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Thread: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 04/04/2020]

  1. #201
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 10/12/2019]

    I wonder whether Eldarion's feelings about the hobbits' decision to accompany him will change. I'm also wondering how safe the High Pass will be. Good update!

  2. #202
    TurkafinwŰ's Avatar The Absurdist
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 10/12/2019]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I wonder whether Eldarion's feelings about the hobbits' decision to accompany him will change. I'm also wondering how safe the High Pass will be. Good update!
    Thanks Alwyn. Only time will tell.

  3. #203
    TurkafinwŰ's Avatar The Absurdist
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 21/12/2019]

    Book II, Chapter XIX: Passage
    August 3023 T.A. - High Pass

    High Pass was a passage way across the Misty Mountains, situated to the north of Rivendell, and was along with the Pass of Caradhras (better known as the Redhorn Gate), Caradhras being one of three mountain peaks that lay on top of Khazad-Dűm, one of the main ways to cross the Misty Mountains. Unlike the Redhorn Gate, which was narrow, the High Pass was broad enough to march an army through, at least the lower pass was. Those who took the High Pass had a choice of two ways, the broader, much more used lower pass or the less travelled narrow high pass. The lower pass was a very established and well-known crossing point. In the First Age, before Man was born – or it has been told – , the Dwarves used it primarily as a trade route to connect the western and eastern Mansions of their peoples. In the Second Age Elendil and Gil-Galad used it to march their forces across the Misty Mountains to link up with the forces from Lothlˇrien, Khazad-Dűm and the Woodland Realm before striking south towards Mordor. When they defeated Sauron at the Battle of Barad-Dűr the Third Age began and the High Pass was once again a safe way to travel between Eriador and Rhovanion. When evil started to spread again and the caverns of the Misty Mountains started to be inhabited by Orcs once more, the main pass fell into disuse. Only the bravest souls would choose to use it, these being mostly Dwarven parties travelling between their Mansions. Peace had returned to the High Pass when the united armies of the Dwarven Clans had raged through the Orc strongholds of the Misty Mountains during the War of the Dwarves and Orcs. However that war was fought more than two-hundred years ago and Orcs multiply quickly and though the Dwarves had been very thorough in their slaughtering, many Orcs had survived the massacre by fleeing to the deepest caverns. Supplemented with Orcs from Mordor they had become a menace once again, conducting raids both into the Vale of Anduin and into Eriador. The Pass only stayed open because of the bravery of the Beornings guarding the way. These skin-changers were the folk of Grimbeorn, son of Beorn and they hated the Orcs more than anything. They were fierce in battle, uncompromising to their enemies, quick to anger and difficult to befriend. Luckily for their company Gandalf was one of those few friends, a sort of friend anyway.

    It was accounted that, in the mythological Years of the Trees, the Vala OromŰ created the pass to ease the passage of the Eldar's Great Journey to the Undying Lands. Whether OromŰ had found the pass or created it was unclear yet the Elves believed the former. That is what Eldarion had learned anyway from his time perusing the books in Imladris' library and now that he stood before it's magnificent and daunting gate he could easily believe it had been created by the Vala himself. A wide opening, almost splitting the mountain range into two, flanked by the enormous mountain peaks, stood the gate leading to the pass. Eldarion could see that the path narrowed as it gradually climbed up into the mountains. Gandalf had told them the crossing would take them approximately five days, less if the weather was generous, more if not. When they set out from Rivendell the hobbits had been given ponies and Eldarion a horse along with provisions, Gandalf had his own horse. Summer was nearing it's end and Eldarion and Gandalf assessed that they would probably get across before the heavy autumn snowfalls would descend upon them. In the best case the snows would come quickly after their crossing, this would make pursuit across the mountains impossible. Should the Enemy try to follow the Company they would have to go around the mountain range through the Gap of Rohan. The sky was a clear bright blue and a chilly breeze blew down on them as they passed the gateway into the mountains. They trotted for an hour when they saw a huge man brandishing a double-headed axe on their path. He stood in the middle of the road and looked rather grim, a bushy brown beard covering his face. He seemed to have traded all of the hair on his head for a beard, for the sun reflected brightly on his cranium. He remained silent while the Company moved closer. When they were but ten paces away he ordered them to halt. His deep voice was kept low and he seemed to struggle to keep it down.

    “State your business.” his bushy eyebrows were furrowed while he waited for an answer. Eldarion thought that this was a man not to be trifled with. Not only stood he as high as Eldarion seated on his horse, he was burly and a fire gleamed in his eyes. For attire he wore not much, merely a cloth pants and longsleeved brown shirt yet he seemed impervious to the cold.

    “We are seeking passage through the High Pass.” Gandalf kindly replied. The big man's face remained stony.

    “Who are you.” he asked. Gandalf introduced the hobbits first, to which the man nodded respectfully. Gandalf then introduced himself to which the man's eyes' widened only in the slightest and one could have easily missed it, Eldarion hadn't. When Gandalf introduced him the man's face became its stony self once more.

    “Grey Wizard, news of your coming had already reached us, courtesy of a little bird. You may pass free of charge. The Little Folk may pass freely also but the Man, Prince or no, must pay tribute for the passage.” Gandalf nodded in agreement and if you could've seen his face you would've discerned his pleasure with the bargain. Eldarion, however, was not too pleased and he replied angrily.

    “What is it that you desire brute? Gold, silver?” the man laughed, not contained like he had his voice but a rumbling sound that vibrated through the pass so hard, Eldarion feared it might cause an avalanche.

    “We have no use for your gold or silver, royal man. What we do need is furs, food, drink and men who can fight. Do you possess any of these things, little man?” A vicious smile had widened on the Beorning's face. Gandalf tried to smooth things over by offering the carefully prepared gifts of tribute, but Eldarion had already dismounted his horse and had marched right up to the huge man. Eldarion had to really crane his head backwards to look the man in the face. The Prince only now came to the realisation how big his adversary actually was. Still he was insulted in his pride and he didn't fear this clearly savage man.

    “Why don't you find out if I can fight for yourself.” Eldarion said, spitting the words into the man's face. The Beorning's smile had disappeared and had been replaced with an inquisitive look as he eyed the Prince up and down.

    “Very well.” he simply said before beckoning the entire Company to follow him. Eldarion, taken aback by the simple reply and having thought they would settle this immediatly, returned to his horse, mounted it and followed the man. While they continued through the pass Eldarion saw that more of the Beorning's kin had joined their party. Another two hours of silent journeying passed, with Eldarion stewing in the juices of his anger while Gandalf had turned grim and the hobbits unsure of what was happening, after which they reached the Valesmen encampment. It was situated in a shielded cove and provided for no more than twenty-odd men. There were also women and children roaming the camp, which was much to Eldarion's surprise. A palpable tension hung in the air of the camp, the men were dour, the women huddled together and the children silent. They were greeted by the guard on duty.

    “Customers Grimdar?” he asked. Grimdar, the Beorning who had been leading them, simply nodded before turning to the Company.

