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Bor's Folly: From Midnight to Morning

Tags: Cwen,  Arathis,  Findon,  Menelglir,  Immin

Short Summary: Cwen and Arathis overlook a fire, before joined by Findon and Menelglir. Findon is called fat. Afterwards, Arathis orders the other two knights to monitor Imrakhor Bragollach.
Date (real-life): 2011-06-16
Scene Location: Camp in the Westfold

Lonely country, this, representing the furthest reaches of the Rohirric influence--though one wonders why after so many years of neglect why the Horse Masters would have interest in such a place. Overgrowth creeps onto what could be loosely termed as a path. The river to north is your constant companion, rush past you at a break neck speed. The bank is steep and rocky. To the south, fields of rolling hills, trees dotting them.
You can't see much of anything in this dark without a light.

Obvious exits: West leads to Path along the Isen. East leads to Isen Floodbasin.



The group has found a place to camp. There is no moon, only stars. The area is fairly dark and the county seems unfriendly with all the overgrowth there is. The sounds of a river can be heard cutting through the night, and the only light there seems to be is that of the fire resting in the camp.


Within the late hour, one, at least, is awake. She sits by the fire blue eyes reaching deep into the flames. Cwen is lost in thought and there is a warm cup of mead in her hands that has barely been touched.



Emerging behind the woman comes a figure, betrayed more by the silvers of his attire than any heaviness of step. He pauses at her back for some moments, ere rounding the fire to sit across.


It is Arathis, the convalescent lord, who then speaks freely: “You enjoy considering consumption, m’lady?”



With her deep thoughts keeping her distracted, Cwen fails to hear Arathis so when he speaks it startles her. Jumping slightly in her seat a small amount of mead is spilt at her feet. It does not seem to bother her much however as her blue eyes focus upon him.


"Oh, a no actualy I have no issue with consumption," a soft laugh and she smiles shrugging. "Just, a lot on my mind."


Moving to stand she motions to the pot of warm mead, silently offering to pour him a glass if he wishes one.


"How do you fare? Feeling better at all?"



The keen eyes of the Isilrim lord follow the liquid’s descent, and seem for some moments to mull its landing. Only the offered motions release his gaze, prompting a noiseless nod and the buds of a smirk, curved more to his right.


“Aye, I am well,” floats Arathis, inclining towards the fire. “My flesh has been torn, but not put to the flames.”


Peering himself into the heat, he continues: “For what did you involve yourself in combat, m’lady?”



Placing her cup down the woman moves to pour another cup of warmed mead and with a delicate hand offering it to Arathis.


"That is good news." replies Cwen nodding slowly, brushing golden hair from her face. "I do not think anyone would want to be put to the flames."


Yet, his question of the combat the group had recently been involved with causes a brow to be risen and another shrug.


"To help." she says simply. "I realize it may not be common for the men of Gondor to see a woman in battle - and despite how I share blood of both lands, I felt the pressing need to aid where I can. And found I can be fearsome when holding an iron skillet." she jokes slightly, smirking a touch. "Plus, if I had ran, I am sure the orc would of chased me down and I would rather of gone down defending myself than running."



“I pass no judgment,” sails Arathis, retrieving the vessel plainly from the woman. A quaff precedes the rest: “But be not eager to combat’s game, it is sometimes an unsure affair.”


Two fingers rise to suggest the lady’s hair. “You have blood of both lands, you say? Who then is your kin?”



"Ah." replies Cwen softly. "Well, it was only that I saw that creature as a coward that caused me to think I had a chance. It ran and fell into the mud. A clumby orc, and to be honest that was my first time seeing one close up. Not something I wish to do again."


To his question of her heritage, the woman says:


"My mother, her name is Elesa Ephalkhir. She shares in the blood of Gondor. We've enough in us to tie us to the family, though most of my life has been spent in Rohan - until recently when I moved to Gondor."



“An Ephalkhir -- a martial peoples,” ponders the Isilrim lord, not unkindly.


“And what then of your name, daughter of Elesa?” he asks before another swallow.



"We are very much a martial people." says Cwen softly. "My family, the Rohirric side - I have five brothers, all older, save for my twin who is only minutes. Being the only daughter in the family I've spent much of my time listening to tales of battle and wars. And," a laugh. "I think my father would be proud of my skillet-wielding talents."


Reaching down by the dim light of the fire the woman grabs her cup and takes a drink of the warm mead. Finishing what is left she refills it, holding out the pot to refill his glass as well if he wishes more.


"I am Cwen Ephalkhir, daughter of Westerfalc the Younger. And, you are Lord Arathis Isilrim, if I am correct? I've heard the men say your name a few times upon your arrival to the camp."



