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Hillside Meeting

Tags: Mazarbul Barazin Bakhuzel Agarhaz Raven thane returns

Short Summary: A young smith discovers a dwarf conversing with ravens on the slopes of the Mountain and news is traded
Date (real-life): 2013-07-09
Scene Location: Near Erebor
Date (in-game): May 21, 3059
Time of Day: Late Afternoon
Weather: Clear


Water trickling over stone leaves creases and ripples as proof of its passage, but only with unfathomable time. The

passage of years have similarly marked the visage of this son of Mahal. Deep set eyes gaze out from beneath brows

that are most charitably termed 'bushy' though 'overgrown' might be more apt. Deep folds make a roadmap of toil and

hardship on his rocky features. A black beard, streaked with bold white at either side of his mouth, cascades down

past his waist. The beard is decorated with a number of tiny braids that shift and hide in the looser whiskers as he

moves. His eyes are all but hidden beneath the wild brows but when the light catches them just so, they sparkle from

their cavernous depths with a brilliant sapphire blue.

His clothing, while well made, is unremarkable: boots and breeches of an earthy brown, a heavy tunic of faded blue,

a gilded belt missing more than a few of its metal plates as though the gold has been pried free piecemeal. Over top

of this garb is draped a cloak and hood that once must have been white but that weather and time have rendered a

mottled gray.

Seldom far from his hand is a short walking stick or cane, with a geometrical grip like a seven faceted gem. The

grip of the cane is large and a close inspection would show it to be almost a sphere but a seven pointed star in

cross section.

This person is unmistakably a Khazad, his blazing orange beard shrouding a ham of a face. His braided hair is

pockmarked with singed frays; looking closer, his hands have a baked-in soot like a cooked bird. A fat nose splits

deep brown eyes and wide cheeks. There's a lumbering gait in his step, and an apron tan looping round his throat. A

loose tawny wool jerkin slouches around the dwarfs shoulders, a worn-in thing that's just a size too large, along

with well-worn gray breeches and a pair of scorched and mostly mended slouch boots.

Southwestern Side of Erebor
The path is dry and is marked with old foot, horse, and wagon tracks. The spectacle of Erebor dominates the

landscape here, one of the two lower of its six spurs rising towards the high peak to the northeast. A gate of

wrought iron opens up at its foot, at the end of a branch of the trail that is lined with low pillars of white

stone. Away around to the north between the steep-sided spur and another similar one further on, a few miles march,

can be found a long vale. Out on the plains of the Dwarflaw to the west towards Mirkwood can be seen this Barding

croft and that, served by dwarf-built windmill wells, invested by intrepid farmers. They are evidence that this land

is returning to its fertile glory of old. The path winds across the featureless plains that were once part of the

Desolation of Smaug. The Spring's sparse grass is rapidly greening around you, and the wind blows chilly from the

north. The sky is clear, with but a few thin clouds scudding about. The late afternoon air is chilly.
Obvious exits:
 Southeast leads to Below Ravenhill.
 North leads to Northwestern Side of Erebor.
Mazarbul Gate

[+TIME] Middle-earth time is:
Late Afternoon on Sunday, Day 21 of May.
Execute the +TIMEFRAME command for year information.

        The cawing of ravens makes the afternoon a cacophony near the gate of the Mazarbul. The birds seem excited,

agitated, several of them fluttering here and there to light near one another briefly before taking flight towards

the watchpost on the Ravenhill on the foot of the mountain.

        The center of their activity appears to be a dwarf in a dingy cloak that might once have been white, though

it now looks gray and ragged next to the new green of spring that blankets the mountainside. This dwarf sits on a

rock, speaking to the birds in a clear, firm voice. His eyes are shadowed by heavy brows, nearly hidden, even in the

light of the descending sun, "Spread the word that I have returned. Tell any who might remember. Joran, if he still

leads his clan. Take word to the uzbad too, of course and the Zinbar, we once had alliance with them." He pauses to

scratch at the beard on his chin, dragging his fingers through one of the white streaks, "I want to know more of

this steward who has led Mazarbul in my absence, as well."
        The dwarf acts like one used to being heeded, though his clothing is worn and torn and his only finery seems

to be a gilded belt now missing many of its gold plates. He sits away from the path, watching the traffic through

the gate now and then, but mostly absorbed with the birds.

