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Thread: Durin's Vengance

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Our tale begins in late Autumn of the year 1419 Shire Reckoning. The Prancing Pony Inn at the village of Bree is scantly populated on this dark and dreary night. Rain falls heavily on the rooftops as the inn door bursts open. A dark hooded creature stands in the doorway. He enters and strides to the bar. Barliman Butterbur, the innkeeper calls to him.

"Hi! Sir! Kindly close the door! Its cheerless enough in here tonight without the wind and rain accompanying my tendors!"

The figure doesn't reply. Instead he raises his hand and the door slams shut. Sitting at a tall bar stool he waves his hand and a mug slips from the counter and fills with beer before placing itself before him. Throwing back his hood reveals a weather worn face with a long black beard and icy blue eyes.

A hooded man clad in green and brown steides through the Prancing Pony bar. He sits down near the bar but doesn't take the hood off. His green, weary eyes looking at every detail. His eyes stop on a suspicious man who with a wave of hand serves himself a drink. He places his hand on the hilt of Rift (his sword). If this mysterious man is the type of man he thinks he is then he has too be careful. He's curious of his business. He walks up to the mysterious man and says "I go by Erumber the Stray. What brings one of your kind here?"
A minstrel in the corner of the Inn looks up as he hears the door slam. He was just repairing his flute, one of his Many flutes, I should say. When he looks at the two men, who he has never sen before, talking, he gets suspicious. What are people like them doing here? Continuing his work on the flute, he gets more and more paranoid. Needless to say he is drunk. He had been in the Pony for over a week now, and thought of this as a safe haven. All that people knew about him here, was that he was a marvellous lute player and singer. Could be worse, he thought. But now mysterious people were coming in, and he was getting worried...
Bran the bowman sits quietly in the corner nursing his pint of ale. It has been several months since he left his home in Esgaroth looking for adventure. His spirits had been high on that sunny morning in spring. Now he was alone and down to his last few pennies. An adventuring life was not all glamour. He had thought of giving it up and heading home to his aging mother. Shje would welcome him with open arms but Bran hated the idea. Now, at long last there may be an opportunity. The men talking at the bar seemed like the sort he wanted to meet. One was a wizard unless he was mistaken. He decided to watch and seek a chance to join them.

Belegror opens his eyes at the sound of a door being shut down stairs.

He's laying in a rented room, in a warm bed with a candle glowing at his side. His journey had been long, but last night he had finally arrived at the Pony. Happy as he was at the time, he had decided to taste some of the local brew. 23 or so pints of ale, 3 stale lumps of bread and 2 large portions of soup later, he had passed out in his bed.

"What foul smelling goblin would make such a noise?!" - Belegror thought as he woke up. The noise had been like a thundercrack in his head and he instantly decides to get dressed and walk down stairs to see if anything has happened.

Before leaving his room, he makes sure his plate armor, his 2 handed warhammer and his travelling gear is still placed where he left it.

He locks the door, walks down stairs and finds a seat at a empty table.

"What a strange gathering of people here to night" - he thinks to himself as he looks around the other guests...

The dark figure's head snaps to the side as the ragged Ranger speaks.

"What concern be it of yours if i may ask?"

the Ranger grips a long sword at his side.

"It is my concern, to protect the Wilderlands from the Enemy." came his reply.

The Dwarf leapt from his stool and swept off his hood, revealing a large warhammer in his hands, previously hidden. Lightening flashes and the Dwarf's hair catches flame, though it causes no alarm or distress for the Dwarf. The Ranger stumbles back drawing his sword. The other patrons all gasp or fall backwards in alarm.

"I am Shareg of the Northern Reaches! Not I nor any of my kinsman have ever served Sauron or any other force of Evil! No man lives who accuses me of such things!"

Bran watched as the two formidable opponents faced one another. If what they said was true then they were both enemies of the one true enemy. He stood from his stool and before he could stop himself he was striding over to them. This might be his one chance to join real adventurers and he was not about to let it slip. "Peace friends!" Bran called out to the two. "We are all united in our hatred of the Enemy. Do not waste your strength doing his work. We should fight together against the real foe." Bran suddenly felt stupid and his courage left him. Why would these mighty warriors listen to him, a na´ve bowman who had barely come of age? He looked at them for a response. The room was silent and Bran could hear the gulp in his throat as he swallowed.