    “Leave your horses and ponies here with Harohd. They will be taken good care of.” The Company dismounted and each handed over the reins to Harohd. The animals were to Eldarion's surprise calm and at ease with the giant of a man. The Prince was the only one reluctant to give up his horse and Grimdar noticed. It was the Beorning's turn to reply in anger.

    “Savage we may seem to you but we take care of animals better than any, what you call 'civilised' peoples.” Eldarion wanted to sneer at the man but Gandalf interceded.

    “The Beorning's are true friends to the animals Eldarion, just give Harohd the reins.” it was clear Gandalf had had enough of this so Eldarion gave the Beorning the reins to his horse. Grimdar led them towards the fire in the middle of the camp where a group of five men sat. A particularly old and grey Beorning, probably their Chief, sat in the middle of the group. The men were discussing something when their Company reached them.

    “We must do something!” one of them yelled. Grimdar cleared his throat and the five men became aware of him and the foreigners he had brought. Grimdar introduced the Company to the Chief and his men. As an introduction for Eldarion he shoved him forward into the ring of light adding:

    “I've found someone who will help us with our problem.”

    Eldarion stumbled forward, not the first time, confused.
    Last edited by TurkafinwŰ; March 23, 2020 at 08:34 AM. Reason: minor changes/fixed spelling mistakes

  4. #204
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 21/12/2019]

    I like the way that that you weave the history and legends of the places they're travelling through into your tale. Like Eldarion, I'm surprised by the outcome of his challenge to the Beorning. I wonder what the problem is - and what it will take to solve it!

  5. #205
    TurkafinwŰ's Avatar The Absurdist
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 21/12/2019]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I like the way that that you weave the history and legends of the places they're travelling through into your tale. Like Eldarion, I'm surprised by the outcome of his challenge to the Beorning. I wonder what the problem is - and what it will take to solve it!
    As ever, thank you Alwyn! You've summarized all the things I wanted to convey perfectly, which gladdens me. The next update will shed some light on the situation.

  6. #206
    TurkafinwŰ's Avatar The Absurdist
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 21/12/2019]

    Book II, Chapter XX: A Quest Worthy A Prince
    August 3023 T.A. - High Pass

    “There.” said Grimdar, pointing at a crevice further along the road. Grimdar had been his only companion for a day now as they travelled further into the pass northward. Meanwhile the rest of the Company had stayed in the Valesmen camp. The Beorning was a man of few words and the hostility between the two men remained only just beneath the surface, in order not to compromise their mission. Eldarion looked at the opening in the mountain and it seemed to be unguarded. He relieved himself from every burden not necessary: his thick ranger cloak, bow and arrow and battle-axe would stay behind. The only weapon he would carry into the cave was a long dagger. Grimdar would stay behind guarding his horse and awaiting his return for he was, as he himself had said, 'too big' to go in. Eldarion had to go into the cave alone. Without a word of farewell the Prince started crawling towards the entrance, his senses hightened. All was silent but for the gailing wind that tore at Eldarion's skin. Eldarion tried to ignore the biting cold while he steadily crept closer towards the entrance. He took a roundabound route so he would approach the crevice from above. Still there was no sign of any enemy. The Prince reached the spot above the entrance with ease and dropped himself right in front of the crevice. At the cave's entrance Eldarion smeared his exposed flesh black with soot that he had gathered from the Valesmen campfire two days prior. For the occassion he had donned his dark clothing and strips of leather. The only thing he could not darken were his grey eyes. His camouflage ready, the Prince entered the cave.

    It took some time for his eyes to adjust to the darkness but a small flickering of fire could be discerned around the first bend. Probably the guardhouse, Eldarion thought, as he could see that there was a main way going deeper into the mountain. Hunched down a bit he slowly crept closer, staying close to the wall, towards the opening. Eldarion had been right about the guardhouse, inside two goblins lay sleeping, bottles of a thick black liquid spattered across the room. Even from a distance Eldarion could reek their foul smell and with great effort he repulsed the reflex to gag. The way broadened as Eldarion ventured deeper into the Goblin lair. Luckily for him the underground road didn't split too often, the few that did led to large abandoned rooms or branching off to armories and rudimentary pantries. The deeper he went, the more light was shone into the dark corridor. I must be nearing the main chamber, Eldarion thought. The road ended in a massive room and Eldarion hid himself on one side of the opening and peeped around the corner. In a quick glance Eldarion could see that the room was filled with goblins, most of them were either drinking, sleeping, eating or rummaging through piles of filth – in other words minding their own business. Eldarion's eyes scanned the room until he found what he was looking for. There in the far back, in a dark corner it lay in a bundle. A large fire burned in a pit in the middle of the cave, casting many shadows. A sort of rudimentary pillars held the roof from collapsing on itself. Eldarion needed to come up with a plan. Getting to his objective wouldn't be all too difficult, getting out again would be more problematic. He steadied his breath and entered the chamber. From shadow to shadow he went, avoiding puddles of water and loose rocks, making as little noise as possible. Noone seemed to notice he had entered the chamber. Just before he had reached his target a particularly large goblin emerged from the shadows. Eldarion threw himself against the walls and closed his eyes, hoping the goblin wouldn't see him as he held his breath. The goblin stood still and Eldarion could hear him sniffing the air. The Prince had his hand on his dagger, ready for battle. The goblin sniffed one last time and Eldarion heard his footsteps carry him away. Eldarion slowly opened his eyes. The monstrous creature had entered the center of the chamber and was yelling at his fellow goblins in some foul language Eldarion could not understand. He let his breath go and when he had steadied himself once more, he continued towards the dark corner. Crouching ever closer he could see it clearly. Hunched over he saw that the child was sleeping, covered only by a tattered piece of brown cloth. The boy had an iron collar around his neck with a chain attached to it. The chain connected the collar to a ring embedded in the wall behind him. Eldarion quickly glanced around the room and saw that the enemy was still not aware of his presence. Gently he shook the boy but he did not wake. Eldarion placed one of his hands on the boy's mouth while with the other he firmly shook him again. The boy's eyes sprang open and he would've yelled were it not for the Prince's hand.

    “Shhh. I'm here to rescue you.” whispered Eldarion. The boy calmed down a bit but his eyes were still filled with terror. He could only see a large dark figure hunching over him and were it not for the man's gentle voice the boy could've mistaken him for a large Orc. The child was in a severely weakened state and he did not fight back when Eldarion tried to search for a way to open the collar. Luckily it was a goblinmade one and not a scavanged Dwarven collar. The Dwarves could make seamless collars that only could be removed if one knew the mechanism and Eldarion did not know how they worked and few Men ever learned its secret for Dwarves are very secretive. Still the locked collar, goblinmade or otherwise, posed a real problem. Without a key Eldarion could not silently remove it. The Prince asked the little boy if he knew where he could find the key. The only thing he could say was that a large goblin had shackled him. A large goblin, the Prince thought. Who would not seem like a large goblin to this boy.

