Feather Petting and Plucking (Three Horses and an Ass TP)
You seem to be a dark, damp and dreary cavern. You can't tell much about it, except that the walls are made of a clay-like dirt. A faint light shines in, showing the way out...
============== Lord of the Rings Calendar
IC time is: Early Afternoon < About 3:56 PM >
IC day is: Thursday
IC date is: September 8
Moon phase: Waxing Gibbous
Earendil: Gil-Estel is not visible.
IC year is: Third Age 3048
RL time: Mon Dec 14 19:58:45 2009
A faint light creeps in from the mouth of the cave: is it day or perhaps night? It's impossible to tell in this miserable den, filled with a thick blackness that mixes with the imagination, furthering nightmares. And indeed, it is into one of these horrid dreams that the new 'guest' of the trollish abode has strayed into. Jammed up against the backwall of the dank cavern is a huge feathered shape, most of its brown-gold body securely wrapped in a long piece of rope only the bird's head and part of the neck remain above the intertwined coils. Even the curved talons have been meticulously clasped together by a broken off segment, and upon their jagged surfaces traces of black blood linger from the recent struggle.
The eagle is unconscious, his side resting upon the cold dirt of the wall that he has been laid against. Sulgirion's breathing is difficult to discern, hindered as it is by the strong bonds that trap him--and yet it can be noticed upon close inspection: a faint shifting of the rope as the large chest rises up and down, up and down slowly, tiredly.
[Ollie(#15066)] Oliver is squatting by the bird, petting its feathers happily. His fat fingers run down the eagle's body, bumping over the coils of rope. "Soft," he says to himself. "Soft soft." Something else soft comes to mind, and he starts to croon a little song, "soft soft rabbits soft, ponies crunchy, rabbits not..."
There is a slight stirring at the unpleasant lullaby, and a sliver of amber appears as the bird's eyes open a quick look of surprise and confusion passes over the feathered features, but then that just as swiftly vanishes as Sulgirion recalls where he is and what has happened.
Clearly affronted by the petting, a few feathers on the eagle's head ruffle in annoyance. He cannot move away however, and instead gives a dark glare up at the enormous face of his host. "I may be soft," frowns the avian, "but rabbits are more easily tamed." The black-tipped beak--the only thing that hasn't yet been tied closed--snips out toward the fingering hand of irritation.
[Ollie(#15066)] "Wha's tame?" Oliver asks in idle curiosity. "Is it tasty?" He strokes the smooth breast feathers, then jerks his hand away with a yelp and stuffs it in his mouth. "Whajjer oo at or?" he asks aggrievedly.
Brow still furrowed, the eagle replies, "Rabbits are more tame." A pause then, and the head cocks as though debating whether or not he should keep conversing with the troll. "Yes, I consider them appetizing, though I prefer sheep." At the third question, the frown deepens.
"I am not particularly fond of your petting kindly keep your fingers to yourself lest you lose a few." Still, the threat isn't very convincing: it is difficult to intimidate someone when you are immoblie and stuck up in their den under the label of 'dinner.'
[Ollie(#15066)] The troll removes hand from mouth and examines. "Rabbits," he repeats dreamily. "Likes rabbits. An' sheeps. Roastered sheeps. With saahl. An' grey bits."
"I have caught countless fluffy rabbits and woolly sheep," Sulgirion says, and a cunning light brightens the hazel eyes. "I know where there are plenty of both." But then the beak stops, and he does not elaborate any further, instead fixing Ollie with that curious regard, waiting to see his reaction.
[Ollie(#15066)] "Sheeps," Ollie says, happily. "Lots an' lots of sheeps." Absently, he reaches once more to pet the smooth soft feathers of the eagle. "Roastereds. Prolly roastereds yers, too." He looks around his cave, but there is no fire there. There never has been. And the troll frowns.
And then the talking shifts toward the topic the raptor was attempting to avoid an odd sound comes, stifled somewhat by the pressing rope, and it is unclear if it is a noise of disappointment or of apprehension in regards to the fire that the olog mentions. "Fire?" asks the large bird. "You don't want that in here, do you? Those who play with fire are oft to get burned." Indeed the voice seems relieved that there are no flames close at hand.