I'm known for my long and boring posts, so here's one for ya.

 

After wandering in the rain for what seemed like eternity, Saegron finally reached the tall wooden gates of Bree. And soon he knocked the gates for three times and shouted to the gatekeeper: 'You there, will ya let me in? I'm just a mere journeyman passing by. I'm on my way to the Inn of Prancing Pony.'

Looking doubtful, the gatekeeper studied the wanderer for a while and then answered silently: 'Well, you look like a wanderer to me, but isn't that a staff of some sort that you're leaning to? I dare say that if you're a wizard, know that you should turn around. Magic isn't that wanted here in Bree. For you see, this is a peaceful town.'

Smiling to the gatekeeper, Saegron took the staff into his both hands, showed it to him and said: 'Look, it's just a walking stick made of fine oak wood. Very good for long journeys, since at this age, back problems never seem to go away kindly.' (Which was of course a lie. Saegron wasn't that old and he had always looked young by appearance.)

Having cleared the gatekeeper's doubts, he soon unlocked the gates and let Saegron inn. Nodding as thanks, he threw a gold coin to the man, which seemed to bring a lot of joy to him, though Saegron wasn't sure was it gold or joy that burned so brightly in the man's old eyes. Oh well, he was already late and as it is known, wizards don't enjoy of being late. So, he decided to press on. He even failed to hear the gatekeeper yelling: 'Thank you, sir, thank you!' behind him.

And after walking past a few blocks, he finally arrived to front doors of the Inn of Prancing Pony. By taking his long and cone-shaped grey hat off his head, he entered through the door.

Soon, he was met with odd stares, since the folks noticed his staff, which he soon hid away to cover of his long and black robes. (Saegron had always been known for his strange choose of colors. He always wore black and elegant robes, a dark blue cone-shaped hat in addition to his long and dark blue hair and two-colored eyes. For you see, his eyes had different colors; one being blue and the other being black. Some of you may wonder, why all of these colors, but.. Truth to be told, even he didn't know an answer to that question.)

By scratching his nonexistent beard that also had a blueish color to it, he walked forth to the desk when the Innkeeper, Mr. Barliman Butterbur greeted him by saying: 'Welcome, traveler! Oh, you sure look like you'd be in need of a tankard of ale or two.'

By nodding, Saegron replied silently as he kept looking around: 'Yes, um.. I'd also like to have something to eat.. Maybe some well cooked meat and lots of boiled potatoes.'

'Could that possible be arranged?'

'Of course!' smiled the Inkeeper: 'Just take that table over there in the far corner of this room, but be careful, I bet there's a fight about to take place in the table next to yours. And oh, may I ask your name, Mr.. Hmm, odd. Where did he go?'

But Saegron, oh he was already standing beside his table, looking at the fight that would soon take place. Arguments just kept flying through the air, as Saegron suddenly turned around, opened his robes a little and soon, a black raven flew from it's clothy shelter and sat on his right shoulder. Then to the top of it, he started to speak to the raven by saying: 'Look, Rathik, a battle! Should we take part in it, should we now, Rathik!?'

The raven looked at it's master doubtfully, then it just let out a silent croak and whispered to it's master: 'Croak, if you fight, I'll get to save you again, croak. Give me something to eat, or I'll just go back to sleep, you fool of a wizard.'

Cursing the raven, Saegron just said: 'Bah, you're as boring as always, Rathik. Sleep well then!' and before the raven could even comply, he summoned it away with one of his tricky spells. Then he turned around and walked to the table, where dwarves, elves and many others sat. And as you might have guessed, he opened his big mouth and greeted them by saying: 'Greetings, folks. My name is Saegron Ithael! Are you going to put up a little fight?. Yes, yes, Sauron is our enemy and so forth, but are ya folks still gonna fight? fighting is fun! What say you?'

Saegron didn't seem to get any response at all, instead, they all now stared at this strange looking man, who had just come from out of nowhere to tell them that he would like to fight.

But then Mr. Butterbur came in to the picture, and brought two tankards or fresh ale and a plate full of deliciously cooked meat and boiled potatoes. 'There you go, sir. Eat well!' said the Innkeeper, before he headed back to his post behind the bar desk. By thanking him, Saegron looked at the plate, then at the people around him and it was then, when he realized his own foolishness ('I totally forgot about the food' - was something that he was about to say, but instead he..), took his words back and said: 'I was just kidding.' he grinned. 'Let's all just calm down, take our seats and drink some ale, aye?'

