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A Council by the Standing Stone

Started by Telcontar, Mar 27, 2022, 12:28 PM

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Telcontar

The sun was shinning and the companions had lingered a few days after the nuptial celebrations. Hathcyn had set out a board by the standing stone and had rolled out a keg of ale and other food. For the task at hand the Longspear felt that the light of day would contribute to the task he had in mind. Also, away from the hall there would be no people to overhear the discussion for anyone one who for good purposes or ill would listen to the conversation. Outside in the light of day there would be no skulking hole or idle person near by.

He called for his friends to join him for a meal and a drink. They were suspicious of his intent and his serious nature when they arrived quickly guessed at his purpose.

"Friends, the days pass and my mind is turned again to our trials. I thought here we could speak freely. I confess that I dont rightly know by what means the Spiders may help with the River Maidens and I thought that here Arbogast would speak freely and reveal his mind more openly to us. I will admit here at the start, before our council begins, that I do not like what I know of this plan. I have little desire to trek into the heart of the forest and seek the den of the spiders. I voiced this once before, but now I think is the time to speak plainly and decide upon a course of action. I'd like to hear fully and plainly how this plan is to be achieved."
THE GAME MUST GO ON!

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

tomcat

Mar 27, 2022, 01:32 PM #1 Last Edit: Mar 27, 2022, 01:34 PM by tomcat
Esgalwen came to the standing stone, per Hathcyn's request and stood upon the grass that surrounded, among the men - and oddly, an elf. She was dressed comfortably in a smock and gown - uncharacteristic for the Ranger, but they were still in lands safe of most threats and so Esgalwen was relaxed. It caused her companions to give her a strange look, almost unrecognizable, as her adornment was most often that of a man, but she ignored it and only smiled at their stares.

She filled her cup from the keg and sat and waited to see what Arbogast had to say.
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]

Eclecticon

For several moments, Arbogast merely stares at the mug of ale before him while behind him the summer wind tosses the wild grasses of the meadow.  To those who have known him for long years and across hard miles, the change from when first he arrived at the Fox's Tale is clear.  His eyes are heavy with a weariness of the soul and his shoulders sag beneath the wait of cares unspoken.  When he speaks, his eyes narrow as though even here, among trusted friends and foes of the Shadow, he thinks to meet with ill-will. 

"This year past, since he sided with you before Saruman the White, a change is come over our friend the Brown Wizard.  Where before was confusion, now can be found clarity.  Where once he was hesitant, now he is resolute." 

After a sip of ale, he continues.  "He has gone abroad in the darker parts of Mirkwood, beyond the Black Tarn and the Dusky River.  In the guise of a marten, he has questioned the beasts who dwell among root and branch, and the owls and gore-crows that go about beneath the black canopy.  He has beguiled the spiders who are lords of the deepest parts of the forest, and tricked them into revealing secrets heretofore unknown to any mortal." 

"Tylquin the Weaver is she who has ensnared Duskwater, the maiden of the Tarn.  The corselet that now she wears is no Elven mail, but a prison of webs that has, by means of sorceries not known to Radaghast, let alone I, torn the better part of Duskwater's spirit from her body.  I asked whether this higher part of her might have been consumed, but the Wizard dismissed the possibility out of hand.  It seems," he says, "that it is instead being held captive, most likely wrapped in ensorcelled webs in whatever dark hole is the abode of Tylquin herself." 

He looks his companions in the eye, one after the other.  "Such would normally place it beyond the reach of mortals.  But we around this table have dared the lair of the Werewolf of Mirkwood, the foothills of Mount Gundabad, and the dungeons of Dol Guldur itself!  No doubt," he adds to the Elven newcomer, "you have performed similar deeds in your time." 

Without waiting for a reply, he finishes.  "Radaghast can lead us to the place where the Parliament of Spiders is to gather in the early days of Autumn.  If we are able to make the spiders tell us, though persuasion, trickery or fear, where the lair of Tylquin is to be found, then..."

He trails off, eyes unfocused and unseeing, until Hathcyn chides him: "For the love of all that is good in Middle-Earth, do not lose your voice before you speak the very words for which we have sought your counsel today!" 

"Of course," the Fire-watcher replies.  "Forgive me.  Once we know where dwells Tylquin the Weaver, we can steal into her lair and free the better, kinder spirit of Duskwater from its bondage, restoring her to her true nature." 
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

Telcontar

Hathcyn tapped his fingers on the table in thought. He then stood and placed his hand upon the stone.

"I am less hesitant in this plan than when first we spoke. The details were unclear to me and in my thoughts I thought the goal was to make some league with the spiders or to have them kill the River Maidens. While still extremely dangerous this plan makes more sense to me."

"The gem is the bribe to the parliament. That makes sense. How sre we to insure we are not overtaken and robbed? Furthermore, do we have the tools to fight this great spider? Surely there must be something in the armoury of the great to fight such creatures? One Maiden has been corrupted, but do we know if we may call upon the aid of the other two?"
THE GAME MUST GO ON!

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

GandalfOfBorg

Grimbeorn notes the change in Esgalwen and appreciates it.  He has been keenly aware of her feeling out of place in these lands, trying to both find her own way while also meeting the demands of her stations in the court of Gondor, Dale, and the like.  Both of them have had that in common during their friendship. "Maybe she is finally found herself.." he thinks.
--
"Of what my people know and devise, they agree that the gem could be the means to your end.  Dealing with the spiders still rankles me to my core but it may be the only way to find the Weaver, especially if the Wizards cannot find it themselves.  Did the Brown Wizard intimate how we would even be able to address them let along escape unmolested?"

