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How One Elf Cost the Eye a Thousand Arrows

Tags: Bagurat,  Witch-king,  Sudanir

Short Summary: Sudanir shows himself in the treetops and attempts to halt the marching host of orcs...
Date (real-life): 2010-09-06
Scene Location: Mirkwood, North of OFR

[+TIME] Middle-earth time is:
Mid Afternoon on Monday, Day 15 of November.
Execute the +TIMEFRAME command for year information.

Real time is: 20:05:38 MDT on Mon Sep 06 2010.


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 muddy and cold and around you the mid afternoon autumn air is chilly.
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 raining. You can hear the raindrops fall all around you and you are soon drenched. The rain sprinkles down slowly making the ground muddy.

Morian Orc Camp
Orc Raiding Party(#18007np)

The sun is high overhead. Probably. Or maybe it has begun its journey to the west by now. It is impossible to tell it this sodden rain, which falls in turn with gentle droplets, and sudden gusts of hard downpour, which cascade across the view likes sheets lain down upon the soggy, rotting forest. High up in the trees, a band of five elves move from tree to tree, easily walking from branch to branch in the dense overgrowth. Each figure is cloaked, and with the cover of rain and elvish craft, they are difficult to see.

Though something comes that will in turn be difficult to miss, for even as the rain soaks the ground underfoot the army of Mordor continues its march. No torches burn at this sodden hour, but all the same the progress of the uruk-hai moves on with little to disturb its aim; the stamp of a thousand or more iron-shod boots coming surely to the ears of the Eldar.

At the van of the evil host marches a tall orc with a black helm; a banner held furled in his clawed fingers as he sneers to the forest around him. Behind him come a regiment of orcs bearing long, cruelly spiked spears, and behind these walk ranks of archers, though at present no bow is bent in readiness.

On they march, through the well-loved woods of the Elvenfolk's guard, and small heed to they give to the tree-tops as they go.

Such a host is unexpected indeed. Which is to say, the elves are not surprised, for such a large mass of orc-men could be heard from a long way off. So the group of elves, drawn to the din, does not arrive unawares, but rather surprised that such a host is here at all. Sudanir crouches down to a squatting position on the branch, peering from under his hood at the seemingly overstructured (though others might call it loose) ranks of orcs proceeding northward.
"Sindilas," he calls, and another elf approaches near. "Hurry back to the hall and report what you see." Sudanir tells him.
"Very well." Sindilas answers, and starts to turn, but pauses. "And what will you do?"
"Harry them." Sudanir responds in low tones.
Nodding, Sindilas turns and moves swiftly down the branch to the trunk, switching to another thicker branch that runs out nearly to the next tree. Last sight of him is as he leaps to the next branch, never landing as the sheets of rain completely obscure him.

The elf waits for a few moments more, to buy the messenger some time. Then he stands up, and moves out over the bough, bow in hand, so that the fancy-helmed one would march directly beneath him. "Hold there!" he calls out. As if he really expects them to.

And one of the orcs jerks her head up at the horrid elven voice, though her face is obscurred behind a metallic crow-mask. The yellow gaze that glares upward is tinted with malicious hatred, and noticably her black robed form is favoring one leg; judging by the stiffness of Bagurat's movements, there is a considerable layer of bandages wrapped below the darkling fabric. "Says who? I don't take orders from a tree-loving maggot," the voice emerges as an unpleasant hiss.

Indeed, as the witch-orc answers the Eldarin voice the advance of the orcs is slowed somewhat, but not halted, and cruel eyes peek up into the gloom of the tree-tops with scorn. Behind the archers of the Eye march soldiers proper -- sharp blades and heavy hammers wielded with a deadly intent, and at the fore the banner-bearing orc dares a mocking cackle.

A mailed fist is raised then by the apparent herald, and a dozen archers nock vicious arrows to crudely bound bowstrings. It seems the challenge of the Eldar will not go smoothly.

