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Hiding Old Wounds

Tags: Sulgirion,  Witch-king

Short Summary: Atop the heights of Sarn Goriwing, Sulgirion and the Morgul-lord meet once more. The method of disguising the talon wound is discussed, among other things.
Date (real-life): 2010-08-31
Scene Location: Atop Sarn Goriwing

============== Lord of the Rings Calendar <in English> ==============
IC time is:    Late Night < About 3:50 AM >
IC day is:     Wednesday
IC date is:    October 26
Moon phase:    Last Quarter <VISIBLE>
Earendil:      Gil-Estel is not visible.
IC year is:    Third Age 3050
RL time:        Tue Aug 31 15:36:53 2010

Landing Atop Sarn Goriwing
This is a landing of flat glossy stone, barely ten feet across, carved into the black rock of the tower of Sarn Goriwing. Above you the tower reaches its needle-like summit. Below you the Mirkwood Mountains can be seen in a dreary panorama. You see the source of the Gulduin, the Enchanted River, where the inky black waters rise bubbling from the black stones around the base of this very tower; a narrow bridge of the same black rock stretches to the earthy shore of the river. Looking out you see the endless mists and greyish-greens of Mirkwood stretching endlessly across the leagues.

Type <+VIEW> to step to the edge and observe what happens below.
Type <+UNVIEW> to stop observing.
Obvious exits:
Out and Arched Doorway

Once more night's shroud falls upon the Mirkwood, but about the fortress of Sarn Gorwing little change is brought by the waning of the sky, so hidden as it is behind the mists of the dread stronghold. All about the vales of the mountains of Mirkwood is drear and gloom, fog rising and tumbling slowly yet inexorably down the rocky slopes, but one sight at least rears up for any with a view to see it.

The tall, thin spire of the fortress spears upward into the sky, a curious circle of cloud churning laboriously above it, and upon the ledge wrought to gaze upon the jagged mountainside a dark figure stands.

Robed in black, his features as usual hidden behind a deep cowl, the fell master of these vile halls holds his gloved hands skyward; perhaps sending some unheard call to some unseen ally.

Unheard is the call, and likewise is the answer silent. A darkling shape of elongated bronze flits through the blanket of night, and as its soaring draws near to the tower, the pumping from its massive wings churn and whirl the fogs into eddies.

Shooting out his feet, the Great Eagle sets them to land upon the side of the spire-height, and the great talons scrape and clack against the obsidian stone as they seek purchase. At last they settle, and there the mighty bird perches like some sort of gargoyle. Sulgirion peers downward toward the landing with a pair of bright amber eyes, and he emits a low avian caw.

And the cowl of the figure nods in satisfaction, his hands lowering as he turns to face the mighty bird, and as the darkness closes in around them a rasping voice greets the winged guest.

"You are tardy, my hawk, but not overly so. I trust your time has been used to good effect?"

The gaze blinks for a passing instant, fearful perhaps that the mentioned tardiness might earn punishment; but when none seems to be forthcoming, Sulgirion answers, bobbing his golden head in an avian nod.

"I have used the time to increase my observance of the forest, and in doing so, I have gathered news of the Firstborn of Mirkwood at last. I was informed that a scouting party will be sent forth to investigate the recent trouble that has befallen the land, and that they seek to travel to the Beorning village ere the Elves return to their king with report."

A low hiss seeps then from the hood of the black-clad figure, the Lord of Morgul's eyes blazing into life within its depths, ere his gloved hand raises to clench into a fist. "So," he rasps, "they move at last, and with shrewd intent. This was unlooked-for, and my wargs have failed in their leaguer, but still the Shadow will claim them in due time."

The hand then relaxes, reaching out for a touch of the bronze feathers, ere he adds, "We must hasten our plans, and strike earlier than intended, but small harm is done to my designs. How long ago did you espy them, and which road did they take? The straight path made for travellers, or their own secret ways through the forest?"

"It would have been nigh a fortnight ago, that I conversed upon Amon Thranduil," comes the answer from the hooked beak, and those feathers give a shiver as they are touched. There is a pause, and the eagle cants his head, a look of nervousness crossing the avian features. "I did not ask, for when I spoke to the Elf, he had yet to earn permission from his king for departure; he did not have many details he could give me for this reason. I would trust, however, that they shall make use of stealth in their hidden paths, rather than traveling upon the main road."

This news brings a second hiss from the Nazgul, though less sharp, and the gloved hand traces down the Eagle's flank to approach the wounded talon. "No matter," says the Ringwraith at length. "Their haste will only widen the gulf of their forces, which we shall pry apart further. Have any that you have encountered thought strangely of you?"

Sulgirion listens, swiftly turning his head once more to the other side. When the gloved hand moves toward the foot, the amber eyes watch it closely, transfixed, and the claw remains still. "A few have, though not due to actions or words. The mark appears unnatural, but I do not think they guess its origins. Twice now, I have been asked if I required healing."

Up lifts the hood at that, where it had been dipped to view the scar before, and the red eyes of the Witch-king kindle anew as their gaze appears to weigh this thought. "Who has offered you such disservice?"

