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Crossing paths in the Yfelwyd

Tags: Admagor,  Arduath,  Authiel,  Elrohir

Short Summary: The Rangers Admagor and Arduath happen upon Elrohir and the scout Authiel - or is it the other way around?
Date (real-life): 2013-01-27
Scene Location: In the Trollshaws: Standing Rock
Date (in-game): January, 3058
Time of Day: Late afternoon
Weather: Clear
In the Trollshaws: Standing Rock

It is hard to see very far in any direction. Even the mountains in the east, visible from the bridge or the road, are lost here. The ground shows signs of several paths that climb, with many windings, out of the thick woods below and fade away toward the road to the south. One path, to the north, appears faint and overgrown, choked with fallen stones and trees. Another, to the northwest, appears much used. It is a path made by strong arms and heavy feet. Here and there old trees have been cut or broken down, and large rocks cloven or heaved aside to make a way.
    Beside the northwest path stands a vast slab of crudely hewn and still rough limestone that seems to have been uprighted and had one end driven into the ground with great force. Its brooding and ominous presence looms over the area.

Admagor, Arduath, Authiel, Elrohir

Above the treetops, the afternoon sun falls lower in the west. The sun sets early this far north in the winter, and it is well on its way. It is bitterly cold.

None of this matters beneath the dense forest, where even the noonday sun does not penetrate. The limestone slab is a reminder, if anyone needed it, of the strength of what lurks in these woods.

Slowly, the careful movements of a man reveal themselves to those with keen eyes. Stepping gently past dried ground cover and brambles, the man nevertheless is moving with relative haste - a balance between stealth and his hurry. Rather than jumping down a ledge he reaches, he balances his way down a fallen tree. Ever is his hand near his swordhilt, when both are not required to part the underbrush.

The tread of hooves is soft against the dense forest ground, loamy with years of overgrowth and whispering damp. But the sound is not so delicate as that of a timid deer, nor is it the iron-shod urgency of a traveller wishing to be done and away from the Yfelwyd -- and above it, there is the clink and jingle of harness.

A tall, dark-haired person in silvery grey is visible between the tangled trees as might a star between cloud. He seems not to be alone, for in the open he murmurs, "Cunir, what do you hear?"

The duty of a sentinel of Imladris was to sometimes take a route that would keep them from home for even weeks at a time. Of course, any entering the Trollshaws did so with a high trepidation and no small amount of respect for the fact that the worst sometimes could happen very, very quickly. Authiel listened as she moved along. Easy in the saddle and her bow in hand, though relaxed. She could almost feel the approaching darkness of night time. It caused a different sort of mood to come from the trees. They whispered and the nighttime creatures began to stir. 

The horse's ears were pitched forward and she guided the horse by use of the musculature of her legs rather than the reigns. Picking the softest earth to traverse to keep his hoof falls from sounding. She turned her head when Elrohir addressed her. She halted Grathrin's momentum as tilted her head, listening beyond the scope of trees and night life. "I hear movement, but feint. The scrape of something along bark." Her voice was quiet, as if she'd break some spell if she spoke too loudly. Those glacial blue eyes turning towards the rough direction of Arduath. "Too quiet to make out."

The sound of horses, even in the Trollshaws, is impossible to completely mask. Arduath finishes crossing the log and immediately moves to the cover of one of the largest nearby trees, hand on the hilt of his sword. Dropping into a crouch and pulling his buckler out from under his cloak and over his left forearm, he moves his head out just far enough for one eye to see, gazing in the direction of the animal noise.

"Your skill bears credit to both yourself and to him who lurks," says Elrohir, and his horse stamps to a halt. "I hear movement as well. Something seeks the shadow of tree and tree, ... bounding here and there with a great stride..."

And the son of Elrond smiles faintly in the dark.

"Stay the bow and listen, perhaps."

[Admagor <#31520>] 
"<Sindarin> Mellon."

The voice is human, the word coming from his lips clearly and purely nonetheless. Eyes and teeth would not be enough for many a man to see, but upon the appearance of the elven riders, a second dunadan steps from another part of the wood. 

Across his eyes is a dark smear of dirt and mud, darker than the markings upon the rest of his face. 

"<Sindarin> It is good that so few trolls ride through the wood, and that their voices are not so pleasant."

[Authiel(#13433)] An arrow was pulled free of the quiver strapped to the small of her back. Drawing the wooden shaft delicately to position on the string. She did not draw back, but it did no harm to be prepared. She glanced over to Elrohir and nodded her head once. The bow and arrow remained dormant in her hands as she listened. "The movement has ceased." Said in a breath as she turned her eyes towards the trees. Too many shadows and whomever was hiding was good at being in them. 

Her fingers twitched on the arrow as the voice announced itself and she looked over to the human with those sharp eyes before glancing to Elrohir and smiling. "Rangers. There is no wonder why I did not hear." She had a respect for the Dunadan Rangers. Her father spoke of them often before he traveled to the Grey Haven. And she had come across a few in her scouting.

Appearing from behind the tree that covered his approach so well, the first man steps into the open, stowing his shield upon a few leather straps beneath his cloak as a wide smile wipes most of the worry-lines from his face. "<Sindarin> You are a welcome sight, friends," he calls in a soft voice. "<Sindarin> I suspected bandits." He moves so that the tree that once covered him from the elves' direction will now do the same duty against anyone approaching from behind him.

[Elrohir <#14756>] 
'Bounder and Badger,' says the half-elf, turning in his saddle to view the second Ranger. "<Sindarin> These are friends, Authiel. I might have guessed. But a troll has not so light a hoof, nor do bandits linger overlong in the open..."

