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World of Twilight

Tags: Sulgirion,  Witch-king

Short Summary: Sulgirion descends for the third time upon the grassy knoll, and receives a peek into a world unseen by normal eyes.
Date (real-life): 2010-08-23
Scene Location: Grassy Knoll, OFR Mirkwood

============== Lord of the Rings Calendar <in English> ==============
IC time is:    Early Morning < About 9:16 AM >
IC day is:     Monday
IC date is:    October 3
Moon phase:    New  <NOT VISIBLE>
Earendil:      Gil-Estel is not visible.
IC year is:    Third Age 3050
RL time:        Mon Aug 23 17:25:27 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.

Orc Raiding Party
Overgrown Tomb
Obvious exits:
SouthWest, NorthWest, East, and West

Morning breaks upon the eastern horizon, but even as the golden line of the dawn glistens over the treetops, beneath the boughs of the mighty Mirkwood shadows still rule; not yet chased away by the cheer of the Daystar. Along the Old Forest Road a hillock rises in the hopes of finding fresher light, but upon its summit stands one who would fight such a thing readily.

For upon the grassy knoll tarries the dread figure of the Witch-king, black robes swaddling him against the coming day and his cowl gazing skyward expectantly.

And that expectation is not left waiting long. A darkness falls from above to match the gloom that dwells below, but in contrast, the sky-shadow is framed in a brief blaze of fiery gold in the rising of the sun. And then down, down it plummets, Anor's light glinting off curved beak and glittering claws. For a third time, comes this Great Eagle to the knoll.

As his descend brings him along the treetops, Sulgirion's hooked mouth parts to emit a series of warbles and screeches in the avian tongue -- then, wild-edged Westron emerges. "Tidings I bring, of the Sons of Aule." Wingbeats blast the grass into ripples.

A nod of satisfaction is given by the hood of the black figure, and a gloved hand raises to beckon the mighty bird downward. "Perch then, my hawk, and tell me of them. What news of the stunted rabble?"

"I came to them in the light of morning upon the outpost West of the Carrock, and spoke to them," says the raptor, giving a last flap of his massive pinions to settle himself on the top of the hill. He picks at his side with his beak for a hasty moment, ere Sulgirion raises his golden head and speaks on.

"They toil to rebuild the ruined fort, and already their efforts have brough them halfway. Their numbers seemed not great to me, but enough however to drive back the goblins of the Hithaeglir, who have assailed them more than once thus far. The dwarves are confident in their defenses. The reconstruction is to be completed ere winter arrives, and then they shall journey homeward to the Mountain."

A sneer can be heard upon the voice of the Nazgul as he replies after a time, making room for the great Eagle. "By winter, they hope?" says he. "That is well, and will keep them occupied. I shall make use of that, and have already given them a reason to fear the eastward road. Let them hole up with the rats of Grimbeorn; they defend a poor target, and guess little of what is to come."

Within the cowl a firelit gaze is kindled, and the black figure asks then: "And what of the other folk that loiter in the Master's woods? Have your eyes seen aught of the hated Firstborn?"

The eagle cants his head as he listens, and the large amber eye that peers forth pauses upon that fiery gaze, and there it lingers as though mesmerized; it is the stare of a bird before a snake.

At last the avian answers. "I have not espied any of the Firstborn of Mirkwood. Of Lorien, I have seen one. It was some time ago, when I came upon an Elf fleeing from the eaves of this wood after he had escaped a pack of wargs, he claimed. He caught sight of my talon, and advised me to seek the aid of the healers of the Golden Wood; but I declined."

The Nazgul rasps at this last piece of news, and with a clenched fist he answers the avian. "Fly not to their cursed woods," he spits, "or else feel the wrath of thy master's spells. They are not for you to espy, and the one you encountered will harm us little. Instead keep watch on this forest alone, and search harder for those who dwell within it."

He steps forward then, cowl dipped as though to examine the wound upon Sulgirion's talon, and the gloved hand reaches out as though to stroke and caress the poisoned skin.

