Edge of Midgewater Marsh; Tzippy’s Embrace
Tzippy (the child troll)
Real time: Tue Jan 22 11:49:56 2008
Bree time: Dawn <05:29:48> on Mersday of Winter - February 3,1443
Moon Phase: First Quarter MoonRhifaroth(#27282POXA+Ncf)
A cluster of rocks a little ways from the road is configured such that it provides just enough shade under which a small troll might take shelter from the day's heat and, more importantly, light. Tzippy, little troll princess that she is, is curled up there sleeping. Being a princess, she is doing nothing so gaunche as snoring but she does make a small almost raspberry like sound with her lips as she sleeps. A large sack lies between her and the rock, and she cradles a human tightly in her arms, almost like one might hold a baby, but more binding.
The man at this late morning hour seems to be unconscious or sleeping. His long black cloak is tangled up in his booted feet and there is amble blood and swelling to mar the left side of his face. His hair has fallen loose of its tie and lays about looking messy, sticking to the dried blood.
The man is of good size and would stand over six foot tall if he weren't laying in such a sickly embrace. One arm lays free, palm up, with long strands of dark hair from a horse's mane tangled in his still fingers. A long sword scabbard also lays awkwardly from his left hip but there is no blade within it...
As the troll slumbers in her shelter, a tall but crouched figure retraces her path through the forests of Eriador, his stance squat, his right arm curled up firmly against his chest and concealed beneath the cloak slung across his body. His left arm is extended out at a forty-five degree angle with a long sword clenched firmly within his long, agile fingers, grey eyes sweeping across the forest bed, approaching the improvised shelter of the cairn.
Straightening slightly as he comes around the rock cluster, Talbinor takes a small breath, continuing to circle around to the front of the shelter, his eyes constantly upon the troll, his gaze suspicious in spite of the clear day, his every step cautious, with all the stealth the Ranger can muster.
The cute little sputtering sounds continue as the troll sleeps until...she starts to sing in her sleep. "Rock-a-bye dolly.." sputter. sputter. "..treetop."
The noise of the beastly creature's voice, starting to sing, causes the injured man to stir. A leg shifts stiffly and the extended left hand moves absently to touch the heavy weight that pins him too firmly - but the arm‘s movement hurts.
One grey eye on the undamaged side of the man's face opens and he stops moving the moment his muzzy awareness indicates that the creature is still near. Rhifaroth pauses, listening to the song for a moment and gauging the thing's breathing before he tries to shift that one free arm to touch very gingerly at his busted up face. Something seems to be wrong with his left arm.
As the man begins to move, Talbinor practically flies down the forest towards the shelter, espying the motion and instantly reacting to it, with his stride long and his footfalls light upon the dewy morning grass. "Thank you, Arien," the Ranger murmurs quietly beneath his breath, coming to a halt just outside the outcropping, skidding slightly on the grass and carefully keeping his eyes on troll and man.
"Quietly, now," Talbinor says in what is almost a stage-whisper, amplified by the rocks, "are you much hurt? How much can you move?"
There might be some other sound, a voice or whisper of the wind in dry leaves and grass. The groggy man turns his head, trying to listen but says nothing. His small movements have ceased and he lays very still so to hear better. At first, he perhaps makes out nothing more than the snoring and stammered word now and again from the thing that pins him down to the cold ground. That is closest to his ears...
But after a moment, something else registers dimly and the man shifts his head again to try and look towards the sound. His own voice is slow to come. When it does, it is low and husky with a strange, foreign lilting accent from some distant place, "I'm ... not sure."
That one grey eye that can open and see does not see what the voice belongs to. It closes for a moment, then glances down at the thick, heavy arm that binds him.
The Ranger sighs, vaguely irritably. "Splendid," he murmurs sarcastically, glancing around at the forest, jabbing his tip of his sword into the dirt and twisting it about for an instant, before pulling the sword up again and hefting it in his left hand. "Now to find a way to get you out of a troll's rock-hard grip." The sword is rapidly returned to its scabbard, and Talbinor turns on his feet, glancing about for something convenient.
"If you can start wriggling or something, it would help." Talbinor then steps away a few steps, glancing up into the trees, leaping lightly, grasping onto a solid branch with one hand, and letting it crack, split, and fall away from the tree, while the Ranger lands lightly on his feet, improvised lever in hand.
