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Who's Afraid of the Dark?

Tags: Gloin,  Ulaire_Nelya

Short Summary: Some Dwarves are stuck on the Old Forest Road on a dark and rainy night. Isn't it a little chilly? They learn that not all fears can be bested with an axe ...
Date (real-life): 2014-03-09
Scene Location: Old Forest Road
Date (in-game): May 3061
Time of Day: Night
Weather: Rain
Old Forest Road
 
The ancient, rutted road continues its meandering through the thick and dark wood. Around you the trees are tightly packed, bole to bole, and scarcely offer any passage off the beaten path. The wood is quiet and almost strangely calm around you.
 
The cool nighttime hour is so very dark--you can barely make out the figure of your hand passing before your eyes.
 
Raindrops pour down through the thin open patch above the road.
 
Water pools on the road and the mud is thick--travel is tiresome.
 
----
 
Erebor Time & Weather Service
 
** Real time is: Sun Mar 09 16:17:49 2014, GMT -8 **
 
Elendor time is: Nighttime (2200) on Mersday, Day 18 of May 3061.
 
In the Spring sky, The first quarter moon rides through the stars fair unto a shimmering ship.
 
----
 
Rain. It pours from the slot of open sky above the Old Forest Road. It drips incessantly from the boughs of the trees crowding in on either side. It turns the once-solid ground to a muddy quagmire that is as much stream as roadway. In such weather travel would be impossible even during the daylight hours - and these are not daylight hours.
 
In one place the trees press in less closely - might there have been a path there, once? It is in this little elbow of the road that the Dwarves have chosen to set their camp. A solid ring of wagons, and sodden figures with axes patrolling the perimeter. The mood is grim, and not least because noone can get a fire going - the scene is lit only by the wan flicker of glass-windowed lanterns. A guttural exclamation splits the air: "Confound these blasted sticks! Might as well be pulling hairs from an Elf's beardless chin." Gloin son of Groin, fuming at his own failure, rises from a half-crouch and stomps to the edge of camp to hurl two large sections of branch into the darkness.
 
[Ulaire_Nelya(#28505)] The Old Forest Road, is one of the safer places to travel if one must go through the Mirkwood. It's not without it's perils however there are no fences and no guards beyond what you bring, and the forest dwellers some are good and others well not so good. In the dark camp without fire it seems the worst of the inhabitants approaches though yet it's approach is only noted by the air seeming to grow colder and perhaps an un-nerving chill begins to be felt. Each moment it seems to grow but still no more than possibly the forest playing tricks?
 
A sensitive traveller would surely note the ominous sense of malice that presses in upon this place, not to mention the uncanny chill. Dwarves, however, are not sensitive.
 
Oh, it is growing colder; of that there is no doubt. Gloin, still staring balefully out into the darkness (which hisses balefully back at him as raindrops patter on the old year's dead leaves), shivers and tugs uncomfortably at the edge of his cloak. "Bah!" he mutters now. "These bones are /not/ getting old. It's that damn rain."
 
Behind him one of the lanterns gutters and goes out. "Get that damn thing relit!" the old Dwarf snaps without turning round.
 
[Ulaire_Nelya(#28505)] The presence which approaches the line of the dwarf camp still remains formless but it approaches all the same. The cold and dreadful feelings would increase as it does so and apparently it's close enough to hear the words of the dwarf camp. The first natural(but not really) sound which escapes is a hissing like leaves rustling but more like a laugh for those who can pick up on it and no humor comes from this laugh but malice. There is silence as if the forest has stopped all together for a breath before a voice cold breaks the silence. "Oh, but you are.. nay the hale warrior is past his prime." it chides but the voice seems not to come from any one point but several at once.
 
Gloin stops fidgeting with his cloak and straightens with a gasp (and .. well, perhaps those ageing bones do creak. Just a little). "Who said that?" he snaps, glaring out into the darkness as he feels for the haft of his warhammer - somehow his fingers seem to slip on the rain-slick surface. "Show yourself!" The gruff voice cracks a little.
 
Behind him, a young Dwarf is fumbling with the lantern to no effect, his fingers grown chill. He is shivering also and cannot blame it on age. Rather, the pallor of the wedge of face visible between beard and hood speaks for itself.
 
