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Ravenfeather recruit

Tags: Dorn,  Zharin,  Ravenfeather

Short Summary: Dorn is made an offer he can't refuse ... well, actually, he's not given much chance to do any refusing
Date (real-life): 2013-03-18
Scene Location: Dwarven Road, Along the Lake
Date (in-game): June 3058
Time of Day: Evening
Weather: Clear
Dwarven Road, Along the Lake(#5456Rato)

The dwarf-road runs down from the prominent hillside to the south and follows the shore of the lake north from the environs of Esgaroth for about eight miles, here. The dusk air is cool, blowing from the northeast in gusts. The sky is clear, a crystalline eternity.The road following the shore of the lake is damp and soft.
There is a modest stone building along the road to the north, a dwarvish picket-post, a runestone of white marble standing across the road from it. Several armed dwarves watch the lands about from this place. Occasionally a raven can be seen flying to and from the post.

Obvious exits:
 West leads to Rolling Grasslands.
 North leads to Dwarven Road, Northern Long Lake.
 South leads to Hillside.
Post Building


Erebor Time & Weather Service

** Real time is: Mon Mar 18 05:57:39 2013, GMT -8 **

Elendor time is: Dusk (1900) on Hevensday, Day 15 of June 3058.

In the clear Summer sky, The new moon hangs low in the sky but will soon sail high upon its nightly course.


Evening's drawing nigh, and the Dwarven caravan wending its way northward along the Lake will need to make camp soon. Yes, they /should/ have been able to make the journey to North Port in a day, but that would have entailed leaving town at sun-up. As it was, the delay of waiting for final supplies was exacerbated by the need to search town for a certain missing Skald, who was finally rousted out of his bed and bundled into a wagon sometime around noon. Progress has been slow.
Salvation comes in the form of a Dwarven picket-post midway along the road, and the weary ponies are only too glad to halt outside it. A pair of Dwarves emerge to greet the weary travellers: the elder a grizzled greybeard shrouded in a black cloak, with a somewhat snappish look in his black eyes, and the younger clad in the standard undyed wool of a Baruk Zirak warder. Murmured conversation with the caravan leader ensues and soon the younger is engaged to assist with feeding and watering the ponies whilst the grey-beard stalks down the line of the caravan, beard wagging this way and that as he stops occasionally to speak to someone. A few words carry: "... Dorn, son of Lufur?"

The time away from the Lonely Mountain has been full of fighting, drinking and more fighting. It's been interesting to say the least but also the most fun Dorn has seen during his life. Admittedly the life has been fairly short and protected thus far but with him lining up some orc kills and otherwise being useful, he seems to be shaping up just fine.
Like this day that has been spent wandering along the Dwarven Road. What dwarf would say 'no' to an ale, let alone a 'free ale'?! Dorn was accepting them faster than he could drink, to be honest but thankfully, had to stop some time during the night - he was supposed to be all nice and non-wobbly in the morning when the caravan was due to leave Laketown. Maybe some other time showing up slightly intoxicated may have been forgiven but with what the dwarves along with the humans have behind them now, has made everyone a bit warier and rules slightly more strict.
So unlike his young friend the Skald, Dorn did show up all rested up and more or less sober when the caravan hit the road. By this time, he has been on watch all day and returns from a brief lookout trek beyond the camp to check the surroundings. When his name is called, the young Warder freezes but manages not to dart - nothing to duck behind, y'see - so instead he turns and faces the music bravely. "Aye!" After a nudge from a passing older fellow-soldier, he coughs and adds:"... sir?"
The greybeard turns slowly to face Dorn. "Ah, good. Zharin son of Karin is my name." He pointedly does not add 'at your service'; maybe that 'sir' was merited. "I have received reports from your superiors - Veteran Mordin speaks very highly of you - and-" Suddenly the words break off; those snappish black eyes are focusing fixedly on Dorn's chin. "What in Mahal's name happened there, lad?" he enquires in a horrified growl. "Where's your beard?"