At that point, Saegron looked around him and thought. 'I wonder what will happen next.. If it comes down to fighting, I've to admit that it would be a shame to abandon all this good food. It truly would..'

The mysterious man doesn't reply. "Fine. Be as you please, wizard. Just don't go causing trouble. Plenty of that is brewing on that table there." Erumber turns around and heads to the his room. His eyes heavy as lead. Some new suspicious folk start to appear. "Maybe I ought to stay a while more." thinks Erumber "Need be I shall prevent trouble". He strides to a dark, gloomy corner of the bar. He sits down and closes his eyes. "A short wink would do me good". All the while he is listening, for a single hint of danger, with his sharp, almost elf quality ears.

The noise hadn't settled since Belegror had entered the main room of the Prancing Pony. As a matter of fact, it still felt like thunder when people talked and laughed. Strange looking persons had entered and left while Belegror had been here.

And thus, he was still struggling with his fifth pint when he had seen the dwarf and the man suddenly started yelling at each other.

"For the love of all the mithril in the world, why cant they quiet down?" - Belegror thought to himself while witnessing the argument from the other end of the main room. Being still hung over, he hadnt sensed the rising tension.

But then a young-looking man had suddenly walked over and interrupted the argument. And apparently, also settled the matter.

"Well done laddie" - Belegror thought as he kept staring at the other dwarf.

A lot of their argument had just been added to the noise in the tavern, but Belegror felt sure that the dwarf had yelled something with the Northern Reaches.

The fact that a fellow dwarf had entered the Pony and that he had mentioned his homelands, made Belegror curious as to who this dwarf could be.

And so, Belegror empties his pint and walks over to the dwarf.

"Greetings friend" - Belegror says in khuzdul, making sure no one else can understand him.

"It's good to see a fellow kinsman in these parts. May I buy you a pint of ale?" - Belegror says.

Erumber wakes up to a loud crashing noise. "Just thunder". He lays his head back to rest but notices the same man from the bar is walking towards him."Are you looking for an adventure?" The man asks. "Now you speak to me?" replies Erumber. "If a Ranger be you" said the man "then no doubt you'd want to be one of my companions."

THe mysterious man glanced shortly at the younger Dwarf.

"Nay my friend, some other time. I have words that need to be spoken with the Ranger who just departed. But it you would not mind waiting, I will return soon."

He strides away, pulling his hood over his head as he does so. He sees the Ranger and speaks softly to him. After a few moments the two stand and shake hands. Turning the Dwarf addresses the company.

"I am Shareg Villusian son of Gogen of the Northern Reaches. I am on a quest of revenge and I seek companionship of the bravest and most loyal warriors this land has to offer. I intend to take a room here and those who are interested may meet me there at midnight to hear the details of the venture. I can garuntee safety to no one, nor fabulous riches but as Durin is true, I swear that great renown is to be won. Only those who have no fear of death are advised to seek to accompany me."

The Dwarf, Shareg, turns and leaves the room, calling for ale all round as he disappears into the hall.

While Theodinaith (after this called Theo, by everyone please sad)áhad finally finished his flute, men were talking. Mysterious men... He whispered something that sounded like "Lasta Laika". Then, Theo put his flute right up his ear. Since people saw him as a never moving part of the furniture, he didn't expect anyone to see it.

As he listened to what the men were saying, he became more relaxed. No danger. Then, as the men were speaking of an adventure, Theo felt immense happiness. He could get out! He wanted to walk up to the men, but just in time he remembered the flute in his ear.

Edit:worst timing. Ever

Shareg sat in his room watching the clock. He tensed as it struck midnight and he heard a knock on the door........ His future companions had arrived............

"Greetings Shareg,". The young man said. "I am Bran of Esgaroth. I seek a chance to fight the forces of darkness. I am not strong in arms, nor have I much experience. But I am skilled with my longbow and not lacking in courage. I do not fear death but rather defeat. Will you accept my company?"

Erumber strides into the warm room. 

"Erumber, at your service, Lord. My blade is sharp as winters breath and forever your at your disposal. Through mountain or valley, river or desert, I will follow you sire" and with that Erumber kneels down showing that he has turned himself in to his new lord's needs. 

