Near Weather Top, Eastern Eriador: “Circles in the Dark”

Players:

Nauthcel

Rhifaroth

[Angrenost ZMO(#10954)->Rhifaroth]

--------------------------------Isengard Time----------------------------

Real time is: Mon Feb 25 09:42:47 2008 - Elendor time is

Nighttime on a Rainy Spring Monday, May 15, 3043

The Moon's Phase is: waning gibbous

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

East Road - West of Weathertop

The East road leads along the edge of the hills to the north, a random scattering of low, grassy knolls which stretch far into the distance. Dominating the view here, however, is the impressive sight of Weathertop, eating up the skyline a little ways to the east just north of the road. To the west, there is little to see except for the road, fields, and sky.

Contents:

Nauthcel

Obvious exits:

West and East

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

A darkness lays over the land of Arda as Anor takes her rest and Ithil glides over the peaceful lands. However, the silver beams of the orb do not reach the earth as heavy rain clouds block them causing an even darker presence to overshadow the area between Bree and Rivendell.

Yet, in a hollow there still glows a small fire that warms the one whom sits near it. Hood drawn back, Nauthcel's visage is able to be seen as his ashen eyes gaze into the golden embers. He appears to be deep in thought, mind occupied by other matters than the ensuing storm.

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

The spring night, nearly summer now, is not silent. It is filled with the sounds of life even this close upon the wide plain of Cardolan and Wheather Top, and the road. Frogs, night singing insects, even a few night birds calling. Only when the rain comes in brief waves do these sounds give way to silence, but for the din of the precipitation - and occasional low thunder rumbling in the distance. Such a time dwells now, with rain pattering lightly and the things of the night quieted, for a brief time.

The hollow masks the low fire's light, and the rain dims down the scent of smoke. Still, something moves cautiously along the road a little ways, then stops. It could be that a wisp of smoke from the fire has been scented by a hunter in the night.

After a few moments, cautious, the single figure very carefully eases away from the road, listening and watching the darkness.

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

Ever do the Rangers appear to be watchful for Nauthcel is drawn from his trance by the disturbance in the natural rhythm. His hand slowly reaches next to him to lay upon the hilt of his longs word, yet there is no other movement. The Man remains completely still, seeming keen to any more changes in the surrounding forest.

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

The night still early, the lone figure has left the road to the north of it. And though near, is not making directly towards the Ranger's hollow - so must be unaware of it. But something causes the movement to stop, listening.

Heavy cloud cover makes the night particularly dark and difficult to pierce even with watchful eyes. But something, or someone, is near. It could be that it hunts, or seeks shelter itself, or some trace of the fire's scent lingers upon the air. If so, the rain and brush surely make the direction of origin difficult or impossible to trace.

There is silence for a while but for the spatter of light rain. Somewhere out over the plain lightning flashes, briefly illuminating the landscape. But nothing can be seen to move upon it.

Whatever it is moves again, now going deeper into the brush and aiming vaguely towards Weather Top in the east. It moves quietly, but not always totally silent in passage.

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

No longer does the Ranger remain in his place of hiding. Drawing his hood over his head and silently lifting his scabbard, Nauthcel creeps out from the hollow and instantly becomes shrouded in the dark night, the elven fabric working well in the gloomy night. With patient steps, the Dunadan begins to travel through the forest, his eyes constantly surveying and searching.

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

Whatever was moving has stopped again. Now in the thin shelter of scrub pine where the land begins to rise away from the road, the night is drier, less rain getting through. There is no sound of movement, nothing mucking about blind and stumbling in the darkness, simply a sense of something close by. That thing though has stopped traveling, and now waits, listening in turn.

Perhaps not yet seen in the darkness, a man has come to settle himself into an open space beneath the branches of a glossy leaved, tallish evergreen shrub - it being more sheltered and dry there. Now seated, the figure settles a bow over his crossed legs and listens to the night, resting but watchful. He is likewise cloaked with hood up against the wet.

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

Nauthcel continues to prowl the forest, eyes still searching for the sounds from before. As the lightning grows closer to the forest, the area becomes illuminated for a few moments before falling back into darkness. In these precious seconds, the land is searched. Nothing is espied the first few times, yet this emptiness does not last long. Eventually, as the light strikes right, there is an odd shape seen between two trees - what would resemble a log yet with protruding appendages near the ground. Unsure as to what it is, the Ranger begins to move towards it in an indirect path that one of the trees which it sits next to may hide him.

