The company was not long delayed by the action at the river and they were soon moving again. The company they rescued agreed to share the road with them, for awhile at least.
Several day later while Raghnall had the men of Rohan occupied in one of his stories Edelyn summoned her new companions; Gárulf, Egilhir, Roderick, and Tyrôk.
"Friends, I can not thank you enough for all you have done for both my people and me. I do not know where or what would have happened if you good people had not in your own way come to our assistance. I would like to take your counsel. My folk are wise in their own way, but this is not our land and not our place.
I have spoken with Fastred and he has shared what he knows of the realm with me and a new choice seems to grow heavierr and heavier for our survival. The gracious king provided us food and also his leave to stay, but where are we to go? The lords of the Roharrim do not seem to be as open as that of their king. Fastred has led me to believe there are two options open before me after I return to my people.
The first is to strike west and settle near Fangorn forest. I know little of this wood, but I have been told that few of the Men of Rohan dwell near it and we may find space that is not to the discomfort of others. Also there is no great lord or magnate that lays claim to this area of the realm.
The second option is to move along the river in the wold. I am told that a woman of Rohan has lordship here Beowyrt, perhaps she would allow us a place to settle and an opportunity to prove ourselves.
My friends, I am resigned to follow your counsel on this as one decision seems just as good as the other. How would you advise me?"
Gárulf gave a grim smile, "Your choices are vast in their degree of difficulty, Lady. On the one hand, to join your folk with Beowyrt would be far more easier on them in terms of settling - there is lodging there and established farms. But it will be long before you are counted one of her folk - if ever. And so, as outsiders, your voices will most often be heard last.
"I do not say this to disrespect your people - I just know how the Rohirrim think and even our northern kin from afar would still be considered outsiders."
The rogue then scratched at the fur on his face, "But to go north and settle along the forest...it would be yours by command of the king and so you would become Rohirrim by your own doing. Though I was born in the Eastemnet, along the Entwash, long have my companions and I lived within the lands between the forest and the Wold. They are open and empty of any settlements, and only rarely are seen travelers, herders, or rogues.
"I will not say it would be easy, but it will be yours. I can help you, if you would like."
He listens to Edelyn's options and to the advice the Rohir Garulf offered her.
"I may not be the best option for advice her m'lady as I too am an outsider. The Rohirim seem to distrust outsiders and at the moment more than a few of their lords seem consider their King as one. This lady Beowyrt may not take kindly to your arrival on her lands."
He looks to the north. "Even in distant Gondor we hear tales of Fangorn. The forest is apparently haunted and the land lies close to the southern peaks of the Misty Mountains, it's possible that the orcs that you wished to flee from in the north may have a presence there, although the presence of one of the Wise in Orthanc may be enough to make such creatures keep their distance and provided one doesn't stray to deep into the forest then as Garulf said these lands could be made your own."
My Lady Edelyn, I can offer no counsel regarding Fangorn, of course I have heard of it, and little of that is good but I am in agreement with Gárulf and Egilhir. Neither of the options before you are ideal, but I think the empty lands close to Fangorn would be the best.
She pondered for a moment, while not all of these folk were from Rohan they were all consistent in their counsel.
"We have traveled far and on little food so a rest will do us good. Also, I have little desire to rush headlong into this decision. Would you be willing to to head to this Fangorn region and see if a suitable place may be found for us? Criss crossing the realm will do little to impress ourselves on the folk of Rohan."
He bows his head. "I'd be happy to head out and scout the lands around Fangorn for you." He says giving her a warm smile as he looks at her. "It seems like the reasonable thing to do."
The companions were soon on the move again back to the people of Edyln. Along the way she was quick to repay kindness where they had found it on the way south. With a free hand she repaid those who had fed them on the road south to Edoras at each stedding they had passed along the way.
As they drew closer to the campsite the folk were less welcoming and spoke only sparsely. The reason was clear to the company soon enough, a watch had been set upon the camp. The hills around where the people had camped were now crowned with small groups of riders keeping watch, and where there were once four circles of wagons there were now only three. As the path they were upon with the wagon drew close they saw too a party of armed men waiting for them.
Four riders blocked the road, each had slung bows unstrung, but each also gripped a spear. Their helmet's hung from their saddles unready for open battle, but not ill prepared. One of the riders had an arm in a sling and was mounted the side and behind the leader. Another bearing a dark blue cloak and a shield which bore the device of several hills and river running through them was in the lead. The cloak was pinned with a silver pennanular brooch that sparkled in the light. His war gear was bright and well kept, his horse exquisite. This rider came forward.
