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Arrival to and Departure from Tharbad (Three Horses and an Ass TP)

Tags: Menelglir,  Hraefengar,  Arathis

Short Summary: The band from Gondor arrive at Tharbad, and say farewell to all from their escort from Rohan save one.
Date (real-life): 2009-10-12
Scene Location: Tharbad

OOC: For those following this TP, it will be noticed that there is a gap of posted RP between the beginning and end of Dunland. Due to OOC reasons, it was decided that our original IC plan -- to temporarily sabotage Crebain keep and bypass the others, being mostly unmanned -- was accomplished, and that we made it through to Tharbad.


Annon Harn - Southern Gates of Tharbad

        You stand outside the ivy covered Gates of Tharbad, the Annon Harn. The gates, once strong blockades against the legions of Angmar and the Arthedain, are now mere curiosities, not but rusted skeletons. The city of Tharbad has the reputation as a haven for the smugglers and thieves of the River Gwathlo. Be that as it may, the only signs of life are those of beast and bird.


Ceredir (Menelglir)


Gondorian Wagon(#2030OXen)

Obvious exits:

 Southeast leads to Swamps near the Greyflood.

 South Gate leads to South Road Menetar - At Annon Harn.



Midday's sun reigns, but old Tharbad does not take her light. The crafts of men have turned in this city: stones fall to rubble, and rubble is given to nature. Dead vines line its heights, wrapping too the rusts that corrupt its former gates.


Upon arrival, some are torn by the Lord Isilrim, Arathis; the unpleasant grate of steel follows, as a gauntleted fist scratches against the offending copper. Thus the gates are noisily pushed open, and the company of Gondor and Rohan arrive at late Arnor's southern border.



Silent for the moment behind the Swan Knight stands the White Squire Menelglir, solemn as the gates are forced open once more, though his eyes warily travel the landscape, vigilant for trouble.


"This was Arnor?" he whispers the question almost reverent in his tone and his gaze to the fallen city. "How many years? Hundreds? Thousands?"



Some of the horses of the Rohirrim snort and jerk their heads at the sound, liking it little. But the dun-gold stallion, Dealfyr, stands steadily. On his back, Hraefengar is nearly motionless, staring into the city with eyes that are wide and distant. His hair whips in the wind, and he turns his head, and he speaks in Sindarin. "On the wings of swans they fled away, winter swans, snow-white. Falling, fallen, like the snow, passing, passing, the river runs."



“Arnor,” begins the knight, the word afloat without follow for some moments, -- “Arnor, Kingdom of the North, fell to a disagreement of princes some two-thousand years past. Tharbad belonged then to Cardolan, yet of the Dunedain, and then by dint of war to the Enemy of Angmar some six centuries after.” Regarding the rusts once more, he adds coldly, “It seems to have fallen finally to the sea.”


Shifting upon his steed, he hears the tongue of Hraefengar, and declares in turn, “Yet it belongs still to Arnor, albeit her sons now absent from her walls.”


For a moment, the helmed head of the Lord Isilrim lowers, and his lips move silently.



"The sea..and thieves and bandits, should the rumors be true?" Menelglir still drives the wagon, his place in this expedition as yet unchanged. Yet the squire now turns his gaze from the city heights to the remains of the road, frowning as he assesses whether or not he will have to walk this part of the journey to safely lead wagon and horse over deteriorated road.


"Sir? I..." he starts to question, breaking off when Arathis lowers his head. And curious, when the Knight finishes, he instead asks, "what was that, sir? A song?" Twisting on his seat of the wagon, he looks to Hraefengar. "And your words as well?"


[Hraefengar(#30729)] "Men lived here, so tales tell, that come to us time and again. Men lived here when the names of the North Kingdoms were faded into dust and beyond, lived here by the river, out of mind of men and time. Winter drove them away, so the tales tell... That is what I heard when I was a boy, when a man stumbled in from the North, and when my old master took me to study in Gondor. But the swans' wings beat, and the shadows whirl, and the river runs now for... well.... they are here." Hraefenga shakes himself slowly.



Yet before the opened gates, Arathis retrieves his horn -- three booms rush through the ruins of the city, unabashed.


The bass of the Isilrim Lord carries likewise: “Rogues shall depart this city, for they are unwelcome. Ulmo has wrought judgment before against it, and we, his servants, shall not shy to do the same.” No further answer is given to the squire’s question.