"You are certain you want to eat me?" the eagle questions, and the calculating look returns to his eyes. "It might cause a few...disadvantages. You might learn to regret it."
[Ollie(#15066)] "No fires," Oliver agrees, sadly. "No roasterings. No sheeps." He heaves a huge sigh, seemingly from the depths of his being, and nearly looks like he might cry! But, there is yet balm in Gilead - he has a bird. A lovely bird. Whatever Sulgirion says about eating him causing regrets, the troll ignores as patently ridiculous. Eating /never/ brings regrets! "Roasters outside," he says. "Ollie needs big fires." He eyes the eagle consideringly, measuring it, perhaps.
Determindely ignoring the sizing-up look that the other casts in his direction, Sulgirion dips his golden head toward the cave's entrance. "As I was saying, you will wish you hadn't, for I shall be the last meal you eat in a long while your girth is impressive, my 'dear host,' and I most obviously am not a small song-bird," the hooked mouth stops, in order to give Oliver time to digest the words. Then the eagle continues, "Roast me outside if you desire, but tell me: after your feast, how do you plan on returning to your cave? Surely you will no longer fit. Then the baleful eye of the sun shall rise and curse you to stone."
[Ollie(#15066)] Oliver's eyes widen and he looks nervously at the cave entrance. It is none too big (at least for him!). A glance back at the bird... it /is/ quite large. Very large. Lovely and large!! A feast fit for a king!
But... he did have that trouble getting it inside.
As if sensing the change in the troll's contemplation, Sulgirion adds, "Have me for dinner in here, and you will be stuck inside this place afterwards. I don't imagine food often wanders unlooked for through the cave's opening. You shall spend months, years perhaps, waiting until you can go and trap your next meal." Again, the bird stops speaking, his avian gaze scanning his captor's to see what he makes of this double edged problem.
[Ollie(#15066)] "Shares," says Oliver dolefully. "Takes yers out an' gots to shares. Leaves yers in an' ..." But the alternative painted by the bird is too terrible to face and he only shudders and says nothing.
"Sharing will leave you with less," replies Sulgirion, at this point more or less simply stalling for time. "I thought you wanted me all to yourself? Lucy--I believe that is who your companion called herself? I recall her expecting you to bring her back a present from that night near the bridge. She seems clever and sneaky," the words are emphasized, though this might be due to the birdish lilt of the eagle's voice. "She might steal more than her fair share, and cheat you out of having yours."
[Ollie(#15066)] "Presents," Oliver says more dolefully yet. He stares at the bird, seeing but not seeing, while his slow stony brain tries to find a way out of this troublesome thicket. Without thinking, once more he starts to stroke the bird's feathers - rather like a worry stone! - and his face brightens. "Gives Lucy feathers!"
A brief silence intrudes, and Sulgirion eyes the troll's large hands warily. "What if she discovers you have caught me? Feathers are not as good as food. She might grow jealous, and angry that you horde the best in your den. I don't think it would be wise to spark her wrath, for she is bigger than you. Bigger, and mightier--" But the beak closes once more, not wanting the statement to rouse the anger of the troll that is very much close at hand. And dangerous.
[Ollie(#15066)] "Feathers," Oliver says obstinately. "Ollie gets feathers. Gives presents. Not shares!" He reaches out to yank some of the bigger feathers - the ones from the eagle's tail - out.
There comes a flinch from the bird, but he is too well bound to move away Ollie's efforts yield a sharp caw of pain as the lower feathers are plucked out. However there is nothing the avian can do but watch, and Sulgirion shoots another dark glower at the olog as he claims his prize.
[Ollie(#15066)] But now, what to do, what to do. Oliver sits back against the cave wall and broods. Sulgirion is left alone - unpetted, untalked to, uneaten - for the time being while the troll considers his troubles and tries to think how best to solve them.