Two men had already entered the room when Belegror opened the door.

The young man from earlier that evening and another, more experienced-looking man.

Belegror bowed before Shareg and gave the two men a nod.

"Being kinsmen, requires me to help you achieve your khazadush (dwarf vengeance), as is the Old Laws." - Belegror said, looking at Shareg.

"I offer you my hammer and my service."

"And now, perhaps you will tell us more of this quest we're about to start." - Belegor said. He sat down on a chair and found his smoking pipe...

 

Theo was just dozing and thinking of what he heard. Should he go upstairs? It might all be a trap. But, as he saw other, random looking, people go upstairs, he decided he should. He stumbled upstairs, leaning against the wall, and heard voices coming out of a room. He wanted to make a good impression, so he put his belt, with visible knives in it, on and opened the door.

Four men were looking at him. "I am Theodinaith, call me Theo, and I'm a minstrel. I heard you were talking about an adventure, so I have come here. Though I may not look like the greatest warrior", he could barely stand, "I think I will be a valuable addition to your party."

He didn't wait for the men to answer, he just sat down on the bed.

"Greetings my new companions, I eagerly welcome you all and I gratefully accept you into my company." Shareg says rising. He bows low and in his own turn offers his own hammer to his fellows. He stands and pulls a grim face.

"You wonder about my, well our, quest? I assume that you are all familiar with my kinsman Dain Ironfoot, previously of the Iron Hills, who now is King Under the Mountain in Erebor? Well, word has reached me of Kainin, Dain's trusted right hand man. Kainin has requested the help of his kin to help him vanquish a most evil foe; Dogok the Balrog. Dogok has taken up residence in the Iron Hills and is laying waste to the land. Many of Kanin's followers have been killed and they are trapped. By way of Raven he has sent word across Middle-Earth of his plight and it is my perogative to assist him. Our journey will be long and terrible and some of you may not come back. I will press none of you but I beseech you to stand beside me. I may be a Wizard, but even a Wizard has foes greater than he."

Shareg sits and removes his hood. He is far younger than he looks. A fire burns in his eyes as he waits for the answers of his companions. WHen none back out he stands and nods.

"Very well, we shall begin at first light. May the Valar protect us."

As soon as Shareg finishes his speech Erumber bows down and thanks him. Weariness hits him like a sledgehammer. Erumber leaves the room and stumbles to his room for good night's sleep. As soon as his head touches the soft goose feather-filled pillow he falls into the timeless void of sleep.

Bran went back to his room. Sleep was a long time in coming. He lay awake for hours, too excited to sleep. Finally he drifted off and dreamt of dragons and wizards. In the early morning he rose before the sun and leapt out of bed. Quickly he packed his belongings including his trusty longbow. "Maybe you will finally be loosed on orc... Or worse!" He said to it. Then he left his room and went to meet his companions, eager to leave for adventure.

Shareg never slept that night. He sat on his rented bed and fell into a meditative trance, slowly regaining his strength. When morning came he stood and made his way to the common room and waited for his companions. He felt exhilaration surge through his body as his new friends appeared one by one.

(Sorry for missing the midnight part. I've been off the site for some days now. Here's my solution to this matter.)

 

It was morning already and Saegron slowly started to wake up. First, he thought that he was sleeping comfortably in the room he had booked last night, but no..

Instead, he found himself sleeping on a wooden chair at the end of the inn. And as he rose back to his feet, he walked to the commons, where the dwarf wizard from yesterday awaited.

Remembering his words and all, Saegron summoned Rathik, his mysterious raven and approached him by saying: 'Greetings, or good morning. I'm Saegron Ithael, a fellow wizard. I cannot reveal where I originate from, but I've been traveling across the Middle-Earth for ages untold. Different camps, inns and taverns. Such is the life of a wanderer.'

At this point, Saegron bowed down, took his staff and placed it unto the ground. Then he smiled at the wizard, saying:

'It was Shareg, was it? So, Shareg Villusian. Despite the late events, will you accept me as a companion? Truth to be told, it was all an act. I just wanted to find out about things. And now I know enough.'

By cleaning his throat, he continued: 'Sorry for my long speech. I can offer my staff and spells, my skills as a swordsman and my talents as a writer & singer. And oh..'

At that point, Rathik flew from his right shoulder to air and shouted to Shareg: 'Croak, may I come too, croak? Someone has to protect this two-eyed fool of a wizard!'