[Ulaire_Nelya(#28505)] The voice laughs once more at the words and being called out by the dwarf. "You travel too freely in these woods." the voice hisses once again, though it's a moment of silence before the first "sight" of what speaks and makes the forest dark. It is hard to say as firstly it's just a void where no light touches even darker than the night, but as it steps floats out of the trees it begins to take shape. It's the shape of a tall man well built perhaps though all features for those who can look directly are hidden except gloved hands and feet at the level of the hood no face is seen. One of the hands holds a sword with a darkened blade, and this figure takes a few more steps towards the dwarf camp.
 
Gloin tries to look freely. Perhaps he is lucky that age and years spent walking dim halls carven between the mountains' bones have dulled his vision somewhat. Behind him there is a soft, stuttering intake of breath as the young Dwarf shudders and lets his useless lantern-casing fall. "Durin's folk travel where we will," Gloin tells the unknown stranger - a Man, surely it is no more than a Man? - in a voice gruff with discomfort. Those words fall jarring and discordant from his lips, and with his next speech he strives for a smoother approach. "But we bear no ill-will to those on the path, save they hinder us."
 
Behind him, his fellow shift uneasily. The response required to a threat is clear: fortify the perimeter. Yet a worm of doubt writhes in each heart, a canker that saps strength. Fingers falter on bowstrings, swords stick in their sheaths ...
 
[Ulaire_Nelya(#28505)] The tall robed figure does pause now at the edge of the camp, his focus is on Gloin as they clearly lead this group the others do not seem as reistant to the cold darkness which surrounds him as this one does. "What will you do if I hinder you dwarf?" he hisses out now looking down on the other standing tall and proud though features blacked out he speaks the common speech even.
 
No Dwarf would admit to fear. Of course, it is age that chills the blood in Gloin's veins, that sets a weight on his tongue. "I will ..." The words falter, but with a mighty effort he tugs his hammer free of his belt. The weapon is heavy is in his hand and the haft drags earthward - yet the simple act of holding it brings strength, of a sort. "I will fight."
 
No Dwarf would admit to fear. Naturally it is deference for their elder that keeps the remainder of Gloin's company silent and still - nary a breath is released among them.
 
[Ulaire_Nelya(#28505)] The robed man, stands stock still watching the dwarf a moment "I stand in your way, perhaps if you best me? I'll let your camp pass." The figure holds the sword up in challenge to the other his sole focus on this dwarf now. "Come and seek your doom if you wish it." he says menacingly while waiting just outside the line of the camp.
 
Gloin grunts in answer to that. There's the wheezing of laboured breath as he lifts the hammer to a horizontal position, effectively barring the stranger's way. "We're going nowhere in this murk." It's more of a mutter than a growl. "You, however-" The incessant drumming of the raindrops seems to wash away his words and he tries again, louder this time. "You can go back where you came from with your limbs intact. Or I can speed you on your way." Brave words, indeed, but the outstretched hammer is quivering slightly.This wretched chill!
 
[Ulaire_Nelya(#28505)] The tall figure doesn't move out of the way nor backwards really. "You look to barr my way Gloin, Groin's son." he spits the name of the dwarf out as if were an insult. The sword is held at ready to the dwarves challenge "Fine, if you will not relent or leave. I will make you..." the hiss carries to him and the rest of the camp, the robed man moves swiftly for one hooded and cloaked as he and his black iron'd blade sweeps out at the dwarf.
 
Ulaire_Nelya attacks you with his Longsword!...
...and he misses!
 
In contrast, Gloin moves slowly, oh so slowly. The hammer is raised to block the unknown combatant's sword-swing, yet somehow the motion turns into a backstep. The black blade hisses by just inches from Gloin's head.
 
The old Dwarf is breathing heavily. "You are one," he states carefully, with as much force as he can muster. "We are many. Leave us, or your life is forfeit. Archers, ready!" He does not look behind him to see whether any of those few younger Dwarves with keener eyesight than the rest has a bow raised. Instead he grits his teeth and swing his hammer forward. An unseen weight seems to drag the weapon down, so that a blow intended for the ribcage sinks toward the level of a Man's knees.
 
You attack Ulaire_Nelya with your War Hammer...
Ulaire_Nelya dodges your attack.
 
[Ulaire_Nelya(#28505)] The cloaked figure does not seem to take archers any heed for the moment as if they do not mean him any harm or anything, his focus still on the dwarf in front of him. He is able to side step but a menacing hiss escapes him even as he does the hammer missing by a little bit perhaps his foe has some life left in him afterall but this is only a challenge. It's not long before the tall man is pressing again. "We shall see." he says making another swipe at the dwarf.
 