The small troll instinctively clutches the man closer to her in her sleep and continues to sing, shifting slightly so that one large leg is bent on the outside of the rock. "Got a dolly, got a dolly.." it sings quietly in its sleep.
Rhifaroth's breath is almost crushed from him as the awful thing tightens its grip around him in its slumber. The man involuntarily makes a small sound of pain, but it's very muted. It does, however, seem to help him clear his head and focus on his situation.
No longer trying to look for the owner of the disembodied voice, nor keep track of it in any way, the injured man tries to free his pinned right arm. But it is held too fast, at an odd angle behind his body and against the beast. Instead he tries to shift his left arm and shoulder...
That motion makes the man grit his teeth and stop instantly from terriable pain. Rhifaroth's breath catches but he manages to make no further sound.
Swinging his stick around lightly in his hand, Talbinor walks towards the outcropping once more, fixing his gaze on the captive once more, closing his eyes briefly. "Well, you're far from the first person to end up in an uncomfortable troll's embrace," he says in a half-dismissive, half-sympathetic tone. "Unfortunately, if I'm to get you out of there, I need to be a bit less disrespectful."
Taking his steps into the cave, Talbinor raps his branch against the dirt lightly. "So I'm going to try and pry you out. Hopefully I won't have to snap any of your ribs to do it. But if you have any alternative ideas, now's the time."
The man opens his one good eye again, the pale grey looking at this filthy looking rag of a man that has apparently come out of the swamp, or the forest. That eye looks to take in the thick, heavy pry branch, and then the man tries to turn his head. He is perhaps surprised at this other's forthrightness and unconcern about waking the hulking beast, trying to see the troll that binds him.
Returning his attention to what looks like a one armed man, Rhifaroth nods his head once, "Do it." Whether or not his studded leather jerkin will be of any protection to him is definitely uncertain.
It's amazing what dirt can do to a man. In societies where the inhabitants are used to fairly basic grooming and a bath here and there along the way, it's easy to forget what being dirty - really, truly dirty, the dirt of a man who started rolling around in it at birth and never stopped - can look like. Well, forget no longer, clean citizens of Middle-Earth, for this is a man who truly deserves the epithet 'filthy'.
It's not that he doesn't take care of himself. For one thing, his black hair is combed and neatly cut, a bit longer than usual, hanging down about to the top of his jaw in the back with bangs tempting the tops of his eyebrows in the front, although he usually sweeps his hair back in a part down the middle, exposing his forehead. He's in pretty good shape, too, his frame of a bit under six and a half feet taking the lithe, firm physical condition of an endurance runner and not the bulky, muscled form of a bodybuilder; only his right arm is conspicuous, being as it is usually hidden beneath the cloak which shrouds his body. His face is clean-shaven and it's not like there's ever food lying in said stubble. He does look after things, that's for certain.
But he's just -dirty-. For instance, if his hair has ever seen a washing more thorough than a dunk in a river once every six months, it doesn't show. His face is grimy, making his already-tanned complexion look darker than it already is, gray eyes looking out from sockets which seem intentionally blackened to keep the glare out. His nose is tilted a bit to his left, having obviously been broken at least once, and is just as smudgey as the rest of him. His hair is tucked behind his ears, and yes, there is a leaf or a twig to be found in that hair now and again.
His clothes are just as well-travelled as the rest of him. The cloak draped around his body was probably a dark green at one point, but the intervening years have added smears of gray, brown, and black to the mix, providing an outfit that could provide decent cameoflague from a distance. Under this cloak is a green tunic, the colour of the leaves in the forest during summer, and stained with said leaves and aforementioned dirt almost as much as the cloak over it is. Brown breeches, just as weather-torn as the rest of him, reach down to the bottoms of his knees, where they give way to a set of long green socks, reaching down into scarred and much-abused black boots, the back of the heel on the left one beginning to come off.
"Most sensible." The branch is swung about idly, scything a little path through the grass, coming up towards the troll and her doll. "A lot easier just killing the things, you know, but I'm not sure waking her up would lead to... desirable consequences." He eventually takes a position perpendicular to the troll and her toy. His right arm comes out from within his cloak, the twisted and injured limb grasping the branch for stability's sake, while his better arm sits on the top and begins to wrench it between arm and man.
