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Logs

Swelling Darkness

Tags: Bagurat,  Sarn Goriwing,  Sachem,  Rakarg,  Witch-king

Short Summary: A group of Mordain orcs arrive at Sarn Goriwing from afar in summons to the mustering. Likewise, the Morians are encamped nearby, but it seems not all are very pleased with this shaky 'alliance.'
Date (real-life): 2010-08-28
Scene Location: Bridge of Sarn Goriwing

[+TIME] Middle-earth time is:
Early Evening on Sterday, Day 15 of October.
Execute the +TIMEFRAME command for year information.

Real time is: 20:43:40 MDT on Fri Aug 27 2010.


Iant Umarthen: Bridge to Sarn Goriwing
As you walk across a long bridge of stout trees tied together in a massive wooden plank, you see below you that the wide bridge of smooth black stone has been shattered, and only crumbling and dangerously narrow stretches of jagged and glossy rock now stretch crookedly across the ravine. A heavy dark mist rises from the black waters below you and the incessant thrashing falls around you, stifling your senses and numbing your thoughts with the threat of endless sleep... Before you the black spire of Sarn Goriwing rises from the churning inky spray, a needle of smooth stone worked with clever artifice and ancient sorcery. The tower looks cold and dreary from where you stand, as cheerless and deadly as the forest far below.
Contents:
Witch-king
Sachem
Morian Orc Camp
Dushdush
Corpse sign
Draw Bridge Wheel
Obvious exits:
Gate and Shore
Corpse sign


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Darkness falls o'er the fabled forest of Mirkwood, but while the Sun flees in the west it makes little difference to the skulking fortress of Sarn Goriwing. Here the smokes and reek of the furnaces blacked the sky already, and some fell sorcery seems at work to keep the light of day at bay from even the surrounding woods. Here the evil designs of the Lidless Eye are fast afoot, and the tower is abuzz with activity.

Long and hard have the orcs of the fortress toiled to bring about order and regimen to their unruly masses; forging an army fit for battle out of scattred and motley bands of uruk-hai, but now the results can plainly be seen. Courtyards are filled with drilling soldiers, and every hall seems fit to burst with armed brutes eager for murder and slaughter.


[Bagurat(#24847)]
As filled as the fortress may be, with its raucous and disorderly inhabitants, it seems the courtyards and passages are about to grow yet more crowded.

The din of harsh voices and the tramping of iron-shod boots heralds the approach of another group of orcish figures, already making their way across the bridge and toward the great gates. There is the occassional bickering and snarling, and at least one unlucky snaga barely avoids toppling over the edge of the suspended pathway. One among them is quiet despite the pushing and shoving nearby. Robed in black, Bagurat walks onward among the crowd, her yellow eyes now and again flitting upward to peer upon the gate and the walls as they draw nearer. A crow-mask hides all other features upon her face.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Something seems amiss to the soldiers of the courtyard already; not used are they to such a silent approach. Indeed, as the party move closer to the fortress the quiet seems to spread among the throng, curiosity overcoming even the uruk love of combat for the moment it would seem. Swords and spears lower as Bagurat and her entourage approach, and even the guards seem off-balanced by the subtle, unobtrusive arrival.

One burly fellow steps forth onto the bridge, wary eyes surveying the new arrivals. "Who goes there?" he barks, eyes drawn to the robed figure of Bagurat. "If yer here for the muster, yer late!"


[Bagurat(#24847)]
"Late indeed," answers the black robed form then, and judging by the tone of the voice, Bagurat's mouth has pulled slightly into a sneer. "And yet here we are. I don't supposed you'd deny entry due to..tardiness? From the south some of us come, from the wretched lands of the horse-rats, and we departed as soon as we received the summons."

The host behind has halted, and now the faint sounds of arguing and hissing have ceased, although a few of the other goblins bang steel to shield impatiently.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
The guard seems uncertain, perhaps used to dealing with orcs of lesser resolve and assuredness as the new arrival, and his eyes dart hither and thither before collecting themselves. They focus at length upon Bagurat anew, and he draws himself up.

"No, no, can't be wasting bodies at a time like this. But, er, the bosses aint gonna be happy. Just who are yer, and why shouldn't I have the lads give you a good whipping fer being late?"


[Bagurat(#24847)]
A fresh hiss emerges from underneath the impassive crow-mask, and the only thing that can be seen are the malicious yellow eyes that glare forth. "My name is not of import -- suffice it to be said that the 'Death-Masked' brings reinforcement in accord to the High Shrieker's orders."

The shaman takes a step forward unconcernedly, and there is the renewed tramp of metal-clad boots as the group attempts to continue on its way. "Move yer rear, or be flattened, garn!" Another voice shouts in an orc-growl.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
At the mention of the Shrieker, the guard takes an involuntary step backward, though at the challenge he stiffly attempts to draw himself up anew. "The Teguk has said that none are to cross without knowing who they are and where to put them!"

Then, perhaps sensing that the wind may be changing ever so slightly, he shuffles forward to add: "But I'd be glad to show you to him, if you've got something to say that he'd need to hear?"