The initial threat earns a shiver from Sulgirion, his feathers quivering as though stirred by an unfelt wind. At the Ringwraith's approach, and reaching, this reaction intensifies; the great bird lets a sharp caw slip from his throat, and that talon starts to jerk upward and back, unless a greater will should stay it.

"Something...troubles me, Giver of Gifts," the eagle manages to hiss out, eyes observing warily, and breath uneven.

The cowl raises then, turning upward to train the fiery gaze upon the Eagle's own, and the Nazgul voice comes now as a soft hiss; low and subtle as wisps of black fog begin to follow it.

"And what is that, my hawk?"

The retreating foot pauses, hovering uncertainly betwixt air and earth. The amber eyes lock onto the fiery lights within the hood once more. "The skies do not welcome me as gladly as they once did. Thrice I have been besieged by furious winds, and battered by unforgiving rain. The West frowns on me, or so it would seem." The eagle's plumged brow furrows and he narrows his gaze as if struggling to see through blinding fog. His head turns slightly to peek at the raised talon and the scar thereon.

"...It is your fault, that the sky treats me so," he says at length, slowly. There is a brewing anger mixed under the Common, and Sulgirion's frame tenses, wings twitching with displeasure by his sides. "I once served the Lords of the West..." The dimmer amber eyes have begun to brighten with a faint stirring -- the first test perhaps for the dark web of magic that has been weaved.

"...And now they punish you, is that your thought?" asks the Nazgul then, drawing himself up, and about the two of them the shadows seem to grow and stretch. No violence is in this growth; more a blanket of night wrapping about the hill to ward off the coming day if it may.

"Ask yourself, then, former slave of the West, what master would furnish you with lesser gifts, and then jealously hurl their spite at you when another grants you further strength? For surely I have done so, though you have yet to discover all that I have given you, and your former masters are wroth only because they are powerless to match my presents."

A hiss then, and the robes of the Nazgul open wide, pulled aside by the gloved hands, and within the cowl the fires blaze anew. "Search the shadows, my hawk, with eyes that you have never known. See that which is hidden from you by the petty Lords of the West. See what lies within the Shadow world, where all things are revealed in their true nature..."

Like a candle being snuffed out, the faint hintings of irritated defiance are dashed to ribbons with the darkness. The hovering claw wavers and drops back to the ground at the last with a thud and tearing of grass. "Selfish and proud they are, I perceive now," agrees the eagle, in a flat tone of enchantment, and he watches without blinking as the robes are cast open.

A hesitation, and then he takes a half-avian step nearer, curiosity overriding fear for the nonce. Sulgirion dips his head lower and forward as though to peer more closely into the darkness inside the fabric.

A laugh then, which under the spell may sound kind, though elsewise is scornful and cruel, escapes the hood, and the Nazgul shakes a head unseen within the cowl. But then gloved hands reach up to draw back the hood and there where his head ought to be sits a silver crown above the fiery eyes; no other features visible.

Unless it might seem, should one gaze long and with the power to do so, that the head of the Nazgul is not unseen. Rather it is there, hiding behind the veil of shadowm a pale, kingly figure standing before the mighty avian. Still the darkness coils about them, and the voice of the Nazgul urges Sulgirion on.

"Look deeper, my hawk. Let the blinding light of the day seep away, and perceive my true form..."

The words of the wraith are met with a heavy silence, palpable in its intensity, and the raptor remains with neck stooped, still as stone, amber regard narrowed in the strain to see beyond the eddies of gloom and dread.

After a moment, it seems his efforts has succeeded -- for a shrill cawing of startlement erupts from avian beak, and he suddenly straightens himself. Mighty wings fly wide to beat the air once, and fall dormant again. "You..are a Lord yourself?" the voice asks, tone faltering as the amber eyes flicker over the revealed kingly figure with what appears to be awed fascination. "Then I am honored even moreso, to have been bestowed your gift."

The head of the Witch-king dips in confirmation, and how it can be seen that all his figure retains the same pale light, splendorous after a kind; a piercing raiment of white within the darkness. But nothing changes the crimson blaze of his eyes, even with their regal face revealed, and they burn ever as they regard the eagle anew.

