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Little Red Riding Hood

Tags: Bagaglok,  Rika

Short Summary: The timeless lesson of the classic fairytale is revealed: do not go wandering alone near Mirkwood. You never know who, or what, might be looking to include you in their potion ingredient list...
Date (real-life): 2010-01-31
Scene Location: Old Forest Road, west edge of Mirkwood

 Western Edge of Mirkwood, Old Forest Road

You stand at the edge of the great forest, once Greenwood the great, now Mirkwood the Fearful. It is more shady to the east, and you think you can make out a road there.

It is snowing.

Contents:
Rika
Obvious exits:
NorthWest, West, South, North, and East


[+TIME] Middle-earth time is:
Late Morning on Sunday, Day 29 of January.
Execute the +TIMEFRAME command for year information.

Real time is: 10:42:33 MDT on Sun Jan 31 2010.


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
Gloom to the East, disturbed only by the swirling flakes of white that drift down from the heavens. The late morning sun is veiled behind a blanket of fluffy white-gray clouds, and here on the West edge of this dark forest, the winter is still and breezeless.

But it is not quiet--for there is a dark shape skirting the border of Mirkwood's trees. Onward the orc--for indeed it is one of these foul creatures--creeps, keeping to the shadows cast by the gnarled boughs overhead. The bright gleaming snow is given a scornful glare, and Bagaglok raises a clawed hand to shield his eyes against it as he stoops close to the ground near the Old Forest Road. He seems to not be paying much attention to anything else at the moment, gaze fixed downward as though searching for something.


[Rika(#16961)] Far down the road, heading east and in the direction of the orc, a young woman with pale skin and flame-red hair is walking slowly. Is she patrolling the road? Wrapped in a thick and heavy-seeming cloak, she clutches a small, short axe against her chest warily. Rika may have sharp eyes, but she doesn't see the creature yet, being somewhat blinded by the thick flakes of snow falling in her face. She bats her lashes furiously to try and blink them away, a cold and useless hinderance to her when she's out on this road...seemingly alone.


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
"Stupid tark," the Shaman mutters irritated to himself, pausing only to wrap his scarlet robes more tight about his small, short form. "Foolish human," continues Bagaglok, bending more to poke a dead-looking plant under an old root. "Should just toss weeds in his potion and be done with it--glob, skai!" the goblin trails off into an angry cursing in a Dark Tongue. The wilted plant not what he is seeking, the yellow gaze is cast upward to scan the rest of the immediate vacinity. But as Bagaglok highers his sight, so too does it catch view of something...strikingly bright even admist the dancing flury of precipitation. A walking point of red fire? He frowns, trying to squint through the snow as to see it better.


[Rika(#16961)] Where her normally sharp vision fails in the snow, Rika can still hear faint mutterings of sound from the rapidly closing distance between herself and the orc. He appears to her yet as no more than a dark shape that might well be a tree stump or a very large raccoon. She says a curse, too, though softly, when her hood blows off, and the wind lifts her brilliant red hair all around her. Then, when more strange words can be heard barely above the wind that swirls the snow, she stops and listens, body tense. That's not a raccoon at all. Orc? She mouths it silently in a question, hands tightening on her axe.


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
Having fallen abruptly silent following the brief tangent, Bagaglok remains frozen in place, still staring westward toward that approaching point of fire...but now the orc can see that the red island continues downward--a slender upright form of a body. Slowly the creature attempts to shift his bare feet backward as quietly as possible, purposing to better conceal himself in the underbrush of the forest's edge.

A fanged grimace comes, as a dead twig snaps beneath the Shaman's clawed toes, and he waits, hand inching instinctively toward the fold in his cloak where the scimitar lies.


[Rika(#16961)] Rika has heard- if not seen- the dark form retreating barely back into the forest. "Oh, no you won't," she murmurs quietly to herself, assuming no danger in alerting him to her presence, as she must surely have already done so with her flame red hair and cumbersome heavy cloak. She raises her axe and, after using one hand to impatiently brush snow from her hair and eyes, she calls softly out, "No point in hiding, I'm not coming over there for you to stick me!"