While all the fighting and drinking hasn't had a grand effect on Dorn's facial hair, he has been putting in effort though and lo and behold, the Warder's chin is... well, you can't really call it a beard but a small scruffy and disorderly promise of one. It doesn't look like much but it's taken all his resolve not to clip this annoyance in the shape of an unruly and thin as heck pale beard off. It's for people like this Zharin son of Karin, truly. "Bad hair day," Dorn replies fairly carefree but taps his chin to bring some order among the three hairs there. "It'll be pretty awful by next week and downright preposterous the week after but I'll think of something," he adds with a smirk and pulls himself straight again. "How can I serve you, Zharin son of Karin?" Divert attention from the pale imposter of a beard and maybe it'll stop withering away?
"Hmmph." The grey-bearded Zharin does not look entirely satisfied. "Looks like you took a knife to it." He shakes his head, sending his own bushy beard flying. "No Dwarf should desecrate Mahal's gifts so!" He fixes Dorn and his .. well, sparse chin covering .. with a stern gaze as though daring him to admit to that crime. "I was not informed of such issues with your appearance." He frowns as though displeased (though, really, what's a Dwarf to do? He has the beard he was born with!)
After a moment's pause he enquires, perhaps to give himself breathing room, "Tell me, Dorn son of Lufur, what do you know of the Ravenfeather Scouts?"

Dorn doesn't seem too bothered by the scrutiny his beard or lack of it, has caused in the older warrior so he says nothing at all - least of all that he has personally trimmed the thing! Apparently that's a heinous crime! Instead he waits, uncharacteristically patiently, until Zharin gets to the matter at hand. Frowning, the Warder replies:"I know they've been losing many to Mirkwood. The King thinks the world of them, too, far as I can tell. Elite, that's what they say." Bit by bit, it turns out Dorn indeed knows exactly what every dwarf in Erebor and beyond know about the Ravenfeathers. And quite unnecessarily, Dorn adds to the end of it:"They're scouts, too!" What a revelation that must be for the greybeard...
A loud, displeased snort echoes Dorn's words. "Green as the grass!" Zharin mutters in what's probably intended as an undertone (but he /is/ a greybeard and ... well, it could be that the old Dwarf is getting a little deaf in one ear). "Mahal give me patience!"
One hand emerges from within the black cloak to stroke at his beard, and perhaps it has a calming effect, for when Zharin speaks again there is less of hostile edge to his tones. "The King Under the Mountain indeed thinks highly of the Ravenfeathers," he states at last, and his black eyes glint with an air of pride. "He, above all, knows our worth. And so now we act in accordance with our King's wishes. Traditionally," he pauses for emphasis, "our eyes have turned toward the east and the north, but recent events have highlighted the need for a watch on the West. Thus the Scouts are expanding our base of operations with the formation of a western unit to patrol the marges of Mirkwood and the borders of the Barding lands. It makes sense, with such a force, to recruit from those already serving the Warders in such a capacity." Neatly, he bypasses the subject of the Ravenfeathers' former losses with that statement. "And your name came up. Tell me, Dorn son of Lufur, do you have what it takes to serve our Lord Dain as a Ravenfeather Scout?" The black eyes focus on Dorn and his sparse beard-growth in steely challenge.

It would have never occurred to Dorn this morning that he would be spoken to concerning these elite scouts let alone asked to join them. In fact, he doesn't truly believe it now either as he listens even though the loud and quite scolding words make him cringe at times. When Zharin asks the question, the Warder eyeballs the elder for a moment or two and then snorts. "This is a jest, right? Who did it this time? Sorin? Marri?" Thinking that perhaps the two named dwarves were somewhere nearby, he glances around to find their hiding place so he could put an end to their charade. But the fellow-Warders are nowhere to be seen or seem hard at work after a tiring day and do not seem very amused.
Turning and stepping closer to the greybeard, Dorn speaks then:"You're serious? Ravenfeather scout? Me?" Well, of course he realizes he has been doing some of it already - scouting that is - but it is quite a revered and famous faction so it is difficult to believe...!
Zharin's chin juts out, his grey beard bristling. "I assure you, this is no jest. Of course, if you consider your skills inadequate to the position ..." He's frowning, hard - is he perhaps having second thoughts about making this offer? "... then the Ravenfeathers will look elsewhere." Already he's starting to turn away, shaking his head as though poor Dorn had given him a 'no'.