    “Can you stand?” asked the Prince. The boy shook his head before laying himself down again, exhausted. Eldarion threw his gaze back into the chamber and could discern a couple of things better than when he had stood near the entrance. The huge goblin was still harrassing others of his kinfolk, shoving them around while cursing. Eldarion assumed it was cursing. Everything in their language sounds like an insult to be honest, he thought. Through further investigation he saw a large chair, probably used as a sort of throne for their leader, at the back of the room. It was made out of bone with feathers springing upward from the back. It was adorned with shackles and shiny multicoloured metal rings. It was there that Eldarion saw what he needed, a small rusted key, hanging from one of the metal rings. The question now was, could he sneak to and fro without being noticed. The big goblin seemed still busy with pestering the rest, his target at the moment being a sniveling small goblin. The throne, if you could call it that, stood in full view of the room. Eldarion rummaged nervously in his pockets while trying to come up with a plan. He started fidgetting with the Ring, unsure of what to do next. He felt it slip on one of his fingers. Instantly he felt different. The room seemed more lit yet the figures had turned into vague blurs and he could understand what the goblins were saying. Eldarion looked at the child and saw that he was looking in his direction, yet seemed not able to focus on him.

    “What is it?” whispered Eldarion. The boy startled at the sound, unsure from where the noise had come.

    “You're gone.” piped the boy.

    “Gone? What do you mean gone?” inquired Eldarion.

    “I can't see you, it's like you're not here but you are.” said the child. A little voice in the Prince's head said: Now. Without further or do Eldarion started sneaking towards the rusted key. He reached the throne without being seen. Though his senses were keened, his vision was impaired and he had to walk extra carefully not to bump into things. If a goblin would've looked at it he would've only seen a key floating across the room. Luckily none did look his way and Eldarion returned to the boy-child without any trouble. The boy startled once more when he spoke.

    “I've got it.” said the Prince. He couldn't believe his luck. What had happened? Then he remembered he had put on the Ring. He looked at the hand wearing the jewel and saw that it was glowing fiercely, the only thing that seemed to radiate light. It was like a beacon in the dark. Could this be the reason, the Prince thought. With effort he removed the Ring from his finger, it didn't seem to want to come off. Instantaneously the world returned to normal and Eldarion was temporarely blinded by the sudden darkness. He pocketed the Ring and started working on the collar. Eldarion put the key in the lock as it protested, grinding loudly. Carefully he tried to turn the key but it wouldn't go. The Prince tried again with a little more force. It clicked once but then refused to move any further. Again Eldarion turned the key, jamming again after the first click. Eldarion dared to push a little bit harder, to no effect. He pressed the key gradually harder up until the point he thought the key might break. If that should happen they were in real trouble. Then the lock sprang open with a loud groan. The goblins seemed to have heard something and you could hear them sniffing all around. No time to lose then, Eldarion thought. He took the child into his arms and started bounding for the exit. A goblin came out of nowhere and Eldarion barreled right into him, almost losing his footing. The goblin shrieked as he fell to the ground. Eldarion rushed into the corridor that led to the exit, the child clinging firmly to his neck. Behind them he could hear the angry screeching of the goblin horde and the banging of the drums of war.
    Last edited by TurkafinwŰ; March 23, 2020 at 08:43 AM. Reason: minor changes/fixed spelling mistakes

  7. #207
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 04/01/2020]

    I felt the tension as Eldarion travelled further into danger and towards the goal of his mission. It looks like the danger is about to get worse and that Eldarion has discovered a powerful way to evade pursuit, if he can conceal both himself and the one he's carrying. It also sounds like it's already difficult to stop using this new source of power, when he starts to use it. I hope he'll escape!

  8. #208
    TurkafinwŰ's Avatar The Absurdist
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 04/01/2020]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I felt the tension as Eldarion travelled further into danger and towards the goal of his mission. It looks like the danger is about to get worse and that Eldarion has discovered a powerful way to evade pursuit, if he can conceal both himself and the one he's carrying. It also sounds like it's already difficult to stop using this new source of power, when he starts to use it. I hope he'll escape!
    Thanks Alwyn! That means that everything I wanted to convey reached you (and hopefully the other readers as well). The Ring is, as we all know, a treacherous and dangerous item. Only time will tell what effect it will have on Eldarion. It would be pretty tragic to die in such a place.

  9. #209
    TurkafinwŰ's Avatar The Absurdist
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 04/01/2020]

    Book II, Chapter XXI: Journey Across the Mountains
    August 3023 T.A. - High Pass

    Grimdar could hear the goblins shrieking and feared that the D˙nadan might never resurface again. Not that he cared for the arrogant man of the West but if the man did not come out, the child would also not see the light of day. Grimdar could not go into the cave for he was too large and he was forced to stay where he was. The noises starting coming closer. Grimdar realised he had underestimated the D˙nadan. Oh he would come out alright, just not alone. Hearing it, it looked like he was bringing an entire party with him, Grimdar thought.

    “Bugger.”


    Eldarion came rushing from out of the cave and though he was immediatly blinded by the sudden light, he kept moving forward, away from the cave. Mere moments later the first goblins burst forth from the crevice. They too were struck by the sun's light but were driven by their anger and hatred. When Eldarion regained his sight he realised that he had stumbled into a corner where the goblins were hemming him in. He put the boy down and drew his large dagger and positioned himself between the goblins and the child, shielding him with his body. They outnumbered him five to one and goblins continued to stream out into the open. Eldarion lunged forward and hit one of them in the face with the point of his blade. The goblin fell down shrieking as Eldarion retreated back towards the boy. Another goblin jumped into the fallen one's place. Fear started to creep into Eldarion's heart. He was cold, sore and he was tired from the ordeal in the cave. He knew he could not win, they would both die here. Where was Grimdar? The Prince thought when a deafening roar rent the air. The goblins shakingly turned around. What they saw was a gigantic brown bear bearing down on them, flinging them apart with his paws like they were but a twig in a child's throw. Their dark blood stained the mountainside and most of the goblins chose this moment to flee for their lives, back into the cave. That moment the exceptionally large goblin exited his underground lair and rallied some of the routing goblins, spewing many threats and curses, forcing them to follow him. The Chieftain's vicious red eyes locked with Eldarion's and he started coming the Prince's way. Eldarion parried one of the goblin's strikes and tried to counter but the creature was elusive and jumped back in time to avoid the strike. Unlucky for him the bear was standing right behind him. The goblin cried in terror as the beast locked him between his jaws and bit down hard. Eldarion could hear ribs crack and black blood dripped from the bear's maw. It shook its head furiously and threw the goblin against the rocks where he lay as a broken mess. The animal roared one last time and the already wavering goblins now began to panic. They fell over each other stumbling in their retreat underground.

