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SCENE 2 - Confluence

Started by tomcat, Feb 21, 2015, 03:14 PM

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sdrotar

 :ooc: After Dirnhael checks on the others, Durgil's plan makes sense to me -- especially to get a riverboat captain and some redshirts guides to the region. ;)
LOTR Characters:Dirnhael, Vári
ST Characters:Stonn, Ramos
SW Character: Caden Whitesun

tomcat

Mar 08, 2015, 09:02 AM #16 Last Edit: Mar 09, 2015, 05:58 AM by tomcat
It took an hour for Dirnhael and his two companions to make the trek up the road to retrieve their missing friends. While they waited for Fengel and Edrahil to gather their gear, Durgil saw about the needs for their travel.

A guide was found who was willing to accompany the companions across the river and into the lands that used to be home to the Elves - the land that they had called Eregion. Guillin had been true to his word - aside from the boat he had commandeered, another had been prepared with rations and equipment to survive a number of days within the muck and mire of the Nin-in-Eilph. It was still tied to a dock bumping against its moorings as the river swept underneath. It was a sturdy, long boat that had a very short draft that would allow it to move into the shallows of the swamp. It was light, too, which would make it manageable if it needed to be pulled or carried over any obstacle. Its only source of locomotion was the long poles that sat along its port and starboard sides, or the current of the river.

The guide - that was one of the dwellers of Fennin Dorath - was named Del, but everyone called him Finder. It seemed the man had a knack for knowing his feet wherever they may roam. He was also an accomplished riverman, and Durgil had the utmost in trust in his pick. Hamad was helpful, too, allowing for extra supplies to be loaded onto two other boats that would be moved to the other side of the river and stored, in case the companions ran short on any needs. The only thing that the city leader denied was men. He stated, "If we march a host into the swamps of Nin-in-Eilph, then two things will happen - we will announce our presence and our purpose. We will also subject these men to death, for certain they will not have the martial skills to fight within the swamps. I suggest instead that stealth and speed serve us better by only a few of us crossing the river and searching out this Gibbet King. If my Lords of Arthedain do not prefer to take on this errand, I will find other men who might."

Durgil was not certain if the Steward of Tharbad was prodding his ego and courage, or just being deferential to the status of who the companions were, but either way he did not rise to it. The Dúnadan dismissed the comment, shaking his head and saying that there was no others that could serve better.

There was probably four hours of daylight still available when Dirnhael and Nain returned with Fengel and Edrahil - the southern Dúnadan Lord keeping a defensive position behind all. The group all met at the quays of Fennin Dorath where a crowd had gathered.
Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦♦○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]

GandalfOfBorg

Durgil greeted them briefly.  "Glad you could join us," smiled the Dunadan to Edrahil and Fengal.  "Gentlemen, this is Finder," he said indicating their guide.  "He will help us with our transportation and leading us through these lands.  The light is fading so I think we should get going as soon as you're ready."
Gwaithlim Weapons
Great Bow  Atk: 2d -- Dmg (0h): 7/13/19 -- Edge: 10 -- Injury: 16
Swords       Atk: 2d -- Dmg (1h): 5/11/17 -- Edge: 10 -- Injury: 16
                                    Dmg (2h): 7/13/19 -- Edge: 10 -- Injury: 16

Telcontar

Celdrahil stood on the pier near the boat and gazed into the swamp, as if concentration alone would reveal the location of friends or enemies. When the party was gathered he took a coin from his side and tossed it into the river. "Ulmo, though not least among the Lords of the West seldom now since the days of our Sea Captain's have we called upon you in the north. This is a mighty river, may it carry my petition for a blessing. Though a man of westerness I am, seldom have I journeyed in your domain. As you spared my fathers of old in the drowning of Numenor that is lost, spare me too, and the dwarf too."

Celdrahil smiled at the surprised faces of his friends, "there are some things even my blade and quick tongue have no powers against." Then he laughed, "let's go before we add night crossing to this watery adventure."
THE GAME MUST GO ON!

Hathcyn
Great Spear
2h.  4d :00: 9 :dmg: Edge 8 Injury 18

Stefan

 :ooc:It's all about perspective.  ;)

Nain glared at the boats as soon as he arrived back at the docks.  They looked unsafe, too shallow of draft to hold all of them and their provisions without water coming in.

