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'Twas a dark, stormy night ...

Tags: Burzag,  Brihtwine

Short Summary: Two enemies find themselves at the mercy of the elements .. and each other
Date (real-life): 2010-09-08
Scene Location: Rohan: Tiar Forod, East of Fangorn
Date (in-game): November 3050
Time of Day: Night
A fierce gust of wind rips you as you stagger though the raging thunderstorm.
Lightning flashes and thunder booms as the drizzle stings your face.
*************** You are unable to see the moon above. ****************

A lonely stretch of road runs north and south with the eaves of Fangorn, skirting that forest's eager stretch. Overgrown, underused, the path gives evidence of little -- if any -- traffic; though it skirts Fangorn, it comes too near perhaps for comfortable travel. Little else is visible. The east is a mystery, drowned in night. The west is blotted out by the high heads of trees, a veil thrown over the horizon as far as the eye can see.

Obvious exits:
North leads to Tiar Forod, at Limlight River.
South leads to Tiar Forod, East of Fangorn.

Real time is: Wed Sep 08 14:45:44 2010 - Rohan weather is: Stormy
Elendor time is: Midnight <01:17:12 > on Sterday of November 20, 3050
The Moon is: full

Night lies heavy over the plains, and the lands that stretch off into the East are greyed out from the weather that plagues the area this eve; a violent storm rages, blasting the grasses with bullets of rain and bitter wind. The trees of Fangorn to the West sway and lurch ominously, their branches flicking here and there as though gnarled fingers to wave away the clouds.

It is there, in the tree-shadow of the forest that a small black shape crouches in the grass, hiding it seems from the worst of the thunderstorm. A flash of lightning briefly illuminates the creature: a scrawny bald-headed orc clad in leather and bearing a black bow.

The soft sound of hoofbeats slipping on the southward road can barely be heard above the rain's relentless drumming. It takes a flickering flash of lightening to pale the darkened sky and show the silhouette outlined against the skyline. Brihtwine, his golden braid darkened to mud-brown by his drenching, huddles atop the dun stallion, which shivers violently with every step. The man murmurs soothingly to the beast: "Hush, Siglaf. We have almost reached the camp now. Just a little further ..." He eyes the trees doubtfully. Have they been here before?

A spear lies slackly in his right hand, rain dripping from its tip.

While the Rohir peers at the trees, the orc meanwhile seems to be doing the opposite, staring unhappily down into the muddied ground and at the bits of soggy grass that have stuck onto his feet. Another thunderbolt flashes overhead with a fresh hammering of rain, and Burzag repays it with a flurry of irritated cursings. The speed of the falling droplets makes it difficult to see far into the distance -- for even when the goblin glares about, it appears he fails to espy the mounted approacher.

A branch breaks, sending a pool of water tumbling down, and the scout gives a snarling hiss. And standing up suddenly, he shakes himself, spraying droplets all over his area.

The young Rider's scrutiny of the trees is rewarded, as the lightening flashes anew, with .. blackness. The road may be cast into glistening relief by the flare, but the darkness beneath the trees remains impenetrable to the vision. "Perhaps we should seek shel-" The snapping of the branch is uncannily loud, and the young man jumps despite himself, almost dropping his rain-slick spear. The dun stallion turns his muzzle toward said trees and utters a ringing neigh.

Brihtwine freezes. "What is it?" he murmurs, seemingly to himself as much as his mount. "A wolf? I should ... check." He couches the spear under his arm, angling its tip downward at beast-height, then tries to encourage the reluctant stallion forward a few steps.

The ringing neigh carries over the battering of the rain-assault, and just as swiftly as he had stood, the orc jerks back down into a crouch. He seems frozen for the moment, body tense and nose raised as he sniffs the night air. Then a hiss emerges from Burzag's fanged mouth, and the crimson eyes narrow to squint out into the blindling curtain of the storm. "Horse good...hungry," a clawed hand rubs his stomach, but then there is a pause. "But stinks like human..."

After a momentary debate, the orc appears to come to the decision to venture closer, and he begins to slink toward the road while still attempting to keep hidden in the grass. Unfortunately, his belly choses that inopportune minute to rumble loudly.

The dun stallion is reluctant. One step, another ... As a faint rumbling comes, he shies.

Brihtwine pats his steed's neck with his free hand. "I know, I know," he murmurs. "I have no more love of thunder than you." He falls silent, the rain stinging his eyes as he turns his head this way and that in search of the wolf. "Oh! I see it!" he exclaims and, knees gripping the stallion's trembling flanks tightly, he redirects the horse towards ... a squat-backed rock, from which the splashing of raindrops suggest movement.