    The bear turned its nuzzle towards Eldarion and the Prince could inspect him better now. He saw that it had a bald patch on the top of its head. How peculiar, Eldarion thought. What was most peculiar were the creature's eyes, Eldarion thought they looked almost identical to those of Grimdar. The bear seemed no longer hostile. Was this bear Grimdar?, Eldarion thought out loud and the bear's only response was a loud sniff which the Prince took as a yes. Grimdar was unlike any other bear. For one, he was huge and Eldarion did not know why but he knew this bear was more than it seemed. He had never seen someone skin-change and was in awe seeing one right before him. Truly remarkable. The bear ignored him and walked towards the child and nuzzled it. The boy hugged the bear. Grimdar turned his face to Eldarion and the Prince knew exactly what he wanted, though bears can't speak nor do they have a great plethera of facial expressions to choose from. He grabbed the boy and put him on top of Grimdar. Eldarion returned to his horse and mounted after reequipping himself. The horse seemed at ease with Grimdar, even in bearform. What a sight they must be, Eldarion thought. A boy, his pet bear and a lordling of Men. Like this they returned to the Valesmen camp.

    “We are very grateful to you, D˙nadan.” said Heororic, the Beorning Chieftain. They, the Company and leading Beornings, were all sitting around the campfire. Grimdar had changed back into his human form and despite looking a bit pale, he remained his stern self.

    “If it wasn't for Grimdar we wouldn't be here right now.” said Eldarion, having found respect for the big Beorning. Eldarion had told them what had happened in the caves, how he had snuck in and rescued the little boy, and most of the Beornings had been impressed with the Prince's skill, even though he had alarmed the entire hive in his retreat. Even Grimdar had nodded the slightest in approval. Eldarion did not speak of the Ring and that he had used it. He thought it best to keep that part to himself but he saw Gandalf was looking rather suspiciously at him, as if he knew or at least guessed as much. When Eldarion had finished with his side of the story, Grimdar continued by reporting on the battle that had occured outside the cave. Again most were impressed by this lordling's resolve to fight, even against all odds. If nothing, Eldarion had earned their respect.

    “Be that as it may, you still showed courage and ingenuity by returning from that cave with Raddoc.” They all looked at the boy who had been reunited with his parents. Heororic stood up and shook Eldarion's hand.

    “You have earned your place here.” said Heororic while the others nodded in agreement.

    “We'll stay here for a couple of days until Raddoc is strong enough to travel. Then we cross the mountains.”

    For the next four days the Company remained in the camp while the boy regained his strength. As it turned out Beorning children recover rather quickly. On the second day Eldarion saw Raddoc come out to play with the other children and though he limped slightly, he was energized and his laughter rang clear and fresh in the air. Not a shadow of the trials he must've have endured in that cave hung over him and he played free of any darkness. It reminded Eldarion of his own children when they had been young, so many years ago now. On the fourth day Raddoc seemed to have recovered entirely, the only marks of his capture some bruises around his neck where the collar had been. With the boy ready they could start their journey across the High Pass.

    Gandalf often resided with the Chieftain, talking about the coming and going-ons of the Vale. Eldarion mostly made himself useful joining the hunting parties as well as the sentries, while the hobbits travelled alongside the children. In the evening everyone would sit around the campfire and eat together and tell stories. It was not uncommon for the children to ask Eldarion or one of the hobbits to tell a tale. Eldarion told stories about the Kingdom of Arnor and how it had risen from the ashes but this didn't interest them very much. He taught them about the history of Arda, the years before Man and the Valar and the great deeds of the First Age and this did spark some interest if only because the stories were heroic and interesting to follow, not necessarily because they believed them to be true. What interested them most however was the Shire, a bountiful land in the West – a land of honey and cream just like the Vale of Anduin only safer and more cultivated. The Beorning children listened dearly to the hobbits their tales and even some adults sometimes seemed to dream away for a second. It was a love for the land and living things all Beornings shared.

    The children told that they too had hobbits living in the Vale but that they did things much differently, exercising a simpeler lifestyle one could say. They had their communities near the Anduin river, mostly around the Gladden Fields, south of the Beorning lands. Frodo later spoke to his friends that these must be the descendants of hobbits that stayed behind during the Great Migration. The Beornings had good relations with these communities and they protected one another from danger. It was a confederation of Hobbit, Northmen and Beorning communites that made up the peoples of the Vale. It was Grimbeorn, son of the famous Beorn who fought in the Battle of Five Armies alongside the Dwarves, Elves and Men, that led this confederation of peoples against the Shadow that spread from Dol Guldur (and Mordor by extension).

    On the third day after they had left the Beorning camp (the seventh after Eldarion had rescued Raddoc), their party was ambushed by goblins. Revenge for the death of their leader had driven many goblins out of the mountain caves and they had trailed the Company for two days. The battle was very shortlived for Gandalf used some of his magic to drive them off. Flames in red and blue and green were flung from the wizard's hands and the goblins scattered back west.

    “Now they will know that I was here. They won't bother us any longer.” said Gandalf. It seemed to Eldarion that Gandalf didn't want to take any chances but he sensed the wizard was conflicted about what he had done. In mere seconds Gandalf shrugged off the discord that resided within his mind and looked at peace. The rest of their journey went smoothly and they had seen nor heard of any presense of the enemy.

    On the sixth day after they had begun their journey across the mountains, the Company reached the eastern gate of the High Pass. Still standing on a considerable height, they were met with a beautiful, panoramic view of the Vale of Anduin landscape. To the north they could discern the Ered Mithrin, a grey shadow which housed the Orc strongholds of Gundabad. To the east they saw the grand forest of Mirkwood, a dark green strip of leaves and trunks that loomed ominously. To the south an open green and fertile country, split in half by the river that was called Anduin the Great. A sparsely populated land with a wild character, it wasn't called Rhovanion – Wilderland – for nothing. The Company stood in awe looking over this vast expanse of foreign land, their journey bringing them that bit closer to their goal.
    Last edited by TurkafinwŰ; March 23, 2020 at 08:53 AM. Reason: minor changes/fixed spelling mistakes

  10. #210
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 18/01/2020]

    It's interesting that Eldarion chose to hide his use of the Ring, I wonder if that will continue and whether Gandalf's suspicions will grow. (Maybe the tale of the ambush could have been expanded a bit, although I understand that this isn't the main focus of this chapter). Will Eldarion and his companions meet the hobbits living near the Gladden Fields, or will their journey take them on another road - I look forward to finding out.

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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 18/01/2020]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    It's interesting that Eldarion chose to hide his use of the Ring, I wonder if that will continue and whether Gandalf's suspicions will grow. (Maybe the tale of the ambush could have been expanded a bit, although I understand that this isn't the main focus of this chapter). Will Eldarion and his companions meet the hobbits living near the Gladden Fields, or will their journey take them on another road - I look forward to finding out.
    Thanks Alwyn, as ever, for your support!

    The Ring is altogether Evil and is sure to continue to try and corrupt its way back to Sauron. Looking back at it the battle was a bit lackluster and even though it achieved its primary goal it could have been expanded a bit more, as you say. The Company continue their way South in the next chapter. Who knows what's going to happen.