"One of the Firstborn of the Golden Wood; he who had escaped from the wargs, as he told me," the great bird replies, now directing his piercing stare upon the fiery lights within the cowl. "And more recently, the Elf whom I meet upon Amon Thranduil. I have thus far declined their offers, and they respected my decision, and asked no more on the matter..."

Long moments pass in silence atop the spire of Sarn Goriwing as the Eagle finishes, and if possible the shadows might seem to cloak and wrap around the two of them all the more. The fogs roll and roil about the black pinnacle as the Nazgul appears to muse upon these new tidings.

Finally, with a sneer of malice wrought upon his words, he says: "The Golden Wood is far from this place, and small in arms, though mightily they defend their borders. This is news indeed, all the same, for a thrice-cursed enemy dwells thither; an Elf-witch of fell powers. I must learn more of this Firstborn you encountered and his errands, for her counsel may prove ill to my designs if he is to receive it."

His eyes smouldering then, turning their gaze to the mighty avian's own, the Wraith-lord asks: "And how has the night sky seemed to you, revealed as it is to your blessed eyes?"

A low caw is yieled as the darkness coils and shrouds, and the might wings of brown and gold are lifted briefly as if in welcome. "Keen as the eyes of my kin are, they do not pierce the curtain of night as readily as they do the day. But with your fair present, Giver of Gifts, the hinderance of it has dispelled, and I now see far and wide when my brothers cannot."

Sulgirion peers downward anew, and the beak clacks open and shut in thought before he inquires: "Then, is it your wish that I keep watch for the Firstborn from the Hidden Wood? If this 'witch' is as dangerous as you say, then I must avoid her knowledge and her gaze if I may."

The cowl dips in a nod at this, and the Wraith answers: "That you must, though she rarely leaves her hated woods, and likely will send forth with messengers. Seek them out, and waylay them if necessary; lead them astray and hinder their errand as best you can. The movement of the Mirkwood Elves forces my hand, and I need no distraction as I bring down the hammer of wrath upon the filthy slaves of the Light."

He steps back then, surveying the Eagle it seems, and nods anew. "It is well that your eyes are finding their shadow sight. It will serve you well in seeking your prey, for even the eyes of the Elvenkin cannot wholly pierce the night, unless aided by the starlight. That will be to your advantage in stalking them."

The amber eyes flicker momentarily with what would seem to be a prideful satisfaction at this last piece of information. "Soon my own sight shall transcend that of the Children of the West," this is stated with a wild-edged laugh, oddly unkind for a creature of nobility as this is. "That is well. To my advantage, verily, I will use it."

Even as the Morgul-lord steps away, Sulgirion lifts his scarred claw, splaying the toes to study them. Slowly, his attention returns to the black-garbed form. "...is there a way to conceal the mark from unwanted eyes? It is so small a thing, and yet could very well cause your plan to fall to ruin. Perhaps," there is a hesitation, "a burn would cover and hide it."

The Nazgul seems to consider this, his cowled gaze trained upon the scar in question, ere he nods. "A burn would do just that, and you are faithful indeed to suggest it. But no, my hawk, fire has other effects, and you may find them ill, and your gifts no longer useful. Better instead to make it a scar for true: covered by the lashes of a less generous blade than my first..."

A length of silence follows this suggestion, and the eagle's gold-crowned head cants first one way and then the other as he weighs the option. His black-tipped mouth clicks and clacks, and a few of his bronze feathers raise.

But at last, he nods, albeit slowly, and the keen gaze never wavers from the Ringwraith. "Let that be the third gift I ask of you, Generous Giver." Sulgirion lets his foot return to the stone, placing it forward within easier reach.

A rasp of satisfaction escapes the hood, and from inside his robes the Wraith-lord brings forth a cold, pale longsword. No sickly light shines as the Eagle might remember of a certain knife, but still the blade is fell and well-wrought, and the Witch-king wields it deftly.

Two hacks and one slice of his weapon are sent into the bird's foot, though not overly savage, and they seem intended to break the skin rather than cut deeply. This done, the black-clad figure steps back a pace further, to allow the mighty and once-noble bird to inspect itself.

The raptor does not recoil, nor cry out, though a frown of discomfort and pain shadows the plumged features. It is only until the fell blade has finished its work, that Sulgirion lowers his neck to glance upon the foot and the fresh grooves thereon. "Now it will elude their sight, or at the least be difficult to spy out from the others."

The scarred claw is moved back to stand beside the other once more, and the eagle stretches his large pinions as he turns his neck to look out upon the mist-covered forest that lies below. "By your leave, I would return to the skies."

A nod of the cowl seems to grant the Witch-king's consent, and he stows his fell blade away once more within his robes. "Fly well, my hawk, and with haste! I must learn more of the movements of those from the Golden Wood."

A final nod is returned. "And learn them you shall, when next I return." With a great scraping of claws upon stone, Sulgirion bounds from the spire, giving a mighty flap of his wings and twisting round in midair to fly westward. And like his arrival, the departure is without call.

Date added: 2010-08-31 20:18:31    Hits: 98
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