[Bagurat(#24847)]
There is a momentary silence following the guard's last suggestion, and the robed shape pauses, fabric whipping about in the chilly sleep-inducing breeze that blows up from the sorcerous river below the bridge. "I am known as Bagurat, Pledged Shaman for the Eye in Pulgorbuurz. The others are of various garrisons. As I said..from the south near the black forest of tree-demons most of us have come. Let your Teguk decide where he shall station us."


[Witch-king(#28583)]
The guard blinks twice, ere he bows low and nigh scrapes the wood of the bridge with his chin in deference. "Forgiveness, Shaman! I did not know one such as you would be coming! I'll show you to the Teguk straight away!"


[Bagurat(#24847)]
A corner of the hidden mouth twitches in a lopsided smirk, and the she-orc gives a low crooning laugh to herself, "A wise decision." With a wordless gesture of a long sleeved arm, Bagurat beckons the rest of the uruk crowd forward, and as they start to pass the guard, the shaman directs her attention toward him once more.

"A pity for the confusion," says she, sounding not sorry in the least, "now we shall be even later. But I know who to blame for that.."


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Springing up in a paragon of helpfulness, the guard whirls about and barks out orders in the harsh tongue of the uruk-hai. "Clear the way, you miserable worms, or I'll make sure none of you wriggle ever again! The Shaman is coming through!"

And to back these words up he shoves at once into the watching throng, pushing more than one soldier into his fellows. Slowly, with the growling surliness of the orcs, the throng parts, and here and there the voices of the drill sergeants begin to bellow out to recommence training. While the orcs slowly turn back to their drilling, many eyes still linger upon the black-robed figure of Bagurat, unwilling it seems to let a good show go to waste.


[Bagurat(#24847)]
With the path fairly cleared thanks to the efforts of the guard, the arrivals soon are disppearing through the gaping gate and into the waiting fortress. But even as the last pair of marching orcs pass beyond the threshold, the shaman lingers behind, and the eyeholes of the mask are turned upon the figure of the guard as he barks orders. "You," a gnarled ashen finger signals the unfortunate orc out. "Do you consider yourself faithful to the Master?" A dead stillness follows this question.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
The guard turns about slowly, his eyes once more flitting from side to side anxiously, ere he stands straight and thumps a fist upon his breast. "None more faithful in the entire fortress!" he declares, swelling up with apparent piety. "I'm the Eye's most loyal soldier!"


[Bagurat(#24847)]
The she-orc laughs anew at the declaration, and malicious amusement might be heard therein. She dares another pace closer then, seeking to seal the distance between them; swift as a serpent, Bagurat's clawed hand dives into her garments to withdraw a long and jagged bone-hilted dagger. "Then the most loyal wouldn't be selfish enough to cower away from a sacrifice, surely?"


[Witch-king(#28583)]
It takes only a moment for the guard to respond, but he nods eagerly and replies: "No, no, not at all. I love watching sacrifices, O wise one! Here, let me select one for you!"

His gnarled fist reaches into the throng, dragging a small and rather panicked snaga from its midst. "Here, reverent one! This one is fit for the carving!"


[Bagurat(#24847)]
The yellow eyes in the mask shift to watch as the snaga is pulled forth, and the black-garbed orc merely laughs again, though more mockingly this time, and the gnarled hand gestures to the guard once more. "I was referring to you, most loyal servant. Have you the courage, nay the faith, to yield yourself?" Long fingers tap upon the dagger's hilt absentmindedly.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
With eyes akin to a trapped fox, the guard stares at the Shaman, ere his fingers knit and knead in frantic thought. "But, but, O great one, the Eye needs my spear, to skewer the hated leaf-ears and the stinking menfolk, surely?" Little shuffles of his feet betray perhaps an urge to flee.


[Bagurat(#24847)]
"Surely," comes the flat response, accompanied by a lazy command. "Bare your arm." And the shaman waits, paying no heed to any stares that might be directed their way by the onlooking audience.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
Once more the guard looks left and right in the hopes of escape, but finds only the hungry glares of his fellows, cruelly watching him in anticipation and mirth. A growl is sent their way, ere the guard slowly, reluctantly raises his dirty clothing from his forearm, laying it bare for the Shaman's pleasure.

"May the Eye be kind.." he mutters, with little hope.


[Bagurat(#24847)]
The dagger is raised, slowly, as if to cruelly prolong the tension and uncertainty, and then with a flash of silver it plunges for the exposed forearm. Back and forth the blade flies, wielded by those deft ashen claws, and across the flesh several marks are drawn: three vertical lines enclosed within a large circle. "Mind, body, spirit..." mutters Bagurat, the words muffled slightly by the hideous mask that likewise conceals the unpleasant grin that twists her unseen face.

This done, the she-orc steps back, yellow gaze from within the eyeholes fixed upon the knife-marks as though to admire her handiwork. "You think you are loyal now; you'll be able to serve Him even better once you understand the sign."