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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 08/02/2020]

    Book II, Chapter XXII: Travelling South
    August 3023 T.A. - Vale of Anduin

    “This is where we must say our goodbyes.” said Heororic. “Rarely have we enjoyed the company of our customers so much as with you.” Gandalf and Eldarion shook hands with the Beorning Chieftain and the hobbtis went to say farewell to the friends they had made. The Company had decided to give all the tribute they had prepared in Rivendell to the Beornings anyway. Not only had they been gracious hosts but the Company as well had had a great time travelling with the Skinchanger-folk. Besides it would only slow them down on their journey south. Heororic at first did not want to accept the tribute and even after Gandalf insisted upon it, the Beorning Chieftain remained firm. To Eldarion it was clear they had insulted him in some way by suggesting payment had not been done already, so he decided to approach it from different angle. He presented the tribute as a gift from him, and by extension the Kingdom of Arnor, to the Beornings as a showing of goodwill between Arnorians and Beornings. Reluctantly Heororic accepted the gift and by the look on his face it was clear he was uncomfortable about the whole affair, as if this would leave him in debt to the Arnorians. Eldarion reassured the Chieftain that it was merely a gift, nothing more. Heororic seemed to loosen up a bit though he remained skeptic, which was his good right Eldarion thought. Not often do people give gifts and not want anything in return. Time would help the Beorning Chief get over his skepticism.

    And now it was time to leave. The Beornings had to get back to their post, it would be still three weeks before they would return home after which they would not traverse the mountains again till spring came. The Company needed to go as well, the journey south would be long and ardeous. Gandalf had already figured out the route they were going to take, at least as far as Lothlˇrien. They would travel on the western bank of the Anduin, traversing the grasslands of the ╔otheod of old and the marshlands near the Gladden. They would approach Lˇrien from the north. It was a calculated risk to take the western bank, still close to the Orc strongholds in the Misty Mountains. The danger of the east bank however, was Dol Guldur, and though Gandalf had learned, in his talks with the Beorning Chief, that the power of that stronghold had waned considerably some years prior – thanks in chief to the Beornings – he would not risk the Ring to travel so close near Sauron's old stronghold. It was also a long time since Heororic had been home so his news might be outdated. Evil forever lingered in that dark place and many Orcs used to inhabit Southern Mirkwood surrounding the Hill of Dark Sorcery. Heororic had told him the Orcs of Mirkwood beared the Eye of Sauron as a banner and that some Men from the East fought under the Eye and bore another strange symbol he did not know. Clad in silver armour and black robes, these Men where the most powerful of Dol Guldur's forces and terror followed wherever they went. This distressed Gandalf greatly and it confirmed his fears of there being a connection between Mordor and Dol Guldur. The Easterlings bearing a strange mark and the feeling of dread that followed them, all indicated that a greater evil had entered Mirkwood than some Orc tribes. Whether it was true or not, Gandalf did not want to find out, not before they entered Lothlˇrien and had taken counsel with Galadriel. Thus the Company would have to brave the dangers of the western bank, markedly the less dangerous road of the two, yet still perilous.

    The first day since they left the Beornings, they travelled through the hills leading from the Misty Mountains. On the second day they entered the Vale proper. Gandalf and Eldarion's horses and the hobbits' ponies made good ground on the firm grasslands where the ╔otheod of old used to hold their pastures. Now the lands lay empty and the few remaining ancestors of the Rohirrim either resided further north under the shadow of the Ered Mithrin, near Mount Gundabad, in their stronghold of Framsburg or had their residences on the eastern bank. The wind blew southward across the plains, surprisingly chilly for summer's end, tugging at their cloaks. Gandalf led them as close to the river Anduin, as far as possible from the Orc strongholds. Ever the river glistened invitingly in the distance to their left as they continued their way south. On the seventh day since they left the High Pass, the firm grass began to give way to mud and looking to the south they could discern a faint glinting that should be the river Gladden, snaking its way from the mountains eastward where it would flow into the Anduin. The sun had already disappeared behind the Misty Mountain peaks and shadow was already descending on the Vale's west bank. The Company set up their camp and would travel no more today. Tomorrow they would have to decide on how to cross the Gladden. No bridge spanned over that river and if there were fords, neither Gandalf nor Eldarion knew where they lay. The lands surrounding the Gladden was marshy and notoriously dangerous. The best chance to cross the land was to travel westward, towards the mountains where the river would be less broad and the ground more solid and cross the river there. That way they would avoid trudging through the marshes, where a horse might easily break its leg or be sucked whole by the muddy ground. The Prince nor the Wizard was very familiar with the land, neither having travelled, or not often, in this part of Middle-Earth. Long the two argued which way to take. Gandalf was more ready to risk the Gladden Marshes while Eldarion favoured the mountain road. Eldarion's resistance towards the marshy path was exceptionally stiff and as the argument dragged on he grew angy. When Gandalf asked him why he was so against it, Eldarion merely shrugged saying: “I don't want to risk my horse nor my neck travelling on unsure ground in a place none of us knows.” Something was bothering the Prince but what it was Gandalf did not know and he didn't push it any further. Not long after Gandalf ended their argument, saying: “it was no use continuing” and that “the morning would bring better counsel.” After a tense dinner Eldarion stood up and isolated himself, after a short announcement he would go look at the Anduin in the moonlight. Gandalf did not hold him back yet said he should remain in sight of the encampment. Eldarion nodded and then set out towards the bank. Gandalf sat, his back towards the campfire and his gaze towards the shadowy figure standing on the bank. To Frodo he looked distressed and the other hobbits felt uneasy as a tension hung in the air. The wizard's eyes lit up every time he drew his pipe, eyes fixated on Eldarion.

    The stars were small, yet bright lightpoints on the black waters of the Anduin. They blurred only slightly due to the slow rippling of the river but Eldarion gazed into the blackness, not noticing the reflecting starlight. It was as if he gazed into the abyss, lost in thoughts and memories that were not his. He could see the Orcs descend on them, could hear the screams of men and horses. He could feel the water all around him, a sharp pain in his back and then nothingness. The moon shone bright, a large sickle in the heavens accompanied by many stars. Eldarion's hand had gone to his throat where the Ring hung on a fine silver chain. His mind had wandered more and more to the Ring in the last couple of days, he had noticed. He had strangely grown fond of the jewel and though his mind still recognized its evil, he could not deny the warm feelings he felt when he saw or held it. It was wrong he knew and in disgust he turned his gaze away from it and instead upward towards the sky. Finally he noticed the light beaming down from above. It was a beautiful sight and as the cleansing light washed over him he let go of the Ring and tucked it back under his shirt. The Prince let out a great sigh.