[Bakhuzel(#10657)] Across the field, the low light of the horizon told of lingering days in the seasons, the

twilight of a harvest haze. A red-haired Khazad with soot smudged in his beard and cheeks ambles from the path, a

small felling axe tucked away in the belt of his work coat.
 Eyes wandering the distance draw towards no small spectacle, squinting at a hooded figure by the rocks from afar.

Plodding down the path from a good ways he stops where the trail parallels the resting figure, hailing with an arm

in salute. "Is everything alright milord?" He calls with a voice somewhat too loud from only several sprints away,

unsure if the poor old beggar might be deaf or not.
 An arm lowers and the young dwarf approaches with a good natured expression of compassion, when his eyes go wide.

"Great Durin's beard, you're, you're..." the fellow stammers with recollection. "What are you - no where have you


The bedraggled figures stirs himself to his feet, shaking out his cloak as though it were still as fine as it might

once have been, "Pray tell, good cousin, do you know me even after all these years?" He nods to the raven he had

been speaking to and it nods its beak in return before taking flight to the southeast.

[Bakhuzel(#10657)] The young Khazad looks astonished. "Lord tell me it is you! But I am certain now." He hushes his

voice and bows his head. "I can remember but from days as a lad, and my father taught me proper respects. Is it some

secret as to your presence?" He raises his head. "I am forgetting all manners. I am Bakhuzel son of Iagul, master

smiths and purest of blood of Barazin."

        The older khazad sweeps back his cloak in a courtly flurish, bowing deeply, "And I am Agarhaz, son of

Agharin, son of Agzhared, once Thane of Mazarbul and now long speparated from my kin. Well I know the smiths of your

people, for Thane Joran was, of a time, a close companion and Kloi Whitebeard before him." He frowns and rises from

his bow, though now I have been gone some long time from my home and I know not how Barazin fares any more than I

know of Mazarbul. I have beheld things few others have seen, though; dragon mounds, armies of stunted men, I can

even baost of seeing the place Durin himself awakened while I was the 'guest' of foul hosts in Gundabad itself."

[Bakhuzel(#10657)] The words bring exasperated nods of his agreement, until he hears these words. "Lord Agarhaz son

of Agharin, word has not reached us of any of this! Is this the fate of the caravan?" He seems worried and breathes

heavily a moment. "Barazin fares well for the sake of its principle" his eyebrows raise convictingly, "good Thane,

you are still but entreated to the titles of your clan - dragons, dragons. Are there really more out there as myths

have said? It would certainly not, be madness. But we have not had news, we have not had news at all of these

ongoings... The Caravan has been off for more than a season to the far west."

Agarhaz shrugs his weary shoulders and seems to diminish shoehow, "Aye, lad, there are still dragons. Though i would

wager none left who could match Smaug the golden, or even perhaps the one we fought here some years ago. I know

naught of this caravan you speak of, I fear. I was with two huskarls of my clan, and the three of us alone, when

misfortune befell us on the Heath."

[Bakhuzel(#10657)] "Are you injured sir? My word we are blessed to have you back. Far too many have fallen to the

menace beyond these hills." He nods his slow agreement. "Aye right the Caravan has been gone for quite some time

now, and with it all those that should be here to welcome you home. I fear there is not much stirring below the

mountains save for the sounds of smiths competing against one another," he scratches his mustache with the side of

his hand and comes back to attention. "But good Thane, I must ask - what happened?"

The Mazarbul draws himself up again, bright eyes flashing beneath wild brows, "Noble deeds were done, my lad. Worthy

of song. And I mean to see monuments raised to my companions who fell in my travels." He gestures towards the north

with his left hand, the knuckles of his right going white as he grips the haft of his heavy cane, "Dragons have

little tolerance for orcs, you see. Almost as little as we have oursleves. But the Rukh still march the Heath,

driven by bold goblins with barbed whips. Clain, Edgtho and myself were camped near a hollow mount our people once

claimed as a fastness of some renown when we were surprised by such a patrol. Edgtho fell then, but took no less

than five of the foul orcs with him." Sadness darkens his visage as he goes on, "Clain and I here captured and

forced to march with them west for days on end. We were driven like frightened sheep to the peak of Gundabad and

thrown into the darkest of cells, to languish longer than I care to recall, all but forgotten, it seems." He lifts

his cane and the gesture seems martial, showing the stout crutch for the weapon it is, "But eventually we found a

way to break the door and took a pair of niggardly guards by surprise. My dear Clain was wounded, but we fought our

way free, even found some of our belongings as we fled. The valiant lad made it almost as far as the northern edges

of Mirkwood before he succumbed." The cane returns to the ground and he leans on it heavily, "That was two months

ago, as best I can figure."