By sighing and rising up from the ground, Saegron continued by saying: 'Yes, may Rathik come too? And that is all. What say you?'

Shareg studied the ragged looking wizard and his bird with trepidation.

"Well, if you are brave and strong of mind I may find a place for you. And your crow as well." Shareg adds this last qoute with a bit of amusement. 

My first entry. Let's mix things up a bit...

 

At that very moment a slight chill could be felt in the room. Not the kind to which you'd then grab your furs, but the kind you feel deep in your bones. The kind of chill that thrives in the company of darkness, brought on merely by the presence of uncertainty. Both Shareg and Saegron shifted slightly as they slowly raised their heads, meeting the other's gaze in a moment of immediate understanding. Most of the occupants in the room seemed oblivious, but the wizards knew something had changed. For less than a second a silence enveloped them, their hearts unknowing. Uncertain.

The sound of thunder could be heard in the distance. As it faded away the heavy wooden doors to the inn could be heard, hinges squeaking as it scraped against the floor, opened gently with confidence yet an unmistakable subtlety. Nothing but wind entered immediately, though you could see the innkeeper looking through what was the only safe way out. Something, or perhaps someone, was clearly drawing his gaze. After a moment that felt longer than a moment, a hooded figure stepped into the room. Clad in a cloak the color of crimson blood with boots as black as the night, the candles on the walls near the door flickered but slightly, though perhaps that was the wind. Perhaps.

"A-ho and welcome traveler!" called Barliman Butterbur, the owner and innkeeper of The Prancing Pony. "Sounds like a storms rollin' in, care to rent a room? Or perhaps a warm pint to ease the weary burden of travel?" Though Butterbur was known for his welcoming smile and natural affinity for travelers greetings, there was no denying a look of uncertainty.

"My stay will be brief, my horse needs the rest more than I. I will take a room until the storm passes, if ever that may be. Bring me your finest." Stated with determination as they dropped a bag of coins onto the table next to Butterbur. The stranger didn't move as the innkeeper shuffled the key ring, looking for the room farthest from him. When he finally found it, he pulled it off quicker than he had ever pulled a key before, and slowly held it in front of him, a slight tremble in his hand. "That'll be the top floor, last room of the left. I'll send my wench with some Brandywine Red immediately." It was unusual for Butterbur to not thank his residents after their business. Very unusual.

As the stranger turned towards the staircase, which was the opposite direction of our adventurers and wizards, they paused for a moment. The candles flickered again. But this time, the door was shut. Thunder crashed above the old building, louder than before, and the stranger disappeared into the darkness of the staircase, not a sound to be heard on those old, creaking stairs.

Shareg glanced at his fellow wizard and stood. He call out loudly.

"Hoy there, stranger! Pray come speak with us a moment."

THe stairs creak as the strange man re-enters the room. He strides to the table and sits down, not removing his hood as he does so. Shareg can see none of his face.

"It seems to me a strange thing that one should have changed the fine autumn morning to a stormy night and yet not make mention of it. Might I ask your name?"

"It is not my business to sit with strangers, nor should it be yours," came a deep voice that left you feeling strangely shallow. "You'll have to forgive me if I'm not willing to speak my name among those I do not know, nor trust. I am not your company and have traveled many paths to be here. If you wish to know more you must earn my respect, and that is something no man, much less dwarf, has ever done."

The adventurers around the room had all stood up by now, each one staring right at the stranger, some coming closer, none seeing through the darkness below the hood that revealed nothing but the sharp jaw underneath. The stranger sat perfectly still, as if he was in a deep sleep. The nearby fire began to flicker and an unbearable silence overtook the room, one that grabbed at your gut and caused it to scream with a desire for any sound, and as each adventurer prepared to cry out, the stranger spoke again.

"As for your other inquiry, it is mere coincidence I arrived with such weather. Is it so uncommon to have a stormy autumn morning here in Bree? I come from afar and even I have heard otherwise! Perhaps I arrived because of the storm? It's true dwarves are known for their quick tongues moreso than their quick wits. So alas I have many roads ahead of me and little time for rest. If you're finished with this accusatory query of a weary traveler, then I will take my leave."

At that the stranger stood up, and there was a quiver within the fire.