    Gandalf could see that Eldarion had found some peace in his isolation for when he returned he showed no signs of anger and greeted the wizard with genuine friendship. For a few seconds Gandalf looked into the man's eyes and then smiled. Eldarion took the first watch and Gandalf the second and in neither of them, nor in any subsequent ones performed by the hobbits, were they disturbed. They were greeted by the morning sun hanging low in the east, edging its way to the top of the trees of Mirkwood. Morning dew covered the ground and above it hung a thin layer of mist stretching all the way to the horizon. After a short conversation the Company agreed to brave the marshes but not at its delta. They had reached a compromise. The Company would first travel westward and cross the Gladden roughway in the middle point of the Vale's western bank. Gandalf did insist on caution for this might bring them in contact with raiding Orc parties. Double watches were to be done and there won't be any fires. Sam, Merry and Pippin groaned at this prospect, Frodo remained silent. Gandalf ignored them and turned towards Eldarion.

    “In the front with you Ranger, find us a way through these marshes.”


    Apologies for the one week delay. There goes my streak of posting punctually.
    Last edited by TurkafinwŰ; March 23, 2020 at 09:03 AM. Reason: minor changes/fixed spelling mistakes

  13. #213
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 08/02/2020]

    Good update, I'm intrigued by the talk of a strange symbol and those Men from the East who spread terror wherever they go. It sounds like there may be more dangerous forces ahead than Orc raiding parties.

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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 08/02/2020]

    Again a great chapter!
    Seems like Eldarion remembers some of the perils of his Ancestor.

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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 08/02/2020]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Good update, I'm intrigued by the talk of a strange symbol and those Men from the East who spread terror wherever they go. It sounds like there may be more dangerous forces ahead than Orc raiding parties.
    Thanks Alwyn! Indeed our Company shall have to be wary of greater foes than mere Orcs as they travel closer towads Dol Guldur. A dark evil continues to dwell in that place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morifea View Post
    Again a great chapter!
    Seems like Eldarion remembers some of the perils of his Ancestor.
    Welcome Morifea and thanks! That was exactly what I was going for. I thought it would be a pity not to explore such a thing so close to the place where Isildur met his untimely demise and a place where the Ring lay for such a long time. I hope you will enjoy the next chapter as much as the previous one.

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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 08/02/2020]

    Book II, Chapter XXIII: A Most Peculiar Encounter
    August 3023 T.A. - Gladden Marshes

    “We have to go back.” said Eldarion. The hobbits groaned and turned their ponies back, this was becoming a common occurrance. Eldarion was covered in muck and his boots had finally given way to water. Every time they neared the river Eldarion sank to his knees into the mud. The further he scouted the worse it got. One time the ground seemed fit enough and Eldarion began to hope they would finally find a way across this accursed marshland, only for him to sink chest-deep. He had to call for Merry and Pippin's help to get him out again. The hobbits tried to pull him out but the man was too heavy for the two of them. Pippin called for Sam and Frodo to come and help and with four they managed to pull the Prince out but not before they themselves had been dragged into the mire. Sam had even fallen flat on his face trying to pull Eldarion out. Exhausted they lay there, covered in filth when they heard a soft giggling accompanying the northbound wind. Gandalf had remained at the back for most of the time and now called out for the creature to show itself. From the reeds three children's heads appeared, which was all what the Company could see of them besides their hands when they were pointing towards them while they laughed. The tallest of them was fair-haired and bright were his blue eyes while the other two were dark-haired and -eyed. It was the tall one that spoke to them while the others continued their merriment in their own language.

    “Hello and what brings you to this fine place on this day?” he asked, a big grin on his young face. Gandalf stepped forward, making sure he remained on hard soil. “As you might have noticed we are trying to cross this fine country and make our way south of the Gladden.” said the wizard. “Yes we have noticed.” the tall boy replied, a twinkling in his eye. To this the other children burst out in hard laughter, and one of them pointed at poor Sam, his face covered in slimey mud. “Why don't you come over here and I'll give you a muddy face!” shouted Pippin. Amused the three of them looked towards the hobbit and started gibbering in their own language. Sometimes Merry thought he could discern certain words and it sounded very familiar but he couldn't understand what they were saying. Behind Eldarion and the hobbits, Gandalf chuckled. He looked very relaxed Eldarion found, very amused by it all, the hobbit's their indignation, him just lying there, more soil than man and in the distance three heads seemingly floating in the reeds as fairies come to tease them. In fairness, Eldarion had to admit, it must be a comical sight from back there. “Why don't you come this way and try me.” said the tall lad in reply to Pippin. “Oh no wait, that's what you've been trying to do since sun-up.” They all howled with laughter. Eldarion could feel the hobbits sitting next to him getting annoyed, their usual good spirits evaporated through the mud and teasing. “That's enough for today I think.” said Gandalf, addressing the three boys in the reeds. “Perhaps you and your friends could help us?” The blond one briefly glanced to his dark-haired counterparts before shrugging. “We could help you but why should we. It's way more fun this way.” said the child. “Besides we don't even know who you are. You are strangers to us.” this last statement was mostly meant for the four hobbits because they kept their quizical gaze locked on them, as if they were looking at something familiar but weren't able to pin-point from where. “I am Gandalf from the North and that there is Eldarion of the D˙nedain of Arnor” said Gandalf pointing at the man. “and these are Samwise Gamgee, Frodo Baggins, Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took, hobbits from the Shire.” The word Shire had sparked something within the lads for they began to chatter excitedly amongst themselves for a moment. “So it is true then.” said one of the dark-haired boys. The blue-eyed one spoke once more. “My name is Saradoc and my friends are MarthÚa and FrÚgol and we are holbytlan from the Gladden.” They fully appeared from the reeds and other river plants, and the Company could now see they were robust altough the tallest of them was more slim and had a fairer skin than the other two. They wore rough wool vests and brown cloth shorts held up with a light leather belt, they stood barefoot and hair grew aplenty on their feet. They looked to Frodo like any hobbit youngster from the Shire, not even twenty years of age he reckoned. Saradoc looked at the sun which stood high starting to make its way west. “It's getting late. We should get going.” said the boy. He and his friends crossed the gap between them with surprising ease. MarthÚa and FrÚgol went towards the hobbits and politely introduced themselves, uttering apologies for their behaviour in true halfling fashion, easy and light-hearted. Saradoc planted himself before Gandalf. “We shall help you. Come follow us!” and with a youthful spring they were on their way.

    Saradoc led them back to the east, towards the Anduin. When Eldarion commented on this Saradoc replied that he knew of a path that would be strong enough to carry a big man and his horse. Eldarion asked if it wasn't easier to find a way across to the west, where the ground would surely be firmer to which the Holbytla replied: “I don't know of any paths further to the west. There might be but I never go that far.” Saradoc was energetic and easy to talk with but though young he might be, for hobbit standards, he had a way of avoiding questions. Never did he divulge where his home exactly lay. He, the holbytla Saradoc, Eldarion and Gandalf were in the front while the hobbits and other holbytlan followed them. When Sam asked MarthÚa what they had been doing before they appeared in the reeds, the young boy simply said they had been lounging on the Gladden river in their small boat before they had heard loud noises that must've been of Eldarion struggling to find a path and failing miserably time and again. “We like to be on the water to relax or fish or even take a swim when the sun is hot.” said MarthÚa, Sam shuddered at the thought. Like any proper hobbit, Sam thought, he disliked water, or a better way to describe it is that he was afraid of it and distrusted it. FrÚgol saw that not only Sam but also Frodo and Pippin had physically shied away at the mention of swimming. “Don't you swim in the Shire?” The three hobbits shook their heads and Sam said “Except those weird Bucklanders. No offense meant Master Meriadoc.” he added quickly. FrÚgol and MarthÚa looked at Merry who agreed that most hobbits in the Shire did not like water except for his people in Buckland. “We Bucklanders don't think the water is a monster and many of us can use a boat and swim, including me.” said Merry. With a grin he said that the hobbits from Buckland always had had a free spirit and independent mindset and were more hardy than their kinfolk on the other side of the Brandywine. They all laughed at that, the holbytlan understanding this was good natured banter between kinfolk and friends. FrÚgol understood it was probably comparable with the way he looked at those of his folk that lived around the bend further downstream. Very strange folk indeed.