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

The seated man also watches the night during those brief flashes of lightning. He is facing south more or less, looking predominantly in the direction of the road as the trees and cover in that direction are still thinnest. The hills rise up to his north and east, the short exspanse of the plain opening up back to his west towards the now distant marsh.

Hands and arms shift to draw out a second, drier bow string. The damp one is removed and tucked into the belt, the dry one put into its place upon the smooth, black bow. Something though, either revealed by the sudden flashes of light, or some hint of sound or sense, causes the man to still. Then, with painful care, he gets back to his feet, looking and listening carefully, uncertain.

COMBAT: Your health improves.

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

Now within close proximity and the movement allowing for the revelation, Nauthcel sees the being and knows that he deals not with an inanimate object but another biped of Middle-Earth. From practice, the longsword is able to be drawn soundlessly and held at ready. With a swift move that the blood of a Numenorean allows, the Ranger steps out from his hiding place and extends his blade towards the other. In calm words of the Westron tongue, he says, "Who are you and why do you dwell nigh to Weathertop?"

[+LOOK] Nauthcel(#19666) glances at you.

Rhifaroth

STATUS: IC (1s idle)

Wyr is IC

Garbed in a light weight grey cloak with a tint of drab green hue, this man stands about 6'4" in height. He is fairly broad of chest, perhaps aging into his early middle years. Black hair is pulled loosely back and tied at his nape; grey eyes warily watch his world. Weathered skin from sun and wind make faint crows feet around those eyes from much squinting into distances. Strange faded tattoos, like writing, slip over his cheek bones and down either side of his throat. Hints of past scars mar his otherwise well formed, beardless face.

Beneath the grey of his outer garment this man wears a studded leather jerkin and a loose fitting, light brown, long sleeved shirt. Short, leather bracers bind each of his wrists. More of the pattern that marks his face also marks the backs of his calloused hands. A thick banded gold ring, set with a teardrop blue stone, graces the smallest finger of his left hand. Charcoal grey pants showing wear are tucked into tall, dark brown leather boots.

If visible beneath his plain cloak, a long sword resides just below his left hip. A dark grey leather bowcase and quiver with a black bow is thrown over his back for a right handed draw.

Species: Human

Sex: Male

Health: Good

Weapons: Nothing

Armor: Wyr's Studded Leather <Studded Leather Armor>

Other Visible Equipment: Wyr's Studded Helm <Studded Leather Helmet>; Wyr's Long Sword <Longsword>; Wyr's Bolted Shield <Studded Leather Shield>

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

The man's own right hand has reached back to flip over a flap upon his quiver that keeps his arrows dry, then begins to draw one of the shafts out. But, something moves quickly coming up the gentle slope towards him and the man turns to face it, that right hand drops to reach quickly for his blade at left hip - instead of knocking the arrow.

The night, without the lightning, thickly clouded and now also shrouded by the thin canopy of tree-cover here, is truly black. As the figure steps out to him, perhaps too dark even for a glint of bared steel but for the barest flicker of lightening to show it, Rhifaroth doesn't hesitate and jumps back suddenly to draw his own blade - even as the other extends his threateningly and speaks calmly. Bow still in his left hand and now held out to be used to block with if need be, the man hesitates at the familiar voice.

His own lilts with the accent of distant Minas Tirith, the man answers, "This is the second time I've circled around one of you, recently. Is it Neal, or Grey?" There is humor in the tone, though just barely.

 

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

As the sound of the familiar voice rings, Nauthcel lowers his blade slightly. There is a moment of silence before the man replies, "Though you have answered my first question, the second still remains outstanding." His voice resounds distinct from Grey's though onto the calm voice there is still a defensive undertone. "You have traveled far from Bree and entered into a wilder territory."

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

Deciding his first guess was right, Rhifaroth relaxes his own guard but does not sheath his own blade, "I was with Fletcher, as you know... and others of your ilk when I left Bree, then we met with an orc in the night, coming east. " His voice is kept low, barely audible even so close.

Unable to read Neal's face in the darkness, the man continues, vaguely still wary, "Fletcher moved on ahead and the Sparrow and I were to catch up when I could travel again. But she and I got separated."

Perhaps a hint of that sarcasm creeping back in, the Southerner adds, "If there are many coming west as Falamir rumored, every blade is needed. Mine no less, Neal."

