Great East Road; Midgewater Marsh “Unexpected Visitor”
[+TIME] Middle-earth time is:
Late Night on Trewsday, Day 1 of February, 3043
Real time is: 18:41:07 MDT on Mon Jan 21 2008.
East Road - South of Midgewater
You are near the eastern edge of the Bree-lands, marked by the trees of the Chetwood to the north west. The Great East Road here sweeps in a large arc to avoid the murk and mire of the Midgewater Marshes. Sparse grasses along the northern edge of the road slowly give way to the spongy ground of the marshes in that direction. To the north east, the road bends up to meet the plains of Cardolan and the Weather Hills beyond.
North, Northwest, and Northeast
Tzippy has arrived.
The night is very cold and quiet. There seems to be nothing moving around at this hour, even so close to the East road. Unseen and set back a bit to the south west of the road a man has stealth-fully done what he could to make a night's camp. Out here, in a slight dip in the land that might be a creek bed , that in damper weather would drain into the marsh to the north, a low oil skin tarp has been erected. With light overhanging scrub and thorns growing here and there, the camp is not easily visible from the road even in daylight.
Rhifaroth himself lays underneath the thin shelter he has erected. His horse is tied to a twisted bit of growth that will never quite make it to become a real tree. The horse lays down upon the cold ground almost right up against the flimsy shelter to conserve warmth. There is no fire, no noise, and no movement... all is very still.
There might, however, be the barest hint of smoke scent lingering vaguely in the air from a very small trench fire the man had used earlier in the evening before dark.
There is a growing sound coming from the trees. Thump, thump, stomp. Thump, thump, stomp. Stomp, stomp, thump.
An approaching noise, still dim yet - or the faint thumping felt through the frozen earth, alerts the horse. Black tipped ears swivel towards the sound that a sleeping man might not yet perceive. Elfaron gets to his feet with an effort and lifts his head, looking off into the darkness towards the road and the marsh to the north east of the camp.
At the horse's disturbance, the man stirs restlessly in his sleep. Out of long habit, he wakes just enough to listen for any sounds ... trying to see where Elfaron is in the dark. It is perhaps that he hears something approaching as well, or feels it through the ground. Rhifaroth carefully sits up and sticks his head out of the shelter, listening.
The thumping noise gets larger and the ground starts to shake a bit. Thump, thump, stomp.
The man grows quietly alarmed by the noise. He grabs up his scabbarded long sword and buckles it on even as he stands up from underneath the tarp. He may not know what is happening, but he certainly doesn't need to look to his horse for cues that something is seriously amiss in the night!
Rhifaroth dones his cloak quickly and bends to grab up his bow case and quiver to throw them over his shoulder - even as he runs a few steps over towards his horse. Untying Elfaron, Rhifaroth clamps one hand on the back of the young stallion's poll behind his ears and loops the halter rope snuggly over the animal's nose, tossing the last over Elfaron's back. His free hand then clamps firmly down on the horse's nose, still holding the poll, so that Elfaron can not whinny his growing alarm, nor move off without dragging the man with him.
Elfaron does not like this treatment the least bit, but at least the man has done such before and no harm come to animal. But whatever is out there is really spooking him. The animal quivers but keeps it's place, for the moment - but only because Rhifaroth drags the horse’s head down and holds so firmly! The man himself listens to the night and remains as still and quiet as he may.
Thump. Thump. Stomp. Thump. Thump. Stomp. The ground vibrates further and then, a small troll emerges from the trees across the road.
The small troll drags a large sack behind her and cradles a small bundle in her arm. She sniffs the air and frowns, looking around the area.
The silent human stands as still as the frightened horse will allow him, watching and listening with every fiber in his body. SOMETHING large comes out onto the road just a short distance from the cold camp. Whatever it is, Rhifaroth can't make it out in the darkness, just the creature's silhouette as it moves. Even if he could, the man has never seen a troll close enough to know what one should look like...
Elfaron has never seen a troll either, nor smelled one before. The horse catches the barest hint of Tzzippy's scent and it makes him try to throw up his head to get free of the man.