Studded leather or no, Talbinor shows no regard for the captive's comfort, pressing against the jerkin and jamming the stick in. "Try and hold your breath, if you can," the Ranger adds less-than-helpfully, getting his lever ready. "This should be uncomfortable."
Listening, the man's damaged face grimaces at the mention of waking up the troll, and the possible 'desirable consequences' that would most likely effect him most directly, in his current position. There is no complaint.
The captured man grits his teeth as the pry branch is shoved hard between his ribs and the creature's thick limb. He exhales what little breath the beast's heavy arm has been allowing him. At the same time the man draws up his booted legs to get a purchase against whatever he might that he could heave against to assist in the maneuver.
The small troll squirms in her sleep, resulting in the arm holding her dolly moving down a bit lower and looser, though not loose enough for the man to easily squirm free. She continues to make soft, burbling noises in her sleep.
As the arm loosens and the man fidgets, Talbinor waits, biding his time, as if hoping the troll's grip will loosen even more and make his job that much easier. When it does not, his strong left arm pushes on that branch, digging it into the man's leather-clad chest, trying to slowly slide him back out of the troll's grip and give him just that little bit of looseness that might assure his escape.
In spite of the fact that he only has one good arm to do it with, the Ranger demonstrates his excellent physical conditioning: the relatively thick branch bends with the pressure and he keeps up a good, steady pace, letting only a small grunt of exertion break his lips as he presses.
The creature moves and the thick, huge arm loosens... and the man draws a grateful breath involuntarily at the released pressure. Almost at once he glances at the other man, and waits, laying still. But when he sees the subtle shift of posture to begin to move to lean into the thick branch, Rhifaroth lets out that breath and pushes as hard, but slowly, with his legs. Likewise he is a very fit man, accustomed to much walking as riding, so that the muscles in those legs are strong.
If the pry branch digs in hard and causes him pain, it isn't evident beyond the already gritted teeth and effort expended by the captured man. Together, prying and pushing, the injured man is able to ease upwards. It is enough to free his good right arm which he immediately brings up to dig his bare fingers into the cold, hard ground to assist.
The poking disturbs the small troll and the burbling becomes more shallow as it continues. The arm holding the man moves in closer again, but as it does so, it jostles...perhaps this is enough for the man to break free?
Talbinor keeps pressing, taking advantage of that brief jostle in the troll's movements to throw his body fully into the lever, trying to grab that split-second of opportunity and pop the prisoner out like a cork from a champagne bottle. As he does so, the branch snaps in half, but he regardless manages to impart a great deal of force to the struggling man, his exertion actually pushing him forward into the troll's shoulder before he recovers his balance.
The snapping of the branch is loud to the injured man's ears, but it is also a blessing in that the terrible pain in his lower chest and side where the branch was digging in so hard is now eased! For an instant, the man does nothing but suck for breath, trying to get air and not black out. The man's tattooed right hand comes up to touch his spinning head, trying to stay focused.
Not allowing himself to waste opportunity, Rhifaroth uses his booted legs to push himself up, using both arms - even his injured left arm as he is able, to drag himself free. Luckily, his thick black cloak was tangled up with him and not underneath the creature.
Rolling over onto his front for a moment, the man gasps, "My blade... long sword," He gets a breath and tries to look back, "In it's bag."
"What, a bag in here?" Talbinor provides no acknowledgement of their success in getting out of troll-grasp, merely looking about behind him for the appropriate bag, and taking a few steps around behind the troll to try and track down the blade and its container. "I'd suggest you get into the sun as quickly as possible, lest our friend become restless," Talbinor adds in a rather louder voice, the sound of metal departing scabbard indicating his own opinion.
The bag in question is pinned between the troll's left leg and the rock, and as the two men speak, the small troll cradles the bit of broken branch and turns closer to the rock so that her burbling body effectively covers and pins the bag.
The Southern Dunadan nods and tries to get up. But it is difficult, with his various hurts and his throbbing head. Rhifaroth's left arm is not much use, battered and possibly broken, so he tries to keep it tucked in close to his body along those aching ribs. With an effort, he struggles to his feet and stumbles a few steps out of the small cave and out into the bright morning's light. Where upon he falls to one knee, but not upon his battered face, at least.
Turning his face back, Rhifaroth tries to see what is happening but he has only the one eye. He skims loose hair back from it and hisses in his strange accented Westron, "But don't get yourself killed for it, man."
