there are more hidden. But how many?

Then a cold, confident, silver-laced laugh sounds from the leaves and seems to pop from one tree to the next. "Fire!"


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Sachem is stabbed at his shoulder, but his mail takes the blow and the worst is from the sharp impact. Sneering, he lashes out to get the Elf back and then swings at Rhuarc's attacking torso. "You'll /be/ my new pair of boots, red-hair!"


Sachem attacks Rhuarc with his Battle Axe, but Rhuarc parries the attack with his Spear!


[Witch-king(#28583)]
CRACK!

The fist of Diesa is not to be trifled with, and with a crunch it batters into the orc's eye. But even as the foul wretch's head is jerked to the side, the fire in his eyes is not yet quenched. Of stern stuff are the armies of the Eye forged, it would seem, for even suffering such a blow the uruk scratches out one of his own; long, jagged claws raking at the Dwarf's eye as though to tear it from its socket.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Once more the famed archery of Lothlorien is given a sterling endorsement, for the feathered shafts of the Elves sink eagerly into their foes' flesh. But while cries of despair go up from the orcs their attack, after a few moments the uruk-hai look around and see no more than four of their number despatched. Wary, suspicious eyes glance up into the trees, trying it seems to to keep track of the elusive figures that linger there, and at length a hoarse voice yells in outrage.

"There's only a few of 'em lads! Those tricksy, filthy little scum! Come on!"

And the voice's owner charges forth, followed by a few bolder souls. The rest loiter on, looking back yearningly to the far bank.


[Rhuarc(#1478)] "Not with a swing /that/ slow, my grotesque fr--" Rhuarc pauses, pushing the axe aside with his spear again. Continuing the motion of his parry, he whirls the blunt end forward in an attempt to strike at the orc's temple, "No, I probably should not even go that far in jest."


Rhuarc attacks Sachem with his Spear and mildly wounds him!


[Sachem(#32030)] 
The glancing blow off his helmet does him little harm and Sachem heckles the Elf at his almost slip-of-the-tongue. "Red-hair thinks I'm his friend! Give us a kiss, pretty! You'll miss me when I'm gone." He cuts and thrusts with the spiked tip of his axe haft at Rhuarc's chest.


Sachem attacks Rhuarc with his Battle Axe, but Rhuarc parries the attack with his Spear!


[Diesa(#11440)]
Diesa's eye is protected by its deep setting beneath a heavy prominent brow, but the brow itself is vulnerable to the claws. He shifts his left arm in an attempt to pin down that of the orc that just swiped at his face; with his right arm he continues to rain down blows aimed at the creature's temple. The direct physical contact is somehow satisfying to the dwarf in a way that separation by steel was not.

The arrow in Diesa's back is thankfully lodged in the left, not the right shoulder, and the heat of battle blocks out much of the pain. Yet just enough seeps through to the dwarf's awareness, a niggling reminder of what a single arrow can do. One day, one instant, one arrow, one's dreams forever ruined. Grind jaw, pound fist. Another orc to die, yet it still won't be enough.


[Rhuarc(#1478)] Parrying yet again, the elven chieftain sighs, now performing a mirror of his previous action, now swiping towards the orc's head.

As he does so, he scolds, "Had you ever met Eilialhenel, you would quickly come to understand how much neither of us would enjoy the tongue lashing that would ensue."

Rhuarc attacks Sachem with his Spear, but he misses by a handspan.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Perhaps not, but to quench the life of this orc, it suffices. Bred for war as they may be, even the skulls of Mordor's warriors crack when bludgeoned so fiercely. Long may Diesa punch on, though by now the reason to do so has gone. With three orcs littering the ground around him, the son of Diesis is triumphant.


[Formin(#26827)] Formin tumble leaves him sprawling in the snow and it is only luck that he is not then skewered. The dwarf's attention as well as the shaman's is stolen temporarily by the wrenching sound of the breaking bridge - a structure that Formin knows not even exists, so far from it is he. Perhaps suspecting some foul trick of the orc horde's, Formin seems spurred by the action. Without a word, he swings his sword, even from where he is still lies upon the ground, aiming the blade at Bagurat's ankle.

Formin attacks you with his Short Broadsword!...
...and he hits! Ouch!

ARB: You've been injured for 15 hp's by Formin's attack...
...you have 72 left. Please RP this injury accordingly.


[Sudanir(#31361)]
An arrow falls...almost straight down from above. Then another. Then another. Like the pitter patter of rain droplets of a incoming summer storm, so fall the arrows of elves from above, till it is virtually a downpour, the long shafts burying themselves into the ground, and into the orcs who are now cut off from the main guard. Ironically, it is a raincloud that seems to avoid Rhuarc, as he dances with the mighty orc on the ground, but that rain seems not so reluctant to fall on his opponent.


[Galadriel(#19278)] Arrows are not infinite of course and the Galadhrim contingent seem to have run low. But however many elves there are, the number of yrch is still greater, so melee is a last resort. There is but one weapon left to the elves then, and that is the massive, shadowed, creaking forest around them with all its dangers untold. One at a time, the Galads drop from the trees, near enough to entice an orc or three, before dashing into the underbrush hoping to at least draw a noticeable number away so that the Ndaedeldhrim can dispatch the rest with their bows.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Sachem easily dodges, but as he does so, he catches sight in the flickering light of the declining numbers on his side of the ravine. "Elf tongue is very tasty, my red friend! But it is a delicacy I will have to try next time. /Next/ time!" The orc suddenly turns and starts running, his long, almost mannish legs carrying him quickly. He gives it his all as he attempts to clear the ravine, but it's thirty feet across and he vanishes from sight into the shadows below...