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

With these final words, Nauthcel lowers his blade and lets it hang limply at his side. "Only in interacting with my kinsmen would you know those names. Thus, I shall take your word on it." The Ranger then goes silent and lets his eyes travel down to his longsword, Lothwin. He then breaks the silence by commenting, "Though you shall offer your own blade, I have not heard of your skill." Raising his blade slightly once again and drawing his hood back to reveal a faint grin, the Constant states, "Shall we see how you shall fare in the next battle?"

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

It is very dark. The other man shifts his weight, listening. After a moment, the Southerner's voice can almost be heard to frown with disapproval, "I would like to find Ana... Strider said I was to stay with Fletcher. I would, at least, like to know if you have seen either of them."

To the odd proposition of sparring here, Rhifaroth slips his still strung bow over his head and puts his left arm through it to settle it onto his back, keeping his right hand occupied with his own blade. He is difficult to see at all, but for flickers of lightening, "Here, now? Are you mad?"

"I smelled a camp's fire - that's what drew me from the road, and to seek shelter from the storm a while. There may be orcs about." Rhifaroth keeps his voice low, not knowing that the small fire was Nauthcel's own.

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

A small din of laughter flows from the lips of the Constant. "The fire that you smelt was mine and I have been keeping vigilant watch over this area for some time now. My kin and I have lived long enough in the wilderness to know when danger is nigh. Also, what better time to combat than in the same conditions as those set by the orcs." There is a pause as he calms down slightly to say, "No, I have not seen either of them. Yet, I believe that they shall travel to the same destination as I. We shall travel together."

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

Rhifaroth isn't terribly happy, either with the news or the humor directed back at himself. But he inclines his head in the darkness, "You are right that I know not this land so well. I'll be happy for the company."

For sparring here and now, however, the man let's out a soft breath, voice once again humored, "I'll not shame my House by refusing - but you mind my ribs. I need them mended as best they may be - before I go stumbling into more orcs, if you please."

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

"I shall do you no harm....besides a possible bruise or two on the arm or leg, of course," answers Nauthcel in a calm tone. "And I would not worry about the others. They are very skilled at surviving even the most dangerous situations. Now, let your mind become focused upon the duel," he says in a continually peaceful and soft tone.

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

His patience with these folk occasionally ... tested, Rhifaroth humors Neal in this seeming foolishness. He doesn't even bother to bring up how many men he's trained himself through the years, or orcs he's killed, or battles fought. He just raises his own blade in the dark in quiet salute, then eases into a defensive position himself, balls of his booted feet shifting to align with his shoulders as he presents his right side, blade first, angling his body for a slimmer target.

It is dreadfully dark, dangerously so to even see each other, let alone blades moving quickly. Rhifaroth moves a bit stiffly, clearly still injured, but light enough upon his feet as he circles slowly at blade's length.

Careful, that blade licks out to test the taller man's own reflex as though to nip at Nautchel's right elbow.

You attack Nauthcel with your Longsword...

[Combat(#13388)->Rhifaroth]

Nauthcel dodges your attack.

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

The reflexes of the Man are quick allowing him to dodge the blade and placing him within reach of his opponent's back. Not allowing time to take away the open target, Nauthcel finds firm footing in the soft dirt before swinging out horizontally with the flat of his blade below the shoulder blades of his opponent. As the Ranger counters, he says, "Look for the shadow within the shadows."

Nauthcel attacks you with his Longsword!...

...and he hits! Ouch!

ARB: You've been injured for 1 hp's by Nauthcel's attack...

...you have 71 left. Please RP this injury accordingly.

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

It is too dark to see the Southerner's face, but he is ill humored. Nauthcel side steps him and circles around to his side very quickly. Very lightly, Rhifaroth feels the pat of the other man's blade scrape the cloak gifted to him by Ana.

His own voice a bit sour but flavored with sarcasm, he circles but keeps a careful eye on the other as best he may in the gloom, "It's been a rotten winter. Too many shadows plaguing me already."

Even as he speaks, Rhifaroth extends his arm to flick his blade for Neal's beltline.

You attack Nauthcel with your Longsword...

[Combat(#13388)->Rhifaroth]

Your attack against Nauthcel mildly wounds him!

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

The Ranger is unprepared for the counter, possibly due to being unfamiliar with a fair fight, and finds his belt now slightly damaged. "Well, it would seem that this shadow is no longer hidden," says Nauthcel as he is bested. Using his own advice in order to strike, the Ranger studies the dark outline of his opponent before he swings the flat of his blade, attempting to attack what he believes is the foreigners arm.

Nauthcel attacks you with his Longsword!...

...and he hits! Ouch!