Arathis exhausts the vessel and extends it again towards the woman.


His other hand frees a sheathed dagger from his baldric, which he forwards likewise in exchange. “If you are to kill an orc, do it properly. Your father’s pride would not then be tempered by worry.


“Aye, I am he, son of Sirion.”



His cup is refilled. Yet, her blue eyes rest themselfs upon the dagger a moment. The pot is placed down, a delicate hand reaches for the weapon.


"Are -," a pause and her gaze moves up to meet the face of the man Arathis. "Are you sure you wish me to take your dagger?" there is suprise in her tone as it was offered to her.


"And your brother too - he is with you here right?" she asks. "I understood little of what was said the night of your twos arrival. I am still trying to put the pieces together."



“An Ephalkhir cannot be told to forsake combat, so may as well be properly equipped for it. Strike always with the point.” The knight rescinds his hand a few inches ere extending it again, as if to emphasize and be done with the offer. “It is one of many daggers.”


“Yea,” he continues then atop another quaff, “by what fates we have converged I shall soon understand.”


The slightest of smiles, then: “I apologize, m’lady, but the memory of my arrival and what was said seems to fail me.”



"Thank you." replies the woman with a wide smile. "It will be well used. For it is not often we avoid combat."


The belt around her waist then obtains a new ornament - the dagger.


Another drink from her cup and Cwen intakes a deep breath, releasing it slowly.


"Do not apologize, from what I have seen that night you had gone through quite an ordeal. I wish i could help fill in any blanks for you, but sadly, I have no full knowlege myself. One of the Knights, or Squires, should know better than I."



“I am curious more as to where my fur has been misplaced,” counters Arathis, hints of mirth twining his tongue. “Ne’er have I seen one larger.”



That night had stood out to her. After all, seeing a half-naked man walking around in wolf furs head still attached is not an every day sight. With a chuckle Cwen says:


"Sorry, I've not seen it." though there is a thoughtful look to her blue eyes. "We had moved camp a few times now, I am sure it is somewhere, perhaps just misplaced. Or, maybe your brother knows? Or, for that matter, one of the Knights? If I recall it was..Sir Finon who had helped you closely? And..Sir Menelglir? It was a busy night I do not recall everything. Either way, I will keep an eye out for it and once seen will have it returned to you right away."



Heavy tread, thither; firm, if uneven, approaching the fire. Hereafter: a man takes shape out of the gloom; a silhouette, at first, that grows less and less dim by each step closer to the light. Findon who, with a glance at the two in their cups, greets drily:


"The Lord's fur is in my keeping."



“Yea,” muses the Isilrim lord lightly, tossing some mead idly into the flame. The thick steam appears to queerly ease his demeanor.


“And what of the knights? Know you why they are here? And yourself, m’lady?”


The latter comes at the arrival of Findon, and is perhaps even directed to him.



About to speak, Cwen halts her words. She looks over to see Findon there.


"Well, I shall have no need to keep an eye out then if they are taken care of." she looks to Arathis as his mead is tossed into the fire.


"Are you well?" she then turns her head to look to the newly arrived knight as she asks with a touch of concern in her tone. "And, would you like some warmed mead?"


To Arathis question however, she says: "I came as lorekeep, and, if or when needed, entertainment." a drink of her own mead is then taken.



"Yea," says Findon, answering Cwen with a nod; "I would, thank you kindly, lady."


The question that is evaded in speech is thus answered as he takes seat close to neither; stiff upon one leg that is extended before him as soon as it may be. A light sigh at that. "Thus, to purchase the intrusion..." He turns his glance, that hitherto has leveled with neither, to Arathis.


"The Queen Firiel; a derelict vessel, long believed lost to Men. Sir Imrakhor seems certain he will find it."



“A quest, very good.”


The Lord Isilrim rises, in his manner of salute, to full stature before his former squire. A narrowed gaze there rivets, frankly appraising Findon’s length. Both hands lift then towards the man: his right to affectionately palm a cheek, his left to chidingly pat his belly. “You are fat, Sir Findon, remaining with your habit of pies,” he pronounces, palming and patting for some moments.


The hand on the belly shifts to hover over a bandage, displeasing the elder knight.


“M’lady,” he begins, pivoting towards Cwen, “if you would kindly entertain by repeating the single instruction that accompanied the dagger.”



"Good." says Cwen in reply to Findon with a nod.


Now, watching Arathis stand and head to his fellow Knight her blue eyes widen a touch. A hand is quickly moved to cover her mouth - it was bad timing that she had taken a drink of her mead. Coughing a touch she does manage to swollow the sweet warm drink between a few stifled laughs.


