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Jan 20, 2020, 06:58 pm

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Arbogast gives a cold smile and looks at his companions.  "If there is yet time before the council begins, what say you two to a hunt by the lake-side?" 

Behind his eyes, his mind is already beginning to turn over.  If the River-maidens are vulnerable to the influence of the Shadow, then it may be that they can be corrupted even more fully than Duskwater has been.  Might these marsh-hags once have been cousins to the maidens of the Dusky river, bringing their blessings to the Long Lake and the River Running?

His thoughts run so fast and furiously that he nearly misses Hathcyn and Grimbeorn's replies.  If so, I wonder if Radaghast knows?
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Fen's eyes widened at the sight of those around him - Grimbeorn, son of Beorn! All three names had been rumoured and spoken of in taverns, over anvils, and the likes. The names had become synonymous with heroism and grand adventure. The vale was far away from the town on the lake, but still the exploits of the Company of the Helm had reached her shores - especially due to the slaying of the Beast.

The Lake-man's head went back and forth to each of his fellows, as they spoke. He often tried to interject a word, but he stammered at each try.

Quote from: ArogastIndicating the man by his side, Arbogast continued "may I introduce Fen, master fisher of the Long Lake.  Have you lodgings?  My own are small, but warmer than the outside air."

"Well, ehm, nice to make your acquaintances! Yep - there sure be a nip tonight."

Quote from: Hathcyn"How aptly you are named for here we find you watching fires! Is fire wise on this town made of sticks. I have a fear of falling off, or through, and here you are lighting fires."

He laughed and clapped him on the back and proffered his other with a steaming cup of mulled hot wine.

"What a marvelous and interesting place this is. The wine is delightful, the spices are magnificent. The dwarves must not have a taste for it because all we had from them was malty beer. Hail, Fen of the Lake. There is hot wine for you too, warm your hand, heart and belly all at once."

"Well fire is a dangerous friend in our wooden town, but we does our best to keep it bridled! Still - no better place to quench a flame than over a lake," the Lake-man winked. "In times past, if a building had become engulfed and a loss, we just cut it from the pilings to save the rest."

Fen smiled at the wine and cured meat that was offered. "Don't mind if I do!"

Quote from: Arbogast"Fen was speaking of dark things venturing forth from their dens in the lake, and in the marshes to the south.  It would seem that the Shadow stirs in all parts of Middle-earth."

Quote from: Hathcyn"If we run into any sages I shall ask them. Is the shadow following us, or does it just happen to be everywhere we go?"

The Lake-man nodded at Arbogast, "Never fails when winter bites! The shadows creep longer from their holes."

The other three friends continued on about things that did not directly relate to Fen and so he fell into quiet observation. They spoke of lodgings and councils, and of the city of Dale. That was something Fen could speak about, "Quite beautiful a place, I must say, though I am not all about the stone. My feet prefer the motion of the water over the solid ground. But the labours of Men and Dwarf has been a marvel to see... that is, erm... the few times I get to make the journey north." The Lake-man seemed to deflate at his words, and his small world that he had experienced, compared to these men who have traversed afar.

Grimbeorn could see the man's discomfort and brought the conversation back to the local troubles.

Quote from: Grimbeorn"Agreed.  Though my thoughts be dark these days, it does seem as though trouble follows regardless of how good a place seems to be.  Please, Fen, continue your interrupted tale."

"Well, as I says to Arbogast... the troubles have started with the cold. We suffer the raids of a small band of goblins that reside in the wood. The Master says we just need to be more vigilant, but doesn't offer any of the guard to disburse the warren of yyrks! And if it is not them, then we's deal with the trolls and hags out the marshes! Them's I know is real, as I have seen 'em me-self." The Lake-man's face took on a calculative look, "Was last Spring, maybe? I was re-stitchin' a net in my boat, as I sat just off the south shore near where the marsh fens begin, and out of the morning mists this monster appeared! Three heights of men, he was, if my name's not Fen Marshside! Anyway, he strode between the mudflats, sloshing along as he did, looked out at me, ran a tongue across his cracked lips, and then disappeared in the fog. I can tell you, I immediately set pole to bottom and pushed my boat back towards home. There was nothing gonna make me fish the rest of that day."