Theo had fallen asleep on Shareg's room. Shareg woke him up, and had brought him to his room. There, Theo fell asleep again. And he fell asleep good. It was morning already, and Theo was still sound asleep (google translate). Of course he didn't know about Saegron, and the other strange man. That was good though, 'cause if he knew about them, he would probably freak out.

His dreams were mostly just about being chased by Rolorion and his brothers, whose name he didn't know. This is because he had been "forced" into marriage with their sister, Loth, by his creditors, who he owed a lot of money to. But Loth was a very, very ugly woman, but she was rich. Anyway, when they slept together for the first time, she had already fallen in love with him. He hated her, so he stole her moneybag and ran off. He paid his creditors, but Loth's family was after him now...

Shareg stands and sweeps back his hood.

"There is no need for such rudeness. I merely wished to start a conversation. As for  your very impolite references to a Dwarf's tongue, i am afraid you are mistaken."

SHareg croses his arms. The stranger peers at him for a moment before chuckling. He then turns to leave.

"Stop!" Shareg grwols. The stranger turns.

"I tolerate such treatment from no man alive. Now, before you die, tell me your name so i may carve it on your gravestone!"

Hey guys Im back. Im sorry I was gone for so long. So lets start this thing up again where we left off.

"Hold your tongue, both of you!" growls Erumber "Imbiceles we would be to attempt to defeat the Demon with such a weak bond in our company!" He stands up rapidly and says "Pride is getting in the way of our quest. May Dwarves, Men, Hobbits and Elves put aside their differences for once!" After an uncumfortable dead silence he says softly "I...I need some fresh air, I'll wait outside. May anyone ready to begin the journey join me."

Shareg grunts and looks at the stranger.

"I know not who or what you are, nor your business, but I know evil when I am in its presence. Steer clear of me, or you will soon rue the day you passed through these doors."

Turning, Shareg strides out to meet Erumber outside. He finds the man sitting on a beer barrel sharpening his sword.

Erumber takes out his pipe and lights it with one swift motion. "I'm glad you joined me, Shareg, and don't worry about the other one, he will find his place in the group. We all will. Meanwhile lets wait for the others" He says as he lays back with his hood still on, and then Erumber falls into the dark world of dreams.

The Stranger stood next to the door with a mere hint of what might be construed as a grin on his face, watching the two dwarves awkwardly shuffle past him. He looks at the others adventurers in the room and grunts, "Dwarves. Loud, rude, stubborn, and always making far too many assumptions about things they shouldn't assume. And fat, too." He gently turns back towards the staircase, grabbing his bottle of wine and slipping it into his coat. He fades into the darkness of the tavern stairs once again, this time never to be seen under its roof again.

Shareg sighs and lights his own pipe as he waits for his other companions. He stares up at the sky and watches the birds flutter past as he send smoke rings up into the air.

After a moment he sits up straight and rouses his friend. Erumber grunts and gives him a sleepy glance.

"What is it?" he groans.

"We can no longer wait for the others. They must catch up at their own pace. We must go. Come with me." Rising Shareg opens the stables and calls for his mount. A short grey horse, not lacking in dignity not stoutness, prances out and submits itself to Shareg's saddle. Moutning up he waits for his companion to do likewise. When the two are mounted they set off in the direction of Weathertop and a liesurely speed. 

So is anyone going to continue in this guild? I'm waiting for someone to comment....

"Let's hope the others catch up soon" grumbles Erumber or else it will be a difficult journey. He brushes his fingers through the brown horses mane. Suddenly he stops. "What is it?" asks Shareg. "I sense something. Ready yourself. We don't want any interruptions from Bandits." Erumber releases his sword from it's prison and prepares for battle.
I couldn't make a post because I was really busy, but I want to continue this thread really badly. It would be awsome, we need people to keep posting, Durin.

(I know, but I can't make them post. :-/. Oh well, maybe we will be joined by them and maybe not. We only really need three people for it, though i hope our friends return.)

 

Shareg balls his hands into fists and twin split bladed dagger blades slide out of his gauntlets. Erumber looked at them in surprise then shrugs, to each his own. Shareg looked around, the houses of Bree weren't even fully out of sight yet and trouble beset them. Shareg hoped his quest wouldn't claim his life just yet.............

