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Defy Not the Dark

Tags: Sulgirion,  Witch-king

Short Summary: Ringwraith and eagle meet again...but how long shall the latter's defiance last?
Date (real-life): 2010-08-18
Scene Location: Grassy Knoll, Mirkwood

============== Lord of the Rings Calendar <in English> ==============
IC time is:    Early Morning < About 9:27 AM >
IC day is:     Sunday
IC date is:    September 18
Moon phase:    Full  <HIDDEN>
Earendil:      Gil-Estel is not visible.
IC year is:    Third Age 3050
RL time:        Wed Aug 18 17:29:18 2010

Old Forest Road, Grassy Knoll
The Old Forest Road ascends and descends a tall knoll at this point in its longitudinal traverse of the great forest. The autumn forest is somewhat brownish around you, though the trees thin out around the bald knob of the hill. The early morning air is chilly around you, and below you the earth is wet. The road is carved with wagon, boot, and hoof prints.

Rains falls steadily through the gap in the trees and runs down in rivulets around the hill. The water streams down slowly and seeps into the ground.

Overgrown Tomb
Obvious exits:
SouthWest, NorthWest, East, and West

The early morning heralds the chill of autumn, and the sun is cast behind a layer of rain clouds. Here, over Mirkwood, there is a dark shape on high, wheeling about the heavens in a slow and mournful motion. There, on the sky-roads of Manwe, roams Sulgirion, one of the Eagles of the North. Now and again his bronze figure shifts course ever so slightly, as if he would be borne away upon another wind; but still he lingers, circling overhead.

A harsh screech rends the air -- an avian call from hooked beak that is sent toward the ground and the grassy knoll below surrounded by the forest. Then the eagle is silent, waiting perhaps for some form of an answer if it may come.

It comes in due time, for after a third wheel of the Eagle in the sky above, there is a call from the shadows of the trees, and one might seem to melt from their midst to greet the mighty bird. Tall, fell, robed in black as once before upon this hillock, a figure appears, and raises one hand skyward.

And that answer and robed figure earns a shiver from the shape above. Multiple feathers bristle, and then, folding his massive wings tightly against his body, Sulgirion dips himself forward beak first; like a bolt of thunder he falls from the clouds. Lower and lower the avian dives, until his form is but a streaking blur of golden brown. The branches sway and lurch as he passes.

Just as it seems that his velocity and momentum will smash him into the knoll, the eagle flings wide his great wings, throwing them into a mighty backflap of deceleration. His blackened claws clamp into the earth as he lands; upon one of the toes, a mark sits, pale and cold. The golden head is canted sideways so that a bright amber eyes peers forth. "I am come..Giver of Gifts." And so the 'sparrow of the mountains' returns.

A scornful, crooning laugh is given in reply, ere the wraith dips his head in acknowledgement, the gloved hand lowering to steal within the black robes once more. Within the depths of the cowl two fires burn for eyes, and they remain locked on the amber gaze of his visitor.

"As I knew you would, my hawk," says he, "and not before time. How fares your talon, which was kissed so deeply by my own?"

Those sharp amber eyes waver, as though they would look away; but they do not. A lingering shred of defiance dwells therein, but it remains held back for the nonce. Instead, it is the talon in question that moves, for it clenches then in the dirt. "It is froze," answers the bird, sparing a quick flicker of his gaze downward at it. "It is not...dead?" There is uncertainty and apprehension in the voice.

A shake of the cowl suggests not, and the Ringwraith explains: "It is but waiting for its master's command, as will all your limbs, and your heart at the last, when my gift is complete. Can you not feel already the pull of my will? Embrace it, sentry of the skies, and your claw shall work again with strength you have never known..."

For a moment, the raptor appears to consider, tilting his head again now to the other side. But then that tarrying resistance surfaces, and a frown mars the otherwise emotionless countenance of feathers.

"Beware, serpent!" a shrill caw rings out amid the Westron. "Honeyed words will not avail you this time. It will take more than empty promises to bend the winds beneath your will when they seek to fly elsewhere." Straightening himself up to his full height, Sulgirion unfurls his thirty foot wingspan in a sort of avian intimidation display. Every plumage stands bristling, and in the narrowed gaze there is suspicion, anger, defiance, and fear. Beneath this mixture, however, broods something more...a dark influence awaiting its master's call.

The Nazgul staps back a pace as the mighty wings beat the air in the unfurling, but as the great bird hesitates he issues forth a fresh laugh; low and mocking.

"So brave and defiant are the sparrows of the West, but see here! I have placed my hawkers hood over your eyes, and you should think long on that power. The winds are changing of its own accord, my pet, and you shall founder and fall if you do not ride them well. My dagger cut not deep, but deep enough for my design, and your heart may quail should so I command it!"

And the hand of the Nazgul grasps forth at this once more, curling and hooking as though squeezing some unseen fruit in its palm. The darkness might seem to the Eagle to grow all of a sudden, stabbing and clawing with fingers of dread and malice at his heart.

There is utter silence. The eagle does not cry out, and does not move -- nor does it appear he is able to, once the dread darkness swells, and the air turns ice under its path. The raised wings falter, hover in their place, and then drop. At length the avian speaks, and the voice from the hooked beak is now flat and strange; mingled with fear is the aloofness of one who lives in dream, and the amber stare has grown veiled and dimmed.

"How foolish I was, to not perceive the value of your mark, Giver of Gifts. I embrace the power, verily." Sulgirion's form is no longer imposing, for now it stands dormant, submissive. He waits with bowed head. And it might be heard -- or imagined to be heard -- by keen ears, that the wind whispers through the trees in a mournful song at the corruption of what once was good.

Long moments stretch by as the Witch-king regards the Eagle, studying perhaps his new bearing, but at length the cowl dips in satisfaction, and the gloved hand returns to his side. "Then I shall make use of yours, bolstered by my own," he informs the avian. "I have need of eyes and ears in the sky, to tell me of the coming and going of my enemies. You will keep watch upon the village of the men-folk near the Carrock, and the stunted Dwarves that toil upon the outpost westward. Bring me news of them, and their numbers, and keep most of all an eye for the sight of Elves..."

At this the voice drops once more to a hiss, and Sulgirion may be forgiven for thinking a nest of vipers has been awoken within the Nazgul's hood. "Elves," he repeats, and no word could be said with such malice. "They hide within their woods, confounding my orcs in the search for their pathsways, and springing ever unawares. Seek above all the movements of elves, so that we may break their cursed defenses and assail them for true."

Indeed, the sudden vile hissing receives a wary blink from the towering shape of the eagle, and he shifts his head once more, as though searching the dark form of the wraith for the source of the unpleasant sound.

Then the neck dips again, once Sulgirion has listened. "Then it shall be done, it shall be so. Swiftly does the breath of Manwe bear me. The wait will not be long."

"Then return to me in seven days," instructs the Witch-king, "and tell me what you have seen, or sooner if there is news most urgent. I shall watch the skies for your return, and you will know whither I am come by the yearning of your claws."

At the mention of the claw, the avian fixes his regard upon the pale mark, and he flexes the sharp-edged toes. Then he lets the foot fall back to ground with a great thud. "By your wish, Giver of Gifts," Sulgirion acknowledges, and as he steps away, the enormous pinions are spread open in preparation for flight.

With a leap, the eagle ascends into the sky, the tips of feathers reaching like fingers to pull the air.

"I shall wish much more, ere the end, my hawk," says the Nazgul to himself as Sulgirion wings away, and when the sight of the Eagle is lost to view, the Witch-king melds back into the shadows of the dread Mirkwood.


Date added: 2010-08-18 20:21:10    Hits: 100
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