"Who passes through the realm of Thengel King?"
Garulf was in the lead and pulled up his reins when he saw the armed party. The others came up to him as he stopped and the wagon plodded along creaking at it's slow pace. The experienced man of Rohan saw that there were other outriders with the party. Within the swale of hills on either side two riders watched as they approached.
"Friends of Rohan," said Garulf, "and who would detain them?"
"The one whose business it is to ask such questions. What are your names and what is your business? This is an odd company to find upon the road."
Ok guys, we are going to do an extended encounter. The folk of Edlyn have had a watch placed upon them, clearly by someone with some authority. Their attitude doesnt seem pleasant and from the glimpses you got of the camp as you approached something has happened in the time you have been gone. You may make introductions using Song, Courtesy, or Riddle the success of which will impact the TN for the encounter, which well then be adjudicated using Persuade, Awe, and Courtesy.
Introductions will be at TN 14 as this is a mixed party with unknown connections with the current situation.
:ooc: I just got home from vacation, Tom. Give me until tonight to have a post up.
He looks to the Rohirim and moves closer to them to introduce himself.
"I am Egilhir of Dol Amroth. I am here as a servant of King Thengel to ensure the safety of these people and I would entreat you not to cause them harm or distress." He says politely but clearly to ensure that there would be no misunderstanding. He made sure he made no threatening gestures such as laying a hand on his spear shaft or sword hilt.
:ooc: TN 14 Courtesy 2d
Rolled 1d12 : 11, total 11
Rolled 2d6 : 6, 4, total 10
:dmg: edge: injury:
Will spend :vv: if need be.
The man speaks Westron, but seems so reluctantly.
"Hail Sword-arm of distant Stoningland, you are far from home."
He appears to size you up taking note of your bearing and equipment. He seems to scan you quickly, looking you in the eye as you speak, then glancing at your arms and equipment. His eyes linger longer on your horse and its equipment than anything else and then he goes back to scanning the crowd. He seems unphased by your introduction, place of origin, or stated service to Thengel.
"Who else is among your party, for these seems a strange lot to be coming from Rohan and not from without."
Roderick Courtesy TN14
Rolled 1d12 : 1, total 1
Rolled 1d6 : 6, total 6
Tyrok Riddle TN14
Rolled 1d12 : 2, total 2
Rolled 2d6 : 2, 6, total 8
Ragnall Roderick Courtesy TN14
Rolled 1d12 : 3, total 3
Rolled 3d6 : 3, 1, 2, total 6
As the members of the company came forward and spoke their introductions they seemed to make little impact. On the contrary as each foreigner came forward he grew more and more displeased. Even the usual persuasion of Raghnall fell upon deaf ears. As the others came forward the gaze of their interrogator fell upon the only man of Rohan who seemed to be a member of the company.
(I am going to roll for Garulf to keep this moving and he can add the dialogue if he so wishes)
Rolled 1d12 : 9, total 9
Rolled 2d6 : 4, 3, total 7
Garulf's words seem to at least make a favorable impact upon the mounted man, if for no other reason than the fact he was addressed in his native tongue.
"These people yonder have come into the land for which I am responsible and if there is any distress it is from their doing. Egilhir, you say you serve the King of Rohan, well as his representative will you pay the restitution owed to us? These people have settled here counter to the laws of the land and refused to move. As such I have had to raise my Eothed to contain them, at great cost to them and myself. Then told us they had sent emissaries to the King, we obliged them, but said they must surrender their weapons or cross back over the river. They refused and one of my men was injured. This too requires restitution."
Edelyn spoke up," we have not but light bows and old spears."
He looked keenly at her, "and so we were told. Three of your groups complied with my demand, but one group caused trouble and has instead passed over the river. They are fortunate the hurt was no greater among us or there passing would have been contested."
"I am Forsyth, and I am responsible for this part of the Wold, brigands and thieves seek to cross the river and steal our cattle or encroach upon our lands. First we must address the issue of wergild from injury and time, before we address these matters of the King you claim."
:ooc: Ok guys, the introductions did not go that well. At this point you can negotiate with Forsyth to see how this may be arbitrated peacefully, or through other means. If you wish to make any rolls to gather information directly or indirectly let me know. If you wish to negotiate roll using Persuade, Awe, or Courtesy