He carefully climbed into the middle of one of the boats, watching carefully as the sank lower into the water with his weight and grumbling like thunder about Elves and Men and their ideas about water travel.

"Lets get this over with."


tomcat

Mar 13, 2015, 05:30 PM #20 Last Edit: Mar 13, 2015, 06:40 PM by tomcat
The companions listened to the gurgles of water as the long boat sliced across the river Gwathló, little eddies being left in their trail by pole paddles that were used to move them forward. Del was not alone in his efforts - his son Matty had also come along to assist. The lad was about to see his sixteenth summer and the guide thought it time his boy learn more about the lands surrounding Fennin Dorath. If either were afraid of the errand that they were now on, both kept it well-hidden under determined faces.

The river boats were long and wide with a shallow draft, and Nain found himself as comfortable a seat as he could determine within the boat's center. Matty stood at the front and Del drove from behind. All the while, the remaining Men and the Elf took up opposite positions to keep the weight evenly distributed.

The docks of Fennin Dorath disappeared as the river took its first bend and the terrain on either shore changed as they plied north. The western bank was hard-packed embankments of red clay earth, and the east was bogs and reeds. Frogs chirped and insects clicked in a cacophonous song that seemed to dominate the air only to be broken when the companions made conversation. Clouds of small, flying midges whirled across the top of the water sporadically and at times caused large-mouthed fish to jump in hopes of a meal. Birds of varying types walked silently among the reeds, some with long bills and legs, as they searched for smaller fish to eat. The most marvelous to behold were the large white swans that still nested and lived among the marshes of the  Gwathló and Glanduin. It was these very swans that had given cause to the Elves of Eregion to call this area Nin-in-Eilph, which translated from Sindar to waterlands of the swans, and to men called Swanfleet.


It was peaceful.

Dirnhael thought of the dichotomy of what he saw before him - a beautiful land under blue skies and bright sun that contained within it things of nightmares, deadly to imagine. They were moving now up the center of the river and were beginning to see, and feel, the confluence of the two waterways. Water from the Glanduin spidered its way into the Gwathló by small rivulets and streams, as well as wide tributaries that caused the water to surge and be more agitated. Rapids formed over submerged stones and Del and Matty began to strain harder at their poles to keep the boat straight and moving forward upstream. Where the wider tributaries entered the main river artery, small little islands were formed that were topped with high grasses or reeds. Some had large trees atop them, their thick trunk sitting atop both land and gathered roots that then plunged into the water. These trees were either willowy, with long tendril like branches that hung out over the water and bent with the breezes that blew, or they were tall and thick with knots of roots below them. The trees grew on both sides of the river, but were predominant to the East - the western lands were rolling and swept away with great swathes of high grass. The men could see to the north and west three hills that rose, the easternmost causing a narrowing of the river, which in turned created a great rapid. Fengel and Celdrahil knew these hills - the Bare Tors as they were called - where the Hillmen had taken up defense just two nights past.


"I am going to take the boat east, into the calmer waters of Swanfleet, and get us into better cover," said old Del. The guide was certain that if there were any spies on the eastern shore, the companions and their boat would be visible to any eyes.

The bow of the boat shifted 30 degrees to starboard, as Del and Matty shoved her towards the eastern shore and the small islands that rose from the marshes. The companions could not tell for certain at times where the water ended and the land began as the foliage connected and grew atop areas of water that were still. For certain, there would be sparse firm ground throughout the marsh and they would need be careful as to where they placed their feet.

Del could sense the thoughts of those around him, "You'll need take care where ye step or the marsh will swallow you up. You's need to look for the deer trails - they always know where to place a hoof. I have not oft seen many young bucks that are captured by the bogs - most are the older deer that have lost their sense."

The water began to calm as the long boat came in towards the reeds and small crops of land. "Matt - you hold her steady for your Pap, now..." Del proceeded to pull a small clay pipe from his belt pouch and pack it. He then lit a stick he kept within the same pouch from a small tinderbox, setting the glowing end to his pipeweed. He puffed and soon he blew out a grey-white breath of smoke. Holding the pipe in his clenched teeth, he took back up his pole and began once more to aid Matty in maneuvering along the marshes entrance.


