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High Pass: Arrows fly

Tags: Elladan,  Grimbeorn,  Barzhaat

Short Summary: There's a campfire near the Morians' back door .. goblins come like moths to a flame
Date (real-life): 2010-02-04
Scene Location: High Pass, Western Face
Date (in-game): February 3049
Time of Day: Night
High Pass, Western Face

The path here twists and turns about a dangerous drop. Clouds of mist loom both above and below. The footing on this frozen and underneath the snow ascent is tricky at best. The pathway leading down forks to the north into a small canyon, while it also continues westward. Above you to the east, the worst of the climb remains.

Above you, the bright stars shimmer like diamonds on the black velvet sky. The midnight winter air is freezing and icy. The moon is above the horizon and in its waning gibbous phase.

Obvious exits:
 North leads to High Pass, Mountain Path.
 West leads to High Pass, Twisting Trail.
 Ascend leads to High Pass, Summit.

===== +MTIME =================================================================
IC Time: Midnight on Highday, Day 11 of February. The moon is not visible
Current Balrog Mood: Low Simmer. Tread with caution!
==============================================================================

Scene: Starlit night. One small campfire--Elladan was by it and a tent. Grimbeorn just came down the summit to them

The one at fire has likewise keen eyes and as the great figure rises against the stars, he does so as well and raises an arm in greeting. Showing no fear, the son of Elrond waits for the being to approach the camp.

Rocks scuttle down the mountainside, giving away the beast's stealthy approach. And now the dark figure stops and peers into the blackness once more, eyes for long moments on the grey one. There is a sound of an animal-like grunt or sharp bark, not threatening, somewhat laughing. The beast continues downhill, its brown-black form blending into darkness and then emerging once more into the light given off by the stars. Now a man.

"Hail, friend of the Beornings," the man calls softly, chuckling to himself. "Little did I expect to find you here."

"And no less was my relief to see your men come to our aid," replies Elladan cheerily. "Well met, Master Grimbeorn! Your arrival is most welcome, but tell me, how fare your guides? I saw some of them take heavy strikes from the orcs."

"Of that, I have come to see. Word was they were here--having not left your folk?" Grimbeorn answers, puzzled by this. "But it is not often that you folk need our aid, Herion. Nor that they cross in February and brave the cruel mountain's punishment in winter."

Elladan settles down at the fire again. "Your men spread out to survey the area and the wounded should be on their way back to the Anduin," he tells the Beorning. "But we have pressing business with your folk and will descend to the river as soon as we can." He reaches into his satchel and offers a loaf of fine elven bread to Grimbeorn.

The Beorning's eyes light with pleasure as he is offered the elven bread, but he shakes his head. "Save it, Herion. It will go well with mead once back in the valley and we may share it then. So.." he glances to the tent, "why have you and your folk tested the mountain in winter? And why do you tarry here, where mountain and goblins are equally likely to attack? Even I stay off these slopes this time of year unless I am forced to be here."

Grimbeorn's words ring true.

It is night, the hour of the orc, and this night as all nights the loathsome creatures issue forth from their back gate to prowl the mountainsides, stars or no stars. One such patrol is threading its way along the side of the northern canyon even now, flat feet surefooted on the icy ground.

Amongst them is the archer known as Barzhaat. Humans, no doubt, rest their wounded - amongst orcs only the strong and fit survive. So she walks, hindmost of the group, her torso thickened by filthy bandages. Her breath rasps slightly in the frozen air, though likely not loud enough to be heard by elf or Beorning - the two groups are still some way off.

The bread is tucked back as Elladan says: "I have come with two men of the south who must return quickly to their land, Gondor. They had come all the way from the shores of Belfalas to hear my father's counsel and now they would buy a boat from your folk and sail down the river. You shall hear more of that in the village upon a mug of mead."

"Gondor? Belfalas? Boat?" Grimbeorn repeats the words, giving his head a shake and frowning. "Strange tidings and foreign words you bring, Herion. Confusing, too. A boat? From us?" he chuckles. "They are fisherfolk and sought your father's counsel?" He starts to smile a little as if to chuckle again, but instead turns toward the wind, sniffing the night air. "Always this mountain smells of goblin," he mutters, still sniffing, alert.

At the same moment as the orcish leader rounds a curve in the canyon wall and holds up his hand, the flicker of the campfire no doubt sighted, Barzhaat's laboured breaths halt, and then the scrawny goblin takes a deep lungful of air. "Leaf-ears," she growls, hawking up a gobbet of black phlegm that freezes as its hits the rock at her feet. "And something else."

The patrol leader wastes little time - even as one nimble runner is sent back up the canyon to speed news of the intruders, his crooked finger points to Barzhaat. "You. Archer. Put out that fire."

The lowly know better than to disobey. Sliding her curved bow from her back, and quieting her uneven breaths as best she may, the she-orc creeps forward, seeking a suitable vantage point ...