"So close to Bree, yet we're already in danger" grumbled Erumber. "Quit your complaining, and be quiet" whispered Shareg. There was a rustle in the bush ahead. Erumber slowly got off of his horse and approached the bush. "Stop." whispered Shareg. Erumber stopped in mid stride and turned around to see the wizard mumbling words of the dwarven language. The bush burst into a show of fire and burning lights. Now naked, the bush exposed three great, eight legged, hairy beasts. "What are theses demons doing all the way here? Nothing so fowl ever strays so far from where they belong!" exclaimed Shareg.

Erumber gripped his sword tightly. Shareg's wristblades gleamed in the morning light as the spiders charged. The first made for Shareg, still mounted on his horse. The spider leapt through the air, squealing and snarling. Shareg ducked and stabbed upward with his wristblades as the monster sailed over him. THe blade split the creature in half and it hit the ground heavily.

I am sorry everyone, but I will drop out of this one.

But I will most likely continue Saegron's story in a different form.

Maybe I'll write a little story for him.

Anyway, good luck with the thread. It surely is a promising one.

Erumber moved out of the way as a spider leaped at him. He looked to the right and saw Shareg split a beast down the middle. He turned around to face his enemy and pointed his blade at the beast.

"Fear me and my cold blade!" cried Erumber.

The beast, once  again, charged and leaped at him, but Erumber, with his quick reflexes, sidestepped and, with a single stroke, cut the spider in half.

HISSSSS. Erumber turned around to see that Shareg had saved him. The last spider was pinned to the ground by Shareg's blades.

"As I've said before, I am forever in your service" panted Erumber.

"As I've said before, I am forever in your service" panted Erumber."

As Shareg pulled his blades free of the spider carcass, a harsh wind fell upon the meadow, which had been stained with the blood of Ungoliant. Branches that have survived a millennia were clashing in arms, and the few remaining spiders upon them sunk into the darkness of the forest. Scuffles, ruffles, rattles and rhythms in the wind were harsh to the ear. Pockets of air occasionally biting within.

Then it was as if the world had stopped. No leaves swaying in the aftermath, no pinecones falling, merely a sliver of light through a canopy that had once been shielded. Then a silence. A silence that pierces the gut.

"A dark energy has been lifted from this place," said Shareg. "These spider's were not here by coincidence." As he stepped aside, the light shown onto the belly of the spider. A blood red symbol appeared with it, the color fading in the newfound light between the trees, but leaving the branding of what resembled an eye. Shareg's own eyes opened in fear.

Erumbar caught sight and kicked a dead spider onto its back. "No branding on the others," he shouted. "This queen was no doubt under the control of a force greater than its own. It has fled back into this forest, for it cannot be killed. We should keep going."

Shareg skinned the belly of the Queen spider, knowing somebody who needed to see this for himself.

Shared remounted and stowed the spider's hide in his pack.

"THank you." he said to Erumber. THe Ranger merely nodded.

 

TWO WEEKS LATER:

"Curse this foul wind and all the trouble it brings!" cried Erumber, "I thought wizards control the weather!" Shareg wrapped his cloak tighter and said nothing. He was rather fond of the Ranger's constant complaints. They made him feel somewhat encouraged.

"Two weeks travelling together yet you still seem to like to keep to yourself. Is it like that with all wizards?" Shareg just gave a chuckle. "What?" blurted out Erumber. Shareg remained silent. "Well spill it out!" said Erumber. "You've revealed so much information about yourself, that it would seem as though I've known you all me life, yet we've been acquainted for only two weeks" said Shareg. "Well, if we're sharing an adventure we might as well share our life stories, shan't we?". Well put, Erumber!" laughed Shareg.

Sharegsighed. Whatever reservations he had began to slip away.

"The first thing you need to know about me is my name is not really Shareg. Even a powerful wizard cannot claim one title alone." his voice rose over the wind though it never rose in volume, "In the North, where i am seldom seen, I am called Meshgor, in the East Chayen, in the West Orgikil, in the South Goskgow. My true title, however, and the one I answer to among my closest friends (of which there are few) is Gigan."

Erumbergrunted, a sign for Shareg to continue.

"I was born in Moria nearly two hundred years ago. My father was killed in a raid by Orcs and my mother died of grief shortly after. Left on my own I took to traveling. All i had to my name was a dagger and a small sack of food. The food soon ran out and i took to poaching. It was not long before I was caught and brought before the King of Rohan. He sentenced me to three years in prison, a term which was cut short by my assistance in a battle against Orcs, the same, I later learned, that slew my father. I was released and made my way across the land.