[Witch-king(#28583)]
A low snarl of discomfort erupts from the guard's throat as this is done, but he does nto cry out in pain; it seems the savage uruk-hai of Mordor are no strangers to such. As the Shaman speaks on, though, his eyes turn to her handiwork, and he peers at it with a mixture of interest and dread.

A few nearby necks crane to look what has been carved into his flesh, and with a delicate finger the guard dabs at the still raw grooves.

"I.. I am favored?" he asks in a hopeful voice.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Venturing out of the nearby Moria camp is Sachem. Few of the small orcs from the mines have done so up until now. Only their leader is big enough to really compete with the Mordor orc should things get ugly. Sachem is headed towards the snarl that has attracted his attention.


[Bagurat(#24847)]
"You could say that, yes," comes the answer, although it is not terribly convincing. "But it's exact meaning I will leave you yourself to discover. It will be more meaningful..that way."

Bagurat's head turns slightly to regard the crowd that has gathered, and in doing so her sight alights upon the newcomer. Eyes swiftly flicker to the camp from whence the figure has come, and those eyes narrow behind the mask. "What are the mountain-rats doing here?" a hiss emerges in disdain, but low enough perhaps to be heard by those withing hearing range.


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Sachem smirks at his people being called 'mountain rats'. He puts out his bare forearm to display the mark the Witch-king gave him.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
A deep, booming voice sounds then in answer, and from the throng steps a tall, burly figure of an orc; scars and trophies of battle adorning his flesh as cruel red eyes rgeard the Morians. His badges mark him as a Rakarg, and he has a fitting swagger as he shoves snaga and Dogs from his path.

"They've been summoned by the Shrieker, Holy One," says the commander, and the newly marked guard shies quickly from his path. "Come to join in the fun when we're ready..."


[Bagurat(#24847)]
There is a moment's silence ere the simple, flat response comes. "I see."

The yellow eyes continue their narrowed scrutiny of the Morian, and they pause over the mark he shows forth. A frown plays upon the shaman's hidden countenance, and she hisses anew, "What is this then? Not a battle-scar, I deem. There is an odd look about it. Cold and pale it seems."


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Sachem jerks his arm back. "Holy One, he called you? What's the Shrieker? The one on the horse? He gave me that little scratch."


[Witch-king(#28583)]
A long pauses follows this, ere the Rakarg gives a curt nod; a lip curling back to reveal his fangs. "You speak to one of the Shamans of the Lidless Eye, mountain orc; held high in the Shrieker's esteem. But if you've been touched by the High Shrieker's blade and lived to tell about it, then you could boast the same, I reckon."


[Bagurat(#24847)]
A soft snorting sound follows the Rakarg's last comment, and a jealousy might be perceived therein. The still bloodied dagger is shifted between her long gnarled fingers, and the she-orc raises her eyes once more from Sachem's arm to met his own. "Then the High Shrieker must think highly of you, indeed. It is a blessing, surely, not something idly bestowed upon the unworthy."


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Orcs are usually too miserable to really smile, but Sachem positively grins at the 'holy' one's snorting. "Not idly bestowed on a rat, you might say?"


[Witch-king(#28583)]
A growl rumbles in the throat of the Rakarg, and while not hostile his gaze is stern as it looks Sachem over once more. "Rats may have uses, but I wager no mark would spare one from the Shrieker's wrath if his plans go astray. We'll have no fighting here, or the Teguk's mount will have some fresh meat for dinner..."


[Bagurat(#24847)]
The hidden lips pull back into a lopsided grin of mockery as the Morian speaks, but any forthcoming comments appear to be held back at the Rakarg's threat. "What exactly are these plans, if you are allowed to utter them?" Bagurat's attention shifts back to the second Mordain orc. "The summons mentioned a mustering in Gundrulgor, but specifics were neglected."


[Sachem(#32030)] 
Sachem pats his axe, but says nothing as he waits for more specifics.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
The Rakarg turns his head to spit, caring little it seems for who among the throng might be hit by it. "If the Teguk knows, then he aint saying, and we're waiting on the Shrieker's return for more. But don't you worry," he laughs savagely, "there'll be murder aplenty for everyone."


[Bagurat(#24847)]
The answer would seem to earn satisfaction, for the crow-mask dips in a nod, and a fresh crooning laugh seeps from behind it. "Then I shall wait to hear more. And may there be plenty of sacrifice for the Great One, and His Eye look down upon his Chosen servants with favor."

The shaman's eyes sweep the scene once more -- searching perhaps for the marked guardsman. Then the long dagger is stowed away and without a further glance toward the commander or Sachem, Bagurat's robed form stalks in the direction of the opened gates.


[Witch-king(#28583)]
And the throng parts to admit her advance, wary eyes trained upon the mysterious witch-orc as she goes, and the Rakarg nods in satisfaction. "What are you maggots looking at?" he roars. "Get back to yer tasks, or I'll skin some hides myself!"

With that, the usual business of the fortress of Sarn Goriwing resumes.


Date added: 2010-08-29 11:00:36    Hits: 102
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