    The afternoon progressed into early evening and they were truly and well in the middle of the marshland but Saradoc led them true and never did they sink deeper than ankle-deep. Now they reached the Gladden river proper and it was broad so near to its mouths into the Anduin river. Saradoc ensured them that the river might be broad but was shallow and a man would be able to wade through. MarthÚa and FrÚgol quickly joined their friend near the bank and FrÚgol whispered something in the tall holbytla's ear. Saradoc's eyes widened and answered something in his own language before turning to the hobbits. “FrÚgol just told me that some of you can't swim. This is a problem since the horses and especially the ponies will need to be led by hand during the crossing.” “That won't be such a problem” said Gandalf. “Me and Eldarion will go twice with our horses each time carrying a hobbit.” Merry interceded. “I'll swim across so one of you only needs to go once and he can take the ponies with him the second time he crosses.” All of the Company agreed to this and they prepared themselves. To the amusement of the Holbytlan, Merry started stripping to his underpants. He would not go into the water with his clothing and cape. He folded his clothes nicely and put them in one of the saddle bags of his pony. It was rather chilly with autumn nearing and Merry wished they would start the crossing soon. Saradoc had already crossed with Gandalf and Frodo on top of his horse in tow. The crossing went smoothly, the riverbed was firm. Eldarion took Sam with him, the most nervous of the three hobbits. Eldarion whispered something in Sindarin to his horse after which it followed his master calmly, a frightful Sam clinging to its manes. With them went FrÚgol, to guide them across, leaving MarthÚa and Merry on the north bank. MarthÚa turned to the hobbit from the Shire. “So you Bucklanders can swim? Think you can beat me?” said the boy, challenging Merry who looked at the slightly smaller MarthÚa. The boy's face shone with delight and excitement. “Of course I can beat you, for the honour of Buckland and the Shire.” said Merry. Meanwhile Gandalf had already returned and started to cross with Pippin. Saradoc had come with him as well and would help Eldarion with the ponies. “We'll go when your ponies have reached the other shore. Saradoc will give the signal.” While making the crossing for a second time Eldarion asked Saradoc how he knew of this ford, considering it was well hidden. Saradoc replied that he had found it a couple of years ago while fishing in the Gladden. “I was lazily minding my own business in my boat one summer morning when I was rudely interrupted by loud splashing. I rowed a little bit closer towards the sounds and saw a great host of horsemen crossing. They were Northmen from the upper vales and they were armed for war. They spoke of a battle being fought to the west against the mountain orcs.” Saradoc spat when he uttered the word orc. “Whatever happened to them I don't know because I rowed as fast as I could back home to warn the elders of a possible threat. I guess the Men defeated the Orcs for the fields were not disturbed nor did any Orc set foot on our land that day.” Upon their arrival on the south bank, Saradoc turned around and a childish joy overtook him and you could no longer read on his face that he had just spoken about very serious matters such as war and death. “Are you ready?” he shouted. “Go!”

    MarthÚa and Merry both rushed into the water, accompanied with a lot of splashing. On the other shore Frodo, Sam and Pippin were shouting in support for Merry while FrÚgol and Saradoc were loudly rooting for their compatriot. Not that the contestants could understand anything their friends were shouting. All they heard was a great noise in front of them. It did help them navigate the waters. MarthÚa was surprisingly fast for his small stature and Merry had to really concentrate on his strides to keep up with him. Merry was larger and his long strides would pay dividends the longer they swam but he didn't know if the distance was long enough for it to really matter. Another thing playing in Merry's favour was that MarthÚa's wool vest made him float more and therefore lose some depth which resulted in a slower speed. Still despite all this it was a neck-to-neck race. Merry became more aware of the shouting and pushed ever harder. He would not lose to this youngster who had challenged him so roguishly. He had no time to look where MarthÚa was and had to focus completely on his swimming. He was so immersed in what he had been doing that when he ran up the southern bank he did not hear the cheers of triumph. Merry's reverie was broken when Sam and Pippen hoisted him on their shoulders into the air. Frodo was smiling and clapping. The holbytlan were comforting their friend who had lost, but not for long, and soon they joined in the celebrations for Merry's victory. MarthÚa shook Merry's hand and congratulated him on the win, not a sign of begrudgment on the young boy's face. The halfings were having a great time and Gandalf and Eldarion looked at them with joy in their hearts. You wouldn't think they were on a dangerous journey or anything the way they were behaving. It wasn't the first time Eldarion had seen them change so quickly. An extroadinary people these little fellows, he thought. “I'm sorry to interrupt your party” said Gandalf, drawing the jubilant hobbits' attention “but we really should get going. The sun is already far gone and we still have a considerable distance to cross before we can set up camp. I'd like to be out of the marshes before nightfall.” Saradoc looked at the sun and seemingly nodded, as if in agreement with the wizard. “It's not difficult from here on. The ground south of the river is much more firm than on the northen side and you should be able to enter the fields in an hour.” He called for his two friends. “We should be going as well I figure, it's getting late.” MarthÚa and FrÚgol both agreed and returned to bid the hobbits farewell. Gandalf thanked Saradoc for his help and Eldarion said he would never forget what he and his friends had done for him and his Company. The tall holbytla waved away these grand words and shrugged saying it was only decent to help them after making fun of them for so long. “We had great fun today and that is enough for us. However now we must go or we will miss our dinner. Goodbye!” With a light spring in their step the three little fellows vanished among the reeds going towards the Anduin. “That was a very fortunate encounter. We have succesfully crossed our first real obstacle. From here the journey should be easy to the Golden Wood.” said Gandalf. “But now we must mount and travel a little bit more otherwise we too shall miss our dinner.” At the mention of dinner the hobbits mounted quickly.

    “Let's go then” said Pippin. “the faster we go, the quicker I'll be able to still this hunger.”
    Last edited by TurkafinwŰ; March 23, 2020 at 09:15 AM. Reason: minor changes/fixed spelling mistakes

  17. #217

    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 22/02/2020]

    Another opportunity to make us all feel miserable at voting time by putting top notch chapter, huh Mr. ╦?