"Oh, ah," but at the request the instruction, the Rohirric woman says: "Stick always with the point, if I recall it right." still, there is humour on her face and eyes. "Plus, listen to him not Sir Findon - you are not fat."



This, then, Findon endures, speechless.


His glance, when Arathis turns away, shifts to the lady, without expression.


Then, as it returns to the Isilrim Lord, he says with some warmth; permitting even a smile, faint but quavering: "Very good, Sir. I confess: I have read too much of late, a distraction I now rue."



"Stick always with the point," repeats Arathis, the fingers of his palming hand collecting into a point to singularly strike Findon's cheek. "I shall have issue with whomever completed your training: they have untaught you the first rule of swordplay.


"Read as you will, but do not stain your tomes with pie."


With this, the Lord Isilrim regains his seat, content to observe the conversation between the accompanying twain.



Cwen still smirks a touch, but as Findons attention shifts to her she gives him a big smile.


"Oh, and, don't you whittle? Or, was that flute I had seen the other night that you tossed Squire Conalmir not of your making?"


As Arathis moves to sit, the woman looks over to him with humour on her face still.


"Though, I had an uncle that said: 'To hit with the tip is artistery, however, when the time comes, be it tip or edge, use it well.'" she shrugs, and smiles.



“You use the edge to skin a beast; the tip to first fell it.”


“A flute,” murmurs Arathis.



At once solemn, his glance felled, Findon is silent for a moment. But, ere long, curtly: "The issue, lord, must then be laid at your own feet or mine." His regard turns to Cwen:


"Was the offer of mead empty courtesy, Lady?"



"I've not had to skin a beast." replies Cwen frowning a touch at the thought.


Standing, a glass of warm mead is filled. She goes to hand it to Findon nodding. "Not empty, no. Here you go."



“Mean ye your return alone sufficed you Ulmo’s oath, Sir Knight?” A barb finishes the question’s mark, propelled by a smirk of the man’s brows.


Yet, as Findon is handed a mug, Arathis’ own is all the same raised; the matter is for now abandoned.


At length, upon once more considering the flames, he Isilrim lord speaks again, his demeanor now hardening with tongue flattened: “Tell me, Findon, if neither the Prince nor our quest’s company is dead, for what have my dreams been so troubled?”



Brow bowed in thanks at the receiving, Findon offers: "My thanks."


His glance then turns to Arathis; the fire next. He drinks first, and speaks later; but when he does it is a grave manner.


"Our company, nay, and neither the Prince. But the Order is much deminished; at Caldur there fell many, to southron swords and, yea, to dishonor also. Then Captain, Imrakhor led there; in hope or folly. He brought many, and few returned."


"This, perchance, is why."



If you will excuse me, I need to get some sleep. Good eve to you both."


Cwen had been silent - watching the fire, thoughtful. But boken from those thoughts she stands, offers a smile to both and then turns to leave to find some sleep.



A nod from the Isilrim lord discharges the lady.


“Do not be brief, Swansman.”



"May it find you swiftly, lady."


The younger knight is slow in answer, tone distant, even as is his gaze while he recollects the past: "I do not have the full account, but shall account for what I have surmised and guessed."


"The Bragollach summoned to him all strength at hand and set sail for Caldur. They fell upon colony, and the city, in search of the Prince, it must be presumed. It was taken only at great cost, but no Prince was there to be found; and the southron lords came upon them, bleeding them further. The folk put to the sword, and the port city to the torch, Imrakhor and what remained of his men took sail for home."



"How many fell?" inquires Arathis, staring intently upon his fellow.



"Hundreds," Answers Findon. "Hundreds, and hundreds."



Emerging from the tents is Menelglir, the knight rubbing back his hair and looking a little sleepy as he walks toward this group, drawn by the conversation.



“Alas,” whispers the breath of the lord. His hands buttress his head against defeat’s burden, and he weeps.


“Alas,” he commits at length, inquiring after the flames as much as he does his fellows, “if our company remained despite my capture, was not the wisdom of the Firstborn brought to council on this matter? Was war advised or taken in folly?


“Alas, if the sin of my capture led to the sin of folly!


“Heed, and answer this and these plainly: for what was Caldur chosen, and for what we so committed? Where then was the Prince recovered? And his sons? Heed: what of the Lord Bragollach, who you say is no longer Captain?”



"In this I cannot serve but to guess at folly. To such counsel I was not privy."