Elladan Looks up at the summit and frowns. "It is in fact infested with them," he growls as Grimbeorn proofs the air. "But as to my companions, they are no mere fisherfolk, although they have great seafarers. Their prince is in danger, that is why they are in a hurry to return with advice from Elrond." Waving off the matter he takes a hold of his bow as another sort of business seems to ensue on the summit.

"Seafarers?" Clearly Grimbeorn is surprised, but business first. He nods to Elladan's assessment and steps out of the light of the campfire into the darkness nearby. And once more his form shifts, to a huge black bear.

There is the faintest of creaks as Barzhaat's bow is drawn back - no louder than her breath, surely. Her yellow eyes fix first on the dull orange of the flame and then on the tall figure holding a bow silhouetted beside it. The other is gone from the light, but no matter. The arrow flies free, and with the feathered shaft speeds an orcish greeting, murmured with glee, "Welcome to our Mountains, leaf-ear!"

You fire off an arrow at Elladan...
Your arrow flies wide of Elladan, doing no harm.

Something impacts into the fire, hurling sparks and ambers around. "Ambush!" Elladan grabs his bow and leaps into the shadows, yet unsure where to shoot at. The flames are quickly dying down and only the faint glow of the ashes is left.

Elladan wields an elven longbow of fine making.

"<UNINTELLIGIBLE SPEECH>" comes a growl from a bear that the orcs of these mountains have reason to fear. It stands, in the dark, looking in the direction from which the arrow came, and then takes off that way, showing no hesitation. Rocks and pebbles clatter under its feet. It's enough to wake the dead, though the form of the bear might be difficult for a man to see in the darkness.

Orcs have no problems in seeing through the night. Reacting, though ... that is another thing. Barzhaat's yellow eyes widen in alarm as something large bounds toward her, and the archer's hands tremble as she fits another arrow to the string. This is, of course, sent speeding toward the Thing bounding her way.

One of the other orcs has a rusted scimitar at the ready, and charges down the hill toward the lumbering shape. "Skai!" Barzhaat curses, and does not loose her shot.

The bear, for the moment, seems to have misjudged the placement of the offending archer. It bounds on by, a ton of ursine flesh, charging right toward the orc with the rusted scimitar. The bear's purpose--to crush or mangle the orc under its massive paws.

Elladan is still spying into the night but as the lonely orc charges down the slope, towards the bear, he looses a yard-long arrow to save Grimbeorn a surprise attack.

    Elladan is not alone in the vigil over the Southern men. Nauthcel comes up near the Peredhel, a longbow clutched in his left hand while an arrow is held in the right. In the starlight, he makes out the clash between the bear and the orc as well as the glint of the arrowhead whistling through the air toward the skirmish.

The orc with the scimitar does not slow at Barzh's curse, focused as it is on the bear. His scimitar is raised and a wordless war-cry comes from his foam-flecked lips. That changes to a gurgle as Elladan's feathered shaft sinks home. The orc tumbles groundward, to be crushed moments later beneath great bear-paws as Grimbeorn runs over him and on into the night. From within the darkness come growls, and screams. Many screams.

Barzhaat takes advantage of the distraction to scramble back out of the bear's path, her flat feet seeking purchase on the icy rock. Once, she slithers, but not far. And Elladan's shaft has given away his location. She pauses long enough in her retreat to loose the nocked arrow toward his position.

Elladan gives but a brief but surprised greeting to the newly arrived man. "You come uncalled for, Constant, but welcome to our struggle!" With that he sends another missile, this time at the opposing archer, Barzhaat.

Elladan launches an arrow...
Ow! You've been injured for 20 hp's by the bowshot.
ARB: Please RP this injury accordingly.

Barzhaat, paused to draw breath after her shot, pays the price for tardiness. A long, bright-barbed shaft sinks deep into her left shoulder, Elladan's success revealed by a bitten-off cry. No more arrows come from the curved black bow; rather the she-orc drops to the frozen ground and, bow clutched in her right hand, begins to crawl inch by bloody inch back up-canyon, toward the place where a cave lies. Prone, she is little taller than the rocks that litter the place.

Upslope of her, the sounds of battle still continue, and suddenly a single corpse goes tumbling downslope in a scattering of ice and loose pebbles, coming to rest not far from the remains of the campfire. It is, one can see clearly, quite headless.

A grim nod of approval is given by Elladan as he sees his shot strike true. And so he steps away from his rocky shelter, dodging the falling corpse of Grimbeorn's victim. Another arrow is fired at another goblin who dared to stick his head out of cover and so the skirmish continues.

    Beneath the hood, Nauthcel gives a small grin as he continues to watch the destruction led by the bear. The arrow he holds is nocked and loosed toward one of the orcs that decides to approach the bear. He then waits to see if any orcs will live to tell of their interactions with the creature.

One orc, at least, lives, for Barzhaat still crawls back toward the bend in the canyon. Soon, if she is not stopped, she will be out of arrow-shot. As for the rest - who knows? When the sun rises, it will reveal a bloody mess on the canyonside. The body parts of fully half a dozen orcs are scattered there ... if, beforetimes, there were more, they are gone, fled back to their maggot-holes.

Date added: 2010-02-05 11:33:44    Hits: 61
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