"Oy! Look!" Matty, at the front of the boat spoke for the first time since boarding. It was not a loud cry, but he got the companions attention. He pointed to the north along the riverbank to a large patch of the marsh where the trees had been felled. It was as if a great beast had bitten into the swamp leaving naught but the stumps of trees.

"T'would seem that that is where our northern friends crafted their rafts to make the crossing attack against Fennin Dorath," said Del through his clenched teeth.
Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦♦○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]

Telcontar

Celdarhil had his spear near at hand, but he also at this time carried his great bow.

"Keep a look out for an sign of Guilin's passing or if they have beached their craft anywhere near here."
THE GAME MUST GO ON!

Hathcyn
Great Spear
2h.  4d :00: 9 :dmg: Edge 8 Injury 18

GandalfOfBorg

At the sound and the guide's words, Durgil drew his bow and kept it at the ready, with keen eyes alert for friend or foe on the banks.
Gwaithlim Weapons
Great Bow  Atk: 2d -- Dmg (0h): 7/13/19 -- Edge: 10 -- Injury: 16
Swords       Atk: 2d -- Dmg (1h): 5/11/17 -- Edge: 10 -- Injury: 16
                                    Dmg (2h): 7/13/19 -- Edge: 10 -- Injury: 16

Stefan

Nain looked on at the forest, glad for the respite from staring at the water and wondering at it's depth.

"We could put in here, there's probably a trail right back to the wildmen camp from here."

tomcat

NEEEK! NEEEK, NEEEK, NEEEK!

The chattering click of insects were heard along with soft splashes of the poles, as Del brought the long boat towards the eastern clearing. Then there was silence - the insects all stopping their cadence at once with the approach of people. Durgil stood on the starboard side of the boat, an arrow nocked to its string - Celdrahil beside him. The companions surveyed the small devastation from the wild men who had left ruin here, too.


No one was to be seen, just stumps of trees and scrub plants that were unnecessary in the building of the rafts. Fengel jumped at the sound of a splash near the boat only to turn and see a large snapping turtle paddling deeper into the murky water. It had slid off of one of the small little islands and thickets that were around them in search of better protection. The shore was but fifteen feet away and the Éothraim said, "Do we go ashore and look around?"

Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦♦○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]

Stefan

Nain looked up and down the shore.

"I see no sign of the other townsfolk, but we're not likely to find a better sign from our enemies than this."

GandalfOfBorg

"Del, tell us more of what is upstream?  Is there an easier or more secure place to make berth?" asked Durgil.
Gwaithlim Weapons
Great Bow  Atk: 2d -- Dmg (0h): 7/13/19 -- Edge: 10 -- Injury: 16
Swords       Atk: 2d -- Dmg (1h): 5/11/17 -- Edge: 10 -- Injury: 16
                                    Dmg (2h): 7/13/19 -- Edge: 10 -- Injury: 16

tomcat

Mar 17, 2015, 09:12 AM #27 Last Edit: Mar 17, 2015, 09:20 AM by tomcat
Del answered the two, "The marshes on the east side of the river go on for another few leagues, and there is a nasty set of rapids between us and their ending." To emphasize this, Del pointed towards the Bare Tor hills and the river from which emanated a distant roar, though it was soft from this distance. "The waters at Bare Tor will churn this boat to pieces and to carry it overland, around the torrent, would challenge our stamina. The marshes are unforgiving.

The man puffed on his pipe, "There is an old ruin just to our north, too. Elven I believe...the land misses them." The comment would have seemed odd to any other person, but the companions had walked through the lands of Eregion before. They had all heard the whispers of song on the wind. Felt the sorrow within the trees and earth itself of the passing of the Noldor and Sindar that had once resided along the northern bounds of the Glanduin. But the Shadow was heavy here, too. It was Sauron who had led his forces against Celebrimbor, son of Curufin, himself the son of Fëanor - smashing the Elves against the Misty Mountains and cutting them off from aid. The taint that remained echoed as loud, if not louder than the Eldar.