"Sudanir, not that I would expect you to remember it an hour hence." the elf shoots back toward the nearby orc, while in response to the dozen or so archers putting arrow to bow, likewise he nocks his own arrow, ready to draw in a second. He changes his stance also, one foot poised while the other bears his weight, as if ready to sprint. "Do not be so hasty, unfortunate born, you know not how many of my kin already have arrows trained on you...and your host." he says with confidence. "I believe you have lost the Road. It is to the South."

A sneer is wrought upon the words that answer. "I doubt highly that you've a thousand arrows readied to match ours," says the witch-orc, and despite how she limps, she keeps her masked head held up pridefully. "It is you who are lost...or will soon be, slain and trampled into the earth."

A few snarls in orcish threat and cheer accompany this and some of the other orcs bang shield to sword. Jeers are sent toward Sudanir.

And the bearer of the banner of Mordor's march stands forth to unfurl his cargo: a sable field upon which blazes the scarlet likeness of the Eye of Sauron. "This road we choose for ourselves!" he cries out, following Bagurat's words, and once again his mailed fist raises -- this time to splay fingers toward the sky by way of signal.

The forest air comes alive with the sound of bowstrings creaking as they are drawn back, and the eyes of the archers seek the leafy boughs of the trees for a target.

"Not in the first volley, no." Sudanir seems to admit with reluctance to the more diminutive orc, and chooses another position on the branch, the advantage of which would only be guessable by him, and draws his bow as well, sighting down the arrow directly at the banner bearer. "But as none of you know where they are in the trees, the second volley would be as great as the first. Unless...you plan on shooting blindly?" He smirks at the thought. "Either way, /you/ would be dead." He pauses a moment and then asks almost conversationally, "Where are you headed? Perhaps we could speed you on your way."

"A thousand blind darts would have a better chance of finding our foe's flesh than your meager volley, guided as it may be," comes the mocking reply, and Bagurat's gaze narrows to watch as the Elf moves on the branch. "Speed us on our way, pah," a spidery-fingered hand steals inside the black robes to draw forth a long jagged dagger, its hilt fashioned of bone. "Stay for a while longer, and I may just decide to play a game of darts...with the targets in the trees."

COMBAT - Wielded: Sacrificial Dagger

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

A raucous laugh sounds from the orc host at this, and the banner-bearer curls a lip in relish; yellow fangs bared as though in anticipation. The strain of bowstrings can be heard well enough by ears even as ungifted as those of the Eldar, and the helmed orc at the army's fore sneers up into the trees.

"Shoot for shadows, lads," he counsels those behind him. "We need only a few to catch in luck to match whatever tally those leaf-ears think they can achieve..."

Another bout of sinister laughter, and all uruk eyes train upon the tree-tops anew.

"I would not do that," Sudanir says, still holding his drawn bow stiffly, his voice showing some strain either of body or nerve, for I /will/ cut you down." He gives it a moment to sink in. "We can still talk, you and I..."

The dagger remains clenched within the clawed hand, though as of yet the shaman makes no move to throw it. "And what more would you talk about," hisses Bagurat anew, the yellowed glare in the eyeholes of the mask flickering with a smirk, "aside from pretty flowers and your precious branches?"

A low growl sounds in the throat of the standard-bearer at the delay, but none among the uruk-hai host seem ready to dare crossing the will of the witch-orc. He, and the archers remain in readiness, perhaps bound more by the lack of command from Bagurat than a desire to postpone their play.

"Well, I asked where you are headed. You do appear lost, for there is nothing North of here that you could find of interest." Sudanir answers, looking now to Bagurat, though he keeps his arrow trained on his intended target.

"I disagree," now a muffled laugh sounds from behind the metal beak, "unless you commonly refer to your homes as 'nothing.' Why don't you be a good helper and lead the way for us?" And finally, Bagurat's head tilts toward the herald and his waiting archers. "They bore me. Fell them from the trees and perhaps then we'll tickle directions out of them."