Rhifaroth struggles with the horse, trying to keep his hold - his hands powerfully clamp down on Elfaron. The immediate pain to his sensitive nazel-bridge causes the frightened animal to refocus upon the more pressing threat of the man's hands then the creature. Elfaron submits and stands quietly, but his body trembles.
The small troll sniffs again and says, in a surprisingly small voice. "You man?"
Rhifaroth's heart rate is well up and the unexpected voice makes something inside of him jump. But he says nothing, holding tightly to the horse with what would, in other circumstances, be a cruel grip.
Small for a troll, this hulking figure is 10 feet tall and half again as wide. Her skin is slate grey and relatively smooth, though there are several nicks and scrapes, especially around her knees and elbows. She wears what might once at one point have been a large table cloth or tent that she has fashioned into a sort of raggedy wrap around skirt. A bit of wispy black hair crowns her head and it has been pulled together into a sort of ponytail that looks to be secured with what might be the remains of some sort of small forest creature.
Studded Leather Armor
"Answer man." the little troll says. "Or does other creature speak?" The small troll focuses on the horse. "You talk? You good to eat?"
The man does not answer... he keeps his place by the frightened horse and stays very still, watching. As far as he can tell, the only noise in the night besides this strange creature's voice is the pounding of his own heart. Rhifaroth tries to calm himself by slowing his breathing and taking longer, deeper breaths to combat any flicker of panic that might try to rise up within. It -seems- like the thing might be looking right at him and the horse in the darkness.
Elfaron tries to pull his head and neck loose from the man's grip once more, but Rhifaroth now has his entire left arm over Elfaron's neck, holding tightly onto the far ear with that hand. The jostling almost lifts the tall man from his feet but he manages to make the horse give up again, for the moment.
Elfaron's rapid equine breathing steams the cold air, and might be heard by a sensitive creature's ears... as well as his jostling of the man.
The small troll frowns. "Why you no talk, little human? I no hurt you. I no hurt things." The small troll's voice is emphatic and she starts rummaging around in her sack. "I shows you."
There is no change in the man's position, nor the frightened horse’s... not so long as the thing hasn't come any closer, yet. Still, the man makes no noise, does not speak. He calms his own breathing and just watches what he might through the darkness and waits, listening.
The little troll opens the sack and rummages around in it, returning with a very dead rabbit wrapped in a piece of bright cloth. "This my dolly. I very nice to my dolly. Wanna see dolly?"
The man can not make out in the darkness what the thing draws out of the sack and holds out in his direction, but whatever it is ... it is small, raggity, flops about, and ... it smells like rotting flesh. Wonderful.
The man continues exactly as before, very still and watchful, breathing slowly enough that he has managed to bring down his heart rate. The horse also stands still, legs a bit splayed, still tense but not quite so much on the edge of panic.
Conversationally, the small troll says "Tzippy wants new dolly. Man bring Tzippy new dolly?"
Rhifaroth draws a slow, long breath, very uncertain whether or not he should make an answer. But, although it would appear that the thing can see him in the darkness more clearly than he can see it, it might nonetheless be foolish to make that assumption and confirm his presence to the creature. So, there is still no answer to the odd request.
The man's demenor of regained calmness, and his lighter pressure upon the frightened horse, has caused Elfaron to relax and wait nervously - so long as the creature doesn't come any closer. The horse's ears and near eye are intent upon the troll, ready to go back into panic mode and flee even if it means dragging this man off his feet.
Finally, the little troll moves closer to the man, stopping a couple of troll strides away. "Tzippy want dolly. Man bring dolly or...." The little troll points to the horse. "That be my dolly!"
As the large creature comes towards them from the road and into the brush and dried winter grasses nearer to the dark camp, it becomes just too much for poor Elfaron. The horse looses it. There can be no possible question that the creature does indeed see them all too clearly in the darkness.