[Bakhuzel(#10657)] The red-haired dwarf listens to the story with great interest, nodding at his subtle demand. "A

great song indeed! And there should be many a tug of ale for your coming home, and two times as many more for those

that did not." He holds a hand to his chest. "That forest were the end of many a Warder as my father tells me sir."

The younger Khazad gestures with an arm back across the field towards the gate. "T'would be best for you to come in

through your own front door if you wish to return proper, as Thane. Now in this time of need I do not think that

there will be the same predisposition as was in my father's time," he says somewhat sadly. "I have heard of the

horrible troops of the goblins, whom took my own father's eye. But what if these horrors should dare to strike at

our home?" His face staunches and hardens in expression, looking at the older gent with a newly appraised caution.

Agarhaz nods slowly, his gaze turning toward Ravenhill were most of the black birds he was speaking with have now

flown, "It was my intention to do so, though I had intended to gather some news before my return." He looks at the

youth sharply and his gaze seems to hold some sort of undefined weight, dwarf lord still, though dressed in rags,

"Tell me, cousin, what news has beards wagging most these fine Spring days?"

[Bakhuzel(#10657)] Apprehensive, the lad paws the back of his head and looks to-and-fro. "Well sir I am unsure what

state of affairs you left in but there are great worries, even greater than goblins and spiders from far as I can

tell - and dragons, to think of more of them." He loops his thumbs in tool pockets on his belt. "My father passed

not long ago and I was long with grief. Sadly sir the most words I hear are of our cousins leaving the mountain. I

was born here and shall live my days as shall my children and their children's children, but I too would wish to see

the world beyond the forest - full knowing those dangers out there - but only to bring back what I could." He shakes

his head. "I don't suppose you have brought any, goblin bones or the like? Me father once told me they were keen in

making to a handle, for they always wanted to return where they came from."

The lost Thane sighs, listening to the youth's words carefully. As the young khazad finishes he shakes his head,

"No, lad. i barely made it out with my own skin intact. I've no treasures to show or share." He looks away to the

north, squinting beneath his bushy brows as evening draws on, "To the best of my knowledge, no armies of goblins are

to be found north of the forest, only small bands and loose confederacies like the one that took us. But it troubles

me to hear you speak of worries darker still. I will enter the Mountain and see to setting things right with my

clansmen, if they will have me back. I would not sit idly by while threats loom over my home, any more than it seems

you would."

[Bakhuzel(#10657)] The red haired lad smiles at this. "Come good Thane your people will welcome you, for all is

right in your absence. I am sure there are those whom must have counsel with you immediately, shall I fetch for

someone? I was just out for kindling. No small chance that the gods should put me on this path to-day," he says in

an assuring depth. "Please, do, conscript an image of proper specification for the good cousins whom have not

returned home. I am capable of making such a thing, and I am sure the clan bankers will see-to-it as well." He takes

a few steps up. "Are you not weary for a tilt of ale?"

Thane Agarhaz smiles broadly, "I had a taste of Ale in Laketown some days ago, but it paled in comparison with my

memories of the Longbeard's ale. Aye, I'll join you for a drink and we can speak of commissions and monuments,

though I will doubtless be forced to make it brief."

So saying the weathered dwarf lord sets his cane to steady his weary step and falls in beside the younger dwarf,

making his way home at long last.

[Bakhuzel(#10657)] "You must tell me more of the dragons!" Bakhuzel exclaims, walking alongside with fantastic eyes

for the stories of the older dwarf. Up through the field they crossed through the meadow, passing in the shadow of

the arch til their figures languished along the great stair.

Date added: 2013-07-10 02:03:04    Hits: 84
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