"I was in Harad when i encounter my first of many mentors, a Man named Bog. Bog was a master magician, a con man who put small parlor tricks to his own uses and made a name for himself. Hee taught me enough to sustain myself and i quickly moved on. In Gondor I found another magician named Dergon. He allowed me access to the vast libraries and vaults of Minas Tirith. It was here that i was to learn true magic. I began teaching myself and soon i learned enough to claim the title Conjuror. I used this to gain access to other lands previously closed to me.

"After a few years of wandering, i made my way to Moria, hoping to rejoin my kinsmen. I arrived too late however and nothing was left. I encounter Durin's Bane deep under the earth. I alone of all Dwarves, faced the monstrosity in the vast halls of Dwarrowdelf. He bested me and i was forced to flee, crawling back to the Iron Hills with my shame weighing on me like an anvil.

"In the Iron Hills I slaved away, blacksmithing and earning my keep. My magic came in handy and I helped my people prosper. Soon, however, I grew restless and sought greater magical instruction. I took leave of Nain and began the long trek to the coast. It was here that I met my destiny."

Here he paused and pulled out a pipe. He filled it and lit it with a match, puffing at it thoughtfully.

"I made my way to Belegaer, the Great Sea. On the beaches there i met an old man. All cloaked in grey he was, with a pointed hat and a long grey beard. 'Hello, old one!' i called to him. His bright eyes looked at me keenly. 'Old, you say? And what, pray tell, would a Dwarf know of old? Are you old yourself? I think not. So who are you to judge? Speak quickly beardling.' I didn't think much of his tone and said so. His only response was a laugh. 'I am Gigan, son of Nir, son of Hoj. Now what name might you go by?' 'Olorin, some call me,' said he, 'But to others i am known by different names. Perhaps you have heard the name Tharkun?' I admitted i had not. Other names he spoke, Incanus, Greyhame, Stormcrow, Gandalf and lastly Mithrandir. 'Mithrandir!' I cried, indeed i recognized him. I bowed low before him and he bade me rise. I resquested his tutelage and he graciously granted it. Within a year he had taught me all I now know. He taught me the way of birds and beasts, of trees and stones. I learned many languages and spells.

"Two years to the day we met, Mithrandir vanished. He disappeared and I have not seen him since. That was nigh on fifty years ago. I returned to the Iron Hills but soon grew restless again. I left and was passing through the Shire when a message came from Mithrandir. A bird told me of the Balrog in the Iron Hills and I quickly turned back, reaching Bree within a day. And that is where our two tales intertwine."

Sharegglanced at Erumber and found the Ranger deep in thought.

"Perhaps you have questions about me? I will gladly answer if i am able..............

  

"Tell me Old One, you deserve this title in our case, can anyone he desires take up to be a wizard?" asked Erumber "not that I would be able to do so in my short lifetime, but what does it take to become a wise one like yourself?". Erumber appreciated Wizards, but this Wizard in particular seemed to be more than the eye met. It is this way with all Wizards, but this one even more than that.
who desires*

Shareg looked at the Ranger in surprise.

"Your short lifetime? Is it not said that the Dunedain are long lived from the blood of Numenor in your veins? But yes, anyone can be a wizard, if they have the potential and the aura. You must also find your True Shape. Every creature, whether it be a mouse or a horse or even an Orc, has what is known as a True Shape. This being is the source of your soul's power and life. To use your body's magic, and to manipulate that around you, you must first discover your True Shape. It can be anything, from a fish to a dragon. And if you are curious, my True Shape is a Warg. Now before you protest, they Shape is good or evil according to the soul of the being it inhabits."

Erumber nodded.

"And how do you find your True Shape?"

"YOu must meditate for weeks, until you can block out all interference around you. I have seen wizards meditate in the middle of a battlefield, not stirring even if struck by a stray arrow or spear. Once you master yourself, you will be able to tap your magic aura and then your True Shape will come forth. After some training, you will be able to change at will, becoming your True Shape as you wish. The transformation is painful at first, but your body naturally attunes to it and you get used to it. In your True Shape you will be far stronger than in your Mortal Form."

"I think I understand......" Erumber said, hesitating slightly.

"YOu will understand better soon. If you wish to discover your True Shape, that is." 

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