A roar of satisfaction rises from the orc host, and if any nearby were still in ignorance of their approach, surely this is cured by the echoes that spread throughout the forest. The helmed standard-bearer sneers anew, his hand chopping down, and wiith his action the hiss of several hundred arrows stabs against the tree-trunks.

A volley of crude yet murderous darts is sent to the leafy boughs of the Mirkwood, and quick as a flash hundreds more blades are drawn with a rasp of iron. No nest of vipers could compete with this sound; the long-awaited wrath of the uruk-hai given voice by the drawing of their weapons. Even as the bolts fly, iron-shot feet charge the very trunks they assail, and the promise of carnage is given to the sentries of the Eldar should they linger beyond what wisdom demands.

Sudanir looses his bow as the herald bearer drops his arm, as if following the enemy's cue. Then without hesitation, he jumps down to the next branch, running along its moss-covered bark toward shelter amid...or perhaps under the volley. He disappears behind the trunk.

No return volley is loosed.

[Combat(#13388)] Sudanir hangs the longbow over his shoulder again.

With her torn shoulder and side, the shaman does not charge along with the might of the others; but rather she stands off to the side, yellowed gaze observing. The watching turns into a hiss of frustration as Sudanir slips from view. The hand that holds the dagger clenches, turning the ashen knuckles pale. For the moment though, the sounds that leave Bagurat's hidden mouth are a string of unintelligable cursings.

Even without the witch-orc's participation, the motley assault of the orcs is damaging enough; their arrows stinging the dark and doubtless a dozen branches in their flight. But down upon the ground great strokes of their blades are sent against the bark of the trees; axes and scimitars cutting deep into the flesh of the forest as they take their revenge for the haughty words of the Eldar against the woods themselves. Long moments does the frenzy of chopping go on, until no less than twenty of the great floral towers is sent crashing to the gnarled earth below; a bounty in lumber no doubt for the uruk-hai to add to their savage glee.

But even as this cruelty is wrought upon the Mirkwood, the efforts of the orcs yield no sign of the Firstborn, and at length the blades of the evil host still and hack no more. Eyes turn then to the Shaman Bagurat, and from the rear of the army calls forth the voice of the standard-bearer.

"What now, great reverent one? The Leaf-ears are fled, and their towers felled. Shall we linger here or march on in search of new conquest?"

Whatever elvish volley, or return battle cry, or even fleeing retreat may have been expected from a host...does not come. Only the pattering of the rain on the leaves, and the occasional falling of an arrow that tips its balance enough to slip from the trees.

It is a long moment ere the robed orc answers, and when at the last she turns -- garments swishing about, her hand still clasping that stained knife, and eyes lit with displeasure -- it is not a pleasant sight to behold. "They have gone, the tree-rat cowards," hisses Bagurat then. "Lingering here will not bring them back, unless they are foolish enough to actually return...but no doubt they shall bring more numbers. Tarry long enough to gather what is useful from these," a gesture indicates the felled trunks, "but no longer. The camps meanwhile are to be set further in, not where the sun can glare through once the sky clears."

The orders thus given, the head of the standard-bearer dips in obedience, and with guttural barks he governs those around him to carry out the Shaman of the Eye's will. Though reluctant at first to abandon their assult upon the trees, the orc host slowly comes to order, and at length is ready to move once more.

Triumphant gazes are thrown to the tree-tops then; pride and savage pomp lighting every uruk eye as they congratulate themselves in their own savage way, sneering at the expense of the Firstborn and readying themselves for a final signal.

Once more does the host draw up in ranks, much as they were ere the interruption of Sudanir and his fellows, and the banner-wielder takes his place at their van once more. His eyes slide toward Bagurat a final time, and he nods his helmed head.

And that nod is exchanged with that of the beaked mask, and the eyes therein shift once more to sweep over the horde as it stands in wait. The dagger is slid through the witch-orc's gnarled fingers, ere it is raised: a silent signal it would seem to move the army onward.

And so the march of Mordor resumes, delving ever deeper into the lands watched by the folk of Amon Thranduil.


Date added: 2010-09-07 07:58:53    Hits: 146
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