 :ooc: Would Grimebeorn's Enemy-lore: Spiders help?
--
Gwaithlim was non-committal in his look as a response to Arbogast's query regarding his past exploits.  "The spawn of Ungoliant I have encountered were of greater might but lesser wit that what I have heard of those that infest the Greenwood, and my dealings with them have been fewer than yours. Though Aiwendil is known to my folk and his travels bring him to our side of the mountains little, I have met him on occasion on own juurneys into these wilds.  If you say his manner has indeed turned as you have said, between you and me, that is a boon for your venture.  My kin of Thranduil's realm know best this foe you seek to entreaty and how to deal with them -- perhaps he has spoken with them?  Or not, the Wood-elf king is fickle and close regarding all outsiders, including the Istari."

tomcat

The Ranger listened to her friend's words, but kept silent through most. She had little to offer with the details of the Black Tarn's plight, but she held deep feelings for Arbogast and his family who resided there and so her assistance was without question.

Still, she did break into the conversation with one point, "Aye, Arbogast, we here have walked in dark places, but it was before the reemergence of the Dark Lord. I believe it safe to say that when we were there, those places still slept. With the Master of Mordor" - she hesitated at mentioning his name - "back upon his throne, we may find that we mere mortals are no longer enough."

Arbogast shook his head, "Then if not with my friends, I will go alone."

"You mistake me, brother," she said with a caring smile. "And I believe I can speak for all present, you will never walk alone into the darkness. I will surely be there, though the legions of Sauron are before us." A cloud above passed over the place where they sat and the sun dimmed for a moment, but then it was gone. To Hathcyn she turned, "Forget not, Hathcyn, that before we entered the cave of the Werewolf, Radagast saw that our weapons were blessed by the Eldar. I believe we have the tools."

"Forget not? Mayhaps you have forgotten, Esgalwen, that it was not me that accompanied you to that dreaded place. These tokens of which you speak only extend so far."

The Dúnadan woman then remembered that Hathcyn was not there - it was the Noldo Elf, Morirúsë, and she had not seen him since they went to the Elven Realm of Thranduil. Esgalwen tried to remember the name he had taken after the death of the beast... for he had shed his past life and weariness, and laid aside his guilt. She remembered him mentioning that he was not long for Middle-earth and the memory made her suddenly sad. The beauty of the Elves was diminishing and so the world changed.

She shook her head to clear the thoughts and then nodded at Hathcyn, "Ah yes, forgive me, Hathcyn, my memories run together it seems." Esgalwen had nothing else to add. The question now was clear, did they have the tools for such a task?
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

Mar 28, 2022, 04:29 PM #6 Last Edit: Mar 29, 2022, 11:08 AM by Telcontar
"Firewatcher, we have traveled many leagues together....I have...."

"No, it doesnt matter. I have no need to justify my words or call upon past deeds. I will say that I have a terrible foreboding about this. There is a sickness or a snake hidden in the basket of this plan."
THE GAME MUST GO ON!

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

Eclecticon

Arbogast gives a weary nod to Grimbeorn.  "A fair question.  I know that some years have now passed, and the battle for the Millfort overshadows the memory of what came before, but you may recall that we held parley with another of the great spiders, whom Men name for Tauler, the Hunter.  If Radaghast will not speak for us, then we have at least such art as allowed us to speak, and to understand, in the past.  And when the time comes for bloody work, we have seen that bright steel, be it no more than Mannish craft, will bite deep enough." 

To Hathcyn, he then adds "Your foreboding does not surprise me, for only a fool would think to find good fortune in any plan to venture into the dark heart of Mirkwood.  But I know in my heart that I was never born to watch the stars grow dim.  The last Elves to walk the paths of Middle-Earth shall not know me, but they shall know my children or my grandchildren, as I hope that they will know yours.  And for my children and my kinfolk I would walk knowingly to my death in the darkness, and I should do so with my voice raised in song."   
Reason is a tool.  Try to remember where you left it.  - John Clarke

The Warden's Axe: :dmg: 5/7, Edge 9, Injury 18/20
Woodcrafty - In wooded areas, Parry is based on favoured Wits score.
Character sheet

tomcat

Quote from: Telcontar on Nov 17, 2016, 02:10 PM:ooc: what we need is oil and torches. We are gonna have to kill things one day, might as well be this day.

:ooc: Tom - and Bandy - were very omniscient.  ;)
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

"It does well to remember that though the great spiders of the world are wholly dark and evil, they are not held in sway or dominion by the Dark Lord as are other creatures of the Shadow.  They were not twisted by the Ancient Evil's dark will and power nor his servant's but are creatures as offspring from another dark power from without that seeks to devour all.  It is by this distinction that you have some hope for they can be plied with their greed and hunger so as to win your parlay. They care not for the troubles in the world beyond their borders lest they increase in power such that for their own selfish ends seek to expand their domain.  Trust that you will come out unmolested? That hangs by the thinnest of threads but as you said, you've braved that before as well and won out -- better than I can say for my people.  If Aiwendil is with you, all the better."

To Arbogast's dire reply to Hathcyn, Gwaithlim replies, "Little faith you have in your fortunes, Tale-spinner and watcher of fires." Quietly an aside to himself mostly, "And overmuch you have in the fading light of the elves."

"Remain true to your companions and trust in your endeavor and its goals; that hope shall see you through and back to the hearths of home and heart."