Orcish ears twitch at the sound of Brihtwine's voice, and at last the sight of horse and rider cannot be mistaken -- and quite close at hand. The scout's lips curl into an unpleasant scowl, and he halts, taking a black-fletched arrow and setting it to bow. Still Burzag keeps low in the grass, hoping perhaps to make himself less of a target now that he has been seen. "Stop there, filth!" a harsh voice growls disdainfully in Common. "Or I'll stick you with a pin."

Perhaps mindful of a recent conversation, Brihtwine chooses to give his answer in Rohirric. "<Rohirric>Who goes there? Answer, be you fair or foul," the young Rider calls into the rain-curtain, the rolling speech conveying the air of a challenge. He wheels the stallion round to face the Westron-speaker more directly.

His spear-tip, formerly dipped, rises so that it would be chest-high on a standing man. Alas, it would seem that the rain and the wild night still hamper vision.

The only answer is the howling of the wind and the whipping of the rain over rocks and foliage. But slowly, at length, a serpent's hissing cuts through the air...followed by a twang heralding the whizzing of an orc-arrow. The dart however, seems poorly aimed -- perhaps no more than a warning shot.

The shaft passes horse and rider by, clattering to the road some distance beyond. Again the stallion neighs a challenge, and lifts both forefeet off the ground.

Brihtwine's spear-arm has drawn reflexively back, but he dare not throw and lose a weapon to an unknown enemy. As it is, it is all he can do to keep his seat. Shifting to the Common speech, he calls, "Your deeds have answered for you. Enemy I name you. Come no further, skulker in the woods. And take a warning back to the one who sent you."

The shape in the grass emits a shout as the hooves lift, and Burzag scrambles backward to get out of the way. He stands up higher then to face his foe, glaring upward as best he can through the rain at the Rohir. "What right have you to be ordering me around? Pah! I'll do what I want: shoot arrows, burn your fields, and take a bite out of your pretty little horse for dinner." The bow is clutched tightly in his claws, a fresh arrow already nocked. The dart remains undrawn for the moment.

"Orc," hisses Brihtwine in disgust - whether it is the figure's rising, or the words about horses that give away its identity, who can say? Once the stallion's hooves come back to earth, he adjusts his spear-tip so that it is lined more correctly with the standing figure. "These lands are claimed by the Mark, and none walk them save by will of Theoden King. So fly, if you value your cursed skin. Else all you will taste is a spear's bite."

There is a moment's pause, as though he waited before urging the stallion onward (or is it the steed who waits?)

"None walk them," repeats the uruk with a snort. "I'm not floating am I? I'll do more than walk them, I promise." And with a nasty fanged grin, Burzag takes one of his iron-shod boots and tramples it into the mud and the grass. "What's more, I'll taste horse not your wretched steel." He shifts the bow in his hands, threateningly, but despite how boldly he talks, the crimson eyes dart warily to the spear-tip.

The rain still hisses down around them, mazing the eye and threading treacherous trails through the muddy ground underfoot. Brihtwine shivers, but the young Rider hesitates no longer. With a tightening of his knees and a wordless murmur to his steed, he challenges, "I said begone!" And the dun stallion is urged forward on a curving course. Brihtwine's spear-tip is aimed unwaveringly for the intruder's bow-hand, though the roughness of the ground means that the stallion's course is not straight.

And the red eyes widen as the stallion starts to advance, and suddenly there is a horrid snarling and cursing as the orc-scout slips and slides in the muddy earth as he tries to scamper sideways. The waiting arrow is fired blindly in his haste, and lands with a wet thud into the ground harmlessly. "I go, I go!" wails the orc, hissing and spitting, and he begins to turns his hurried footsteps northeastward. "I'll deliver your warning if you don't run poor Burzag down on his way!"

Victory? Brihtwine crouches low over his steed's neck as the arrow is released, swallowing hard - but when it drops harmlessly he straightens again, eager to continue the chase. "We shall see," he returns, the spear-tip following the line of Burzag's back .. until, that is, the dun's stallion's hoof slips and his steps falter. Brihtwine's homely features contort in worry, and he checks the horse, murmuring softly to it: "<Rohirric>Enough."

If the situation were better for him, the scout would undoubtedly pause to laugh as the horse stops its chase; but he does not halt to linger. Away he goes, plodding through the drenched plain until his small hunched form is gone from view into the furry of the storm.

Brihtwine, for his part, waits only long enough to be sure that no more arrows are forthcoming before turning his horse's head southward. On the morrow, when the deluge has ceased and the day brings new counsel, spear and sword will seek out goblin-scout ...

Date added: 2010-09-09 06:52:52    Hits: 80
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