What Fen left out of the story was the ridicule he received from his fellow fishermen that said he saw no troll. Good ole Fen tipping back in his boat again, prolly! Hittin' the ale and thinking mudflats move and lick their lips! There had been a great deal of laughter at his expense. Well, he knew these three men before him had seen such things and most assuredly would not refute his telling.

Quote from: undefined"Tomorrow," Arbogast exclaimed, his surprise clearly evident.  "I had not realised that the council would begin so soon!"

Fen interrupted, "No, no, Arbogast! What I understand is the council, called by King Bard, will not be until November's end. They say it will commence on the 25th. We still need get through the Dragontide festival - the celebration of the death of the drake! You have time aplenty."

:ooc: Just a timeline note: It is currently the last week of October - let's say the 27th of the month.

The Dragontide celebration is a three-day festival that begins on the 1st of November to the 3rd. The town and its larger neighbor to the north are very busy through this time with other small festivals and end of season celebrations for crops, flocks, and catches.

The only thing different this year is that winter has set in early with late October and it has been pretty bitter. It could be a fluke of nature and disburse soon, or it could be a harbinger for a long, cold winter.

Bard's Council of the North is scheduled to begin on the 25th of November. Grimbeorn could still go there early to announce his arrival to the King and that he will be present in the region for the month.
3
Grimbeorn nods and draws from a wineskin. "Agreed.  Though my thoughts be dark these days, it does seem as though trouble follows regardless of how good a place seems to be.  Please, Fen, continue your interrupted tale."
4
"Tomorrow," Arbogast exclaims, his surprise clearly evident.  "I had not realised that the council would begin so soon!"  So unready am I, he thinks, with my clothes stained with much travel and my boots worn nearly through. 

He listens only cursorily as Fen and Hathcyn discuss the relative merits of Dale and Lake-town.  But then, so was I clothed when I presented myself to the Elvenking, and to Beorn, and to Caewin in the days when his open-handed generosity was still legendary.  Let the traders and courtiers think what they will of my rustic appearance.  Mine is still the heart of a warrior and a shield of the Free Peoples, and so I will present myself to their lords on behalf of the Woodmen of Black Tarn Hall.

To Grimbeorn, who has likewise remained silent, he says "I pray you, come and call on me before you go to the Council Hall.  I shall make my apologies to my employer and we shall attend the council together." 
5
Darkening of Mirkwood [LotR TOR] / Re: OOC THREAD
Last post by Eclecticon - Jan 10, 2020, 04:02 pm
Cool, have some hand-made felafel for me!
6
"Dale. Now, that is a place I wish to see. None of this mere feet above the water living. Towers of stone, roads of water, a melding of man and the skill of dwarf. This is a sight I must see."
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Darkening of Mirkwood [LotR TOR] / Re: OOC THREAD
Last post by GandalfOfBorg - Jan 10, 2020, 08:43 am
Don't recall if I told you all, but I will be in Israel 1/20-1/29.
8
"The fall of the wyrm and the foulness of its carcass will no doubt continue to bring gloom to this land for many years," said Grimbeorn gruffly.  "The lesser creatures of filth are beckoned to it like moths to a flame."

The cold bites deep but it bothers not Grimbeorn like it does of his companions, yet the fire is welcome.  "Aye we having lodgings at inn for the evening.  Tomorrow I present myself to the King of Dale as emissary of my father."
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Darkening of Mirkwood [LotR TOR] / Re: OOC THREAD
Last post by Eclecticon - Jan 09, 2020, 10:48 am
By the way, Tom, how was Austria etc? 
10
"If we run into any sages I shall ask them. Is the shadow following us, or does it just happen to be everywhere we go?"

Hathcyn looked into his cloak and produced some salted and cured meat links. Breaking several off he passed them around the group.

"Well let us take in some of the wonders of this place and learn what we may."
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