So it was that the swamp loomed closer, cloaked in mists and shadows, threatening the companions as they sat before it, wanting to embrace and constrict them. The gloomy, daunting feeling oppressed the hearts and will of the men, and even the Dwarf, but Edrahil seemed unphased. He pointed to the reeds nearby and all looked to see a large, beautiful swan as it floated and paddled in search of a treat. The bird's presence was like a light in the dark, shoving back the fear. Dirnhael was sure he heard the tinkle of chimes on the wind.

Del spoke again, breaking the trance, "No matter where we put in, the land is treacherous here. The rapids will control the Wild men and their ability to move up the river any further. If I were to guess, they would be inland from here - using the tributaries of the Glanduin that are like veins in through these lands. I am not sure how proficient this army is in the art of water-travel, but for sure there are some rogues and lost-folk that live in these marshes that would aid them."

Celdrahil thought of the Wild-men tribes that had come this far south out of the northern Trollshaws. He thought of simple swamp-folk that might live and make a meager life within the heart of these marshes. It all pointed to a stronger will that would bring them all together and unite them. To dominate them and make them endure the harshness of Nin-in-Eilph; to be willing to set themselves against the city of Thabad. Yes, it was weakened, but still formidable - especially against an unorganized and ill-equipped army.

Fengel spoke, "No matter what lies further up the river, as Nain says, this is our first evidence of the Wild-men's presence. We would be foolish to not at least have a look around."
Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦♦○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]

GandalfOfBorg

Durgil nodded in agreement.  "Thank you, Del.  Let's put in here."  The sorrow of the land laid heavy upon Durgil's heart only to be overcome by the presence of his friends and brothers-at-arms.
Gwaithlim Weapons
Great Bow  Atk: 2d -- Dmg (0h): 7/13/19 -- Edge: 10 -- Injury: 16
Swords       Atk: 2d -- Dmg (1h): 5/11/17 -- Edge: 10 -- Injury: 16
                                    Dmg (2h): 7/13/19 -- Edge: 10 -- Injury: 16

tomcat

Mar 19, 2015, 01:19 PM #29 Last Edit: Mar 19, 2015, 02:49 PM by tomcat
With a nod, Del pointed to Matty to bring the craft's front end around, "C'mon, Mat, let's bring her in."

The two rivermen expertly swung the boat from running abeam with the current to pushing it into the shallow water and scraping against the soft river mud. Matty jumped out and grabbed the rope that was tied to the bow and hauled it further up out of the water. Nain gave a smile as his boots stepped over the edge, but it quickly faded as they squished into soft, muddy earth. He was on land again, but it was no stone under heel.

The rest of the companions exited the boat and began to move onto the riverbank and up the small embankment to the clearing. The ground was covered with twists of bark that had been shaved off trunks of trees, knotted roots, and patches of trampled grass. Between all of the natural flora, the bare mud was dark and rich. The clearing was about 25 yards in diameter and there were only a scant few trees left standing - those that were were thin and useless for crafting a raft, or were dead and dried out. Beyond the clearing, the forest returned in all of its thick, tangled glory.

On the north side, where a stream of good width flowed into the river, a large brambly trunk of a tree stood, supported on a large stone. Or maybe it sat, for its length was bent in places like that of a person sitting on a seat. It did not have any limbs that reached to the sky, but there were branches - two of which were thicker than the rest and they hung down and low to the ground. It was covered with moss - some dried out and some rich with green - and it had been left alone from all other trees. Its odd shape and apparent rot would explain why this would be, but it now was a sentinel to the sad marring that the Wild Men and Orcs had caused.

Frogs clicked, insects buzzed, and birds called to one another to report the newcomers in their realm. The river gurgled behind them and the wind whooshed in the forest ahead. There was no other noise.
Narrator: Darkening of Mirkwood | Chronicle of the North | Tempest Rising | To Boldly Go | Welcome to the 501st!
Esgalwen [♦♦♦♦♦○] Dmg 9/11  |  Edge 8  |  Injury 16/18
Nimronyn [Sindarin Pale gleam] superior keen, superior grievous longsword - orc bane
Foe-slaying - when attacking a bane creature, reduce Edge of weapon by value of bearer's Valour

Shadow bane [when in Forward stance, add 1 success die to each attack]
Skirmisher [if carried encumbrance is 12 or less, increase Parry by +3 when in close combat stance]