Ulaire_Nelya attacks you with his Longsword!...
...and he hits! Ouch!
 
"Ugh!" A wordless exclamation leaves the Gloin's lips as the Dwarf, still staggering after his hammer-blow has gone wide, is caught a raking blow by the sword tip. The finest Dwarf-mail parts with a metallic ringing and the old Dwarf's face is suddenly pale. His next hammer-swing is one-handed and again aimed low, at leg level on the cloaked figure. "Loose!" he rasps, without looking back.
 
Only one arrow is released and it flies so wide that it surely cannot have been properly aimed. Just as well, really, given Gloin himself is blocking his fellows' line of sight to the potential target. But if nothing else, sight of the duel is loosening frozen limbs a little, clearing fogged brains ... Sluggishly, the Dwarves begin to move.
 
You attack Ulaire_Nelya with your War Hammer...
Ulaire_Nelya dodges your attack.
 
[Ulaire_Nelya(#28505)] The darkness seems to swirl around the figure his robes are fabric but dont always seem to be. The hiss which escapes him now is for the lone archer who fires a shot wide. "Your camp is weak." the figure turns back and side steps another hammer blow from the dwarf an more intense wave of hatred spills over the are, the sword is in motion once more towards the dwarf again.
 
Ulaire_Nelya attacks you with his Longsword!...
...and you parry his attack with your War Hammer!
 
The line that is forming within the camp seems to falter under the scorn of the dark Uknown. Yet perhaps it has aided in this conflict nevertheless; for Gloin, that terrible weighting pressure lessens and he is able to lift his hammer to block the next sword-swing. It is not without cost - Gloin's features are sweat-beaded and a line of dark drips now mars the mail below his left shoulder. Economizing on both words and motion, the old Dwarf simply pushes forward, letting his own body-weight carry the hammer-head forward. Higher now, toward his mysterious assailant's hip.
 
Suddenly a red light flares, casting streaming shadows out into the night. Fire has been kindled! One Dwarf has had the wit to use lantern-oil to start the blaze, and now the drying wood sends up showers of sparks into the night.
 
You attack Ulaire_Nelya with your War Hammer...
Your attack against Ulaire_Nelya mildly wounds him!
 
[Ulaire_Nelya(#28505)] The clang of the two's weapons cliding rings through the night, the robed figure is about to counter when the hated firelight breaks the darkness and a hiss of malice spits out of where the mouth should be. The figure is thus turning around with the hammer swings and though it should connect it seems only to hit the fabrick of the cloak. "Not good enough." the sword in motion once again.
 
Ulaire_Nelya attacks you with his Longsword!...
...and he hits! Ouch!
 
There's a hitch in Gloin's breathing as his stroke, despite hitting home - if indeed it /did/ hit home? - does no apparent damage. "By Mahal, if I could see-" The words cut off abruptly as that long blade clanks glancing off the old Dwarf's helmet and once again catches him on the shoulder. He lets out a wordless bellow and drops to one knee.
 
A sudden, shocked murmuring rises from within the Dwarven camp, swiftly followed by a cry of, "Light, we need light!" One red-bearded Dwarf pulls a burning brand from the new-kindled fire and charges forward. Others, slowly shaking off the spell that has held them in thrall, follow stumbling in his wake.
 
You forego your chance to attack.
 
[Ulaire_Nelya(#28505)] The dark-robed figure stands tall and strikes the dwarf again it's not very solid but the dwarf make of armor is strong still. The call from the camp diverts his attention and the dwarf brandishing the fire gets a blast of the cold wave which surrounds this figure. "It is not yet time for your doom son of Groin." he calls the sword disappears beneath his cloak and he backs backwards into the forest and disperses losing his form as quickly as it'd come to him.
 
The red-headed Dwarf bearing the burning brand stumbles, losing his grip on the wood, yet his own momentum sends the brand rolling onward to chase the retreating figure on its way.
 
By the time the next of the Dwarves has reached Gloin, there is nothing to be seen save forest all around - that and a sullenly smouldering patch of leaf. As they help him up, Gloin is unwontedly silent. "Thought I-" he mutters at last and then shakes his head. "Set a watch. We'll track our visitor in the morning." Then, pale and sweating, he allows himself to be guided toward the fire.
 
In the morning, however, when they search for tracks there will be naught to be found save mud. It has, after all, been raining solidly all night.


Date added: 2014-03-10 15:31:51    Hits: 77
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