"Hey now, wait!" Life pours back into the poor shocked Dorn as he bolts after the greybeard, popping up behind him as he turns. "I'm sorry, the others been pulling my leg a lot with... things," he explains, once again doing a quick glance around to spot any of them so they could back his words up. "I'm a great scout! I'd be terrific Ravenfeather! And err... the King can count on me, sir!" With his voice raising just a tad, others begin to take notice of this meeting but none of Dorn's usual backers show up - perhaps they think he is being punished and not invited to the most important unit of stealthy dwarves or something like that?! "Ask the Captain! Ask anyone! I can sneak up on... uh, orcs!" That's the honest truth even though it might have been a lucky chance that he had done so.
Zharin halts in mid-stride, swivelling to face Dorn again. He lets the young Dwarf speak till he runs out of words. "That /is/ why you are being recruited, Dorn son of Lufur," he says rather reprovingly - but look close and one might notice a twinkle in his black eyes at the sight of this young whippersnapper's enthusiasm. "Your captain felt you would be most suitable for the role." Quite what Dorn's captain might have meant by that it's best not to speculate. "So you accept the offer? That is well."
Without waiting for further ayes or nays from Dorn, he launches into what has the sound of a prepared speech: "Our ranks know little structure save that of need. You will be known simply as 'Ravenfeather Scout' - you will work alone, serve under the command of others more experienced or lead patrols yourself, as the situation dictates. Do you understand this?" The Dwarf's bushy brows draw down as once more his gaze is bent on Dorn. "Oh, and one more thing. You will /not/ set knife or other blade to the hair on your chin. The Ravenfeathers have a reputation to maintain. In time you may wear a beard-badge; until then ... I suggest you visit a barber the next time your duties take you within the Mountain. Now, speaking of duties ..."
The words trail off into silence whilst the old Dwarf fiddles with something beneath the black cloak.

Seeing as he wasn't given much chance to admit or reject anything anymore, Dorn merely nods and listens to Zharin's tirade about what he is and who he is it with. It got complicated in the middle but as a dutiful and enthusiastic fresh scout recruit, he spearheads through the lecture, his eyes widening and jaw clenching at another shot at his beard-grooming manners. "It's going to look great, I promise," he blindly makes a baseless vow and then quiets down as duties are mentioned. Really? Not a minute in and already he's going to Mirkwood, never to be seen again?! Possibly meeting the big hairy spiders... Although his face falls a bit, he bravely nods, waiting to see those duties. Dauntless Dorn indeed.
Is the line of Lufur known for prescience? Zharin's hand emerges from his cloak holding a silver badge in the form of a raven's feather, which he reaches out to affix to one of the straps of Dorn's leather vest. "Scout Dorn, you will first report to Ravenhill," he intones crisply, "there to present your report of recent events. Others have done so, but sharp scout's eyes may note things other eyes are blind to. You will be supplied with any equipment you lack. I'm told your skill with sword and bow is adequate, but you will need to work on handling the single-axe." The new-made scout is given no chance to respond before he rattles on, "And then you will be assigned to a patrol and sent out along the old logging road. We need to ensure that the goblin blight has not spread northwards. One simply cannot trust the Elves on matters of security." He shakes his head, grey beard quaking.
Only then does he think to do what a Dwarf of more sensitive nature might have done /before/ launching into a lecture or two: he extends his hand and tells the poor stunned recruit in front of him, "Welcome to the Ravenfeather Scouts, Dorn son of Lufur."

Torn from the caravan so suddenly and sent off to patrol! Dorn doesn't mind the reporting and duties as this has been his work and preferred lifestyle anyway seeing as his crafting skills are lacking. "Yes, sir," is all he can say and smile a bit awkwardly at the elder scout and "Thank you," for the welcome. That was sudden. And great! Dorn son of Lufur, Ravenfeather Scout! It is unbelievable! "I'll get going as soon as I have settled all the scores with the Captain." And off he goes, just a little wobbly at this meeting that, among with other momentuous happenings, has changed his life.
A gruff nod is Zharin's response to his new recruit's thanks. He pumps Dorn's hand up and down a couple of times then drops it and says bluntly, "I have other matters to attend to. A good evening to you, scout." And off he stomps in the opposite direction to Dorn, quite oblivious to the turmoil he's just unleashed ...

Date added: 2013-03-18 08:10:53    Hits: 75
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