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
"Ha!" speaks the uruk at last, and the raspy laugh sounds harsh against the relative serenity of the surrounding snow-clad scene. "Is that an invitation, then?" The ring of metal heralds the drawing of his blade. "I will meet you halfway, if you dare not draw closer, interruptor," hisses Bagaglok, evidently unpleased about the young lady who has brought his herb-searching to an abrupt halt. Despite how he talks, however, the orc makes no apparent move to remove himself from the gloom of his foliage. Instead, he watches her with his yellow eyes, almost chuckling to himself as he considers something.

"Better than a wretched plant," he says to no one in particular, grinning awfully. "A much better ingredient for the tark's potion..."


[Rika(#16961)] Rika isn't a stupid girl, not by anyone's measure. Yet while the orc stays in the shadows, she somehow feels bold enough to blurt out with curiosity, "What plant were you looking for?" Yet she has enough sense to hold her axe tightly after that and stand ready, should the orc decide to rush her instead of answering. She wonders other things then, too- who is making a potion, for one- but there's no room for speaking again when she's trying to concentrate on seeing through the thick flurry of snow.


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
Another frown is the immediate reply. "That is none of your business," growls the Shaman, slowly and carefully creeping sideways so as to avoid Rika's direct line of sight. "I no longer look for it," adds the orc, deciding stealth is wasted at this point, "for it seems I have found a fine substitution in its place. Life-blood, afterall, would be a better component to what I concoct, and for its purposes." Without yielding the woman time to fully digest this information, Bagaglok bursts from the vegetation to the left of the human; snow if sent flying as his claws rend the ground, and the scimitar is already raised to strike. But the gleam of the white blanket is blinding, and the Malkog swings at a shadowy outline of Rika, and he stumbles slightly.

COMBAT - Wielded: Blackened Scimitar

You half-blindly attack Rika with your Scimitar...
[Combat(#13388)->Bagaglok]
Your attack against Rika badly wounds her!

[Combat(#13388)] Rika carelessly pulls out an axe, nearly chopping his own head off.


[Rika(#16961)] Despite his stumble, the orc's attack is fast and he's awfully heavy-handed with that scimitar, perhaps because he stumbled into her. Rika is not only knocked to the ground, but cut so deeply across her stomach that she wonders if her guts will spill out. Blood runs deep through the snow, crimson color everywhere, while a very shaky Rika tries to raise her axe in a weak attempt to slash the orc in the face.

Rika attacks you with her Axe!...
...and you parry her attack with your Scimitar!


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
Indeed, the stumble carried him further than he intended, and the uruk finds himself toppling toward the earth along with the Beorning. The meeting of the orcish blade and the heavy axe saves him from completely falling on top of her, however, and instead Bagaglok pushes sideways to roll to the right. Wet white powder now covered his robes, but the creature ignores the coldness for now, leaving the girl briefly nearby. His gaze flickers upward to make certain of her position now and then, while the Shaman busies himself with producing a stained vial with which to scoop up some of the now bloodied snow that he kneels in. Bagaglok pauses only to offer a new horrid looking grin to the wounded woman.

[Combat(#13388)->Bagaglok]
You forego your chance to attack.


[Rika(#16961)] If it weren't for the fact that she's breathing too hard and heavy, awake only thanks to adrenaline, Rika would be calling the creature every awful name she knows. As is, she can only moan and struggle up enough to swing her axe into him while he's busy with scooping up the snow. His grin goes unrecognized, save that Rika tries even harder to hit some vital part of the orc.

Rika attacks you with her Axe!...
...and you parry her attack with your Scimitar!


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
The toothy smile swiftly contorts into a snarl as the axe again comes soaring outward; twisting carefully so as to not spill the contents of the bottle back onto the cold ground, the Shaman barely manages to fling her attack away with the side of his scimitar. The force of the impact sends the orc's arm back, and he hisses venomously as it is wrenched in pain. The other hand clutches the vial in a death-grip. "Still kicking, eh?" scowls Bagaglok. "Let us fix that, shall we? I have gotten what I wanted."