Findon's glance, weighed both by pity and shame, turns thence to the Telpekhor, thither: "But t'was Menelglir who recovered the Prince's life; indeed, I deem he is best suited to answer you in these matters."


"Come, Menelglir, will you not speak



"Hir," Menelglir says, glancing to Findon only for a moment ere addressing the Isilrim, "I will try to answer all that I know on this. I do not know on what wisdom Caldur was taken--but I do know that the decision was made immediately after Sir Gwendion was summarily relieved of his post as Knight Herald, for no obvious cause to my mind, other than that he sued for a peaceful course."


"But the Prince was recovered after Caldur--indeed on the very day that his funeral was being held and his son instilled in his place, there was a great disturbance outside, and a giant of a man, calling himself Lord Lyre, demanded our presence in his halls far to the north. Taunted us he did, with our lack of manners and the suggestion that he held our Prince."


"Only a select group of us were invited north.." He grimaces briefly, "the 'excess' desposed of by the lord, to their icy deaths. This Lyre, he seemed to be some ...I do not know what. SOmething out of myth and legend, his hall hidden far north of Pinnath Gelin."


"And there we broke one enchantment after another, until at last Captain Aearon Telpekhor of the Hosts, his Man-at-Arms Turlach Nimothan, and I struggled greatly and bloodily with Lyre, and freed the last enchantment--the one that held our Prince."


"South we fled again, our Prince slowly restored to health."


"And that is all I know."



“Sir Gwendion was made Knight-Herald by whom, and relieved by whom? And peace, then, was the counsel of Lord Elrond?” clarifies the Lord Isilrim, one hand retreating to his baldric.



"Yea, peace was the Elder's counsel," Says Findon, with a touch of bitterness in his tone, "And prudence. Though, it must be said, there is little regard for the affairs of Men in such high places."



Immin, now a resident of the camp, is coming along from his meager shelter: made of hides and wood forming a crude lean-to, fit only for a rider in the wild. The man comes upon the group and stands at the periphery, listening to their talk. Their words amongst themselves are far different from the Westron Immin himself can haltingly speak and the man frowns as he tries to make out the high-flown language.



"Sir Gwendion was promoted by the Prince's son Elphir and relieved of the position by, I believe, the Knight's Council. And perhaps Elphir, as well. I know not," Menelglir says.


A glance to Findon--he frowns a moment, thinking. "They did not disdain our need. Only they are hard pressed, as well. The Hirion told me as much, and I do not think he nor his kind lie. Not after meeting them would I think that of them. It is that the Enemy's reach is far and wide, driving us apart."



"Just so," Findon assents, and drinks.



Thus stands the Dunadan lord, grim and coppered in bearing, having heard his allies; his reach spans to collect his fellow Swansmen, allowing command under only their eyes. The insignia of a golden horn, the mark of the Prince's Herald, is revealed, ere it is forced into the hand of Findon.


"<Sindarin> Heed me, knights, for I am not dead. Your path to Dol Amroth is through Druwaith Iaur and the western fiefs. Employ this token to order each lord you pass who yet swears fealty to the Lord Imrazor to assemble in the Marble City, and to muster too his host; may the shipwright Lord of Andrast yield so his fleet.


"You are further charged to monitor and indeed disallow the movements of Imrakhor Bragollach, if he should upon your journey somewhere choose flight. The will of the Imrazor has been sinned against.


"Aid me to gather the armors of a Man-at-Arms: I depart in guise for Dol Amroth to submit myself to the Prince."


So are the words of Arathis, and so his deeds.



With a sidelong look at Menelglir, Findon says: "I have erred on the side of caution, so it seems to me, friend." He, too, rises; spilling what remains of his beverage in the fire, and sets to aid the Lord in preparing his subterfuge.



Menelglir presses fist to heart in salute to the Isilrim's words, but hesitates before following Findon. "Yet caution, I deem, is still needed. We are yet on order here by the Prince, and Sir Imrakhor the only one who knows the details of that order."



"The Herald speaks with the Prince's voice," answers Findon, paused as he turns a glance back at the other. Firmly, he says: "The course is finally made clear, and the dark gives way to morning. Come! There is much to do." In that, he secures the insignia upon his person; well hid from sight.



Immin is confused by all this. He turns around and heads back for his lean-to to wrap himself in warm skins and await the morning.



“Be cautious, and be no enemy to a fellow knight. But heed, I speak the will of the Prince. Heed what I have said.


“I shall first mourn the fallen at the Isen. Join me, if your hearts are full. From there I shall speed the roads for Amroth.”


With this, Arathis collects his armors and makes to depart.

Date added: 2011-06-16 19:43:29    Hits: 114
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