Rhifaroth tries his best to keep a hold on the horse but as it becomes quickly apparent that the thing is coming closer, he knows he can't hold Elfaron. A quick decision has to be made, one already thought upon and planned for it needed... as Elfaron tries to back up and begins to drag the man off his feet with the horse, Rhifaroth turns his body and begins to move with the horse as fast as he might.
In that instant, he slips his grip down the neck to take hold of the mane just above the withers and jumps as hard as he can up onto Elfaron's bare back! The horse is backing up rapidly, panicing, and the man only has one chance. He tries to get his left leg up and over the grey's rump even as brush and thorns tear at both man and beast in the scramble!
The small troll runs surprisingly fast, rushing up towards the horse. "No go! Tzippy no say you can go!"
Elfaron rears as the small troll speeds up suddenly, rushing them! The movement is rapid as the animal forgets all about the man and simply panics - totally. Hooves rise up from the ground in the front but not to strike at the air - instead the animal twists its body and lunges away with a terrible jerking motion! The scrambling man can't get his leg over fast enough and the mane caught up in his fingers tears from Elfaron's neck!
Rhifaroth is dumped hard upon the cold, frozen ground. The wind is knocked from him as he hits, a vague impression of something hitting him from behind with a goodly blow even as the horse escapes. Everything is happening so fast! Darkness moves over the man, looming up to even blot out the stars!
The bolting horse crashes through the brush and up out of the small hollow. Elfaron's steel shod hooves can be heard gallopping off into the darkness!
The small troll reaches down to pick up the man. Her voice has gotten deeper and the small troll's eyes flash. "Tzippy want dolly. You be dolly since you too stupid to GET dolly."
COMBAT - Wielded: Wyr's Long Sword
Dazed by the unexpected fall, the man blinks and tries to roll even as something grabs hold of him in the dark. There is the sensation as though being lifted as he feels the earth leaving his booted feet. He twists, reaching for his long sword's hilt and there is the ring of steel as the blade is drawn forth from the scabbard.
As the thing lifts him upwards and closer to her face, Rhifaroth does not hesitate. His own heart pounding but his mind clearing with a cold precision of a seasoned fighter, he thrusts the blade right for the creature's face, hoping no doubt to do it enough harm to maybe make it drop him! Rhifaroth is not aware of how stone-like the hide of a troll is, though…
You attack Tzippy with your Longsword...
Your attack against Tzippy mildly wounds her!
The small troll whimpers as the sword scratches her hard hide and she raises her fist to knock the man she's holding onto over the head.
Tzippy attacks you with her Mace!...
...and she hits! Ouch!
ARB: You've been injured for 23 hp's by Tzippy's attack...
...you have 59 left. Please RP this injury accordingly.
The man is jostled about even as he tries to kick to follow up his thrust with the blade. But the thing does NOT drop him as hoped. Instead it brings a great big fist up and over, aimed to smash in his head ... if only his helm wasn't in his saddle bag!
Rhifaroth throws his head over and his left arm up even as he rolls his shoulder in as best he may. He at least has that instant of the coming blow telegraphed though the body language of the beast as it moves the arm up and in an above arc. The blow lands and is hard but glancing - not as stunning as it might have been. Still, the blow is quite enough to rattle the man. It leaves his left arm and shoulder numb and useless.
The man grits his teeth and kicks fiercely at the thing even as he tries for another thrust with the blade at it‘s face. Rhifaroth hisses this time, "Drop me, you foul thing!"
You attack Tzippy with your Longsword...
Tzippy parries your attack with her Mace!
"Naughty dolly. No hit Tzippy," the small troll scolds, knocking the sword aside with a large fist. The fist is raised again, "I no wanna hurt you, dolly, but you gotsta listen to me!" She raises her fist to hit the man in the head again, though the blow is not meant to be full-force.
Tzippy attacks you with her Mace!...
...and she hits! Ouch!
ARB: You've been injured for 32 hp's by Tzippy's attack...
...you have 27 left. Please RP this injury accordingly.
[+LOOK] Rhifaroth(#27282) glances at you.