When the troll pins the bag against the wall, Talbinor silently agrees with the southerner's advice. "No sword is worth -that-," he declares, simply, turning around and calmly walking out of the cave, sheathing his sword as he goes, leaving the troll with her new friend Mr. Stick to cuddle all day long.
"Out of rock-throwing range, at least," Talbinor adds to the former captive, and if he doesn't quickly get up under his own power Talbinor reaches out with his left arm and tries to lift the injured man to his feet, trying to help him along towards the Great East Road and out of harm's way.
Tzippy has disconnected.
The injured man is glad enough of the assistance to reclaim his feet and accepts the arm. A bit unsteady, he makes what haste he can to vacate the immediate area gladly, heading back to the south west and the road that lays there.
Short of breath, ribs burning with pain, the man says nothing until they are some distance from the cave. Only when they can see the road does Rhifaroth slow and try to raise his good arm, hesitating, "..m-my head... sun and wind!" The words are shaped strangely, but they are clearly Westron.
Getting another breath and looking about them, the tattooed man tries not to lean on Talbinor for a moment. He scraps back the loose hair from his one good eye again and tries to look at the stranger, "I'm grateful - you have … my thanks."
[+LOOK] Rhifaroth(#27282) glances at you.
STATUS: IC (1s 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. Now dishevled shoulder blade length black hair falls loosely about and is in need of washing. Strange, faded 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.
Otherwise, his face has the bone structure of a man of Numenor, beardless and well formed - except that at the moment the left side of his face looks like someone hit him with a boulder. The man's right eye is a pale, silvery grey, wary of this world. His left eye and face is so swollen that he can't even see from it. Blood cakes his brow, outter cheek, and his nose appears to be freshly broken and slightly crooked to his right. Dried blood lingers below it and down his chin and throat.
A studded jerkin of thick, boiled leather covers a soiled and now torn off-white shirt. 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 scabbard hangs from the man's left hip but is empty of blade. 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.
Over all of this is a long black cloak that has become filthy with dirt, bits of dried grass, and a bit of the man's blood from his face.
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:
Once they reach the road, Talbinor stops his long retreat, preferring to kneel slightly and set the other man down, finally giving him a chance to rest his injuries somewhat. "Unfortunately for you, I'm no healer," Talbinor says simply, "but to my eye you're not in immediate danger of death. So a rest would likely do well." Talbinor seems not in the least tired, but, then, he hasn't spent several hours being hugged by a troll.
"And no need to thank me," Talbinor adds, waving his hand rather dismissively and leaning against a tree, glancing in either direction down the road. "I was fortunate enough to notice the site of your struggle, so from there it was rather easy to track you. Trolls are like that."
Rhifaroth is grateful to slide back down to the ground and rest where ever the other man deems suitable. He coughs, trying to get enough air, then uses his right arm to drag his injured left arm up into his lap to try and warm his cold hand. His breath steams the late morning air as he breaths raggedly, "Aye… I'll live…. Suffered worse, before..." But eyeing the other with the good side of his face, the injured man can clearly see that this stranger has as well.
Listening to the filthily clad stranger go on, the foreigner grimaces, "So... that was… a troll." Almost he laughs at himself but it hurts him. "Wonderful." He licks his lips and tries from his sitting position to straighten out some of the disarray of his cloak that has slipped off his left shoulder. His tattooed right hand reaches awkwardly up to the right side of his bloodied throat and fumbles to release the finely wrought silver clasp - shaped like a tree over a starburst. There is some small embroidered emblem to the right of the clasp but it hangs too far off the shoulder to be seen clearly.
As soon as the heavy cloak is loosened from his throat, the injured man shifts to sit quietly, saying nothing else for the moment - just breathing gratefully.
Watching the stranger rest, Talbinor nods from his lean on the tree, crossing his legs at the ankle and resting his left hand before his chest, while shrouding his right once more in his cloak. "They're wonderful creatures, trolls," the Ranger declares with a small, solemn nod. "Although that one is smaller than most, luckily. And only the one head." Another firm nod, keeping his eyes on the wounded man regardless.
He simply stands in silence for a few moments, glancing at that clasp but looking generally non-pulsed by anything. "You're clearly not a Breeman," he says, simply. "From whereabouts do you hail?"