    Great new addition btw! Still because of how hard it'll be the next vote but... great new addition nonetheless! :

  18. #218
    TurkafinwŰ's Avatar The Absurdist
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 22/02/2020]

    Quote Originally Posted by JB2C View Post
    Another opportunity to make us all feel miserable at voting time by putting top notch chapter, huh Mr. ╦?

    Great new addition btw! Still because of how hard it'll be the next vote but... great new addition nonetheless! :
    Thanks, I do aim to please.

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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/03/2020]

    Book II, Chapter XXIV: Marchwardens
    September 3023 T.A. - Lower Anduin Vale

    The sun shone bright in the clear sky and though summer had already left the northlands, the Company felt comfortably warm while they continued their journey south. The marshland lay a day behind them and before them the firm flat plains of the southern Vale of Anduin beckoned. At the end of that plain, far to the south, lay the Golden Wood, Realm of Galadriel and Celeborn, home of the Galadhrim. With some luck, The Company would reach the Northern Fences of Galadriel's realm in less than two weeks. As before, their journey would be quiet and undisturbed, the business in the marshes not counting, for noone lived in these parts and travellers were a few, mostly Longbeards travelling between the Lonely Mountain and Khazad-Dűm, or Marchwardens of the Nandor and Sindar of Lˇrien, scouting the desolate lands beyond their northern border in search of tidings. Orc parties from the Misty Mountains or from Dol Guldur would sometimes cross the open plains in order to test Lothlˇrien's defenses or terrorise the countryside, Orcs take pleasure in destroying everything that is green and good no matter if it is just forcing the lush grass to the abuse of their ironshod boots or the hacking down of young saplings just for the sake of it.

    However Misty Mountain Orcs were seen less frequently in the lower Vales ever since the Longbeards had taken abode again in Moria, baptizing it once more Khazad-Dűm – the Jewel of the Dwarven World. Balin's expedition had been a tremendous succes and for its fledgeling years the new state of Khazad-Dűm had been constantly at war with the Mountain Orcs. Once the Orcs had been ousted from every hole, the Dwarves of Khazad-Dűm began to flourish, attracting Dwarves from all the Seven Houses to its splendorous halls. Firebeards and Broadbeams from the Ered Luin were seen aplenty travelling the, by the Arnorians protected, East-West Road in great numbers to see the Halls of old. Stonefoots and Blacklocks, Stiffbeards and Ironfists, from the Orocarni, the Red Mountains of the Far East, would travel the great distance to sell their foreign goods on Moria's markets and marvel at the greatest structure ever made by the Dwarves. They too did come in great numbers despite the difficult and dangerous journey across the Rhunnic plains. The Dwarven Clans of the East established many trade quarters in the Longbeard realms, and they often travelled to the closer lying Iron Hills. Thus Khazad-Dűm became the uniting force for the Dwarven Houses once more and could usher in another golden age for the Dwarven People.

    Nominally the state of Khazad-Dűm was governed as a colony of The Kingdom Under the Mountain, with Dain II as its King and Balin as High Lord of Khazad-Dűm. In practice Balin ruled like an independent ruler, the leagues between Moria and the Lonely Mountain being long and dangerous to travel making direct control from the Longbeard King difficult. But Balin was true and faithful like only a Dwarf could be, a loyal servant of Dßin and would never betray his King's trust.

    The might of the Dwarves of Moria, combined with the already present Northmen of the Vale, unbeknownst of each other's share in this, kept the Mountain Orcs entirely occupied leaving the Golden Wood to solely focus on the threat situated on the eastern bank of the Anduin – Dol Guldur. That fortress lay heavy on Gandalf's mind and began to weigh more with every step south. The hobbits and Eldarion were cheerful and enjoying the blissful days while a shadow crept over Gandalf's heart and the wizard became silent and sleeped little. Eldarion often saw him in the middle of the night, the only light coming from his pipe, sitting and thinking presumably. The Prince did not speak of this to anyone but kept a closer eye on his old mentor during the day. This is how almost two weeks passed with beautiful weather, the hobbits being their jolly selves, Gandalf silent and Eldarion a mix of the two. On the morning of what could be the thirtienth day since they left the marshes, Gandalf's spirits suddenly lifted and he had a great smile on his old face and he sat with ease in his saddle for the first time in a long time. The Company soon found out what the reason of this rapid change had been. Afterwards Eldarion could only recall he had seen a grey blur going past them.

    When the sun had reached its highest point, they set up a temporary camp to eat lunch. The food was simple but nutritious, the last of the dried meats with some forraged berries and cram, a form of bread that would stay edible for a long time when preserved correctly. The Company was just about to continue their march when Gandalf asked them to sit and enjoy the sun for just a little while longer. That is how the Marchwardens found them, Sam and Frodo taking a nap with Merry and Pippin about to pull a prank on both of them and Gandalf and Eldarion sitting silently beside each other.

    “Mae govanen Mithrandir” said the suddenly appearing man. He was clad in grey from top to bottom and wielded a mighty bow. On his leaf-decorated belt hung a fine axe.

    “Mae govanen R˙mil.” said Gandalf, rising from his position. The man dropped his hood and Eldarion could now see that it was an Elf. He had light hair and chestnut eyes. R˙mil spoke fluid Sindarin, a small accent noticable but Eldarion could understand him. The Elf mainly spoke with Gandalf, saying they had been expecting him and would be guiding them to Caras Galadhon. The Lord and Lady were waiting for them. Then R˙mil turned to Eldarion.

    “Well met Prince of Arnor. Forgive me but I do not speak the Tongues of Men too well but I understand that you have mastery of Sindarin. Perhaps you can translate what I and Mithrandir have discussed to your Little friends.”

    “Well met. I don't think that will be necessary.” said Eldarion, “they understand more than you would believe and you could not keep a secret in any Tongue of Elves with Frodo, son of Drogo.” This was of course an exaggeration of Frodo's abilities in the Elven languages but R˙mil didn't know that. Frodo did however know enough Sindarin to know what was going on and he quickly told his friends what he knew, after he had greeted R˙mil courteously. The Elf seemed a bit amused but said nothing other than a greeting. Meanwhile, from seemingly nowhere, R˙mil was joined by ten of his comrades, all dressed in the same fashion and geared in kind, the Marchwardens of Lˇrien.

    “Let's move” the Elf said, “as I said, the Lord and Lady are waiting.”
    Last edited by TurkafinwŰ; March 23, 2020 at 09:22 AM. Reason: minor changes/fixed spelling mistakes

  20. #220
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: To earn a Kingdom: A Northern D˙nedain Narrative - Divide and Conquer V2.1 [UPDATE - 07/03/2020]

    Top notch writing, indeed! In the previous chapter, I particularly like the moment when FrÚgol saw a connection between how most hobbits see the folk of Buckland, and how his people see those who live around the bend in the river. In the latest update, it was good to see a different fate for Khazad-Dűm and the detail of Balin's loyalty to Dßin II. I wonder what the Lord and Lady will say.

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