"<Sindarin> Do we come upon you in haste?"

[<#13433>] Authiel removed the arrow from the bow and slid it back into the quiver. "<Sindarin> Mae Govannen." Her smile was easy as she watched the pair. Greeting them with a bit of relief. She shifted in her saddle slightly before leaning forward to slide a hand along the neck of her horse who tossed his head once and let out a breath. Rider and steed both finding some relief that the Rangers were not something more sinister in nature. While she was not afraid of battle, she did not seek it.

She pushed back her hood completely. Her eyes moving along the shadows. "<Sindarin> I would not wish to linger in such a place. There was a good site for a camp we passed in safer places." She glanced to Elrohir, as it would be his word she followed. "<Sindarin> Though I would be unable to help the feel of pity should bandits come across us." Said with a chuckle before returning her gaze to the pair.

[Admagor <#31520>] 
The shrill whistle of a cardinal is too late, for his companion has already stepped forward. Admagor inclines his head carefully to the elves, "<Sindarin> What brings riders into the wood?" 

"<Sindarin> The safer places are the more travelled," he adds with a slightly off-centered grin.

"<Sindarin> Our errand," Arduath begins, then glances at the other Ranger, his ponytail swaying. "<Sindarin> -is not mine to speak of. I am come to it but late." He looks back at Elrohir. "<Sindarin> Though our path, to our good fortune, does lead to the Hidden Valley.

"<Sindarin> The most travelled places are not often the safest," answers Elrohir, slipping off his horse. "<Sindarin> Do you camp nearby?"

[<#13433>] Authiel says in Sindarin, "Her smile did not waver, but her eyebrow did raise to Admagor. "Safe as in it does not look well-traveled and that it has a vantage point good for defending and seeing anyone's approach." Chuckling softly before she followed Elrohir's que and dismounted in a smooth motion. Slipping the bow to her back once more. She took this moment to reach into one of the saddlebags and removed a small apple and offered it up to the horse who munched happily. 

Admagor takes a step further from the wood, answering, "<Sindarin> Our camp is broken, we travel back to the road, to find the path." 

"<Sindarin> Our errand .. is better spoken of once I am certain of it."

"<Sindarin> The wind comes from the path, and no foul things trouble it this eve," Elrohir says. "<Sindarin> There is time enough in my father's house, and should matters be grave, you might take counsel there."

"<Sindarin> But tell me, what comes in the woods?"

Authiel remained silent and observant to the woods surrounding them as they spoke. She had nothing to input and so found her silence to be the most appropriate answer. Instead she kept a hand at the horse's bridle gently and kept the vigilance.

Arduath pats at a knapsack beneath his cloak as though reassuring himself something is still there as he makes his way parallel to the other Ranger. "<Sindarin> The sun is setting soon; you can feel it, even in this lightless place."

"<Sindarin> I have seen no one, for Badger was my eyes," the Ranger says with a small smile. "<Sindarin> I have seen rather what was not there and ought to have been." He glances at the elf and half-elf. "<Sindarin> Where was this good site you found? And what is your name? I am called Bounder by the men of these parts, as has been said, but-" His voice fades even softer, as though cautious of being overheard: "<Sindarin> I am Arduath, son of Radgalar."

[Admagor <#31520>] 
"<Sindarin> In Bree," the first Ranger says, "<Sindarin> They pay for the ears of wolves and goblins," he lets his hands open wide, "<Sindarin> What better place to seek such things than within the ominous wood?" 

"<Sindarin> Let us move quickly, though. There is light enough yet to be free of the wood, if we are swift." 

He bends to retrieve a heavy-looking satchel and the long shaft of a bow, unstrung. The first is slung across his shoulder, the latter transferred to his left hand, his steps beginning once again to wend their way southwards.

"Come with us," says the silver-clad rider, leading his horse back to where they came. "There is no danger in a camp with friends, even though the night should fall. And there, stories might be told."

[<#13433>] Authiel says in Sindarin, "She looked over to Arduath and nodded her head once. "A rise not long from here on horseback. Forest for cover and a steep gully. South of here. My name is Authiel, Cunir of Imladris." She bowed her head in respect to Arduath and was able to easily hear even his lowered voice as he gave her his name. She glanced to Elrohir. "The horses could take two, though it will leave more of a trail in the foliage." 

"<Sindarin> Well met, Authiel. And I will stay afoot for now. Badger is right," Arduath says, with a glance at the other Ranger gathering his pack. "<Sindarin> There is time enough even for those of us without horses - if we hurry." He resumes his balanced walk - occasionally awkward-looking, but a compromise between stealth and speed. "<Sindarin> As you say, Herion."

"<Sindarin> If we have kept our trail true," Admagor adds, "<Sindarin> Mind the trap. It would be a shame if such a clear landmark were disturbed." 

With those words, Admagor smiles once again, and redoubles his pace, casting a look over his shoulder, "<Sindarin> Let us move swiftly, any who find this trail will see only that two Men and two horses seeking the safety of the road. If we are tracked, they already know our path."

"Clever," says Elrohir with a smile, navigating his horse about a pile of leaves. "Let us go."

And he passes through the thicket of trees once again, leaving barely a foot-mark.

She nodded her head and took up the reigns like a lead. Whispering in Sindarin to the horse and caressing the muzzle before turning and moving swiftly and quietly. The horse having no trouble keeping her pace and she was mindful of the path she chose, as always. It was an easy thing for an elf to navigate the forestry, even one as dark as the Trollshaws. 

Date added: 2013-01-29 17:05:23    Hits: 105
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