The man listens to the unnamed stranger as he continues speaking of the trolls. The injured man says nothing until the other mentions the last part. Rhifaroth raises his head to try and look at Talbinor, "Two heads?!" He seems for a moment incredulous, but dismisses it as he becomes distracted by not being able to see out of his left eye. Very carefully he probes the bloody, swollen flesh of that side of his battered face, trying to feel if his eye is damaged or just swollen shut.
Again, that cough, but the foreigner hears the question and returns his attention to Talbinor, "No, I'm no …. Breeman." He smiles thinly but it pulls at the swelling and makes it more of a grimace, "I am from a country … called Gondor." the man takes careful breaths between every few words, "Long way … from here..."
"Gondor. Hrm." The Ranger seems only mildly interested by that fact, nodding slowly and picking at the bark on his chosen leaning tree. "That -is- quite a trip, even on horseback. And heading over the Misty Mountains is not what I imagine you'd consider a vacation." He grins slightly, lifting his chosen bit of bark and idly flicking it off towards the grass.
"So, if I may pry relentless, what brings you up this far?" He watches his bit of bark in the grass momentarily, before turning back towards the man.
The other man now watches his rangy rescuer in turn, studying him as best he may with his vision impaired. "Yes…. several months... but you are the first I have met who seems …to know something of it, north of the Riddermark. … One other of your ilk knew the name - but no Breemen." His breating seems to be easing, somewhat.
At the man's other question Rhifaroth turns his face away, looking back towards the road and in the general direction of where his once hidden camp lay. "You have a name… stranger?"
"'round these parts, I am called Restless," answers Restless easily enough, as if the name is no particular concern to him. "Different people say different names, but that one is proving the most relevant." As if proving his own name, Talbinor straightens up from the tree, turning about into the road and pacing slightly, looking at the various branches of the road in each direction as if expecting traffic.
Pausing in his stride, Talbinor adds, "I've always held a certain fondness for geography. But I don't pretend familiarity with Gondor or Rohan or any eastern dominion: my own step has not taken me further than Dunland."
The other man seems to be growing too comfortable with sitting and resting. At seeing the other stir, he begins to try and get himself up as well, "Restless... that isn't … much of a name." He grits his teeth and manages not only to get to his feet awkwardly, but drag his black cloak up from the ground with his injured left arm. "Isn't even Sindarin - or anything."
Saying the last part, the Southern stranger looks pointedly at the other with his one good eye as if he rather expected the other to have such a name. But he adds nothing more to that thought. Instead, he carefully uses his good arm to pull his woolen cloak over his broad shoulders. Awkwardly one handed, the injured man resets the clasp; the stylized small white tree and seven silver stars embroidered next to it gleaming dully in the light.
Looking down the road and to the east, the man puts his good arm out to steady himself, before he looks back to the other, "I am Rhifaroth, formerly ... well, of many places in… and out of Minas Tirith." He smiles thinly, then slightly gestures with his injured arm to the road, "I need rest... and a meal. But I'd rather not linger… and be caught too close, come dark. You said …. my camp was still there?"
"Sindarin?" Talbinor glances over to the resting man with a raised eyebrow and a small laugh of disbelief. "What am I, an elf?" Perhaps the grey-eyed Ranger doth protest too much, but he soon steers the topic away, nodding and pointing up the road to the northwest. "When I went to track you, it was still there; not more than a couple kilometres distant, I should think. There were various items there, including a saddle with a shield affixed to it but no sign of the horse from whence it came."
Dropping his hand, Talbinor adds, "Walk in that direction and look to the lefthand side of the road and you can hardly miss it, as you know what to look for. For my part, I shall be seeing if I can chance upon a healer to... straighten up your condition slightly." Talbinor nods his head towards the injured man and, without a further word, turns about and heads northeast, in the opposite direction of the supposed camp.
Rhifaroth watches the other, listening to him but says nothing of their otherwise similarity of feature and coloring. Perhaps he is foolish to have even made the comment, but maybe not. He frowns as the other turns away and begins to walk off in the opposite direction from where he himself would go. The other man's words sound ridiculous to his ears, "A healer, out here?" He breaks off what might have been a bark of a laugh - his ribs hurt too much for it. But he adds as the other continues away, somewhat softer "Travel ye well, Restless."
Rhifaroth looks down the road leading a bit north east of his current position. Weak, and too easily light headed, unarmed, he carefully begins to move out, going slowly. He pauses once to look back, but the other man is already gone from sight.
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