His hand replaces his horn, and then he moves to assess Hraefengar. So he speaks, allowing but few words to suffice: “Yet the Swan has not come alone.”



Some of the Rohirrim bear horns as well, and these they lift and sound in answer, and the winding of them is rich and clear. The horses neigh, some rearing, some pawing the ground, snorting, ready for battle. But Hraefengar sits very still, his hands set in his lap, the reins loose in his fingers. He seems almost as one caught in a dream, and he does not speak.



At the resound of horns, a certain fairness comes to the physiognomy of the knight, blessing too the rise of his tongue. So tempered, he pronounces in the tongue of the Mark, his fluency bettered by the journey, “<Rohirric> Men of the Riddermark, Lords of the Horse, Servants of Theoden King, you stand now before Tharbad, north of Dunland, having bested your enemy and aided your ally!


“Heed how Anor smiles upon you, window to the Valar; and, lo, too the debt of Dol Amroth to the South, humbled well before the friendship of the Mark. Torn from kin and pit to winter, you have toiled with us, and lost where we have not.


“But our road onwards is said safe enough, and Theoden King has done all asked of him; we shall keep you no longer from your home, and hope only that the time shall soon arise that we return in peace, with the gifts that peace should allow.


“Until then, know that we are brothers of the sword. May my blood keep the Enemy from your fields.”


The blade of the Isilrim is loosened skywards and there held, as if to assure his pledge. And once it is returned, a gesture is made to Hraefengar, as if more is to be said to him alone.



Quiet is the White Squire, still, no words coming from him just yet as he listens to the first words of Arathis, Menelglir having only picked up a few basic phrases in the language of the Rohirrim. He watches Arathis carefully, as if concentrating on the Knight might reveal the secret of the language, but his expression only clears when words are spoken that he once again can understand. His horse shifts, nervous in this land and with the horns, and he tends to that matter befor ehis attention turns on Hraefengar.



“Last I was in the Mark, good Hraefengar, my stay was with the Prince Theodred, to observe and aid his Riders. So you will understand that I too do not trust all the men who call themselves advisors to the King, as I do not trust all the men about Lord Denethor,” admits Arathis flatly, his mien forsaking its former lightness.


“Yet your heart, should you permit, is of kind intention. I worry only that stray words may find their path to the Enemy, of the same that doomed taled Gondolin of old. Thus it still cannot be said whence we travel and for what reason; and nor can it be discovered by your accompanying us.


“But you are a man of history. Though we must depart before our destination, I invite you as our guest to view the lands of Arnor to the North.”



Hraefengar sits still on his horse, and he listens well. Many are the murmurs in praise of Arathis' words, but Hraefengar does not speak. Finally he shakes his head. "Safe enough, perhaps it is. But I would fain still ride with you. For I do not think my road lies southward yet. Nor..." He lifts his head, and his eyes glitter. "Nor dol I think it is your will nor mine that shall determine the final path I ride. Whether that be to your destination, or beyond, none knows but those who weave our fate."



"How far north have you been?" Menelglir speaks up now, looking to the scop. "Have you been through these lands here? Have you any experience in that?" The Squire then coughs, though, with an apologetic look toward Arathis, whom he has likely interrupted.



“Then we are understood,” answers the Lord Isilrim.


No rebuke is deigned to the squire. Rather, he clasps the boy’s shoulder -- “You have done well, Menelglir, and have fought when you must, even when ignorant of its cause. Your deeds in Dunland are remembered.”


Moving to depart through the gates, as if to scout the city alone, he pauses, ere adding to Hraefengar: “The fate of the Dunlander prisoner is to be decided by the Mark. He has done nothing for us, so forfeiting his reward; and I shall not release an enemy of your peoples to freedom.”


So rides Arathis into Tharbad.


[Hraefengar(#30729)] Hraefengar nods his head, then speaks softly to his horse. He moves forwards, into Tharbad with the men of the Stoningland. That he does not bid his own countrymen farewell indicates perhaps his belief that they will rest at Tharbad before determining their own journey.



Menelglir sits a little taller and straighter at this praise from the Knight, and though his eyes light up a little, he does not smile or speak, his head dropping just slightly at the compliment, the youth quietly accepting it only. As Arathis enters the city, he does not follow, though, having no orders to do so. He dismounts from the wagon and sees to his horse instead.

Date added: 2009-10-12 19:34:32    Hits: 206
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