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Post Children of the Sun
on: August 16, 2018 12:14
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Nightfall had finally passed, the coming dawn was cool and wet with morning dew. Soft footfalls in the sandy creek loam from an unshod horse crept at a slow walk into camp.

Dunhwit gave a low hiss in his native tongue that said, “Friend ahead.” He fidgeted quietly from his saddle awaiting a response.

Lying flat in her bedroll, careful not to disturb anything around, inanimate or living, Brytta answered her countryman with a whisper that said, “Walk freely.” There were others in the camp who rose at the anxious exchange, relieved to find a friend but terrified to awaken a foe. Not far from the Riddermark, this small group of Eorlingas sat huddled together rejoined by their scout. They had left Edoras the morning before at a snails pace. A jaunt that set these riders of Rohan to grinding their teeth.

Since the fall of Sauron, orcs and goblins alike were scattered all across Middle Earth. They were the same threat they had always been, but now the foul beasts were without purpose. There was no one around to unite or accept them. It was a time for all goodly races to rejoice. Walking the wilds had changed as well. Orcs no longer ran patrols the way they once did. Even goblins preferred their hides in the dark places of the mountains. But now they ran free. No direction or destination. They were like wild dogs running with abandon, stopping occasionally to steal from the peasant folk before passing on to the next area. It was impossible to tell where you’d run into Sauron’s spawn.

“I counted three goblins running for the hills at the top of the ridge. They’re retreating from daylight. Pack up camp, we move now.” Dunhwit grunted in his rough guttural language. Captain of this outfit, he dismounted to help quicken their packing time. Stopping every few miles to scout ahead for loose packs of orcs was grueling work, but the Riddermark had been full of them lately. At least the sun would be up all the way soon. This was the twilight hour.

All mounted, the road to Isengard would be much safer now. The night had just been a sleepless one. Brytta rode silently behind her captain, though sometimes veering off to run liaison to him. This was her first ride out. She had never left the Mark of the Riders and was nervous for this first venture. Brytta tugged nervously at the shield strap at the top of her neck. It was irritating the way it moved with her horse’s plodding steps. She had a lot to get used to.

From here they could see the Ring of Angrenost, and the single black tower in its center. Their mission was simple, aide the ents reforestation of Isengard and return what would soon become the relics of Minas Tirith. The young captain felt it odd that no one had yet come to meet them, and yet he had never met an ent before. Dunhwit was only half certain he was looking for a tree. He was cautioned upon departure that he should not insult or threaten one by any means. Though insulting the ent folk could be done simply by raising an axe too high. He had luckily forbidden all axes among his peers. Dunhwit had no doubt the elves would be here soon, likely just to try to have a say in all of it. It wasn’t often one of the elvenkind passed through Rohan, though it was known to happen. He was prepared to negotiate if need be, but part of him hoped it wouldn’t come to it.

[Edited on 09/06/2018 by Raxale]
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on: September 06, 2018 04:30
Word had come north to Imladris of Rohirrim seen riding well north of their border with Gondor, in the direction of Orthanc, the great black tower built by the Númenóreans many ages ago. Now it was under the stewardship of the Ents of Fangorn forest. The tower and the forest around it were of concern to the elves. They felt it their duty to assist the ents in protecting the remaining once vast forest and most of all Orthanc. Men had no business there. Orthanc and the lands around it had been given over to the ents by Elessar, King of Gondor. So news of the Rohirrim moving beyond their northern borders was of concern. The men of Rohan had no right to be there. More information was needed.

Nourian pushed his horse Fuidhroch as hard as he dare but time was of the essence. It would be easier to stop the men, with the elves in union with the ents if it came to it. He wondered if he knew any of the riders. He had made acquaintance with a few of the horsemen when Elrond and his escort had returned to their Northern homeland from Minus Tirith, though years had passed since then. Though knowing a few of the men might make this a great deal easier. He would try to talk to them, feeling them out, before returning to Imladris with his report. He was two days into his ride and rode for two more days before picking up the faint smell of camp fire smoke.

The closer he got the more clearly the smoke trail lead him. He would have missed it had the wind changed but fortune was on his side. He dismounted and left Fuidhroch to walk freely and eat his fill. By this time the sun had set and he walked through tall grass and loose rock. He ran watching only where his feet would land. Above all he needed to be silent. All he needed to do was follow the trail of smoke left by their fires which would lead him to the Rohan camp.

It was not long before he came to a rocky crag and crept to its edge, from there he could look down on the camp. Kneeling he looked down and tried to get the camp’s layout and take a quick head count. He heard the air move an instant before he felt a blow to the side of his head. Then a second blow to the back of his head with something hard. He was roughly handled pulled up and struck in the face. He tasted blood and was struck in the head a third time leaving him dazed. His hands and feet were quickly tied which meant there was more than just one man waiting for him. They took his weapons then he was stuck hard in the face again and his world went dark. The next he knew he heard the lowered voices of two men. He lay in the dirt. Opening his eyes he could see the blurred figures of two men against the light of a fire. It was not yet daylight. He tried to move his arms but they were still bound behind his back but his legs were free. He spit out a few gobs of blood and tried to lift his head a little. What had happened came flooding back to him. How could he have been so foolish and careless. He paid the price for his impatience.

“He’s waking up” One of the men called out in Rohirric. The two sentries pulled him up and put him on his feet. Nourian’s knees promptly buckled and he fell.

They pulled him up again and held him up. His head throbbed painfully. He wasn’t sure but his nose felt as though it was broken and his eyes still couldn’t focus. He could have stood on his own now but why make it easy for the Basterds. He looked up and watched as two blurred figures approached and stopped 2 metres away.

[Edited on 11/21/2018 by Fennuir]
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