SPLASH!


[Rhuarc(#1478)] It is lucky for Rhuarc that he's under the cover of arrow-fire. Even an ancient warrior and chieftain of a wood-elf clan can do little but stare, dumbfounded, at the orc's sudden retreat.

Still, it seems, his mouth has to work a little, "I... what just..."


[Bagurat(#24847)]
The dwarf is in the snow. And now the orc is in the snow as well, for his sword strikes true, and Bagurat gives a terrible hissing as she falls. And there the witch-orc seems to swim for a moment in the snow, clawing at her ankle as she tries to scramble her way up to her feet again.

At length she manages, though the hit to the foot has her awkwardly balanced on one leg. "Another time," hisses the shaman, "I will claim your soul for the Master." Bagurat tries to limp backward, still holding up her scimitar in case Formin pursues.
                           

You try to flee from Formin, but he blocks your attempt!


[Sudanir(#31361)]
Up in the trees, Sudanir puts down the borrowed bow, even as the elves begin to choose different targets. "That one is particularly annoying." He shifts, sitting now on a branch, bleeding profusely from the back and one foot virtually useless. "Do me one last kindness and retrieve my bow, Mellon?"


[Witch-king(#28583)]
As the rain of the hosts of Thranduil comes down upon the orcs trapped on the eastern bank, few survive the deluge. Body after body goes down, spit upon Elven arrows, and those who escape the cruel downpout leap after Sachem in a desperate bid to reclaim the western shore. But to no avail.

While the main force of the Mordain and Morian armies look on, their fellows are cut down to an orc, though small sympathy seems to be afforded their dead comrades. Fists are raised and shaken at the distant Ndeadeldhrim, and curses spat into the river, but the uruk-hai seem merely irritated than disheartened. Fully seventeen hundreds of their warriors yet stand unmarred, and while they grunt and grumble as they turn away, a fell patience seems to be shared among their gazes.

That is, until they see the plight of their Shaman, Bagurat, and with a roar a full dozen of them rush to her aid.


[Formin(#26827)] Formin does not take advantage of Bagurat's scramble to come again to her feet, save to take the few moments of peace to scramble to his own, such that he faces her even as she backs away. "You are, as ever, welcome to try," says the silversmith. And no more does he say. Suddenly his problems are far more pressing than his literary orc.

"Time to beat a swift retreat, methinks," Formin grunts suddenly to his side, where four of the original five others still stand. "I believe our luck is running south!" The silversmith takes one last moment to flash a do-you-dare grin in Bagurat's direction, then he is reaching out to grab Diesa's arm and haul another injured dwarf to his feet, that the dwarves may make swift their departure.


Rhuarc looks up at Sudanir, then down at his bow, then back up at Sudanir. "So long as you answer me this question:"

He begins trotting towards the fallen bow, "If I told the tale of how that orc very nearly gracefully dove into the river to take a swim, do you think even Legolas would believe me?"


[Sudanir(#31361)]
Sudanir rolls his eyes and laughs, despite himself. "Depends, perhaps, on how many cups of wine he had had. Perhaps you should just save that one for a fictional tale contest."


[Rhuarc(#1478)] "Ah, good idea. We would stand a chance of being believed, then!" says Rhuarc as he picks up the longbow and hurls it up into the trees.


[Diesa(#11440)]
Three is not enough. Not nearly enough. Diesa's fist pummels the orc's head to a bloody pulp long past the point of death. His face and beard are gore-splattered when Formin hauls him up onto his feet, his gaze unfocused. An arrow still protrudes from his back on the left side, half of his face is streaked with his own blood from the raking of orc claws and there are wounds in the side and upon one leg that have yet to be fully acknowledged by the soldier bearing them. Still it requires some insistence on the silversmith's part to get it through to the younger dwarf that the time for more killing is not now.

Sudanir picks a longbow quickly.


[Bagurat(#24847)]
The witch-orc repsonds with naught more than a glare at the retreating dwarves, and it is not long ere the uruk-hai that have rushed to aid are all about. But any pursuit they had in mind for Formin or his friends is called off with a command from behind Bagurat's mask. "No, that's enough," she hisses to the horde, and points with a spidery finger into the dark of the trees. "It is a setback, for now. Back south we go for a time, but post sentries at the riverside, should any of the tree-rats sprout up again."

And there is a new tramping of iron shod feet as the orcs scramble into motion, the main army carving their way through snow off into the trees.

 

[Formin(#26827)] "Diesa!" Formin growls, unusually serious. "Look around, lad! Leave it be!" He hauls on the young soldier's arm as he and the other dwarves run back along the thin path in the snow from whence they came. One lies slain behind, but five of this small company of dwarves live still, though with a number of injuries between them. Bagurat's order likely saves their lives by ensuring their unharried escape - but to what end? For as the dwarves flee the overwhelming odds behind them, their feet take them farther into a dark forest where all discernable landmarks are covered in a thick blanket of snow.

Hopefully tis back to the Old Forest Road that their footsteps carry them, but who can say?

 


Date added: 2010-09-30 01:24:35    Hits: 352
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