The bottle is corked, and the crimson-clad goblin shuffles to his feet, stowing his prize away in the dark fabic. He paces closer, to loom over the fallen Rika. "Now the fun begins," comes the dark laugh, and Bagaglok brings the blackened blade to flash along the woman's flank.

You half-blindly attack Rika with your Scimitar...
[Combat(#13388)->Bagaglok]
Rika dodges your attack.


[Rika(#16961)] Rika is, happily, still breathing, yet still bleeding quite profusely. Dimly aware that he's going to use her blood in some grotesque potion, she wants nothing more than to smash his little bottle. She barely rolls out of the way of his scimitar coming down again while she's on the ground, and hears the blade sinking into the ground with a shudder that spills more of her blood. Rika aims her next swing of her axe at Bagaglok's arm, trying to cut away the hand that holds the vial.

Rika attacks you with her Axe!...
...and you parry her attack with your Scimitar!


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
Again, the clash of metal sounds, and again sparks pepper the air for an instance. Knocking the Beorning's axe out of the way, the orc still determindely holds his clawed hand firmly around the bottle that he has now stuffed into a pocket in his robes. "You want this?" he chuckles disdainfully. "Come and fetch it, then, shara!"

Bagaglok dances sideways, and the laughing is interrupted as he licks his lips. "Tasty, tasty," he chants, showing a mouthful of sharp teeth. "Bow now before me, before the Eye, and perhaps I will spare your pitiful existence...for a time...the camp could use a fresh sacrifice for later." He sends the scimitar plunging once more, but it is more of a scare-tactic--the aim directed to pierce the snow nigh the girl's neck, but not to harm her further.

You feign an attack against Rika with your Scimitar...
[Combat(#13388)->Bagaglok]
Rika dodges your attack.


[Rika(#16961)] Is this what she is reduced to, out in these hard lands? To bow before the Eye? She hasn't even got the strength or wits to move when the blade lands just beside her head, only to shudder. Rika nods, mostly to herself, and begins to plead, if not bow, which she cannot manage in her current state. "I- can- be useful to you.." Her fingers, slick with snow, slide from the hilt of her axe.


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
The bowing--no matter how hindered it may be in her condition--seems to please her attacker, and the uruk tilts his skull-helmed head in consideration. "Go on," he states, interest aroused by her pleadings. "How so?" Though his victim drops her weapon, the orc does not, keeping the red-coated blade beside the human's throat. "No tricks now, see? You will regret them, I assure you."


[Rika(#16961)] "I," Rika says between increasingly ragged breaths, "I'm a falconer, I train birds for things-" she decides this is a rather useless skill to offer, and continues quickly, "I'm a guide over the high pass- I know the best ways to travel it, and to travel these roads. I could be a guide. I know plants, every one that grows here.." She puts a hand up to her stomach, where it's split, and shudders again. She couldn't pull a trick even if she badly wanted to.


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
A grimy brow cocks at the initial information, but then it lowers again in contemplation. Slowly, still watching Rika warily, Bagaglok unsticks the scimitar and moves it to the side for now. The orc's other hand he brings out from the robes, and begins to trace long gashes in the snow above the Beorning's head as he ponders. "You mentioned plants," the Shaman says after a length, studying her expression with his own yellow regard. "You will show me where to find the herb I seek."

By the tone the creature states this, clearly it is more of a demand than a question. "Thus shall be your usefulness...until I decide what more to do with you in the end." The orc's lips curl back into their dreadful smirk, and he pulls his hand quickly to make a violent rip in the white covering over the dirt.


[Rika(#16961)] "You," Rika continues her struggle with breathing and conciousness, "Idiot. I need a healer! Do you know what that is? I can't walk. Tell me what your plant looks like and I'll tell you how to find it..but don't expect me to get up and run after it. Can't you see?" she gestures at all the bloody snow. "Surely you know what healing is."


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
"Garn, so impatient," hisses the creature, spitting slightly. "Of course I know what healing is--it is part of my Path. I am a healer," he looks down at her, reaching and pulling out a tarnished bandage from his cloak. "Now, stop your fuss and hold still." Bagaglok thrusts a new bottle toward her mouth. Inside sloshes a sickly brackish liquid, and it gives off a foul odor. "For the pain," is all the Malkog supplies.