ARB: You've been injured for 1 hp's by Nauthcel's attack...

...you have 70 left. Please RP this injury accordingly.

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

Difficult to see Nauthcel's blade in the black, nonetheless Rhifaroth's arm rises to counter the stroke almost by instinct ... but the Ranger's tip still grazes his upper blade arm lightly in passing - to the sound of steel against steel sliding almost softy, and then disengages. There is no comment about the second touch, perhaps leaving Neal to guess whether he made contact or not.

"I'm so off my game these past months -" he twists, feet sliding in the slick pine needles but intentionally as he comes around the other man's left side, away from Nauthcel's own blade. Rhifaroth's own blade whips to lick for the Ranger's cloak clasp as lightening flickers, in lieu of the neck he would otherwise aim for if in earnest.

"My Lord Captain would be as ill amused as I am myself."

 

You attack Nauthcel with your Longsword...

[Combat(#13388)->Rhifaroth]

Nauthcel dodges your attack.

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

Even after the Ranger lands his hit, he does not let his guard down like before, keeping his eyes keen on his opponent. As the blade moves to remove the fabric from his body, his leans backwards causing the swipe to miss. The moment the metal is past, he leans forward and his own sword flashes to perform the same act of derobing. "It shall not be long, though, before you remember once again how to fight."

Nauthcel attacks you with his Longsword!...

...and he hits! Ouch!

ARB: You've been injured for 1 hp's by Nauthcel's attack...

...you have 69 left. Please RP this injury accordingly.

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

There being no clasp at all upon the gifted cloak, only a plain tie, it parts. Nauthcel's blade has no difficulty cutting it - though luckily for Rhifaroth not so entirely through that it falls loose of his shoulders. Still, the Ranger's skill in the black is nonetheless impressive.

Despite his continuing ill luck, and the taunting, Rhifaroth almost laughs, "Now you'll have the Sparrow sore at me."

Without explaining why that would be so, the Southerner makes a feignt for the Ranger's blade arm, but shifts at the last to come in closer still and make for that cloak clasp again, bearing his own teeth in the dark - determined.

You attack Nauthcel with your Longsword...

[Combat(#13388)->Rhifaroth]

Nauthcel parries your attack with his Longsword!

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

Though the move would work in the light, the darkness does not fully reveal the feignt maneuver allowing the Ranger to only see the final attack to which he knocks away with his blade, the din of metal clashing resounding with the crashing of the thunder storm. "The Sparrow shall forgive me if she knows that it became damaged during a duel," answers Nauthcel as he positions himself for his next attack. Having succeeded in landing an attack on both the foreigners back and arm, he thus takes on a harder challenge and swings the flat of the blade with the edges remaining vertical towards the right leg of Rhifaroth that is somewhere within the cloak folds.

Nauthcel attacks you with his Longsword!...

...and he hits! Ouch!

ARB: You've been injured for 1 hp's by Nauthcel's attack...

...you have 68 left. Please RP this injury accordingly.

<OOC> Nauthcel kicks Dinny in her idle state.

[Halbarad(#30370)]

Halbarad attacks Nauthcel with his Red Herring and badly wounds him!

<OOC> Halbarad coughs.

<OOC> Halbarad says, "Too much sugar today. ;)"

<OOC> Nauthcel grins.

<OOC> Rhifaroth comes back and laughs!

<OOC> Nauthcel says, "If you're logging Wyr, you have to keep that in. ;)"

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

This time there can be no question of whether or not Nauthcel's blade nicks him. The tug at the cloak and the tip of the blade can be felt in the darkness to tag flesh at least lightly, even as the two blades disengage again.

Rhifaroth's breathing has grown more labored, his cracked or broken ribs giving him pain, though he tries not to allow that to limit his movement. He saves his breath for the sparring, saying nothing more for the moment, backing off a step and circling.

Changing his direction, and his posture suddenly, the former Lieutenant swaps his blade in the darkness to his left hand, lunging to put that arm and shoulder forward instead of his more usual right. The Gondorian blade comes up from low, swiping in turn for the other man's belly once more.

You attack Nauthcel with your Longsword...

[Combat(#13388)->Rhifaroth]

Nauthcel parries your attack with his Longsword!

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

Once again, the metal rings in the night as to the Gondorian's blade is halted in it's movement. Hearing the stress that is placed on the man, Nauthcel does not choose to attack again but instead lowers his weapon. "I can tell that you have drawn a large portion of your strength for I can hear you breath. I think that is all we should play for now." The Ranger then relaxes slightly as he comments, "I can see how you shall be formidable when we combat the orcs that you may make your lords proud."