STATUS: IC (0s idle)
Wyr is IC
Before you is a man who's height is just over 6 feet. He is fairly broad of chest, perhaps aging into his early middle years. Straight black hair reaches to his upper shoulder blades, tied loosely back. Strange, dark lines and dots make a tattoo pattern across his cheeks on either side of his nose, drifting down each side of his neck. Similar patterns lace up the backs of his hands and forearms. An old scar runs along his hairline at the right temple, and another along his jaw. Otherwise, his face has the bone structure of a man of Numenor, beardless and well formed - perhaps even handsome to some. Although fair of skin, creases around his eyes and mouth demark years spent in wind and sun. The man's eyes are a pale, silvery grey, wary of this world.
A studded jerkin of thick, boiled leather covers an off-white shirt. Long sleeves are pushed up to bare the man's forearms. Each wrist is scarred with old tissue as though from cuffs of iron, long ago. Grey woolen pants are tucked into high black riding boots which show signs of travel, but once held a fine polish. A plain long sword of very good make graces the man's left hip. A knife with a silvery raven's head might be glimpsed peeking out of the top of his right boot, just below the knee. A wide banded golden ring is worn upon the smallest finger of his left hand. Set flush into the ring is a smooth, tear shaped rich blue stone.
Weapons: Wyr's Long Sword <Longsword>
Armor: Wyr's Studded Leather <Studded Leather Armor>; Wyr's Studded Helm <Studded Leather Helmet>; Wyr's Bolted Shield <Studded Leather Shield>
Other Visible Equipment:
Rhifaroth is shaken about like the rag doll the thing seems to want. The creature then swats the captured man’s blade aside like it is no more than a stick - and the sword is knocked from Rhifaroth's hand to fall into the darkness!
This time, the blow indeed lands right against the left side of the man's head. The Dunadan's head is snapped so hard to the side with a jerk, that rattles his senses silly - the man is taking a beating! Blood wells up from his mouth and nose though the blow took him first along the cheek. The thin bone there is crushed, the grey eyes unfocused.
Very much dazed now, and without a blade to try attack the creature, the tall man can do little but blink dumbly as his good arm grabs feebly at the beast's tree trunk thick arm. The man tries and stop his world from spinning so hideously. Rhifaroth is a good six foot tall himself, plus a little more, but even if his boots touched the ground, he couldn’t stand.
There is no reply to the creature's scolding. The man is barely conscious.
The small troll cradles the man in her arms and reaches down to pick up the sword and put it in her sack. "Good dolly," she croons, cradling the man as a mother might a baby.
Tzippy picks up a Longsword.
Rhifaroth's head lulls to one side as the silly thing bends to pick up his blade. The man's breathing is ragged, labored with his previous efforts.. His nose broken with the last slap, the blood has poured down over his mouth and chin, and now spots the front of his studded leather jerkin and throat.
Maybe the man hears the words the creature croons.. if he does, maybe it makes the hairs up the back of his neck prickle. He tries to spat up some of the blood in his mouth, then says somewhat unclearly, "Wha ... what are you?"
"I Tzippy," the small troll says with irrefutable logic. "You dolly," the same tone of definiteness.
Raising his head to try and look at the thing hurts too much... oh, his throbbing head! Already the man's left eye is swelling in the darkness.... but it is not long until morning light will begin to pale the eastern sky.
Rhifaroth doesn't seem to understand. He does not struggle now, the tall man just clings to the thing’s arms as it moves about, holding him. Every little movement makes him nauseous. "Wha' iszz a Tzip..." but he can't form the words with the pain. Everything is dark and spinning to Rhifaroth... and the pain of his left arm and shoulder he has been numb from the past few moments is seeping in with a terrible vengeance.
Rocking the man, the little troll picks up her sack and stomps off into the field singing 'Rock a bye dolly, in my tree top, when the wind blows, the dolly will rock.." in a tuneless, loud voice.
Slipping into unconsciousness from his wounds, the man is spared the awful creature’s singing, at least for a little while longer. His camp is left behind in the disturbed night, his horse fled, his bow and quiver scattered about upon the ground like so much straw. Will anyone even know?
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