[Rika(#16961)] Rika would, if she could, have a very good laugh about the orc claiming to be a healer. She isn't laughing, though, when she finds a vial of something dark and nasty shoved right under her nose. She obliges, opening her mouth, only because she'd rather not be in so much pain; the young Beorning figures that if the liquid is actually a poison, well, at least it's better than anything this orc could have in store for her. Rika can't do much but lie still, so she merely follows Bagaglok with her eyes while he works with the bandages. "What...plant?" she manages after a few minutes.


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
As soon as the Beorning has swallowed the liquid, the uruk immediately sets about applying poultice-covered bandages and securing them over the flowing cut on the lady's midsection. A disappointed look is given, and Bagaglok grimaces, evidently struggling to resist the tempting blood that covers her. "The plant, yes," he says, looking away as he finishes. "It is short and black, and survives even the bitterness of winter. Gurzshuum, it is known to me, though in the Common Tongue it more or less translates to Deathpath...I have found it before near the Old Road, unless your wretched ilk have taken it all for themselves?" The Shaman flashes a sharp glare.


[Rika(#16961)] Rika presses her luck, asking, "What do you need it for?" before even answering his question. Having bandages secured around her torso makes her feel marginally less like fainting, and she tries to prop herself up on one elbow while she points east down the road, through the snow. "About a half hour's walk down the road, there's a grove of trees, and it grows there in clusters, in the shade. Does that help you?"


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
Bagaglok nods curtly in answer, ere leveling a calculating stare upon the other. "Impatient, /and/ curious," he snorts. "I believe you have already deduced that for yourself from my speech...I require it for a potion, which you have now aided me doubly to finish." He pats the place in his scarlet robes where the blood filled vial is hidden. Backing away a pair of steps, he picks up his scimitar again.

"It pains me to let you live," the Shaman's eyes glint maliciously, and he peers down at Rika for a final time. "Killing you now would put an end to your suffering...an equally regretable thing...and there is the chance your herbal knowledge will be of use to me at some point in the future. Or perhaps in the near future, I will decide to go ahead and sacrifice your life to the Great Eye," the rows of fangs are displayed in a sickening grin. "We shall see if you live long enough for our paths to converge again...but for now, I leave you here. Return to your flea-bitten village if you have the strength left." He pauses, and tilts his head. "Unless, of course, you'd rather I end it now?" One claw twists upon the hilt of the curved blade.


[Rika(#16961)] Rika only nods to everything that the Shaman says- after all, she isn't about to agree to be sacrificed. She can't get to her feet yet, though she'll have to make an effort at it soon, but she doesn't want the orc to know this in case he changes his mind about killing her now. She says lightly, casually, "Well, no thank you, I think I'll just head back to my flea-bitten village if that's alright."


[Bagaglok(#24847)]
If the Shaman suspects the Beorning woman is unable to stand, he comments naught on it, but the sizing up glance he gives her might hint at his guess at the truth. "So be it," comes the simple response, and there is a whisper of steel as he sheaths his weapon. Bagaglok raises a haggard finger to point to the injured human. "But know this: you live today by my doing, and likewise I allow you to resume your miserable existence for another purpose--tell your leaders, and the flea-bitten bear-men that they do not own these roads. Guard them at your own risk, shara, for in Mirkwood the Great servants of Shadow dwell. Soon these lands will belong to the Master, and the darkness of his will shall smother all."

And with that, the orc whirls around, fading back into the blur of the snow and the gloom of the yonder forest. Rika is alone once more.


[Rika(#16961)] It's a long while before the girl starts trying to get to her feet. Rika is shaking as she rises, and she has to brush off the layer of snow that's covered her while she lay, shivering, trying to summon strength. She moves slowly at last back toward the west, picking up her axe and keeping it out, though it didn't serve her well today at all. Rika heads for home.

 


Date added: 2010-01-31 19:57:57    Hits: 56
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