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

Nauthcel's comment doesn't get agreement from the Southerner. He lowers his own blade, indeed a bit winded from the light exercise, "Not unless my luck of late changes, friend. But we shall see."

From years of habit, Rhifaroth raises his own blade in the dark as though to salute the other man, acknowledging and end to the sparring for now. The blade is returned to his better arm and then sheathed.

The sound of the rain now lighter, the thunder over the plain having receded, the land has become muted with predawn stillness. Rhifaroth turns and strips off his awkwardly hung bow and unstrings it, "Do you know how many are out there?" Surely, he means the Morian host.

[Combat(#13388)->Rhifaroth]

You train with Nauthcel in longsword.

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

The eyes of the Ranger turn towards the East as he looks towards the same point as the foreigner. "I have not yet heard any reports at to their numbers yet I imagine that it is great if they plan to overtake all these lands." Nauthcel then goes silence as he appears to ponder the distant darkness. "However, they shall lose many if they wish to accomplish their goal for my kinsmen and I shall not stand idly by."

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

Rhifaroth slips his bow into his bow-case and stands to lean against a near tree in the darkness. He presses his left hand against his painful ribs, getting his breath back, "Falamir said ... perhaps nigh unto a thousand."

Voice grim and low, he adds, "I surely hope his intelligence is wrong."

"But, he said also there are trolls among them. And they've a plain without shelter from the sun to cross. We might make that difficult."

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

Nauthcel does not speak but now slowly to the intelligence. His eyes continue to be set upon the distant horizon, seeming to see something that resides in the darkness. "Maybe, we can even the odds. If only we could summon the Eagles of the Moutains then our might would be of a greater strength than a few swords." The Dunadan goes silent again as he appears to ponder this point.

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

The other nods in the darkness, voice still low so not to carry far, "I have been watching for Gwamthor, hoping to see him again.... but I have not. But I shall keep watching. Strider told Ana ... Sparrow," he corrects himself, "Also to send some message but I have seen her naught, since."

Rubbing at his face, overly tired from recent travel and too little rest, Rhifaroth adds, "Dwarves said they were digging and staking fortifications east of Bree. Better though, if the host doesn't get that far."

Thinking upon this though, he asks, "What I can not figure out is -why- send an army this way at all? Such distance, for so little. Rohan's a more likely target... distract my own folk, then hit in the south at the same time - would make a lot more sense, to me."

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

"But, I would assume, the orcs would have to combat armies if they were to travel to the south. Here in the north, there are no great armies to stop them in their pillage," replies Nauthcel as his eyes finally depart from the horizon to focus on the Man. "Why would one want to do work if they can get all that they desire with ease?"

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

A shrug, from the Southerner, "But such distance, for ... Bree has next to nothing to even be tempting. Easy pickings once they get there, but not without loss and risk - if only to cross the plain. And surely those legendary folk of Rivendale are not idle - assuming they still house somewhere this side of the Misties."

Though he knows something of history, Rhifaroth is not himself all that familiar with elves, their placement, or recent activity. He settles himself back down underneath the evergreen shrub he had sat beneath earlier and leans himself against the tree's trunk to rest, "Anyway, seems odd to send an army for that, instead of raiding parties."

[Nauthcel(#19666)]

"The orcs ways are not our ways," is the only answer that the Ranger can give to the connundrom that is presented. Nauthcel once again allows his gaze to fade into the distance as thought overtakes him once more and his mind begins to wonder into the recesses of time.

[Rhifaroth(#27282)]

Rhifaroth frowns, his own eyes closed in the fading darkness to re-gather his strength, "Don't act much like Mordain orcs, anyway. They at least are fairly predictable."

The man says nothing else, the ease of the darkness with the coming morning at least promising no orcs are likely to come about until darkness again.

 

 

--------------------------------------------- End of RP Log ---------------------------------------

 

**This RP took place just before a hard push traveling Icly to cross the plain and get east, over the Last Bridge before the Morian Army encamped there. Then our attack of the back flank of that Host occurred right after. So alas for Rhifaroth, he still had broken or cracked ribs on the mend going into that fight. And more hard travel behind him with little rest. He didn’t fair too well, but he did manage to stay alive, kill an orc, fend off three wargs and their riders (with help from Mirodhel) and assist with firing flaming arrows into Morian supply wagons.**