"Aye," says he, "and more besides, for I have powers no Lord of Men has ever before me possessed. Blessed am I to be in my master's service, and if you look upon me now with interest, imagine what my own eyes see!"

A hiss follows this, ere the figure adds: "Cast your own gaze about you, my hawk, and see the forest as it appears within the world of Shadow..."

Sulgirion's sight lingers on that strange lordly form, regal yet frightful, noble yet fell. And then, at the bidding, he swirvels his tall neck to glance at the surrounding wood anew. The avian tilts his head to peer about from different angles, and all the while his hooked mouth clacks open and shut in contemplation. "The shadows do not seem as hindering as once they were," he speaks after a pause. "It is a world of Twilight."

And then, lastly, he shifts his eyes to look into the sky; there is a flinch, ruffling of feathers, and a sort of avian hissing. Sulgirion hastily glances away. "The light of day pains this new view."

The Witch-king nods anew, and at his urging the shadows of the night cling and wrap around the hillock as best they may, perhaps to shield the avian from the worst of it. But when he speaks it is the soft whisper of a master imparting secrets, and he explains: "The world of light you need trouble yourself with little, any more. For what is light but an affront to the shadow that was there afore it? The world is defined by shadows, its detailed etched and framed by them, and thus you shall learn to see as clear as ever before, knowing now that the night holds no blindfold for you. Take courage, my hawk, for as the darkness comes your wings will learn strength to cow the spiteful winds sent your way. Is this not truly a kingly gift?" he asks then, as the black fog strays from his lips to the Eagle's beak.

The eagle's attention returns downward toward the Wraith-lord, and he yields a nod. "Indeed it is. Never before have I been rewarded with such a blessing, nor would I have dreamt it possible afore now." But then the amber eyes turn uncertain once more, and Sulgirion's wings twitch against his body. "How shall I fly in the blinding light of the sun? Or perhaps the night shall now better suit my travels."

"That it will," comes the reply, and now the Ringwraith reaches forth his hand a second time to the wound in the Eagle's talon. "Use the veil of darkness until your strength grows enough to bear the daylight. That too will come, but you are yet beginning upon the path I have set for you."


This time the claw does not shy away. "Then I shall readily await to discover what the future has in store on this path, Lord of Gifts," says the raptor. "What does my master require of me now? I will do my best to satsify your wish."

"Then seek news of the movements of the Elves of Mirkwood," answers the Nazgul, his hand stroking the wound as though inspecting his handiwork lovingly. His gloved finger traces the blackened flesh, ere patting gently, and the gaze of the Witch-king raises once more to meet with Sulgirion's own.

Then does he wrap his black robes about himself anew; the kingly bearing of his figure hidden once more behind the sable cloth, and the gloves hands raise to pull the cowl down over his silver crown.

"They are my chief concern, and my direst foe. The Dwarves and Menfolk are but cattle to be cowed or slain as whim desires, but the Elves alone have powers that could upset my designs. Seek them out, have words if possible, and bring to me tidings of their mind."

The gloved hand's touch sends a second shiver of feathers along the avian's body, and it might be noticed that a brief flash of disappointment flits across the feathered countenance when the robes are closed and that kingly form hidden beyond view. "It shall be so," acknowledges the eagle, and he lowers his head in a deep bow until the sharp beak leaves a mark in the earth.

Then Sulgirion steps back, turning with wings already spread wide. With a leapt, he is rising into the morning air, his neck turned slightly so as to avoid the direct sunlight. Soon the winged shape is gone into the clouds.

The figure of the Nazgul watches it go, ere with nary a word the dread creature stalks down the hillside to the forest anew. Whatever dark spell had been weaved upon the hillock fades, and the day comes to claim the land for true, though never does the dawn's light pierce the treeline.

The Witch-king slips into its shadowed midst, and vanishes from sight.


Date added: 2010-08-23 21:30:46    Hits: 100
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